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48628861 No.48628861 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

so i have never DMed before but a couple of my buddies said they would give me a chance if i throw together a DnD game for them to play.

so aside from dont be too much of a donkey's rear end (asshole) and avoid railroading all the time i have no idea what i am doing.

so do you guys have any advice for me?

>> No.48628955

>>48628861

See that DM screen?
The keyword there is SCREEN. Players don't need to know what you're doing behind it.
A good DM railroads the shit out of his players and lets them think they got there all on their own.

>> No.48630611

>>48628955
So i can Railroad as long as i am careful not to make it obvious? so what are some tips on doing that?

>> No.48630934
File: 557 KB, 1014x3387, 10 rules of dming.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
48630934

>>48630611

That's a bad way of putting it, but its right in spirit.

The key is to remember that as the person running is that your players are supposed to enjoy themselves. That means just because the dice seem to enjoy making your players never hit that enemy and have him kill them one by one two fights into a longer quest doesn't mean that it has to end that way.
See pic related.

Aside from that, try to figure out what your buddies like (if not from prior experience playing together then by picking up on it during game and running with it). A party full of fpeople who love rping and a party of people who just want to kill things should have different focuses.

>> No.48632330

>>48628861
Do prep work. Make some details around the railroad, in case they wander off of it. Sometimes this effort will be wasted. Worry not: if they never end up seeing it, you can REUSE IT LATER!

>> No.48632372

>>48630611

A good adventure is designed like this.

You have plenty of signposts and reminders of what PCs are supposed to do, and even when they have multiple goals, you try and feed them only one solution at a time.

Dungeons can be designed in this manner, too.

"Do you explore the lower level first, or the upper level?"

Then you block off paths to make the PCs take a deterministic path through the dungeon, or you make a dungeon where no matter the path taken, there is a certain 'flow', by including things like balconies and dumping areas and main thoroughfares.

>> No.48632957

>>48632372
so essentially start with a straight line and then create a world around it with various paths that all lead to the same place but long enough with enough detail so as to avoid railroading. so the straight line is always there but plan for people to do their own thing... like collect a head count or talk to all the peoples.

on the topic of NPCs what should i do about them? how should i write them?

>> No.48633111

>>48632957
I think the easiest (but also the hardest) way is to make the players care about what´s supposed to be their goal.

If their goal is to defeat the BBEG before the destroys the world but instead they buy a ship and spend their time exploring islands and looking for treasure, it´s because they´re not interested in your plot, or you´re simply playing the wrong game.

In this case, you could start showing them the effects of the BBEG actions on the islands they visit. Maybe have one of them be a secret base of the bad guys with a laboratory and enslaved natives or some shit. Put something nice, valuable and shiny in that laboratory to make sure they steal it. Something important for the BBEG, who of course sends people in other ships or flying/aquatic creatures to go hunt the players and recover the item.

Have the BBEG steal the thing. Stealing from the party is almost always a surefire way to make them go where you want. Players despise nothing more than an NPC stealing their shit. Even if they stole it from him in the first place.

Or just let them keep it, if they defend it well enough. But keep up the assaults every now and then. The BBEG starts conquering some places. There´s a sweet price for their heads now, which mean they´re attacked more often. The BBEG, intentionally or not, destroys an island they liked. Maybe he turns their favorite island town into a factory, or he razed it because they resisted him. Make the damage somewhat or completely irreparable. Make the characters see that their actions (or lack thereof) have an impact in the world.

Eventually they´ll start caring. And then they´ll go for the BBEG without you having to railroad them into it.

>> No.48633273

>>48632957
Simply put design the NPCs for what they are going to do.

Give them one or two distinct things. Give them a rough motivation as to why they are interacting with the PCs/ vice versa.

If they are for social interaction, give them the relevant stats/threshelds, but no more. If they are there for combat, you really don't need to know what their cooking or taxonomy stats stats are. Just jot down the pertinent stats (defense, attack rolls, damage, etc) and go.

