ITT: Secrets of GM'ing you don't tell your players about.I smoke copious amounts of hash before I come up with overarching plot/adventure ideas. Then when I'm sober I crunch them and make them actually workable/plausible.
I steal everything from episodic television shows. Sometimes I don't even bother changing major plot elements.Nobody seems to have noticed yet.
I have ONE npc statted out.I pretend I got everything on paper but the game is 90% improv
>>25625292your not the only one who does that
The only thing I ever write down is NPC stats, and that's only when it is really important to have shit written down, like in Exalted. Otherwise I keep everything in my head. Con: I lose some details at times, and names vanish.Pro: I'm damn good at remembering stuff nowadays. Practice makes perfect.
The second you go off the rails I have no plan, or idea of what's going to happen next. The good news is, my group seems to like the games where I wing it the most.>>25625292Also I'm glad I'm not the only one that does this.
>>25625292I do this too.
I usually only come up with ideas of that's night's session on the day it's going to happen. Everything else is ephermeal ideas, What Ifs, and scattered notes.Most of the time combat is completely flimsy and freeform, I just make up damage values and such for most enemies.Most of the NPCs have absolutely no stats beyond the basics.My games are entirely built on lies and the illusion of immense substance and depth, but it all works anyways somehow.
It's not something I tell my new players but they find out pretty soon either way- I do all their rolls for perception myself and don't let them see the result. "You don't hear anything" always keeps them on the edge, even if 99% of time it's really just fucking nothing.
>>25625968I need to consistently implement this idea too.
Most of my ideas come from music. Like, I'll hear a song on the radio on my way to work, and think of an adventure based on it. Recently did this with "Those to Come" by the Shins. It gets really tricky when I try to play the music during the adventure and hope no one notices the similarity. Of course, with Those to Come, I'm actually thinking about getting an acoustic guitar and actually playing the song in front of them, so fuck subtly.
>>25626062>Most of my ideas come from music. Like, I'll hear a song on the radio on my way to work, and think of an adventure based on it. Recently did this with "Those to Come" by the Shins.A five-year In Nomine game with two players I ran all happened because of a single song that I like a lot that I heard in a dream I had, and I based an entire campaign around it, and then used it in the very last moments of the finale.It meant a lot to me personally.
>>25626062I do this very much too, pretty much everything I have run, every character I have made are based on some piece of music. I need to listen more to finish the ideas for my next game.
>>25625968>this is fucking brilliantThanks for the idea, fellow master!
>>25626097I REQUIRE STORYTIME!
These aren't really secrets so much as masturbation
I plan absolutely positively everything.Then if the players want to do something different, I reskin what I already have planned and use it anyway.
>>25625292I always check my monitor or notes during battle, shake my head, and then progress with it.My notes mostly consist of, "Party will probably do this: Follow A, B, or C path."I'm almost always right.
I don't actually pay attention to anything I'm fucking doing. Its all 100% improv and going with the flow. Thats why I make players recap sessions for me, because I have no clue what's been happening.
>>25625266I like to steal things from 50s-70s hard sci-fi for my DH games because I know my players don't read that stuff.I've also stolen shit from Neil Gaiman for my superhero campaigns.
>>25626040>>25626119>mfw it's a tip I got from D&D 3rd ed book that I read top to bottom because I wanted to start DMing before I even played with a PC You're welcome.
>>25626192I intentionally try to not predict what my players will do, so I can be surprised and forced to change the outcome, which I usually DO plan.This way, I create a sort of environment where I have created a set future that will happen, and the players end up being agents of change who ruin and violently alter this future with their actions, always forcing me to improvise and change on the spot.
>>25625236I don't know, I'm just making this up as I go.
This abandonned mineshaft is empty.The ghost stories about it are bullshit.You know you are on the clock.It's been two full sessions of empty tunnels.
I'm currently running a fantasy reskin of the Berserker series, and absolutely nobody has the slightest clue, despite the fact that I'm actively reading the books in front of them during downtime.
>>25626156Nah it'd be too long and eat up too much of the thread. Basically two strange demons restore the First Human and the Voice of God to her rightful station and help Lucifer deal with the one regret he ever had, which was murdering said Voice. The final scene with the song was the same locale and theme of my dream.This is the song. The rest of the album featured a lot too.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_W7ydnPtB4
>>25625292I once heard about a GM tip where you just roughly outline your adventure and plan "plot nodes" which can be sprinkled in no matter what the PCs do or where they go, so you can always keep the plot rolling.
>>25626167How come? I don't see what's so wrong in ending a combat when it's dramatically appropriate, following the dice just leads to TPK and unhappy players.
>>25625236I pretend to roll on random charts for what's going to happen when I'm actually just trying to psych out my players.
>>25626271I've always been tempted to just run my players through an abandoned mine completely devoid of anything of interest but build it up to be full of spookyghosts in their heads.
>>25626229..So you purposefully plan for something not to happen and ultimately waste time?Isn't it just easier to just wait for them to do something and react?
I have yet to create a single NPC whose name is not a wordplay on some other, historical, name, or is named directly like some other fictional character. These names are, of course, directly related to the role of the NPC on the story. Probably, a player who had read the same books as I do could unravel the whole plot in the first 10 minutes of play just by being attentive
>>25626294He means that everybody does it, and everybody knows it.
>>25626291That's what I do. I call it the 'skeleton' design. I make the bare bones -- I know the start and the end, and stuff that will happen in some way, and possible people involved.The players themselves add the flesh, organs, and muscle as they put the skeleton together, and then it all comes together as a collaborative effort. I still get to wank with my oh-so-precious GM ideas while still allowing the PCs utter freedom and agency to do whatever.
>>25626291This is what I do.I also tell others to do this.I'm not sure if I'm the one who said this tip.
>>25626282Reminds me of an old DM o' mine who did a full resking of the Berserk manga (mostly The Eclipse) as a campaign. Reading that stuff for the first time felt like someone wrote down the story and replaced the group with Guts.
>>25626178I usually think up some kind of vague idea of how I want the session/mission to start and end, and then the rest of my storytelling is just me making that end happen, while the players still think their decisions have influenced the outcome. Also, fuck DCs, if they roll pretty high, they usually succeed, if they roll really low then they fail.
>>25625292>>25626291I do this. I don't even stat out monsters I just use a random loot generator and wing their stats to how I want the narrative to feel. My players are never the wiser.
>>25626319Sometimes it does happen, is the thing, or happens in a slightly altered way. I really love the feeling of seeing my 'plans' ruined by something unexpected, and then a new future is born because of the player's agency in the world. In that way I have to constantly reinvent and reimagine events and possible futures.But what it boils down to is pretty much waiting for them to react, yes, just with an added element of planned action that they get to change, but they don't know this.
>>25626309Fake rolls are the shit for tension.
>>25626334>>25626342>>25626364Well, whomever said it, it's inspired me to run a game that way for one I'm planning. Since it's with only one player, it should be easy to practice.
I watch lots of anime.And then shamelessly reskin, adapt, and hack things together.I've given up on planning. I have a fixed endgame in mind, and then just make everything up on the fly using google and wikipedia to tie concepts together.Most of the time, I don't even stat fights anymore. I just make shit up on the fly.
