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This past weekend, Dungeons & Dragons hosted a massive livestream event to promote their forthcoming campaign book, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. But if you watched Dice, Camera, Action, the flagship show Dungeons and Dragons streams on Twitch, you didn't actually see much of the actual campaign that you'll find in the book. It might seem odd, since Chris Perkins, the Dungeon Master of Dice, Camera, Action, wrote the manuscript of the book, but Perkins told me in an interview that when he put together the actual game the "Waffle Crew" would be playing on the stream, he only took pieces of the story, because he specifically didn't want to give away plot points in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. According to Perkins...
Sometimes it's so I don't spoil something. If a DM were to pick up on a major story thread they want it to be a surprise for their players. I don't want to spoil that in the game, so that their players watch it and then know what's going to happen at that particular time. So I make deliberate changes so that the adventure can be run and not be spoiled.
On the one hand, the purpose of the Steam of Many Eyes was to spotlight the new campaign book, along with the companion book Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage which was announced over the weekend as well, but at the same time, the book won't actually be available to players until September, so you don't want to give away what the book actually sets up for those DM's that plan to run the book more or less as written.
Of course, part of the beauty of Dungeons & Dragons is that the game is designed to give players as much freedom as they want, so nobody is required to follow the story laid out in the book. Even Chris Perkins, who wrote the story of Dragon Heist in the first place, was then able to take the story he created, and use it as inspiration for yet another story.
Of course, there's another reason why Chris Perkins didn't follow the follow the book exactly. It was designed as a place where players could start a campaign at the beginning, and the players of Dice, Camera, Action have been playing for some time, which means they have an existing history that needs to be recognized in any future adventure.
And then I also make changes because their characters come with their own baggage and their own missions and goals and things that they want to learn and so I'm just trying to sift through all the things in that adventure that I can possibly use that might resonate with them on some level.
In the end, there might be elements of the new module that make their way into the game that unfolds on the D&D Twitch channel, but the serial numbers have been well filed off so that you likely won't recognize them, at least not before you stumble into them in a game. Waterdeep: Dragon Heist will be out September 18. Dice, Camera, Action is viewable on the D&D Twitch channel every Tuesday.