Grumpy Old GMs: Old School Style Fun in 5e: FREE to Watch on Discord

Dungeons & Dragons 5e on Discord, Owlbear Rodeo


Dungeons & Dragons 5e


Owlbear Rodeo

About the adventure

Welcome to the Discord tables of the Grumpy Old GMs. Jon Klement and the other G.O.G.'s can be found at IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE AN OBSERVER ONLY, JUST COME INTO DISCORD. PAYING PLAYERS PLEASE SIGN UP WITH StartPlaying.Games. Join our campaign's Discord! Open chat all the time. Everyone welcome to check out our games and our gaming community. Mystara is the world that TSR (the original company that owned D&D) grew out of the original D&D Red Box in the 1980's. I've been running my table based in Mystara since 1987 through my high school years, my college years, and 26 years of adult life since college. My children grew up at the table playing Mystara. This campaign here at StartPlaying.Games is YOUR invitation to join what is virtually an MMORPG by now. Hundreds of people have played in the same continuity for 34 years and still going. Player characters have risen to rule nations. Wars have been waged. Characters have gotten married to other characters and had player character kids. Characters have traveled back in time and messed up their own histories. Characters have become gods. Truly, anything is possible. More interested in low-level, beginner adventures? No problem. Mystara has tons of starting areas and low-level adventure hooks. Everything you do WILL affect the table's history going forward. Even if you only play in one session after Session Zero, you could end up being that one player whose character did that one thing that will be remembered forever. Although from time to time, the party has plane-traveled to Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Greyhawk or other D&D worlds, we always return to Mystara. What will your character do that will add to the legends of the bards?

Professional Game Master

Jon Klement


35 Reviews

Published Writer

40 years as a TTRPG player

40 years as a Game Master

413 games hosted

Brings Over 30 Gigabytes of Every D&D Published World (plus Rifts, Shadowrun, Marvel Superheroes, DC Superheroes, & Star Wars) to the table

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Additional Details

How to prepare

Discord is what I usually use. A mic is necessary. Typing text back and forth really wouldn't work too well. You can use physical dice or computer/app generated die rolls. I will probably ask at some point for you to email me a copy of your character sheet to help me DM for them better, especially if you play in the ongoing campaign. Even if you own no books and have never played D&D before, we CAN work with that. In such a case, though, realize that game play may be slower as we take the time to teach. Also, if you need teaching time, experienced players in the session who prefer a faster game may feel bored. It's ok. We're all noobs to things in life sometimes. If you're truly new, it might be good to have a session with your good friends who would understand and be patient with you, or be in a session with other new people who also need teaching time.

What I provide

I am not above sending screenshots of a page or two of a rulebook for certain situations, but I'm not sending out entire copyrighted works as a pirate. In some campaign worlds, there are character species, classes, spells, magic items, abilities, etc., that your character may get that are not in the commonly owned core books. If you're playing a rare character type or have a rare spell or magic item, I'll often send you a page here and there, especially if I can find it for you in a free wiki in a way that doesn't violate copyright.

