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New DM tips and things to avoid

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Posts

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    badpoet wrote: »
    Eh, I think the lethality 5E is overplayed if you've got vets there that don't do stupid things. I know I'm in the minority on that, but if you build encounters and really pay attention to what you're throwing at people it's not really an issue.You'd be surprised at how much a party of level ones can take.

    Considering that a monster winning initiative can one-shot a player, I don't see how a veteran can avoid that. This is the lethality problem.

    As for new DM tips..I'd say if you think up something cool to do. DO IT NOW. Don't think about keeping it for later since a lot of games die before you get to that point.

    if they were given that stat gen method and an extra feat they very likely are tough enough to bumble through first level, since they probably didn't have to dump con to excel in their classes.

  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    Some tips for a new GM:

    1. Don't do epic. Everyone always gets crazy awesome ideas that involve flights of dragons and open wounds in the fabric of reality that lead straight to the heart of the abyss and great armies clashing in these ginormous apocalyptic battles and the players all rocking max attributes. And those are super awesome! They're also a Mother Fucking cluster hump of things that need to be kept track of, have the potential to leave the players impotent (the 6 man party doesn't exist that can fight off a flight of 20 adult dragons) and worst of all will numb the players after a few minutes to the sheer scale of it.

    Instead, do something simple, like clearing out an old keep which some bandits have dug into, or exploring some caves, or finding someones daughter who is lost in the woods. They don't sound crazy awesome, but they're easy to run and will help you to learn about running/designing adventures. Further, it gives the players an opportunity to introduce and establish themselves to each other and to you.

    2. Know your players: people roleplay as themselves most of the time; it may be a different aspect of who they are but it will always be them. Use your knowledge of who they are to help flavor the setting and pull them in.

    3. Don't push, pull: Getting players to do what they need to do can be as hard as herding cats. The trick is to get them to *want* to do these things.

  • badpoetbadpoet Registered User regular
    I totally agree with not going epic early. Some of the most fun adventures I've either played or GM'd have been small things that sometimes do and sometimes don't end up being an epic campaign a year down the road.

    Also, do be afraid to lighten the mood. In-jokes, when not taken too far, can be a pretty great tension breaker if tempers end up flaring at the table (which happens).

    And, don't be afraid to nicely ask someone someone sit out if they're being disruptive just for the sake of being disruptive. If one person is ruining the fun for everyone, yourself included, then they either need to change their attitude or find a different game to play in.

  • HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Registered User regular
    The idea of what "epic" is in D&D has always bothered me. The main characters in actual epics, like the Iliad, are better represented by mid-level D&D characters than high-level characters. In other words, I'm basically echoing Gaddez: you can tell amazing stories of adventure and danger without going loony tunes.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    I am reminded of the KODT where they play a LOTR game and a player is all psyched he gets to be gandalf and then finds out his only real spells are speaking with eagles and pyrotechnical pinecones

  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    Beyond epic levels being a bookkeeping nightmare, you kind of need to know the game system inside and out to make it work since all of the threats are going to push every envelope when it comes to challenging the players at that point.

    We'll see how long this blog lasts
    Currently DMing: None :(
    Characters
    [5e] Dural Melairkyn - AC 18 | HP 40 | Melee +5/1d8+3 | Spell +4/DC 12
    Elvenshae
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Hachface wrote: »
    The idea of what "epic" is in D&D has always bothered me. The main characters in actual epics, like the Iliad, are better represented by mid-level D&D characters than high-level characters. In other words, I'm basically echoing Gaddez: you can tell amazing stories of adventure and danger without going loony tunes.
    Yeah, Aragorn is basically a low-level Ranger. EPIC! :D

    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
    Hachface
  • Edith UpwardsEdith Upwards Registered User regular
    Don't blow up the campaign setting and utterly wreck the entire premise in the intro to your game before everyone starts.

  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Gaddez wrote: »
    Some tips for a new GM:

    1. Don't do epic. Everyone always gets crazy awesome ideas that involve flights of dragons and open wounds in the fabric of reality that lead straight to the heart of the abyss and great armies clashing in these ginormous apocalyptic battles and the players all rocking max attributes. And those are super awesome! They're also a Mother Fucking cluster hump of things that need to be kept track of, have the potential to leave the players impotent (the 6 man party doesn't exist that can fight off a flight of 20 adult dragons) and worst of all will numb the players after a few minutes to the sheer scale of it.

