DM new to 5.0 Play Test

DM new to 5.0 Play Test any tips or suggestions on how to make this a fun playtest?
If it involves doritios,mountain dew and bloodshed COUNT ME IN!!!
Do voices for the different races. Gruff orcs, dumb ogre insults, chittering goblin voices, and slyly evil kobolds. Role play them enough so they feel different. "The cowardly goblins flee to the back of the cave shaking their fists. As reinforcements come up, they all draw bows, taunt your mother's virtue, and fire!" "The wounded Orc flashes his eyes and roars! (roll intimidate or something). His allies join the howling as they rush forward like the part and from 300." (and then maybe give the orcs advantage or whatever on that single attack).

Interact with narration instead of game mechanics as often as you can without getting tired. The game is more fun when playing than when saying "I roll a 16. Ok you hit. 8 damage. The Kobold is dead."
...and don't be afraid to make the judgment call on the fly. Assign advantage and disadvantage when you feel it's right. Make calls for checks when necessary. Let the players try things while you judge difficulties (if they are needed at all).

Keep the pace where you want it. Fast and furious when it's time to throw down. Quiet when there's a break, but don't get stuck in the slow bits if the players are feeling like they need to get back into it. Flash forward when it feels like the right time to do so.

Common GMing advice for any game, really. This playtest is no different.

Added: The rats encounter is the only one I have seen, so far, that has been a problem running due to their numbers when you top it off with advantage/disadvantage mechanics. So keep an eye out for that. One solution to it might be to remove the encounter entirely in the spirit of keeping things moving.
Thanks for your suggestions. Hope you all have fun with this playtest and new rules I much prefer 3.5 but so far I like these 5.0 rules
If it involves doritios,mountain dew and bloodshed COUNT ME IN!!!
DM new to 5.0 Play Test any tips or suggestions on how to make this a fun playtest?


Not to be too picky but you should call it D&D next, or just next, labeling it 5.0 incurs bias.
Sorry not trying to be bias or start an editon war most people I have seen refer it to 5.0 or next but still not trying to start a war here
If it involves doritios,mountain dew and bloodshed COUNT ME IN!!!
just a quick question.  Why do you call it 5.0?  I mean the only edition that did anything right of the decimals was 3rd edition... so why do people seem to add .0 to each edition?

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Not sure thats what I have seen some other people call it that and I started calling it that..it will probally be called Vr 4.5 or some thing but maybe they might Keep D&D next when it come sout who knows
If it involves doritios,mountain dew and bloodshed COUNT ME IN!!!
Don't be afraid to steal from Hollywood when you need to improvise, and don't be afraid to get silly.

Hollywood: The party was on the run from some very angry hobgoblins. They had been chased outside and to the canyon floor. Rocko, the fighter, tripped on his way to cover. Rebel, the Cleric of Pelor, turned to help him up, but he shoved her away, telling her to get to cover. He became a one-man shield while his friends got to safety. He went down hard when the Hob chief got hold of him. Seeing the rest of the party hiding at the mouth of cave A, the Hobs snarled and walked away into the treeline. When rebel started to dash out to heal Rocko, a crossbow bolt hit the ground at her feet. (They had stripped Rocko of his weapons.) She darted back for the cave to give the rogue time to spot the sniper. When they took too long, the sniper pegged Rocko in the foot. For the sake of driving home what was happening, I ruled that though Rocko couldn;t move, he was concious. He yelled in pain. Eveyrone at the table immediately recognized the scene from "Full Metal Jacket" where the VC sniper is taking pock shots at the downed Marine to lure his comrades into the kill zone. It was a heckuva predicament because they didn't have the firepower that Animal Mother had in the movie!

Silly: Simultaneous action when both parties scored identical initiative rolls. Both acted at the same time. When one Bugbear and the Cleric of Moradin both rolled a natural 1, it was decided that in a glorious clash of steel and grappling that, when the dust cleared, they were in possession of each other's weapon! The next initiative check wasn't simultaneous, and the Cleric learned what it was like to have his bell rung by his own warhammer... KLANG-G-G-G-G!!!
Have you been playing D&D in an ongoing campaign? If so, look at where you could slot in the Caves of Chaos into the setting in a way that makes sense. It'll help the characters connect with the setting of the adventure and help get them excited (as everyone enjoys making new characters! Even if they are pregens).

