What a rush! Sunday morning I was asked to DM an online game of D&D. I put up a post on EN World with the details. By Tuesday evening, not only did I have eight players signed up and committed to playing on Friday evening, but I even had full characters for seven of them and a firm character concept from the eighth! I intentionally recruited more than five players, figuring that it would be likely that a few might not be able to make it, but so far this is a committed bunch. I’m so proud!
My character creation guidelines were pretty open-ended. Anything from the published books (except Eberron, which I don’t know very well at all) was fair game, but nothing from Dragon Magazine. I had some push back from a couple of players on the Dragon Magazine issue, but I held firm on that one (though I didn’t care too much if they picked a background from Dragon for flavor rather than mechanical purposes). Here’s what we’ve got:
- Jaks, a good-aligned Minotaur Druid who is currently worshiping a chaotic evil diety (I’m guessing that’s just an oversight)
- Gamal, a lawful good Deva Invoker who was found in the woods by…
- Rynaki, a lawful good Half-Elf Paladin who’s romantically involved with Gamal
- Fudrick Tumblebelly, a highly intelligent Gnome Warlord (how awesome is that?)
- Faebs Rawdel, an ambiguously-gendered Human Swordmage/Wizard hybrid
- Thorfin Bronzebeard, a stout Dwarven Fighter – specifically, a temp-HP gaining Battlerager
- Alayne, an eternally cheerful Tiefling Warlock who was raised by Eladrin parents, and who desperately wants to be an Eladrin herself
- An as-yet-unnamed Bard, most likely wearing plate armor
It’s a very cool party, and the players have clearly taken my comments about wanting their characters to have character to heart. We’ve got good party balance, too. I’ve decided that, to make my life a little easier, we’ll start off by running the LFR module that I’ll be running in real life on July 24: WATE1-1 Heirloom. It’s not an amazing module, but it’s a nice one-shot to give everyone a chance to get to know their own characters and everyone else’s.
There are two obvious issues that I’ll need to deal with, though. First, we have eight PCs. For the one-shot I can deal with it, but it’s going to be unwieldy for the long run. Second, the majority of the players want to run the game at higher level, getting to paragon tier as fast as possible.
The second problem may give me the solution to the first – split the party! (No, never split the party…) Since I’ve gotten such an overwhelming outpouring of interest for this game, I think the best approach might be to run two separate games. One game will be run by me with those players who want to start at level 1 and work our way up. The other might be run by one of the players in the group who’s also an experienced MapTool DM and overall a much more experienced D&D player than I am.
We’ll still get the whole group together for the Friday game so that we can play together and talk this out. But I think the right answer is two separate games. We would need to recruit a few more players if we go that route, but I don’t think that will be a problem.
The lessons I’ve learned so far:
- Players can be crazy enthusiastic – use that enthusiasm!
- Be firm with your rules as a DM. If you’re not comfortable with certain content, kindly but firmly say no.
- DM for players that you’re comfortable with. If you’re not ready to run a certain type of game, then don’t. Find players that want to play the type of game that you want to run.