Welcome friends! Arial Burnz (Gina) here and I will be your Dungeon Master (DM) for our upcoming virtual encounters.
D&D Meetup Times
At present, we are POSSIBLY looking to hold either weekly or bi-weekly (twice a month) virtual sessions on Sundays or possibly Monday evenings. We do not have a time set up yet, and that would depend on who joins us for the campaigns.
We're looking for people who can commit to attending every session, or as many as possible. Bi-weekly sessions might work better for people to attend more regularly, but it will also make getting through campaigns longer.
We're going to try no more than 2 hours per session, but as we play, we all might agree we need more time, but we won't play longer than 4 hours. If we do bi-weekly meetings, than it might serve us best to have then run 4 hours.
The Tools We're Using to Play D&D
We are going to attempt to play Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) using the following tools, so if you wish to join us, you need to get them:
- Tabletop Simulator (TTS)- This is a Steam game that can be purchased for $19.99. I do not believe you need to buy the 4-pack. Just the base game.
- D&D Beyond – This is a free tool with limited capabilities, but we are primarily going to use it to keep track of our campaigns and your character sheets. (more info below) Once you create an account and a character, it would be a good idea to download the two apps D&D Beyond (to look up spells and abilities) and D&D Beyond Player Tools (to view your character sheets).
- Discord – Most of you already have this free voice chat tool and actively use it with our group of friends…but our time in Discord will be more of a way to coordinate our sessions and get setup.
- Microphone & Speakers or Headset – We will be using voice chat within Tabletop Simulator, however, we will first meet up on Discord for our first session to be sure everyone can set up TTS with voice properly.
Register at D&D Beyond to Begin
As mentioned above, we will be using D&D Beyond to keep track of our character sheets and campaigns. CLICK HERE to visit D&D Beyond and REGISTER to start your own free account. If you're new to D&D Beyond, as you are registering, it will prompt you to CREATE A CHARACTER. Go ahead and select that option and then please use the settings below.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get this taken care of before we have our first meeting. WildDragyn had a LOT of trouble getting his account created because of an AdBlocker and some strange bug with Chrome. If you're using Chrome, please use an incognito window AND you have to turn your ad blockers off and allow pop-ups – but just while you're registering. Once you're done, you should be able to turn your ad blockers back on or reinstall them.
If you have any problems, please let me know prior to meeting. I will get online with you in Discord and try to assist, just like I did with WildDragyn. Discord has the functionality to share your screen with me so I can see what you're doing and talk you through it.
Please Start with These Settings
Please turn ON/SELECT the following settings on the first page when creating your character:
- Sources – Turn ON
- Homebrew Content
- Critical Role Content
- Playtest Content
- Magic: The Gathering Content (optional)
- Eberron Content
- Advancement Type – Keep > Milestone
- Hit Point Type – Fixed
- Use Prerequisites – Turn ON
- Multiclass Requirements
- Show Level-Scaled Spells – ON
- Encumbrance Type – No Encumbrance
- Ignore Coin Weight – ON
- Ability Score/Modifier Display – Modifiers Top
- Character Privacy – Public
If you don't like some of the these settings, we can discuss them as a group, but we must all be in agreement about changing them. DM will always have the final say.
Suggestions for Character Options
D&D allows you to create a sub-class, but for our first adventure, we're going to keep it simple and please choose only one class.
HOWEVER, we will revisit the option of adding a sub-class later once we all get the hang of operating in the Tabletop Simulator environment and/or decide if we want to continue playing together as a group.
Please choose the MANUAL method of rolling for your character. Here are the house rules we're using when rolling for your abilities. We're on the honor system here, so I'm trusting you aren't going to cheat the numbers. Be advised, however, if you come to the table with a score of 18 (the highest you can get) for all of your abilities, we're going to have you re-roll your character at our first session.
How To Roll Your Abilities
The normal way is to take four (4) six-sided dice (4d6) and roll them for each ability. Of the four dice, you take the THREE HIGHEST dice. Example: Let's say for Strength, you rolled a 5, 3, 1, 6. You would select 5, 3 & 6 as your highest 3, add those together to come up with a Strength score of 13. Then rinse and repeat for all your other abilities.
For our group, I will allow you to roll 4d6 TWICE and use the higher of the two rolls for when you're rolling for your abilities. Example: If you roll for strength, your first roll might be 5, 3, 1, 6 and your second roll 2, 1, 3, 1. It would be in your favor to choose the 1st roll – 5, 3 & 6 for a total Strength ability score of 13.
