Running Sooooo Many Games! & D&D Magic the Gathering

You may remember my post a long time ago about being the “Forever DM.” Yeah, that’s totally me. And I bring it upon myself.

Here are the number of games that I run:

I run my Adventurers League table on Sundays, and just picked up an online game earlier in the day, and a Discord game that evening. Monday nights I may or may not have BattleTech. Tuesday nights I run the Inglourious Ingrates. Wednesday nights, at least for now before school starts, I run the young people’s group.

Add that up, I’m playing tabletop games six times a week. 5 days a week. Something has got to give, or I will be in DM Burnoutâ„¢.

This, phenomenon, too, have I posted about.

Don’t get me wrong, I love DMing, but I would like to play. Even for a one-shot.

T’would be a grand time.

I even have a character planned: Anton Evenwood, Bard Extraordinaire! Either that, or my Elven Bladesinger who wields her family’s ancestral moonblade. Or my justicar cleric of the Grave Domain, Azrael. Depending on the adventure and level. All fun (I imagine) to play.

In any case, enough of my ranting. You didn’t come here to listen to me rant.

D&D Magic the Gathering

So I used to play magic, a long time ago. It was a fun game to play. I still enjoy playing it on occasion. But I haven’t touched it in a while.

Until now.

Now, I’ve gone back into that bottomless pit. Why? Because I have to collect everything. Everything Dungeons and Dragons, apparently.

So I signed up to get a set booster box and one of those boxes that comes with, usually, and oversized counter plus 15 boosters. Can’t remember what they’re called. In any case, I have more cards on the way.

So I opened. And I opened more. And now I have Brunor Battlehammer, Acererack, Zariel, Drizz’t Do Urden, Asmodeus, and some really nice dracolich, among many other cards. It was a blast opening all of them. I have the wish spell and meteor swarm both as Magic the Gathering cards.

Will I likely make a deck out of these? Probably not. I own them for the collector value more than anything. I have a bunch of the art cards and are hoping to get more.

Above our several other cards that I got of note. You can see, I got a really nice set.

Minsc and Drizz’t are, undoubtedly, my favorites. It should also be noted, that I actually got Gwenevar’s token card.

So, yeah, good haul. And I am buying another Set Booster box.

What is wrong with me?! đŸ˜‰

In any case, next month is going to be busy with some plans that hopefully pan out for Adventurers League and our Tuesday night game night, with September being very busy.

OOOOHHHH!!! BEFORE I FORGET!!!

I had been invited to an exclusive game run by Allen Hammack, the author of The Ghost Tower of Inverness, who would be running said adventure! Unfortunately it fell on a Saturday so I was unable to go, BUT!

I actually own the original adventure, and asked a buddy of mine who would be attending to have it signed by Mr. Hammack, to which he agreed. Hopefully, after next weekend, I will have that signed copy!

Well, I hope you enjoyed today’s post, Dear Readers!

Until next time…

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How-To DM: Absent Players

We’ve all been there: you either have a regular session every week, or every two weeks, or even monthly. It’s scheduled out. But come the day of or the day before, and they cancel on you. Or, they just tell you they’re going to be gone that day and they can’t make that session.

What do you do with the character? They are there, even if the player is not. Here are some suggestions.

“Magic Portal”

When the player is not available to play, the character magically disappears. It’s like an elephant in the room: they are gone but nobody talks about it. This is probably the easiest way to deal with the problem, albeit the least realistic.

The “PC turned NPC”

This one comes really easy, however it should be agreed upon by the player of said character before doing it.

The premise of this is basically that the character is still there but now under the control of the dungeon master. Things get even more sticky if something horrible happens to said character.

Sometimes, the player trusts in another player you know, the absent player will hand their character over to one of the other players to run in addition to theirs. Beware of this however, as described above if something terrible happens to that character.

The “I’m Not There So They Aren’t There”

Maybe the character has some sort of family obligation going on. Maybe they’d rather sit at the tavern and drink. Or maybe, just maybe, just don’t want to go on this little part of the quest. Whatever it is, your absence is explained away in the fact that they just are not there.

When done in the middle of an adventure, or maybe a dungeon crawl, it’s usually explained away by having them watch the camp or that they needed a break.

