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The bumpy road of conversion (of players)


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#1 Snappyapple

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 03:45 PM

So, ladies and gents, very soon I shall be running a game of third edition D&D for a group of my younger cousins in the Forgotten Realms. While it would be false to say that it is a group entirely of teenagers, it is probably close enough to describe the level of maturity.

While it is a grave I knowingly dug for myself, I do wish to let them have fun but also learn the depth of the game aside from "I want to be so-and-so from the books." (Luckily it is not a chaotic good drow, but close enough) Unfortunately, because I am such an awesome older-brother figure *cough*, I can't strike the fear of the DM into them that easily

The region we will be starting in is Turmish, in the Vilhon Reach. The area has little official lore to it so I have quite a bit of freedom to improvise.

So, my questions are:
1) Suggestions to low-level adventure hooks I can use in and around Turmish
2) Advice on how to encourage deeper roleplaying and character involvement in my players

Edit: Son of a gungan, I posted in the wrong forum... :(
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#2 popper

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 04:09 PM

In my experience young players don't need as much help learning how to role play as older ones do. You just start running, do some voices, encourage them to do the same, and fifteen minutes later you'll be having one of the more heavily role played sessions you've ever run. The problem is when combat and the tug and pull of a tangibly realistic world begin to bring their actions to call. When the teens come to our game the key for us has been to let the run as far as they can and then pull them slowly back toward the sort of game we love to play. They seem to enjoy that sort of set up more than we run it like normal.
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#3 Telemergion

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 04:50 PM

It's been so long since I looked at the realms, I don't even remember where that is. Lemme see if I still have my books out of storage and I'll get back to you.
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#4 Telemergion

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 12:23 AM

Well, I can't find my Realms books so I'm using a wiki.

Glancing through this, I think the thing that caught my eye was the Turmish Guesthouses. These things offer a great alternative to the typical start in an inn. Have the PCs seek shelter from a fierce storm, forcing them all into a comfortable and neutral space that's still small enough to force them to interact with each other. Throw an NPC in there to get the ball rolling by maybe asking the characters about themselves or engaging them in some kind of discussion. I wouldn't make this go on too long (though err on the side of how much you think they can handle) and then of course step up the plot.

You've got plenty of opportunity for the standard goblins, orks, and kobolds with all those mountains and foothills, but those are kind of boring. If you really want to force these kids to think on their feet, you could pull a Baldur's Gate on them. The NPC they met in the guesthouse was on his Ninth Day and was just chillaxing. However the next morning he attacks one or more of the PCs (depending on if they knew each other beforehand) and they are focred to defend themselves. Throw in some help for the guy if you think it fits. When he's dead the PCs find a note on his body demanding one or more of their deaths. Assassins are after them and they don't know why.

This of course leads to investigating and urban adventuring, or fleeing into the wilderness to escape that and having to deal with the nasty stuff out there.

That's what I came up with, but I'm kinda getting a little delirious so I have no idea if those are good ideas or even if they make sense. Take 'em as you will.
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#5 popper

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 03:17 AM

Ooh! Ooh!

One of my favorite ways to begin is to start at a the end of a celebration with the characters having heard rumors war or recently discovered ruins in an abandoned castle (just add an npc and you've got an adventure with a little bit of a push along for when the players need a nudge).
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#6 Ieqo

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 09:10 AM

Another lesser-used device I like to employ is the local [insert season] festival. It gives you opportunity to add as much charming local color as you wish, provides the needed reason for PCs to be in the same place at the same time, pretty much requires the players to interact and roleplay, and the various games and contests can drop in a bit of conflict, skill use, or low-intensity combat (should you need to walk through a tutorial of the combat rules). Players can hear all kinds of rumors (true and otherwise), but best of all...it allows the GM to shamelessly make fun of ren-faires for several hours! :wink:
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