Author Topic: Buying D&D, Finally  (Read 339 times)

WarriorPoet

  • Posts: 4703
Buying D&D, Finally
« on: April 14, 2020, 02:44:50 PM »
So. Quarantine has my wife and kids going nuts so I am going to finally make the leaps and go buy the D&D Starter and Essentials packs tonight. I have played Arm religiously for 20 years but never sat and tabletopped.

Any advice? Suggestions for a first time DM?
We were somewhere near the Shield Wall, on the edge of the Red Desert, when the drugs began to take hold...

mansa

  • Posts: 9878
Re: Buying D&D, Finally
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2020, 04:23:58 PM »
I bought the starter kit, then I bought the players handbook.  I didn't buy the essential kit until a couple years later, and it wasn't necessary.

The starter kit has pre-made characters, and has their 'level up' decisions already made for you, so you don't have to think much about it.  It's great for a first time run.


Just set the rules for the players:
a) You're supposed to be acting these characters.  What are they supposed to do?  have fun and make different voices for your halfling/elf/dwarf
b) it's okay to make mistakes, both as the DM and the player! 
c) As a DM, read the starter kit adventure twice, and then make your own rough maps of the different areas.
d) ask one of the players to be the official map maker
e) get a small whiteboard you can use.
f) You don't need figurines, but if your players like the characters enough tell 'em that you can get some printed and they can paint their own for about $10 each.
g) if someone wants to argue about a particular action and a call, let them, and ask the other players their opinion on it.



For the starter adventure, it took us 3 hours to go from Neverwinter to the Goblin attack to the Goblin hideout, and we didn't get into the goblin hideout cave until session 2.
New Players Guide: http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,33512.0.html


You win Armageddon, congratulations!  Type 'credits', then store your character and make a new one

Gunnerblaster

  • Posts: 6734
Re: Buying D&D, Finally
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2020, 01:30:45 AM »
Hey, WP. I just started running D&D for my group, about a year ago, so I'd be more than happy to kick some tips in your direction. I'm assuming you're playing the newest edition, 5th?

As mansa recommended, the starter pack (Lost Mines of Phandelver), is a pretty awesome and simple module that has some nice sandbox elements, that allows the players to kind've do their own thing without feeling too rushed.

Most NPC's in the module are left intentionally vague, for the DM to act them out however they'd like. When building an NPC's personality, I gave them very Armageddon-PC quirks (Like the guy whose always "gruffly" saying things or "smirking").

Also, set a "rating" for your game (like rated-R, rated-PG, etc.) - So that you stick to stuff you'd be comfortable with your kids being exposed to. I had a session 0 with my group, to kind've talk over what type of content they'd be fine with and what things they would like to avoid (like rape/overly explicit cussing/torture/etc.).

And if you don't know how to determine a skill check (Example: Someone wants to do something that's kind've out-of-box), just mentally make up a difficult check and make them use some skill that would be most akin to what they're attempting to accomplish.

Lastly, I have a digital copy of virtually every 5th edition book that's been printed, save for the stuff that's maybe released within the past year. If you need a copy of the Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual, or just want a digitally accessible copy of something, let me know.
Quote from: LauraMars
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Laura, did weird tribal men follow you around at age 15?
If by weird tribal men you mean Christians then yes.

Quote from: Malifaxis
She was teabagging me.

My own mother.

WarriorPoet

  • Posts: 4703
Re: Buying D&D, Finally
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2020, 06:27:03 AM »
Thanks guys. I plan to read all of the material over the next few days and get down on our first session Saturday Night or Sunday. Looks like fun. I'll let you know how it goes.

We were somewhere near the Shield Wall, on the edge of the Red Desert, when the drugs began to take hold...

mansa

  • Posts: 9878
Re: Buying D&D, Finally
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2020, 09:02:40 AM »
..
And if you don't know how to determine a skill check (Example: Someone wants to do something that's kind've out-of-box), just mentally make up a difficult check and make them use some skill that would be most akin to what they're attempting to accomplish.
..

Ahh!  I forgot about a point about that.   Tell your players "It is going to be tough.  You will need to add your strength modifier to the roll.  If you total is an 19 or higher , you do it" rather than just saying, 'roll the dice and find out.'   Let the players know how "hard" it's going to be to do something, and how they might be able to accomplish whatever they want to do. 

Don't just say, 'roll the dice', and the players roll a 16 and then you say 'nope!, not high enough'  Give them a rough guide.

Players WANT to do things.  Let them do it!
New Players Guide: http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,33512.0.html


You win Armageddon, congratulations!  Type 'credits', then store your character and make a new one

Halcyon

  • Posts: 310
Re: Buying D&D, Finally
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2020, 01:41:59 PM »
Think about writing one 3x5 card per scene or encounter.   This helps me have a narrative flow in a game, with necessary and optional plot points.   It helps early on in realizing what combat maps you might want to draw ahead of time.

Dont be afraid to let one character be the hero, or make impactful choices per scene, or per session.   With a table of players, letting them all know they get to regularly be in the spotlight will calm down some of the more aggressive personalities, and may help some of the players plan out what their roleplay can be.
Desert planet, your time has come. A storm is coming, our storm, and when it arrives it will shake the universe.
- Dune

Gunnerblaster

  • Posts: 6734
Re: Buying D&D, Finally
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2020, 02:22:00 AM »
If you feel someone in your group may be overlooked and/or too shy to speak up, it never hurts to ask them what their character's doing, to give them an opportunity to present their own opinions, etc.
Quote from: LauraMars
Quote from: brytta.leofa
Laura, did weird tribal men follow you around at age 15?
If by weird tribal men you mean Christians then yes.

Quote from: Malifaxis
She was teabagging me.

My own mother.