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So I will be DMing D&D 5e for the first time with a couple of friends (who will also be playing D&D for the first time), so I created a simple homebrew adventure. It's a Point A to Point B type wilderness trek. The goal is simply to arrive at Point B without dying.

It's meant to run like a beginner tutorial on D&D (and tabletop RPG games in general), so it's meant to have a lot of leeway for mistakes as the players are still learning the ropes (and I want to avoid a TPK as they are all starting as level 1 characters). However, I don't want to create an adventure where there will be a lot of dull moments, but at the same time, I don't want it to end up too short that they barely have a feel for the game.


So my questions are:

  • When do you roll for random encounters?
  • How do you keep track of in-game time?
  • If you want to dedicate some time to roleplay, how much time do you give players to banter?
  • If the players are given no rations for the journey, how much food do they have to gather for it to count as 1 day of rations?
  • How do you keep track of rations? Do you just have to subtract a day of rations at the end of each day?
  • Is it ok to only have one type of monster on an adventure? Or will that make things a little dull?

Here's some more information about the adventure:

  • Adventure Type: Wilderness Survival (3 days)
  • Goal: Point A to Point B without PC deaths
  • Setting: Forest (at the foot of a mountain; will scan map later today)
  • Threats:
    • Goblins
    • Weather
    • Starvation
  • Encounter Table:
    • (1) Pigeons (2d4 birds)
    • (2) Dented Scimitar
    • (3) Light Rain (2d4 hours)
    • (4) Dagger
    • (5-6) Broken Scimitar
    • (7-8) Very Smelly Poop
    • (9-10) Magic Mushrooms (2d4 number)
    • (11-13) Defaced trees
    • (14) Nightshade (DC10 Nature; DC15 CON if eaten; Fail: Poisoned)
    • (15) Makeshift Shortbow + Quiver (4d6 arrows)
    • (16) Blueberries (2d4 clumps)
    • (17) Greatsword
    • (18) Downpour (2d4 hours; DC15 CON / hour; Fail: +1 Exhaustion)
    • (19) Tiny Tracks (DC15 Survival; Success: Goblins)
    • (20) Carnelian (50GP Market Price; DC10 Perception)

If something is a little unclear, please feel free to ask me for more information! This is also so I have a sense of how much more I need to prepare, vs how much I've already prepared! ♡

Also, if you have input that you think I'm missing out on, or if you have any at all advice for a new DM, please feel free to post them here!!! I would love to hear what you have to say! ♡

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    \$\begingroup\$ This question is too broad and will probably be closed. We can't really handle all of this in one question. You can split all 6 of these questions up, and then ask specifically about the encounter table if you like. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Jul 21 '17 at 6:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here's a related question about making good travel adventures: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/55406/… \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Jul 21 '17 at 6:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, did you read the wilderness section in the DMG? It answers some of this. It starts on page 106 and talks about approaches, random encounters, finding food and more. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Jul 21 '17 at 6:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Erik: Thank you so much, sir! I'm currently reading through the reference you linked me to. And for pointing me in the right direction with the DMG! If after reading these, I have more questions, I will ask them one by one as you instructed. ♡ Thank you so much for being forgiving, I'm very new to this site! \$\endgroup\$ – Willow Jul 21 '17 at 7:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Willow, and welcome to the site. I see from your Informed badge you've taken our tour, thanks for doing that. I agree this is very broad, and probably more of a discussion than something that can have a correct answer (see our questions to avoid asking in our help center). However we've compiled a list of forums we'd recommend for handling discussions like this. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jul 21 '17 at 8:19