The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is often regarded not only as one of the best Zelda games, but as one of the best games period. This is in part thanks to its rich world and compact, evocative narrative — which, according to one Dungeons & Dragons expert, sets it up to be a model D&D campaign.

Baron de Ropp of Dungeon Masterpiece, a YouTube channel focused on “critically analyzing gaming systems,” breaks down the structure of Ocarina of Time to see what makes that claim true. To do this, de Ropp begins by reanalyzing the story through the eyes of the game’s antagonist, Ganondorf, to understand how it sets up the hero’s quest. In short, Ganondorf sets the “status quo” which drives the problems the protagonist(s) must face throughout the game (campaign).

Citing another driving force, de Ropp draws attention to Zelda‘s implementation of various items, which present new ways to address trials facing the players. In the context of Zelda, this relates each key item to the area, or the arc of the story, where it’s found and subsequently used in. With the item, the players can tackle what lies before them and progress the story, just like a dungeon in Zelda. Through strategic placing of items throughout the world, Dungeon Masters can set the course of an immersive campaign experience.

I’d never thought of it before, but I think de Ropp is absolutely right in his deconstruction of Ocarina of Time and why it’s an exemplary blueprint for D&D campaigns. While I’m no expert, I would like to say I think the game’s various biomes and cultures greatly feed its D&D potential. As an aspiring DM, these blueprints are sure to be my best friend. 

Do you agree with de Ropp? Are there any other aspects of Ocarina of Time you think make it a model D&D campaign? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Dungeon Masterpiece

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