« first day (3212 days earlier)   
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3:00 PM
@StackLloyd Oh, that was something else I was going to mention: one thing I've been doing for newer players is encouraging to read through the rules, but emphasizing that they should focus on telling me "what they want to do", and then I, through my mastery [lol, as if!] of the rules, will explain what they need to roll to do that.
So far that's worked pretty well.
 
Everywhere else on the site I've seen that abbreviated as "ALPG" with a reference to which season it's from, if necessasry. Given the confusion I'm expressing, I suggest you spell out ALEE, which is used exactly once on the site, by you.
 
I have been spending a lot of time acquiring attack macros for Roll20 though, because combat is SOOOOO slow on roll20 if you don't macro them together.
I've gotten so spoiled in IRL games where I just roll all my attack dice and damage dice simultaneously. T_T
 
Anyway, I gotta run. This is obviously not mission-critical, do as you please.
 
DDALPGEEV2 is what WotC uses.
 
@StackLloyd My group is like that, too. We like our own worlds.
 
3:02 PM
Sure, Í can spell it out.
 
@StackLloyd I wouldn't worry too much about that. What level are your starting at?
 
@MikeQ You're right, at some point I will have to stop to explaing stuff and clarify rules anyway. But at least some "preparation" would reduce those occurrences, I thought...
@NautArch Level 1. Yeah maybe I'm just worrying too much
@Xirema I always say "if you just want to roll dices, head to Vegas. Story first".
 
@StackLloyd There's nothing wrong with starting new players with one-shots. Usually they're more helpful for new players who are unsure about joining in the first place. However I'm not sure it's going to solve what you want it to solve.
 
@StackLloyd Honestly, the level progression alone is a really good intro to the mechanics. You'll be clarifying things anyway, so I don't hink that's a big concern. Have they read the PHB/Basic rules?
 
@NautArch Eh, for what I can tell, right now they've only read the parts about their races and classes...
 
3:05 PM
 
@StackLloyd Which is a really good start! Definitely have them read chapters 7,8, and 9.
Are you using dndbeyond?
Walking through their character sheets with them will also be helpful (and you can make sure they've got things right.)
 
@StackLloyd Also, considering that the players don't want a prewritten, fixed-path campaign, it seems reasonable to have a more organic story that they build. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that a campaign must be paced a certain way.
 
GcL
@Xirema Maybe stuff those together in a github repo or gist? Sounds pretty useful to roll20 users.
 
@StackLloyd Reading what is a session zero and how to dm a session zero will be really helpful.
and then, of course, running a session zero :)
 
I suggested them to use three apps to help them with the sheet and the rules, while personally helping them build their characters, trying to explain what we were doing
@NautArch Thanks for the links
 
GcL
3:09 PM
@StackLloyd I got good mileage running orc and pie with some children to introduce them to role playing. Got some really entertaining solutions.
 
@StackLloyd ALso really important to know that you and they will make mistakes. ANd that's fine. You can address after session and use them as teaching moments. Not a big deal as long as everyone is having fun.
 
@nitsua60 you also might want to ask OP which season they are playing, as one can only discern that they are not playing season 8 (unless something is going wrong).
 
@Akixkisu I'm pretty sure you can only play the current season. But i'm not an expert.
 
@NautArch well, one should only play the current season
 
@Akixkisu I think they only can play current.
 
3:12 PM
@NautArch nothing is stoping a home table at playing a different season using the AL rules.
Therefore I said "should".
 
@GcL Yeah right now the issue I'm seeing the most is that many of them use indirect speech. Like "so I go to the guards and ask them if they have any info". I always encourage to speak with the character's mouth, talking to me (impersonating the NPC)
 
The reason for saying that it is unlikely that they are playing S8 is the amount of gold that they have at their hands.
 
GcL
@StackLloyd That's one way to do it. I usually mix and match. Sometimes it's "Grog says..." other times it's "I tell them..."
 
So I thought perhaps learning through one-shots first might set them up better, before playing the campaign I've prepared. But maybe, making mistakes right in the campaign and learning how they affect your game, sometimes even permanently, might be better
 
GcL
I like to emphasize the difference between players and characters. Players are people... characters are numbers and worlds on paper. Players make a decision and then have to role play that decision through the lens of the character.
It helps avoid my guy syndrome.
 
