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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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    Ha! I invented and unbreakable code then?
    I forgot to switch on English to post it, I'm terribly sorry.

    What I meant was:
    "Rutkowski, is that you?

    Do you want me to open a thread in the AoDA or the Whatnots about the credit cards?"


    Nobleman, that's very good advice. But I find preparation a bit difficult. And one player makes my life harder :mad: He has a wizard. A decent character, but now(after two sessions) he strted whinning that he doesn't like him and that he wants to create another character who will be "better". I'm trying to persuade him that there is no "better" character, since I'll adjust the difficulty of the adventure according to the characters they have, but in vain.

    [ June 13, 2003, 18:31: Message edited by: Alexander the Great ]
     
  2. Faragon Gems: 25/31
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    Two sessions and he's decided he doesn't like the character? That's quick ;) Why doesn't he like the wizard? Perhaps giving him advice on character development will help his ROLEplaying. (rather than rollplaying, if that's what's the problem with his char.)
     
  3. Nobleman Gems: 27/31
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    Unsatisfied players are the last thing you want. Let him change, but make sure he understands that there is more to a Pen and paper character than numbers. Else he is better off with a computer game. But let him change. Happy players are easier to teach and work with than angry players. :)

    Preparations hard. Yeah tell me. Sometimes I can't wait to get started, sometimes it feels like a drag. A way to make it easier and faster for rushed prepeartions, is to Make a list for each NPC.

    A) what their reason is in the adventure.
    B) How they got there.
    C) What they aim at.
    D) Their means at getting there.
    E) How they will react to friendly/hostile adventurers.
    F) their reactions to other NPC's

    Then most of the adventure can unfold pretty easy from the DM point of view, if he has put the NPC/monsters they meet in perspective. You know a monster can have feelings too, and a beholder can be angry cause he has an itch on his back and his lover left him for a Gauth. etc... :)

    EDIT; Keep us updated on how it goes. I am always curious and interested in how other DM's are fairing, looking for tidbits of advice myself. A DM is never perfect, and time spend on Dungeon mastering is almost completely irrelevant to his skills. We'll get through the wonderfull frustrations of a first time DM, together :)

    [ June 14, 2003, 00:06: Message edited by: Nobleman ]
     
  4. Gothmog

    Gothmog Man, a curious beast indeed! ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    [​IMG] Its excatly the same with me.

    I bought core books a month(or so) ago, studied them a bit and then tried playing PnP for the first time. Myself being both the DM and the player... just to see how it goes.
    You know that first campaign? The one with the unicorn, Durgal the dwarf, necromancer and the merchants. I played it for myself to the hobgoblins.

    Now here's the part where i have some problems...

    Today was my first try at being a DM for other players. It was me and two other guys(actually one's a girl).One of them already knew a bit of D&D from BG games, the girl had no idea whats all about. We choose a character(the pre-made ones) Mialee, Tordek and Ragnar. I chose one as well... i think that was a mistake as i'm DMing for the first time. There were times when i could barely keep up with both leading my char. and reading the Adventure. Bad choice it seems to me. And besides it wasnt even that fun knowing what will be beyond the doors and where traps are,...

    None of us died(luckily) so we didnt argue about the death of a character(which we undoubtebly would if it happened). But thats one of the few things that were positive.
    In the end all three of our characters ended up with 2300XP and being in the pre-last adventure from there.


    One thing bothered me though... they were SO shocked when it came to that i said i changed the adventure a bit. All i did was that i added two goblins more in a room where we were supposed to be ambushed by four of them on te way back. And i put two of them on our way in the dungeon. I did it for a good reason though... we were all 20XP missing to 2nd level and i knew that in the next room there waits a ogre who could crush any of our fighters with one sweep of his giant club. And he would if there werent for those two goblins... he did 15 damage to me... that would kill me on the spot if i were lvl1.
    I told them that the point of D&D is to have fun and changing the campaign, not following blindly the rules. They didnt seem convinced at all :(


    Anyway to sum all that above, i have to say it didnt go that well at all. I'm sure i can get one of them to play again with me, but i dont know about the second. And i think it was a bit too much hack&slash for the first time... practicaly all we did was dungeon-crawling, sleeping(at least in an inn :) ) and buying new stuff. All we spoke(IC ofcourse) was with the thief who we killed later(diplomacy failed).

