Welcome back, Outlander, for some Dungeons & Dragonscampaign opener alternatives to the classic tavern option, a nice interlude before I return to my Mythic Ecology series. Tired of starting your campaigns in the same way? Here’s 16 alternatives for you Dungeon Masters, and a framework to evaluate them. Each pair has a more grimdark option as well, for those looking for a grittier game.
Dungeon Master Player Characters. If you’ve played Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder long enough, you might have encountered a time when a Dungeon Master or Game Master tried to run their own character alongside the party. I’ve thought about this topic for awhile, having run DMPCs myself, and since Wizards of the Coast recently published their guide to running Sidekicks in D&D 5e, I figured it made sense to go into detail. Now, whereas the humble Hireling sidekick is a glorified waterboy played by a Player, a DMPC is a more capable character, perhaps even an adventurer in their own right. I figured I’d give my tips for any DM or GM out there who wants to run a DMPC properly. People like Sly Flourish have addressed at length mostly why you shouldn’t run them, and I recommend getting familiar with that reasoning. But, contrarian that I am, I think D&D 5e can actually work decently well with an occasional DMPC. How so? Well, let’s find out!