A new DM about to take on the playtest.

Hello everyone! I personally am new to the DnD fortay, and I figured that now is just as good a time to try my hand of it as any. I have been playing various verisons of the D20 system for about 2 or 3 years. I hope to report my progress here from the prospective of a new DN, two players famlier with the system, two completely new and one who gave it a shot a while ago. I hope to give it a shot tomorrow and have something to report back in a day or so.

Otherwise, as a random question, what have people been using as boards? I orignally intended to break down the maps into smaller parts to give the players a sense of perspective but I abbandoned that idea. Is the best option simply to draw it out as best as possible? I just felt I have completely underprepared for this venture. So it will probably have a lot of improvisation going on.
All I do is show them a rough drawing of the entire caves/valley from the outside.  Then I do everything else in "Theater of the Mind" style.   Once in a while, with a big cave or important area, I draw out the room and have them use figures, but I'm trying to avoid that as much as possible. 

 

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

The idea is to do everything by description. 

The rules don't really gain anything from the use of a 'board' positioning is nearly meaningless and with movement, like range, only distance matters.  Just have a list of the monsters and of the PCs.  On their turn, the PCs attack whichever monster they want, and the monsters, on your turn, attack whichever PCs they want (though it's 'bad tactics' I'd suggest the monsters /not/ gang up on one PC, even though little prevents it).  Some players might want to park the fighter in a doorway or something and all 'shoot over his head,' so the monsters don't just run past the fighter and get them.  If the monsters have ranged options, just have them do the same thing...
if you want to use a grid, I'd recommend a battlemat with 1 inch squares; make sure you use Wet-Erase markers only.  You can buy both from many sources online including Ebay.  But since you're pressed for time you can either buy some graph paper that has 1 inch squares.  You can lay them under glass or plexiglass to use wet or dry erase markers (so you can use, clean off, re-use).  Alternately, you can buy a craft cutting matt that has 1 inch squares & keep it in the shrik-wrap to use markers on.  One other option: there are a few laminated poster maps that have a 1 inch grid on them.  These work with either type of marker.  Dungeon Tiles are cool too.  And of course, you can just use plain old paper.  OK, one final idea: a dry erase board on a table OR a magnetic one hung on the wall with magnet/markers for characters & monsters.
The first session went interestingly well.

At first it was a bit awkward, I allowed them to have some time in a tavern to compose their minds, sent them into the keep to recieve their mission on the basis of rescuing the prince whom had gone missing on the transit down here. I had gotten a bulter to do this, largely because I am going to try and turn it into a suprising plot twist in relation to the two.

The party made it to the caves uneventfully enough, arriving at the goblin cave by chosing the one closest to the entrance. The fighter then proceeded to charge into room 18 without any support of the party (they decided to wait outside, and was somewhat hesitent to confront the goblins.) he proceeded to slaughter 3 of them while the other three brought the Orge in and after 2 rounds of the fighter getting battered while doing over 40 damage back and the goblins making idle bets on the Orges victory, I suggested that the party might want to help him out. They proceeded to pound him rather soundly despite the fighter being almost dead, sleep was cast to knock out the Goblins and slow the big guy down and they worked together to surpress the creature and get sneak attacks on it.

They then proceeded to sleep the goblins in the quarters (Litrally only 2 were left standing, and they were pincusioned as they fled) and kill the warboss. I didn't really get to do anything with the boss as he met, though the fighter was in a terrible mood after the Goblin Boss was sneak attacked for the kill, despite his insistance on challanging every major foe in single combat.

My analysis? I didn't do too well at getting the information across at first, I found the fact they didn't have their basic attributes listed annoying to deal with. Once I got into it it seemed to go smoothly enough, I had brought graph paper on the way in and swiftly drew the rooms up. I felt I made some of them too small as I got the scaling improper, but thats something I will have to get used to over time. I was a little easy on them in the first encounter by making the Goblins do mostly nothing, and prompting them to do certain things, but I hoping it will help them get a basic understanding on what they can do.

The party seemed to mostly have fun, the two new players (Battle Cleric and Theif) were largely unfussed until they fought and brought down the Orge together and from then on they seemed to get into it.

The fighter was throwing himself head first at everything, but had a tendency to brag way too heavily about killing everythin and practically stopped rping entirely when the Goblin Cheiftan was killed. Probably going to have to have a word with him to remind him that pulling for the spotlight constantly isn't going to earn any friends on the table since he borderlines on disregarding other people contributions at times (claiming putting .

The other two seemed to enjoy it, just atm everyones a bit light on the roleplaying, which is fine since it's difficult to get into it, at least for the first few sessions.


Perhaps it wasn't as detailed as could be, but I think the session was successful in the point of people being interested. ^^
Sounds like a success.

Make sure the fighter isn't RPing his slayer as boastful before making judgement. It can be good RP if everyone is in character and players don't take it personally.

Welcome to the wonderful world of DMing. It only gets better with time.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Good start, congrats.

You could use the fighter player's bragging and moodiness as his character's personality.  As long as the others at the table think that that's the way the Dwarf rolls, they'll adventure with him because they respect his axe, but they may think he is annoying.  You could even encourage the others to interact with the moody dwarf.

You are so right about roleplaying taking time to develop.  I know my first games were all hack and slash.  After a while, roleplaying can evolve.   Try to design a situation in the caves where the PCs should interact with someone or something inside the caves.  Then see what happens.   Once in a while set up a situation that isn't made for combat.  See how the players react.

Again, welcome to the DM's club...keep at it.  

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

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