    I had a campaign once where my DM had us start with level 20 characters. We were badasses who were the heroes of a kingdom, we got to tell about how we rode a Dracolich into the Elemental Chaos and slayed a Elemental hellbend on bring the Chaos to the World. We were being honored by a kingdom when these black dragons appeared from nowhere and started destroying the city. We had to balance fighting the dragons and saving the people, all along we lost gear and soon our lives. Once the last of us died, the DM looked up and said, "Ok, now create level 1 characters who were the survivors you just died saving." Needless to say, starting epic is possible, but it needs to be brief, more of an intro or taste of things to come. Maybe it's not great for a group of newbies, but it's amazing for storytelling.

    Elvenshaewebguy20am0n
  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    Got another one:

    GMPCs: Great tool or Just a tool?
    One of the things that you may be tempted to do at one point is to have an additional character attatched to the party that is for all intents and purposes a PC but one that you control directly. Doing so can be helpful for the party, since it can help cover deficiencies (the party needs a tanky character or doesn't have a healer or someone who can do sneaky stuff) and help to bring them more into the world you are building. Just remember that they should never upstage the rest of the party (this has a tendency to irritate the players since they are supposed to be the stars of the story).

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    GMPC's are a tool and one that can be used well but they are also a dangerous tool. I'd compare it to giving a five year old a hatchet. Hatchet have lots of uses and are the perfect tool for lots of things but give one to a five year old and somebody is gonna end up hurt.

    For a new DM I would tell them to avoid them.

    For a DM who was insistent that they need one I would point out that the GMPC should never, ever, be the one to save the day. They don't solve problems. They don't defeat real bad guys. They don't get to be showcased in their own scenes. They may help the players do any of those things but they should definitely be the plucky sidekick who only helps the heroes on to greatness without really taking part in that greatness themselves.

    ElvenshaeGaddezMrVyngaard
  • silence1186silence1186 Character shields down! As a wingmanRegistered User regular
    GMPC's are a tool and one that can be used well but they are also a dangerous tool. I'd compare it to giving a five year old a hatchet. Hatchet have lots of uses and are the perfect tool for lots of things but give one to a five year old and somebody is gonna end up hurt.

    For a new DM I would tell them to avoid them.

    For a DM who was insistent that they need one I would point out that the GMPC should never, ever, be the one to save the day. They don't solve problems. They don't defeat real bad guys. They don't get to be showcased in their own scenes. They may help the players do any of those things but they should definitely be the plucky sidekick who only helps the heroes on to greatness without really taking part in that greatness themselves.

    Alternatively: kill off your GMPCs in the most horrible ways, to show the players we are now playing for keeps.

    V wrote:
    Words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.

    ElvenshaeMrVyngaardRhesus Positive
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Yea, I almost mentioned the one time I would let them them do heroic shit was if it ends up with them dead. It can be a self sacrificing thing or it can be a wildly overestimating their capabilities thing but they can do awesome shit if it means that's the last bit of their story. That can give PC's fond memories/motivation while avoiding the GMPC taking over the campaign problem.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    GM"PCs" I don't like so much. But VIPs who aren't useless (maybe the noble you're escorting is low-level cleric or bard) or torchbearers who have a few "hidden talents" the PCs don't, like mundane healing, have worked out for me. The basic key to them is keeping it so they don't ever step in front of a PC and do something a PC was about to do, and they don't do much by way of participating in the synthesis of plot element and clues. I ran a samurai in a campaign that wouldn't, of course, butcher anything or tend to animals other than his own purebred horse, but he had the leadership feat - so he had a guy of IIRC half his level in a squire type roll and then a table-rolled number of hangers-on and first level warriors and such that formed a small household around him. It was great. They gave us messengers, guards at night or for a base camp, etc, but they weren't individually powerful enough to defeat PC content for us. Also, our party eventually got very into essentially playing "the sims" with them during downtime.

  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    yea,

    Having an GMPC around who can cast a heal or two when the cleric needs to rock a smite? very helpful and appreciated. Or the GMPC who triggers the acid pit trap instead of the PC? Most excellent.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • TorgaironTorgairon Registered User regular
    edited November 2014
    Farangu wrote: »
    I hope you'll repay all this advice with a report on how your first adventure went once it happens.

    again, not the OP but I played my first two sessions this weekend and now I can't get the DM process off my mind, so I can unpack some stuff and hopefully it's not boring to you guys.
    webguy20 wrote: »
    yea,

    Having an GMPC around who can cast a heal or two when the cleric needs to rock a smite?

