Potential New DM

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I am wondering is it is possible/advisable/wise to be a DM without having only played once... way back... in the early 80's?

I have the 4e Red Box, which my wife & I played. I  also have the Dungeon Master's Kit.

I do not have a problem improvising or dramatising a story (I do it all the time for my kids).

I have searched high and low for a gaming group in my area. It seems I am on a Magic-only plane! However, my neighbors have expressed an interest in DnD. So hopefully, very soon...

Advice is welcome Wink
I am wondering is it is possible/advisable/wise to be a DM without having only played once... way back... in the early 80's?

I have the 4e Red Box, which my wife & I played. I  also have the Dungeon Master's Kit.

I do not have a problem improvising or dramatising a story (I do it all the time for my kids).

I have searched high and low for a gaming group in my area. It seems I am on a Magic-only plane! However, my neighbors have expressed an interest in DnD. So hopefully, very soon...

Advice is welcome



How much reading and work are you willing to do? ;)
I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it. #SuperDungeonMasterIITurbo My blog and stuff http://dmingtowin.blogspot.com/ 100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.
I am wondering is it is possible/advisable/wise to be a DM without having only played once... way back... in the early 80's?

I have the 4e Red Box, which my wife & I played. I  also have the Dungeon Master's Kit.

I do not have a problem improvising or dramatising a story (I do it all the time for my kids).

I have searched high and low for a gaming group in my area. It seems I am on a Magic-only plane! However, my neighbors have expressed an interest in DnD. So hopefully, very soon...

Advice is welcome

Sure, go for it. If you're starting out with new players and a new system I recommend taking it slow and not worrying about getting every rule right. You'll make mistakes, so try to make them in the players' favor. Later, you can check on what the real rule is and ask your players if they would like to go by that rule instead of whatever you ruled at the time.

Improvising will help with this. Good luck.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I am wondering is it is possible/advisable/wise to be a DM without having only played once... way back... in the early 80's?

I have the 4e Red Box, which my wife & I played. I  also have the Dungeon Master's Kit.

I do not have a problem improvising or dramatising a story (I do it all the time for my kids).

I have searched high and low for a gaming group in my area. It seems I am on a Magic-only plane! However, my neighbors have expressed an interest in DnD. So hopefully, very soon...

Advice is welcome



How much reading and work are you willing to do? ;)

I'm willing to do whatever it takes! ;) 
I am wondering is it is possible/advisable/wise to be a DM without having only played once... way back... in the early 80's?

I have the 4e Red Box, which my wife & I played. I  also have the Dungeon Master's Kit.

I do not have a problem improvising or dramatising a story (I do it all the time for my kids).

I have searched high and low for a gaming group in my area. It seems I am on a Magic-only plane! However, my neighbors have expressed an interest in DnD. So hopefully, very soon...

Advice is welcome



www.meetup.com
I've found several gaming groups in every city i've ever lived in (which is quite a bit actually). You should be able to find some good-folk there.
FWIW [4e designer] baseline assumption was that roughly 70% of your feats would be put towards combat effectiveness, parties would coordinate, and strikers would do 20/40/60 at-will damage+novas. If your party isn't doing that... well, you are below baseline, so yes, you need to optimize slightly to meet baseline. -Alcestis
I am wondering is it is possible/advisable/wise to be a DM without having only played once... way back... in the early 80's?

I have the 4e Red Box, which my wife & I played. I  also have the Dungeon Master's Kit.

I do not have a problem improvising or dramatising a story (I do it all the time for my kids).

I have searched high and low for a gaming group in my area. It seems I am on a Magic-only plane! However, my neighbors have expressed an interest in DnD. So hopefully, very soon...

Advice is welcome



www.meetup.com
I've found several gaming groups in every city i've ever lived in (which is quite a bit actually). You should be able to find some good-folk there.

Good idea! Thanks
I am wondering is it is possible/advisable/wise to be a DM without having only played once... way back... in the early 80's?

I have the 4e Red Box, which my wife & I played. I  also have the Dungeon Master's Kit.

I do not have a problem improvising or dramatising a story (I do it all the time for my kids).

I have searched high and low for a gaming group in my area. It seems I am on a Magic-only plane! However, my neighbors have expressed an interest in DnD. So hopefully, very soon...

Advice is welcome

Sure, go for it. If you're starting out with new players and a new system I recommend taking it slow and not worrying about getting every rule right. You'll make mistakes, so try to make them in the players' favor. Later, you can check on what the real rule is and ask your players if they would like to go by that rule instead of whatever you ruled at the time.

