New GM questions.

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Re: New GM questions.

Post Sat May 10, 2014 5:12 am

My players in my last group started out mapping, but found it too time-consuming. I'm considering suggesting next time around we all agree to just map in the form of a flowchart.
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Re: New GM questions.

Post Sat May 10, 2014 8:20 am

Cerebrate64 wrote:I have never played a tabletop RPG before (been curious about D&D for awhile but not paying over a $100 for it) and I have some questions about the game.

1. How do I handle distances? Do I give specific numbers? (EX: The skeleton is 5 feet away) Or would tactical combat be better on a board?
2.How do you keep Hack and slash games interesting and not repetitive?

3. Can a character dodge or parry attacks? How would I do that?
1. I use a battlemat and pre-painted plastic miniatures. To me movement and encumbrance are very important rules

2. Hmmmm, It does not depend all on you. You are not there to entertain the players, or better yet you and the players are at the table to entertain each other. Relax and make stuff up.

3. There should be some rules about this in the Combat options supplement.
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Re: New GM questions.

Post Sat May 10, 2014 1:01 pm

3. a player can use defensive movement when fighting. If there was one thing I would want to see added to the core rules it would be that players choosing to fight defensively, foregoing any attempts to attack, would get a +4 to their AC from melee attacks.
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Re: New GM questions.

Post Sat May 10, 2014 1:40 pm

LtTibbles wrote:I had a question for those that use battle mats in their live games. I'm gonna be starting up a game with some friends who have never really played pen and paper games and this will be my first time playing/gming a game in person, and I was just curious as to how other people handle dungeon exploration.

Do you guys generally use them only for combat encounters, do you (or have a player) just draw the dungeon as they make their way through, or do you draw out the dungeon ahead of time and reveal it piece by piece? (If so how do you handle the "fog of war" so to speak.)
In face-to-face games I just print out graph paper. I started out by having players do the mapping, and giving an outline so they would not wind up going off the paper; but that gets time-consuming, so I'm also fine with just slowly revealing/drawing for them. I had simply looked up "free graph paper" (e.g.

For combat, you could also print graph paper with bigger squares, but a checker board or chess board is bigger and better; we then just use dice to represent characters and monsters (numbering each "token.") We just count squares to handle distance and use erasers and pencils to represent furniture, other objects in room, etc. Of course if you have one of those fancy battle-mats and minis, even better. :)
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Re: New GM questions.

Post Sat May 10, 2014 4:59 pm

As weird as this sounds.. when were kids.. Mapping the dungeon was almost as exciting as what we found inside it. I can still remember the small thrill of seeing what was around that hallway corner.. So if you are trying to capture some of that old skool feel, let the players map using graph paper. Then use a battle map for battles and breaking out the minis.

If your playing online, Roll20 and other mapping tools used with fog of war and line of site can really imbue the same feeling of exploration. Then you can just use the zoom feature when you are in a battle.. The maps made with Mapmatic here are perfect for that.. Still look crisp when zoomed in..
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Re: New GM questions.

Post Sun May 11, 2014 1:48 am

Thank you so much for the advice, to everyone who replied I really appreciate it!
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Re: New GM questions.

Post Sun May 11, 2014 9:21 pm

Back when I started out (in the 80's) the gm made cardboard cutouts of the rooms and hallways. He had plastic knights and such from a toy collection he bought. He used a marker and ruler to grid the cutouts then gave us players a pile of the cutout. As we explored we would lay down the cutouts and move the plastic pieces. He had (where he found them I know not where) actual plastic free standing toy doors that he would place when needed. The monsters was some plastic toys he had or found.
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