Currently working on a campaign, Takes a long while apparently , I’ve never DM’d before but I hope to find players willing to help out and just have fun and vibe with. All ages above 13 is allowed.
If anyone is willing or interested in playing or wants to help me out with advice and stuff, just reply.
Some advice for you. Don’t over-manage it. Don’t micro-manage. Keep it a little open and broad to allow for deviation. Know where you want it to go, but not necessarily how you get there. That way, if the players throw a curveball at you, you can adjust and still get them where you want without feeling like you are railroading them. I’ve always told my players that I know where I want them to get to, and a general idea of how to get there, but even if they try throwing a curveball, I can make it work. Some of the best advise I heard was how Alan Bahr from Gallant Knight Games explained his approach. He said he uses bullet points. He has things he wants to make sure get hit during the session, but where and when are more open. Oh, and have fun.
Thank you for the lovely advice, I appreciate it.
Fun is number one. My approach is similar. I never set a solution, just present problems and listen to the players. Any reasonable solution.
I have run entire games by tossing out a plot hook and letting the players tell me the next step, without then knowing their are telling me the next step.
You will make mistakes, you will learn. Have fun.
I’ll just copy and paste done Dungeon World principles I use in about every game I run regardless of setting or system.
- Make the world fantastic
- Fill the characters’ lives with adventure
- Play to find out what happens
Everything you say, create, and do at the table and away from the table is to accomplish these three goals and no others. Things that aren’t on this list aren’t your goals. You’re not trying to beat the players or test their ability to solve complex traps. You’re not here to give the players a chance to explore your finely crafted setting. You’re most certainly not here to tell everyone a planned story.
I always suggest new GMs read Ray Winniger’s Dungeoncraft Essays.
They are so helpful and inspiring.
My other suggestion to all novice GMs is to read Sly Flourish’s Return of the Lazy Dungeonmaster book.
My personal best advice is to start small. Start in village or small city that will act as the parties home base. Then have the party venture out from there and explore their surroundings. Set your first adventures in areas adjacent to this home base. Let the party become invested with the community and the NPCs. From there you and the players can grow the campaign world.
DO NOT outline, plan and write your campaign like a fantasy novel. It will fail and fall apart every time.
DO NOT run your campaign like you will control and direct where the party will go and how they will interact with your adventures, NPCs and villains. They will do the unexpected and opposite of what you plan every time.
DO NOT plan more than the next adventure after the adventure you are running.
DO NOT play a PC in the party ever. You play all the NPCs.
Let your players be heroes. Let your players be the stars in you campaign and adventures.
When you GM a campaign take Bruce Lee’s advice and “Be like water.”
You provide the water the players will swim around in then you will react to where the players are swimming and how they are interacting with your water.
Totally agree you are not trying to beat the players.
There is now winning or loosing the game.
The aim of roleplaying is to challenge your players while creating/telling great adventures together as a group.
I’m just starting out as a player -) I picked up the Pathfinder Beginner Box to help familiarize myself with the Pathfinder universe.
How is your campaign coming along? What is the plot?
I’m surprised that no one has mentioned Robin’s Laws of Good Game Mastering. Considered a classic and definitive treatise with a friendly approach on the subject.
I am not a fan of saying “No” to players when they wish to attempt the outlandish, outrageous, stupid, or just ludicrous. Instead, I prefer “Yes, but…” and then let the comedic, heroic, and/or memorable just happen. It’s wonderful.
“I wish I could cast seventh level lizards.”