How to get into D&D

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    Rolling dice for absolutely no reason as a way to stall for a bit of time while you're thinking of what to say is an advanced move that all DMs should learn when they level up.

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    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
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  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Well after spending HOURS writing up this detailed session with NPCS, super thought out encounters, and a linear 'ideal' way of solving my puzzles.

    Let me be the first to say.

    DO NOT SPEND HOURS writing up a super detailed session, because you'll use exactly 5% of it and make up 95% of it on the spot.

    Casually Hardcore on
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  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! Registered User regular
    I have planned an adventure involving hidden barrows of demonically tainted barbarian treasure and political graft among small towns trying to avoid paying taxes.

    The group has decided to make it their goal to hunt down one man because they captured him, interrogated him, and let him go on the promise that he not tell anyone what happened. Of course, he ran back home and told his friends that he'd been kidnapped, then skipped town before the murder hoboes returned from wherever they were. Now the players are foregoing the previous plot to stay on the trail of this guy, whose only crime (to them) was warning his town about the violent psychos who had beaten him up.

    What I'm saying is to not stick to the path you've put down if the players are having more fun going off-road.

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  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    Well after spending HOURS writing up this detailed sessions with NPCS, super thought out Encounter, and a linear 'ideal' way of solving my puzzle.

    Let me be the first to say.

    DO NOT SPEND HOURS writing up a super detailed session, because you'll use exactly 5% of it and make up 95% of it on the spot.

    Yup

    Have a general idea of your world and the people and places in it, have a general idea of how the campaign is going to get from point A to point Z where the players save the world from unimaginable horrors/enslave the world under their iron fisted rule and have an idea how how each session is going to move them closer to point Z. But don't spend days writing the backstory of the clerk in the store nestled down the alleyway that's between Griffon Way and Wandering Street in a sprawling medieval metropolis with a population of 500k that you think you might want to use in session 37.

    Almost all of my planning is in the form of single game sessions. What I usually do is look at where we left off and what needs to happen to move the story along to the next plot point and then jot down a few ideas for encounters and NPC interactions, make some cheat sheet index cards for those monsters/NPCs and then if I have time maybe roughly sketch a few locations on some graphing paper. All in it takes me anywhere from a half hour to a couple hours to get something ready for a 4-6 hour session.

    This isn't to say that if you have an idea that you think would be a blast (or really just amuses you personally) and that you want to put more time into you can't just be aware things don't always go as planned. My last campaign had one session that involved the players running errands for an overly gentlemanly beholder that was literally wearing a top hat and (very large) monocle complete with a levitating cane who happened to be suffering from a split personality. I spent over 5 hours making it and took almost 12 hours to play through it but I think the group ended up liking the whole thing even more than I did.

    The thing is? That could have been a total waste of time had I not come up with an irresistible reason to take that path. But when we ended our last session they were on a mission where time was very important and they happened to be camped in the foothills of a large mountain range. So I offered them a shortcut that would avoid having to either go over or around the mountains and pretty much guaranteed they'd run eagerly towards it. By making it their choice, even if it was a really obvious choice, they were all in on it from walking into the tunnel at noon until walking back out from under the mountains at almost midnight.

    Elvenshae
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Newest video on Geek & Sundry has some good tips for GMs who might make a mistake along the way:



    There are other good tip videos and full session videos on that channel.

    And yes, you do recognize the voice of that GM. That's Matt Mercer, aka McCree, aka "It's Hiiiigh Noon!" /OverwatchReference

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