Dragon 389 - Confessions of a Full-Time Wizard: Canine Encounters, Part 2

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Dragon 389
Confessions of a Full-Time Wizard
Canine Encounters, Part 2

By Shelly Mazzanoble

It's that time of the month again!  This month on Confessions, Shelly discusses the implementation of her encounter she build with New DM to run for the group!  That's right – this time she's the Dungeon Master!  But New DM is off on Vacation, so she's left wandering in the dark for rules clarifications and fine-tuning.  When the game comes up, will she succumb to the pressure, or will she succeed gloriously?  Or will her pride as a DM grow so big that she forgets to make it fun?

Read to find out!  Of course, with Shelly at the helm, there's always some drama to talk about!

Talk about this month's Confessions column here.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Interesting, Shelley claims credit for the autohit magic missle.  Now that I think about it, it was on her platform of being declared player-in-cheif.
Interesting, Shelley claims credit for the autohit magic missle.  Now that I think about it, it was on her platform of being declared player-in-cheif.



Yes! That was all me! Smile
Now I'm working towards setting up a familiar adoption site! Stay tuned!
Shelley-

Any chance you'll post a copy of your encounter so the rest of us can throw it against unsuspecting PCs? 
Shelley-

Any chance you'll post a copy of your encounter so the rest of us can throw it against unsuspecting PCs? 



But that would mean I have to write it. It's so much better in my head! 

Really? You'd want to see the whole thing?  I can't imagine you or your players would get much out of it. Unless of course you like dogs. Then I'm sure you'd feel very accomplished. 
Really? You'd want to see the whole thing?  I can't imagine you or your players would get much out of it. Unless of course you like dogs. Then I'm sure you'd feel very accomplished. 



I'd love to see it too. Even if I never use it, it would be fun to see what you did.

Oh, and as for standing up to your cat? Don't even try. She will break you. I speak from experience.
I'd love to see it as well.  It's simple gems like this – when the mundane are threatened, rather than some elaborate overblown plot – that remind me what this game is about.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Interesting, Shelley claims credit for the autohit magic missle.  Now that I think about it, it was on her platform of being declared player-in-cheif.



Yes! That was all me! 
Now I'm working towards setting up a familiar adoption site! Stay tuned!




OK, now we know where to direct the hate mail. LOL
Shelly Hi there. It has been some time snice I posted a  reply to one of your articles. I do hope you recall me.

Being a DM is far different then being a player, it always will be that way.

Some of us had to start out as DMs, because there was not a DM in the area. My experience offers a few basic rules a DM needs to learn quickly.

1) Get rid of disruptive players.
2) Say something at least three times in descrpictions in order to catch player attention (The rugs coving the trap doors it appears were not well mentioned), even if it is a deversion.
3) The bigger the area the more one must guess on how the players will act, always have answers for one of three choices they will make and always have something else ready for players going off the map totally.

You have indicated you learned you need to provide a reason for party to even start. I do not believe I ever started an adventure in a tavern, however I also never started an adventure where the party was at the door to the adventure either.  The
“In the interest of time,” I continued, “we’ll assume you have accepted this mission. Let’s go!”
should never be used (even if getting paid to play).

As DM you certainly can require players to bring sugar rich products to the table, I just do not believe sugar and gaming always work well.  Pizza also can be a bad idea, unless you like red tainted charhater sheets, books and handouts.

Now can anyone tell her how to stand up to her cat?

Well it depends some on the cat, however low food intake clearly an option.  Of course, unless a very large cat, domineering size might work. Other options include declawing, buying a dog to scare cat (only risk here is dog might be worst then cat of human interface).
Plans are always subject to change.
The "we'll just assume you went on the adventure" tack did seem kinda "BADNOWRONG!" to me too at first.

But then, you gotta realize, these guys play 1-hour lunch-time sessions. I think if all I had planned was one encounter for a quick mid-day session, I'd shuffle my players right along to the init rolls too.
Planes Wanderer
Good advice, Kentinal, and yes, of course I remember you. Your cat advice won't work though. She LOVES dogs. That's one of her better traits. She loves them almost as much as the taste of my flesh. (She's standing in the doorway watching me as I write this. Glaring, really. I'm so dead tonight.)

I didn't like the "let's assume you already accepted this mission" tactic either but it was that or have them spend an hour dodging the dry erase markers and thumb tacks I would have lobbed at them for ruining my encounter. AvonRekaes, nailed it with the "we only have 1 hour to play" situation. Technically we only had 45 minutes because 2 people had to leave early for a meeting at the daycare. 

And don't forget that was my regular group I was DM'ing for. I know how they (we) are. We'll spend 30 minutes staring at a bent blade of grass before anyone even noticed the unlocked door. What was that about repeating things 3 times before players get it?  

I appreciate all the tips I can get so keep them coming. 


Well it depends some on the cat, however low food intake clearly an option.  Of course, unless a very large cat, domineering size might work. Other options include declawing, buying a dog to scare cat (only risk here is dog might be worst then cat of human interface).


The dog being worse than the cat the only risk? You must have been around some pretty placant cats ;) Besides the cats who love dogs, there are also cats who scare dogs. My parants had two cats, and once a big dog (police dog type) was sleeping over. The cats took an instant dislike to the poor dog, and it spend the better part of the week in a corner with one of the two cats on guard duty. The dog was too afraid to move ;)
Perhaps another way to phrase it would have been: "Do you accept the mission because you really love puppies, or because you respect how much the town seems to love puppies? You discuss your reasons as you travel, but are eventually drowned out by increased seismic activity."
Really? You'd want to see the whole thing?  I can't imagine you or your players would get much out of it. Unless of course you like dogs. Then I'm sure you'd feel very accomplished. 



I'd love to see it too. Even if I never use it, it would be fun to see what you did.

Oh, and as for standing up to your cat? Don't even try. She will break you. I speak from experience.

I would love a copy of your adventure - my wife and one of our friends are real animal lovers.