I’ve played other tabletop games before, but 5e won my heart right away with its beautiful straightforwardness* and focus on the adventure over the process. Which makes me look back at the other crappy systems I’ve put up with over the years and go “… but why.” More on that later**.
Some of this is specifically due to my 5e DM being an absolute gem. I’m learning a lot by watching how she handles the player/character dynamics and the dice rolls, the narrative and the scenes. I want to take a minute to talk about some of my favorite things I’ve seen her do – not specific stories or scenes, but how she put the game together.
Gave the PCs clear reasons to get involved in the adventure from the very start. The ship on which all the PCs had all taken passage, for whatever reasons of our own devising, was attacked by pirates. Surprise! We didn’t have to debate over “Would my character volunteer to go look for the missing children in the goblin mines? Would they want to be paid for it? Are they too much of a coward and will be dragged kicking and screaming into their heroic destiny?” The self-defense angle was beautifully simple.
Turned this into a reason for all the PCs to bond with each other. By the end of the first session, we knew one thing about each other: These were the other people who got tough when the going did. These were the people who had my back. We don’t know much about each other, but we got the most important detail out of the way: we could instinctively work together.
Made the first session very engaging and memorable. Unavoidable encounter with pirates, complete with hostage-taking, net-throwing, rope-swinging, swash-buckling, and comically successful persuasion rolls. None of this “in the first session you found the dungeon, disarmed two traps, and fought a goblin, but you still haven’t found the Plot parts” nonsense. Even if we never played another session, that first exciting, self-contained adventure was brilliant and memorable.
Encouraged the players to do the cool thing they had in mind, but weren’t sure if it would work or was a good idea. She is always encouraging us to describe what we do and how cool it is, rather than just rolling the dice for attack & damage. It goes a long way toward making even a starting-level encounter feel amazing and epic. “Okay, I got a 12… with a plus five… does a 17 hit?” “Yeah, you hit him alright. How are you doing it?” “Oh, I uh… hmm… You know what? I do a fancy spin, kind of dodging out of the way of his last attack, and as I come back around I slash at him with the sword using the momentum of my spin.” “Neat. Roll for damage! [rolling] You lop his head clean off. It bounces across the deck in a gross but impressive fashion. The other pirates recoil in horror.”***
Checked in regularly to know what each of the PCs were doing and how they reacted to situations, even if it wasn’t actively contributing to an encounter. It really helps to visualize a scene and make plans to have a regular check-in like this. It also is helping me, as a player, indirectly get to know the other PCs without specifically role-playing a scene together. It makes the session feel more like a story, and—while I can’t speak for the other players—it makes me feel more confident about making character choices, because I know the DM is paying attention to each of the PCs as personalities and not just collections of statistics. (This is a particular relief, and helped me realize how much it bothered me that a different DM just started ignoring my character unless I spoke up. No, I wasn’t confident and full of ideas at the beginning, but his reaction only made me feel less sure, rather than more daring.)
Gave us fun NPCs to interact and bond with from the very start. We left the first session with four NPCs attached to our team, including two former pirates (remember the comically successful persuasion rolls?) I’m looking forward to rejoining them at the end of our current exploration/dungeon crawl. Our DM is doing a great job using them to model roleplaying for some of the new players, and to reassure us that being silly or dramatic is perfectly okay. The old bard who is accompanying us on the current adventure may or may not continue to be our plus-one in the future, but while he’s here, he makes a great “hint from the DM” excuse about puzzles and solutions—and continues to motivate us toward the intended goal. I’m a little afraid he’s going to die, too, which is good! (Not that he dies, but that I would care.)
Overall, she has been exemplifying the kind of DM I want to be (and helping me see where I’ve misstepped in previous one-shots.) She’s doing such a great job embracing the “yes and/yes but” principle, and I do feel as though she is playing with her players, not against them.
Not that she didn’t derive obvious and unwholesome glee over the flying electric eels.
And that, too, was memorable and horrible and I loved it.
* Relatively speaking. There’s still math to do. Just… less than other systems. ** No promises, y’all should know by now I have a short attention span. *** This exact situation was made up for the sake of this post, but I think something similar did happen. One of our players definitely did Legolas-and-the-oliphaunt her way through a battle and it was fantastic.
me: i hate fuckboys. i hate their smug attitudes, i hate how they walk around in gym clothes all the time as if they could start working out at any second, i hate how they look like the human embodiment of the word “bro” while simultaneously calling everyone around them a bro, i hate how they’re always flexing like they Know you’re watching, i hate how they throw up the same tired pose for every selfie, i hate em!!! hate fuckboys!!
My D&D character, Rue, for that one OC outfit meme. The prompts I got, from top to bottom:
👑 dressed as royalty
🎄 in an ugly Christmas sweater
❌ in something they would absolutely never wear (a wetsuit in this case)
💤 in their sleep attire (soft, loose enough for maximum fluff expansion)
🌁 OC in a hoodie (also acceptable sleep attire)
(I’m not accepting any more asks. Thanks to those of you who sent prompts!)
why does tumblr always talk about “scary” mental illnesses but then waters down the symptoms? my intrusive thoughts aren’t “uwu eat cardboard”? they’re things that can ruin friendships or horrible disgusting things that, if I posted them on here would probably get my called out. my impulses aren’t to go eat dirt, I get impulses to stab my eyes out. sure people can get things like eat cardboard but that’s not what a lot of ppl have to deal with?
What is "the fandom that has grown" from the musical? I'm not offended at all I'm actually just curious. Was there even a big fandom before the musical?
Nah, the fandom wasn’t really big before the musical, but that’s not really the point.
The musical, as I’ve said, takes a lot of liberties with the characters and the message of Heathers. Which is fine. But now the fandom is made up of people who saw the musical first/haven’t seen the movie/take the musical canon more seriously than the movie, and so as someone whose been a fan of the movie for a very long time it’s a little frustrating seeing the characters, story, and overall message I love being muddled. My most obvious examples of this you’ve all seen w million times, I talk about them constantly. Taking everything bad about the homophobic sexist dicks that are Ram and Kurt and erasing it so you can have a cute “shipable” couple. Making Mac into a sad depressed angel instead of the mean girl she was. Making Chandler seem like the bullshit in her suicide note (or for the musical the me inside of me plot) was real and she wasn’t an airhead. The fandom seems to think that if its sung, it’s true? As if there’s no such thing as unreliable narration? even if they’re outright told beforehand in the story that what’s being said isn’t true.
The heathers fandom is really messy now, it’s full of people who believe in very black and white morality and are therefore trying to mold this very un-black and white story and it’s very morally unsound characters to their desired molds. Every character is either good or evil in fanon now. That’s not the way it works.
People don’t seem to understand that the musical was not written by the writers of the movie. So whenever a fan of the movie disagrees with something in the musical we’re told “well suck it up it’s canon” that’s like if someone’s Avenger’s fanfiction got published and suddenly fans of the comics or movies were told that they didn’t know what they were saying cause *according to this story*
The ask blog I run with my friends for the heathers adapt AU is a good example. Our AU is based on the movie, but almost all the asks we get are musical related. No one allows for the separation of the two, when the musical has a lot of differences.
I really like the musical, and I really like the fans it has led to Heathers. But please respect the original content? And please respect that the musical isn’t as relevant to some people?
Idk this response is all over the place and is probably way ruder than I’m intending, it’s super early rn.