Creating worlds and colliding

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I have wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons ever since I was very young. I used to read the books in various electronical formats over and over again – without really understanding most of what was written. But it felt right. Also, the illustrations that accompanied the pages were simply astounding. And I dreamed of the day I would be actually playing the game itself. But that was far off – had I only known back then how far, I would’ve definitely given up on the dream.

And a year or so ago I discovered a podcast called Critical Hit, by majorspoilers.com. That took me closer to the game than anything before – I was finally able to actually start figuring out the mechanics of the game – how combats were handled and monsters created. But little did I know, that my own DnD adventure was about to start.

Now, fast-forward to last November – I had, against all odds, found four like-minded people interested in DnD – just as I was. So I took up the role of the organizer and offered my services as a newbie DM. With the other players not having ever played DnD before, it seemed that I would be just fine. And right I was to think so.

Years before, I used to write short stories and novels of the fantasy genre. Creating bits of worlds to set my own characters with their own journeys and adventures to experience and endure. So I had a bit of a head-start, when it came to DMing, or so I thought.

Foolishly I decided to start my own original adventure and not run a pre-made campaign at first to get used to the whole system and concept of DnD. But now, three sessions in – I have created a world, with a map (re-created by a member of our amazing party, Kristin), characters, cities, folklore and history. A well-working world that will surely surprise both my players and myself.

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The story itself is bit-by-bit unraveling with me having already thought of the overlaying story arc (for the foreseeable future), the villains, the possible plot twists and some other small, yet extremely important details. But in all fairness – the real power is at the hands of the players – if they decide to not go to any town or city to carry out their tasks, but start digging underground to perhaps find some untold riches deep in the mountains of Laminah – well, I would have to go with it and perhaps have the story go in a completely other direction. And that makes it even more interesting for me – to see where the story goes. This is unlike writing any story, since the characters in this situation decide what to do, not the one responsible for assigning the words onto the sheets. The constantly drunk dwarf Thoradin, arrogant changeling known by his old prison number 0800, Tjorven, the odd lumberjack with memory problems and the Quelenna, the eladrin taking care of those misunderstood creatures - all of those mystical beings are at the center of my story, saving Donathal from impending doom.

And already with three sessions behind me, I feel like I have evolved a bunch during those brief (3-4 hours each) interactions. Both as a DM, and as a storyteller. And I will yet have to see what the upcoming games will bring. Already I keep hearing from people interested in participating in a DnD session – perhaps I will end up with multiple games at once.

After each game I instantly start waiting for the next time, even though I know I will spend hours and hours preparing before the next game, to make sure the players enjoy it as much as possible and I am able to provide them an ongoing adventure that will keep them entertained and interested at the same time. But still, I enjoy creating a story and have them unravel it as they see fit.