Tuesday, October 25, 2022

just wanted to save this old twitter thread

Spent the today & yesterday learning the Reacting To The Past curriculum, basically What If College Was Roleplaying Games. Good stuff. But at the final Q&A I saw a lot of the newbies asking the same sort of misguided questions that people ask before they DM the first time.
A ton of questions came from a place of fear--fear of failure. They wanted to be in total control of the game and everything to go perfectly the first time they tried it. This is exactly the route to psyching yourself out of running a game.
You've got to leave some loosey-gooseyness in your game and you've got to risk something. It's okay if the first try flops. It's okay if the players run roughshod for part of the game. We learn by doing, not by planning for all contingencies before we act.
I'll admit that I'm lucky in that I started young and was too stupid to know how much I sucked at DMing at first. For adults, the second game is often a bigger challenge then the first, because session 1 inevitably falls short.
So you blame yourself and feel embarrassed and drop the whole project. It's okay to feel those feelings, but you've got to push through and try again. You can do it. It just feels weird because of weird social pressures that have nothing to do with you.


  1. Wise words. Thank you.

  2. I decided to run a "pure" Arduin original trilogy game at last DunDraCon which basically got as far as adding mana points and the Arduin-specific spells vs Arduin critters. Ran a second at Pig Faced Ork con and got into Dave Hargrave's initiative (basically dex order), the movement/attack details (Dave's way to deal with moving and attacking same round, just moving, or only attacking), circumstantial bonuses to attacks with ranged weapons (firing into a friend's melee baaad idea, called shots), armor defense details (front versus either side versus rear). Basically started putting together some refined notes.

    Now I am getting ready for next DunDraCon and have put together a spellbook of Arduin spells without the proper name titles (perhaps sacrilege to some, but new folks just need to know how to find that spell) and am fine tuning the rules I screwed up last time. Original Arduin is very D&D-like, which makes it easier, but now by the third game I think I can get in Dave's idiosyncrasies in a quick, meaningful way so that it feels different for players than regular D&D. I definitely took just wading in for the first two games without worrying too much about perfection to learn where I was lacking (and not beating myself up over it, kind players are gems!).