Questions related to someone who is serving as game master (GM) for the first time, either in role-playing as a hobby or with regards to a particular game.

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10
votes
1answer
544 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 and setting. I have a limited amount of experience with D&D 3E, but the fourth edition is an ...
2
votes
2answers
71 views

Alertness feat, Perception and being surprised

I am a new GM playing D&D 4e. I have a question regarding the Alertness feat. In the Compendium it is described as the following: Alertness Benefit: You cannot be surprised. Also, you gain ...
7
votes
4answers
219 views
+500

How to get the most out of an encounter by combining foes

I am an new GM playing DnD-4E and i am looking for advice on how to compose challenging encounters. I have played with my group ~10 times so far and what i really like is to challenge them. Not a TPK ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

What to do when a player dislikes his character, that is vital for the story?

One of the PCs (a greedy, quirky dwarf fighter) in the game I am hosting recently died, and his player chose to join the group as a new character, a human paladin. After two sessions the player is not ...
7
votes
5answers
661 views

How can a Paladin be converted into an Anti-Paladin?

I'm the GM of a group where one PC (a greedy dwarf fighter) recently died. The player chose a new character, a human paladin. The player is new at roleplaying and after two sessions playing the ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

When should a GM roll behind the GM Screen?

I was wondering what is the point to roll behind a screen as a GM? If nobody can see the roll then I could claim that i rolled any number I require, right? If I would have to show the roll, then why ...
6
votes
2answers
79 views

Would an Empath/Telepath run afoul of the White Council's Laws of Magic?

Would a minor talent using his power to read surface thoughts or emotion be in violation of the Laws of Magic, or are those meant for wizards only?
13
votes
8answers
2k views

How to handle player knowledge when they fumble a knowledge roll [duplicate]

I'm a new DM of D&D 4e and I'm looking for some advice for handling failed and fumbled information rolls. I am using a house-rule that allows for misinformation when a 1 is rolled on the ...
7
votes
4answers
553 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
454 views

How to handle some new NPCs who enter a fight in progress?

I am GMing for the second time in my life, and do not know how to handle this situation: There are 5 PCs who walk through this map. In almost every room there are a couple of NPCs who might or might ...
1
vote
0answers
38 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.
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Handling “relevant knowledge” in Savage Worlds

As a GM, how should I handle cases of "relevant knowledge" among my player-characters? For example, if someone is playing a Doctor (with Healing at a d10, say), surely they don't have to take ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Do you generally do anything with a creature's remains?

Say the party goes off into the woods and kills a few wolves. Would anything useful come from the carcasses? How about at higher levels when killing Dragons and such? I understand with creatures ...
0
votes
2answers
101 views

Would armor that you're wearing and weapons be counted in your carry weight?

I've heard people who run games where they don't count armor that you wear in your carry weight and people who do. I'm wondering what the RAW would state.
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
652 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
269 views

A few questions about mounts

One of my players who is playing a warden uses a griffin as a mount. Besides being able to fly, he also gains a lot bigger range than his regular move speed is. This seems a huge advantage to me and I ...
14
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

Short One-Session Adventures for AD&D 1e?

My group and I are planning to play a simple trial session with AD&D 1e just to learn the basics of the game. We agreed that this adventure would not be connected to the larger campaign introduced ...
11
votes
4answers
471 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
75 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
244 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
161 views

Keeping track of time in AD&D 1e

I notice while reading the AD&D 1e manuals there seems to be a heightened importance on the tracking of time compared to when I was playing 4e. I agree with this, I think it helps the game world ...
8
votes
2answers
311 views

The Mysteries of AD&D 1e Initiative

Out of all the concepts I have learnt in AD&D 1e, I find initiative to be the most difficult to wrap my head around in a realistic way. I understand thus far that combat is divided into rounds of ...
6
votes
3answers
129 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
74 views

Brief Tutorials for AD&D 1e?

Simple question, are there any video tutorials available that run-through the basics of the mechanics of AD&D 1e? Or perhaps brief, succinct texts/discussions of said basics? I am finding the ...
3
votes
4answers
183 views

What are the best ways for a group of players and/or the GM to believably/fairly get one's hands on a spaceship? [closed]

Well of course you can always get yourself a credit from a bank and buy one, but both the interest and the payment of said credit being due every month make this a pretty big gamble. Since finding ...
4
votes
2answers
111 views

Paranoia playable with just two Troubleshooters?

