Questions about becoming or tutoring a game master (GM) serving for the first time. (See the full tag wiki for important usage notes.)

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19
votes
4answers
1k views

New to Tabletops. Have kids. How do you handle distractions?

A friend of mine picked up the starter kit for 5E. After some discussion, we have 4 players and a GM ready to start a campaign. Three of us have little or no experience, while the other two have a few ...
2
votes
2answers
184 views

D&D good edition for newbies [closed]

I'm totally new to D&D having only played 2 games neither of which I GM'd, one being 3.5, the other being heavily home brewed version of 3.5. I want to GM a game. I have a group ready, but I was ...
10
votes
3answers
705 views

How do you determine what good roleplaying is? [closed]

How can I determine if players are roleplaying well? World of Darkness (not the only system that does this) offers the option of giving experience for good roleplaying, but how do I as a GM determine ...
20
votes
6answers
441 views

How do I analyze and improve myself as a GM?

I'm pretty new to tabletop RPG and recently started to GM a campaign with a group of friends. None of us has much experience, so it's a learning curve for all of us. I've found myself completely ...
5
votes
3answers
274 views

How to be a Dungeon Master? [duplicate]

About a year ago, a saw a Dungeons and Dragons beginner set on Amazon. I was curious because I heard so much, but didn't know anyone who played. I bought it, read the books that came with it. And then ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Fate/Freeport as a first RPG?

I've kicked around the idea of starting some roleplaying games with my son (11) and his friends. I played AD&D when I was a kid (stopping around 1987, not sure what version that was). While I ...
12
votes
1answer
743 views

What kind of steps can I take to avoid overwhelming a new, support-heavy party?

I'm a new DM looking to introduce my group to D&D 4E via a brief, low-level (3-4) custom adventure. My hope is that I can later expand into a full campaign after my players have become comfortable ...
7
votes
4answers
636 views

How much custom content is too much

So, I'm a relatively new GM (having only run a quick foray into the Tomb of Horrors for fun) and I've got an idea for a city-based custom campaign. I feel pretty good about my story telling abilities ...
1
vote
0answers
48 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.
24
votes
8answers
3k views

As a newbie DM, is it OK to borrow plots from MMOs for my game?

I am an inexperienced GM. I have minimal to none experience game-mastering, although I DO have some experience as a player, and I wanted to prepare a game for a great friend of mine who is a very ...
6
votes
2answers
735 views

How can I decide whether being the GM is right for me?

I haven't played a table top RPG before. I've played RPGs in video game form for my entire life, though. I also write a good deal, and I've won like... two contests for short stories. I assume that's ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

How do we tell our new GM that we don't like some elements of his campaign?

Our current GM is quite new to GMing, and has stumbled into a few pitfalls. To give a few examples, he killed my character (by accident) and brought him back via deus ex. He locked the party in a ...
11
votes
4answers
506 views

Making time meaningful?

The party wishes to leave the village and go to the dungeon. This will require a few hours of venturing through a forest. How do I keep the passage of hours meaningful to the players? I want to avoid ...
2
votes
2answers
95 views

Advice for AD&D 1e without miniatures or tiles?

My group has agreed that we will not use miniatures or tiles to play AD&D 1e. Instead, we will rely upon the "Theater of the Mind" style gameplay. This will be a major change for me as a DM, as I ...
5
votes
3answers
267 views

How much are the players supposed to know?

My final question (for now) deals with the knowledge of the players of what is actually happening in AD&D 1e. Take for example AD&D's initiative system. I'm not sure whether or not the ...
6
votes
3answers
176 views

AD&D 1e and “Skill Checks”

I've been reading the Quick Primer for Old School Gaming and I have found it enlightening, to say the least. One of the issues it brings up is the use of skill checks to determine whether or not ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Free Pathfinder low-level urban adventures?

Are there online some free adventures that I can download as .pdf? (Not piratery, just free adventures.) I'm a new GM and I'd like to read some professional adventures to see how they work. I need a ...
22
votes
5answers
842 views

Learning to use spells comfortably

I'm hoping to get a little but of advice. You see, I've been running Rise of the Runelords, although the fact that I'm using Pathfinder probably isn't too relevant. Point is, I'm relatively new to ...
7
votes
4answers
602 views

Is there a better way to run a “rules light” or “beginner” D&D 4th edition game?

I've been attempting to play 4E with my two kids for a while now. I've had some false starts trying to run very simple adventures partly due to lack of DM experience/prep time (demanding job for Dad) ...
19
votes
7answers
791 views

How to guide a new DM through his first game (as an experienced DM turned player)?

How can I guide and help a new DM through his first campaign (being an experienced DM myself) without having it look like a grab for power or that I think the new DM is incompetent?
12
votes
1answer
315 views

What happens to a wizard who loses his/her memory?

So I'm a fairly new GM (at least to 3.5e), and I have a NPC who was a wizard but now has lost his memory and possessions. Of course, as GM I can do whatever I like with this character, but I was ...
6
votes
4answers
460 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
270 views

Intelligent PC's and differing realms of knowledge

I'm GMing for a group. One of my PCs is highly scholarly (scholarship 4), and the character is a doctor - all aspects point to this. I would assume the doctor's knowledge is more focused on medical ...
7
votes
2answers
982 views

Blacksmithing and repair in D&D 4e?

