When throwing a Dungeons & Dragons party the first thing to do is get creative. DnD is about adventure, imagination, magic missiles, & a overall good time.
Decorating your home for a Dungeons and Dragons feel can be entertaining. Your options really depend on two things. One, how much are you willing to craft together and/or two, how much are you willing to spend. If the answer to either of these options are “As much as I can!” then you go for it! Google ideas buy or paint cardboard cutouts of monsters,demihumans, and the like and place them all over your house.
You can find tons of these beasts and other beings on the Wizards of the Coast site. However, if you’re on a budget, as most of us are, then there is still hope. Buy a small treasure chest and fill it with fake furs, jewels, gold, etc. I know I found plastic knights armor for kids in the dollar store and hung some of them up along the wall. While there, look for colored glass beads to be your jewels and gold chocolate coins to toss in your chest. I do want to take a moment to point out that if you have small children please use common sense in the fact that if its small enough to fit in their mouth, it will look tasty to them so please watch them around the glass beads or just leave those out entirely.
Back to decorations! I have a lot of DnD books as well as swords, so I put them out on the table with the loot and placed a couple of daggers in with the chest as well. Again I caution you to roll high for intelligence when it comes to objects that could be dangerous so use your best judgment on the crowd you will have. If you do not own a sword that is fine. Back to the dollar store with you to purchase foam weaponry and shields! While there pick up some “goblets” to decorate.These can be plastic wine cups that you or your guests can glue jewels to and sharpie with your names or whatever else you feel like adding to them. I myself have tankards and goblets so I put them around the food to decorate it up some. Lastly you can buy dragon, castle, or knight piñata’s or balloons to hang around here and there to keep the background from being dull.
Speaking of background, this leads me into my next topic: background noise. This is generally helpful for most people to have going on at parties. Silence at a shindig can put people in awkward situations, so to avoid this I like to have music or a movie going, something that can entertain my guests and keep the room from falling quiet. For DnD, you have the option to play the old Dungeons & Dragons animated series from back in the 80’s. If you fancy your parties a more live action group, there is the Dungeons & Dragons movie from 2000. Of course there are other entertainment options that are DnD related. “The Dungeons and the Dragons” by FloatingHands Studios as well as Never Split the Party by Emerald Rose are just a couple of YouTube videos and songs that go with the theme. There is also Order of the Stick by Giant In The Playground which is (IMHO) a hilarious webcomic that is about a DnD campaign and their quests!
Ah yes, quests and campaigns. Having something for your guests to do is a must. Being as the party is Dungeons & Dragons themed you can play a “quick” campaign. I say this openly. I once played with a few companions and we spent hours just trying to leave a bar…please don’t ask, just know it was one of the most painful moments of my DnD life. One story line that we came up with to help for a fast play through with people who are new to the game runs along the line of this: The Dungeon Master[DM] has premade character sheets and the guests blindly choose one to play as or rolls for the chance to choose first. Once characters have been chosen and some rules and meanings explained we start our story (Please visit Wizards of the Coast for more detail on rules & regulations). The storyline for our party starts with our characters being captured by an evil overlord. We are then brought to a town where we are forced to fight alongside one another against monsters in a coliseum in a gladiator styled death match! You are welcome to come with your own story for your party.
If you feel as though there are too many people at your shindig that are new to the game or the party is more for children then here are a couple of other ideas that would still be in the DnD realm. Bust the Beholder and Pin your Sword in the Dragon. Both of these games can incorporate gaining experience as well as the luck of the roll. I made my Beholder from papier-mâché. This piñata can be filled with gold chocolate coins, play necklaces, rings, and any other goodies that you see fit. You can have your guest roll a D20 to see how many times they are spun around before taking a swing at the Beholder with their “weapon” [aka a stick, bat, etc]. A critical fail (rolling a 1) will cause the player to be spun around the most while a critical hit (rolling a 20) allows the player to take a spin free swing at the aberration. This game can also be played in balloon pop fashion by painting an eye on several balloons that are attached via streamers to the Beholders large eye. The players again roll a dice to see how many times they are spun around before being allowed tothrow a magic missile (dart) at the candy filled balloons.