Generally assume an average baseline stat. You don't need to go into full character creation just to make every NPC.

On a special note: please avoid making NPCs fight to death unless they have a good motivation. If they are ambushing hoping to score loot, they really should be running once things go south. Only NPCs dedicated to the cause will stay and fight. This helps avoid combats being long drawn out affairs and encourage your PCs to be murderhobos.

More generally, don't fixate on things. Fixating on super special NPCs can lead to spotlight stealing. Fixating on plot points excessively leads to railroading. Cut some slack and adjust.

One thing I've learned is have a plan for if your PCs fail. I don't mean as in a wipe, but what if they don't succeed in foiling the BBEG's plot? Let them lick their wounds and suffer the consequences.

>> No.48633307

>>48633111
Important to note, in case you didn´t notice enough: see how I´m not ripping the players out of the path they chose by sending them a massive sea monster and sinking their ship. They wanna be explorers, they can. I work with it and search for ways to have the plot affect them in increasingly direct and dangerous ways.

I´m not bringing the players to the plot, I´m bringing the plot to the players. Or, rather, I´m bringing the plot to the world in a somewhat realistic manner. The player characters are in the world, so they also get affected by it, just like the NPCs.

If it´s clear the players don´t give a fuck about the BBEG and would rather do anything else, then maybe you´re just trying to force them into a campaign you want to play without noticing that they´re not interested. Communication with your group is key. Ask for feedback from time to time, make sure they´re having fun and ask them what they´re missing and what they´re having too much of.

About NPCs, >>48633273

>> No.48633392

>>48628955
>A good DM railroads the shit out of his players and lets them think they got there all on their own.
>>48632372
>A good adventure is designed like this.
> block off paths to make the PCs take a deterministic path through the dungeon


To think I lived to see the day where /tg/ gives advice like this in total seriousness. I mean, I hope this is an elaborate troll, I really do.

>> No.48633654

Some tips:

Before the campaign, give players some condition around their characters motivation that works with your campaign. Be loose with it so that they can fill in details. For example: You declare that all PCs must want BBEG stopped. Why they want him stopped is up to them (but make them tell you so you can use it for plot hooks). Any character without that motivation is to be rejected.

Done well, that also gives the party a reason to work together. If it doesn't, give them a reason.

Plan for your players to regularly run into choice which:
- Have two or more options that the players will see.
- Each option takes the session in a different direction, forcing you to throw out a similar amount of prep work each way.
- You can't predict which option the party will pick before it happens.
This will get you used to throwing out prep work, which will help when the PCs pull something unexpected. Plus, if they accuse you of railroading, you can point to these decisions as places where they had genuine, significant, choices that they made.


Don't fudge the dice. Sure, there are some valid reasons to do so, but they are best explored by more experienced GMs:
- If the players realise that you are fudging in their favour, they will get annoyed when a PC dies because you didn't fudge the dice. Or worse, when you fudge dice in the enemies favour.
- If you're fudging the dice, you are reducing how dangerous combat is for your players. They will notice that, even if they don't notice the fudging.
- Once you start fudging a bit to get the outcome you want, the temptation is there to fudge even more.
- For fudging to work well, you need to know what your players can take without it (to know the minimum fudging required) and you need to be able to fudge quickly (so players don't notice). As an inexperienced GM, this is not something you'll be able to do in most systems.

>> No.48633676

If you put a puzzle before your players and they come up with a solution that will work, but isn't the solution you intended them to use, let them use the one they came up with.

One of the most annoying GMs to play with is one who has decided on One True Solution to his puzzle and will pull whatever bullshit he needs to stop any other solution. Especially because his 'clever' solution often:
- Doesn't make any sense.
- Isn't something the PCs would ever think of because it's obscure.

