D&D 5E Running The Game Advice

Azzy1

First Post
So I'm going to be running a group of 5e players that're mostly new to the game, I myself am also new to Dming and was wondering if anyone here had any advice for running the game. What to expect, that to do or other things I should be aware of?
 

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robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
This is an excellent series of videos:

[video=youtube_share;e-YZvLUXcR8]https://youtu.be/e-YZvLUXcR8[/video]

If you prefer reading I have to recommend this series. Though the schtick has worn thin for me, it taught me a heck of lot:

http://theangrygm.com/how-to-fing-gm/ .

And finally for a short but very revealing (and entertaining) treatise on adjudicating actions there's iserith's guide:

http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?453707-How-to-Adjudicate-Actions-in-D-amp-D-5e

Good luck - you'll have a lot of fun!
 

Welcome to it! One thing that helped me is knowing what everybody wants out of the game, including myself. If everyone is having fun, that takes a lot of pressure off the DM. Talking to your players about that can be useful. But, a lot of the time, asking what a player thinks is fun gets the same answer: “I like a mix of combat and role-playing.” Sometimes it’s better to just ask what their character’s wants and goals are. Someone that says “my character wants to recover the secrets of her lost memory” will want something different from someone that says “my character wants to become the ultimate killing machine.”

Doing, ahem, homework, also helps. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of reading the Sage Advice Facebook page, too. There are more resources to improve your DMing than every before. When there’s a rules question, don’t be afraid to make a quick ruling, but then tell them you’ll do research and come up with an official ruling next time.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Congrats on earning your DM wings!

Matt Mercer's DM Tips on YouTube has some solid advice, though more geared towards dedicated DMs with a bit of experience. Still valuable even if you're just getting started.

Best advice I can give: Do have a vision for the game, but hold it lightly and stay open to your players' crazy shenanigans.
 


robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
So I'm going to be running a group of 5e players that're mostly new to the game, I myself am also new to Dming and was wondering if anyone here had any advice for running the game. What to expect, that to do or other things I should be aware of?

Some more thoughts:

Keep the basic flow of the game in the forefront of your mind:

1) You describe the current situation: scene and monsters
2) Players state their actions
3) You narrate the result of their actions leading back to step 1

This loop is always happening in all 3 pillars: exploration, combat and social interaction.

As far as dice rolling goes, don't let the players roll before you ask for one. They don't know if the result of their action is uncertain. And if you're not certain as to what they're wanting to do make sure you know both *what* they're trying to accomplish (i.e. the goal) and the manner in which they're trying to go about it (i.e. the approach). Some approaches will guarantee success or failure, no roll necessary. Others might work and thus require a roll of the dice.

And if you're doing theatre of mind I can't recommend the Roshambo approach to combat highly enough:

http://www.enworld.org/forum/showth...he-Mind-combat-(updated-again-to-version-1-2)
 

WarpedAcorn

First Post
So I'm going to be running a group of 5e players that're mostly new to the game, I myself am also new to Dming and was wondering if anyone here had any advice for running the game. What to expect, that to do or other things I should be aware of?


One tip I learned WAY too late in the game is to try and say "Yes". When Players ask if they do something, try to adopt a mentality of how they *could* accomplish what they want to do rather than come up with reasons of why they can't.

For example, you design an encounter with 5 angry Ogres and you are expecting an epic battle. The players decide they want to try and talk with the Ogres and work their diplomacy. Instead of going, no that won't work, let it play out. The Players will probably roll poorly and end up fighting it, but they might roll Natural 20's and replace your big fight with an epic dialogue that they will reference down the line. "Hey, remember when we saw all those Ogres and Bob walked up and started talking to them and became their friend. That was hilarious! Bob the Ogre Whisperer!".
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I second robus's recommendation to watch Matt Coleville's videos. Unlike many of the DM resources, Matt made his videos for NEW DM primarily (though us more experienced DMs find them useful as well). Much of why he started his You Tube channel is that he loved the hobby but felt it needed more DMs and that many of the mental hurdles people have to start running games could be easily overcome with encouragement and examples. He is one of the most supportive and useful resources for new DMs out there.

I recommend NOT reading Gary Gygax's books and articles until you are more advanced. I LOVE Gary, but his style and expectations can be off-putting for someone new to the role.

As you get more comfortable with running games, I highly recommend reading through DM David's blog posts (http://dmdavid.com/). The Angry GM is another source of good advice and option rules (http://theangrygm.com/).

Have fun!
 

aco175

Legend
The biggest thing is to have fun and make the others have fun. Everything else stems from that from trying to say yes to being on the neutral side and not think of it as you vs. them. Also, do not be afraid to make mistakes.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
Take some time for a session 0 where everyone discusses what they want out of the game.

Remember that everyone at the table has the responsibility to make the game fun. The players also have the job of entertaining you and each other. That means that they should help you out during narration, dialogue, and such. For example, at my table if the players see that I need a minute to think of a good response to something they said then they will keep talking to keep the game flowing. Another example is if I again have trouble making an immediate adjudication for something they want to do (this is not for the yes/no things but more of the 'what happens' things) they will contribute to keep the game going.

The other really important thing is that everyone should make characters who are there to be part of an ensemble, not the protagonist. And the characters should be able to fit in within the framework of D&D - namely going into dungeons as a party to fulfill quests. The background system in 5e is all you need for a character. The characterization will occur during play, not as part of a novel the player wrote beforehand.
 

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