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    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Help becoming a DM

    So, as a follow-up to my last thread, I'm looking to start DM'ing. Now taking all advice/suggestions.

    Incidentally, thank you all for your help and advice on my last thread, and I feel I should say that this is one of the nicest internet communities I've ever encountered.
    Quote Originally Posted by Milodiah View Post
    I have one PC in my campaign who constantly tries to force his enemies to yield (by shrieking "JUSTICE!" in a high-pitched shrill voice, since he's a freaking Tiny-size fairy cleric of St. Cuthbert).
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
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    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    1. Anything you can think of or plan... throw it out the window. Even the most unoptimized party is going to wreck it in some fashion.

    2. You are not against the party!!! You are a storyteller. Guide the party through a grand adventure, don't lead them to their deaths.
    Last edited by arkangel111; 2014-11-03 at 01:22 AM.
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    1. Plans should be adaptable. Then they can't be ''wrecked''. There are some simple ways to do this:

    1A. More then one plan. This is simple enough: make two or three plans, each with a the same general outcome. Then you can just switch plans if one gets ''wrecked''.

    1B. Back-ups. You can keep any plan on track with back ups. You simply put things in place to back up the plan.

    1C. Holes in the plan. It works great to make a plan with huge whole in it. Simply don't make things up. You can have a vague idea, but don't set anything down. Again they can't wreck what does not exist.


    2. Just remember to play against the players when your acting as a foe. You want the foes to try to hurt and/or kill the characters. The game can get all goofy if when the Death Knight attacks he puts away his Death Sword and just ''punches'' the characters as you don't want him to ''alter the story''.

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    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    Quote Originally Posted by arkangel111 View Post
    2. You are not against the party!!! You are a storyteller. Guide the party through a grand adventure, don't lead them to their deaths.
    Know what Ad-Hoc CR is. It's when challenge ratings (which already have problems representing what is and isn't challenging) aren't appropriate gauges of what a party can handle. Sometimes a party simply can't effectively deal with an encounter (incorporeal undead vs an entirely non-magical party). Other times the opponents are much less effective than normal (party of warforged (lacking much of anatomy) against some sort of encounter involving lots of poison). How much gear you give them or don't give them will affect what they can fight. Know as much as you can about what your party can handle when throwing things at them. If they're not meant to fight something, but instead to run away... that's tricky.

    A ghoul is a CR 1. Tucker's kobolds are not.
    Last edited by gooddragon1; 2014-11-03 at 02:07 AM.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkangel111 View Post
    1. Anything you can think of or plan... throw it out the window. Even the most unoptimized party is going to wreck it in some fashion.
    Yup, no plan survives contact with the PCs.

    Quote Originally Posted by arkangel111 View Post
    2. You are not against the party!!! You are a storyteller. Guide the party through a grand adventure, don't lead them to their deaths.
    I agree with the first sentence, not so much with the rest. It sounds very much like railroading. An RPG should be different from a novel or other story, in that the main characters (i.e. PCs) still have choices to let the story progress differently. It's not the lord of the rings as written, but a story where the characters still have the choice to "not walk into Mordor" because Gandalf calls the eagles right away and flies Frodo to Mount Doom and the drop the Ring.

    Quote Originally Posted by jedipotter View Post
    1. Plans should be adaptable. Then they can't be ''wrecked''. There are some simple ways to do this:

    1A. More then one plan. This is simple enough: make two or three plans, each with a the same general outcome. Then you can just switch plans if one gets ''wrecked''.

    1B. Back-ups. You can keep any plan on track with back ups. You simply put things in place to back up the plan.

    1C. Holes in the plan. It works great to make a plan with huge whole in it. Simply don't make things up. You can have a vague idea, but don't set anything down. Again they can't wreck what does not exist.
    NPCs should have plans, built around their goals and in character knowledge. While as a DM you won't have time to flesh out every NPC like you would a PC, it is good to think about them as PCs. If an NPC is supposed to be a great planner, then his contingencies will have contingencies etc. if not, don't have them execute a convoluted plan to take over the world. And make the NPCs' plans goal focused not PC focused, unless the PCs can already be justifiably called the NPCs nemesis, major thorn in the side etc. It's very frustrating if the NPCs' only goal in life seems to be to thwart the PCs plan or die trying.