3:16 PM
I guess I'm just worried of disappointing them with a boring pace and disrupted flow
 
@StackLloyd Ah, okay. There's a possible factor then. If you think there's potential for irreversable in-game damage to occur in session 1, due to newness of roleplaying, then perhaps a practice session would indeed help
 
GcL
@StackLloyd If you pregen some characters for them as examples, that could be useful.
 
@Akixkisu I'm not sure AL is a hometable thing? But again, I"m not sure about AL. My assumption was that was through specific channels. Can anyone run AL games anywhere?
@StackLloyd If that's how they want to play, let them play like that. Not everyone is comfortable in first person and it's not a requirement.
 
@NautArch yes and they should adhere to the rules, but nothing is stopping them from not doing that.
 
GcL
@StackLloyd Sounds like you've got "keep it moving forward" at the forefront of your thoughts. So I don't think you'll have an issue doing it. Might be useful to communicate your concerns to the players.
 
3:18 PM
@GcL Right, I should speak to them about this issue. Maybe I'm the only one feeling this as a problem
 
"Might be useful to communicate" is a pretty good heuristic. Especially in TTRPGs. Doubly-especially for DMs.
 
GcL
And state how you're going to ameliorate slowdowns. e.g. "well just put a pin in it and keep it moving" So there's not mismatched expectations
 
@Akixkisu Yeah, you can run them privately. WHo knew? (not me) Now diving into can you run seasons that have finished.
 
GcL
@StackLloyd That's insightful. Definitely ask what their concerns are.
 
@GcL I mean, that's where I'm getting most of them. XD
 
3:19 PM
@NautArch While that is true, I try to encourage roleplaying rather than "storytelling-playing" as I like to call it. With indirect speech, it feels like you're narrating what your character is doing, rather than impersonating them. Nonetheless, I don't make it a big deal
 
@Akixkisu and it does look like older seasons are play available
 
@NautArch dndadventurersleague.org/start-here/dungeon-masters the old seasons are all available through the catalogue.
 
@StackLloyd This may be a potential issue. You shouldn't make your players RP how you want them to. It's hard enough - let them do what's comfortable.
 
@StackLloyd I mean, I like the Ludonarrative provided by rolling dice. I think the act itself is a mechanism in how you tell stories; not just the consequences of the result. But if you're spending 40 seconds a turn just figuring out how to roll dice or whether you should be rolling dice or not, it's not having that benefit. =P
 
@NautArch the question is are you simple running the modules or are you using the ever so slightly adjusted rules set of an older module.
 
GcL
3:21 PM
@StackLloyd Cool. You could also play around with some other systems to get used to role playing before hopping into D&D. Lady Blackbird comes to mind.
 
@NautArch there it gets iffy, season 8 technically ditched gold rewards (which will come back in season 9).
 
@Akixkisu Yeah, AL just got squirrelier.
@Akixkisu It seems like you can play older seasons with newer season characters, you just aren't eligible for rewards.
 
GcL
@StackLloyd If you're around when @BESW is online, they have seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of various rpg systems and would probably be able to give you a good recommendation for good intro systems.
 
@Akixkisu some of those adventures are REALLY good
 
@StackLloyd For new players, you'll need to be patient about the first-person narration stuff. Let them develop that style over time.
 
3:24 PM
@G.Moylan yup it has its charm, but some of the DMing stuff is a chore (unless you are sloppy which nobody really controls).
 
@GcL Worth noting though that a lot of those suggestions will be "play something other than D&D". XD Which is actually pretty valid advice for a lot of groups that would rather focus on storytelling over "wargaminess", the latter of which is what D&D has historically been best at handling, and even 5e tends towards that playstyle.
 
It is also much more railroady than what I usually like to DM.
 
@Akixkisu I just mean even outside of the AL framework. Some good content in there. I intend to steal some for my campaigns
 
@G.Moylan that is a good idea, I highly recommend the locations and maps.
 
@G.Moylan The Black Road is specifically one I've been eyeing for a few months now.
 
