Dungeons and Drama

So, if you’ve been lurking around my blog for long – or know me personally – you’ll probably have noticed that I have offered Dungeons and Dragons its fair share of lip service over the last few years. There is a reason for that, and it’s not because I like to bash your game. (Okay, it’s a little bit because I like to bash your game.)

One of the reasons I do this is because D&D, by its very nature, is a very focused game. All the evidence you need is in the rule books. Did you notice that roughly 3/4 of the rules are about combat? The rules are focused there because that is exactly where the designers wanted the game to be focused.

I’ve gamed for over two decades, now and I’m a little burned out on this status-quo of gaming – the kill-monsters-and-take-their-shit mentality of gaming. I wanted to branch out to other things, and so I did.

All this begs a question, though. What happens when you have a Half-orc Barbarian, an Elf Wizard, a Halfling rogue and a Human Paladin in a party and the focus of the game shifts from raiding dungeons to the relationship drama between the characters?

Apparently I’m not the only person that wondered about this. Adam Minnie has been thinking about switching the focus in his 4e gaming group from typical D&Dism to relationship drama. His idea has spawned his currently in-process project of Dungeon-Ville. He’s going to use the system of the Smallville RPG and convert it for his campaign world.

Currently, the only changes he has made were that the races where changed into heritages. So instead of Kryptonian Heritages and Martian Heritages, you have elven heritages and dwarven heritages. It leaves a lot of unanswered questions like so what? 9/10 of the classes need to also have the magical legacy heritage? Or is there a need for classes at all? But it’s enough to wet my whistle for now.

I’m excited to see what else he’s going to do.

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5 thoughts on “Dungeons and Drama

  1. I’m glad it’s resonating with you! And those are good questions. I think I’ll have to expand in that direction.

    I was wondering which additional elements people who want to share in this sort of game would need, so please, keep the questions coming.

  2. Actually, the very first thing I did once I read over the book was to begin working on a hack for using the Smallville system to run a campaign of Dungeons & Dragons characters based off of the original cast from the 1980′s cartoon, or perhaps for their children, as the leads.

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