Thursday, May 7, 2015

Getting Started with the Starter Set, Part 2: Phandalin

Hello, and welcome to Pact of the Tome. This article is the fourth in a series written for new Dungeon Masters who have picked up the Dungeons & Dragons 5E Starter Set and are planning to run a game with it for the first time. The first two articles cover the process of bringing a gaming group together and building characters, and each article after that will cover one "part" of the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure. I will not assume any prior knowledge about Dungeons & Dragons aside from information in the Starter Set rulebook.

In this article, I'll talk about the second part of the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure, "Phandalin." At this point, you've already played through one or more sessions, so your group should be getting a handle on how play D&D. With this chapter, it's time to kick things up a notch. Your players will have the opportunity to explore the town of Phandalin, interact with the people who live there, and confront the dastardly Redbrand gang. By the end, you'll have a solid grasp on all three pillars of D&D - combat, exploration, and interaction - and your group will be well on their way to becoming established heroes.

Part 0: Gathering a Group
Part 0.5: Creating Characters
Part 1: Goblin Arrows
Part 2: Phandalin
Part 3: The Spider's Web
Part 4: Wave Echo Cave

Planning Your Session
The town of Phandalin is custom-built to be a memorable
home base for your party of adventurers. Make sure you
make the most of it!
Cartography: Mike Schley
Goblin Arrows has a simple structure - the players are ambushed on the road, then track the goblin antagonists into their cave hideout and explore it. Phandalin is more complicated; the players have a whole town to explore, with cartloads of non-player characters ("NPCs") to talk to, several quest hooks to investigate, and a criminal gang to confront. In addition, there's a large dungeon under Tresendar Manor filled with foes, puzzles, and traps. You'll need to spend some time preparing beforehand to ensure you give your players the best experience.

Keep these things in mind as you read the adventure and take notes: