Over the next few days, Dungeon Bash will introduce the Jury Panelists in more detail, together with some words from the panelist themselves regarding what they hope to see in a dungeon. Today, we introduce Jason from the Neo Tokyo Project and co-founder of the RPG Day Singapore Movement!
Jason’s love affair with Dungeons & Dragons began more than 20 years ago, with a hand-me-down 1983 Red Box. Since then, he has terrorized numerous players both on- and offline as Dungeon Master. He contributed to the Stygian D&D magazine and numerous Dungeons & Dragons fan community projects at the crest of the OGL wave, and was a staff writer for Realms of Evil Games Publishing in its heyday.
Presently, he plots world domination as the Overlord of Neo Tokyo Project, Singapore’s premier pop culture marketing collective. He is also the producer of popular art convention Doujin Market and co-founder of the RPG Day Singapore movement.
Jason insists he’s a social rogue (though everyone knows he’s a bard), loves cunning wordplay, and believes that “Vicious Mockery” is the best spell ever.
Don’t be original.
Lots of designers will fall into the trap (though it’s only a DC 13 Wisdom save) of trying too hard to be original. They will spend hours agonizing over unnecessarily complex puzzles, attempting to design clunky new mechanics, and planning unintuitive encounters.
They will miss the most important point – that they’re entertainers. They will forget that how the audience thinks, what the audience likes, and what the audience identifies with are bigger than hubris. Than self-indulgence.
They will forget that they are shaping a narrative that tells the audience’s story. Not their own. They will forget that it’s okay to be pedestrian. That it’s fine to be formulaic and to cater to the average gamer, and that it’s okay to keep it simple.
Don’t be them.
Don’t be too caught up trying to redefine genre conventions. Don’t shy away from tropes – in fact, embrace them and subvert them. Accept the familiar. Understand its value. Use it.
Engage and excite by presenting what the audience already knows in a novel way.
Show your audience a good time.