DMing new players

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DMing new players

Post  sunbeam on Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:04 am

Hey all, I'm getting to know my college gaming club, and I'm thinking of introducing them to Living Legends with a handful of one-shot campaigns, either with the same people or not. I'd use the monster compendium we have at the moment, and I could fill a moleskin journal with the notes I have on being a good DM, but I have two hiccups that I've never encountered before: I'm not familiar with the board version of combat, and I'm mostly going to be looking for people with very little Tabletop RPG experience, so that I can introduce people to the whole idea of tabletop gaming. I think Living Legends is an excellent game for that sort of thing, and with less experienced roleplayers I have a session or two before the players really start to break the game and think outside the system.
I can read up on the Tabletop combat rules (which I was actually doing before I decided to make this post), but is there any serious divide I should know about between skype and tabletop combat?
Also, what tips do people have for introducing people to the system?
Are there certain abilities or status affects that are weird or confusing for people who haven't played D&D-like games before?
Should I just give everyone sample character sheets for the first session, or should I spend time helping them make their own?
Should I have one experienced player there to help me explain everything (though that player probably won't be too experienced with pony tales)?
On a more concrete note, Have the sample characters been reflavored for Living Legends?
All the monsters in the monster compendium are for Skype. Should I just use my instincts to give their attacks ranges when porting them? Are there rules for this?

Anything you can tell me is appreciated, but feel free to take however long you need to collect your thoughts on this. I probably won't be starting the campaign for another few weeks.


Last edited by sunbeam on Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: DMing new players

Post  Xel Unknown on Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:14 am

For intorducing people to the system. I suggest just saying that pople build the character that seems like it'd be fun and not worry about playing it the best you can.
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Re: DMing new players

Post  tygerburningbright on Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:17 am

Er yea just follow your instincts when converting to tabletop monsters though I can think of a few guidelines. Melee range attacks should be slightly stronger than ranged attacks of the same value. Adjacent hitting moves should be converted into smaller bursts while hit all or up to six targets moves should have larger bursts. Anything that gives Daze should instead give combat advantage to the creature (Not 100% sure on this one). Add in a few moves that effect position where you think appropriate.
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Re: DMing new players

Post  City Strider on Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:19 pm

Something you'll want to bear in mind is that tabletop combat can take a bit with all the new factors it introduces.
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Re: DMing new players

Post  LoganAura on Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:55 pm

My advice as a mass DM:
Have players build their own characters and help them, but make sure you help them build what they want. They want to be an It's Over build? Help them to that even if it isn't that effective in short combats. They want to be a DPS? Work with them to try and get like 3d12+3d6 out there round 4 on level 1 like some of the people on here.
Share the docs with them as soon as you can, so they can glance over and learn the system before the first session.
Make sure that you're having fun yourself, otherwise the players might not have fun.

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Re: DMing new players

Post  ZamuelNow on Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:19 pm

How new? You may want to show them a template to get a base idea and then modify it as needed for their tastes. They can then get a better idea of how to build from scratch or perhaps they'll stick with what they have if they like it. It will allow you to get the first session started up faster.
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Re: DMing new players

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:42 pm

LL tabletop works really well for new players. I ran it for 9 new players at the start of the year and their first session went smoother than any 4th Edition session they'd played before (which they were all veterans with and understood).

Tabletop Combat is arguably more intuitive than skype combat too - as it's clear where the monsters are and how you relate to them. Just get a good feel for how bursts work (not exactly hard). For combat balance, I recommend the following.

1) Throw a 'punching bag' encounter at them first - a very easy one that lasts a little while but stays interesting (enemies don't do much damage but there's quite a few of them and they do interesting things like call in reinforcements or shapeshift when bloodied). This lets the players play in a less punishing environment for their first combat and, more importantly, gives you an idea of how much damage/defense the party is capable of. You'll be able to scale your future encounters to their precise abilities after observing the punching bag encounter.

2) Be ready to change the difficulty of encounters mid-combat. Players having too easy a time? Bring in some reinforcements for the enemies or have one of the enemies transform into his TRUE form. Players getting killed harder than you planned? Help them out through believable ways, such as their own reinforcements arriving or the enemy's treacherous lieutenant taking this opportunity to stab his commander in the back.

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