About (Dominaria Supplement)
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Dungeons and Dragons (in my experienced and occasionally humble opinion) is a group game. I tend not to see it as a competition between the DM and the players, or between players unless that's what they want. As such, I think it's important to state the expectations inherent in the setting.
- First and foremost, it is not the players' job to "beat" the DM, nor the DM's to stop them. I find that such attitudes unnecessarily shape the story and that they turn encounters into stressful problem solving instead of role-playing. It is the players' job to play their characters and the DM's job to "play" the world. So "I" don't want to kill you or stop you from achieving your goal, and "I" don't want to make it difficult to even do so. There may be people in Dominaria that do, but then again there are plenty who may want to (or could be convinced to) help you. So, to the max extent possible, let's cut the meta and get down to the gaming we all wish we could have.
- Second, the Primacy of Rules Zero and One. D&D 3.5 was around for 8 or 9 years; we got a ton of rulebooks plus splat-books beyond count. Disclaimer: I love the d20 system and D&D 3.5's ability to cater to almost any character concept out there, period. However, the books were released in waves with non-concurrent errata and several pseudo-systems and AD&D re-writes running alongside them. So while it may be possible to dip this class, splash that, take a feat from Stormwrack, Dragons of Faerun, the Ebberon Monster Manual, then a skill progression from Book of Vile Darkness and end up with a half-Dragon Fey Druid Assassin that simply can not die - I ask that my players consider the stories that got them into gaming in the first place. Rule One is really more important than Rule Zero, because Rule Zero is rule by absolute fiat. One should never have to resort to Rule Zero. Rule One, as outlined by The Narrative Guys at their many conventions, is, "Don't be a Dick". Play that character that you'd love to play alongside and don't force a DM to resort to obscene measures to artificially stop you. Rule Zero, of course, is the last word in D&D. Pre-chapter one, the DMG lays it out, "The DM is always Right". I don't necessarily like the rule, because like I said D&D is a team game. I would much rather we toss dice, make stories, and when an issue comes up solve it with Rule Two (the Rule of Cool). But if that dispute does happen, the worst thing we can do is stop the flow of the game and pour over books for specifics. Except in the rare case where this swing or that grapple will literally alter the fate of the game, we'll go once around the table for a solution and then I'll call it. We can solve the issue in down time or after the game, but that in-game decision will stand, and be a House Rule until we can figure out the real answer. I've found this to greatly ease the pace of the game, especially in fights.
Creator's note on the World
The Goal? Tolkien's story in Martin's world written in Jordan's style; as original as Erickson without Malazaan's strangeness, and throw in a helping of Zahn's epic storys and sweeping storylines.
I started Dominaria back in the 5th Grade at about the same time I picked up Magic the Gathering. I never read any of the MTG books so I built it based off what I saw in the pictures on the cards and from the parts of the story I read in the flavor texts. I had cards from every Cycle: Ice Age through Onslaught and made a world so me and my friends could play in a place where amazing things like what we saw in the cards happened. Since then the world has matured and taken on a life of its own, but it has never lost the sense of magic and wonder that started it. It's still heavy with overarching plots of good vs. evil but it has matured. The schemes are far more subtle now, evil can be more nuanced, and there are definitely shades of grey. Overarching bad guys, archliches, and Dark Lords still do exist however and are waiting just beyond the edge of the shadows. So tread carefully my friend. These days, using 'proper' terms haha, I think the best way to describe my world is to say that it's all about having that 'Sword and Sorcery' or occasionally 'High Fantasy' feel.
There is a ton of history and character to my world and most of the cities and countries and guilds were player created and some are still player driven. I throw in overarching plots and manage the year to year flow of countries, alliances, weather, guilds, etc. But many of the most intricate evils and important plots were created by players. Right now I have 3 parties playing at the PC level, several solo campaigns, and a few ex-PCs who like to meta-manage their characters in the world; left out of this are the probably 2 dozen people that have played in my world in the past, many with several different characters.
This is the kind of stuff that I love and people have always loved about my world - it is very open and there are always things going on. The player driven plots and wars and epic-adventures add so much to the stories I come up with (drawn from a frankly ridiculous amount of fantasy reading) and it makes for a dynamic and deep experience. Almost anywhere people go there is something to do and someone to meet (a myriad of old-PCs live in the cities and their organizations and sometimes even countries still have impacts). I don't pretend to have all of the answers or to manage the perfect world, but I will say that I love what I've created and really enjoy facilitating people's imaginations.
There is something tucked away in every corner of my world - always another place to see or person to meet and some people that have played in Dominaria have said it was their favorite DnD campaign(s) ever. So once it's done, use it! Tell me how it goes, share your stories and I'll share mine! I want to expand Dominaria even from where it is now and someday publish it as a d20 supplement, so gimme some feedback and help me make it better. So now I'll take a deep breath and get to work. Thanks and I'll keep you posted!
Also, for your edification, here is the current Dominaria 'themesong' of sorts. Roll it from 1:08 for the part of the song I really like, the beginning is sick too, but a bit too 'Western' to encompass all of Dominaria. I dunno, the song has really just been resonating with me and it had a really great epic adventure feel a la LoTR. But it's different enough for me to feel good using it. It really captures the feel of adventuring in Dominaria.
|Dominaria Campaign Settingv|
|Players' Handbook||Races, Languages, Classes, Magic, Religion, Literature and Lore|
|Dominaria Gezeteer||History, Geography, Climate, and Politics, Factions, Calendar and Holidays, Cosmology and the Planes|
|Dungeon Master's Guide||About, Items of Legend, Bestiary, Currency and Consumables, Law in Dominaria, Sample Places, NPCs, Variant Rules, Adding to Dominaria|