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I am now venturing, for the first time, as a DM and would like to start a campaign for my girlfriend. I have played D&D for several sessions (some 15?), but I am far from being experienced. However, she is even less experienced, as she only played it once.

In designing this campaign, I would like to follow a pre-written campaign as much as possible since I'm so inexperienced. So I've bought the D&D starter pack and intend on following the Lost Mine of Phandelver. My girlfriend wants to be an elf ranger, and I would like to keep this as much as possible, and she is still thinking about the background story.

I would thus like your input about a few things, especially considering I am so inexperienced:

  1. I am considering making a DMPC to help her. Since she wants to be an elf ranger, I was thinking about some more fighting character. I have only played fighter and barbarian before, so having some experience is better than none I guess? Do you think a fighter would be OK, or should I make a Paladin or Cleric? I dont mind being any race really.

  2. In adapting the campaign's difficulty: I am thinking about making all battles as half the number of monster numbers. In single matches, I am considering making the foes have half HP.

  3. To further help, and get us both a feeling of how things are, I am considering starting the campaign with a small tournament where both PC would be introduced to each other. They would fight, and when they reach level 3, the actual campaign starts.

  4. If things are still tough, I will tell her to consider going to town, and hiring a mercenary with the money she will get from the tournament.

Does all of this sound enough for her to survive and have some fun? I dont mind that my DMPC eventually dies and leaves her if things are too easy, but I think this won't happen.

What are your ideas? Thanks so much in advance

P.S. - to make things easier, I think it is best to run some pre-generated PCs, Wood ranger and maybe the standard Human fighter that comes in the starter edition

Edit: this question was now split into different questions as found in here, and adapting the difficulty of LMoP for duet in here

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    \$\begingroup\$ I feel like this could be separated into a couple of question-posts. Perhaps (a) should I accompany her with a DMPC, (b) given her character, what [DM|N]PC best complements, (c) combat adjustments for 1-2 PC parties, (d) help starting the campaign? There's no stigma against posting multiple questions here: in fact, it's encouraged in many cases. (See these meta discussions (1, 2) among many others for some of the thinking behind this.) And welcome, good luck, and I hope you get useful answers! \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Oct 3 '17 at 23:11