Tips and Helps for the Adventure Master
Expanded Success Grid
Here is an expanded Success Grid that can be used when multiple people have to pool their strengths or skills to perform a task that a single character cannot. Moving a tree from across a path would be such a task. Click on the navigation bar to see the Expanded Success Grid.
Bringing a New Player into an Existing Game
This can be a hard situation, because the new player is an "odd man out". He may not know the rules yet, his character will generally be weaker than the others, and he will not be up to the Sword of the Spirit level the other players are. This really plays havoc with reciting TeamRunes.
First, you may want to meet the new player before the game session. Go over the general rules, roll up a character, show him which WordRunes he can use, and make sure that he understands that he has something to contribute to the group. Running through a practice combat encounter will help also. If the new player has been involved with other Role-Playing Games, he may not need a lot of hand holding at this point.
Though difficult, before dropping him into your campaign, it may prove beneficial to take the new player through the LightRaider Test either using a group of Non Player Character LightRaiders or some of your regular players using beginning level characters. The new player should make all the major decisions if regular players are involved. Running the new player through Rescue of the Sacred Scrolls also would be a big help in getting him up to speed, but it may not be practical because of all the time required. If you are adding more than one new player, then having a separate session is best. The new players may be less intimidated, and will have to rely on their own resources if they do not have the more experienced players around. It won't take long before they are ready (or want) to join your main group.
The difference in Sword of the Spirit levels can hurt a raid team since the use of most TeamRunes will not (technically) be allowed. You may want to allow their use if the majority of the team is able to recite them. If the new player memorizes higher DL TeamRunes than they are allowed to use, you may (I would encourage them) allow them to recite them with the rest of the team. Again, the whole point of the game is to get God's Word into the player. Rules technicalities should take a back seat.
It seems to be a good idea to start the play session with a WordRune practice time. (After prayer, that is.) Have the players pair up to work on individual WRs, preferably with someone they do not see all the time. You'll have to watch the ones that have problems with each other; there may be something to work out before play. It may cancel the play session entirely, but Christian unity is more important. Also, you may want to pair up a quiet, shy individual with one of the more out-going types instead of "taking care of them yourself". This will help build the group by "stretching" each person a little.
Come back together to practice the TeamRunes, since they are used that way anyway.
Special consideration needs to be given the individual who is trying, but does not memorize well. You can be a little lenient accepting their efforts, but don't accept what amounts to a paraphrase. Keep encouraging them in their efforts, even check with them through the week to see if they need any help.
You may want to allow a "second chance" at reciting a WordRune. Or, if only a word or two is out of place or wrong, you may allow it. You do not want to be legalistic about rules, the whole point is to encourage the memorization of God's Word with the hope it will come to mind when the player needs it in real life.
One way for your players to improve their characters is through Scroll Study. If a player asks for this option, you assign them a passage of scripture from the Sacred Scrolls that pertains to the Character Strength the player wishes to increase. The player then studies the passage until the next meeting time. When you meet again, the player reads the passage, then tells the group what he has learned from the passage. The player does not have to memorize the passage, just relay the majority of the scriptural truth. You can then award the player 5 to 10 MUs on the Character Strength they were working on, according to the quality of their effort.
A player may go through this procedure only three times for each Character Strength, since, in some ways, it is easier an easier way to grow a character than memorizing and reciting WordRunes. Allowing the players all of their 27 opportunities will require a lot of time, and may cause a log jam as all the players clamor for a turn. You may want to schedual one or two attempts per meeting. Or more, according to the time you have available. A player can increase a Character Strength by at least one full point this way.
A passage should have at least five verses, and possibly no more than ten. A suggested list of passages for each Character Strength will be made available soon. You may want to demonstrate the process to help those players who have not been exposed to church or Bible study. Use a passage on some other topic, such as one of the Character Abilities, Courage or Wisdom, for example.
To Roll or Not to Roll
To keep the players guessing, the AM can roll dice arbitrarily during play but not use the results. Always look at the dice or the players will eventually guess that you are just doing it to keep them in suspense. Check your charts or papers quickly to make it seem legit. This ruse works best when you are using an AM screen. I prefer a half-height one, the regular 8.5x11 ones are too tall, and set you apart from the group. I also use a laptop computer from time to time. A dice rolling program and adventure text on disk can cut down on table clutter.
