Just in case you forgot I was a geek... I need some help with Dungeons and Dragons

in geek •  6 months ago

I am a child of the 70s (it says so right there in my profile description). So it would be no surprise if I decided to write a nostalgic post about D&D when it was at it heights in the 1980s. Considering that I have already written 1600 words on made for TV movies starring Ewoks, it would also not shock anyone if I decided to write about the terrible Dungeons and Dragons cartoon that aired from 1983-1985.

I was going to use a far cooler and more modern image of D&D... but I am neither cool or modern.

But I am not going to do that.

I am writing this post because I need to ask a question about Dungeons and Dragons today.

In addition to asking a real question, this post is also a gauge at just how geeky I really am. Am I geeky enough to attract the attention of other geeks who can answer my question? Am I geeky enough for non-geeks to smile and shake their head in disbelief over my copious amounts of geekness? Am I geeky enough to cause trolls to want to tear me apart in the comments for being such a loser?

Because I am a geek, I married a geek (I am a very lucky man). We then had two children who we are raising in the way of the Geek. And it is a raging success! They can't get enough Harry Potter and Star Wars. We all go to comic book shops and toy conventions. We wear T-Shirts featuring cartoon characters and witty puns. We listen to audio books in the car and attend opening weekend of every Marvel movie. And now, our family also plays... Dungeons and Dragons.

There's nothing quite like dooming your children to a lifetime of playing geeky games in their parents' basement to ensure you will never win the father of the year award.

My god! What have we done!

A few years ago, my geeky son begged his geeky dad to play Dungeons and Dragons with him. This was before I became addicted to Steem so I had quite a bit of time on my hands. I had never been a dungeon master before so I had to do quite a bit of research. I managed to fumble my way through most of a campaign. My son had fun and we put it away.

This summer, he began to play with his friends. Sadly, they could never play regularly as their dungeon master was not very reliable. The group asked my 13 year old son to become the dungeon master. He refused. It is not that he does not want to take over, he simply doesn't feel qualified. He does not want to let his buddies down by taking on such a huge responsibility without some practice.

What is the safest way to practice? By making your family your guinea pigs.

And that is exactly what we have become: three of the geekiest guinea pigs you will ever see.

Actual family photo

My wife and 11 year old daughter had never played the game before. They had a great time creating their characters. My daughter had an especially fun time drawing her character and writing a very thorough back story for Dawn (who is a human Druid who is a 21 year old version of my wife).

When it came time to create my character, I made sure to capitalize on an inside joke my son have had running since the start of the summer. After I completed my human, criminal, chaotic neutral, wizard, my son asked what I would name him. I informed him that I had just given birth to...

Rick Sanchez!!!!!!

If anyone knows of a spell that will make enemies get schwifty, that would be cool.

Wubba lubba dub dub!!!

My son has done a great job of running the introductory campaign ( Lost Mine of Phandelver). My daughter is actually having the most fun of all of us and constantly asks to play. But it takes my son quite a bit of time to prepare for each session.

So here are my real questions:

Does anybody know of any resources that will help a 13 year old novice Dungeon Master run a campaign?

Are there any really well made adventures that can be run with very little preparation (can he just sit at the table open the book and run things on the fly?)

What are the best websites for him to check out?

What are the best videos for a wanna-be DM to watch to help him to improve his craft?

Images 1, 2, 3, 4

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Congratulations on taking your family on the epic journey that is D&D.
As to your questions – wizards of the coast created several complete campaigns that can be played with little preparation in the same vain as the Lost Mines of Phandelver. 2 examples are Storm King's Thunder and Hoard of the Dragon Queen (that is part 1. Part 2 is Tyranny of Dragons).
Both of these are designed as full campaigns from level 1 to 13-15 and the books have almost all the information you need to run the game. You’d still need the game master book and the monster manual, but you should already have the basics if you got the starter package.
Other than that, you can look for one-shots (single session adventure) or full campaigns in dmsguild.com. you can write what you’re looking for and see if you want to buy any of the options. Some short adventures are free or cost less than 5$.
I would still recommend at least knowing in general terms the adventure since players often take unexpected routs. So, in terms of preparations just a bit of reading before a session and you should be all set.
As for tutorials, youtube is full of them. I recommend videos by Matthew Mercer. He’s the DM for Critical Role (a podcast and a series on Twitch TV) and one of the better DM’s I ever saw.
There are also lots of DM specific reddit boards that offer help and support.
Hope this helps and I’ll be happy to answer any other questions.


Thank you so much! This is exactly what I was hoping for when i posed the questions. My son loves to read so I think what you suggested will be right up his alley. I will see how he does but if he struggles, I may be reaching out to you again.

Thank you!


Gladly :) You/he can reach out to me with any D&D question. I'll do my best to help.

http://donjon.bin.sh/5e/ is a great resource for randomly generating encounters, locations, or NPCs on the fly. Dont like what it gives you, just hit refresh until something catches your interest. It's nice to have a website for that type of stuff these days. I remember using a book called The Toolbox and rolling a d20 or percent dice to generate tavern names on the fly from a table.