    So i'm wondering if you have any advices for me... other than these already listed naturaly(gotta have a careful look at it again).
    And most of all if you know any a bit more RP campaigns to start with.
     
  5. Volsung Gems: 14/31
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    Gothmog, you can get the adventure I too have.
    It's called: Forge of Fury. It's for 4 players 3rd level.


    Ok, I let him change. He created a character REALLY good:
    Str 15
    Dex 18
    Con 18
    Int 18
    Wis 14
    Cha 13

    And he's a wizard. The problem is, this is the 126th roll. No kidding. 126 rolls.

    Another problem: One player is always out with his friends when we(me and the other player) want to play D&D.
     
  6. Nobleman Gems: 27/31
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    [​IMG] ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAARRHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry for the outburst. But it was needed. I have missunderstood you terribly. I though he wanted another character type than wizard... I have ruined everything for you. Now the other players will feel treated unfairly *Curses in all Klingon dialects* :sosad:

    Do what most other roleplaying systems do. Give a fixed number of points to distribute to stats. Do it to all your players. Ever played IWD II? Use that system. Now don't hesistate. Do it Immediately!!!!!!! No matter how much they might complain they will know it is the fairest system of them all and they'll grow to accept it. *cries out loud* Nooooooo what the **** have I done :mad: . Let him keep this character, only, and Only if you are 100% sure the other players are 100% satisfied with his many rerolls and supercharacter.

    EDIT;
    Gothmog
    First find a way to make your PC a far less active figure in the group. Make him settle down. Let him find a romance, let him find a church he wants to work for. Make him kidnapped. Do anything that gets him out of the way. A DM should never have someone as complicated as a PC acting in the group. Ever

    Second, tell your players to ask ANY DM on ANY forum ANYWHERE they like. EVERY DM, they find improvise and adapt SOMETHING. If they can find the slightest hint that Dungeoun masters cannot alter an adventure give them a round of beer. and tell them they did a hell of a detective job.

    Third; nothing is wrong with hack and slash as long as every monster has a personality and a meaning in the game. Where they came from. why they are there? Are they willing to talk or even negotiate? can they cheat the players in any way if they are evil? Can they team up on a greater foe? etc etc. Be carefull with Political adventures, detective adventures and the like. They might end up too dull. Just give every hack and slash encounter a meaning, like the list above and the list in my previous post and everything works out.

    Examples.
    For instance the group I am dm with is a good aligned group. But currently they work out quests for a white dragon that has conned them into believing she is good. Every quest they undertake makes the world a little darker, but its so darn hard to notice in the smaller perspective. Of course they act to their best intent so they won't get punished XP wise. Further they once had a Goblin follower from an encounter. It was abandoned by its raiding band while surrounded by the adventurers. Instead of just beeing another combat round of killing a goblin, it begged for mercy in every possible way, sounds, gestures, looks, then with its meager wooden items etc. And it was temporarily reliefed from excecution by the good aligned group. It then started to adapt their lifestyle as the adventurers' henchman and they later even gave it a name. Gobbie. Its a long time since it sneaked away from the group as a decent level 4 fighter Neutral with evil tendencies. Now it is in the pool of interesting NPC-s they might meet later. Instead of a boring slaughter of a Goblin. Hack and slash pen and paper adventures can be really fun. And not many monsters have a death wish.

    But don't sit around here and read all day!
    Go to Splendid small adventures here And Awesome free adventures and stuff here Find a few of them and work them together as one adventure. Can prove Very fun and interesting both when you create the adventures and when playing. Once you pick two or three completely seperate adventures and work them down to one adventure, lots of Ingtriques and sideplots and detective work will unfold from your creativeness. Go now quick!