3:25 PM
@NautArch Yeah I don't force my roleplaying view on them, I just try to encourage impersonation rather than narration. Everyone has their style of roleplaying, and unless it just comes down to the "I want to roll for perception to find a trap" instead of "Ghork looks for hints of something odd on the floor in front of him", I don't enforce anything
@GcL Sounds interesting, I hope to find him online sometimes
I also hope that they don't fall into the "it's you (DM) vs us (players)" trap, or that I don't make them feel like that's what is going on
 
I love the heck out of Dice Funk, but from listening to their archives, it's been clear that they should have switched from D&D5e to something in the PbtA lineup years ago, just from how their campaigns usually go.
 
@NautArch For some people, third-person narration makes it easier to roleplay. It can be easier to act out a personality that isn't yours when you have that bit of mental distance.
 
@StackLloyd Do remember that normally players don't call for rolls. They should be doing the latter and you decide the roll. In those cases, you can ask them "what are you doing" and then let them narrate it and you ask for a roll if necessary. But it may be the difference (in that example) of "I look for things that are odd(perception)" vs "I check the floor for traps(investigation)"
 
@StackLloyd Yeah, even in D&D, players should be focusing on describing what they do, and DM responding with what roll, if any, they should be making.
 
@NautArch Right, it's my duty to guide them through such things
 
3:29 PM
Obviously combat is a major exception, where some degree of narration is good, but players mostly need to focus on the mechanical interactions they're trying to deploy.
 
I've always played with experienced players so, funnily enough, this my first time with first-timers and I'm concerned about meeting their expectations. I should talk to them about this
 
@StackLloyd Yes you should. ;)
Sidebar: it is infuriating to me that of all the Roll20 macros I could find for my table, not ONE of them lets me call for "an Intelligence check, using your Medicine proficiency".
They all just assume that skill checks are a thing, and that all skills will only ever be used with their default ability. >_<
 
GcL
it's an off-label use of medicine ;-)
 
@StackLloyd And that'll make them feel better about their own insecurities/expectations :)
 
@Xirema Which character sheet are you using?
 
3:34 PM
@StackLloyd I'd definitely recommend walking through their builds and backgrounds with them.
 
@GcL I guess. But when the Artificer declares she wants to dissect and study the Redbrand Bandit she just killed, are you really going to call for a Wisdom(Medicine) check, when an Intelligence(Medicine) check is clearly the right one to call for? ;)
@Sdjz The OGL 5e sheets.
I could probably homebrew something, but I've been trying to shape it into the roll templates they provide, and I understand even less about Roll Templates than I do about the normal rolling syntax; and that's not that much to begin with.
 
GcL
@Xirema INT could be fine for that. I use INT sleight of hand for tying knots.
 
@Xirema Nah, I'd say that's a CON check.
Fail and you barf all over the corpse.
 
@Yuuki Not for a Lawful Evil Character. XD
 
@Xirema Hey, Lawful Evil characters can have weak stomachs too.
It's not like you get a free bionic digestive replacement when you get your Villain card.
 
3:38 PM
@Yuuki Well, nobody in my party has a Constitution score below 14, SOOOOoooo......
 
@Yuuki Not if you outlaw queasiness. Then the LE character can't get nauseated.
 
@Yuuki I'm imagining a villain that can't stand the sight of blood. Like in Kingsman
 
@Yuuki That's totally part of the Villain Plus package.
 
@NautArch Yes, done that, though there are still missing details that I'd like to address. I see they are understandably too focused on the dices and stats, I as a player tend to fall into that too. I'd like them to think more about, e.g, why their character starts with a two-handed greataxe, rather than the d12 damage it deals
 
@NautArch Is that the one with laminated membership cards ?
 
3:43 PM
@StackLloyd Honestly? I think you're asking more than necessary. They want the damage of the great-axe? Cool. Let's build your character's personality around the great axe.
 
@StackLloyd To be fair, some questions can be inane. Why does my character have a greataxe instead of a greatsword? Well, it's not like I have some grand design as to why. Sure, some things can be plot hooks (my greataxe has been in my family for generations) but not everything has to be a plot hook.
 
I had a paladin that started off with a maul. A lot of who he was and how I narrated combat was based on that. Then the DM gave me a +3 glaive as part of a random treasure roll and my character concept totally shifted.
 
@NautArch No, I demand a 1-page backstory per item in their inventory!
 
@StackLloyd I think it's more important to focus on their story and their initial character goals. It's then your job to insert hooks to develop them or to create new hooks based on what happens in-game.
 
Also, some people like being side characters.
(me)
 
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« first day (3212 days earlier)