That new campaign smell…

I love the beginning of a new campaign for D&D. There is so much going on at the table that it’s hard to take it all in. In less than a week I’m about to start DMing a brand new campaign and in many ways this will be our finest hour. Old players are coming back together, old friends who are new players will be joining us, and a few players will be leaving our city later this year. We will be playing a great co-operative game, with a great group of friends, and we will get to have one more adventure together before two of our number bid farewell to us and their hometown. Am I sad? Not at all.  Our entire group of friends are geeks and we love gaming together. We played Super Smash Bros. and Counter Strike in High School. We set up LAN parties at our houses and gamed in to the wee hours of the morning. I am not sad, because we have so many of these memories together that I can only be grateful for what we got to experience. D&D was unique in this case because of how co-operative of a game it is. As a group of a friends we could play as a group of adventurers and continue our antics regardless of the setting. It’s fitting in a way that while we lose two players we have two new ones coming to join us. There’s an opportunity for us to keep our game running and hopefully create more memories with our new group.

Since starting this blog and joining Twitter I have discovered the enormous amount of emotion boiling in the D&D community. There is anger amongst the customers and fans of the game for all the changes and upheaval. A change to an edition that has brought such fond memories is always startling, but I have to ask a question. Does it really matter? My group of friends play 4e fairly close to the original rules. We rarely look at errata, none of us have used the Character builder, or paid for a subscription to D&D Insider. We buy the books, sit down with pen and paper and all the other paraphernalia necessary for a game. We play the game first, and we house rule second. We don’t care about the ambiguity of the text, because we’re more interested in giving an entire town a case of food poisoning so we can raid an embassy with an airtight alibi. I have never felt pressured into using a supplement I didn’t want in a game I was running for friends. I have never felt the need to use terrible words to describe the people who spend their lives designing games that bring so much fun to so many people.And I most certainly have never felt the need to get so upset about a game that never really changes its core goal of entertaining those who play it. I think if the community learns to let go of all this, and focused more on blogging, sharing ideas, and most importantly running games, we’d realize that this game is more about us and the fun we could be having than any design change Wizards might make.

I’m about to run a campaign for new and old players. We are setting sail (literally) for adventure and soon we will be saying goodbye to two dear friends. We have no idea what we’re going to find, but we’re going to enjoy every minute of it.

Comments, questions? Email me at or follow me on twitter @shiftykobold I wrote today’s article in Ommwriter.

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