-Liam whimpers in his sleep.
-Jaal’s favorite human greeting is “Shalom.”
-Jaal can’t quite get the hang of human slang. (“Fuck over.”)
-Suvi has questionable cooking skills (according to Vetra).
-Lexi is half-turian. Peebee says this explains why she’s so uptight.
-Peebee’s father, on the other hand, was an elcor.
-Vetra is the Squad Mom who makes sure everyone’s fed, even when it’s not her turn to unpack their rations.
-Suvi stuck a full cup of coffee to a bulkhead with magnets sideways because “her hands were full" and then promptly forgot about it.
-Even though asari tend to find communal living “cozy” - Peebee is a big fan of having her own space. (Probably a good thing, since her apartment on the Nexus is an absolute mess. She’d be a nightmare of a roomie for a neat freak.)
-Drack is old enough to remember First Contact with humans. He thought they were exceptionally squishy.
-Drack is a grumpy old man - especially if you refer to his age. He can be amusingly defensive about it.
-Jaal doesn’t know how to drive (at least not human vehicles).
- Jaal trolled Liam by teaching him an “Angaran folk song” that he then performed for Kallo and Suvi, inadvertently marrying the two according to Angaran custom. He says it can be annulled easily enough.
- Cora tried to explain Snakes and Ladders to Jaal and Vetra as part of an analogy. Vetra thought it was stupid that ladders can only go in one direction, while Jaal was offended by how “cruel” it was to place children in circumstances where they cannot control the outcome as it’s all based on a random die roll.
Vetra: “What’s the strategy for not losing your progress?” Cora: “There isn’t one. If you land on the snakes head, you just go to its tail. No strategy.” Jaal: “What? All the snakes? Any snake at all? And all decided by dice roll?? Humans used to play this game with their children??? Why place a child in a situation where they are powerless to affect an outcome? That’s cruel.” Cora: “I didn’t say it was a good game, I just meant the analogy of–” Vetra: “And who decided ladders would only go one way? In what world do ladders only go one way??” Cora: “Ugh.”
Oh my god. There is an ambient dialogue on the tempest between Jaal, Cora, and Vetra, where Cora is explaining snakes and ladders and?? Both Vetra and Jaal are so outraged??? I’m crying laughing Jaal gets so indignant, says something like, “why would you play a game like that with children?” Please bioware give me so much more stuff where we explain human stuff to aliens it’s the best.
Warnings: ANGST. SO MUCH ANGST. and swearing, light smut.
A/N: wooo it took me two days to write this. this my entry for @whothehellisbella‘s Cool Times Summer Jamz Mix Writing Challenge! My song was Final Song by MØ and I hope I did it justice
You never noticed how the grey clouds highlighted the sky. How through their shadows and darker outlines only made the white, the purity, stand out.
The rubble that had fallen on you had no effect anymore. Your body had become numb a long time ago, something you assumed was the last gift the world presented you with. Making sure your death wasn’t that painful.
You were aware of the body next to you, groaning and crying out in pain, in despair for some kind of help, but that’s all it was. Despair.
He too had been there with you, he too had been under the rubble, but his strength prevented him from giving up. His lower body was probably as crushed as yours was, but all you could do was watch the sky.
what about games, then? we have a HUUUUUUUGE ass variety of games, to be played alone, in groups, in competition or in collaboration: chance games (dices, roulette, certain card games, rock paper scissor), board games (from chess to monopoly to Colt Express and the Legends of Andor and Raise your Goblets and Patchwork and Snakes and Ladders), to videogames, to team games (soccer, rugby, basketball), to kids’ games (tag, the witch of colours ecc.), to roleplaying games, and many, many more.
Like, imagine aliens stumbling upon humans who’re into a very hard game of rock paper scissor: they’re waving their fists madly, making signs with the fingers and yelling to and at each other, and they declare a winner every three finger gestures. They are told “we’re playing, don’t you worry, we’re not going to kill each other”.
then they stumble upon a group having an extremely heated match of Uno, cursing each other as they drop +4 and +2 and dammit I just had declared Uno!!! again, they’re told “we’re playing, don’t you worry, we’re not going to kill each other”.
then they see chess, where there are only two people playing mainly in silence, their brows furrowed in concentration.
aliens are utterly confused. these two do not look like they are going to kill each other, what the hell??
