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Author Topic: D&D DM's Groupthink  (Read 307 times)

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Online DoomsdayTopic starter

D&D DM's Groupthink
« on: July 02, 2014, 10:42:07 AM »
(Disclaimer: I didn't find any D&D threads on the first three pages of Off-topic so I felt it appropriate to create a new one. Please merge this with the appropriate thread if need be.)

Hey, I wanted to gather some opinions from some of my fellow Elliquiy DM's.

1.) For in-person meet-ups, how often do you like to schedule? Weekly? Every other week? Bi-weekly? How long do your sessions usually last?

2.) Any advice on how to limit OOC chatter during an in-person session? I've got some friends who easily veer off course, making simple battles last hours. Not saying I want to eliminate the socializing; It wouldn't be fun without it, but it does get out of hand.

3.) How plot/story heavy do you usually make your campaigns? I feel like most campaigns I've been involved in have been so story-laden that it slowed the pace of the game and made it less pleasing to play. I was interested in jumping back into DM'ing, but I'm a busy person and I'd rather not have to write a novel's worth of clever plots.

Online Aleph

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Re: D&D DM's Groupthink
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2014, 11:45:56 AM »
Speaking as a player who hasn't been able to for years....

1) Weekly, but be flexible if you have to cancel here and there.
2) As GM, be the leader. My last campaign went off course enough that I kept a notebook on good OOC comments :) the GM still managed to poke us back into the game though. Be in charge enough to Ahem at someone and tell them it's their roll. Don't be afraid to steer the focus back to the game when you need to.
3) Story levels need to be tuned to the players. A lot of the campaign content was created by my GM and his partner (who played) but some of that content was created by her cleric and mine freeforming religious and racial conversations while the game went on (my character was a Mage/Priest (of Magic God) half-elf, hers was a Dwarven Cleric (of Dwarven God))

Offline Thorne

Re: D&D DM's Groupthink
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2014, 12:34:51 PM »
As someone who GMs and plays;

1. Work out a schedule that works. I have a live group I play in that meets bi-weekly. We play for about six hours, give or take. I am also part of a VoIP group that meets weekly, and plays for about four hours. And lastly, I GM for a VoIP group that meets weekly and runs for about six hours. RL will interfere, don't worry too much about that.

2. The group is, as a rule, yours to command - which can often mean you sit back and let them run off with your plot. Take notes. Take /lots/ of notes. And then have it all come back to bite them in the bum. They like that.

3. What Aleph said.

Online Aleph

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Re: D&D DM's Groupthink
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2014, 07:41:13 PM »
2. Take notes. Take /lots/ of notes. And then have it all come back to bite them in the bum. They like that.

Oh yeah, definitely. Everyone who gets into their character will have a little of their own back-story they'll want to include in the campaign. Very much worth considering.

Offline Davion

Re: D&D DM's Groupthink
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 02:52:35 PM »
Basically every comic pennyarcade has made about D&D is relevant. It's your job to torture them psychologically and drink their tears.

But for real, I am dying to get one of these going again :/

Online DoomsdayTopic starter

Re: D&D DM's Groupthink
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2014, 04:35:08 PM »
Thanks for the response on this, forgot to bookmark it and forgot it existed >_>

I was tempted to organize an every other week session, maybe just 3 hours or so. Thought a story-lite evil campaign sounded kinda fun.

Offline Thorne

Re: D&D DM's Groupthink
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2014, 11:29:14 PM »
Oofh.

If you want that to last /any/ time at all, I highly recommend figuring out some way to ensure the party isn't going to be backstabbing each other at the slightest opportunity. Geas 'em, put 'em in a binding contract, or shock collars or something - otherwise you're likely to end up with a PvP-fest ending in a TPK, which, even for a story-lite game, is kind of boring. <.<

Offline Davion

Re: D&D DM's Groupthink
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 06:43:36 AM »
Oofh.

If you want that to last /any/ time at all, I highly recommend figuring out some way to ensure the party isn't going to be backstabbing each other at the slightest opportunity. Geas 'em, put 'em in a binding contract, or shock collars or something - otherwise you're likely to end up with a PvP-fest ending in a TPK, which, even for a story-lite game, is kind of boring. <.<

Thorne speaks great truths.

A great asshole friend once put a binding curse on me and another friend of opposite alignment, designed so that it was kinda a division of power. Meaning if we got the other one killed we would receive the full extent of our abilities back. If we were caught (to prevent all-out fireball casting) we would be put to death immediately by the guy in charge. I've never rolled so many check-poison attempts >_>. But that story aside... but the timing youve got sounds good for lengthy and yet manageable sessions. Never be afraid to secretly do what you need to if it will keep the story satisfying.