The Theme for the Game is…Why themes deepen the meaning of your roleplaying games

A theme is a literary tool used to convey to the reader the deeper meaning of the story beyond just the story told. In classical music, the musicians play the theme as a memorable piece right at the beginning of the song in order to establish the overall idea of the piece of music. In pop music, a theme is the melody lick that everyone recognizes as the song is beginning.

Roleplaying games, like Dungeons and Dragons (I play 5th edition), are played over not 3 minutes like a pop song, or even 100 minutes, like a classical piece. Some campaigns last anywhere from a 2 hour one shot to 10 years of friends gathering around the table.

So, how then would you deepen the meaning of your roleplaying games with themes? Here is how i think you can!

The first thing you can do

Besides setting up great encounters (I view them as recipes for adventure), you may want decide sometime during your campaign an overall idea that you want your players to take away from each game. Some themes that I think work well with roleplaying games include the following:

  • no matter how bad it gets, good always wins
  • light vs dark
  • hope for a new dawn
  • confronting the evil within
  • the horizon always holds adventure and fun

Do a quick search for “literary themes” and find websites like this one!

The above themes are melodies that you want your players to take away from each game, but besides overtly stating the theme at the beginning and ending of each game (nothing wrong with that!) you can associate icons to the themes.

For example in light vs dark, the theme explores the competing forces of light and dark and whether they correlate to good and evil, respectively. The dungeon master asks each of the players to describe a feature of their character that they would like to highlight to embody a theme. The dungeon master then makes the effort to bring up those features all throughout important moments in the campaign. Also, the dungeon master uses similar features in the descriptions of the worlds to convey the theme in the moment of the story.

Player’s responsibility: Ted chooses a dwarven fighter that features a warhammer to exemplfy his stubborn resolve to hold out the light even in darkest of times. You had better believe a thematic dungeon master will make sure to bring up that warhammer at key times in the adventure

Where to place the theme:

the beginning as the war hammer glistens in the morning light

the middle as the war hammer soiled with dirt and blood

the climax as the war hammer, still clutched in the frozen grip of the fighter fallen, dying in the shadows

the resolution as the war hammer erupts in burning blue light charactering the fighters successful death save

One time I had a player who chose red ale as their feature. All throughout the campaign, the theme was ‘making the world a better place than how you found it” and along the way, that mug of red ale at level 3 turned into a tavern selling red ale by level 10! Every time I wanted to highlight that theme, I brought red ale in the scene to make an example of “making the world a better place.”

If you feel like your adventure is just a random set of encounters, a theme will help tie up your encounters to give that deeper meaning you are looking for. Dare I say, it will feel more than a game, it will feel like a story.

The second thing you can do

in developing a theme in your games is to decorate your monsters with that theme.

In the light vs dark theme, every monster, especially the main ones, should have a feature that holds up the antithesis of your chosen theme.

Color them in shadows, black holes and secretive whispers. Let them be orcs, but with hollow eyes and blindsight. Let them be dragons, but able to shift silently in shadows, able to cast pass without a trace on their minions. Let your monsters drive home the threat if the players fail to accomplish their mission.

To use a more funny example, each monster who fought against the Red Ale crew somehow featured really poor quality beer. The villain, with all of their crimes committed, also sold nasty beverages that furthered the resolve of the heroes to get out there and make a difference!

This is a simple technique to choose one theme for your campaign and then connect it to each of your player’s features for their character. Then go ahead and choose 3 other features in your world to exemplify your theme. Bring the features up as often as possible to play your theme and enjoy!

May your story continue!

How to defeat deceit
Story – Defeating Envy

Team Building and Storytelling with Dungeons and Dragons – a dungeon master challenge

Dungeons and Dragons is a Team Game of Collaborative Storytelling

I encountered this question on @twitter the other day and wanted to write my response. In my opinion, challenge ratings in ttrpgs have nothing to do with the monster, but rather the play styles of those at the table.

First of all, great follow up as a DM for “talking to the player first”. This increases the flow of communication both ways.