>> No.48633679
File: 48 KB, 625x627, son.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
48633679

>>48632372

>> No.48633780

>>48628861
ignore all the advice in this thread
except these two sentences

>> No.48633853

>>48628861
watch your players. if it looks like they can predict what's going to happen next, subtly subvert that without letting them know that it was planned completely differently.

>> No.48633872

>>48632372
stop giving new players troll advice, you asshole

>> No.48633964
File: 308 KB, 683x969, 1465332605747.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
48633964

>>48628861
The biggest hurdle you'll need to get over is this: The game is not about what you want and it's not about your story. Your game is about what happens. That's it. It's on you as the DM to create the world or know enough about the setting you're using that things will just fall into place. You don't want to artificially create moments. Don't make a plot expecting to know what the players will do and don't steer your players towards doing things the way you want them to. The only thing you need to figure out with your players is what they want out of the game and why they're all together in the first place. After that, you're just there to play referee and enjoy all the curveballs that come your way.

What you want to do is know your major actors and have them continue their plots with or without the player's interference. If your game is taking place in a village and your major actor is a gang of outlaws who are kidnapping villagers, the players not interfering will leave the village worse for wear and the players interfering will let the village revere them as big goddamn heroes. Maybe they choose to save it, maybe they don't, or maybe they join the outlaws. That's the fun part. Now you get to see where it goes.

Don't mess with dice results for the sake of your actors, your players, or any moment you think would work better. You're all playing by the same rules. If you make a villain you're really proud of, make peace with the idea that your players may very well humiliate and destroy them. If a player ends up biting the dust in a really lame way, that's the game. There's no accomplishments if there's no struggle against adversity. If you have an encounter you really enjoyed setting up, don't force it in somewhere it's not supposed to be because the players missed it. Keep as much as you can consistent, build your game towards what your players like, and try not to be too hard on yourself. It's the type of thing you get better at the more you do it.

>> No.48634037

>>48630934
>People on /tg/ will often complain about railroading, and most of them don't know what they're talking about. It's pretty impossible to lay a campaign without following the suggestions of the GM; because if that's the case, why even bother having a GM?

TO ACT AS JUDGE, which is what they used to be called.

You actually can play a campaign with zero GM suggestions at all. It's called "sandbox" play, and it totally works.

Players love it because the GM isn't holding their hand like a goddamn child.

GMs love it, because the players can't blame them for anything if it goes wrong, "My character died, it's obviously the DM's fault."

http://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/662/what-is-sandbox-play

As a GM, you need to be able to improvise reactions to player decisions on the fly though.

"But there's no story to it."

Yes there is, you just have to incorporate it into the improv. Instead of RAILROADING your PCs around to the story, make the story follow the PCs.

- If the PCs are supposed to go to Waterdeep, but decide to go to Shadowdale instead, then the antagonists are suddenly-mysteriously in Shadowdale!

Player: "How'd that happen?"

GM: "What do you think?"

Player: "We must have been spotted when we tried to sneak out of town."

Other Player: "OMG, they're onto us!"

Shit like that. Let them fill in the blanks for you with their wild speculations. It's awesome.

One more time: Never-ever railroad another player, they will eventually see through your manipulative lies, get bored, and stop playing. Unless they're stupid.

>> No.48634128
File: 490 KB, 500x386, app.gif [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
48634128

>>48633964
>The biggest hurdle you'll need to get over is this: The game is not about what you want and it's not about your story. Your game is about what happens. That's it.

^Best GM ever. Listen to anon.

>It's on you as the DM to create the world or know enough about the setting you're using that things will just fall into place. You don't want to artificially create moments. Don't make a plot expecting to know what the players will do and don't steer your players towards doing things the way you want them to.

Which is the very definition of railroading. Some cases are more subtle than others, but it's all the same thing.

>The only thing you need to figure out with your players is what they want out of the game and why they're all together in the first place. After that, you're just there to play referee and enjoy all the curveballs that come your way.

