I'm very new to Dungeons and Dragons, but when creating my character, I made it part of his backstory that he had a magic amulet that he couldn't take off. It was originally a McGuffin that I used to make sure my character was in the right location to start the quest. So at the time I had no idea what it would do, and neither does my character. I've since come up with an idea for what it is, and I can't see it affecting the game play at all (it's actually a joke item, which is essentially useless)

So is there any way I can get my DM to include this into the game? I'd like my character to find out about it at some stage. I know it's not my place to come up with the stories, so is it poor RPG etiquette to try and tell him what it is while the campaign is already underway?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you asked you DM about this, and explained your idea behind this item? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 19 '17 at 15:38

Most DMs I know would love it if their players came up with more story details for their characters or the world, so it's definitely not bad etiquette.

Just tell the DM about it in whatever is the normal method you reach out to them, and say you had this idea about a character detail and ask what they think. Unless they already had something elaborate planned (which is unlikely if the item is a minor detail up until now) then probably they'll love the input and will have few problems giving you an opportunity to learn about what the item does.

The worst thing that might happen is your DM saying "Sorry, there's no time / I had something else planned", but even that I think is very unlikely.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The key thing is to do this out of game. Unless your DM has directly said they're running this campaign more like other types of games where player control of the storyline is typical, a surprise at the table won't be welcome. \$\endgroup\$ – mattdm Jun 19 '17 at 20:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the last paragraph is not necessarily "the worst thing". If a DM has grabbed onto and worked with a bit you created for your character, it indicates that they are likely also invested in your backstory, which probably means that your character is even more hooked into the campaign. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jun 19 '17 at 23:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @keithcurtis If "the worst thing" is still pretty good, that's good. :) (I suppose the real worst thing might be that your DM is a wild bear and responds by mauling you, but it's unlikely.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 19 '17 at 23:34

Erik's answer is the best player-oriented practical solution - ask your DM, preferably one-on-one before or after a play session.

From a story & rules perspective, DMs are more likely to give an okay to changes that fit the following:

  • It shouldn't make you vastly more powerful. Most experienced DMs can spot a power-grab a mile away, and then there are the other players...

  • It shouldn't interfere much with other player's characters. Opportunities to flesh out your character shouldn't take away opportunities for your fellow players to shine. This is general advice - everyone is there to have fun, so share the spotlight.

  • It should make some kind of narrative sense - for the character, in the setting. In this case, your character didn't know what the object was, but you established that it exists, and just seems to be decorative. Something like suddenly becoming a vampire lord in a setting with no undead would be harder to swallow.

  • Don't expect to get everything you asked for, exactly the way you wanted. DMs have to balance out your request against the other players' needs, and the needs of the overall story/campaign. Also, sometimes the rules to implement what you're asking for are too complex for the table (or are of a much higher level than the characters).

In general, be flexible, accept any adjustments that your DM suggests from your original idea, and feel free to ask questions about how to introduce & integrate the new changes (one-on-one, not during group play).

Players are (or can be) as much a part of the game development process as DMs, and so long as both you & your DM are open-minded and take a little time to hash things out, your contributions can be a valuable part of making the game fun.


Work with your GM

This happens all the time: you give yourself something that you forget or don't have a great idea for. Then as you play you later have an idea and present this to the GM. If the campaign has been going on for a long time, he may say 'no'.

But all is not lost you may work with your GM to have the item stolen from you and bring the same item into another campaign.

I did that once in a game where a PC got had a non-magical medallion he found at level 1 and later had a good idea for (it was something about the medallion having some type of sentience). It was not important to my campaign and it was too late to introduce this as I wanted to finish it and adding such a subplot would've prevented the finale I was preparing.

We worked that the item would "somehow" end up in the hands of another of his character in a different campaign: the PC was robbed by a thieving devil. GM #2 rolled with the idea and served as a focal point for a (pre-)Planescape campaign that eventually tied into my own. It was such a cool thing.

TLDR: Work with your current GM.


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