Redditor Explains How WWE Is The Best Dungeons & Dragons Guide
It turns out Vince McMahon, the vile boss of the WWE, would make a great Dungeons & Dragons DM. That’s because the basic plotline of wrestling events, love it or hate it, is based around some of the most universal storytelling techniques. To put it simply, if you build up villains with extreme personality and make liberal use of gimmicks, your game will always be exciting.
This discovery was brought to light on the DM Academy subreddit, a place where Dungeon Masters can go to share or partake in tips. Some give advice on picking the right monster for an epic battle, others might ask for tips on doing accents without being offensive. A redditor with the handle u/jeffjeffries77, however, wrote a huge guide on how to create “Pay-Per-View Worthy Adventures.”
The post beings with u/jeffjeffries77 explaining that, when they got into DMing, they did what new DMs often do–they wrote villains they thought were complex and battles they thought would be strategic. But they soon found that their sessions lacked a certain sense of climax. That’s when they remembered their time working with the WWE. In the ring, it’s all about building hype.
Two crucial aspects of that build are establishing the big bads and letting the heroes get overconfident.
For a campaign’s main villain, u/jeffjeffries77 suggests giving them one or more nicknames and a gimmick. He gives the example of famous wrestler Undertaker, who is also known as The Lord of Darkness or The Demon of Death Valley. That whole death motif is important as well, as it immediately gives him a recognizable aesthetic and air of dread. Fantasy stories have had success with this tactic as well. Game of Thrones characters have nicknames that speak to their exploits on the battlefield. Lord of the Rings’ Sauron is defined by that ominous eye. Your D&D villain can achieve epic status if you give them a mysterious past, a legendary nickname, and a distinguishing theme.
When it comes to the heroes of wrestling, they can’t lose. They’re living legends… until they get beat. When a headliner finally gets KO’d, the audience knows it just got real. Same goes for D&D player characters. In their sessions, u/jeffjeffries77 has bandits run in terror when a paladin drops their smite. By having NPCs quake in fear of the players, you can build a legend around them. This has the double effect of providing the power fantasy D&D players often crave, and setting up a shocking moment when the new villain wipes the floor with them. There’s no better way to show how powerful a villain is then having them dominate the supposedly invincible heroes.
There’s a lot more in the actual post, including how to use minor villains and how to surprise even the most seasoned players. If you want to run an epic D&D campaign, it’s worth taking a lesson from one of the biggest hype machines in entertainment.
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