Ohdd Character Ideas

Author: Andrew /

Alright guys, in an effort to make things more cohesive, this is where I want character ideas. Once they're there, I'll start giving go's and no-go's on things. One thing I'm looking for are characters that are pretty accurate to how they're portrayed in the books, as far as races go. If you're a dwarf and the book says dwarf societies are a certain way, stick to that. If you don't have the book, try to look it up or as someone who does.

I've gotten this question a lot so I'll say again:

-Starting at level 1
-Using stat arrays from the player's handbook or the point buy system
-Each character starts with 100 gold. You use that gold to buy the gear you need. Whatever gold is left over is the gold you have in your pocket.
-As far as where you start inside the city, we'll discuss that as you show your general back-story.
-Please try to make your back-stories a bit general. Tell me what your character is, and how they are. Make that detailed. As far as where they are and what they're doing, we'll work that out together to make sure it fits into what I've done, so far, cohesively.

Back in previous posts are some more detailed notes on restrictions and whatnot but yeah, shouldn't be a problem. Looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with!


Building Telain

Author: Andrew /

"The world of Telain has changed. Over the centuries, the gods have watched the mortals walk the lands of their dominion. They watched the mortal beings below; some protecting them, some looking to bring discord, violence and strife, and yet others were rather indifferent. Even with these different views on the small creatures beneath them, the gods agreed that laws need be made. Since the beginning, one law was paramount amongst the gods. That law was that no mortal shall ever touch magic. Magic was powerful; it was something the gods wielded and it was something woven into the very fabric of the world itself. Mortals were not to even know of its existence. It was this way for a millennium. That all changed one day.

Of the gods, Sylian, god of magic, was a particularly strong figure. Now, what many mortals didn't know is that the gods rest as well. In his sleep, he left the observance, maintainence and oversight of magic to his apprentice, Joraedin. Now, Joraedin was an interesting one. He did his duties diligently and without complaint. The problem was that the gods were used to deference and respect and in that security, they had grown complacent. It was only a matter of time before someone took advantage of this....

Joraedin stepped into the essence chamber. At the center of the chamber, there sat a crystalline decanter filled with what one would assume to be wine. But, if one moved closer and peered inside and looked closely, they would see something truly wondrous. The contents were not solid but nor were they entirely liquid or gas. They swirled even though they were undisturbed. If you watched it, you would notice lightning crackle across the surface, sometimes leaping out of the dark mass into the air. This was magic, in its most raw form. It was the enabler of things great and small. All living things had, at their heart, the most minute piece inside them, a piece that, if looked for would be invisible. This gave them life. But the mortals did not know.

Joraedin had looked down on the mortals in his time above and had seen them. In his mind, the gods existed for the mortals. If the mortals did not exist, the gods would have no reason for being and in his mind, he thought that power should be theirs to touch, if they sought it, not barred to them.

So, with that thought, Joraedin took the decanter and left the the citadel of Sylian and walked out to Sylian's Watch; the end of a stone outcropping that stretched out into the expanse of air over the world below. Joraedin held the decanter in his hands, looked down to the world below and whispered "Now you will know true wonder...."

He tipped the decanter over and the dark form inside, flowed out. It flowed in a crackling, swirling stream of mighty brilliance down, down, down to the world below. Joraedin held the decanter until every last drop, every last bit of the contents had fallen to the world's floor.

Magic hit the world with a noise of thunder multiplied upon itself a hundred fold. The energies spider-webbed across the planet, interlacing through itself, wrapping the world in a wondrous embrace. These lines became known as the threads of power.

Things changed. Some animals were transformed, some people were transformed, some became the other. Trees grew and changed; some even walked. The world became a new, different place.

As Joraedin watched this, enraptured with the same wonder he'd just delivered to the waiting world below, he did not see Sylian approach. The god was not understanding. The god was not pleased. The god was not merciful.

