Horde of the Dragon Queen- baldur’s gate-DM Perspective

Like I said before this is going to be by the DM perspective. If you want the actual story see my other post -] (that’s a cyclops smile)

I spent a lot of time trying to prepare for this first session. I was looking around YouTube videos and just trying to find tips in the internet.

I went with bringing an outline of the game play, a small white board to help with explaining things, the miniatures I bought, the DM screen, and index cards.

I am using the index cards for initiative, bending the card in the middle and having it hang on the DM screen. I got that idea from a YouTube video of people playing horde of the dragon queen.

I thought being really prepared was the right way to go…..I was wrong.

Don’t try and guess what the players will do. You will be wrong.

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I knew going into the first session I wanted to add a character that I played from an old campaign. Some of the players will notice him because he is a Dwarf with multiple personalities named Thorin.

I thought it would be funny and I really miss plating him. So I put him in Tavern to see if at least one of them would talk to him, but no they didn’t.  I made sure he stayed in it though

I wanted so start with a chase scene, having the players run from the BBG, Big Bad Guy, and his minions.

After some pretty cool RP in the the tavern, I had the BBG try and burn down the place but the cleric decided to help put the fire out and not run.

That’s fine I’ll put a bunch of kobolds and ambush drakes with the BBG so they would run away.

The fighter had a different idea, I had the BBG insult the fighters God and that made the fighter charge…

I was really hopping they would run and I could have kobolds jumping off buildings and pushing carts in there way and stuff like that.

Everyone would have to make rolls and stuff.

So all that turned into a combat encounter, no big deal ill roll with it, I just hope they don’t die.

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The cleric tried getting NPCs to help fight, and with that I stuck Thorin there to get captured by kobolds , Ha successful NPC infiltration.

After fighting for a bit, I realized the BBG needed to go so I had her and a wizard go invisible and run as the guards showed up.

BOOM all the players didn’t die in the first encounter.

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The rest went as planed…mostly.

They figured out the owl puzzle relatively easy enough, And brought back the gift from the ghost to his son.

And at that we called it a night.

I now kind of know that being really prepared isn’t a good idea and improvising is KEY.

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Horde of the Dragon Queen- Blade and Stars- Players Point of View

I am going to write the gameplay events, basically how it happened, in one blog and what I wanted to happen in another. We had people that have played before for the most part ,we did have one guy trying it out for the first time (spoiler he had fun).

                The characters

                Nissa Stormaine: Sun Elf- Prissy and thinks highly of herself, sword and shield fighter

                Skaris: Tiefling- Looks somewhat more on the infernal side, Cleric of Sune

                Natsu Swiftwind- Silent nature type Wood Elf –ranger

                Sandy- Half Orc- Outsider who is learning customs- Barbarian (New Guy)

W3Fyjrz(Nissa drawn by the player)

 

The players started at the Blade and Stars Inn, in Baldur’s Gate. It is young in the night and is down pouring. After having dreams of the world burning, freezing or being choked by poison and always seeing people they do not know helping them and other people get out. (Meta- it is the player seeing the other players help) They are drawn to this inn by a mysterious feeling.

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The Blade and Stars was moderately full and the reception/dining area had people gathering around a fire place to try and dry off. Skaris had a Sune giving plate and was asking for donations for an orphanage nearby from the patrons. Natsu was getting some food and elven wine to drink from Aundegal Shawn, the inn keeper. Sandy was drinking ale eying the guards in the inn, A half orc and a halfling. Nissa walked in to the inn and tried to get a seat near the fireplace but tripped on the floor and her sword fell into the fire. Skaris reached into the flame and grabbed the sword, and asked for a donation. Sandy saw all this and walked over there to ask why a pretty lady had a sword in the first place. Annoyed by the question Nissa tried to intimidate Sandy to go away but failed and Sandy just laughed.

