Still learning to gauge threat level

Last weeks adventure with the boys went well. In fact by the time we were done it was almost surprising how quickly it went. We were down 1 boy, so I was a little worried that I might overwhelm them, even prepared to reduce the threat level. But they just plowed right through the monsters, I only got close to danger once on any of them. So the boys had fun, accomplished what was laid in front of them, and cleared out all the monsters. The problem is it was almost too easy.

I clearly have a little to learn about gauging the threat level. Of course it wasn’t until they started fighting the ghouls that I realized, ‘oh crap, the players are all Elves, they are immune to the poison.’ But I thought the Spectres would at least threaten them, but they just moved down the corridor, killing one every turn. It was definitely a learning experience for me.

But I have already begun to make adjustments. Remembered the lesson I learned from my Denver DM: nothing in the rule book says that the monsters cannot have levels and the same powers as the characters. And I am already designing my next set of encounters accordingly. I am actually getting excited about the potential for this next arc for the players.

And that is really what this is all about. I am still learning myself, I never got a lot of good experience being a DM. The games I ran when I was young were little more than just arenas. And then it was on to other games, where the threat level really is easier to gauge. So I am learning, learning about how to write my games, learning about how to run the games, and learning how to gauge stuff like this. The good thing is that I am working with what is probably one of the hardest, but most forgiving audiences. The boys love the game, have a great time, so they are not going to quit out of frustration or boredom. But trying to keep them focused and entertained is a challenge. So if I have to adjust on the fly, it is less noticeable and not a big problem.

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