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Beowen
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  02:30:47  Show Profile Send Beowen a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Uhh... Hello! I'm sure this is posted somewhere but I'm currently unable to find it.

I'm actually new to D&D in the first place. I was convinced to join a group of friends after they saw that I owned nearly every written Forgotten Realms novel published. However the DM was only using the names from Forgotten Realms to draw me into playing, and he was actually really over blown with it. (We were all level 1 and we were fighting the original vampire as an underboss, defeated a Turasks using a giant Gundam of Blackcloak and single handedly stopped the Rise of Tiamat by knocking a guy into a pit of acid by accident). Now hes having us kill our characters because at lvl. 4 they are "overpowered" and he wants to restart in The West Marches (which I've looked into and have no desire to play).

So I'm ready to step out of D&D entirely, but have people in the group trying to convince me to DM because I write short stories and know the lore etc. and have apparently gotten them curious about the Realms; But my question is this....


Are there any books in particular that I should buy to help me learn to DM? I know I need the DM Book for 5E, the Monster manual, and that it would be a good idea to buy Volos Guide, but is there anything else I should buy to try and make a credible DM run through the Realms? The books are all Realllly expensive (for good reason I realize) and I don't even know if I'll actually do this to begin with.


Any help/advice would be really appreciated!

WKL

Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
410 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  11:53:30  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well met Beowen,
All you NEED for playing RPG like D&D is a group of people who want to experience a story. There are many ways to tell the story and to play the game.

For start I would suggest you to buy Player Handbook, Dungeon Master Guide and Monster Manual.
I haven't read 5.edition but there are lot of advices on how to run a game and those three books should cover the basics.

Once you will try the game and understand it you can look for change if you are not happy with those rules. D&D tend to be heavy on hack&slash style but there are many other games that can help you run a different type of game. However you need to understand D&D first to be able to translate Forgotten Realms into those rules.

To understand lore of Forgotten Realms you will find there are many books about it and it only depends on your interest to delve into it and find those tasty bits of lore you can use in your game. There is usualy a campaign guide for the edition but for 5ed you are left only with Swordcoast Adventurers Guide that describes western part of Faerun. For more lore you have to either wait until they print some :-) or get some older books and go from there (info in older editions is at least 100 years in the past of current time in 5.edition)

Those adventures you mentioned were probably the official products from WotC so this might not be a fault of your friend if it fealt overpowered. They make those things now to impres players I think.

Playing RPG games can be a lot of fun so I can only recommend it to you. Keep asking your questions if you will and we will try to help you.
BTW this scroll (topic) will be probably moved to different subgroup on the forum as DM's Guild is something entirely different.
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Storyteller Hero
Acolyte

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  15:54:24  Show Profile  Visit Storyteller Hero's Homepage Send Storyteller Hero a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's also a Forgotten Realms wiki for references.

I've also got some FR deity lore that on my DMsGuild channel that you can download for PWYW (donate as much as you wish). It's a mix of published canon research combined with new fiction.

I'll also be revising/continuing my Realmspace series soon. I'm currently working on a FR-based magic spell book and will do another deity lore pamphlet after that.

My Blog: https://www.facebook.com/Johnnys-Tabletop-RPG-Design-Blog-1697026710539149/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

My DMG Shop: http://www.dmsguild.com/browse.php?x=0&y=0&author=Johnny%20Tek

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Beowen
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  18:00:29  Show Profile Send Beowen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you very much for the responses!

Not long afterwards a friend of mine thats setting up a Dresden Files run through convinced me to be horribly irresponsible and buy a few books. I've now got the Dungeon Masters Guide, Players Handbook, Volo's Guide, and Sword Coast Adventures (really happy to see 3/4 books on your list Wrigly!). That, coupled with my having obsessively read every published Realms novel will hopefully incentivise me into sticking to a DM role and coming up with something good.

I really appreciate the help, and I'll likely pour through your posts Storyteller Hero!

Thanks again! I'll keep coming by and spending time on the forums and this post, maybe even update when I finally come up with a story!

WKL
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3173 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  19:32:47  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well as a DM the only advice i can give is that you will refine your art with practice. It is an art so its not something you can learn from a book (although they do help massively for inspiration).

As for combining the realms and DMing. I love the sourcebooks (the older ones). They provide so many ideas.

The main focus should be on telling a story. So read the books. Get ideas. Expand those ideas into stories and then use that for your play. The problem comes when your players dont always want to play the story you want to tell. Sometimes you have to know when to wing it and write a new story.

I always found running games face to face really stressful and difficult (im not a good actor). But after running a single session of star wars (WEG) via email i found my new favourite way to play rpgs.

What im trying to say is to keep trying, read everything, try lots of new things. Find your own preferred methods and then you will be the best DM you can be.

