Questions about becoming or tutoring a game master (GM). Not for just "I am a new GM": see the full tag wiki for important usage notes.

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8
votes
2answers
562 views

How much, and what kind of, advance planning is appropriate for a sandbox campaign?

New GM attemping to get ideas for a campaign down something similar to a tabletop fallout game. How much info is too much info for general prep? Can there ever be too much? Or is there a general ...
11
votes
3answers
898 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 ...
6
votes
8answers
4k views

Is one of the characters in my group overpowered?

I'm starting my first stint as a DM, in DnD 4E, and one of my players insisted on rolling dice for his stats. I was ok, provided, as I said, "that the character was balanced with the rest of the ...
20
votes
5answers
598 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
646 views

How do I tell how long my adventure is going to be?

I'm a new DM starting a campaign I've written myself. I have a party of 4 players right now- three have been playing for years, one has never played before. My problem is I'm not sure how to tell how ...
5
votes
3answers
387 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 ...
20
votes
7answers
1k 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?
15
votes
4answers
2k 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
915 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 ...
18
votes
10answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
775 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
62 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.
26
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
844 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
336 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
574 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
1k 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) ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I start DMing a new game after the Red Box?

I finished playing the D&D beginners Red Box with my friends. Now how do I start DMing another game? Where do I go from here?
26
votes
12answers
1k views

How to remember all the rules?

Do you have tricks or techniques to remember all the rules to the games you're playing? I would like to run my first game as a gamemaster, but I'm struggling with remembering all the feats and ...
2
votes
5answers
478 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
122 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. ...
12
votes
5answers
1k 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
2k 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
64 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What is all the backstory in an Adventure Path for if the players never see it?

I'm new to tabletop RPGs (although I have been interested for a long time, just had difficulty finding like-minded companions, and the funds required to get some of the stuff). When I was finally ...
12
votes
2answers
515 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
7k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Good games for inexperienced players and GMs?

I have been the GM for my little circle of friends for a few months. We are having trouble finding an RPG system to be comfortable with. On my part, I seem to be unable to settle on any particular ...
3
votes
0answers
89 views

What should a new GM know when starting their first Paranoia game? [duplicate]

I am a new relatively new GM (under a year's experience) and have only run/played Pathfinder. For this I have lots of resources: the beginner's box and its GM and player manuals, pawns, play-mat and ...
7
votes
5answers
19k views

Newbie starting first D&D campaign

My friends want to play D&D and they expect me to be the GM; since none of us has ever played before, their wanting to keep playing or not pretty much depends on me. I have bought the Player's ...
3
votes
0answers
81 views

Can anyone teach a new player to play Pathfinder? [duplicate]

I have the core book and the Bestiary 2. My brother gave them to me but I've never found time to sit and learn how to play by myself.
19
votes
6answers
4k views

I'm fairly new to D&D but want to GM; where do I go from here?

I'm a 16-year-old male, and I have been interested in tabletop RPGs for a long time, especially D&D. I sorta dove into D&D really fast and hard by buying the Red box, Dungeon Master Kit, ...
15
votes
9answers
774 views

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

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
4answers
938 views

3 novices, 1 Warhammer Fantasy. How do I make sure my friends don't have a bad first experience?

I recently convinced my friends to try out a table-top RPG. Now, being an almost complete novice to table-top RPGs, and adding the fact that I will have to take point and GM this campaign... Is there ...
4
votes
0answers
116 views

I am a novice, so are my friends. What should we start out with? [duplicate]

Lately I've been wanting to get into the whole table top RPG scene. I briefly played Dungeons & Dragons with very little understanding of the game; it was rather fun, even if it was over Skype. I ...
4
votes
3answers
166 views

Should house rules and custom material be created before experiencing the game? [closed]

Let's take a new GM. New in the sense of "new to a specific game", not new to GMing. The GM read all the rules from cover to cover and he understands them, but never played. Should he start house ...
12
votes
0answers
309 views

As a GM, how can I create and role-play diverse NPCs better? [duplicate]

I am new to GMing (and role-playing in general, for that matter) and I am having a somewhat difficult time making plausible and interesting NPCs. This is especially true with NPCs who are not "typical ...
4
votes
3answers
837 views

DM going from D&D 3.5e to AD&D 1st edition [closed]

I recently purchased the following seven AD&D books: Player Handbook, Monster Manual, Dungeon Master's Guide, Fiend Folio, Monster Manual 2, Unearthed Arcana, and. Deites and Demigods. Based on ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Good RPG System/Game/style for just a single DM and single Player? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: 1 GM and 1 Player games and game systems? I am looking for a system or style of play (or even contained game/game module) which would be fun for just one player---myself ...
9
votes
3answers
454 views

As a complete newcomer - what do I have to look out for? [closed]

I just orderer the D&D Red Box 4th edition. I plan to play it with my GF and maybe I can convince my flat mate as well. None of us has any experience playing Pen and Paper games (I have Baldur's ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How to deal with intimidating amount of rules in Shadowrun

I started to read about Shadowrun as a setting and I'm currently reading the rules and they are really intimidating. There's a lot to know as a player since every aspect of the game as it's own set of ...
15
votes
7answers
5k views

Starting the first game tips? [closed]

I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to start our very first session. Everyone, counting the DM, has yet to play the game and we are not exactly sure were to start. Our PCs are: Drow ...
6
votes
3answers
511 views

Help with some ideas for a campaign [closed]

Okay, so I am a relatively new GM. I've started running the Road Trip campaign for Monsters and Other Childish things for my group. I thought I'd run a one night one-shot Halloween themed campaign for ...
7
votes
1answer
207 views

Would the adventures in the Black Bag Jobs be a good starting point?

Were I new to GMing, would the the adventures in the Black Bag Jobs Laundry supplement be good as starting points or should I look elsewhere?
9
votes
3answers
458 views

New GM to a Laundry RPG game [closed]

What should a new (and not so experienced) GM watch out for when starting to run a game set in Charles Stross's Laundry universe? Note that all this could be applied to a Call Of Cthulhu game as well ...
7
votes
3answers
383 views

What do I need to make a campaign?

I am a sorta newbie DM (been playing for about 5 months) and I have a couple dungeons. So is that all I need to make a campaign? I have about 6-8 friends that I play with every week, but they are ...
7
votes
6answers
425 views

Do I have to map out villages or outside areas?

Do I have to make a map of areas outside of my dungeons? For instance, a village or forest? Does the context of the Dungeon have to be mapped?
10
votes
4answers
273 views

Do I need to stat out & measure everything?

I am preparing a session that contains a fair amount of absurdity. Many of the creatures and situations that my players will encounter will probably not be encountered again. On the one hand, I know ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the most important errata for a new D&D 4E group?

I plan to start a new D&D 4E game soon. None of us have played before and we'll be starting at level 1. Are there any important errata that I should know about and inform my players? I know there ...