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Running first ever game.

Discussion in 'Dungeons & Dragons + Other RPGs' started by Dalveen, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Dalveen

    Dalveen Rimmer gone Bald Veteran

    Oct 11, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Some of my friends wanted to try D&D, and since I'm the only person they know who has previously played it, I kind of got roped into running the game. Does anyone have any good tips for a first time DM? Also, do you find it easier to run a campaign in a FR setting or creating your own world?
    I'm running the game in 3.5e
  2. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

    Apr 20, 2002
    Likes Received:
    [​IMG] I really like the FR sourcebooks and races, so quite often I will use them even if I'm not running an FR game :p

    Otherwise go for what you are comfortable with - if you like the FR setting and think it will be easier to have a place where the players can read up more if they want to - then use FR books alongside the core ones and start the campaign in a lower key location to introduce them to the world.

    If you want to be able to control more about the world and what your players know - make a new one. Don't deviate too much from the information in the core books though as more often than not a newer player will either not read the books at all and expect to be able to pick it up easily or will read too much and question when you are wrong.

    Biggest point if they are first time players - BY THE LOVE OF GOD MAKE SURE THEY KNOW THE RULES. I was sat wondering in the first D&D campaign at uni why my character was generally weaker - it was because every other little bugger was cheating and didn't even realise it because the DM neglected to enlighten them on certain basic rules such as skill point allocation having a cap at each level!

    Only run as many NPCs as you are comfortable with. If the players explore an area you didn't expect them to, let them go ahead and do that, don't railroad them unless they really start to deviate into something pointless, just make it clear they're losing sight of their goals - link things together if neccessary.

    That tip is golddust.

    If they start taking the mickey, use and employ DM wrath fairly when neccessary.

    Play to the characters motivations. The lure of a magic item can entice the more materialistic characters to a sidequest or plot point - adding the fact the current owner has a well stocked library or holds a vital piece of information may be the lure required to draw in the others - horses for courses.

    If the characters want to play something weird or act completely inappropriately. Respond in kind. Players are often surprised and offended when they are arrested but sometimes it's the only thing that will get them back in line.

    Don't be afraid of death - but make sure you're players are. This has been more important in WoD games than D&D I've found, but players that become too brazen with their characters usually kick up the biggest fuss when they kick the bucket by getting cocky. Emphasise the danger of situations, every so often put them in a place they will have to flee from or deal with in a more diplomatic manner to save their hides. Leads to a lot fewer "I throw the halfling down the corridor to check for traps" instances.

    If you have a player who believes they are invincible - don't let them play you. I had a new player in a group who roll-played and knew the rules better and how to abuse them better than he knew the back of his hand. He openly criticised my storytelling style and would talk to me after games trying to tell me how to run my game and what to do. Don't let players get away with it. If they cannot respect it is your game they are joining as players then discuss problems openly and if there are any with the other players. They may need a taste of DMing themselves to see how challenging it really is.
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