>>25626291That's the best way to do it. You have a structured environment that is still friendly to freeplay
Generally when I put a lot of effort into planning something, I usually don't end up using it, because the 'drunken psychopath tendencies' of the party tend to take over and leave the plan in the dust. Hence why 95% of my campaigns are improv.
I throw interesting puzzles and encounters at them whenever they get too far off the rails so I have time to build new rails or get them back onto the regular ones.The key is to railroad them without giving the slightest hint that you're doing that.
>>25626442I prefer to let the players railroad themselves, and chain themselves in their own decisions and desires, and then making them suffer the consequences and rewards of their prisons.
>>25626442Yep. Although most of my railroading can be likened to the scene from Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers, where Gromit is rapidly laying down the track in front of the train as it moves.
I pass notes to players with inconsequential content, just to unsettle the others. And when I DO have a crucial note to pass nothing seems out of place.I use language to foreshadow. Environment takes on qualities of the plot. Like if the party is about to be betrayed, the wood they travel through looks treacherous.I collect loose threads my players forget to resolve and bring them back later as if I had planned it all along.I explain how some of my dice are good and some are bad. Not even high or low tendency, just 'good' and 'bad'. I keep going on about it, so my players know which dice are which. Now when I reach for my dice they all need to know which I will be using, and I can raise or lower tension just by selecting my dice (which are all the same, probability wise.)I say no food at the table sometimes and explain that it is distracting and detrimental to my books. But really I want to players hungry for some adventures, food in your belly makes you content and boring to play horror or action with.There's tons of this, someone should write a book.
>>25626430I know those feels, I sometimes think my group is a bunch of drunken toddlers.
>>25626461Your opinion and strategy are equally as valid as mine and I respect that.It's like you're not even on 4chan!
I steal half my ideas from hentai games and pure pornography.The players have been a rape free version of sengoku rance for the past three months with only a diversion for a metal gear solid diversion.My players also have better ideas then me, so when they speculate on what it could possibly be, i jot down the ones I like and normally go with them.
I don't understand the pride in bullshitting entire games. It's like teachers who laugh because there students believe whatever they say. Of course your players trust you, and you should be ashamed of exploiting that trust. It's an abuse of power if nothing else.
>>25626490I apologize for not saying in my post that your method is equally valid and enjoyable, I'm just not good at it as I am tricking the players into making their own cuffs and wearing them proudly.
>>25626501It's a contest. I eat up as much PC bullshit as they swallow GM bullshit. It's all a lovely game where we're basically seeing how hard we can masturbate each other's egos and sense of grandeur and tension without giving away the fakeouts. We are all fine with this.
>>25625266>tfw I steal all my plots from 80's Cult Classics and my players have NEVER caught on.>tfw nobody realized I was running Army Of Darkness/Return of the Living Dead/Hellraiser
>>25626482>I use language to foreshadow. Environment takes on qualities of the plot. Like if the party is about to be betrayed, the wood they travel through looks treacherous.I try to do this too. Each locale has its own personality and voice, and I try to gently pound it into their heads so they know what kind of situation they're in. Every location changes based on how the players feel and how the 'scene' feels. One place can have many faces through text depending on what could happen there.
>>25626501I make games up off the top of my head with no notes and no real resources, and they last for a year or more, and players still talk about them.Stay mad.
>>25626500>My players also have better ideas then me, so when they speculate on what it could possibly be, i jot down the ones I like and normally go with them.This. Stealing from your players is both less work on your part and it makes the players happy as they think they've accomplished something by sussing out your clever plan.
>>25626574Seriously, I intentionally keep it to bullshitting so the PCs have more agency and freedom, and we develop a much more intimate relationship in the game and storyI have one player who is STILL reading old logs from a few years ago and getting emotional about them at parts, and holy shit that game was the definition of bullBut they trusted me and I trusted them, and the bullshit was mostly pandering and challenges off the top of my tits to create fun and setpieces
>>25626587One of the biggest secrets to GMing is letting the players do most of the work for you.
>>25626501The goal is to have fun, and fun will be had by any means necessary. Sometimes this involves a bit of trickery.I guess if you're going to be a super-speglord who refuses to use the tools you're given you're free to do so, but I can't imagine you'd be much fun as a GM.Also:>It's an abuse of power if nothing else.What the fuck kinda doormat are you if your GM has power over you just because he's your GM?
>>25626629What are you even rambling aboutIt's a game of pretend for a hobby what kind of weird made up code of conduct are you blowing out of your piehole
>>25625236my best plot elements were born while on weed, i approve your method anon
Because I had an inability to retain consistent voices for most of my NPCs, It was suggested to me to read aloud more. Three times a week I now read bedtime stories to small children, at libraries to crowds and recite theater with several women I know.Cant say I am good, just getting better.
>>25626591>>25626600I recently read Play Unsafe which gave me a lot of ideas on how to do this. It sounds pretty interesting.
>>25626736Dude, that's awesome.
>>25626657>rambling>two wordsAnd yet consider your post...I bet you railroad your players constantly.
>>25626501It's all about having fun, both for the player and for the GM. Learning how to play off the cuff is much better for a GM as it makes the experience less about tedious work that's really not important to the game.
>>25625292>I pretend I got everything on paper but the game is 90% improvMe too, anon, me too. I pretend to have the whole campaign planned from start to finish, but actually I just wing it all the time and make shit up as I need to.
>>25626822>And yet consider your post...I bet you railroad your players constantly.>Dude makes his campaign up on the fly>HURR, ALL ABOARD THE LOCOMOTIVE BOYS
>>25626474God I love that movie.
>>25626271>rock falls>everyone di- get's trapped>running low on torches>tide is seeping in
>>25626959Add in a really dead canary in a cage for more fun.Sure, it died due to starvation, not gas, but just tell them the air smells funny a while before they find the bird.
I generally take 3 sections out of 3 different books and just sorta slap them together to make it work, Some times i don't even change names of characters. My last campaign Was a mesh between The Hobbit, Wheel of time Malazan.THEY NEVER KNEW
>>25625236>relying on substances to be creative>not being creative in a sober state of mindAmateurs.
>>25625236I once stole a setting out of a porno. I think one of my players caught on, but he kept it to himself so the other three were in the dark.
I steal most of my ideas from movies, books, and an AWFUL lot from vidya games. Realistically, how would a big name company sue me if I'm just hiding out in my mom's basement and eating cheetos all day long?
>>25627118dude.... I tip my hat to you.9.5/10 would "play" with.
>>25626974Scratch the tide>faint smell of bad eggs>the damp air is giving way and taking on a dry, dusty character>a wind you can't feel excites the fire of your torch, animating the shadows cast upon the walls of the cave
>>25625292yep yep, I do that as well
>>25627213It wasn't even an ERP, I just liked the setting. Hell I've faded to black every time the bard went after something.
>>25627081What the fuck kinda fake artist are you if you're not blitzed on Absinthe all the time?Fucking plebs, I tell you.
>>25627118It was Pirates, wasn't it?