And here's your spell to get schwifty . A buddy of mine has used that a few times in our current campaign to good, comedic effect.


Seriously though, that donjon random generator is awesome!

And the Irresistible Dance spell is PERFECT. My son immediately yelled "No! I'm not letting you have it!" So now I must have it!


Ouch. Just checked to see the last time there was a post from you, @aksounder. Five months. I guess that means you must have given up on Steem. Sadness!

D&D Beyond is a great resource, though it's a bit pricy.

The DM's Guild has some great stuff, it's a spin off of DriveThruRPG dedicated to 5e stuff.

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This looks like a cool site for him to explore.



I haven't spent much time on them recently, but the forums on the wizards website might be a good spot to get answers to specific questions.

I don't know what version you are playing, but I seem to recall Goodman Games making pretty straightforward modules that were not too difficult to run.

I think the biggest thing that helps is to keep doing what you are doing. Practicing. Keep at it and his skills will improve. It helps that there is a reliable group (the family) that is patient and can help out as necessary with any rough spots.

As has been mentioned, even with adventures that are billed as ready to go he should look through them (if not read through once) to get a feel for what is coming so he can handle the group doing things differently than the module expects.

Good luck to him on his adventure into becoming a DM.


Thanks! I think he will enjoy the prereading before an adventure. He just needed a little bit of guidance on how to begin. I will check out the forums as well.

What? Candy Crush isn't enough for these kids?

p.s. all jokes aside, you are doing well.

p.s.s. I got into the Palladium Role Playing system for a bit. I also had Heroes Quest, a board game, that structures the GM role and makes it less intimidating. It might help to practice on something like that.


Those sound cool. We played Descent last summer and had a lot of fun. But he really wants to get good at this.

First I think it is AWESOME that your family shares the same interest in hobbies. Maybe someday my little girl will play in a fantasy football league with me haha.

I too am zero help when it comes to D&D. I was overwhelmed from merely reading the great comment @mrlightning left lol.

When I was in the military there were a handful of guys that would play D&D on the weekends and I remember their games lasting 12+ hours it seemed. I should have taken that opportunity to ask to play even though it isn't quite up my alley. There is a good chance I will never have the opportunity to play again unless my cousins in Georgia play. They were heavy into Magic the Gathering when we were young and they introduced me to Star Wars among many other things that I wasn't exposed to as a kid focused on athletics.


I had dreamed of my son playing Madden Football with me some day... well that ain't happening. But I have this stuff lol.

I bet you can get your daughter involved. Kids are naturally drawn to what their parents are doing. They will use any excuse to sit and cuddle with their mom and dad. Football is just as good an excuse as any... as long as you don't yell at the tv as much as I do. My daughter will come running to calm me down when i really snap.

It is just a good thing having to create good memories playing DND with your family @hanshotfirst and that is the most important thing because it creates a good bonding. I myself cannot even enjoy watching movies with my father. When I went to watch my downloaded movie with him he just doesn't watch with me. So I just watch movies here in my laptop now.
Much less with playing games, the folk doesn't even know what a "file" means >o<

Gosh, just hearing the name of that game brought back memories and I NEVER played it. But remember friends who did and they would talk about D&D incessantly on the school bus in the 80s :)

Thanks for sharing @hanshotfirst

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Sports, Atari and D and D. Those were basically the only choices when I was a kid. And being a hoodlum. So I decided not to choose and did them all.

Thanks for the post. I have all the second generation of D&D and this inspires me to bring it out of the garage and see if I can't get the kids involved in it.

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That would be so cool. If you can DM I bet they will give it a shot.

Such memories.
Dude you need help with dungeons and dragons but I need dungeons and dragons.

I think that anyone that knows you will never forget what a geek you are, as for Dungeons and Dragons I haven't got a clue.. Must be so much fun having a family that are into the same things :)


Ahhhh I knew you would never forget lol.

I am just riding the high until they become full on teenagers and hate everything.


That is a horrible age, it seems to go on forever.. Good Luck :)

Unfortunately I know nothing about D&D but I will say I think it is awesome that you taught your son how to play and that you play with your whole family! I don't think it is geeky, it is a game that you enjoy playing. In my eyes it is the same as any other game it is just less mainstream. I love that you are a proud D&D player and are passing that on to your kids! :)

I wish him the best of luck on his quest to become a DM!


Thanks! I really hope he has fun and is able to gain the confidence to lead his friends.


I think he will! It is a great way to learn the skills needed to be a leader!

who could forget?


LOL. Yeah its not like I hide it.

Oh man, memories. I wish I could get my daughter into D&D. If it's not an app she's not interested. Her generation will never know what they are missing out on.

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We didn't even do this on purpose. We have a ton of books around and I think they just naturally gravitated toward it. I think listening to audio books of Harry Potter when they were really little helped.

Great memories! That book brings them back.

I'm sorry I can not help you @hanshotfirst.

Beautiful memories friend..
Well done...

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