Heya. I share this in the hope that one or two make for an interesting read. This is mainly addressed at roleplaying folks, but.. my roleplaying also lead me to my gamemaking.
I know, I know, you'd rather have a preview here.. some stuff coming next week. And the week after that! And the week after that! .. Just need some time sometimes, to sort a few more boring things out. And hey, suprisingly, folks liked my last storytelling/rant. Yey!
Anything else.. oh, yes. We know of the Order of Light Startup bugs, they will be fixed in the next release, less than a week from now.
My big hope is that sharing one or two of my big early hiccups will help other folks find the courage to start DMing, or just joining some rping fun, for example over at: www.hypnopics-collective.net/smf_forum/index.php?board=9.0
I actually began DMing on an online server, though, as my DM put it, it is a world apart if you roleplay in a restricted setting, with tools to use and only so many things a character can do, or roleplay in a world of possibilities, only limited by the players and the DMs creativity.
The first thing I learned was that actually DMing is a lot more work than it seems, and most DM's crave to relax in someone elses game, at least from time to time. It is in a way more fulfilling, but.. lotsa work to run a game. Thus, if you see a setting you really like, and want to do something similiar, I've never seen, and think I will never see, a DM saying no. After all the setting they made is exactly what they enjoy reading, or even playing in themselfs.
The same applies to erotic games actually. If you find a game thats similiar to one a gameauthor creates, chances are they might be really interested in checking it out. You can enjoy your own game, or your own campaign.. but it is a lot different.
But to the story of my first D&D 'campaign' ever. This was.. 6-7 years ago now?
It went horrible. Which is good. I guess this is the first advice I want to give aspiering gamemakers, DON'T aim for perfection. Instead, try to plan in making mistakes. The more you make, the more you'll improve. Each emberassing fuck up where your storyline doesn't work or the players do something you didn't anticipate is a lesson on how to better deal with such a thing, or anticipate it next time.
For me, It was anticipation. I laid out a nice encounter, frost giants, by the way, high level, and my DM's character walked right past it. I stopped the presses, went to OOC.
"I wanted you to do this and that, and I had it all planned out so nicely!" I said.
"Then do this and that. You control the world." My DM said.
"Don't railroad me into doing things exactly your way, but if you want something to happen, make it happen. It is impossible to anticipate what each player will do in every situation. You can set things up in a certain way, but there is alway a chance they will want to kill the npc you wanted them to befriend, or befriend the monster you 'needed' them to kill. So don't 'need' anything."
"But I can't plan for everything!" I objected.
"Don't plan for everything. Just have a plan. Lets say that you want one npc to tell the players to go to the kings palace. Thats all you need to have this npc -> Kings palace. The way in between should be determined by the players. The pcs could alienate the npc or kill them instead, in one case your npc could call the royal guard, that gets the npcs to the kings castle, or if killed, the npc has a message, that points at the castle. You can make things harder if players don't chose obvious ways of course, and sometimes campaigns can be taken for a wild turn, but never, ever end a campaign just because players made an unforseeable decision."
-I admit, I paraphrased what my DM said a little there, but I've stuck to that principle ever since. If you lead any kind of adventure, D&D or otherwise, have a plan for a story to tell, its your story to tell, but the Players decide how it is told. I had one campaign that had a TPK, a total party kill.. and just kept going, with the sentence "Alright, who here is familiar with the Ghostwalk sourcebook?"
I also had a campaign where the players 'tilted' so far that they ended up fighting the forces of good, in the name of the demonlord they had first set out to fight, and it was great fun (Infact, in my campaign, Andrauxine: http://www.hypnopics-collective.net/smf_forum/index.php?topic=21619.1880
I'm doing kinda just that, on purpose this time. ^^
So that would be my first avice to anyone wishing to start DMing any campaign: Have a plan, but let players determine how to follow it.
-Might post more of this if it didn't completely bore everyone yet. ^^