Content of the article: "First time DM making a “tutorial scenario” for 3 first time players (friends IRL)"
(First block: context for me, second block: context for scenario, third block: actual questions)
Alright, so I've been a PC in 3 campaigns, the first I got to level 10-ish, the second 4, and currently 8.
My siblings and I have made up stories as kids, so I'm not worried about the storywriting side of it. I'm a YouTube junkie so I've watched a ton of Critical Role, Matt Colville, Dael Kingsmill, Puffin Forest, Dingo Doodles… I've got a pretty decent starting point of understanding good practices and bad. And, you know, I'm not a psychopath so that's always nice. >.>
My 3 friends are mildly interested in D&D, and I want them to like it (and I'd love to play D&D with them). They all RP in Final Fantasy 14, but otherwise have 0 experience in RP, at least TTRPG. This is fine, but it does make an introduction an interesting task.
I'm going to give them "tutorial characters" so I can show first, then explain how I made it second, for this one "tutorial" quest. This is just to give them the idea of game mechanics and RP and NPC's and all that jazz. Then, having a better sense for how the numbers work and how to design a character, I'll give them the choice of continuing the campaign using those characters or using that session as inspiration to make their own characters and begin a campaign at my main storyline ingress.
Oh and yes, the tutorial will secretly affect the rest of the campaign even if they don't continue from it. 😉
________HERE'S THE DEAL:____________
Idk what to make for the first creature encounter. Like the specific monsters to employ.
So lemme give you the skeleton scenario:
Our three level-1 heroes, a human Cleric, a half-elf Wizard, and a tiefling fighter, all have various backstory reasons to have joined an adventuring guild in an upscale city. The guild contracts out easy "expeditionary" assignments to a local restaurant who always need various animal parts for meals. They are told to report to the owner and show him a standard assignment paper and he'll direct them from there.
Ilario Mansom, owner of the upscale restaurant "Handsome Mansom", assigns them a mark, being some sort of animal component that is conveniently out of stock in the local marketplace. So they have to go kill something for it. He tells them to talk to a Ranger (not in those words) who should be in the establishment to get directions on where to find this mark, and if they ask he'll give tips for how to lure it out and ambush it.
They go out and find it (hopefully) and have a simple combat scenario, nothing hard. and just as they're about to kill it, a creature that is much too high level for them that isn't indigenous to the area leaps out of a bush and finishes it off, then turns to attack them. At this point, it turns out that Mansom, being a high Cha/Str Barbarian Chef, and the Ranger actually followed them out here because this was the creature he really wanted and they were sorta kinda using the adventurers as relatively cheap bait/aid. So these higher level (6-ish) NPC's join the fight (AFTER they've dealt with the first creature, that way I don't rob them of having a victory on their own). During the fight they offer tactical (tutorial) advice like reminding them they can move after their action, not just before it, or hide behind a tree for cover, that kinda stuff.
Then epilogue stuff based on how it goes.
I plan to spend TWO 3-ish hour sessions on this, the first half of the first one giving only the most necessary idea of how to read and use a character sheet and dice and basic rules and familiarize them with their characters, and the second half of the second one to give a wrap-up and expound on rules to clarify and inspire ideas.
- What would be a good 1st creature and 2nd creature?
- What do you think are some important things to focus on incorporating to help give new players a fun but educational first game experience?
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