For a refresher, let’s make up 4 play styles regarding combat

  • Problem Solvers – clever, prepared and calculated
  • Dice Rollers – loves to roll tons of dice and do tons of damage
  • Partyfacers – in it for the monologues and catch phrases
  • Plotfinders – wants to know “why” combat

With combat, I try to vary the reasons for combat to occur.

  • Monsters attack and we must kill them to survive – great for dice rollers!
  • Evil cultists attack, but some of them give clues they may be turned – great for partyfacers!
  • Predatory creatures in a lair with area effects, traps and environmental hazards – great for problem solvers!
  • A portal opens to another realm and out walks a deranged old wizard ready for combat – turns out he reveals a mystery right before dropping unconcious – great for plotfinders!

Starting out with that package deal for each table I recognize that individual challenges will arise as varied as the beautiful people bringing those challenges. So what if your player is off searching (for what???) during combat instead of laying down the damage, healing and support?

First off, I would have the DC of the search be at least higher than the monsters AC. This is because it’s hard to find something when blood and fire are spewing all around. Secondly, I would not have the item revealed until the end of combat. The player might “find” something but it will be as non descript as possible until combat is resolved. “You find a necklace.” That’s it. Thirdly, I would make it a hell of a challenge to get to the item. I’m thinking Indiana Jones reaching for a holy grail, in a crevice of rock WHILE goblins are stabbing into the player. Combat comes to you, because you FOUND the shiny item! Congratulations!

A lot can happen only 120 feet away given ranged attacks. From what I know of predatory wildlife, they like to gang up on loners, wounded and the young, so bring that element of world building into the combat.

The other consequence of leaving the group is that your player story is PAUSED during combat. You step away from the main scenes, then you are off scene and we will get back to you after this situation is resolved.

It’s ok to directly confront a player who seems to be dragging the game down. Whether they are combating during exploration, or exploring during combat, both are wrong time/wrong place. D&D is certainly a collaborative storytelling game requiring a hive mind of teamwork. When you have a “rogue” player who plays … well, a thieving rogue, the flow of the gameplay is thrown and believe me, everyone feels it. As the DM, it’s ok to say, “hello, for the sake of the gameplay, I would like you to contribute to the overall team goal. There is always a time to run away, but make sure the team is on board before doing so.

Dungeons and Dragons game highlights stories of the magic that happens when we work together. Read more on Sharing the Spotlight!

At the end of the day, I would attempt to find a way for the player’s actions to directly affect the outcome, even if it’s a poor outcome. Dungeon Masters connect the dots of player’s actions into the larger story.

How to use “High Risk High Reward” in Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition

High Risk High Reward

Occasionally the players will state they wish to attempt to bend the rules or push the boundaries of gameplay. Traditionally, the rule of cool is allowed to keep the gameplay going and allow the players to pull off their stunts. Another approach is to use “high risk/high reward”. In using this rule, the dungeon master and the player both agree that the request is outside the normal action economy of the game, that a dice roll is involved and that even if the feat is successful, it may come at a cost to the party.

Outline your D&D sessions!

Step by Step

First the player must request to push the boundary of the game. It could look like

hey DM, I know my character already used their movement speed for that turn, but could I try something extra?

Jenn, the monk

The DM senses the player wants to push those boundaries, so allows the extra “action” with stating

yes, but this will be high risk high reward.

Jon, dungeon master

The player agrees and proceeds with her description of action. Otherwise, she decides the result is not worth the risk and ends her turn.

“Okay, so my character knows she doesn’t have the speed to make it through the portcullis in time, but she wants to try her best because she hates losing.

Jenn, the monk

The dungeon master calls for an athletics roll and states the DC out loud (15). The player achieves a total score of 16 – a success!

“You press upon every muscle in your body and make a flying leap, sliding underneath the portcullis as it slams shut upon the ground. As you stand up, you feel a tug and the purse around your waist carrying the gemstone is now pinned beneath the metal spikes in the ground.” 

Jon, dungeon master

The player is successful, but at a cost. If she had rolled unsuccessful, she still would have made it through, but losing the satchel and losing HP as she grates her shoulder on the side of the metal gate. The reason this method is so intriguing is it allows for negotiation between DM and PC and views everything in D&D as a resource for gambling.

