Questions tagged [new-gm]

For questions specifically about problems inherent to becoming or tutoring a game master (GM). This tag is not for just saying "I am a new GM": see the full tag wiki for important usage notes.

74
votes
6answers
6k views

What is role-playing, and where do I start?

I have been told that roleplaying is great fun. I've looked and looked and it all seems so complicated. Could anyone tell me a good place to start, and what sort of things you end up doing in ...
64
votes
7answers
8k views

As a GM, is it bad form to ask for a moment to think when improvising?

As an amateur GM, I, like many other new GMs, often find myself having to improvise in the wake of unexpected player action. In the past, my approach to this has been to rush to think of something on ...
59
votes
9answers
17k views

The PC claims to know an NPC they just met, how should I react as the DM?

My friends and I are new to RP and we've only had one session of dnd-5e trying out the starter set. As we are quite into fantasy in general, we thought we could make our own PCs. So instead of playing ...
58
votes
9answers
16k views

How do I learn to become a good GM?

I have played and tried to GM games since I was in elementary school, beginning with games like Shadowrun, Earthdawn, and Champions. Recently, I've gotten dack into gaming with a variety of other ...
55
votes
14answers
19k views

Should I boost a new player's character level to match the rest of the group?

As the title states, I have a new member joining the group. He is also new to the RP game, meaning he has no experience at all with any system (much like the rest of the group, who are only 3 or 4 ...
55
votes
6answers
7k views

How to get my Paranoia players to stop cooperating and start killing each other?

I've read some of the questions and answers on paranoia here, but I seem to be missing some kind of key element to play. I ran Robot IMANA-665-C and I didn't seem to be able to get the players to ...
53
votes
5answers
4k views

Is the same page tool overkill for brand new players?

I'm about to run the D&D 5e starter set for a group, most of which are entirely new to RPGs. The Same Page Tool looks like a great resource for a new group playing together, but not necessarily ...
50
votes
17answers
3k views

Your friend wants to learn the ways of the Dungeon Master, what do you do?

I believe that all tabletop role playing gamers should at one point or another try their hand at Dungeon Mastering. However, it's a goal that at times can feel overwhelming. What advice would you ...
49
votes
6answers
6k views

How can I make my enemies feel real and make combat more engaging?

As a newer DM, I have trouble making some of the more routine combats feel unique or urgent. I believe this is because the enemies my PCs are fighting tend to act like an AI, or just attack until they ...
44
votes
9answers
15k views

Power player is a problem. Any fix?

Context I'm a new DM because the old DM wanted to play for once. No big deal right? Man was I wrong in accepting. Let me explain. This "DM" knows everything. He is always right. Even if he is ...
41
votes
6answers
2k views

Should I do something about slow pace in my inexperienced group?

Last night we played our first RPG (ever!) and I'm not sure if it went well. The game was Deathwatch and the basic story was to find someone. There were three possible places where he could be; then ...
40
votes
7answers
7k views

As a GM, how to react to players challenging contradictions in your narration?

As with any position of power, responsibility is bestowed onto a GM when running a game. Because good GMing has a lot of impact on overall enjoyment, the GM carries a certain amount of weight behind ...
39
votes
10answers
5k views

How can I enjoy being a DM when I have an explorer personality?

I live in a small Finnish town with my wife and we want to play. But we cannot find any GMs there. So I decided to try to be GM myself. The problem is - I love to explore the worlds, story, monsters, ...
37
votes
12answers
13k views

Player character wants a gun in a prehistoric campaign. What to do?

Brief description of my campaign: Takes place ~1000 years after creation Bronze Age for most of the world, some parts are beginning the Iron Age Dinosaurs and Fae are still relatively common in the ...
37
votes
3answers
5k views

A player made a 4th-level character for our new game and didn't tell me. Now what?

I started to GM 5th edition D&D a few weeks back; I am running them through Lost Mine of Phandelver. After a few games I've almost already killed two new level 1 characters but I was intrigued ...
37
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I DM with aphantasia?