You can be in my group anytime, anon. =)

>What you want to do is know your major actors and have them continue their plots with or without the player's interference. If your game is taking place in a village and your major actor is a gang of outlaws who are kidnapping villagers, the players not interfering will leave the village worse for wear and the players interfering will let the village revere them as big goddamn heroes. Maybe they choose to save it, maybe they don't, or maybe they join the outlaws. That's the fun part. Now you get to see where it goes.

>Don't mess with dice results for the sake of your actors, your players, or any moment you think would work better.

Because it builds trust in the GM and discourages "Player vs. GM" mentality.

>If a player ends up biting the dust in a really lame way, that's the game.

And players can work with it. There is GREAT story fodder there. Players can vow revenge (which is a powerful motivator), or like in one game I had, they staged an elaborate funeral with an afterlife scenario for the dead character and everything.

>> No.48634130

>>48628861
Be prepared. Know the rules. Be flexible. That's pretty much all there is to it. Everything else is dependent on the group in question. Some people act like railroading is the worst thing that can possibly happen, but most are fine with it in moderation. Don't be afraid to fudge dice rolls or encounters as necessary to keep the game going. Nobody has fun when several hours of character gen are rendered moot because the GM's dice are on fire in the first combat encounter.

>>48633964
>The game is not about what you want and it's not about your story
Yes it is. It's also about what the players want and what kind of story they want to tell.

>>48634037
>If the PCs are supposed to go to Waterdeep, but decide to go to Shadowdale instead, then the antagonists are suddenly-mysteriously in Shadowdale!
>Never-ever railroad another player, they will eventually see through your manipulative lies, get bored, and stop playing. Unless they're stupid.
That is railroading.

>> No.48634170
File: 185 KB, 1697x1000, Czech-Marionettes-_mg_0485.757b.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
48634170

>>48634130
>That is railroading.

No, the players still get to choose whatever they want to. The storyline can still play out without turning your players into the GM's puppets.

>> No.48634192

>>48634170
>the players can choose wherever they want to go
>every destination results in the same events because I just magically teleport people around to follow the party
That's railroading.

>> No.48634252

>>48634192
Okay then, the players can build a boat and live on a deserted island with no conflicts to deal with or enemies to bother them ever. The end.

Happy now?

One more time: Players being led by their collective noses to the encounter is completely different from the encounter being customized to wherever the players want to go. The GM just has to be more flexible.

The next baseless assertion you make will show you have (a.) zero understanding of the difference, and (b.) no way to explain why you believe it's all the same.

>> No.48634305

>>48634252
No need to get so butthurt, conductor.

There's nothing wrong with railroading. As long as the players believe that they have agency, everything's fine.

>> No.48634399

>>48633654
thanks for the advice.

another question if y'all dont mind.

what about environments? how should i design them? obviously towns should be towns, plains be plains, and the setting should all flow in a way that makes sense. is there anything i should be aware of though when making the setting?

>> No.48634477

>>48634399
i meant to tag a couple posts with this post... sorry spaced out on that...

>> No.48634494

>>48634305
>No need to get so butthurt, conductor.

Butthurt over bald assertions like yours? Why? And no explanation either; just as I predicted. You have obvious control issues. I pity you and your chronic writer's block. So lazy you can't even write your own fanfic, you have to have your puppets do it for you.

>There's nothing wrong with railroading. As long as the players believe that they have agency, everything's fine.

After awhile, they really can sense when they have no control over their own individual free agency. They're just to polite to tell you to your face.

Like it or not, >>48633964 is correct. It's not about the GM's precious story no one will read otherwise, let alone publish.

Regardless, the GM still controls the environment. And if the GM can create an environment that can adapt to the PCs decisions, then it's way better than putting them on a leash and dragging them around on it.

>> No.48634519

>>48628861
I'd suggest either
>a) run an adventure from a book
Or
>b) design a sandbox for the players to play in. A good example would be owod city books.

