How do I get players to care about the Lost Mines of Phandelver adventure?

I’m going to be running LMoP with a group mostly new to D&D. How can I get them to care about the hook enough to be interested in the story? I tried it previously with another group, but they just didn’t feel like they had a reason to care about the story. This time, I’m going to do a proper session zero, but I need advice on ways to get them to be interested in the hook.

Advice for first time DM/player with first time hero players trying the Lost Mine of Phandelver with an under-sized party

After listening to and enjoying some “actual play” podcasts I’m about to try DnD with my wife and children. None of us have played before, so after some research I’ve decided to go with the official DnD 5e starter set.

Due to a slight misunderstanding I thought that the set was fine for four players including the DM, it seems that actually it’s meant for a party of four or five plus the DM.

Given that the party will only be three strong, none of them have played before, and two of them are children I would expect them to not be hugely effective to begin with.

As DM I’m planning to help as much as I can with the rules and hints about what they can do (initially they won’t have read all the rules). But I’m concerned that as a small party they might struggle.

The kids have decided that they like the wizard and rogue and my wife is happy to play any of the remaining characters. From my research I’ve suggested the cleric for her so that they have someone with high AC and good healing.

As I haven’t played before either I’m looking for suggestions on what else I can do to get things off to a good start. Obviously I can do things like reduce the number of enemies in fights, but I assume that there are a lot of other tricks that I’m not aware of to help in this kind of situation.

On what date do the events of the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure happen?

I bought the D&D 5e Starter Set a few weeks ago, and I’m beginning to think about how to drive the scenario as I’ve already read it and I’m at the stage to get familiar with the rules.

Yesterday I created my first character sheet with one of my future players (we’re not going to use pre-generated sheets) and we talked about his character’s lore and background – he will be playing a nobleman, a prince).

I thought that there could be a king in Neverwinter (the closest bigger city to the location of the adventure) , so we could link his background to the scenario. Again, his character would be the son of a king, who, after finishing his Paladin training, wants to go an on an adventure to gain experience and prove his value and that he is adequately trained to potentially govern one day.

However, when I searched for Neverwinter lore, I found out that while there were indeed kings, they didn’t exist towards the end of the timeline.

Given that, I tried to find out at which date the events of LMOP take place, but I didn’t manage to find it anywhere in the books.

So, based on already existing modules or deductions based on facts in existing modules, when do the events of LMOP take place?

If the date is deducted instead of directly stated somewhere, you have to support your answer with official sources, not just a more or less educated guess. The better the answer is supported by sources, the better.

Where are the NPC mages’ spellbooks in the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure?

In Lost Mine of Phandelver, the party comes across (and presumably defeats) multiple mages. These are not specifically described as Wizards, but their spellcasting is Intelligence-based, and they know spells from the Wizard spell list, so it sounds to me like they are Wizards. (If it quacks like a duck…)

Wizards, in D&D5e, use spellbooks. (See the “Spellbook” sub-section in the description of the Wizard class, p. 114 in the PHB.)

However, the Lost Mine of Phandelver material nowhere mentions the mages’ spellbooks.

Should my party be able to loot spellbooks? Or are these BBEGs actually non-spellbook-carrying casters? Or am I overlooking something?

How can I tweak the Lost Mine of Phandelver for only 2 player characters?

I’m going to DM Lost Mine of Phandelver tomorrow for 2 friends who’ve never played the game before. I’ve never DM’d before either.

Would starting them off at level 2 be enough to compensate for the imbalance? Should I still scale the enemies down, and keep them at level 1, or maybe do both? Should I give them many more healing potions than what is suggested in the treasure sections?

I just don’t know. What’s the most effective way to scale this adventure down?

Transitioning from Lost Mine of Phandelver to Out of the Abyss with level 5 characters

My party of 5 just finished LMoP and we’ve bought OotA.

The beginning of the book is important to the whole story, as is the feeling of desperation as they run low on resources, chased by a powerful enemy they can’t hope to match at this stage.

I’ve spoken to the players, and they’d like to continue playing their characters they’ve grown attached to, so I’ve told them I’ll need to temporarily depower them, if they want to get the most out of the book. This’ll mean taking some of the magic items they have (they found most of the stuff from LMoP, plus a few extras I threw in) and restricting access to spells/extra attacks.

I’m going to have them jumped by the drow in the middle of the night in a very one sided ambush, just to really push home the threat of the drow, but make it clear they’re trying to capture, so no one gets killed.

My question is, how much should I take off the players, and how should I do it?

Is this a Lost Mine of Phandelver Plot Hole?

I’m DM’ing for the first time with a group playing for the first time (Table of Noob’s :p). In the 1st chapter of Lost Mine of Phandelver, the characters come across dead horses, are attacked by goblins, and discover a path into the woods. The campaign book says they “can easily steer the wagon away from the road and tie off the oxen while the group pursues the goblins“. This, to me, implied that the wagon couldn’t go down the path.

Fast forward a bit, at the end of the path is a cavern/goblin hideout, PC’s enter, kill goblins and bugbear leader (Klarg), yada yada yada. In Klarg’s lair, there are a bunch of supply crates, and the description says “the captured stores are bulky, and the characters will need a wagon to transport them“. They have a wagon, but apparently no way to get it to the cave.

The trail is 5 miles long, so carrying the crates back to the wagon is out. My solution was to retroactively say that when they entered the clearing where the cave is, they could see another, wider path leaving the clearing that has clearly been used for moving vehicles/supplies. This was met with dissent, as it was deemed “railroading” the story and not letting them discover a way themselves. So finally, 3 questions off this:

  1. Is this actually a plot hole, or have I missed something?

  2. Is the discovery/creation of the 2nd path both an appropriate solution, and one that a DM should make?

    1. What other alternatives could there be for this situation?

I greatly appreciate any insight/help with this…

How are PCs supposed to know this detail relevant to Area 4 of the Redbrand Hideout in the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure?

Spoilers! Careful, there are spoilers ahead. If you are playing the adventure Lost Mine of Phandelver or ever plan to in the future, please stop reading now.

Hello everyone,

This is a question related to my previous question.

I’m DM’ing the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure. We’ve just arrived at the Hideout

And there is another point that is not explained in the book.

In Area 4

Are Gundren Rockseeker and his brothers Mountain Dwarves or Hill Dwarves in the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure?

The Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure introduces Gundren Rockseeker simply as a “dwarf” and doesn’t seem to mention what kind of dwarf he is. I’ve also tried to look for information about his brothers and it describes each those as simply being a “dwarf” as well.

So, in the Lost Mine of Phandelver text, are they ever referred to as Mountain Dwarves or Hill Dwarves?

It’s just occurred to me that the name “Rockseeker” might be an established dwarf surname in Forgotten Realms lore, which I’m not all that familiar with, so if someone can provide an official reference to any information on the Rockseekers being Mountain Dwarves or Hill Dwarves, even if it’s from other editions of D&D, then that would also be an acceptable answer, but I’d still prefer it if the answer came from the Lost Mine of Phandelver.

The reason is because I’m setting this in my home universe rather than the Forgotten Realms. The different dwarves have different accents. Mountain Dwarves have the stereotypical Scottish accent, but Hill Dwarves in my universe have northern accents (that is to say, North of England, specifically Geordie or Yorkshire accents), so this will affect how I play Gundren (since I like to try and do the voices for my characters if I can).

If it turns out that the adventure simply never states what kind of dwarves they are, then I’ll simply pick one, but I’d prefer if I play them as the correct kind of dwarves if it does say which kind they are…