"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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14
votes
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
20
votes
10answers
377 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 ...
12
votes
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 ...
15
votes
4answers
346 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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
10
votes
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) ...
5
votes
4answers
801 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
993 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
552 views

Techniques for skimming through travel (fast travel) without meta-teleportation

In most of my group's campaigns, we spend a lot of time traveling. Unfortunately, this leans one of two ways: Uninteresting or distracting obstacles. If you want to spend time but keep it fresh, ...
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?
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 ...
4
votes
5answers
616 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
180 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 ...
32
votes
15answers
787 views

Your friend wants to learn the ways of the Dungeon Master, what do you do?

I believe that all tabletop role playing gamers should at one point or another try their hand at Dungeon Mastering. However, it's a goal that at times can feel overwhelming. What advice would you ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Roleplaying as a job. Skills and background?

A friend of mine is a great DM, and we always told him that he should be paid for his skills. He smiles and says that it's enough to have fun, but seriously, can you make a living out of role playing ...
4
votes
2answers
199 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
422 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 ...
10
votes
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
252 views

What are the consequences of letting players be characters from a work of fiction?

What are the consequences of letting players be characters from a book, movie, or other pre-existing work of fiction? For example, how would I handle a campaign based on the X-Files where the PCs are ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
147 views

How to Use Module Maps

I found a module I'd like to run. It includes some great maps. What's the best way to use them in a gaming session? They're too small to use as-is, so I'm wondering how other people use maps from ...
5
votes
4answers
305 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
595 views

Transitioning from GM to Player; or how to recover from GM burnout

A few months ago, I reached the point of "GM burnout." Having been (almost) the exclusive GM for our group for several years, and seeing the number of players and their commitment dwindle combined ...
15
votes
13answers
2k views

Sunrods, should they be used?

Sunrods, those banishers of darkness, are they a problem or not, I've met a number of DMs that don't want them in their games. Are they a problem?
16
votes
6answers
413 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
139 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 ...
10
votes
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 ...
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 ...
18
votes
4answers
7k views

How to randomly generate a village or town for old school D&D game?

There is a lot of material written on random generation of dungeons for play. But inevitably characters have to return from the to spend those ill-gotten gains. And where else but a nearby ...
4
votes
2answers
198 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?
23
votes
9answers
877 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 ...
25
votes
14answers
705 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
288 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 ...
12
votes
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
13
votes
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. ...
18
votes
16answers
778 views

Experience for Role Playing

Ok so I haven't played in a while (since the 2nd edition) but do any of the newer D&D editions' books (most likely the DM Guide) have guidelines for granting experience for exceptional role ...
6
votes
6answers
581 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
322 views

What techniques can I use to improve flavor text?

I've been improving my GM skills lately, but there is one area in which my skills are very weak, and that is flavor text. For example, if my players go into the woods, I tend to say something stupid ...
17
votes
6answers
595 views

Am I designing my campaign setting to be too specific?

I'm a first time DM (3.5e), and, being a passionate writer, I decided to create the entire campaign and campaign setting myself. It's been good fun, and I have about 12 pages of (elaborated upon) ...
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 ...
28
votes
14answers
372 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
245 views

How do you maintain a balance between mystery and offering clues?

Giving good clues that offer just enough information can be difficult. I think I tend to not give the players enough information and then to overcompensate with a reveal that comes too easily. ...