Add in random encounter tables for your locations and the current events, maybe some simple faction rosters, and you can improv quite a bit very well.

If you're using a d&d with slow npc and monster gen rules use the quick rules instead.

>> No.48634561

>>48634519
yeah my group would never be okay with that... they want to see me create something for them to do not follow some other guys book. but thanks for the tip anyways.

>> No.48634570

>>48628955
Fuck this opinion. It's bullshit and you're an asshole for endorsing it.

>>48628861
There are people who endorse his opinion, and scores of people who absolutely hate it.

If you're players don't mind you fudging the dice, you should be able to do so in the open and allow them to see.

If you keep your cheating secret you're acknowledging that you're doing something bad /dishonest and your players would be upset if they knew

>> No.48634576
File: 49 KB, 622x447, failure-option.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
48634576

Whenever you're planning for the PCs to succeed at something, see pic related.

There is always going to be a way that they could fail. Maybe they fail a social skill roll and an NPC doesn't give them an important clue. Maybe the NPC says something that really offends them and a PC kills him. Maybe they get the clue, but don't listen to it.

What matters is that the campaign either continues after such a crucial failure, or it quickly reaches a definite end (eg, a TPK).

>> No.48634625

>>48634561
Then follow point two.

>Design a city of sorts.
>Think up some neat factions and characters, with interesting personalities and goals.

Save time where you can.

User quick npc rules, steal your maps from other things and repurpose them.
Determine what they do in the city, by when, if the pcs haven't mucked it up/interfered.
Think in point form lists, don't write big paragraphs. Use short npcgen and predesigned enemies where possible. Youll save very valuable time for parts you can't easily replace.

>> No.48634644

>>48634561
Plant *at least* 3 plot books for every plot thread, more if you really want the pcs to find it.

>> No.48634860

>>48633392
It is a bit heavy handed to call it railroading, but how I run is essentially have structure of drama that I try to bring to the path of players.

There's a princess that needs saving. The players for reason or another aren't doing much saving. I introduce a character that they hopefully like that nudges them towards saving the princess, or doing something else to help this character to save the princess. At most, I have two possible scenarios that I'm thinking is going to happen next, but mostly I just have one that I try to bring to the players.

At the core, the player characters are the most important thing in the setting around them.

If this for something or other reason doesn't work, then communication is the key. Haven't had any game stoppers yet, and people still play with me, so I think I'm successful with this approach.

>> No.48634929

>>48634399
Show, don't tell. Unless, of course, you need to just tell.

>Blazing morning sun pierces the veil of the ever present industrial smog of the New New London, illuminating the people who hurriedly pace to and fro their destinations trough the dirty streets of the city, gas masks secured tightly on their faces.

I try to have some quips about places ready to show what the place and setting is like.

>> No.48634977

>>48628861
Start small, with a simple game. Try running a straightforward dungeon crawl to ease yourself and your friends in. Learn your system, and focus on giving your group a good time in that single dungeon.

You can move on to running whole worlds and multi-session adventures another day. For now, keep your scope manageable. You need to learn how to walk before you can run.

>> No.48635009

>>48633964

This guy, listen to him.

One other thing to be aware of and it might not be an issue is don't discourage people new to roleplaying, when they bring their own ideas and input always try to say "yes and...", as if a new player gets shot down too much they'll either fully withdraw into their shell or go completely the other way and become a nuisance.

To this end, don't think of the story you're telling as a linear corridor your players are traversing, think as it as a world, build a stable of central NPCs and their motivations as well as some lore about the world, as having this ideas already cemented in your head will make it much easier to pull something out of your ass when your players surprise you (and they will).

