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Inhabiting The Mind Of A Villain (D & D)

I originally conceived the main Villains (So to speak) for my Dungeons & Dragons 5e Module ‘Frost Rhealm’ back in April, 2017.

I stepped away from the project in Oct 2017, then returned to it once more in Jan 2019, completing/publishing it in Nov of 2019.

It was my first Module, but not my first Villain (‘s).

I wrote the beginning of my first Fantasy Novel when I was 10-11ish, and ran my first two D & D campaigns when I was 17-19, 29-30.

As part of my PrePublishing of ‘Frost Rhealm’, I created an ‘Audio’ Trailer.

It was then that it was suggested that I consider doing a Podcast.

Between August 2019 & Feb 2020 I’ve created a total of 7 Episodes of my ‘Frost Rhealm’ inspired story.

Recently I wrote Episode 8 when it hit me, I’d been following the Party heading to the ‘Frost Rhealm’ Fortress, and/or a large cave near it, and now I felt it was time to introduce the ‘True Villains’ of the story…

…which are the Villain’s from the actual Module.

When I started writing Episode 9 (Which I will likely record and publish prior to Episode 8), I felt myself immerse into the Wizard Nor’astat and more so Prince Tarov, the true master of said fortress.

First of all, I had no idea how much I related to the Prince.

Not in his darkness, but rather in his ‘Struggle’.

Side note, my favorite all time Villain is ‘Darth Vader’…

…talk about conflicted, and flat out cool.

This scene I began writing for Episode 9 took me directly into a moment I’d basically conceived but never actually wrote between the Wizard and Prince.

It was extremely fulfilling, and I am really looking forward to more scenes in the future, should the Party actually confront/interact with them.

My theory/general rule about ‘Good vs Evil’ stories is, it can only be as good as the Villain.

I mean, who cares about defeating a ‘Bad Guy’, if they’re lame…

…no matter how cool the Hero is.

Unless the Villain is supposed to be kinda lame/comedic.

Nuff said, I’ll leave you with this…

‘Be the Villain, when you play the Villain.’

DORAGON-

Art by Allen Childers @childersartfx (Twitter)

‘Frost Rhealm’ Podcast

‘Frost Rhealm’ Module PDF PRINT also available @ Amazon Print (US) & Print (UK)

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SHARE YOUR DUNGEONS & DRAGONS CHARACTERS, CAMPAIGNS, CREATOR CONTENT (Published/Streams/Podcasts) ON THIS SITE!

Reach Out To Me @ dragonkeep68@gmail.com, or my Twitter Account @Dragon_Ryder7 if you’d like to post some content!

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Dungeons & Dragons – Building Inner Worlds, While Our Outer World Shakes About

D & D by Candlelight, January 6th (Power Outage)

As a 30 year Dungeons & Dragons Player (Played in my late teens, late twenties, and now) I’ve been delving into the limitless imaginative world of D & D for quite some time

It’s always been my ‘pure’ place of creative expression

Primarily as a Dungeon Master, lately as both Player & DM

Let’s face it, the last several years on our planet have truly been challenging

From climate change, to rising tensions between countries, to public demonstrators/outcries, literally everywhere

For me D & D has never been an ‘escape’ like for many

For me it has been an unbridled landscape of imaginative exploration…

Storytelling…

…and theatrical portrayals

But reality keeps banging on the door, doesn’t it

Now more than ever we need our storytellers, and our stories

To come together in a world, inward, if not yet outward

Fortunately Dungeons & Dragons has truly blown up

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‘Stranger Things’

Between enormous amounts of written content created by ‘Wizards of the Coast’ itself…

…to Independent companies like ‘Kobold Press’

And thousands upon thousands of community members, throwing their creations up on DMsGuild…

…and DriveThruRPG

And thriving live streams like…

…Critical Role’, bringing the friendships, hilarity and immersive qualities of our game into the homes of so many who never really got what the big deal was about Dungeons & Dragons

To Podcasts & more

Our community is thriving

It’s coming together…

Perhaps helping to create a social template, one would hope our world might follow, or learn from someday

All I can say is, keep doing what you’re doing with hopes of a rippling effect that might echo across our real world

DORAGON-

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SHARE YOUR DUNGEONS & DRAGONS CHARACTERS, CAMPAIGNS, CREATOR CONTENT (Published/Streams/Podcasts) ON THIS SITE!

Reach Out To Me @ dragonkeep68@gmail.com, or my Twitter Account @Dragon_Ryder7 if you’d like to post some content!

