Forgotten Realms - Pool of Radiance
Campaign Information for Players
Dungeon Master’s Thoughts (Designers Notes)
I like for my games to be a completely unique and immersive experience for everyone in it, including me, the Dungeon Master. It’s my opinion that if the Players get to run characters that they really want to play, the entire experience of the game will likely be much more exciting at the Player level.
Likewise, if I, the Dungeon Master, run a game that I am at least equally excited about, the satisfaction and fun of the game will surely be there for all to enjoy. Additionally, I seek to enjoy the Player’s choices in characters! This is important, because in doing so, there becomes personal investment of imagination by me, to try to ensure that I’m running a gaming environment that is conducive to supporting and furthering of the character’s development, and provide an immersive environment to interact with.
That being said, I insist that my Players pick characters that they truly want to play, rather than one that they think they want to play, with the thought in mind that they may be playing this character, potentially for years, in an ongoing campaign. The question that is posed to the Player is, “Would I want to play this character for several years?” My hope would be for the Player to let their imaginations soar, and somewhat get the best of them, and consider character choices that perhaps they had never been allowed to play before, but always wanted to, or playing a character type that they consider a true favorite, even if they’ve played that type of character many times before, in other games.
Roleplaying choices may include monsters, supernatural creatures, figures of royalty & political power, and even characters from books, computer games, & movies, etc.
While the character choices are virutally limitless, the characters should be fair in terms of a reasonable balance for the game, meaning that there may likely be some limits on potentially powerful characters. Such limits may be simply restricting certain powers and abilities until they reach a particular level, or mutually agreeing to meeting certain conditions before using exceptionally strong powers. Ask me, the Dungeon Master, what would be allowable throughout the game.
I do realize that when Players are playing what exactly they want, their characters have the potential of being exceptionally powerful for their levels, I (and certainly other Players) would not want to see a good campaign trampled on, so it would be in everyone’s best interest of fairness and fun for all, to use good judgement and perhaps restraint to maintain the balance and flow of the game, so that everyone can equally have fun. This will likely not be an issue in the game, as the contents of the game will be balanced to present the proper level of challenge for each of the characters, therefore allowing them to use their powers fully in critical situations. Also, as Dungeon Master, since I choose my Players; I trust them. My Players are my friends and high quality individuals, and I’ve no doubt in their choices. I feel that if they read what I’ve written here, that they will honor my concerns, and honor the game and their fellow Players.
The following link is a section devoted to suggested possible Player Character choices for the Pool of Radiance Campaign, including some of my own suggestions that I would love to see played in the game; many of them simply because they fit so very well into the storylines and adventures:
Concerning the Dungeons & Dragons Rules
I’m quite fond of the many editions and versions of the rule sets for Dungeons & Dragons, yet years of playing within the frameworks of the existing rule sets has left me wanting. Having some extensive knowledge of various rules systems outside of the Dungeons & Dragons game, and firsthand knowledge of armored & unarmored combat, I’ve found that some editions lacked a sensibly realistic approach to combat, relying too much on obscure/abstract rules; while other editions were too cumbersome with the amount of rules necessary to play the game. Fortunately, there have been variant rules out for the D20 system that have made a commendable effort to do some really nice things with the game. For the game, I will be using what I consider “the best” of rules (or my variant version) from all of the systems, and many rules that I have created myself. To keep the game from getting bogged down with too many overly realistic rules, I shall leave some portions to remain abstract, but might list them as optional rules.
To be honest, I feel that the more recent systems for Dungeons & Dragons seem more like a chess game or board game, rather than a roleplaying game. It’s my intention to put the roleplaying back in the game while approaching the rules from a realistic, but fairly simple playable framework. My thoughts are: use less rules, use more common sense.