Stuffed Crocodile

Mazes, Martians, Mead


JB from B/X Blackrazor lately has been mulling about certifications for DMs.

I thought this was cute. He found an old article in Dragon magazine that allowed you to calculate your level as a player and/or DM. Not your character level, but your level as the person playing the game.

Then he went into why it might be a good idea to have something like this to show how experienced and how good you are as a DM. I think he missed the mark a bit here. He went into how you would have to measure all these things, how and who could certify you, and so on. And I was thinking that was missing the mark a bit, why not just use some smaller certificates as a baseline. Have players and DM do an online test that gives you a printable pdf in the end, certifying that you passed the test on, let’s say, basic or advanced rules knowledge. The certificate would be utterly meaningless outside of this part of the hobby, but it would be a marker if you had put the work into understanding the topic or not.

I might be a bit biased there. At work we have an e-learning portal that works like this. Most of the certificates I get from it are not worth to be printed, but every single course will get me a certificate. Maybe a fifth of those are really something I could ever show someone else, but I technically have a sort of diploma for passing a course on Conflict Management. Which was a 90 minute electronic presentation and a 5 minute test, and which in the end resulted in a checkmark towards my promotion.

But anyway, I was just thinking, why not do something like that? Nothing fancy, a small test and you can tell people that yes, you know the absolute basics of a system.

Or someone does a small seminar on world-building or a specific GM-style and hands out some meaningless certificate afterwards.

But all this would just be cruft, just something to show to other gamers, because nobody else would be interested in the fact that you had a seminar in… I don’t know… Orcish Power Politics. Although it might be cool to show off, and if there’s one thing that we as roleplayers like it’s showing off our big in-game feats, isn’t it?

And then I was thinking: wait a second, why don’t we actually do get something when we finish a campaign or an adventure?

Even when not going into the whole mess that would be trying to certify a free-wheeling hobby as ours, why don’t we actually give out at least a token of appreciation when finishing an adventure, or even a campaign? We just spent how much time with each other? We put how much work into this whole thing?

Why is it not more common to hand out at least a souvenir thing in the end?

Oh I know, how many campaign ever really end? But lets say we go with really big/famous adventures? Why not play through Castle Ravenloft or something, and in the end you don’t only get experience points, but also a shiny document that player X played character Y in scenario Z and survived/died (strike as needed)?

We could fancy it up a bit and if we find it impressive enough hang it on the walls of our game rooms/man caves.

Or we could go the actual token path and hand out, well, tokens or medals, when people reach certain levels in a campaign or on an open table. Ah no, that might involve too much of an investment.

I guess one could come up with a lot of ideas here.

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