Sometimes, a single die roll can heighten the tension and/or fun. If the players are goofing around, a die roll or two could help them to focus on the game. If they ask you what that roll was for, you can answer something like, "You'll find out."
Or, to make sure that a desired outcome occurs, the AM can roll dice, but not bother using the results. This can help a struggling Raid Team if the die is against them, or make things more difficult for a group of "Super Raiders".
Adding Denominational Distictives to Your Campaign
DragonRaid is meant to be a non-denominational product, hence, it tries to keep distinctive teachings out of the system. It is up to the individual Adventure Master to add teaching situations or details that show his players what their denomination teaches about certain topics.
If a specific topic is not referenced in the DragonRaid system, consider it a topic that can be taught as your denomination deems it should be.
Some examples include: apostolic succession, creation, methods of baptism, frequency and details of communion, the nature of charismatic gifts...
Gifts of the Spirit in DragonRaid (Optional Rule)
An Adventure Master can select Spiritual Gifts for his players in several ways. One way is to roll percentile dice for each character and consult the chart below. Or, the players can roll for themselves. Another way is to assign a Gift to each according to the Gift the player actually has. Or, select Gifts that the Adventure Master wants to teach about. The players could select a Gift that they want or want to learn more about. When assigning Gifts to the players, the Adventure Master may want each to have a different Gift so that there is no duplication.
To use the Gifts of the Spirit in DragonRaid, the Adventure Master may have to add situations or opportunities where the players could or have to use them if the opportunities are not already written into the adventure. The Adventure Master may want to impose Maturity Unit penalties if the character does not use his Gift in an appropriate situation. On the other hand, you may not want to give a Maturity Unit reward when the character does use a Gift properly, because he should be using their Gifts whenever possible.
Using a Gift of the Spirit will reduce the Difficulty Level of a task by 2 or 3 levels. The Adventure Master may want to come up with some way of teaching the group about the Gift being used, such as having the player explain the Gift and how it helps the OverLord's Kingdom, or by leading a short discussion on it. The Adventure Master may want to have the character pray each time before using a Gift.
All Gifts of the Spirit are given to characters at the moment of conversion, though it may take a long time before the character understands or uses his Gift. The Unseen Spirit powers each Gift; it is not just a human talent or knack for doing things.
11-15 Discernment of Spirits
51-55 Helps (Service)
61-65 Interpreting Tongues
99 Roll twice ignoring 99-100
100 Roll three times ignoring 99-100
Administration - leadership ability, organization, strategic planning, effective use of resources
Apostleship - church planting and development
Discernment of Spirits - ability to distinguish between good and evil in teachings, spirits
Encouragement - ability to uplift or strengthen others in their faith with sincere affirmations
Evangelism - ability and desire to effectively relay the Word of the Maker to unbelievers, building relationships with unbelievers
Faith - ability to trust the Maker to supply needs and not to work to bring them about
Giving - ability to give money and material resources to the work of the OverLord with generosity and cheerfulness
Healing - the laying-on of hands which results in healing of disease and physical damage
Helps (Service) - ability to serve others or work in the background to further the ministry
Hospitality - enablement to care for people's needs by providing food, fellowship or shelter
Interpreting Tongues - the ability to understand Tongues
Knowledge - 1) understanding sound doctrine, 2) insight into situation or person
Mercy - enablement to care for suffering people with compassion
Miracles - ability to be used by the Unseen Spirit in supernatural ways without trusting in self or falling into pride
Pastoring (Shepherding) - ability to oversee and care for the spiritual condition of others
Preaching/Prophecy - 1) ability to publically proclaim the Word of the Maker with clarity power, and timeliness, 2) warning of future events
Tongues - 1) ability to speak in an unlearned physical language, 2) use of a supernatural prayer language
Teaching - ability to impart spiritual truth from scriptures to other people in an organized and understandable, applicable way
Wisdom - ability to use scriptural knowledge effectively in many situations
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