Before I get into the big topic in the title, I have been reflecting on my last D&D session and why I found it less satisfying than I like. Part of the reason is because it was a string of loosely-connected combat encounters, and the other part was that the combat encounters were boring.
With that in mind, I have been doing some intentional work on sprucing up my combat encounters for the future, including making the setting more interesting. That includes printing up some small scatter terrain to place in the rooms to break up the zone, give people things to maneuver around and interact with, etc. Here is a sample:
Now to the other news. A local gaming store recently relocated to a larger facility which includes a separate room intending for gaming: wargames, card games, and roleplaying games. The owner is planning on having people pay for monthly memberships to use the room, but also wants to hire a number of GM’s to regularly run games there, in particular Dungeons & Dragons. Moreover, he really wants the games to all exist in a shared universe, something akin to the RPGA network, where players could show up to any GM’s game with the same PC and drop them in. A gamer who was also providing a lot of the terrain for the new place had been tapped to start this, and I reached out to him (we had crossed paths once or twice) and began discussing what a multi-GM shared campaign world would look like.
Or rather, what the logistical underpinnings would have to look like. Because coming up with your own version of the “West Marches” isn’t the hard part. It is questions like house rules and magic item distribution rates and having some way for different GM’s to pick up adventures written by other people and run them on the fly. The whole project requires almost a “manual of style” or a “bible” that showrunners use for a series.
So the head person (Jeremy) and I have met a few times, discussed a lot of these details at length, and are laying the groundwork for a long-term plan. The room itself in the gaming store is far from finished so we have a bit of time to get something going, but in the meantime I will share some of the process here, and welcome your feedback as well.