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  • File : 1262499475.jpg-(101 KB, 1024x768, dr_strangelove_1ed07.jpg)
    101 KB Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:17 No.7401927  
    GMing Advice Thread!

    Post one DO and one DON'T.

    DO use your players' backstories to help them get more invested in the game.

    DON'T give your players a long time to plan and then let the plan go off without a hitch.
    >> Shas'o R'myr !!TZikiEEr0tg 01/03/10(Sun)01:18 No.7401942
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    DO use 4e.

    DON'T use 3.5e.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:18 No.7401943
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:19 No.7401954
    DO try to weave the PCs into the world, so that they have a realistic, working, valid place in it.

    DON'T try to run the game like a jittery kid always busting for the punchline. Try to pace the game well.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:21 No.7401967
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    DO imclude multiple "main path" options in your campaign so your players won't feel railroaded.

    DON'T have your DMPC do all the cool shit - in fact, unless you're a good, experienced GM, DON'T use a GMPC in the first place.
    >> Melo The Yellow 01/03/10(Sun)01:21 No.7401973
    DO have the enemies use tactics/act somewhat smart.

    DON'T drag on and on with a conversation with two/three NPCs, seating the PCs like a fuckin' audience.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:21 No.7401975
    he may be trolling but hes rite
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:22 No.7401985
    >DON'T drag on and on with a conversation with two/three NPCs, seating the PCs like a fuckin' audience.
    I once had an ENTIRE SESSION like this.

    Man fuck that guy.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:22 No.7401988
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    DO have your players give you at least a few pieces of background info about their character so that you can work them into adventures somehow.

    DON'T have your players kidnapped and ESPECIALLY DON'T have their shit taken away from them.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:22 No.7401989
    Do cook up rough ideas for NPC characters and adventure seeds ahead of time, it will save you agony down the road

    Don't bother fully fleshing them out unless the party appears to need to interact with them frequently. Nothing sucks more than hours on hours of NPC generation, making binders full of backstory, and creating tons of maps, only to have your characters opt to do something else entirely.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:22 No.7401991
    DO use NPCs appropriately, have a sheet of random names available just in case and try to make each one special.

    DO NOT force a DMPC on your group unless they want one.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:22 No.7401996
    He may be the premier, but he is still a man if you catch my meaning.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:23 No.7402009
    ...I hate threads like these.

    they remind me of how awful my GMs are.

    goddamn, every fucking DON'T on this list is gonna be something they do, isn't it?
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:23 No.7402012
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    DO use a system that your whole group likes
    DON'T start faggoty edition wars in a perfectly legit thread.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:25 No.7402046
    DO narrate sensory details to allow your players to visualize exactly what you're describing in the proper mindset.

    DON'T go overboard with scenery porn to the point they aren't paying attention.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:25 No.7402047
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    DO allow a certain amount of banter and lightheartedness at the table.
    DON'T let that lightheartedness wreck the tone of a serious game if the mood is integral to the adventure (CofC, for example is not silly. Deadlands often is.)
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:25 No.7402049

    What if your PCs do something incredibly stupid that would either result in being imprisoned and having their shit took, or a very brief life as a bullet sponge? Like, say, sneak into the regional field office for a megacorp that doesn't openly operate in that country?
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:25 No.7402054
    DO use the 3 hooks and a bat rule. In any given situation, have 3 ways the characters can discover the plot, and 1 way to smack them with it.

    DON'T over-prepare. You are likely to lock yourself into only a few ways of thinking, and be unreceptive to your players' plans.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:27 No.7402076
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    DO make your players feel important. They are the PCs after all, and without them it's a story, not an RPG

    DON'T let them get away with whatever the fuck they want. Barring the most extreme of circumstances, 10 or 20 million is NOT acceptable casualties, regardless of the breaks.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:29 No.7402104
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    Don't write it into the plot. If your players are helpless faggorts, that's their problem.

    DO allow male players to play female characters or vice versa. Roleplaying is possible, and should be encouraged.

    DON'T allow players to sex it up with one another (in charcter or out) during the game session. By the same token, don't have NPCs or DMPCs sex up, rape, or otherwise sexually assault players. Shit's weird.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:31 No.7402129
    DO be true to the tone of your game. Visualize everything with a filter 'ala CSI if you must.

    DON'T run games with more than 7 people. It doesn't turn out well.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:31 No.7402132
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:34 No.7402163
    Do NOT include rape in your game. Even if it is logical, even if it is obvious, even if you think the player is mature enough, even if they too think it would happen in that situation. Just do not.

    DO force the paladin to fall.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:35 No.7402169
    Do eat and sleep properly before games. A player can take a short nap and get knocked out cold in a battle if he had just finished an exam. A GM can't do that with the same ease.

    Don't talk like usual when speaking of in game things. A GM voice adds to immersion and even more so if you switch it for different NPCs.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:37 No.7402192
    Wrong. Don't FORCE the paladin to fall. If he does, he does, but don't for a second feel that you have to rape your players.
    >> monotreeme 01/03/10(Sun)01:40 No.7402237
    >DON'T run games with more than 7 people. It doesn't turn out well.


    DO:use details your characters can follow

    DO:ask the question "is that clear enough" if you are not sure

    DO: include a wide range of dangers for the PCs to face.

    DO NOT:run a game during or after averyone has been playing -Dokapon Kingdom-

    DO NOT:include an IRL locally controversial topic

    DO NOT: try and cock-block the smart one, He'll still dick you over.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:41 No.7402247
    DO put in 20% planning 80% winging

    DON'T take that to mean plan the first 20% of your plot and then forget the rest. It means plan out only major points that occur WITHOUT the PCs having to do a specific thing.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:45 No.7402290
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    >DO NOT: try and cock-block the smart one, He'll still dick you over.
    I wish my GMs would stop doing this. My crazy plans are what I game for!

    DO give your players bonus points in some way for clever solutions.
    DON'T let them use the same solution more than twice. And the second time with penalties.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)01:48 No.7402342
    I do not agree with either of these things. If someone is dumb enough to put themself in that situation and even admit it. It can happen as long as you don't go into detail.
    >> monotreeme 01/03/10(Sun)01:54 No.7402425
    that is me speaking from experiencing it as a PC

    I am always the rouge that tries to tell them about the pit trap...but they never listen.
    >> Toy Store Anonymous !wImXn9Y2hw 01/03/10(Sun)01:56 No.7402462
    DO stop to think 'What's the harm?' whenever a player asks to do something odd.

    DON'T say Yes or No based off nothing other than first instinct. 'Maybe' is a far better answer.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:01 No.7402540
    DO only let paladin fall after a vision or two that he's doing shit wrong.
    DON'T let your players screw with you to make you uncomfortable with a topic you don't like.

    DO put on a show, dress up and go nuts. Some people love it when their GM acts out what's happening. This goes both ways sometimes.

    DON'T be afraid to compare looks to famous actors or anything else not game related. Better get your image across than a misunderstanding.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:04 No.7402597
    DO: Plan ahead.

    DO: Have a map of the surrounding countyside where the players are, with the important shit mapped out on it. Leave empty space for extra shit later.

    DO: Plan out the inital seed(first session) that sets everything into action.

    DON'T: Plan out anything past the inital seed before the campaign starts.

    DO: Make sure what is going to be your group's next course of action before everyone leaves.

    DO: Plan around the group's next course of action between sessions, prepare next session.

    DO: Leave leeway to wing things if players go in a different direction than what you thought.

    DO: Go with what the players want. If a player suggests a course of action you didn't think they would do/or plan for and the rest of the group wants to go with, run with it.

    DON'T: Try to force the players' actions to fit a pre-written script. It never ends well.

    DO: Write the script/plot to fit the player's actions between sessions.

    DO: Remember that the game is meant to be fun.

    DON'T: Forget the above. Too many GMs do.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:08 No.7402669
    I like you.
    >> G. D. 01/03/10(Sun)02:13 No.7402736
    DO: Use enchantment and mind-affecting spells to dominate your party's cleric, making your party work to get their health regeneration back.

