Things To Remember

  • The simple, cyclical flow of game play is as follows:
  1. The DM describes the situation        ↓ ↰
  2. The players describe their actions         ↓
  3. The DM describes the results of those actions  ⤴
  • The DM is the narrator and arbiter of the world; at once both omnipresent and absent from the universe
  • If the DM is the narrator, the players are the authors
  • The DM has no bearing on the actions of the PCs
  • It is the #1 responsibility of the DM to ensure the players are having fun
  • The #2 responsibility of the DM is to ensure the universe remains congruous: causes have effects, balance is maintained, economy is monitored, etc.
  • The DM should know most of the most relevant rules. But they are not a talking rule book for the players
  • The Realm of Reyandor is a living, breathing, alive place. Wheels of industry turn, machinations are enacted, and relationships are made & broken outside, and because of, the actions of PCs
  • D&D is not a video game, there is no “win” or “lose”, there are simply causes and effects
  • Not everything is black and white, most things will fall on the grey spectrum somewhere
  • There are “good guys”, but nobody is perfect
  • There are “bad guys”, but few people are inherently evil
  • NPCs are not quest givers, they don’t exist purely to spout exposition under a floating question mark, they have their own lives: they may well remember the actions of the PCs just as likely as are to forget or not give two hoots about them
  • The vast majority of NPCs have no grasp of magic outside the knowledge that it exists, nor do they possess any exceptional talents or feats, they merely go about their day-to-day lives, D&D is a mirror of our universe, that’s what makes the stories so fulfilling
  • The PCs are the Musks, Teslas, Zuckerbergs, Bolts, Gates’, and Ennis’ of the world: a tiny percentage of the whole population
  • Contrary to Yoda, there is a “try”. That is the beauty of D&D, you can do what you want! It’s just that how successful you will be depends on the situation.
  • It’s not the DM who says what’s possible, it’s the players imagination. Never ask for permission. Even things forbidden in RAW may be allowed depending on the circumstance. It’s more relevant, practical, logical, and engrossing to ask the other PCs if you can do something. One of them might show resentment for murder, for example!
  • This loops back to the game play flow above: “describe your action”, not “can I do this?”
  • The answer to “can I do this?” will nine times out of ten be “you can try!” So save everyone’s breath and just go for it!
  • The players are living the lives of rich, interesting, and exciting characters. D&D mimics real life far more than it does anything else. In most situations the characters will react how anyone would in a mundane situation: if your boss gives you a task, you find out firstly how to do it, secondly what qualifies it as done so you know when it’s achieved
  • The players have to walk the fine line of “how would my PC react to this”. Unless the PC is a blind mute from birth, or a godlike entity from the Celestial realms, they’re most likely to react in an adventurous, Indian Jones-esque, but essentially polite or grounded fashion
  • D&D is not “acting”, it’s “role play”. Which is much broader and much more open to customisation. Actors recite predetermined lines, role players improvise. Actors are told who to be, role players can choose
  • If you want to turn up in full garb, speaking only in your made up language, physically acting out the actions, you can! If you want to say “Bilbo stands up and says ‘Hello’” instead, then you can do that too
  • The concept of “nobody is perfect” extends to the PCs. They have some form of character fault, it’s prominent right there on the first page of the character sheet for a reason. If a PC is a bit of a twat, relish in that! If your PC decides to plot some long term betrayal of the party, that can definitely happen. Everybody has flaws, but it’s those flaws which give us humanity (… elvishity? orc-ity?)
  • PCs, especially at the lower levels, are considered just plucky, but competent adventures at the top of their class, and the proficiency bonus and ability modifiers represent this. They are not invincible beings known the world over for their impossible feats. They might be known among their home village
  • Death is a possibility – plan accordingly
  • One of the fundamental components of D&D is chance. When doing anything other than the trivial, there is always the possibility of failure. No amount of training or experience can counter the chaotic nature of the universe. Professional athletes and CEOs regularly still fuck up. Players are not the cause of, or responsible for, numbers rolled, the character and universe are
  • Learn the rules, read the Player Handbook. It will grant a wider knowledge of the world the PCs inhabit
  • The ability skills roughly equate to “things the PCs can try”. For example, the Insight skill is an abstraction of the PCs ability to read a person; to tell if they’re lying
  • Try to avoid metagaming, it kinda dilutes the experience of the fiction, and boils it down to a spreadsheet (nobody likes spreadsheets!)
  • The PCs only know what has been explicitly stated and has physically happened to them in game, and what’s on their own character sheets. They have no knowledge of each other’s stats, abilities, or proficiencies
  • Avoid using the RAW mechanics to drive what the PCs do; they wouldn’t think “I’ve taken [X] HP damage so now I’m going to sit on my butt for the day”, because real people don’t think like that
  • Sitting on your butt for the day obviously has consequences, the rest of the Faversham most certainly will not be having a day off with you
  • The RAW are just the mechanics: what you need to refer to when the PCs do something. It’s the actions of the PCs which define what rules are needed, not the other way around
  • The numbers, modifiers, and bonuses are an abstraction. The players play characters, not numbers

Things To Remember

Cask Away Crew DaniloVujevic