    [ June 15, 2003, 15:15: Message edited by: Nobleman ]
     
  7. Register Gems: 29/31
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    @Alexander - Yes, it is me, Rutkowski. How come?
     
  8. Volsung Gems: 14/31
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    This "monsters' personality" sounds nice.

    Is it a good idea to control an NPC(a ranger) that helps the party? He's not playing an active role and does anything (*ahem* almost anything) the party tells him to.

    The player with the wizard, when he speaks it's like making a political speech. He encountered an ogre who asked him: "Who are you and what are you doing here. Speak quick or you'll die" and the player started telling the ogre his whole life's story.

    Also, in the adventure there are some Duergars that attack the party on sight. I thought that the duergars could be friendly(as friendly as possible a duergar can be) and assign the party a task: kill the black dragon underneath. After that they would attack the party to take the treasures they found etc. After all the Duergars are evil and they used the party for their own purposes. What do you think?

    PS, there's no problem with your mistake. We haven't played since he made that char.
     
  9. Nobleman Gems: 27/31
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    [​IMG] Good ideas. :thumb:
    As long as the ranger doesn't act against his goals and persuits in life, its an excellent idea, with some NPC aid. As long as he doesn't take over the show as a PC.

    And that speech. :hahaerr: seems as you are having a good time afterall. That might have caught the ogre pretty much off guard. Why can't wizards be academical and carry on etiquette outside the study halls. wonderfull. :D
     
  10. Faragon Gems: 25/31
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    126 rolls? How much is there left of those dice? :grin:

    And: Oh my, those stats are just too good. Personally, if I had rolled that, I'd toss it aside, and roll anew. There's no fun in being near godlike (well, as much as you can be at level 1 ;) ) I mean, with stats like those, the character had better damn well be a local hercules :)
     
  11. Volsung Gems: 14/31
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    Oh Nobleman, I forgot to add something. When he encountered the ogre, who is the chieftain of an orc clan, he was polymorphed into an orc. Since when do the orcs talk like this?

    Faragon, he's level 5. And used the Character Creator Demo to create his char.
     
  12. Gothmog

    Gothmog Man, a curious beast indeed! ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I ust admit the DM part in the adventure seems more and more atractive to me. :)

    The way you can develop the story and create new NPCs just like that :eek: .


    I think i'll find one good free adventure and insert a major villian, who will show up at most unsuitable places taunt the party a bit, shoot a bolt at them and then dissapear. Fighter/rogue would be suitable :cool:

    Gotta love being a DM :grin: :grin:
     
  13. Nobleman Gems: 27/31
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    Yay! I am happy when you are happy. Give that dude a teleportation ring, that will make the players want to kill him even more badly. *teasing laugh* :)
    Go toy and enjoy with them Tigers... *rooaar* Quote drunk tiger looking for its black stribes.

    Alexander; He was polimorphed into an orc and still talked like a wizzard? :lol: This is getting better and better. Don't mourn peculiar situations. Enjoy them. Damn I wish I had been there to see that Ogre's face. This is where a trained DM shows his talents of improvisations. Or a gifted new DM flourish. That situation is gold brother, for showing the true might and Rule of Pen and Paper next to any stiff computer game!
     
  14. Volsung Gems: 14/31
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    Well, yes, I LMAO with this but I warned him: "You're an orc, talk like an orc". Anyway.

    Near the dungean there is a town. The town don't have a wizard so I added one. He is a gnome illusionist with a facial deformation and he knows almost anything about the dungeon. The mage was directed to the gnome but the gnome hates all humans and especially human wizards(it's about the deformation). And the little gnome kicked out of his tower the mage. Then he tried to restore the illusionist's face, but in vain. :lol: It was funny.
     
  15. Gothmog

    Gothmog Man, a curious beast indeed! ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I'm wondering about a thing... An elf has automatical search ability. The way i understand it is that when an elf comes by some secret door or something i secretly roll search check. If it fails i do nothing... if it suceedes i tell him he found a secred door(for instance).

