About to run my first adventure. Help appreciated

Adventure in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Learn more at our website: http://www.cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/the-one-ring/
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kdresser
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About to run my first adventure. Help appreciated

Post by kdresser » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:59 pm

Hey gang!

I'm running my first game of TOR on Easter weekend for my 4 teen siblings (and possibly one parent) and wanted to get some recommendations of resources to help this go more smoothly for myself and the players and hopefully avoid some common first-timer complications. This is my first time GM-ing anything as well as my first time playing TOR. My plan so far is to run a one-shot of The Marsh Bell using the pre-generated characters in the core book. I plan to read through the adventure provided and make notes in a word doc on my Chromebook as I go and just read from and refer to that. I'll probably print off some visual aids of enemies and locations and youtube some audio tracks for background noise and such as well. I have at my disposal the Laketown supplement and screen, Core rulebook, 2 sets of dice, Journeys & Maps, and Rivendell.

I'm aware that there have been some 'cheat sheets' and such made by C7 and the community, but since I haven't actually played the game, (much less ran it) I'm not sure which would actually be helpful for me and the players. Any advice from your experience would be insanely helpful.

Thanks in advance.

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zedturtle
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Re: About to run my first adventure. Help appreciated

Post by zedturtle » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:04 pm

I usually have some sort of reminder thing for the Stance options and abilities, since that's often the thing that trips up new players. But I wouldn't stress overmuch in regard to any aids. The fact of life is that you're going to have a few rough spots in your first game. Heck, even now with 30 years of RPG experience I have better sessions and worse sessions. :)

Don't be afraid to take a five minute break if you need a little bit of time to figure things out. But also, keeping the game moving is often better than a precise implementation of the rules. Do what it takes to keep the game fun and then the next time you can tweak things.

The Marsh Bell is a great start. The troll can be a little tricky, do bear the above advice in mind. But relax, I'm sure you'll do fine!
Jacob Rodgers, occasional nitwit.

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jamesrbrown
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Re: About to run my first adventure. Help appreciated

Post by jamesrbrown » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:36 pm

One of the most helpful things you can do for the players is to provide them with some of the basics at the outset.

Explain:
  • How to make a test/dice mechanics
  • How to spend Hope
  • How they become Weary and what it means
  • How to invoke a Trait
  • How to gain Advancement points
  • What choosing a Fellowship focus means
  • What choosing a traveling role means
When you get to your first Encounter, Journey, or Combat, you can explain Preliminary rolls and bonus dice.

For combats, I recommend giving them a cheet sheet for Stances and options. I've created some card sets you can print for each of them. You can find them on my resources page linked in my signature.

Hope this was useful!
Please visit my blog, Advancement Points: The One Ring Files, for my TOR Resources

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Majestic
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Re: About to run my first adventure. Help appreciated

Post by Majestic » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:18 pm

If you're just doing a one-shot, you could probably skip keeping track of Advancement Points, as that mechanic is really only used for continuing/campaign play, to advance the common skills of characters.

I'll echo what the others have said. Having something to help with Stances can be invaluable with this game. Take a look at the TOR Resources page, and I'd recommend finding one of the Stance Sheets for combat and a chart to show the roles each PC takes during Journeys.

Most important advice of all: have fun!!! Remember that the main goal for both the players (and for you, as LM) is to enjoy yourselves (you're playing a game, after all), so always keep this foremost in your mind!
Adventure Summaries of our campaign, currently playing through The Darkening of Mirkwood

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kdresser
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Re: About to run my first adventure. Help appreciated

Post by kdresser » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:15 pm

Thank you guys so much for the advice!

Question, how would you recommend keeping track and giving the players a visual of the army of marsh dwellers near the end of the encounter?

Also, is 5 players too many?

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zedturtle
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Re: About to run my first adventure. Help appreciated

Post by zedturtle » Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:42 am

5 players is fine. I usually play with anywhere from 3 to 9*.

I'd be leery of doing anything other than describing the horde of Marsh-dwellers. New players might have a tendency to think they're supposed to fight every enemy and might need to be cajoled (gently) into a strategic withdrawal. If you have miniatures or diagrams they might think that the only way out is combat.

*9 (even 8) is crazy. That was the exception; 6 or less is the usual.
Jacob Rodgers, occasional nitwit.

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aramis
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Re: About to run my first adventure. Help appreciated

Post by aramis » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:14 am

The best advice I have to give follows:

You WILL make rules errors. Don't sweat them. Just keep going.

It takes a while to learn the system for any game. As you play, and revisit things, you're cure your errors. Be open to polite correction if a player has a better grip on a rule is not a bad thing, provided you don't let it become a prolonged discussion. If the player hands you the book, take a quick look, and decide, then move on.

If you did make an error - correct it if it was just then, or "Ok, next time, I'll get it right," and move on.

If you decide to houserule, write it down. It helps to both make a copy for the players and keep one with the book.

Don't houserule before play... if your group has a persistent problem with the rules, then it's time to consider looking for a solution. But until it's been a problem, houseruling simply adds a needless extra layer of complexity.

atgxtg
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Re: About to run my first adventure. Help appreciated

Post by atgxtg » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:19 pm

aramis wrote:
Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:14 am
The best advice I have to give follows:

You WILL make rules errors. Don't sweat them. Just keep going.
Amen. I'll add that don't be afraid to admit when you've made a mistake. A lot of GMs seem to think they aren't allow to make errors and then go out of their to try and cover up any ones that they do make. That's not good because it erodes the player's trust (they can usually figure out when you are covering), and make you seem arbitrary when, in the future, you do things the right ray.

It's even okay to backtrack a little now and then -especially if it is to fix something that really hurt the PCs. I once actually backtracked and re fought a battle where the group got killed off because of something in the rules that should have kept one of the PCs from dying and would have changed the entire fight.

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kdresser
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Re: About to run my first adventure. Help appreciated

Post by kdresser » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:53 pm

Also, did anyone make a cheat sheet that gives brief summaries to each aspect of the game in a single document? (ala Journeys, Combat, Tests, etc)

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Majestic
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Re: About to run my first adventure. Help appreciated

Post by Majestic » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:09 pm

There's one out there. I'd recommend looking in the Resources page I linked earlier, as I believe you can find one there.
Adventure Summaries of our campaign, currently playing through The Darkening of Mirkwood

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