"Game Master" or "Game Moderator". This is the person who is in charge of running 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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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 ...
14
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9answers
269 views

How to encourage the GM-curious?

I have a couple of players who might be interested to try GMing, but have so far been reluctant to "take the plunge" and start up their own games. I think this is mostly because they're not sure that ...
14
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3answers
552 views

Do marks go away when one of the parties is dead or incapacitated?

While DMing for DnD Encounters, I had an interesting rules concern come up, that I can't see handled in the rules specifically. We always assumed that when a character or monster goes unconscious via ...
14
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4answers
345 views

Rules for player inventions

To illustrate what I mean, let me give a quick example: In the-dark-eye, there is a Staff Ritual named Hammer des Magus (No idea what the term is in english). Its effect is that everything ...
13
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8answers
922 views

Out-Of-Control Characters

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 ...
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11answers
3k views

How do I select background music for my RPG campaign?

Music is an essential component of my games. When running games set in the Star Wars universe, the music of John Williams adds a new dimension to the experience, both for me and for my players. Now ...
13
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9answers
424 views

How can I encourage my group to become more well rounded?

My gaming group tends to each go in their own direction for character creation. Sometimes this leads to great games where folks are strongly opposed on dramatic elements and character interaction is ...
13
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7answers
382 views

What major differences are there between convention DMing and home DMing?

I've been DMing for a while in 4th edition D&D, but I've only been DMing for Living Forgotten Realms and D&D Encounters. Now I'm thinking of starting to do some home games in various systems. ...
12
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5answers
449 views

What are some good sources for combat tactics for a GM to use?

My players are extremely strategic, and they're consistently (and too easily) defeating groups of enemies that I intended to present a real challenge. Probably for the same reason that I suck at ...
12
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4answers
387 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
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4answers
213 views

What are some tips for writing a novel from a campaign?

I am sure there are many GMs or player groups out there with this same idea of writing a novel out of their campaign, even if jokingly. I have been GMing a campaign for some years now and I am ...
12
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2answers
4k views

Good Star Wars game resources?

I'm working on a Star Wars Saga Edition game, and I was wandering if anyone has any good encounter or adventure sized resources? Particularly, I am looking for interesting locations (such as a droid ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Does anyone have any templates for Scrivener?

I want to start using Scrivener to plan a game and am looking for some templates for characters, locations, encounters, etc.
12
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2answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
271 views

Are there guidelines for creating & customising MM3-style monsters?

I've heard that Monster Manual 3 came with an improved design philosophy for monsters (particularly solos), and there are questions about updating pre-MM3 monsters for MM3. I want to create and ...
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 ...
11
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7answers
564 views

Could a “Fog of war” prop break a game in any way?

I'm going to run the Pathfinder's Beginners Box scripted adventure that has a dungeon map printed. This is not only the first time GMing, it's my first time playing an RPG. All of the party are new ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Binding agreements to items

Foreword We're in RAW land here, please make sure your answers are consistent with the rules as they are written or edited by an errata. Also, if you want to tell me that D&D3.5E is the wrong ...
11
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6answers
1k views

My fifth level PC has a +2 longsword but that's about all

How much can any single possession take up a character's wealth? For this question, I'd like answers that operate under the presumption that wealth-by-level isn't a minimum but instead a target. I've ...
11
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4answers
735 views

Help turning my NPC Druid Undead

I have an upper level NPC druid that I plan on killing and then making undead, along with his animal companion. 1) Do the rules allow the undead animal companion in this situation? (If so does it ...
11
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9answers
1k views

Best way to use a GM Screen nowadays?

This may just be me but I like the feel of having an old school GM/DM screen up. However, between laptops, mountains of books, and more frequently having to see the battle layout, I find that within ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Are DCs supposed to be secret?

Are players not supposed to ask what is the DC for a roll? If you're the DM and someone asks, would you tell them you can't say? Would you instead tell them the difficulty in relative terms like, ...
11
votes
3answers
774 views

Cheating on rolls as a DM to adjust the difficulty on the fly (or other means to adjust difficulty)

I was a DM for the first time yesterday. It was a lot of fun, and all things considered, I think I've made a pretty darn good first session. It was, however, too difficult. I've based the various ...
11
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4answers
543 views

How to challenge legendary characters?

As characters get to Legendary in Savage World (Fantasy) they abilities soon seem to out class the Powers the creatures have. For example, most powers are saved with a attribute, say Agility, if you ...
11
votes
5answers
204 views

Overcoming realism and uniqueness block

Whenever I am developing a plot-line, location or an NPC, there are two primary factors I take into account: Realism - Locations should be believable (no redundant corridors, random unfitting ...
11
votes
4answers
217 views

Megadungeon or modules for a weekend of play?

