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Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting My Feet Wet - Returning to My Proper Place Behind the Screen

As I alluded to in the previous post, it looks like I may be DMing before I expected to be, and with a system I know very well, but have been away from for at least 20 years.  Yes, I'm talking AD&D 1e.

I expected my return to be GMing a play test document for an unreleased fantasy RPG (no, not 5E), so really, if I screwed up, I could have blamed the system...heh.  Not that I would, but at least my lack of knowledge could be explained.  If I screw up AD&D, I'll have no one to blame but myself...

At the very least, I'm going to have to go to storage tomorrow night, and grab my Player's Handbook and my two copies of OSRIC.  That should give me a couple of days to bring me back to fighting ability.

I'm going to assume that it is very much like riding a bike, and 15 years away from the chart side of the DM screen will fade away fast, but I am open to any advice one wishes to offer.

Shit, I'm almost begging for some advice.  Help a brotha' out! ;)

13 comments:

  1. While shopping for gear is a good place to introduce plot hooks.

    Customer (to store clerk): Have you heard about the goblin raid on Tom's Tavern outside of town?

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  2. I think I'm running Keep on the Borderlands as a one-shot, or at least that's what they asked me to be ready to do. I'm sure it has a store or two. Good idea of a plot drop location - damn taverns are over used. Wait, we're at a tavern right now ;)

    Reminds me I have to drag that out of storage too ...

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  3. Forget you are running a particular rule set and just run the game. Do what you want to do at the campaign level. The minor details of the system are not really important.

    Unless you are saddled with a bunch of RAW people... Then you might be screwed.

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  4. The Hackmaster version, Little Keep on the Borderlands is an incredible version of the old B2. It only has a thin veneer if the Hackmaster farce and, although the keep is a much more dark place, it adds some excellent detail.

    Going back to 1e is like going home. Just open the rulebook and let the dice roll. 1e AD&D, nothing like the real thing, baby.

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  5. @Mark - good advice. hopefully they are there to have fun, and not worry about rules lawyering ;)

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  6. @Jason - i might actually have the hack master version, but it's going to be a hell of a thing to find.

    Alright, just like riding a bike - just so long as it has brakes...

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  7. Be truthful with the group up front. Tell them it's been a while since you ran a game, but also tell them how excited you are to be running a game again, and for them in particular. You have to infect them, if you can, with your eagerness (if in fact you are eager). If you can start things off from a place of equal expectations (in this case, honesty and confidence) you'll be in a much better place mentally, and so will the players.

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  8. @Drance - eager and anxious :)

    I planned on being up front, as it will hopefully make them more willing to forgive my screw-ups.

    At least I've been presenting a lesson to 3 dozen disinterested members of law enforcement every three weeks. If I can get them engaged with my soft shoe and poor standup, trying to make the unimaginably boring barely interesting, I think I'm better prepared for this than I would have been a few months ago.

    I mean, at the worst I crash and burn before 6 others, not 36 ;)

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  9. Sounds exciting! How many are you running through it?

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  10. "At least I've been presenting a lesson to 3 dozen disinterested members of law enforcement every three weeks. If I can get them engaged with my soft shoe and poor standup, trying to make the unimaginably boring barely interesting, I think I'm better prepared for this than I would have been a few months ago."

    My take is that you're prepared. If you can explain work procedures to colleagues you should be fine with gamers. I recognized that I had skills with the former that would carry over to the latter.

    And AD&D is just simple enough that you can can get away with house ruling as long as you fill the players in.

    David M.

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  11. I'm always a little nervous starting a new game, but that passes fairly quickly. Get some rolls behind you, don't sweat the rules you can't find right away, and keep things moving. If you really need to look something up, take a couple minutes to find it. If you don't find it right away, make a note to look it up later, come up with a decision of how to handle it for now, and move on. You can always point out the rule to the players later if you need.

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  12. Just remember that practically every other RPG is basically a house-ruled D&D.

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  13. I'm not an AD&D expert, but if you go to Dragonsfoot I'm pretty sure they have developed some great tools for use in play, things like charts that simplify the initiative system (ADDICT), and others. There's some great free stuff there.

    http://houndofculain.blogspot.com/

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