    The DM should not have a plan how the story "is supposed" to go. The DM sets the scene and plays the NPCs but he does not tell the story. The story is told by the actions of the PCs and NPCs.

    Quote Originally Posted by jedipotter View Post
    2. Just remember to play against the players when your acting as a foe. You want the foes to try to hurt and/or kill the characters. The game can get all goofy if when the Death Knight attacks he puts away his Death Sword and just ''punches'' the characters as you don't want him to ''alter the story''.
    The reverse is true as well. Don't make mindless vermin tactical geniuses to "move the story along".

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    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    I've given much advice on this elsewhere, but here's something that strikes me at the moment.

    Give Varied and Interesting Awards Based on What Actually Happens:

    Essentially, use the ad-hoc awards and special rewards for player/character creative solutions, good role play, good cooperation, and so forth. Let the players know that you are paying attention when they do cool stuff, and reward them for making the game fun, not just for beating down doors and kicking ass (though that can also be fun).

    Also....

    Give Love to Mundanes:

    The RAW of the game badly shafts those that lack spellcasting. If you notice that, in your game, the sword-swingers and tanks out there are getting frustrated by limited out-of-combat ability or by the wizard's endless bag of tricks, then search up some homebrew or other solutions to bring things a bit more in line. This problem varies heavily by the op-level of the table and the level of the characters, as well as group dynamic, but it happens often enough that communities like this one have put substantial thought into solutions. They do exist, and if your game is suffering due to this problem, if the fun is getting more scarce, please come looking for help. Few things are worse than being in charge of a game and feeling like you don't have control over how things are developing. (NOTE: I mean control in the abstract sense, not in the railroad sense. A DM should have the tools for fun ready for the players to access, and not having these tools is a bad feeling.)
    In my dreams, I am currently a druid 20/wizard 10/arcane hierophant 10/warshaper 5. Actually, after giving birth to a galaxy by splitting a black hole, level is no longer relevant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    I've never been able to put my finger on how to describe you Phelix, but I think I have an idea now.

    You're Tippy's fluffy cousin...

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    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    "I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable."
    -Dwight D. Eisenhower

    While no plan will ever go exactly as you imagined, if only because the PC's are, well, PC's, planning has the side effect of making you more familiar with your setting, NPC's, enemies, and general plot ideas, which will help you react to the curveballs that will inevitably thrown at you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    We should try to make that a thing; I think it might help civility. Hey, GitP, let's try to make this a thing: when you're arguing optimization strategies, RAW-logic, and similar such things that you'd never actually use in a game, tag your post [THEORETICAL] and/or use green text
    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    So a ranger is like a Bachelor of Applied Druidology.
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    What's the word for 'fear of being eaten by a mounted bear in half-plate' again? Because that's the one I have.

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    Phelix-Mu's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    "I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable."
    -Dwight D. Eisenhower

    While no plan will ever go exactly as you imagined, if only because the PC's are, well, PC's, planning has the side effect of making you more familiar with your setting, NPC's, enemies, and general plot ideas, which will help you react to the curveballs that will inevitably thrown at you.
    Repeated for truthiness.
    In my dreams, I am currently a druid 20/wizard 10/arcane hierophant 10/warshaper 5. Actually, after giving birth to a galaxy by splitting a black hole, level is no longer relevant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    I've never been able to put my finger on how to describe you Phelix, but I think I have an idea now.

    You're Tippy's fluffy cousin...

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    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    @Andezzar I did say guide, not drag them by the ears kicking and screaming.

    But otherwise you are correct. Never railroad a group.

