Final Fantasy d20 Forums

Full Version: New DM
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
I am going to be running a group of beginners , and I am a fresh DM, never DMed once. Any tips? or things I should have on hand? I plan on running some one shots to introduce them to the system as well as learn DMing. Would rolling some premade characters of different classes and letting them pick one be a good idea?
If the players are up for it, it's a great idea.
But, I've found a lot of players hate playing pre-mades.
Agree with PopSmash on that one. I would say to still do it, on the off-chance they want to, at the very least you can use them as NPCs, adventure starters, heck, maybe even cohorts if your people get any followers at some point. I found out myself that pre-mades are not liked for the most part, since a big part of this is the customization of a character. *Thinks* Maybe you can make some up, if people are having issues figuring out what to do, give them something to start with.
When I say pre-made, I mean that I'm making a linear , one shot quest. I'm mainly doin this because we have 2 complete beginners in our group, that I am teaching. I had planned to roll out 9 or 10, 5th level characters. I wasn't going to give them names, personalities or backstories. The players can make those if they wish. I was gonna let them pick a character and roll with it. Why roll out some many characters? Because this is going to be a trial by fire of sorts ha ha. I'm planning out a difficult "dungeon" that will probably get a few of the characters killed. It may seem a little harsh but I feel this is the best way to throw someone into D&D.

Any suggestions on classes I should roll out? I have a few already, based on classes my players want to try. Also any good encounters that could throw my beginners for a loop?
Interesting. What I suggest is to make it an interesting story. Have lots of skills to get the players used to that. As far as combat, since you have two new players, I don't recommend anything that will "throw them for a loop" as most of the combat will. And learning an entire system. I would just use a unique class for the big bad. Like a Black Mage or the Dragoon Archetype that gets the dragon pet. Maybe level him up a bit so it's bigger. Have his minions be a different class and all that good stuff. Make traps and all that stuff throughout, to get them used to playing. A combat encounter with 4 fighters and a black mage would throw them for a loop, since they must worry about the incoming nukes.

I would also like to add that depending on the class should depend a little on what you do for the dungeon. A party without a healer will rely on potions, and quickly encounter the need to have someone dedicated to white magic. If there isn't a thief I would have maybe three traps to give them the feeling of "Oh, we need someone who can take care of that." But if you have a thief then you could have locked doors and all that good stuff to really make them shine.

You also want to try and make them feel like a team. So maybe add somewhere a whole team skill challenge. Where each member must make "X" check to open the next room and whatnot. While that member is holding the level for the door to remain open, someone must go in a pull a level in there. And that spawns some creatures inside and out. So they must fight somewhat separated but still as a group (if that makes sense.) So the whole team is in it, not just one member.

What you do not want, is for the game to have a lot of stuff happening in combat. For encounters to be so "random" in what is going on, that the new players do not know what they are doing, and only the veterans are experiencing what the game is meant for, fun.

I am definitely on board with a difficult dungeon, I enjoy making my games challenging. But try to cater to the entire group, not just the veterans, or the new people. It can be challenging at times. But at least starting at level 5 they won't be too squishy.
That is my exact intent. I figure at 5th level they can get a grasp on what a lot of the classes can do without too much trouble. But many of the suggestions you gave were rockin and I will definitely take all that into consideration when I build this. I'm not really looking for fights that will throw them for a loop, more like encounters they wouldn't necessarily need to fight to make it through. Traps are good, I might throw a riddle or 2 in there. As for the BBEG i was thinkin about maybe a Netherseer White Mage with a low level sneak theif and a couple fighters.
So we ran our session tonight. I ran a module I bought from paizo called "Tower of the Last Baron". The story behind it is that there are 2 warring nations yada yada, your party has to infiltrate the keep and stop the baron before his reinforcements arrive. So, they pick their characters:
Knight, Monk, and Thief, I take the White Mage as an NPC. SO they start of by checkin out a few of the places in town. Their first stop is the Tavern. They walk in and order a few drinks. Right away the thief notices 2 off duty guards playing a card game at a nearby table. He tries to join their game in hopes of gathering information. Fails his diplomacy check and they shoo him away. I give him another chance, and the bartender tells him to buy em a drink if he want into their card game. So he does. He takes the drinks over to them giving him a +2 circumstance bonus. He fails his diplomacy check again. This time the guards are suspicious, but he passed him bluff check with some great roleplaying. To avoid further trouble with the off duty guards, they leave the tavern and head to the inn. Upon entering the inn the Monk and Knight succeed in a sense motive check to notice that there is something off about a few of the patrons, but learn nothing useful from the patrons. So they leave the inn to figure up a plan. Outside only the Knight manages to pass a sense motive check revealing that they are being watched from somewhere. However he fails the spot check to find said person. After some roleplaying they head up to the keep to try a more direct approach on gathering information. They walk up to the keep and are immediately stopped by the guards. They try to get into the keep under the guise that they are delivering a message about the approaching siege. But the knight accidentally blurts out that they are in cahoots with the opposing army. Well the keep guards don't like this and try to apprehend our party. Combat breaks out, and one of the keep guards runs off to sound the alarm, not good. So there are 5 guards against us 4. The monk only manages to land to hits, during attacks of opportunity. And the knight and thief manage to take down 1 of the guards, before 2 of the injured guards escape. Well there are only 2 enemies left at this point when suddenly, 24 guards, 12 on each side, emerge from the barracks of the keep. Earlier when the first guard ran to sound the alarm I rolled for reinforcements. 2d4 rounds before they arrive and i roll a 3. SO after 3 rounds of combat our party was surrounded and we couldn't run. At this point we stopped playing. Me nor the party were ready to fight 24 more enemies, nor would we have survived.

The session lasted about 3 hours, and Overall we had a great time. It was a good experience for me as a brand new DM, as well as our resident nub. We are goin to start a real campaign next week hopefully.