Gameplay details

Safety Tools and Content Advisory Info You may have heard the old adage that working with groups of humans is like herding cats. This can certainly be true at a TTRPG table, especially one at which the players didn’t really know each other before they joined the campaign and who don’t really get to know each other outside the campaign either as friends, coworkers, classmates, or what have you. Let’s face it, sometimes there are innocent misunderstandings between people, sometimes there are conflicts in different expectations of playstyle, and sometimes, sometimes people are just jerks. For example, once I had to permanently ban someone from the Discord server for consistently showing up drunk and belligerent to the game. Safety Tool: PM the DM In our games, the most important safety tool for your use is the Discord private message feature. I personally have been pro-DMing full-time (40+ hours per week) since May 2021. That’s quite a lot of hours gaming. Here are some examples of real instances which have gotten handled by PMing the DM: Once, a rogue in D&D used slight of hand skill to hide some treasure from the party. Another player felt that this was “PVP” and talked to me about it privately. Then, I talked to the rogue’s player privately and all is now good. They still adventure, laugh, and play together. Some players founded a new time slot and a new table to avoid another player who was really bringing down their gaming experience. The player whom they wished to avoid wasn’t doing anything “wrong” per se. He wasn’t threatening anyone, or using profanity, or posting porn in the Discord thread, or behaving in any kind of bigoted way. In other words, he wasn’t doing anything bannable. He was just, simply…..annoying. In a private conversation, we found another timeslot that was good for the folks who preferred to not game with him, and problem solved, without hurting anyone’s feelings or offending anyone. In the beginning, in May 2021, players were allowed to roll dice any way they wished, including physical dice at home, apps on their phone, whatever. Eventually, several players contacted me on Discord about certain players whose characters never missed saving throws, never missed to-hit in combat, never bombed skill checks, and never did anything less than awesome top-end damage. This was really negatively impacting other people’s chance at enjoyment that they had paid for. After hearing them out, I instituted a couple of Discord dice bots that I like and now all dice rolls are public. Players then reached out privately to thank me and assure me that things were much improved. So, if there are any issues at our games that you think should be addressed, don’t hesitate to PM the DM. Chances are, it can be taken care of privately so that no one is embarrassed or put on display in front of their peers during a game, because that would be…...awkward for all. Together, with a little patience, discretion, and maturity, maybe we can herd cats, after all, in a direction that’s fun for everyone. :) Content Advisory “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women!”--Conan the Barbarian when asked “What is best in life?” “The most evil monsters in D&D aren’t drow or dragons or vampires or any of those things in the Monster Manual. The most evil monsters in D&D are humans beings, because there is no limit to what one human being will do to another human being.”--Ron Watson, the man who taught me how to DM In case folks haven’t noticed, most TTRPGs, especially D&D, are violent games. If a player wasn’t ok with pretend violence (slicing into enemies with swords, blasting enemies with magically conjured lightning, taking advantage of a distracted enemy for a rogue’s “sneak attack”, etc.), then they’re probably not playing D&D or most TTRPGs. That said, there are some topics of content that can make the game a more mature-themed fantasy as opposed to fantasy in say, an episode of My Little Pony. (There actually IS a My Little Pony TTRPG that focuses on problem solving without combat. It’s incredibly cute and my character is a pegasus. Don’t judge!) In many D&D worlds, there are cultures loosely based on historical Earth cultures as well as cultures imagined more whole cloth out of fantasy. Many of those cultures have institutionalized injustice, just as they did in real Earth history. The Empire of Thyatis in Mystara, for example, is a Roman Empire knock-off culture and has a huge and vibrant slave trade. Drow cultures based on Lolth are misandrist and matriarchal, while other cultures are misogynist and patriarchal. How player characters function in a world with widespread wrongness and unfairness gives them a chance to be the heroes and the fully-developed characters they can be. Sometimes heroes aren’t the toughest physical combatants in the land. Sometimes the heroes are the Rosa Parks’s, the Martin Luther King, jr’s, the Sparticus’s, and the William Wilberforce’s of the world, the ones who found a different path than to just shrug their shoulders and say, “I’m just one person. What can I do against an entire system?” They are the ones who took action anyway, and made a difference. There are themes that are unfortunately part of human nature and human experience: war, slavery, violence, racism, misandry, misogyny, and persecution of the “different” simply because it is different. In a realistically portrayed game world, with these things portrayed realistically, they are easily seen for what they are: wrong. They are not glorified, glamorized, romanticized, or excused. Whenever they may appear, their ugliness is on full display. While we do laugh and have a lot of fun in our games, there is a gritty side to my DMing style. One of my favorite villains to use is the Iron Ring, an international slave trade organization. They make great villains because it’s so easy to stir up players to hate them. They’re clearly evil. Also, since they are an international organization, they won’t go away simply because the PCs won a boss fight. There will always be new Iron Ring bosses. So, if you’re up for fun but gritty D&D, ask me to run D&D. If you’d like to try a world of literal unicorns and rainbows and non-combat centered encounters, ask me to run “Tails of Equestria”, the My Little Pony RPG, because I will. ;)

Content warnings
  • Ableism
  • Abuse
  • Alcoholism
  • Alcohol Use
  • Animal abuse
  • Animal Cruelty
  • Animal Death
  • Blood
  • Body Horror
  • Car Accident
  • Character Death
  • Child Abandonment
  • Child Death
  • Classism
  • Concentration Camps
  • Controlling Parents
  • Curing of Disabilities
  • Death
  • Drowning
  • Drugs (addiction, use, withdrawal)
  • Eating Disorders
  • Execution
  • Extreme Violence
  • Fire
  • Forced Blood Draining
  • Genocide
  • Gore
  • G-rated
  • Guns
  • Hangings
  • Hostages
  • Human Trafficking (adult only)
  • Illness
  • Insects
  • Kidnapping
  • Language/Cursing
  • Lifechanging Injury
  • Medical Issues
  • Memory Erasing
  • Mind alteration
  • Mind Control
  • Miscarriages/Abortion
  • Misogyny
  • Murder
  • Mutilation
  • Mutilation of Corpses
  • Nightmares about Traumatic Events
  • Pandemic
  • Panic Attacks
  • Paralyzation
  • Police Brutality
  • Prejudice
  • PTSD
  • Racial Profiling
  • Racism
  • Real World Religion
  • Scars
  • Seizures
  • Self-Harm
  • Seminar
  • Sexism
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Content
  • Sexual Predator
  • Slavery
  • Snakes
  • Spiders
  • Suffocation
  • Suicide
  • Talk of Superior Race
  • Terrorism
  • Torture
  • Trauma
  • Violence
  • Warfare
  • Witch Prosecution
Safety tools used
  • Breaks
How will character creation work

Characters can be created new, or they can be transfer characters. Did I say transfer characters? Yes! We've all had the experience in which the DM moved away, or changed shifts at work, or graduated, or got a significant other who doesn't appreciate gaming, etc., etc. So, your favorite character ever has had their sheet just sitting in a character folder ever since. :( Sad. Well, dust off that old sheet! At Session Zero, there is a 99% chance we can make it work!

Players can expect

  • Combat/Tactics: Medium
  • Roleplay: Medium
  • Puzzles: Medium
  • Experience Level: Open to all

Player reviews (35)

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Grumpy Old GMs: Old School Style Fun in 5e: FREE to Watch on Discord

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35 Reviews

Price per player-session
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Campaign Schedule
6 out of 6 seats filled
  • Tue, Mar 21, 2023, 11:00 PM - session 7
  • Timezone: UTC
  • Duration: 4 to 4 hours
  • Number of players: 1 to 6 players
  • Experience required: Open to all
  • Age: All Ages