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Hi everyone! I’m a DM starting out and really want to include a variety of identities in my gameplay but can’t afford a sensitivity consultant. It’s a private friends game (we’re doing it for fun not for money) but I wanted to be accurate and non-offensive. So if you have an identity or knowledge of one of these identities please let me know if there are any ways I can improve my portrayal of these characters. Note: I hold the identities of cisgender female, bisexual, mentally ill, survivor, and psychological disabled.


Setting: The land of Slumber (land of unconscious mind, land of sleep, dreams, and nightmares - drawing inspiration from Fantasy High Sophomore year the characters are on the island of Halstruss - the horrific part of the unconscious, involving nightmares).


Character 1: Mila (trans-female, bisexual, of Indian descent, Tabaxi, barbarian), she’s the keeper of the fearsome beasts (any and all nightmare creatures, involving real animal phobias such as dogs, birds etc to more dangerous animals such as jaguars, bears etc to finally mythological creatures such as Wyverns and other creatures I just made up). She is calm, blunt, and incredibly diplomatic, also is a political ally and friend to two PCs. Chaotic neutral.

Character 2: Puck (they/them, nb, pan, has alopecia, trickster character -based on Irish/Celtic myths) also any ally character, Puck is going to be set in the more mythological part of fear and Halstruss. They are going to be the kind of guide character through this area, so another ally of the PCs. In order to gain their help, the PCs are going to have to grant them a favour to be decided later (again drawing from Irish/Celtic folklore surrounding Fae and Puck) - they’re more of a true neutral - really partially helping the PCs to piss of the Queen’s of the realm. Rebellious, scrappy, and persuasive.

Character 3&4: the Seelie and Unseelie queens - lesbian relationship based on the on-again, off-again relationship between Seelie and Unseelie Fae - pissed off at Puck bc of allowing non-Fae creatures in their real. Lawful good characters, looking to protect their realm from the big bad character.

I’m still working on characters, but let me know any feedback you have pls!!! Thank you guys so much!!!

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Tip One: find a system with memorable rules. It doesn’t matter how good the system is if you can’t remember how to do the things you need to do. It’s best if you use a system you’ve been in as a player before - chances are, you remember how to play, and can just add on to that. Additionally, don’t be afraid to let your players remember things. Trust them to be responsible, and call them out if they won’t.

Tip Two: remember that you can play fast and loose with those rules. If you realize a combat encounter is too much, lower the thresholds to hit the enemies, make it harder for the enemies to land blows, create some kind of environmental advantage - you can even straight-up make the enemies flee if you have to. On the flip side, in non-combat encounters, you can just… have interesting things happen, if it’s what the story needs. Just don’t abuse them, really.

Tip Three: Communicate with your players. I cannot possibly stress this enough. Before you even start the campaign, sit down with all your players at once and have a meta-discussion about what everyone wants out of the campaign. Are you there to tell a story? Are you there to fight baddies? Are you there to explore and discover? These things aren’t inherently in conflict, but everyone has to be on the same page about the campaign overall. Dive into specifics once you have the broad strokes about what people are here for - what kind of story are we telling, do we want this to be player-driven adventure or mission-driven, et cetera.

As an example: I recently had this discussion with my Shadowrun party. Almost universally, we agreed that we were playing to tell a compelling story - emphasis on almost. One player was there to do awesome stuff in-character. Coincidentally, this was the player who suggested Shadowrun in the first place, because he liked the idea of big dice pools. His character was vaguely specialized towards combat and stealth, but in his stats rather than his skills. So with a little haggling, we agreed that we would play to tell a compelling story with plenty of epic character action. Another player mentioned that he wanted to do less immediate mission stuff and instead focus on the characters, and maybe in the future make it so that characters could seek missions to do things they’d already like to do. Like rob a specific bank.

Tip Four: Remember that you’re a player too. You’re not the party’s dancing monkey, and neither are you their overlord; you’re there to play just as much as they are. It is not party versus GM, and your needs and desires are just as important as anyone else’s.

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In watching critical role it’s always so absurd the magic shop runs out of goods. What is a shop without wares?

So here’s a little idea to keep your magic shop full and yet give your players nothing more than they’d otherwise find.

Magic items for handicaps: glasses to make the blind see, the colorblind see color, earrings that make the deaf hear, a pillow that hovers a foot over the ground and can carry a single person at a slow speed. Great for those who can’t walk but too limited to catch your player’s interests.

Items that rich people would totally buy but have little to no use for adventurers: a necklace that makes you more visually appealing to those who see you, one that makes you sing like an angel regardless of your singing skills, an item that can be used once a day to attract all cats withing a 100ft range towards you, an item that lets you change the color of the clothes you wear, an item that glows when the person you fancy is nearby (give it to your crush and find out who they like!), a goblet that when drank from causes the drinker to create bubbles instead of words for the next ten minutes, armor that changes color depending on your % hp left, armor that leaks honey or some other random substance every time the wearer is hit.

Your shop will be full at all times, most of those things will be expensive so if the party does decide to buy one of these, they won’t have money left for more important things like potions and weapon or armor buffs.

The magic system in d&d leaves opportunity for imagination to go wild, so fill up your local magic shop with items no player will ever need. Just because you can.

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Here is a short DnD story.

-In order to figure out how to get to the Underdark, a fellow player and I tried to summon another player’s Divine Daddy (God/Long Lost Parent). We set up burning candles, because they are a fire god and are obsessed with fire, and tried to summon him. However, we kept rolling low until the point where we were performing patty cake. He appeared out of pity.

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