Best Strategies to Keep Your D&D Campaign Moving Along
If you’re a regular reader of our RPG gaming blog, you know that we’re all about helping DM’s run more efficient, interesting Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. In some of our previous posts, we’ve talked about some of our best, tried and true strategies to make combat more interesting for both your players, and yourself. If you need a refresher, check out How to Improve D&D Combat Part 1 and Part 2. While we highly recommend employing some of these strategies, you don’t want to let it drag out too long. Variety is the spice of life and a change in landscape and interaction keeps everyone’s attention.
In order to keep the players in your D&D game excited about the task at hand, you need to keep things moving. Below, we have some ideas about how you can keep Dungeons and Dragons campaigns from becoming stuck in the mud.
Dungeons and Dragons Initiative Tracker
You’re ready to play your Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Now it’s time for everyone to roll their four initiative checks. From here, if the players in the game have some semblance of how to play, you should designate an Initiative Tracker. This strategy not only allows you to delegate an important task, it makes it easy to know the order of the playing character (PC) once an initiative is undertaken.
All you have to do as the DM is ask that the numbers be read aloud prior to anyone acting, and you can insert combatants in their corresponding positions.
D&D Initiatives a Step Further
As we stated above, when you’re in the midst of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, your focus should be on keeping things running smoothly. Once you’ve established who your initiative tracker is going to be, charge them with the responsibility of announcing who’s up next. This is especially important if you have a lot of PC’s in the game. It’s easy for folks to forget when it’s their turn.
As simple as this step might seem, it goes a long way in keeping the game moving. When a playing character knows they’re next up to the plate, they have time to prepare and think through their decision.
You’re 15 Minutes Are Up
Following up on the warning of “you’re next” from the initiative tracker, it’s your job as a DM to make sure players know when it’s their turn.
Maybe someone had to step outside, or get a snack and they missed the warning that it’s their turn. This is a responsibility both you, and the initiative tracker can tackle. The key is to be tactful with the PC in question, yet still let them know that everyone is waiting for them.
To take this a step further, ask PC’s to announce when they’re done. Doing so let’s everyone in the game know who’s up and what’s going on.
This rule is pretty simple. Once a playing character announces “I’m done,” there’s no going back. No time for questioning or second guesses. Bottom line, when PC’s act out of turn, it slows the campaign down and breaks the rhythm. The key to having this be an effective strategy is to make it known before the campaign begins that there’s no turning back once your turn is over.
Pretend Like You’re Playing Craps
There are multiple dice D&D. To that end, there’s nothing more annoying than a playing character who rolls each of his dice one at a time. While the suspense might be intriguing to the player in question, no one else wants to wait around that long. It’s like people throwing dice in a casino at the craps table. They’re there for the action and want to see the end result. The quicker the better. Again, make it known before the campaign ensues that all dice are to be rolled at once – no exceptions.
Successful DM’s are good at what they do for a reason. They’re creative with their stories and find nuanced ways to keep everyone interested in and excited. We’re all about that at Dirt Cheap Dungeons. The more creative you can get, the better. However, it’s also your responsibility to keep everything moving in a forward direction. Even though these strategies might seem elementary in thought, they go a long way in practice.
If you keep just a few of them in mind during your next D&D campaign, and make all the rules clear to playing characters before you embark on your campaign, you’ll be amazed at how much faster the game moves. As a result, everyone involved will be engaged and have more fun.