    this is what my first session ended up doing, more or less. the PCs (halfling bard, wood elf ranger, tiefling sorcerer) started in a village on the outskirts of civilization that was slowly being starved of trade and people by marauders from hobgoblin settlements in a desert to the south, and their first quest was initiated by a cleric walking into the inn and asking the resident mercenary to help him rescue his dad, a paladin of the same deity who's gone missing near a known goblinoid danger zone. merc refuses, the PCs helpfully take up the quest and surprise surprise, the merc and two bandits ambush the 3 PCs and the GMPC life cleric a mile outside the town. that warm-up encounter goes down easily, and the party makes their way to the goblin cave, where the bard lures out a set of five goblins and kobolds and the party kills them all in a similarly easy fashion, though one kobold was a turn away from escaping back into the cave and forcing a second encounter in a row unless the party backed off. they move cautiously into the cave, pick the right fork and end up in the makeshift prison, where the paladin happens to be engaged in bleeding to death from a severe case of hobgoblin torture with a poisoned whip. at some point during the last combat I'd decided inwardly that the cleric, who is a 15-year old kid with no combat experience before the events of the past morning and afternoon was going to set the party at a frantic pace to save his dad, use up all his spells and then completely lose his composure and have a breakdown when he realizes the reality of the situation, putting the strain of saving this guy on the PCs. needing two DC 15 medicine checks, the ranger rolls below a 10 and then a natural 1, so he nicks an artery of course and the paladin bleeds to death in his son's arms. the party has a collective "welp" moment and lets the cleric collect himself; after, they bury the paladin, rest and come back to purge the cave. the goblin boss and an entourage have come out to investigate the slain goblins and kobolds (which is awfully convenient, but there's plenty of convenience in this story, something obvious for me to work on), and after spotting the PCs they charge them, using trees as cover against the ranger, but eventually get put down minus one goblin who uses the special feature goblins get to move, dash and hide to get away, and runs back to the cave to warn the hobgoblin who runs this little operation. this ends the first session.

    second session opens as the PCs finish up the cave, moving in to explore the rest of it. the hobgoblin with the poison whip sets up an ambush that goes fairly well, with his pet worg and the surviving goblin getting solid flanks on the party, but not a surprise round. the ranger, more or less the only front-line fighter, gets knocked out in one shot by the worg who rolls 13 damage out of a 2d6 + 3; my brother, who was playing that PC, did not take that well until the cleric moved and picked him up with cure wounds. minus that little hiccup, they clean everything up, loot the cave for some gold, a magic hobgoblin-slaying sword on the body of an army scout and a message from same that links them to the city I wanted them to end up at eventually. all of that goes awry when, as they move back towards the road to that city and to pick up a fourth PC who rolled a character for that session, the depressed and in-a-faith-crisis cleric deserts them to set up some later encounters and to clear the way for a full 4-man party at the same time I have my brother roll a d8 to see if he gets an 8 and we do a random encounter. he does, naturally, and I am forced to bring out the only real random encounter I had prepared, a giant spider with a giant wolf spider where, in a fit of insanity, I had decided to roll dice for the main spider's hp and had decided that 37 hp for this one spider was hilarious and epic and a good idea. it might have been okay, had my brother's ranger not decided to miss the AC 13 spider 4 times in a row, the sorcerer's chromatic orb not missed and I had noticed in the prep phase that 2d6 extra poison damage every time the spider hits is kind of bullshit for a level 1 party. in a shockingly swift set of rounds, the entire party is spider chow, and that TPK closes with the surviving super-spider decapitating the ranger with a bite attack; he kept missing it right up until the bitter end.

    this put me into a funk for about a half hour because I'd felt I fucked up the session, but none of the players gave a shit and assured me it was just dice. a little while after that we rerolled as a level 2 party from the city sent to investigate the scout's disappearance - with my brother more or less keeping his ranger and the bard keeping his character sheet - and of course when they draw near that town where the first party started, the giant spider, fat and happy and with even more hp is occupying the road like he owns it. the new party, which now has a dwarf fighter and a human paladin (making a total of 3 PCs with 18 AC, which seems ridiculous), happily slays the overconfident spider, which...and I thought about omitting this from this recap because of the cheesiness, in its death throes vomits the magic sword at the paladin who has just rolled a 20 and killed it. this was the only time our one veteran player made a specific point of rolling his eyes at me from across the table, which is less than I had expected so I took it in stride.

