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  #11  
Old 08-31-2009, 12:54 PM
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Just the basics on how to get a storyline or to continue one since my friend is making his own one about some Daemon cult blah blah blah and i just need general tips on how to be one (I'm the guy who DOSN'T want to kill the party members by the way)
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:06 PM
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Game Mastering is definitely a labor of love.

The best advice I can give is come up with a story that you're wanting to tell, but don't get too involved in the nitty gritty details to where your players HAVE to stick to your story's guide lines. This is often called "Rail Roading", where it feels like the players don't have any options or make any choices.

Keep it very loose; like, start with just a flow chart of the adventure that you want. Have the details and the directions but keep it open for the players to come up with solutions you never thought of.

A big thing to take into consideration is party dynamics. You may need to set some limitations at first on what the players can play; or at least establish before character creation the type of story you're playing. You may be wanting to run a game of heroics and good triumphing over evil; that would be tough when your party consists of Chaotics and Evil aligned characters and thieves who just want to kill everyone and take their money.

After that, design the encounters to throw at your players based on their abilities. Hold off writing up the details until after you know what everyone is going to play, and tailor it to them. Have a thief/rogue? Throw in some traps and locked doors for them to handle. Have any clerics or paladins? Don't just make them the support for the party, throw in some lore and role playing opportunities based on the religions of your world. Give them something to unravel to the rest of the party that only they would've known.

Ditto with spell casters, give them some arcane stuff or runes to transcribe. Or footprints for rangers to follow, animals for druids to talk to etc. These are all very stereotypical things, but you get the idea I hope.

As for designing the combat encounters, keep it around their levels and don't go too crazy at first. Also, make sure the monsters you throw at them at least make sense for the adventure.

Check out some published adventures before diving in. You don't have to go to the levels of detail they usually do, but it'll give you an idea of how DM'ing generally works. I'm posting you a link to the D&D 4E Quickstart download that includes Keep on the Shadowfell. I actually enjoy the 4th edition rules, as it's been easy to teach new people but still has the depth of the older editions*

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4news/20090428

*There's a lot of Grognards and Fan Boys that want to keep the Edition Wars alive. Choose whatever floats your boat; but realize anything older than d20/3rd edition is going to be a lot harder to track down unless you resort to the "retro clones". Regardless of edition choice, I can help you out with any details and tracking down some books*
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  #13  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:14 PM
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Here, just to keep some options open:

If you're going for more of the old-school AD&D like Baldur's Gate,
check out OSRIC, complete opensourced retro clone of AD&D. Free to download.

If you're going to do 3.5, I recommend you and your friends muster the cash together for Pathfinder. It's sort of a continuation of the D&D d20 rules, started in a new franchise with rules cleaned up and classes buffed up with more options. Compatible with all the 3rd edition stuff, but offers a lot to stand on its own. If the $50 hardback is too much, the PDF file is only $10.

if you guys go 4E, let me know and I'll send you some good links to follow for articles, adventures and advice.
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  #14  
Old 08-31-2009, 10:55 PM
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Cool thanks! Next time i see my friends i'll get my suggestiosn going for them! Now to find a store in Austrlia = S
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  #15  
Old 09-01-2009, 09:46 AM
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The most important thing to keep in mind is to keep as much as possible of your material completely separate.

The first thing you should do is to create completely separate villains who have no thugs in common, use completely different monsters, and don't even know each other socially. They should walk in completely different worlds. For example, his demon cult might skulk in the shadows and abandoned buildings of Dock Ward, while your own villain is a powerful wizard who spends his time among the upper crust of society (and leaving behind him a trail of dead scullery maids, because he's secretly a vampire).

If you make your villains different enough, it's easy enough to keep from stepping on each-other's toes plot-wise. He won't be able to drop any useful clues about your villain, he won't be letting the party decimate your horde of Vampire Minions, wolves and assorted undead or killing off the maid who has the vital clue for your next adventure, and the demon cult's plots to destroy the city will involve completely different NPC's from the vampire's plots to take over the city.

Another way to divide labor is to make one of you the Dungeon DM and the other the City DM. He might run his demon cult in the darker parts of the city, while also running all the shopkeepers and the guy who keeps hiring you to investigate dungeons. When the party leaves town to investigate one of those dungeons, you take over and run the dungeon.

Once you have that division settled, you still have to settle the issue of treasure. That can actually be quite a lot harder than the division of plotlines. Unless you are both willing to accept a party who has one of just about everything they could possibly use, you should probably agree to let each other veto any magical treasure or excessive amounts of cash. I really can't tell you exactly where you should draw the line, but you should probably draw one somewhere.
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  #16  
Old 09-02-2009, 08:19 AM
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Meh according to my base character sheet im a True Neutral theif who steals stuff to see a persons reaction and opens locks to see how they work = P trust me i got one of the more sane concepts the group wants to have, i think we are gettign a Chaotic Neutral Barbarian in our group = S.

Anyway thanks for the tips guys!
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  #17  
Old 09-02-2009, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Mishy View Post
a True Neutral theif who steals stuff to see a persons reaction and opens locks to see how they work
That sounds like Silar before he turned evil and started killing people.
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  #18  
Old 09-02-2009, 02:31 PM
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I would highly recommend checking out Pathfinder, unless you already have the books for DnD. They basically took the DnD 3.5 ruleset and made it much more accessible for newbies, as well as streamlining a lot of the underpowered character classes and making everything just...much friendlier.
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  #19  
Old 09-03-2009, 02:26 AM
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That sounds like Silar before he turned evil and started killing people.
Never watched Heroes so i can't say i knew that = P
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  #20  
Old 09-07-2009, 06:58 PM
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Cool thanks! Next time i see my friends i'll get my suggestiosn going for them! Now to find a store in Austrlia = S
If you can't find a store nearby, try http://www.milsims.com.au/catalog. They are based somewhere in Victoria if I recall correctly.

Before I moved to the US, I pretty much used the MilSims (formerly Military Simulations) website for the majority of my 'non-impulse' game purchases for over 10 years.
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