I have been co-GMing for a year now, after decades of foreverDM, and I must say it has improved my game greatly. Sure, 2 heads at the table offers simple logistic advantages, One can phase out while the other keeps narrating, we can kick scenes to the other GM if we get stuck, one can go and fashion a handout on the fly...But my plot has also improved. I still use the same themes and general sense of realism and drama. But it all is so much more refined now that I can bounce it off somebody as involved as myself before playing. We anticipate player reactions much better together, and have to explain what's in our heads to each other before the players get to hear anything. That refines everything.And it has lead to much more written out adventures than I usually use. When before I had a general idea of what I want from a location, NPC, or scene, now I have to have it all mentioned, most of it marked down, because with two minds on the subject we forget what we down write out. And that has improved GM reaction time and narration fluidity greatly.And so I realized: Being the GM is as much about doing the research and actually preparing finished handouts, stats, and dialogues, as it is about having a good idea, a sense of genre, and fun making it all up. Structure helps make it better. And structure comes naturally when you need to coordinate with a second GM.
>>25626342I first found this tip in the 7th Sea manual. It's what I do too, and it hasn't not worked out yet.
>>25627249my brain produces drugs naturally
>>25627281I've only co-GMed once, but it wasn't in the same way you did, I was just there to help with the workload. While the party was searching through a dungeon, I would be searching for level and environmentally appropriate monsters, or while the party was arguing with thugs, I would be stating them up.But even then, that helped my GMing a bunch too, because I learned a lot more about how to balance encounters, since when GMing alone you have to do it on the fly sometimes, and don't have time to look through the book to find something perfect for your use.
>>25625292Probably in the top 10 of most common GM secret of all time IMO
Newer rulebooks offer a lot of this advice. Just read Don't Rest Your Head, or FateCore (free). Even Monsters and Other Childish Things is full of tips. And not the usual 'roll spot checks behind the screen' but real meta storytelling advice to make narration fast and good.And games start to involve players in these processes openly, no more secret fudging of NPC stats to make the scene work. Sure, it's a different experience when everyone decides who the bad guy is and what his plans are as it becomes relevant, instead of the DM secretly hot stitching things on the fly. Characters become more about what drives them and less about a collection of stats for strength, agility, constitution, et al to be substituted into the DM's storytiem to have something for the dice to do.>>25627447I have been wanting to make sound effects, lighting, and slideshows+video playlists for somebody else's campaign for a while now. I tried to do it in my adventures, but it was too much to handle on the side. Still I really want to do it.
Other than an overarching goal. 99% of my campaign is generated from what the players think is going to happen next. They feel so chuffed to have "figured it out" no one has noticed yet. Sometimes I do the opposite of what they see coming jus to throw them off however. But yeah. I haven't planned my sessions for two years now.
I make up 90% of the shit as I go along.
>>25627554>Hungover, not really wanting to DM. >Haven't got shit prepared. >"Uh... in the next room.. you see a yellow mouse with a lightning bolt shaped tail."
>>25627263>>25627550Not much to tell. I just stole a city out of one of them chineese cartoon fap games called Kamidori Alchemy Meister. I dropped the players into the city Yuidora (which I renamed) as an independent state surrounded by large empires, governed by their local alchemist guild (renamed to artificers guild), whose primary import was food, and primary export was finished goods. I changed the guild leader's alignment to LE, slapped 20 monk levels on her, and called it a day.
My players are currently doing the campaign of Sengoku Rance with the map slightly redone and marginally less rape.
>>25627668>The story of a murderhobo given an entire country to runYeah that'd be a good one for most groups. Shit your player wouldn't leave the tracks if you tried to force them.
>>25627593Come on, surely someone got it?
>>25627734Of course. The ranger recruited him as an animal companion.
>>25627761>rangerDid you make him draw circles?
When players believe something hard enough, it turns out to always be true. Regardless of how much this would fuck over my plot.>"The king's acting strangely. I dunno. I think he's being controlled.">Five game sessions of planning and political maneuvering, culminating in them breaking into the princesses' tower on rhino-back in the mid of night.>REVEALING HER TRUE MIND FLAYER VISAGE>Because I was having an off-day and didn't voice the king properly.The alternative is going 'No, you dumbfucks, it was nothing.' And that's not fun for anyone. Although neither extreme is perfect, this is the vastly preferable option in my mind.
To bulletpoint upcoming plot hooks and other notable events, I memorize them as doing an <insert popular work>.For example, the Die Hard my players think they're setting up will, if all goes well, turn into a reverse Kill Bill's House of Blue Leaves.
>>25627864>breaking into the princesses' tower on rhino-back in the mid of night.Sounds about like a PC plan, yup.
>>25626744Not the same anon, but posting the pdf so others can take a look.
>>25627864>When players believe something hard enough, it turns out to always be true. Regardless of how much this would fuck over my plot.This is good, in controlled doses. There's no limit to the players' theoretical stupidity, after all.
>>25627864Making the players always right gets dull, instead they should always find something.Maybe they find out that the King's son is dying, and he's been on edge and not thinking straight. Maybe they find the king is an imposter, as his lookalike took over after the real king's untimely end. Or maybe they find out there were right all along!Either way, it's good to mix it up to avoid being appearing predictable.
>>25627939It's better when they're right in ways they never, ever expected to be.
>MFW a whole thread full of terrible, terrible GMs and the worst kind of practices>But somehow these are the games that players stick around for>If you're not a complete retard and doing the stuff posted ITT, and you actually care about your games, your games are considered shit.I'm going to go find a new hobby.
>>25627913My group has a list of normal sundries I am not allowed to buy anymore for PC plan reasons. They include caltrops, ten foot poles, fish hooks, candles, chalk, spellbooks unless I'm a wizard, signal whistles that sound like bird calls,
>>25628006What would you consider better GMing, anon?
>>25628032A game that doesn't consist of just sitting around a table pelting eachother with dice, which is what I see 100 posts worth of.
>>25628007Does anyone have that storytime saved about GM who didn't let his player to buy flour?
>>25628055I want to see the thread you're looking at, because it's different from this one and it sounds fascinating.
>>25628055Here's the deal, anon.You are completely fucking correct.The games where the GM is being lazy, pulling shit out of his ass on the fly, are generally the worst ones. Which is why we'd never openly announce to our players we were bullshitting, or blatantly stealing ideas, and so on. And we don't encourage new GMs to take any of this advice.But people seem to stick with what works, and to figure out the exact minimum of work they can put into a game to still make it memorable.You'd be better off saying:>ITT; Naturally good GMs that are wasting their potential
>>25628055...What? Most of the posts here are saying they prefer to spend their time writing story and characters, so they skip the stats (the dice pelting part), making them up on the fly. Are you sure we're reading the same thread?
>>25628093>100 posts of "I just bullshit. Players say they want something and I just say sure, you win the game. This campaign goes on for years."Why even have a GM if nothing is ever set up? Any player can make up encounters and enemies and things off the top of their head, and you can play the whole campaign with a coin flip.
>>25628128That's a huge oversimplification. Just because you play off player ideas and keep how you run a game lean doesn't mean you always rob the game of any challenge or difficulty.
>>25628006No, players only stick around because they are probably close friends with those GMs, so they just put up with the bullshit.Believe me, planning your games is ALWAYS the best option.Ever since I started planning my games, and actually statting shit, coming up with adventures and prepping encounters before-hand, out weekly games have become increasingly immersive and the group looks forward for our sessions.
>>25628128In fairness, there are some GMs in here citing doing additional work to make the game more fun, like >>25626291It just isn't the norm. Most people in here are, indeed, boasting about cutting corners because their group doesn't mind. Which is cool and fine - after all, GMing should be a hobby and not a second job, even if lots of us like to make it the latter.
Sometimes I fudge rolls.")
