5E 16 YO Plays Planescape + Local Gaming+ Advice

Zardnaar

Hero
Thought I would share a funny story. Locally D&D is doing great with several stores stocking it and 1 dedicated game store and another store that has gaming rooms for Magic, board games, D&D etc. Tues-Thursday is D&D night and each night is 3 groups. There is some overlap of players. AL never really caught on as the DMs didn't like it and the drop in drop out nature of it didn't work.

Anyway tonight efforts was 21 players, 3 groups of 1 DM 6 players. Fairly goog gender split with 2-3 females at each table, 1 female DM. DMs tend to be on the young side I am the oldest there I think but there are a few late 20's annd maybe early 30's but mostly student age.

Got there early and I heard one group was talking about planescape while waiting on 3 players to show up so I went and said hi and talked to them about it. He was 16, liked Planescape, and was actually running it that night and was talking about Sigil and the rule of 3 and the lady of pain. Turns out he had heard about it online and had the PDFs for the Planescape boxed set. Mordenkainines Tome of Foes was being used, Tieflings and Drow were being used, 3/6 of our table are a variety of elves. There was a noticeable gender difference in the races selected with younger female players liking elves while the males were picking things like Goliaths, Genasi, Tieflings and Humans over the several tables. 4 female players on 2 tables all had elves, the first one I talked to I said let me guess Elf and she had a Drow. Back in the 90's I had 3 females in a 6 person 2E group, all played Elves one of the guys had a half elf the more things change huh.

The training table has a short campaign lasting around 6-8 weeks before the DM cyclees in new players with the other players moving onto new games. She seems to enjoy training new players and I'm up next as it turns out for DMing duties so a I am picking up a couple of her players to build a new group around. People also seem to be familiar with 3E but they must have been fairly young when they played it and a few were familiar with Pathfinder/Golarion.

So the question is what would you do with an unknown group of inexperienced players as I have not really had to deal with this well ever. Over the years I have just added 1-2 players to my group until all the old guard were gone, and now even the new guard are cycling out with life/jobs/marriage etc. I was wanting to use Midagrd but don't want to swamp people with options so PHB+ Xanathars and SCAG, probably default to the Realms. KISS principle Base out of Waterdeep perhaps, looking at smaller adventures with trips to the local areas and maybe stick the Isle of Dread somewhere in the sea off the coast of Faerun or maybe plug Saltmarsh in somewhere perhaps near the Mere of Dead Men and run the old 2E adventures there tailored to 5E.

Princes of the Apocalypse is also an option but smaller adventures they can digest in smaller chunks might be the better way to go.

The other idea is a fantasy not Egypt game with tombs to plunder, lost cites (B4) to discover, with Slavers etc prowling around. A fantasy Mediterranean world.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Ok, I think what your asking after your Weber dump is... HELP I will dm for all new players soon, What do I do?
Use a knock off version of Adventure League. Waterdeep Heist is out which is set in Waterdeep. Some of the DDALxx-01 (first release of the season) are great to use. They are generally 5 1 hour games. You will have change the names to Waterdeep locations. I would stick with just the PHB or srd.
 

Laurefindel

Explorer
For an unknown group of inexperienced players,

Stick to PHB classes and spells.

Stress that it's ok to make "comfortable" characters, or use popular, if cliché, fantasy tropes and archetypes. It's not an acting or originality contest. Someone wants to play "that guy" from "that movie or TV show", or "that girl" from "that computer game", let them.

Use a setting that the players can relate to. Probably best to use somethings where elves are what we expect elves to be, etc. Reference to movies/shows/games are cool.

Use an adventure/setting/NPCs/gaming style that you, the DM, enjoy, know, and are enthusiastic about. More than anything, it's that enthusiasm that will win the new players.
 

aco175

Explorer
I would not get too involved in making a campaign from scratch. Take a few elements and some pre-made stuff to base things on. I find that newer players do not care about how much you invested in making a game. They may not understand the effort or complexity, or simply not care as much as the DM. There are a few threads about this on the boards we have covered before.

Most likely best if you steal/convert some stuff to what you need.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I'd probably go with LMoP or Sunless Citadel from TftYP as a one-shot then reassess from there.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
LMoP has been done a lot locally, a few have played it and I've gone through it around 4 or 5 times now either DMing or playing (currently playing it now).

Sunless Citadel might not be a bad idea I tend to forget that I own TftYP. Where is a good Sunless Citadel Location in Faerun on the Sword Coast?
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
LMoP has been done a lot locally, a few have played it and I've gone through it around 4 or 5 times now either DMing or playing (currently playing it now).

Sunless Citadel might not be a bad idea I tend to forget that I own TftYP. Where is a good Sunless Citadel Location in Faerun on the Sword Coast?
If you must put it in Forgotten Realms, the adventure says it is in the foothills nortwest of Thundertree and was once a secret stronghold of the Cult of the Dragon. It sunk when Mount Hotenow erupted.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
If you must put it in Forgotten Realms, the adventure says it is in the foothills northwest of Thundertree and was once a secret stronghold of the Cult of the Dragon. It sunk when Mount Hotenow erupted.
I don't have to use the Realms but KISS principle. That would place it in the region of LMoP and I close to the Mere of Dead men as well which is great. Phandalin can be an outpost/town that is starting to prosper a bit due to the mines reopening and Waterdeep is just down the road.
 

S'mon

Legend
I agree with comments on emphasising accessibility (albeit with plenty of interesting tidbits), so a Forgotten Realms or similar vanilla fantasy setting is good. A well developed 'starter town' to serve as a home base can be very useful. For an urban game this is more likely a 'starter neighbourhood' with an Inn, smithy, market, temple etc - the basic services adventurers need, and providers of plot hooks.

Re plot hooks, I find the best approach here is to have an obvious 'default adventure', but have some back up ideas if the PCs reject it. That way there is no "search for the fun" problem, but players needn't feel railroaded.

A good approach is to have a regional map, seed it with a bunch of adventures/locations, and offer these as hooks in roughly ascending order of difficulty, while also allowing the group to explore freely if they like. Some published campaign adventures like Princes of the Apocalypse basically do this, but you may find developing your own easier, and unconnected adventures may be less overwhelming for newbies.
 

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