"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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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
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1answer
274 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
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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
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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
740 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
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3answers
781 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
votes
4answers
544 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
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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
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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
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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
467 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
750 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
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2answers
264 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
votes
1answer
352 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
votes
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
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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
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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
347 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
506 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
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3answers
284 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
votes
1answer
121 views

Do I need both DMG1 and 2 to create adventures?

I'm working on my first custom campaign for my players and I am wondering if I should read both DMG1 and 2 or if it's possible to just use DMG2 as a guideline. I have previously run modules out of ...
8
votes
1answer
286 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
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
563 views

Knowledge (Local) or Diplomacy to Gather Information?

So, according to the Knowledge page, Local is used to pretty much find out things about a town whether that be notable figures, folkore, or the like. Isn't Diplomacy to Gather Information pretty much ...
7
votes
5answers
298 views

Dealing with high player churn?

In my current D&D 4e game we have extremely high player churn. Any given night we may have between 2 and 5 players (out of 10 to 12) leave and or join (leaving often takes the form of simply not ...
7
votes
6answers
188 views

How do you keep the book keeping/game management work balanced between players?

For most games, the work required in running a game is, by default, distributed unevenly between a "master" and the "player characters". In our group, many/most of the group members have had ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there any rules or guidelines for creating original magic items and rituals?

I am running a D&D 4E campaign, and I particular enjoy that a lot of the 'man-made' spells that the PCs encounter--when for example, raiding wizards' hideouts--can be described as "you can get a ...
7
votes
1answer
161 views

I'm running a Pathfinder adventure using 3.5E rules - what should I watch out for?

I'm running a 3.5E table for a mix of experienced and new players. The adventure we're running is "Way of the Wicked", which is set for Pathfinder. (To clarify: the players are working with 3.5 rules, ...
6
votes
6answers
266 views

Should a group keep the same GM, or choose different GMs for every new campaign/system?

The title is mostly the question. Is it good to give everyone in the group the chance to be the GM, or should the best do the job always for best play experience?
6
votes
4answers
344 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
256 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
6answers
1k views

Is there software which can serve as a virtual DM?

I want to play D&D but have no one to play it with. Is there a virtual DM that creates the adventure as you play? If not, is anybody good enough at programming to do it?
6
votes
4answers
861 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
4answers
241 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
533 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, ...