March 24th, 2010

On DM Paradigms

So, this community has been even more helpful than I had hoped. I've covered my mini-campaign, and campaign settings, which brings to my next question. Dungeon Master paradigms.

With Dungeons and Dragons (and Pathfinder), I've had two DMs so far. The first, whom we can call Forest, ran a campaign among me and several mutual friends, about once a week for a month. It ended up collapsing, primarily based on the actions of one character and Forest's inability or unwillingness to reign him in. And I've now played one session with my second DM, whom we can call Barlow, but it was a 15 hour session, so I've probably seen both DMs equally.

No, that isn't a lot of time to really get to know a DM and his style, but it's all I have to work with. And, even after that short amount of time, I'm struck with one singular thought in mind: While both of the DMs are radically different from each other, they are both radically different from how I imagine myself DMing.

So, here we go.

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New Hadoriel

Should We Let Sleeping Dogs Lie?

I've been a gamer for nearly a decade, now, and a member of my most successful group for around seven years. I call the group my most successful not only because it has existed that long and is still together (with the exception of one person, alas), but also because it's the group with the most successful campaign that I have ever been a part of; a 3.5 D&D campaign known as the Company of the Combustible Commode.

That campaign ran for around four years and hit level ten before the GM decided to end the story line with the option (nay, promise, really) to start a new one after a hiatus. He had seriously burned out on GMing this campaign as he had put more work into maintaining it and keeping it going than any other he had before. In point of fact, in almost twenty years of GMing, he said at the time, he had never had a group actually finish a story line, ever.

It's been around two years since the beginning of our hiatus and we're about to start the promised second story line. I have, up until this point, been ecstatic that we are returning to the game and the characters that brought this group together and which was absolutely the most fun I've ever had gaming. However, now I suddenly find myself somewhat apprehensive.

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So, basically it all comes down to a question; what are your thoughts and feelings about picking up characters from a successfully ended campaign and giving them a second campaign? Is it best to have the good memories and leave it be or can the magic be re-captured?