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How do I make level 1 combat fun? Tabletop tips from an anxious GM

I love combat in D&D and most TTRPGs, especially when there’s weight and consequences behind it, but what kind of weight can you put behind combat at level 1? A level 1 group is the toughest party to plan for because there’s not many interesting enemies to play with, and the ones that are can kill your party pretty quickly. But you can’t think about combat the same way at level 1 as you’d do at a higher level. I’ll try to be as specific as possible to break down a multistep process for you to get started. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression — a combo that is less than ideal for a journalist or a game master juggling seven different players in a six-hour Dungeons & Dragons game — it can be tough to assert yourself as a GM let alone an engaging one.

In this week’s column of Tabletop tips from an anxious GM (all of which can be found on our DND tips hub), I’ll be answering a question posed by one of my players, asking me “how do I make level 1 combat fun?”

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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