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  1. #1
    Senior Member sonofslaanesh's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Hag Graef
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    Getting Back into DnD

    I used to play on a weekly basis, but I've been out for about a year and a half, and now I want to get back into the game. I know it sounds insane, but I only have the Player's Handbook, and I'm charged with DMing my new group (a bunch of relatively new people as well) so I'm asking what should I buy/arrange/do to set all this up? Much thanks given for advice and help.

    Pain is life, while I feel pain I still live, and while I still live I will seek vengance.
    We are few but strong in will
    The last with pagan blood
    We fought the world with burning steel
    Now we sit in Hall of Gods

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Well, I've DMed for a few years and here are some of
    things I've learned.

    1) Make sure your playing environment is quiet and there's
    enough room for everyone. If you use miniatures and maps
    (I don't) make sure you've got enough room on the table
    to display them.

    2) Give everyone time to speak, but try to keep things
    moving on. I find it handy in combat to ask everyone
    their action in turn and then get them to roll the dice.

    3) Allow some time for "comfort breaks", cigarettes, etc.

    4) Remember that you don't have to follow all the rules
    exactly. If you don't like a part of the rules, don't use it.
    Warn the players beforehand if it's a major part of the
    rules, though. Their character choices might
    have been made with a particular rule in mind.

    5) If a player disagrees with a ruling you make, the following
    guidelines may help:
    Allow the player to make his case in a couple of minutes
    maximum. If he can produce a rule to back his case up,
    then you could change your ruling, if not, tell him/her that
    if he still disagrees you'll discuss it after the game. Then
    continue with the game. This way you'll only annoy 1 player
    instead of all of them. After the game, he may be able to
    convince you he was right.

    6) Try to keep your rulings consistent. Nothing annoys a player
    more than not being able to do something they've just
    seen a monster do without a good explanation of why not.

    7) Allow the players to do (stupid) things that the scenario
    hasn't allowed for. You can always fudge things later to
    get the party back on track.

    Don't be afraid to punish players for bad choices they make,
    sometimes you should just let the "dice fall where they may".

    9) Keep a notebook with you and write down useful things
    in it (NPC names you make up on the spur of the moment,
    party order, current HPs for each PC, that sort of thing)

    10) You have the final say on any rule.

    11) Enjoy the game!

    DnD 3.5 specific things

    If you're playing DnD 3.5 then you must get the DMG.
    As a player you'll know most of the rules, but the DMG
    gives you the rest of the info you'll need.
    The monster manual is useful too.

    Character sheets are probably a must if you've got new players.
    There's a lot of extraneous info you can ignore, but feats/
    skills etc are much easier to deal with on pre-printed character
    sheets rather than scraps of paper.

    If you're running a pre-bought scenario they usually have
    all the info you need to run any encounters, but remember to read
    through the whole thing.

    If you're running one of your own scenarios you must make
    sure you've got all your encounters detailed, and all the NPC
    names/stats at hand.

    One final tip, don't let the players use any character classes
    you're not familiar with (i.e. ones that are in supplements
    you don't have access to). You can always buy/borrow the
    any extra supplements you think are useful once your game
    is up and running.

    Hope this is helpful,

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