Get to know the Developer: Jamie McDonald

Jamie McDonald Web.jpg

My name is not important.

Not literally; what a terrible name that would be! Get your mind in order, dude. What I mean is, if you goog- uh… if you search for me using an engine of your choice, you'll find nothing of importance. Perhaps a hilariously dated DeviantArt profile, but unlikely because I purged that from the internet, damn you.

I'm not known in any relevant tabletop gaming circles, possibly due to being isolated in the wilds of Scotland, and also because I've only been at this a couple of years. So for the rest of what I've got to say, I feel confident in remaining entirely anonymous.

I first stumbled onto Dungeons and Dragons at the young age of two years ago. A friend wanted to attempt running a game, and swiftly became the best Dungeon Master I had ever met at that point, and continued to be so over the next couple of years. Regardless, he inspired me. He built himself a deep and curious world, that kept us (his troubled friends) interested. He stuck with the traditional fantasy races but entwined them both historically and socially in what I felt was an amazingly inventive way. It was something I never expected as I'd always assumed DnD to be a light skimming of fantasy, rooted in humour and combat mechanics.

Within the first year of this immersive and explosive introduction to the game, I was both hooked and determined to replicate. I hammered together the ugliest campaign there has ever been. It had lore, sure. It had a plot as well. Perhaps even some notable characters. However, alongside those, it had rails. Every movement of the players was accounted for and treated as a given. Running it was an experience, and every single game I learnt something new. Players would not do as they were told. Players would not be given fun on a plate. Players are unexpected and will do incredible and unlikely things at every turn. My roller-coaster quickly left the rails, crashing several times and transforming into several dirt bikes, hurtling off-road and splitting up as many times as they could.

This might sound a little traumatic, but actually, it was enlightening. That first campaign was always a means to an end, a testing of the water. I decided I could swim. I bashed out a few more short campaigns, acquired a small forum to gather and gift advice (my favourite thing in the world is interrogating more experienced GM's, and stealing all of their best techniques), and then stumbled upon my new "boss".

"Pockets", or "Jay" or whatever pseudonym he currently operates under, inspired me with his dream. His dream to be extremely rich (Editors note: He's kidding); but also to have a great book, a simple to follow, but incredibly deep campaign. Perfect for beginners to use to go off the rails and useful for pro's to butcher and turn into raw glory.

I wanted in on it. So I became relentlessly helpful, running Jays discord server and spreading word of his might. It didn't take long for him to realise I wasn't going to go away no matter how he begged, so he signed me up as a writer and here I am.

Take note friends, of my unusual creative ability displayed above. I promise I'll not make a godawful mess like above, and instead write some fresh and unique quests. I'm also not a huge fan of books full of roll charts (I once bought a DnD book that was just 1,000 roll charts and was hugely disappointed), so I promise not to do more than a couple of those. My name is not important, but I genuinely believe this book will be.

Yours haphazardly, Jamie McDonald.

(My good friend and occasional co-GM, Lumus, is streaming a lot of stuff over on Twitch and Youtube. I recommend the darkest dungeon runs!)

(Also, I've taken vague liberties with this piece, so to my crew... If you want them back you'll have to take them from my corpse)

Come join us on Discord!

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