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Thursday, September 15, 2011

When two men DMed thirty kids...

Last year, I was informed quite late in the evening that I was to run a game for about 30 kids the following morning. I objected, saying that D&D simply doesn’t work with such large groups, but was told that the alternative was being boiled alive, which at the time seemed worse than playing with a large group. Furthermore, I was to co-DM with a colleague who’s a real life Shadar-Kai, but also arguably the best DM in all of Asia – so there was hope. Hastily we developed a plan to save our throats and dignity.

We would break the class into three groups, each group representing the crew of a fantastic ship returning home after a long voyage. Before class, we arranged the tables in three blocks to represent three distinct vessels. For some time, the kids sailed toward the whiteboard, their home port nearing--

But woe is them! Suddenly they encounter Moby Dick AND the Kraken, deftly drawn by my partner on the whiteboard. Soon, blood and ink stain the water as a battle for survival insures.

"I'm so happy that you're back, let me hug you!"
"NOOOOO!"

Each kid got one of four below roles:

Helmsman
Ram (standard; at will) Navigation vs. AC, 40 damage and the target is stunned until the end of its next round.
Dodge (immediate interrupt, when an enemy melee attack hits the ship) enemy re-rolls attack. This ability can only be used once per round.

Gunner
Magic torpedo (standard; at will) Artillery vs. AC, Before firing declare how much damage you want to cause, for each 10 points over 100 you suffer a -1 attack penalty, for each 10 points under 100, you gain a +1 attack bonus.
Self destruct (minor action; daily) Automatic hit, 1000 damage in a 20 square radius. Ship and crew are destroyed.

Engineer
Repair (standard; at will) make an Engineering check, for each point you score over 20, the ship regains 5 hp.
Upgrade (standard; encounter) make an Engineering check, if you roll above 20 you get a minor bonus, if your roll above 25 you get a major bonus.

Healer
First Aid (standard; at will) make a Heal check, for each point you score over 20, each crew member regains 2 hp.
Prayer (standard; encounter) the ship either gains +2 to attack rolls or +2 to AC for the reminder of the encounter.

The monsters had a variety of attacks, which sadly I failed to record. However, these targeted both players and ships. I recollect the Kraken covering an entire vessel with ink and Moby Dick tail whipping several crew members to a watery hell. Yarrr!

All in all, we had to shout ourselves hoarse, but that was an enjoyable experience. Should you ever find yourself needing to DM to an epic-sized group, consider putting a ship under them.

3 comments:

  1. Hello everybody,
    For information, this article has just been translated in French. You can read it on the following adress :
    http://ptgptb.free.fr/index.php/deux-md-face-a-trente-enfants/
    Benoit

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