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9

Wing It This may not be the most technical answer, but I have exactly the same problem as you do. My group can be so erratic when it comes to doing what I think they're going to do as well as the time it takes. I elected to do what you've already mentioned, and write in between sessions, basing what you think off of their last decisions. It helps to keep ...


8

In general, I've found the solution to this problem is to prepare too much, rather than too little. It's easier to say "We'll pick this up next week" rather than "Well, that's all I've got for tonight; who want to play Xbox?" Since you indicate that your strengths lie more in planning than in improvisation (mine too), some specific techniques to help the ...


3

Try to have some notes on rough ideas, have random encounters ready, One group a friend of mine ran. The party reached the huge Dungeon doors leading to the main quest, They were Metal possibly Made of Mithril. They took them off their hinges and sold them in the nearest town. Then set up a river trading setup running their purchased barges up and down ...


3

This website has as many pregenerated characters as you could ever want, for every class, specialisation, and level. You can't generate the pregens yourself, but there are so many that I'm sure you will find some you like.


2

Similar to the 'Wing it' answer, but not quite the same. Introducing, prepared winging it. Don't prepare "what is going to happen", because this can change when the players do something you don't expect. Spend this time instead preparing "Who is nearby, what motivates them?". This is constant and the players can't mess it up. So to take an example. Where ...


2

You can change the type of prep you do, and think more in terms of preparing the region around the party, and the world, and being ready to handle most things the players might do, rather than preparing adventures and sessions per se. If you can prepare regions of your world so that they are fun and interesting to explore by themselves, then you don't need ...


2

If you are running a game currently then ask your players. Spend 15 minutes at the start of a session and have everyone create a level 1 character. Maybe 2 (martial classes are quicker to create than spellcasting classes). DO this two or three weeks in a row and you will have a nice pile of characters.


2

One simple technique that I have found to easily track who is carrying the lamp (or torch, etc.) is found in this (slightly amusing) video by Lindybeige. He suggests that you blu-tac a small tiddly-wink to the bottom of the lantern-carrying character, so that you always know where the light source is. This both reminds you to think about light, and gives a ...


1

If you don't want to fully stat out monsters, you can flub some of it. Find a few monsters with abilities you like, then add in the stats to bring them up to an appropriate challenge for your party. You can then "skin" them as anything you'd like. The DM's guide has rules for all of these things. The quick way to make up spellcasters is to pick out a ...


1

Wizards of the Coast has some free premade characters for levels 1 through 10 at their official web site. Take what you like and leave the rest. Click on the tab that says "PREGENERATED CHARACTERS (LEVELS 1-10)" Also downloadable blank character sheets.


1

Use mnemo-techniques like method of loci. This should be fairly easy - because you have to imagine the place where you and your players (virtually) go anyways. Make yourself comfortable with the location you are going to visit. Think in strong absurd pictures. If there are creatures lurking imagine them with unusal colors: a pink goblin, a yellow ork, a ...



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