Modded PC as dungeon boss, and playing and DMing?

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I am insanely new to D&D and i am building a play group from scratch existing of a few of my close friends. I am expecting to be the DM simply because i am the most determined to play and i have the most experience out of the 5 of us, simply meaning that i've read all the starter books(PHB, DMG, and MM).

1). My questions are would it be possible for me to play as a PC and run DM smoothly?

and

2).I have made a combat encounter using goblins being master minded by a Wizard. I looked everywhere in my available resources and couldn't find a boss like Wizard so i just made a PC gave him a reasonable last fight HP and nerfed his damage a tad so as to not completely destroy a PC on one damage roll. Is this a good idea or should I keep looking for a suitable premade enemy?


Your advice is greatly appreciated.  
check out the DMG, it has rules for NPCs wich you can use to make the wizard villian yourself
1. The consensus is "No." DMPCs are a much maligned presence in games and most people don't care for it. If you'd like to play a PC, you're better off asking someone else to DM.

2. Reskin an existing monster. Look for an appropriate monster controller or artillery and then put a thin coat of paint on it to make it look like a human wizard or whatever. Just look at the effects they dish out and if it seems kinda wizardly, change up some keywords and names of powers and anything that might be racially specific and you're good to go. I turned a gelatinous cube into a giant space hamster the other day. And a gauth beholder into a crazy gnome with laser beam goggles.
I'll be using a DMPC once I get my campign running, but unless you have a shortage of players (I have 2, one of my original 4 players is at boarding school and another was incredibly obnxious in-game, essentially tried to fight everything that looked at him etc, we didn't ask him to come back) I wouldn't recommend it. If you do have a shortage of players and want to use a DMPC I would recommend copvering a role that the other PCs do not. For example, if thereis a Barbarian and a Wizard, I would have a Warlord be the DMPC. It should ONLY be a bag of heals, though. You shouldn't talk often, contribute to plans, etc. The warlord DMPC I'll be running is named Arag the Stone-Lipped, do something like that for an IC explanation.


(Plus, when my friend on vacation from  boarding school I can hand him a character for the session, I consulted with him about the design).


If you just want to run another character in an already full party, DON"T DO IT.  
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141722973 wrote:
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57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
1. The consensus is "No." DMPCs are a much maligned presence in games and most people don't care for it. If you'd like to play a PC, you're better off asking someone else to DM.

2. Reskin an existing monster. Look for an appropriate monster controller or artillery and then put a thin coat of paint on it to make it look like a human wizard or whatever. Just look at the effects they dish out and if it seems kinda wizardly, change up some keywords and names of powers and anything that might be racially specific and you're good to go. I turned a gelatinous cube into a giant space hamster the other day. And a gauth beholder into a crazy gnome with laser beam goggles.




Pretty much this.

I understand that 4th Edition's "Companion Characters" (DMG2) give DMs the best parts of adding a recurring NPC character to the game, without that character being becoming too much of a problem.

Otherwise, the problems caused by "DMPC" characters are quite infamous (a DM's PC character will VERY often feature at the heart of worst-RPG-experience-ever stories), and running a full-blown PC character as a villain or as an extra PC can (and should) be a full-time job by itself, a job that's probably best left to a dedicated PC, rather than one of the many tasks a new DM has to juggle under the best of circumstances.

By the way, welcome to one of the best roles in the game!  I hope you enjoy DMing at least as much as I do
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
Since you're new to the game, all of the above warnings about DMPCs go double (if not more). There will be four PCs (which is easily enough for an adventuring group), and you'll have your hands full learning everything else.

 Quite simply, there's just really no way in hell someone completely new to the game can successfully balance playing a character with running a game as DM... One or the other, if not both, will suffer from having to split your attention between the two.
Unless you have a decent amount of rpg experience with other systems (both as a player and game master) and are just new to D&D, you really don't have the tools necessary to do both at once. Being able to separate You-As-Player from You-As-DM is a skill that only comes with experience. It's like playing chess against yourself.
Unless the party really needs an extra body to fill it out, you're better off staying on the DM side of things until you've had time to learn to DM properly.

