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16 minutes ago, Alask said:

What's the most useful bits of Roll20 to know as a GM? Maybe that's a ridiculously broad question I don't know.. I've been playing about with the free Adventurer's guide to Wildemount adventure to maybe run it and just see if I can understand what's actually important to know about. Watched a couple of tutorials, but that's about it.

 

So far the things I've thought of as must know items:

 

1) How to set and clear fog of war (and Ctrl+L on a token to see what they can see).

2) Moving stuff between the layers, so putting hidden monster tokens on the GM layer and then dropping them down to the Object/Token layer when they reveal.

3) Pinging the map so you can make it clear what you're referring to.

4) Opening character sheets direct from tokens (which I actually had to google).

5) Moving between pages/maps.

 

Anything else you find yourself using a lot when you're GMing? I'm guessing with a pre-prepared adventure there's less need to know how to quickly find Monster X and add him to the map and obviously you've got all the notes fairly readily accessible.

 

Also anyone used dynamic lighting? The idea sounds neat, but I'm not sure in practice whether it'd just be irritating to not be able to see the map areas you've already been to. 

 

 

Not much to contribute as I'm still learning myself (I had to ask Graham how to do some of the things above :P). There's a little program called TokenTool that is really great. I used to to make bespoke tokens for my players etc. and if you found yourself short on a monster token or something you could have one up on the board in under 2 minutes: https://www.rptools.net/toolbox/token-tool/

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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. 

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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. 

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Dynamic lighting sucks donkey balls.  Don't use it.

 

Our GM is lovely (and paid for it as mentioned) so I can't tell him but it just makes everything more fiddly.


It might have a place if you don't trust people to "not see" things on a map - but it doesn't help gameplay IMO.

 

It's especially bad when there's pillars or walls etc in a room with black "los" blockers everywhere

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I have played on a session with dynamic lighting and it is rubbish... trust your players to RP stuff properly.

 

I dont have many other tips as I dont really use 90% of the free features as is :D That Alt-L tip is amazing so will be using that :D

 

what it needs is a way to show height for tokens as the view is overhead - it can be a brainache trying to work out vertical height in battle. Personally I use one of the token values - there are three visible and only two are used in my campaign, ac and hp but I keep the third for height.

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Fs I'm after buying it :lol:

 

Second session went well, was mostly the combat in the final room of the goblin cave so not a lot for me to think about. 

 

Spoilers LMoP Chapter 1:

Spoiler

Opened to Sildar being revived, having been heavily tortured by the goblins and with a missing finger on his left hand (planning on swapping him with a doppelganger if I get the opportunity and will have the wound on the wrong hand). Played him as an old, slightly posh cavalry officer who dropped all his airs and went a bit berserk in combat. Did his exposition and tried to engage the PCs in some conversation to mixed success (2 players getting into the RP).

 

The PCs are getting a better sense of some of the outside-the-box things they can do. The bard decided to play his bagpipes to inspire the parties so I had a goblin come to investigate the racket. They managed to knock him out and interrogate him with no prompting :D

 

The rogue and barbarian got a nice moment in which they managed to stealth up to and assassinate the two remaining goblins in the twin-pools cave.

 

They were on the cusp of forming a plan to approach Klarg in an alternative way until the barbarian got tired of the discussion and charged in (points for rping his character :P). The bard tried to negotiate on his initiative 3 turn but didn't roll well and the fight was already well underway.

 

I didn't adjust the Klarg fight properly for the number of PCs. I just gave him and Ripper more health but did not fully appreciate the advantage of the PCs having vastly more actions than the enemies. While Klarg hit hard, they weren't in any real danger as they had so much time to pummel him inbetween his turns. Should have added more bodies or extra actions. Klarg tried to escape but was slain as he tried to slide down the rubbish chute. Any advice on this appreciated - fights are already pretty crowded with 7 PCs so I think just giving Klarg and Ripper 2 turns per round would have been better.

 

Off to Phandalin next! Slightly bricking it as there are a lot of NPCs I need to remember and want to be able to converse with the party without pausing to look stuff up. Don't want them to start floundering and get bored so I will try to have them do a few interactions then set out on a side-quest. If they start to flounder without direction I'll do the Redbrand encounter.

 

 

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So I've done my first session as a DM, went pretty well I think. I mean I enjoyed myself and that's the main thing right :P

 

Roll20 worked well and nobody died which is frankly a relief when everyone is level 1. Being able to say, "you all level up to level 2" at the end of the session and knowing they're all a bit sturdier was possibly my favourite bit! I'm a little nervous about the next session though. In the campaign book it's basically travel for 16 to 20 days by boat and over land to reach the next main area where the actual stuff is planned. The travel section is very much you can either choose that nothing happens or to have random encounters, which'd be ok but actually what I'd like is for them to get an extra level before the next place. It's a really short campaign and when it claims it's level 1-3, what it means is the campaign bit is 1-2 and at the end of the campaign they hit 3. I'd rather they hit 3 and got a chance to use it, particularly as some of them are classes who's main abilities don't really come in till 3. They're also short a player as someone didn't turn up, so they could probably use the level to balance out the game a bit.

 

How can I make 17 days travel interesting enough to justify gaining a level and spending time on it? It's across the sea by boat and then through an arctic region, any suggestions on to what to do for interesting things? I've never actually played a session that spent any time on travel or random encounters so I'm a bit stumped. Also not sure if there's any sort of rough rule for how many encounters to get them to solve to level up? 6, 8, 10?

 

Help..

