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0

I will try to get into the game mechanics a little bit more than the other answers, showing you what those values really mean in D&D 4e. We need something to compare these values to so I'll use a small subset of the possible point-buy arrays, the ones that grant us the best tactical advantage: The unbalanced array, 18 14 11 10 10 8, very useful for ...


0

In this instance the character is not overpowered in the least. He just took a reasonable gamble and it paid off. The other players on the other hand are kinda underpowered but that can be fixed with either a re-roll of one random key stat. You might be thinking using point buy might fix this problem but really it won't. One of the main reasons I don't use ...


2

Short version: click here, scroll past "Adding Hit Dice" to "Adding Class Levels". This is copied basically word-for-word from a Pathfinder book, can't recall which of core/bestiary/gamemastery guide this is from off the top of my head, will look it up when I get home from work. Full version: The monster's stats change when it gains it's first PC class ...


3

The Pathfinder SRD has a great page on how you advance monsters. In this case, you want to use the second option listed (adding class levels). It's actually very similar to adding a class level to a PC, with a couple of big exceptions. When you add a first class level to a monster, this happens: The first step of this process is to modify the creature's ...


1

The only System I know that offers more or less constant power level between different characters is Rule of Cool's Legend. In fact the idea that, given two chars of the same level, their relative power must be the same is on the very core of the system. On Legend, the rule is simple. A = A', where A and A' are two different characters with the same level. ...


1

I frequently run a Game Master PC of my own. Here are some of the things I do in order to ensure that they aren't the true spotlight, but they are important to the story: Your character isn't always able to give sound advice. Most of my DM run characters are relatively passive in nature when it comes to making decisions. Those that aren't are likely to ...


4

This should be both abstract and specific. Gaining or losing members can be presented as a problem of scale, in which case it should be abstract, but always followed up with a personal example. Remember your principle to make everyone human. To make the gang human, you don't need to name and act them all out, but you do need to put a human face on the gang ...


2

In the campaign I played in, we kept it abstract. Usually, the things that triggered a massive size shift were either someone getting a lot of new followers (someone got put up as a religious figurehead) or one of the really bad rolls/Harm effects for gangs where you get something like "Most dead, only a few survivors" kind of things. Aside from that, it's ...


0

Ask your player if he want to keep a track by himself, maybe he will enjoy it and you won't have to bother with that. If he don't, keep an approximate size and let him know when this size change significantly.


1

Well, my first three rules are always "Talk to the players," "Talk to the players," and "Talk to the players." In this particular instance, this can be instituted by just taking a brief break. Literally, just go, "OK, something's not going quite as I expected here. Let's take a five-minute bathroom and snack break, while I figure out what just happened." ...


0

You should try to broaden your gaming experience with other group of players (not necessarily being the GM), and have other GM playing these sessions. You will discover new ways of GMing. Also, spend time after each session to discuss with the others, hear what they liked, what was boring for them... Read a lot, not only GMing article but also books to see ...


6

If you're just starting out, I think it's best to start with the easiest measures of what's going on. What were the most fun parts of a session to you? Why? Did any parts stand out as having the other players really excited? Was there any points where you didn't know what to do, or the players seemed at a loss? Was there anything that was really ...


-3

Go through what you want to happen, from start through options to outcomes, before you run the game. Ideally, well before. Have it memorized. Notes are really hard to go through during a game, and should be kept to shorthand, or mnemonics. Take some public speaking classes, or perform certain public speaking lessons for yourself. Good elocution, ...


-2

It helps to have a group of beginners, which are forgiving and understand that it takes some time to build up experience. The players can make mistakes as well, so its an opportunity to learn as a GM and also for the players. Especially at the beginning when you are not yet deeply vested in the game rules and mechanics you can allow things you are not sure ...


15

Get feedback from your players. Set aside the last five minutes (or more) of the session to talk to the players: how do they think the game is going, what do they think will happen next, what can I do better, and what went well? Between the lines, you can determine what the players want (if they don't come out and say it). If the players aren't interested ...


1

As you mention, there are a couple of ways to handle this. What's most important is that you chat with your group and they agree. The rest of this answer is largely opinion and personal experience. Leveling Up If your character doesn't level up, that puts you in a worse position than the other players when you rejoin the game. This doesn't exactly make ...