And one last tip. Just because you arent having fun doesnt mean your players arent having fun. After a session its worth asking people what worked or not.

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Beowen
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  22:33:12  Show Profile Send Beowen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thats what I'm saying. I've read just about every Forgotten Realms novel (i struggle to read the Elminster Sagas which feels like blasphemy here) but I've read almost everything else.

As far as story composition goes, I've written short stories for years (since I was 13, now about to be 27 next Sunday) so I'm not concerned with that.


My major concern comes with actually DMing. I've played exactly a single run through or D&D that involved 4 separate sections, all supposedly following the Rise of Tiamat story (although we really didn't follow or do anything) with the DM completely unaware of Forgotten Realms lore and just using the names to get me to play.

No exaggeration, at level 2 my party operated a giant 80ft metallic statue of Halaster Blackcloak and fought a tarrasque whilst piloting the statue in the middle of Waterdeep. ANd after destroying half the city, I was made a Masked Lord (I'm a level 2 Druid that didn't level up after killing a tarrasque and destroying half the city) and suddenly my group runs into the Original Vampire that is running around Waterdeep (and apparently has as long as the townsfolk can remember) collecting dead bodies and taking them to Ravenloft (which is within a days walk of Waterdeep) and... thats it. We infiltrated the castle and were suddenly in a fight with the Original Vampire and repeatedly stabbing him in the heart with a holy staff that ad been sharpened to a point and having it have no effect. Then suddenly a magic hand grabbed us and transported us to a temple where The Eye of Tiamat disappeared from our party (which we retrieved at level 1) and accidently ended the apocalypse by knocking a dude into some acid by mistake.

Oh, we were also stopped mid trek to Ravenloft and forced to roll a perception check. 2 out of the 3 of us passed and noticed a shooting star. We were then told to make wishes on the star. I was still a little annoyed about the Gundam battle and my buddy wished for a sandwich. So I wished for a talking, all knowing sandwich that could just tell us what we were supposed to be doing and what the point of this was. He then made us roll a D20, and I got a Nat20. So I got the talking, all knowing sandwich... But all it did was call me Gay and refuse to tell us any info.....

And now the campaign is over. And he's killing our 'overpowered level 4' characters.......



So I'm still trying to figure just what the Hell I'm allowed to do haha. I have the DM books and stuff coming, but I still need to learn the mechanics of the game itself, and how I'm able to do stuff. I guess I'm mostly looking for anything current in 5E D&D that I would need to follow rather strictly to properly mesh with a Forgotten Realms playthrough.

WKL
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Beowen
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  22:48:25  Show Profile Send Beowen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also I apologize if my posts come across as rambling and disjointed. I'm kind of typing all of this up in between work assignments haha

WKL
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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
410 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  22:56:39  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Even if you read all novels, you are just skimming the surface regarding lore of Realms. We here are talking and deabating the lore for ages here and all of us still find new stuff they haven't noticed.

Making a story for players as a DM is different than writing it on paper. You have to make room in the story for players as they will want to go their way (and not the one you imagined). Best approach I know is to prepare a concept, major NPC (non-player characters they meet) and places and then improvize according to what has happened.

As a DM you can do anything but your goal is to prepare fun for everybody. As long as you can do that you should have no problem with rules or "what you can do". You can also change anything in the setting you dislike - it is your world you are playing in even if it is inspired by FR setting. Somebody here or there might say to you that if you play in Faerun you have to xxx - ignore it and enjoy the game.

That game you had complaints about sounds like amalgam of Curse of Strahd, Rise of Tiamat and possibly other official adventures...I have looked it up and they are really intended for 1st level characters :-(
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4266 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  23:09:49  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi there. I do expect a moderator will come along and move the topic to either "Running the Realms" or another section. I expected that to have had occurred sooner, the reason I did not reply sooner.

This bothers me much
quote:
I'm actually new to D&D in the first place. I was convinced to join a group of friends after they saw that I owned nearly every written Forgotten Realms novel published. However the DM was only using the names from Forgotten Realms to draw me into playing, and he was actually really over blown with it. (We were all level 1 and we were fighting the original vampire as an underboss, defeated a Turasks using a giant Gundam of Blackcloak and single handedly stopped the Rise of Tiamat by knocking a guy into a pit of acid by accident). Now hes having us kill our characters because at lvl. 4 they are "overpowered" and he wants to restart in The West Marches (which I've looked into and have no desire to play).



You asked about becoming a DM, some clearly have offered getting the core books. The other way to learn is to learn from a DM. This learning from your DM clearly does not apply.

No first level party should be able to defeat a vampire/.
No party level 4 should be too over powered for a DM to run a game. High level play for some are 12 to 15 before it becomes hard to DM a game balancing powers to monsters/quests.

