No map? No drawback. Getting caught unawares by your unpredictable get together is a proper of passage for each GM the world over. You may’t put together for each state of affairs, however the important thing to being a superb GM, and a GM that received’t tear their hair out, is to organize for the surprising. Sounds complicated? Don’t fear, I’ll go over every thing. As somebody who struggles with nervousness and melancholy — a combo that’s lower than ultimate for a journalist or a sport grasp juggling seven totally different gamers in a six-hour Dungeons & Dragons sport — I do know it’s robust to improv fight conditions.
On this week’s column of Tabletop ideas from an anxious GM (all of which could be discovered on our DND tips hub), I’ll be answering a query from each GM that’s been stumped by a participant’s radical resolution to punch somebody that they weren’t alleged to.
You may 100% put together your self for conditions like this by having a number of instruments on the prepared, and retaining a number of techniques in thoughts. With this, you’ll correctly transfer the story alongside along with your gamers considering that it was all part of the plan. Let me clarify.
Talk! It’s okay to let your gamers know that you just want time to set issues up. Theater of the thoughts — you probably have a sufficiently small encounter, you don’t want a map, you simply want a bit of creativeness! Simply Google it — severely, you’re certain to discover a cool trying map that matches your scene someplace on-line. Speedy cartographer — take a while to whip up a map actual fast. All you want is terrain, particles, and a grid, and a few instruments even generate maps for you. However wait, the tokens! You will discover a hoard of easy-to-customize tokens from 2-Minute Tabletop.
The way to arrange an surprising DND fight state of affairs — an in-depth look
Talk! If you wish to maintain the phantasm of roleplay however your gamers simply instigated a wild fight encounter, it’s time to name for a break. You may give it a bit of narrative, suspenseful aptitude simply earlier than you say “and that’s the place we’re going to take a break.” Throughout this little break, you’re going to get your stuff collectively. You may as well be utterly clear and inform your gamers you want a small break to arrange. There’s no disgrace in that! And your gamers would possibly even prefer it — all of us take pleasure in doing issues that the GM doesn’t anticipate.
Theater of the thoughts. Step one to contemplate is retaining every thing within the theater of the thoughts, principally as a result of it may be a ache within the ass to arrange a bodily or digital map. This works greatest when there are fewer enemies than gamers, and fewer gamers than your mind can juggle in an imaginary encounter inside a sport that closely depends on strict motion pace. You’ll should be a bit of extra lenient with motion speeds and distances of assaults, however aside from that, every thing ought to perform the identical.
Simply Google it. Did your gamers simply piss off a avenue market filled with devils in one of many 9 layers of hell and you do not have a map? Whelp, it is time to use a beautiful useful resource referred to as Google. You will discover a bunch of depraved cool maps freely out there to make use of. Simply describe your scene in as few characters as potential, and voila, you’ve gotten your fight map. Some nice sources I exploit are 2-Minute Tabletop, DnD Maps, and Dice Grimorium.
Speedy cartographer. For those who can’t discover something that fits your wants, you could possibly at all times simply make a map! Sure, this requires extra effort, however if you happen to’re expert in a selected map-making program, then this might take as brief as 10 minutes to bust out (belief me, I’ve achieved it). I’ve used Inkarnate, however there are different nice sources, like Dungeon Fog and Dungeon Scrawl, that are free. For those who’re in search of nice paid instruments, try DungeonDraft ($20). You could possibly additionally maintain some grid paper available for these kinds of emergencies and freehand a map to maintain everybody on the identical literal and figurative web page.
However wait, the tokens! We are able to’t overlook in regards to the tokens, can we? Ideally, you should have tokens for your entire gamers, in order that shouldn’t be a difficulty, however if you happen to’re in search of tokens in your baddies, we’ve acquired you lined. I exploit sources like 2-Minute Tabletop for fast and simple tokens that I can edit. Nonetheless, you probably have some artwork in thoughts, otherwise you want one thing very explicit, you’ll be able to take that and dump it in RollAdvantage’s Token Stamp. This software enables you to make tokens out of any artwork, all it’s important to do is drag and drop.
I hope this helps new gamers and GMs on the market who’re simply leaping into TTRPGs. For those who appreciated this column and need to see it proceed, you’ll be able to ship me your personal questions regarding mechanical, narrative, or social points within the tabletop gaming area. You may e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or discover me on Twitter.