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67

They did however love it and want to continue next week. I am afraid you have answered your own question. The first rule of playing RPGs (or anything) is to have fun, so just make sure you also have your share of it. Now, you are new players, so it is obvious you are going to spend time learning the system, learning how to play with each other, ...


43

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 ...


34

For D20/D&D3.5 - things like grappling/sundering/size disparity/jumping I often get it wrong.. so I would often rely a lot on the collective mindshare of the other players. If I come to a point that I can't remembrance, I usually offer something like "I seem to remember that it works this way.." give my solution and if nobody objects, well, that's the ...


34

How To Learn To GM There are a variety of resources nowadays that can help you accomplish this. There are also many existing questions on this site about GMing that will point you to more content than you can ever consume. Watch In your question, you mention wanting to see more examples of real play. There's a number of ways to do so. Actual Play ...


30

Flat out tell them (as GM) that the best debriefing possible, after the mission has inevitably failed, is to blame the failure (likely, multiple failures) on the treasons of dead teammates who aren't there to defend themselves. Have a secret society order one PC to kill another, or to frame then kill them. If they don't do it, have their own secret society ...


29

To answer the primary point first: Sounds like you did a good GMing job, especially for a first time. The most important question is the one you answer yourself: Did your players have fun? (And the matching question, did you have fun?) If everyone's having fun then by definition you're all doing it right. With that said, some analysis of your more ...


27

Ask him to leave While there are ways to create a social contract within a group, your problems sound severe. In many ways, it sounds like your objectives for playing and his objectives are quite different. When that happens, the best thing to do is to ask him to leave. My recommendation would be to phrase the request around the core of: "I'm sorry, but I ...


26

Welcome to roleplaying! I know it can be daunting; there are literally thousands of RPGs on the market as well as out of print ones that people still play. What is roleplaying? Many a roleplaying game has a "What is roleplaying?" section in the front, and they all have different takes on it, but the most common summary is that it's a formalized version ...


26

There's no easy way to tell how long an adventure will last. Sometimes they'll run through several adventures' worth of material in an evening, and sometimes they'll spend forever on what you thought was a minor task. Some reasons why material can take less time than you expect: The party thinks of a solution you didn't think of. Maybe you assumed the ...


26

Firstly, have everyone who has never roleplayed before read Greg Stolze's How to Play Roleplaying Games. This is an excellent primer that takes the reader from zero knowledge of roleplaying apart from curiosity about it, to a fully fleshed-out idea of what it actually looks like to sit down and play a roleplaying game. Just having this knowledge will solve a ...


26

Talk "I don't want to discourage our GM by telling him so" is a strategy that won't help you change anything. Talk - first with the players to verify if there's a consensus and they really feel the same way as you do, and then confront the GM. The longer you postpone it, the more painful it'll get; it's better to deal with it sooner. Constructive ...


25

The new GM is absolutely in charge of the new game. If you want to talk with them privately outside of the game or if they come to you for advice, great, but at gametime you need to play your character and live within the confines of the game as it is. If you've got any tips for getting the new GM over the learning curve, offer to share them. For coping ...


24

The fluff is there to help you as the DM build a coherent fictional world. First, without any explanation even to the GM, "there's a bearded devil with an intelligent glaive in a cell" seems to not make a lot of sense. "But why didn't they disarm him?" "These guys are devils, why is a devil in a cell?" etc. PCs tend to investigate things and want to know ...


24

I got a lot of experience doing this in troupe-style roleplaying in Ars Magica. My policy as a gamemaster is that if someone approached my player character running in NPC mode, they would get advice that was in character and almost certainly the wrong thing to do. I considered my knowledge of the scenario that I had concocted and then asked myself, “How ...


22

There's a few things you can do to help, but also ways you can unintentionally sabotage the game. Show respect This is the most important thing. You need to show, repeatedly and in front of the other players, that you respect his ruling even when it differs from how you'd handle it. There is nothing that will stop him learning as much as constantly having ...


21

I'm gonna be the dissenting voice here, perhaps. I think there's definitely some kind of communication problem in your group. However, I also think he's playing more or less fine D&D. Stuff that is his problem Not being aware that he's annoying you. Being "too helpful" to your girlfriend so that she turtles. Not taking "what's good for the goose is ...


20

Step 1: Forget "Writing Stories" If you come at GMing with an Author's mindset, you've just rendered your players little more than passengers on the railroad of your story. Write encounters. Have them be related, but not tightly interdependent. Write NPC's. Drop them into the right place when you need them. If the PC's kill them, erase the name, the ...


20

Answer questions and shut the heck up! There is nothing more distracting than someone second-guessing all your decisions as DM. Make it clear that you are there to answer any questions they may have, but respect their decisions. They will learn which decisions are poor ones on their own pretty quickly, and this kind of knowledge tends to stick. After the ...


19

This looks to me like a case of expectation mismatch. Did you communicate the purpose and tone of the game to your players before you started? Are your players comfortable with this kind of game? Do you players want to play this kind of game? Ultimate the question to ask though is: Did my players have fun playing in this style? I looked at your ...


19

"You have completed your mission, but failed to identify, report, or execute any traitors who may have been on your team. The only logical explanation is that you are all traitors, collaborating in a conspiracy against The Computer. This debriefing chamber will now be filled with toxic gas. Thank you, and have a nice day." And what is this "completed the ...


19

Let the Players Help You If this is early in your DMing career, it's okay to ask the players for help. You've already put the spells on cards, so when a creature casts a spell just flip the card into the middle of the table and say, "I'm pretty sure this is the spell the creature would cast, but I'm not exactly sure what happens." In other words, give ...


19

One of the cool things about RPGs and GMing is that you can borrow from any media for your inspirations. I do it all the time, mixing and matching ideas to create something new and obscure (or lampshade depending on the genre) the tropes of the source material. The issues that I'd caution about: If you're going to publish your campaign on an RPG game ...


18

You're new to RPGs and you're looking for the sign that says "New GM Orientation"… but there isn't one. Most of us learn by doing, or by playing with a more experienced GM. There isn't really any beginner's bible. We do have some already-answered questions around here that should give you some context for your experiments, though. Consider if you actually ...


18

Borrowing worlds from other sources is a perennial tradition among GMs who for whatever reason aren't building their own worlds. There's nothing wrong with this approach to running a game, especially for a new GM who would rather focus on learning to run. That being said, there are a couple of things to watch out for when doing this: The setting is a ...


17

Does it have to be D&D? My go-to game for introducing anyone to roleplaying is Fiasco, a game in which you create and play out a Coen Brothers-esque scenario. You’ll play ordinary people with powerful ambition and poor impulse control. There will be big dreams and flawed execution. It won’t go well for them, to put it mildly, and in the end it will ...


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 ...


17

Don't worry about "support heavy." Do worry about Runepriest. And read up on the pedagogical technique of scaffolding. And go easy on the minions (even accounting for encounter for XP budgets). On your character mix: fighter and warlords are great. Runepriests are contraindicated. The non-hybrid fighter1 and warlord will be best buds, so long as they avoid ...


16

First off: you don't need to remember them. It sounds like you've tried to commit them to memory, which means that you've read it all: good, that's the right place to start. That gives you the knowledge of where to look up things in the book, and be able to do it quickly. When you're in the middle of a game and you know exactly where to flip to answer a ...


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

Maps are fun. Make maps when you want to. You don't have to map anything, ever. But you'll want to, because maps are fun. Maps are just another tool that you have as DM to convey information to the players. When you want to convey something that is best done spatially, a map is useful. Personally, I find I often sketch very rough maps all the time during ...



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