I've got a friend who wants to try GMing, and has asked me for advice. I've given him a ton of generic advice, like "Let the players be badasses" and "Yes, and" and all that, but he's also looking for some more specific advice for running D&D 5e.
What things do you wish you had known before you ran your first 5e game?
don't roll for stats. i found that huge differences in baseline statistics lead to huge power disparity between the players which can result in a lot of arguing and bickering when the character with 3 18's. a 16 and nothing below 12 is as good if not better than everyone else at thier job.
nice little trick for a new dungeon master for just about any edition of D&D or d20 is to include a good amount of gold sinks to remove the excess gold from the game. player characters will amass massive fortunes as early as 8th, maybe 10th level. give them something tangible to spend that gold on. whether tomes that grant proficiency in a new weapon, skill, tool or language, paying extra to commission the crafting of a highly specialized magic weapon, building a stronghold, recruiting and funding allies, or buying permanent long term bonuses.
in fact, don't be afraid to charge for easy condition removal or resurrection at the higher levels. more characters care about their wallet than their own lives. and while you don't have to start every newbie from scratch, i would say that targeting the wallet has a bigger sting than targetting the character in most modern RPGs.
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Review the impact of inspiration and character traits in the game, as well being comfortable with advantage/disadvantage mechanic. Decide early which options to invoke from DMG. Make sure you understand how magic works in 5e with slots and the difference between memorised and known - first glance it looks like a typical vancian magic system except it’s not what it appears to be.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, those are wrinkles that be ironed out later.
I want spill the blood of a hippy, I need a stoner, A stoner down from the 60's, I want a switchblade to cut their love beads, an enema not love is what the world needs now . . .