Guide ultime : comment se lancer dans Donjons & Dragons (Partie 2 : la pré-partie)

Ultimate Guide: How to Get Started in Dungeons & Dragons (Part 2: The Pre-Game)

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💡 This article is the second in our How to Get Started with Dungeons & Dragons series. You can find the first article in the series here

You have purchased your L'Essentiel introductory box (or possibly another), you have found your play group, and you are ready to get started. In this article we will see how to carry out your pre-game (also called session 0): choose or create player characters, play a mini-game to test the game dynamics, and prepare yourself as a GM for the launch of countryside.

Create the characters

Use pre-drawn characters

One way to make launching your first campaign easier is to use pre-printed characters. Instead of having to go through the whole character creation process, this allows you to get into the adventure more quickly. A good source for this is AideDD's collection of pre-drawn characters . All you have to do is offer this list to your players and let them choose the character that attracts them the most!

Simplify creation

If your players prefer to create their own characters, we advise you not to go into too much detail. Some people will already have a clear idea of ​​what they want, their character's story, their character, etc. , and for these people you will have no problems; but others might be a little overwhelmed by all the options, all the questions you could ask them about their character (origin, goal in life, connections, what they like or don't like, type of character... ). We then advise you to get straight to the point: identify with your player a race, a class and a starting equipment, and that will be enough to start a first campaign.

Use AideDD Character builder

To make your life easier when creating a character, we advise you to use the AideDD Character Builder . This online tool allows you to create characters through a very well-designed step-by-step form. When you have finished the form, you can directly print your character sheet pre-filled with all the form fields.

Discuss with the group to identify each person’s goals

Before you start planning your game in detail, it is important to discuss with your group their expectations:

  • start by giving them the theme of the campaign, and checking that everyone is interested in this theme
  • then, take a quick look around the table to find out what players are comfortable with and what they aren't, in terms of scene descriptions and roleplay, so that you can adapt your narration to make everyone feel comfortable in your game
  • Finally, discuss with your players their motivations and the reasons that lead them to want to role play, and to do this campaign with you. The important thing for them is to do intense roleplay, 100% involved in their characters and the plot of the story? Rather laugh and have a good time with friends? Or even to fight, gain experience and progress through the levels as quickly as possible? Every group and person has their own reasons for playing; Knowing them will allow you to best adapt the game to the tastes of your group (and yours), and to ensure that the games are as satisfying as possible! However, for a very first game in a group of beginners, it is not necessarily necessary to dig too much here. Indeed, perhaps your group does not yet know what it likes or not, and getting into the game as quickly as possible will allow everyone to form an opinion on each aspect of the role-playing game.

Play a mini-game

You created the characters, and discussed the goals of each. Before your real first game, we advise you to try to set up a mini-game, to allow everyone to become familiar with the concepts of the game. Aim for 1 hour maximum; no plot developments, simply a fixed scene, for example presenting all the characters around a campfire while the group is on the road, or in a tavern.

During this mini-game, try to introduce three key points of how Dungeons & Dragons works:

  • a fight,
  • skill rolls,
  • and some social interactions (between players and with Non-Player Characters).

For example, if the group is around a campfire, a traveler might stop at their fire and ask to share their meal; and a pack of hungry wolves might attack them, which could be heard in advance with a Perception roll. In a tavern, a brawl could break out, and the tavern keeper comes to ask the group for explanations, this person being able to be convinced of the group's innocence by a Persuasion or Intimidation roll.

Having a first idea of ​​how these mechanics work will allow your group to get off to a good start for your real first game.

At the end of your mini-game, take some time to debrief with your players, and discuss the mechanics of the game. Are there things that were not understood? Are additional explanations on certain points necessary? Take the time to explain everything you can now, this will only make your future games smoother.

Once this is done, without delay, plan together right away the first date for your real game.

Prepare the first part

Once the date is planned, you still have your job as GM to do: prepare the game in due form. We advise you to take the time to read the entire campaign once. Don't take notes, just read to get an idea of ​​the overall plot, what surprises await your group, what elements you could insert, etc.

Once this is done, reread and take notes on which sections of the scenario should be played during the first 2-3 games. It's important to always be a little ahead, because you never know how fast your players will go, and in which direction they will decide to go; so it's good to have several options available just in case.

In particular, you should make sure you have an idea of:

  • which NPCs players will encounter
  • what fights are likely to happen
  • what important plot points must be mentioned

Once this is done, you are ready to get started! In our next article, we will see how to master your first game, how to guide your players in the adventure, and how to manage the campaign over its duration.


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Ultimate Guide: How to Get Started in Dungeons & Dragons (Part 1: Getting Ready to Play)

La Gazette du Rôliste - Mai 2024

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