The Bag of Lodging

Long ago, in a basement far far away, there was a dungeon master who would one day be known as The Daily Dungeon Master. He was running a game with his friends from high school while in his early twenties, when high school wasn’t that long ago. The Daily Dungeon Master loved running Adventures found in the Dungeon magazines that he had a subscription for.

Then one day, he found it. The absolutely perfect magic item. It was unbelievable.

The item, known as the Bag of Lodging, was a cross between a Leomund’s Tiny Hut spell and a bag of holding. One would only have to use the command word, and the small bag with open to a ladder going down into what was essentially a permanent extra dimensional space that had unseen servants, unlimited water, air, and food. To get out, one would either have to speak command word on the outside, or from the inside.

Therefore: when the player was not there the character went in the bag. When they were there, they came out of the bag. It. Was. Awesome.

In Conclusion

However you do it, having players come in and out, or characters come in and out can always be problematic. That said, it happens. As long as we have a plan or a method for how they come and go things can always work out.

What do you think, Dear Readers? Do you have a method for your characters to pop in and out when needed? Did I miss something? Tell me in the comment section below.

Until next time, Dear Readers…

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TGAPP: Racing After Rumors in Red Fern

Pardon to everyone, but I was out the session prior to the writing of this post, but I will do my best to summarize events since then.

The Inglorious Ingrates faced the undead king Torgrym after unlocking the central pillar, but the undead ruler was waylaid shortly after meeting the Ingrates. The victors helped themselves to the treasure of Torgrym, and proceeded to head back to Borest. On their return back, they saw the sprigs no longer bothered them, and the town appeared to be free from the malevolent rule of the goblins. Without any leads as to what happened to the goblins, the party made their way back to Redfurn the capital of the Kingdom of Endyr as well as home of several members. After rest and rearming, the companions traveled several days north to Red Fern. Upon their arrival, the Ingrates discovered several oddities had transpired after being enslaved for six months: the orphanage several members had spent time in had burned down, Idris’ siblings had gone missing, and Dacyria was believed to have been killed.

Finding few to no leads on the cause of these developments, the Ingrates traveled to Avery’s home, but even her home had been affected. In the time since her disappearance, someone had come to Avery’s household, and the man claimed to be her biological father who had out been adventuring for all of her life. Though, Avery was not alone in finding lost family, for as the group wandered the streets of Redfurn, Idris was very lucky in noticing his sister, Elama, wandering the streets as an urchin. Elama also appeared to be suffering from some mental illness that made it difficult to recall who Idris was, but Avery offered that Elama could be taken care of at her house. Soon after rescuing the sister, several guards accosted the group to see if they had seen an escaped asylum patient.

After several hours of fruitless searching and wandering, several members required a need to relieve stress, so Sakura, formerly Gye, traveled to her old stomping grounds in the back of an alley where a small fighting group was gathered. Arkon, was the first to step into the ring with an impressively muscled half-orc, who made quick work of Arkon, and the half-orc proceeded to deal with Sakura just as efficiently after finishing Arkon. Afterwards, Avery and Dacyria fell to the half-orc quickly too. Despite seeing his companions fall one-after-the-other, Winter stepped forward to challenge the champion, and with a luckily placed shot, Winter emerged victorious from the street brawl.

The next day, Dacyria invited the Ingrates to help gather information on why her family believed her to be dead. Their investigation led them to visit Dacyria’s old social acquaintance Felicity Marleth, a friend of Dacyria’s from a House Minor who recognized her immediately and began revealing the gossip of the Redfurn. The biggest takeaway from Felicity’s revelations was the union that had magically come about soon after Dacyria’s supposed death and despite the Targana and Mogumir having a long history of hating one another. To cement this new friendship, the Duke Targana was hosting a party in which the Baron Mogumir would also be attending. This opportunity was too good to pass up, so the party prepared to crash the party…

Will they succeed? What can they learn? Find out what happens on our next blog post, and until next time, may the dice rolls ever be in your favor!

How-To Play: Types of Games

Dear readers, as you can see, I’m starting a new series called “How to Play.” I hope you enjoy it!

