The Game Master runs 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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6answers
2k 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 ...
36
votes
17answers
971 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 ...
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 ...
41
votes
7answers
1k 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... ...
19
votes
10answers
826 views

How much plot guidance is too much?

I've played in many games that were extremely railroaded. There was basically only one feasible course of action and we, as players, were expected to take that route. (The GM would get very upset if ...
5
votes
10answers
2k views

Is bringing a major villain back from the dead a bad idea? [closed]

I have a major villain that the players killed a long time ago* in a previous campaign. Is it too clichéd to bringing her back? Is there anything I should avoid if I do so? Is it just lazy? I am ...
6
votes
4answers
215 views

IRC Client especially geared to RPGs?

Anyone know of an IRC client especially geared toward RPGs? I know, Roll20 is essentially the same thing, but certain other questions on here made me think that having a desktop app that was ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Can PCs hide motivations from the DM?

So, one of my PCs is a Lawful Neutral Knight, coming from a small landless noble family. From the beginning of the campaign he told me that he wanted a lord to serve under, and to enhance the ...
11
votes
3answers
293 views

How do GM Moves in Dungeon World work in practice?

So I was reading about the GM Moves in Dungeon world and I started to have a string of questions running through my mind... It went something like this (all within about 20 minutes) Am I going to get ...
4
votes
0answers
97 views

Are there any big, pre-made city campaign maps? [closed]

I'm currently looking to create my first pbp campaign, which will be steampunk horror-themed survival as they fight to escape a labyrinthine underground city, but I am stuck on a way to map the place ...
1
vote
1answer
112 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
47 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.
5
votes
2answers
198 views

Where can I find online playtesters to test encounters before presenting them to my group?

I'm setting up the end of my campaign and I have 4 "mini-boss" fights (& Final BOSS fight) that I'm trying to make extremely tough but also winnable. I don't want to just slaughter my PCs after ...
5
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
126 views

Alternating GM/Campaigns within the same group?

This question gave me some ideas regarding my current gaming group. I was introduced to D&D roughly a year ago before graduation, so shortly after getting into it everyone involved went separate ...
31
votes
6answers
3k views

How do you deal with metagaming based on die results?

I ran into this problem in a session I had earlier today. My characters were going through a dungeon and after a fairly lengthy fight with a person who lived there, they decided they would question ...
35
votes
9answers
3k views

How To Divide Up Loot?

I've been GMing a very successful (Pathfinder) campaign for quite a few months now, but we've developed a bit of a problem I'm not sure how to resolve: loot distribution. None of my players are ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

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 ...
36
votes
10answers
2k views

How can I invoke actual fear in my players?

I'm a DM that focuses heavily on story, description and setting. My goal is to send players home wanting -- no, longing -- to actually be part of the mythos I've created. The ultimate goal for me as ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Is there a topographical map of Ilmurea that provides height indicators?

I'm DM'ing book 5 of the Serpent's Skull campaign. Although I have the Serpent's Skull Poster Map Folio, its Ilmurea map doesn't help with determining the height of key buildings and the underground ...
2
votes
2answers
142 views

How can I implement multiclassing?

My party is composed of 4 players, a Rogue Trader, an Arch Militant, an Astropath and an Explorator. While to me this number is perfect, as it's not too much and not too few, I can see there are some ...
26
votes
8answers
842 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
446 views

How do I help create story around the table without writing it?

I love RPGs. I think they can create some of the most fun and enjoyable stories, both from an out-of-game and in-game standpoint. I also realize that "story" is the result of the game played by the ...
6
votes
4answers
447 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
492 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
378 views

How should I give out treasure in Dungeons and Dragons 4e Essentials

I am new to DMing dungeons and dragons and have bought the following products from the essentials line: Red Box Starter Set Heroes of Fallen Lands Heroes of Forgotten Kingdoms I have decided to ...
4
votes
0answers
108 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
217 views

