Sunday, February 15, 2015

On Being A Game Master: My Realms

I've found myself, at times, being being overly critical about the direction Wizards of the Coast has taken with the Forgotten Realms.

Even during the announcement of Princes of Apocalypse, a part of me felt that the Temple of Elemental Evil and any form of sequel should be set in Greyhawk.

But, I'm starting to have a change of heart.  You see, the current 5E game I'm running is very player driven and essentially a sandbox.  It started out set in the Dalelands, Derbydale (my own creation) to be exact.  The players could have moved on to the Keep on the Borderlands (of Sembia, Cormyr, and the Dalelands) or north to Phlan.

The players chose Phlan and I ran one of the DnD Adventurer's League adventures set there.  Currently the players are north east of Phlan in a dwarven mining post named Shadowrock (my own creation), and I'm thoroughly enjoying cobbling together inspiration from everywhere and creating my own Forgotten Realms.  I understand the popularity of metaplot and even enjoy the current slate of Realms' novels, but the point of all of this source material and, especially, adventures is for us to tell our own stories with them.

And I think its easy to lose track of that.  I know I did.

Sure, the Silver Marches might currently be dealing with the Darkening in Bob Salvatore's novels and the Cult of the Dragon is trying to raise Tiamat in the table top RPG  and MMORPG, and maybe I'll reference that.  Or maybe I won't.

But meanwhile I have five editions of DnD to draw material from and numerous third party products. And while Elminster and Drizzt are there stomping around, my game is about the growing legends of my players.  Maybe they might cross path someday.  Maybe.

My point is, I'll probably do something with Princes of the Apocalypse (I'm writing up material about it, after all).  And I might even run the Temple of Elemental Evil in a similar span of time.  And maybe it will be set on the Moonsea or maybe it will be in Greyhawk or even outside the city of Jarlsburg.

That's the beauty of this hobby, its up to each group and is all designed simply to be played.

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