Content of the article: "Ways Around Being the Forever DM"
DISCLAIMER THIS MAY NOT WORK FOR EVERY TABLE AND DM!
Hey guys so I recently finished up a 2-year campaign with my current group of players and I tried something new and it went GREAT!!!!
So I am almost always 99.98% of the time the DM for my group of friends when we play D&D. I am perfectly OK with this but when I had the itch to start playing again it was right around the time I was finishing up writing my Homebrew and asked my players, " Hey do you all mind if I make a party of characters that I play as and you guys will be interacting with them throughout the campaign??" They said yes but we all agreed that if it wasn't as fun or if it was blatantly OP then I could just say my party had a bad run-in with a Beholder or was ravaged by a traveling tribe of Orcs. So I created this 3 player party of Characters myself at level 15 and they did not level up at all throughout the campaign and the only way they could acquire magic items was in session if or when they interacted with the party. It started out as my party running into these characters in a tavern in a town that they both happened to be in. From the get-go all the characters were uneasy about meeting each other, they were both parties that as we RPed had TOTALLY different views and beliefs on what a "True Hero" is and all the nuances of the politics and things I had in my homebrew. Granted my Players were all Good aligned ( all on their own I didn't tell them to do that LOL ) and my party was Evil aligned.
So as the campaign goes on they hear stories about this "other" party and get a lot of key information about them. Anyway long story short, My Party ended up becoming the 2nd type of BBEG for them to fight. It ended up leading to several fights that honestly were just as memorable as my initial BBEG fights, but I didn't even have to plan them that way, I just simply played the party like I would play these types of characters seeing my Players' reactions and plans, and reacting to how I personally would fight against it with the characters I had.
Now I will warn I found this VERY tricky as I had to navigate VERY carefully as to not just blatantly Meta-game. I found a good balance even as to leave the room when my Players initially ran into my characters from time to time, so they could plan and I would know absolutely nothing and go in fully fresh and unaware ( I let the logic behind the In-Game aspect of these plans come from saying any downtime they had was a reasonable time to talk about what they were going to do if they ever ran into my characters again ) and any rolls I made for my characters I rolled in the open. But it created some amazing moments! One of the most memorable being that the Paladin found out that my Warlock's character was captured and tortured by his Order of Paladins ( My player was running an Oath of Conquest and so them having violent nature like that seemed within the realm of possibility). And my Warlock ended up killing my player's paladin and gaining retribution and then ended up being killed by the party very shortly afterward.
I know very well this may be controversial to some and maybe most, or it may be a unoriginal idea I used and didn't know DMs did this. Either way, I would highly recommend it if you think that it would be enjoyable at your table. Obviously please discuss this with your players and make sure you find ways to avoid metagaming. I found it to be a fun way so I got to experience playing some characters with specific subclasses and mixtures I never really get to try because I am always running games rather than playing, and I thought I would share my experience with my fellow DMs.
Thank you, this has been my TED Talk.
- Dungeon masters of reddit, how many player characters do you typically go through in a campaign?
- Player wants to split party – forever.
- Is the Campaign Dead?
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