>>25628117Are they really, though? Off the cuff ideas are usually the best since they have least quality control to them. It's like when you were a child you made up all kinds of fantastical and cool stuff, but as an adult you're usually too self-conscious to be as imaginative.
>ITT: Hey here's the shit we do and everyone has fun NO YOU ARE WRONG AND BAD MY WAY IS REFINED AND PROPER YOU PLEBwas a good talk, later
>>25628176That's more work for you and leads to GM burn-out faster tough. At least you recycle NPC stats and encounters, right?
>>25628212>Off the cuff ideas are usually the bestNo, off-the-cuff ideas are always the worst. They just SEEM good at the time because you're all laughing like little girls at some dumb joke, and suddenly someone thinks it's a fantastic idea to make that the focus of the plot now.That doesn't make it good.
>>25628244In the same campaign? Are you fucking drunk?
>>25628183To be fair, that isn't what I'm saying at all. I've done rushed sessions before and they've all been shit. I need to take the time to set up some story points and characterize some actors, because if I don't do that it will be shit.But what I don't do is stat encounters. I've played long enough to get a feel for how to balance them, and whether I take 30 minutes to stat out monsters and encounters beforehand, or 30 seconds to make shit up and jot it down on my notebook, the encounter will be pretty much the same. So, obviously, I do the one that takes less effort.
>>25628212>since they have least quality control to themI'd like you to elaborate on that.When I say 'the worst ones' I don't mean 'this is wrong, never fucking do it.' I mean that I feel that the more thought you put into a decision ahead of time, generally the better it's gonna be.Sometimes you just decide the villain has a hilariously pompous french accent on the fly, and that's great and makes for good GMing. But it'd be even better if you had foreshadowed this ahead of time by subtly implying that nobody could understand him, etc
>>25625292Bobby, is that you?
>>25628269How the players would know the difference? Just recycle all the statlines and encounters they missed to be used later, there's no point in doing extra busywork.
>>25628273Not statting out encounters because you have the MM pretty much memorized is much different than>You are in front of the king, uh...man I forgot to come up with a name for him.>"King Poopfarts!">Yeah, sure. You're in front of the famous King Poopfarts.Everyone involved in that game needs to be shot.
Type up 8+ pages of A4, size 11 comprehensive notes going in to significant and minute detail that stands a high chance of not getting used. Later claim it was all off the top of my head and I'm just that good. ORGet very drunk and make it up some 0.3 seconds before the words leave my mouth. Both seem to work really well.
>>25628255Often the ideas that seem good ones also are the best ones too.
>>25628244>more work for meYes, it is. But offering to GM a game means committing to the game. If you offer to GM and then never take time to prep a game, you are an objectively bad GM, unless it's a free-form game.>leads to GM burn-out fasterCompletely the opposite. Having everything I need organized and set right in front of me leaves takes away much of the stress that comes with having to manage the entire world the characters are adventuring in, leaving me free to take notes on what the players do and say, and come up with inventive situations on the fly with ease.I don't recycle encounters, but I do use things like "minion" stats, "minion generals" and things like that.
>>25628327>Later claim it was all off the top of my head and I'm just that good. I think that this right here is the problem. That GMs think they're inherently better if they can off-the-cuff the majority of the campaign.Honestly, I'd be offended as a player if my GM bragged at how little work he did between sessions, and how he was just naturally skilled. I'd be double offended when the next person took a turn in the GM chair and tried (and failed) to do the same thing.
>>25628322Running encounters and storylines off the cuff isn't the same thing as King Poopfarts, and you should know better. And it's not about memorizing the MM, it's about knowing that a particular combat should take about three rounds, so that's how it takes for the monster to die.
>>25628327Also, less of a tip and more of a general point, we record the session on someone's phone, then upload it to a fileshare so we can all recap/I can plan more precisely. Very useful.
>>25625236I know Arnie was a body-builder, but did he do cheek-presses or something?
>>25628358Prepping is different thing than planning. Prepping is when you think of the important NPCs and their plans, and some interesting facts about the game world. Everything above that is useless busywork.
>>25628376>I'd be offended as a player if my GM bragged at how little work he did between sessionsWhy?
>>25628376>>25628358I feel like a game run by these two anons would be involved and a lot of fun.>>25626325>>25626204>25628358I feel like a game run by these two anons would be utter trash.>MFW there's an actual debate about this.
You know what I would really like?A group of players who are ready to get into a complex plot with more than 5 central NPCs and a scope that doesn't wrap in a few sessions. People who love their characters and doodle art and do research between sessions. Players who get into it.Instead all I have is people tired from their jobs barely making it once every two months for an eight hour session they spend poking around aimlessly and then ignore obvious rails because of 'wouldn't it be fun, if...?'-ideas.I love 'em and deliver what they like, tropy fast hilarity and flexible action plot. But I really really want a second group to be able to really prepare something intricate again.
>>25628412Because it's nothing to brag about. That's the entire point I'm trying to convey.If I'm running a game, my entire purpose is to make everyone have as much fun when we get together as possible. You don't accomplish that by not giving a fuck until the night rolls around. You think about player goals and shit ahead of time, not in the middle of your improved encounter.
>>25628322>You are in front of the king, uh...man I forgot to come up with a name for him.Entering the throne room, you see a fabulous red carpet emblazoned with gold stitching. The king's thegn stands, his scarred face sizing you up before he speaks. "You stand before King Geoffrey The Sagacious, kneel before your lord."Maybe you just aren't good at making things up? Please stop projecting that onto others.
>>25628452Why is his face scarred?
>>25628413You'd be wrong then.
>>25628460If you have questions please ask them in character.
>>25628450But if you just finished a fun campaign and the GM bragged how little work he did, wouldn't you feel proud of him how good he is at improvising?
>>25628413>I feel like a game run by these two anons would be involved and a lot of fun.Except no one wants to play those games. I'm the GM who does that kind of work, fleshing out settings, having tons of prepared NPCs with connected threads and hidden quests and investigations, relevant enounters, all that shit. I put work into my games.But no one wants to play that. Everyone I've ever run for just wants to play "Get drunk and throw dice until you kill the random encounter and you win the game".Planned games lose players like dead skin, because players prefer to never have to think.People like >>25626204 are the ones with campaigns lasting years, and I have no fucking clue why.
>>25628403prepping is literally a slang for planning your game.
The plot for a session is usually half a page. The random tables are about 12 pages.They always think I have really complex plots and world built when it's really about 20% written down, 20% random tables and 40% improv.If you're an improv heavy gm, random tables are the way to go. Basically design them as an aid to improv by putting quest hooks and hints about lore and the way the world is into them.
>>25628477Why is his face scarred?
>>25628477I roll Knowledge. Based on my character's military and political history, I'd always gotten the impression beforehand that the king was peaceful, well-liked, and there'd been no major turmoil or war. Why is his face scarred?
>>25628358You're only a bad GM if the players aren't enjoying themselves. If you are playing a game with a group that expects maps and notes and lots of meticulous pre-game planning then sure, I guess so. But my long running GM was a natural story teller and would often run games off the cuff with no planning at all. As in, if nothing was going on and there were gamers around but not an existing group he would run games for he would do things like ask what people wanted to play, get everyone to make up quickie characters and run entirely homebrew stuff right then and there. He was the best and most entertaining GM I've ever had and could create characters, plots and settings from nothing on no notice.
