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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32
votes
9answers
8k views

Power player is a problem. Any fix?

Context I'm a new DM because the old DM wanted to play for once. No big deal right? Man was I wrong in accepting. Let me explain. This "DM" knows everything. He is always right. Even if he is ...
42
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
33
votes
5answers
2k views

Is the same page tool overkill for brand new players?

I'm about to run the D&D 5e starter set for a group, most of which are entirely new to RPGs. The Same Page Tool looks like a great resource for a new group playing together, but not necessarily ...
7
votes
2answers
381 views

How to handle a too nice DM?

OK, this might be a weird one, but I would like to know how to help our DM to be more impartial in our game. I'm playing a campaign of D&D 3.5 with five friends. They're almost all new to RPGs ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

How to end a game session smoothly

After my first (failed) attempt at playing tabletop RPG two years ago, I'm going to give it another try. Still as a GM. One thing I didn't do quite well last time was ending the game. I didn't know ...
16
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
46
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

How can I get started in pen-and-paper RPG as quickly as possible without any experienced players (including me)? [duplicate]

My friend and I would like to try RPGs out, but we would rather "jump to the fun" as quickly as possible and not engage any other people in the play at first. Which RPG system would be minimalistic ...
4
votes
3answers
277 views

New Players Starting with a Remote DM

I've read quite a few questions and answers on here about having one or two remote members as well as a few about having the entire game remote. I have a related, but slightly different question. We ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I get new players to explore more?

I'm DMing using the 5E Starter Kit and, after DMing the first few encounters, the players aren't exploring the environment sufficiently to learn all the actions they can take. Before our next session ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I convince my group to try a new system without always having to DM it first?

I always play roleplaying games with the same friends. We have a lot of fun, but I'm always a bit frustrated by the fact that they always resist when I propose to try new roleplaying games. Even ...
3
votes
0answers
216 views

Good Pre-generated adventure for absolute new Players and new DM? [closed]

Next weekend, I and three friends are going to sit down and have a game of D&D. None of us have ever played D&D before and I have been given the role of DM. I'm looking for a good ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Trying to fix my DM mistakes by starting a new campaign

I recently put together a gaming group composed of friends new to roleplaying who were excited to try some D&D. We've only had four sessions so far, and the players are really enjoying themselves, ...
7
votes
4answers
708 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
749 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
556 views

How can I Help a New GM Get Started?

My daughter wants to run a Changeling game. However, she's never tried to run a pen and paper RP, and is very nervous about it. What are some things I can do to help her get a good start? For more ...
2
votes
3answers
150 views

Advice for AD&D 1e without miniatures or tiles? [duplicate]

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 ...
15
votes
5answers
281 views

Advice for a new GM taking over for an old one? [closed]

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 ...
39
votes
6answers
2k views

Should I do something about slow pace in my inexperienced group?

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

What to buy to start out 4e D&D (DM and PC) (Complete Noob, no previous experience) [duplicate]

So we're a completely new group of people, none of us have experience, and I've been assigned DM, which I think is a good idea. But we don't know where to start, or what to buy to get started on our ...
16
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
283 views

D&D good edition for newbies [closed]

I'm totally new to D&D having only played 2 games neither of which I GM'd, one being 3.5, the other being heavily home brewed version of 3.5. I want to GM a game. I have a group ready, but I was ...
21
votes
10answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
507 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
855 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 ...
38
votes
17answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
8answers
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 ...
20
votes
5answers
576 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
618 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
361 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 ...
19
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?
17
votes
9answers
352 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
1k 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
872 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
1k 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
735 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 ...
32
votes
7answers
6k 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
57 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.
25
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
821 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
317 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
384 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
8k 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
987 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?
25
votes
12answers
892 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
422 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
117 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. ...