Thursday, September 24, 2009

When D&D Is Awesome

I've been having a blast with my play by post Dwimmermount campaign over at Original D&D Discussion (and, yes, I have another update for the face to face campaign to post soon, but I've been distracted lately). Refereeing for two parties totally over 20 players is a bit of a handful, especially when it comes to combat, but it's also been extremely rewarding and oddly nostalgic. I remember well the days of parties consisting of 10 or more characters (plus hirelings) and, while I doubt I'd ever be able to handle so many players around a single table, there are also distinct pleasures that come from watching all these different personalities interact with one another. It's already a very different dynamic than the 3-5 players I've come to expect as the norm over the last 10 years or more.

In any case, one of the two groups just finished their first combat -- against a dozen spiders -- and they did so both successfully and with panache, taking only a small amount of damage in the process. In celebration, one of the characters, a dwarf with the awesome name of Puggy Two-Cups, burst out into the following song:

In Mountains tall and caverns deep
We met the spiders and bade them sleep
How much deeper must we creep
Before we drink our booze?

We Dwarfs were bold, our weapons danced
The Gobbies won themselves some fans
The Humies didn't soil their pants
Now can we drink our booze?

Pull down the bodies and check 'em for pay
Then toss them aside, we'll be on our way
Save the prayers for another day
We must drink our booze!

No wonder I'm enjoying this so much. Keep up the great work, guys. I'm having a blast.


  1. My own experience has been that this kind of "prose roleplaying" is more prevalent in play-by-email and play-by-post gaming, where you can take a while to ponder and polish your responses to things in game.

  2. Yes, that's one of the things I'm rather enjoying about the play by post game: I can take my time to respond and make my responses as polished or as rough as I want. I suspect most referees would enjoy the opportunity to ponder their replies longer than is feasible at a table. It's definitely a different style of play and not one I'd want to do exclusively, but it is fun. Ironically, I find myself wishing I could actually play face to face with many of these guys; I expect it'd be a blast.

  3. The characters they've created are great and from what I've read, it's a hoot. Love the deliberating over strategy and maps !

  4. I've been following from the sidelines and it's been interesting watching each group develop their own unique methods and attitudes. I cheerfully awaiting the start of a good natured rivalry developing between both parties as the attempt to outdo one another in areas explored, fights won, and treasure looted.

    Then I think we'll see some real early Seventies D&D going down...

  5. Right now, it's really no contest - Group One is just too pretty!

  6. I really dont understand how can you manage to DM TWO (!) groups of20(!!) players at the same time. And not only that, but making it fun as hell and exciting (and remember this is only the start of the campaign!)at the same time. I think it requires to have around 90% of awesomeness running through your veins. And balls of steel too. It's just A-MA-ZING.

  7. I've been playing a ton of PBP (and running my own Dragon Warriors campaign) and have found it a blast exactly because of things like this. I almost like it more than tabletop... almost.

  8. That song is awesome wrapped in spectacular wrapped in kickass wrapped in .... um .... bacon.

  9. Then I think we'll see some real early Seventies D&D going down...

    That's my hope. I think online games are probably the best way to run campaigns of that sort nowadays. Most people simply don't have the time to get together regularly enough to handle large and/or multiple parties of adventurers exploring the same locale. I think that's a shame, but I also understand why it's so difficult.

  10. It's just A-MA-ZING.

    Thanks. It's easier than it looks, because I've got a lot of resources to draw upon and am fairly good at coming up with stuff on the fly, when needed. And running Dwimmermount face to face for the last nine months helps a lot too. :)