Last week as well as last night I had the privilege of running a game for my daughter and several of her friends, all of whom are ladies whose ages range in age from 18 to mid-20s.

They are a blast.

My daughter is getting ready to leave for college and wanted a “last hurrah” with her friends who either played Dungeons & Dragons or wanted to learn. I was requested to dungeon master and find something to run. I decided to go with an oldie but goodie: The Keep on the Borderlands by Gary Gygax himself. Even better? I’m converting the original adventure, which I am using as we play, on the fly using dndbeyond.com (not to put too fine a point on it, but this kind of “on the fly” conversion wouldn’t be possible without such a tool to use!).

Now, just checking through the module as written, there aren’t written too many role-playing encounters. In fact, this is back in the day where most areas had to be described by the DM and there weren’t any “gray box text”to use. It was kind of a challenge for me as a DM who is gotten used to the gray box text since it’s far back as 2nd Edition AD&D.

My dad tells me that the ability to make the descriptions vivid without being boring or sounding canned are the hallmarks of a good dungeon master. My players tell me I’m pretty good. Okay, they actually tell me I’m pretty fantastic. I don’t like to brag about this. Frankly because I think I’m an average dungeon master at best. At the very least, all of my players told me they have a lot of fun at my games.

Self aggrandizement aside, it kind of made me realize something after last night’s game: my groups’ play style determined how that game went, as did any group for those kinds of adventures back in the day. I mean, there was a keep, there were the caves, and then there were the other things like the crazy hermit, the lizardman mound, stuff like that. So overall, there wasn’t much in the way of missions or quests…per se.

A lot of it had to be self-driven. Sure, there were rumors that a merchant had been taken Ransom in the caves and that anyone who rescued him would receive a reward.

Sure, the Caves of Chaos were rumored to be filled with all sorts of monsters and treasure. But you gotta understand: back then, this was all the motivation a player character needed!

So were this group of ladies, I told them that the castellan, after they had done a different job in taking down a group of bandits that had been plaguing the roads, had asked them to clear out the evil caves of the monstrous presences there. Easy enough.

After our game session last night I realized that I had several players of different gaming styles in my group. All perfectly valid in their own right.

Role-playing

The character Edmund, of my characters last night, was the character created for role-playing. He does a lot of the talking, does a lot of the emoting, and generally is the life of the party. Can you guess what class he is?

Yeah, Bard. Go figure.

The role player wants to know motivations, and names, and backgrounds. The person who likes role play games wants to know The who and the why of people in games.

The same bard, for example, had a background where he had some, let’s say, Daddy issues. As a result, he tended to latch on to anybody who gave him approval. Unfortunately for him, the first person who he latched on to for approval was an evil cleric that the newest party member, a paladin, discovered was actually an evil cleric of Therizdun. It was an interesting fight to watch him fight them.

The discovery, the feelings of betrayal, the actual fight itself, and the delivery of the body back to the keep. All this was done through copious amounts of epic role play.

Keep an eye on these players as they can sometimes quickly take over the game, so make sure the other players get a say in the encounters!

You keep these characters happy by involving their backstories into the game and giving them colorful and vibrant non-player characters to interact with.

Hack ‘n Slash

These players absolutely love combat. These players enjoy finding groups of monsters and unleashing their horde of magical and martial abilities upon them.

These players can be martial characters or spellcasters.

Spellcaster example? One word…well, spell:

Fireball.

In the same group, I have a druid who has found a wonderfully useful event to cast the spell entangle. In fact, they came up with a tactic where the druid would cast entangle while the bard would cast shatter.

Do you even know what that does to a group of kobolds?! I mean, they have 5 hp! If they roll average damage, it will be more than twice a kobold’s hp, meaning, even if they make a successful save, they still die. Not cool, man.

Be careful, these sorts of players, when bored, can easily turn into total murder hobos.

Keep these players Happy by giving them chances to use their big cool spells, as well as hordes of small tiny creatures for those wonderful AOE (area of effect) spells. Additionally, give them awesome and fantastical locations in which to have these combat encounters!

Something In-between

Let’s face it, no campaign is one thing or another. Most Dungeons & Dragons games are a good blend of kicking indoors and talking to the townsfolk.