Not only does this facilitate exciting gameplay, it also increases the drama.

In another example, my PCs are gathering around my NPC noble trying to gain access into his land so they can achieve some research. I informed them to make their attempts within 3 rounds and the roleplay begins. But the dice rolls are terrible and failure seems imminent. I want to keep my word, stay consistent with the NPC’s reality so I describe how the noble calls for their removal from his court. They will just have to find another way to gain access into the land. But then, one of my players speaks up.

Wait! I want to try something.

I sense that this might be good, so I ask, “High Risk High Reward?” The player nods to me and proceeds to describe how he offers a bribe to the noble and the court gasps.

One player begs the DM, “wait, I want to try one last thing!” The DM realizes that something cool is about to happen and bends the aforementioned rules by saying, “high risk high reward?” He agrees and then makes a grand gesture of bribery to the noble, allowing for a final persuasion check. The DM determines the DC and should tell the table, for this increases the tension as all wait for the dice result. Upon success (>15), the noble is turned, but decides to have them supervised by one of his courtesans. Upon failure (10-14), the noble is turned but decides to keep the specific PC in question in prison until the mission is finished and upon a failure (<9) the noble is enraged and orders the execution of all of the PCs. Now the challenge has moved from gaining access into the land for research into escaping the executioner’s blade! Either way, the DM connected the player’s choices, although risky, into the larger world and kept the story going in dynamic ways.

The Theme for the Game is…Why themes deepen the meaning of your roleplaying games
A theme is a literary tool used to convey to the reader …
How to defeat deceit

Ultimately, high risk high reward is a great tool for ramping up the tension and keeping the story from falling flat with a poor dice roll. You, not the dice, are in charge of describing the results. Allow for dice rolls to open up a new loop of challenge, which will eventually need resolution. If players want to persist and push those boundaries, this is a great way to allow them to do so!

May your story continue!

How to Improve your Worldbuilding

Definition of Verisimilitude

Check out the word verisimilitude! In fact, to improve your storytelling, you should study literary terms regularly and you’ll be surprised how often you already use them in your Dungeons and Dragons games. Verisimilitude means “it appears real.” When playing games and telling stories, if you keep your fantasy world consistent, then 99% of the time your table will enjoy a realistic roleplaying experience.

If you would like more examples of how to improve your world building, then browse through the 11 signs of life. You may have had to study these for a biology exam, and I believe by using these signs as principles in your games, your table will enjoy a more realistic and rich roleplaying experience. You can also read here of how to improve your descriptions.

The ingredients necessary to express these principles are utilizing the 5 senses, and incorporating player choices.

11 signs of life

  • Life seeks order. Cellular order means the world must be organized for it to feel alive. We see this as cells gather together in organized manner to “be alive.” Notice this great infographic!

When gathering the data points of the story, one must organize them in a way that appeals to our humanity. In Dungeons and Dragons, any dungeon master can tell a story, but if the world is build upon organized and consistent principles, the story will for sure, be a lasting one in our memories.

