Tag Info

New answers tagged

0

Besides all the great answers already given, I think I have an idea to add to this -- maybe it will prove useful to some. (I seriously hope I'm not duplicating anyone: I read/skimmed all the answers, but even so I might have missed a paragraph or sentence. Should that be the case, sorry.) So: Superficial hierarchy So, there's a group of PCs. One of them is ...


0

One trick is to have them elect their leader, if the setting allows that. Players will accept his leadership much more easily if it's them who gave it to him. (of course the others good suggestions still apply)


0

I would go over each character, and then allow choice by "white elephant" style. The first person gets to pick first. The second can choose what has been picked, or one of the other characters. Keep going until everyone has a character. You can also do it blind, where no one knows what sheet they're picking when they grab from the pile. In this case, ...


2

Let the players decide among themselves, unless you have a history of them fighting and not getting along? Also, let more than one person choose the same pre-gen. They want two melee fighters or two socialites? Great! Let them! Also, I tend to split the pregens into two stacks - send one clockwise, send the other counterclockwise. Generally speaking, I ...


0

Sit your players around the table with nothing on it. Place the character sheets in the middle, face down. State, "Each of you take a sheet, look it over privately. If you are satisfied with what you picked, keep it. If you don't like it, put it back face-down and pick another sheet. You can only hold one sheet at a time. If we run out of characters ...


0

What everyone else has said. I've always done the "whoever gets to the table first gets first choice in pre-gen characters" when I've had these (like conventions). It encourages people to be prompt. The other thing is to make sure you put the blurb on the character sheet. This helps speed up the picking -- players don't get overwhelmed by the list of skills ...


1

Choosing/Assigning Pregens Since you have a mix of players in familiarity and skill, the first thing is to identify which characters are the easiest to run with in terms of mechanics and fictional role - the good "starter" characters. This would be characters who are the least mechanically complex if the game has different rules for different character ...


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 ...


20

The way I've always seen this done is to simply let everyone look over all the characters, and then let them decide among themselves who plays what. I guess this could lead to problems if there were two players who absolutely insisted on having the same character, but I've never witnessed that being an issue. More likely, one of them will just say "I ...


6

I think maybe you are overthinking it a little. In the past, when I did this, I have assigned each player the character that I thinks he's going to play better, or I think will be more interesting to him. That's because I have very mutual trust with my players. But that way you can assign the simplest characters to the more novice players (e.g: leaving ...


0

Morrowind had a good approach. Give each player a personality quiz. The personality they're quizzing is that of their character. Based on the results, you give them the character sheet.


0

Get to the fun, right away Some games are very good at getting to the meat right away - they may have a team/mission dynamic, they may have a set scene structure/scene framing rules, or they might have a specific scene that starts every campaign. When I move to more traditional games that don't have this, I forget that you actually WANT to get things ...


-1

Jörmungandr Sea serpent from Norse mythology, son of Loki Why? By definition, there could be only one Apex predator in one given environment. Jörmungandr is a marine creature. Problem solved. Classic fantasy based, preferably Western culture originating. That's Norse mythology. Unlike Leviatan that is Hebraic. They can't be a standard biped race, humans ...


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 ...


1

I'm not the hugest fan of introducing puzzles like this into games but I think the best way to do this is to solve them out of character and then, if necessary, roleplay the solution in character. So long as everyone knows that you're going to do this (announcing it beforehand might be a good tactic), it eliminates or at least reduces many of the issues at ...


-2

Leave solving the riddles to the players and create other challenges for the characters. Some examples for D&D 3.5 (using the giant example but it might work for any riddles or puzzles): Hints related to character knowledge - a riddle may contain a reference to a legend, local event etc. If the character makes a successful knowledge check (history, ...


7

The reason the rolls seems unfair is a problem called Goblin Dice. When talking about combat, d20 decide if a goblin lives or dies - but we all know sooner or later he will kick the bucket. When we use d20 to determine the success of one-of-a-kind events (like making a bluff check, a diplomacy check or a riddle-solving check), the high variability of the ...


-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 ...


12

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 they players aren't interested ...