For those who don't know, aphantasia is a condition where a person basically lacks a mind's eye. As such, I cannot imagine characters or places that I read about, let alone create them in a way that ...
36
votes
8answers
4k views

Am I too new to try DMing once?

I am pretty new to Pencil and Paper RPG's, at this point I have been playing a loose interpretation of D&D3.5 for a couple of months. Probably about 6 sessions. But I don't know a lot of the RAW ...
33
votes
12answers
2k views

How to remember all the rules?

Do you have tricks or techniques to remember all the rules to the games you're playing? I would like to run my first game as a gamemaster, but I'm struggling with remembering all the feats and ...
33
votes
7answers
6k views

As a new GM how do I figure out rules quickly?

I tried my hand at GMing for the first time recently and my biggest challenge was figuring out rules on the fly. I frequently found players wanted to do things that I didn't know the rules for, ...
33
votes
5answers
6k views

I'm completely new to D&D. How do I get started with the D&D Starter Set?

I picked up the Dungeons & Dragons 5e Starter Set for my 9 year old for Christmas. That is where I'm at. All I've done. I've never played the game before and am totally new. I am pretty sure I ...
31
votes
6answers
3k views

Does limiting the number of sources help simplify the game for a new DM with new and experienced players?

I still consider myself pretty new as a GM. I have been running D&D 5e for about three years now (not regularly which is why I would say still newish). I am about to embark on a campaign with some ...
31
votes
5answers
4k views

Is D&D a suitable tool for fleshing out my own fictional world?

So I've gone around on the web, trying to figure out exactly how D&D works, and still I'm befuddled. Let me first start by stating what exactly it is I'm trying to achieve. So, I'm an aspiring ...
27
votes
7answers
6k views

How do I avoid micromanaging character creation?

What aspects of character generation should the DM limit? I'm a new DM starting a new campaign with 6 players that have no previous Dungeons and Dragons experience. I've played before; they haven't. ...
27
votes
5answers
6k views

How to handle a group that questions every decision I make as DM

I am new to DMing. In fact, my whole group is new to D&D as a whole. The one struggle I seem to be facing (besides the fact that I have to look almost every thing up) is that 2 of my 5 players are ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views

As a newbie DM, is it OK to borrow plots from MMOs for my game?

I am an inexperienced GM. I have minimal to none experience game-mastering, although I DO have some experience as a player, and I wanted to prepare a game for a great friend of mine who is a very ...
26
votes
8answers
15k views

Is homebrewing D&D okay?

I am DMing for the first time, and I am really excited about playing D&D. I love the idea of it because it is so open ended. I want to increase the amount the players can do in terms of skills, ...
26
votes
2answers
3k views

Game Over in RPGs?

Me and my friends are novices in TRPG. Recently, we've played Anima Prime. The game's quite simple so we could play it right away with short prep. But one thing came in my friend's mind. What happened ...
25
votes
5answers
3k views

As a player, how to engage new players more?

My friends and I have started a 5e campaign. I'm one of the players, and aside from the DM, have by far the most tabletop RPG experience. One of my friends, Bertha, who also has some RPG experience ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I convince my group to try a new system without always having to DM it first?

I always play roleplaying games with the same friends. We have a lot of fun, but I'm always a bit frustrated by the fact that they always resist when I propose to try new roleplaying games. Even ...
24
votes
10answers
6k views

How to introduce a pen-and-paper RPG to family?

My brother and I have dabbled in D&D when we were younger. Also, at the last place where I worked, we had a weekly Pathfinder game session, which was fun. Usually at our family get-togethers my ...
24
votes
6answers
4k views

How can I talk to an experienced player about metagaming?

This is my first campaign as a GM and it is going really well but I have been having trouble with a player. This player is a GM of another campaign that I am playing in and in that campaign he has a ...
24
votes
10answers
591 views

How to encourage the GM-curious?

I have a couple of players who might be interested to try GMing, but have so far been reluctant to "take the plunge" and start up their own games. I think this is mostly because they're not sure that ...
24
votes
6answers
34k views

How can characters access resurrection services during the Starter Set adventure?