  • Life reacts. Stimulus response means the world must react to stimulus. An easy way to implement this principle in your stories is to provide consequences that affect the characters. After all, the story is about them and therefore, should effect them. In other words, the wilds should be dangerous! Click here For great tips on Wilderness Guides in Dungeons and Dragons
  • Life reproduces like kind. Reproduction means duplication occurs through division and living things pass life along the timeline. The best way to include reproduction in your world is to demonstrate the family system, children and offspring. Another way is to include the mentor/student relationships, bring in teachers and guides to pass along information and wisdom to the characters. In the end, bring about the story full circle of life and have the characters start families of their own or take on a student!
Photo by Alexandr Podvalny on Pexels.com
  • Life adapts. Adaptation means everything wants to survive and will do it’s best to live in its environment. There’s a great book out there titled The Monsters Know what they’re Doing by Keith Amman. When a dungeon master gives the survival instinct to a monster encounter, the combat goes from hitting a bag of hit points to dealing with a sentient creature that has a desire to live another day. By studying real life biological tactics of defense in the wilds of nature, dungeon masters can design enthralling encounters for their players.
  • Life matures. Growth means life matures in order to pass down information to it’s younger forms. I think this can be utilized by keeping a note of the meaningful encounters the characters had in a village only to jot down the ways those encounters would mature over time when the characters arrive back after plane walking. Real NPCs wouldn’t stay exactly where or how the players found them and demonstrate maturity by growing, leaving, getting old, or developing grudges.
  • Life regulates. Regulations means life ensures the transport of nutrients and expulsion of waste. This might seem like a good place to add a potty joke, and…well, I guess it’s a good place as any. While rolling for constipation might seem arduous, keeping in mind that cities require plumbing, or they fall into plague, helps the dungeon master create a real world feel for the players. Regarding nutrition, many D&D games bring in food and drink (quite literally begin in a tavern) in order to establish that real world feel. Nothing is relatable to all as a home cooked meal!
Bring in the players senses by describing food and drink!
  • Life moves. Metabolism means the transfer of energy is life. This is where I feel maps and minis fail. In combat, many times the movement speed is simply expressed by dragging your character across a grid. To enchant your players, describe movement in relationship to the world around. “You move 30 feet” has no real world marker. But “you bolt ahead through the jungle, branches slapping at your arms and face.” <— much better! Like with the smells of barbecued meats, the player can now experience movement through the world through their senses.
  • Life balances. Homeostasis means life seeks balance. No matter how much mess your players make, or how inconsistent quests seem to begin, remind yourself that real life seeks balance. But that balance takes time. Nature is never in a hurry, yet everything is accomplished. This means, you too, DM, can be patient for everything to settle out in your campaign.

Countless stories have grown alongside us throughout generations. We bond through the stories we share. How much more effective those stories are when they carry the weight of our skeptical minds through believable details. Incorporate the player’s choices, draw them in through the senses, and with these principles, bring your stories to life!

The Theme for the Game is…Why themes deepen the meaning of your roleplaying games
A theme is a literary tool used to convey to the reader …
How to defeat deceit
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Dungeon Masters and Burnout

Creativity in our life can become stifled for many reasons. I do believe that sometimes professional collaboration is exactly what you need. If you are a dungeon master who feels like your adventure campaign is going nowhere, then please contact me for my Dungeon Master Guidance Course. I provide one to one guidance and opportunities for inspiration on how you manage time and energy at your table. Before you burn out, get in touch with me!

May your story continue!

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Player Dynamics for Dungeons & Dragons

Image credit Wizards of the Coast

Hello from the Forever DM!

I could say that, but as of now, I am a player AND a dungeon master, a rare breed, indeed.

If you are interested in following along, we are playing through Rime of the Frostmaiden.

Maximum value is achieved through full participation

The reason we love our projects, artwork, gardens and D&D games is directly related to the amount of work and love we put into the game/story. In order to increase the love, we must increase the work. Read more about The Cure for Boredom in D&D. Here are a few things I have learned about how to better prepare as a player for your upcoming Dungeons and Dragons games!

Select a Player Bond

D&D, at it’s core, is a collaborative storytelling game. Besides the relationships you share with the people at the table, your character can also develop a relationship with the other characters. Dynamics means the relationship moves over time, creating a more immersive experience. First, let’s define the terms.

  • Passive – this dynamic means that the relationship is accepting of the other. It asks very little and requires no major changes for the relationship to continue as usual. Two peas in a pod. Agreeable.
  • Active – this dynamic means that the relationship challenges the other. It asks a lot and requires changes along the way for the relationship to continue.
  • Harmonious – the dynamic means the relationship shares the same values with little to reconcile.
  • Discord – this dynamic means the relationship holds different values with much to reconcile.
I will use relationship dynamics from the Lord of the Rings to make examples.

Regarding relationships between character to character within Dungeons and Dragons, there are no real rules or guidelines for how each player should relate to the other players around the table.

Besides having fun, Dungeons and Dragons is a great tool for developing intra and inter personal relationships. I have developed a map that allows each player to understand the dynamics between every other player at the table. Please make sure you take the time to communicate what kind of relationship you want.

