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Graham S retired

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  1. And what a good place to start it is, I’ve read a lot of adventures now and I’m very fond of LMOP.
  2. Kzo’s posts made me miss it so I got the urge to start an online game with friends. I offered them a few non-D&D alternatives so I could experiment. We’ve fairly randomly selected Stars Without Number, which seems to be all of science fiction procedurally generated with a million random tables. It should make an interesting sandbox and I’m going to have to make a lot of stuff up instead of just learning a WotC module by heart. Gulp.
  3. I don’t pay for the dynamic lighting option. Setting the advanced keyboard shortcuts to on and then learning them helped me. I keep my character sheets in dndbeyond. The chrome addin, Beyond20 helped me. I didn’t find roll20 video chat reliable so I used discord.
  4. I found reading about "West Marches" campaigns gave me some ideas for dealing with a larger player base than I have around the table on any one night, although my Waterdeep campaign isn't really a WM campaign.
  5. I think you might want to consider whether 7 is too many, especially online. I'd run different groups of 3 or 4 for a while around Phandalin (you've got LMOP and Icespire Peak for subquests) and then occasionally have an event game (fighting a dragon!) where everyone is on at once. If you're light enough on your feet with regard to plot, you might be able to make each episode enough of a standalone so it won't matter too much if different people phase in or out on any particular night. I've found people don't need strict continuity to cover for absences, everyone understands the practicalities. Phandalin is a good homebase where everyone can live, then set out on an adventure for the night. Keeping combat moving and fast enough is really hard with new players (and for experienced players) and by the time it's your turn again after 6 other people have slowly decided what to do and asked about the rules again is a real drag. I'd fight the urge to direct them too much. I know it's very tempting, especially if you have good ideas if they take a particular path and nothing in mind if they do something different. So much of the magic comes from them feeling like they're choosing freely (even if you've subtly loaded the dice: they're often quite predictable given the right incentives). You've got enough to do without being their team leader too. There's a tension here, in that it's important you keep things moving, but I'd do that with your own pawns (goblins attack!) and not by making them do stuff. I do sometimes remind players of cool things their character can do, but they often look disappointed if they feel I'm hinting too heavily. If you feel a player is metagaming because he's heard TAZ, don't stop him from doing something, change things up so he's surprised. Going from memory / abandoning the source text is totally fine. It's your own unique adventure now. Canon is what you invent in the moment. No one knows the "right" story, and being alive to stuff your players come up with or you think up is usually what people remember with fondness. 1. Let them leave the cave if they want. If you want them to meet Klarg, think of tempting enough bait so you can hook them in. If they do want to rest in the cave, let them, get them to describe setting up camp and then hit them with some wandering goblins, make the place feel alive, new players might find this surprising. 2. I found that combat was the main thing to try to speed up. D&D is very rules heavy in this area. There are a few cheat sheets online to prompt them with their usual actions. My methods for doing it around the table apply less online (basically I want people to know when their turn is coming up, and have their main options on their character sheets). To a certain extent I'd let them be headless chickens. They're low level characters, perhaps they don't know how to efficiently clear a goblin cave, so you can lean into that. You can also ask them in general terms what their character would want to do, and then try and interpret that into actions for them, as a way of teaching them the rules. 3. Talking to players in character yourself is what I try to do here. And if they talk out of character to each other I let the NPCs hear them and react to what they say. It's a bit stressful for new players who don't want to look silly or do it wrong. 4. 5. He was fine for me. Big bads often go down fast anyway (I had a cool blazing rooftop fight and a speech planned for Glasstaff and he got hit from behind with a fireball scroll and never got to speak). BS had some cool abilities (darkness, spider climb) and I had a doppelgänger impersonating a player so it was quite a good fight in the end. I do see people online beef him up in terms of lore (some made him an actual spider / drider), but I didn't think that would mean anything to my players. My players take more pleasure in taking these guys out than they do listening to me monologuing. Definitely cool laying down seeds of potential plot and see which ones spark their imagination, and then take those things and elaborate on them.
  6. I suspect we like our privacy but I’ll ask the family!
  7. As I understand it, you get a specific brief to design some kind of space project. Then a team of a few dozen sixth formers stay up all night and make this presentation and get quizzed on it (don't know if I'm allowed to share so don't share it with any American space design rivals). It's intended to be inspirational for STEM types, definitely was for her. https://www.dropbox.com/s/3n1fl62q8w20ous/Aresam Presentation.pdf?dl=0
  8. It's pretty intense. Her (and her team) space designed for 20 hours without sleep. She space designed so hard she fainted.
  9. If you guys remember visiting Lucytown (named after my then tiny daughter) and its Space Museum on the Nintendo DS, Lucy is now old enough to drive, and won the UK National Space Design Championship at Imperial at the weekend, and is possibly off to NASA* for Internationals. *virus allowing. *edit* Here's the cool medal the UK National Champions get
  10. I’m quite busy at the moment, but I could squeeze in playing in a one shot if it makes the difference between having enough players and not. If you get plenty of respondents then I’ll bow out gracefully.
  11. Is it in London, your West Marches campaign? Kantas? If so, they’re a good bunch, highly recommended. I don’t get to go to games as often as I’d like but I’ve had a very positive experience. They’re all very welcoming, and get lots of new people with exactly the same worries as you and everyone seems to have a good time. Some games I’ve enjoyed more than others but that’s just the nature of D&D.
  12. I'll put a word in for Curse of Strahd, I think it reads as maybe the best WOTC hardcover, and there are a lot of DM resources online for it. A not too big sandbox with good story and characters and loads of atmosphere. It's what I intend to run when we've finished in Waterdeep. But it is a different tone, and one that I'm not too sure I can pull off successfully myself, but we'll see.
  13. Thanks everyone for playing. We’ve had a good time, I think. A goblin cave, a manticore at a windmill, and a hidden bandit den. I’ve really enjoyed DMing on roll20. I don’t think we’ve got the numbers in this thread to keep it going after a few people’s schedules have changed, so we’re going on hiatus for a while. If I decide to get something going off forum with randoms off discord or whatever, as well as you lot, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, if any interested new players find this thread, feel free to step forward, as I’m always happy to DM if we have a rllmuk group that needs one. Just light the bat signal and I’ll be there.
  14. Still got an open spot for this Sunday at 7:30pm if anyone wants it.
  15. So this game has got off to a good start. We’ve had 2 games. I’m running them through bits of the two Starter Sets, Lost Mines of Phandelver and Dragon of Icespire Peak. We’ve had a bit of a summer break, and some schedules have changed, so some new reinforcements would be good if anyone is free and fancies trying it out. We might have a game this Sunday at 7:30pm depending on player availability. No commitment to future games necessary. Anybody fancy playing some Dungeons and Dragons?
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