Talking to the keep castellan and offering your services as a world-class chef as well as using your wild shape ability to turn itself into a cat to see if the rest of the keep is on the up and up and not some weird evil trap are both awesome role-play encounters.

Going into the Caves of Chaos and waltzing into the owlbear and just slaughtering it is also a fun game, as is going into the kobold caverns of said caves and using the spell shatter to destroy 16 kobolds rushing you.

Lastly, finding out that the jovial cleric of Lathander that has been accompanying you is really an evil cleric of Therizdun, and subsequently having to fight and kill him and his three acolytes is always a lark!

In Conclusion

Whatever game style you and your players happen to engage in, just remember, that this is a cooperative game. We make sure that everybody gets a chance to shine and that everybody is having fun.

After all, if we aren’t having fun…why play?

Until next time, Dear Readers…

Short Post: Miniature Painting by Someone Else!

Hey everyone!

I figured that all of you would be tired of seeing my miniature painting, and would like to see some others’ paintings.

Here you go!

A Githzerai Artificer painted by my friend Nick.
Outstanding job.
Backside of the mini.
Darren’s minis of our monthly group!
Recognize these? They are the Ingrates! Idris hasn’t been painted so he isn’t shown.
Dacyria
Arkon
Avery
Winter
Mewsie
Sakura…okay I lied a little. I did this one, but Darren finished her.

What do you think, Dear Readers? Let me know in the comments section what you think!

Until next time, Dear Readers…

Artist Debut: Spider

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TGAPP: War Echos of The Past

As the door to the unknown chamber opened up and the dark druid fell after a final bite from Gye, the Inglorious Ingrates turned to hear the echoing stomps deep in the chamber, and they were dismayed to find out a large undead accompaniment was trying to force it’s way in! Luckily, the party was quick in their response, and they shut the door holding back the undead tide giving themselves time to recuperate from the fight with the druid. Feeling their business was not yet complete, the Ingrates hobbled outside to sleep outside the burial mound with a plan going back inside to finish the undead foes before they escape into the world of the living.

As the next dawn rose to shine it’s light into our heroes’ faces, they went straight back to the chamber containing the door with the undead on the other side, and they proceeded to prepare an ambush for their mindless foes. When they welcomed the skeletal remains of an army long forgotten into their chamber, the army and all their souls were finally put to rest as the Ingrates made quick work of their numbers. After taking in their triumph, the party proceeded to investigate the chamber the skeletons came frame. The room turned out to be a staging area for loyal soldiers to lay in defense of a long lost king, for as the group kept searching deeper and deeper, they found a large antechamber with two rooms branching off.

In the midst of the antechamber was a figure armored with a rusted breastplate and adorned with a twisted iron crown, and it sat on a throne with a silver great-sword beside it. Under the throne was a set a steps with Draconic writing stating this entire tomb belonged to Torgrim. According to legends, he was a king who was the cause for a large war to grip most of the continent, but no one had known what had happened to the instigator after the war had concluded. The chamber also appeared to host two large iron switches on either side of the throne, and it was deduced that the two branching rooms possessed some connection to the switches.

The party cautiously peeked into the rooms to find a large sarcophagi was in the center of each room, and a quick translation revealed these to be the final resting place of two of the king’s most loyal guards: Draknal and Grombal. Expecting no further information would help solve the switch problem, our heroes opened each of the tombs, and each time the party quickly vanquished the malevolent spectral forms of each warrior. After a quick rest from the spectral guardians, the Ingrates flipped the switches in the antechamber, and a hidden wall slid open to reveal a staircase down further into the burial mound.

The stairway downwards was dark and even colder with dark necromantic energy emanating near the bottom of it, but our companions reached the bottom of the stairs to discover a central pillar with three doors leading from this new area. At the center of the pillar appeared to be three locks with shapes with one of the shapes belonging on a different door, and each door also had a Draconic letter that when translated and put into a meaningful order spelled “W-A-R.” With few other options left, the party opened the first door to reveal a long hall with a chest at the end of it. Sensing traps were likely in this room, Gye quickly crawled along the walls and ceiling to reach the chest, and she opened it to find one key for the pillar lock.