Note: This dynamic model only works if the players are already in agreement with the desired relationship. It requires the player to have a Growth Mindset, feel free to refer to this article learn more about your mindset at the table. This model is for sophisticated and established tables, but with that being expressed, if a new table decides they want more dynamics in the relationships between the player characters and are ready for a challenge, then read on and use this model!

The Four Relationships

Passive Harmony

This is one of the easiest dynamics to roleplay because the characters share common values and require little to nothing of the relationship. It is very accepting. Merry and Pippin are good examples because in the beginning, they get along, get each other’s jokes and there is no conflict between them. As I said before, these are dynamics, however and over time, they may change. A passive harmony relationship plays nice and makes up most adventuring parties.

Active Harmony

This relationship involves shared values and vision, but requires much of the characters. It is constantly working or provoking each other, and in short, providing some challenge. The simplest model is to use the mentor/student relationship. Gandalf and Frodo are good examples because though they are in harmony, they provide challenge with Frodo growing in his leadership, eventually branching off from Gandalf as his mentor. The relationship moves. A parent/child relationship can also provide this dynamic. Too often in D&D, this relationship gets overlooked because it requires one of the players to act as the understudy to the other player. I think it can provide tons of rich roleplay, as long as each player are in agreement with the relationship.

Romantic relationships can fall under this category and require both players to agree upon the reality before proceeding. While harmonious, they still require much as are so, active.

Passive Discord

This relationship occurs when two characters are in opposition regarding worldview. Although they do not share the same values (discord), they have “agreed to disagree” and allow for each other’s differences since they are in such opposition (passive). In short, they ask little, but require much reconciliation of differences. Gimli and Legolas are good examples in that they come from opposing backgrounds, but still allow for their own space. I think other appropriate examples would be the cleric praying for the rogue to change their ways, while the rogue robs the NPCs blind. The characters passively engage but are at complete odds, and the end result is entertaining to the players around the table.

Active Discord

Whew! This relationship takes the cake. Of all of the possibilities of a D&D party, this one provides the most amount of conflict at the table. Let me stress again, as with all of the relationship dynamics, ensure that both members are in agreement with the dynamics. If you fail to understand, you will take the dynamics personally. It’s one thing to say, “my character shouts, interrupting your speech and exclaims, “you never take anything seriously!” when the player knows what you are doing. It’s another to spring it upon the player. Which is why I think we don’t do this too often in D&D, is that most of it is improvisational storytelling with very little explanation.

Active discord relationships hold to different values and requires much. A good example is Boromir and Aragorn. Although apart of the same fellowship, they served very different ideals, and conflicted in methods. They did not allow for differences to go unconciliated but duked it out until the precipice of Boromir’s demise.

Artist Anke-Katrin Eiszmann. Rolozo Tolkien

Hopefully you can see that these relationships are dynamic. They move, grow and evolve over time. These dynamics provide a rich roleplaying experience. If you are wanting to level up your interactions, consider experimenting with these around the table with your players and have fun! By increasing in participation as players, we increase the amount of value we enjoy at the table!

May your story continue!

More articles to enhance your table games below!

The Theme for the Game is…Why themes deepen the meaning of your roleplaying games
A theme is a literary tool used to convey to the reader …
How to defeat deceit
Story – Defeating Envy
Team Building and Storytelling with Dungeons and Dragons – a dungeon master challenge
Dungeons and Dragons is a Team Game of Collaborative Storytelling I encountered …

Holding Space as a Dungeon Master

When beginning as a hospice nurse, I read Holding Space by Heather Plett. My experience in hospice care exposed me to her work, and I wrote about it here. I hope you enjoy these Eight tips from Holding Space, a blog initially written by Heather Plett, in regards to what she learned while watching her mother’s hospice nurse. I believe that a good dungeon master uses the same techniques in playing games and telling stories around the table.

