new dm

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
i am new to dming, ive played before but not 4e and i was only able to interest 2 other people who have never played dnd before
i am new to dming, ive played before but not 4e and i was only able to interest 2 other people who have never played dnd before

Welcome aboard.

4e is comparatively easy to DM and relatively easy to pick up as a first game.  If you've played much earlier versions of D&D, you might have a little adjustment to do, if you've just played other games besides D&D, you should be fine.

Two people is a small group, and you probably don't want to go to the trouble of making companion characters.  You might consider running a leader as a purely background support character, if neither player is interested in one.  Getting a third player would really help.

A party of three probably is easiest to deal with if it is a striker, leader & defender.  The controller is the most complicated role, anyway - just avoid swarms or too many minions.  Remember to reduce encounter difficulties accordingly.  

If you go forward with two players, a Defender & Striker or Leader & Striker can work, especialy if the Defender is a Paladin (a secondary leader with some healing).  I ran a brief but very successful game with a Paladin & Rogue as PCs.

You could also just have each player run two characters - a daunting way to try to learn the game, put not impossible.



 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

I recently ran a very successful game with a psion, warlock, and cleric. Sounds like it would've been hard, but I think they had more fun than my usual huge group. It's easier to learn in a small group, you get more turns to get more experience playing, and do more stuff. Combat takes so much less time with fewer people.

I choose not to tell anyone what type of class to play, or combinations. If they choose not to create a normal combo of classes, that's up to them to take charge of unusual tactics in battle. For example, the cleric was the last to decide and join the group, while the psion and warlock had already begun creating their characters and reading up on their characters weeks prior to the game, the player was on the fence about whether she'd play a cleric or a paladin, since there wasn't a melee/defender class yet. The other two could have convinced her to go for the paladin, but they were intrigued by the idea of attempting to all be magic casters. It just meant their strategy had to be different and they'd have to think outside the box.
I'll tell you a couple of mistakes I made in my first ever campaign.  Though it was a long time ago.


1.  I gave too much rewards.  With gold and equipment.  It needs to be a challenge for the rewards to mean something.


2.  It's not you vs the players.  Your players will not follow every path you give them.  Let them do their thing, your job is to make the world up as they explore and fight in it.        
Don't stress the rules for first time learning. If none of you are sure as to what to do in a specific situation, just make a snap call on how to resolve the problem for the moment and then go back after the game is over to check the rule books. Keeping the game going so everyone has fun is more important than making sure everyone at the table knows a single line of the rules.

Good Luck, and Happy Gaming
I'll tell you a couple of mistakes I made in my first ever campaign.  Though it was a long time ago.


1.  I gave too much rewards.  With gold and equipment.  It needs to be a challenge for the rewards to mean something.


2.  It's not you vs the players.  Your players will not follow every path you give them.  Let them do their thing, your job is to make the world up as they explore and fight in it.        

"It needs to be a challenge for the rewards to mean something."

That's what I'm talkin' about!

I'd say the 3 major problems I've seen over many years with many DM's - along with the player's response to it are:

1) Too easy - "Oh look! I was walking down the street and tripped over this +5 Keen Vorpal Sword. I put it with the others. Ya want me to DM, maybe?"

2) Too hard - "Okay... so I made my escape artist check, my character is born. So far so good... I made my fort save, I'm alive. I try my diplomacy check to convince the doctor to cut the cord and 48 total saving throws later to reperesent whether I was healthy enough, fast enough, and had a strong enough will to endure until the age of majority for our clan. Now... on my first adventure, the vampire blackguard suddenly comes visible and his horse tramples me. I flee. He teleports and gets a nice surprise attack on me? If you want me to DM, just say so..."

3) Too dumb. "The 1000 lb. orc jumps up and lands on my head. He just ate... so he weighs more than normal, twice as much. And spaceships drop all their mutilated cows in my way so I can't escape? So I'm stuck listening to the mimic bard singing my favorite Justin Bieber songs. And you actually bought the CD so I can hear the song? STOP! FINE! I'LL DM!!!"

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 stress the rules for first time learning. If none of you are sure as to what to do in a specific situation, just make a snap call on how to resolve the problem for the moment and then go back after the game is over to check the rule books. Keeping the game going so everyone has fun is more important than making sure everyone at the table knows a single line of the rules.

Good Luck, and Happy Gaming

Yep. There's only 1 rule... be awesome. That means letting the players be awesome. Rules, schmules. They're more like guidelines.
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.
Welcome to the dark side.  Is there a question in there?

I would strongly recommend against playing a character.  It's not a good idea in general.  But especially if it's your first time, you're going to have your hands full trying to run the game.  If you can't find at least a third player, letting your players have a companion character with some heals would be much easier.

I'd say, the few pieces of advice I would have are:

1. Do a "Session Zero" where your characters talk about how they know each other.  This way, you can jump straight into the action rather than have an awkward, forced, "you meet in a tavern" scene.

2. Don't try to prepare a plot in advance; talk to your players about what they want to do.

3. Consider a houserule against PvP rolling, and allow the victim of any PvP action decide the result.  I don't know the ages of your players, but a lot of immature and first-time players grief each other with stupid antics, and it can be annoying.

4. Go with the flow, and let your players do cool things!
DM advice: 1. Do a Session Zero. 2. Start With Action. 3. Always say "Yes" to player ideas. 4. Don't build railroads. 5. Make success, failure, and middling rolls interesting. Player advice: 1. Don't be a dick. 2. Build off each other, don't block each other. 3. You're supposed to be a badass. Act like it. Take risks. My poorly updated blog: http://engineeredfun.wordpress.com/
I also ask my players if I'm not sure how to solve something. We'll sometimes take a moment to discuss what they want to do, and what sort of skills or abilities they think they need to succeed, then come to a mutual agreement.
I would say with just 2 people at the table, remove character death as a consequence till you can find more players. Reduce the combat encounters to very easy and slowly increase in difficulty as you learn what your players can manage. It's asking to much for new players to run two characters each, unless they pick the game up quickly. Create alternative consequences for failure, there's alot of information on the forums on how to do this. D&D will work fine with 3 players and some adjustment, but it's very hard for players to stay alive at lower levels with just two characters. You might like to start your players at a higher level, rather than 1.

If there are anymore questions, I'm sure everyone will do their best to help.
Sign In to post comments