Michael Bay D&D – Written Thoughts

Podcast Still Here: click to go listen.

I’ve wrapped up my recent world-building evening contract, so I have free time once more. Naturally that means diving right back into making podcasts about RPGs. By the way, I’m looking for other experienced GMs with great ideas who’d like to guest on the podcast. If that’s you, shoot me a message.

For a long time, I’ve been guilty of running what I call “Michael Bay D&D”. Everything was big explosions and over-the-top ideas and world-shattering threats. It started off innocently. Players kept telling stories about the times they managed to recruit a dragon to their side and ride it to battle against a demon invasion. Players were thrilled after sessions in which they saved thousands of damned souls from torment in hell or crashed a flying castle into the villain’s base.

Slowly my sessions mutated. These awesome moments became the norm rather than an exception players had to work for. I didn’t make life easy for the players, they still felt threatened, but even Spinal Tap knew something I didn’t yet: You can’t always keep the volume at 11.

Over time the magic dwindled and I was getting muted reactions from my players. They were numb to the explosive excitement of each adventure, because it was the norm. It had lost its impact.

In the process I began falling out of love with RPGs. This podcast is about how I moved from this rut into creating the deepest and richest world, characters and campaign I ever have. It’s about how I started moving from feeling burned out, bored and unmotivated – mistakenly feeling I’d exhausted the possibilities of RPGs and had no more to learn – to taking my game to a brand new level.

This is about leveling up. I hope you find it valuable.

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