                Sitting a table all by himself crying was Vaturam Jovashil. Skaris went to go see why he was crying, Vaturam explained this was the ten year anniversary of his father’s disappearance which happened to also be his birthday. Skaris gave him a blessing and it put him at ease. After they were done talking the door to the inn slammed open and in walked two people in cultist robes. As they walked in they harassed Skaris and Nissa for having some God on their equipment. Nissa took real offense to it and tried to intimidate the cultist but failed and one cultist walked out and yelled in draconic. The other turned out to be a wizard and shot a fireball into the dining hall.

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               Everyone in the inn ran out, as the players ran out they saw the cultists waiting there with 15 kobolds and two ambush drakes. Nissa still yelling insults at the cultist pulled out her shield and sword, Sandy stood next to her and was upset about what just happened and unsheathed his swords. Natsu vanished behind a barrel and cocked his bow. Skaris was trying to put the fire out in the inn. Nissa and Sandy charged the kobolds trying to get to the cultist who were standing behind them. Natsu saw them charging and let a storm of arrows go and took some kobolds down.

 

                 Skaris yelled for people to stop and help, two people stopped a dwarf fighter and half elf monk. They were not much help though as the monk was taken hostage and the dwarf critically missed and was captured. After slaying many kobolds Nissa made it to the draconic cultist and saw that he was wearing a black dragon mask. The cultist spewed acid at the players and Nissa took a direct hit after that the cultists ran away as the guards came around to see what was going on.

                The guards tried to take the players in for questioning but Skaris took a kobold arm and started chewing on it. The guards were so disgusted they told them to leave the city. Before they left Skaris gave some money to the Inn’s owner to help with the damage and also to the local orphanage to help with any repairs. The head orphanage nun was so happy for the donation she asked them to stay and rest for the night. The players elected to stay for a short rest so the guards wouldn’t get upset. After the rest they headed out of town.

As they left the town Nissa’s Athena pendent started to burn her, in shock she threw it on the ground. As it hit the ground, the earth under them started to shake and some stairs revealed themselves underneath them. All the players except for Natsu went down the steps; he decided to sit in a tree for a lookout. The players find themselves in some sort of temple with a fallen knight in the corner and the only doors locked. The players inspect the bones of the knight and a ghost appears, the ghost explains that he will have to work late but it’s his kids birthday so he asks the players to bring back the statue he made to his kid for a present. When asked how old the kid was and what his name is, he responded that his kid just turned nine and his name is Vaturam Jovashil. Skaris said he know the child and will bring him the statue. With that the ghost thanked him and disappears into the night.

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              The doors have a mural of birds flying on it. Nissa finds an owl with an eye missing she takes her pendent and places it in the eye and the doors open up. In the room there is an island with a statue of Athena in the middle. The walls are covered in murals of Greek legends and tragedies. The celling opened up and the moon light shines on Athena. Athena begins to talk to the heroes using the statue telling them about the cult of the dragon trying to bring back Tiamat, and how she needs them to help stop it. The first step is to check out the cult of the dragon camp near them to see what they can find.

That was our first session, everyone seemed to have fun. 

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SO SUCCESS!

 

Here we are there is one more guy hiding to the left, I don’t know why people do not like there picture taken. I love it

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Deciding the story

Trying to come up with an interesting story could feel like quite the undertaking.  Even though this was my first time being a DM I thought I could handle it, I’m a creative guy with imagination and such.

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To start I asked myself

“Tom?”

“Yes  Tom”

“What adventure would be the most fun to be a player in for you?”

“Hmm….well I really liked reading the dragon lance stories it would be cool to put my own spin on it. Kind of making a world without dragons or dragons have not been around and trying to stop a bad one from coming back or something”

“What a great idea Tom. Also you look great today.”

“Thanks right back atcha bud.”

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So I’m trying to make a world from scratch at this point and it’s starting to be a little overwhelming for a first timer. Not that I didn’t think I could handle it but our game date was pressing ever closer, and players were asking me questions like “So where can I put that I’m from?” I expressed my concern with one of the more seasoned players and he suggested I take a look at the Rise of Tiamat adventure by Wizard.giphy

 

I find of PDF of it online, (don’t judge I just got the DM guide and Monster Manuel, I’m not made of gold.) I read through it and it’s almost exactly what I was aiming for.

