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Searching for a GM tutor

Searching for a GM tutor

Good evening folks!!

I need a (big) little help please. I've been playing D&D 3.5v for 5 or 6 years now and have had few experiences as a GM. I had a couple of table sessions that went kinda badly and one try at a PbP game that ended up after a few months due to lack of time.

Problem is: I can't stop the idea of having a campaign made by me and run it here in MW.

So, I am searching for someone who can guide me through the process of planning a campaign, making encounters, making maps, refine the plot hooks and get me on the brink of having a successful campaign.

I have the major storyline in my head and one or two side-quests that I want to implement. More, I've found the WOTC adventure "The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde" to be an awesome first adventure for my PC's and a beginning for my campaign.

SO, what's keeping me, you ask?

I get a blank when I'm about to build encounters and maps and imagining it all on the field. I stumble and can't go on. I want some help from someone who has the experience and to whom I can ask my doubts away and ask for a corrective hand in the things I do.

Any volunteers?

Note: I'm a huge fan of Forgotten Realms and I wanted to use Faerun as my world. So, if you have knowledge of the campaign setting, the better!

I'll make a trade with you. You teach me FR and I'll teach you GMing

volunteer i know faerun bit just got schooled in more of it

Hmm... I choose Mordae. When we teach and learn, it's always more fun.

Is there any chance at all of me jumping on the learning bandwagon? I also know FR fairly well, but I can always learn more.

The secret to GMing is to make a game you'd want to play in and run it actively.

But that doesn't exactly help design suitable encounters, or come up with a compelling and usable story.

The one piece of advice I give to every DM who asks me for help is this:

Never plan too far ahead. The difference between role-play and a book is you can't skip through a few pages and see what happens. Role-play happens as it happens, like a living creature it is subject to change and no amount of planning, no matter how intricate, will never fully prepare you for the choices your characters will be making.

Templates are actually my best friend as a DM. I have scores of encounters that I make and store away until I want to use them, countless 'clues' I plan to give out, and more notes of random information I can count, all of which is hidden secretly behind my DM screens in the forums. If you want to plan ahead, then templates and 'hidden' lists are probably the best place to start.

Aside from that, if you need some help, just ask.

DMing can be difficult if you're new to the game. But it can be a relatively painless experience if one is prepared. You've already chosen a pre-made adventure for a starting point, and that's a great first step. The next thing you want is a very loose outline of the first few adventures of the campaign. Something that grants a bit of leeway for the players to move around in.

Now to design suitable encounters, you need to know who your players are going to be, their strengths and weaknesses, and so on and so forth. If you don't know who's going to be playing, then the best thing is to assume a party of four or five, each filling the traditional roles presented. (Striker, Tank, Leader, Artillery, and so on.) The key is to give everyone something to do, so no one feels left out.

So if you've got a Striker, give him/her the ability to use their stealthy abilities effectively. Provide some cover in the form of a crumbling wall, or maybe some foliage to allow for concealment.

If you've got a Tank, provide a nice beefy monster for them to go toe-to-toe against, or maybe a mob of low-powered mooks for him to tangle with. (If using a beefy creature, the Striker and Tank can tag-team him/her/it for some nice battle tactics)

If you've got a Leader, the best thing is to include a Leader type on the opposing team (not always, but usually). Someone that the Leader sees as a threat (as all enemy commanders are.) Spell Battles mixed with Melee Combat is always entertaining.

When you've got Artillery (Ala a Wizard/Sorcerer/Warmage/Whatever), throw in some mooks who could be a threat to the party unless they're taken out quickly (Enemy Rogues, for Example). Alternatively, you could give the enemy their own Artillery combatant. Again, Spell Battles can be fun (At low levels, at least.)

When designing encounters in a Dungeon setting, I try to avoid using Random Map generators, as they come out looking rather silly. Instead, ask yourself what a dungeon SHOULD look like. Include choke points, logical trap placement, well-placed guard rooms, secret rooms that actually make sense, the works.

When designing encounters in an Overworld setting, then really, anything goes. I'd suggest looking through WoTC's map of the week archive. There's some really great material in there.

Hmm... Raven, if you have something not used in the Shadow of the Revenant, can you show me a sample list and a sample template please?

The biggest problems I face are: Map-making (as I don't have much time to do a map on the fly, I need them made before the adventure starts), Encounter planning (Calculating CR's, knowing how many encounters I should put in a dungeon, etc) and NPC making.

And maybe something else I don't remember, since I gotta scram from the PC right now.


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