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.

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How to handle teleporting players into another character's memories?

In my world, I have an NPC (Baron) who made a deal with a devil (Stan) which requires Baron to maintain a diary in exchange for immortality. The many volumes of the diary serve to give Baron his ...
11 votes
5 answers
635 views

How can we help our DM to keep things moving?

Our DM started to master for us about two years ago, using published materials. We played Lost Mine of Phandelver, then Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and now Dungeon of the Mad Mage. All of this is good. ...
22 votes
4 answers
4k views

Can a player replace their pre-generated character with a new character they create, partway through an adventure?

I'm a new DM playing Lost Mine of Phandelver with two other adults and our kids, two 11-year-olds. We started with the pre-generated characters; I'm playing the Dwarf cleric as an NPC. One of the kids ...
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10 votes
3 answers
903 views

First time DM; Curse of Strahd; Did I just rush my PCs? How to do better?

So running my first campaign (technically second, but the first never finished as the group dispersed). I'm running four PCs through Curse of Strahd, currently at Death House. Things were going pretty ...
  • 209
14 votes
4 answers
3k views

How do you handle role-playing NPCs as a DM? [closed]

I DM a 5e D&D campaign. I've been playing D&D for under a year. In this new campaign I'm planning to have a few NPC allies. While I'm able to roleplay less important NPCs, these NPCs feel more ...
2 votes
0 answers
98 views

Homebrewing tips for multi-table campaigns? [closed]

To be clear, I am not looking for homebrew. I am only looking for tips for running games, with the current requirements I have set. Anyway, I am going to be running a campaign for some new players. ...
  • 3,133
6 votes
0 answers
132 views

Should I buy one of the starter sets, or the core books? [duplicate]

I am a new d&d player, who has some research into d&d. I have decided to try it out, but I don't know which one to buy. (I'm deciding to become a dm for the sake of the new players) Should I ...
27 votes
7 answers
4k views

What level, if any, of feedback should players give a new GM?

I've recently started playing D&D with a few friends, most of whom are new-ish to the game. Our GM is running their first world, and while their world building is very impressive, when it comes to ...
-2 votes
2 answers
692 views

Is this Artificer / Armorer variant balanced enough? [closed]

I am playing a casual campaign with some friends. The DM is a friend of mine who is new to DMing but is well versed in the game, whereas I am just starting out. After a session or two into the ...
  • 291
13 votes
5 answers
4k views

New DM on House Rules, concerning Nat20 & Rule of Cool

As a DM making a house rule, am I allowed to grant "Rule of Cool" to Natural 20 rolls in exchange of giving "Rule of Uncool" effects for Natural One rolls? (but all within the ...
  • 141
1 vote
6 answers
3k views

How do I handle players that don't care for the rules I put in place as the DM and question everything I do?

I am DMing a game of dnd 5e or close to it. It's a homebrew campaign. We are mostly new to D&D with the exception of 2 players that play with other groups. I have 2 players that seem to question ...
8 votes
2 answers
894 views

How to design a level 1 encounter with 7 level 1 characters

Me and my friends decided to play some D&D 5th edition. The issue is, though I am a long term DM I am only well-versed in the rules for 3.5e and Pathfinder 1st, same as Open Legend but it uses a ...
54 votes
5 answers
6k views

How do I prevent myself from freezing up during a game I'm DMing?

I'm a new DM/player with only a few weeks of experience in playing the game at university. My flatmates and I decided that we should all have a D&D game after I explained the concept to them. They ...
22 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to handle wrong application of Spells?

I am a DM for 2 sessions now. This includes a training-montage'esque session 0, so 3 in total. My group is completely new to D&D. Our Paladin has the detect evil and good spell (a divination ...
1 vote
0 answers
180 views

The road not taken, or should a GM allow replays? [closed]

Some people say adventures are supposed to be unique experiences that cannot be recreated. What if the player wants to replay the same thing from the beginning, but try a different fork in the road? ...
  • 1,705
0 votes
2 answers
318 views

I want to try being a DM [closed]

So sadly, after almost two years, our DM has kinda had a burnout, though that was obvious to us months earlier as our once a week game became one every few weeks to months. Long story short, he's ...
2 votes
0 answers
111 views

I am a new DM, I need help with monsters and the characters themselves [closed]

I need help dming please help me. I perfer pen and paper gaming. So please help me.
4 votes
1 answer
578 views

What are some essentials to get a first time DM for their campaign? [closed]

My boyfriend has been playing D&D for a few years now but is going to be a first-time DM in his group's next campaign which will be starting late-December. I want to get him some Christmas gifts ...
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16 votes
5 answers
5k views

Starting with D&D: Starter Set vs Dungeon Master's Guide

I have been GMing Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed. for some time and now want to try something different. I would like to go with D&D 5.0 since it will be available in my native tongue in a few weeks - the ...
  • 419
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

As a new DM, should my focus when creating a campaign be on developing locations or NPCs?

A group of friends and I have decided to play D&D. Since I was the one gathering everyone and the one with the most previous knowledge, I became the DM for the group. I had never actually played ...
10 votes
5 answers
6k views

How to run Death House for 3 new players with no healer?

Me and five friends wanted to try out DnD, none of us have played before but I know the most about DnD (read: I listened to The Adventure Zone and watched some videos on YouTube) so I volunteered as ...
  • 561
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

Advice for creating character based off of Valiant Comics' Shadowman [closed]

I'm a relatively new DM and one of my new players is wanting to create a character based off of the Shadowman character from Valiant comics and came to me for help. More specifically, he wants it to ...
14 votes
2 answers
793 views

How can an inexperienced GM keep a game fun for experienced players?

