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Category: The Master of Disaster

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The Master of Disaster: Holiday Havoc – 18

I currently play in two Dungeons & Dragons groups, one of which I run and the other I just play in. For my group, we’d been running the newly released Icewind Dale – Rime of the Frostmaiden, while my other was neck-deep in a Dragonlance campaign. However, as we crept closer towards the end of 2020, we found ourselves in the middle of one of the weirdest holiday seasons of all time. So with a lot of people unable to see family and get particularly festive this year, I wanted to do something special for them the only way I knew how to: A holiday themed one-shot. It was also an opportunity for me to move away from the lackluster module of Icewind Dale – Rime of the Frostmaiden, but that’s a story for another time. Instead, I’d like to tell you the story of Holiday Havoc: The Clausening, the holiday one-shot I ran for both of my D&D groups…

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The Master of Disaster: God – 17

It’s been a bit since I’ve actually told a story from my D&D games, hasn’t it? Lately I’ve been prattling on about my ethos and how I prep for games, but sometimes all you need is a good story about players being overly confident. So buckle in everyone, cause this one is short but oh so sweet…

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The Master of Disaster: Prepping – 16

One of the most interesting, fun and tedious parts about being a Dungeon Master is preparing from session to session, but even more of a challenge is preparing a new campaign entirely. My group and I are currently wrapping up our “one-shot” of The Sunless Citadel, a pretty decent Dungeons & Dragons adventure, and are gearing up for our next big campaign. As luck would have it, Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden released just as we were finishing up, so we decided that it would be our next adventure. Being that this is my first time prepping a full campaign, I figured I do it as meticulously as possible. Here’s what’s happened…

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The Master of Disaster: Combat Encounters – 15

People often talk about the three pillars of Dungeons & Dragons and how crucial they are when making a well rounded campaign. Of the three pillars, exploration, role-playing and combat, I usually tend to focus on the role-playing pillar the most while paying less attention to the others. I’ve always felt that exploration was the toughest one for me, but as I run more Dungeons & Dragons games with different groups, I find that combat ends up feeling the weakest and least interesting…

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The Master of Disaster: Finding Your Style – 13

Recently my friends and I shuffled our roles, affording me the opportunity to play in a campaign rather than run one. It’s been fantastic both from a gameplay standpoint along with freeing me up creatively to focus on other projects. Simultaneously another group of friends expressed interest in running a starter Dungeons & Dragons campaign, so being the masochist I am I obliged and started running them through The Lost Mines of Phandelver. And honestly, both games have been tremendous learning experiences that I desperately needed…

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The Master of Disaster: Fatigue – 12

During my time running various campaigns for my friends, I’ve experienced a bevy of highs and lows that have both energized and exhausted me to different extents.  Today we’re going to be talking about the latter and how if left unchecked, can wear you out pretty easily…

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The Master of Disaster: Maps – 11

Welcome to another installment of The Master of Disaster, a feature where I outline some of my preferences, tactics and stories that have come out of both playing, but mostly from running various tabletop role-playing games.  This time around I’d like to talk about something fairly obvious, but easily one of the more labor intensive parts of being a GM.  Of course I’m talking about maps…

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The Master of Disaster: Music – 10

Pretty early on in the campaign I decided I wanted to add an auditory element to everything we were doing, without resorting to generic dungeon crawling ambient noises that you can find on YouTube.  How would one go about this then?  Maybe they would search for music that set the appropriate mood, cause that would actually be a smart idea.  But what if we added hours to my session prep and included unique music tracks for encounters and story beats?  That’s the position I’ve put myself in…

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The Master of Disaster: Don’t Take it Personally – 09

Like the countless memes on the internet would lead you to believe, scheduling sessions can be unnecessarily difficult sometimes.  People have their obligations and responsibilities, and it’s important to recognize and respect that because at the end of the day, these are still your friends.  I recently found myself getting very down due to the scheduling nightmare that is our D&D campaign, and it took some time for me to get over it…