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46
votes
7answers
2k views

What is a good way to become a better NPC/monster actor?

One of the biggest problems I have as Game Master, (going on 30+yrs) is in portraying NPC and Monsters in any RPG. Is there a good resource for becoming a better 'actor'? Instead of just saying... ...
32
votes
9answers
3k views

How do I run a game for a larger group?

I am currently running a Dungeons and Dragons 4 campaign for a group of 9 players. Whittling the group down to a more manageable size is not really an option since they are all family. When we do ...
28
votes
14answers
509 views

How do I retain momentum in an irregular game?

For years I have had a regular weekly evening group but as we've all aged, it has become more difficult to meet. I tend to get the same players but we do not play every week. Long gaps mean that it is ...
26
votes
14answers
943 views

Story Arc vs. Player Creativity

I want to put the players in a challenging spot by putting them in a no win situation and having them captured and stripped of their equipment (assuming they might get it back as they make their ...
23
votes
9answers
997 views

Third-Person Limited Narration or Third-Person Omniscient Narration?

What are the advantages/disadvantages to using either a kind of "Limited Narration" or an "Omniscient Narration" style when running a game? i.e. Does saying... None of the characters notice the ...
21
votes
6answers
562 views

Techniques for speeding up a game with many players at the table?

I have a table of six players already, and have more people interested in joining my game. I wanted to consult people who had experience with running large tables to see if running for larger groups ...
20
votes
10answers
506 views

Campaign is on hiatus. How do I keep it on life support?

My regular campaign has ground to a halt due to scheduling problems. At this point, we don't really know how long it will be until we play again. Everyone is still interested, at least for now. Is ...
15
votes
9answers
779 views

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

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 ...
13
votes
9answers
1k views

Out-Of-Control Characters [closed]

As I review the suggestions in the D&D 4E DMG (pg32), I wonder what other suggestions that are realistic. I know that if a player is out of control (ie: killing masses for no reason) a DM would ...
12
votes
4answers
528 views

How do DM's avoid burning out? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I deal with GM burnout? Currently I am the single DM of a smallish group of irregular players. Although I enjoy DM'ing, I'm beginning to burn out and really wish ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

Dungeons and Dragons Treasure Parcels

I'm new to D&D and would like to distribute treasure evenly in my dungeon for my level 1 PCs. I've read up briefly on the treasure packages but am still a little fuzzy on how they exactly work and ...
11
votes
4answers
289 views

Introducing Guest-Stars in Ongoing Campaigns

I've got a situation I'm dealing with tonight and that I've dealt with before, but I've never had rpg.se to ask about it. So here goes: Are there any tried-and-true methods for dealing with ...
11
votes
1answer
441 views

How does monster hiding work when some players detect them and some don't?

In one of our battles in DnD Next, I had some bugbears hiding in trees trying to attack the players. The bugbear rolled a 21 on its attempt to hide. Four of the players rolled less than 21 on their ...
9
votes
3answers
471 views

New GM to a Laundry RPG game [closed]

What should a new (and not so experienced) GM watch out for when starting to run a game set in Charles Stross's Laundry universe? Note that all this could be applied to a Call Of Cthulhu game as well ...
7
votes
6answers
917 views

Approaches to GM-less (or lessened GM reliance in) RPGs

A question about transitioning players to GM-less gaming already exists (and it's a good one). I, however, am looking for a more exhaustive description (thus CW) of approaches to GM-less gaming. As ...
6
votes
7answers
447 views

Need some recommendations for monster manuals

I run and play lots of indie-style games (Burning Wheel and Apocalypse World in particular). Perhaps the one thing they lack that I miss from my D&D days is the tomes full of monsters to excite ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I announce to the players they are in a skill challenge?

I am completely new to DMing and I am considering including a skill challenge in my next game. Most of the players are new to 4e and one of them is new to D&D in general. Should I explain to them ...
6
votes
1answer
174 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
188 views

How do I effectively portray multiple characters in conversation? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you handle verbal exchanges between NPCs without taking the PCs out of the spotlight? You should be familiar with this set up: All the characters are at a party ...
5
votes
4answers
441 views

Building Campaigns to Characters' Strengths and Weaknesses

When I GM a game, I try to make sure that the skills the characters have can be used. If someone takes "Music", then I make sure there's a point in the campaign where someone needs to impress someone ...
5
votes
2answers
287 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Guides for running a Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0 Game

I've owned a copy of the 2nd edition of Cyberpunk (Cyberpunk 2020) for years now but never had the ability or gumption to run a game (same for gurps). Lately though I've been playing and DMing a lot ...
5
votes
2answers
185 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
2answers
186 views

In Ubiquity powered games, what number Style points keeps tension and heroic action in balance?

Characters in games using the Ubiquity Roleplaying System often begin play with fewer than 2 Style points. Methods of gaining them, and situations for using them are clearly defined in the various ...
5
votes
3answers
174 views

Scaling for battles when the number of players is unknown?

I play in a D&D 4e game at the local game shop where the number of players who shows up can vary from five to fifteen. Obviously a normal battle for fifteen characters would be overpowering for ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Practical use of Masterplan in first time DM

So, I have played D&D (and other RPG rules) off and on for a long time, and now have boys of an age that I could DM for them and have some good father/son/nerdy time. I have never DMed myself. I ...
4
votes
5answers
869 views

What's a good text only adventure game to improve my storytelling for DMing?

I've been trying to think of good ways to improve my narration of scenes when I can't actually practice firsthand with my group. On idea I had was to find some old text-only adventure/RPG games and ...
4
votes
2answers
243 views

As a GM, how do you establish the reality of your world? [closed]

Having a discussion with a friend about our views of GMing, I realized that we take very different approaches to what our worlds are. My view is that when I GM, the world exists as-is before the ...
4
votes
2answers
213 views

Is there a tested spell-research like mod for D&D 4e?

I'm looking for a mod to D&D 4e which reintroduces spell-research in a balanced way. Are there any of them around, which have been play tested and seem to work without unbalancing things too far?
4
votes
1answer
502 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
152 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
394 views

How to include equipment level in planning D20 Modern encounters?

Obviously equipment matters a lot in modern combat. A tank crew in a modern tank can almost always defeat men armed with only small arms. The d20 modern system does not take this into account when ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Tactics for Battle of Albridge

I'm currently thinking about the Battle of Albridge in my Reavers of Harkenwold campaign. One of my players stated he wanted to have a big battle with the Rebellion troops against the Iron Circle. I ...
2
votes
9answers
811 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, ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What race/class combinations would you like to see in pregenerated characters? [closed]

I am running a one shot for the local gaming association and am making pre-generated level one characters for people to use. So what Race/class combinations would work best in a group of ...
2
votes
0answers
63 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.
1
vote
2answers
447 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
255 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
362 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, ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Where can I find a GM/group to join, online in Europe? [duplicate]

Tried Roll20 and found a GM but we are only meeting twice a month. Looking for once a week. Are there any other sites out there to LFG? Trying a few forums. Googleing as hard as I can google.