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D&D

5 months ago

Sometime after school starts and things get less busy, my friends and I wanted( I wanted to and dragged then down with me) to learn how to play D&D. I don't actually know anyone irl who plays and was wondering if any of you could give me any tips or useful information that I should know before we actually start playing. I will most likely end up being DM, so any tips for that would be helpful. Thanks! 
 

D&D

5 months ago

If you're going to be the DM, be prepared to do A LOT of planning out the adventures, events, encounters, etc.

You're definitely going to have to know the rules better than anyone because if you don't players will try to take advantage of that.

Remember, the players are your enemy and you're trying to kill them. Obviously you don't kill them all immediately, you have to build up to it and you have to at least try to give them a chance to win, but don't make it easy.

D&D

5 months ago
So I've run a few games, and am typically dm, so I guess I'm a little qualified to give some advice here.

So first you have a choice to make, you can either run a prewritten or make something original. Whatever you choose, I recommend making a oneshot, meaning that it's all in one session. This will let your players have something fun and fulfilling without either you or them having to commit much.

Now assuming you make your own oneshot, a couple things. First you don't need to plan everything out, and you especially don't need to write it all down. Have bullet points of plot things, if you have a map you might want to plan what's in each room, but you don't need to do what I did my first time and write down the dialogue an npc makes if the players make a specific skill check in this one spot.

Another reason beyond just saving time is that your group will probably goof off a lot and might mess with the plot a little. If you have an idea of what needs to happen you can come up with alternative ways to lead them down that path, but if you have all this planned out and count on them going in the exact rooms in the exact order you planned, either you will mess up your plot, or you will railroad your players into doing a thing, squashing the fun out of it for them.

Going off of your group goofing off, keep in mind that the whole point of dnd is to have fun. Don't squash it for your players by keeping everything 100 percent serious. If a player wants to go up and tame the giant skeleton dog that shouldn't be tameable, try to let them. At least let them try, and if it's towards the end letting them have it can be a game defining moment that you'll laugh about down the line.

And since your players probably won't be trying to speedrun the mission as fast as possible, try to limit how many things you put in. Things will take a lot more time than you think to do, and you don't want to have to rush at the end to do everything.

Now as far as running the game, it might seem daunting to have to learn all the rules and do everything perfectly, but here's a secret. You don't! Now it is important to learn the rules, but you don't need to know all of them by heart. And if a rule is dumb, feel free to change it. It's your game, design it to be the most fun for your players. (This works because your players don't know the rules super well either. You will probally want to tell them that you're doing a rule this way before doing it.)

For an example when a player drops to 0 hit points the player rolls a death saving throw every turn. 10 or lower is bad, and 11 or higher is good. Roll bad 3 times and you die, roll good 3 times you go back to 1 hp. Now players can also heal each other to escape this and get them to 1 hp. So what I did, granted I saw this idea online, is that I would roll their death saving throws and they wouldn't know what they were. This creates suspense since everyone is panicking since the last 2 rolls could have been bad. Just try not to break the game, but if you do it's a one shot so it doesn't really matter.

So that's all I can think of in my current tired state. I'll post an additional post if I think of anything else. I wish you good luck in running your games.

D&D

5 months ago
I play D&D weekly with some friends and through that time I've learned somethings so here is a quick list of good advice.
1. Bend rules to have fun (based on DM) but also have fun with the rules.
2. Combat is only fun if its in burst so don't make your adventure strictly combat (also your utility players will love you if you do puzzles and social situations frequently).
3. Own up to your low rolls (unless you are being a nice DM by faking a lower roll to make that game fun)
4. Make characters you actually enjoy playing as, Also make sure they actually have personality (my table suffers from a player who we have to force to give his character any personality and it sucks)
5. Take some time to study the rules it just makes the game better.

I'm typing this quick because i'm busy so its not a lot but the goal is to have fun and make a cool story so go do that. :)

D&D

5 months ago
Being a DM is like writing a story; just have a few hooks (or a single one if it's good) and main NPC's prepared and improv the rest. That'll save time, and imo, it's more fun thinking on the fly than reading off a set script. You'll be more open to player input as well.

Personally, I find too much combat to go stale quickly, so I go for a single combat encounter a session (and long rest) max over a preparing few shittier ones. But as DnD isn't balanced to be played like that, be sure to put it solidly in the deadly category in your online encounter calculator. The deadlier you make it, the more room you have to play suboptimally and scale the amount you fuck around back to how well the party is doing.

Fuck the youtube tutorials, pick up the actual monster manual/player handbook (the PDFs of which are also regularly around on the internet if you're a teen and all your cash goes to booze) and start skimming the actually interesting chapters there.

Be sure to not treat it too autistic and serious, DnD is a great excuse to get the squad together and fuck around. Everything else is secondary to that.

D&D

5 months ago
Do you have a DMG?

D&D

5 months ago

Dungeon Master's Guide, to clarify.

D&D

5 months ago

Are you playing fifth edition?  And if so, do you have a copy of the rule books?  If not, there's a couple places you can get a free pdf online.  You definately want to have a very good understanding of the player's manual and dungeon master's guide.

In my highly limited experience as a DM, I would say the most important things I learned are don't let any one part of the game drag too slow (such as players spending 10 minutes debating each action in combat), and start small.  New players especially will be happy with a simple adventure that helps them learn the rules, and if you're a new DM, running something unambitious for a first game will give you room to experiment and find your style

Amusingly, I just came to this site from reading a website on how to DM better.  If you want some helpful (and angrily-phrased) advice on DMing, I recommend visiting TheAngryGm.  However, be warned:  A lot of the stuff on here is pretty detailed, and might not be helpful, especially if this is your first time DMing.

Also, don't stress out about it!  Everyone is coming here to have fun, and your players will work with you rather than against you.  

 

D&D

5 months ago

Play 5e Adventurer's League at tier 1 (the lowest tier where plenty of noobs come in) so you can get a feel for the combat.  The storytelling / flavor-text is mostly on you as a DM, but there's plenty of free PDFs to take inspiration from or adhere to (if your brain is too fried to make up your own adventure).

Campaigns can often get derailed because your players spontaneously make up a side-story or whatever, but it's up to you to either railroad them (force them back into the campaign) or just roll with it and make up new content as you go.

As DM though, you have the ultimate say on what goes and what doesn't.  If something seems cool even if it breaks the rules, then rule of cool takes precedence.  If something seems stupid (like rolling to Seduce the Dragon) then not even rolling a 20 counts for shit if it doesn't sit right with you.

D&D

5 months ago
So did you ever drag them into their first campaign, or is this still some time in the future? I'd love to hear how that goes.

D&D

5 months ago

Sometime in the near future. We would have started a bit earlier but my friend mentioned it to their dad, and he wanted to play too so we have been waiting for him to have the time. I can tell you about the first campaign after we play it if you would like. 
 

Thanks for all the advice, this has been really helpful! 

D&D

5 months ago
Her dad sounds cool.