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Kurt Onstad

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It's official...I'm God [Jun. 14th, 2003|02:35 am]
Kurt Onstad
[Current Mood |geekygeeky]
[Current Music |Somebody - Depeche Mode - Catching Up With Depeche Mode]

Okay, so that came out a little more egotistical than it probably should have. What I'm actually referring to is the fact that I'm going to be the DM of our D&D group (consisting entirely of AOKPers) that is going to be running either every third Thursday, or two out of every three Thursdays this summer (after summer, we'll see what people want to do, as all Thursdays will be taken up by AOKP again...). Now, I've been a DM before, but not real often, and never using my own adventures. I will continue to go the module/other pre-made adventures route, as I have a hard time inventing plots. Also, most pre-made adventures have things that almost every single DM-created adventure I've played in are missing, like thought out puzzles, complex maps, and well-placed traps, locks and other items for thieves to wrap their fingers around. (Any past, present, or future DMs, this is not meant to be an insult to you. There are big differences between writing an adventure for your friends, and writing one for publication, the biggest being the amount of time you have available to put into it.)

Anyways, it's been quite a while, and I'd love to hear any pieces of advice/reassurances those of you who have been on the other side of the screen more recently. I'm sure I'll be fine, but still anything you'd like to tell me before I start things going this Thursday would be greatly appreciated.

(shironiku, bigevil, tommyomega, theferrett, I'm looking in your general direction...)

Kurt
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: tommyomega
2003-06-14 04:56 am (UTC)

Well fer starters...

You're a Dungeon Master. Don't sell yourself short -- All gods are beneath you. The power to manipulate, create, and destroy deities of various powers and abilities is not only within your grasp, but is within your discretion to issue forth.

That, and if we screw up the module, I apologize now.
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[User Picture]From: necrolemur
2003-06-14 11:56 am (UTC)

The Sound of Music!

Apologies if you've already thought about this. All of the most effective games that I've run - or been in, for that matter - have appropriate haunting, or exciting, or romantic, or whatever music that goes along with.

It's cool to have a repeated music selection as a "theme" to open up the game (after a brief of teaser of what tonight's "episode" is going to deal with), and it gives everyone time to get into the mindset of their characters...

Let me know if you want specific soundtrack/instrumental recommendations. (I'll go out on a limb and recommend you take a listen to the "Glory" soundtrack if you have any battles. Good, good martial music.)

Eeek! My inner geek is showing. :)
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[User Picture]From: shironiku
2003-06-14 04:51 pm (UTC)

Re: The Sound of Music!

When I ran Mekton many many moons ago, I used a soundtrack for the game. Each session was like an episode from the TV series, including an opening and ending theme. I had a small selection of music for certain scenes--sneaking, tension, battle--and a couple of characters even had their own theme music. It works great, if you are properly equipped to make the quick changes. Back then it was a multi-disk changer and didn't always work due to the time it took to switch disks. These days, the best way to go would be a laptop with the appropriate songs keyed up. I guess an iPod could work, too, if you have speakers for it.
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[User Picture]From: dragonpookie
2003-06-14 02:20 pm (UTC)

Ahem...

two out of every three thursdays is unfair to those who don't play in your game but show for game nights
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[User Picture]From: speedball
2003-06-14 02:23 pm (UTC)

Re: Ahem...

Like I said, it'll be up to the players to decide what they want. I'm willing to go either way. And one of the good things about being in Wardman is that if we want to have a room for D&D and a room for other games, it can be easily done.

Kurt
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[User Picture]From: shironiku
2003-06-14 03:04 pm (UTC)

Re: Ahem...

Non-Court Thursdays are game nights. D&D is a game. We don't have any special dibs on the Courtroom when we're playing D&D. I'm not sure where people got that impression, but I'm going to send an email to the list telling them otherwise. I wondered why no one else showed up last week.
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[User Picture]From: bigevil
2003-06-14 05:49 pm (UTC)
Okay so here are my words of... wisdom?

Things will go wrong. Your plans will almost certainly not go according to... err... plan. So don't freak, improvise.

Be flexible, sometimes you'll have to pull have the game outta your ass (not hopefully not literally). Having a contingency or two may help.

Try to read your players. For me, the goal is for them to have fun so I try to read their body language and tweak things if I need to to ensure they are having a good time.

But in the end you'll of course, you'll have to develop your own style.

I think you'll do awesomely.
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[User Picture]From: shironiku
2003-06-14 06:10 pm (UTC)
Even though I wasn't on your list (which is understandable, all things considered), I've found that the hardest part about running games is writing the adventures. Since you're running a game that someone else has written, you have but two things to worry about: knowing your material and knowing your audience.

Read that module backwards and forwards, because there's nothing worse than putting the game on pause while you read some DM information that you should have read days ago. Except maybe describing a room, having the players enter it, and then turn the page and see that there are supposed to be nine kobolds in it....

Knowing your players simply means choosing adventures that you think they will enjoy. Running a hack-and-slash game for a bunch of roleplayers won't go over too well, nor will a riveting game of intrigue and espionage satisfy combat monkeys.

That is all.
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[User Picture]From: speedball
2003-06-14 06:12 pm (UTC)
Huh? You were first on that list...
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[User Picture]From: shironiku
2003-06-14 06:17 pm (UTC)

Re:

Oh.

Why are you asking MY advice?? I suck!
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[User Picture]From: theferrett
2003-06-15 07:29 pm (UTC)
Read my columns in Knights of the Dinner Table. Failing that:

You do not "plot." You create "situations" where the players run rampant. If you write it like a novel, you will fail; if you write it like a bunch of people are trying to accomplish something and you intersect with the players, then you will do well.

Maps suck. If you're dungeon-crawling, you've got the wrong goddamn idea. Make places more interesting than a 10x10 room, and they don't need the maps.

Being a DM is the most thankless task in the world. Everyone complains. Hardly anyone ever says anything nice about you. Therefore, I must warn you that you must have an ego the size of Texas.
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[User Picture]From: speedball
2003-06-15 08:16 pm (UTC)
KoDT: No problem. I own every single issue that's come out, both in original issues and as Bundles of Trouble. Of course, I don't recall ever seeing a column by "The Ferrett." Can you email me a clue?

Thank you for the thoughts and the warning...

Kurt
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[User Picture]From: theferrett
2003-06-16 06:55 am (UTC)
It's under William Steinmetz. I hate that name, but alas, they refused to publish as "The Ferrett." Fuckers.
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