Reign Of The Compassionate Nerds (D & D)

It’s funny, when I was a kid, I was extremely shy…

In fact, when I was at school, I barely spoke, and by the 8th grade, had missed nearly 1/3 of the year

Kids were not nice about this

And so I moved out of state to give living with my dad a go

It was better, but it was lonely

I remember as a kid, I was enthralled by the concept of Dungeons & Dragons

In fact, one of my Mom’s friends played behind closed doors with some of his friends, and I was always so intrigued

I longed to play when I was like 12-16, but I had no friends really, and the ‘nerds’ of the time, to be honest, spent more time arguing about rules, than actually playing

That’s when I came to the realization that if I was ever to actually play Dungeons & Dragons, I’d have to run it myself

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So I picked up the Red Book

I was intrigued by Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, but I wasn’t much of a Reader, so I started with the Basic Rules

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Followed shortly by the Expert Rules (Blue Book)

At some point, a guy my brother and I knew, invited us to play in his Warhammer RPG game, which was awesome

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He had a huge collection of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons books, and when he stepped away from the game, he gave them to us

So from that point forward, I started to weave in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Rules Etc. as well

I played in my late Teens & late Twenties, and it was amazing

But I never really fit in with the ‘D & D’ crowd

Not to be mean or anything, but more than just arguing over rules, they seemed to place their egos completely in the game

The guys that ran the games in particular, though they were great in some ways, were kinda out of control in regards to thinking they were flat out smarter/better than anyone else at the table

Those were my experiences though, not necessarily others

Anyway, In my 30’s it was ‘World of Warcraft’ for me, spent 4 1/2 years in there

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But my 40’s found their way to Dungeons & Dragons 5e

Initially through my Dungeons & Dragons Twitter Account, which lead me to it

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It also lead me to an extremely ‘inclusive’, and deeply friend based show, called ‘Critical Role’

I started watching on Episode 70ish of Season One, and did my best to catch it when I could

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But something I noticed about the Dungeons & Dragons Community, is there was less ‘meanness’.

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Less, ‘Elitism’, which was my original experience of the D & D community

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Sure, it’s still out there

But for the most part, I do believe, it is the ‘Reign Of The Compassionate Nerds’

Nuff Said

Thanks for Listening/Reading

DORAGON-

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Reach Out To Me @ dragonkeep68@gmail.com, or my Twitter Account @Dragon_Ryder7 if you’d like to post some content!

To Publish, Or Not To Publish… That Was The Question

In the beginning of 2017, I returned to Dungeons & Dragons after not really playing much since the 90’s…

I was quickly exposed to the 5e Rules, which I thought were aweseome

Shortly after, I started a Dungeon Master Vlog, and with it I began discussing my process when creating a Homebrew Campaign

This led to the creation of an Adventure called ‘Frost Rhealm’, which was based on an ‘Icy’ Fortress which lay between mountains in an extremely cold region

By the middle of the year in 2017 I began considering Self Publishing the Adventure, and even planned doing a Fund Raiser to pay for Art and Editing if needed

But what really stood in my way, was a concern that by Publishing a D & D Adventure, I might turn my favorite hobby into, ‘work’

I battled it for months, and in the end, sat it aside as I took a break from Social Media, which was where I had connected with the Dungeons & Dragons Community

The reason I took a break was personal, nothing to do with Dungeons & Dragons, or the Community, they were great

During that time I continued to play D & D, but did not work on ‘Frost Rhealm’

In January 2019, missing the D & D Community, I returned to Twitter

At that same time, I picked up ‘Frost Rhealm’, and for the next 10 months I worked on it

Including hiring an Artist to do art for me

All the while I was still a bit nervous about crossing that line between selling something, and playing the game

But on November 8th, I published, and have not regretted it

I also realized that, to a degree, Self Publishing Content for Dungeons & Dragons might have become a bit of a saturated market, in regards to we the D & D Community (Not the ‘Wizard’s of the Coast’ Company, who couldn’t generate enough, they do great work)

Why, because Dungeons & Dragons has really taken off

None the less, as much as we’d all like/love to make some money doing something we love, such as Writing/Creating Content for the greatest game on earth, the main reason I created ‘Frost Rhealm’, and will create other content, is because I’m a Storyteller, and want to share the Stories in my head with those that might appreciate it

Nuff Said,

DORAGON

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Dungeons & Dragons… The Ranger

Art by Allen Childers

Though Paladins are my favorite Class, Rangers have always ran a close second…

My first ever Ranger was an NPC Group Member I used when I ran my first ever Dungeons & Dragons group in my Teens

He had such a large shield, one of my players used to joke that behind the shield he would mix drinks like a bartender… Maybe you had to be there, lol

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He was largely inspired by Aragorn from ‘Lord of the Rings’, who was my favorite character in the Animated version years ago

Rangers are bad a$$ characters…

In a campaign I’ve been running for the last couple years, I have several NPC Group Members (Mainly because it’s a Single Player Campaign), one of them is a Hunter, one a Beast Master

Both are cool

The Beast Master has a Dire Wolf as his Animal Companion

When my Battle Master (Fighter) Character died in my second Campaign a couple weeks ago (I’m one of two Players in the Campaign), I created a New Character just in case he was unable to be brought back to life…

That Character was a Multi Class Ranger/Rogue…

As it turned out, he was Reincarnated, so my other Character will have to wait

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SHARE YOUR DUNGEONS & DRAGONS CHARACTERS, CAMPAIGNS, CREATOR CONTENT (Published/Streams/Podcasts) ON THIS SITE!