 

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Stop an attempted mutiny. Giant kraken attacks, lop off some tentacles. Stop at a port or two on the way and slot in a mini adventure. Get stuck in ice in the arctic region, have them solve and/or fight stuff/slot in a mini snowy adventure until she’s freed to continue.

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On 04/03/2020 at 13:50, The Hierophant said:

I can’t get my wife interest in any sort of role-play :( 


 

Well she finally relented (as the children wanted her to). Sits down and rolls her stats.  She rolled 18,16,15,14,14,10!:blink:

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Third session of LMoP

 

There was roleplaying! :omg: 

Spoiler

 

Had 4 players this time. Had to start with a bit of an exposition dump from Sildar as the players took a long rest in the cave. Then off to Phandalin for the bit I was nervous about...conversations with NPCs. Actually went really well and a good few laughs as the players got engaged and began to speak as their characters. I had the other PCs go off for some R&R as the players followed a few threads around the town.

 

They heard about the halfling boy who had found a secret tunnel and decided to visit Alderleaf farm. Qelline Alderleaf was understandably concerned about 4 heavily armed travellers knocking on her door to ask after her son. She let him speak to them through the window but wouldn't let him go with them to show them the tunnel. The wizard eventually cast Sleep on the pair and the group picked up the boy and ran off towards the woods. She woke up a minute later and screamed after the kidnappers before running off to get help in town. Not sure what the retribution for abducting a child will be as there are no guards in Phandalin so will have to come up with something.

 

The players let Carp go at the entrance (he thinks it was great fun) and entered to encounter the Nothic. This was a great monster to play and had some fun taunting the players before they jumped down to attack. A tough enough battle but they won through and found its treasure pile before the session ended. Not sure what they will do next... nobody is actually paying them to deal with Redbrands yet (not sure if they will stop to think about this) and they may wish to retreat to gather the rest of the party.

 

Players don't seem too interested in Gundren - wondering how I can help them feel more inclined to go after him.

 

 

 

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Child kidnap is certainly a novel approach for resolving that situation, I guess it's better than a fireball though? 

 

I've finished up the my Wildemount adventure, was a bit worried it'd have a bit of a dip in the middle but Nathan and Clipper's (secret) suggestions helped with that. I found an awesome Kraken map too for a ship battle, but figured maybe a Kraken attack at Level 2 was a bit much and went with something else instead. All worked ok, everyone had a good time and I didn't screw anything up too much and the stuff I did I mostly covered up by just moving things about. So the McGuffin wasn't in the room it was supposed to be in, but I just relocated it to a room they'd not got to yet. It's good being a DM though, because mostly you can do that and get away with it :)

 

Key things I've learnt is:

 

1) I cannot do voices at all unless everyone is a somewhat grumpy sounding Scotsman, including the women, the elves and the fish people.

2) Lots of things have rules for them, but finding them when the party suddenly decides they want to do X is next to impossible. You want your tiny spider cannon to climb onto the Yeti's chest and then shoot it's flame cannon up at it's head? Ok.... (DMG p271: rules for climbing creatures)

3) I have real trouble sleeping after running a session because I end up thinking about everything that happened and how to have improved on it.

 

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56 minutes ago, Alask said:

Child kidnap is certainly a novel approach for resolving that situation, I guess it's better than a fireball though? 

 

The default setting for most adventuring parties is Chaotic Neutral.  They have lots of cool combat powers and abilities so its not surprising they end up using them in almost every situation!  The term "murder hobo" was coined for a reason.

 

While it can be fun and supported in some game settings most people frown on the hack-n-slash style of teenage boys.

 

I hope you come up with some good consequences for them @kzo!  I'm sure the other DMs will have suggstions.

 

Having started playing with my children I find my five year old particularly blood thirsty (yes, he is too young but I cannot exclude him and he loves rolling the dice for the monsters as well as for his dwarf barbarian!) but the ten and eleven year old more circumspect about violence, surprisingly so!  I need to find more time to play with them., they've done the first cave (pretty well) in LMOP and are now heading to Phandelin.

 

 

 

 

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Absolutely no idea. A lot of people certainly seem to like Salvatore's stuff mind, although I imagine the good ones are probably "good for a D&D novel" rather than great in their own right.

 

It's £12 for the lot though, so I figured they were worth a shot.

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In term of Drizzt #1 to #6 are some of the best of the D&D novels. Really enjoyable stuff. Read #4 to #6 first as #1 to #3 were published later as prequels of a sort originally so contain spoilers.

 

#7 to #9 are pretty good and bring things from the first 6 books together.  #10 onwards the quality drops and doesn't recover until much later in the saga...which is #36 novels long to date.

 

either way £12 is a bargain.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Comic Relief D&D stream to raise money for Covid relief on May 8th..

 

https://www.dicebreaker.com/games/dungeons-and-dragons-5e/news/dungeons-and-dragons-comic-relief

 

Quote

The Dungeons & Dragons 5E live stream on May 8th will feature comedians Nish Kumar, Sue Perkins - also known for being a former host of the Great British Bake Off - Ed Gamble and Sara Pascoe setting off on an adventure in the fantasy tabletop RPG.

 

Taking the reins as dungeon master will be improv comic Paul Foxcroft, the host of London comedy show Questing Time, which sees four comedians play D&D live on stage

 

https://tiltify.com/@comic-relief-plays-dungeons-dragons/crplaysdnd

 

 

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I enjoyed it. :blush:

 

It was a bit too manic at the start, but the party did style down a bit after that. It was funny throughout, with the highlight being Ed Gamble calling a very drink Greg Davies for advice towards the end.

 

It wasn't exactly Critical Role, but it was fun.

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