Beginner DM Tips!

 

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    Morghas
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    Hey Team!

    So… In about a month I am going to do my first ever DM session which will also be my first ever DnD session for a bunch of people who have never played before either! I am looking forward to it and have been looking up some things on youtube and have read lots of the rules and stuff so vaguely have my head around it but any pearls of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

    I have the DnD starter set with the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure and we will use all the pre-determined characters to make it easier. There will be 5 or 6 adventurers + me as a DM.

    The main thing that confuses me as a new DM is how do I keep track of time? From what I have seen on the net flexibility is key so I know I shouldn’t be too worried about it but on the other hand the instructions can be quite specific saying things like each turn in combat is about 6 seconds and some spells might last a minute or an hour. For example, if a spell cast in combat lasts a minute should I bother doing the maths on adding up all the 6 second turns to see how many turns the spell will last for, or should I just guesstimate? Also for things like what time of day it is or what actual day it is, how do I keep track of or choose these things? Would you guys have a calendar behind your screen? On that note what information do you guys keep on hand as a DM?

    Another thing that I can’t get my head around without experience is, what do I do if my party splits up? I love the idea of the party being able to split up and then not be able to make decisions based on things that the other characters have learnt since splitting up. Like if one group goes around the back of a building and the other through the front I think both groups shouldn’t be able to know what the other groups have discovered or encountered until they meet up again. I saw on an Aquisitions Inc. game on youtube that one of the characters went to heal another one who has transmogrified himself into an enemy character, the healing character then shouldn’t know that the wounded character was a friend. But then to physically split up groups while playing is probably very troublesome and also a bit boring if you have to wait for your turn… What do ya reckon?

    Finally, do you guys like using figurines or grid paper or whatever to replicate what is going on in battle? If so what do you use? Did you make it or buy it? I am not keen to spend anything on the first game just incase it isn’t a success but am open to some small investment for future game if it is a success.

    One more little thing… Do you prefer DnD or pathfinder? Is there any big differences between them?

    Anyway, there is heaps of info floating around on the net but I thought it would be nice to be able to ask some direct questions to seasoned players! Its Morgan by the way, I met you (Tim and Jess) at the French Markets last year sometime.

    Thanks for reading!

    Cheers,
    Morg.

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