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39

Let the Baby Bird Leave the Nest Having rotated a campaign through many GM hands, the least disruptive thing we found was to not worry about it. Your turn at the helm is over. Our group has multiple people that like to GM. We created a world we really liked and want to continue exploring when it is someone else's turn to run a campaign. We decided that ...


19

Decisions are engaging This is true on every level: encounters (both combat and other wise), dungeons (or other local-level areas), campaigns, and adventures. Descriptions of settings and characters and the environment contribute to immersion and bringing the game to life, yes, but to be engaged with the gameplay your players should be making decisions. ...


17

You start with a pithy campaign concept pitch ("Con artists in a Star Wars 'verse"). Then the players make trimmed-down PCs: a High Concept, a Trouble, and two or three skills with ranks assigned. Everything else can be filled in on the fly during play as it's needed/wanted. As they make their characters, the players should decide what small goal they share ...


15

Using The Lost Mines of Phandelver as an example, here's how I handle such situations. Map I frequently forget elements when going off published maps. So I take the published map, photocopy it, and mark it in a way that makes the key elements of each room impossible for me to miss. For example, if the room is dark, I outline the shape of the room using a ...


14

Get a look at this tables I found and use on my games, it have all the necessary in 3 pages landscape that you can fit to your custom-made DM screen. All the credit for Mr. Stan Shinn, great work! http://swshinn.com/dnd-5e/rules-summary/ You can also use the DnD Free official rules as is very cheap to print and you have a simple booklet easy to use and ...


14

The most useful way to create a Fate Accelerated pregen character is: just barely, and then jump into the game immediately and let people fill in the blanks when they need to. Aeon Wave (which is pay what you want, including free) does this to great success, and is a sci-fi game based on six premade characters. It's for Fate Core, but you may want to adapt ...


13

Here are the rules: Starvation and Thirst Characters might find themselves without food or water and with no means to obtain them. In normal climates, Medium characters need at least a gallon of fluids and about a pound of decent food per day to avoid starvation. (Small characters need half as much.) In very hot climates, characters need two or three ...


9

A megadungeon is simply too large to feasibly represent during play at 1in=5ft scale, even if you were wanting to, without a lot of work. I find that drawing out every section either beforehand or during play in battle-map scale is a lot of work for very little value. It's more effective to save miniature-scale maps for where they are most effective. So ...


8

That kind of decay is probably best represented by ability damage. He's not "technically" starving, but he's not eating well enough to really support him, right? Poor health = Constitution damage; physical weakness = Strength damage; broken will = Wisdom damage. You could add others too, if you wanted. If he's forgotten how to deal with people like ...


7

D&D5 has only 3 levels: Dark, Dim or Light. In the absence of a light source it's Dark - take this as the default state for underground and nighttime. Start with everywhere is dark; If you are in the dark you are effectively blinded. To remember: Write "Dark" prominently on the map. To make an area Light you need a light source, blindsight or ...


7

Method A: Do your research. When you are not an expert, you have to become one. According to the wiki rule, there is a specialized wiki for about every fictional universe ever imagined just a web search away. For Star Wars in particular, there is for example Wookiepedia where you can look up lots of trivia about Dantooine or Tatooine. When you have the ...


6

Since you have "fairly extensive" written session notes, I would apply the principle that especially in a "make it up as you go along" campaign, if the players didn't see it then it wasn't real. Unless the new GM wants to know what you were thinking. There is no such thing as "something he doesn't really know about". There are things that have been defined ...


6

One thing I do may get at the desire to have old/far past portions 'fall off' that you mentioned in your comments: I laminate 8-1/2 x 11 sheets with 1" grid printed on them and use them as "battle sheets." You can draw up many locations ahead of time and do other ones on the fly, keep them in a binder and lay them out (overlapping) as party enters new ...


5

There is no "should" here. Cheat sheets are typically made one of two ways: A game designer makes educated guesses based on their inside knowledge, and arranges that material on an officially-published GM Screen product or download. Despite officialness, these are often not ideal, as limited designer time, graphic design considerations, and marketing ...


