Thursday, November 19, 2020

Tasha’s Cauldron is A Great Time to Start or Return to D&D

With the recent release of Dungeons and Dragons, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, the world's greatest role-playing games just got a little more personable. As with Volo, Xanather, and Mordenkainen before her, Tasha’s Cauldron boils up more flavor and charm into the multiverse of 5th edition. This new supplementary rule book adds updated rules for subclasses, sidekicks, dungeon puzzles (much needed), and more. 

Tasha’s opens the game to consider your players' soft limits and to challenge them to embrace this world and our fantasy in a more inclusive way. Wizards of the Coast also uses this opportunity as a  teachable moment for its fandom to share hard limits and create a safe space, so all are comfortable at the table. 

If you have been away or have always been on the sidelines looking to join or lead an adventuring party of your own, we at the Mature Minded Gamers have compiled what we believe are four steps it takes to succeed when sitting at the table and rolling the dice. 

4 steps to success when starting a new campaign

Pick a time - The first challenge that all of us must face is the commitment to play. We all understand that life is busy and things tend to get in the way, but tabletop role-playing games take time. The responsibility often falls on the Dungeon Master, as they tend to have extra time factored into the game, but not always. Regardless of who picks the time, do your best to make sure it works for your group. There will be casualties, but If you wait for the perfect time, the game will never happen. 

Commit -  If you find yourself in the Dungeon Masters seat or you are casting a die as an Adventurer, you owe it to your party to know your game. People who play role-playing games understand that you need others to play. I have never met a table of players who dislike helping a player who wants to learn, but I have seen a table turn on those who refuse to engage or pay attention. This sort of inattentiveness will really damage the experience for all involved. 

The dice give and the dice take away - The moments that you will remember will be forged on the edge of your dice roll. The dice will build the high and lows that create that depth your stories will need. It could be the “Nat 20” that the Count Von WhateverHisName rolls that cuts out your mighty adventures last breath or that last-ditch skill check that breaks the lock. These are the moments that your table will retell over and over again.

Have fun - This is a story that your table is building together. When the dice are going against you, adversarial roles could start to emerge. Role-playing was a cooperative experience, long before the board game Pandemic was a thing. The table should always be working together to tell a story. Unlike a video game that can be won, the “win condition” comes from the shared experience that the table creates together.

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