    DON'T: Use enchantment and mind-affecting spells to dominate your party's strongest fighter, and force them to "silence" one of the female characters... it usually ends badly. Or with rape.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:26 No.7402934
    DO: Run an adventure with a great seed without knowing how everything will tie together. You can't predict what the players are going to do anyway, so why bother coming up with elaborate plans that they are going to circumvent entirely? Let them lead the progression of the story - players always feel smart when they find out their suspicions earlier were correct.

    DON'T let them get their way all the time, however. Strategizing over an elaborate plan is fun for players, but it's even more fun when they have to improvise on the spot when their plan goes to shit. Some of the best moments in RPing come when both the players and the DM are improvising.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:26 No.7402936
    DO take inspiration from works of fiction you have liked, preferably mixing in various aspects from several different sources while adjusting things to fit the setting.

    DON'T resort to, or allow outright carbon copies though. Your places and characters still need to stand out on their own.

    (also, resist the temptation to include blatant joke characters even if you and/or /tg/ think it would be funny – your players will either facepalm, or find some reason to keep them around longer than you had intended)
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:28 No.7402977
    DO make sure your players are comfortable, physically and mentally.

    DON'T be afraid to deal with problem players.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:29 No.7402993
    Do: Secretly pump some LSD gas in during the session.

    Don't: Why did the party cleric just turn into a parking meter? Green? Thing that are while crawling. Ja ha. MY GAWD IT'S MELTING!
    >> bearford !!LjfL/DDMpjv 01/03/10(Sun)02:31 No.7403028
    DO give players an incentive to roleplay their characters realistically.

    DON'T feel guilty punishing characters for acting like tards. "Hur, I stab the guard for no reason" etc.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:34 No.7403064
    ok I am a new dm and since >>7401967 posted that I was wondering if I am doin it right.

    My group is only three people (since our other guy left) and they are all pretty squishy so I made a fighter and am using him as a DMPC (in before faggots) He is a merc whose wages were paid for a year to help them. He does nothing plot centric other then fight. He is as likely to dissapear when he enters a town as hang around and I dont have him show up anyone

    am I doin it right?
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:36 No.7403085
    Do: have drinks and edibles around for all sessions but use bowls not bags, glasses not bottles and if it's an important session not anything that sounds while eating.
    Don't share snacks with the players that never brings anything. (or make him pay for pizza every now and then)
    >> Toy Store Anonymous !wImXn9Y2hw 01/03/10(Sun)02:37 No.7403093
    DMPC is fine.

    The 'DMPC' that everyone throws a fit over is when a PC shows up that is clearly meant to be the 'main character' of the game. If he's just a mechanical aide, or maybe, when spoken with, an interesting guy to RP with, without you going out of your way to make them the center of attention, then you're doing it right.

    Or at least I haven't heard any complaints from my players when I run PCs that way.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:38 No.7403104
    He's pretty much just a follower, then. Followers are fine, there's even a feat to gather them. They just do as they're told and nothing else. A DMPC actually has a presence, and one that is usually not wanted. You are, in fact, doing it right.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:39 No.7403111
    Yes, I'd say you are.

    I had a DMPC who was essentially the same, and if anyone asked, he was out getting whores and ale, ale and whores, and just didn't like to be around the party when he wanted to get his dick wet. Generally speaking, I made him a likable scamp, and he was very memorable, but not intrusive.

    Then, if or when they like the guy, put their balls in a vise over it.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:39 No.7403117
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    DO: Keep your DOs and DON'Ts grouped together so you don't mix them up.

    DON'T: Mix the DOs and DON'Ts so its confusing to read.

    DO: FUCK I did it wrong.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:40 No.7403122
    It's not too shabby, did the players pay him to help them?
    Remember, treat him like what he is. If the players miss something that endangers him, don't be afraid to use him for a "Did NO ONE of you see that fucking dragon?!" comment every now and then.
    But not anything more than that. Else it's a high risk of you playing it as a fighter and investing too much in him.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:41 No.7403132

    Yeah, sounds all right to me. It's perfectly fine to give your NPCs characterization and motivations too, as long as you remember that it's the PCs who are the story's protagonists.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:42 No.7403136
    he is basically there to take the attention away from the casters in battle. Currently the players are trying to protect HIM (he fell to negative hitpoints and almost died) and the only girl in the group is basically trying to seduce him. I have used him as a side quest a couple of times but he has never done anything to advance the main storyline. The players seemed attached so I may have to kill him off later to make them cry.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:42 No.7403141
    >DO: FUCK

    I think /tg/ understands this one well enough
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:44 No.7403161
    Nah, just give him syphilis. That would make the female cry like a fountain.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:44 No.7403164
    >>The players seemed attached so I may have to kill him off later to make them cry.

    you don't sound like a newbie DM :)
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:46 No.7403198
    DO have a plan in place for how your campaign will go.

    DON'T hold so fast to that plan that you become a railroading bastard. Be flexible.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:47 No.7403208
    he was arrested for some small crime and they saved his ass by proving he was innocent...he then made the offer to work for them for 15g a week (gave them a discount) and the party paid him a year in advance. If he dies then they have to pay 100g to the woman who had his kid
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:49 No.7403236
    >The players seemed attached so I may have to kill him off later

    That reminds me of something.

    DO be ready to kill off NPCs if doing so would further the plot or help motivate the players. All NPCs are expendable in the end, and you as GM should be impartial instead of getting too attached to them.

    DON'T go as far as to kill off every character the PCs show attachment to, especially if you aren't even giving them a fair chance to save them. If the players know you'll just kill off anyone they get attached to, they'll be much less likely to invest themselves emotionally in any of your characters in the future.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:50 No.7403249
    Pretty damm cheap really. But a nice deal. Does he get a share of XP and loot?
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:54 No.7403304
    DO: incluse a DMPC if you absolutly must, some situations come up where they are needed.

    DON'T: Dick it up by making them the star or letting them have more than a minor, minor role, or let them get a cut of the gold/xp (then the players spend the rest of the time metagaming on if the encounter is worth the loss of xp/gold instead of just taking the help)
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:57 No.7403339
    DO: include a traveling circus in your game.

    DON'T: include a traveling sodomite orgy in your game.

    though a traveling bacchanal is totally allright.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:57 No.7403348
    I had a DMPC that was a merc commander to all the PC's, who were mercinaries. they could ask him to come along on adventures, but he would take a portion of the gold and EXP

    During the chatter between missions, he always mentioned his wife and kids.

    The PC's decide they would bring his Wife and kids to see him as a birthday gift.

    When they get to his home village, they find it ransacked by orcs. PC's all got pissed and killed off every single one of them. The paladin even had this speech to the orc war leader that he had killed something pure and good with the world.

    When they get back, they tell him what happened to the village, and they took him out drinking to get over it.

    DO have plot lines connecting to important NPCs or DMPCs

    DON'T make them forced.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)02:59 No.7403363
    Yes but it was stated (about the gold at least) that he would. They have not complained as he gets only a portion of the actual gold and gems while only getting any magic items they give him
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:02 No.7403410
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    DO Expect the players to ruin any and all of your most well-laid plans.

    DON'T Give them an overpowered item for a brief time, only to take it away.

    Admittedly, I'm a new gm, but these two have proven to be true (for me) so far.

    Also, archive please.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:02 No.7403411
    You deserve a medal for surviving that.

    DO help your players make a solid, strong character that stands a chance in your game.
    DON'T trick them to change alignments because you don't like Paladins and really really want a fucking death knight IT WAS MY FIRST GAME YOU SON OF A BITCH!
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:03 No.7403414
    You're a newbie how? You got it spot on.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:05 No.7403446
    That's incredible.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:07 No.7403476
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    This thread makes me feel like a bad gm.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:09 No.7403509
    The fact that you understand this is making you not-so-bad.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:10 No.7403521
    The only ones who can tell you for sure are your players. Ask for their advice and opinions and them disregard them as idiots but keep in mind what they really hate and stop doing that.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:13 No.7403546
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    Well, if you DM my group...

