Derbyshire made home skipper Chris Read pay for putting them into bat as they ended the opening day of their clash with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on 245-2.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Wayne Madsen both hit unbeaten half-centuries, sharing in an unbroken third-wicket stand worth 145 before rain wiped out much of the final session.
Chesney Hughes gave the visitors an excellent start with a stylish 59 that included nine boundaries, though he was given a life by Samit Patel when on 48.
The same fielder also put down Billy Godleman from the very next ball, both misses in the slips coming off the bowling of the luckless Harry Gurney.
The left-arm seamer finally got the breakthrough when Hughes mistimed a pull shot to Andre Adams, who made no mistake with the simple opportunity.
Adams - back in action for Nottinghamshire after missing their last four LV= County Championship matches through injury - then struck himself after lunch, getting Godleman caught behind by Read for 28.
However, that proved to be the home team's last success as Chanderpaul dominated the rest of the afternoon's play, scoring 78 from just 88 deliveries.
Derbyshire skipper Madsen played his part and was unbeaten on 67 when persistent drizzle brought a premature close after they had ventured out for just one over after tea.