I made a list of 3 GM advice subreddits called RefAdvice.
Have those encounters ready if they should happen. If not, have other plans.
Don’t hold too tightly to one idea. That can often lead to DM’s being frustrated when their friends are creative, rather than celebrating and being excited by their friends’ creativity/outside the box thinking.
Good luck and have fun!
Incorporate lore and history into it:
“Did you all meet while serving in the Mage Wars, or maybe helping the duke put down the rebellion or were you all trapped in Port Constance during the Devil Siege?”
The Goblin King calls in his Unicorn Hunters, a posse of bad-ass rangers known for being patient and ruthless. They’ll watch their prey, figure out how to draw them out into a bad spot and hit them, see where and how they run when they get hurt. Then they’d disengage, formulate a plan and try again later.
Definitely inspired by D&D parties and the movie, Legend.
It is different for every world and every game.
In a recent game I made the setting because a friend told me that he had never encountered a dragon in gaming. I made a setting that made it easy to be driven to kill a dragon. I knew it’d have a military fantasy vibe, so I knew maps would be important.
Start with what interests you. Don’t feel like hooks and NPC’s and dungeon crawls have to be separate from this thing and that other thing. Build as you build. Build what you need.
If you want to try out a bunch of dungeon ideas – make a world that fits those ideas.
If you want to get started TONIGHT, make the village based on what the players’ characters are and make that one dungeon or rampaging manticore or whatever that gets them into the adventure. If that game is great, build the world out from there but don’t feel like you have to build a working economy and the origins of the universe right there and then.
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