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45

I would keep in mind the following: Don't panic! You are almost certainly doing a better job than you think you are Read the rules Start small, a single adventure Consider using pre published material Remember you job is to help the players have fun. Sometimes that might mean you have less fun, unless you get your personal kicks from happy players, which ...


39

I have managed only a couple of times, but as a GM. And the first time is one of my best gaming memories, and one of the reason I keep GMing. It was not in a Lovecraftian setting at all (Exalted actually, making me even prouder), so I won't be able to give you setting specific hints there, but the method can supposedly be applied to any game. I have found ...


35

Let's say I have a campaign where I want to put the players in a challenging spot by putting them in a no win situation and having them captured and stripped of their equipment (assuming they might get it back as they make their escape, so as not to complete make the players mad.) If this is not a natural consequence of previous actions ...


30

Player creativity should always be rewarded! Adding on to what RS Conley has written (and it is an excellent response), as a player of a campaign, you never, ever want to feel like you're non-participatory. As the master of the campaign, it's your responsibility to adapt to good, solid role-playing. If the players are clever enough to outfox a given set of ...


25

Don't even bother with anything like that. Tell the player to cut it out.


23

This depends entirely on what you're trying to do in the context of the narrative that you're creating. Certain stories lend themselves to certain means of presentation -- moreover, certain groups lend themselves to certain styles of narration than others. If your group has a significant problem firewalling player knowledge away from character knowledge ...


22

Steal a couple and mash them up Colleges and universities are actually, in general, remarkably good about putting their plans online. To make a believable college campus quickly, steal a couple, and mash them up. Then use the building plans featured in the street map for your internal plans. Internal plans: MSU, LaTrobe Library, Melbourne, Colorado State ...


20

Have everyone make notes, and keep a copy of everyone's. Likewise, take a photocopy of everyone's character sheets. Put them all in a folder. Keep that folder safe. In the process of reopening, have everyone read their notes, and share some stories of past character deeds. If you have time before hiatus, wrap up or tie off a bunch of loose ends, but not ...


20

Figure out why the player/character is being anti-social. This is best handled outside of game. Is the character under the impression that some sort of mind effect would cause his character to go on a killing spree? (sociopathic IN character?) Or was he bored? (killing time!) If the player is bored, maybe he's a hack and slash fighter in the middle of a ...


19

Have you thought about breaking it up into two groups in the same campaign setting? That might be a way to make it more manageable. To get the quieter people involved, you will have to give their character information or knowledge that no one else has and get them to share it. This requires a bit of enforcement regarding what is in-character vs. ...


19

You're definitely doing all the right things; it's hard if your players don't cooperate. Let's see. The first thing I'd try is starting sessions in media res. You can sort of force a bit of momentum if the night starts with the characters under fire in the middle of a combat, or pleading for their lives in front of a judge, or what have you. At the very ...


17

Graham Walmsley's book Play Unsafe is stuffed with great ideas for bringing NPCs to life, as well as really solid advice for working with your friends to make the game more interesting and exciting in general. I highly recommend it. One trick (which I learned from Graham!) is to list three distinct mannerisms for each NPC, and use these as a guide at the ...


17

Extract the first few plot points that are going to take place at the destination and put them on the road. This strategy also helps you be less railroad-y because the players are out in the open and have more choices about where to go instead of being locked into a city/dungeon/what-have-you.


17

As someone who has been GMing primarily since 2001, the answer is "Yes, but not disasterously so." The skill sets for being a player and being a GM in a game such as Pathfinder/D&D/White Wolf are entirely different, which means if you spend a lot of time doing one set of those skills (GMing), then the other set will get rusty, like any set of skills you ...


16

I would suggest: The GM picks a simple game they feel comfortable with (perhaps Dungeonslayers or Warrior Rogue and Mage ). They begin with a simple adventure, rather than plan a whole campaign Don't assume it's going to go brilliantly at first Prime the player team to be "nice" until the GM has found their feet Don't try and take in too much from the ...


