Newbie Night Event Guide for GMs

Thank you for being a GM at a TorontoDnD Event! This document will go over what you can expect, and what the community expects of you at our events.


Event Overview

Our newbie nights are designed to be a welcoming and friendly experience where new players can learn the ropes in a highly supportive environment. You should expect that your players will be brand new to the game and will need a lot of help throughout the game. The event has a more rigid structure than most of our events.

  1. Each table will have six player folders on it, one for each of these classes:
    • Barbarian
    • Cleric
    • Fighter
    • Ranger
    • Rogue
    • Wizard
    Each of these folders has a character sheet, cheat sheets, copies of our standard documents and a blank character sheet. The Cleric and Wizard characters also have spell cards with them. The players are encouraged to keep the folder and any contents that are not laminated. To keep things simple we do not allow players to bring their own characters to Newbie Nights. If somebpdy does and you would prefer to accommodate them that is fine, but officially we don't.
  2. Shortly after the scheduled start time the host of the event will do a short speech rapidly going over various topics from our group policies to some of the core game mechanics.
  3. When this speech is complete the host will have the players temporarily move to different tables based on their class. So all the fighters and barbarians might got to Tim's table, the Clerics to Bethany's, the Wizards to Raj's and the Rangers and Rogues to Terrence's. Each DM is responsible for giving an overview of the basic class features assigned to them. This should be ten minutes max, you don't have to have them know everything, just the basics.
  4. After about ten minutes the host will call everybody back to their original tables and you can start your adventure.

The Persistent World

Our standard events uses the persistent world system which allows for character continuity between our events. We require that you review the PW Game Master guide and strongly recommend you also review the PW Player Guide in advance of running your next session.


General Guidelines

The overall goal of these events is to allow people to sit down at a table with a bunch of random folks and play a fun adventure. All of the below guidelines are in service of this goal.

  1. Be Newbie Friendly: If you are running a game that allows for L1 characters you may have people that are new to the game at your table. As a group we strive to be welcoming to new players. D&D can be an intimidating game to jump into, especially when you are surrounded by people you don’t know. Give new players assistance as required with the rules and basic mechanics of the game. Also feel free to ask experienced players at your table to help out with new players. Always be encouraging and try and foster a welcoming attitude amongst all your players.
  2. Respect TODND Content Standards: Make sure that you are abiding by our content standards. Anything labelled as "Not Allowed" is exactly that. Even if all your players say they want some of this content, it is simply not something we offer at our events under any circumstances and it is not permissible to include it. Content that requires a warning must be communicated in advance via tags on the event. The intent of this requirement is to make sure that everybody feels comfortable at our tables, even if they are too nervous to admit some content makes them uncomfortable.
  3. Be Flexible: Sometimes you are going to experience some curveballs before or during a game. For example:
    • You may be asked to add or move players after you have started if some players are late.
    • Whatever you prep, be ready to make adjustments on the fly in order to finish on time. You may find that your party are all experienced vets and are cruising through your adventure quickly, or you may find your party following every red herring and searching literally everything along the way. You may need to add or remove content in order to make a proper night of it.
  4. End On Time: We do not have a minimum amount of time that your adventure has to run (although most run three to four hours) but we usually have a fairly hard stop in terms of when your adventure should finish. This is to respect the venue we are playing at and also the schedules of the participants. The host of your event should give you a one hour heads up, but we recommend that you set yourself a timer so you have some room to wind things down. If an event ends at 10:30 your game should be done and pepole should be actively packing up/paying tabs etc.

Safety Tools

Although there are plenty of safety tools out there, we use the X-card at all of our events. You should find one on your table when you arrive at the event, if you do not see one ask the host or look in the event kit. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with this tool before running any games for TODnD.


GM Supplies

We will have the following items onsite at every event we run:

  • DM Screens
  • Battlemats
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Creature and Terrain Clings (for use with a battlemat)
  • Pencils
  • Extra Dice
  • A Copy of the PHB
  • L1 and L5 pregens for players to use

You are of course free to bring your own materials, and if you feel like there is something additional that we should be adding to our kits please let us know.


The Night Of: Step By Step

Before You Start Playing

  1. When you arrive at the venue look for the host. If you don’t know who that is and can’t identify them just ask somebody working at the venue. When you talk to the host confirm the level range of the session you are running, the number of players you are expecting and what table you will be sitting at. Ask the host which class overviews you will be doing and make sure you are familiar with the features of that class at level one. Gather any supplies you need from the kit and start your setup.
  2. Please make sure that you are wearing a name tag. If you are comfortable including your pronouns on your name tag we encourage you to do so.
  3. When the event begins the host will do a short overview of the basic mechanics of the game along with a few other items. After this speech is complete the players who have selected the class you were assigned will make their way to your table. You will have about 10 minutes to go over the basic class features and answer any questions that the group has. When you are finished let the host know that your players are ready.
  4. When you have all your players back at your table, if the host did not cover it show your players the X-card and explain it's purpose and usage.
  5. Ask your players if any of them have a hard time limit. Assuming it’s a reasonable time to finish the adventure aim to have that be the end of the night. If they have to leave very early, you can write them out mid-adventure however you like.

During the Game

  1. Keeping everything above in mind, run the kind of game you want and have fun! If you’re not enjoying yourself it is unlikely your players are either.
  2. If you are having any issues that you need addressed talk to the host. Alternatively you can let admin know after the event if that is more appropriate.

When the Game Ends

  1. If anybody in your party gained temp hp/hit die, magic items etc remind them that they are gone now.
  2. Before your players leave:
    • Remind them to complete the event survey. They will receive an email reminder to do so as well.
    • Remind them to pay their tab if they had one.
  3. Return any items you borrowed from the kits. If you used a battlemat please erase/clean it before putting it back.
  4. Remember to complete your post-event survey. Signing off on this form will grant you a session credit to apply to any character you have, regardless of level range.
  5. If you have any concerns that require immediate attention please talk to the host.

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