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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2
votes
4answers
331 views

How would society adjust if use of fire is reserved for the elite?

This is an extraction of one of the central questions arising from my original (overly broad) question. In a society where the use of fire has been restricted, due to religious indoctrination, to the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Starting Adventure Paths

I have never run or played an Adventure Path campaign but I am considering starting the subscription. If I understand it correctly each of the 6 part Adventure Paths start the player at 1st level and ...
29
votes
6answers
952 views

How can I learn how to negotiate as an NPC?

I'm a new GM (the system is DND 4.0 but that's not relevant here). I've quickly found that I perform very poorly when I'm portraying a negotiation between the PCs and one or more NPCs. Even when they ...
55
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 ...
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
2answers
3k views

How do beastmasters' companions work?

I am playing D&D for the first time, and working on being a GM at that. We had our first session today, and it was very fun and went very well. However, one of my players chose a beastmaster, and ...
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 + ...
8
votes
2answers
716 views

How to manage character arguments / conflict?

I'm a new DM and have just started a 4e game as Play by Post. The game has started with one character (Bob) recruiting in a pub and the first response was from another character (Al) wanting to ...
10
votes
1answer
666 views

What are the main differences and similarities between Pathfinder and RuneQuest?

As the question suggests, I'm interested in the main differences and similarities between Pathfinder and RuneQuest. I'm fairly familiar with the RuneQuest system. I've heard a bit about Pathfinder ...
7
votes
1answer
163 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
359 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
431 views

In Lady Blackbird, how do you NPC the characters people haven't picked?

My normal Apocalypse World crew was down a player this week, so I ran Lady Blackbird for 'em. It was my first time running the game (and we all had a blast), but I got rather confused when playing the ...
21
votes
8answers
442 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
345 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
6answers
378 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?
6
votes
3answers
366 views

Help with some ideas for a campaign

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 ...
12
votes
0answers
287 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
760 views

How to add a player who joined after the campaign started?

I started running a game, and then a friend of mine expressed interest in playing, so I invited him to join us. He created a character and came along to the next session. As the rest of the party was ...
10
votes
4answers
240 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
582 views

Do monsters need THAC0?

I play AD&D 2ed and I need to know if monsters are supposed to have Thac0, could anyone help me? I would really appreciate it. I can not find the monster thac0 chart anywere. I only have 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 ...
31
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I get better at narrating/storytelling as a GM?

Personally, I've always had difficulty telling coherent stories, even from my own experiences. My wife has even coined a term (jokingly) for the type of story I tell, one that either makes no sense, ...
8
votes
2answers
911 views

How do I run a single player 4e essentials game? Drow Hunter

I am trying to create a set of encounters for my wife. She will be playing a Drow Hunter (controller) from the Essentials line of DnD 4e. I'm looking for advice on how to make encounters (2 levels ...
21
votes
4answers
656 views

Transitioning from GM to Player; or how to recover from GM burnout

A few months ago, I reached the point of "GM burnout." Having been (almost) the exclusive GM for our group for several years, and seeing the number of players and their commitment dwindle combined ...
10
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
786 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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

Starting the first game tips?

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 ...
4
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
19
votes
18answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
232 views

Advice for a new GM taking over for an old one?

I play a Pokemon tabletop game with a few friends. We're all in college, and our GM recently stepped down due to falling grades. I offered to take over if there were no objections, and as you can ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

Dungeons and Dragons Treasure Parcels

I'm new to D&D and would like to distribute treasure evenly in my dungeon for my level 1 PCs. I've read up briefly on the treasure packages but am still a little fuzzy on how they exactly work and ...
36
votes
6answers
1k views

What is role-playing, and where do I start?

I have been told that roleplaying is great fun. I've looked and looked and it all seems so complicated. Could anyone tell me a good place to start, and what sort of things you end up doing in ...
13
votes
5answers
639 views

Advice on setting up a campaign for a new GM?

A month or two back, I bought the GURPS Basic Set with the hopes of GMing a campaign at my school. I'm fairly familiar with the rules and general concepts by now (GURPS is very well documented), but ...
24
votes
12answers
741 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
393 views

What major differences are there between convention DMing and home DMing?

I've been DMing for a while in 4th edition D&D, but I've only been DMing for Living Forgotten Realms and D&D Encounters. Now I'm thinking of starting to do some home games in various systems. ...
9
votes
5answers
348 views

What should I do as a first time indie/story game GM?

I've DMed DnD before, but I'm wanting to get a game of In A Wicked Age started up, which is much less crunchy than our 4e oriented group is used to. What advice would you have for someone trying to ...
23
votes
19answers
2k views

What role-playing games have good gamemaster advice sections? [closed]

Which RPG's, in your experience, have good advice for gamemasters in their rulebooks, both for novice and experienced gamemasters? Please keep in mind that this question is not about good games for ...
17
votes
9answers
317 views

How to encourage the GM-curious?

I have a couple of players who might be interested to try GMing, but have so far been reluctant to "take the plunge" and start up their own games. I think this is mostly because they're not sure that ...
35
votes
16answers
912 views

Your friend wants to learn the ways of the Dungeon Master, what do you do?

I believe that all tabletop role playing gamers should at one point or another try their hand at Dungeon Mastering. However, it's a goal that at times can feel overwhelming. What advice would you ...