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  1. #1
    Community Member QuadroMan1's Avatar
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    Default (DM) How to speed up the table?

    I've just started DMing for my little brother, he's 11 but really smart for his age, he grasps the game the more we play, I do most of the rolls for him though.. He has 4 characters and he's running through Scourge of the Howling Horde right now, I'm working on a custom adventure right now for level 3-4 characters that I'll run him through. Anyways I wanted to know if anyone can tell me some DM tricks to keep the table exciting and fast-paced, I remember playing at my local comic shop going a lot faster so how can i speed things up?

    I really appreciate any other DM tips and tricks to enhance the tabletop experience!
    Last edited by QuadroMan1; 06-30-2012 at 04:34 PM. Reason: Forgot some words
    Sarlona Main Characters
    Main: Mrmilkshake - Ranger 18/Fighter 2
    Alt: Hijau - Druid 6

  2. #2
    Community Member Chai's Avatar
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    This is a tough question as it has to be tailored to the specific situation, as people play the game differently between groups. If you are using a map with squares and hexes, I find that the players tend to mimic how fast I take my actions as a DM. If I stare at the board for long periods of time, then move one piece and take one action all slow and cautious, thats how most of the players will respond. If I take my actions fairly quickly and surely, the players usually do the same as well.

    I have each player keep track of what their attack and damage bonus is with each weapon they carry. Takes slightly longer when leveling to make the adjustment for new BAB or stat mod, but after that its far easier.

    Organized: I will 5 foot step here and full attack this orc guy who appears to be the leader. /moves figure to the correct square. I'm +10 on the first swing and +5 on the second swing. /begins rolling dice. Total result of...

    Disorganized. I will 5 foot step and full attack this orc guy who appears to be the leader. /moves figure to the correct square. Lets see....18 str = +4, I have a BAB of 4, and a +1 weapon /fumbles through character sheet looking for more modifiers....oh yeah, i took weapon focus for another +1... (at this time everyone else is wondering what their RL grapple mod would be to strangle captain disorganized as a surprise attack while hes fumbling through his character sheet trying to farm more plusses...even the orc hes trying to kill is tapping its foot with its arms crossed waiting....)
    Last edited by Chai; 07-02-2012 at 11:52 AM.
    Advocating repeated nerfs in the name of "balancing the game" then complaining about how DDO is moving away from D&D, is a direct contradiction in logic - D&D 3.5 (what DDO is based on) is not a balanced game. We can either have a balanced clone MMO with homogenized classes, or we can have a D&D game. We cant have both.

  3. #3
    Community Member QuadroMan1's Avatar
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    Thansk this helped me think things through, he's playing 4 characters of his own since we dont have any othe rpeople to play with, and I keep track of his sheets and do all the rolls for him, but he just tells me who he wants to attack and where he wants to move and when he wants to search the room etc etc. when he does this, i tell him whats happening, what takes affect, and what skills take part, so maybe someday hell be fluent enough to play as you were saying
    Sarlona Main Characters
    Main: Mrmilkshake - Ranger 18/Fighter 2
    Alt: Hijau - Druid 6

  4. #4
    The Hatchery Enoach's Avatar
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    This does look like a challenge as he is playing 4 characters.

    Here is my recommendation:

    Review the Module for # of player adjustments - many were written for groups of 4 characters as you are playing, however they have "Scaling options" depending on the # of Characters available. Personally I've seen playing more than 2 characters tends to slow the process down and also adds a unseen advantage as you have one mind for multiple characters.

    Also look to the DM Guide for Party Scaling options. Based on your brother's level I would recommend going a 2 character route and let him play the character, roll the dice and manage the mapping and quest journal etc. (You can speed the journal up by creating 3x5 cards with information you can give the Player ahead of time.

    "A DM only rolls the dice because of the noise they make."

  5. #5
    Community Member QuadroMan1's Avatar
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    What do you mean a DM only rolls dice because of the noise they make?
    Sarlona Main Characters
    Main: Mrmilkshake - Ranger 18/Fighter 2
    Alt: Hijau - Druid 6

  6. #6
    Community Member captain1z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuadroMan1 View Post
    What do you mean a DM only rolls dice because of the noise they make?
    Its a joke sort of.

    As DM you control everything that happens anyway, dice rolls just make the players feel better about your decision.
    Ever bleed out in a thornbush? Welcome to UD14.

  7. #7
    Community Member QuadroMan1's Avatar
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    Oh haha, I'm working on a custom campaign I can't wait to try out, as soon as we finish scourge of the howling horde the party should be level 3 or 4, which is the level I made my first adventure. I also have a friend who wants to play with us so I might split up the party to 2 characters per person.
    Sarlona Main Characters
    Main: Mrmilkshake - Ranger 18/Fighter 2
    Alt: Hijau - Druid 6

  8. #8

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    If one person is having to make the die rolls for all the PCs and NPCs, one way to move things quicker at the table is to do some of the work in advance - make a list of any monsters that will be encountered during the session with their to-hit & damage numbers, and space to record their hitpoints (or erase/cross them off - checking off boxes might be quickest at table, but most labor-intensive during prep time). If it's still not quick enough, you could roll & record a lot of dice in advance and just go down the list, or, if you prefer rolling them at table, roll one die for each group of monsters (i.e., 6 hobgoblins attack, they all roll the same initiative die, to hit die & damage die).

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