"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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23
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8answers
651 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 ...
14
votes
18answers
915 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 ...
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 ...
37
votes
6answers
932 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... ...
32
votes
15answers
793 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 ...
11
votes
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 ...
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 ...
17
votes
10answers
829 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
512 views

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

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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
5answers
451 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
545 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
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 ...
35
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 ...
26
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 ...
25
votes
14answers
706 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
553 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, ...
16
votes
6answers
414 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 ...
46
votes
14answers
3k views

When should I fudge dice rolls?

When I started my first D&D campaign as a DM, I accidentally rolled and confirmed a crit on a PC from a goblin. It was an instant kill as our campaign had no cleric. That time I decided to fudge ...
16
votes
2answers
253 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I handle lengthy (days+) actions without slowing the game

I run a D&D 3.5 game, but the system itself is not critical (the examples I use are from D&D though). Some of the characters have various crafting abilities, ranging from things like Alchemy, ...
12
votes
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
votes
4answers
742 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
148 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 ...
27
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
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 ...
17
votes
6answers
597 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) ...
13
votes
8answers
925 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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
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
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
265 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 ...
18
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
383 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
102 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
2answers
244 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 ...