Improvising will help with this. Good luck.


Thanks for the encouragement
I am wondering is it is possible/advisable/wise to be a DM without having only played once... way back... in the early 80's?

I have the 4e Red Box, which my wife & I played. I  also have the Dungeon Master's Kit.

I do not have a problem improvising or dramatising a story (I do it all the time for my kids).

I have searched high and low for a gaming group in my area. It seems I am on a Magic-only plane! However, my neighbors have expressed an interest in DnD. So hopefully, very soon...

Advice is welcome

How much reading and work are you willing to do? ;)

I'm willing to do whatever it takes! ;) 

It takes hardly any. It's easy to make it much harder than it needs to be, so don't force yourself to do any prep you don't enjoy.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy


I'm willing to do whatever it takes! ;) 



That's the right attitude and don't let anyone tell you otherwise (hint: they're wrong). Anything that is worth your time is worth doing well. Anything that you are saying is worth other peoples time is worth doing extremely well. That takes time and effort. The more time and effort you put in, generally speaking, the better your output will be.
I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it. #SuperDungeonMasterIITurbo My blog and stuff http://dmingtowin.blogspot.com/ 100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.
Just remember that it's a game.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I am actually just about to begin a 4e campaign having only played one 4e game previously and a handful of games from a couple other systems. My advice would be to invest in becoming a DnD Insider. I have found the resources to be an incredible asset and in my opinion the character building tool, especially to new players, is worth the subscription cost by itself. Also, the Dungeon pdfs are great reads, I have been inspired by many articles to look at rules and general concepts from a point of view that I would not have considered before reading them. There are also a good number of adventures, big and small, that can easily be adapted to fit whatever campaign you run.

You can find all of the info in different places and scouring forums will give you just as much and for free, but I feel the price is worth the convenience of finding everything in one location and, again, I have found the character builder to be an invaluable tool, both for my players and for myself.

Though, do keep in mind, I am very, very new to DMing so my advice may not be the best for you. 
Though, do keep in mind, I am very, very new to DMing so my advice may not be the best for you. 

It all sounded good to me. I recommend a D&D Insider account to any DM who feels they can afford it.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I am wondering is it is possible/advisable/wise to be a DM without having only played once... way back... in the early 80's?

I have the 4e Red Box, which my wife & I played. I  also have the Dungeon Master's Kit.

I do not have a problem improvising or dramatising a story (I do it all the time for my kids).

I have searched high and low for a gaming group in my area. It seems I am on a Magic-only plane! However, my neighbors have expressed an interest in DnD. So hopefully, very soon...

Advice is welcome



It's completely possible to DM after only playing a couple of games or less. I started out only having been a player once or twice several years before I started being the DM for my group. And you have the perfect beginner's tools to help you. Stick close to the material at first. Branch out later.
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/
+1 to the DDI account advice.

I strongly recommend playing through a few encounters by yourself - you'll pick up the rules a lot more quickly than just reading the books.

Good luck! 
go for it, it's what i did, sans the play experience- i recommend running a published adventure though, you need to learn the rules and i learned creating all your own content makes that even harder

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/8.jpg)

Download H1 - Keep on The Shadowfell (Free somewhere on WoTC's site).  Obtain and read either the Dungeon Master's Guide (it's not just rules, it's tons of "how to" also) or the DM's Book from the DM's Kit (same thing).

After that, it's learn by doing.  And asking.  And doing some more.

After that, once you have a handle on the rules and how an adventure kinda works, then you can start making your own stuff.  Don't make the mistake of jumping immediately to "creating your own world."  You have to walk before you can run, and creating worlds is vastly overrated anyway, in my opinion.

Most of all, if you want to have people play D&D with you, remember the DM is just a fellow player who has to also act as referee.  Don't set yourself up above the rest of the group and make sure that everyone having fun is priority one (everyone includes you too).      

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Keep On The Shadowfell" would be hailed as a brilliant, revolutionary triumph in game design if it were followed by the words "A Pathfinder Adventure Path by Paizo."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

It looks like your in luck Kirt  You have the best possible two products for new DMs to start with.  The adventure in the Red Box and the Adventure in the DM's kit Will take you from 1st to 4th level and the Redbox character info goes up to level 3.  

The next purchase I would suggest would be either the Heroes of the Fallen Lands (fighter, wizard, rogue, cleric) or the Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms (ranger, warlock, paladin, druid) books (or Both), these books will give you character rules up to level 30. The Monster Vault is also something you should buy it comes with plenty of monsters as well as a ton of tokens to use to represent them and includes an adventure that will take the party from level 4 to level 5. 

