The Game Master runs the game, including having final say over how actions are resolved. Also referred to as Dungeon Master (DM), Referee, Storyteller, Master of Ceremonies (MC) or other titles, depending on the game.

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15
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6answers
2k views

Can PCs hide motivations from the DM?

So, one of my PCs is a Lawful Neutral Knight, coming from a small landless noble family. From the beginning of the campaign he told me that he wanted a lord to serve under, and to enhance the ...
-1
votes
0answers
139 views

How do different classes affect the damage output and thus balance of the adventuring day? [on hold]

In Dnd 4e, it was common to look at builds to see how much damage they do per round of combat. For simplicity sake, encounters and daily powers were often ignored, with a general target of "X rounds ...
11
votes
3answers
254 views

How do GM Moves in Dungeon World work in practice?

So I was reading about the GM Moves in Dungeon world and I started to have a string of questions running through my mind... It went something like this (all within about 20 minutes) Am I going to get ...
4
votes
0answers
94 views

Are there any big, pre-made city campaign maps? [closed]

I'm currently looking to create my first pbp campaign, which will be steampunk horror-themed survival as they fight to escape a labyrinthine underground city, but I am stuck on a way to map the place ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

How to make the GMs job easier? [closed]

As a player how can I make things easier for the GM? I ask because I've never actually played before. e.g. How much research should I do on the specific game we'll be playing, is there a point where ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Essential Reading for New GM/DM [duplicate]

I'm preparing to take the plunge into GM'ing. What would you be consider essential reading for a new gm? Books, websites, etc.? I really want to focus in on being a good story teller.
3
votes
5answers
121 views

Alternating GM/Campaigns within the same group?

This question gave me some ideas regarding my current gaming group. I was introduced to D&D roughly a year ago before graduation, so shortly after getting into it everyone involved went separate ...
6
votes
3answers
176 views

IRC Client especially geared to RPGs?

Anyone know of an IRC client especially geared toward RPGs? I know, Roll20 is essentially the same thing, but certain other questions on here made me think that having a desktop app that was ...
29
votes
6answers
3k views

How do you deal with metagaming based on die results?

I ran into this problem in a session I had earlier today. My characters were going through a dungeon and after a fairly lengthy fight with a person who lived there, they decided they would question ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

GM burn-out concerning worlds and systems

I've been primarily and almost exclusively a GM for long, long years. I still enjoy GMing, and I'd like to keep doing it. However, I've lost interest in practically all of the games and worlds we used ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

How can I implement multiclassing?

My party is composed of 4 players, a Rogue Trader, an Arch Militant, an Astropath and an Explorator. While to me this number is perfect, as it's not too much and not too few, I can see there are some ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Is there a topographical map of Ilmurea that provides height indicators?

I'm DM'ing book 5 of the Serpent's Skull campaign. Although I have the Serpent's Skull Poster Map Folio, its Ilmurea map doesn't help with determining the height of key buildings and the underground ...
6
votes
4answers
419 views

How to teach 5 people how to be a DM

My school started this RPing club, but in my school right now only 2 people know how to DM and do it effectively, including me. As the teacher running the club knows nothing about Pathfinder, it seems ...
2
votes
2answers
322 views

How should I give out treasure in Dungeons and Dragons 4e Essentials

I am new to DMing dungeons and dragons and have bought the following products from the essentials line: Red Box Starter Set Heroes of Fallen Lands Heroes of Forgotten Kingdoms I have decided to ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Too many magic rings and trinkets

I am a DM, and I have two player's who love +1 Ac Rings, or any kind of ring or trinket to help with AC. Every bit of gold or other item of any value they use it to trade for it. I try not to be mean ...
4
votes
0answers
108 views

Getting ready to start DMing a game; what level/adventures should I start at? [closed]

One of the players is moderately experienced at 4e, but the other players are all new to it, though they've got the want. What adventures are out there that suit my needs, and what level should I ...
3
votes
3answers
205 views