    DO: Have it rain if there is anything flammable you don't want burned to the ground (or make sure most things are made of stone).

    DON'T: Make anything so complicated they turn their problem-solving on how to set inflammable things on fire.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:15 No.7403576
    If you DM your group.
    DO: make EVERYTHING flammable.

    DON'T Be cheap with health potions. That are also flammable when they try to chug them down.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:16 No.7403590
    I was thinking of having him try dating again, but the aforementioned plot was fairly recent, so it would seem like he wasn't really caring for them. I'm gonna wait awhile, although i was also thinking of having him hit on one of the players who's really tried to help him through it.

    In the end, the sorcerer saved a spell slot for a earth moving spell so they could get all the bodies buried quickly. They buried the orc ones face down. It's the little things that show they meant their hatred.

    DO encourage your players to role play beyond their class/Alignment. A CN rogue can ocasionaly save an orphanage he grew up in, a Pally can occasionally give no quarter, A LN Monk can occasionally say that a tyrant can be worse then an anarchy.

    DON'T encourage them to ignore their alignment, A la Chaotic Stupid, Lawful Uptight, Neutral Vegetable...
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:17 No.7403599
    >both doing it wrong

    go by DF style fires, in that they will consume you and all that you love.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:17 No.7403601
    DO bring your GF to the game.

    DON'T give her special treatment.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:18 No.7403608

    "So... the gold you gave me to get you potions... I bought a few gallons of oil instead. Oh and matches. Lots of matches."
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:18 No.7403609

    Case in point on this: we recently had the party confront a group of their enemies' minions, including a female follower of this villainess who's hopelessly infatuated with one of the PCs (long story). Anyway, the party fights them a few times, ends up briefly cooperating with them when their interests coincide, and over time this follower finds out the PC in question is every bit the cool guy she's heard, and begins to consider defecting to the players' side. The PC party convinces her to do so, which of course prompts one of the rest of her group, nasty bugger that he is, to try and assassinate her.

    She wasn't that important story-wise, nor did the PC really need another love interest, so I decided I'd probably have the assassin kill her off in an attempt to motivate the players.

    Now, the aforementioned PC is quite difficult to catch off-guard, so he happens to catch the assassin right after she's been stabbed, preventing her from being finished off, as the assassin now has to deal with escaping from one very enraged PC. Meanwhile, another PC attends to the female NPC, who is very badly wounded, not to mention poisoned. I decide it'll be a very difficult roll inded to save her at this point, something on the order of -8 or -10 or so. But the guy rolls a critical success, all while the other PC proceeds to kick the ass of the assassin. So, no point in trying to railroad things at this point - good end it is, at least for now.

    My point here is, even if you do decide to kill off that NPC, do give the party a fair chance to save him if that would be remotely plausible. But do not make it too easy for them, either.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:18 No.7403618
    Being a bad GM, and knowing you're a bad GM, means you can start changing your bad GM ways.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:22 No.7403669
    DO NOT: Say "No."

    DO: Say "Yes, but..."
    >> Toy Store Anonymous !wImXn9Y2hw 01/03/10(Sun)03:25 No.7403709
    DMing 101, right here.

    Most important DM skill. Saying Yes. 2nd most important. Knowing HOW to say Yes.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:29 No.7403762

    I didn't start out as a great DM, although that's what I'm told I am now. I was on the bad side of mediocre. A constant desire to improve the enjoyment of my players has led me to read articles on good DMing, and experiment with new systems, new methods, and new ideas. About a year later, it's very rare for me to run a shoddy session (last time I did it was because I was being deliberately trolled, and now I know how to handle that), and I am constantly getting kudos from players.

    Anybody can do it, it just takes a little bit (not a lot) of work. The two biggest things hindering people from becoming good DMs are not realizing that they suck, and not caring that they suck.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:33 No.7403802

    These. You know you're doing it right when the PC's don't do something, not because you tell them no, but because of the consequences.
    >> Toy Store Anonymous !wImXn9Y2hw 01/03/10(Sun)03:36 No.7403838
    One of my players can teleport him and a friend about 25 feet. He used this in one fight to get onto the back of a dragon to try and take it down. The dragon was airborne, and tried to throw them off at every attempt, them having to make grapple checks, saving throws, and athletics rolls to stay on. When they tried it on a smaller thing, just trying to grapple it, they kept taking falling damage for every failed roll.

    The 'friend' has trained in Acrobatics as of the last level.

    I consider this doing it right.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:39 No.7403880
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    DO: Realize that your job as a GM is to let the players be AWESOME, and your objective is to provide the proper setting and circumstances to let them be AWESOME

    DON'T: Think that your role as a GM is to "guide the players through your story"
    >> Rape-Chan !!DhEZOUaepXX 01/03/10(Sun)03:43 No.7403902
    DO encourage creativity.

    DON'T mistake a plan to pilot the ship through a star to get rid of the demons trying to break through the hull, as creativity.

    I fucking hate my group.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:46 No.7403931
    DO forgive your players, and provide them with the occasional example

    DON'T let your ego get in the way
    >> Rape-Chan !!DhEZOUaepXX 01/03/10(Sun)03:48 No.7403950

    Oh no that wasn't me, I never DM. Never have, never will.

    I was part of the group. Looking back, I probably should have seen that as a bad idea.

    BUT THEN so should have the DM, so I blame him. I guess your advice stands for anyone really, though.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:50 No.7403973
    Your players are almost there. Piloting it through the rings of a nearby gas giant though. rocks a meter in diameter is usually not any problems for a spaceship hull. demons though...

    DO: Play music to create a mood easier.

    DON'T: Pick power metal, or techno for combat. Remember the pace of the players and the characters.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:51 No.7403985
    DO make sure your fridge has everyone's favorite drink.

    DON'T let them think a character's death is personal.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:51 No.7403989
    On a related note, can women DM?
    >> monotreeme 01/03/10(Sun)03:53 No.7404011
    DO:cross characters over between universes

    do NOT: do the above more than 6 times a session
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:55 No.7404035
    You mean campaign.
    The last time I did something like that I had Johnny the floating skull kidnapped by the players and they kept him because no one had training in occult.
    >> Rape-Chan !!DhEZOUaepXX 01/03/10(Sun)03:56 No.7404043

    There are two girls in my group. One makes me want to say yes, definitely. The other makes me want so say God no, absolutely not.


    It was kind of a sudden decision. We came out of the warp, with demons all over. Someone had the bright idea that flying through the sun would kill all the demons on the outside, and suddenly everyone agreed, and their enthusiasm made me agree as well.

    The DM had no problem (FUCKER), so we flew straight into the star. ONLY WE NEVER CAME BACK OUT.

    Partly because the neutronium sirens' song was so alluring that we stayed there for the rest of our days, but mostly because we all died from flying into a star.
    >> monotreeme 01/03/10(Sun)03:56 No.7404046
    >Johnny the floating skull?
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)03:58 No.7404058
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    This times a million.

    DO: Cater the combat challenges to the group makeup. If it doesn't seem like someone's had the spotlight on them recently, then you need to do something about it BEFORE THEY MENTION IT. Preferably before they realize it. Put in a lot of minions for the wizard to aoe, or a tough melee miniboss for the fighter to lock down. Figure out what each player thinks his role in combat is, and then set them up to shine.

    DON'T: Play the game as DM vs PCs. This isn't Descent or Runebound or whatnot. You're not supposed to "beat" the players, and you're not supposed to guide them through your epic fanfiction either. You're supposed to play off the PCs so that both they and you enjoy the session. That's the only thing that matters. The instant you start feeling negatively about them beating some encounter you spent a lot of time on is the instant you start becoming a bad DM. You're not trying to beat them and you're not trying to outsmart them (in an aggressive way). You're trying to have fun with some friends.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:00 No.7404083
    I guess so. Then again, when you consider the sheer amount of stress a spaceship has to take (our atmosphere keeps the worst of the sun away from us) then it's theoretically possible to survive it, if you don't realize that the light emitted from a sun's fusion reaction is only 3% of the total energy.

    So it was a case of bad math, and misapplied science.