>> No.48635468

>>48634561
>never DM'd before
>players want you to create your own world and adventure from scratch

my advice is get more understanding players. DMing is hard, especially when you are expected to build a world as well. Go with a book. If your players don't like it, tell them to DM

>> No.48635498

>>48635468
in fact, as a follow up, if your players are really adamant, just jot down key notes from your preferred prewritten module and pass it of as your own work. You'll get a better understanding of the adventure, you know the story and encounters fit, and your players never have to know

>> No.48635558

>>48635468
my group only plays Dark Heresy/Only War/Rogue Trader which I think makes it easier than something like D&D

>> No.48636331

>>48633964
The only right answer here, the players quests outweigh the DM's one, if a DM /DOES WANT TO DO A PLOT/ that should be brought up before the game starts, and the characters should be made with the plot in mind, like slavers in a slavery campaign or politicians, merchants and shit if a DM wants to do a politics campaign

>> No.48636444

>>48634252
>One more time: Players being led by their collective noses to the encounter is completely different from the encounter being customized to wherever the players want to go. The GM just has to be more flexible.

The same plot happening whatever the players decide is the very definition of railroading. That doesn't mean you can't reuse NPCs and encounters that wouldn't otherwise see the light of day, but it does mean you have to adjust things. You can't just have the exact same NPCs, exact same plot and exact same villains wherever the players go to.

>> No.48636543
File: 107 KB, 620x386, sandbox.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
48636543

Sandbox actually looks like this:
<

>> No.48637121

>>48628861
If it's 5e, have a go with the campaign from the starter set. It's fairly short, straightforward and self-contained. It's a good introduction for new players and DMs, but also has a lot of hooks you can use to expand. Once you're done with it, it shouldn't be hard to start with new characters or transition into your original campaign.

Poke your players for details on their characters. Where are they from, why do they adventure, how did they get this or that power, what did they think of this event. If you see something you can grab on to for further events, do so. If a character has some trinket, for example, suggest ways they can create goals. If they voice suspicion over a random NPC's actions, see if you can give them an agenda or plant a red herring between sessions. You don't have to front-load it, but have some idea of who you're dealing with by the end of the first couple of sessions.

Don't plan too far ahead, especially early on. These things are happening, here are a few points of interest the party can investigate. See what they seem most interested in, and go along with their initiatives. Doesn't mean that every plan they start should succeed, but acknowledge in-world that their actions have had an effect.

>> No.48637232

Railroading is not good, the various plot points should be missed, and if the players, say go and try to start a store when they should join the army they should. But what they do or dont should develop tne story so when the army goes evil due to vile crupptions(mind the spelling) they will ahve to deal with itin a diffrent way that they would not normaly do as an army member. Just keep an open branching story. And be perpared for change. However if you have a lich growing in power that the pc's need to kill but they bugger off somewhere, then after they finish what they do, have it bite them in the arse. Make it seem that going to start there own town called shitsburge was a terable idea, in term. This rambe just leads me to recommend haveing a sheat for what has occured and what can happen, and keeping notes. Gg this is probly pointless as the guy is now playing his dnd games..... o well.

>> No.48637240

>>48630611
Simplest example: "The road forks. Which direction do you go?"

Both paths lead to the same location.

>> No.48637262

>>48628955
Here we go with this shit again. Is there going to be a thread about fudging every single week? Anyway, you are a bad DM and you should feel bad for propagating your shittyness.

>> No.48638010

>>48630611
>So i can Railroad as long as i am careful not to make it obvious? so what are some tips on doing that?
Don't have the version with the updated images on my phone, but here you go.

>> No.48638836

thanks for the advice guys.

so how should i do the BBEG? i dont want him to know the players necessarily as why should he? they are just random people to him, at first that is.

>> No.48639121
File: 35 KB, 362x475, 51FWBQRQ1TL.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
48639121

>>48638836
>so how should i do the BBEG?
Find, use, and love the Complete Book of Villains for AD&D.
I don't care what system you are using, it doesn't matter.
It's the best character development tool I've ever seen.

>> No.48639196

>>48638836
It depends. Who or what is the BBEG? Who are the players? You don´t even need to have a BBEG.

