We look over the two days of fun for D&D Live 2021 and what we as storytellers can take away from it.
We look forward every year to D&D Live. While the pandemic has changed its format, it is still good fun and filled with interesting stories. We love to hear these small, often humor-filled one shot games, as well as learn about new products that may be of interest to us as storytellers. Let’s take a look at the highlights!
The New Books
This D&D Live talked about three of their new books coming out. Depending on the styles of stories you prefer, you can benefit from any number of these.
The big announcement was Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons. Fizban is a much-loved character from the Dragonlance book series. This book focuses on a variety of dragons, expanding the types, the lore, and even offers more subraces of Dragonborn. It explains the creation of the Material Plane in terms of draconic powers. We were a fan of that since the lore in our world of Thread of Souls talks about dragon lairs leading to the creation of swamps, deserts, and mountains prior to the events of the Day of Sealing. This book is great for anyone that loves dragons and wants more of them in their stories.
They also discussed two recently revealed books. The first is The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. Do you like creepy carnival vibes? Things that look whimsical but are actually disturbing? This book is for you. It is centered on the plane known as the Feywild and expands the lore around that greatly. As fans of all the different planes in D&D, we definitely like books like this!
The final book is a mix of D&D and Magic: the Gathering in Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos. Let your magical student dreams come to life! You can balance classes, extracurricular activities, cliques, and adventures in this supplemental guide. This one caught our attention most of all and we will definitely be purchasing it when it becomes available.
There were a bunch of fun games throughout the two days. Our focus here is going to be on what storytellers can learn about running games, role-playing, and telling stories from each of these.
The Lost Odyssey: Last Light Table – This game was DM’d by Kate Welch and had Jack Black, Reggie Watts, Lauren Lapkus, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, and Tiffany Haddish all playing. This game was a good demonstration that you don’t need a complex storyline or a lot of seriousness to play a fun oneshot. As always, Kate Welch does great in rolling with the antics of energetic new players to keep the story going forward while also allowing them to goof off.
The Chaos Carnival Table – DM’d by Aabria Iyengar with players Xavier Woods, Ember Moon, Mace, and Tyler Breeze. A mix of the creepy and spontaneous, this game showed you can have silly characters thrust into very dark situations and it still works. Aabria’s character voices are always a pleasure to listen to as she is a great actor.
The Fluffybonks and Guzzleshucks Table – DM’d by Amy Vorpahl with players DrLupo, Negaoryx, Ify Nwadiwe, Kevin Pereira, Adam Sessler, and Fiona Nova. Venturing into the depraved world of the Feywild, this story was a good example of how a very diverse cast of characters – some being quite silly and others being quite serious – can still come together to drive plot forward. Amy rolled with multiple “delays” to speed up the story and keep things on track within the time limit gracefully, a great lesson on DM’ing.
The Palace of the Vampire Queen Table – DM’d by B. Dave Walters with players Patton Oswalt, Nicke Peine, Marisa Baram, Allyson Snyder, and Jacob Houston. We have played in B. Dave’s games before and what we love best about his storytelling style is that he has a way of making non-combat situations feel tense, dynamic, and that there is plenty to do. This was the case in this game centered around a ballroom-esque invitation to a palace where things were more than they seemed.
Beadle & Grimm’s Faster, Purple Worm! Kill! Kill! Table – DM’d by Jon Ciccolini with Bill Rehor, the players were Seth Green, B. Dave Walters, Deborah Ann Wohl, and Xander Jeanneret. A benefit for the charities that money was raised for across these two days, this game was a good example that it is okay to offer difficult situations and kill characters if the story calls for it.
All in all, this was another fun D&D Live event that shares of love of stories, of ever-growing worlds, and of helpful products and tools so you can continue to tell what is in your heart.