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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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File: the_dungeon_master_by_moulinbleu-d61u428.jpg-(212 KB, 774x1032)
Let's make a compendium...
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)07:10 UTC+1 No.32952032 Report

Let's make a compendium of common DM advice and rules.

1a) They will try to kill it, no exceptions.

1b) If it can be killed, it will be killed. Always have a back-up.

1c) They will try to fuck it, no exceptions.

2) They will go in the direction you didn't expect. Steer the plot, not the PCs.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)07:15 UTC+1 No.32952096 Report

For some reason, DMs don't tend to realize that they should be working the plot around the players, not the players around the plot.

It's a collaborative game, not a book reading. Prepare different things.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)07:15 UTC+1 No.32952098 Report

always remember rule zero: At the end of it all, what the GM says goes. Use it wisely.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)07:17 UTC+1 No.32952116 Report

>what the GM says goes

I will always listen to a reasonable player.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)07:17 UTC+1 No.32952119 Report

Only works if the gm isn't a dick. He should be able to explain why it works that way, not "lol paladin falls and so do the rocks because I said so."
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)07:29 UTC+1 No.32952230 Report

Addendum: Don't fall in love with any of what you prepare. The players may change it or may not pursue it. This is not the players' fault, and don't punish them for it.

Addendum to the Addendum: There will occasionally be cheeky gits who think that it's fun to intentionally disrupt the game thinking laughs will be had by all. Liberally use the punishment you've been holding back from the rest of the party on them all the time. Laughs will be had by all.

Wisely should cover it. There is a happy medium here that you want to aim for, and it varies from system to system, compare FATE to D&D. Your players should feel comfortable enough to bring up issues or suggestions in game but respect you enough to drop something if you can justify it or if you deem it simply unimportant.

GM's should not be afraid to say no, and learning how to say it both in in game situations and ooc situations is an important skill for all gms to develop. If said cheeky git from earlier, for example, continues to disrupt your game and the other players are not liking it, you have to be willing to tell him he can't do that in game or he will no longer be allowed at game.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)07:37 UTC+1 No.32952297 Report


Take breaks.

If you're going to be using a rule for the first time, double check it before you get to the table.

Check out your player's character sheets. Know anything special you need to know so it doesn't have to be looked up.

PCs should be punished or rewarded for their actions.

Gold is a terrible reward.

The threat of having to fight a dragon can be more exciting than fighting a dragon.

Political intrigue in game? Do NOT parallel it to real life current events.

If you introduce something major, someone will care about it. I had a new player who didn't seem to be having much fun, but hung on. then the party found an airship and he fell in love with it and became much more involved.

You can't please everyone.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)07:37 UTC+1 No.32952300 Report

>They will try to kill it, no exceptions.
Tell me about it.
>Was Dm:ing my first game
>all players are first-timers
>They clear the first goblin filled dungeon
>they clear the second dungeon filled with giant centipedes and giant spiders
>in the end of the dungeon there is a giant cave filled with gold and a sleeping dragon
>they see it
>the thief goes "I wanna stab it in the face"
Fucking idiots
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)07:39 UTC+1 No.32952313 Report

Well, if you're a skilled GM, there's perhaps no in-character action that can 'disrupt' the game. You just provide realistic consequences to whatever the players want to do. No need to overtly 'punish' for things.

Players causing an OOC anger festival can easily be discussed calmly and rationally OOC.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)07:40 UTC+1 No.32952324 Report


nigger in disguise.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)07:42 UTC+1 No.32952351 Report

I like big lips that can smother me.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)07:58 UTC+1 No.32952506 Report

Remember to use monsters not as a meat shield, but as living, THINKING creatures. They have intelligence stat for a reason
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)07:58 UTC+1 No.32952507 Report

I've had players who have intentionally done things like kill the druid's companion or betray another party member's protege, etc., in such a manner just to get a reaction out of the other players. While I think I've moved away from/aged out of/become more discerning of that demographic of our hobby, it still exists, and rational ooc conversation breaks down in light of revelations such as 'I did it cause I thought it'd be funny to see your face/make you mad/be a dick, lol.'

Actually, while we're on GM advice, let's go ahead and say you need to know how to read people, especially if you draw from multiple groups. You need to know who likes what, who gets along with who, and who probably shouldn't be gaming at all.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)09:02 UTC+1 No.32953067 Report

Unless enemies have a poison gas attack, do NOT eat refried beans before DMing.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)09:59 UTC+1 No.32953437 Report

Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)10:01 UTC+1 No.32953446 Report

I like it.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)10:12 UTC+1 No.32953520 Report

Missing a number 10.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)10:18 UTC+1 No.32953567 Report

>You are there to watch the players write a story while you control the bit parts of the play.
>You are not the main character, you are there to provide the decoration.
>The players should always have the spotlight, never you.
>If the players love something, taking it away makes you a bad DM. Scare them to think you might, but never do, unless you've asked a player about it first.
>Plots are like reeds. They should be ready to bend whatever directions the wind is blown by the PCs.
>Even following these guidelines, you will still have fun. If you're not, there's something wrong with YOU.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)10:21 UTC+1 No.32953583 Report

And so it was.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)10:26 UTC+1 No.32953609 Report

Use physical cues. Dim lights, play music softly in the background, raise and lower your voice. it helps build the mood.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)10:29 UTC+1 No.32953627 Report

Wtf are you talking about? Number 10 isn't missing. Only true Game Masters can see it.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)10:36 UTC+1 No.32953672 Report

I don't know if other people do this but I do almost all my DMing standing up if possible. It demands the most attention and also allows you be the most animated. It also allowed me to get in character more easily.