"You have broken the law." said Sylian in a voice that rumbled like a falling mountain. "For this, you will be punished. You will roam the earth amongst those below and you will have no power. You will not perish, but instead, you will exist and see the empires fall. You will see the ruin you have brought on the world and you will know that the gods know best. Joraedin, you have betrayed me. Be gone from my sight."

And with that, Sylian cast Joraedin from where he stood, down to the earth below. Joraedin fell down, down, down and hit the ground with such force that a crater formed miles wide and a half mile deep. It is now known as The Crater of the Fallen.

Joraedin picked himself up and knew that things were different. Aside from him being unable to die, the power he'd been given by Sylian as his apprentice had been stripped from him. He was now as the mortals were. But the wonderful thing about the living beings is that they can always surprise you and in some ways, the gods are sometimes the easiest surprise.

And so it was that Joraedin, the Bringer of Wonder, fell from The Heights and brought magic to this world as a gift to all those in it."


This is one of the first major events in Telain's history. The rest of the pantheon has yet to be created, but that will be something I'm going to tackle soon.

This is Telain's geographical map. There are mountains, both regular and snowy. There are forests, both regular and snowy. Along the horizontal center of the map is supposed to be very warm, possibly even desert.

This is Telain's boundary map. Civilized boundaries mean that there are people there with some semblance of civilization or organization. Uncivilized boundaries denote that the region, if populated, has nomads, barbarians or some other manner of uncivilized beings in it. Also, it could be devoid of any sentient beings. This is up to the imagination.

Any islands or large bodies that have no boundary lines are considered to be unsettled, at least formally. This map is according to the cartographers of the world as it is and there are places they have not gone, so they may not know what lies inside a certain area. If you think of an idea, such as a race or culture that resides in a certain place, post it and most likely, I'll be able to use it.

Any questions are more than welcome and I very much look forward to seeing what you guys come up with!

A Game Just for the Players

Author: Andrew /

So, in a recent post, I asked for more ideas for new "Takes". The response was good and there were a few ideas that really stood out to me. One of them was by my buddy Chris, who wanted me to touch on the idea of making a game FOR the players, making them feel like they're driving the game, instead of being in a story where it seems, for the players, that "any" hero could have been plugged into the spot and the adventure would have theoretically gone the same way.

I think this is a great idea so I'm going to tackle that right here, right now.


A personal experience is one that really caters to the individual. You've got players, who are people, who all have their interests and preferences. You've also got a GM who has his own ideas and experiences he wants to create. With this comes some really great meshing of personalities, but also some conflicts.

When it comes to running a game, there are certain ways you can go about this. They usually fall under these two categories.

Using a published adventure / campaign arc - Wizards of the Coast constantly cranks out pre-made campaigns, dungeons, stories, etc that can be used for a game. A lot of these can be tweaked to suit whatever needs you may have. Some of the adventures may be sub par, some might be fantastic. Usually you can go to places online, such as Amazon, where you can purchase the products and read reviews.

Using a home-brewed setting / game - In this situation, the campaign, adventure or just the session is played within a setting that is made completely by the DM (usually); it's usually created by someone who will be playing in the game and it's usually not formally published. This tends to be an option that's widely used as it allows for adaptation and greater manipulation of the world and more custom stories (although using just a published campaign setting).

That said, how do we answer the question "How do I make this a personal experience?"?

Well, the question, really, is a matter of tailoring and cooperation. If the DM is the only one taking part in crafting the game then it would make sense that it wouldn't feel as much about the players, since they had no part in creating the game.

The Dungeon Master's Guide 2 touches on the idea of cooperative world building. This generally consists of the players being given homework, giving them some of part in creating the world. The players are encouraged to think of interesting things to put in the world, interesting encounters, etc. It's saying to the DMs "Don't take it all on yourself, delegate some of it!"

Secondly, I truly believe in character backstories. Like, very very strongly. Figure out who your characters are (at least you PCs. NPCs can be a bit more vague as the story doesn't focus on them). Know your character's strengths, weaknesses, foibles, faults, motivations, likes, dislikes, hatreds, sense of humor, past jobs, family history, etc. Know where the character comes from. This will give your character a firm foundation in reality and make him very believable.