>>25628460He got wounded by a dragon when he was defending his younger siblings. Or that's how the story goes.
>>25628452>King Geoffrey*puts bolt in crossbow*
>>25628510Wait, who are the king's siblings? Why haven't we heard of them? And if he could fight a fucking dragon when he was younger, why is his name 'the sagacious' and not something more befitting a warrior?
>>25628499Planning is the part where you think how the story should go, which is bad. At best your players ignore it, at worst it leads just to railroading. Don't do it.
>>25628532His sibling all got fucking ate. Because the king is secretly a lycanthrope. And he ate them.
>>25628508Some experience GMs can do that, sure, but it's not the same thing, it never is.When you play a game where the GM takes notes on your party's actions, carefully weights them, then plans the next session with those actions in mind, you will see what I mean.The world just feels more real. You start immersing yourself in the game, actually caring for the things happening around your character.Sure, improved play can be fun, no doubt about it, but there has to be work on the part of the GM if it is ever to become something more than that.
>>25628532King's siblings are dead in the claimed dragon attack, it happened when they were traveling in the Eastern provinces, and his nickname comes from building the Grand library that collects all the knowledge in the world. This is common knowledge in the kingdom so your characters are aware of this.
So wondering. Would making pages upon pages of random tables for use during play be counted as prep work when the point of them is to make it easier to completely bullshit a game?
>>25628538Arguing semantics is literally the worst way to debate, you fuck.
>>25628550I doubt that.
>>25628550>improvedI meant improv, derp.
>>25628502"You have come before the king because he wished to thank you for your service. Please do not disrespect him, and me--"The king cuts him off"Ahh, he got that scar fighting off a pack of cougars while I and my brother were out hunting with falcons. Please forgive him, he can be quite the straightedge, though I suppose that's the sort of foil I need."The king laugh heartily, and his thegn takes a step back, easing his shoulders and taking a deep breath."No then, I would like to invite the four of you to a tournament tomorrow! It will be held in you honor, after all, defeating Hippogriff that has been plaguing my farmlands is not a task that goes unrewarded by me. Well, can I expect your company?"
All those plotlines you think I masterfully threaded throughout the last two years?I was just bullshitting the entire time.
>>25628583You doubt what?
>>25628558If my character was aware of it, then why'd I have to roll knowledge to find out?>improv games, everyone
Guys, I could use some tips for my current story hooks.The players have just been made aware that they have been drugged and mentally thrown into a sort of dream world where the psychic overlord holding their dreams in the illusion wants them to run a gauntlet of challenges. If my players are refusing to participate in the game, even after threat of IF YA DIE IN YA DREAMS YA DIE FO REAL, what sort of tricks can I use to get them moving?
>>25626291Yeah, I wrote that. Screencap extremely related.
>>25625449lol people r using this now, well, i'm happy.
>>25628393yes.obviously.pleb, do you even masticate?
>>25628563No it's not. Planning ahead your adventures is a bad idea for the GM, but he should always do the prep work.
>>25628628You've got a stick, you don't need a carrot. Treat it like Portal. The psychic overlord is running them through testing gauntlets forever until the PCs cause enough trouble to stir shit up and go off the rails. You can't plan for this, you just need to accept it'll happen. Sprinkle possibilities about how the pcs might get out throughout the challenges.
>>25628582It's not about semantics at all, did you not read a single word what I wrote?
>>25628602Dunno, you were eager with those dice. Who am I to say no to you if you love to roll?
I've stopped having any idea what the fuck is going on in my game, months ago.90% of the game is just me remembering them doing things, and then having those things mean more than meets the eye at a later date.
>>25628505>>25628532>>25628547>>25628558Read the original again. The king's THEGN stands, his scarred face sizing you up. Not the king, his retainer. It makes sense that an adviser to the king would have some sort of martial experience so he could advise him in matters of war. Presumably there's some sort of war going on, as the campaign needs a conflict.I'm not >>25628452 but I can see where he's going with what he said. If you can establish the original notion in your head it'll expand naturally as you explore it; you don't necessarily have to have every detail planned out in advance.
>>25628700>Prepping is different thing than planning.In your opinion. This is not everyone's definition. Unless you want to cite me a fucking source that declares 'prepping' to mean 'thinking of important things' and 'planning' to mean 'putting pencil to paper with details' then you're trying to argue via semantics.The definition of SEMANTICS is discussing the meaning of a word, phrase, etc. Which is precisely what you're doing.I'm not saying your overall idea is wrong regarding how much work should be done as a GM. I'd agree on that point. I'm saying that your style of debate is fucking trash and you need to educate yourself.
>>25628700i imagine he didn't ashe got stuck on the first word.literally -- >>25628538
>>25628744u must be a troll... or a self-hating jew.here u argue semantics is the worst way to debate >>25628582and yet here you quite literally argue the semantics of semantics >>25628744what the fuck is wrong with you?
>>25628708To be fair, you posted>>25628558after I posted>>25628477Even though the posts weren't linked, it may have caused some confusion.
>>25627249You are now aware that absinthe is not hallucinogenic, even if the taste is bad enough to make you think it is.
>>25628791wurmwood is a psychoactive, i.e. real absinthe has hallucinogenic properties.
>>25628741Actually my point was some of us can come up with a bit more than "king poopjokelol" on the fly, but yeah all that too.
>>25628806I can't deal with this thread anymore. Seeya.
>>25628744Prepping is coming up with important NPCs and locations.Planning is coming up how the story should progress.These are two different things, and not even very well related to each other.This has nothing to do with semantics.
I rip all my plot lines off literatureIve doneMcBeth(D&D)MidsummerNight Dream (Changeling)Heart of Darkness (Mutant Chronicles)Illiad and Odyssey (D&D)Catch-22 (Rogue Trader)Hell I even used a bunch of books and tales from the Bible for a D&D campaign once.most of the time I dont even bother to change the namesand none of my players have ever noticed. They think Im a master storytellerI hate that my players are uneducated ignorant fucks
>>25625236I can dig it.I used to write papers through sleep deprivation and edit them... not sleep deprived.
I'm guessing that this is going to be very divisive, but...- I don't particularly care about rolls. I let them influence me slightly (their rolls and mine), but ultimately I know how to strike a balance, so that they don't miss the thing five feet away with an arrow just because the dice says so.- I have two groups - my "idiot" group, which is full of stoners and boorish lads' lads, and my "smart" group, which is full of limp-wristed performance snowflakes. I love both of them, and the people in them, dearly.- These two groups are both currently playing fantasy games. Same setting, different times. The relics of one are showing in another.- I come up with a lot of my best ideas on the day. In a game I ran with my idiot group two nights ago, the fight against a giant green elder wyrm and the smaller black death dragon that accompanied it - a Godzilla-style stompathon through a city that took up the entire two-hour session and ended in gliding the paralysed body of the wyrm halfway across the map into a mountain - was thought of less than five minutes before they got into critical range (where they'd be able to see something - I'm a great believer in "Everything is in flux until observed by the players").How'd I do?
>>25625292I do like 5-7 major NPCs. Which usually ends up beingBoss Good guyBoss Bad GuyUnderling 1Underling 2Underling 3Plucky mid-bossMerchantThese are just stats mind you, everything else I just keep notes on my Tablet/Laptop/notepad as things progress.
>>25628907I think I'd love to be in your campaign.