Next, our heroes opened the second door to reveal a room with floor-to-ceiling curtains along the entire wall of the room. Idris entered into the room and pull pack the curtain to only reveal his reflection in a large mirror. As he gazed at his handsome features, his reflection winked at him and proceeded to step out of the mirror and use his own spells against him! Soon several other party members joined in to help Idris, but their shadowy doubles also appeared and tried to fight them! Luckily, Dacyria shattered the mirrors with a mighty thunderwave, and the figures quickly dissipated. The party then proceeded to check behind the mirrors to find a room with a chest, and inside the chest was the second key to the pillar lock.

Lastly, the battered band turned to the final door which had additional Draconic writing stating, “Only the strong may enter!” Naturally, Arkon volunteered himself to enter, and as soon as he did, the door shut and locked behind him. The hulking barbarian found himself in the midst of a maze, and begins wandering to find the chest he needs. After several twists and turns through the maze, Arkon finds himself face-to-face with a skeletal minotaur which proceeds to attempt to gore him. Arkon exchanged several blows with the intimidating monster, but he was finally able to fell the beast with a well placed blow. Soon after his bout, he found the chest with the third and final key. He tracked back to the door he entered, and the group proceeded to enter each of the keys and turn them.

What did our heroes find on the other side? Find out next time in the next iteration of TGAPP! May your rolls ever be in your favor!

Miniature Restoration Project: Mistletoe

And some of you may remember, one of my favorite projects that I do that are miniature related is to restore my parents’ old pewter miniatures.

Today, we have with us an old, what I believe, is a ranger. He might be something else, but I doubt it.

In any case, his name is Mistletoe.

At this point, I had already started working on him, and got his chainmail painted a metallic blue, and his plate mail pieces painted gunmetal. His helmet was, too.

Next I started working on his gloves, boots, and other leather parts. For his boots, I actually had to make a color because the brown used was very dark. It ended up coming out almost exactly the same color. Which of course, is my goal.

As you can tell, I also worked on the bottom of his skirt / tunic thing, which was a bright green.

His pants were a hard fit for color.

Also, you may notice that I painted the filigree on his quiver a nice silver. I used a regular brown for the shaft of the arrows, contrasting with the darker brown of the quiver.

I left the eyes and mouth which were very well painted. My dad was actually a really good painter.

I decided to leave the hair the original yellow that was there, as opposed to the previous restoration project where my dad just didn’t have a decent gold color to paint the hair of his gold elf.

The boat was an interesting project. I painted it all brown, then dry brushed it a metallic green, which actually turned it more of a metallic green. Originally, as you saw in the first pictures it was a sort of greenish Brown color. I decided here to make it more of the magical intent that was there. I added the gold filigree and fully intend on taking a thin piece of string, as was their previously (I had taken it off before the first picture), and add it at a later time.

Why am I not taking the time to do this now? Because my son is coming with me to my Tuesday night game, the Inglorious Ingrates, has a special guest. He will be carrying on the family tradition of gaming, and using a family heirloom in which to game.

I’ll tell you: I couldn’t be more proud.

Well, Dear Readers, I hope you enjoyed this edition of painting restoration. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Until next time, Dear Readers…

Painting Update: Paladin

So apparently my post from three days ago didn’t upload, so I find myself this morning editing my post. Lovely.

In any case, here is what was posted originally, and you’ll get a bonus post in a few minutes…

Good afternoon, Dear Readers, and welcome to another painting update!

I finally remembered to grab the male aasimar paladin, and it is going well. Here’s my progress:

Here he is in all his glory.

He is going to be glorious when he’s done. Better than anything I’ve done so far!

The cloak is going to be a pain to paint. A lot of surface area…that said, drybrushing it will be easy.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’ve painted the breastplate and the shield in a bright silver color. Sorry about the lighting, by the by. It was night and all I had was my LED lamp light and the camera flash. Neither was optimal.

Here we have the cloak being worked on.

The blue I used here, Army Painter’s Ultramarine Blue, is good, but a thinner paint, that requires more than one coat. This will be an ongoing process until it looks even and looks good.

Going for white on the outside of the cape/cloak. I think it’s a nice, albeit cliche bit of paladin wear.