4

In terms of how to handle your character's advancement: Your character has XP equal to the lowest xp of the other players. This way you are not advanced beyond your peers in the group, and also not penalized for being the GM when your character is returned to active play.


2

I've done this both ways. In the early 3e days we decided we were going to rotate GMs throughout the entire group, and I bought the first batch of adventures available (Death in Freeport, that WotC twigblight thing, various forgettable third party adventures) and we rotated. In that game, the GM's PC didn't just disappear, he/she took on a background role ...


2

I would highly recommend that if the game comes with a module, that whomever is the DM at the start should stay the DM throughout. If you wish to rotate in an episodic fashion for each quest, then that is a perfectly fine way to do things. I have seen this done two ways: The person who is DMing levels normally, but they can't just sit around and do ...


0

Have a first micro adventure (2 - 3 sessions top) with this setup: Bring a set of "here and now" characters (sometimes the players avatars themselves) "accidentally" to the setting and have them explore the world. They just don't know anything and learn everything through the eyes of their characters. (Have a look at Erfworld where that happens and is ...


0

Prep Amount Can there be too much prep? Absolutely. Too much info becomes a pain to navigate - you have to scan through your notes to find the stuff that's relevant. If you invest too much time into some things, you find yourself "protecting" them, that is, either an event or thing becomes something you block the players from avoiding, working around, ...


-1

Reddit naturally has a rather large community and has a dedicated subreddit for advertising games looking for players and/or GMs. http://reddit.com/r/lfg


-1

I am registered on Obsidian Portal. I love it. You can browse others' campaigns and there are search options for recruiting in your area. They allow a lot of HTML for your campaign webpage for lots of customization. And I have never been charged for any of it. Basic accounts are free. Ascendant accounts are $40 a year.


0

Start off with premade characters focusing on archtypes. The Elven Archer, the Dwarven Fighter, the Human Paladin, the Halfling Rogue, and etc. Have them all sit down, and go over the player's handbook together. Ask for feedback from everyone not just from one person. Encourage participation. Use a Fillable PDF Character sheet that does a lot of the number ...


5

Simply have them pick up a cursed item that changes their class and swaps their existing stats around to reflect the new class. They keep all their stuff, level etc. Or have a higher power do it, or an insane guy uses his last wish to cause the switch - whatever doesn't piss off the entire group. You may also want to impose a penalty such as an experience ...


2

The old Dream Park RPG from R. Talsorian Games had an excellent adventure-development concept called a Beat Chart. I haven't played Dream Park in twenty years, but I've been writing Beat Charts for my adventures ever since. It's that useful. In a nutshell, the Beat Chart divides the adventure into Beats, which are chunks of the adventure that either ...


4

Just have them remake their character as a new class, keeping their treasure and XP. This is normally not permitted by the rules (and multi classing, which will certainly be added in the Players Handbook, won't cover a replacement of class), but in this case there's no reason not to use your power as DM to override the rules. Think of the Starter Set like a ...


5

Wax Eagle's answer ("Simply allow them to change PCs" and "Write in a class change for the PC") cover what I see as two of the three options. The last one came up with some regularity when I was running the playtest: let the player rebuild the character and declare that of course Quill has always been a Barbarian. Some people don't like retcons, but my own ...


10

Don't restart unless you want to. There are two clear options for this, and it's completely up to your preference (the current rules provide no clear guidance on this) Simply allow them to change PCs. Write their old PC out and their new PC in. Bring the new PC in at the current level and if everyone else has a magic item, it might not hurt to let them ...


4

None of the material or mechanics that are handled just by the MC are meant to be public. Fronts and Front countdowns are both "behind the curtain" mechanics that are for the MC's eyes only. As the Principles say: Make your move, but misdirect Make your move, but never speak its name Address yourself to the characters, not the players The substance, ...


7

There are events happening in Apocalypse World that the players don't know about (yet), and fronts are how the GM collects these happenings and reasons about them. Fronts' details fall under the GM principles of Think offscreen too and Sometimes, disclaim decision-making. The players don't even need to know that fronts exist mechanically, but they're ...


