Building a sense of community, with local DnD (for tabletop)

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Building a sense of community, with local DnD (for tabletop)

Postby sayari » Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:21 pm


Ok so here's the story in short. We had a meeting among DMs today at the store where I used to work, and we were discussing actively building a stronger sense of the DnD community within Bucharest (we're a big city, FULL of geeky people, and we're starting to have important conventions, but DnD groups rarely find each other, new players rarely know where to go, and old player groups are somewhat elitist and closed off).

One way we're gonna do that is by promoting Wizard's Organized Play, of course, because it kinda comes with the territory of being an advanced shop... but it feels to me, the more I think about it, that Wizard's OP, their Adventure League isn't going to build us what we want. We wanna build a homey vibe, we wanna socialize players and characters, we wanna pull off a sense of togetherness, where people are comfortable discussing different experiences. I feel like in this endeavor, we, as a group of DMs, have a lot to learn from the way this very site built a sense of community across time.

I find Digital Dreaming to be a singular example in its field. It's been around for ages, it has a solid and interested player base, it's grown organically, it's waxed and waned, but stayed strong. People return here with pleasure, people miss it when they're away, and the bonds that have formed among many of the players here are unique. There's a sense of friendship and kinship here, which is the sort of mood we would like to build locally too.

To that end, I proposed, that while indeed we can start out with the Official Adventure League, that we should warn players that those adventures are limited, self-contained and often-times railroaded. We can explain that it's a wonderful sample of what DnD has to offer, but also briefly tell them about what else is out there.

Central to my idea, is the importance of DMs COOPERATING within a living world. Maybe not one that will be DRAMATICALLY impacted by the players from level 1, but one that has the potential to be shaped by the people who participate in it, players or DMs. I feel like this will grant several important things:
1. A sense of freedom for the character. The player will be able to experience different DM styles, but his or her character will be tied to the WORLD, not to a single DM. Should one DM be unable to hold a session for an extended period of time - because... life! - the player won't have to suffer through losing his character.
2. The burden of creativity will not be on a single Dungeon Master. This means that if we have a bad week one time, the shop won't be without a game. The players won't be without their fun. Also it goes beyond crafting an adventure, it comes down to subtle things that can give the players a sense of continuity. I keep thinking that two heads are better than one, when it comes to coming up with something creatively, and then reasonably and rationally testing if it works or not.
3. By sharing experiences in a similar world, characters will be able to bond more with each other, and implicitly, players will form friendships, in a way that is less indicative of a bunches of cliques than if DMs would hold their games in distinctly separate worlds.

So I pitched this issue to a bunch of people, and while I realize there are numerous logistical issues in it, I don't believe they can't be circumvented. I realize that the stable universe provided by Forgotten Realms has contributed significantly to the success of DD, but I wonder if it isn't possible to draw from the inspiration that is this place, and learn from its community, in order to build a new one.

Thoughts? :mrgreen:
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Re: Building a sense of community, with local DnD (for table

Postby Murdling » Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:59 am

I think the core tenets are ones you mentioned already. The stable world and the cooperative supportive player / DM base. I also tend to think the DM/PDM title being so accessible is a help here, in addition to the exp/gold incentive awarded to them after they run.
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Re: Building a sense of community, with local DnD (for table

Postby tachus » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:54 pm

i'm not overly familiar with the Wizards organized play, but everything you are describing kinda strikes me similar to paizo's pathfinder society... if you are having logistics issues i would recommend checking out their stuff as well (
"Oderint Dum Metuant" - Emperor Caligula

"Experience is not what happens to a man; It is what a man does with what happens to him." - Aldous Huxley

PCs: Sambiir TaKorc-Wands, Vairc Delvaux, Kell Ironclaw, Zander Stormwave
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