Now I know this is the epitome of nerd-dom, and be that as it may, I can’t help but love a good campaign. I’m pretty sure the guys here would enjoy it if we could get a campaign started. Doing the typical good-guys versus evil-maniacs campaign would be fun, but so would an evil-genius versus good-sheople (sheep+people=sheople) campaign. I’ve played both before, and I’ve always found an evil campaign a great way to (peacefully) vent anger. It’s also a lot more fun getting into character, if the DM (Dungeon Master, for all you out there who don’t play) makes you play that way. Let’s face it, is it more fun to be a hero who has to save the peasant from tripping over her own skirts, or an evil genius who throws out maniacal laughter because the peasant tripped over her own skirts? So, I’m obviously biased, but being able to play as evil (especially considering almost all current games are good, or neutral at best) is refreshing and fun as hell. I’m not sure whether the guys would play an evil campaign over a good campaign, but we would have to figure out how to set one up anyways.

Unfortunately, my brother was the one who would DM for us, and I don’t have the books or know-how to do it myself.   I’ve found a site called http://www.newbieDM.com that has tips and information on how to DM, and I understand the concept, but the biggest pitfall so far is the books. Technically the lack of the books. I’m always shocked whenever I’m reminded how much more books and board games cost here in Australia than they do in the states. With the price of a set of beginner’s D&D books (Dungeon Master’s Guide, Player’s Handbook 1&2, plus a Monster Manual or two) being what it is in the states, I’m pretty sure it’s well out of my range here. Besides, I never wanted to DM. I would much prefer being in on the action than watching it from above and narrating and/or being there as a rule check. The way I think about it is: would you rather play the video game or code it? But at the same time, there are some points where the DM can annoy me to hell.

My biggest beef with DMs is what power they have and do not have, especially concerning storyline and actions taken by the player. There was one time we were playing an evil campaign and we had guards coming after us outside a merchant town a mile or two into the forest. Naturally, I wanted to burn the forest down, guards and city along with it, and make a break for the edge of the forest. What can I say, I was feeling particularly evil that day. My brother, our DM, strictly forbade me from taking that action because it wouldn’t fit in with the storyline he had in mind. That’s where I got pissed off. I understand the DM is there to reign in and keep players to the rules, but a DM isn’t a god. You can’t forbid me from doing something because it makes you unhappy. What’s next? You tell me I can’t slap a peasant because she’s important later on and you’ll have to change the storyline to accommodate her (angry) feelings towards us? Anyways, I think in a situation like this, he should have allowed me to try, even if he didn’t think we could run to the edge of the forest before the fire consumed us. So, roll the dice, try, and if we make it, then adjust the storyline. If we don’t, we go back to before I burned the forest down and we died along with it. No big deal, and it would have resulted in a lot less anger and hurt feelings. So where do you draw the line when it comes to what a DM is allowed to do or not?

Anyhow, with all that being said, I would love to have a set of books and dice, and some graph paper and pencils (I never got into buying the pre-printed dungeons; it’s cheaper and more fun to make your own as you go along). I could stumble my way through being DM, at least until I found someone else in the group willing to do it! I’ve considered trying to find a tabletop games shop and see if they have any campaigns running that I (we; I would most likely drag at least Dwayne along) could join. Or if I could befriend their DM and take him hostage to set up a beginner’s campaign for us!

What do you think? Have any of you ever played D&D before? Anyone in the Melbourne area want to DM for us? If you have played, what’s your favorite character (race, class, abilities, etc.) or your favorite event from a past campaign (did you attack that old grizzly drunkard who annoyed you only to find out that he’s a mage of uncompromised power?)

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