DM Guide - One Shot Nights


Hello, and thank you for being a DM for a One Shot Night event for TorontoDnD! This document will go over some of the guidelines we have for our group and what to expect at the event.

General Guidelines

The overall goal of our One Shot events is to allow people to sit down at a table with a bunch of random folks and play a fun adventure. All of the below guidelines are in service of this goal.

Be Newbie Friendly

As a group we strive to be welcoming to new players. D&D can be an intimidating game to jump into, especially when you are surrounded by people you don’t know. If you have new players at your table make sure that you give them assistance as required with the rules and basic mechanics of the game. Be encouraging and try and foster a welcoming attitude amongst all your players.

Avoid Sensitive Content

Please avoid typically highly sensitive content including rape, racism, lynching, any sexual situations involving the PCs, sexual abuse, and explicit sexual content of any kind. Even if all your players say they want some of this content, it is simply not something we offer in our one-shot nights under any circumstances and it is not permissible to include it. If you have other content in mind that you think might be edgy please discuss it with your players at the start of the session to make sure your players are okay with it.

The intent of this guideline is to make sure that everybody feels comfortable at our tables, even if they are too nervous to admit some content makes them uncomfortable.

Be Flexible

We cannot be 100% sure who will or won’t show up at these events, nor can we be sure what level they want to play. We do ask ahead of time, but not everybody answers. In some cases you may be asked to run a game at a lower level than you wanted, be prepared to nerf your adventure at the request of the host. You may also be asked to add or move players after you have started if some players are late.

Whatever you prep, be ready to make adjustments on the fly in order to finish on time. You may find that your party are all experienced vets and are cruising through your adventure quickly, or you may find your party following every red herring and searching literally everything along the way. You may need to add or remove content in order to make a proper night of it.

The Night Of: Step by Step

  1. When you arrive at the venue look for the host. If you don’t know who that is and can’t identify him/her just ask somebody working at the venue. When you talk to the host confirm the level table you are running, the number of players you are expecting and what table you will be sitting at. Gather any supplies you need and start your setup.
  2. When your table is full call the host over to confirm. He/she will do a quick kickoff check.
  3. Introduce yourself to your players if you haven’t already and show them the X-Card. Briefly explain its purpose and usage.
  4. Ask your players if any of them have a hard time limit. Assuming it’s a reasonable time to finish the adventure aim to have that be the end of the night. If they have to leave very early, you can write them out mid-adventure however you like.
  5. Keeping our general guidelines in mind, run the kind of game you want and have fun! If you’re not enjoying yourself it is unlikely your players are either.
  6. After your game finishes let the host know you are done for the evening. If you had any issues during your session including problematic players, concerns with the venue/staff or anything else please pull the host aside and discretely inform him of your concerns. If you have any issues with the host please contact

That's it! Thanks for reading, and thanks for running games for the members of TorontoDnD!

Site design by Mark Chandler - © Toronto D&D 2022, All rights reserved. is not affiliated with, endorsed, sponsored, or specifically approved by Wizards of the Coast LLC. This Web site may use the trademarks and other intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast LLC, which is permitted under Wizards' Fan Site Policy. For example, Dungeons & Dragons® is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast. For more information about Wizards of the Coast or any of Wizards' trademarks or other intellectual property, please visit their website at