>>25629231>Everything is in fluxI run murder mysteries where I the only thing I know going in is who got murdered, and where.The way they died, who killed them, motive, ways to find these things out, etc... These are all determined by the actions of the PC's as I think just one step ahead of them.
>>25628920With 36 hours of no sleep I designed a repeating crossbow with bolts that would be self propelled sort of like gyrojet rounds and a really terrible setting for a game.
>bullshitting 90% of the gameWhy not just not play a game and just do free form roleplay? The rules are there for a reason bullshitting is completely against the entire reason for the rules. I just don't understand.
>>25631657>But the rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuurrrrrrrusThey're more like guidelines, matey.
>>25631657Because the players enjoy engaging the rules mechanics, of course. They don't ever need to find out that there's nothing in the engine room of the game, so to speak.
>>25631657One of the rules is that the GM can change the rules as he sees fit.This is explicitly printed in most tabletop RPG's.
>>25631863True, but they are not expected to throw out everything, just change stuff if it really doesn't work, and usually with consent from players.>>25631831That is horrible, it is a complete breach of trust. The point of rules is to provide the frame work. The DM is not a computer who can rightly judge every probability and make fair decisions. The rules are a huge simplification on the actual actions you could take but they are still much better than leaving it to a subjective decision. I am sorry but I would like failure or success to come from the way I have made my character according to the rules of the game, and not because the DM decided that I should succeed or fail.If the DM doesn't want to play with rules why deceive the players, why not just abandon the game part all together and just make up stories with the barest of rules if you even use any.
>>25631999You don't actually DM, do you?
>>25632089That is completely irrelevant to what I have said, I don't even know why you even bothered to post that.
>>25632196Oh, you'd be surprised at how relevant it is.If you were a GM, you're the type of person that /tg/ would call a 'That GM'. Since you're just a player with a strange sense of 'my way is the only true way to game', and happen to hold up your way as 'the rules must never be departed from', you'd just be called a Rules Lawyer.
>>25632290No I said they could be changed, with the express consent of the players. I also said rules are there for a reason and if you where to not use them at all there is almost no point in even using a system. Furthermore I pointed out that people don't like to be fucking deceived. I don't know where the hell you read between the lines and got from the fact that I think that the entire point of the GAME part of role playing game is important I am some sort of rules lawyer. If you have gotten rid of almost all the rules and the DM arbitrarily decides what happens without telling players that that is what is going on, you are a horrible DM.
>>25632499face it bro, GM's are Like Stage Magician,s not Wizards.
>>25633202More like Stage Magicians, not Calculators.
>>25633240that too.I get the feeling that in this thread, we are doing the equivalent of telling a little kid that santa is not real. DO NOT LOOK AT THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!
>>25627923You sir are a winrar. Have an internet for your pdf. I think I will print this off and pin it up, or just give a copy to each player at the start of my next session.
>>25626309So guilty of this.
>>25633315>Mommy and Daddy shouldn't just give me presents because they love me and if I get none the other kids will laugh at me. They should be given to me by a magical man with reindeer who uses a set of calculated rules to determine the karmic balance of my gifts.I mean, if they just *give* me things, then why would I want them?
>>25633315I'm just staying informed consent, be straight about it and see if anyone wants a more rules heavy game, if they really do then they can either change their expectations or go somewhere else. Not to mention you are acting like everyone everywhere does this, when more than a few in this thread have pointed out that they meticulously plan every facet of the game for an amazing experience.
>>25633441We're mostly pointing out that quite a few DM's use the 'wing it' strategies presented in this thread. Meanwhile you're bringing this mindset that the game needs to be a carefully considered set in stone affair, and that if people are doing it 'wrong', they should just be playing freeform.We don't exactly have a problem with your approach, so much as your badwrong fun. Also, I personally hate it when players think they know how to give advice to GMs. A personal failing of my own, but all the player entitlement on /tg/ has burnt me out on listening to people on the internet that aren't GMs.
>>25633605>We're mostly pointing out that quite a few DM's use the 'wing it' strategies presented in this thread. Meanwhile you're bringing this mindset that the game needs to be a carefully considered set in stone affair, and that if people are doing it 'wrong', they should just be playing freeform.As I have said before, if you are throwing away the rules either most of them or entirely and you do not inform your players you are cheating them.While I have said the rules are very much important I have repeatedly touched on the fact that any changes should be informed consent on the entire group's part. If you have that I don't care if you make as many changes as you care to. Not to mention completely making up everything as you go is not a small change in the rules.If you are going to play the game with no rules, or only the illusion of rules what is the point of using a system? Whether you admit it to your players or not at that point it is freeform.I never said it was badong but if you are throwing away all the rules, making up whatever you want as you go along why are you not just being honest about it? Why cling to the semblance of a game if you are going to make whatever you want up?I also have to point out once again I never told you to play the game any different, besides being honest with me the player. If you have a problem with me wanting a little honesty about the type of decisions you are making I think that is a big problem.
>>25628056I remember that. It was hilarious.
>>25628212There's something to be said that children do not, generally, make good GMs.In my experience.
>>25628056I really should just book mark that thread....http://archive.foolz.us/tg/thread/23118013/#23122856
>>25625236i do that too, or i take shrooms.
I never make hard crunch on any of my encounters
>>25633796If they think they did well, thats good, right? A GMs job is to A. Tell a Collaborative story with the group B. provide some amount of structure to the world outside of the PCs. and as someone who primarily is a player, we really don't, and shouldn't, know when our GM is bullshitting us, just like I wont tell my players when I bullshit them.
>>25633978>http://archive.foolz.us/tg/thread/23118013/#23122856almost that same thing happend in my game. the enitre party, finding it odd that there were no nails in the entire world, went on a quest for nails. our DM gave me some so i could do as i wanted (make a nail bomb) and we could all get back on with the plot, but because we are the group from hell we just led revolutions all over the place.
>>25634178That Anon sees the GM as more of a referee and less of a story teller. Hence his cognitive dissonance with most of the people in this thread.
>>25634178thats why sometimes you have to use charts and stuff. three truths and a lie is the formula to a good trick
>>25634178>If they think they did well, thats good, right?The actual truth is always preferable to a nice lie. If I take a test, I want how well I did to be reflected and not to be told a lie.The DM tells the story, but the rules constrain it in a tangible way. Pure storytelling is not acceptable in something that is supposed to be a game, there have to be tangible rules for the basics so the entire game Is not "DM may I". If you are fine with forfeiting those rules in favor of only story telling, fine. But I want to be informed and make my own decision.
>>25634244Im relatively new to GMing, and I can't for the life of my plan out anything more than a rough draft of things even when I try my hardest. So Ive just decided to embrace the off-the-cuff style, and just run with things.
>>25634342another reason for Gms to flat out lie to their players: trying to discourage metagaming/prevent them from making informed disissions as opposed to uninformed ones.
>>25633978newfag here, i'll admit it, but that joke is currently flying over my head at mach speed.
>>25634244>cognitive dissonanceYou are using this term incorrectly please stop.>That Anon sees the GM as more of a referee and less of a story teller.Please don't speak for me I will speak for myself.The DM is a story teller, but he should be rightly constrained by rules for important parts of the game. So he cannot arbitrarily decide who dies, or the success of a normal action, the things that cannot be easily accounted for by rules are his domain, as are the story and other things. The point still stands though that the rules are there for a reason, so the the game, and I stress the word game, is not totally decided by the DM. So that the players actually have a chance to upset the balance so everything is not just the way the DM thinks it should be.
