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How to be a great GM?

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Re: How to be a great GM?

Postby Patroclus » Monday March 30th, 2015 4:27pm

I don’t believe that I am the best GM. I’ve played as a hero better quests than mine (with tasoe for GM). But if you ask me, the best quests are those who will say after some days “do you remember the quest with the pit full of snakes?”. What I want to say is that every quest should have something different and unique. A boss with special moves, a room with a puzzle, an npc with a sub-quest, etc. You need inspiration for that and you can find it in many sources. Movies, books, paintings maybe, etc. For example, have you ever read conan the savage from marvel? It was a comic magazine but each story has two or more scenes where the hero goes somewhere and triggers something and then something happens.

The next big thing that I found very interesting is the strategic part of some quests, where you enter a room and there is a mage inside. Then the heroes start to talk and make their plan for how to eliminate what’s inside. If they do this, then your quest is very good. Should you stay outside and try to lure the enemies? Should you try to open the road and reach the mage? Should the one hero try to rescue the girl, the other to take down the mage, and the other to hold down the orcs? These are questions that makes your players happy.

The final thing that you should have in mind is the balance. You will see that some rooms are very easy for your players and others are very tough. Maybe you are playing a quest that you have written long time ago, and the stats of your heroes have increased from that day. They’ve clean half of your dungeon easily and you have do zero damage. Then you have to make your choice. Take a minute to change some monsters. Change some orcs to archers, change some goblins to orcs, put an ogre in the corridor. Have in mind that when they complete half of the rooms, at least one hero should be in need of a potion.

One more suggestion. When a hero dies, don’t delete his character, just remove half of his gold. This is what we do. So, the GM chooses to put harder encounters more easily.


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Re: How to be a great GM?

Postby cornixt » Monday March 30th, 2015 4:54pm

One way to be a better GM is to play under a bad GM. In my first experience of RPGs, the GM seemed good at the time, and it was just that our party was inept and kept failing the missions. The last game I played under him, it became clear that he just couldn't cope with deviations from his plan - either left us with no options to continue or completely wrecked everything so that we couldn't. We killed a guy too quickly rather than pumping him for information, hard to continue the quest. He blew up an entire mountain due to us accidentally igniting some mining gas that we didn't even know about. I'm not saying we were great, but the exact same group under a different GM had a much more fun time and actually succeeded at doing things.

If there are lots of newbies in the party, then having a NPC who can play devils advocate or point them in the right direction will really help. Rather than leaving them floundering, he can suggest they go to a local inn to meet a guy he knows or tell a story about a town in the north that relates to what they are looking for.


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Re: How to be a great GM?

Postby cynthialee » Monday March 30th, 2015 5:38pm

Diggin wrote:Wait what? don't stop there! did the demigod get his sword back?

Tyrack the Mighty (the Demi God in question, an NPC demi god based on a Hero played by one of my first players) did get his sword back after the heroes used Tyracks sword to defeat the Arch Lich that plagued the lands. After the lich died they surrendered the weapon to the clerics of Tyrack and the heroes received a stout reward. But there were plenty of dead elementals, clerics and lessor angels before the heroes made nice with the high cleric of Tyrack.
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
~Sun Tsu The art of War~


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