D&D 4th Edition Possible New DM questions




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  1. #1
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    Possible New DM questions

    Hey all,

    Apologies, but I couldn't see a guide on requirements for DM's. I am interested in DMing however I have not DM'd a forum RPG before, I have not got a problem game wise I have DM"d a lot before in RL however I have some questions to ask.

    How much accountability does there have to be to the Judges, so can I roll the dice for the monsters in RL or do I have to use invisible castle or equivalent and keep a foulder of rolls for inspection?

    XP and gold given out has to be regularized parcel allocation via 4e rules.

    The maps uploaded are there any programs for these that people can recommend?

    anything else I should know :S

    C-Hydra

 

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    I roll all my dice for my monsters IRL, I just make sure my players know "that's how I roll" during or before the first combat.

    I've used parcel allocation for all of my adventures. Some DMs seem to go pretty precisely, others just eyeball it. I'd recommend doing as much as possible "by the book" on your first (short) adventure and as you get more comfortable with L4W DMing, you can be a bit more flexible.

    I think a lot of people use Maptools to make them. I use Masterplan, but then I also have a massive trove of maps I downloaded from the internet a few years ago, so I haven't needed to make a map yet.

    I found if very useful to come up with a system for running my combats - either invent one or steal one from someone else - especially when I ran one that had almost 60 combatants. A good system will literally save you hours.
    Last edited by Iron Sky; Wednesday, 19th January, 2011 at 06:42 AM.

  • #3
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    As long as wealth by level is pretty close, that's fine re: treasure, just no +5 Holy Avengers for the 2nd level adventure rewards

    The judges are pretty easy going with rolls. As Iron Sky rolls IRL, I roll on IC and link the rolls in the post (actually the reason I did it was a streak of like 2-3 crits in a row as the DM and I didn't want players thinking I was fudging ). We don't require anything as far as documentation goes. As IS also said, Maptools is the most popular program I see, I tried Masterplan but didn't get it and have a ton of stuff for Maptools myself. You can also use Fantasy Grounds II (but have to pay for that one), or maybe even WotC's new VTT. I've also seen a few people use Excel.

    The way you chose to do combat is huge, I used to follow a strict initiative system (like IRL) but found fOr PbP some concessions are needed to keep the game flowing, so now I use the rules pioneered by Mal Malenkirk.

    "In the first round, the people who beat the bad guys/NPC's go first.

    Then all the NPC's act, then all the players act, even those that went first in the first round. It continues in that pattern, NPC's then PC's until combat is done.

    The players can act in any order during their turn, but when you post is when your action happens. So one round, if I post first, I go before my allies, but the next round I may go last. Some people wait a bit to see if the situation shifts or improves before they post.

    This is an adopted system from one of the very good DM's Mal Malenkirk. Everyone usually call's them "Mal's Combat Rules" or something like that."

    http://www.enworld.org/forum/5429301-post977.html <- a good synopsis by FourMonos.

    Oh, and don't be afraid to bounce ideas off the judges, even during the adventure, because as well all know once a party hits the adventure, things tend to go off the expected path pretty quick

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    Here are some resources:

    Mapping Software:
    MapTool: RPTools - Home
    Masterplan: Masterplan
    AutoREALM: AutoREALM - The GNU Mapper

    Artwork:
    Dundjinni User Creations: Dundjinni Mapping Software - Forums
    RPGMapShare: RPGMapShare.com | Your source for gaming maps and mapping objects
    RPTools Gallery: Gallery

    Normally, I would also recommend AsgardNorth, but their website is in the process of being face-lifted (a long process, poor Jeff has been working on this for about a year now). You can, however, hack your way to the pages by brute force:

    Parsing: d=dwarf, e=elf, m=male, f=female
    DMCleric
    gives you a dwarf, male, cleric top-down token, while:

    EFRanger
    gives you an elf, female, ranger top-down token, etc...

    Supported classes are: rogue, fighter, mage, cleric
    Supported races are: human (h), elf(e), dwarf(d)

    At least this is a start.

    For maps, there's also the cartographer's guild, but I'd only bother going here if you want to download a finished map:
    Cartographers' Guild

    Good luck.

    *edit* Dang! The url's got replaced in this post. Click the link and check out the urls for the AsgardNorth stuff. You'll see what I mean.
    LEB Character: Arkavas - Deva Artivicer 5
    L4W Character: Mikara Li Mesadh - Elf Ranger 7
    L4W Character: Eithal Lemindt Arehei - Goliath Warden 10
    L4W Character: Ixenvalignat - Dragonborn Warlord 3

    "Taking one's chances is like taking a bath, because sometimes, you end up feeling comfortable and warm, and sometimes, there is something terrible lurking around that you cannot see until it is too late, and you can do nothing else but scream and cling to a plastic duck." -Lemony Snicket The Slippery Slope

  • #5
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    Thanks a lot been of great help, one question I have an idea of what I want my campaign to be about but it doesn't really matter what level it is, can I have an NPC go into the hanged man put a notice up essentially saying new campaign on the way can I get levels of people interested so that I can write it accordingly for what people are around and have it Judge approved after I know what I am dealing with?

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    The judges are generally happy to consider adventure proposals where the exact encounter lineup isn't known yet, as long as you demonstrate that you know how to adjust it to the level of the players you end up with. For example:

    "The players will eventually encounter the nefarious Oswald Cobblepots, either in his lair if they can find it, or in an ambush in the alleys. Oswald will be an elite controller at level N+3, and will be accompanied by two soldiers at N+1 and three lurkers at N, and maybe some minions. Target encounter level is N+3. Here's an example lineup if the party is level 4: ..."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabana
    Do we have a sticky, or wiki of your old DM tips thread?
    Not that I'm aware of. It does seem like we've answered these and similar questions dozens of times, and if someone were to grovel through the forum and collect those in one place as a FAQ or something, I'd sticky that in a heartbeat. Or maybe edit the current stickies to link to it, if it's a wiki page. Whatever seems appropriate.
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