One FINAL change will be allowed (because I'm feeling generous). IF your main stat is 10 or below (e.g., if you're a wizard and you rolled 4 for Intelligence), you can swap your main stat with the roll of ONE of your other ability scores (e.g., for that wizard example, let's say you rolled 15 for Charisma and 4 for Intelligence, you could swap the scores, giving your character 4 Charisma and 15 Intelligence instead). But this is ONLY if your main stat is 10 or below.
Rolling a low score in one of your abilities can actually make the game fun. Not everyone is perfect, so if you have a wizard who has low Charisma, you could have fun with him being a grumpy wizard who doesn't always win people over. However, on those rare occasions when you roll high on a Deception check, he might surprise everyone!
There are default options you can select regarding your character's Description (Section 4 of the Character Builder), but know that you can also write your own. CLICK HERE to study some of the personality and background options. You choices can give you some advantages in roleplaying scenarios, such as dealing with NPCs (good or evil) to gain information for a quest.
For our first session, you do NOT have to create a complete backstory for your character, but try to have an idea of where you're going. Backstory is important for me as a DM because I can try to work your fictional backstory into the adventures I'm creating for our sessions. This makes our gameplay that much more personal and exciting.
We can discuss character development in a private one-on-one, DM-to-Player meeting where we can brainstorm some possible scenarios for your character. Just send me a PM in Discord to set it up.
The class you choose will determine the type of weapons you will be proficient at. And certain items are standard as an adventurer. Also, the background of your character might also give you extra goodies (e.g., choosing “Criminal / Spy” will give you “A crowbar, a set of dark common clothes including a hood, and a pouch containing 15 gp” for equipment).
When you choose your equipment, though, make sure you also add the following:
- Dungeoneer's Pack
- Mess Kit
- ONE Healing Potion (Greater)
- Ensure you have 15 gp (gold pieces)
Our first session will probably be a lot of setup and prep, so I'll double-check everyone's packs to be sure they have the basics during this time.
Once your character has been created, CLICK HERE to join our campaign. This will let me know you're ready to be a part of the group. But you still have a little bit of homework to do…
Preparation BEFORE Session #1
Where We Are Going
For our first adventure, we will be on the way to Fallcrest, which is a small town built upon the ruins of an older city, located in the Nentir Vale. The Nentir Vale is in the continent of Narath, which is part of the Forgotten Realms world of Points of Light.
To keep it simple, I recommend you keep your character's origin somewhere in the Nentir Vale. Of course, you are welcome to do further research of Narath if you wish your character to have come from a more distant land.
Players need to decide why they are on this cart with Traevus, the dwarf merchant, headed to Fallcrest. CLICK HERE to view the map of Nentir Vale.
Ask these questions of your character…
- Are you going to Fallcrest for business or pleasure?
- Have you ever been to Fallcrest before or is this your first trip?
- Are you looking for work or do you already have a job/task?
- Are you running from or to something/someone?
- Are you visiting a relative/friend in Fallcrest?
You can have your character doing one, some, most or all the above…but WRITE IT DOWN. Please have some idea of why you're headed to Fallcrest and have that information either ready to go to give me OR you can PM it to me in Discord.
What to Expect DURING Session #1
Tabletop Simulator (TTS) Tutorial
We will first run through an active tutorial where I will show you how to navigate and use the tools in TTS. HOWEVER, we could save some time if you took the tutorial TTS has built into the game. It only takes a few minutes.
The faster we get through the mechanics, the faster we can get to the next step.
As a group, you all need to decide if any of the your characters know each other, if they met when they hitched a ride with Traevus or if they coordinated their ride together.
Traevus started his journey in Hammerfast, the dwarven city to the east, and is traveling west on the Trade Road. Our adventure begins just about 11 miles east of Fallcrest on the Trade Road.
PCs must decide if they got onto Traevus's cart back at Hammerfast, or if any of you got onto the cart between Hammerfast and where our adventure begins just outside of Fallcrest. PCs also have the option of walking along the road when Traevus's cart approaches (at the 11-mile mark outside Fallcrest).
Depending on how quickly we get through the setup, we may or may not proceed with our first encounter.
Do the above and contact me on Discord to let me know what day and time would be good to attend our weekly or bi-weekly virtual sessions.