Really loving all the Curse of Strahd talk, guys. It’s interesting to hear how you brought them into the setting, Sean, and how your group is reacting to it. When I ran CoS I mislead the group into believing we’d be playing Storm King’s Thunder. So when the mists came and the setting changed it threw them for a loop. They were disoriented and it created some excellent tension as they investigated their unfamiliar surroundings. The thick mist and dense pine forest, creating disadvantage on perception roll’s, coupled with the threat of unseen wolves howling all around them was terrifying for the group of 1st level character. I thought it set a good tone for the campaign.
I also introduced a disguised Strahd using one of the modules aliases. One, I wanted Strahd to get a feel for the characters who just entered his lands. Two, I hoped that it would provide an oh shit moment in a future session when the alias was revealed to be Strahd. What are you thinking for introducing Strahd to the game? Completely understand if you don’t wanna say for fear of spoilers.
Great conversation on Changing How You Game Master. It’s really important to reflect on how you run games and consider what you do well and where you can improve. Get feedback from your players if you can, especially players who run games or have played with other GMs. Improving as a GM has probably never been better due to the internet with the sheer number of actual plays you watch and listen to. It’s easy to see what other do, what you like and dislike about their styles and consider what you’d like to try and incorporate. Maybe take one or two things you’d like to do better in a session and focus on making that happen in your game, something like how Brett describes rooms in a very methodical, step wise fashion. There are a lot of places in CoS where that will be helpful. i.e. The Death House, The Amber Temple, Castle Ravenloft.
I think system mastery is important, for both the GM and the players. I mean, initially, just play the game if you’re a beginner. Dive in, get your feet wet roleplaying, and roll some dice. Have fun. If you keep going with it, then you should try and level up your mastery of the system. Of course you can’t memorize every rule but you should lock down the fundamentals. And it’s really important your players know their characters. If they don’t it possibly suggests to the table they aren’t really into the game, they’re not invested. It also speeds up game play on the player side. Waiting each turn for player actions can really kill the momentum of the game.
As always, great stuff guys. Look forward to the next episode.