    Oh and give them the tools to succeed. I once had a group where we were 8th level with a total of 2 magic items in a party of 5. We literally stripped the carpets from the dungeons and still made no money to buy things. The TPK was inevitable. The reason we had no money? "You guys didn't make the search DC". It was fun and gave us many laughs, but it was short lived.
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    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    In general, favor enemies with stronger defense than offense. When enemies go down quickly but deal a ton of damage if they get a hit in, fights mostly come down to who wins initiative, which is not very interesting. When enemies are trying to grind you down over multiple rounds, there are more opportunities for good tactics to shine.

    Also, a single monster without any means of breaking the action economy is not going to be a challenge unless it's hideously over-CR'd. Boss fights are hard to design in this game. And the previous rule of thumb applies double to them--nobody wants a dramatic boss fight that's over in the first round. Fudge your bosses to have high HP.

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    Phelix-Mu's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    I benchmark all enemies at 90% hp, with exceptional specimens having max (on top of extra HD). I still find that parties generally wipe the floor with almost everything, but it does force them to try harder.

    Also, beware the action economy bit noted above (very true, btw) working in reverse. If you outnumber the party three-to-one or more with powerful, well-resourced, and strategically competent enemies, then expect the party to be hard-pressed, even perhaps opting to retreat. Fireballs and other BFCs help, but if the enemy is simply getting more turns to do whatever than the party is, things can go pear-shaped in a hurry.

    Such fights usually qualify for bonus experience, if the party survives, as the difficulty calculator in the game is not particularly good at dealing with large numbers of enemies using strong tactics.
    In my dreams, I am currently a druid 20/wizard 10/arcane hierophant 10/warshaper 5. Actually, after giving birth to a galaxy by splitting a black hole, level is no longer relevant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    I've never been able to put my finger on how to describe you Phelix, but I think I have an idea now.

    You're Tippy's fluffy cousin...

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    First bit of advice: Don't worry about gathering players. The saying is you build it and they will come; this is no less true for DMing. You offer the sweet nectar of the D20 and players will eventually show up. Maybe offer it to people you know, although DMing for new players and/or friends can be a pain sometimes .

    Second: Don't design missions, design a world. Give them a fair bit of freedom, to move around and do what they want. Be open to advice, criticism, and most of all, out of the box thinking. Good luck in your struggles.
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    ElfMonkGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    In general, favor enemies with stronger defense than offense. When enemies go down quickly but deal a ton of damage if they get a hit in, fights mostly come down to who wins initiative, which is not very interesting. When enemies are trying to grind you down over multiple rounds, there are more opportunities for good tactics to shine.
    But let them have room for good tactics. If the wizard is out of spells the fighter has no more charges on his sword or no magic at all, a fight gets boring with just turn after turn of slash and bash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nimmo0110 View Post
    But let them have room for good tactics. If the wizard is out of spells the fighter has no more charges on his sword or no magic at all, a fight gets boring with just turn after turn of slash and bash.
    Right. Try to be aware of the resources your players will be expected to expend in a given encounter. The dynamic is very different at different levels or for different classes.

    Planning encounters takes some getting used to. Take note of what works well and what's awkward, what's too easy and what's too hard. You won't find the perfect balance right away, but if you pay conscious attention to it, you'll get the hang of it.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    SPEAK WITH YOUR PARTY OOC!!!!!!!!

    Don't fall to the same trap you got into. Don't hear them, LISTEN to them. You play all together, they don't play YOUR game. You wanna have fun with them not unleash your inner sadistic self on dominating their asses. Don't play GOD, play LEADER. Discuss every problem that comes up, ask them what they like/dislike about the game and try to focus on the "like" things. You are the story teller in the most interactive story that will ever be told. Don't be a push-over on what they need but don't play dictator. DMs with the "Cause I say so" attitude are unpleasant DMs. If you think they are wrong about something, take your time and explain it to them. If they think you are wrong about something, do some research, check the books, online material/FAQs/errata and then either admit your mistake or explain them why you are not wrong.
    "Once, a bear grappled me and I dropped my weapon. She holded me so hard that the only thing I remember is the bear releasing me and running away. All I saw was a huge part of its arm missing and the wound being burned like someone bit it with fire."