Along the same lines as this question from a players perspective, I am interested in possibly running a game for some friends and co-workers, where they have much more experience in gaming than I do ...
  • 10k
78 votes
7 answers
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 ...
  • 833
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

How much XP should you award if the encounter was not solved via battle? [duplicate]

I have created an encounter with monsters, with their relevant CR and XP. Normally, when the party kills everyone, they are rewarded the XP. If the party chooses to, and succeeds in, resolving the ...
5 votes
1 answer
3k views

Which books do I need in order to run a Starfinder game?

I recently got me the core rule book of Starfinder and I really love the setting and the rules. I want to run a Starfinder game but I don't exactly know which books I need or where to start exactly. ...
  • 740
0 votes
2 answers
171 views

Gameplay-to-cutscene ratio: how interactive should I make the introduction to the campaign? [closed]

I'm planning a campaign with a specific backdrop-the characters are employees of a certain organization and this is their first day on the job. The organization and the job will no longer actually ...
10 votes
1 answer
954 views

What method can I use to properly set expectations for a group of new players with a history in cRPGs?

Background I have played most cRPGs on the market, but have never player a TTRPG before. I've been reading and watching a lot about D&D 5e for quite some time now, so I think I have a decent ...
  • 318
50 votes
6 answers
7k 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 ...
  • 4,232
32 votes
6 answers
4k 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 ...
  • 4,232
22 votes
7 answers
6k 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 ...
  • 241
40 votes
10 answers
6k 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, ...
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

How do I encourage my players to ... play? [closed]

I'm new to DMing. Of the many, many problems I anticipated I never expected to have players not do anything at all, and I'm not sure what to do with that. Its a small group with only 3 players. We've ...
  • 71
4 votes
3 answers
255 views

How do I make my campaign feel less linear? How do I make PC decisions Rewarding? [closed]

This is my first campaign as a GM and I feel that I need to give my players more options, or the ability to make more decisions, and sometimes when they make big decisions, I feel like I am not ...
  • 125
7 votes
1 answer
420 views

I have a problem incorporating a player with ADHD [duplicate]

There's a kid in my High School D&D group with A.D.H.D and he has a lot of trouble sitting still and distracts the other players. He's having a lot of fun goofing off, and doesn't seem very ...
2 votes
3 answers
612 views

Is it normal for my players to be this casual about the game? [closed]

I'm a new DM and I'm running a group of new players. We're a pretty casual group and they haven't bought books or dice, and aren't very invested in the game. Is that normal? How much should I ask of ...
4 votes
0 answers
175 views

Freezing system for Arctic adventure [closed]

I will soon DM my first Game. I've created an Arctic story and want to implement a homebrew Freezing mechanic. I want to make a "Freezing status" update about 3 - 5 times per in-game Day. Each ...
1 vote
0 answers
5k views

Making Deals with Devils [closed]

I'm preparing for running my first campaign (Storm King's Thunder) and I've got most of the basic information down in terms of running the campaign with the information provided but I wanted to add a ...
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
138 views

Starting out with D&D from complete scratch [duplicate]

I'm currently planning to get myself and three other friends into D&D, so I'm looking for tips on starting out from scratch. To be clear, by from scratch I mean I don't have any dice, any ...
  • 3,498
4 votes
1 answer
208 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 ...
  • 247
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do I recover from an awful DMing session?

Protip to anybody out there. If you're running on little to no sleep and an extremely high fever, don't try to run your game. I'm running an online campaign on Roll20, and I - in my deluded, slightly ...
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4 votes
4 answers
778 views

Player being far too pushy, but I don't know how to respond [closed]

I’ve been preparing a campaign group for one of my friends who hasn't been able to get a solid group going. However, one of the people I asked has been... incredibly pushy and forcing me to make ...
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

Does the Player's Handbook contain anything that would specifically help dungeon masters?

Does the Player's Handbook contain anything that would specifically help dungeon masters? I am curious about this because I am trying to find out if I can honestly learn a lot about Dungeons and ...
  • 119
19 votes
2 answers
1k views

In what ways will having 6-8 players negatively impact a Powered by the Apocalypse game?

Background Having previous experience with mostly 3.5e and some 5e as a PC, my friend group is slowly conspiring to install me as a GM for their first TRPG experience. I have come around to the idea ...
3 votes
0 answers
233 views

How much can I let the players know about the campaign? [closed]

I was playing "The Lost Mine of Phandelver" with some friends, but this was my first time as GM, and I don't know how much I can let the players decide about the campaign, about the history and about ...
2 votes
0 answers
25 views

How should I start playing and running Role-playing games [duplicate]

I want to start playing Role-playing games, so how should I start playing and running Role-playing games? Thanks In Advance!
1 vote
0 answers
156 views

How do I learn to be a GM? [closed]

I have never played Pathfinder before or D&D. My friends and I started a trial run with various characters that they made and I have been directed into the GMing position. Yet I have no idea what ...
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45 votes
3 answers
10k 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 the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure. After a few games I've almost already killed two new level 1 characters but I ...
  • 461
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Being an experienced player in a group of new ones

We have recently started playing DnD 5e with a group of real life friends. I have many years of experience with various PnP games under my belt and have also played DnD for a good amount of time and ...
  • 517
32 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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