First Time GM - WTF?

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Re: First Time GM - WTF?

Postby Maedsl » 2:16pm on 14 Mar 14

Most important rule / tool is 1D6

If in doubt with any rule / decision:

Odd number ( 1, 3 or 5 ) it's baaaaad for the Players
Even number ( 2, 4 or 6 ) it's good for the Players
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Re: First Time GM - WTF?

Postby Stoney » 2:48pm on 17 Mar 14

Evilgaz wrote:First time Con GM – what can you do, how should you go about it?

Hmmm… Random stream-of-consciousness thoughts:

  • Firstly, run some games with a weekly group or at a club.
  • Get some confidence from running games, get comfortable with a system and style you’re used to.
  • Don’t think you have to be some kind of overlord or tyrant. Those days are over.
  • Read the GMing sections from some games. No, really. People quite often flick over these, but actually, there is often some good advice.
  • Know your setting, system and scenario in advance. Write yourself cheat sheet or post-its, whatever you like.
  • You can never have to much prep. That doesn’t mean having glorious handouts (although they’re nice), it means really getting the story straight in your head, so you know what’s going on. Thinking about the personalities or quirks that the NPCs might have. Little details you might be able to inject into a scene. All that kind of stuff.
  • Run the game for your weekly group. Get feedback, make changes or think about how you can improve things.
  • Write a scenario or some notes that give the players plenty to do. But the action in their hands and give yourself a breather.
  • A good choice for a game would be something like Pirates or Cowboys, something that any player can drop right into. I kicked off my Pirates game at Conception and could barely get a word in for the first half an hour. The first half of the game more or less ran itself.
  • Advertise the game, with a note that you’re a new GM. If people come to the game knowing you’ve got a learner plate on, they’ll be more forgiving.
  • You could even ask for pre-con sign-ups and gather some players in advance that are going to help you out.
  • Consider having a friend or someone you know from the con scene in your game. That might make it less scary.
  • Be aware that you’ll make some mistakes. We all do. Even people who look like they don’t are just good at covering it up.
  • Take breaks if you need them.
  • If you can time a break with another GM, then you could always tap them up for a quick pep talk mid-game.
  • Don’t feel like a game has to last 4 hours. If you’ve come to a good, punchy ending after three, stop it there and end on a high.
  • Make sure everyone round the table gets a chance to speak. They might not want to. That’s fine. But give them a chance.
  • Try and work with the players, not against them. Share and grow.
  • If Kaiser Jez is in your game, kill his character, give him another one, and mess that one up, but leave it alive.


It's been a while for me but all of this is sound advice I'd say.
The best games I've been involved with we're often the simplest, well thought out world settings with low level characters and low level adventures.
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Re: First Time GM - WTF?

Postby PaulBennett » 4:04pm on 13 Nov 14

I'm starting to make system-less one-shot adventures theta fit on playing cards to go with the Game in a Card Sleeve systems that Ive done so far.
Ive had good feedback from people taking them to cons
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Re: First Time GM - WTF?

Postby Valace » 12:23am on 30 Jun 15

My thoughts which may be missed here.

You are GOD! Think this and be this, it will help you out with this thought in the back of your mind.

You are an entertainer! The game should be for them and not you, your reward in XP is the smile :)

My other thoughts have already been covered, so I will not repeat.

If you are interested in knowing about advanced tips let me know and I can type some suggestions on my methods I use.
Garry Harper


Director at The Role Play Haven CIC
website, http://www..rphaven.co.uk


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Re: First Time GM - WTF?

Postby James Mullen » 9:34am on 30 Jun 15

Valace wrote:You are GOD! Think this and be this, it will help you out with this thought in the back of your mind.

You are an entertainer! The game should be for them and not you, your reward in XP is the smile :)


Moloch Almighty, don't let Neil Gow see this! :o
Blood & Water is available now on DriveThru: "An awesome, awesome game of mundane nonsense" - Neil Gow

Keep up with new nano-games and other games in development at the Groundhoggoth blog.
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Re: First Time GM - WTF?

Postby Sangeet » 9:47pm on 08 Aug 16

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Re: First Time GM - WTF?

Postby Farsight » 3:00pm on 21 Oct 17

Get someone who has been a GM to help you, otherwise reading "How to be a GM" is a bit like reading "How to be a Film Director" and then shouting "Action!" and hoping it all works out.
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