DM Tips in 140 characters or so #18

Question #1: How often do you use minions? What do you use them for?

maialideth: I use minions in about 1 in 3 enc’s. For strategic adv. cannon fodder and to make the players look like heroes.

DMSamuel: quite often now, much more than I used to, they are often mobs or thralls.

symatt: I use minions as often as I can if the story is better for them. Be them street thugs or Kobold hordes

pdunwin: I don’t use minions often, but the idea of a creature that can die from one hit informs a good chunk of my DMing.

hvg3akaek: at least 1 in 3 encounters. Confusion, cinematics, harassment, obfuscation, padding, most of all, fun!

WolfSamurai: I use them often. I use them for a lot of things, including screening bigger monsters from the PCs or as landmines of a sort.

DiscipleGeek: My group is almost level 3 and I use minions in every encounter. They often get overwhelmed by the numbers than anything else.

thetwixt: Frequently, esp. if i want to give the controller his day in the sun.

psychopez: All the time. I use them to provide threat. They all do static damage & one effect (Blow up when die, diff terrain if adj, etc)

DMSamuel: use them as crowds and mobs, and fodder, but try to make them threatening. Used to not use them very much at all, now use them almost every encounter. also use them as thralls for big baddie

newbiedm: They are good obstacles in a large room. Slice and dice your way to the back of the room. One time I had hanging animated corpses in a room, like a slaughterhouse, hanging on hooks. Tons of them in the room.

theweem: A lot – but I usually do 1st hit bloodies them, 2nd hit kills them (“2 hit minions”). I put a little meat on them 🙂

psychopez: Minion protip: have a leader grant vuln to pcs against a dam type all the minions have. Then stack your attacks.

Siliconwolf: I use minions often, for flavor, encounter pacing & direction, add tactical choices, for support to non-minions

blackengorge: nearly every encounter at the mo. New DM and players for 4e, helps generate a cinematic style for the players.

ChrisSSims: I use minions regularly for too many game purposes to fit in 140 characters.

b_s_lynn: I’ve run combats4my kids& always used minions2much fun.

SlyFlourish: I use minions a lot for flavor and environmental effects. Minion spawners are a favorite of mine.

blindgeekuk: if I can I like to use the nastiest looking minis for minions, so players waste encounter powers on them

d20sforlife: I use a mass of minions subservient to a (solo) controller. They make a great moral booster as PCs mow them down.

AlioTheFool: Every single fight. Spreads the party’s resources.

Question #2: When you create your homebrews, how much do write/type out? Dialogue? Story Hooks? Encounters? Plot?

d20monkey: All of the above in my case. I do not write War and Peace but I cover all of the bases for checks, Player RP, etc.

b_s_lynn: Almost none. I don’t even write down the names of the NPCs the PCs talk2.

Macadosche: LOTS. And lots and lots and 90% of it never gets seen by the players. Still, all that prep helps me run a more open-ended game.

symatt: very little detail I have location, villains , monsters with AC & HP. Possible outcomes & treasure if needed. Ad lib. I do have loads of note books full with locations and adventure ideas I add to these all the time. I use NPC book for ease.

WolfSamurai: Lots of stuff. Hooks, encounters, plot. Examples of what I do are on my blog. I don’t plan dialogue though or read-aloud text.

pdunwin: I might do a general outline at most. I’ll put some thought into SCs & encounters.

ObsidianCrane: I make maps and pick monsters. The rest is usually in my head, with map, encounter name & monsters as prompts.

dylanmcintosh: I write out most dialogue and descriptions of places. Plots I just outline.

DMfumbl: If I have the time, I like to write it all out, dialog, notes, plot summary, just as if it was to be published.

theweem: Not much. A few words is often enough to help me improvise a lot, so I keep things to a minimum.

dreadgazeebo: I write dialogue for some characters (the fun ones), plot arc is faintly sketched in, and all encounters planned 2 sessions ahead.

thetwixt: Last homebrew we used the dresden files rpg method of word building. First session created the world w/ players.

Siliconwolf: I don’t do many full homebrews. Possibly because I prefer to write out all you mentioned & not writing up the overall world

Rugsrat: I write out as much as I can think of. History mostly. Knowing where the world came from spawns the events of the campaign

DMSamuel: type out outline and names of ppl w/their motivations, some encounters, some story hooks, not extreme detail

nosferatu1208: I write down a few things to give me ideas on how npcs should act and talk. I apply this to only villains and key npcs though.

AlioTheFool: Encounters. I have a brief summary of my story arc

Question #3:  Do your players ever get a home base? At around what level?

WolfSamurai: Depends on the campaign. Some games, a home base just isn’t feasible. In other campaigns, it’s a cornerstone of the game.

IllusiveDreams: as a player w didn’t get a homebase till we were almost at the end of heroic.

dreadgazeebo: Made my players wait till level 5, give them time to establish their name and start out w/ a small hideout. Move up from there

sajflorida: There is a type of campaign that works with a home base, and then it’s early in the campaign, usually. I guess it really depends.

ObsidianCrane: My PCs will have that option at 11th level. Becoming local authorities is a good distinguisher for paragon vs heroic

MShaneman: When they earn it. In my SWSE (Saga Ed.) game, they offed a local crime boss&the Noble took over. CrimeLord PrestigeClass apropos

SlyFlourish: my group got a home base at level 4, a spiced meat business, and then 2, a brothel in Sigil.

psychopez: Both campaigns I run my players just got an airship as a homebase. The captain is named Cid on both. Both groups are just entering paragon.

jonathanshade: First one is usually one they make for themselves, second depends

theweem: Depends on the campaign. Currently? Yes, at level 11 they acquired an airship that acts as their… mobile home… 😉

b_s_lynn: Gave them a ship of their own it worked well4traveling&non-active PCs.

newbiedm: the cleared out Keep on the Shadowfell makes a great home base.

Onolin: I had to collapse the bullywug ruined tower in the chaosscar because any lair really can be turned into a base\

nosferatu1208: when my players played they found a abandoned cottage that they used for quite a while. They didn’t get far to upgraded housing.

DrOct: They haven’t yet, but I might be giving them one soon. We’ll see if they’re interested in that…Clarification: I’ll probably give them a few OPPORTUNITIES soon. If they’re interested they’ll get one! (They’re level 4 now).

Siliconwolf: While I do try to have safe havens, a base & when is more up to PCs, if they want to RP setting one up go for it

d20philia: In my current campaign, the PCs are based on a sailing ship.

AlioTheFool: They’ll get their own base soon. Mid-heroic.


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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