    Is this so?


    Also my players like to roll dice for themselves. If a goblin attacks them they want to roll it. If it doesnt concern them they dont(naturaly). But most things do :rolleyes:
    So i'm wondering... what does the player roll at all?


    EDIT: I'm also a bit confused about initiative... In the adventure i got beside the books it says initiative detirmined like this: take 10 and add init. modifier.
    In the books i came across a different way: roll d20 and add init. modifier.

    Whats with that then? Is it a matter of preference?

    And attacks.... Lets say you have the highest initiative and ack first. And you have a bow and 3 attacks per round.
    Do get to shoot three arrows and then the opponent gets his turn?

    [ June 17, 2003, 20:48: Message edited by: Gothmog4230 ]
     
  16. Nobleman Gems: 27/31
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    But for elves, you do it the same way as I do. Sometimes I make the chances larger and smaller depending on the situation.

    I only let the players roll for some of the things their character does, not monsters NPCs or anything else. Attack rolls and Initiative and damage I roll in the open where the players can see them. But if you for example have a ranger tracking a troll who has stolen the city's charcoal, I roll his track in secret. In fact for each player I have 40 prerolled D20s written down. Each time they are required to make a check that they can't know if they failed or succeded I just pick from the top of that list and move down the list as the gamesession goes on. The PCs will always feel they managed to get it right ;) . The ranger will have thought he had done his best at following the tracks nomatter if he failed the check or not. The more he failed the roll with the longer time it takes for him to realize that he brought them in a more or less wrong direction for example.

    Initiative. Its preference as far as I know. We have disabled take10 totally. We still use take 20.

    Attacks per round. I have enforced this simple but logical rule. Each concecutive attack is depending on the weaponspeed. Lets Say Gurgo the Halfling Barbarian(I am glad the 3.5 edition supports my open minded approach to races and classes) has 3 attacks per round and a weapon with weapon speed 5 and an initiative of 9. His first attack is at an initiative 9 as normal. The next attack is at 4, however, and the last at -1. You must only practice this rule out if you can keep track of the many added numbers. It takes some practice to find a way to write it down in a way that is fast and efficient for you. It is frustrating if the DM constantly forgets whose turn it is and who is missing and who is not.

    [ June 18, 2003, 16:03: Message edited by: Nobleman ]
     
  17. Voltric Gems: 19/31
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    [​IMG] I'm not sure what rolling system you use for you PCs but 18s and rolling 126 times is right out. I'm very generous about the rolling I allow. Roll 4d6 per stat drop the lowest and re-roll any 1s and arrange to taste. But you only get to roll ONCE. With 126 roles anyone could get a bunch of 18s.

    On the changing the adventure. A DM can, and most likely should change things to improve the players experience. But do you give XP out after every fight? I only give XP out at the end of each adventure. It works much better that way. XP is awarded for storyline completion, good roleplaying, good ideas and value added to the game session.

    As a DM remember the story is everything. Plan out your story in advance, if at all possible. Combat is only the smallest part of the adventure. Interacting with the environmnet is what gaming is all about.

    Know you players. Know what they want. Ask them what they'd like to experience. Run a game that both you and they enjoy.

    Take notes so you can keep things consistant. NPC names, places, etc should be the same even if you had to make them up on the fly. Write it down and clean up your notes later on.

    The rules only exist to make the game fun. Your are the DM, cheat if it improves that game. Don't go looking up a rule in the middle of the action. It kills the mood. Wing it and keep the tension building. The worst thing for a game is 10 minute of dead time while you flip through books looking for something. Keep the story moving. Draw the players in.
     
  18. Oaz Gems: 29/31
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    Take 20 with initiative? :eek: I take it you mean the refocus action with that?

    I was under the impression it was just a roll; taking 10/20 isn't possible (well, I suppose you could take 10 if you were sparring or training in combat with someone, but that's beyond the point, methinks).
     
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