After 15 years of running Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) there are still aspects of my game that I need to improve. Let’s talk about those areas real quick.
While it seems like an odd part of the game to have ignored I’ve never actually run a real dungeon. Most of my games have been spent running what the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Revision (D&D 3.5e) Dungeon Master’s Guide refereed to as “Dynamic” adventures. I would set up a location for the players, say a town, and then briefly describe the world around them and let them go wherever they wanted and cause all kinds of mayhem. The world was constantly reacting to them and their decisions and they never wanted to go into a dungeon. As a consequence, I never learned to create dungeons nor to run them.
I’m working on fixing that this year.
Growing up I always hated riddles. They were often boring as all get out and I hate being bored. So you can imagine my enthusiasm for the riddle trope in D&D. Still, over the last couple of years I’ve read several books where riddles were set out in front of the heroes and it created a really neat mystery for them to solve. I need to learn how to create riddles and make them something fun for the players this year.
If you’ve been reading me over the past few years on Dyvers then you know my love for the Fourthcore concept pioneered by Sersa Victory. Sersa laid out this idea that when you set up an encounter there needs to be a lot going on. Not only are you players confronted by an enemy that can actively react to their actions, but you also add a trap in that they must defeat in a limited time, or some other complication to make the encounter increasingly difficult. The idea of this sort of dynamic encounter has captured my imagination since I first read about it years ago and I am bound and determined to push it this year.