Yet another reason to ditch Musk's Twitter: You can play a crowdsourced Dungeons & Dragons campaign over on Mastodon

A mage and a dragon stand in a strange, fantasy environment.
(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

By now, there are more reasons to get off Twitter entirely than I can count, but if you need one more nudge—a final straw for that camel's back—here it is: They're playing Dungeons & Dragons over on Mastodon. 

Through the magic of democracy (Mastodon's poll function), an account called Dungeons over on the federated Twitter-alternative platform is letting its audience choose their own adventure in an ongoing D&D campaign. How do you like that, Elon Musk?

The game is run by an ongoing project called Dungeons Bot, made by a developer called Astrelion, which you can download and run yourself if the mood takes you, and runs off of the D&D 5E SRD ruleset with a few tweaks thrown in to mix things up. It's pretty simple in practice: The bot offers up some kind of situation, presents a list of actions in a poll for voters to choose between, and then rolls to see how they go. There's even a Dungeon Guide Mastodon account responding to each situation with advice on how best to proceed.

Encountering a sprite, followers could choose between fighting it, avoiding it, or going to sleep, which coincidentally is also the list of actions I choose from to solve problems in my own life. The player has a class and stats, dice rolls determine the outcome of actions, and defeating enemies garners XP and gold. It's D&D, is what I'm saying, even if the narrative probably wouldn't hold your attention as an actual play podcast.

I'm a big fan of "Everyone Is John"-style attempts to get a significant number of people to control a single player character, like the innumerable Twitch Plays X streams that have taken place over the years, and this is no different. 

Once upon a time, it probably would have been possible to run a similar thing over on Twitter, but that platform now requires fees for all but the most basic kinds of automated access that bots need to run, which seems to have only taken out the bots that did cool stuff like this while t-shirt and Metamask wallet spammers continue to run rife. Ah well, we'll always have the Fediverse.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.