As the Dungeon Master what is most fun for me as a participant in the game is reacting to players making unique, unexpected decisions.
Our previous campaign was fairly dictated designed to help new players along. As such, it didn’t allow players much freedom beyond being creative in individual encounters (ball bearings to trip a Minotaur, Spike Growth to set a trap for an approaching enemy, setting a room on fire as a last desperate attempt to turn the tide, etc).
My favourite sessions were the ones I hadn’t planned e.g. having to make a Dragon Lair encounter as the players unexpectedly ended up captured by a Dragon, and I want to encourage much more player freedom…. simply because I enjoy it as a game participant!
The other reason for creating a more player-driven environment, is to allow more participatory flexibility meaning players who want to DM can get a chance to DM, players who can’t make it to all sessions don’t have to feel guilty for not making it and players who want to invite guest players can create stories that allow for this.
Guiding principles for player-driven D&D environment.
The Daisygate campaign is loosely based on the West Marches philosophy as well as some ideas and rules I’ve come across in the D&D community.
- Each session is initiated by one or more players by expressing an interest their character wants to investigate. This interest could be triggered by articles in The Daisygate Observer, but it doesn’t have to be. It can as easily be following a character’s personal goal.
- Each game is self-contained allowing for flexible player participation. Think TV series with guest stars rather than epic Hollywood trilogy.
- Characters from previous campaign can be used.
- New characters are equally welcome.
- Anybody can add locations and places of interest.
- Anybody can Dungeon Master a game.
Daisygate operates on session based progression rather than experience points. (Dungeon Master’s Guide, p261):
- Level 1-3: 1 session = 1 level advancement
- Level 4-8: 2 sessions = 1 level advancement
- Level 9-15 : 3 sessions = 1 level advancement
- Level 16-20 : 4 sessions = 1 level advancement
Each player can hold maximum of 3 Inspiration Points.
While we play in initiative order, players can be skipped, or asked to be skipped, if they need time to think, plan, look up rules etc. They will just rejoin the flow once they are ready. No turn is complete without all players having had their turn.
This will keep the game flowing rather than keep the party waiting.
We will not be using components for spell casting.
We will not be counting arrows.
As a rule of thumb, hit points are only relevant in combat / once initiative has been rolled.
Outside combat, attacks are leathal. E.g. If somebody sneaks up at a sleeping target and stabs them through the eye, that target is dead as you would expect.
This YouTube video is great at explaining the logic.
The Daisygate Observer will capture past sessions as well as provide random news and story hooks.
- One or more players (Not the Dungeon Master) from each session should submit at least 1 news story capturing the past session’s adventures.
- Anybody who wants to be the Dungeon Master in a game can post an article . story hook to prep your players in advance using a story hook article.
- Anybody can submit articles and story hooks, even if you don’t have an adventure in mind for said story hook.