Game Master Novice needs help!

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Levusti, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. Hi guise its Levusti.

    For the longest time I have always played as a role-player and the one who plays as a character in the plot and never as the person who creates and drives the plot.

    This is my call for guidance!

    I really need someone who can show me how to be a good game master by what game masters do to organize a role-play and to show me WHAT PEOPLE LOOK FOR IN A GOOD GAME MASTER

    Thanks for all the help guise!
  2. What you have to realise is that being a GM is different for everyone. Nobody GM's like you. You have to stay true to yourself, which sounds fine and dandy, but you also need to be able to deal with and manage different kinds of people with different expectations. John might expect a lot of guidance and overarching plot, Billy might expect to be given the freedom to explore and take initiative. Chances are, you'll have both John and Billy in your game wanting totally different things. Nobody is going to truly prepare you for that. There's no easy single guideline to follow, just a couple roughs on which you have to improvise. Experience makes a good GM.

    While I'm sure people are going to give you methods to go by, I want you to remember that no matter how good the advice is you're given, there's three things you need to keep in mind. A.) Being a better GM improves your chances of having a successful game but doesn't guarantee it. B.) You will fail more often than you succeed and that's okay. In fact, you want to fail ASAP, so that you may analyse your mistakes and learn from them. C.) GM'ing puts people-management above storytelling. A good GM who can appeal to their players can keep a mediocre story afloat and have a good game. Vice versa, not so much.

    My advice would be to check out a couple GM's you like, see what they do and just wing it. Baptism by fire. Go hard or go home. You learn GM'ing best by doing it and reflecting on mistakes you make. I successfully finished two group games as a GM and am running one that's over two and a half years old and I'm still making mistakes and seeing improvements to be made. Hell, I'm experimenting with new things right now, just to expand my arsenal.

    But hey, that's just my two cents.
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  3. My GMing experience includes forum roleplay, chat roleplay, and tabletop DMing. So here's my advice:

    1. Always communicate with your players. Let them know your expectations, let them know if the game you're running is one that's gonna be serious, or funny, or dark, or whimsical. This helps them draft their characters and lets them know what to expect. It will also save you a ton of headache. In this exchange, players should also tell you what makes a game enjoyable for them and what will allow them to have fun.

    2. Be firm and assertive. I will admit, this is something I had a problem with in the beginning. I didn't want to step on people's toes and ruin their fun, but by not being firm with one person, it ruins the entire game for everyone else who is trying. So if someone is doing out of line, or doesn't make sense, say something.

    3. Be organized!

    4. The story is typically driven 70% by the Game Master, 30% by the players, or so I've been told. If you don't have a solid foundation of what you want for the game/roleplay, then your players won't either. Make sure you have some firm ideas, but at the same thing, be willing to change them if your players don't think it makes sense. As the Game Master you'd have to be willing to plan ahead, improvise, communicate, build the story, and deal with frustrating people. Just know that if your heart isn't into it, then the players won't be into it.

    5. It should be mostly fun, but don't be surprised if you get a little stressed out or frustrated. I will say that I immensely enjoy GMing, but there have been times when I need to take a break from a game or roleplay because it's too demanding. Even when I play with close friends, there are times when I really want to take a break. Overall, the experience should be fun and invigorating.
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  4. I have never tried for the forum role play . The tips above will be a great help for my start.
  5. I've only been in a couple of group roleplays that I really enjoyed, and big part of why I enjoyed them was that the GM made sure the game was fair and fun for everybody. A few things specifically I remember happening were

    • They were firm enough to ask a player to leave when he started ruining the fun for other players

    • They would always have a direction for the story, and keep players informed about it in the OOC. By that I mean when we were starting to wander or were not sure where to go next, we'd all get a message like "Okay, so the next thing that happens is gonna be in such and such place, because this is the next item they need to find". It was never spoileriffic (ie: we all knew we were collecting items) and it gave us time to think of things we could do to develop the story and our characters as it progressed. Not everyone likes this method but I found it helpful.

    • They made sure every player had a chance to be involved in every scene, and when a player had to go on vacation or something, gave them the choice of letting the other players carry their character, or their character disappearing/being killed off (they could write themselves back in later if they wanted). We never had to wait for weeks for one person, and no one got left behind.