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Help the new DM

Discussion in 'Dungeons & Dragons + Other RPGs' started by Volsung, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. Volsung Gems: 14/31
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    [​IMG] I'm a new DM but we haven't started playing a serious adventure. I baught a module from a shop but the players somehow managed to know that there is a dragon in the adventure(I wont tell the name of the module for there might be a player who plays in this one---the dragon is a young dragon-medium sized). What now?

    Also, the adventure is for 4 players 3rd level but my players are 2 4th level(they are playing with a cleric 4lvl and wizard 4lvl) and the adventure is VERY difficult. But the players are seriously playing D&D for the first time and will surely not think of some other course of action rendering the adventure very difficult. I tried to persuade them to create other characters(a fighter or paladin or ranger or barbarian and a rogue both 5 level) but they wont listen to me. The place is full of monsters and traps but if I remove some of them the whole adventure will be ruined. What should I do?

    And another thing. The shop which sells the books and such has run short of the DM's guide. I am a somewhat experienced player and I know many rules besides: 1)How can I know how much experience points the players gain? 2)How can I know the CR of the party in order to compare it with the monsters' CR? 3)What is EL? 4)What is Hit Dice?
     
  2. Baldak Oakfist Gems: 15/31
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    First of all, when you purchase any module, you should modify it so that it fits into your world. At the very least change the maps and names so it is not easily recognized.

    If your players don't want to listen to your advice on having alternative characters,there are a few things you can do. First, let them learn the hard way. Second, perhaps they wouldn't mind playing extra characters in addition to the ones they already have. And third, you could send an NPC or two along with them.

    As for the DMG and modules, you can buy them online.

    Finally, the WOTC web site has some free downloadable adventures that you can get. As I stated before, you should modify them.

    [Edited to comply with forum rules.] -Tal

    [ June 05, 2003, 23:17: Message edited by: Taluntain ]
     
  3. Slappy Gems: 19/31
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    [​IMG] There was a similar post a short while back that might help you a bit. Click here.

    If you haven't already looked, there might also be something on the official site here.

    You might also find something useful here.

    Though to be honest, someone will probably just come up with a simple answer based on challenge ratings that I have't got access to :(
     
  4. Compulsive Dementia Gems: 7/31
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    I can't help you so much with the first parts for or post, having barely started dming my self. However, on the last part of your poll-
    First of all, I would think its hard to play without the dmg, especially for what you need. Anyway-
    1) In the DMG, there is a chart that compares the average level of the group to the CR of the monsters they defited. You just look at the average level of the group, and look over to the CR of each monster defeated, and divide that by the number of players, and that's how much each earns. I know that if you play in forgotten Realms, this changes a little bit. Also, the DM can award for anything he wants, and there is a rule for "free form" experience, I believe, where you just eyeball it. You might be able to get the chart online, but I'm not sure. You can probably use story awards instead.
    2)The party is usually the average of the levels of all the characters
    3)EL= Encounter Level, which is kind of like how hard it is to beat all the creatures, such as two creatures of CR 9 have EL of 11, I think.
    4)Hit dice are the amount of dice you roll for hit points, and I believe it can be used interchangable with character levels, especially with things like the spell sleep.
    I hope this helps.
     
  5. Oaz Gems: 29/31
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    On the adventure advice - you can always scale donw the adventure. Lower the number of orcs attacking you, change the dire wolves to normal wolves, etc.

    1) This baby kicks butt: XP award generator

    2) See above - you can get the Effective Party Level.

    3,4) Ditto on Alexander. Certain circumstances may modify the EL, such as fighting archers that are shooting at you from a cliff. Circumstances don't modify CR, though. Be sure to add an ad hoc XP bonus/penalty if you add the circumstances in, though.
     
  6. Volsung Gems: 14/31
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    OK thank you very much. But I still do not understand the Hit Dice thing. For example and orc has 1d8(4hp) hit dice. Does this mean that the orc is 1-8 levels with 4 hp for each level? And the orc has 1/2 CR. Is this CR the same between a level 8 orc and a level 1 orc?

    @Compulsive Dementia, you said: "You just look at the average level of the group, and look over to the CR of each monster defeated, and divide that by the number of players" I do not understand what do you mean. Give examples, please.
     
  7. Oaz Gems: 29/31
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    An (average, XP-in-a-flesh-bag) orc has 1d8 HD.

    There is 1 Hit Dice. This is his "level" You roll 1d8 (1-8) to determine HP. The average orc has 4 HP. The average orc is easily affected by sleep spells and the like, because he has only one mere Hit Dice.