I made a campaign where the players started under a dome that covered a chunk of the continent and completely aislated it from the rest of the world. It just showed up one day, just like that, and resists all efforts to break through, physical and magical. Also goes underground, it´s a sphere. After a few centuries in this situation, the major kingdoms under the dome have offered a sweet reward for any info on the dome. The players are a bunch of adventurers trying to get it.

I designed a few ways to destroy the dome and a good few places where they could get some info, though they wouldn´t understand it fully or know why it happened in the first place. They got in quite a lot of trouble in the way, but eventually they did find a way to destroy it. They went to a certain point of the dome, the farthest it allowed to walk towards the rest of the continent, and did the thing. There were kings present, and some army, just in case. The dome shone briefly, and vanished. That right there could have been the end of the campaign.

Then I congratulated them for finishing the prologue and told them that, as the dome goes down, they see the lands at the other side. Everything unchanged except for the masive wall with many defensive towers that reached as far as the eye can see, surrounding the perimeter of the dome. It´s maned with what looks like lizard people, and on the air there´s a few dozen giant winged snakes slying around. Once comes and lands, and talks telepatically to them all. It announces itself as the new ruler. When the kings object, the snake looks at them and they just fall dead. Turns out they can kill and enslave with their minds.

The rest of the campaign was about the players joining the resistance and doing resistance stuff against the snakes. Mostly sabotage, leading hit and run attacks, and gathering support for a mass rebellion.

>> No.48639358

>>48638836
Whatever fits, up to and including "there is no BBEG". It's really hard to suggest anything else without knowing what you're trying to achieve. So what do you have in mind? What's the scale of the campaign at least?

>> No.48639433

>>48639121
>>48639196
those are good points. but i was thinking i wanted go with the 'bad guy who doesnt know he is a bad guy' type. so far i was looking at the guy as doing terrible things in the world but with very good intentions. essentially a regular king that has recently made some very hard decisions for the betterment of his people but chose the wrong choices kinda thing.

>> No.48639589

>>48639433
If it´s your first campaign, I´d suggest making an obviously evil BBEG. It´ll be easier for you.

A lich with necromancers raising hordes of undead, a particularly big orc unifying all the clans and marching against kingdoms, an intradimensional invasion (that´s where the snakes and lizard people came from. DnD, if that´s what you´re playing, already has draconians, which are quite similar. You also have demons and all that jazz)...

For a guy with a good mind doing terrible things, focus first on finding a good motive and then develop him.

It´s pretty hard to give you anything solid without knowing anything at all about your setting. Tell us a little more about it!

>> No.48640049
File: 298 KB, 1400x929, GhostShipDeck2.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
48640049

I have this idea for a scene akin to the Mines of Moria, but it's an aquatic campaign. The players arrived to this island last session on a ship with a captain and a crew, and they will be doing a lot of stuff on the island and under the water, but later, I'd like them to come back to an empty ship. Crew all gone.

And I want it to be a little creepy, like something you'd hear about in a tale about the Bremuda Triangle?

Maybe I should ask /x/?

>> No.48640467

>>48639589
well the setting will be set around a kingdom that has a ruler that up to a rather recent point been pretty okay. not great or anything but that is only because his predecessor had dragged the kingdom out of a state of financial ruin and war into becoming a wealthy and powerful power in the world, so a lot to live up to but the people like him and he is a kind ruler who clearly showed he loved the people. the big thing working against this kingdom is that it has a strange lack of magic users. in that almost no one born there has the ability to use magic where as the neighboring kingdoms do not have this issue. so they typically rely on anti-magic weapons that were created to counter this imbalance. this lack of magic also affects non-humans as well including non-sentient creatures.

