Host Guide - Newbie Nights

Overview

Hello, and thank you for hosting this Newbie Night event for TorontoD&D! This document will go over the process we currently use for hosting these events. The event can be divided into 6 major parts:

  1. Event Setup
  2. Welcome Attendees
  3. D&D Overview Speech
  4. Class Selection & Class Specific Overviews
  5. Group Into Parties & Play!
  6. End of Night

Step One - Event Setup

Before the event starts there are a few things you will need to get prepared. This should only take a few minutes.

First off it is a good idea to introduce yourself to a representative from the venue to make sure that everything is good on their end and confirm what tables are reserved for our use. Next find an area in a conspicuous place you can use and put the following materials out for the players and DMs:

  • Copies of our Policies & Guideline
  • Player cheat sheets
  • Sets of dice
  • Loaner pencils
  • Dice trays
  • Battlemats & Dry Erase markers
  • A copy of the Player’s Handbook
  • T-shirts for sale (if included in the kit)
  • Merch standee (if included in the kit)

Participants are free to keep copies of the policy document and their character sheets, everything else other than purchased merch should be returned before the end of the night.

As the DMs arrive assign each of them a table and a character class. Give them each an X-Card, X-Card Overview, DM Guide and a character sheet for that class. The DMs will be responsible for doing a brief overview of the features and usage of that class for the players that have selected it.

Step Two - Welcome Attendees

As attendees arrive:

  • Make sure that everybody gets a name badge, you can have them fill it out themselves.
  • If they are new to our group ask them to review our policy document.
  • Direct them to the character sheets and have them pick a character to play.

If the guests have any questions answer them as best as you can, deferring game play discussions to later in the evenings.

Probably the most important part of this is to make sure that they feel welcome and comfortable. Let them know that they may borrow supplies (dice & pencils etc) and that if they have any concerns they can talk to you. As they are new to the game let them know that they will be getting a barrage of information tonight and it’s okay that they aren’t going to absorb it all, the DMs will help them through everything.

Step Three - D&D Overview Speech

When the place is reasonably full address the group and cover the following topics. Note that this should be a brief overview taking no more than 10 minutes or so. The point is not to have them understand anything before they begin play, it's to prime the pump before they sit down. Reiterate that they are about to get a fair bit of information and we do not expect them to retain much of it.

  1. Welcome & Meetup standard announcements
    • Thanks to the venue
    • We are in inclusive group and do not tolerate harassment or abuse for any reason.
    • Respect your fellow players, DM and staff.
    • Feel free to borrow dice/pencils, return at end of night. Character sheets are theirs to keep, if they want to buy dice they can!
  2. D&D Overview
    • Pillars of D&D
      • Exploration
      • Social Interaction
      • Combat
    • DM Role
      • Narrator
      • Runner of World
      • Enforcer of Rules
    • Player Role
      • Be an individual, in a team
    • Combat vs. Free Form
    • Not all games are the same (different DM styles, house rules etc)
  3. How to be a good player (for today #1 only)
    • Respect
      • Other Players
      • The DM
    • Bring Your Own Stuff
      • Dice
      • PHB
      • Pencil etc
    • Know How Your Character & Effects Work!
      • Looking up rules and how things work every time slows the game down.
    • Plan Your Actions
      • Keeps the pace of the game moving.
  4. Resources
    • PHB
    • Spell Apps
    • Minis
    • FLGSs
  5. Character Sheet Overview
    • Hit Points
    • Armor Class
    • Attack Modifiers
    • Damage Modifiers
  6. Core Mechanics
    • Attack Rolls
    • Save Throws
    • Advantage/Disadvantage
    • Rests (Long/Short)
    • Death

Do take some time to focus on what it means to be a good player. Aside from teaching people how to play, we are teaching them to be players we would want in our games.

Step Four - Class Overviews

At this point we will split the group up by the class they selected. Have all the players go to the DMs who are assigned to teach them their class features. Note that we have limited the number of character sheets available for each class in order to make sure the parties are balanced.

The DMs will then spend 10 minutes explaining the class features for that specific class. So all the rogues will go to table A, Wizards to table B etc. You can lump fighters and barbarians together, wizards and clerics also.

The DMs will need to go over the most important class features and should be able to get through the basics in 10 minutes or so.

Step Five - Play Time!

At this point we can actually get people playing. Create parties by assigning players to individual tables. Try to keep the parties somewhat balanced if possible. Balance aside, we will always let people who know each other sit together if they would like.

Step Six - End of Night!

As the night winds down check in with the DMs to see if they had any issues or concerns about the event including the venue, the players etc. Please compile any important feedback and send it to admin@torontodnd.com.

Please pack all the supplies back into the kit bag and put it back wherever you got it. If we are running low on anything and you think it will need to be refreshed (pregens, pencils, dice etc) please let us know at admin@torontodnd.com. If you received any money for dice or shirts during the night please put it in the provided merch envelope in the green folder. Thank the venue staff and ask them if they had any concerns.

That’s it. You’re done! Thanks for hosting, we literally could not do this without you!


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