    shortly afterwards, the party starts seeing visions every couple minutes of a strange, shadowed version of the forest around them (I don't know much about the shadowfell in D&D lore, but that's what I tried for; nobody in my group is a lore fiend, so it went over more or less okay) and starts following the spider's tracks, eventually leading to a gargantuan blighted tree-like structure in the middle of the woods, very close to where the original party died...like where a depressed and grieving cleric of Silvanus might have seen the remains of the party who helped him, had a massive crisis of faith, knocked on the doors of the wrong deities or powers and been possessed by something that used his affinity for nature to create an abomination. the party enters the tree, fights a combination of blights on the first floor after dealing with a stairway turning into a ramp with wooden stakes at the bottom of it, does well enough and that ended the second session. I'm still thinking a little bit about the other two encounters in that area, the first of which involves a dryad and a bunch of animals and the second being a green dragon wyrmling with some kind of added help and the spirit of the cleric coming to add a 5th member to the party for that particular encounter, which should wrap up this storyline.

    some takeaways from this weekend and the unbelievably long mess of words above:

    - I probably railroad a little bit too much and outline possible choices too much as well when I should let the party come to their own conclusions naturally. when the bard's player started talking about taking the time to head back to their origin city to report on the weirdness of the area and the rest of the party got him to agree to scout out the initial bits of the structure, I made sure to magically close the door behind them shortly after the blight encounter started...not sure if lame bullshit or not.

    - I am a terrible map maker/artist and am generally no good with spatial math stuff like making a consistently scaled drawing of the floors and rooms of a building, leading to some awkwardness where I just had to outright dictate to the players if they can move and hit in the same turn because, even though I had the players place themselves where they would be on the map before most combats, my halfassed graph paper map just wasn't up to accurately depicting distances.

    for all the self-criticism however, the players more or less seemed happy and the session had a good energy and pace, even during the TPK. my group is not what you would call dedicated or hardcore players, to the point where when I asked everyone if they were interested in backstory or bonds, 4/5 participants handwaved them for the most part and I don't think wrote them down even as a token gesture. I had a lot of fun and, even with a barely-cracked-into copy of the new dragon age available to me, am mostly thinking about D&D related stuff at the moment. I hope I can keep the party interested long enough at least to finish up this little adventure, we switch off DMs and campaigns a lot with varying degrees of interest.

    Torgairon on
    crimsoncoyote
  • HunterJohnsonHunterJohnson Registered User regular
    I'm stalling on the creation of my own campaign, mostly because I've been jack hammer busy with work and other stuff BUT. Here is the rough outline for you to peruse and throw rotten fruit at.

    The story opens in an adventuring companies office, they are doing open employment for simple jobs (level 1-4 but I feel that I'm going to have everybody bump to level 2 right away just to get some powers and a bit of magic going, level 1 for me is just such a drag to start out at. yay, i swing my sword and I do that for the next 10 turns because even though I'm a ranger I can't do anything fun yet) The party 3-5 players will be asked to help escort a caravan going south to XYZ village, the caravans have been coming under attack by your standard brigands and nastiest. This leads to the first fight(s), a leg stretching if you will, minions mostly.

    The caravan is pretty vanilla, food, goods, ect, the one the party is responsible for is full of food, toys, and clothes, a moderate perception DC shows that its for an orphanage and if the players pay attention they'll see that it's getting a lot of attention from the bandits. After the first leg of the trip they stop at an Inn along the way and thus opens the hook of the story, from "the shapeshifting baby" an old woman bursts into the Inn, thrusts the child at the first adventurer she see's, yadda yadda yadda bandits burst into the inn, from both the second floor and the first (I drew up a 2 story Inn map for this fight).

    The baby has a note pinned to it, asking who ever finds it to bring the child to the "Olive Branch" Next is the ever popular chase, which ends in "hopefully" the party capturing one of the bandits and interrogating them to find that "Channey" hired the bandits to stop the caravan and get the baby, but he doesn't know why.

    Arriving in the final town the party must find this "Olive Branch" making some DC checks and exploring the group finds that the "Olive Branch" is also their final destination for delivery of goods. The place is run by an elderly couple who have been taking in children of a less than normal back ground. A tiefling, half orcs, dragon born, gnomes, etc. Children that have either been abandoned or their parents killed.

    After some exposition and some story telling the house is set upon by "Mayor Channey" and his hired goons, because you know, he's a dick and doesn't like orphans. And he really doesn't like non humans, because, you know. He's a dick.... Channey.....

    Depending on how the fight goes the "Orphans" will assist in little ways, a sorta "home alone" kinda feel for it.

    Comments?