Almost.

It talks about the events of the adventure before it, The Horde of the Dragon Queen, and how events from that shape the events of the new adventure. I thought I could just kind of bluff the events or even just tell the players you guys did this, but where is the fun in that.

So I start making up a first encounter that could lead up to the Rise of Tiamat. I come up with a story that could very plausible put all the players in the same area and they get kind of just caught up in this situation.

To contrast I looked up Horde of the Dragon Queen to see how they ran the adventure. It seemed like pretty straight forward not a lot of crazy plot turns but fun. The more I read it the more I actually liked the story and saw how I could take it and make my twists and add my own plot turns.

I REALLY wanted to run Rise of Tiamat but running Horde of the Dragon Queen made more sense.

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(Look at that, who would not want to stop that)

Looks like Horde of the Dragon Queen is what we are running.

 

 

 

 

I am still using my first encounter. I worked too hard on it for it to not happen.

My Pre Pre Prep

After finding out I was going to be a DM the first thing couple of things I did were

1. Panic

How To Stop Panic Attacks

I freaked out do to never DMing before. No one wanted to really due it and I don’t blame them. Its fun to play a character and DMs do alot of work that the players don’t see and some people are turned off by it.

2. Get the Guide

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We all decided that we would run a 5e game so I had to go out and get the guide for it. Each edition has a Players guide, a DM guide and a monster manual. The players guide has the actual rules of D&D and everything you need to make a character. The DM guide has guidelines on how to make a world for your players and how to run a game. I say guidelines because really you can do whatever you want to in the game as long as your players are good with it, want to do time traveling magic alien monkeys? sure! The monster manual has all the monsters abilities and a little back story on all of them.

3. Start googling EVERYTHING

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I started looking up resources, blogs, videos anything that I could use to learn how to be a DM.

I think the best place I found was a YouTube channel called Fistful of Dice. I really liked his style of teaching how to run/play the game. He wasn’t condescending or acted better for know the information. It was cool. He also has a podcast he just stared with two other guys

https://www.youtube.com/user/aFistfulofDice

4. Start going over the players characters

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(I have played WoW for a very long time)

While you can just make a story and have the players play in it, I wanted to make sure everyone knew what was going on. (we had two new guys, that never played) Granted I didn’t help out more then one of the players, he went step by step over character creation. I did try and go over some sort of back story with them so that it wasn’t all scary babble from a book.

Who? What? Why?

I am a 25 year old guy named Tom, currently living in North Carolina originally from New Jersey with most of my family living in Florida. I am happily married with two kids with another on the way. I have been a video gamer for most of my life, with the last couple of years diving into the table top arena. My dad was not of fan of table top RPGs thinking that I will go crazy, start worshiping Satan, and kill people with an ax or something. He is a good guy just misguided.

This blog will be my introduction to DMing (being a Dungeon master) for the game Dungeons and Dragons, I have only been a player never dived into the role. I can not think of a tabletop RPG that doesnt have a DM or GM (Game Master) running the show.

So what does a DM do?

Good question Tom! As the Dungeon master you have to create the tale or use a premade adventure that you’re players will be living in. You also take on the role of rule keeper/ maker, you tell the players what they can and can not do. Another aspect of the job is you are the NPCs (Non Playable Character), any thing they say or any action they take you do it.

Why make a blog there are a million other resources/blogs for people to use? What makes yours any better?

Well that was rude…me….

Honestly they all probably are better.  As I have been prepping for our first game I found lots and lots of information. I was blown away by the amount of love and dedication people have for this game/ hobby. There was so much information I was overwhelmed trying to take it all in so I could be the best I could be for a first timer. So this blog is for all the people a little lost on there way and want to see where a screwed up.

Also Its for me to track the story and jot down any kind of cool stuff I find to have for later.

This is me

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