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37

If everybody's having fun, you're fine! There is no universal answer to this except "Whatever works for your group." Some people will like it, some won't care, some will be annoyed, so you really have to tailor this sort of thing to the group you're playing with. As a GM, I encourage this kind of analysis but generally keep it to a post-mortem after the ...


31

The big thing is how a game structures its facts when you want to have clue scenes. Pre-established Facts The GM decides what happened beforehand, and now the point is to have all clues and witnesses eventually point towards that fact. This is the most common way games handle things, but there is rarely good advice towards doing it well. Start with Free ...


21

Setting Expectations Whenever I as GM am dealing with multi-PC/NPC conversations, I first remind my players that I am a single-thread processor and can therefore only handle one conversation at a time, then proceed to deal with them one at a time as appropriate for the configuration of speakers. 1. One-to-Many Conversations The easiest way to handle this ...


13

Release the Wombat of Discourse! This is my default strategy for the first time a group starts talking over each other so much it hinders play: I bring a stuffed animal to the session, and name it The [Animal] of Discourse. The GM may speak at any time, but only the player with the Animal can talk. They pass the Animal amongst themselves however it suits ...


12

If you already know how the story's going to end, and have a clear character arc and intentional dramatic tension, and require specific choices from the protagonist to keep the story moving, this sounds like it could be a decent novel. Otherwise, you're stuck with a DM of the rings where you're dumping exposition at the non-central players and expecting ...


11

The GUMSHOE system (used in Trail of Cthulhu and some other games) is a whole game system designed to keep things going during investigation games. Investigation is generally hard to play in some systems because either you flat out give the information to the players with no effort on their side or there's some kind of roll that, if failed, stops the PCs on ...


11

It is only natural, especially in a system as complex as PF, that rules "errors"/misinterpretations will occur. As a GM I would let the previous ruling stand (going back and redoing a round seems pointless unless it is causing serious player grief) but discuss the "correct"/RAW ruling and either implement it next time or just agree to homebrew that ...


8

This can be awkward, but in my experience as long as you’re cognizant of how it can be awkward and disruptive, and make good-faith attempts to avoid disruption, a good group will welcome the contributions. The key to my experiences with this has been to establish this kind of role for myself in my group; everyone knows that A. I know what I’m ...


6

It all depends on the group As already was said, if people are having fun, everything is all right. Managing a campaign and remembering rules is burdensome - you can help I like to be DM. Really. But I like to weave a story most. Bookkeeping is something I do when I have to. I really like it when my players knows the rules that affect their character. If ...


6

I watched a whole lot of Law & Order with an eye toward trying to understand how they structure their mysteries. I noticed a few things that I think ought to help run a mystery game. (Life has gotten in the way of testing my theories in the game I was to run, so do report back if any of this helps!) First, a mystery is not a confusing story--it's a ...


4

Use Marvelous Initiative This strategy is a formal rules-based implementation of basic "turn-taking" etiquette. It is probably only necessary if your group really likes rules, or as training wheels toward the group figuring out its own conversational rhythms. I haven't tried this with freeform conversational RP, but it's worked well in Fate where tense ...


4

"Just the facts" just isn't enough Plan more flavor and context into your scenes, and your story. WoD games often lend themselves to strong thematic overtones, so don't skimp. Small side stories, or a growing tapestry of NPCs can both add a feeling of depth to the play experience. As you write later scene, call back to those "useless" or "flavor" ...


4

My current Pathfinder group is in a similar situation. Half the players are brand new to the system, and even the more advanced players (including the GM) don't always understand a rule the first time it gets used... or the first several times. Luckily, this has never caused strife in my group. Once someone discovers an error, we just resolve to get it right ...


3

We'll address this in general, by means of a thought experiment: Alphaworld: A Land Untrodden Alphaworld is a world in which all magic is rare and powerful (obviously it can't be both rare and weak or the world wouldn't be high fantasy any more). As a result there are no +1 swords, no potion of mildly effective glass cleaning, because minor magic items ...


3

You Don't You are asking impossible, contradictory things. In essence, this question asks How do I get an impossibly rare and delicate social structure to occur spontaneously and persist in inhospitable conditions? Let's talk contradictory first: All members of the group should be roughly equal in value/respect The party must contain at least ...


3

Lacking a system tag to guide an answer to a specific system, I'll list a few ways I've seen this handled, both in canon and by GM decisions. Many fantasy worlds aren't hurtling through space. Many Dungeons-and-Dragons campaign settings either have edges (nearly-flat worlds) or are the centers of their universe (the sun revolves around the Earth). ...


2

Without using established relationships to do the job? Heavens, why? That's always the answer. Relationships—personal or professional, healthy or harmful—are why any two humans associate closely and preferentially over a long period of time. They don't have to be relationships dictated by the GM, but the existence of "ties that bind" can be dictated. Let ...


2

Especially when improvising social scenes I found it best to have one or at most two NPCs there to interact with. A larger social event (like a party) usually never takes more than two sentences from me because I found them to be bad for gameplay. The reason is that usually only one PC interacts with one NPC when many are there so I basically have to play ...


2

I can't post this as a comment, but I feel like it's worthy of an answer anyway. it expands on what Bankuei answered about pre-planned scenes. Be flexible in your plot If at all possible, allow the investigators to go at a faster pace than you accounted for. Maybe they figured out where the criminals will strike next before you expected them to, even ...


2

With questions like these, I always point to Alexandrian's Three Clue Rule essay. http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/1118/roleplaying-games/three-clue-rule As Alexandrian says, have at least three clues per thing that you want the players to figure out. And as Bankuei says, make at least some of them obvious. Generally I use two tiers when making a ...


1

It is important for the GM to learn what he is doing differently to the rules. These decisions may make the game either harder or easier for the players. A good GM accounts for these differences to make the game balanced to the level his players find entertaining and fun.



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