This is my first time as a DM of D&D 4e. I have a character playing a paladin with a blacksmithing background. This player has played a years-long campaign with other friends. He's been looking ...
3
votes
0answers
105 views

Running Large Groups [duplicate]

In a few months I'm going to be taking control of a group and running through a campaign of my own creation. The campaign we're running right now only has 3 PCs and the DM, so a fairly small group. ...
10
votes
3answers
308 views

Contacts, and how to use them?

I'm starting a 5e shadowrun campaign for the first time and running into some issue with what I've read on how contacts function. Basically, I'm trying to find out how to leverage the contacts of ...
2
votes
5answers
325 views

How many creatures should face a party of 6 PCs?

I am going to DM for the first time. The group of players is 6 people. I have no clue on how many creatures I should make them face. For example, a group of 2 people would face about 3-5 bugbears but ...
4
votes
3answers
326 views

How to improvise [closed]

I've read a short passage on GMing noting that improvisation is very important. But I can't seem to do it right. Does anyone have any suggestions for me that could help me improvise better? As in, is ...
7
votes
4answers
358 views

How do you present plot hooks to string together premade adventures?

I am about to run my first adventure as a GM. I have never GM'd or participated in table top role playing before so I am following premade adventures (in this case starting with the 4e Redbox ...
11
votes
5answers
623 views

Differences Between Freeform and Rules-heavy Roleplay

I am a relatively new DM...okay I actually haven't ever RUN a campaign. The closest I have come to was running a short, 2-encounter dungeon against Manticores and a Raksasha that summoned a Grey ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What do I need to keep running D&D after finishing the Red Box?

I recently got the Red Box (Essential 4e Starter Kit or whatever it's called) and have played through the adventure with some friends. I have no idea what I need now – specifically, what books ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

A Game Board for D&D?

So I'm a new GM, and I notice there's usually a problem with positioning, so I started drawing EXACTLY what happens on the map in combat for my players. Thing is it gets messy, annoying and time ...
37
votes
4answers
1k views

How to get my Paranoia players to stop cooperating and start killing each other?

I've read some of the questions and answers on paranoia here, but I seem to be missing some kind of key element to play. I ran Robot IMANA-665-C and I didn't seem to be able to get the players to ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Beginner Friendly game for my friends and I. (No experienced GM) [duplicate]

My three friends and I are very interested in playing Table-top rpg's but we're having some trouble getting started. We're looking for a pretty beginner friendly game that doesn't require an ...
11
votes
7answers
494 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 ...
18
votes
10answers
1k views

My friends and I are new to RPGs and need a system I can DM and they can pick up. Suggestions? [closed]

My friends and I are trying to get into tabletop RPGs but have ran into some difficultly finding a system/setting that fits. We gave Eclipse Phase a shot but found it to have a pretty high barrier to ...
3
votes
1answer
214 views

What is Sasuke's base class?

I'm trying out the Naruto d20 rpg right now and I intend to have my players interact with Team 7 in a sort of training scuffle. It wouldn't really be a fight, as they would be chunnin while Team 7 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Easy to GM Harry Potter RPG

I have a friend who's not very interested in playing RPGs, but he's a Harry Potter nut. Is there a decent (probably fan-made, I've heard that an official HPRPG is unlikely) system that is easy for a ...
8
votes
3answers
367 views

How do intelligent enemies attack based on player threat?

How do I determine how intelligent enemies attack? For beasts and plants and such, I usually roll to randomly determine a player, then attack based off that. But intelligent, even semi-intelligent ...
6
votes
2answers
907 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
305 views

Manage a player character suffering amnesia?

I'm going to manage a group with one character suffering of deep amnesia, Warhammer 2nd edition. How do I manage the character's skills, talents and profile? I think the profile is the same and ...
12
votes
2answers
416 views

How can I work on my improvisation skills in regards to running a campaign?

I'm writing a campaign for 3.5 at the moment and, as a new DM, it's been hard for me to decide what I need to write now, and what I'll need to write later. Because it's going to be my first campaign ...
7
votes
1answer
284 views

Where does the damage bonus for the level 1 pre-gen characters come from?

My friends and I have just started playing D&D. We have played through the Red Box and we decided to keep playing D&D so we downloaded the play-test materials for D&D Next. I read through ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I tune encounter difficulty appropriately in D&D Essentials?

Two of my friends and I recently played our very first game of D&D using the Essentials kit. I DM'd, getting them through the Red Box create-your-own character story. It was all good fun, they ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Looking for a short and relatively easy campaign to run as a beginner DM [closed]

I'm relatively new to playing Pathfinder and D&D --only a couple of months-- and the group I play with wants everyone to DM at least one or two sessions so everyone gets a chance to play. Can ...
2
votes
0answers
264 views

Refining and Building a Character/Class Concept [closed]

I have (or think I have) a concept for a class. However, I'm no longer convinced it will work to homebrew as a class. Since I only have access to the SRD, and I'm not really as familiar with the ...
3
votes
2answers
371 views

How to gather ritual components in a low-treasure campaign

In the campaign I play in, my character is the only magic user (Sorcerer). I just reached level 6 and decided it would be a good idea to take the ritual caster feat, to be able to help out the party. ...
3
votes
2answers
584 views

Creating a Racial Template (DnD 3.5)

So I had an idea for a race for my world. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I needed it to be a template, not a race. I'm trying to create a version of Elves, but the origin of ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Race Creation/Modification in D&D 3.5

I'm trying to create a set of races, based largely on the classic fantasy races of Man, Elf, Dwarf (and Gnome, but I don't consider that to be a 'classic' fantasy race). I'm using 3.5 rules, and the ...