Battle on Lightning Rail, Movement Rules

The setup: the PCs work their way through a moving lightning rail, fighting off pirates that are attempting to rob the passengers. They get to the cargo hold, fend off their leader, and chase him up ...
6
votes
4answers
257 views

Balancing encounters for faster feat progression

I'm DMing a group right now in Eberron (so I already have to take Action Points into account for encounter design), and my players, who are fairly new, are super intrigued by all of the interesting ...
1
vote
3answers
698 views

Good System for a Beginner DM [duplicate]

I've always had a thirst for building a rich, engaging world with a group of friends playing adventurers who explore said world, and to that end I have always wanted to be a Dungeon Master. But, I ...
1
vote
0answers
140 views

What makes an adventure interesting? [closed]

I'm new to DMing, and I want a really challenging and fun adventure for my friends. My question is: what, in your opinion, makes an adventure actually interesting and fun? Is it challenge? I know ...
10
votes
7answers
483 views

Best way to get players to think about their backgrounds within the game?

I'm a new DM playing with a group of 5 new players. (We're playing D&D 4e but more general answers are acceptable.) So far we have done 3 sessions, where we've mainly focussed on learning the ...
6
votes
2answers
764 views

Are there Pathfinder rules that restrict a new PCs magic item purchases?

Let's say a player rolls a new character that's Level N (where N is greater than 1). My understanding is that they should have wealth equal to the amount in the Character Wealth by Level table. So, ...
9
votes
2answers
328 views

Managing plots with multiple simultaneous GMs

I'm working with some fellow GMs to prepare a campaign in which we each host separate groups of players, but in the same shared world. This means that the actions of my players might actually ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What information a DM should have at hand when in an encounter?

I am currently playing D&D 4th edition and will be DMing soon. The party consists of 7 characters (mine included, even though I am a DM). I will be running a quest that I created myself and ...
6
votes
2answers
217 views

How to create an only skill challange quest?

First time playing D&D, first time DMing and first time creating a quest. The plot is simple: the players arrive at a town, they hear about a treasure and off they go to collect their riches... ...
5
votes
2answers
253 views

Does D&D 3.5 DM material contain information applicable for Pathfinder GMs?

I understand that in terms of the core rules to run games D&D 3.5 has: Dungeon Master's Guide + Player's Handbook + Bestiary(s) Pathfinder has: Core Rulebook + Bestiary(s). Pathfinder has a ...
27
votes
5answers
1k views

GM Help - Bump on a log player

I GM a World of Darkness group every other weekend, and I've come across what I like to call a "Bump-on-a-log" player. This player has been with my game since I started it up, and we're now ...
5
votes
3answers
385 views

What is a good way to handle a merchant / snake oil salesman PC?

I recently started running a 4e game where a character is playing an unaligned merchant bard who is also a bit of a snake oil salesman. What is a good way to play up the merchant / snake oil salesman ...
5
votes
1answer
226 views

Is It Okay To Use “Commune” To Ask About Alignment?

In the campaign I am running, next session my players have decided to use the 'Commune' spell to ask a god various questions. Among these are four questions that ask: "Is this character good?" "Is ...
3
votes
1answer
303 views

How to plan to avoid combat deaths for NPCs that aren't obvious railroads? [closed]

I am playing a Pathfinder campaign based on the Beginner Box materials. The party were relatively diplomatic in the first adventure and didn't fight and kill the goblin boss King Fatmouth in Black ...
1
vote
1answer
380 views

Addings things to a story and how to deal with players who have issues with it [closed]

I am currently running a long, in-depth, story-focused campaign that has been going on for months and seems to be well-liked among my group. As you might imagine, creating a world that we play in for ...
3
votes
0answers
116 views

What to do with a player who undermines the DM? [duplicate]

This is not actually about me, but for a friend and the group we play with together. My friend, who GM/DMs that particular campaign, is suffering a lot at the moment because of one particular player. ...
21
votes
7answers
1k views

How can I screen new players to make sure they are a good fit for my game?