The other night two of the characters in my campaign died. As a first time DM (a few sessions now) these first deaths were surprisingly upsetting, and disturbingly satisfying... Anyways, the players ...
24
votes
4answers
1k views

I have read the D&D PHB but am still having trouble grasping some of the basics, how can I learn more?

With credit to one of the more experienced members on the site, mxyzplk, I thought I'd ask where noobs like me should ask or find answers to basic questions about Dungeons & Dragons mechanics if ...
23
votes
7answers
15k views

How to make sure the players escape but feel like it was because of their wit?

Setting I'm preparing for my first time as a DM in D&D 5e (as a player I have gotten to level 4 in 3 campaigns so I have a good grasp of the game, in my group everyone wants to have a go as DM ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Learning to use spells comfortably

I'm hoping to get a little but of advice. You see, I've been running Rise of the Runelords, although the fact that I'm using Pathfinder probably isn't too relevant. Point is, I'm relatively new to GM-...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

How to satisfy a player character's curiosity about another player character?

I am new to DMing. I am starting off with the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure to get my feet wet. One player in particular is playing a half-elf bard. They have watched a lot of Critical Role and ...
21
votes
11answers
4k views

How should I introduce map drawing to my players?

I DMed my first session last week. We are playing the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure from the D&D 5e Starter Set. My players haven't yet entered the first "dungeon" but will likely do so next ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

What is all the backstory in an Adventure Path for if the players never see it?

I'm new to tabletop RPGs (although I have been interested for a long time, just had difficulty finding like-minded companions, and the funds required to get some of the stuff). When I was finally ...
21
votes
6answers
8k views

I'm fairly new to D&D but want to GM; where do I go from here?

I'm a 16-year-old male, and I have been interested in tabletop RPGs for a long time, especially D&D. I sorta dove into D&D really fast and hard by buying the Red box, Dungeon Master Kit, ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Transitioning from GM to Player; or how to recover from GM burnout

A few months ago, I reached the point of "GM burnout." Having been (almost) the exclusive GM for our group for several years, and seeing the number of players and their commitment dwindle combined ...
21
votes
5answers
713 views

How do I analyze and improve myself as a GM?

I'm pretty new to tabletop RPG and recently started to GM a campaign with a group of friends. None of us has much experience, so it's a learning curve for all of us. I've found myself completely ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

Should I give the players what they want even if it's silly? [closed]

We're playing this 'newbies' RPG called Mighty Blade. It has its own system that is very limited, and I have to make most of the stuff up. The problem is that the players think that this mean that ...
20
votes
7answers
4k views

Am I acting unreasonably or do I rein in my players?

I'm a very new but very eager DM. Me and my friends have long been wanting to play and as always we had no DM so I took up the reins. My players are very extremely creative and I want them to be able ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

How to guide a new DM through his first game (as an experienced DM turned player)?

How can I guide and help a new DM through his first campaign (being an experienced DM myself) without having it look like a grab for power or that I think the new DM is incompetent?
20
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I get new players to explore more?

I'm DMing using the 5E Starter Kit and, after DMing the first few encounters, the players aren't exploring the environment sufficiently to learn all the actions they can take. Before our next session ...
19
votes
10answers
4k views

How do I deal with an experienced player who doesn't interact well with my group?

My group and I just migrated from a DM whose very incongruent storytelling and deliberate punishment of non-hack & slay-solutions scared us off. We (mostly) kept our characters (since they are our ...
19
votes
13answers
8k views

How do I respond when players stray from my prepared material?

As a new DM I have had the problem of my players straying way off course to the point where it was not a easy fix problem that where I slowly can guide them back to the objective. An example of this ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I tell how long my adventure is going to be?

I'm a new DM starting a campaign I've written myself. I have a party of 4 players right now- three have been playing for years, one has never played before. My problem is I'm not sure how to tell how ...
18
votes
10answers
2k views

My friends and I are new to RPGs and need a system I can DM and they can pick up. Suggestions? [closed]

My friends and I are trying to get into tabletop RPGs but have ran into some difficultly finding a system/setting that fits. We gave Eclipse Phase a shot but found it to have a pretty high barrier to ...