07
Jun
11

The Tower of Gygax Will Make You a Better DM

As I was saying around this time last year, the Tower of Gygax needs DMs to volunteer to run slots during Gen Con. If you are interested in any of the same things I am…

    • having a good time
    • celebrating Gary Gygax’s legacy
    • furthering the old-school reformation
    • making RPGs immediately accessible to those who have never played before, or haven’t in decades
    • promoting what we see as the truest spirit of RPGs to those who may previously only have encountered its dim reflections
    • trying out ideas for how DMs could engage and entertain audiences beyond those  who are participating as players in the traditional sense
    • exploring ways that the RPG industry could provide services and experiences rather than goods and products
    • becoming a better DM

Here I am, earning that remaining one experience point running my Tower of Gygax room at JaysonCon. Unfortunately, my new level title - Courser - is lamer than the one before.

… then I guarantee you will find that stepping up to do this yields enough experience points to level up, and be one experience point away from the next level, in whatever your chosen class may be. You can earn that one missing experience point by running a Tower of Gygax event in your hometown. This is easy if you contribute your own room to the Tower, which is to say that you design an enjoyable deathtrap that will thrill and delight players and spectators, while killing the former at a flexible rate according to the number of the latter who are currently lined up to take their place. Doing so is not required: a big black book of rooms designed by previous DMs, who include luminaries ranging from Frank Mentzer and Tim Kask to Lizard and Mike Mearls, awaits your perusal when you sign up. Also, Tim and I are working on putting together a DIY Tower of Gygax kit, full of rooms and the kind of hard-won expertise that you could other wise only acquire as a ToG volunteer DM. This kit will enable you to not only amaze your friends who couldn’t make it to Gen Con and earn that remaining XP in the process, but also raise money for a good cause – whether that is the Gygax Memorial Fund or your own fundraising project.

If some of the above apply to you, but not the part about becoming a better DM, you should take a couple of generic tickets and come play in the Tower. Those seeking the extra XP that come from participation beyond the pale will find many opportunities to serve in non-GMing capacities like collecting tickets, organizing crowd flow, helping coordinate, and so forth.

Although the Tower vitally needs your DMing or other services, in proper Gygaxian dungeon-design fashion it has not made it easy for you to enter its halls. You may or may not be able to get hooked up via the Tower’s website, which has been inactive for over a year, but why leave it to chance and what seem like entrances but will cave in upon the count of ten? Leave a comment or send an email, and the Mule will ferry you and your belongings to those who can provide you with your quest.


5 Responses to “The Tower of Gygax Will Make You a Better DM”


  1. June 7, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Sure, sign me up – I’ll be at Gencon. I’m DMing a couple of old school events while I’m out there (something for AD&D 1E and some Swords & Wizardry) – just drop an email and we can chat about the scheduling. I need that last XP point. John

  2. June 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Great! I forwarded the comment notification email I get, which has the email address and website associated with your WordPress or whatever profile, to organizers Chris Hoffner and Tim Weisser.


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