New to Dungeon Mastering

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Long story sort I decided to try and host my own dnd game and was hoping for some general pointers, tips, and perhaps some tools of the trade.

A bit of detail about the game: It'll be in 3.5 and in Eberron. I also have little to no dming experience (only attempting to run small 1 time games, none of which ever worked out, due to players being dicks)

Basically? I need a lot of help and any tips, tools, or advice you can give me. Please and thank you in advanced.
Try using some premade adventures first, it will cut down your work load. The key thing is to figure out what each player likes and throw a carrot that sucks them into the adventure. Players can be difficult if you or they don't find a reason why their characters would adventure together. That's your first question to the group.

Why do your characters adventure together?
Before you get in too deep, you may want to figure out the 'players are d*cks' problem.

Are these same players going to be in your campaign?
What are some contributing factors?
Which ones can you mitigate?

Questions like that can be a good start. From there I like to do some cursory emailing about what the campaign might look like what would interest them, and where things might go. If people are on board, develop some backstory and let them create characters they like that can fit in. 
Premade adventures are your best friend at this time, if you're looking to do one shots.

If your group comes to enjoy your DMing and as you gain more experience, you can begin to expand out from there. Like adding in a common thread to all the adventures that ties them together. As you become comfortable and learn the various ins and outs of being a DM, you'll eventually be able to write an adventure session from start to finish. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Try using some premade adventures first, it will cut down your work load. The key thing is to figure out what each player likes and throw a carrot that sucks them into the adventure. Players can be difficult if you or they don't find a reason why their characters would adventure together. That's your first question to the group.

Why do your characters adventure together?



Any idea where I can find some premade adventures for 3.5 eberron? or atleast something I can attapt to fit the setting?

Also, we haven't started yet so they're not actually together, yet.

Before you get in too deep, you may want to figure out the 'players are d*cks' problem.

Are these same players going to be in your campaign?
What are some contributing factors?
Which ones can you mitigate?

Questions like that can be a good start. From there I like to do some cursory emailing about what the campaign might look like what would interest them, and where things might go. If people are on board, develop some backstory and let them create characters they like that can fit in. 



My previous players were just immature and stupid, I shouldn't have any problems with my new players since they're older and less childish.

Premade adventures are your best friend at this time, if you're looking to do one shots.

If your group comes to enjoy your DMing and as you gain more experience, you can begin to expand out from there. Like adding in a common thread to all the adventures that ties them together. As you become comfortable and learn the various ins and outs of being a DM, you'll eventually be able to write an adventure session from start to finish. 



I plan to do a full game this time but plan to kind of wing it as I go with some basic planning in advanced(so I can be more flexable)

Anyway, I'm open to trying premade adventures, even if its only to give me a head start. Any idea where I can find some that would fit with 3.5 eberron? or I could adapt them to?
Here I go again - I'm going to sound like "that guy."

Have you considered 4th edition?  I'm not alone in believing that it's probably the easiest edition to DM so far.  Of course, your decision isn't the only one ... you would have to have players interested in playing 4e too.  If they like Eberron, 4e has Eberron materials and all the old Eberron materials can still work fine with some liberal amounts of conversion.

However, the other posters here have some excellent advice too.  Start with something pre-written, don't be afraid to make mistakes, make sure that everyone's on the same page and doesn't violate Wheaton's Law, etc.

Also, I would advise you to single out the best DM you know, if any, and play with him more often.  Learn what he does and how.  Learn not just how he makes a story and runs a combat but how he manages the table, how he schedules sessions.  Is he a people person that gets along with the players?  If so, how does he do that.  Ask him!  Ask lots of questions. 

We all learn from the best.  In any endeavor, no matter what it is, very few of us are prodigies.  We learn from asking questions (like you're doing) and associating with the best folks we know.

Do you have any more specific questions, perhaps?  I always give better advice when I am answering specific questions.

And regardless, good luck and good gaming.          

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Anyway, I'm open to trying premade adventures, even if its only to give me a head start. Any idea where I can find some that would fit with 3.5 eberron? or I could adapt them to?