    The story of a barbarian while resting after being fatigued by his rage


    I AM NOT QUITTING ANY GAMES. I'LL KEEP CHECKING THEM AND BE SUBSCRIBED TO THEM UNTIL THE DM DECLARES THEM DEAD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcos View Post
    So, as a follow-up to my last thread, I'm looking to start DM'ing. Now taking all advice/suggestions.
    The first thing I always recommend is a few decisions that need to happen before anything else. Before you think about encounters, before you think about npcs. Decide if you want a full world, equipped with continents and ecology, or a more confined campaign. Either way, create a map. For a confined campaign, it should have all ares involved, terrain, and the things in that terrain.


    For a full world (these are my favorite) start with deciding the size of the planet. I prefer very large planets, as it gives me more freedom with the ecology of each are, and makes sense as to why some of the larger beasties exist. The downside (which in my opinion is an upside) of this is that before they get teleport, the party is either stuck in one area, or they have to spend time traveling to and fro. Once you have your size, go with your continents. Get them drawn out (there are resources online to help you create this if you want) and make sure you get the terrain done with it. Where are the deserts, rainforests, and tundra? Once the continents and terrain is done, the hard part is pretty much over. Now start sticking your cities places. Make sure that each city has a reason that it's there. Human cities can go nearly anywhere (seriously, I have one city that floats in the ocean in the section in the middle that doesn't have a current) but some of the others you'll have to consider. Dwarves probably live by mountains, elves probably live near or in forests, etc.

    Now that the cities are there, decide where your beasties go. What ares has a ton of orcs? What area would be where dragons would want to be? This part requires a bit of time, but really isn't that hard. An example is like a white dragon. Stick them near some cold mountain top or in a more frigid area. Now give them minions that can handle the climate. Frostblood orcs work quite well. Now if there's a city anywhere near that, you know what the city is dealing with. A lot of quests now make themselves. You can have your over-arcing story quest, and the side quests you don't really need to plan out all that well, because you've essentially already done it. Every city has a problem, and more often than not it's either terrain, ecology, or political. Example of terrain: We normally live in flood plains and have a rather easy time farming. Right now, however there is a drought and we are wholly unprepared for it. Can you help us secure trade so in the future this does not happen again? Example of ecology: that white dragon sends his/her minions to our city and outskirts and ravages our people! Can you please help us? Example of political: we overthrew our tyrant king, but the people that used to seem like they were interested in the hearts of the people have themselves become tyrants and we no longer have the means to fight back.


    Incidentally, thank you all for your help and advice on my last thread, and I feel I should say that this is one of the nicest internet communities I've ever encountered.
    We're horrible people and are waiting for you to let your guard down before we pounce and feast upon your flesh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Fresh and exciting doesn't exist in a game that's almost old enough to drive. Which is why it's extra fun every time someone comes in to say that no, fighters are totally a real character class, because you all missed that one thing or that other one thing and once I saw a fighter beat up a squirrel.

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    MonkGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andezzar View Post

    The DM should not have a plan how the story "is supposed" to go. The DM sets the scene and plays the NPCs but he does not tell the story. The story is told by the actions of the PCs and NPCs.
    The DM should have a plan on how the story should go, that is kind basic. Sure some DM's just go random and stuff just happens at random. And it can work for some DM's and some groups, some of the time. But the vast majority of DM's have a plan. A good game or story needs things like goals, benchmarks, a climax, and so on. You can't get them at random.

    And I wonder how the DM plays an NPC to tell the story, yet the DM is not ''supposed'' to tell a story?

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    ElfWarriorGuy

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    I think their point was more not to railroad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Fresh and exciting doesn't exist in a game that's almost old enough to drive. Which is why it's extra fun every time someone comes in to say that no, fighters are totally a real character class, because you all missed that one thing or that other one thing and once I saw a fighter beat up a squirrel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    In general, favor enemies with stronger defense than offense. When enemies go down quickly but deal a ton of damage if they get a hit in, fights mostly come down to who wins initiative, which is not very interesting. When enemies are trying to grind you down over multiple rounds, there are more opportunities for good tactics to shine.