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Thanks to all you guys. All of your tips are insanely appreciated. I decided to run a premade campaign for our first few games and work on my written one ALOT more. I took the advice about finding a similar monster and re-wording the details. I will also only be a PC if needed as you suggested. Once again, thank you all for the great advice.
Thanks to all you guys. All of your tips are insanely appreciated. I decided to run a premade campaign for our first few games and work on my written one ALOT more. I took the advice about finding a similar monster and re-wording the details. I will also only be a PC if needed as you suggested. Once again, thank you all for the great advice.

There's a thread I started a couple of days ago called Writer's Block (Sorry, I'm hopeless with links lol). It contains some excellent DMing advice and help from iserith, if you're interested.
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
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141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)

1). My questions are would it be possible for me to play as a PC and run DM smoothly?



I just want to add why it's a bad idea for the DM to also play a PC.  (Since you indicated you were new and nobody really provided the reasoning behing the answer.)

What happens, in too many games with DM PCs, is that the DM shows favoritism to their own character...either letting their character become too powerful, do things the players can't do, or centering adventures/gaming sessions around their character instead of the players'.   

1). My questions are would it be possible for me to play as a PC and run DM smoothly?



I just want to add why it's a bad idea for the DM to also play a PC.  (Since you indicated you were new and nobody really provided the reasoning behing the answer.)

What happens, in too many games with DM PCs, is that the DM shows favoritism to their own character...either letting their character become too powerful, do things the players can't do, or centering adventures/gaming sessions around their character instead of the players'.   




Exactly this.

The DM is at his best in the game when the plots and characters and other things the DM puts into the game always serve as opportunities for the rest of the group to look awesome.  The DM is the member of the group that controls when the virtual "spotlight"shines on each player, and on the DM.

When a  DM has a PC participating in the game, it can be very difficult to keep the spotlight off the DM, the DM's storytelling, the DM's NPCs, and the DM's character.  The players tend to get neglected, and the DM's PC becomes the face of everything that seems to be going wrong, since the DM's pet character has become the star of a story that everyone else is feeling like a supporting character in.

One of the best ways to ensure that a DM's "PC" works well in a story, is to play that character as a genuine NPC:  a subordinate character who is weaker than the real PCs, and serves as a kind of side-kick or other supporting role to the real stars of the show.  It's not particularly glamourous, but good supporting characters are the sorts of DM characters the players love and appreciate, and there's still some reward in providing well-loved side-kicks, walk-on roles, and villains.



And, for those who might still be curious, one thing I'd meant to mention earlier as another argument against using a PC-style character as a villain:  in 4th Edition D&D in particular, and even in earlier editions, in contrast to monsters PCs are fairly complicated and powerful characters, and are not really well-designed mechanically to play the role of fun and well-balanced opponents for the PCs to beat up on.  I don't remember the specifics, but, especially in 4th Edition, PC-on-PC combat is mechanically very different from PC-on-Monster combat, and different in ways that even experienced DMs might not be prepared for.  For example, note that monsters are intended to appear for one encounter, throw everything they have at the PCs, get defeated, and never be seen again, while PCs are designed to survive several encounters before resting, and fighting several more, and resting again, and so on.
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
My group has had DMPC's in most of the campaigns we've run, due to not having enough players to do without. We haven't experienced the problems that everyone talks about, possibly because we actively try to avoid them. However, it can be very hard on the DM to manage a character on top of everything else, and we've started toying with the idea of a companion character or some other solution. However, if someone does want to run a DMPC, I have three pieces of advice for making it work. First, give that character simple motivations, so that you don't have to think too hard about what decisions it will make. Second, pick a class that's straightforward to play, so you don't have to spend much time working out combat options (or more likely, so you don't end up making it mostly ineffective in combat because you aren't devoting enough energy to it). Third, keep that character in the background in terms of strategic planning or whatever, unless its input is needed to give adventure hooks, or the players are stuck and need a hint.

Regarding the second question, it's already been pointed out that PC mechanics and monster mechanics are different for 4th edition. My group found this out the hard way, when we easily slaughtered a recurring villain that had a player profile. (He's back three campaigns later as a lich with monster stats.) So yeah, just don't do it. Reflavor or modify an existing monster, or at last resort create your own.