Thursday, October 22, 2009

How I Roll

In the vein of embracing my inner geek and getting fix to what has become a D&D addiction I hosted my first Virtual Tabletop (VTT) game on Monday night. The live and in color game that I have been a player in since late spring has run into scheduling problems. Problems easy enough to foresee when trying to get five adult males with varying responsibilities, spouses and children together regularly on a Friday night. Though the live group will continue I have taken the role of DM in the virtual space to quench my thirst.

Being the dungeon master, while being a super geeky title, essentially means playing the narrator and referee for our game/story. So, I started out by putting together a world that I could tell stories in. Mind you it could have been easier to use one of the canned realms that are readily available, but that would require knowing the ins and outs of the lore and history. I'd rather I write my own and know it like the back of my hand. Next was finding and orienting myself with a set of tools that would make a tabletop game possible on the internet. Thankfully there are literally a ton of tools available for VTT. I ended up going with RPTools as it was free, updated regularly and well documented.

Knowing I had two local players interested made finding my ideal number of four to six players seem a little less daunting. I was hoping to at the very least get four, so when I had eleven respond with interest I was at a loss as to how I would manage that many players. I came to the conclusion that it was impossible to do so and ended up letting things play out for another week. Players who took an active role and interest in joining the game were in and the ones who did not went on the waiting list. In the end I wound up with six players and a relatively balanced group.

So this past Monday I took my players through a flashback/prologue/tutorial game to get them acquainted with the software and D&D's play mechanics. It went really well and helped me figure out a few things I could do differently once the actual game starts. The first being make slightly more detailed story notes. NPC dialogue felt a little like I was staggering in the dark to find a light switch. When I had a DC to move the story forward near the end of the evening I didn't know what skill to check it against. I read advice prior to the game that said I should just make a call and check it later to keep the game moving, but of course I went right to my rulebook the second I couldn't come up with it. Somethings to work on for sure.

1 comment:

Crystal said...

I wonder if this guy has your socks too :)

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