From there you should have a solid grasp of the rules and be able to start crafting your own story (of course feel free to drop the published adventures any time you feel ready to start writting your own material). 
I am wondering is it is possible/advisable/wise to be a DM without having only played once... way back... in the early 80's?

I have the 4e Red Box, which my wife & I played. I  also have the Dungeon Master's Kit.

I do not have a problem improvising or dramatising a story (I do it all the time for my kids).

I have searched high and low for a gaming group in my area. It seems I am on a Magic-only plane! However, my neighbors have expressed an interest in DnD. So hopefully, very soon...

Advice is welcome


You should be just fine.  I was DM for my first campaign.  You just have to relax, read your stuff, and remember two important things.

1. Your group is learning with you, so you have plenty of leeway to make beginner mistakes.

2. You can always come back here for advice.  And if you're not comfortable making a thread for something, you can always PM someone, most people around here are always glad to help someone new. 
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
Just remember that it's a game.

+1
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Don't let my (notoriously?) long posts on the forums fool ya, when I DM, I found it is very important to keep everything BRIEF. The longer your descriptions, no matter how well-spoken or intriguing, the less it becomes about the player characters. Get to the point where the players make a decision as soon as possible. Then resolve the situation as quickly as possible, describing to the players what their characters experience/find out from their actions and then get back to a point where they can make a decision as soon as possible. Rinse and repeat.

Assuming everyone at the table gets the concept of role-playing (not sure how new your players are to the game), that's why they want to play.

Take some notes. Make sure you learn what you can about the heroes the players are playing and try to take something from every session into the next session... paying particular attention to things the players were most interested in.

Your pace will set the pace of the game for the players as well. Remember, the less time you spend talking/describing, the more time the players have to entertain you with their antics/speeches/actions/descriptions.

In my time in entertainment, I got this good advice "Don't hold the audience captive". If they are giving you a 'get on with the show' look... get on with the show. In all things, pay attention to the people paying attention to you (that's my addition).
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Don't let my (notoriously?) long posts on the forums fool ya, when I DM, I found it is very important to keep everything BRIEF. The longer your descriptions, no matter how well-spoken or intriguing, the less it becomes about the player characters. Get to the point where the players make a decision as soon as possible. Then resolve the situation as quickly as possible, describing to the players what their characters experience/find out from their actions and then get back to a point where they can make a decision as soon as possible. Rinse and repeat.

Assuming everyone at the table gets the concept of role-playing (not sure how new your players are to the game), that's why they want to play.

Take some notes. Make sure you learn what you can about the heroes the players are playing and try to take something from every session into the next session... paying particular attention to things the players were most interested in.

Your pace will set the pace of the game for the players as well. Remember, the less time you spend talking/describing, the more time the players have to entertain you with their antics/speeches/actions/descriptions.

In my time in entertainment, I got this good advice "Don't hold the audience captive". If they are giving you a 'get on with the show' look... get on with the show. In all things, pay attention to the people paying attention to you (that's my addition).



Yes, good advice. Conciseness of language isn't a lack of details, it's simply hitting the details that matter or are particularly memorable. A Twitter-length description full of possibilities that raise questions is much more interactive than three paragraphs of boxed text the players aren't likely to fully recall. This goes for PCs, too. Few are going to remember the fine print of your questionable lineage in your backstory, but they sure will remember that your character really likes plums. Or hates half-orcs. Be brief, and more details can come out later.

If you really want to try something neat, enlist your players in coming up with details. For example, everyone knows what a haunted house looks like right? So don't tell them what they see... ask them what they see through framed questions that reference your prepared materials. Instead of "The scene is horrible because the walls are dripping with blood," try "The scene is horrible and truly makes your skin crawl. What gruesome detail do you see in the parlor that is particularly disturbing?" Players that establish their own details will tend to interact with and remember them more because they're choosing things that really are disturbing - to them - which is easy to miss the mark on if the DM comes up with everything himself.

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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+1 for all of you! Thanks for the help and encouragement!

I do have a DnD Insider account and it has, so far, been very helpful!

I'm still waiting to hear a time for our group to begin. I will be sure to let you all know how things went for EVERYONE!
Well... Finally! My local library hosted a Dungeons & Dragons group this week (thanks to your's truly)!

Although there were only 3 of us, we had a blast!

For now, I am not the Dungeon Master. The library found someone to play that part. Probably a good thing for now, as I have not played since 1983!

Thanks for your encouragement!