In my defense, on paper it seemed like it would be a good fit. A dungeon master is a leadership role and who has more leadership experience than a former leader of the free world? I know that they are very different positions, but Donald assured me that he would be great at it. He actually said that “nobody knew more about the mechanics of Dungeons and Dragons than him” and that if he were to lead our campaign it “would likely have the highest ratings of any campaign in the history of campaigns”. I started to explain to him that this was just a simple game amongst friends and not a televised event, but this seemed to fall on deaf ears. I was still a bit skeptical, but since I was a bit tired of the status quo of our recent games, I decided to shake things up a bit and offered him the job. We shook hands on it (rather forcibly on his end) and agreed to have the first game in a week.
Typically a dungeon master would prepare a basic storyline for the players to navigate prior to the first meeting, but it quickly became clear that we weren’t dealing with a typical dungeon master. One week after that handshake we all met in one of our player’s basement (which Donald promptly called “a shithole”) for our first session. We gathered around a table, dice and character sheets in hand, and excitedly looked at former President Trump to begin the campaign. It was at this point that he started ranting about Rosie O’Donnell for quite some time. I think we all gave him the benefit of the doubt at first; maybe this was just a long set up to the story that he had prepared. Perhaps learning that she is a “nasty, nasty woman” was simply to unite the party against this story’s villain. Knowing that Rosie O’Donnell “looks very much like a pig” was possibly foreshadowing her being a druid at some point later in the campaign? Jeff, one of our players who had been furiously taking notes during the whole rant, asked what Rosie O’Donnell’s hit points were, to which Trump replied that “she had no hit points and she never will because she’s a loser”. This is when we started to suspect that maybe Donald had in fact not prepared a campaign. I brought this concern up to Donald only to be rebuffed with him claiming that “he had a big campaign planned…maybe the biggest honestly” and that “we weren’t going to believe how big and planned this campaign was”.
Our second game did not go much better, but at least he did have some basic narratives for the players to follow. The party had just made our way to the basement of the Mar-a-Lago, but rather than battling our way through, we were coerced into spending all of our gold and platinum pieces to get there. It was here that we were at last faced with our first fight with a monster (which evidently did end up being Rosie O’Donnell after all). Eager to finally use our spells and weapons, the party joyfully prepared for battle. Normally the Dungeon master is in charge of the characters that the party interacts with: monsters, townspeople, etc and not an actual member of the party themselves. That’s why it was to our surprise that at this point Donald had his own character, Donald Trump, enter the battle and proceeded to fight Rosie O’Donnell himself. Hoping to get in on the action, our party’s sorcerer, Dorudim Glowbeard of Fortaare, attempted to cast fireball at Rosie only to be told by our dungeon master that it wasn’t his turn because Donald Trump had “the best initiative bonus, the biggest initiative bonus we had ever seen”. Donald then rolled a 7 on his attack roll against Rosie, but insisted that it was a natural 20 critical hit, claiming that the dice used were “fake dice”. Of course since, as he mentioned before, Rosie O’Donnell had no hit points, our first monster was defeated by Donald’s attack before our battle even began. To Donald’s credit as an immersive dungeon master, this quick defeat was accompanied by a multitude of sound effects from him. Afterwards our sorcerer voiced his disappointment in not getting to be a part of the battle, but Trump simply mocked him and proceeded to refer to him as “Dopey Dorudim” for the rest of the game.
Our third game is tonight and I’m a bit nervous about what to expect. I had a long talk with Donald yesterday regarding the players’ concerns about how the campaign is going so far. At first he was very defensive, saying that “all the players actually loved him and his campaign and that he could probably have a TPK (total party kill), and they would still come back the next week”. I pleaded with him to please give the party something else to do this game besides paying to stay at his properties, at which point Donald’s attitude totally changed. He folded his arms in a weird stubby fashion and told me to expect “fire and fury like we had never seen” next round. Before I could respond, he walked away from me and began doodling on a piece of paper in which I assumed was supposed to look like him working on the next game.
In speaking with the rest of the party, we all assume that we will indeed probably be killed off this game, but honestly no-one seems too upset by this. We all agree that we are ready to be done with Donald’s campaign, but that it at least gave us all something to talk about the last few weeks.
I’ve been communicating with another Dungeon Master about taking over our game when this one is over. He seems a bit boring to be honest, but the consensus seems to be that boring would be much better than the games we’ve been playing so far. I’ve definitely learned my lesson in asking a former gameshow host to be our dungeon master and, going forward, here’s hoping that Joe can put together a reasonable and decent campaign for us.
Alex Laskey – 1.8.2022