Saturday, February 14, 2015

DM Support Group

Saw this at Tenkar's Tavern yesterday.  Support Dungeon Masters, support D&D, support fantasy tabletop roleplaying, and the gaming hobby itself.  Seems simple enough.  

Reading all the negative comments over there and on youtube kind of surprised me.  Sure, there are bound to be a few haters, cranks, wet blankets, and douche bags in the mix.  Years of being active on the internet (and Taylor Swift) have taught me that.  But there were a lot of mean spirited and/or dickish comments!  

I mean, even if it's not your particular brand of tea or you didn't think it was that entertaining, funny, or whatever, why shit all over it?  Is this some sort of shadow-criticism of 5th edition since it's too popular to trash publicly without serious backlash?  Would it make a difference if a D&D player made this with a couple hundred dollars instead of the thousands spent by D&D's makers?  Or if it was geared towards the OSR instead of 5e?

A better question might be: is tabletop roleplaying at a place in our culture where we can just sit back and play our own little game without any thought to the bigger picture?  There's a gaming community out there somewhere and tabletop roleplaying is just a piece of that geeky pie.  Individually, we have almost no power... just a voice consumed by the internet's darkness.  Together, we have a small amount of influence.  Hopefully, enough players and Game Masters are supportive enough to appreciate the artform that is roleplaying and keep the hobby alive via blogs, forum posts, and videos like DM Support Group: Ep01.

Originally, I was just going to blog about Game Mastering.  Specifically, asking to read people's failures, problems, leaks, sticking points, questions, and so forth.  Why?  Because the KS for How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss is ending in couple days from now, and I'd like it to be as big and comprehensive as possible.  But then I also wanted to touch on the video and its haters.  So, I combined them into a single post.

Last night, I dreamt about playing guitar and singing in front of an audience with only a few notes to go by.  Basically, making a song up on the fly.  Pretty much improvising the entire thing.  I haven't even picked up my guitar in years and my singing was never that awesome.  As I was trying to find my way from scattered notations on a page to an actual song, the dream audience was just staring at me... waiting.  Upon waking this morning, it struck me that that's a little bit like Game Mastering for noobs - maybe even for a few veterans of the screen.  Creating art, performing in front of an audience.  With roleplaying, that audience is also there to help create and expected to perform as well; however, the Game Master is key.  He (or she) is the maestro orchestrating it all or, at least, getting things started.  

The DM Support Group video is a lighthearted signal in the dark, just something amusing to watch, perchance to chuckle over.  It's not there to help flailing Dungeon Masters and I hope no one is thin-skinned enough to take offense by the ridiculous DM portrayed.  If you were offended, then I feel sorry for you and advise that you leave the internet immediately. Cyberspace is no place for you, my delicate flower.

Have an opinion on what I wrote?  Is there an area of Game Mastering you'd like me to mention in the book?  I'm all ears...


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