Reading all the novels clearly does not give you knowledge to DM a game. Often the novels the characters get exceptions to the rules or always roll 20 and foes roll 1.

Read the DMG, know the PHB and MM. Develop story around a small setting to start, maybe Loudwater or other smaller community. Monsters should be goblins, low level humans at the lower levels. No vampires at level 1.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Beowen
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  23:47:29  Show Profile Send Beowen a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Making a story for players as a DM is different than writing it on paper. You have to make room in the story for players as they will want to go their way (and not the one you imagined). Best approach I know is to prepare a concept, major NPC (non-player characters they meet) and places and then improvize according to what has happened.

As a DM you can do anything but your goal is to prepare fun for everybody. As long as you can do that you should have no problem with rules or "what you can do". You can also change anything in the setting you dislike - it is your world you are playing in even if it is inspired by FR setting. Somebody here or there might say to you that if you play in Faerun you have to xxx - ignore it and enjoy the game.




Yeah I figured I would do it as a giant choose your own adventure kind of style for the quest. I've made a few text based games like that and figured it would be a good idea.

I actually was planning on having one large quest line centered around something from the books, and have them basically acting around the periphery of the story from the book. So basically big events would happen that they would then need to work around to make it feel like a living world thats not just waiting for them to interact with it (also hoping to entice them into reading).

Meanwhile I would have a bunch of optional stuff they can just start jumping (or stumbling) into and they can interact with it all at whim. I'm positive that I'm getting way to ambitious, but I basically want to have it be open world with timed events that may change the geography of the world/political landscape and alter the quest. I even want the general quest to itself change based upon how the characters enter into it (I want multiple entry points for some of the bigger optional quest lines).

And thats a bit of a relief for the rules and such. I'm still trying to hammer down the rules and the dice and everything else. So I've got some manual studying to do when they finally arrive. But I'm glad I won't be expected to stick really close to every rule. I really want it to be a fun and personal adventure for people.

WKL
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Beowen
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  23:53:00  Show Profile Send Beowen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal



No first level party should be able to defeat a vampire/.
No party level 4 should be too over powered for a DM to run a game. High level play for some are 12 to 15 before it becomes hard to DM a game balancing powers to monsters/quests.


Read the DMG, know the PHB and MM. Develop story around a small setting to start, maybe Loudwater or other smaller community. Monsters should be goblins, low level humans at the lower levels. No vampires at level 1.




Yeah thats what I'm going to try and do, and probably asted everyone's time because I asked for what books I should look into picking up and then ended up picking a bunch before even getting a response (like a dolt).


And I guess I'm probably mentioning the novels as a write off for already knowing the landscapes and factions and general attitudes of the races. I'm also pretty familiar with the wikis and have actually been reading from here for a long time without ever making a profile. Just never looked into the DM section because I never thought I;d actually play D&D, much less DM.

Thanks for the response though! Also, I'm pretty sure I already know the answer here, but can I move the thread myself? Didn't realize I had opened it in the wrong section, although it seems obvious in hindsight..

WKL
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Beowen
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2017 :  00:00:50  Show Profile Send Beowen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal



No first level party should be able to defeat a vampire/.
No party level 4 should be too over powered for a DM to run a game. High level play for some are 12 to 15 before it becomes hard to DM a game balancing powers to monsters/quests.

Read the DMG, know the PHB and MM. Develop story around a small setting to start, maybe Loudwater or other smaller community. Monsters should be goblins, low level humans at the lower levels. No vampires at level 1.




I'm thinking orcs and possibly a couple hill giants thrown in every now and then. At least for the initial main quest, that sounds more my wheel house and like a fair starting point. Thoughts?

WKL
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
464 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2017 :  00:30:18  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you want a simple 5th edition adventure set in the Realms with a short, simple book of advice for DMs, pick up the "Starter Set". There's not a huge amount of Realmslore in there, but it's a great introductory adventure for DMs and players alike, and you can add in as much Realmslore as you like. In fact, there's a blog out there with advice on how to expand it further by building on existing Reamslore.

That should give you a good feel for how DMing works, and it's also a good starting point to build your own campaign from!

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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Beowen
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2017 :  01:15:46  Show Profile Send Beowen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

If you want a simple 5th edition adventure set in the Realms with a short, simple book of advice for DMs, pick up the "Starter Set". There's not a huge amount of Realmslore in there, but it's a great introductory adventure for DMs and players alike, and you can add in as much Realmslore as you like. In fact, there's a blog out there with advice on how to expand it further by building on existing Reamslore.

That should give you a good feel for how DMing works, and it's also a good starting point to build your own campaign from!



Thanks! I'll see if my local store has it when I finally get some time!


WKL
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