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Questions tagged [gm-preparation]

For questions about the techniques that game masters use to prepare for a game session. (For preparing a campaign, use the [campaign-development] tag instead.)

0
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2answers
181 views

Assign mini 'secret' quest to one of the party members? [closed]

I'm planning a Dungeons and Dragons campaign set in a province undergoing a separatist insurrection. I want the theme/shtick of the campaign to be the idea of choices and unintended consequences. The ...
9
votes
1answer
403 views

How can I kill a tough druid NPC off-scene for the sake of the plot? [closed]

In a campaign I made myself, there is an 8th-level Druid NPC (good guy) that have an item that I want the bad guys to steal (killing him in the way, for dramatization). My main concern is that he ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

What should the GM do when the player group gets too big? [closed]

For around one year I have been the GM for a few friends that started a Pen&Paper session (Splittermond). They are new to Pen&Paper so I wanted to be their GM for my first time. I love to ...
15
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4answers
449 views

How can I run a session where two opposing parties play at the same time?

A player of mine had an interesting concept where two parties who are opposed to each other would play at the same time in the same session. In essence the plot would be a group of thieves have been ...
22
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4answers
2k views

How can I deliver in-universe written lore to players without it being dry exposition?

I DM for a D&D (5e) group in a custom campaign setting which I worldbuild as we go. One of my players is very much interested in the history and lore of the world and often tries to find out bits ...
17
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3answers
1k views

How can I prep for the Curse of Strahd adventure effectively?

Before I move into the question there are no spoilers here. I am about to embark on a lengthy D&D adventure with some new players that will start with the Lost Mine of Phandelver (LMoP) and then ...
2
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0answers
155 views

Room and floor numbering conventions for large to midsized dungeons: most popular, advantages and disadvantages? [closed]

Introduction I have been creating some multi-floor dungeons. It took awhile, but with time I found software, a notation format, and fidelity level that suited my needs. The one thing I'm still not ...
25
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2answers
3k views

How to GM as a Solar NPC who has high Intelligence and Wisdom scores?

I'm considering using a Solar (INT 25, WIS 25) as a semi-benevolent (but also kind of annoying) come-and-go guide of sorts to 3 high-level PC's in an upcoming campaign. While I would like to imagine ...
21
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3answers
2k views

How do I reduce plot stalling in a collaborative roleplaying game?

My first attempt at running a session of Storybrewers' game Good Society completely stalled out in terms of plot. Good Society is a collaborative storytelling-style game. The facilitator's role is ...
1
vote
1answer
178 views

Can a Gargantuan Object that is divided into parts be Animated as distinct parts?

I'm GMing a group of players for the second time. Most of them were first time players on the first go, and are now feeling more confident in their D&D skills. We've decided as a group to keep ...
18
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4answers
2k views

As a DM, how far should I prepare ahead in a premade campaign?

As a first time DM I found a group to play Storm King's Thunder. I have been reading the first part of the story to prepare. So far I have read up to level 5 till after the flying with the giant to ...
4
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1answer
152 views

Can I create a tree structure to my The One Ring games to help guide the player?

I am trying to be a Loremaster (LM) for a session of The One Ring. Right now the only player is my wife, who loves LOTR series. I am trying to create a campaign using the Marsh Bell ready-to-play ...
32
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10answers
6k views

How can I utilize overly-violent PCs for character development / progressing the story?

I'm fairly new to D&D and especially DMing. I've started a new campaign with 2-3 people and more may be joining soon, which might make this question entirely useless to ask if the new players ...
4
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3answers
212 views

What are the potential drawbacks of this in-fiction solution for a varying player group?

This question is a child of Potential problems running a large and varying group in DW, I give full background there, but the important part is that I expect to be GMing a Dungeon World campaign which ...
3
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0answers
339 views

Is this possibly deadly encounter fair to run? [closed]

The Situation One of my players angered a very dangerous guild of assassins, by killing one of their members, that of course got him a nice bounty for his head. In a attempt to deceive the guild, ...
5
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4answers
367 views

Simulating a “Living” world [closed]

One of the classic things a GM wants to do is have his game world react convincingly to the actions of his players, as it adds a sense of consequence and verisimilitude to the world. If, for example, ...
3
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0answers
371 views

What pacing problems for the DM does Murder in Baldur's Gate pose when running the adventure?

This question is directed at DM/GMs who have run the adventure Murder in Baldur's Gate. I am prepping to run this adventure, and it seems that this module's ten phase / three faction plot structure ...
14
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3answers
396 views

How can I quickly adjust encounters for variable party sizes?

Problem I'm running a campaign with 6 players, but they can't always show up1. That, by itself, would not be a problem, if I knew how many would come with enough time to prepare for it. The thing is: ...
13
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3answers
1k views

How to prepare to DM sessions when we intend to play daily for a whole week?

I will be DMing Storm King's Thunder in about two months. Me being a first-time DM and my players only having played a year ago or never before. The special thing is that we will be in a flat for a ...
3
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1answer
672 views

Increasing CR for more players

I am currently running a short Pathfinder published adventure (We Be Goblins Too!) as an interlude between campaigns. For reasons not relevant to this question, I have 7-8 player coming each week. ...
6
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1answer
889 views

How to prepare good session break points in LMoP?

Context I'm starting a new D&D5e table with 6 players. As the sessions will be played during the week, mostly at night, and most of us need to be up by the morning the next day, our time is hard-...
6
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3answers
252 views

How to keep motivated to plan game sessions

I have alot of trouble motivating myself to make games for me to GM. I have the whole story plot for the adventure, clearly in my head, and I have ideas of how to keep them on track with the main ...
137
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26answers
40k views

Players skipping side quests just to have a laugh at the DM

Something that's happening frequently at my table recently is that the players are making choices deliberately to waste my preparation. If they see something that obviously took some preparation that ...
3
votes
4answers
261 views

Setting up a Dungeon Map

So I don't know if anyone on here has used the 4E Keep on the Shadowfell but when you get to interlude 2 the PCs enter the dungeon, but the map is huge. When we play, I have the characters move over ...
5
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1answer
5k views

Creating Horror Atmosphere [closed]

I'm relatively new to DMing/GMing. All the people that I play with have DMed at least a few times. The only thing I've run is a prefab from Tales of the Yawning Portal. My problem I want to make a ...
15
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4answers
648 views

What do I focus on in a Fate Core one shot to showcase its differences to my D&D group?

I'm a player in a D&D 5e group that play since about 1 year. I like it, but I find the d20 dice system and plethora of rules to be constraining and coming often in the way of good story telling. ...
1
vote
4answers
835 views

One of my player is writing an extensive background for my one shot, how to tell him we're not using background for this one-shot?

I've announced a one shot in a Discord server, and prospective players have contacted me to join it. We don't know each other. I asked them to prepare their character before the session, and it ...
0
votes
1answer
161 views

How to handle 16 players in a PVP focused campaign?

I have a group of people (16 in this case) who looks like love to debate a lot about wich can be the best supernatural creature of nWoD. I asked as a joke if they want to test. One thing conected to ...
11
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2answers
778 views

How to showcase NPC's rich backstory?

In an upcoming game I have an NPC whom I've picked from a previous game. The NPC in question has already had an interesting background, and was evolved from the endgame state to suit the new campaign ...
2
votes
2answers
252 views

How to be sure that an adventure is short enough to end in one session?

Recently I am in the situation where I have to start mastering some adventures to people I don't know. They can have some experience or not at all. It's needed to end in just one session, because it'...
4
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3answers
171 views

System for Easier Randomized Monster Generation in Pathfinder

I'm a very new GM and I've been running a custom setting in Pathfinder recently. It's post-apocalyptic and due to weird mutations/magic the monsters that the players can run into will often be unique, ...
1
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0answers
561 views

How to run a game for a single player? [closed]

One of my friends sent me a message asking to join my game. I told him i would run him through a game but i never tried running a game with a single person before. Should i make the combat encounters ...
1
vote
0answers
77 views

Adapting Model UN to RPGs [closed]

In High School my friends and I was a member of my school's Model United Nations club (or is it a team?). We had a lot of fun. When I left for college I got new friends who were into RPGs. We've ...
3
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2answers
285 views

Handling Slightly Unpredictable Situations [closed]

So it was my first time DMing for experienced players and were playing through The Sunless Citadel. Most of what happened happened accordingly to the book expect dialogue, which I was expecting. What ...
8
votes
3answers
491 views

How do I make information that I give my players “accidental”?

I like the idea that the players of my campaign are meddlers. Creatures who have came upon knowledge only by accident or putting their noses where those noses don't belong. The idea that the ...
1
vote
2answers
701 views

Ambient music for online sessions [closed]

I'm DMing a Forgotten Realms campaign online, and wanted to ask how people play music so everyone can hear. I'm looking for a site or application, possibly that I could integrate with Fantasy Grounds, ...
8
votes
2answers
341 views

How can I use dungeon/location moves without stalling gameplay?

In Dungeon World there is a GM move titled: "Use a monster, danger, or location move". For monsters, I've generally already come up with specific moves and a host of monsters my players may face in ...
6
votes
1answer
160 views

How can I best find all the monsters with a given ability?

I frequently want to compile a list of monsters with a specific Special Ability, but doing so currently involves numerous Pfsrd searches and sorting through massive piles of noise, followed by fine-...
3
votes
1answer
171 views

How does a settlement's size change its modifiers?

I am trying to create a settlement using the settlement rules. Each settlement has a size. The Settlement Statistics table has a column called "modifiers" which gives a bonus/penalty depending on the ...
26
votes
10answers
5k views

My players are jumpy, how should I encourage more exploration?

Due to a number of factors my primary playing group tends to take very cautious approach to gaming when I DM. The reason for this is likely that I don't tend to pull any punches, and generally enjoy ...
8
votes
1answer
508 views

Are there guidelines for homebrewed content?

I am going to be a first-time DM in the near future, and one of the players wants to run a homebrewed class that sounds pretty exciting. I'm eager to include the class, but some searching only turned ...
21
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11answers
4k views

Make NPC death most dramatic

For reasons that would take to long to explain here, my campaign requires are certain feel of fear and paranoia for my PCs. There will be quite a few failed assassination attempts and so on. I'm ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How many hours to go from level 1 to 10 in a campaign?

Background: I've DM'd before (3 past campaigns). I started playing D&D 4e when I was 12 or 13, so it holds a special place in my heart. However, school commitments took me away from the game for ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Continue using low-CR monsters in encounters as players gain levels? [closed]

I'm a first-time GM. I see a wealth of monsters that have somewhere between CR 1/8 to CR 1 in the Monster Manual. Skeletons are one of these monsters. While those monsters are threatening to low-...
4
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4answers
642 views

Randomly Alternating GMs in D&D 5-e

Problem Setting About two years ago, my life didn't allow free-time for reading fantasy literature and playing role-playing games. I miss it - I want to play D&D again. However, life outside of ...
2
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0answers
83 views

What options do I have if I want to play a premade adventure, but don't have enough players? [closed]

I have a fixed group of players that isn't going to change. Better to say, several "groups" of 1 to 3 mostly socially awkward friends who don't want to have people they don't know behind the table, ...
11
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1answer
350 views

How would one go about creating Fronts that don't fall under the listed dangers, etc.?

How would I go about creating a front that doesn't use one of the listed dangers? Would I have to find something similar but not quite correct? Create a new one? If I create a new one, how would I do ...
8
votes
1answer
506 views

How are Kingdoms handled in Dungeon World?

I am playing a Dungeon World Campaign and am wondering how kingdoms are handled mechanically. Do I just let the tags arise naturally from the fiction (such as trade and supply tags/wealth tags for the ...
2
votes
0answers
246 views

Engaging players away from the table [closed]

So I'm running a D&D 3.5 game right now with 4 friends, soon to be 5. I was talking with one of them after a session asking what they thought I could do to improve the campaign and they ...
31
votes
8answers
4k views

Can lack of planning railroad players?

There's plenty of questions on here about how to, as a GM, prepare less for sessions and learn to go with the flow your players create rather than railroading them into your plans. I'm interested in ...