How to run an old-school open world D&D campaign like Gary Gygax

Originally published at: How to run an old-school open world D&D campaign like Gary Gygax | Boing Boing


hahahah I absolutely love when his son shows up and blatantly contradicts some of his points, and the dad can’t conceive of doing things that way.

cued up here: Gary's Gygax's Lost Campaign Rules (Ep. 247) - YouTube


Ben Robbins’ original “West Marches” campaign blog posts:

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Currently running two campaigns at once : the first, for my own game system and own game universe, lets the players guide the action. There are no classes, races and levels and I rarely throw dice around. The players love it, they feel involved; the second is my own reimagining of the Dark Sun universe (or, planet, rather) and we started with a Funnel-type session 0 where 3 players rolled four 0-level characters each and were thrown in the arena. The ones that survived gained a level and are ready for session 1. I threw in random monsters and had them pick what spell was to be read by the Vizir’s assistant to affect the arena floor. It was fun.
My take, from day one being a DM is 50 % creation 50 % improv. The players make the game go forward. I try to reel them back sometimes (to prevent stupid death unless the player was really stupid) but rarely push them forward.
In the Dark Sun campaign I built a tree of probability and each branch is a 1D6 dice roll with a one-paragraph description. The locations are already designed but the action is not.
The monsters are sometimes made on the spot with my own 2D10 ‘random monster table’ and a bunch of dollar store critters.
I miss Gary very much and I wish I could exchange e-mails with him like I did 25 years ago.
Thanks for the OP.


Been running a pretty west-marches style campaign for a couple years now and it’s great, although it does make me miss a more narratively driven campaign in a couple ways, but ultimately it’s been a huge boon for scheduling and all that during the pandemic.

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