DM Introductions

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Hola! I picked up the DM packet for Season 6 at Brookhurst Hobbies this Wednesday. Wow! Condition tokens & initiative cards were included--already feel spoiled!

This will be my first time behind the screen at Encounters. I have played in all of them. 

And I WILL be using a Dungeon Master Screen--most DM's these days feel it is important for some DM transparency or something, which is very different from the gaming traditions I grew up in--players only get to see my rolls if it REALLY matters.

Of course, I have never DM'd Public Play--my home groups are either the Beer & Bash variety or Real Home Games with wife & children, so this position may change. Quickly. My experience with LFR, both in Cons & more social environments, has been that screens often enhance DM vs Player tension which is part of the game that I like.

Clearly, I am fairly excited to try my hand at building massive levels of fun at the tables for people I have never meet.

My experience as a player has been that the most memoriable weeks are the weeks in which either all the player characters die or the DM prepares handouts, props, and other player challanges [puzzles to be solved by players instead of rolling skill checks, weird riddles, etc]. I plan to do both of these things as much as possible!

I also plan to give away just absurd levels of Magic & Boon items. Encounters characters are 'disposable' in that the go away at the end of the season, and I am not that worried about breaking the game by the player characters having bags of holding, clearwater, Panther tears, and any other weird stuff I can sneak into the encounters--to me the Forgotten Realms has always meant High Fantasy with lots and lots of magic & I plan to go after that feel. 


Having read the adventure, does anyone have any player handout or prop ideas already? Any other recommendations? Thanks, David S. 

Copyright does not protect the idea for a game

Welcome, David!

Last season, a very cool forum member posted weekly DM tools, including monster hit point trackers and little standups you could print at home and cut out for play-- super awesome DM tools, and I hope he comes back this season with more of them.

So, here's the problem I see with your plan to load them up with magic and boons.

Your players might not just play at your shop. They can take their character over to another shop, locally or anywhere. Visitors to your town might drop in to play one session. It's not a home game; by giving away more items, you may very well make things more difficult for other DMs, and create tension with other players.

Now, at my local shop, we have some house rules that affect characters (mostly character creation), and we make it very clear that if you adopt those rules, then your character is no longer legal to play in another store. Most of our players are very loyal and have no problem with this. Others stick to the D&D Encounters character creation rules so they can have a more portable character.

If you decide to give out extra treasure, you should somehow make it clear that this is treasure that can only be used at your table-- maybe just make it "table treasure" that you keep on an index card and the party can use when they're playing at your table, and only when they're playing at your table.

The puzzles and such can work well, but allow extra time (not just your time, but your players' time as well) for puzzle-solving, and don't be surprised if your players would rather get to the fight. Encounters draws a more tactical mindset than home games do. When we're triaging parts of the encounter for time, the skill challenges are the first things to go.
What she said (since she's my organizer). I've found that the treasure they offer by default is usually a good mix of stuff for everyone involved. I am considering a bonus loot from the applied loot table if the table I'm running is particularly low compared to other players but typically it's not needed. The challenges and what not sound interesting and I'd like to hear how that goes for ya!
Hail, DMs!

I'm Erik, the author of the adventure, and I plan on DMing this one up at one of my local game stores in Seattle (Blue Highway Games, to be precise, as well as some others every other week).

I've also posted a welcome thing, if you guys want to check it out.

I am always available for questions, comments, feedback, etc. Message me or ask a question in my Q&A Thread, which I check frequently.

Cheers
Hey all

This is Cliff up in Winnipeg, aka Randilin on Twitter, I'll be one of the DMs running things out of Pendragon Games and Hobbies in Winnipeg.  With the exception of the First season and this past season I've been on of the DM's for basically all of the Encounter Seasons.

We don't do a lot of house rules or anything like that at our store.  However the one thing that we have changed is that we allow all types of Characters, Essentials and Traditional books alike.  The one change I am seriously considering making is along my table to maintain there characters from the last season.  At this point I haven't decided a hundred percent.  I guess I really have to make that decision at some point really soon.

I do try and blog a little something after each session.  Right now I'm just working on a post for the D&D Games Day this past Saturday.

Randilin
betweentheticks.blogspot.com/
Hey everyone

This is Justin in Chicago, and I'll be one of the DMs running things out of the Dice Dojo on the north side. This is the first time being a DM for an organized event and I'm excited to try it out. I'll definitely be lurking on here to gather up as much good info as possible and hopefully provide a little of my own as the season goes on. 
I forgot my introduction o.0

I'm James out of Las Vegas - playing at Avatar Comics and Games on the westish side.

Started running Encounters last season and had a blast. We allow most 4e stuff with just a few minor limits (non-setting specific backgrounds etc). After joining, the Wednesday group exploded in size from a single sometimes undersized table to over three regular tables (and a fourth at a later session). Seeing how different groups tackle different situations with various tactics and degrees of success is amazingly fun.
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