>>25634416It's related strongly to the thread. /tg/ eruped into shitstorm levels that approached Coasters in intensity, and hit auto sage in just a few hours.Over Flour.Actually, the argument was really over whether PC's should keep secrets from a GM that doesn't want a secret kept. But there was enough misunderstanding and shitposting in the thread to make it seem like flour alone was the problem.
>>25634416>player asks for flour>DM asks why>payer wont tell because its for a in char joke against another player>dm says no, and says no in every town they go to >the entire world is devoid of flour> some people argue that he is in the right to not take all flour out of the entire world just for a in char prank>others correctly call them assholes it was a pretty big fight
>>25628628They wake up in a dungeon...Cue challenges.
>>25634454What you're effectively saying is that all uses of DM fiat make the game they are playing no better then freeform.That tends to stick people craw.
>>25634483>>25634472That's actually really funny. Thank you for letting me in on this inside joke.turns out /tg/ can learn from their stories better than other boards can
>>25634472It was an even worse version of the "Teddy bear" story.Even worse because the player in that case was also kind of being a dick.
>>25634454you don't get it, a GM CAN say that Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, but he (generaly) doesn't, because the point is to have fun.
>>25634563Oh ye of great faith and optimism...No, we really can't.
>>25634563to this day we fight about coasters. to the point where off board my group makes a point of not using them
>>25634570You mean this one?
>>25634570the player was being a dick? for having a stuffed toy?im not seeing how thats dickish.
>>25634638Pretty sure he means the flour dude.That said, there is a bit of dickishness in the story of the stuffed Tarrasque, in that he wouldn't give a provenance for it to the DM. That can be forgiven because it makes a damned good story, and it evolved organically. Player didn't have an actual reason and just said that to make his character seem interesting instead of stupid.Flour guy was just being a dick.
>>25634536>>What you're effectively saying is that all uses of DM fiat make the game they are playing no better then freeform.Did you read this part?>>So he cannot arbitrarily decide who dies, or the success of a normal action, the things that cannot be easily accounted for by rules are his domain, as are the story and other thingsI said that normal actions should be regulated, that things that can be accounted for using the rules should be.>>25634572>you don't get it, a GM CAN say that Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, but he (generaly) doesn't, because the point is to have fun.True. But I am talking more about areas that are covered by the rules, assuming that the DM is not fudging rolls or changing stats around he cannot say during combat according to the rules, that you are killed when your stats and the dice clearly say you lived. Also depending on the rules and system , there may be systems in place that would prevent complete bullshit like that being taken as fact, assuming he kept records or gave enough information for the players to know whether or not that was bullshit .
I used to run everything 100% planned. Now its 99% improve. I pick a setting and a goal everything I throw at them is based on how well their doing.If they're getting smacked around, things calm down. If they're acting like tough shit I throw a few enemies several levels above them at them.Actually just killed a PC because in character and out he was acting like the opposing faction was a bunch of pussies. So I threw enemies at him that were meant for much later in the campaign.
>>25634638Sorry, I was referring to the flour player being a dick.>>25634617Yes.
>>25634758ah. i dissagree, but can see how people would think do
>>25634688The part where you quoted yourself is explicitly stating that the DM should never use fiat. Also, why is all of your emphasis on DMs killing people? Most of the time the DM 'cheats' for the sake of player survival, such as nerfing a particularly nasty crit, or not realizing that the special abilities of a creature puts it outside the range of what the PC's can deal with.
>>25634782I dunno, he was looking for flour so he could coat the party paladin in it in the first place, and then continued on his quest specifically to spite the DM. It was quite the dick waving contest; entertaining, but in the end, it's still a couple of dicks fighting.
>>25634807my players did the same thing, and I had to slowly explain it to them that If I ever fudged a roll, It would probably be in their favor.
>>25634838Yeah, both player and DM were dicks.People want to defend the player because what the DM did was just so fucking stupid. They forget that the player himself was being a little, if lesser, shit about the whole thing.
>>25634807>The part where you quoted yourself is explicitly stating that the DM should never use fiat.I really don't see that, what I said is he should not use it in situations accounted for by the rules, they are there to stay his hand and give concrete reasons for simple things to happen.>Most of the time the DM 'cheats' for the sake of player survival, such as nerfing a particularly nasty crit, or not realizing that the special abilities of a creature puts it outside the range of what the PC's can deal with.I have been focusing on death because more people would say that is a negative, but giving the players an unfair advantage is also boring, why would you want a situation where the odds are in your favor and you succeed? That is boring and honestly taking away a good point of the game, sure a stray crit can end you, but that is life, it is better to fight against overwhelming odds and usually lose, than to fight with the odds on your side and usually win. Again as I have said before, if the players are okay with it go for it, but I for one want honest chances, even if they are against me.
>>25634946It's one thing to say 'I prefer the game be run this way', and another to say 'people who don't run the game the way I like should just play free form.'
>>25634617that was a nice story. any other stories like it?
>>25635022As I have said many times, if you are removing all the rules or nearly all the rules(as these anons have claimed) why are you clinging to the semblance of playing a game with rules?
>>25635025About stuffed pets? No. But I have pelnty of storytimes.
>>25634946> I have been focusing on death because more people would say that is a negative, but giving the players an unfair advantage is also boring, why would you want a situation where the odds are in your favor and you succeed? That's why you don't fucking tell them. You don't tel them when you make it harder, you don't tell them when you make it easier. If they know you're fudging shit they'll get annoyed.Illusions mate.What they don't know won't hurt them.
>>25635060> if you are removing all the rules or nearly all the rules(as these anons have claimed)When has anyone actually said they don't use most of the rules? All they've said is that they don't use all the charts and wing most of the stats. That is not the same thing as throwing out the rules.A stealth check is still a stealth check.
>>25635115But it is constantly ingrained in us to seek the truth, we want to know what is going on behind the curtain. Being willfully ignorant is a horrible thing. Even if the truth hurts, it is still better than being in the dark and accepting whatever you are told without question.
>>25635060Because you're reading too much into 'I wing 90% of the game.'They are actually using more then 10% of the 'game' ie; the rules. Things like AoO's, DC guidelines, appropriate loot, spell mechanics, CR, Status conditions, falling damage, hardness, etc, these are being used.They're winging things like 'what should this monster be? How many hit points should it actually have? Is 2d10+8 damage *too* much damage for my party to take from something that has three attacks a round? Do I think a PC should fall to his death just because he rolled a 2 on his climb check? Am I willing to throw all my hours of campaign work out the door because I didn't expect the rogue, who is having a shitty day, to randomly snipe at the king?'
>>25635115This. Let the players believe the odds are what they are - and let them strive to better those odds. Simple things like staging an ambush rather than rushing in make a difficult victory easy, or an easy victory a cakewalk. Having an easy fight isn't a bad thing, even if every fight is easy.I'd quote Sun Tzu, but I'd probably sound more pretentious than I already do.
>>25635060dude, fudging rolls != removing all the rules you fucking nancy everything is a n illusion for the players benifit, and its up to the GM on how much he wants to participate in said illusion.
>>25635170>constantly ingrained in us to seek the truthWhere are you and how do I get there?
