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[DnD] Completely new player, who wants to DM and play with all new friends. NEED HELP!

BadProctologistBadProctologist Registered User new member
edited January 2012 in Critical Failures
I watched DnD when I was about 6 years old with my brother and our cousins, but I've never played. I'm an active writer and performer and I think I would enjoy DMing a game. I need as much advice as I can get. My friends are big MMORPG players and are down to commit, but I don't know where the smartest place to start is.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

BadProctologist on


  • CadmusCadmus Registered User regular
    If your friends have never played a pen and paper role playing game before, try to highlight the differences between dnd and video games. Give them a couple encounters in the first session that can't be solved by hitting things.

    If they aren't getting the idea, find a way to encourage them to test the "you can do whatever you want" thing. My first time playing we had a long time gamer 'interrogate' a goblin by forcing it to give him a BJ. Yes, it's retarded but once he did it, the idea that things are open ended and you can do whatever you want finally clicked with the rest of the group. After that they were trying all kinds of things rather than just hit-it-with-my-axe mentality.

    If you aren't going with a wizards campaign, focus on making a setting and characters but not a story. Clear objectives are good but don't make the path to the objectives, just make several ways of getting there and leave clues for the players on what paths there are.

  • AegofAegof Registered User regular
    Do you have books? I work mostly off of the Rules Compendium and Dungeon Master's Guide 2, but I hear good things about DMG1, also. The RC's rules are most up-to-date, though.
    How about books for players? The first Player's Handbook has enough material for a party. PHB2 and 3 do also, and end up being a bit more complex each. The Heroes of the Forgotten Lands/Fallen Kingdoms books have new takes on Player's Handbook classes, and can be much simpler. Your players may prefer one or the other.
    (Alternatively, you can get a Dungeons & Dragons Insider subscription, and build the player's characters without having books at all. That will mean you'll have to sort through tons and tons of material, which can be a bit of a pain.)

    How are you for monsters? The Monster Vault is your best bet if you don't have anything yet, since it comes with a bunch of tokens and most of the iconic DnD monsters. Between the vault and maybe some design of your own, you'll be able to come up with lots of things to beat up so the players can take their stuff.

    Are you good at improvising? It's a useful thing to be good at! Under-preparation is a pain, but over-preparation is the worst. I tend to plan out broad strokes, key figures and make up the rest as I need it. If you're good at it, your players might not even be able to tell that you're making it up as you go along. Doing this and keeping things consistent can be tricky if your memory's not great, though.

    If you've not even seen the game in action since you were six, you might try to find a seat in an Encounters session at a local games store. Else, there's the Penny Arcade podcasts, which are pretty entertaining. Or maybe the Let's Play Dungeons and Dragons thread at Something Awful, if the paywall happens to be down and you can see the thread. (Or skip the thread and go straight to the videos.) Both have people learning as they go, and are fairly entertaining.

    I'm providing ambience.
  • BadProctologistBadProctologist Registered User new member
    Thank you guys both so much. I am currently collecting the necessary funds to make a real run at a campaign for my friends. I'll buy the Monster Vault and a couple of books and get down to work.

    I am pretty good at improvising, and have a pretty good semi-psychic connection with these friends so I think being able to surpass the hit-it-with-my-axe mentality won't be too tough. But it makes sense to be worried about the level or preparation. I'm very excited so that fear of over preparation is very real, but I've also realized I'll have to learn for myself.

    I am really going to have to push the difference between the board game and video game RPG because we have all become used to the explosions and stuff from the modern days MMORPGs, so that will be a battle. Any more suggestions or thoughts is greatly appreciated!

    Thank you again!

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