As I was having issues with painting around them, I carefully removed the wings, intending to re-glue them back on once I’m done painting the rest of the miniature.

Well, that’s all I got for today, folks!

Be on the lookout for another post, the one that was supposed to be posted last Friday.

Until next time, Dear Readers…

Painting Update: Rogue For My Wednesday Evening Young Peoples’ Group

You may remember that I had posted about an aasimar paladin that I had been working on for a player in this group. I had also posted before that about the other miniature I had planned on working on for the same group (at the end of the post). Long story short: the paladin is supposed to be a guy, and the rogue had longer hair in a ponytail with rapiers.

Well, crud.

BUT WORRY NOT!!

I found the perfect miniatures.

Although I don’t have the paladin handy, you may remember me painting them:

And…

Both miniatures I am very proud of.

Now I get to do it again, but even better. Yay!

So I started painting without even thinking, but I still have some step-by-step pictures:

I used Leather Brown for the main part of the armor, as well as Werewolf Fur for the pauldrons, the bottom of the boots, and accent on the main armor.

Busting out my metallic colors, I used Evil Chrome on the tips of the scabbards and the spikey bits of the pauldrons.

I used Gun Metal on the swords, as they looked to be higher-end magical weapons.

Better view of the spikey bits on the pauldrons.

I’m not sure what else I’ll be using on this mini, but I can say that it’s coming along well, and that I am excited to see where it will go!

Until next time, Dear Readers…

Premium Content: The Inglorious Ingrates Episode 5

The Inglorious Ingrates are at it again, delving into the burial mound that’s the goblin lair! See what’s in store for them next!

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TGAPP: Delving Into Goblin Cave

The Inglorious Ingrates had just finished breaking through the sprig perimeter, and they had started their way over to the goblin hideout Arkon had located prior. They scouted out several goblins trails until they finally stumbled upon one that led them directly to a burial mound that had two goblin guards posted out front. The Ingrates quickly picked off the two would-be guards with little to no noise, so they stealthily peered into the entrance way of the burial mound. They noted several goblins, two goblin lieutenants, and large menacing bugbear looming over a fire with intermittent squabbles of when they would eat next. To even the odds, the party successfully lured the bugbear out by himself, and they quickly made quick work of him without raising any alarms. After setting up further killboxes, the rest of the goblins were lured outside, and our adventures laid the eight or so goblins to rest even after two bugbears came out to reinforce.

Our companions took a short rest to catch their breath, re-equip their stolen gear, and surveyed the burial mound and crypts that discovered inside. Dacyria and others heard soft hushed voices coming from down the hallway, and many party members detected magical influences throughout the crypts. These influences coalesced particularly around a door that led deeper into the crypts, but Arkon was able to detect a magical ward over the threshold of the door. Seeking to disarm the ward, Arkon tossed a javelin at it, and his efforts were welcomed with a resound boom as the javelin exploded and seemed to have dispelled the ward. On the other side there appeared to be several burial rooms strewn throughout the length of the burial mound, and several of the remains appeared humans with basic armor sets.

After quick cursory looks over the crypt, there was one hallway that led even deeper into the crypt, and a strong necromantic essence was protruded from it as well. Our heroes prepared for battle, delved down into the hallway, and gazed at the sight that stood before them. A tall figure with a dark cloak covering most of their figure proceeded to insert a key into a stone lock which proceeded to open a heavy moss covered stone door, and the figure turned to exclaim, “You’re too late! I’ve figured it out!” Seeking to stop the likely dark plot from unfolding, the Ingrates launched a strike of their own as they cast several incantations and danced a bladed ballad. However, the figure cast several druidic spells, such as summoning several sprigs and releasing thunderous energy, and he was able to fell Arkon, Dacyria, and Winter and severely injured the others. The group grew desperate, and on the other side of open door possibly contained several more dangers to them. However, Idris sought to end the spell-caster’s foul plan, so he tossed his javelin of lighting with an almost herculean effort through the dark druid and into the newly revealed room. The damage from the javelin caused fear to grip the druid, so Gye swiftly moved up and finished him with a resounding snap of the neck.

