First Time DMing...

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buzzsaw133

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4 October 2016
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#1
So I'm trying to bare bone a world for a d&d 5e campaign I'm hoping to play soon with some friends of mine.

I would greatly appreciate any advice for a first time DM and ideas on world building, adventures and generally anything helpful you can think of.

Also, I think this is the right sub forum... but I could be wrong.
 

Thal

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3 October 2016
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#2
Generally, try not to force group cohesion if it's not going to work. If you have one bad player and they keep at it, tell them to leave.
 

Eral

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2 May 2019
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#3
The best advice I can give you as a DM is to be ready to improvise on the spot. Your players can and WILL do things you are not prepared for, no matter how many notes you write down. It can be scary at first when things go way out of left field but don't be afraid to tell your players to wait a few minutes while you come up with npcs/scenes that fit what the party is up to. For that reason, I don't put a super huge amount of effort into my world building aside from the big things like factions, religions, cities and the like. I've learned that just placing your players into a rough framework of a world give them the opportunity to be as creative as they can be, so long as you can be as creative as they are. More often than not your players will never notice you weren't prepared, even then they wont blame you if you weren't prepared for them to hi-jack a trade ship and become pirates to run away from whatever actual situation you wrote for them.

TLDR: Keep your notes small and concise, I tend to keep mine just a few sentences on a subject just to jog my memory, that way you don't waste a bunch of time crafting a super detailed place that the party glances over/avoids entirely.
 

Alphaleader

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5 October 2016
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#4
Holy shit, I did not see this thread at all. Sorry I didn't get here sooner but with my apology out of the way, let me get to the nitty-gritty since I too am a "Middle of the Road" DM and I've done 4 games in the past 2 months. Eral above me is Right when it comes to improving on the spot. But while that is a major aspect of your Dungeon Master duties, it cannot happen unless you yourself are Confident in your own abilities. Stage Fright as a DM can be messy on the first try, Believe me I know how that feels when putting together something for Everyone, but it is the most Vital part of Running the game, so long as you can enjoy/work around your own faults, the better for you and your players. Believe me, it gets better with practice!

Another major resource you should use is the Internet! IT HAS EVERYTHING YOU NEED! Youtube! Words of advice, How to Run a Game, People who's Have YEARS of Experience, D&D Live-Streams, the WORKS. Adventure Modules exist too, free adventures made by other people that you can use and range in levels from 1- 20. Abuse the Hell out of the Internet is what I'm saying!

Having Trouble making names or coming up with stuff, Simple: GENERATORS! There's a Crap-ton! Seventh Sanctum, Random Name Generators for Kingdoms, Dungeons, Castles, WORLD NAMES, GODS, MONSTERS! Generators for Days! But All of it means squat unless you have a way means to take notes or Print it out.

Same Goes for Pre-preping your game, you always want to check the materials your using for your games, READ it All and Re-read it, take the time out of your Day or Weekend to do so. If you can't, then your better off being a player, especially if your days packed and you don't get much vacation/Me Time. DMing is a Difficult thing to do, running a game is not always a smooth sailing vessel, it takes passion and Willingness to put yourself out there, Your set up Dates, Schedule Meeting sessions for your friends and make time for them and yourself. It is a Hard job, but it is amazing.

The Best youtube Resource Vids I've seen have been: WEB DM, Seth Skorkowsky, Don't Stop Thinking, The DM Lair, Various other D&D you tubers out there who've shared their Knowledge with us. You'd do well to use as much of it as you can.
 

Maroo

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4 October 2016
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#5
[...]
The Best youtube Resource Vids I've seen have been: WEB DM, Seth Skorkowsky, Don't Stop Thinking, The DM Lair, Various other D&D you tubers out there who've shared their Knowledge with us. You'd do well to use as much of it as you can.
The channel "How to be a great GM" also has a ton of good information for GMs and players of all levels. I very much recommend it.

That said, I agree with what has been said already - by Eral and yourself.
Especially the part about only having a framework. That is crucial to avoid getting bogged down. Do not even try to anticipate any and all potential solutions to a given situation. The players WILL come up with something you had not even thought about.
for a D&D Setting it can be helpful to have some names for people and places ready at hand for when you have need for them. Be that an inn, a blacksmith, or whatever.
And one more thing is crucial: Take notes! If you use an npc from that list in a given place, not down where so that you don't accidentally have the same NPC pop up elsewhere on the other end of the continent.
 

Alphaleader

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#6
for a D&D Setting it can be helpful to have some names for people and places ready at hand for when you have need for them. Be that an inn, a blacksmith, or whatever.
And one more thing is crucial: Take notes! If you use an npc from that list in a given place, not down where so that you don't accidentally have the same NPC pop up elsewhere on the other end of the continent.
Ah Yes. I knew I Forgot something…Or maybe I already touched on it? Hehe. Well Maroo, Thank you for pointing it out, as I do find Note taking to be a very good way to manage resources.