Someone serving as game master (GM) for the first time, either in role-playing in general or with regards to a particular game.

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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 ...
7
votes
4answers
619 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 ...
20
votes
10answers
3k views

How to introduce a pen-and-paper RPG to family?

My brother and I have dabbled in D&D when we were younger. Also, at the last place where I worked, we had a weekly Pathfinder game session, which was fun. Usually at our family get-togethers my ...
5
votes
3answers
521 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
3k views

How do I learn to become a good GM?

I have played and tried to GM games since I was in elementary school, beginning with games like Shadowrun, Earthdawn, and Champions. Recently, I've gotten dack into gaming with a variety of other ...
1
vote
0answers
46 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.
3
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
35
votes
6answers
2k views

Did I do a bad job as a GM?

Last night we played our first RPG (ever!) and I'm not sure if it went well. The game was Deathwatch and the basic story was to find someone. There were three possible places where he could be; then ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a core campaign setting for DnD 4e?

I'm completely new to RPGs in general, so I apologize in advance if this is an odd question. There's such an overwhelming abundance of lore on all the different campaign settings for DnD that I've ...
8
votes
2answers
364 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
344 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
209 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 ...
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
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
116 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.
0
votes
2answers
195 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
721 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
2answers
330 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
495 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
262 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
88 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
159 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
85 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 ...
9
votes
10answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
221 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 ...
16
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
227 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?
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
939 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
6k views

Choosing DnD 4th edition or Essentials for a new group and DM?

Recently I've got interested in roleplaying. My background is more or less hardcore boardgamer, I have played quite a large number of board games, even some of the most complicated ones and found it ...
3
votes
3answers
296 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
359 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 ...
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
903 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
230 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
217 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
637 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
183 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
603 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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
5answers
800 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 ...
25
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
258 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?
7
votes
4answers
526 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) ...
5
votes
1answer
250 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
420 views

Should I give skills and full stats to NPCs?

Some friends have asked me to master a game for the first time. We are going to play All Flesh Must Be Eaten (It's fun, easy and rules are not as important as actual roleplaying). I have created the ...
18
votes
7answers
554 views

Speed up campaign development

I'm making a campaign, and it's going fairly nicely. However, I found out that my group is able to meet this week, which I didn't expect. So instead of having 9 days to find time to prepare, I have 2 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to calculate attack roll for a monster?

I'm a total Pathfinder newb and I have a question that will probably reveal just how "newb" I am. According to the Core Rulebook, to calculate an attack roll, you use the following formula: d20 + ...