And to pace. So much pacing...My group likes to intentionally fuck with my plans. Good thing their plans are so easy to worth with.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)10:41 UTC+1 No.32953720 Report


This, I always stand too. Helps me feel more in control. I'm pretty introverted, so I need to put myself in a position of power or I have a hard time DMing.

Bring something to share: A 12 pack of something you like to drink probably costs $3, and you aren't going to (or shouldn't) drink all of that in one shot anyway.

If you don't have plans to as a group, eat before you go. This goes for players too.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)11:37 UTC+1 No.32954036 Report

I have only one major DM rule beyond OP's.

Even when they aren't, your players are always *intentionally* trying to screw up the game. The idea of "player VS DM" never fully goes away no matter how many times we're told that isn't the case. The difference is that the players are almost never held responsible for indulging in this - indeed, it's expected - while DMs are reamed for indulging in this attitude but a little.

But ultimately...fuck it. You're a player too, and you're supposed to have fun, too. If the players can have fun killing giants, slaying dragons, felling fairies, and murdering hordes of minions, you're allowed to be having fun if a player's character is dying, too. Never belabor the point and never set out with the deliberate intention of murdering a player character - but never, ever, EVER pull punches or fudge rolls.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)11:44 UTC+1 No.32954090 Report

>never, ever, EVER pull punches or fudge rolls.
Unless it would be cool/end the campaign.
You've got a screen in front of you for a reason. Utilize it.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)11:48 UTC+1 No.32954129 Report

Maybe 1% of the time, at best. But I actually do over 99% of my rolls in the open. That way I'm never accused of fudging rolls - good or bad ones.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)12:00 UTC+1 No.32954216 Report

My pointers:

- Read. Read, read, read.

A GM with a vast knowledge of stories, storytelling, (game) world events and factions and no prep work is worth more than a GM with prep work that is fucked as soon as he is outside of his script.

- Let the players create the world as they uncover it.

You don't need to be super-prepared, you only need to know core elements of your scenario. The players provide the focus, you provide the world around them. "There is a conspiring secret cabal behind the baron." is a good enough plot point - from here on out you can throw hints whereever you like. There is no need to toss a letter if the PCs didn't scrounge room A in house B. Have the letter drop from a peasant that rushes by if you need to force it in, or they find later - not as a new clue but a confirmation of others. Every place they haven't been or conversation they did not take is another point of injection of information, true or false.

- Make them afraid, don't frustrate them.

A player brought to the edge of his nerves and finding relief is better than a player sad about his character dying. Killing PCs has little to no positive effect, unless it was a guest character. They can have plot armour - find other ways for punishment. Curses, lasting wounds, loss of posessions, loss of reputation. And if you want a fight that makes them all on edge, describe it as intense.

- Dice help as arbiters, dice aren't requirements.

You can play out sessions without rolling dice, or simply use a diceroll as a measure of feigned control for your players. Let them play things out, decide on their performance, not on "I use Diplomacy on him for 15." Even in D&D, dice can be easily forgotten and fights are not mandatory. Often the hint of confrontation suffices.

- Tension and thrill are not adrenaline and anger, but anticipation.

A player group that assumes danger, subterfuge and/or a secret is often better entertained than with encounter-hopping. Don't play Diablo P&P.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)12:14 UTC+1 No.32954316 Report

I though rule zero was to have an enjoyable game and rule one was that GM is absolute.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)17:36 UTC+1 No.32957262 Report

The ability to bullshit and pull things out of your ass is a dire skill, learn it and take inspiration from wherever you can.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)21:38 UTC+1 No.32960810 Report

10. Stop, Collaborate, and Listen.
Now 06/23/14(Mon)22:18 UTC+1 No.32961440 Report

Man, my first group was terrible for interacting with each others. Often, it would devolve into players literally pointing at each other, yelling "Punch!", and rolling their dice without me getting a word in. Random scuffles, every session, over real-life issues.
Anonymous 06/23/14(Mon)23:10 UTC+1 No.32962367 Report


If there's little or no chance of dying, it cheapens PC accomplishments. Hand-holding and hugboxing doesn't make the game more fun for anyone.
Anonymous 06/24/14(Tue)00:37 UTC+1 No.32964129 Report


gotta find a happy medium
Anonymous 06/24/14(Tue)02:08 UTC+1 No.32966110 Report

Does anyone have similar pics to the OP one?????????????????????????????????????????????????'??????????'???????????????????????????????????'????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????'????
Anonymous 06/24/14(Tue)04:59 UTC+1 No.32969438 Report


dude, watch the question marks
Anonymous 06/24/14(Tue)05:02 UTC+1 No.32969500 Report

There will be times when you or one of the players will be be completely incompatible with the group. Be upfront about it and try to find a solution or simply cut away the problem at once.
Anonymous 06/24/14(Tue)05:39 UTC+1 No.32970136 Report

Try google image search, or look at /r/.
Anonymous 06/24/14(Tue)06:35 UTC+1 No.32971056 Report


But, be prepared for bitching if the monsters use tactics as complicated as flanking. Especially if they have sneak attack and 10 intelligence.
Anonymous 06/24/14(Tue)10:59 UTC+1 No.32974407 Report

That's just a shitty group, not anything about using tactics.
Anonymous 06/24/14(Tue)11:19 UTC+1 No.32974659 Report

Here's a good one that's already been compiled.
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