Battle on Lightning Rail, Movement Rules

The setup: the PCs work their way through a moving lightning rail, fighting off pirates that are attempting to rob the passengers. They get to the cargo hold, fend off their leader, and chase him up ...
6
votes
4answers
260 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
810 views

Good System for a Beginner DM [duplicate]

I've always had a thirst for building a rich, engaging world with a group of friends playing adventurers who explore said world, and to that end I have always wanted to be a Dungeon Master. But, I ...
27
votes
5answers
2k views

GM Help - Bump on a log player

I GM a World of Darkness group every other weekend, and I've come across what I like to call a "Bump-on-a-log" player. This player has been with my game since I started it up, and we're now ...
1
vote
0answers
158 views

What makes an adventure interesting? [closed]

I'm new to DMing, and I want a really challenging and fun adventure for my friends. My question is: what, in your opinion, makes an adventure actually interesting and fun? Is it challenge? I know ...
6
votes
2answers
867 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, ...
55
votes
16answers
2k views

How can I help my PCs remember clues that they found?

I'm a new DM running my first adventure (it's D&D 4.0 but that's not relevant to my question). I've heard of the "three clue rule", that there should be at least three independent pointers to any ...
9
votes
2answers
334 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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
2answers
219 views

How to create an only skill challange quest?

First time playing D&D, first time DMing and first time creating a quest. The plot is simple: the players arrive at a town, they hear about a treasure and off they go to collect their riches... ...
5
votes
2answers
262 views

Does D&D 3.5 DM material contain information applicable for Pathfinder GMs?

I understand that in terms of the core rules to run games D&D 3.5 has: Dungeon Master's Guide + Player's Handbook + Bestiary(s) Pathfinder has: Core Rulebook + Bestiary(s). Pathfinder has a ...
5
votes
3answers
405 views

What is a good way to handle a merchant / snake oil salesman PC?

I recently started running a 4e game where a character is playing an unaligned merchant bard who is also a bit of a snake oil salesman. What is a good way to play up the merchant / snake oil salesman ...
5
votes
1answer
233 views

Is It Okay To Use “Commune” To Ask About Alignment?

In the campaign I am running, next session my players have decided to use the 'Commune' spell to ask a god various questions. Among these are four questions that ask: "Is this character good?" "Is ...
3
votes
1answer
309 views

How to plan to avoid combat deaths for NPCs that aren't obvious railroads? [closed]

I am playing a Pathfinder campaign based on the Beginner Box materials. The party were relatively diplomatic in the first adventure and didn't fight and kill the goblin boss King Fatmouth in Black ...
1
vote
1answer
411 views

Addings things to a story and how to deal with players who have issues with it [closed]

I am currently running a long, in-depth, story-focused campaign that has been going on for months and seems to be well-liked among my group. As you might imagine, creating a world that we play in for ...
3
votes
0answers
121 views

What to do with a player who undermines the DM? [duplicate]

This is not actually about me, but for a friend and the group we play with together. My friend, who GM/DMs that particular campaign, is suffering a lot at the moment because of one particular player. ...
2
votes
9answers
578 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, ...
21
votes
7answers
1k views

How can I screen new players to make sure they are a good fit for my game?

I'm looking to start a new Savage Worlds campaign and I need a full set of players for it. I've played in games before and ran a couple of one-shots, but I've never GMed a full campaign. There's ...
15
votes
9answers
677 views

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

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What to buy to start out 4e D&D (DM and PC) (Complete Noob, no previous experience) [duplicate]

So we're a completely new group of people, none of us have experience, and I've been assigned DM, which I think is a good idea. But we don't know where to start, or what to buy to get started on our ...
23
votes
19answers
2k views

What role-playing games have good gamemaster advice sections? [closed]

Which RPG's, in your experience, have good advice for gamemasters in their rulebooks, both for novice and experienced gamemasters? Please keep in mind that this question is not about good games for ...
6
votes
1answer
153 views

Treasure tables with mixed groups

In reference to this Treasure tables in 3.5, how does the system expect a GM to handle groups with mixed treasure types?
1
vote
2answers
243 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 ...