Also don't rely on the PCs "going on the adventure" simply because they have to in order to play the game. I'm hoping to run this playtest twice. Once for a 4th ed group and once for a Pathfinder group. For my 4th ed group we played some of the "Caves of Chaos" adventures with an all dwarven party. So I'm going to say Hammerfast has started erecting a Keep and has spread word throughout the land for adventurers to come and tame these wild frontier lands. The main protaganists to begin with will be orcs. With two dwarven characters they'll immediately want to go kill some orcs.

That's a fairly simple plot-hook to follow becasue they're already invested in the region. As a reward there'll be opportunities for the players to roleplay their old dwarven characters and interact with the rest of the party. We also befriended a tribe of kobolds so instead of having the kobolds be a source of antagonism, they'll be allies to the PCs and offer a safe place to rest near the caves.

With my Pathfinder group I don't have as much buy in for the players. As such I'm giving them custom made plot-hooks depending on the background the PCs have[SPOILERS]Commoner Plothook
There is a shortage in the trade of this person that he has heard about. As such he’s decided to come to the Keep where he hears he’ll be able to earn twice as much as he could anywhere else.

Knight Plothook
Either a knight to the nation of Brevoy or his noble lord is a friend of a Brevoy nobleman; the knight has been sent here to assist in protecting this frontier land in light of the recent attacks from the local tribes.

Priest of Angradd Plothook
Word has spread that war could be brewing at the Keep. You have come here to determine if such a war is likely to occur, and if so, which side is deserving of your expertise and your deity’s favour.

Priest of Chaldira Zuzaristan Plothook
As a worshipper of the Halfling deity of war, you’ve heard that war may be brewing in the River Kingdoms as it often does. As such you’ve come to get involved in the fray and excitement of battle.

Priest of Gorum Plothook
You’ve recently been ordained as a priest and have been sent to the Keep as your first assignment.

Priest of Iomodae Plothook
You seek to stamp out evil wherever it hides, and you’ve heard of a cult lurking within the lands surrounding the Keep. You’ve come here to root it out and destroy it.

Priest of Saranrae Plothook
You’ve heard the plight of the Keep and so you’ve come to ensure their spirits brightly enter the light that is Saranrae before they come to their doom.

Sage Plothook
The Sage has heard about ancient ruins long forgotten remaining buried in the region surrounding the Keep, and so he has come to investigate.

Soldier Plothook
With the war over his services are no longer needed. As such this soldier has turned to the life of a mercenary and is currently guarding a merchant’s wagon on the way to the Keep.

-----------
Furthermore they'll be travelling in a merchant's caravan to the Keep when they're ambushed by 18 kobolds. 8 of the kobolds will seek to battle any of the PCs who try to defend the wagons, while the other 10 will try to steal as much as possible.

Further plothooks for the PCs to go explore the Caves of Chaos will be:


  • The merchant offers a bounty of 10gp per kobold’s head the PCs bring back to him.

  • The Castellan requests the knight go into the Caves of Chaos and root out the bandits that have been plaguing his lands. They are not just kobolds but include goblins and orcs.

  • A merchant’s wife says that her husband and 2 sons haven’t returned and were expected over a week ago. She fears that he’s been kidnapped by the raiders plaguing the lands. She’ll offer a reward if the PCs rescue him.

  • A husband is quite concerned about his wife. She has been acting strange lately, mumbling to herself, talking about how easy it would be for everyone to die in the Keep from an attack and been extremely moody. She was gone when he woke up this morning and she didn’t return for dinner. He is extremely worried about his wife and fears something bad has happened to her (she’s turned into a cultist).

  • A squad of 12 guards leave the Keep but don’t return. After 4 days the Castellan puts out a reward for anyone who finds them and reports back on their fate.


In contrast my 4th ed group will simply be offered gold to go kill the orc raiders who've been plaguing the region. Unlike my Pathfinder group, my 4th ed group will start in the Keep itself rather than travelling to the Keep as it's quite possible they'll want to play characters who've been in the Keep for a few months.


For both groups, cultists will be the ultimate BBEGs that the PCs must destroy.
[/SPOILER]

In short: Customise the adventure to suit your players.

DM new to 5.0 Play Test any tips or suggestions on how to make this a fun playtest?


Not to be too picky but you should call it D&D next, or just next, labeling it 5.0 incurs bias.