    Also, a single monster without any means of breaking the action economy is not going to be a challenge unless it's hideously over-CR'd. Boss fights are hard to design in this game. And the previous rule of thumb applies double to them--nobody wants a dramatic boss fight that's over in the first round. Fudge your bosses to have high HP.
    I like this advice. Somewhat reduces the chance that a minotaur with a greataxe crits for fatal damage in 1 shot.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by jedipotter View Post
    The DM should have a plan on how the story should go, that is kind basic. Sure some DM's just go random and stuff just happens at random. And it can work for some DM's and some groups, some of the time. But the vast majority of DM's have a plan. A good game or story needs things like goals, benchmarks, a climax, and so on. You can't get them at random.

    And I wonder how the DM plays an NPC to tell the story, yet the DM is not ''supposed'' to tell a story?
    I'm not talking about random NPC actions. I'm talking about having a plan what his characters (i.e. the NPCs) want and do but he should not have a plan how the players' characters react to the NPCs' actions. He should not plan that the PCs react in a certain way. And most importantly he should not have a predetermined single recipe for their success.

    The story is told by all of the players through their characters' (PCs and NPCs) actions. Only when they come together do you have a story.
    Last edited by Andezzar; 2014-11-03 at 05:10 PM.

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    ElfMonkGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    We're horrible people and are waiting for you to let your guard down before we pounce and feast upon your flesh.
    As the last thing of three I want to put in my sig, can I please put that in my sig?

    Thank you all for the advice so far, I'm definitely taking it all in. :)
    Quote Originally Posted by Milodiah View Post
    I have one PC in my campaign who constantly tries to force his enemies to yield (by shrieking "JUSTICE!" in a high-pitched shrill voice, since he's a freaking Tiny-size fairy cleric of St. Cuthbert).
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    We're horrible people and are waiting for you to let your guard down before we pounce and feast upon your flesh.
    My friend's Sun-Themed Discipline! PEACH!

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcos View Post
    As the last thing of three I want to put in my sig, can I please put that in my sig?

    Thank you all for the advice so far, I'm definitely taking it all in. :)
    Less than a week and you already got 3 quotes for your sig? If you stay here longer you will end up making a thread asking for the sig character input limit to be double.
    "Once, a bear grappled me and I dropped my weapon. She holded me so hard that the only thing I remember is the bear releasing me and running away. All I saw was a huge part of its arm missing and the wound being burned like someone bit it with fire."

    The story of a barbarian while resting after being fatigued by his rage


    I AM NOT QUITTING ANY GAMES. I'LL KEEP CHECKING THEM AND BE SUBSCRIBED TO THEM UNTIL THE DM DECLARES THEM DEAD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skypse View Post
    Less than a week and you already got 3 quotes for your sig? If you stay here longer you will end up making a thread asking for the sig character input limit to be double.
    Somewhere on the forums you can find extended signature threads, where you post all the various quotes and threads you've started that you want in your signature, then just link to that instead.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    We should try to make that a thing; I think it might help civility. Hey, GitP, let's try to make this a thing: when you're arguing optimization strategies, RAW-logic, and similar such things that you'd never actually use in a game, tag your post [THEORETICAL] and/or use green text
    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    So a ranger is like a Bachelor of Applied Druidology.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Jake View Post
    What's the word for 'fear of being eaten by a mounted bear in half-plate' again? Because that's the one I have.

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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    I tend to start a campaign with a faint idea of what could happen, improvisation is your greatest friend. Most of the npcs you flesh out will never be met and you'll have to make up many on the fly

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfepuppy View Post
    I tend to start a campaign with a faint idea of what could happen, improvisation is your greatest friend.
    QFT. Cheat sheets with names and stuff also help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfepuppy View Post
    Most of the npcs you flesh out will never be met and you'll have to make up many on the fly
    It depends on the scope of your NPC building and the type of campaign. If your setting revolves around a couple of characters in a small area, you are likely top use most if not all of them. If the PCs have lots of options for running around the effort to flesh out all possible NPC seems pretty tedious.