Also, you want to have a specific goal. Have something that your character is aiming at; be it finding his father, becoming the worlds greatest archer or even just becoming the world's richest man. With a goal and a focus in mind, that gives you a line to roleplay from that stretches from the backstory to the goal. Your character treads that line and it gives you a large point of reference that you can then use to guide you in your role playing.

This factors into making a game just for the PC's in this way. No matter what you do, DM's, if you are the one to make the game, it will always be your game, the characters playing second fiddle to your creation. If the players engage, you know what they want.

A story will always be a story. A series of events in an order that describe events. The characters of the game are, generally, the main characters of the story (although I suppose that one could run a game where the players are secondary characters to major events going on and if done right it could be really interesting). What the players need to do is work WITH the DM in working their backstories into the game.

If I make a place and say "Ok, you're all here and this is where I want you to go" (like most games tend to be some form of), it won't feel as player focussed as if the players immediately choose what they want to do.

In the end, it comes down to planning and the level of involvement that the players want to have. It's kind of neat that, in this way, helping design the game will in turn be it's own reward because the DM will be running a game that has elements that have been tailored just for your (the player's) desires. It requires a lot of communication and involvement on both sides of the DM screen.

Another thought I had is that DM's (myself included); we gotta start thinking of stories differently. If we keep them as "I'm taking your from point a to point b" it's going to lead to a feeling of helplessness, as far as the character's level of influence goes. Instead, I've been trying to think like this:

I come up with a place, be it a city, be it a country, be it a world, and I populate it with options. Yes, you don't want to make the whole thing right away usually, as that will usually take an incredibly long time and there will always be more to do BUT; you can make a place with a few options, little hooks to see what the players tend to gravitate towards. Maybe there's a thief who's been knocking over local businesses, but there are also goblin raids hitting caravans on the road outside the city as well as an underground slave trading ring. Perhaps they run into a few NPCs that just happen to play very well and the interaction is memorable and you come up with a direction on the fly and let the story carry itself.

A thing I realized in playing and running games is that D&D is very much not like other mediums in that it's not so much about the end result. It's about the journey. It's about memorable moments. It's about comaradery. It's about getting there. Who cares if, at the beginning, "There" is a vague concept. The question is "Will you have fun today?" If the answer is "Yes", then you're doing it right.

To make a point, I was playing a role playing game way back in the day, when I was in high school, and it was the first game I'd played in. Due to some choices my buddy and I made, we ended up in jail for about 4 hours of the session, trying to find my way out. At the end of the game, the game master was like "Guys, I totally didn't expect you to do that stuff. I didn't plan to have you stuck in jail for so long but it just went that way." And you know what? We didn't feel bad one bit. It was fun! We got to get creative, there were some neat roleplay opportunities and things were interesting and we felt like things were going the way they were going because we made them go that way.

Giving the players power is ok. When a player asks about the deep gnome society in the world they're playing in and it's not defined, why not say "You tell me!" And let them design it. For all you know it'll come with hooks already laid in there, just purely by virture of the fact that a player made it and it has things in it that interest that player.

One of the biggest keys I find is using all your resources. Give everyone a job, let everyone give an idea for at least a few parts of the world they'll be playing in.


Now, in an effort to be the first to practice what I preach, I'm going to do something interesting. I've created a world called Telain. It has a brief history. Not much to it, but some to go off of. In the next post, which will be called "Building Telain", I'm going to post links to my map and one with political boundaries on it. I'm going to be asking you, the players, to design some peoples for some of the regions on the map. Some cultures, if you will. Post them as comments to "Building Telain) and I will look at them (although I may alter them a bit to suit the world as I may need it to be) and integrate them into the world. This, in turn, will give me certain things to build off of. I hope this excites you guys as much as it does me and starts you all on the track to player involvement, deeper immersion and new heights of fun!


This post is dedicated to Chris. Thank you for a truely intriguing question!

