I’m not familiar with previous editions of Dungeons & Dragons so when speaking about the great alignment debate that is going on, I will be talking about 5th Edition only. Yes, there is a debate about alignment in the online D&D communities and there are great points from both sides of the argument. Following is my own opinion on the matter.
I’ve realized that I’ve talked about a few things on this blog, but I haven’t touched on what it means to be a Dungeon Master. This is supposed to be a blog for beginner DMs like myself, but the question that is often asked from people who want to DM is “What is a DM? What does one do?”.
In this article I will try to answer that question.
When I started DMing, I faced a roadblock when I decided I wanted to run my own stuff. I had all these ideas for awesome adventures but no streamlined method to write them and run them. Honestly, I was thinking about it too much. If you’ve read my other article on running your first session, then you may realize that the method I outlined there doesn’t change much as you progress in your DMing career.
So here’s the method I’m using now.
Running published adventures is a preferred method of running D&D for many people. It seem easier than creating your own adventures, all the information is right there on the page and you feel like you have a handle on things. The dungeons have been carefully crafted, the encounters carefully balanced and the adventure has most likely been play-tested for you.
But, like me, you may feel like you’re not scratching that creative itch while running one of these adventures. You may feel like you’re cheating or like you’re not a “true DM” if you don’t create your own stuff. I don’t agree with these sentiments, but I do have a way to effectively nullify these thoughts.
This article isn’t about how to run these adventures, but about how to use them.
Let me start by saying that miniatures are awesome. They are a great aid for both the Dungeon Master and the players, as they make fights and scenarios more tangible. You can see the huge dragon in front of you and can be actually scared by it.
Having said that, they are completely optional. And I’m not saying that in a “theater of the mind is better” kind of way (which for some groups may absolutely be the case). They are optional because there are alternative methods to represent monsters and heroes on a grid that are a lot cheaper. I’m talking about tokens.
Will they have the same effect as miniatures on the table? Probably not. Will they absolutely do the job and look cool while not breaking the bank? Yes!