A Crash Course in Agile Dungeon Mastering

A key to successful Dungeon Mastering is being able to identify and act on the things that are important. The elements of a game that are going to speak to your version of fun and help your friends enjoy the setting through their characters.

Four months ago I was thinking “I really need to build discipline around bringing this world to life!” my thought was that I needed to round out the NPC’s, the backstories, and the theater of what everything other than the characters was like, motivated to do, and seeking. Then my wife accidentally scheduled me on an 11 day run of nightly D&D sessions last October. After I’d spent the better part of a week in Chicago at a trade event.

That changed my view on what I really needed to do. Continue reading

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30 NPCs: Inkeeper Hurlee Leckey

Anyone keeping score will notice that I missed posting yesterday. Day two and I’m already stumbling? To be honest, after hearing about Las Vegas and then Tom Petty I wasn’t in the mood to be creative. That said, part of discipline is understanding that you are going to fail at times and the critical thing to do is get back on the horse and keep moving. So, after a day of listening to the Heartbreakers and trying to understand the unfathomable, it’s time for momentum.

Hurlee Leckey – Proprietor of the Black River Tavern

Hurlee is a retired brewer and keeps a private collection of Albannich beers in her chamber. She’s been here the full 10 years with March Warden Ainsley. Her current hope is to build enough funds to add on a proper set of rooms to rent to the travelers.

Hurlee is as genuine as a person can get, and as careful to be clear as possible. She runs a simple and well-kept tavern. She’d like to take on staff but hasn’t been able to justify it just yet. She serves all functions for the tavern. Hostess, waitress, barkeeper, and cook. She’s always busy, just a little frazzled looking, but careful and deliberate.

Note: This series will follow a simple format. The main page for the blog will show everything a character in my setting might get to know about a NPC with a little bit of asking around. Clicking through the link will reveal more information, including some spoilers.

HERE BE SPOILERS – IF YOU ARE IN THIS GAME READ AT THE RISK OF META-GAME Continue reading

31 NPCs: March Warden Dougal Ainsley

Note: This series will follow a simple format. The main page for the blog will show everything a character in my setting might get to know about a NPC with a little bit of asking around. Clicking through the link will reveal more information, including some spoilers.

I’ll leave it up to my players to decide if they want to shield themselves from the meta game knowledge or not. I don’t sweat basic spoilers all that much, it’s easy to address at the table if someone goes beyond character knowledge. The super secrets won’t land on this blog, or other public space.

March Warden Dougal Ainsley

Dougal was one of the first people to come to the island and funded the rebuilding of the Lighthouse Tower to encourage others to visit and lead off their adventures there. His appearance is slightly greasy, but not disheveled – access to soap and other bathing items is a bit restricted on Black River Island. He’s healthy and fit, and works hard every day to improve the life of those who come to the island.

He’s not always sure what to do for the people. He sees the opportunity to start something good here, but isn’t the sort who understands the deeper logistical needs and relies on others to build that up. He does all he can to get to know the peoples who visit his domain, and enjoys speaking to them in their languages. To him this is a form of respect and gesture of welcome. He is loyal to a fault and will willingly put his life on the line to protect the people of his island.

HERE BE SPOILERS – IF YOU ARE IN THIS GAME READ AT THE RISK OF META-GAME Continue reading