"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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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 ...
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 ...
24
votes
5answers
680 views

How do I increase role-playing during combat?

Right now, the group that I GM for is very, very tactical combat focused. To some extent we may as well be playing a dungeon crawl boardgame for all the role-play we manage. Now, in itself that's not ...
12
votes
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
votes
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 ...
24
votes
5answers
4k views

Tips for running a successful and engaging campaign WITHOUT combat?

I'm thinking of starting my own campaign with a few of my friends with me as DM, primarily because I wasn't extremely impressed with the campaign my friend was DMing. When I started thinking about the ...
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
417 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 ...
25
votes
13answers
990 views

When would PCs choose to walk instead of ride?

I'm putting together an adventure where the PCs are on a time limit. As such, travel times become quite important and I want to make sure that I've understood the different means of travel beforehand. ...
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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
15
votes
6answers
512 views

How do I find artwork to inspire adventure design? [on hold]

Often when I find a cool piece of artwork online, I build some scene in my upcoming adventure around it and then show the image to the players during the session. The more cool artwork I have access ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
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.
13
votes
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
23
votes
4answers
917 views

Dealing with players who try to run from everything?

I DM for a group with a guy who always suggests leaving the dungeon, area, or wherever the party is. It seems like no matter what I try or do to the setting he just won't relax and play the game – he ...
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?
14
votes
18answers
887 views

When GMing a game, how much should you prepare in advance?

Obviously you need to have some high level idea of what's going on in the world around the players, and where you are heading with the story, but in an ongoing game at some point players will be ...
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 ...
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) ...
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, ...
21
votes
6answers
490 views

How do you switch from parenting-mode to GM-mode?

Directly related to this question. My players are my children. A GM has a different relationship with players than a parent does with children. A parent tries to encourage and nurture children; a ...
23
votes
2answers
930 views

What are important things to keep in mind when converting a 3e/3.5e module to Pathfinder?

I'm interesting in converting one or more of my existing modules for 3/3.5 to work with the Pathfinder rules. I'm interested to know from others who have done this kind of conversion what ...
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
4answers
542 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
287 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 ...
37
votes
6answers
927 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... ...
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 ...
18
votes
5answers
319 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) ...
25
votes
11answers
2k views

Should a GM be a Player?

Game Masters have plenty to do; no need to enumerate the tasks here. But should a non-player character be a 'regular' in a party? By gaining a voice in the in-character interactions, the GM taps a ...
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
7
votes
5answers
297 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 ...
16
votes
10answers
825 views

Strategies for dealing with turtle or roach players?

How should GMs deal with players who turtle or roach? By turtle I am referring to players who obviously wanted to play because they joined the game, but when they're actually at the table they keep ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Using the iPad as a GM-tool

Anyone have any experience using the iPad as a GM-ing tool? If so, how did you use it? Any apps that are particularly good for GMs?
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 ...
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 ...