Special Operations DMs are those who have volunteered to run short arcs mid-season to get new players, or players who want to start up new characters, into the season running. As a Dark Earth season progresses, characters level up via milestone, so that new players who come to the store will find everyone around them at a much higher level than many folks are used to starting at. As well, introducing new characters showing up at high levels can be jarring to the narrative. That’s where Special Operations DMs come in.
When new players come in and want to join mid-season, they will be paired with players who are interested in creating new characters for Dark Earth. A Special Operations DM will create a short series of modules that will start them at 5th level, that will be tied into the ongoing plot. They will advance in level at a relatively rapid pace compared to normal play, with the goal being to get them from the starting level for the season (5) to the current milestone that the season is at within 3-5 adventures with a short story that will give them a place in the world, catch them up to the rest of the players and give them a sense for what is going on in the world. In this way, they won’t be thrown into the deep end amongst strangers and will have some time to understand the world and their place in it—and earn some fame and fortune for their own legacies instead of just being the “new folks”.
Ed Vanderhoof: Outer Space/South America
Ed’s adventures for Season 1 and 2 were set in the Aztec, Mayan and Incan civilizations—and amongst their alien visitors. Always interesting, filled with puzzles and oddities not found in other games, his talent for quick and interesting fun can’t be underestimated!