DM Tips in 140 characters or so #9

Questions! I have them and you have the answers. If you are wondering how to get in on the DM tips action all you have to do is create a twitter account and follow me @thadeousc or search for the #DT140 hash tag. When ever I ask a DT140 question all you have to do is respond and I’ll post it here! Simple yeah?

It’s true that some of the answers for this first question were also in last weeks post, but that is because I was smart enough to ask two very similar questions back to back. Go me!

Question #1: How did you get in to dungeons and dragons and or other RPGs?

offby1: I’ve been gaming since I was 8 (25 years!) and picked up the rulebook for OD&D at the library. I DM’d for most.

phaezen: Got given the redbox for my 10th birthday, been playing ever since

digitaldraco: I was introduced to the Marvel Superheroes RPG by a friend in 8th grade humanities. It was downhill from there. Didn’t actually discover (A)D&D until a friend invited me to his game, junior year of high school.

WolfSamurai: RPGs in general were because I played the Shadowrun game on SNES and loved it. So I read the novels and then the RPG. D&D, however, was because at the time most people around me who gamed did D&D. It was the only one everybody really knew about.

DMSamuel: my Brother got D&D Expert set for xmas in 1980, the rest is history?

deadorcs: Watching my fellow 7th grade friend work on a “Clerics vs. Undead” table for OD&D. I was hooked shortly thereafter.

b_s_lynn: Went 2 visit a friend & he was playing w/ other friends, they invited me play a 1st ed fighter & wizard, been hooked since.

SarahDarkmagic: My husband’s group needed another player. When I realized we were comfortable joking with each other, I surprised them by joining

Siliconwolf: Early 80s, D&D boxed set happened to be at local store, it was random want, liked Erol Otus box cover, dad bought it for me Read it, fascinated, made lots of characters and maps, convinced friends in high school to play, and it exploded from there.

pdunwin: The son of the middle school librarian invited me and my friends to our first game.

theinsomniakid: as embarrassed as I feel to admit it, the guy I was dating at the time got me into it. Cliche’d, no?

Jennerosity: Husband’s group had a player with poor attendance & I started as a ‘proxy roller’ for them.

TheAngryDM: Honestly, I don’t remember how I learned about it. In 1988, when I was 10, I bought the Red Box and started DMing for friends. I have been DMing/GMing games regularly for the most part since then with only a few significant breaks.

Macadosche: Age 11 – Saw some older boys playing on the bus on a swim team trip. Fascinated by polyhedral dice. Begged parents for Red Box.

Question #2: Are there any rules you never use in your game?

deadorcs: Oddly enough, I really don’t like to use skill challenges. Seem awkward & immersion breaking. I could be educated, though.

pdunwin: In future, I’ll probably be more careful about using insubstantial (& weakness for the same reasons). Encumbrance never comes up in my games, and I’d probably ignore it if it did.I don’t generally like inflicting disease on my players, so I don’t bother with those. Stealth drives me batty, so I try to avoid using it in my games. I hate attempts by DMs to incorporate fumble or called shot rules.

iTavman: I don’t enforce the 12 hour minimum between extended rests.

Siliconwolf: Haven’t found rules I won’t use or dislike so avoid. Some like stun, I’m cautious in overuse & do not make central to encounter.

DMSamuel: I don’t like stun or dominate, but I let players use powers with them in moderation, no monsters have them.

ObsidianCrane: they changed the only rule I didn’t use: no verticle etc forced movement in the last update. So now I use that one as well.

deadorcs: Not really. I can work around any rules the DM provides. Over heavy use of house rules can be annoying, though.

kimblepr: Anything that starts with ‘I have been thinking how to make this more realistic, so…’

TheAngryDM: Not really. I have always run pretty much run as written or with very minor changes. For me, the effort of houseruling needs to be strongly justified by the benefits to the game AND well thought out enough to not create more problems later. Hrmm… okay. I guess I am not ‘strict’ about encumbrance or ammo counts. Never really thought about that.

Question #3: What do you do when you start to feel yourself burnt out on DMing? Thanks @TheAngryDM

deadorcs: My monthly group doesn’t play so often that it’s a problem. I also break it up with games where I’m a player, rather than DM.

ChrisSSims: Frankly, I take a break.