  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Torgairon wrote: »
    - I am a terrible map maker/artist and am generally no good with spatial math stuff like making a consistently scaled drawing of the floors and rooms of a building, leading to some awkwardness where I just had to outright dictate to the players if they can move and hit in the same turn because, even though I had the players place themselves where they would be on the map before most combats, my halfassed graph paper map just wasn't up to accurately depicting distances.
    As far as addressing this issue, the inter-webz is full of awesome resources for great dungeons/caves, both randomly-generated and lovingly crafted. A lot of people are really bad at map-making, so one of the things you can do to prep ahead of time is printing out a bunch of maps for your sessions. When GMing, I tend to have a whiteboard for ad-hoc encounters, and a binder full of maps in plastic protectors, which we use dry erase markers or counters / miniatures on for general maps. Some of them are used far more than others in our sessions ("Typical Ambush Site" is a street corner and is used nearly every single session in our group), but this is way you can prepare yourself to help shore up one of your self-perceived weaknesses (this is a GREAT thing, by the way... a self-aware GM can easily adapt and improve).

    Here are some resources that I use:
    http://www.gozzys.com/cave-maps - Random Cave Map Generator. Website also has Random Wilderness and Random Dungon Map generators.
    http://www.wizardawn.com/rpg/tool_smap.php - Random Sci-Fi Map Generator (makes simple Blueprint-style random maps for warehouses and modern buildings, easily adapted to fantasy). A lot of other generators on that site, too.

    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
    HunterJohnsonTorgairon
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    I'm stalling on the creation of my own campaign, mostly because I've been jack hammer busy with work and other stuff BUT. Here is the rough outline for you to peruse and throw rotten fruit at.

    The story opens in an adventuring companies office, they are doing open employment for simple jobs (level 1-4 but I feel that I'm going to have everybody bump to level 2 right away just to get some powers and a bit of magic going, level 1 for me is just such a drag to start out at. yay, i swing my sword and I do that for the next 10 turns because even though I'm a ranger I can't do anything fun yet) The party 3-5 players will be asked to help escort a caravan going south to XYZ village, the caravans have been coming under attack by your standard brigands and nastiest. This leads to the first fight(s), a leg stretching if you will, minions mostly.
    You might want to consider starting them at level 1 anyway, and promoting them to level 2 after the brigand attack. That's what I would do.
    The caravan is pretty vanilla, food, goods, ect, the one the party is responsible for is full of food, toys, and clothes, a moderate perception DC shows that its for an orphanage and if the players pay attention they'll see that it's getting a lot of attention from the bandits.
    Instead of hiding the unusual among the mundane, maybe you should consider making the shipment be ONLY toys from a prominent and rich toymaker in the city. This immediately makes the shipment unusual and make you wonder about "where are all these toys going?" instead of hiding it under a perception check. It also makes them wonder "What the fuck? Why are a bunch of bandits raiding a TOY caravan?"
    After the first leg of the trip they stop at an Inn along the way and thus opens the hook of the story, from "the shapeshifting baby" an old woman bursts into the Inn, thrusts the child at the first adventurer she see's, yadda yadda yadda bandits burst into the inn, from both the second floor and the first (I drew up a 2 story Inn map for this fight).
    The baby is probably not a good plot hook, for a variety of reasons (The DM is just tossing the hook in the middle of the PCs, expecting them to investigate it). I'd use it as a backup or last resort, if the PCs do not create any hooks for you to use for the exact same purpose. The PCs aren't well-established and you don't have a read on how they will deal with the situation. Save this hook for later when it can be the focus.
    The baby has a note pinned to it, asking who ever finds it to bring the child to the "Olive Branch" Next is the ever popular chase, which ends in "hopefully" the party capturing one of the bandits and interrogating them to find that "Channey" hired the bandits to stop the caravan and get the baby, but he doesn't know why.

    Arriving in the final town the party must find this "Olive Branch" making some DC checks and exploring the group finds that the "Olive Branch" is also their final destination for delivery of goods. The place is run by an elderly couple who have been taking in children of a less than normal back ground. A tiefling, half orcs, dragon born, gnomes, etc. Children that have either been abandoned or their parents killed.

    After some exposition and some story telling the house is set upon by "Mayor Channey" and his hired goons, because you know, he's a dick and doesn't like orphans. And he really doesn't like non humans, because, you know. He's a dick.... Channey.....

    Depending on how the fight goes the "Orphans" will assist in little ways, a sorta "home alone" kinda feel for it.

