GM Tips: Every GM Needs a little Dada in their life

What does a bizarre WW1 Art Movement have to do with my D&D? What is Dada?!

Here is a nice documentary about Dadaism Gaga for Dada so if you’ve got 90min spare to just settle in and expand your experience… check it out. It will go in a lot more depth, but there has been one huge thing I’ve taken away for teaching and also GMing…

Your artwork or activity is NEVER completed until your audience engages with it

In Dada that meant very differently to what you’d do in D&D… In Dada it meant you made a big wooden sculpture that looks like Michaelangelo’s David and hand all of your art gallery guests wood chisels, saws, drills, jigsaws, hatchets and paint. Because your art gallery guests are going to finish your wooden sculpture. Your sculpture is not done because your audience hasn’t finished it.

How does this tie into your D&D?

Dada in your D&D

If you think your artwork is done, you’re wrong. Your campaign is not done until it is played. That’s what Dada means to your D&D. When you write your D&D, it is not done.

Your character is not ever complete on paper.

Your monsters are never complete just laid out as an obstacle.

Your dungeon isn’t complete and finished.

None of it.

Until the audience interacts with it. And then this audience completed it just for them at this time in their lives. And it is incomplete again.

So just remember… nothing you prepare is ever finished. It might be prepared, but until someone slaps red paint on its armpits, hacks it with a hatchet, and then sets it on fire in a riot… your work of interactive art (because ALL art is interactive because it needs to be experienced by an audience) is incomplete.


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