31 Rules for Running a Campaign

1. The Cardinal Rule. It is your story. Not your player’s. The players are there to enjoy watching your masterpiece unfold. PC stands for Pawn Character, after all! Don’t worry, they will moan in orgiastic frenzy at the raw shiny awesomeness of your story.

2. The Golden Rule. You are God and your players are there solely for your pleasure. Never take advice from your players, shoot them down or otherwise stick something large and painful in their mouths such that they can no longer speak.

3. Where a gentle touch will do, a fist is even better. Never show, just tell. If your players disagree or try to deviate, rectal daiklave impalement will keep their attention.

4. Your DMPC is, of course, God Incarnate. However, it would never do to have his awesomeness go unobserved, so he must have pawns (see note on Pawn Characters above, they’re called that for a reason!) to watch you mastur-I mean play.

5. Your players are here to accomodate you, not the other way around. Their players may have certain ‘personalities’ picked out that make them not respect your DMPC. This is wrong. They must love you and worship even the feces that you deposit, for it is perfect.

6. Insult your players at every opportunity, but by no means should you even remotely hold yourself to the standard you set for them. Kidnapping a half dozen people from a crowded bar is plenty ‘subtle’ for you. If one of them carries too big a weapon, that is not subtle.

7. YOU ARE THE DUNGEON MASTER! YOU HAVE NO FLAWS! Anyone claiming otherwise is simply being an asshole for not recognizing your perfection.

8. Right and Wrong are what make you, the Dungeon Master, feel good. Not your players. Any thoughts of honor or morality by your players are simplistic false belief systems.

9. Thinking on the fly, alternate plans, and looking at things from the Player’s perspective are signs of lesser dungeon masters. Avoid these dark paths.

10. Abuse semantics! If your players harp on you because you called them stupid, they are clearly wrong! For you called them lackwits, which has an entirely different meaning.

11. Players of boorish, abusive, idiotic characters with few grasps of sense or sapience are your best. Keep them, lose the smart ones. The latter may try to upstage your Glory.

12. Canon information is to be discarded at a whim. A council that oversees the well-being of a city would never possibly be interested in its destruction, for example.

13. Explain your brashness away with old age, and hide under the mantle of incomprehensibility. Obviously, there are many things in the worlds that cannot be understood, and you are one of them.

14. Some of your players might make the mistake of calling your DMPC a god. Quickly disabuse them of this notion. Your DMPC is above that.

15. Members of the opposite (or otherwise desired) gender are sex toys for your enjoyment, whether they want to be or not.

16. Vagueness is your friend. Never be specific. It lets you suitably maneuver your already perfect story to higher states of perfection.

17. Don’t bother paying attention to character backgrounds. Just check the length to make sure they’ve wasted an appropriate amount of time on the task.

18. Always start all of your characters in the same tavern, or, if you wanna be fancy, a brothel. Even if they come from all corners of the world/Universe/whatever.

19. Never use ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘our’, ‘ours’ or similarly inclusive words. Always ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘mine’, etc. “My campaign”, “my story”, “what I needed”. Keeps you in the proper mindset.

20. If players start chafing under your just and perfect rule, and start sticking up for eachother, it is a sure sign of mutiny. Crush them.

21. Gripping scenes are for losers, and unnecessary to express the true awesomeness of your Perfect Story. Just pack your players in. The ones you wanna keep will love it!

22. Always, always ALWAYS HOLD GRUDGES!

23. Exchanging instant messengers, phone numbers, or other means of instantly contacting your players is for pussies and therefor beneath you.

24. Always be vague about how your campaign will go and begin. That way, your players will make up wildly different ideas which will not mesh with your goals at all.

25. Do not make sure your replacement players for those you have preciously rectally impaled are ready to go before the game begins!

26. Don’t bother keeping your players busy. Give them an hour or so of twiddle time after you make them show up.

27. Add subtle reminders that your ‘game’ is a play, and you are its sole author.

28. Be sure to render useless any allies your players actually spent points on. The only NPCs of any import are your own!

29. Never start your players off ahead. Instead, insult them for being inexperienced, and offer ‘training’.

30. Always blame your players!

31. A good Dungeon Master for Exalted does not care for stunts, and should never reward them.

31 Rules for Running a Campaign

Campaign V - The Game of Divinity - 2016 TimApplesauce