Dragon Fest Theme: Collaborative Storytelling
As we bring about the Dragon Fest, we want to make known its core feature, collaborative storytelling, as our shared theme.
In many ways, a Dungeons and Dragons campaign is a tabletop roleplaying game. However, the campaign at its core is an adventure story. It is about a party of heroes, the protagonists, on a quest to defeat a villain and his minions, the antagonists. The adventure is set in an endless fantasy world. It has a central conflict that unites the party in its purpose. The heroes must bring their backgrounds and backstories to bear as they complete their quest. On this mission, they will have combat, roleplay, and exploration encounters, the rising action, until they face down the villain in the final moments, the climax. Victory is achieved or set back with the resolution. The adventure wraps up with a denouement, letting us know what will happen next for our heroes.
Yet, the best part of a Dungeons and Dragons adventure is not that it is a tale well-told. No, the best part is that this story is collaboratively spun. In this manner, a game builder has created a plot outline laid out with antagonists,a dynamic setting, and a strong premise in a campaign book and its maps. From there, a game master relays the premise to the players, presents the choices to be made, provides voices to the monsters and non-player characters, and resolves the encounters with dice and decisions.
Most importantly, the players come to the tables with their characters. They fill out their personal details. They use their skills and abilities to navigate the encounters and further their quests. They acquire proficiencies, armor, weapons, equipment, and spells needed to complete their mission. They form relationships with the party, related factions, and other parties. A player’s imagination is invested in this character. The player moves the token on the map interacting with others and the setting. The player writes a backstory based on game play becoming immersed in the story line. Lastly, the player finds a role for her character to belong and include others in the adventuring party. All of these choices made by the player makes the story its own unique and resplendent tale.
Check out dragonfest.ca for more details about the Dragon Fest.1