The World of Telain

Author: Andrew /

Hey all you Taken out there,

If you're interested, I've just finished the geography for Telain. You can go check it out at:


I'll just leave it at that. Tell me what you think in your comments!


Ask The Readers 2

Author: Andrew /

Alright, I think it's time for another one of these bad boys. It's that time when I ask you guys, the readers, what you'd like to see some Takes on. Give, in a comment, any request (or requests) you may have for Take subjects and I'll write them down and use them in the blog (or I'll do my best to get them all in there). The last one was a smashing success and I look forward to seeing what you guys are looking for. Let the comments fly!


An Adventurer's Musing #2

Author: Andrew /

So recently I've been thinking about World Building. It's, at once, a daunting task and at the same time, really exciting. I've been doing research and getting back into my artistic mindset, busting out forests, mountain ranges and expanses of land where the peoples of this fictional world can live. As I was thinking about doing this, as well as executing it, it made me realize something. The use of reference in gaming.

In art, the use of reference is invaluable. I'm sure there is nary an artist out there who can honestly do better work without reference, than with it. Now, granted, this is somewhat of different context, but bear with me. I find that, when dungeon mastering, things are much easier, much better and much more fun if I have something to reference. I can write out a list of buildings and cities with different peoples in them, but it still isn't visual. You read it and still have to vaguely imagine "Ok, this is here, that's over there, etc". With a map, you can see "Ok, this place is near this place, that means that the crowd for this place is near the other, this impacts these other places around it, etc."

Learning this, I went to the effort of making a map, which is still in the process of being made, of a world that's been sitting in my head. Seeing it come to life on the page (ok, the digital paper) really makes things pop. You get to look at it and go "Ok, we're gonna have it cold here, hot here; there are gonna be civilized folks here and barbarians here, etc." and it really makes it much more real.

So, that said, I believe that having a map, and some point of reference is really good. I recognize that not everyone feels that art is their forte, but if you ever have the inclination to give it a try, you deffinately should try your hand at some fantasy cartography. The software I hear most use for these efforts are Gimp, Photoshop and Campaign Cartographer 3. Gimp and Photoshop are more advanced and are made to do photo editing and whatnot. CC3, on the other hand, is made specifically for building campaign maps and whatnot, for use in fantasy games. It's worth a look, if you're interested in the subject.

Alright, that's it for this little bit. Thanks again for reading!


Update on Ohdd

Author: Andrew /

Alright guys, brief update on the game I'm planning on running. It's on hold for a bit for a few reasons.

1) I'm still trying to flesh out the contents of the city, figure out what I want where, who's who, etc.

2) I've made a foray into fantasy map cartography. This is to say, I've wanted to make a great map for a campaign for a long time and learned how to do it, so I'm in the process of not only creating a city, but a world, complete with political boundaries, natural formations such as mountains, lakes, forests, etc; that I'm trying to make look as high quality as possible. I will post it on my deviantart account (saintknight.deviantart.com) as soon as it's done. Ohdd is going to be a part of this world, I think. We'll see, but that's what I'm thinking.

3) I want to give you guys time to figure out what your characters. I'll have you all starting in Ohdd, but as far as what kind of things your character is into as far as hobbies and whatnot, their personalities, their quirks and character flaws (and every has flaws, remember), is still all up to you. I've got a place in the city for most things, and if there's not something there, we can make something or I'll get creative.

4) I want to make sure that this has the potential for more than I was originally thinking. Yes, I would like a lot of the game to start in Ohdd. Perhaps containing all of heroic tier, maybe even some of paragon. That said, I want to make a city you can go outside of, although I don't plan on sending you beyond it right away. That said, I'm trying to make a world that's robust to the point of the forgotton realms. Maybe not with the MASSIVE history behind it, but different cultures for sure and cities, sights to see, etc. I've got a lot of ideas that I'm rolling around in my head and I'm trying to make a world that's the pro-quality I know I'm capable of.