Pin the sword in the Dragon is similar to pin the tail on the donkey. The difference is that you are not giving the dragon a tail as much as you are pinning him with your sword. The way to make this game is to first choose from the array of dragons from DnD and sketch or print it out on poster board with damage amounts wrote in for specific areas. You can print off swords as well to stick into different colored push pins so players will know whose sword is whose. Have your guests roll the dice, put on a bandana, take their allotted spins, and then try to pin the area of the dragon with the most hit points. The team or person who caused the dragon the most damage wins. Both Bust the Beholder and Pin the sword in the Dragon are good ways to introduce new players to iconic monsters from the game.
During and after game play, guests will most likely start getting hungry or even thirsty. When I thinkof DnD I think of a loaf of bread, some cheeses, and a “chunk” of meat. I try to keep finger foods for my guests though and so I replace the chunk of meat with beef jerky and Slim Jims. To sweeten things up you can buy (or make your own) D20 sugar cookies. GeekyCookies makes these savory critical hit cookies for $20 a dozen or $30 for two dozen but I am sure there are other bakers out there who may be able to assist in your cookie campaign! Another treat to have for your guests is chocolate dice. These omnomy goodies can also be made or bought. ThinkGeek and Dice Candies are just a couple of online stores to name that sell them.
To finish up snacks, I bring you Gelatinous Cubes! [Skeletal remains included] The Gelatinous Cube is another monster that
players occasionally encounter in their quests especially if they are in dungeon corridors. Regardless, these little guys will not be ab
sorbing you or your guests (thankfully). I made mine out of lime green Jell-o following the recipe that is on the box and poured into a square glassbaking pan. After letting it refrigerate for about 1.5-2hours I literally threw in the candy bones. I say throw because once the Jell-o starts to settle, throwing them in is the easiest way to keep from messing up the top. I then put the gelatin back in the fridge to set over night. Once the mix was solid or as solid as Jell-o should be, I cut it into cubes to serve for my guests.
Thirst quenchers at your party can consist of a variety of juices and soda. You won’t need your clerics help for these drinks. Depending on the amount of guests you have, as well as how much you would be willing to pay for potion bottles, will determine which direction you go with drinks. I was able to find small round plastic bottles at my local craft store for .77¢ each. I took them home, washed them out, and filed them up with different juices and sodas with a funnel. If you prefer buying a few bottles to use as decorations for the food zone of your party instead, that works too. You can still have potion drinks by printing off labels with types of potions on them and sticking the on your bottles. The DnD Wiki can help you to find the perfect potion for your caster level. The typical wine from the game can be juice & ginger ale can be the ale for all none alcoholic beverages.
For those of legal and responsible drinking age you can actually bring wine and ale to enjoy if you prefer. Potions for those able to legally consume alcohol can be your favorite types of mixed drink. Just to name a few examples of shots that seem to go with the potion’s name were: Cure light wounds- 2oz Apple Schnapps & a splash of Ginger Ale; Bull’s Strength- Redbull and Jägermeister; & Flame arrow- a shot of your favorite cinnamon liquor. Stepping back to earlier in the blog, the Gelatinous Cube, similar to the ones made above but with one HUGE difference…the more you eat the more points you loose from your Intelligence and Wisdom skills. The Gelatinous Cube shots were made following the directions on the side of the large pack Jell-o box as I did above then adding 1 cup of cold alcohol (I used 40 Proof rum) before putting in the fridge and waiting roughly an 1.5-2hrs to add the candy bones. Once it has all settled cut into cubes and enjoy.
When the time has come to end your quest and send your guests on their way don’t let them leave empty handed.
Some idea party favors from your DnD adventure can include a D20, because really, who doesn’t want or need one? If you are feeling generous why not include a dice bag with their new decision maker with the option of having a complete dice set. OR if you are really feeling the need to be kind set them up with all of that and their very own dice tower. You or any of your high craft skilled party goers can make your own dice bag and tower to take home. There are a few tutorials on making both of these items at Instructables. You can generally purchase kits for making the dice tower at local comic book stores as well as on line.
So how did I do? *rolls d20* Yeah, I think I’ll leave that question alone. Anyways, thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions or other ideas that you think would work well for a Dungeons & Dragons party. I’d love to hear from you.
Wizards of the Coast: http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Default.aspx
DnD Wiki: http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Potions