So I'm the completely inexperienced DM for a D&D group and I have no clue what to do. Any advice? Thanks!
I’d be glad to help.
I’d like to start off with a simple story, one of when I was thirteen years old and in a similar position at the table as yourself - the DM’s seat. My first game was some of the most bare-bones, brik-a-brak, Bizarro-land D&D you can imagine. I had a sprawling, nonsensical, maze-like dungeon map scrawled out onto the back page of my mathematics book in pencil crayon. We used a printed out PDF version of some outdated rules set that I don’t even believe was anything close to genuine. We didn’t have any dice beyond the ones scrounged from board game boxes like monopoly and snakes and ladders, so I made my own out of cardboard and sellotape. Without any d20s, I decided that we were instead going to use two d6s and two d4s, as 6+4+6+4 equaled 20. Our mini figures were bottle caps and pennies, and the dungeon tiles were inch-square tiles cut from cereal boxes that I had been preparing for weeks.
Despite all of this disastrous preparation, I cannot remember anything poorly about it. I only know that it somehow worked and I stuck with it. I improved - exponentially so. And so will you.
Like anything in life that takes time and commitment, you can only be patient. Even now I recognise the failings of my games. I can still see the bottle cap mini-figures and raggedy dice equivalents in my story and narrative - concepts that I would never have even been close to comprehending had they been introduced to me at the beginning.
Therefore, i’d wish you the best of fortune for your game, but I think we both know that you’d settle for a solid 6/10 on your first-try. So let’s discuss how we can reach that golden standard.
Start at level 1, introduce a very understandable setting, and don’t feel as if you have to try anything you aren’t comfortable with just because other DMs have done it. Maybe bandits have kidnapped the local mayor’s child, maybe the church has accidentally uncovered a hidden catacomb entrance in the graveyard, maybe a nearby cave needs clearing out by a shepherd?
These low-power, tactile plot-hooks are great for first-time players and veterans alike. Now you have a framework, it is time to assess your options.
Let’s go with the bandit kidnapping example for this, although feel free to try whatever you want and change the details as you see fit. Nobody, not even you, wants every conflict within the bandit dungeon hideout to be a square room with 3 bandits. It will get repetitive. An incredibly easy way to address this is to mix things up. Maybe one room is partially flooded and a makeshift walkway is how you get from one side to the other, maybe the bandits have a room with a cage full of pet … ostriches, or boars, or fishmen, who they will release if attacked, maybe the entrance has a single, absent-minded guard sitting on his lonesome, only he has a large, brass gong beside him as an alarm? It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make perfect sense; it’s D&D, we gave up on cohesion when we sat down at the table in the first place.
Introduce an element to the adventure that inspires urgency in the players, that’ll disencourage them from dallying about. Maybe the mayor will refuse to pay them if the do not complete the job in a week, maybe the mayor has learned that the bandits will sell the victim off to slavers or another rival baron if they do not hurry, maybe the victim has a wedding in a week’s time that they simply must be rescued for? Choose one, stick with it, make it important, be careful to make it fair - not too generous, not too harsh. 1 hour is too harsh, 1 month may be too generous.
Go full M. Night Shamalamading-dong on their asses. Throw something totally unexpected in there that you will do next session, right at the end. Maybe the child is working for the bandit king as is planning to betray their father and must be convinced otherwise, maybe the cave enters onto an underground smuggler’s city and the child is lost somewhere within the hive of scum and villainy, maybe the bandits all work for a necromancer who teleports away with the child as the players arrive to free him, leaving his evil, undead minions to fight on his behalf? Just make sure to give the players something to follow - like a clue - so that they know what they have to do next. Because when the players are excited to continue, you have done your job, good sir.
Here are some YouTube channels who I’d highly recommend you watch, since their content has inspired me on countless occasions.
Drunkens & Dragons - This guy is crazy entertaining, crazy talented, and just plain crazy. He is very good for ideas and mechanics to make your game awesome and cool, and doesn’t go so deep into complex topics that an amateur will become intimidated.
Matthew Colville - A fantastically enthralling listen awaits you on the other side of this hyperlink. He is entertaining, interesting, and answers a lot of big, broad questions you may have about more vague and itty-bitty game things.
How to be a Great Game Master - This channel tackles some of the more troublesome issues that you may get worried about, specifically problems that you may feel guilty for as a DM. He handles both sides of more controversial issues in a reasonable, well-adjusted manner.