Thank you guys for your patience and I'm still very interested in your ideas! If you'd like to e mail me, you can reach me at paintknight@yahoo.com. Thanks again!


The City of Ohdd.

Author: Andrew /

So, here it is. I'm going to be running a game online called "The City of Ohdd". The game is going to be run sort of episodically in that characters will be able to pop in and out. I'm going to try to keep things within the city (and will try to make the city as interesting as possible). I'm looking for some specific things in the way of characters, so here they are.

Firstly, we're going to use standard score arrays. In the past I've used 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 10. A bit overpowered. This time we're using from the book arrays, or if you're using the character builder or point buy system, your point pool should equal zero when you're finished. Also, as for character backgrounds, you're allowed one background that gives you a bonus. No region backgrounds, just "character type" backgrounds; i.e. scoundrel, criminal, aristocrat, etc.

Second is I want developed character ideas, to a point. I want an idea of what they do. Are they a thief? Are they a street sweeper? Are they a tavern waitress? What are activities they like? Do they enjoy loads of exercise or are they lazy and lethargic? Are they generally depressed "glass-half-empty" types or are they ever the optimist, even when they're smelling a dragon's sulfurous breath straight from the source? Develop their personalities and the basic things they like and I'll start them at an appropriate place within the city.

Third, you start with 100g. With this gold you may purchase any equipment you may need. The amount of gold you have to begin with is what's left over after you purchase what you need.

A feature of this game is mainly going to be about exploring the city and experiencing neat moments and running into interesting characters. Plot-lines will appear through good role play and ideas given from the players. The more work you put into your character, the more you'll potentially get out of your game experience. I always also encourage extra work on the part of your character as well. Drawings, character journals, etc, will be noted and rewarded in some way, depending on what I feel is merited by the work.

Lastly, I strongly want to emphasize character motivation. Give your character a reason to do things. When your character walks through the street and sees a beggar, do they look down with disgust or do they feel pity? Do they kick the beggar or slip them a silver piece and help them on their way? Do they value life or do they think that theirs is the only one that matters? When they interact with other people, are they positive or negative and why? Did they have a rough childhood or did they grow up privileged? As a rule, be specific. Specifics will give characters and players firm points of reference for good role playing and decision making within the game. If I read something that seems too vague, I'll let you know and we'll work with it until it seems like something that's very compelling. In your backstories, you can do what you will, so long as it follows the parameters set by the game and so long as it still allows me to place you where i need you within the city.

I will address other concerns as they arise. Before playing, know that I'm building the city as we play. It will be exciting!

If at all possible, please subscribe to D&D Insider and get yourself the character builder. It will be updated with all the latest character classes and races.

Races allowed:
All Player's Handbook races
All Player's Handbook 2 races

Drow - Forgotten Realms
Genasi - Forgotton Realms
Githzerai - Player's Handbook 3
Minotaur - Dragon #369
Revenant - Dragon #376
Shadar-kai - Dragon #372
Wilden - Dragon #374

Classes Allowed:
All Player's Handbook Classes
All Player's Handbook 2 Classes
Artificer - Eberron
Hybrid - Dragon #375
Monk - Dragon #375
Psion - Player's Handbook 3
Swordmage - Forgotton Realms

Backgrounds Allowed:
General backgrounds found in:
Player's Handbook 2
Dragon #371
Dragon #373
Dragon #374
Arcane Power
Divine Power

(No Forgotton Realms, Scales of War or Eberron backgrounds)

Sample Arrays:
18, 14, 11, 10, 10, 8
18, 13, 13, 10, 10, 8
18, 13, 11, 10, 10, 10
17, 16, 11, 10, 10, 8

Point Buy:
Pool of 22 points. (this equates to an array of [8, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10] Point pool should be down to zero when finished. No score may go lower than 8.
Current Score - Cost to Raise
8-12 = 1 point
13-15 = 2 points
16 = 3 points
17 = 4 points

NOTE: The point pool is 20, when the score is 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10.

