Some very basic questions coming up:
Over lockdown, my brother ran the 5e starter adventure with various members of our family, me included. It was fun! We liked it, we’re doing it again. I’m DM and dont want to screw it up for everyone else.
Everything I know about DnD I know from that experience, reading Order of the Stick and also various threads on here. And the Players MAnual and various online sources. But I still have questions and I know there’s a lot of expertise here at the Dope, which I’m hoping to glean from.
Briefly the party consists of:
Bracklinn, Human Druid (my brother, 38)
Thokk Murren, Half Orc barbarian (my son,13)
Minarth Thorken, Dwarf Fighter (my nephew, 15)*
Lynk, Human Ranger (my daughter,10)*
Merric Hilltopple, Halfing Rogue (my nephew, 10)*
Valanthe Galanodel, Elven Sorceror (my mother, I’m not so dumb as to say)*
- indicates first timers.
We’re doing Storm King’s Thunder. We’re just finishing the intro section and everybody is about to hit level 5 before we start the adventure proper. It’s going OK - some are more interested in role playing encounters, some in fighting.
First about classes:
The rogue has sneak attack, will get uncanny dodge and is also the Assassin archetype. Is this not massively overpowered? 3d6 extra damage on otherwise engaged opponents? Uncanny Dodge - can just choose not to take half the damage? How do I balance this? Not helped by the fact that Merric (under supervision) rolled implausibly good ability numbers that I had to throttle down somewhat - but he’s still a killing machine. Other people need a chance to contribute.
The sorceror, the druid and magic: AIUI, there is a set of druid spells, and every morning the druid prepares a given number based on expected need. This is flexible and wide ranging. But the sorceror… only knows a fixed number of spells? Is this not incredibly limiting? At level five we’re on only 6 spells - that’s… not much?
Equipment: what’s good kit for these level 5 characters? They’ve got basic adventure kit appropriate to their class but I’m aware upgrades are due. I’m thinking particularly about arms and armour for the fighty types, but if there’s anything people should have that helps other abilities it’d be worth knowing about.
Next Qs are on the DM-ing process. The next chapter involves the party being in a small town when it’s attacked by giants. As bonus fun, they also get an NPC each to control as well as their own character. My main concern is how to manage the off-screen battle. E.g. the giants will surround the walled town - main attack on the gates but all points are under attack. Should I be rolling dice to see what happens even in the bits no-one can see? Scripting it so as they defeat one enemy, another succeeds somewhere else?
Any general guidance on DM-ing, particularly for kids, very much appreciated.