Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, Red Dragon NPCs, disgruntled players, and DMs who just want to have fun.
By now the Scourge of the Red Wizards campaign has reached halftime. The first two dungeons were taken care of, and there’s some lighter role playing fare to deal with before the other two is dealt with. In the meantime, the party has discovered a basement with a Red Dragon Wyrmling inside. A dragon that the party succeeds to befriend, and a special Pandaren brew book, so much that Chou, the Pandaren Brewmaster, can go on to be the tavernmaster to the tavern the party has…
Just in time for the player of Chou to bail from the campaign.
I think I mentioned this before: Since this is my first Roll20 Virtual Table campaign, I would expect players to join in, find out more about me as a DM, and then just walk out. From what I heard from others, this is normal for fledgling DMs until you get a small group of steady players. This particular bail out comes out of two items I can talk about: A case of inconsistency, which is on me, and the tendency for someone used to 3.5E to play 5E like it was 3.5E, something which isn’t.
Inconsistency is something I’d admit to, since I’m still experimenting with my Dungeon Mastering style. In this case it’s my use of fudge dice (/r 4df) for some attack rolls. Especially when attacks with huge damage ties with the player’s AC, and I don’t want to just TPK a party while I have such good content further down the campaign. Maybe I use the fudge dice too much, and it’s something I’ll be working at in the future, but that’s not the most important thing in my DM style.
To me, the best thing about being a DM is that it’s flat out fun. It’s fun telling stories, and fun seeing the party tackle the challenges before them. I love it when the party argues with each other on an item in game, even to the point where things totally get out of hand. To me, Fun trumps the Gameplay, which trumps the Rules. Some people don’t apply to this concept; they want the game to adhere to the established rules, both published and home, and when they’re not consistent they leave the game.
This isn’t some professional series of Tabletop RPGs, this isn’t Fourthcore, this is a D&D game with stuttering, stammering, autistic me as the DM, and regardless of what happens on the table, or what spits out of my mouth, the biggest question is “Are you having fun.” If you are, then I’m doing my job well. If you want to see a professional do this job with voice acting and characterization, go watch Chris Perkins behind the screen. I’m nowhere near Mr. Perkin’s level and probably never reach that point in this life. I just don’t give a fuck over it.
This isn’t a new thing. #Gamergate came about mostly because some people claim that Video Games shouldn’t be fun. Of course, those in Gamergate would bitch about the depiction of females and the ridiculously named ‘People of Color,’ than any strict adherence to any rules. Either direction, to me, only makes me think that you’re taking things way too seriously. This is a game, doing well is one thing, but even if you’re talking, I’d like you to have fun doing it. That way, you can keep coming, and maybe even be one of my steady players.
Which, as I come back to what I want out of Roll20, is exactly what I’m looking for. I want steady players who like what I’m bringing. Once I get a good steady stream of players, I can move on to better things.
Such as whatever or not fudge dice belongs in my Virtual Table.
In the meantime, the campaign will sidetrack into a homemade adventure over at Waterdeep, so that something can be constructed before the party returns to Daggerford and continue on the story. It’s a perfect place for people who want to play at my Virtual Table to jump in, so if you want to, go ahead and send me a comment.