    DO memorise the item creation rules. Spell level x Spell caster level x 2000 for at will usage. IE the cost of a +1 weapon is the cost of it's corresponding enchantment, Magic weapon, at caster level 1.

    DON'T underestimate the players. Ever. At best, it's 3-7 VS 1.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:01 No.7404088
    A former character of my players that he used in a gag campaign. He was known for his skull related puns and hatred for everything that had front teeth.
    I made a conversation between a burning flying head and a lich, and I got called out on it.
    The players decided to kidnap him to used for arcane checks.

    In hindsight it was hilarious, but damm it was a bitch to roleplay someone that had to make puns, since I'm awful at it.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:02 No.7404100

    Your Don't, times fucking infinity. One of the guys in my group who fancies himself the ultimate DM (Because he played 1st and 2nd Edition, lulz) always plays his campaigns as "Me vs. Them".

    Do: Try to throw in character specific treasure every once in awhile. One character wants something relatively cheap, but hasn't had a chance to gain money for some reason? Make it a quest reward.

    Don't: Award character specific treasure too often. Soon, the PCs will expect you to cater to their individual treasure needs AND give them money.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:05 No.7404114
    I DO most these things.

    My players still make me want to shoot myself. :(
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:05 No.7404125
    DO: Tell us more about your bad group.
    DON'T: Shoot yourself.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:06 No.7404128
    I should clarify my point

    >DON'T underestimate the players. Ever. At best, it's 3-7 VS 1.

    Never think the players will do something the way you think it will be done. I once had a dungeon crawl completely averted when one of the players re rerouted a river into the dungeon, making the kobolds all flee into the greased pit trap the players prepared. This ticked off the dragon that was guarding them, and the players all died when he came out and killed them.

    In the plan, he was supposed to hire them since his old servants (the kobolds) were dead.

    But since they ruined his almost complete set of ancient tomes, they were killed.

    Of course, they tried to fight, not run, so the death is partially their fault.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:06 No.7404129
    hey guys.

    I'm seeing all these DM tips, so I figure I'd field a question.

    is a party of all-magic users in a low-no magic universe a bad or awesome idea?

    I'm imagining half the time is spend on hands and knees scraping for bat guano, the other half is spent ruling over peasants and kingdoms with godlike power in games of paranoia and political intrigue with each other.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:06 No.7404137
    How do we archive. This needs to be saved somewhere.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:08 No.7404157
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    Anyone know a way I can keep this page after it 404s. Like how to save it offline?
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:08 No.7404165
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:09 No.7404167
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    Writer of >>7404058 here. We don't have a stable DM and this thread is actually making me want to do it. Fuck you guys.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:09 No.7404171

    It falls under badawesome. It can go either way. The tough part will be walking the tightrope between instant I WIN and "the rest of humanity mobs you and captures you for study / kills you".
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:10 No.7404176
    Press "CTRL+S".
    Then enter.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:10 No.7404177
    Depends ENTIRELY on how your players play.
    My girl who loves to roleplay and be a comrade in arms with anything and anyone against the great evil would hate it. While my friend who's been playing for 3 years now and NEVER made a character that wasn't backstabbing(sometimes despite all attempts to prevent it. Really crafty fellow), would probably love it.
    >> monotreeme 01/03/10(Sun)04:10 No.7404183
    do you have firefox?

    if yes then right click and select 'save page as'

    of no then sorry you can't that I know
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:11 No.7404192
    DMing can seriously be one of the most rewarding things you've ever done. You making people excited about talking about something you came up with (usually making it up outta your ass), and then doing it again and again is really great.
    I was told by two different people in my greoup I was the best DM they ever had...made my entire fucking week.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:13 No.7404207

    it depends entirely on how you run it and how your players play. Could have very awesome roleplay mechanics, could end up being terrible in terms of mechanics. Definitely an interesting idea, one I've had more than once.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:15 No.7404227
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    I ALWAYS ask for fucking more of this chick and nobody can ever even give a name.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:16 No.7404239
    Keep in mind the first time that they get power one of them will realize that they can make the peasants harvest the bat guano.

    Also, Eschew Materials.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:17 No.7404245
    Seconding, on all counts.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:18 No.7404255
    Wow, she's hot. I feel sorry for >>7404227 and I may start joining him in his frustration.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:19 No.7404262
    I'm a newbie GM doing a d20 Apocalypse game, and i'm wondering...how do you get players to stop like...bitching you out EVERY round and asking EVERY round if they get bonuses for stupid shit like breathing?

    It's only been my second session, and while most of my players are fine, one of the more experienced players keeps trying to like...run the game instead of asking questions.

    Second- how do I get my PCs to take some more initiative in choosing where they want to go? I set some general open-ended like..options for them, but I tell them all the time they can do ANYTHING they decide their character would do.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:19 No.7404266
    DON'T - DM because the group needs a DM.

    DO - DM because you want to.

    (I never wanted to DM, and I've been stuck with it.)
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:19 No.7404267
    DO allow a new person to join if all of the players agree.
    DON'T make your friend's girlfriend cry by telling her that she'll provoke an AoO. (I want to kill myself)
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:19 No.7404268
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    Alright, I'll do it.

    Now tell me who that girl is.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:21 No.7404278

    >DON'T: Play the game as DM vs PCs.

    I have to say, having had a GM like that, that it sucks to be a player under a GM like that. Mine in particular always seem to see how much he could screw us over, and always made sure that any failure, even a simple skill check, would fuck us over. It isn't fun, and you can't win as a player. Which leads me to a...

    DO: Make failure interesting. There is NO reason for a failure to be boring. It might suck to be the player, but it should make the session more interesting. The best failure are the ones that cause new problem the players have to react to and change the flow of the session.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:21 No.7404279
    DO tell us that story
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:21 No.7404280
    I'm having a lot of trouble with the second point also. Double request for halp
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:22 No.7404282
    Breasts are a little too big for my tastes but DAT SKIN.

    Also amazing face / glasses / hair / everything else.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:22 No.7404289
    Elly Tran
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:24 No.7404296
    You're playing with new players. Tell the dude who's experienced to help with the learning curve. He's probably infuriated that it goes slow so he tries to assist you.
    Talk with him for advice but remind him midgame if he tries to take the reins from you.
    The problem with new players are always that they have a problem getting, as I explained it to a guy that had at most played baldurs gate, "to know the controls". Experience and seeing other gamers in action.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:24 No.7404297
    Which leads me to something DON'T: make your main NPC/villain an old character you used to play

    Our GM literally gave him three different things that made it impossible to beat him. Two we might have found a way, but three, there was no way we could win even if we were equiv of epic level characters.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:26 No.7404312
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    You are a god amongst men.

    Now if only she always looked that good. Fucking airbrushing.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:27 No.7404322
    Since this is a collection of Awesome DM/GM's, can i ask a question?

    I need help with what to do with the Mercinary Captain (He's named James Guard.). On one hand, one of the female PC's and female player) has been talking to him alot during the inbetween missions, helping him through his grief. She's generaly a motherly sort, so having him become attracted to her as a woman might put her off.

    Another thing i was considering was having his wife had cheat on him while he was away. This child would have lived and gotten away from the invasion. I was thinking of introducing her as a standard young thief, IE Pickpocketing for bread money, and having James realise how much she looks like her mom This would, of course, be more of a dawww moment then anything, but would also ruin the impact of his faithful wife dieing (as she wouldn't had been so faithful). A diary (that was back i nthe vilage, the players missed it (Too busy killing orcs) would give the whole story of the guy who was there and nice and how she felt horrible about the whole thing, but the chances of the players finding it without railroading are slim. ( "Let's go back to the ruined town and start searching though our boss's wife's undergarments!" seems unlikely, considering most of the players are above the age of 21)

    I could also combine the two, having him grow closer to said fem PC and then find his half daughter, and mentioning (heavily) that if he's going to raise her, she'll need a mother as well.

