Thanks for joining me!

So – first things first – who am I?  And why do I think you might be interested in my musings?

I’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons since the early 80s, when I started with the BECMI boxed sets.  After one session with a friend where he introduced me to The Caves of Chaos, we quickly switched roles and I became DM thereafter.

I ran games through the rest of my time at school, but when I went to university, other things took precedence and my few attempts to get games going failed. Time passed and I went through the usual experiences – work, children, committees…

A couple of years ago (in mid 2016), my children asked me about Dungeons and Dragons and asked me to run a game for them. I dug out my books, they created characters, and sent them to clear out Caldwell’s Castle.  My son was hooked, and now runs his own games for his friends.  My wife and daughter not so much ūüôĀ

I researched the current state of Dungeons and Dragons, and found 5e, the beginners set and The Mines of Phandelver.  Then the Players Handbook, the DMG, the Monster Manual, …  I also started re-reading the Mystara Gazeteers, starting with GAZ1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos, of course, and filled in the gaps in my collection thanks to DriveThruRPG.

A year later, I had come to accept that I was never going to interest my wife or daughter, so I decided to search for possible players here in Edinburgh. I came across ORC – Open Roleplaying Community Edinburgh, advertised for players, and started up a campaign using Creighton Broadhurst‘s Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands set in the pass between Threshold and Verge – see the Karameikos sessions of my Melestrua’s Mystara adventure log on Obsidian Portal.

Towards the end of the year, there were a group of people asking on ORC for a regular game, so I volunteered to run a second campaign, and this time placed it in GAZ11 The Republic of Darokin. That’s also on Obsidian Portal and so far has been complete home-brew – look for the Darokin sessions.

I also ran several play-test sessions for Kobold Press’s forthcoming Creature Codex. This proved to be a great way of experiencing higher level 5e characters, spells and strategies, since I played one-off sessions with 3rd-, 4th- and 7th-level characters. That’s a step up from my BECMI days!

Over time the membership of these two campaigns has varied, and recently several members of both felt the pressure of time. And to be honest so did I. With two different campaigns and a session every week I always felt behind on preparation and that I wasn’t able to give it and my players the attention and experience it deserved. So we are merging the two campaigns, starting next Monday…

I also have a third campaign running. This was a group who put up a plaintive post on ORC after their GM vanished into the ether, leaving them with their 3rd-level characters but no campaign (he was running a home-brew) and no-one to GM. I met them and volunteered to pick up the pieces. But neither they nor I knew anything about their previous GM’s world, so I started with a Deus ex Machina where I dropped them into a swamp in Karameikos, then after a conversation with a mud mephit had them captured by lizard folk. That campaign is still going separately on a fortnightly basis.

I have developed various things during my time building up these campaigns, as well as experience and thoughts, so I have started this blog as a place where I can share. I was going to wait a bit longer, but The Kind GM‘s #RPGaDay post’s got me thinking that’s a good way to introduce myself. And it’s RPGaDay time now. So I know I’m a little bit late, but I’m going to try to catch up.

Please follow along…

Ian (Melestrua)

Legal notice: Melestrua’s Musings is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ¬©Wizards of the Coast LLC.


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