Are two troubleshooters (+ me as GM) really enough for Paranoia? I believe the rules do not forbid this, but would you recommend this? Have you experienced playing Paranoia in a rather small group? ...
3
votes
3answers
202 views

Should I take turns during a skill challenge?

I'm trying to use 4e's skill challenges in Pathfinder, but I have a question: should I ask my player to roll for initiative and take turns to Win the challenge, or just the best PCs should play it?
17
votes
9answers
2k views

New players missing the big picture?

Ok so I've just started my two daughters on their first ever Pathfinder campaign using the pre-built TC1 "Into the Haunted Forest". It's going ok, they are having fun, but they seem to be overlooking ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I make an interesting escape from a fire?

So, the last session I tried to make an encounter where my players had to escape from a burning house. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a boring bunch of pass-or-suck checks. How can I make this ...
7
votes
4answers
697 views

How do I deal with my players not roleplaying at all? [duplicate]

I know I should "let them have fun" or something, but the game isn't really working. I'm GMing a pathfinder campaign, but this isn't system-dependent. My players aren't roleplaying at all. Ok, they ...
9
votes
10answers
938 views

Creating a campaign everyone can DM in?

So I have a group of players I'm playing D&D 4e with. Two of them are hardcore gaming nerds, my brother and his friend. His friend actually has a job but it's not intensive, my brother on the ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Is the scope of my campaign too large?

I am in the process of preparing a D&D 4e campaign, which will be my first trip as a GM. It is not taking place in any pre-made D&D setting, but is heavily inspired from the background I read ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Turning a Campaign Evil Leads To “Problems”

Prologue : So, the campaign I'm running right now has a noble-kinda purpose. To kill the Evil Witch and save the world etc, you get the point. As a plot twist I am thinking to turn the campaign to ...
4
votes
4answers
887 views

Changing Type Of Enemy During Combat

Hypothetic scenario: A ranger does a stealth check and succeeds. While moving he notices two patrols and decides to attack them using Two Fanged Strike. The patrols are normally minions. He gets to ...
4
votes
2answers
204 views

How to use Time Paradox In-Game

Position/State of Players : Trapped in the Underdark Goal : To use time travel A small explanation : While they are there, I want to make them travel back in time. However I have no idea on how to ...
4
votes
2answers
165 views

Introducing Roleplaying in Combat [duplicate]

I am the kind of gamer that mostly enjoys the story and I love roleplaying. However this time I am the Dungeon Master and not a player. How can I encourage my players to roleplay during combat ...
6
votes
4answers
578 views

Being a more “flexible” Dungeon Master [closed]

[The following question is about avoiding to railroad the players, and has nothing to do with breaking or following rules.] I am playing a campaign of my own with my friends, and the thing is that I ...
14
votes
8answers
3k views

Can I roll for a PC in secret?

As a GM, can I roll in secret so my players don't even know I rolled? For example, a PC walks past a secret door; if I ask the player to roll perception he may suspect there is something. Can I roll ...
2
votes
2answers
175 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
252 views

How can I quickly come up with random encounters and puzzles?

I'm DMing my first campaign in D&D 4e using my own setting, and I need to create some random encounters throughout the map surrounding the starting village. I only have a week available between ...
3
votes
3answers
167 views

How can I help my players grok Risus?

I've been trying to get a gaming group together for the past several years. All my players-to-be have never touched a tabletop role playing game in their lives, so I've decided to introduce them to ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

How does wandering within a city work?

I'm new to RPGs, and I've tried to read some transcriptions or watch some podcasts, but I don't understand how the game works outside a dungeon. Does the city has to be a real city or just a group of ...
24
votes
12answers
8k views

How to discourage players from rushing?

I recently started GMing for my D&D group, and it was my first time as GM. My group often tries to rush through things before I can describe their environment ( ex: running through a cave before ...
21
votes
5answers
714 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
202 views

Pricing items as a DM

I seem to be struggling with pricing items that players can purchase. In particular magic items such as scrolls/potions ect. I read the rules and have scoured the internets to try figure it out but ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

How to voice an NPC?

As a GM should I put a different voice if, for instance, the NPC is an old sick man, or if it's a kid or even a member of the opposite sex? What advices can you give me to enrich NPC acting?
5
votes
1answer
222 views

Avoiding slow and boring combat

I ran my first 'mini' session as a GM yesterday for Rogue Trader. It was a 1 on 1 session designed to help both myself and one of my players to get familiar with the rules and the setting. After a ...
7
votes
4answers
328 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) ...