    What do you guys think?
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:27 No.7404328
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    >DON'T: make your main NPC/villain an old character you used to play

    My last GM did this. It was horrible.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:28 No.7404335
    Thing is, he's not experienced with DMing, just playing. We've both played DnD just about as much as the other, and it's like...annoying when he's asking about so many bonuses for retarded things. Or asking how a raider who rolled a natural 20 saw him behind the 3-foot tall stack of wooden pallets.

    As for the new players thing, yeah, i've noticed a few of them (one being my girlfriend) say they're uncomfortable with the roleplaying aspect of it. S'pretty odd, but I remember being there when I first started.

    Thanks, Anon!
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:29 No.7404341

    Having had players freeze up like that, the best solution is to talk to the player(s). Ask him what he wants to do with the character, and if he doesn't know what he wants to do ask why. Sometimes they don't know what their character should do, sometimes they want to make sure their character fits in with the game or follows the rest of the group, sometimes they just want to do what they think is best for the story and don't know what to do. If they're having problems like that, just offer some suggestions and nudge them in whatever direction.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:29 No.7404343
    Does it count if I turn the last PC party into the villains? Dramatic reveal at the end is the current plan.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:29 No.7404346
    well, damn.

    I'm a new DM, I don't think I could pull this off then.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:30 No.7404360
    DO ask the players for help with troublesome players.

    DON'T pit them against each other
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:32 No.7404368
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    The village being destroyed by orcs was great because it was something the players initiated. But this sounds like it's creeped over the line of "an obvious coincidence that will lead to a sidequest that the DM put in and that we can't really ignore." You also don't want to keep bringing this character in as the focus of quests.

    Play off the female character who talks to him. Don't expect your players to believe a one in a million chance occurrence like finding the wife's diary or her illegitimate child.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:32 No.7404377
    I don't see that as a problem, but you'll have to actively kill off some of them as a whole party will be a bit much for them to handle.

    But then again said GM who did that tried to do what you just said and failed miserably. But he is a fail Gm and as long as they don't get too pissed about you killing their characters off you should be okay.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:33 No.7404384
    DO give players a reason to use skills outside of combat (without it being too boring)
    DON'T make every combat a flat room with a selection of enemies picked from a table.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:38 No.7404425
    Rock an inch a diameter can tear your spaceship's hull apart. Rock a METER in diameter won't even have an exit point - your whole ship will turn into a mess of crushed metal with typical space kilometers a second speeds.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:40 No.7404448
    Example: gave my character Profession (Gambling) and thankfully my DM decided to let me have a minigame at it and even other PCs joined in from time to time.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:41 No.7404461
    Depends on the speed of the ship.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:41 No.7404464
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    If you're playing in any setting where space travel is common, then either space ships randomly exploding is common or ships have some sort of shield system that absorbs the impacts.

    Fucking think about it. They're not flying Apollo rockets in intra-planetary courses.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:44 No.7404487

    I love your group, because they give me lulz.

    I do however think that playing with them would be frustrating if I wanted to do anything serious.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:44 No.7404494
    >>Rock an inch a diameter can tear your spaceship's hull apart.

    Depends on the design of the spacecraft (particularly the nature of the hull), composition of the rock, and where it hits.

    At worst, it could break up after penetrating the outer hull, fragmenting and ripping though insides at high velocities and leaving you fucked up.

    Or it can pop in an out the other end with hardly any damage aside from leaking air/water/something else like firing a pellet from an air rifle through a soda can. Self sealing mechanisms kick in and you're all good.

    Or anything in between.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:50 No.7404547
    Normaly, i wouldn't do a quest with him at all, but the players seem to be paying way more attention to him. He evolved from a minor quest giver to a best friend boss kind of guy, example A being that he didn't ASK for them to go find his wife and kids. Giving him his daughter would be giving him a happy ending, which they're all trying to get him.

    Of course, theres the option of adoption that i was thinking, although it might be to cheesy, as well as playing it like replacing a child.

    Thank you for your advice, BTW.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:50 No.7404550

    Or just not getting hit. Contrary to most sci-fi space scapes, the debris in asteroid fields or even the rings of planets isn't like navigating some mine field.

    In reality, were talking about dozens, hundreds, or thousands of kilometers between the nearest ANYTHING. If you took every single chunk of shit in the asteroid belt and formed it into a ball, it would be a fraction of the size of the moon.

    And all you need is some radar/flir looking out ahead and a little attiude adjustment here or there, or just vaporize whatever's coming and you're good.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:53 No.7404584
    We're also talking about distances that would make the length of the equator seem like the length of the letter E on your keyboard.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:57 No.7404621
    You don't know what you're talking about, do you?
    Asteroid belt's common mass is much more than that of a moon, although yes, the chunks are far apart.
    Planetary belts, on the other hand, are made of millions of rocks of various composition and size, from dust-sized to moon-sized. And navigating them is not like navigating a mine field, it's like flying through a sandblaster blowing at kilometers per second.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)04:57 No.7404624
    Awesome thread derailing!
    Back on track people!

    Do poke your players when they're being too silly and jokes too much.
    Don't do it all the time. They are still your friends and you should joke with them.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)05:02 No.7404671
    DO try to make your campaigns scientifically sound
    DON'T concentrate on it
    DON'T argue with the smartpants, just suggest to suspend disbelief and discuss the issue after the session
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)05:04 No.7404684
    /tg/, I have a confession to make...

    I want to play a DMPC. Not a leader/he-so-awesome PC, mind you. But I have always loved to play out the heroes, and I know that if I DM an evil campaign, I won't play it fairly. Thus, I've been DMing a good campaign. But...dammit...I wanna be part of the rescue-the-princess shenanigans too!

    Is it so bad to create a DMPC for a combat role, no matter how small?
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)05:06 No.7404702
    DO: have puzzles

    DON'T: rely on them to drive the campaign
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)05:06 No.7404708
    If you want to be a player, find yourself a DM and be a player. Trying to be a player while you DM is the way to railroading and annoying DMPCs all around.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)05:07 No.7404715
    Then ask any of your players if they were interested in running a game, You're generally too close to the game and unless you're very experienced, will either metagame or will plan your encounters with yourself in mind,

    The only time imo to have a DMPC if you have a party of two or three, literally that small and to be functional you need an extra body.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)05:10 No.7404744
    Unless you, you know, don't suck at it.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)05:10 No.7404751
    Generaly, ask the players.

    DON'T lose patients with newer players

    DO set up a mentor system

    When my group went from 4 to 5 people, i had the new kid set right between two guys who had huge time problems and knew half the rules by heart (Max velocity falling damage? I remember in 2.0 it was 20d10, but i'm not completely sure in 3.5.I'll be back in a minute and a half with the rule.). I told him to ask one of them whenever he had any questions, and i told them to help him out with everything. Pretty soon, the new player was up to speed completely, and had even helped make a decent plan.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)05:13 No.7404779
    Nope, regardless. If you are not having fun DMing, nothing good can come out of the idea.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)05:20 No.7404845
    The guy who asked about DMPCs: I have seen some good examples of DMPCing - mostly with the DMPC being the quiet healbot because the five people in the group all wanna go bash stuff with swords. Other times it was indeed a helpful meleeist. As a player, I haven't found them offensive if the PC isn't leading us by the nose.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)05:21 No.7404853
    In my experience it is almost always better to give the DMPC to a player.

    That naturally implies that the DMPC won't be tied to the story very much.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)05:22 No.7404865
    A DM is like an artist. You're creating an imaginative world to be interpreted by the viewer. You can draw attention to some things by making them bold, you can make your painting loud or make it soft, but you shouldn't go clockwork orange on them and force their eyes open to look at the dick you painted on the castle, no matter how proud you are of depicting the evils of goverments so brilliantly.

    BRB, going to paint white house with penis to depict new tax plans.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)05:28 No.7404915
    This just in, anything that isn't hard scifi runs on the Rule of Cool. Rule of Cool states that any conflict involving an asteroid belt will occur in the largest possible concentration of debris, because it provides an effective action backdrop.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)05:45 No.7405027
    A half decent GM can do both with a science text book.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)08:39 No.7406471

    Sorry, real asteroid belts just don't work that way. The ones in space opera, however, do work like that, because of Rule of Cool.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)08:48 No.7406534
    DON'T be a dick.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)08:56 No.7406596
    Chewie, adjust heading point oh three degrees so we miss that chunk of space dust. Don't worry about the FUCKING TIE FIGHTERS SHOOTING LASERS AT US OH GOD PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW

    Fuck your science!
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)09:38 No.7406908
    DO plan for every eventuality.

