Author Topic: The dinner party D&D  (Read 7532 times)

Kiriel

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The dinner party D&D
« on: July 18, 2013, 12:14:06 PM »
Hi everyone!

I have just started a new D&D 4e campaign in the forgotten realms setting. All the players are new to D&D and I want to show them itís not all just dungeon crawls. They actually enjoy talking to the NPCs and are starting to open up as role-players. I have set it up so they have been invited to a ball/dinner party/thing in Loudwater but I as a DM have never run such a scenario and would love some advice.

The characters in the group are a Dragonborn Swordmage, a Human/Revenant Rogue, a Human Paladin, and a Genasi Warlord.
Thanks!

Dom

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Re: The dinner party D&D
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 12:45:18 PM »
Welcome to the forums!

I think the most important part of role-playing a character is having some sort of goals that the characters wish to fulfill. That's a good starting point as any for how to structure a roleplay-only scenario: what sort of goals do your players' characters wish to fulfill? It may be hard to 'force' this right now, since I'm guessing that the players did not choose a lifelong ambition or similar when rolling up their characters, if it's the first time they are playing tabletop RPGs. But in that case, this is a perfect opportunity to flesh out their characters as they are talking to NPCs and such.

Maybe the Dragonborn wishes to learn more about his heritage, or the revenant wants to know who murdered him, etc. Create plot hooks based around the characters and you will realize how they will want to roleplay much more.

After this, it's a good idea to think up of some interesting characters. To make an NPC interesting, you don't need to write an entire character portfolio describing their life from birth to today. But do think of characters you've liked in books, movies, TV shows, etc., try to distill what you liked about them, and add that in. Think up of some character quirks that you can add, fantasy races that you like, accents that you could do, and general things that will make the NPC more interesting to talk to. Give them names and motivations to make them stand out, too.

Now that you have both the plot hooks and the characters, try to group them up. What plot hooks would fit what NPC? Maybe Balgron the Fat, goblin of high regard, previously hired a Dragonborn mercenary who looked a lot like the Dragonborn PC. These will make your NPCs an integral part of the plot.

Finally, think up of details to add to the dinner party. Will there be a contest? How about a ballroom dance scene? What food will be served? What is the purpose of the feast? having a list of names will also help you add in incidental NPCs. If a player decides to talk to the waiter, you can pull out your list and describe Merric, a halfling with delusions of grandeur and rapier wit, instead of just Bob the waiter.

Hope these tips are helpful!

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: The dinner party D&D
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 01:00:53 PM »
Players will probably want to use their powers in unusal ways at the party. I encourage you to relax normal standards of 'realisim' or consistency for these circumstances. If one of their powers describes them being able to do something usual (such as shift a number of sqaures, display a weapon flurrish in an especially interesting way, or teleport) than let the player use their (normally combat focused) powers to impress and entertain both the NPCs and themselves.

Kiriel

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Re: The dinner party D&D
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 02:43:30 PM »
I think I lucked out with this group. It is their first table top but all of them are really excited and are looking forward to the party. And thanks to much for the advice on getting a list of names that should help a lot. And I didn't think of them wanting to use their powers to show off. Im still rather fresh as a DM (usually a player) so this has been a great help!

Tim

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Re: The dinner party D&D
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 05:26:54 PM »
Total agree with having names. You need to avoid the "well the GM does not have a name for this person so they must be unimportant" issue that can come up. Even if you just check a sheet of paper with some names it will eliminate a lot of that. Your players being new they might not know this but you don't want to train them into bad habits.

Also be very prepared for your PCs to grab some random thread and unravel that sweater. If you mention a half orc head cook as a bit of flavor they might run that to ground in exclusion of all else. Why is their a half orc in the city? Are they a spy? What is their story?!!? That stuff can be very fun and I have created some pretty fun stuff off of these side elements but be ready for it.

Kiriel

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Re: The dinner party D&D
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2013, 06:44:04 PM »
I know what you mean with them running away with a random NPC. I was letting our rogue do the sneaking thing and rather than they just find the cave the goblins are in like the pre-made has I let him find a sleeping goblin guard. I thought to myself "O he wants to be the sneaky assassin type guy like he has been saying." NOPE he ends up hog tying the goblin and they interrogate him. I had to role play this goblin that they carried through the whole dungeon until he led them into a trap hole and being a stupid goblin he forgot he was tied to them on a leash and got hung when they fell.