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DMing Avlis 2k18 Style

General discussion about Avlis

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DMing Avlis 2k18 Style

PostAuthor: Deider » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:59 pm

Hi everybody! As your newest DM, I wanted to let you know some things about me. One thing that will probably come up over and over again is that I am heavily influenced by pen-and-paper (PnP) gaming, and in PnP the players usually know their DM at least casually, if not as a friend, so I wanted to share a bit.

Some of you know me as the player of Gram Jamjeans, aspiring “wheelystar” master, or of Deider of Pelar, gnome druid hunter of the Elusive M’Chekian Beaver. Some of you who have been on Avlis for a long time also know that I used to be a team member – I was a DM here from 2003 to around 2007-8. I sponsored several guilds and ran a few plots; some people may remember an antagonist known as The Gentleman, though that’s not my favorite of the plots I ran. Back then there wasn’t as strict an organizational hierarchy, so I was allowed the opportunity to do some building and coding as well. If you’ve ever challenged Master Po to a duel, if you’ve ever turned in an item to a collector, if you’ve ever trudged up several flights of stairs to give stuff to Maria Torin, if you’ve ever turned into a werewolf, if you’ve ever fondled a dire ox’s gonads, and if you’ve ever visited Verloghokbol or Cor’Vallen, then you’ve interacted with something that I had the privilege of working on.

So why did I leave Avlis a decade ago? There were several reasons, but the main one was that I was invited/blackmailed into being the Head DM for an NWN2 server called The Known Lands (TKL). I wanted to take some of the things I’d learned here and try something different. It was a much smaller server – we probably had 50 players at peak – based of off a campaign I had run in college. We had an application to join, which included your PC’s background, and a party system – every PC was required to join a party, which met weekly, and ran a plot which intertwined your PC’s background into it.

I was a part of TKL for five years. Then I left, and for five years after that I didn’t roleplay at all, aside from some occasional Warhammer one-shots with friends. It was strange at first, since roleplaying had been a big part of my life for over twenty years. But I moved on, and I didn’t really realize how much I’d missed it until I returned to Avlis many months ago.

So why become a DM again? Well, like I mentioned before I am heavily influenced by PnP, and while it is debatable whether it makes sense to try and reproduce the PnP experience in this format, it’s what I like to do. Avlis is a great game – in the decade I’ve been gone there have been many changes, additions, and improvements. Interestingly, some things, like the XP cap and DM-run party events, are things that we had implemented years ago in TKL. But while I enjoy Avlis the computer RPG game – I have spent dozens of hours crafting and exploring and battling – I miss Avlis the roleplaying game. And while you can create a lot of fun for yourselves as players – the monk gatherings and animal training sessions were attempts on my part to do just that – at the end of the day, Avlis the roleplaying game requires a DM.

I swear to you I didn’t intend to write this post just to be long-winded, but I’m afraid it’s a habit I have yet to break. The second purpose of this post, aside from sharing some info about myself, is to make three requests, which will follow. Before that, I’d like to tell you vaguely about my plans as DM. I have several things that I would like to try out. Some are things that I used to do when I was a DM here a dozen years ago. Some are things that I did on TKL. And some are new things that I’d like to try based on the current state of Avlis. I don’t really want to get into details, because 1) some of these ideas may fail horribly and 2) I don’t want to spoil any potential fun if they are successful.

I will tell you two types of events that I don’t plan on running:
- Events with an extremely large number of players. I want to DM as many of you as I can, just not all at once. My ideal size is 4-7 players per session.
- Long-term, world-shattering plots. So The Gentleman: Part III is not in the works. Yes they can be fun, but those kinds of plots tend to be plot-centric, not character-centric; anyone and everyone can be in them. I am looking to do something more intimate, which brings me to my first request…

Character backgrounds! If you have never sent one to the team, please do so – there’s a form somewhere. Alternatively you can PM them to me. If you have sent one in before, please send in an update! If your character(s) have a page on the wiki, please update it, and if they don’t, think about creating one – it’s not that hard, I am not that web-savvy and managed to do it for both of my characters. I am interested in facts about your PC before becoming an adventurer, things that have happened during their adventuring career, and future goals – in other words, information that I can use in DM events and perhaps even short-term plots. We did this pretty much all the time in TKL, and it is intensely fun for both the DM and the players. Every character has a story, and it is the DM’s job to help tease that story out and make it grow and become more real and more intertwined with the gameworld.

And now for my second request – use the calendar to post character-driven events! I am old-school in a lot of ways, and one of them is that I plan on DMing a lot more than I plan on playing – you probably will not see Gram or Deider of Pelar that much anymore. As much as I love my characters, I love DMing even more. But as I said before, I don’t want to be DMing large groups of people, so I don’t plan on posting a lot of events to the calendar (aside from the mandatory two a month). I do plan on being logged on as much as possible, though, so if I see player-posted event on the calendar and I am able to join it as a DM, then I will do so.

So that leaves my third and final request. I’ve just spent two pages telling you about me and what I want to do, but equally if not more important is… what do you want from me as a DM? Please post here or PM me regarding what you’d like to see from your DMs in Avlis 2018.

And last but not least, if you look back at some of my forum posts from a dozen years ago, you’ll notice that I had a tendency to be a huge asshole. No excuses – I was a huge asshole. But I’ve mellowed since then. This time around I’m going to try to avoid OOC posts as much as possible, with the exception of requests like these.

Thanks, and game on :D
I like gnomes.
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Re: DMing Avlis 2k18 Style

PostAuthor: Ronan » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:17 pm

Hello players!

The character goals template referenced in the above is right here:

viewtopic.php?f=423&t=131882
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Re: DMing Avlis 2k18 Style

PostAuthor: Vichan Lyonsen » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:24 am

I remember TKL fondly even if I didn't play as much as I might have liked, I did some building there and TKL was one of the first adopters of many of the tilesets we produced at Robinson Workshop. I for one look forward to Dieder returning to our DM ranks
I've spent most of my money on beer, fast women, and fast cars. The rest I just wasted .
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