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10
Oct

Interview: Campaign Writer Sean Sinclair

   Posted by: admin   in D&D

As mentioned before, one of the things we are doing as a group is creating a Dungeons and Dragons adventure to parallel our journey and help people have fun and get involved all at the same time.  Today’s post is an interview with the writer of that “adventure path,” Sean.

1. Why Dungeons and Dragons rather than some other system?

For most of the Wayfarers, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is a game that has been a part of our lives for years. We’ve tried our hands at dozens of different games and systems, but the one thing we always end up playing time and time again is good old workhorse D&D. When the notion of a quintessential adventuring party is brought up, it makes sense to take it in the context of the quintessential gaming system as well, so it’s only natural that the Wayfarers’ characters be a part of that.

We also felt that since D&D is so widely-popular compared to other, more niche systems, this would make the adventure more accessible to the common gamer.

2. What sort of player will this adventure appeal to?

We really wanted to make this adventure feel like ‘classic’ Dungeons and Dragons. What I take that to mean is that the adventure will contain a lot of elements that will remind a player of the first time they ever played Dungeons and Dragons. Over years of gaming, a lot of players and storytellers feel the need to branch out into ever more diverse and strange adventures just to get a sense of something ‘new’ – with this adventure I’m trying to bring things back to the core concepts and ideas that made role-playing fun for the first-time gamer, while putting new twists on common themes to keep those veteran players on their toes while they’re awash in nostalgia. The followers of the Wayfarers have so far come from either end of the spectrum – hardcore gamer to non-gamer – and I’m hoping that the adventure will be able to reflect that in its appeal to new players and veterans alike.

3. What sort of adventures do you enjoy? How are you bringing that to this one?

My favourite stories in gaming have always been those that involved a sense of discovery, a true adventure. While I respect a good hack-and-slash dungeon crawl, or a thrilling mystery, the sense of awe one can instill in their players with a well-delivered description of some wondrous setting or event, to me is unparalleled. As a storyteller I find it incredibly rewarding to create a rich setting for my players and watch as they get just as much satisfaction from uncovering new lore about the ruins they’re exploring as they would get from defeating a Great Red Dragon. To that end, the focus of the adventure, much like the Quest for the Cure, will be the journey itself. Going to fantastic new places in search of knowledge, truth, and ultimately the creation of some great memories to be looked back upon at journey’s end.

I’ve always made it a priority to ensure that the players feel as though their characters are actually part of a living, breathing world, and this adventure should be no different.

4. Who inspires you as a storyteller or DM?

It’s difficult to really draw specifically from other DMs, as running a game has as much or more to do with personal style as it does with the actual written material. Over my years of gaming (of which there have probably been too many) I’ve played with a lot of different storytellers, each with their own styles and strengths. Paul Grylls for example is exceptional when it comes to creating believable characters in his NPCs, and in creating balanced combat encounters. Drew Rocheleau gets into character for his NPCs like no other DM I’ve seen, and creates very deep plots for his players to delve into. The key as a DM is to be able to recognize these abilities in others and do your best to synthesize them all together into something that works for you and your particular group of players.

I’m sure that I’ve drawn from dozens of different sources to make my style what it is, and I would have to say that what drives me to create a really good story are the books I read, the movies I watch, and the games I play. Almost everything has its points of inspiration, and I find that absorbing nearly any kind of entertainment can put me in the mood to create my own. I often find that walking out of a good movie, or finishing a great book, the first thing I do is sit down and brainstorm some new ideas for a D&D campaign I had put on the back burner, or start writing a short story that I had only ever made the skeleton for.

5. Can you tell us about something specific that you’re looking forward to with this adventure?

One point I’ve always been adamant about in gaming is combat with purpose. That is, there should never in an adventure exist any fight which simply acts as a vehicle for gaining experience points and treasure; There should be a real reason for the battle, and the players should be invested in its outcome. Not every combat needs to end with either A) Victory, everyone lives and the monsters are dead, or B) Defeat, the party is never heard from again. I really want players to walk away from combat with a sense that “Yes, we made it through this, but at what cost?” I’m really excited about this adventure because it will be the inclusion encounters like these, with objectives that extend beyond simply a victory or defeat concept, that will make each adventuring party’s experience a different one.

Who the party is able to help or save along the way, and the choices they make – especially in the midst of combat – will have very real implications for the plot. More than anything, it makes me look forward to gaming groups swapping stories about their time playing this adventure, with no two being alike.

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