Stories form behond the sea of silts

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Lurking on this forum is a bit like looking into a crystal ball for me. I am organising DDE in Berlin / Germany and thanks to 8 hours time difference and our vote to hold DDE on Thursdays I have the opportunity to incorporate many of the great advice and helpful field reports into the sessions of my DMs.

So after the first chapter lies behind us I would like to share with you a bit of the experience and wonders we have encountered. In exchange I would love to hear how DDE works for your locale and are there any other DDE organisers out there who - like me - operate from the other side of the sea of silts? How far has the DDE-madness spread? How is it playing Athas in Japan, South Africa and France?

I hope you enjoy my report and drop a few lines of your own!

May you always find shade and water
 Markus
In Berlin - as in nearly all of Germany - RPG isn't a big thing. Being the capital of the country with some 4.5 million people we sport just a handful of shops catering to us. In one of those stores (it's name roughly translates to "World of Tomorrow") we have our public play headquarter. This headquarter of ours translates to a beautifully expanded cellar with a distinctive dungeon feel to it. We have enough room for two tables and there is the option to pull up another one or two tables in the second salesroom of the store.

After DDE season one with overwhelming interest in the two tables we provided we decided to incease it to up to four tables in this season.

Since as organiser and fan one of my goals is to see D&D (and RPG in general) to come out of its closet I encourage my DMs and Players to take the game outside whenever possible.
So in this season we have two tables on the sidewalk playing Dark Sun with the sun in our eyes and passerbys wondering what we are doing. Some even stop or ask a question or two.

So how about the sessions themselves? So far we can support a cast for our two core tables and usually go with three tables per Encounter. From the 18 people that frequented season one only nine returned to the second season of DDE. The rest of the players in comprised of new DCI members.

Up to this fifth session of DDE:Dark Sun we have counted 14 new players for DCI many of whom loved the experience and told us that they will be coming again. From my perspective that is exactly what DDE wanted to achieve. What my DMs and myself are most proud of is the fact that the last two sessions one of the tables was populated entirely by D&D-Newbies most of them still going to school. It is really great for us experienced DMs (some of us have more than 20 years of D&D on their shoulders) to see the fresh start of these players, the sparkle in their eyes and ideas on how to play the game that never crossed our minds.

When all is said and done - this season of DDE has it's rough edges and problems. But at least in Berlin we feel that its purpose can be fulfiled. From our perspective that is providing people interested in the game and it's mechanics an easy way to experience it, letting people see what RPG is by creating awareness to the fun in generates and giving the DMs some though and fun times too.

Thanks for reading and take care - when stepping on Athas or whereever your dice may take you.

Best of luck
 Markus
Thanks for sharing your wonderful story.  Your willingness to work hard to ensure everyone has a good time is inspiring (and a great benefit to the RPG community in Germany, I'm sure).  If only there were more people with the same attitude here in the States.
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