An Open Table MegaDungeon

In preparing to run an open table of Barrowmaze I thought I’d use this space to jot down my notes.

First off, the only thing that qualifies me to DM is the fact I’m willing to do it. While I’ve been playing D&D since the 1979 Holmes edition I’ve primarily been a player. This will be a learning experience for me, and running an open table mega-dungeon puts a nice curve on it.

The table. An open-table is a style of game that allows players to drop-in and drop-out with no standing commitment. There is no fixed day of play, instead the DM schedules a day and invites players to show up. I chose this style of table over a fixed group because it bypasses much of the scheduling issues that arise with planning sessions around multiple peoples schedules. In this case, I plan a date and invite whoever can come.

The setting. I chose Barrowmaze because of the multiple entrances/exits to the dungeon which characters need to make sure they end each session back at town. Plus, there’s lots of undead which I dig. The book is designed to be picked up and played, session run right from the book. This will make it easier for me in regards to prep.

The game. Barrowmaze has both a D&D 5th edition version and a Labyrinth Lord (D&D basic/expert clone) version available. While there’s a number of things to like about 5e, I feel it’s extremely weighted down by rules and a glut of options. I’ve seen new players totally unsure of what to do when looking at all the options on their sheet even just for a level 1 character. For a game table intended for folks to be able to pop-in, create a character, and delve a dungeon I feel the simplicity and speed of the basic/expert rules is the way to go. I’ll be running Necrotic Gnome’s Old School Essentials which is a modern design of the old-school basic/expert D&D rules. Plus, the basic rule book is free. Free is good for bringing in new players.

The players. I’m hoping to attract new players through social media, flyers left at local comic/game shops and venues, and through my home community newsletter. I’ll be directing people to a website where they can sign up for email notifications of games along with RSVP.

‘Nuff for now.