16

If possible (you haven't left off the game on a very intense cliffhanger), move forward the campaign world by one month for every week that passes IRL. Write updates on what happens in the world, ask the players to sum up their characters' reactions to the events. Example: "With the coming of spring the King falls quite ill, which gives rise to talk about ...


14

Develop a cast of personas/actors to draw from. Think about popular actors/actresses. The majority of them are not very versatile, and yet many enjoy watching them in various roles. Often these celebrities personas become so ingrained as who they are that people will watch a movie specifically because of the stars in question. With this in mind you can begin ...


14

Description, description, description. Give them a thirty second to three minute description of the travels. Skip the rolls (unless you want one to determine how long it took, etc) and just talk through it. It takes almost no time, but gives the players the impression time has passed.


13

This might be a good time to flesh out your setting and characters by collaboratively typing up a mess of details online. You can set up a wiki, share some Google Docs, or just start a big email chain. Then, ask each other questions. You can ask your players questions about their characters' goals and histories, and they can ask you for details about the ...


13

Pick one characteristic that is unique to your character and mark it on your card, for example: a physicality: the henchman's hunched shoulders an action: the shopkeep who plays with his earlobe a held object: the duke who always is petting his cat a verbal distinction: the knight with a stutter Whenever you step into this character, take on that unique ...


13

On the chance that this doesn't get merged into a different question, I'll go ahead and answer. Specifically you're asking about ways to speed up play. My group has in the past implemented a couple of rules: 30 Second Decision time in combat - As in, know approximately what you want to do before your turn comes around, because once it does you have 30 ...


13

I've run CP2020 many a time (Usually Trauma Team games) The CP2020 book isn't as nicely edited as it could be it's true; then again it's far better than something that WW usually produce! The system itself is very simple, but what I'd recommend for a new campaign in the system is: As mentioned there is no real balance system for cyberpunk, you play it by ...


13

I wouldn't say GMing detracts from player experience. I will try to use a parallel example. Do you know TV tropes site? They dissect every piece of fiction into tropes that are like boulders that are used again and again in other works, like "Lonely hero", "Redemption of the bad guy" or "Holy villain" (those aren't the actual names, but they're clearer for ...


12

One 4e specific option is what I've seen referred to as "Brutal 4e." It's a way of speeding up combat while also making a bit more "swingy." People do different variations, but in my game we do the following: Monster HP is halved. Monsters do +1 damage for every 2 levels (e.g., a level 5 monster does 3 extra damage on hits) Critical hits do max damage ...


12

Most important: Never end a session in mid-stride. Do whatever it takes to arrive at a Conclusion before you adjourn. Next session, describe what normal lifestyle events happened to the characters after the last game, creating all-new story bits of your own, furthering their lives and careers as appropriate. This will get everyone into the 'mood' and onto ...


12

My primary methods: have them take over an NPC in military campaigns (esp. Trek), they've always been aboard/around, they just haven't been important/in-focus In dungeon crawls, party comes upon them fighting a common enemy especially good if encounter 1 of session is party routing some bad guys works even better if it's a major NPC enemy, and he flees ...


12

Outsourcing. Specifically, outsourcing to the players. Ask them to tell you about 1 month's worth of misadventure that happens while they're on the road. Bonus points if you take notes and reincorporate their material into the game later on.


12

I've only had this happen once so limited exposure but here's what my DM did 1st, Physical Environment: Lights were out with just small candle style lanterns to see character sheets/maps etc 2nd, Auditory Senses: CD with appropriate sound effects. Bonus: We really did have a BIG thunderstorm hit about 20 min after we started, it aligned perfectly with ...


10

If you have a friend that is interested in DMing? Do everything you can to encourage this behavior. People who are actually interested in DMing should just be encouraged. Offer to sit in as a player. Help organize the game (hosting, etc) but do your best to help them. Also provide helpful feedback and resources (the websites linked above are great). The ...



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