Turning Numbers into Narrative

I’ve been running a lot of classic Rules Cyclopedia Dungeons & Dragons lately and it was very evident that published modules were very very different back in those early days of D&D. A lot of adventures provided a rough framework which is then parsed through the rules by the DM who then painted the results into a picture for the players. The level of involvement for the DM was much higher than today, where each encounter is so meticulously detailed that even the novice DM should have little trouble presenting things to the players.

Neither the old or the new way is right or wrong, though people have preferences I’m sure. Instead of comparison though, I want to offer some advice to DMs from both eras on how to take dry numbers, and convert them into a fuller narrative picture.

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The Essence of Class

Crossed Swords

As computer RPGs blend more and more with Tabletop RPGs the essence of character classes seem to more accurately reflect the computer game zeitgeist. The height of this trend was the release of 4th Edition AD&D, which played more like a strategy game than a true RPG. Let’s take a look at the origins and meanings behind the various common classes in the hope of revealing more indepth Role Play in the term RPG.

While I could mention many other classes, I’ll be sticking mainly with the D&D and AD&D classes as I think the majority of gamers will be familiar with what I’m talking about. I should also add that D&D refers to the Dave Arneson branch of D&D from back in 1974. AD&D is the Gary Gygax branch which evolved into what we now know as 5th Edition D&D.

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GMing for the Players you have

I talk a lot about getting to know your players and how that effects how you run your game. The subject is incredibly deep, so think of this article as a primer for articles to come.

There are many, many types of players, and few ever sit firmly in a given category. A search on types of role players should send you down a very deep and oft entertaining rabbit hole. I will be focusing on just three broad types, the Role Player, the Roll Player, and the Accessory.

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