I'm looking to start a new Savage Worlds campaign and I need a full set of players for it. I've played in games before and ran a couple of one-shots, but I've never GMed a full campaign. There's ...
34
votes
9answers
2k views

How To Divide Up Loot?

I've been GMing a very successful (Pathfinder) campaign for quite a few months now, but we've developed a bit of a problem I'm not sure how to resolve: loot distribution. None of my players are ...
15
votes
9answers
667 views

Does GMing diminish or detract from being a player in games?

I started playing RPGs last year with the Pathfinder Beginner Box. I have been GMing and writing a campaign, but have also encouraged members of the party that are interested to run a one-off Beginner ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What to buy to start out 4e D&D (DM and PC) (Complete Noob, no previous experience) [duplicate]

So we're a completely new group of people, none of us have experience, and I've been assigned DM, which I think is a good idea. But we don't know where to start, or what to buy to get started on our ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

Treasure tables with mixed groups

In reference to this Treasure tables in 3.5, how does the system expect a GM to handle groups with mixed treasure types?
36
votes
10answers
2k views

How can I invoke actual fear in my players?

I'm a DM that focuses heavily on story, description and setting. My goal is to send players home wanting -- no, longing -- to actually be part of the mythos I've created. The ultimate goal for me as ...
1
vote
2answers
239 views

Dungeons and Dragons 1 hour game advice [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it practical to run a weekly lunch-hour game of D&D with my coworkers? Other than don't use the system what advice do you guys have for playing Dungeons and ...
5
votes
2answers
197 views

Where can I find online playtesters to test encounters before presenting them to my group?

I'm setting up the end of my campaign and I have 4 "mini-boss" fights (& Final BOSS fight) that I'm trying to make extremely tough but also winnable. I don't want to just slaughter my PCs after ...
3
votes
2answers
570 views

Average experience per encounter for a two person party?

I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons for a while now as a player. I've recently started up a new game that I am DMing. I am going to run the Kobold Hall adventure for starters. The problem I have ...
4
votes
1answer
369 views

How to upgrade Pathfinder Beginner Box games and characters to Pathfinder Core Rules?

Similar to this question on Red box to 4e core rules upgrade, what problems are there overcome with or good ways to achieve moving games and characters from the Beginner Box rules to Pathfinder Core ...
16
votes
4answers
448 views

How would I quickly put together a believable map of an area?

As part of my "Closed Circle" campaign, I'm looking for ways to quickly put together a believable map of a college campus and surrounding area, complete with believable building placement. "Quickly" ...
5
votes
2answers
169 views

Balance between planning and improvising [closed]

What is the ideal balance between planning out an entire session of playing, complete with music scoring and conversation detailing, and winging the entire thing? As an example, I'll cite one of the ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

What should I look out for, when scaling a late heroic published adventure for late paragon/early epic tier?

I will be including a level 9 published adventure in my campaign soon. The thing is, the four players will be somewhere between level 18 and 24 when they hit the dungeon. Aside from obviously scaling ...
2
votes
9answers
551 views

Survivalist NPC build?

How can I best optimize an NPC so that instead of having perfect power attack or sneak attack, they're just really hard to kill? I can think of thief acrobat and perhaps exemplar or dungeon delver, ...
0
votes
1answer
302 views

Free action/no action encounter power available to all players?

The DM I play with for encounters passes out these power cards that are either a free action or a non-action (can't remember) encounter power that lets you add to a skill check roll, add a damage die, ...
18
votes
9answers
741 views

How much plot guidance is too much?

I've played in many games that were extremely railroaded. There was basically only one feasible course of action and we, as players, were expected to take that route. (The GM would get very upset if ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

What should I use to represent the Stronghold point in my LARP?

My Sci-Fi Larp system is faction based, The team with the most territory at the end of the event (day/weekend) gains additional points towards character progression as well as in game Credits, this is ...
5
votes
2answers
237 views

What's the best practice for an Indie-LARP?

I'm starting a Sci-Fi LARP near where I live and so far only my close friends are going to attend, What would be the best way to increase my player-base? Also it'll be my first event that I've ...