New GM – Session 5

This week my players entered the Catacombs of Wrath, an ancient dungeon that held some interesting secrets for our heroes to discover, as well as plenty of peril! This session ran pretty smoothly, as I think both myself and my players are starting to feel more comfortable.

However, the session was not without its challenges. I draw all of my maps on Gamemastery Flip Mats, which have a nice grid on them and can be drawn on with erasable markers. While cost effective, this system is not without its flaws. My map drawing skills are not fantastic, but I feel it helps both me and the players to have an idea of how big rooms are and how they fit into the rest of the dungeon.

Unfortunately, parts of the map do tend to get wiped away during a game session, and more so if I try to cover up the map with paper or something similar. This has led me to leave the map uncovered, which brings in the temptation to metagame, as it is usually obvious where the action is going to happen. Probably the easiest solution will be to just cover up the map in future, and hope it doesn’t wipe off anything important! This was a good lesson for me, as I need to remember that just because I know what the entire complex looks like, the players shouldn’t.

My next blunder came along from my lack of detailed knowledge of the rules – I know the basics and try to study up on specific things as they come up in the game. Needless to say, detect magic does not allow the caster to see invisible creatures! Lesson learned there as well.

The session’s climactic battle was pretty exciting, I think, despite my slip with the invisibility. It was quite interesting to see that although the boss was quite hard to kill, she didn’t do all that much damage to the players once her spells had run out. In fact, the enemy that did the most damage during that fight was a summoned fire beetle that happened to crit two turns in a row! I can’t wait to see how my players handle the upcoming challenges in our next session.

0 thoughts on “New GM – Session 5

  • May 1, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    The GM fot my current group uses a whiteboard grid for small maps and encounters, but for dungeons and such he usually prints (and sometimes even laminates!) the module maps so that he can cover them up.
    When I used to GM a star wars game, I used 1 inch grid chart paper to make up the maps, one room at a time (just line drawings and outlines), and taped the rooms onto the map as they explored. It was a cheap option that kept the layout (and even size) of dungeons/areas a total secret.

    • May 2, 2013 at 9:37 am

      I like that idea… total secrecy! Though I must admit the idea of printing and laminating dungeon maps also sounds awesome, just not budget friendly 😉

      • May 3, 2013 at 12:09 am

        Yeah, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t bother if he wasn’t able to do it at work. Grin.


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