2

In essence, Jadasc's answer is correct. There is no set yes/no, and it is left up to the DM to decide. However, as an alternative, do not make the actual times visible to them, but describe things that their characters could pick up on. People in Shantyville have started falling ill. An angry mob burned a "witch" because she was supposedly spreading the ...


2

Up to you, but I like it when they're visible. The rules don't come down one way or another, but when I played in a Dungeon World long con game, the Front countdown was visible on the wall in front of us, and it added a great bit of tension to the game. Unless it interferes with your enjoyment of the game, I'd recommend making it known to the players. ...


2

So @KRyan is completely correct that flying is asymmetrical. Over time this becomes an absolute problem for really everyone. Your 12th-level two-handed fighter is basically useless against a dragon unless he's running around with a flying carpet or some version of the Fly spell. As Pathfinder is designed there are really two important methods that melee ...


5

Fighting flyers can be frustrating to flightless creatures. Fortunately, there are some tricks a monster can pull against a flyer, and further means for you as a DM to limit or negate the flyer's advantages. Before diving in, there's something worth noting: If your player is genuinely excited about playing a flyer (and not just about a cheesy "unbeatable" ...


1

At least at low levels, this is not as one-sided as it appears. Hovering like that requires a DC 15 Fly check to remain in flight, and until the character has invested some skill points and gained some levels, that's not an automatic success. At later levels the problem remains, although there are other sources of flight available by this point.


4

Flying is completely asymmetrical. Because a flying creature can move in 3D, they have literally infinitely more options for movement and positioning than do grounded creatures. There is absolutely no response to it for most creatures. Ranged attackers tend to do OK, obviously, and of course anyone else with flight is fine, but melee, grounded creatures ...


2

Templates are to race what prestige classes are to class, they exist primarily as a tool to help a DM flesh out their campaign world, to make it unique and interesting. Prestige classes are balanced by their prerequisites, the specific level-based stats a character has to have to enter them - race doesn't have prerequisites, a character is born into it ...


2

Perhaps have them imagine something, and then you make a character based on what they imagine. It would be faster for sure. Instead of showing them what is available, just say "Every weapon that has ever been made that you could ever think of except guns"


9

Stop babying them Ten and eleven years old is not young. I started playing D&D at that age, and I know plenty of fellow players who did too. I read everything I could and learned to play because I wanted to, and nobody was going to do it for me. Speaking from that experience, and speaking as a parent of a young child: If they have concentration ...


7

Focus on Narrative/Character choices, no mechanics Your original approach is how you might help someone familar with the system or RPGs to build their character but it relies on so many assumptions/priori knowledge that it of course fell flat when you were trying to build a character with your cousins. Instead of asking them mechanical questions at each ...


-1

Another solution, and one that in my opinion makes the game much more realistic, would be to let players add ranks ONLY to skills they actually trained during the last level. In your case, spending enough time studying arcane tomes is necessary to put points into Knowledge(arcana). Learning from a mentor and practicing can be viable alternatives too, and ...


0

+2 Circumstantial bonus to something rather specific, whenever the character has (spent hours doing a thing X to get the bonus, or something similar). You might even allow them to get multiple bonuses from different sources, in which case the game becomes the story about how they spent time and effort to beat a challenge - which sounds okay to me. One way ...


-2

If the character read only books about arcana stuff and nothing else, I should give him some "Knowledge: arcana" or "Use Magic Device" ranks (+1 or +2 maximum). You can also give character a situational bonus like "+2 on 'Knowledge: religion' for a specific religion". Once, I had a character like this who found a library in lost dwarf ruins. Since he was ...


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 ...


-3

Premise Unfortunately, despite most of the official adventure books being written for "4 to 6 players", 6 characters is not really a thing that works unless you do some serious hack to every encounter. & characters win more easily (because there's more damage in the pot and because in a 6vs4 everybody hitting the same target presses the advantage even ...


0

Empaths: NO. Because the character is just picking up on the emotions another entity is exuding. The way Butcher writes about it, emotions and not just external but are also things that are being externalized by subconscious expression and a person's unconscious physical communication, and picking up on those signals just means a character is sensitive, or ...



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