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62

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, ...


56

Probably the easiest way to avoid forgetting a few key things is to use a physical prop. When you have an important bit of information or a "quest item," write it down on a notecard and physically hand it to the players. You're not "giving away" anything if they've already identified the thing as important by themselves. But now they have a handy reminder ...


52

Maybe he's a Watcher In the Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition book "Dungeon Master's Guide" there exists some very useful advice for running the game that is applicable to nearly every RPG out there. One section of advice addresses different player personalities, including the idea of "the Watcher." A watcher is a casual player who comes to the game ...


48

Oh. Oh my. This is a pretty difficult situation for everyone involved. Let's not sugar-coat it more than we must: you made some profoundly poor decisions in play. For your own benefit, you really need to figure out how that happened. Why did you feel like sexual coercion was a reasonably obstacle to throw in front of the group trying to fulfill their ...


39

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 ...


37

Most campaigns don't reach their end That's just the way it is. Doubly so for your first ever campaign. You might lose interest. So might your players. You might realize you don't know what to do with them anymore. Life might intervene. Things happen. And that's ok. Fun would still have been had. Memories would still be formed. The world you create might ...


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 ...


34

Children don't have the depth of view or span of attention that adults have. If your players are young, it's not a bad thing to railroad them a little bit. You might do this by simply "replacing" the information via some other means: an old beggar they show kindness to tells them he's heard a rumor about the gang, a respected character lovingly chides them ...


33

Step 1: Talk to them If this is bothering you, bring it up at the table. Just explain that you'd like to finish describing the scene and they're cutting you off. Maybe you can work it out without having to do anything else. Remember that your goal as a GM is for the players to have fun, but you should be having fun too. If you're not having fun because of ...


33

The simplest method is to simply go along with brutal consequences: if they don't wait to see what you describe, then they crash into it headlong. This can be both effective and hilarious when used judiciously. But it does require some care: you don't want to use it when the consequences will be lethal, because that just isn't fun for anyone involved. You ...


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

Of course! There is no reason why you would not be allowed to roll in secret. If you suspect your players will metagame when they realize they rolled low and might have missed something, it is reasonable to roll in secret so they do not know if they succeeded or failed. However, even if you roll in secret, players may still get suspicious. You're rolling ...


27

I've been on the receiving end of a bunch of bad negotiations in RPGs. Real life negotiation training helps, but there's also some RPG specific aspects to keep in mind. Often, the problem is that there's some adventure hook that requires the PCs to do something that's totally stupid. "Hi, you're level 10, would you like to go on a fetch quest for 100 gp?" ...


26

For things that are physically impossible, don't bother with dice. As DM, dice are for when the group needs to determine whether something happens that's probable but neither impossible nor guaranteed. For impossible things, you're allowed to just say so: Player: I fly to the moon! DM: …You can't. You don't have wings, a ship, a Instant Moon Travel ...


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

A temporary bonus would be reasonable, and is even supported in the rules: The time to make checks using a library, however, increases to 1d4 hours. Particularly complete libraries might even grant a bonus on Knowledge checks in the fields that they cover. … but I'd lean away from giving any permanent numerical bonus (in particular for something the ...


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 ...


25

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 ...


25

'Pray I don't alter the deal further' That doesn't seem like even a particularly tough encounter for a group of PCs like you describe, especially if they have above-average gear. Without knowing more about your characters, their skill at tactics, their normal approach to things like ambushes, ambushing, traps, knowledge of enemies, enemies having knowledge ...


24

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 ...


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

Write the story as if the characters were not there. Make sure that all your NPCs have motivations, goals and personalities. This is what would happen if the world was run like clock work. This is your story. Now, add the characters into the mix. Let the story be modified by what the characters do. The NPCs will react, and depending on their ...


24

It's up to you. One of the joys of roleplaying games is that as the GM you have a large degree of flexibility in what you do. Flexibility versus Preparation If you prepare a city with a lot of diagrams and an actual map, that's great. You'll be able to come up with stuff without even having to stop and think about it because you've already charted it out ...


23

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 ...


23

There are two broad categories of "fix" available to you here. The first is to work on preparation, the second is to work on failure recovery. Preparation From your question, the biggest issues you have are leaving out details in descriptions, and ad libbing NPC dialog. Your preparation should shore up those weaknesses: Organize your notes such that all ...


23

What you could do is run with their inability to combat the wasps, and turn it into plot. The first time they encounter the wasps, they get severely injured and are forced to flee. You then have a followup of them looking for a way of combating them: be it fire weapons, magic bug spray, or whatever. Just try to make it clear to the players that they're ...


23

The easiest way to deal with this is to ask a simple question: "Are you sure?" This puts the ball in your players' court. If they reply affirmatively, proceed with whatever you had in front of them. If they run past enemies, the enemies get attacks with advantage. If there was a pit, they fall in the pit. If there was a giant flaming sphere of DOOM they ...



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