Every single generic adventure will work.
There used to be a place on the wizards.com site for 3.5 adventures.  Try using the search for it and see if you can find it.  Otherwise, there are plenty of websites found with google.
Unless you are your players are pretty familiar with Eberron (or any published campaign setting), my recommendation is to forget about it and build your own setting with your players. Select a setting-neutral adventure that will fit and that everyone is interested in playing and have at it.

To touch on what Prom said, be sure to have a Session Zero as well, a "pre-game" session in which you meet, discuss the expectations for the game, style, tone, themes, level of optimization, and sort out the details of the world, adventures, party, and characters. This is a good time to discuss social conventions as well. When everyone is on the same page, only then are you ready to kick off the game.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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games, none of which ever worked out, due to players being dicks....................


My previous players were just immature and stupid, I shouldn't have any problems with my new players since they're older and less childish.



We had a guest DM walk out last night telling us the exact same thing. I'm the youngest of my playgroup at mid 20, and we go into the mid/late 30.


His definition of dicks was "When my GOD DMPCs kidnap you, and press-gang you into service doing menial dungeon crawls you complain about them and plot on methods to kill them. Then when a diety shows up and curses you (for looting) by swapping your stats and stealing your cash you plot on ways to kill him too."


It was suprising, because every player thought this guy was being a dick, had complained to one another in private about it, and we finally agreed to deal with it because he was only going to do one more session. 


My main point is. Make sure its not you or something you are doing or you might have the same problem. (Wed have tried to work it out, but he literally stormed out)


--


Iserith's session 0 suggestion is a must. Use it to build a world with the players (so they care about the world). Then use it to build PCs that get along with and care about one another. It will make the rest of the campaign so much better.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"



games, none of which ever worked out, due to players being dicks....................


My previous players were just immature and stupid, I shouldn't have any problems with my new players since they're older and less childish.



We had a guest DM walk out last night telling us the exact same thing. I'm the youngest of my playgroup at mid 20, and we go into the mid/late 30.


His definition of dicks was "When my GOD DMPCs kidnap you, and press-gang you into service doing menial dungeon crawls you complain about them and plot on methods to kill them. Then when a diety shows up and curses you (for looting) by swapping your stats and stealing your cash you plot on ways to kill him too."


It was suprising, because every player thought this guy was being a dick, had complained to one another in private about it, and we finally agreed to deal with it because he was only going to do one more session. 


My main point is. Make sure its not you or something you are doing or you might have the same problem. (Wed have tried to work it out, but he literally stormed out)


--


Iserith's session 0 suggestion is a must. Use it to build a world with the players (so they care about the world). Then use it to build PCs that get along with and care about one another. It will make the rest of the campaign so much better.




If your players prefer exploration and learning about a world as they go, then I say toss Iserith's session zero advice aside. Or, mangle it and mutilate it so much that it's not about the world building aspect.

That said, I encourage the use of existing settings for beginners. Even if it's Ebberon... >_>
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
You can find Eberron Articles and material at the link below.

www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/archeb...

If you are after free adventures, try here.

www.dungeonmastering.com/campaigns-adven...

Drivethru RPG also sells pdf adventures for 3.5e.

rpg.drivethrustuff.com/index.php?cPath=9...

If there is anything else I can hep with, let me know.
Here I go again - I'm going to sound like "that guy."

Have you considered 4th edition?  I'm not alone in believing that it's probably the easiest edition to DM so far.  Of course, your decision isn't the only one ... you would have to have players interested in playing 4e too.  If they like Eberron, 4e has Eberron materials and all the old Eberron materials can still work fine with some liberal amounts of conversion.

However, the other posters here have some excellent advice too.  Start with something pre-written, don't be afraid to make mistakes, make sure that everyone's on the same page and doesn't violate Wheaton's Law, etc.

Also, I would advise you to single out the best DM you know, if any, and play with him more often.  Learn what he does and how.  Learn not just how he makes a story and runs a combat but how he manages the table, how he schedules sessions.  Is he a people person that gets along with the players?  If so, how does he do that.  Ask him!  Ask lots of questions. 