    DON'T let them see the rails.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)14:05 No.7409093
    >>Don't let them see the rails

    This is very true. One of the signs that you're experienced as a DM is when you can run a game completely like the story you envisioned, while your players feel that they've picked the way the story went. There's a saying that "Nobody minds railroading if the scenery is candy and the destination is Awesometown."

    The best way to do this until you are really experienced is to plan to have various scenes/situations in the game, but be flexible and let the players determine how they're strung together. So you can plan to have a scene where the PCs must chase someone down, and a scene where they're in a house that's being attacked by zombies. But don't plan out that they'll catch the guy by a flying tackle, or that they'll stay in the house to finish all the zombies. That's the PC's job to decide, and they might figure that they'll catch the guy they're chasing by alerting the guard and offering a reward; that they'll flee the zombie-attacked house and then torch it from the outside, zombies and all.

    Ars Ludi did an article called "Situations, not Plots" that discusses this more.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)14:10 No.7409141
    Yeah, but that applies to everything in life. Except maybe being an instructor at basic training, and even then a lot of the time it still applies.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)14:11 No.7409164
    This thread makes me realize that most people should never DM. Because this advice is impossible to follow.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)14:15 No.7409202
    How do you mean? Most of it simply boils down to "Don't be a dick, do what you think is going to be the most fun for everyone involved." I've seen all sorts of people be able to DM well, and a lot of poor DMs just don't realize that they suck, or don't care about their players and are dealing with personal issues through the game.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)14:47 No.7409559
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)15:19 No.7409895
    I liked my art analogy.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)15:49 No.7410214
    Most of the advice in this thread is good stuff, and I'm glad /tg/ decided to be helpful to those of us lacking in skill.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)16:42 No.7410862
    Do: find a way to make your timid players comfortable, and let come out of their shell.

    Don't: Invite many more new people ( like 4 more) without asking your loyal players first and figuring out if anyone would be able to operate inside a dungeon with that many people!
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)16:59 No.7411046
    15-year DM

    One DO NOT: run when you are unprepared, by your own definition of the word. Do not run if you are too sleepy, too busy, or would rather just play cards. Running the game only when you are ready means that you will always be engaging and you and your players will have more fun.

    The corresponding DO: prepare. Come up with lists of NPC names and personalities to use on the fly. Spend an hour or so before each session looking over your stuff. If you're homebrewing content, then map out scenarios, and let the players respond to those scenarios as they will. Plan for several categories of outcomes to said scenarios, based on how the PCs react. This way you can tell a modular but themed story without railroading.

    TLDR: your preparation makes you and your players have a good time, and makes for more interesting stories.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)17:25 No.7411392
    Wow, I didn't expect this thread to stick around.

    DO remember that you are playing a game, not doing math. If the rules are getting in the way, either simplify them, or pick a new system.

    DON'T make "moral" or "unscrupulous" into bad words. Don't force your players to only do the "right" or "wrong" thing.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)18:14 No.7412017
    >>The corresponding DO: prepare. Come up with lists of NPC names and personalities to use on the fly. Spend an hour or so before each session looking over your stuff. If you're homebrewing content, then map out scenarios, and let the players respond to those scenarios as they will. Plan for several categories of outcomes to said scenarios, based on how the PCs react. This way you can tell a modular but themed story without railroading.

    Do this enough and eventually you'll be able to do it without the preparation. I DM sessions now with nothing more than a paragraph of ideas for what the PCs should encounter, and let them determine what they see.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)18:28 No.7412183
    That depends on your style and the game you are playing, really. For example, I find that having a map of the facility the group is in can be extremely handy in Shadowrun (and justified IC, too). You spend less time discussing "Huh, so this door is behind that door and between those two walls" and more time playing.
    And whipping up a map in Visio is a breeze anyway.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)18:45 No.7412409
    DO recycle encounters in your notes to offer interactivity without wasting your time

    DON'T spend time making things your players arent going to use and you're not going to sell.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)18:47 No.7412430
    Some systems admittedly need stats, but that's not too much of a problem if you eyeball it and know what's about right.

    Shadowrun tends to be better with maps, I'll admit.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)19:16 No.7412728
    I used to run random encounters by memory. It worked for low levels, where i didn't need to memorize skill checks and such, just a few spell like ability's and HD and AC, but it got a pain later on.

    DO read your books often. Even if you don't remember what the book says about dwarven snowboard shooting, you'll remember where it is

    DON'T make every other conversation about rules. Rules exist like programing. They're in the backround and you're supposed to be distracted by the pretty lights.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)19:26 No.7412845
    DO tailor your style to the players' interests. Don't stick a bunch of guys who like a kick-in-the-door style in a campaign with minimal fighting and much more..well, actual roleplaying. Also, don't force players who like a more lighthearted approach into a dark, serious story. Unless they ask you to.

    DON'T cater to your players' every request. Know when to put your foot down. One time a player of mine wanted to play a Pokemon Trainer in a Forgotten Realms campaign, and I actually went out and found the template, and let her go ahead and do that. It was just so out of place. Please don't make that same mistake.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)19:28 No.7412864
    I don't suppose you still have this template?
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)19:29 No.7412871
    DO:rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape rape
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)19:32 No.7412906
    The class is called Pokemaster, and you should be able to find it relatively easily if you Google it.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)19:36 No.7412959
    Animal lord from CAd

    why didn't you just use that? you get multiple pets at a penalty.
    >> Lace !Z8CM53dU66 01/03/10(Sun)19:37 No.7412965
    DO ask your players what they want, and how they feel about the other characters, the NPCs, and the things that have happened. This is especially important if you think someone might be uncomfortable with something. Use the answers to these questions to better tailor the game to them. Don't just ask what they want, though, ask them what their characters want as well.

    DON'T bother taking detailed notes.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)19:49 No.7413131
    Or even just a sorcerer with every summon spell he can possibly prepare
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)19:50 No.7413135

    Derp, I meant know
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)20:40 No.7413871

    >Do NOT include rape in your game.

    DO NOT follow that piece of advice.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)21:32 No.7414623
    I wanted to disagree with the above statement that everything's about the players feeling awesome, and nothing about the GM's actual plot; This is entirely dependant on the game, sure, if I would play DnD (never have), or ED (have a lot), I like a little powerwanking, I want my 2m warrior in plate and with a crystal sword to be fucking awesome, but at the same time, if I'm playing WoD mortals, privately investigating the murders of a suburban family in hope of collecting a reward to pay for my sister's surgery, then I don't want to be awesome, not epic, not cool at all, I just want to get that money, and If I'm scared to death, and eventually track down the slasher, like hell I would call out on a railroad, or complaining for not getting that minigun I wanted, I would just do my best to take that fucker out, or die trying.

    A great story shouldn't be a taboo, and if you do it right, the players can actually be more affected than if you would have let them hog all the spotlight, it's all about the way of telling it.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)22:34 No.7415588
    I've DMed a group containing a neanderthal monk-barbarian(human with increaced size modifier but not category, class a single-class monk/barbarian mashup) and a sith emperor(warlock with bard/monk elements)
    The monk wore a loincloth and statboosting gear, and grappled anything while raging with monk unarmed attacks.
    The sith wore black mithral full plate, shot lightening and choked people.

    The sith was a coward and a chud and generally worthless, while the monk would grapple anything and attempt to pin it. I play my dragons intelligently, but he still managed to get ahold of it, climb atop it and crash it when it went low to claw the ground forces.

    I like to make up new stuff like that, if the player has a vision, who am i to tell him he can't do something?
    Not a word was breathed about the sith being an actual sith, that would be a crass violation of immersion. If he wants to be a dude in black armor that can shoot bolts of lightning through his eyes or whatever. It could exist.
    >> Anonymous 01/03/10(Sun)23:04 No.7416042
    DO: Be willing to kill any PC if they (the PC or the player) deserve it. In fact, I'd say every player should have a PC get killed at some point.

