Yes, I'm covered in blood. Yes, some of it is my own. Yes, I might have had a few too many drinks that night. But do you really want someone describing your party's fight in a tavern who doesn't know what a bar brawl is actually like? Let me tell you of the days of high adventure! I've been doing this for a decade now -- running D&D 5e, not getting into bar fights -- so you'll find a very experienced dungeon master in me. I thoroughly enjoy helping both new and veteran players realize their characters, then putting those characters to the test. I welcome homebrew and happily work with anyone to bring to life a fair vision of the character they want to play even if that vision has not previously been rendered through the class mechanics of the core books. Expect a good balance between social interactions, cinematic combat scenarios, involved exploration... and loot. Expensive, rare, magical loot. What's an adventure without a big old pile of shiny at the end of it? I specialize in incorporating a player's character concept and background into the story I run. Are you an escaped Thayan slave turned rogue? Perhaps you'll bump into your old master somewhere down the line and exact a bit of revenge. Did you accidentally burn down the orphanage in Waterdeep in which you were raised, practicing your nascent sorcery? Maybe as you refine your evocation skills, you'll be given the opportunity to make right this misdeed for which you've never forgiven yourself. As a young sailor, were you tossed overboard during a terrible storm off the Sword Coast? Mayhap in your new life as an accomplished fighter, you'll reunite with the captain who had been more a father than an employer. One important ground rule: Chaotic evil PCs are forbidden at my table. This is an alignment for monsters, and monsters don't play well with others. Likewise, keep this spirit of cooperation in mind if you're thinking of portraying the ubiquitous, brooding, silent character with a dark past. Even if you're just pretending to be a jerk, everyone else still has to spend three very real hours with that jerk. Besides, in real life, the people I know who've had the worst things happen to them are often the most fun to have a beer with. A dark character with a horrible past can still be a fun hang. Let's try to spend three hours a week pretending to be something we'll probably never actually get to be in real life: Heroes. It's therapeutic.
Some DMs are impartial referees. That's true of me too, but only to an extent. I'm like an honest referee who was born in the team's home town. I call things down the line, but I'm still rooting for the players. I may be the referee of this game, but I'm also the cheering fans. If I see a call that can go either way, I'm probably coming down on the side of the home team. Part of this is because I balance my combat scenarios toward the deadly side of things. My all time favorite sessions as a player are the ones in which I've thought, "Oh, man. We're actually going to die," but then we manage to scratch out a win. It's pretty hard to actually kill players in 5e anyway, so I don't pull my punches when I add monsters to the map. Expect stiff competition and cathartic victories. I try to avoid saying things like, "12, that just hits. Max damage though, you hit me for 11." Rather, I try to hear the story the dice are telling, then express that story to my players. I'd rather take that roll above and instead say something like, "Your sword barely gets past the goblin's shield, but when it does, bullseye. You plant the blade right in its heart, and it's dead before it hits the ground." I love roleplay, and I don't see any reason RP has to stop when combat starts. I think players who aren't into combat often don't enjoy it because they're used to scenes that play out less like their favorite films and more like listening to an IRS audit. I grew up on movies like Die Hard and Bad Boys and Point Break, and Spider-Man is one of my all-time favorite comic characters. I love when the hero finds time between punches to throw down a little cash money smack-talk on the bad guy.
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