Dungeon Masters (DMs) breathe life into any Neverwinter Nights (NWN) game. Aerthen Realms' DMs have some of the best custom tools available in NWN today. Login to see them in action.
NWN Dungeon Masters
Dungeon Masters (DMs) can make adventures come to life. Aerthen Realms was
built specifically to give DMs the best environment that NWN could afford
- and anyone familiar with the Neverwinter Night's DM Console knows it
starts with a good-deal of very powerful tools for DMs. Layered
over this, is the DMFI (Dungeon Master Friendly Initiative), which we
both reduced in code size and increased in efficiency and capacity.
Beyond that, we added our own custom tools; allowing DMs to do utterly
amazing things (come see for yourself).
Our humble goal : Bring the NWN experience as close to that of Dungeons and Dragons as we can manage.
How to be a DM on Aerthen Realms Servers
To Qualify as a DM on Aerthen Realms servers - the process is simple and is outlined as a multi-step process on our website here. In essence, we ask that the DM Prospect demonstrate competency with the tools in an easy progression as follows.
- Read PLAYER Docs - 1.Read the Player Guides (web site & PDF).
- PLAY a PC to minimum of level 10 - We like to get to know our DMs as PLAYERS first, and let the DM Prospect get a good handle on the idiosyncrasies of our server, and various classes / races on same.
- DMFI Tools - Run the DMFI 101 Module. This is to ensure that each DM Prospect has recent experience with the DMFI tools.
- Provide PHOTO ID - to assure we do not end up with a bunch of irresponsible jerks for DMs, we require all DMs to submit for our offline records a scan of a valid PHOTO ID. Conditional release of confidential materials are predicated on this step.
- Aerthen Realms DM Docs - Read the DM Guide (see below). This is to give the DM Prospect a basic knowledge of the module, its systems, and components, but also to familiarize the DM Prospect with the layout of the DM Docs.
- Achieve Map Familiarity - Examine the provided maps. This is to ensure that DMs know the lay of the land.
- DM Avatar & DMNPC - Create your own DM Avatar, also create and send your own DMNPC (see Appendix D). This helps the DM Prospect demonstrate basic facility with character building.
- Dabble with Tools - Experiment using the DM client while not running a real game. This gives the DM Prospect time to explore the tools interactively.
- CoDM with a DM - CoDM an adventure on Aerthen Realms with one of our DCDMs. This helps us see your facility with the tools provided, to better direct teh DM Prospect on what features they may need to review.
- DM Quiz - Pass a QUIZ on the module administered by GM_ODA and/or Eriniel. This will help us to better direct the DM Prospect on what lore they may need to review, and where the DM Prospect's strengths can be deployed to best effect.
- DM with a CoDM - DM an adventure on Aerthen Realms for review with a co-DM assisting you. This gives the DM Prospect time to demonstrate competancy (while having a competent coDM to assist as needed).
Resources for Our DMs
Custom DM Module DOC - A 600+ page PDF for the use of DMs covers all aspects of the module. Presented in an easy to read format (DMFI Module Doc format) with extensive appendices.
Wand of Misc. - This highly useful, context-sensative multi-purpose tool allows DMs to call upon the amazing scripts built by Eriniel. Where the DMFI Toolkit left off, this wand picks up; the scope of this tool is such that it must be seen to be believed.
Immersion Tool / Troublemaker - These tools are a matched set, the former is used by PCs, the latter is used by DMs. What they do, together, is balm for the twisted soul of a DM; these bring the world to life.
Module Maps - DMs are provided maps of all locations.
DM's Forum Board - DMs get special forum access, and a board (public) dedicated to the DM's games.
DMFI Tools - All the standard DMFI tools, much enhanced and code-optimized.
What does a good DM do? (an overview)
A good DM is an impartial arbiter, who helps ensure that things go right. The DM is the ride operator of this amusement park we call Aerthen Realms, responsible for our patrons' enjoyment of the facility. That does not make it a total give-away, good DMs are NOT 'Monty Haul' types drizzling uber items all over the lairs of mere goblins; treasure has to be hard won to be worthwhile. Good DMs try to stay a few steps ahead of the party, enhancing the adventure by placing clues and lures in appropriate places to draw the party further along. Good DMs will run the occasional red herring adventure, but even those will be the stuff the PLAYERS talk about back at the inn for months. Good DMs are attentive to things PCs say and do, and key parts of any adventure to offer some minor goal to each PC in the party. Good DMs enhance PLAYER participation by salting adventures with challenges suitable to each PC type, so every PC gets a chance to shine. Good DMs know the campaign well enough that they can think a few steps ahead with confidence that their efforts will not conflict irreconcilably with module details. A good DM can reconcile most any disparate things; thinks on the move, allows for 'things the PC does not know' and uses all these along with campaign details to make the impossible seem quite possible. In short, the DMs job is adventure enhancement performed from a concealed vantage point and orchestrated by means of a broad and deep knowledge of the campaign and available tools.
As a DM you may be called upon to...
- Greet PLAYERS - new and returning generally enjoy a private OOC greeting from a DM when time permits, it lets them know that there is someone at the helm, and that the PLAYER is welcome here.
- Possess NPCs - cause them to 'act alive' talking with PCs, and interacting in other ways too, hostile or peacefully so.
- Spawn Creatures - creatures hostile or friendly should be spawned by the DM at need.
- Answer PLAYER Questions - PLAYERS often have questions, be sure you know the systems well as you will be called upon as a DM to answer many questions. If you do not know, tell them you will look it up and get back to them (and be sure to follow through).
- Create visual and sound effects - Create visual and sound effects, trigger in-game events, cue music, and in general 'be the man behind the curtain' (Wizard of Oz reference; 'take control of the world').
- Cast spells - as needed.
- Kill or Limbo - creatures as needed.
- Grant Experience Points - as appropriate.
- Grant treasure - as appropriate.
- DIMINISH PC WEALTH - at every opportunity, they are ALWAYS looting, so DMs must always make the most of opportunities to part the PC with their coin.
- Help PLAYERS - they can sometimes get themselves in difficulties that lack of knowledge can exacerbate. Be reasonable, explain things a PLAYER or PC might know, be patient, a little kindness here goes a LONG way toward making new people feel welcome.
- Send TELLs - to PCs to enhance the immersion; describe things seen, smelled, heard, etc..
- Determine and communicate the end of a DM'd Event - the DM can use cliffhangers to great advantage.
- Promote Drama - and with it PC RP; give them rich fodder and they will flourish.
- Promote PLAYER Fun - attention to detail and DM subtleties can go a long way toward influencing return visits.