I'm really excited for 5th edition as it's possibly going to be the one edition where I get to run Dark Sun in an enjoyable manner (4th ed's combats have beaten me down). I don't think calling it 5.0 is having a negative attitude towards it.

Jun 1, 2012 -- 11:20PM, Rendarkz wrote:


May 30, 2012 -- 7:11AM, Raestlyne wrote:

DM new to 5.0 Play Test any tips or suggestions on how to make this a fun playtest?





Not to be too picky but you should call it D&D next, or just next, labeling it 5.0 incurs bias.




I'm really excited for 5th edition as it's possibly going to be the one edition where I get to run Dark Sun in an enjoyable manner (4th ed's combats have beaten me down). I don't think calling it 5.0 is having a negative attitude towards it. JohnLynch 



Thank you JohnLynch for your response Am looking forward to 5.0

If it involves doritios,mountain dew and bloodshed COUNT ME IN!!!
If you haven't started yet, I have some advice.

Flesh out the setting. Don't just use a Star Trek teleporter to plop your group down in front of Combat Encounter #1. The devs has said they want to see how the rules respond to things other than combat - so, do things outside of combat. Let the group select a goal, and then let them try to achieve it however they can - maybe it's head-on 'kill it with damage', maybe it's something more clever.
If you haven't started yet, I have some advice.

Flesh out the setting. Don't just use a Star Trek teleporter to plop your group down in front of Combat Encounter #1. The devs has said they want to see how the rules respond to things other than combat - so, do things outside of combat. Let the group select a goal, and then let them try to achieve it however they can - maybe it's head-on 'kill it with damage', maybe it's something more clever.



Thank you I really like this idea I will try it on my next run thru

If it involves doritios,mountain dew and bloodshed COUNT ME IN!!!
we did add an NPC minstrel that followed us around used him for Bait *Evil DM*
If it involves doritios,mountain dew and bloodshed COUNT ME IN!!!
I fell back on a classic introduction for my group.

They started out in a village called Homlet (AD&D greyhawk fans will remember it) that is a small village with 2 dozen houses and a wider farming community. The village has a good trading position and has many caravans coming through it.
There is a mayor who lives in the stone manor house in the middle of the village, a church to pelor just by the manor, an inn (green dragon), general store, forge(and armourer).

The priest witnessed a caravan entering the village with two injured men (damaged empty cart), one older who was the driver and a younger man who when offered help by the PC priest was told that he didn't have time and headed straight into the manor. The driver was helped (I also figured that if it came down to it the old driver could have gone into the church for help) by the PC priest.
A few minutes later the guard captain entered the church and asked for the priest to follow him to the manor. The mayor asked the priest to gather a group of people to investigate the attack and see if they could remove the danger (rescue the caravaners men-Finn in the adventure). The mayor explained that the militia was out of town delivering important items to the neighbouring town but wouldn't back for at least a week so they had no other choice.
The caravan master (made him an NPC ranger-fighter) led the group to the attack spot about 20 mins out of town where they helped find the goblin tracks and follow them back to the main adventure Caverns of Chaos.

I also put in a side quest for the mage who had been sent to Homlet after her master had recieved a prophetic dream indicating a darkness in the area (this'll be the evil temple).
@Homlet-reference

I used Freedale (if you remember the AD&D bluebox) in a similar fashion; my players couldn't stop cracking up heh.    

The piece of advice I would give is to read several of the floating threads around here talking about how they introduced stapled mechanics to their gaming sessions and the myriad of house rules.  Its not because you should or shouldn't use these rules, but to help truly develop you (and your players') minds as to the possibility with this infinitely open core mechanic.

Not only is it free form in that your players can literally -attempt- anything they want (but not guaranteed to succeed), but you can arbitrate many mechanics of your own machinations.  In example, if you want the warhammer criticals to work differently because its a mindset you and your players share, change it.

Long post short, just have fun experimenting and don't be afraid to incorporate creativity everywhere, not just in play.  This edition is a gift back to the players, to the community that has resided divided.  Its yours; own it mate.
My most experienced player has been playing in my games for over 20 years from 2E Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Darksun even spelljammer and of course the Temple of Elemental Evil, Queen of the Demonweb pits and the old Revenge of the Giant (or whatever it was called) and now my 4E game. He was overjoyed with the inclusion of Homlet.

I am enjoying developing methods within the rules to allow improvised action, I've sort of formed some basic ideas for Homebrew rules if WOTC doesn't give me what I was hoping for.
Sign In to post comments