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DM, Design Master

Happy International TableTop Day everyone! And what better time than now to bring D&D back to my design talks? One of my most recent role models has been Matthew Mercer, voice actor and Dungeon Master for Critical Role, as well as a DM god in general. Often when I’m watching the show, I’m thinking, “What can’t Mercer do?” And through my shower thoughts, I’ve started to think of design and dungeon mastering as visual storytelling. Being a DM myself, I can attest to how both design and DMing use similar skillsets. How do you get the information you want across, while presenting it in a concise, yet entertaining manner? Though the stories we tell through design don’t seem nearly as interesting as adventurers fighting dragons, it is still up to us, the “design masters” to weave that tale and drop hints for the audience to figure out what to do next. It’s not easy, it’s not for everyone, but it can yield great rewards.