I've been having gaming/camping weekends with some friends and we've only played Call of Cthulhu so far, using modules. This time I plan on running an OSRIC/1e game, and would like to run the ...
11
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2answers
1k views

How do you calculate damage for MM1 and MM2 monsters?

I realize this may be a subjective question, but I'd really like to know what the consensus is. I know that WotC changed the way they calculate monster damage from MM3 and onwards, but there's isn't ...
11
votes
3answers
380 views

Writing new campaign, is it fine to “make it up as we go along”?

Making new fantasy Dungeons and Dragons third edition game. Wrote out the entire first situation with most general situations in mind. Should I try and just "ole" the whole creative process and have ...
10
votes
7answers
465 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 ...
10
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4answers
219 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
719 views

Is it a good idea to give our GM ideas/puzzles/riddles for his campaign?

Is it a good idea to give our GM ideas/puzzles/riddles for his campaign? If it is, how do I bring up my idea without offending our GM? I don't want him to think that I don't like his campaign or ...
10
votes
2answers
263 views

Memories of undeath once resurrected?

Related to my other question: Undead NPC Druid If an NPC has been turned undead and later destroyed/resurrected does he retain the memory of being undead? Specifically the actions he took part in ...
10
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5answers
6k views

Calculating encounter level with mixed CR enemies?

In D&D 3.5 how do you calculate the Encounter Level of an encounter when the encounter involves elements (usually enemies) of multiple CRs? For example an encounter involves 4 Zombies (CR1/2) ...
10
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1answer
349 views

How do I handle difficulty in Apocalypse World?

How do I design a peripheral move that essentially says "This regular move is more difficult under this situation"? My normal instincts say to apply a -2 modifier to the roll or something, but that ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a good starting point for GMing Pathfinder Society Games?

So I am considering GMing a few Pathfinder Society (PFS) modules (probably home games at first, the PFS group that plays at our local gaming store doesn't meet more than once a month), and I was ...
9
votes
4answers
241 views

What to do in Labyrinth Lord when both PCs and Foes are surprised?

In Labyrinth Lord, when there is a possibility of surprise for both PCs and foes, both sides roll 1d6. A 1-2 indicates that side is surprised for the first round. If both sides roll a 1-2, both ...
9
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3answers
223 views

How can I resolve dangerous journeys without playing out every battle in detail?

Here's the situation: The PCs are investigating a mystery far from town, in the dangerous wilderness. Against my expectations, they decide to go back to town, recruit some help, and return to continue ...
9
votes
2answers
294 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
526 views

Where can I find a horror adventure/campaign writing guide?

I seem to remember an old (ebook format?) book I read, with instructions on how to write a quality adventure based in the Ravenloft universe. The book was distinguished by writing in a general style, ...
9
votes
5answers
452 views

Good ways to handle presenting information to one or some members of the group?

What are some good methods for presenting information to a limited number of players in a gaming group so as to allow them to control when and how that information gets released to the rest of the ...
9
votes
3answers
331 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
343 views

As a DM, what is the best way to create custom weapons and armor for your PCs?

After quests have been completed, or during the course of completing them, your Player Characters might pick up new armor or weapons that you have put placeholders in for. What is the best way to ...
9
votes
3answers
501 views

What setting changes need to be addressed in order to convert Golarion to the E6 variant system?

For those who are confused what E6 is, please go here: E6: The Game Inside D&D I will be running an E6 game in Golarion in a few weeks. Two main assumptions I have made in the E6 version I am ...
8
votes
7answers
292 views

GM Help - Arguing

I've got a group that it seems no matter what I do, they always end up arguing about every single situation I put in front of them. This includes the more simplistic situations like, "Where do you ...
8
votes
2answers
261 views

What essentials do I need on the site of my LARP?

I am planning on holding a 20-50 person LARP. I would like to know other than notifying the Emergency services (police/ambulance) that I'm holding the event and where it is, what facilities should I ...
8
votes
3answers
282 views

How much does the Sponsor help someone using Sponsored Magic in Dresden?

So, the party is in a fight with one of the Knights of the Faerie Courts (Winter, in this case) and a couple of wildfae mercenaries. During the fight, the Knight started casting some unseelie ...
8
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1answer
285 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 ...
8
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2answers
238 views

How do I create a sense of Impending Doom?

I've been reading up on the rules and I've noticed that if the player rolls multiple ones on their action I can choose to either award a PP for each 1 and add a d6 for each opportunity or I can choose ...
8
votes
2answers
222 views

Methods for round-robin style DM'ing?

Round-robin storytelling has been around for a while, and something I have always been interested in experimenting with a variation of DM'ing where players take turns becoming the DM in the same ...
7
votes
5answers
550 views

Last-minute system-related second thoughts before starting a game

I'm looking at starting a game with a bunch of friends. Between us, we have very little RPG experience; one of the party has played a little before (Pathfinder, I think) and I played a handful of ...