We all learn from the best.  In any endeavor, no matter what it is, very few of us are prodigies.  We learn from asking questions (like you're doing) and associating with the best folks we know.

Do you have any more specific questions, perhaps?  I always give better advice when I am answering specific questions.

And regardless, good luck and good gaming.          



I have considered and actually prefer 4.0 but my players don't and I can't exactly run a game without them so i'm stuck with 3.5.

As for best dm possible? All of my Dm's in the past either sucked or quit after a few weeks so It would be unwise to learn from them.

As for specific questions I suppose a few would be: What area/town is good tp start in Eberron? Anything better than having the players meet up in a tavern? should I plan very far ahead or is it better to have a general idea of what you're doing and roll with it? Is there anything I should avoid while dming?

Also, thanks for your help and support!


Every single generic adventure will work.
There used to be a place on the wizards.com site for 3.5 adventures.  Try using the search for it and see if you can find it.  Otherwise, there are plenty of websites found with google.



Thanks, i'll look around and see what I can find.

Unless you are your players are pretty familiar with Eberron (or any published campaign setting), my recommendation is to forget about it and build your own setting with your players. Select a setting-neutral adventure that will fit and that everyone is interested in playing and have at it.

To touch on what Prom said, be sure to have a Session Zero as well, a "pre-game" session in which you meet, discuss the expectations for the game, style, tone, themes, level of optimization, and sort out the details of the world, adventures, party, and characters. This is a good time to discuss social conventions as well. When everyone is on the same page, only then are you ready to kick off the game.



I chose Eberron because they know forgotten realms pretty well so it'd give me a chance to make mistakes without them noticing or caring (Since they'd know just about as much as me)

The "pre-game" thing wouldn't be a bad idea, make sure everyone knows what they're getting into and vice versa, work with them to build the world as well. Great idea.


We had a guest DM walk out last night telling us the exact same thing. I'm the youngest of my playgroup at mid 20, and we go into the mid/late 30.

His definition of dicks was "When my GOD DMPCs kidnap you, and press-gang you into service doing menial dungeon crawls you complain about them and plot on methods to kill them. Then when a diety shows up and curses you (for looting) by swapping your stats and stealing your cash you plot on ways to kill him too."


It was suprising, because every player thought this guy was being a dick, had complained to one another in private about it, and we finally agreed to deal with it because he was only going to do one more session. 


My main point is. Make sure its not you or something you are doing or you might have the same problem. (Wed have tried to work it out, but he literally stormed out)


--


Iserith's session 0 suggestion is a must. Use it to build a world with the players (so they care about the world). Then use it to build PCs that get along with and care about one another. It will make the rest of the campaign so much better.




Good point, however a few examples of some things my players were doing: One of them picked up dead rats after killing them and started swinging and throwing them at the other party members. Another time, the group walks into a bar and proceeds to just...kill everyone for no reason. Lastly? I refused to let them kill other innocent people because I wanted this to be a good campaign (or neutral, at the very least) so they simply quit and left the table.

So in short...I'm pretty sure it wasn't me.

You can find Eberron Articles and material at the link below.

www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/archeb...

If you are after free adventures, try here.

www.dungeonmastering.com/campaigns-adven...

Drivethru RPG also sells pdf adventures for 3.5e.

rpg.drivethrustuff.com/index.php?cPath=9...

If there is anything else I can hep with, let me know.



Thanks tons! I'll check these out and see what I can do with them.





Good point, however a few examples of some things my players were doing: One of them picked up dead rats after killing them and started swinging and throwing them at the other party members. Another time, the group walks into a bar and proceeds to just...kill everyone for no reason. Lastly? I refused to let them kill other innocent people because I wanted this to be a good campaign (or neutral, at the very least) so they simply quit and left the table.




yeah, doesn't sound like you. These examples sound like a group looking for a much more light hearted "killem all" style campaign. The session 0 idea would let you and players discuss this before hand. If you realize thats what they want to do, you only waste the ammount of time figuring that out before parting ways.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"