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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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
713 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
200 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
320 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
220 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
391 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
535 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 + ...
12
votes
4answers
714 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?
16
votes
5answers
527 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?
14
votes
4answers
576 views

How do I help a player who struggles with a tactics-focused character?

I'm a fairly new DM with fairly new players. One such player rolled up a warlord, casting the character as a "tactical genius". Unfortunately, she's having trouble getting "moments of glory", because ...
2
votes
3answers
178 views

Relative difficulty in Savage Worlds skill checks?

I'm a new GM running a Savage Worlds game, and I'm wondering if someone can help me understand the best way to set up a skill check with relative difficulties. Specifically, how do you differentiate ...
6
votes
2answers
153 views

Removing hindrances in Savage Worlds

Obviously, a lot of hindrances in Savage Worlds (like missing an eye in a medieval game) aren't reversible. But some very much are: an illiterate character can learn to read, for example, without ...
4
votes
4answers
172 views

Multiple non-roll actions per turn in Savage Worlds

As I understand it, the way Savage Worlds discourages players from doing too many things in a single turn is -2 penalties for each. You can attack normally, you can attack and run at a -2 to each, ...
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?

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
185 views

Party Size and Roles for Rogue Trader

I'm planning to start up a new Rogue Trader game as th GM for a a group of friends. I have about 3 players that are interested which are keen on taking up these roles: Rogue Trader Arch Militant ...
8
votes
1answer
261 views

Mechanically, how do I prepare a village of not-quite-vampire-thrall monk NPCs?

What I need I need to build one or more NPC character sheets, or cards, for the monk/ninjas in a fortified mountain monastery whose order was (and still is) founded by an ancient vampire lord, who is ...
24
votes
12answers
695 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
414 views

How do I help create story around the table without writing it?

I love RPGs. I think they can create some of the most fun and enjoyable stories, both from an out-of-game and in-game standpoint. I also realize that "story" is the result of the game played by the ...
14
votes
18answers
904 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
259 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
343 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 ...
16
votes
9answers
4k views

What's a good class and race for beginners?

I'm a newbie GM and I have a new player at the table. He wants to play and I'm letting him (despite his loud, overly energetic behavior, and has a short attention span). Whats a good 3.5 class for ...
22
votes
5answers
1k views

How to tell your players about the setting without make them read?

I'm a (quite) new GM who's going to start a Traveller campaign, where my players don't know anything about the setting (be it the canon one or a modified one). I tried to sum the basic setting ...
9
votes
7answers
794 views

How do I deal with an experienced player who doesn't interact well with my group?

My group and I just migrated from a DM whose very incongruent storytelling and deliberate punishment of non-hack & slay-solutions scared us off. We (mostly) kept our characters (since they are our ...
7
votes
4answers
244 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 ...
34
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
609 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
283 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
6k views

Designing my own D&D Adventure

Currently I am part of a my first campaign of D&D(4E) as a player and been having fun. Sometime in the near future I would like to host my own game of D&D with my own adventure. So far I ...
3
votes
0answers
102 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
7answers
466 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
259 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 ...
6
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
285 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
514 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
885 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
2k 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
49 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
1k views

How would I go about making an outdoor environment in dungeons and dragons?

How would I go about making an outdoor environment in dungeons and dragons? I would like to know what the rooms and hallways would be. I would really appreciate it if someone would help me. I'm really ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
203 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
528 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, ...
54
votes
16answers
2k views

How can I help my PCs remember clues that they found?

I'm a new DM running my first adventure (it's D&D 4.0 but that's not relevant to my question). I've heard of the "three clue rule", that there should be at least three independent pointers to any ...
5
votes
1answer
278 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 ...
15
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
378 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
252 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 ...