5E Awesome up Lost Mines of Phandelver (how to make the best possible first session of D&D)
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  1. #1
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    Awesome up Lost Mines of Phandelver (how to make the best possible first session of D&D)

    Hey everyone, I don't have the starter set yet, but I'm planning on running it tomorrow. Looking forward to this starter set and possibly introducing some friends to D&D I'm thinking alot about what makes for a really engaging first session of D&D experience.

    According to the LiveStream, the adventure begins when the party comes upon the recently massacred caravan of a friend of theirs. There are still goblins lurking about. After fighting goblins, the party is more or less expected to track them back to their lair.

    How can we make this opening scene as awesome as possible? There is already a connection provided between one of the PCs and a missing dwarf merchant. Details? Terrain? Ways to make the opening scene more dramatic? More open ended? The DM called a captured goblin "Slurry", which I like.

    cheers

  2. #2
    I'd definitely add more scenes before that, to get into the roleplaying aspect before combat starts.

    The worst thing about Keep on the Shadowfell (remember, that was a free download along with quick-start rules, so it served the same purpose as the 5e Starter Set) was that it went "Hey, this is a roleplaying game about telling stories in a world of imagination. Kobolds attack. Roll for initiative."

    As I learned, spending a few hours figuring out the combat rules is not a great way to get your friends into RPGs.

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    After going over their character sheets, I'm going to have the players introduce themselves to each other from their character's perspective. I think that will help them get into the improv of D&D role playing, by setting that mindset of "this is me" right out the gate.

    Also, role playing doesn't end when combat begins. The best role play I've had is in the midst of a dramatic sortee! Start the adventure off right by making sure you're providing those role play cues in combat.

  4. #4
    After the party kills the first set of goblins, a strange light appears in the sky. Down lands a flying craft and out come weird aliens. "We are the Star Lords of Xeenu, you have passed the test". "Cool". They fly into space where a psychic whale is all "Protect us from the Griim, oh Fight Guys" (cause that's their name now). They do. Lots of explosions and slow motion. Oh no, a super bomb known as Fred is going to go nuclear! No way dude, they totally stop it... With a double-neck guitar! "Epic solo bro" "Thanks". It turns out a space otter starts to dance wildly in front of them. "Step aside, I can totally understand him". "No way". "Yes way". One of the players is totally fluent in Interpretive Otter Dance because waitforit... He's totally actually an otter in disguise. The otter is all "bet you can't break a planet... With your head". Player tries. Natural 20. The otter crowns him king of the galaxy, gives him epic raptor-eagle mount. Credits roll. Cue fifteen minute epic guitar solo. End.

    Did it. You're welcome.

  5. #5
    Could always start the PCs out in a tavern before heading out to investigate the caravan...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hutchimus Prime View Post
    Could always start the PCs out in a tavern before heading out to investigate the caravan...
    A fighter, a rogue, a wizard, and a bard walk into a tavern.
    The fighter says "I can kill a man in one round."
    The rogue says "I can kill a man in half a round."
    The wizard says "I can kill a man before the round even starts."
    And the bard says "I can get three idiots to kill people for me."

  7. #7
    I would add some people approaching from the other direction to add drama and pressure as their intent is unknown: A group of seven men approaches. They are following the road east, and are making good time, neither tarrying nor running. Their faces are expressionless. One is dressed as a cleric of some sort, and another is dressed as a traveling drummer. The others could be peasants or serfs going from one location to another for the harvest season. Each carries some sort of weapon. It is plain that they are not soldiers by their haphazard way of walking. They do not seem to be joking loudly or singing as they advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olgar Shiverstone View Post
    I would add some people approaching from the other direction to add drama and pressure as their intent is unknown: A group of seven men approaches. They are following the road east, and are making good time, neither tarrying nor running. Their faces are expressionless. One is dressed as a cleric of some sort, and another is dressed as a traveling drummer. The others could be peasants or serfs going from one location to another for the harvest season. Each carries some sort of weapon. It is plain that they are not soldiers by their haphazard way of walking. They do not seem to be joking loudly or singing as they advance.
    Ah yes. LOL. I've read this before but now I can't remember when or where. Was there are particular adventure that had this? Was it Forest Oracle?

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    an idea

    Here's an idea: Rather than the goblins waiting in ambush, have one goblin be trying to skin and butcher the horses while his friends wait impatiently in the brush. He will want to be left alone to finish his job at first, but if threatened, his boys will loose arrows while he retreats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olfan View Post
    After the party kills the first set of goblins, a strange light appears in the sky. Down lands a flying craft and out come weird aliens. "We are the Star Lords of Xeenu, you have passed the test". "Cool". They fly into space where a psychic whale is all "Protect us from the Griim, oh Fight Guys" (cause that's their name now). They do. Lots of explosions and slow motion. Oh no, a super bomb known as Fred is going to go nuclear! No way dude, they totally stop it... With a double-neck guitar! "Epic solo bro" "Thanks". It turns out a space otter starts to dance wildly in front of them. "Step aside, I can totally understand him". "No way". "Yes way". One of the players is totally fluent in Interpretive Otter Dance because waitforit... He's totally actually an otter in disguise. The otter is all "bet you can't break a planet... With your head". Player tries. Natural 20. The otter crowns him king of the galaxy, gives him epic raptor-eagle mount. Credits roll. Cue fifteen minute epic guitar solo. End.

    Did it. You're welcome.
    Michael Bay?

    More seriously, I'd add some scenes back in Neverwinter. Let the PCs get to know Gundren and Sil...das(?) before they stumble across the ambush site. Make it personal.

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