WolfSamurai: I take a break and let someone else run things for a while. If nobody steps up to run something, then it’s a game hiatus period.

digitaldraco:When I feel burnt out on GMing, I’ll run a different game, or let someone else GM a game for a while.

bensrpgpile: I pass the DM torch to another player in a one-off game to aid burnout. Or, make a fancy room from the map to raise game stakes.

jmpress: I get really bad at sending out emails to schedule the next game and just let it taper off…which, sadly, is how I usually break up with girls too.

pdunwin: take a turn as a player, or I try to change up the game somehow, make more it interesting to me

Java_Jawa: take a break, let someone else dm or just put campaign on pause and go player side in another campaign

TheAngryDM: My burnout plan was to put my running campaign on summer vacation and run a casual, adventure-of-the-week game for two months. But, during wrap up session to get the campaign to a stopping point, had a disastrous TPK instead before I announced the hiatus. So, best burnout advice: kill everyone, destroy the world, start over. It works.

nosferatu1208: Taking a break, and let someone else run the game.

DMSamuel: Throw something different at the players and reduce my prep time to allow spontaneous things to happen

Siliconwolf: Take a break, let someone else DM & play for a bit. Or change direction/system, figure what’s burning me out & drop it.

DMSamuel: Throw something different at the players and reduce my prep time to allow spontaneous things to happen

Question #4: What is your favorite published adventure you have ever run?

WolfSamurai: Until my current game, I’ve never actually run a published adventure before actually. That said, I really would like to run Tomb of Horrors, Temple of Elemental Evil, Keep on the Borderlands, and some of the other classics.

pdunwin: Keep on the Borderlands with some caveats. Wasn’t the one to start it. Never finished it. Mostly ran my own side quest.

Chip17: I loved The Witchfire Trilogy!

Question #5: How do you feel about players who min-max their characters? Thanks @pdunwin

WolfSamurai: It depends on the level that they do it. I don’t mind people who want to make good or efficient characters. But I don’t like it when people go out of their way to make characters that overshadow the rest of the group or that force a DM to plan entire encounters on how to neutralize just that one PC.

worldwithoutsyn: As long as the min-maxing fits the character and it doesn’t cause problems in play, I’m fine with it.

steve_the_dm: I’m thankful that they’re less likely to fall in defeat when they encounter bad guys. (1 of my players should be named Kenny.)

JesterOC: I want my players to min max their characters. As long as the game is not broken. Maxed out characters = a player who is engaged

TheAngryDM: It depends on the group. In a group of min-maxers who want to play that way its fine – a good challenge for encounter design. But when one player stands out in the group as min-maxer, it usually makes the group feel marginalized and I try to reign it in. Have had success in past with asking min-maxer to help other players with their PCs, if others are willing. Everyone wins.

pdunwin: To answer my own question, I generally don’t mind it. I take it as a sign that they’re playing what they like.

deadorcs: It’s not been too much of an issue in my 4e campaigns. I usually just make sure all the bonuses etc.are street legal & let it go.
theweem: As a DM, I dislike it, but I understand it. You can have both, but it takes work, and cooperation. My players are great with this.

Siliconwolf: Perfectly happy if players min-max, shows they care about game & system. And I can min-max my villians, bwahaha

CubeSteve: I’m OK with it as long as long as the encounters are still challenging for them and they have fun playing their character.

Chip17: I’m quite alright with it – plus it allows me to min max my ebcounters! Maw ha ha ha :: kicks PC in the shin

ObsidianCrane: min-maxers don’t bother me. My “minimum 10” rule for stats bothers them 🙂 . I hate stat dumping because it isn’t rp’ed

JesterOC: Also, the opposite of a min maxed character is a crippled character and that hurts everyone else playing the game.

SlyFlourish: I think 4e is mechanics-heavy enough that it draws min-maxing even from those who wouldn’t. It’s fun for them so its fun for me.

digitaldraco: Min-maxed characters have no place in the games I run.

Milambus: I’m glad that they spent that much time on their character, and hope it didn’t stop at just the numbers.

Shane_Sears: I have no qualms about it, though I prefer when they don’t step too far over a line. E.G. Max 1 trait beyond reason.

Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.

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About Thadeousc

Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.

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