>>25635165I have seen posts claiming that they make up 90% of everything.Though I may have been misinterpreting that>>25635172Oh. I seem to have been totally wrong about this whole thing.Sorry about that, I just assumed, and I assumed incorrectly.Sorry.
>>25635291Well, at least you can recognize your own mistakes. That doesn't make them better, but it's more than most can do.
>>25635291> I have seen posts claiming that they make up 90% of everything.They are referring the contents of the quest, not the actual rules used for running it.
>>25635291Yeah, most people consider the game to be more then the sum of the rules. When they say they wing 90%, they mean they wing stuff like the plot, and encounters. Basically, 90%of what classically a DM would be expected to plan out before.But, at least you can admit your error. Here /tg/, since we can all now feel good about this, I'll give you a game about feeling bad.
I hang out with a bunch of druggies for inspiration but don't even drink personally.I also despite have a truckload of notes stored for NPCs,items, and sidequests, generally make it up inthe fly if people seem to be getting bored.
I always do what ever is the most dramatic out side of combat my dice rolls mean nothing, there's on the other hand.
I'm improvising more than I let on that I do and I've introduced a lot of important characters in the background of events that have happened so I can mindscrew them later.
ITT meticulous GMs get buttthrottled by improv GMs because they feel insecure about their lack of improvisational abilities, even though both methods are equally valid means to the same end.
>>25635573Actually, a lot of the more recent stuff is>ITT: Someone misunderstands what '90% making it up as I go' means.
>>25627048the second my dm tried to pull Malazan on me i gave him the ol' Constanza
>>25625236>dat filenameI love it.
>>25635573>even though both methods are equally valid means to the same end.You're just saying that to try to sound diplomatic. Improv is demonstrably better in almost all cases because it relies on tricking players into helping you run the game. This results in a more personal and intimate world for them, and less work for you. Literally everybody wins. The only case I can ever think of detailed planning being necessary is in a murder mystery style game, and even THEN you can run it better as improv provided you know the tricks for it. Actually, I recall Monsters and Other Childish Things' Candlewick Manor having some very interesting guidelines for just such a thing; handling mystery improv styleAs the image in >>25628637 says, only presumptuous fools plan. Wise men steer
>>25637467>Wise men steerThat's bull.
>>25632499>disillusioned playeralways a sad sight
>There are three cities that could be attacked next, you need to figure out which>Whichever city they end up choosing, a different one gets attackedIt might be a dick move, sure, but rushing back to a different city only to find it already under attack and riding in as reinforcements and barely saving the day is always worth it.
The players are always on rails that they don't know exist. All six possible routes were exactly the same!
So I'm going to have to DM, even though I've only played like 2 sessions of 3.5 before. My current plan for the game I'll run is this>PCs were on a ship but shipwrecked on a far-away continent>I populate said continent with towns and biomes on graph paper>I sprinkle both minor and major quests around certain locations>I let the PCs wander around and do whatever the fuck they wantAny tips? I feel like I'm doing something wrong
>>25641966All six routes are varied and different, but they'll meet Cornelius Ramshackle the Mad Hermit on all of them. His living conditions vary, though. He may be a swamp hermit or a forest hermit or a desert hermit or a mountain hermit but he'll always be the same dude regardless of where the party goes and, if they choose to talk to him, he'll give them directions to the ancient ruins of the Westerfort, which have been overrun by with swamp/desert/mountain/forest creatures.
>>25634615wait, there are people who are vehemently AGAINST coasters? why do such people exist?
>>25642127It's more like people who consider Coaster- badgering to be the sign of an OCD freaknik. At this point they avoid using coasters just to piss those people off.At least, I think that's how it goes.
>/tg/ thread filled with people arguing like a bunch of faggots over nothing once again
>>25642127Because "muh freedum" shouting americans think they should have the right to put their sticky glass anywhere they please, even though a coaster is lying in the perfect position in front of them.
>>25642182So they're assholes?
>I don't use the monster handbooks, I just think up a random creature that fits and adjust stats to the party'sI literally just roll d20's for stats.>I never plan more than 2 hours before the game>mfw one of the players is our regular DM and knows the game from front to back I'm positive he realizes what I'm doing.
>>25643905He likely does. If he doesn't call you on it though, I'd very likely he's enjoying playing a game where he can't see a monster and immediately go 'HP XXX, Attack +XX, Weaknesses A, B, & C, Spell-like abilities E, F, & G. >>25641243DOHOHO
>>25627923Thank you random citizen!
>>25637467No. Stop. Improv is not always better. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods. Meticulous world-building in advance on the part of a GM can be very helpful to immersion for players, and asking players to get involved in the world-building itself isn't always a great idea because it'll spoil a lot of the mystique of the setting. Some games thrive on discovery. You could even work with the players beforehand to set some of the basic keystones of the setting in place and plan the rest yourself. I feel that presenting the players from the outset with a wealth of information about the setting both makes it easier for them to make characters and gets them feeling more like there's a living world for them to explore.Trying to improvise a complex history that the PCs will unravel over the course of the game is a lot more difficult than having it charted out in advance. You may be able to cobble together bits and pieces of what you've improved in the past to put together a cohesive picture, but it likely won't match up to what's possible if you had that picture from the start and could drop subtle and well-prepared hints throughout the PCs' investigation. That said, yes, it's a lot of work, and you run the danger of getting tunnel vision and trying to rope the PCs too hard into your preparations. But for some GMs (myself included), hard work in a campaign is a bonus. It's a means of getting myself invested in the players' fun. And that tunnel vision is just something you have to watch out for, and when you've learned the discipline to treat your prep work as a tool and not as a roadmap, it's easy to brush that aside.
>>25625236>ITT: Secrets of GM'ing you don't tell your players about.Build secrets in your worlds. Every significant detail or character of the setting should have a secret. Don't tell the players.
>>25652465You can find the Fists of Radangulf in the Cave of Ilunibi.
>>25652465Oh, yeah, this. I love creating a well-crafted world rich in detail to present to the players before the game. They get really drawn into all the setting details and the work put into them, and they often don't think to wonder about what's left unsaid about them. It's easy to catch them off guard if they think you've already shown your whole hand, and it's easy to make them think that if there's a lot of well-developed setting presented from the outset.
I only stat out NPCs that could qualify as either A, a companion or B, a boss in vidjuh gaime terms. There is almost ALWAYS a generic option if the NPC doesn't fit either of those, and they're usually easy to bullshit.
>>25642117that coincidently all fight the same
>>25628055I feel like a bit of dice pelting is a staple of many games, a part of the trapping. Not all, but it's a cultural thing. Like the way a TV remote doesn't HAVE to be a long, thin wand, it could be a circle, but it started as a wand and so that's what we go with. There are variations they're just not as common. And many games are set up so that dice-rolls progress the game and give it fairness, keeping both DM and Players in check
>>25628317Heck, if you're at the same level and you've got the same sort of mooks (guards, bandits, soldiers, grunts) no reason not to reuse. Maybe make the AC a little higher, give one or two -/+ to a stat here and there and allow a 15% variation in HP, but there's no reason not to let Mooks be endlessly repeatable.
>>25628485Yes, but I'd also feel a little sad that he didn't care enough to make the campaign take more time than just when we were playing.
>>25628628Use their backstories against them. For example, an illusion of a lost lover who needs rescuing.