1

In nearly any system of magic, there are rules & boundaries that define its limitations. Without such, magic users would be gods, omnipotent, and boring. As such, if properly functioning magic is a barrier to the plausibility of your story, then you must find a reason for magic's failure. Something to consider for added plausibility, or idea ...


-1

I know that you specified another rpg in your post but I think that it wouldn't be too difficult to modify one of the paragon enemies in dnd for your purposes. Although it mostly comes up in relation to star warlocks, there is the evil planet/star, allabar. Allabar is intelligent, malevolent, gargantuan and manipulative. As far as breathing goes that's up ...


10

Depending how you treat the way Elves magically grow their food (not BAM! food magically, instantly spawned but more of an enhanced farming), one approach could be that it's not the Elves' magic being block, but the soil itself has become corrupt. Example: The ground water has become tainted due to a toxic slime monster in the cavern where the water table ...


21

Finding out why the elven magic has stopped working could be a very interesting adventure! The direction of the adventure largely depends on how magic "works" in your setting. This is only really limited by your imagination and what you and your players will enjoy. Here are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. 1. Magic comes from the gods, ...


5

Elves? Without Magic? Well, yes, you can have magic be blocked in most RPGs that feature magic. I'm assuming this is some version of D&D, or at least the elves get their magic from something, instead of intrinsically having it. In D&D 3.5 parlance, this is the difference between divine casters and arcane casters. If the elves depend on nature ...


6

First off, congrats on taking-up the mantle of GM! Secondly, if you don't mind making-up some new spells to fit your story, it's pretty simple: The elven crop-growing spells are being blocked by some evil magics. The Evish farmers should have some sort of clue that leads the PC's through a detective story. The farmers have clues that lead the PC's to some ...


3

I am this kind of player. I know it all too well, and more than once my GMs have talked to me about it. In my case, I "grew up" with DnD power-gamers, the types of players who dedicate themselves to creating the most powerful character possible within the rules, often bending said rules all the way to the breaking point. As a result, that's how I know how ...


2

I would recommend figuring out what he wants from the game, instead of trying to make him play the game your way. Maybe he isn't interested in having plots revolving around him, or in building up a narrative around his character. Perhaps he enjoys being the guest hero of the week. In that case, plan around him changing characters. Let him know where the ...


2

I agree that there is little chance of solving the problem while you're GMing in this way and, sadly, if you keep doing this you won't be able to find anyone that wants to play the games you're designing. That said, I'd like to submit an approach that was used as the foundation for a campaign world that lasted ten years and at times had three or four groups ...


8

When I've engaged in this, it's usually because I've made a series of NPCs. When not thinking, I tend to form character requirements for maximum conflict-safety. (Not to say invulnerability within the mechanics of combat, but boring characters who don't want anything and thus have no reason for drama or narrative engagement.) Thus, because they are boring, ...


0

Player Satisfaction Generally character remodeling is a symptom of either dissatisfaction or boredom, both of which indicate the player is not receiving what they wish to receive from the game. Talk to them about their expectations, and also look at your own GMing skills, especially in things like spotlight time and player agency. If necessary, do a quick ...


3

Inevitably the best solution in these situations is Talk It Out If you've been experience a common problem at your tables but haven't been actually asked the players what's up (as alluded to when you say "I'm guessing"), you're failing in one of the primary duties of the GM; which is to make sure everyone is having fun. Now, it might be that this player is ...


8

I can understand switching to a different character once, like, you didn't understand the system or the campaign, and you didn't realize what kind of character would be a good fit for you. But repeatedly doing it, after just a few sessions? It's time to sit down with the player and have a hard talk. "What do you want from this game? Here is what ...


2

The problem is you are creating when you should be game mastering. The creative itch pulls you into going way farther than is necessary, given the short time frame of your attention during gaming. I would suggest developing one campaign while running another. You can pull in concepts from the developing campaign without tying your development to an actual ...


2

Angel Angels are badass. They are always appearing to cause trouble and no one knows why. Angels don't have to be emissaries of God. They are alternatively represented as Half-bird/half-human things or occasionally as thinly-disguised demons. http://media.animevice.com/uploads/3/37524/677068-safer_sephiroth.jpg Classic fantasy based, preferably Western ...