    DO: Come up with amusing one-offs to keep things fresh if your campaign is grinding on for a long time. Roll up new characters quickly, romp around a completely unrelated adventure for kicks, and use it to maybe develop a part of your map that you didn't have solid ideas for.

    DON'T: auto-TPK because of one mistake or wrong guess.

    DON'T: let players operate more than one long-term PC at a time, or accrue an army of NPC mooks unless there's a real field battle to be fought.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)00:37 No.7417128
    Stay away from those. They're a pain in the ass.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)00:40 No.7417150
    Full Scale battles, i mean. Trust me, if you're doing a war, have the PC's be part of a gurilla group or something. Ever play Fire Emblem for the Wii? Think the Ike and co missions. Most of them you're doing covert stuff for the giant laguz army, even though the fucking lion guy could solo most things without taking a single point of damage.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)02:25 No.7418598
    Question from an inexperienced DM:

    I have trouble getting my players into the game. My story-telling sucks and I never know how to properly describe what's going on in the detail i want to get my vision of things across.

    How can I improve my ability to describe my game for my players?
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)02:32 No.7418715
    DO offer a colorful cast of reasonably complex and competent NPCs to act as foils, facilitators, and henchmen/allies for your PCs.

    DONT design them like you would a character of your own, dont play them as such, and for the love of the gods, dont turn the game into your fanfic wankfest with your players as the audience.

    My group has had bad experiences with DMPC faggotry, and is very grateful that I design and run NPCs that they actually WANT to be around, WANT to take along, and ENJOY seeing do cool shit occasionally.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)05:03 No.7420308
    DO invest your players in the world design process.

    DON'T hesitate to cut loose a player who isn't interested in your campaign flavour (e.g. everyone agrees to play a grimdark post-apocalyptic campaign but he keeps trying to turn it into traditional heroic fantasy).
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:03 No.7421665

    Some of us never improve at that, must be a matter of natural talent or something, you either have it or you don't. I've been GMing for at least 12 years, and my descriptions still suck. But you can sort of compensate by doing enough worldbuilding ahead of time so that the world still comes across as alive enough, even if the individual descriptions of it aren't that colorful.

    Also, wow. This thread is still here?
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:14 No.7421771

    Practice might help, ie imagine a scene, try to think of a verbal description, then gradually edit and improve the description. It's probably easier to talk out loud while doing this, but you can do it "internally" if there are people nearby and you don't want to look mental. Also maybe focus in on one or two aspects that kinda "capture" or define the scene, the same way good artists can suggest a figure with a couple of lines.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:23 No.7421847
    >I wanted to disagree with the above statement that everything's about the players feeling awesome, and nothing about the GM's actual plot; This is entirely dependant on the game, sure, if I would play DnD (never have), or ED (have a lot), I like a little powerwanking, I want my 2m warrior in plate and with a crystal sword to be fucking awesome, but at the same time, if I'm playing WoD mortals, privately investigating the murders of a suburban family in hope of collecting a reward to pay for my sister's surgery, then I don't want to be awesome, not epic, not cool at all, I just want to get that money, and If I'm scared to death, and eventually track down the slasher, like hell I would call out on a railroad, or complaining for not getting that minigun I wanted, I would just do my best to take that fucker out, or die trying.

    It's not about the characters feeling awesome. It's about the -players- feeling awesome. By going in as a mortal against some vampire slasher or whatever the hell happens in WoD Mortals and, win or lose, giving it your all and going down swinging, you the player feel awesome for being a part of that story. Your character may be killed or cthulu-raped or killed and then cthulu-raped, but you don't mind because you weren't looking for some kick-down-the-door-and-fireball-the-goblins ending. You got what you wanted, not in terms of in-game items, but in terms of meta-story.

    That's the point.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:27 No.7421887
    To everyone saying DON'T DMPC, what do when the party decides it's taking along a NPC?

    I've had it happen three times now.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:29 No.7421911
    I tend to have a few DMPCs in my games - I roll them outside of the normal gaming session and sometimes the players find their corpses to loot, or traces of an adventurer being somewhere before them.
    Players get metagamey as shit when I start rolling at the table for an encounter none of the PCs are involved in. Thus far they've tried to chat up a DMPC for a plot hook or as a joint adventure, even though said DMPC isn't really plot-relevant.
    They're there to fill the game-world (as I've established the PCs to be not the only ones adventuring), but I honestly would prefer they ignore or fight the DMPCs instead of trying to chat every single one up for a sidequest that I have to bullshit straight out of my ass.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:34 No.7421944

    Have them die in combat and/or be useless. No matter how 'IC' it is to take them, the moment the party realizes that they are a hindrance rather than a help, they will leave them in a forest somewhere.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:34 No.7421947
    They're also a bloody good railroad because they complete the parts of the story the players ignore / overlook / don't give a shit about.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:36 No.7421961

    It's worth remembering that many of those people may be using the original definition of "DMPC", as in an NPC the DM sees and plays as their own personal player character, with all the favoritism that implies. You don't exactly need to be a genius to see why that is not a good idea, but still some DMs persist in this, god knows why.

    Nowadays the meaning of the term seems to have shifted to mean "any NPC cooperating with the players", and as long as the DM remembers who the protagonists of the story are supposed to be, there is nothing necessarily wrong with such a character.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:37 No.7421966
    If you're actually rolling out the combats and whatnot, you're doing it wrong. It's an NPC versus NPC combat that the players aren't even around to see, right? So just pick one side as winning and move on. Do whichever's best for the story or the mood you're trying to set.

    Honestly though what you're doing is just regular NPCs. DMPC are when the DM tries to be the DM while also controlling an NPC inside the actual party, who's integral to the plot or higher level or some other bullshit. It's often caused by the DM only DMing because no one else would or being one of those insecure fucks who needs the spotlight on him at all times to have fun.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:38 No.7421977
    And what, the NPC has no choice in the matter? Or is it more a case of "we hire a merc?" Give us an example or two of how it's happened.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:40 No.7421996
    DO try and involve every PC into the game equally.

    DON'T let the wizard just pull the rest of the party along in whatever half-baked shit he's thought up.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:43 No.7422020

    First was a blacksmith whose shop was burnt down, but they saved his daughter so he agreed to travel with them instead of a material reward. They specifically requested it, and crit success on Diplomacy (Houserule is Crit on Noncombat rolls is autosuccess, unless it's dumb like 'I roll Arcana to destroy the planet').

    Second was a mercenary that they hired to lead them to a specific location, and they chose to extend his contract rather than just kick him to the curb.

    Last was Splug, from Keep on the Shadowfell.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:50 No.7422073
    If you honestly think it's a problem or hard to deal with, then just stop saying yes so readily. I mean really, they save the blacksmith's daughter and he shows his gratitude by leaving her to go adventuring and probably get eaten by gnolls, or dragons, or half-dragon gnolls? And it's not like Blacksmith is a combat class or anything.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:52 No.7422087
    so no NPC is ever allowed to be important to the plot?
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:57 No.7422122
    No NPC is ever allowed to be the seventh level gestalt wizard/cleric with the only password to get into the Castle of Despair, in the fifth level party.

    NPCs can be important to the plot, sure. But there's a line many DMs cross that separates "important NPC" and "secret PC." It mostly boils down to how much spotlight-stealing your PCs feel you're doing, and yes, that's completely subjective.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)08:57 No.7422124
    mabey the daughter was old enough to live on her own, or came with them?
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:02 No.7422165
    >If you're actually rolling out the combats and whatnot, you're doing it wrong. It's an NPC versus NPC combat that the players aren't even around to see, right? So just pick one side as winning and move on.

    I'd rather not. Rules exist for a reason; my NPCs obey them.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:06 No.7422198

    in that case you should roll out those combats on your own time. Why do you need to bother your players with something that doesn't concern them in the slightest? Work out all the rules beforehand and give them the condensed version in-game instead.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:09 No.7422216
    Do the farmers in your game roll Profession checks to see how much silver they make per week?