Example: Raising from 16 -> 17 costs 3. Raising from 17 -> 18 costs 4. Raising from 10 -> 11 costs 1 point, etc.

I can't think of anything else that needs saying. Any questions, please post a comment and ask.

Alright guys, thanks for reading and lets see the ideas!


Breaking the mold...

Author: Andrew /

You know, I've been doing some thinking lately and I've been trying to come up with something fun to play. It seems to me that right about the time you want to play something great is when your brain seems to want to shut itself off. You want to just pull your brain out and yell at it, sayin'
"Stop being lazy and work like you need it to!" It's enough to drive you insane when inspiration decides to take a vacation right when you need it working overtime.

Well, I think I may have come up with something to counter this. Being creative.

Now, I know you say "Be creative? What kind of answer is that?!" but bear with me.

Being creative, to me, is coming up with something unique or at least good, when you need it, DESPITE easy inspiration. I look at it this way.

Being inspired is when an idea pretty much puts itself right in your head without you doing much at all. You're sittin' there watchin' a show and "BAM" a perfect idea (or at least one that's pretty darn good, eh?) pops into your mind.

Being creative is when you aren't being assisted by the muses, as it were. Being creative is going "Geez.... There's NOTHING up there; what the heck is wrong with me?!" and yet, you still manage to go "Darn it, come Hell or high water, I'm coming up with something!"

So, I've realized the way to do this, in a lot of situations, is realize that when you think about something (such as a D&D game), you think about it in a rather conventional vein of thought. You roll it (whatever it is) around in your head, thinking about it, passively using conventional parameters as guides for your thoughts. Now, you don't consciously do this, but it's how most brains work. You have certain ideas and concepts that are tied into other concepts and ideas, which tend to define a thought process.

Well, what I realized is that to be creative, a lot of times you need to bend or break those connections. Instead of saying "A Dungeons & Dragons adventure is made up of travel, underground passages, treasure and monsters; you could say "A Dungeons & Dragons adventure is made up of chartreuse colored bunny rabbits, a room the party stays in but keeps changing around them and odd facial mutations!" I guarantee you, that would be looked at as absolutely creative (possibly even genius if you actually managed to make that work!)

So, thinking about this, I realized that we're never out of ideas, we're just out (or bored with) standard ideas of what something should be. As an artist, I have things I like to draw. Sometimes to my benefit, sometimes to my detriment, it's a lot of things that are very much in the same line of things. The pro to that is that usually, it turns out a pretty good picture on a relatively consistent basis. The con is that when they aren't turning out or I don't feel like drawing the same ol' thing, it leaves me in a bit of an art artistic quantry. I sit there and I wrack my brain and think "Geez... what the heck can I draw?" Then I realize "You know what? Let's try a cartoony old man with a cane walking down the street... being followed by a weird, tiny, furry, black cat who, in turn, is being followed by a tall, mischevious alien who's grinning and trying to step on the cat!" Weird? Yes. Off the wall? Absolutely. Creative and entertaining? You bet your life it is!

They say that necessity is the mother of invention and that's true in this case, as in the one it's literally talking about. When you need an idea, you'll get one. You just need to do one thing and that's this.

Open yourself.

Be open to odd ideas. Be open to things that are off the wall, unconventional and downright baffling. The stuff that makes you cock your head to the side and go "What the....", that's the good stuff. Sure, you can start your adventurers in a tavern. It's easy, it's classic and it's a cliche and a stereotype. It's cliche for a reason. It works. It's a quest hub, it's a place the party can rest, it's a place where role play can happen in the blink of an eye, it's a place where new characters can be introduced almost at any time. There's nothing wrong with using that in a campaign. But for those of us who want to buck the trend every once in a while, perhaps we could start in other interesting situations. So, as a little treat, I'm going to try to come up with some off the wall ideas of locations in which to start your players that will dodge the good ol' tavern.

