It's 8:23 AM. I'm not dressed, I haven't showered, and I should be reading The Lost Mines of Phandelver. Not the entire thing, just the section on Cragmaw Castle. I'm running a sandbox for my girl friend to introduce her to the concept of D&D and she chose to go after some goblins.
"That was really fun," she said.
"I'm glad you liked it."
"LOved it." Sometimes she holds down the shift key too much. "Felt like I was playing Dark Souls."
Greatest compliment I've ever gotten as a DM. Only compliment, now that I think about it. I've been DMing for ten years or so (off and on, mostly off) and have had a few different groups, but she has been the most enthusiastic. Especially after how skeptical she was at first.
Even writing this is a distraction from reading up on the Castle's defenses. A large part of me is like "just wing it" but I don't want to.
It's been great though, introducing someone to D&D. It's a very home-ruled system, using the Swords and Wizardry White Box, and using Wonder and Wickedness for the spellcasting. It creates a very strange, deadly world. Spellcasters get one spell and if they push it strange things happen. And while the fighter as 6hp, the thief only has 4, and a simple goblin arrow can do 4 damage. There's practically no bonus to hit at first level unless you rolled good on your stats (which she kinda did/n't).
I'm not sure if it's the vibe I'm looking for quite yet, but it's getting there.
There's two things this makes me want to talk about:
1. The idea that rules can create a world and
2. How you can just be fighting goblins and still have a blast
I often forget how to have fun when I'm designing an adventure or a dungeon. I get this image in my mind that things have to be a certain way, or more so, I feel like things have to be strange, or weird, or at least different than other things that are published. So picking up Lost Mines of Phandelver and just snagging a few dungeons from it and plopping them into my sandbox world, closer to the main town, I think creates this gradient of oddity.
It's an idea I think I want from my world, especially in this part of my setting. "The further you get from town, the stranger things get."
This blog post is useless. Just wanted to get my thoughts in order.