1 – Give players permission to trust their own intuition

New players sometimes ask “what do I do now?” and the dungeon master smiles returning the question, “what do you want to do?” Players can freeze haven been given this much power, and often need the DM to continue gently asking great questions that prompt the player to act. It can be tempting to fill the space with words, DM, but if you continue to plow through the game to avoid awkward pauses, you will miss out on the player’s insight. Make room for the players to generate their own intuitive thoughts in the story, and that means, in the beginning, they will be unsure. When they stare at you blankly, give them one detail about the scene to evoke their imagination and then ask them a great question.

2 – Give players only as much information as they can handle

This is great advice specifically for younger players, but applicable for adults as well. Most of the times, we can handle only 3 details about any scene. Since D&D is collaborative storytelling game of imagination, the DM is responsible for describing the truth about the world in which the players act. So, it’s up to the DM to hand the information to the players. In my games, I strongly encourage players to ask great questions. However, at the end of the day, many descriptions are missed because our brain only identifies information that we are used to seeing. Otherwise, it files it away in “Miscellaneous Dark Closet of Unknown Information” and it gets lost. So, it’s important, especially during high pressure times in the game, to hand the players simple details of information that they can latch onto in order to act in the story.

3 – Don’t take their power away

Wow! This is a highlight for Dungeons and Dragons. The entire game is played because player agency is a factor in the process. The dungeon master describes the situation, and the players take in the detail, and then act. After the actions are complete, the dungeon master describes the outcome. Without the players having the autonomy to act on their own accord, the dungeon master would just be playing by themselves, controlling the minion players to do what they desire.

4 – Keep your own ego out of it

Hey you, yes, you my friend! Would you like to mature into an adult that understands you can work hard on a project, have others reconstruct it to something entirely different that what you envisioned, all the while keeping your ego from getting it’s feelings hurt? Would you like to do some serious ego work and ascend the limiting belief that you ARE your work? You should become a dungeon master! Seriously, though, if your ego is constantly a second dungeon master at the table, you will always defer to caring for it, rather than your players. Your ego wants validation and attention all the while, you have actually people at the table playing this game with you. Not your ego. No one cares about your egos need for self inflation, so it’s ok to practice the disciple of ego-removal and give it a time out while you play. Because, seriously, this is the way to maturity. Become a dungeon master and keep your ego out of it. Players success and failures are not the result of your gaming or storytelling. Look at number 3, they have agency, unless you have hoarded all of it on your side of the table to protect your ego. See how this all connects? Please stop staring at your ego in a mirror after every game wondering if YOU did a good job. They wouldn’t come back if you were terrible. Let that be enough and quit feeding your ego attention. Time to grow!

5 – Help them feel safe enough to fail

An ego-drive DM will keep their players from experiencing failure. They are scared of people leaving if they lose the game. Most of the time, failure in D&D is not death or a TPK, but rather benign examples in the game (often tied to the players own ego). Examples include

  • caring for animals
  • negotiating with a noble
  • resisting a saving throw
  • being able to bend the rules for the sake of a good backstory

Please, DM, hear me, if you do not allow for failure, you will not allow for success. You will be the own cause of bottlenecking your campaign into a series of safe, comfortable sessions with no risk involved. Your game will stagnant and your players become bored.

6 – Give guidance through humility and thoughtfulness

I think that in response to the “tough love” dungeon master style of the older editions, some 5th edition DMs take their hands off the wheel and with enormous amounts of kindness tell the players they can do anything they want. While generous on the surface, and most likely with good intention, the DM plays to guide the players in the right direction. As a DM, you have already prepared a great adventure! While not taking away HOW the players do it, you are still there to show them why they NEED to save the world. Guide them through friendly NPCs, bonds to the player’s backstories and voices from the gods. If that doesn’t work, have a player meeting after the game and ask a great question.

  • Where do you see this adventure going?

Since you began with listening, they will most likely listen to you when you say, “ok, I have this adventure prepared involving giants, not dragons, and I’m wondering how you can direct your actions towards this plot?” Allow your players to accommodate what you have planned, in the same way you accommodate their backstories and preparation.

