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I have a bit of experience playing 3.x with some friends. But I wanted to make the plunge into 5e for a couple reasons. A couple of the players I didn't want to include (due to always having to have the hero toons, among other personal reasons) refuse to expand to 5e. Well, my wife found a group of people that want to play along with a friend or two that have gamed with my wife and I in the past.

Now on to the meat and potatoes. Last night we had a character creation night. We got our toons mostly rolled up. Most of them don't have experience in D&D, so that proved interesting. Either way, we got the group rolled up and now it is up to me to get the group going on the mission at hand.

I want to stick to the books in all ways, PHB races and classes only, and I am going to be running the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure. Not only is this my first time DMing, and the first time we have run any sort of adventure from a pre made book.

Are there any resources to help get an the adventure off the ground, or do I just get all the characters to the starting city and make up the encounters?

I have two weeks before we start, as I have to work nights next weekend.

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closed as too broad by DuckTapeAl, Purple Monkey, Miniman, GMJoe, Erik Aug 31 '15 at 4:43

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hello and welcome. Take the tour as it's a useful introduction to the site. Unfortunately for your question we are not the site for giving tips or general advice and as such this is likely to be closed as either too broad or primarily opinion-based. We require questions to focus on and ask about a specific problem you're having trouble with. If you can narrow it down to a specific problem, we might be able to help. Otherwise you might be better off with a forum. \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey Aug 30 '15 at 22:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Despite the original title about "any tips" (which is definitely too broad), the core problem in the body is more concrete: how to even get started with a published adventure, as an inexperienced GM. That may be still too broad, but it's not as broad as it at first seemed. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 30 '15 at 22:55
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It seems from you question that you may not have read Hoard of the Dragon Queen because most of that stuff is covered in there.

Specifically, the book starts with the players overlooking a town that is under attack - they can either leave, in which case you will have completed the shortest adventure in history or they can go into the town where there a series of encounters that occur.

So, my advice:

  1. Read the book,
  2. Read the book again,
  3. Read the first chapter, which should cover your first few sessions, again,
  4. Do what it suggests, filling in or glossing over any blanks as that takes your fancy.
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