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The next chapter

An open book and empty tea cup sitting by the seaside, pages billowing in the breeze.

I haven't been inspired in a while.

The story I'm telling or rather bringing to it's dramatic conclusion, is something of a pride point as we reach a crescendo the players will remember.

Moreover, the thing I think I'm most happy about with this campaign is that there's been more story, interaction and exposition than there's been combat and yet the campaign has felt intense, dense and satisfying through nearly every session.

As we come to the close of the campaign, I look to the future and I ask myselfl, what is next? What is my next story? What story do I wish to tell next?

I don't fucking know.


What stories could I tell that I haven't thought of?

The current campaign was that of the beleagured natives against the empire while the players played the underdog who was actually the champion the whole time.

My previous campaigns have explored a range of tropes themselves and each one has been a fulfilling journey for me.

The Covenant of Silver was my bombastic foray into John Woo style gun play and I've done open ended adventures to death.

I've debated firing up Curse of Strahd and grinding some meats for a while to the enjoyment of viewers and players alike.

Gods be good I certainly do love presenting the Barovian countryside and their embellished characters.

As I sit here, I try to squeeze those invaluable drops of inspiration from wherever they come from, but I don't get much. An idea here, a stroke of emotion there.

How about an estranged gourmand who's actually royalty but wants to explore the kingdom and show people the power of good food? The players end up touring a kingdom as his

How about a council of wyrms who have trained a cabal of interastral diplomats who become embroiled in politics in Sigil?

How about a collective of travelers descending from Leira to find a missing tear that allegedly crashed onto Faerun? It's in the sea, cue thallasophobia.

How about a team of magic carpet surfers working as fast travelling merchants in Calimshan or Kara-Tur?

I don't fucking know what I want to run next because nothing jumps out at me.

The real problem.

You have to have a story to tell.

If there's one thing I've learned time and again it's that if I don't work to establish characters, interests and the story thereby, then I have nothing.

You need to establish the concept, the point, the arc, the objectives, the interests, the characters and the story.

So much goes on in a world minute by minute never mind day to day and to not have some idea of an agenda by which your population is going to exist will ensure your story has no foundation and eventually will topple over.


I'll scream it from a roof top where necessary but to put it elquently I'd quote Dr. Eldon Tyrell and again (as I've so many times said), "We began to recognize in them a strange obsession. After all, they are emotionally inexperienced, with only a few years in which to store up the experiences which you and I take for granted. If we gift them with a past, we create a cushion or a pillow for their emotions, and consequently, we can control them better."

Deckard remarks in this, "Memories--" but what am I really talking about? After all, this is all made up, there's no memories.

Work with your players history and surprise them with hooks into your world. Do othis and you give your players a foundation. I cannot stress this enough.

You can dictate everything, so long as you give the players a place to comfortably stand in the game.

The most important thing is fun, but comfort is a part of that, and ensuring a player is comfortable as their character, comes from validating their characters place in your story.

Do that. Don't not do that. You owe it to the player who is agreeing to be a character in your story.

So what the fuck does this have to do with the above?

Player Character.

I'm not sure what I want to run insofar as a story line goes. I don't have any specific idea that stands out, and sometimes even like the idea of operating an open ended game again.

Maybe the question becomes what the players would do if I presented them with a peaceful, normal world? What then? What if my players had a normal, D&D world, with no major stakes at first?

Seems boring up front, but maybe something would emerge? I wouldn't be able to help myself, but without the focus up front, I don't know that I'd be able to maintain and sustain.

What do I mean? I mean that pedigree up above. My story is this, that or the other thing. I've defined the environment and characeters and you as the player and character thereby may know them for one reason or another; you are, whether you understand the extent or not, a player character in my story.

Versus a situation whereby there is.. effectively no story save that of your own existence in a world with whatever localized agendas my ADHD will muster in the moment.

I don't like this because I am not a computer. Where an old Playstation may spawn 12 blue not-ferrarris in a row, I as a human, typicaly intoxicated, may easily lose sight of the threads I have envisioned and lead the players in some paint covered corner from which there's only the most hamfisted of Kool-Aide man escapes.


I consider my options, and I'm honestly tempted to push some gonzo level groupings. What if I did regular eight person games again..

Maybe I'm just being unhinged, but I will admit in the end, I do look forward to whatever new campaign and story line I get to present.
It's always a treat to introduce new players, but moreover the new story and characters and those first few honeymoon steps where you've married/committed your ideas to a party of players and then processing and stepping through each interaction, encounter, and developing out what becomes ultimately whatever story you're actually telling, together.

Wanting more.

I find myself wanting more of myself. After watching through the D&D movie recently released, I feel good about the way I play my game and on that note I'll say I'm thankful, as I imagine you are, that the D&D movie was not utter shit.

In short though I suppose what I want of myself is a better D&D game. I want epic, but relatable, dramatic, tragic, fun, regimented and loose.
I think for the most part I do alright. However.

What the fuck story do I want to tell next?
What sort of game do I want to present next?
What sort of experience do I want to deliver?
How do I wish to challenge myself as a story teller next?

I don't fucking know, haha.

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