    Comments?
    I think you should limit it to Orphanage + Bandits. Setting up a big-bad early is good! But right now, there are too many moving parts for an early session and the Shapeshifting Baby rip-off just draws away from the plot.

    You are also setting up Racism as a central conflict of the game. You will probably want to get a read on the party and see if this is something they want to really pursue as a plot hook. It's a great hook, but if the PCs aren't interested in it, then it will fall flat for them. Get a read on the outlook of their characters before you throw an orphanage of mixed races at them. You can do just as well with an orphanage of children refugees from the latest holy war or an orphanage of "misfit toy" automatons if the party is interested in those hooks. If the party is inter-racial AND interested in racial justice, then it's a perfect match. If one of the characters is an orphan as their backstory, then you can make it THAT character's orphanage.

    Essentially, as a GM, I see these combat encounters to design and scale:
    * Circle the Wagons: Defend the Caravan (have some stationary defenses that the Players can use to fend off Bandits, allow them to "funnel" enemies into the spaces between the caravan carts so that the combat can be easier with a situational bonus, when things get really bad, stampede the caravan animals to trample everyone and pick up the characters from the dust afterwards)
    * Bar Brawl: Attacked at the Bar by the same bandits (A bar with a balcony nearby where the PCs can jump down from and swing on chandeliers is a good thing. Give a positional bonus for doing such actions.)
    * Mayor and His Goons: Attacked at the Orphanage (I like the "Home Alone" assistance idea. If you can somehow make it player-controlled, it would be even better "As a Free Action, you can call for assistance from a kid, who will use a slingshot or grapple the leg of a bandit. Or in the case of the baby Ogre, just hug a bandit really hard.")
    That's more than enough combat for 1 or 2 sessions.

    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
    HunterJohnson
  • HunterJohnsonHunterJohnson Registered User regular
    The people I will be playing with will be all about "Social Justice" It's kind of their thing, lol. Hence the whole angle. But once I have some more flesh on how it should work I will have a better idea if I'm clouding the main plot with the baby or if I can make it work.

    We will only have 1 or 2 sessions to play this because it's a group of far flung friends that will be meeting over the holiday at our volunteer gig.

    I still have time to finish it before the holidays so I will be posting more parts to it and looking for input. But thanks Hahnsoo for the feed back.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    you're expecting a group of PCs to care about a baby. That's not made of gold, or a baby +3 or anything? Optimism.

    HunterJohnsonHachfaceGaddezSteelhawkErin The Red
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    The people I will be playing with will be all about "Social Justice" It's kind of their thing, lol. Hence the whole angle.
    By all means, then, go for the Racism hook, and encourage the PCs to include it into their backstory before you start play.

    The baby thing is just superfluous. You're asking the PCs to care about a mysterious baby when they really should be caring about the poor orphans at the target destination. At best, it's a distraction. At worst, it will derail the session.

    Remember, when they used the Shapeshifter's Baby thing, it was CENTRAL to the plot. The whole adventure revolved around the baby. Also, the PCs were already established by that point and knew each other well.

    If you want to make it work, ditch the Orphanage and replace it with the Baby. Then it becomes even MORE unusual ("Why the hell is someone sending a caravan full of goods to a single baby? What the hell?").
    We will only have 1 or 2 sessions to play this because it's a group of far flung friends that will be meeting over the holiday at our volunteer gig.

    I still have time to finish it before the holidays so I will be posting more parts to it and looking for input. But thanks Hahnsoo for the feed back.
    Yeah, keep posting! I'm sure other folks will have more feedback for you, too.

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  • Erin The RedErin The Red The Name's Erin! Woman, Podcaster, Dungeon Master, IT nerd, Parent, Trans. AMA Baton Rouge, LARegistered User regular
    you're expecting a group of PCs to care about a baby. That's not made of gold, or a baby +3 or anything? Optimism.

    I had a hard time trying to figure out what my party would do for the longest time. They found out the town had a bunch of orphans! So the assassin and the paladin decide to feed them and such, and the assassin wants to train them to steal and be an underground spy network.




    Anyway, one of the things i've been trying to get better at is to have the players be more involved in the minor narrative stuff to. In combat if the enemy HP is seriously down to 1, I'll just have them narrate me a cool way that the enemy dies. Or every now and again, I'll ask them what a particular spell or ability looks like. Let them showcase how badass they are.

    For our podcasts, I've been trying to get them to do a quick summary of the previous session at the beginning of the next one. If you listen to that you can sometimes get a feel for what they felt was important and it can sometimes give you a feel for the bits and bobs they care about.

    Anyway I hope it all goes well for you!

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