4

A World/Leviathan Turtle Classic fantasy based, preferably Western culture originating. Oh heck, yes. They can't be a standard biped race. Check. Not a dragon or a dragon clone. Nope. Living. Breathing. Consuming... just imagine how much it would take to feed such a thing. Lone being. Almost by definition. An intelligent being that can be reasoned ...


1

Really I have 3 ideas here. This has already been said, but make shorter campaigns. You get bored quickly and so build the campaigns in a way so that they will be shorter. This lets them get the feeling of completing the campaign as well as giving you less time to get bored. Write a very generic/open ended story. Come up with a solid start then make an ...


-1

First, kudos for a fascinating question. Game is DnD 3.5, not that it matters. Actually, it might. Another responder linked a newbie-friendly roleplaying question. It's possible that the mechanics of a game may get in the way of a player's expectations or such. I can see how the mechanics of, say, Hasbro's latest tabletop-"MMO"s get in the way of my ...


2

There must be some successful, humane way of introducing the players to a setting they have no clue about. It's all about making that kind of translation a smooth and gentle. Take it in two parts. 1) The players need a rundown. 1a) .. of the things which local everyday people know about the region 1b) .. of the things which local everyday people know ...


0

To me these are 2 different things. The rules 3E/3.5E/4E/5E are just rules for how things happen. The campaign and story is independent of these rules (for the most part). I would not throw out both at same time, if the campaign is not working fix it. If its the rules fix it or switch to a diff set of rules, heck mix the rules if you want. The biggest ...


2

I have two suggestions. First: Stop planning the ending. Seriously. What I'm hearing (and I could very well be wrong) is that you get ideas for stories and try to run people through a story - not through a campaign. Let yourself discover what the ending of the campaign is going to be, based on what the players are doing. Let yourself be surprised by ...


4

From my personal experience with the same problem... Being a gamemaster can be very rewarding. Plotting, creating a world full of life and death, and knowing where all of the bodies are buried. It can be intoxicating. But I've also found that it can be stifling. My cure for it was found quite by accident, when I started into narrative style gaming. ...


2

There is a cheesy way out that no one has yet mentioned. Switch to the new campaign, but work in a bridge from the current campaign and pretend they are the same. This can work even if you switch to a new system (you can upgrade the characters in place rather than start new ones). Of course, sometimes the new idea is really incompatible with the old one. ...


5

I find that the opening session or two tends to center on feeling out the characters in general. The players, once interacting with each other for the first few times and being tossed into how your world and NPCs work might shift from the expectations. Think about almost every TV show you've seen - the pilot is usually more focused on making the characters ...


4

First, tell the players that you want to end your current campaign but want to give it a proper conclusion. Wrap up your current campaign quickly. You've got an ending in mind; massage the rest of the plans to bring that ending sooner. If necessary, change the final challenge to be more appropriate to lower-level characters. Don't toss in a total deus ex ...


24

Same Page Tool There is such a thing. It's called the Same Page Tool. It does require you to talk to the players, but gives you a structured set of questions to work from that can guide that conversation. There's really no way to do this that doesn't involve talking to them in some way, short of running campaigns and watching what they react to & what ...


6

I'm also a guy who likes to play/run a LOT of different games. What I've done is instead of planning superlong campaigns, I plan short runs: 3-6 session game arcs that folks can play, and finish, relatively quickly. We'll usually play a game, finish, then move to the next game, and come back later if we want to pick it up again. This also works better as ...


2

It looks like there are two interwoven issues here. The first is that you're attracted to a new game system. The second is that you've become bored with the campaign you're currently running, and are feeling like you could create a new campaign that would be more rewarding. The lure of a new game system can be difficult to resist. Our group shifts systems ...


56

So, how do I get out of the vicious circle? Stop doing the thing that's causing it. You diagnosed this yourself: It's probably the worst issue I have as a Game Master, I think of a Game, I write a campaign plot for it, End, Beggining and Middle, get Hyped, Hype my players, and after 2 months I want the story to end, and it's usually too late to make ...



Top 50 recent answers are included