    Looking back it sounds like you're just kinda having your own little adventuring solitaire game on the side, which is fine and whatnot. But the part where you talk about wanting the group to fight one of your pet NPCs is teetering dangerously close to DMPC territory. Take a step back and ask yourself if you really wouldn't be happier playing a PC while someone else DMed for a bit.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:21 No.7422317
    I've got a question, /tg/, I'm planning on running a campaign with a DMPC. The DMPC will be the Captain of the space ship and a sort of 'father figure' to the crew; a way to organize them in the beginning and assemble them together on a single path.

    Thing is, he'll get killed later on in the campaign, leaving the crew stranded without a captain.

    Am I doing it right?
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:22 No.7422326
    Samefag troll.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:24 No.7422339
    Kind of. If he's unobtrusive, that's all right.

    Keep in mind that if a single one of the PCs wants to take his spot and assert authority over the rest of the party you're in for trouble.
    >> Golden Neckbeard !!MA40nsGlj/I 01/04/10(Mon)09:24 No.7422342
    DO cut scenes short or skip them entirely if they don't advance the plot and no players have expressed interest in exploring their details

    DO NOT ask for rolls of any kind unless you have an interesting and meaningful plan for both success and failure. If it doesn't really matter, or if the game/narrative depends on or assumes success (or failure) at a given task, just let them do it as a matter of course instead of wasting everyone's time on a secretly meaningless roll.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:28 No.7422373
    Is this campaign more of an "Away Team" type game where the captain flies the ship to a place and then the party goes off on its own and adventures outside the ship? Or more of an "Open Hailing Frequencies" campaign where they play bridge members and most of the stuff happens on the ship itself?

    Either way the spaceship setting and the captain being an NPC takes all the player control out of the direction of the story. I mean they can try and persuade the captain in character what they should do and where they should go and whatnot, but only the captain of the ship has any say whatsoever in what actually happens. I'd hope he dies very quickly so the PCs can fill in the hole.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:32 No.7422400
    It's more of an "Away Team" with the entire crew making planetfall, including the Captain. The story so far is this: Players respond to an advert by the Captain for a spaceship crew, and meet him in a tavern on a backwater planet.

    During their first mission the Captain is killed by aliens, leaving the new crew to fend for themselves.
    >> Golden Neckbeard !!MA40nsGlj/I 01/04/10(Mon)09:33 No.7422416

    You know, PCs don't always HAVE to have a complete lack of executive oversight.

    Sure, having an NPC to which the PCs are direct superiors could be easily abused by a poor DM but otherwise its perfectly valid in my opinion.

    Especially for your "away team" style, as you name it. It wouldn't really wind up being much different than a game where the party is in the middle of nowhere and taking missions from the leader of the only settlement for miles.
    >> Golden Neckbeard !!MA40nsGlj/I 01/04/10(Mon)09:35 No.7422426

    >meet in a tavern

    I hope that's euphamism.

    Otherwise, come on. There's better places for that than SPACE TAVERN.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:36 No.7422440
    Space brothel with green babes.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:37 No.7422445
    ..what? As the person who was answering those questions, I can say you're an idiot. People have back and forth conversations. No one's trying to hide that that was probably the same person, just like I've posted like fifteen times in this thread.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:43 No.7422487
    That second part is highly disputable, as a matter of fact. It's a game, after all, not a collectively told story. Games have rules, and if, say, your players chose the road which has a pit on it, they either roll Jump, or find a way around it.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:47 No.7422532
    Learn to detect trolls, boy-o. Intentionally inflammatory comments, pretending to "misunderstand" the most obvious things and trying to cause rage are all sure symptoms.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:50 No.7422557
    I think you're misinterpreting what he said there. I read it as basically "don't waste time with rolls if you're just going to fudge it for the story anyway, or if it doesn't matter for your game." The pit matters, because failing the jump or whatever would mean they fall in and probably get hurt. Making them roll Survival to forage food when you're not playing a game with strict encumbrance/food/drink rules and whatnot isn't.
    >> Lesko !yhM4/lg8ng 01/04/10(Mon)09:57 No.7422620
    DMPCs are fine when they're just that: PCs controlled by the DM, either because he wants to play and there's no other campaign running or because the party needs a healer/trap detector/whatever and no one wants to play one. As long as he's treated no better than the PCs, everything is fine.

    The problem is when DMs want not a DMPC but a DM avatar who knows everything and does everything better than the PCs.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:57 No.7422625
    What he said is
    >if the game/narrative depends on or assumes success (or failure) at a given task [omit the roll]
    The thing is, there should be no predefined narrative to turn rolls irrelevant. Your players have an elaborate plan of sneaking into a Renraku compound for some plot-important McGuffin - that doesn't mean the infiltrators shouldn't be rolling Infiltration just because it'd be more reasonable from the plot point of view if they succeed.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)09:58 No.7422633
    Tone down your assburgers. No one was raging.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)10:03 No.7422670
    On the contrary. DM is DM and should be DMing, not playing his own game. If his PC is of the same power level and plot importance as the other PCs, your DM is pretty much filling two roles at once, and thus, does neither of them well.
    Doesn't mean there shouldn't be supporting NPCs, they just should mostly stay out of the spotlight.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)10:04 No.7422679
    That's because you fail as a troll, too.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)10:26 No.7422863
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)10:45 No.7423091
    Welcome to /tg/, you must be new here.
    >> Anonymuos 01/04/10(Mon)11:54 No.7423807
    I have a problem - my players would rather make a new character when they die rather than have their party members resurrect their old ones. What do I do?

    This wouldn't bother me normally, because I would simply have the players find a reason why they would want to adventure with the party themselves, however, right now the plot and story depends on their current characters. There are items tied to them that are important and later on they will probably resurrect the dead party members or at least try. That would lead to a conflict.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)11:56 No.7423828

    I'd rather the DM make a single memorable PC to fill in a gap in party composition and roleplay him as well as any of his NPCs than have fifteen disposable NPCs. It's a lot more fun that way.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)14:27 No.7425554
    What system are you using? That's important.

    Generally, the players are right, and their instincts are right. To quote Shirou from FSN, "People die when they are killed." You are falling into a trap that you should learn to avoid. Your characters are not the only people in the world, and if you make a plot that depends on their survival, you should not kill them in the first place.

    Resurrecting dead characters does the opposite of immerse players. It's like reloading a save-game, or getting one of those "You failed this mission, you have to start over" messages. The beauty of PnP games is, you have a GM who can adapt the game to the players, rather than just run them through a story you wrote.

    As an example of this, I played a 3-player d&d game in college. The DM actually brought me in as more of a side-character, and he had this whole big plot set up wherein the two other characters would fulfill this ancient prophecy, etc, etc. What *actually* ended up happening was, my influence on the game caused the prophecy to go unfulfilled, and the campaign took a whole new direction. It even continued the next year, with my character being the only one that carried over from the previous group.

    tl;dr, don't be afraid to change your plans based on your players. In fact, don't not do it.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)16:17 No.7426812
    bumping an awesome thread.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)18:17 No.7428536
    >>Resurrecting dead characters does the opposite of immerse players. It's like reloading a save-game, or getting one of those "You failed this mission, you have to start over" messages. The beauty of PnP games is, you have a GM who can adapt the game to the players, rather than just run them through a story you wrote.

    That can be true, when it's the D&D style of resurrection that makes death only a minor inconvenience if you have enough power, money, or connections.

    However, if bringing someone back to life is really difficult, almost as difficult as the main quest even, then it won't screw up immersion. Have the player make a new character to tag along for a while until their main character with the epic destiny is finally resurrected. That should take a minimum of 3 sessions and should also cost the players something dear. That way, you aren't letting them take death lightly.
    >> Anonymous 01/04/10(Mon)18:52 No.7429090
    Uh, being resurrected in dnd costs you a level. Minding that leveling up typically requires more than a few sessions, I feel that's a penalty enough.

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