5

I have organized 5 LARP events of around 3-4 days length with 80-120 people each over the last years. The camp was set up in the style of a boy scout camp, i.e. tents etc. I just listed some points off the top of my head... Feel free to ask me anything I have not answered below. Kind of event Figure out what kind of event you want to do. The span goes ...


5

Since modules don't scale at all, your best bet would be to run the mod with a large table, with as many of the characters as you can manage at the top end of the level range. Most modules have a 3-level range for PFS, so try encouraging players to be at the top of that range. Also, try and encourage players to play a group of characters that work together - ...


4

It seems from you question that you may not have read Hoard of the Dragon Queen because most of that stuff is covered in there. Specifically, the book starts with the players overlooking a town that is under attack - they can either leave, in which case you will have completed the shortest adventure in history or they can go into the town where there a ...


4

I'm a big fan of clipping things to my GM screen for everyone to see. NPC pictures to remind them they have some NPCs along, a ship's mast to remind them "you are all on a ship," etc. For lighting, you could make little pieces of paper with a sun (light), a moon (dim) and just black (dark) and have the relevant one pinned up on the top of your screen ...


4

If you're using a game mat and you're drawing the map out as you play, any room that is dim has diagonal lines in one direction to signify that the light in that room is in fact, dim. If a room is completely dark, draw diagonal lines in the opposite direction and add curved lines in the corners of the room to signify that the room is dark. If a dark room has ...


4

Some starting points you can find on the SRD: For the citadel: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/wilderness.htm#wallsAndGates; http://www.d20srd.org/srd/wilderness.htm#guardsAndSoldiers; and a google search led me to the DMG Web enhancement: Building a City. You might want to use thicker and higher walls and larger number of soldiers than the size of the ...


4

I am having the same problem, although my characters just reached level 3. However, I think that the best answer is for the party to better share the loot between each others. They, after all, are the ones who want to survive, not you. If you have one player who always takes it all, he will create the imbalance, not you as the DM. For what to ...


4

I think you have two potentially opposing goals here - introductory and campaign. Limited choice works great when introducing new players. In fact, this is often done with pregenerated characters ("here, play this guy") where there is no chargen choice at all (except for perhaps name). At conventions, I've run many games where someone shows up with no ...


4

The following spring to mind: Is there a particular film, book or genre they have expressed particular interest in? Most people are much more comfortable handling game worlds they are most familiar and happy with (the exception perhaps being people who like winging it, creating worlds as they go along). For instance if they really liked Lord of the Rings ...


4

Similarly to your commenters I have a feeling that you may be looking at it in a way that will take much more of your time than perhaps it's required. :-) Nevertheless: I know not of such a tool or pre-gen already existing that meet your criteria (but see update below thanks to @Ahriman) Have you tried the forums? If anyone made something like it, most ...


2

A few quick suggestions: Keeping tabs on everything that happened This should be trivial. First, send out an email recap day of game. Second, spend literally five minutes where someone gives a "Last time we played" recap. Others should feel free to chime in, but this should still take no more than a few minutes. Remember - last session was short too, so ...


2

I created my own screen, to be used with The Worlds Greatest Screen from Hammerdog Games (which, by the way, I recommend highly). Having used it for a few sessions now, there are only a few things I have actually used it for. Conditions. Actions in combat and what page they are found on. Cover bonuses and penalties. Concealment penalties. I have an ...


2

One other way to represent malnutrition would be negative levels. These are already not healed by simple hit point restoration, and you can rule the effect to be something along the lines of "1 negative level per 6 months the NPC was imprisoned, and 1 restored level per 2 months he spends recovering." If your PCs have access to magic capable of restoring ...


2

So how do you balance keeping the players in the dark about the overall layout of a dungeon, while also providing maps of wherever they happen to be engaged in combat? (especially when you want to make an encounter that could bleed over into some surrounding hallways) One thing to try, have an assistant GM from the party that has access to the map. You can ...



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