Roleplaying Beyond the Pandemic
Bringing back memories… I have transformed from Dungeon Master to Player, a druid to be specific… A druid of the Circle of the Moon… and a Shifter.
I was absolutely ecstatic when my son asked me to join his Eberron campaign. Although I began playing D&D in 1978, and played the game as Dungeon Master for many years, I hadn’t sat down to a session of the game since I taught him how to play almost 20 years ago.
Yes, I was nervous. And, boy was I in for some surprises.
Nate is running a 5th edition D&D campaign in the Eberron campaign setting and it was almost culture-shock to discover this amazing world. It quickly made a lot of sense to me.
“Back in MY day…” I begin with a gravely old-man voice, we played swords & sorcery style. We were teenage nerds who got their hands on rule sets and books filled not only with tons of fantastic art and stories of heroes of might and lore, but of data. My friends and I quickly ate up the info on probability and chance and we began crafting campaigns of our own. Naturally we stuck with what we knew – King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Excalibur, Lord of the Rings, The Beastmaster, Krull, etc. We played old-fashioned D&D.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We played a medieval/fantasy motif with dragons and dungeons, gods and goddesses, real old hero adventures like Jason and the Argonauts, Dragonslayer, Dragonheart and more. We had great imaginations that really stretched into some far out adventures, but we also stuck to the “rarity of magic” notion, and how it was balanced out in the game with the other character class traits.
Eberron changes everything. The main difference in this campaign milieu is that magic is everywhere. Magic not only touches everyone and everything in their daily lives, it is part of the way the world works.
Magic is built into the very fabric of the world. It pervades everyday life. It provides comforts and conveniences unknown in either the modern world or any world of medieval fantasy. Great cities where castles scrape the sky prosper throughout the continent of Khorvaire, and a thriving aristocracy of merchant families controls much of the world’s economy thanks to the edge given them by the mysterious and rare dragonmarks. Its people harness magic as a tool—to build cities, to sail ships through the skies, and to create both wonders and weapons.Eberron: Rising from the Last War – Introduction
Because of this feature, playing a character – any character – in Eberron feels like being in a modern day, Marvel superhero movie or an episode of Star Wars. Everything is writ large. Everything feels sped up a bit.
My cohort of friends played together for many years, sometimes two or three times a week on summer vacations, so I know we had a fantastic time. But I admit, I could never imagine the kind of scenarios Eberron provides.
Maybe I’m old fashioned, or maybe just old. Or, it just may be that my son is a better DM than I am.
“Back in my day… we played with paper and pencils and dice, and we LIKED it that way! We didn’t have D&D Beyond!” Damn I wish we had had D&D Beyond.
Next time I’ll tell you about how my good friend and I tried to make our own D&D Beyond using a Commodore 64 and a local BBS – YES! I’m that old.