Reach Out To Me @ dragonkeep68@gmail.com, or my Twitter Account @Dragon_Ryder7 if you’d like to post some content!

Critical Role

Though I started playing D & D in the 80’s, and once again in the 90’s, when I reentered the game in 2017, it became very clear that ‘Critical Role’ had come onto the scene, and was making a huge impact

Especially towards New Players, and shattering preconceived notions of what Dungeons & Dragons is…

I started watching their First Season at around Episode 70, and slowly caught up, but never completely…

…and when I attempted to leap forward to the Finale of Season One, it was too emotional, I stopped watching it, lol

But I did jump in to their Second Season from the beginning, and have watched many of that Campaign.

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In the beginning, Travis’s portrayal of Grog in Season One was my favorite, what a great Character… So much heart, and raw silliness… And a bad a$$ in battle

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Having always been a Dungeon Master, I felt Matt was one hell of a Storyteller, and Content Creator… And no one could be more convicted at being, and doing good

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But it wasn’t until the Second Campaign that Laura Bailey really blew me away with her amazing Character Portrayal as Jester, she really set the bar for the rest of them right from the go

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From the beginning I could see that the ‘Lightning In The Bottle’ for ‘Critical Role’, was their friendships with one another

It’s so easy to get involved on every level with these Thespians of the Voice Over World, and though I don’t, and haven’t watched every one of their multitude of Episodes, it’s always good to know their there, from Sam’s Weekly Ads, Ashley’s soft spoken bad a$$-ness, Marisha’s endless pool of desire to go forward, Liam’s somber characters, or Taliesin’s elaborate Black TShirt collection, they deserve all that they are achieving

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SHARE YOUR DUNGEONS & DRAGONS CHARACTERS, CAMPAIGNS, CREATOR CONTENT (Published/Streams/Podcasts) ON THIS SITE!

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Why Paladins?

As far back as I can remember, I’ve Loved Paladins

When I first heard of Dungeons & Dragons growing up, I wanted to play one forever…

…but I could never find a group to play with, so I finally decided the only way I’d get to play, is if I ran a game myself

So I picked up the Basic Dungeons & Dragons (Red Box), then the Expert Set (Blue Box), then at a later date came into the possession of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Books, and slowly blended some of those rules with the others

I was always curious about Paladins, though they seemed complex

But because I was the Dungeon Master, I didn’t have an opportunity to play one with my First Group

The Second Group I ran was an Evil and/or Chaotic group, which gave me my first chance to create a Paladin as an NPC who was hunting the group down

I loved him

At a later date I played some characters in some online groups that didn’t work out, I may have played a Paladin then, but wasn’t with a group long enough to remember

In 2017, when I started using a Dungeons & Dragons Twitter Account I had created in 2016, I became aware of Dungeons & Dragons 5e, and was excited to try those rules out

I hadn’t played D & D in some time, so I started as a Player in a Group I formed, which I at last got a chance to play a Paladin

Sadly, that group didn’t last all that long, so I only reached Level 5

I’d say one of the main reasons I liked Paladins was the fact that I’ve always loved Knights

King Arthur etc.

But a Holy Knight seemed to draw me in more than playing a Fighter

Although I will admit, I was also very interested in Rangers in the beginning, largely because of Aragorn from ‘Lord of the Rings’

In fact in my First Group I ran, I ran several NPC Group Members, and my main one was a Ranger

In fact, in 2006 I started playing ‘World of Warcraft’, I wanted to create an Elven Paladin, but at that time they did not exist

So I chose an Elven Hunter instead, mainly because I wanted to be an Elf

Got that character to Level 20, then created a Human Paladin who became my main

At a later date ‘World of Warcraft’ created Horde ‘Blood Elves’, who could be Paladins, so I also created a Horde Blood Elf Paladin as well

In the end, my main Character was a Death Knight, which is basically a Magical Knight…

…not a Paladin, but Magical Knights are my thing

In my Main D & D Campaign I currently run, I run a Paladin as a NPC Ally, but still yearn to play a Paladin

In my Second Campaign, where I’m a Player, I wanted to do something different, so I created an Eladrin Battle Master Fighter, named ‘Rakin’

He died in my last session, but may be resurrected, we shall see

My hope in 2020 is to be in a 3rd Campaign, and finally play a Paladin…

…we shall see

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SHARE YOUR DUNGEONS & DRAGONS CHARACTERS, CAMPAIGNS, CREATOR CONTENT (Published/Streams/Podcasts) ON THIS SITE!

Reach Out To Me @ dragonkeep68@gmail.com, or my Twitter Account @Dragon_Ryder7 if you’d like to post some content!