As the druid’s body fell silent to the ground, a resounding set of marching feet could be heard from the open door, and the source of this sound turned out to be several armored skeletons making their way to our badly drained and wounded adventures. Will the Inglorious Ingrates get out of the crypt alive? Will they be able to undo the dark druid’s plans? Find out our next post about the exploits of the Inglorious Ingrates!

D&D Beyond Comics For Your Entertainment

Because they're just so funny, here are some comics for you! Enjoy!

July 4th For a Veteran

So I had this really awesome post planned for today. I actually had a post planned for yesterday too.

Then I realized it was the 4th of July.

For those unaware, I am a combat veteran. I absolutely despise this holiday.

For reasons I won’t go into, and you can only imagine, all of the bangs, pops, ratta-tat-tats, and the like, fray my nerves and leave me a nervous wreck and with little to no sleep, and what sleep I get is medicated.

Not fun.

So I apologize, but the last couple of days have been rough for me. I’ll see you guys tomorrow!

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Ho-To DM: DMing Young People

Sorry for the late post…it’s been a busy day. I had a number of doctor’s appointments today, so please forgive me.

Tonight, Dear Readers, was an awesome game. I’m not going to do a summary, although it would be great, but I will let you know that I am running Waterdeep: Dragon Heist.

But this isn’t a normal game group. Per se.

You see, my group, and the other group, consist completely of teen and preteen girls.

Several weeks ago, a large group of girls and their folks walked into my local game store, the Lucky Dice Cafe, with the want to learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons. So cool.

When it started, I wasn’t available to run it, so another DM friend of mine started it. With the help of another DM from Adventurers League he got it going well. When my wife realized that my 11-year old daughter could make friends, I signed on and brought her along.

I absolutely love it.

In my experience, running games for young people can be rewarding and tiring, but always fun.

Here are some things I learned that I want to pass on to you:

1) Treat them like adults – don’t talk down to them and treat them as you would anyone. Most All young people appreciate not being treated like they are “kids”

2) Be patient – Keeping in mind #1, understand that they aren’t quite adults, and that they will be goofy/silly at times, make random jokes/references, and act, well, like young people. Know this, be cool with it, and gently bring them back into the game

3) Be understanding – This goes along with #2 above: young people deal with an amount of stressors and difficulties that dwarf anything and everything that my generation dealt with, much in the way my generation dealt with more than the previous generation. This goes especially with teaching new players the ins and outs of the game and their character sheets. Know that it’s going to take some time for them to pick things up.

4) Help the “quiet” players find their voices – There are always the “quiet” players. You know the ones. They usually sit back, don’t say much, and generally follow along with the more vocal players. Encourage them to speak out! Ask them directly what they think or what they want to do in a situation. Do this regularly. Eventually, you will see something amazing: they will sit up and begin taking the initiative in the game. They will start discussions. They will begin encounters. Once these players find their voice, nobody will be able to take it away!

5) Encourage the vocal players, but focus them – This goes along with #4 above. These players are really into the game. They tend to be in a party leadership role, encouraging the party to go this way or not, and leading the discussions. There is nothing wrong with this, and, to a degree, should be highly encouraged. That said, keep them focused and make sure that the other players get an equal say as to what happens.

6) Say “Yes” whenever absolutely possible – Something I have learned from young people, especially those new to D&D, is that they don’t think like experienced players, or even newer adult players! They will very often come up with solutions to situations that nobody who has played for any length of time. Example: party consists of two druids and a cleric, all played by 11-year old girls. Party fighting big baddie of dungeon. Solution? One druid wild shape to an alligator. Other druid throws alligator at baddie. Jaws first. My question for that DM was “How did you even adjudicate that?!” Needless to say, a good time was had by everyone! in any case, say yes and give them the necessary checks to allow them to do what they want to try! Remember the rule of cool!

7) Have fun! – Seriously, this cannot be stressed enough. Young people are, as a rule, extremely fun to play with. Add with this the knowledge that you are being privileged enough to teach and mentor the next generation of players should both excite and humble anyone who gets this opportunity. Have fun and laugh along with them!

What do you think, Dear Readers? Do you have any other suggestions, or think that I missed something? Leave them in the comment section below!

Until next time, Dear Readers…