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D&D 3E
World's Largest Dungeon 
1st-Mar-2005 02:14 am
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Hey there. I'm going to start running "The World's Largest Dungeon" in about a week and a half at my local gaming store. This will be my first time DMing (I've been playing for about 3 years now) so I figured, this book basically spoon-feeds the DM everything he or she would need to run the game. This will be a good training exercise on DMing, if anything. Here are my questions (not specifically concerning WLD, but just first-time DMing):

What do I need to know know? (As in, tables, figures, and rules that I definitely need to have stored in my brain?)
What do I need to know? (As in, tables, figures, and rules that I need to have a working knowledge of?)
What do I need to have readily available? (As in "","", and "" that I should be able to reference quickly?)

Any other advice?
Comments 
1st-Mar-2005 07:32 am (UTC)
Well if you're DMing the same people you've been playing with, you should already know what to expect. If they're very into combat and hack-and-slash, make sure to study the rules of combat and make sure it stays interesting. If they deal with people a lot, you could read the subtleties of Diplomacy and Bluff.

And if you're starting completely fresh, you should simply get to know all the basics and judge from your first session what you should pinpoint from there. Tables and figures are only needed when they're needed... there's no use memorizing things nobody intends on using much at all.

As for quick reference, you'll probably want to bookmark the Experience by CR table in the DMG, and perhaps other staples like ability score bonuses, a certain class's spells, complex rules, etc. But like I said, it's a good idea to start off the campaign/adventure open-minded and expecting anything, and then judging what you'll need later on from there.
1st-Mar-2005 01:12 pm (UTC)

The first thing you should know is not to try running that dungeon as your first foray into DMing!

If it is too late to back out, then you have to know the dungeon. Read the dungeon. Read all the rooms that the party might make it to each session. Learn what is in each room and be able to look at the map and remember the details. Memorize as much as possible so that you don't have to read each section every time the players move. Go through the dungeon with a highliter and mark everything important. Photocopy the maps and write notes to yourself on them. The cleaner you can breeze through the dungeon the more fun it will be for everyone.

As you run it, try to remember all the snags you hit, and work on those for the next time.
1st-Mar-2005 01:29 pm (UTC)
I'd keep the combat section of the PHB open. Rules for Bull Rush, Grappling, Disarming etc. may be important.

Secondly, I'd keep the optional rules like cover, low lighting and slick inclined floors open in the dmg.

Thirdly, you may be taking this from a module, but give it color, make it your own! Move a wall where it's stupid to have one, take out some treasure here, add it somewhere else.

I gotta agree though, if it's not too late to back out do it. Run a few solo quests at least first.
1st-Mar-2005 01:52 pm (UTC)
Grab two buddies and run them through a level 1 goblin cave tonight, just so you have an idea of what you're getting yourself into.

For my group, the big stumper is always grappling - combat grinds to a halt every time that comes up.
1st-Mar-2005 04:19 pm (UTC)
Trip/disarm/ grapple...all of them..but you're right, especially grapple, and sometimes attacks of opportunity.
1st-Mar-2005 02:18 pm (UTC)
You don't have do know any rules really. You just have to be able to make a call on a rule that makes sense and people will agree with and then stick to your decision. If you've been playing for 3 years, then you really should know enough about how the game works to run a game (as in you can roll combat, call for skill checks, etc).

In running any adventure, it's best to know what's coming up. That way after each encounter, the players don't have to wait while you fumble around trying to figure out what's next.
1st-Mar-2005 03:12 pm (UTC)
Read the PHB, cover to cover (well, if you skip the spell descriptions). In the long run, there's just no other way.

For the moment, make it clear to the players before you that you're new. If you don't know a rule and can't take the time to look it up, you're just going to make a call for the night. Such calls are only temporary until you can see what the rule is. You don't want a long campaign to get screwed up because weren't clear on how calls will be mediated.
1st-Mar-2005 04:20 pm (UTC) - World's Smallest Dungeon
I recommend, as a quicker alternative, The World's Smallest Dungeon. Enjoy.
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Mar-2005 01:26 am (UTC) - Re: World's Smallest Dungeon
It's exactly as advertised.

For a good adventure hook, have Edgar be one of the druid/ranger/whatever PCs animal companion!
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