"As our story opens, you find yourself in a field surrounded by dead bodies. The bodies are burned badly as if there was a harsh fire and they're all scattered about you. Off to the west, a few kilometers off, you see a green tree line. Around you, you see a field of wheat or, rather, what was wheat. Now it's a field of still-smoking ash for about a mile in each direction. The disturbing thing is that around you are a few other folks, all lying somewhere sprawled inside a circle that seems about ten feet in diameter. In the circle is wheat, smashed down partially from bodies lying on it, but unburned and in otherwise perfect condition. You're all holding torches. As you awake, you all seem to have one thing and one thing only, in common... The thought "Who are these people and what in the world happened?!"

"Air whips around you, roaring in your ears. Tears form in your eyes and your vision is blurred. You try to scream, yell, even just say words but your breath is sucked back into your lungs. You see white around you and feel moisture collecting on your skin. Your head starts to swim, your vision blurs and then, you break through the cloud and notice about a hundred yards down, through nothing but open air, are miles upon miles of pointed, green treetops; all racing up at you much quicker than you'd like..."

"The throne room feels cavernous. As you walk in, you hear your footsteps echo through the space, the noise actually accentuating the silence. You feel the butt of a spear haft jab into your back as you're pushed aggressively down the crimson carpet on the floor, leading the way to a dais, upon which sits a large, polished, throne made of what seems to be carved ivory and white marble. Upon it sits a figure dressed in black, wearing a crown bearing a veil that drapes over its face with naught but two small eyeholes cut in it, silver embroidery tracing their edges. You look down at your hands and feet and notice you've been hearing manacle chains as well, but lightly because of the carpet, as there are some on both your wrists and ankles. You turn your head to look at the guard who nudged you and see a figure standing ten feet tall with features all of metal, but moving smoothly. It's face, a mask of cool precision not meeting your eyes for a moment, gives you another jab as you reach the bottom step of the dais. As you look up to the throne, looming over you now, you see the figure rise from the chair and walk slowly down the steps toward you. 'Well, well, well...' it says, in a voice that seems strangely androgenous ', I finally meet The Troupe of the Fallen...'"

I like to think that these three examples have the potential to start games with a bang and have a great deal of possibilities for plot hooks to go from where they begin. They imediately present the characters AND players with the question "What's going on?" This prompts the desire for discovery and also begins the game with much momentum (literally, in example number two!) and can lead to tons of interesting things.

So, I leave you with this exhortation. Use cliches sometimes, if they fit and if they're necessary and make sense, but also strive for more. Make originality your goal. Being original in all things is, at the very least, extremely hard. You are a collection of experiences, therefore anything you do will come from something that you know, even if it is rather loose. However, you can come up with a LOT of things that are original if you simply accept ideas you may usually say "No" to. Be open and let your mind wander, and just tie things together in a beautiful web of organized random thoughts!

Happy thinking and, if you feel so inclined, lets hear some other neat ideas!

Back in the saddle again,


P.S. - If you feel that posting an idea might give away key things to key people, don't post it. Instead keep it in your head but silently promise me that you'll at least write it down and think on it later. Use your creativity!

The D&D Take - D&D GAME!

Author: Andrew /

Alright folks, I've had this idea rattling around in my skull for a while and I wanted to throw it out there. In a post a while back, I mentioned online game tables. That was pretty popular and a lot of people said it was really informative. Well, lets put that to the test. I've had individuals ask about a D&D Take game, where members from the site were welcome to participate in a game.

So, this is what I'm requiring in a game that I'll play in. Each player needs at least their own Player's Handbook. If you're playing, you should have the basic tools. Dice macros will be in the game table but you may use actual dice if you like. Rolls will be on the honor system.

When you express interest in playing, do so in a comment and include day(s) of the week, times, and preferred days. Also, I'd like to give one of you players a chance to DM because I know you guys have talked and expressed abilities which I'd like to see first hand, so list whether you would like to DM.

Also in your comment, please describe the kind of game you'd like to play in. It will, of course, be D&D 4th edition, but beyond that, as far as theme goes and whatnot, you're more than welcome to suggest.

I think that's about it, folks, so let the comments fly. Thanks.