“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw

For the latest news and information on my public DnD groups see my Meetup page and my facebook group

What is Dungeons and Dragons?

Dungeons and Dragons is the world’s most popular table-top role-playing game and was first published in 1974. DnD has always been played throughout the past 30 years but is now enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity due to shows like Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and The Big Bang Theory. What was once seen as a ‘geeky’ game played by boys in basements is now played by people of all ages (including a few notable celebrities) and boasts many ‘live-play’ events on YouTube and Twitch.

DnD is a co-operative storytelling game. It is not a board game in the traditional sense. Here is a simple explanation of how it works:

Each player has a character that they get to play, and they have a sheet of paper with information about that character and their skills. The dungeon master (or DM) describes a situation and then it’s up to the players to tell the DM what their characters do. If it’s something straightforward, like “I walk through that door,” then the DM just narrates the result. If it’s something that the character might or might not succeed in doing, like “I try to pick the lock,” then the DM might ask the player to roll some dice to determine if the character succeeds or not. Once players realize that, for the most part, they are not restricted by turns and a set route on a board, and that they can do anything within the bounds of what their character can do, the true wonder of DnD starts to take hold and they see how different a game it is from anything they might have tried before.

The ideal group size is around 6 players plus the DM. The DM runs the session, narrates the story, controls the monsters and other characters and ultimately makes sure everyone is having fun!

Bespoke sessions for adults

Finding people who want to play DnD is usually not too difficult. Finding someone who wants to take on the role of DM can be trickier. The DM is the narrator and the referee. The DM runs the monsters and other characters the players may encounter. The DM needs to know something of the world in which the characters are playing, the towns and villages they may travel through, the schemes of the villains, the goals of the heroes and what lies in the darkest dungeons. The DM needs to be prepared for when the players decide not to explore the old church (that the DM has carefully planned out) and instead go shopping for magic potions. In short, being a DM can be a lot of work.

What if you have a group of players but no one wants to DM? What if you’d like to DM but want a few sessions as a player under your belt first? What if someone close to you has always wanted to try DnD and they have a birthday coming up? That’s where a DM for hire comes in (or me to be precise!).

I can offer:

  • Bespoke one-off sessions for you and your friends/family in the comfort of your own home
  • ‘Learning the basics’ sessions
  • A bespoke birthday session tailored to the interests of the birthday person
  • A series of gaming sessions as a mini-campaign
  • A variety of different gaming styles from high adventure to gritty and realistic
  • A variety of settings including the land of faerie, urban adventures, pirates ahoy, gods and monsters, frozen wastes, undead crypts etc.
  • Props, maps, miniatures, music, dice & character sheets
  • Sessions from 2 – 6 hours
  • Games for 2 to 8 players
  • 17 years experience as a professional actor
  • 5 years experience as a DM who currently runs two weekly sessions for paying customers
  • A lot of enthusiasm for this amazing game!

Children’s parties

As a father of two, I know that children’s imaginations are the best. Add a sense of adventure, a sense of humour and a desire to discover new things and children might turn out to be the best DnD players ever!

A birthday DnD session is something a bit different from the norm. I can write and prepare a fantastic adventure for your child and 5 of their friends (yes, this is an exclusive party). The adventure can be tailored to your child’s interests. Does he like unicorns and faeries? No problem. Does she go for monsters and combat? – sorted. The session can be an intro to DnD if they’ve never played before or I can make it a little more advanced if the players are already well-versed in RPG tropes.

Whatever style of game we end up playing, it will be great fun and something I hope they will be talking about in years to come.

  • Max 6 players
  • Minimum age 10 years old
  • Session length 2 – 2.5 hours ideally (with a break for food)
  • Will include take home dice sets for each child

Please contact me to chat through the possibilities.

DnD at school

DnD works well as an after-school or lunch time club or as a special treat session for older children. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work as a whole class activity due to 6 players being the ideal number.

DnD utilises many skills we need in everyday life and is often used as an educational tool for children and adults. Those skills include:

  • Teamwork The process of sharing ideas and making group decisions is key in DnD
  • Imagine and improvise Players improvise conversations, describe their character’s actions and behaviour and visualise the environments described to them
  • Literacy Players research the world and its races to create their own character. This leads on to writing their character’s traits, history and background
  • Critical thinking and problem solving. DnD is not all about fighting monsters. There are traps, negotiations and diplomatic problems to solve. Running in swinging a sword is not always the best approach!
  • Maths. Much of the mechanics of DnD is based on simple mathematical sums. Rolling dice and adding various modifiers to that result is a core part of how the game runs
  • Social. Players often do not know each other and yet life-long friends are made through playing the game

Please get in touch about how I could bring DnD into your school.

DnD for companies

Why would DnD work as a corporate team-building event?

A DnD gaming session would be something very different in the line up of fun activities for a team-building day and would offer a contrast to the more sporty activities. It would be suitable for smaller groups of employees and can also be an activity that I can bring to your place of work.

DnD utilises many skills we need in everyday life and is often used as an educational tool for children and adults. Skills include:

  • Teamwork The process of sharing ideas and making group decisions is key in DnD
  • Imagine and improvise. Players improvise conversations, describe their character’s actions and behaviour and visualise the environments described to them
  • Critical thinking and problem solving. DnD is not all about fighting monsters. There are traps, negotiations and diplomatic problems to solve. Running in swinging a sword is not always the best approach!
  • Social. Players often do not know each other and yet life-long friends are made through playing the game.

Practicalities of running sessions

  • A table, chairs and a quiet room are all that is needed to play DnD.
  • Participants would not need to have any knowledge beforehand
  • All the character sheets can be pre-generated by me, so players can get playing straight away.
  • Materials such as pencils, dice, miniatures, scenery and music would all be provided by me.
  • I would suggest 2 to 3-hour sessions. 1 hour is too short for a DnD session and over 3 hours might be too much for beginners, although the time does fly.
  • I would propose a maximum of 6 players and a bare minimum of 3.

I see a DnD session fitting into a day of varied events with smaller groups that rotate around activities or as a one-off fun team-building exercise that I can bring to your place of work!

Please get in touch to discuss the possibilities.

Contact

onaylor@gmail.com
07788 417642