7 – Create a container for complex emotions

In many games you may run, the only emotion is joy. People gather together to roll dice and have fun. And 90% of the time, good times will be had. But life happens. Oftentimes, we bring our pain, sadness, anger and worry to the table and take it out on NPCS, plotlines, or even other players, and of course, the DM. I tend to expect people to behave like the complex emotional and dynamically thoughtful individuals that they are, and while most of the time, they leave their baggage at the door, it can easily sneak up at the table. When that happens, let it. You don’t have to fix any emotional outburst, change the game, or break up the party. Most of the time, emotion simply needs acknowledged and validated without any decisions made. After the outburst, they will thank you for just letting them vent, and may even feel embarrassed. My point is that if you are doing your table right, people will eventually feel comfortable enough to express complex emotions. After the emotions is expressed, the game can move on with everyone more solidly connected and grateful to play.

8 – Allow them to make different decisions than you would

Call this the bedrock of great game mastering. That’s it. As a worldbuilder, game designing, NPC voice, villain actor, and magic item granter, you most certainly have on the tip of your tongue, the answer. Remember to provide challenges, invitations, but not solutions. The players arrive to the table because they want to solve the puzzle, convince the lady, defeat the villain. While you can provide guidance (see number 4), you must allow the players to make different decisions. Together with your storytelling and their storytelling, you will craft together a fun game and dynamic tale that will keep your spirits alive through life itself.

Using Dungeons and Dragons as a Homeschooling Supplement

Asking Great Questions

How to Use Invitation and Challenge

The Theme for the Game is…Why themes deepen the meaning of your roleplaying games
A theme is a literary tool used to convey to the reader …
How to defeat deceit

Lifetimes of Fun

We made the decision to homeschool back in 2017, simultaneously the same year we started playing Dungeons and Dragons. Believe it or not, I had never really heard of the game except for a few whispers back in the 80s between the evils of Halloween and video games. Much to my surprise, Dungeons and Dragons, a tabletop roleplaying game providing a means to tell stories.

Storytelling is something we have done since the dawn of time. Myths and legends, history and tales, all in oral form around the campfire, in lecture halls and eventually scribed upon parchments. Eventually, we filmed movies on the big screen.

I believe a revolution is occurring; one where we show our dissatisfaction with the current content of entertainment and desire to simply create our own. Read more about which one you think you are here, Consumer or Creator?

When we started incorporating Dungeons and Dragons into our homeschooling curriculum, I watched as my children read more, solved math with ease, and picked up writing their own stories at night before bed. In short, it enriched our education and curriculum, read more on that here! All things any parent wants to see. As a dad of 3, I have my very own adventuring party right there to play with anytime! I hope it stays that way for many stories to come.

Three Steps to Take to include Dungeons and Dragons in your Life

  1. Purchase the Starter Set
  2. Sign up for my personal coaching for players and dungeon masters
  3. Gather together 3-6 of your friends and family and schedule a game night!

Bring back the old ways, when we used to sit around the table and face each other. Rolling dice, keeping notes and having fun with each other. It’s no surprise that tabletop roleplaying games have resurged, and now is the time to bring everyone together and tell a story.

May your story continue

Welcome Sojourner

This is your call to adventure

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The Bookish and the Brave – 5 – Welcome to Bald Top Library Sojourners Awake – a storytelling adventure playing the game of Dungeons and Dragons

Welcome to Season 6 of Sojourners Awake! Von – Level 2 Monk Human Sterling – Level 2 Druid Water Genasi Hawkins – Level 2 Fighter Gnome We play Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition with an emphasis on storytelling using the three pillars of exploration, interaction and combat. I hope you enjoy our narrative style that allows diving into the player's thoughts as well as the background music and ambiance from TableTop Audio. Visit Sojourners Awake for more Dungeon Master Tips on how to tell stories around your table. May your story continue!
  1. The Bookish and the Brave – 5 – Welcome to Bald Top Library
  2. The Rime of the Frostmaiden – 10 – Lonelywood
  3. The Rime of the Frostmaiden – 9 – A Slight Detour to Lonelywood
  4. The Bookish and the Brave – 4 – Battle through the Forest and How they Continued
  5. The Rime of the Frostmaiden – 8 – Minding the Kobolds