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We constantly see you guys asking about how to network with streamers, and we wanted to share one way that is a lot of fun! The Roleplaying game: DND.
Before that, we want to clarify exactly what Networking is.
- Networking is simply making friends with other streamers or influencers and working with them towards the goal of growing each other’s content.
- These Influencers can be on any platform
- It does not matter how big or small they are; they may take off at any point and drag you along for the ride
- Building a relationship, even with small streamers, adds relevance and trust to both of you.
- From Co-streams and podcast appearances to shout-outs and sharing knowledge, it is extremely beneficial to all who are involved.
As for what you decide to co-stream or whatever avenue you want to travel down, we have a suggestion: The Roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons.
Dungeons and Dragons, or DND for short, is a roleplaying adventure with a unique experience not possible with any other format. Many people’s first imaginings of this game are one of the nerdy boys in a basement shouting “Fireball!” at each other.
This is a gross misrepresentation of the game, and we promise you it is so much more.
Why you would want to network with streamers using DND
Sometimes, looking back at where we’ve come can really put in perspective to where we are now. It is for this reason that we regularly lurk small streamers.
When we do that, we try to compare what content they make vs some of the more popular streamers are doing. And we’ve noticed four things that are far too common:
- Dead Air – Or lack of engagement with the audience.
- For those who have no viewers, It is important to just talk. If people see you not actively trying to add value to your content or are in the middle of an intense firefight or something, they will leave very quickly.
- Extremely poor quality – Face Cams being used in a dark room with no lights on except your monitor.
- Mumbling & Grumbling – A generalization of streamers who don’t enunciate their words or are Rage machine screaming & swearing.
- Going to let you in on a secret: Gamer’s Rage is something that scares off an audience. It might be funny from time to time, but it is harmful if it is consistently in every stream.
- Mumbling is just as bad as they can’t understand you. What is the point of being live at that point?
- Complaining about viewer metrics:
- We immediately close streams who complain about how little viewers they have compared to others who “do less work”.
- It is disrespectful for those who are there for you. If you do this, you need to stop immediately, or you will lose regulars from something like this.
Some of these points can be fixed in a DND stream:
Dead Air is nearly non-existant in a game of DND
One of the things about DND that makes it great for networking is that it makes dead air almost a non-issue. It does this so well because a typical game of DND includes a Dungeon, or Game Master(DM / GM), and 4+ players.
These players are constantly chatting amongst themselves on how to tackle a certain challenge presented by a DM. In addition, the DM is telling the players what it is they see using highly descriptive words. All of this serves to combat dead air.
Now, you could play DND with as little as two people, a GM, and a player. However, many encounters are tuned with 3-4+ players in mind; You’ll need to adjust the difficulty when playing with less than 3 players.
Mumbling & Grumbling adds comedic value in roleplay
I mean, if you are playing a character that mumbles under his or her breath as a flaw, it adds to the content value of the session. This only works because there are others on your team that are boisterous or flamboyant. The contrasting personalities can be quite entertaining.
They add energy to the stream, and your natural personality is embodied by your character, adding depth to the session. The flaw becomes a bun! A Bun? Aite… Boon*. 😂
As for gamers’ rage, you don’t really encounter that in DND much with a good DM. That said, at the end of the day, your character may die. When it happens, don’t feel bad, it’s part of the game. Just relax, and ask your DM what to do when this occurs.
You don’t get time to Complain about viewer metrics nearly as often
Luckily, a game of DND also combats this flaw in that you are near-constantly engaged in the story by the DM and your party in some way.
We can’t stress this enough, especially when you are networking with streamers during this session.
Each player adds their own bit of intrigue to the story, and no one game of DND is the same as another. Its all unique content, every time. This means your audience will never know what happens next. It’s exhilarating.
But we’ve gone and got way ahead of ourselves. Let’s give you a few things to work with to begin playing Dungeons and Dragons in a network of streamers!
Starter modules for the new player: The Lost Mine
For new players, typically a pre-made module, like the Lost Mine of Phandelver (D&D Starter Set) is one of the better options out there, but you really don’t need even that. This particular starter set is handy for its inclusions:
- Five ready-to-play Characters to get quickly started
- Six Dice (1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12, 1d20)
- The Adventure guidebook to the campaign: Lost Mine of Phandelver
- The Rulebook
- Don’t adhere to the rules exactly, go with what is more fun for you and your party.
- One Blank Character Sheet (We recommend using this interactive PDF instead)
Need help figuring out how to fill out your character sheet? Instructables has a handy guide!
The Curse of Strahd – A more advanced module for more experienced players
This campaign is notorious for its difficulty and challenges that it presents to the party. Now we personally have never played this campaign, but it is regularly mentioned among our friends who play DND a bit more. We trust their word, so we mention it here for you to look into. Read into other reviews of the campaign before buying into the book!
Don’t want to buy any books? Build your own Homebrew campaign!
Just because these sourcebooks exist does not mean you need to use them. The final option available to you is to make your own adventure. In the DND community, this is referred to as a “Homebrew campaign.”
The cool thing about DND is that it can be set in any universe you want, not just the typical Sword Coast adventure with elves, dwarves and humans at the forefront.
What about being set in the Star Wars universe? May the Force be with you, young padawan.
What about the Final Fantasy world? Catch that Chocobo in this campaign: Uses 5e rules.
Get creative; do what you like. Just know that a Homebrew campaign can and will suffer from balance issues and extreme amounts of time being sunk into it. But it is easily the most rewarding, especially seeing the smiles on your teammates’ faces when they enjoyed a particularly great encounter you’ve made.
Digital platforms to play DND: Roll20 & Tabletop Simulator
For those who are not in close physical proximity to your network of streamers, there are digital alternatives:
- roll20 (Free!)
- Tabletop Simulator (Humble Partner Link, We make a fee off purchases made using this link.)
In fact, we are running our own Homebrew campaign with some members of our partnered streamer community, Mix it Forward, “The Plaguelands”. It is being run using the game Tabletop simulator.
Useful Mods for DND Sessions in Tabletop Simulator for when you network with streamers
Here we will include all the mods we used to make this table possible, in no particular order:
- 5e Race Cards Expanded
- DnD DM Tools: NPC Tracker
- Better notecards and counters
- Lighting Notecard
- Templated Notebook Statblocks
- Simple Compass Object (We made this from a free asset on Pixabay)
- Jester’s Group DnD 5e Character Sheet Creator – We borrowed the class cards, nothing more.
- DnD 5e Scripted Character sheets – See comments in this item to see the solution for text being too big.
- Coffin open and closed / Sarg offen und geshlossen
- Stone Coffin open and closed / steinerner Sarg offen und geschlossen
- Cat Dice
- Trees and Bushes
- Item Card Slots for 5E
- Weather Effect Buttons
- Dnd Table basic but pretty
- One World
- DnD 5e Background Cards
- DnD 5e Miniatures
- Dice Hub! dnd dice rpg dice
- Dungeon Modular tiles
Just remember, At the end of the day, all you need is a Pen or pencil, some paper, some friends, and dice to play Dungeons and Dragons.
The extras are nice, but they are not necessary. Just remember one thing: Fun is the goal for a campaign. If you or your players aren’t having fun, what is the point?