When should I blog about campaign ideas?

I’m currently in the DC area on a business trip, so there hasn’t been time to devote to D&D this week.  I’m happy to say, though, that there’s a chance that we might be able to resume our online campaign into the Keep on the Shadowfell this Friday, after I get home to Colorado.

Over the past few weeks of online D&D hiatus, I’ve done a lot of thinking about our campaign (as explained in my last few posts).  I’ve discovered MapTool, my new virtual D&D tabletop of choice, and learned how to make lots of cool macros for it.  I’ve played in two Living Forgotten Realms games, learning more about other dungeon masters’ styles.  I’ve also been re-reading the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Dungeon Master’s Guide 2 and pondering how to become a better DM myself.  Finally, I’ve been reading lots of D&D blogs and web sites, and I’ve listened to a bunch of episodes of NewbieDM‘s minicast (a cool little discovery – thanks NewbieDM!).

All of this pondering has led me to a question that’s really unique to dungeon masters who blog: At what point should I blog about ideas that I have for ongoing campaigns?  See, I know that some of my players read my blog, and I totally dig that.  I WANT them to be so into the game that they want to see what I’m writing.  At the same time, I’m coming up with ideas, big and small, for the campaign that I’m running for them.  I don’t want to ruin the surprise by writing about those ideas on my blog and having them read about them weeks before they ever encounter them in the game.  On the other hand, these are raw ideas from an inexperienced DM, and I’d like to get the input of other dungeon masters on these ideas before I try running with them.

What do you think?  Should I go it alone and then blog about my creations only after they’ve been put into action?  Should I go ahead and put them here, surprise factor be darned?  Should I discourage my players from reading my blog?  Or should I perhaps put spoiler alerts for my players and ask them to skip over the spoiler sections?  I’m looking for advice – please let me know what you think in the comments.

5 thoughts on “When should I blog about campaign ideas?

  1. Blog about things after you’ve done it. If you want more mileage out of the process, write out your expectations and save it. Run your game and follow up with another post on how things worked out. In the end though I’d post after you’ve ran your game. I’d be sure to make things a surprise for your players.

    I think having the ‘post game’ analysis about stuff that worked (or didn’t) much more enjoyable to read over a bunch of plans and ideas. As you go along, you’ll get feedback of your players, comments from your blog, and past experience to fine tune other campaign ideas.

  2. Join a message board for gamers (the obvious one is attached the wizards.com, but there are others, like enworld or myth-weavers) and post them there under your username. You can get some feedback, and the likelihood of your players (a) being on the same site, and (b) reading the thread, and (c) knowing it is you posting for your game is practically nil.

    Yes, I’ve actually done this. And I DM on a message board, and it worked! Y’know, so far as I know. :o)

  3. Between these comments and what I’ve heard from other friends on Facebook, it sounds like there’s unanimity here – I should wait to blog about my ideas until after I’ve used them. Karl, I like your suggestion of using a message board to ask for input from other DMs when I need it.

    Thank you for the input, guys! I love getting comments.

  4. @Krellos – Thanks for the comment! I’m completely up for creating new MapTool macros. Do have any specific requests? What would you like macros to do that you don’t already have? I’m looking for macro inspiration!

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