Content of the article: "DM appreciation"
So, I'm a couple months in to a 5e campaign with some friends and my little brother is the DM. Now, I love the kid and he's my best friend so I was always going to be a little biased. However, I really feel like he's coming in to his own as a DM and has a lot of the bells and whistles that I feel like some other players don't really appreciate. The setting is entirely homebrewed including geography, races, lore, culture, etc. which is impressive in it's own right. He's also included homebrew items and feats and such to really spice it up. On top of that, the party as a whole, himself included, has had a lot to learn about game mechanics and he's done a great job adjusting on the fly as we've realized new things together. He's taken a lot of feedback from past campaign attempts and one shots and has clearly implemented it, for the better. On top of all that he puts up with some of the worst player traits; scheduling difficulties (we haven't had a full party since the second session), the player who will only be silly and not take anything seriously, the metagammer (guilty), the "this is how they do it on critical role",arguers, and leavers. Albeit all of those things have been pretty minor when they've come up, but I know it's frustrating to deal with.
So, despite all of that, the kid has put together a genuinely good campaign. I'm having a lot of fun playing my character and he's done an amazing job giving him little story threads to expand on his background. He's also given him a lot of in game moments to make decisions and grow one way or another. We've both watched Damien grow and develop as the session progressed and to me that's the mark of a good DM. Which brings me to what I actually want to appreciate, and it's that our last session was kinda awesome.
Without getting too made-up-lore heavy, the party has been chasing the BBEG from town to town, always a step behind. We went to these old abandoned tombs from a culture accepted to be extinct, though the party knew better, to collect artifacts and information. On the side, my character is all but convinced that his bastard father is a member of this culture so on edge to begin with. We go through the dungeon, which I think is his best yet. Good mood and visuals. Interesting, thematically relevant puzzles. Difficult encounters. He even dropped in a mimic for some added fun (even though I think I should have caught it with my 25 investigation role on the chest but I specifically said I was checking for traps -_-). So, we crawl our way through and we get to the dungeon boss which to me is where I genuinely appreciate what my DM put together.
We enter this ritual space and find two people summoning a spirit-looking thing. The two people sacrifice themselves in the ritual and spirit monologues for a second then attacks. Through the fight we confirm it was a lich and have a relatively intense battle. We had 3 level 6 PCs so taking on a full on lich was kind of over our heads but the DM did a good job balancing the fight. He gave us a pretty strong (but not OP) DMPC to fight beside, was pretty sparing with his upper level spell slots, and "forgot" about legendary actions from time to time. All this culminated in a still difficult, but rewarding fight and a lot of catharsis for Damien. Even better though, the set piece he ended the fight on has stuck with me since and is the reason behind this post. We widdlel the thing down to within one hit, so on it's turn it turns to my character and out of fucking nowhere drops Power Word Kill on him. I was full health, but I was level 6 so full health meant 44. I just drop dead. He spouts off some lore in the interim and we kill it the next turn. The DMPC just so happened to be carrying revivify and it's components so I came right back. But it created a really intense moment, and to be honest I haven't figured out how that will impact Damien. The session ended shortly after, and I'm anticipating a little bit of dump to know what I saw on "the other side", so RPing that out didn't really get to happen but will next time.
Thank you for reading this far. I'm proud of my little brother and appreciate all the things he does to make sure that our friends and I have the opportunity to have fun together. I can only say that to him so many times and still sound sincere, and you have to be a certain breed to listen to all that and still give a shit so I don't really get to talk about this to my non-rpging friends. So, thanks for the platform and thanks for the time.
- Just had something uncomfortable happen in my campaign.
- DM Advice: No DMPCs
- Help! The Artificer broke the party!
© Post "DM appreciation" for game Dungeons & Dragons Online.
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