    A stronger orc, say, a 6th-level orc barbarian, would have HD 6d12 (assuming normal constitution score). This means he rolls 6d12 to determine HP (average 39). He is sixth level, meaning that some spells (like sleep, IIRC), will not function against him.

    HD represents how skilled, trained, powerful etc. the creature is; this is fairly vague. A dog has 1 HD, because it's not particulary powerful. A dire wolf might have 6 HD because it's bigger, tougher, and more powerful. A pit fiend will have a lot of HD because it's a really powerful demon.

    CR is partially based on HD, but CR is just how hard it is. A creature with 4 HD, but no special abilities, has a fairly low CR. A creature with 4 HD, but a whole bunch of spell-like abilites, damage reduction, and spell resistane, is going to have a higher CR.

    For every class level you have, that is +1 CR. A 5th-level elf ranger is CR 5. An ogre (CR 2, I think) with 4 levels in fighter is going to be CR 6.

    Concerning XP, you can always just use the XP calculator. ;) But I'll give you an example. If a 4th-level party (of four PCs) fights a dragon of CR 4, here is what you should do: Consult the XP table, match 4th-level party with CR 4. Let's say that's 500 XP. You divide 500 by 4 (the number of PCs), and each PC gets 125 XP.

    You can also award XP for non-combat situations. It's just guesswork for that. Be sure to give matching treasure with it, though.
     
  8. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  9. Volsung Gems: 14/31
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    Tal, this was my first thought ;) , but I don't have a credit card and I don't want to get a credit card.

    Oaz, ok. Thank you very much. But now another question concerning CR. A 4 level fighter has 4 CR, but what about a 4 level fighter with armor and weapons of +5 enchentment? Same with a wizard and his spells. Does it matter whether he has, for example, 10 known spells or 20 known spells?
     
  10. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    There's always someone that has one that you could ask to buy for you. ;)
     
  11. Oaz Gems: 29/31
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    Giving unfair monetary/equipment advantages/disadvantages to a character is a tricky adjustment to CR. Generally, it's not a big deal if a level 4 fighter happens to have a +3 sword, which is probably out of his league. However, if you are giving a level 16 fighter only a piece of armor and a masterwork sword, the CR is most likely lowered to 15. Likewise, if you give a level 5 fighter a bunch of artifacts, his CR is most likely increased to 6 or even 7, depending on the artifact.
     
  12. Nick The Friendly Goth Gems: 5/31
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    You just need to get the DMG like Tal said. You would have to be some kind of moron to not have it and try to DM.
     
  13. Compulsive Dementia Gems: 7/31
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    @Nick the Friendly Goth- Actually, although it would be difficult without the dmg, I bet it is possible- just lots of house rules.
     
  14. Volsung Gems: 14/31
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    OK I downloaded the DMG in PDF format. The problem is that we wont play always at my home and the players don't even have a computer.

    Nick, as I said before the shop which sells these stuff run out of the DMG's. It's not my fault. And as Com. Dem. said it is possible.
     
  15. Nick The Friendly Goth Gems: 5/31
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    Then buy it off SP and don't give me that credit card excuse have someone buy it for you then pay them back in cash, don't be theif!
     
  16. Volsung Gems: 14/31
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    No-one I know has a credit card. And we Greeks are not very fond of credit cards. Anywasy, I baught the DM screen. It will surely help me. It's better than nothing.
     
  17. Oaz Gems: 29/31
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    Alexander - I'm guessing you don't have the DMG. That pretty much means you wont' be able to have the charts for EL, XP, town/city/village statistics, and magic items. Fortunately, there are tools that can help you generate towns at 3ednd.com. There are rules for pricing/creating magic items on opengamingfoundation.org. Both are free, and AFAIK they are legal.

    There is also an NPC, dungeon, and treasure generator out there; I forgot the URL, but you can search for "Jamis Buck".
     
  18. Volsung Gems: 14/31
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    OK thanks.


    Tal, you may close this thread if you want. I don't need it anymore.

    [We don't just close threads because their starters feel like it.] -Tal

    [ June 08, 2003, 23:37: Message edited by: Taluntain ]
     
  19. Nick The Friendly Goth Gems: 5/31
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    Man life with out credit cards is no life at all... Since when do Greeks not like Credit cards? lol
     
  20. Volsung Gems: 14/31
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    The majority of Greeks never had a credit card and never will. There was a stastical research some time ago and about 65% Greeks don't like credit cards.
     
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