GM looking for players in West Bloomfield, MI for Friday nights

BF1453

Villager
Game: D&D 5e
Group type: Face-to-face
Experience: veteran (new players welcome, I have been introducing players to gaming for decades and am perfectly happy to have new players in the mix )
Location/Timezone: West Bloomfield, MI
Schedule: Weekly (aspirationally, I've got a kid and family stuff so I think we'll be doing good to get 30 sessions a year, semi-weekly though would be fewer than I would like after the inevitable need to cancel some sessions for other commitments)

A flash of lightning revealed that the dark expanse before you wasn't just the night sky obscured by storm clouds but rather the dark cliffs that marked the coast of the great city. Your brain seems to halt for a moment as you realize the lights ahead aren't stars, they are the lights of a great city. But those lights! They go immensely high and far. You had heard tales of the city, of course, that the entire canyon was filled with buildings, great manufactories powered by the river and immense tenements, that the walls of the canyons and cliffs were riddled with tunnels and inhabited by hordes of goblinoids, and that rising above it all was the Dark Lord's fortress. But the immensity of it all! And somehow, you are supposed to keep this all together. Somehow keep the nobility of the upper city from uniting enough to revolt while making things better for those in the lower city, or at least prevent mass death as the chaos of the Dark Lord's death threatened to overwhelm the Empire that he once ruled. The impossible had been achieved once when the Dark Lord was destroyed, but looking at the city you feared the impossible will have to be achieved a second time.

This is an urban campaign in a homebrew setting that asks the question, what happens after the Dark Lord, Sauron or whomever, is destroyed by the heroes? The armies are still there, the infrastructure that supplied them still there, as are the generals and the administrative apparatus that was able to field such enormous armies. Players will be a group of trouble shooters specialized in dealing with magical threats. You had previously done this in the military struggle to free the world from the Dark Lord's tyranny, now you are applying these skills to try to hold things together now that he is gone. The campaign takes place in the former capital of the Empire, your characters know little about it other than rumours, it is a center of trade and manufacturing, it has an enormous magical school that produced magical items and war machines, dark gods are worshiped throughout the city, the nobility are all magic users, and it's generally a very dangerous place inhabited by immoral people.

I run my campaigns in a collaborative, improvisational, sandbox style. I emphasize role play over combat and I like to utilize character backgrounds to drive story hooks and plot points. I look upon gaming as a collaborative endeavor, while I will be the DM I will work closely with you to identify the play styles the group prefers and to develop plots that interest both the players and their characters. While I emphasize these things I also realize that players vary in their willingness to contribute, with some wanting to greatly elaborate on their backgrounds while others just want to show up and play. Both are OK.

I have filled in enough details of the city to give me a physical environment and various factions with their own goals, strengths, and weaknesses for the players to interact with but I have left many of the details vague so that they can be developed during gameplay, examples would be the details of the Dark Lord and what the world is like outside of the city. At the start of the campaign I will be running some straightforward adventures to let you get to know the setting and the major players, things like the school of necromancy's senior prank got out of hand and now there's a zombie alligator problem in the sewers, but as the game progresses I will make things more complicated, taking on one adventure means another faction is able to progress its plans freely, you may have to ally with someone distasteful to oppose another group, but that leaves that group more powerful and a potential problem later, other situations of this sort.

I also want to make sure that my campaign table is open to all and a place where everyone is comfortable to game. Occupying a city is a potentially fraught storyline, especially when that city is the capital of the setting's great villain. My goal is to tell fun adventure stories in a place with lots of problems to solve, the setting starts fairly dark but this is a campaign about making things better and heroes making a real difference. This is more like the occupation of Nazi Germany by allied forces, not the occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan. I do make my villains bad people, but I am not the type of GM who is going to linger on the dark or disturbing actions of those people, that stuff will be off screen (and I will avoid even mentioning things that I know many people find disturbing, no need to mention the specifics). I like the idea of safety tools but don't have any preferences of the various options, if you do please let me know.

I am hoping to form a group that will stick together for a long time. My last in person game lasted about two years, since moving to Michigan I have run or played in a few online games but decided that the format really wasn't for me, something is just missing when it isn't face to face. I did find that I burnt out a bit toward the end of the last campaign so I hope players will be open to starting a new campaign in a different setting to keep things fresh if the game goes on for a long time, I would rather switch things up than try to keep running the same thing after burnout. I almost always run custom settings, I have quite a bit of material I put together over the past few years while the little one grew up enough to have the kind of stable schedule that would allow me to put together a gaming group and I would like to use some of it.

I plan to run the game out of my house, right after the game is bed time for my daughter so I don't have much flexibility on the time slot. Maybe I could try a different day if Fridays just won't work. My wife doesn't like the idea of complete strangers in the house so we will have a session zero in a local bar, I have one in mind but I am open to suggestions. We will go over character creation, do some collaborative background and world building, and talk about what you would like to see in the game and the kinds of storylines that would interest you.

(You can e-mail me at tzimiskes969@gmail.com with any questions)
 
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