Dwelling on Dungeons

I will be running my first Dungeons and Dragons game as DM very soon.  I have been thinking about it a bit lately.  OK, a lot.  It’s very important to me that I do a good job.  I have a near-obsessive need to do things properly, but I’m also concerned that the players have fun.  We’ve never played together as a group, so I’m not sure what everyone in the group considers “fun”.  This gives me some anxiety, but I’m fairly certain we’ll figure it out over time.  (I just hope there’s enough time to figure it out before somebody gets bored!)

I plan to run a “heroic” campaign.  I’m not terribly interested in assisting anyone in living out their anti-social fantasies, so I’m going to forbid “villainous” characters.  Unfortunately, heroes, by their nature, are typically a reactive force.  Essentially, bad things happen and the hero responds.  WotC has provided a number of published adventures that essentially adhere to the heroic model, so I’ll be using those as the basis for our storyline.  Combined with the fact that I’m too new to DMing to make things up on the fly, or even create my own encounters yet, I’m afraid this means that I’m going to have to “railroad” my players through the adventure somewhat.

There are many players who would prefer a greater hand in shaping the ongoing story, choosing their own path as the story progresses.  I doubt I have the skill to enable this behavior very much.  Is this something that can be learned or is it an inherent talent?  Will my players still have fun if I don’t figure it out fast enough?  Can players be steered through a story and still feel like they are making meaningful choices?

Apparently, I have some concerns…

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One Response to “Dwelling on Dungeons”

  1. Hi Eabod

    Interestingly, something very similar cropped up on this site

    http://backscreenpass.blogspot.com/2010/02/first-time-dming-4e.html

    The blogger, Carl Nash gives details of running a 4e game but in a very sandbox, free-form style. He’s worth a look because I think he’ll be posting reports on the game as he goes.

    Hope that this is of some help to you.

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