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Author Topic: Tips for new GMs  (Read 378 times)

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Offline Colin-ICE

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Tips for new GMs
« on: October 23, 2017, 02:34:30 AM »
Hi everyone!

I'm working on a blog offering advice to new GMs and GMs new to ICE games, so what advice would you offer? Where do you think most GMs go wrong?

Offline jdale

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Re: Tips for new GMs
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 08:58:31 AM »
Listen to your players. They may not actually know what they want, but you can read it between the lines. :) And more importantly, their brainstorming as they try to figure out what is going on, is a great source of ideas as you decide where to take the campaign next....

Offline jokapsal

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Re: Tips for new GMs
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 12:36:12 PM »
The GM law sourcebook from ice was great. I learnt much from this. I fount very helpfull the charts for weekly-monthly-yearly events! And many more things.
http://johnkapsalis.deviantart.com/

Offline Mordrig

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Re: Tips for new GMs
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2017, 02:53:49 PM »
Keep the game flowing, move it along if the players seem to drag.  If you have to get some strange help for them to get over a hump do it.

Offline Cory Magel

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Re: Tips for new GMs
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2017, 07:19:24 PM »
I'll second the GM's guide for Rolemaster is an excellent book for new GM's.

1. Remember that, while you want to be having fun, your primary goal is to make sure your players are having fun (because without them you won't be no matter what).  Find out what your players enjoy...
- Combat? Role-play?
- Accumulation of wealth or fame (or both)?
- Do they think adventurers are above average examples the population (stats/skills) or what they think they're like anyone else and it's what they do with what they have?

2. Your players will often derail your best laid plans. Learn to anticipate this possibility and know there will be times you have to wing it. However, when possible, keep in mind you can sometimes potentially 'move' your planned event into the players path.

3. Don't leave players with nothing to do for long periods of time.  If someone is captured or incapacitated figure out a way to not leave them twiddling their thumbs while the rest of the party plays on.  Resolve what has happened quickly, let them play the NPC, or maybe even pause the session and continue on once it's been resolved.

4. Rules aren't written in stone.  If something isn't fun, change it.  Our group will occasionally stop a session and hammer out a new rule (among everyone) that addresses something no one is happy with.

5. Somewhat related to #4: Remind players if they think they should be able to do something they shouldn't or you don't want them to they're quite likely to be on the other end of that equation eventually and will they be regretting it when that happens?
- Cory Magel

Game design priority: Fun > Balance > Realism (> = greater than).
(Channeling Companion, RMQ 1 & 2, and various Guild Companion articles author).

"The only thing I know about adults is that they are obsolete children." - Dr Seuss

Offline Hurin

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Re: Tips for new GMs
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2017, 11:43:44 PM »
Was going to do a long post, but Cory just said pretty much everything I was going to say, and he said it better than I was going to.

I will say one more thing though: remember that neither the rules nor your plot are the star of the show; the players are. That doesn't mean you have to give in to their every whim or demand. But it does mean you have to be flexible. To take a page from Carl von Clausewitz, I will say that no plot survives first contact with the characters.
'Last of all, Húrin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed'. --J.R.R. Tolkien

Offline Majyk

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Re: Tips for new GMs
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2017, 05:46:43 PM »
A big one for my groups was always having them write up a bit of a background that I could then incorporate story tidbits into the campaign.
Nothing huge - even point form is fine - but enough recent history to allow for a few quests to be created.

Every second or third arc would steal some clue or hint from their past and let them be more of a star for a session or three and extend things.

The beauty is multiple threads from these backgrounds could be woven and merged, and used to create combined pasts they never knew they had in common.
That and it engages the Players even more when something they wrote gets into the campaign!

One other thing:
start each session with a recap of last session's details either yourself, or via an XP reward by a Player.
Same thing = player engagement.

 

Real Roleplaying