    I had a DM once that put a lot of effort into world building (maps, history etc.). He did a lot of great work, but the problem was he tired to, or at least that was my impression, show off all his work which led to very restrictive gameplay. So in the end he did a lot of work a lot of which the PCs did not discover and the players did not have an experience as enjoyable as possible.
    Last edited by Andezzar; 2014-11-04 at 11:27 AM.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    Somewhere on the forums you can find extended signature threads, where you post all the various quotes and threads you've started that you want in your signature, then just link to that instead.
    HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA omfg! Does this thing really exist??!?!??!?!?!?

    I mean it is logical to have links that point to threads for guides and other helpful stuff but linking to a thread with nothing but quotes? LOL
    "Once, a bear grappled me and I dropped my weapon. She holded me so hard that the only thing I remember is the bear releasing me and running away. All I saw was a huge part of its arm missing and the wound being burned like someone bit it with fire."

    The story of a barbarian while resting after being fatigued by his rage


    I AM NOT QUITTING ANY GAMES. I'LL KEEP CHECKING THEM AND BE SUBSCRIBED TO THEM UNTIL THE DM DECLARES THEM DEAD.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcos View Post
    As the last thing of three I want to put in my sig, can I please put that in my sig?

    Thank you all for the advice so far, I'm definitely taking it all in. :)
    Absolutely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Fresh and exciting doesn't exist in a game that's almost old enough to drive. Which is why it's extra fun every time someone comes in to say that no, fighters are totally a real character class, because you all missed that one thing or that other one thing and once I saw a fighter beat up a squirrel.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Honest Tiefling's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    1) Communicate with your players. Tell them you are new, and that you might need to retcon a bit, but you intend to be fair with such. That they should be patient with you.

    2) Be upfront with them of what sort of party/story you'd like. Be ready to compromise, but make sure you get a group you can work with. A team consisting of a LE Necromancer, a CE barbarian and a LG paladin is probably not going to be easy for ANYONE.

    3) If you want to tell a certain story, give them a large, big tasty hook. Don't tell them they'll be rescuing the princess from the dragon, tell them of the world, their place within it, and why this dragon is to be feared.

    4) Encourage your players to speak with you outside of sessions if they have problems. Dealing with such during is bad even for the most experienced DM.

    5) Make everyone write a back-story with their motivations. It doesn't have to be long, but working that in will get you grateful players and is a good skill to have.

    6) Learn to improvise. Your PCs will merrily murder the rails and go to the places you least expect. They might pass over the large city with brothels to poke at a boring ol' mining town. If you have free time, I'd start making lists of things for yourself for inns, NPCs, etc.

    7) Learn to describe things. Read up on some good fiction, and learn to present things well. It isn't just a large city, it is a bustling city even as the sun sets, with plenty of lanterns lit by gangs of slaves for those still continuing to work.

    8) Learn what sort of game your players want. Find a compromise between that and your own desires. If they want combat heavy, don't skimp on it but don't be afraid to toss in some plot. If they like story over combat, make what combat happens tied to the story, give them non-combat actions and make it memorable, if sparse.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oko and Qailee View Post
    Man, I like this tiefling.
    For all of your completely and utterly honest needs. Zaydos made, Tiefling approved.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Sunnydale

    Default Re: Help becoming a DM

    Make sure your players know that the DMG stipulates that fully 5% of all encounters should be of "overpowering" difficulty, and they need to be prepared to run away or die.

    If you want a good role-playing experience for your players, don't just use monsters that will always fight to the death. Include enemies with class levels, and assume that opponents will try to stay alive, and retreat if survival looks unlikely. An easy "win" followed a day later by an ambush executed by those who ran away from the first battle is realistic and also makes your RP world richer than a bunch of random encounters would.

    I like to have most battles be adaptable. Have an initial encounter level, and reinforcements. If the dice are rolling poorly for the PCs, the reinforcements might show up later or maybe not at all. If the dice are rolling particularly well for the PCs, the reinforcements might show up a round or two earlier, or include a third wave.

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