recently though the king has implemented some rather high taxes which by itself isnt a big deal... since well kings do that and the economy is booming so most werent initially worried and thought it would last only a short period. after about 5 years (approximately one year prior to the start of the game) the taxes were lifted and dead or alive bounties placed on any and all magic users in the kingdom was placed. this included people from foreign lands. the borders were restricted and several mage colleges destroyed. the kings explanation is that the magic users are going to bring about the destruction of the kingdom. (i am working on writing in his reasons that he sites for this belief at the moment so i cant give much detail on that) he has also had his armies begin recruitment and has asked engineer guilds to begin work on more as well as better weapons to fight magic users with. through out all of this though he is still implementing good things for his nation as well. such as providing support to several farming villages that had a nasty insect infestation that destroyed large portions of their crops as well as personally funding the creation of newer better fishing-

>> No.48640537

>>48640467
boats. most of his decisions seem to favor the majority of the people and improve the countries already high financial success.

i was also thinking of giving the setting primarily this kingdom a steampunkish theme but more int he way that steam powered tools and machines are just starting to become a thing over the already existing for a while type. this is mainly because the guys i play with enjoy steampunk but we havent had a steampunk setting in ages.

>> No.48640891

>>48639433
The Complete Book of Villains has an entire section devoted to Motive.
Including how to craft a villain motivated by a need to love and be loved.

>> No.48640932

>>48628955
>>48632372
>>48637240
A LAZY GM railroads because they don't want to spend the time planning something that the players could easily miss and would rather just drag the players along the story they want them to tell. You don't need to give them options and storylines in every direction they walk but give them something, if you happen to spend a lot of time planning out something that the players miss you can always adjust it a bit to fit into a different situation and use it again later.
leave it to a DnD DM to have this kind of shitty mentality.
>>48630934
Fudging dice and altering some stuff to make sure the players are having a good time and not getting party wiped due to bad dice rolls is good, but don't be afraid to let your characters die if they mess up or it would be fitting or dramatic.

>> No.48641197

>>48640537
I suggest in the case of steampunk that you establish opposing advancements, where the kingdom is enjoying a goldn age of technology where things like Final Fantasy-type airships are being invented at a steady pace; on the other hands, mages are enjoying their own golden age of occult advancement, with archmages discovering new applications for magic at a similar pace. It depends on the type of magic you use, though; if it's a science and a study then that would work well, but a magic system that's more 'point it in that direction and ideally it does what we think it does' would make that hard.

>> No.48641938

>>48638836
What are his goals? Why do they conflict with the players' interests? Why does he do what he does? What motivates him? Which feelings do you want your players to have for him?

Answer these questions and you should be well on your way.

>> No.48643931

>>48628861

If you're serious about GMing, strongly consider reading and following this advice

http://theangrygm.com/jumping-the-screen-how-to-run-your-first-rpg-session/

http://pastebin.com/yn818Lap

>"TLDR"
If you're serious about GMing, you'll read it. If you aren't, then no skin off my nose.

>"But I don't want to give that faggot clicks"
Pastebin

>> No.48645898

Bump

>> No.48647030

>>48643931
yeah will do thank you

>> No.48651130

bemp?

>> No.48651408

>>48643931
i think this guy has autism, half way through and hasn't talked about GM'ing
only about internet trolls and ice hockey

>> No.48651514

>>48628861
In the middle of gang controlled territory in the under-hive

"I grab the nearest gang member"

"Roll awareness"

Don't do that shit.

>> No.48652104

>>48638010
Got the updated version.

>> No.48652386

>>48636543
What a clusterfuck.

>> No.48652466

I've found the Book of Villains in the OSR threads trove, here: https://mega.nz/#F!3FcAQaTZ!BkCA0bzsQGmA2GNRUZlxzg!mFklhCSL

>> No.48652479
File: 96 KB, 600x750, dungeons_porny girls.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
48652479

>>48628861
You need to figure out what kind of DM you are nothing but practice can really reveal that. Can you improvise with ease or do you need to have everything written beforehand?

>> No.48652516

>>48634037
>>People on /tg/ will often complain about railroading, and most of them don't know what they're talking about. It's pretty impossible to lay a campaign without following the suggestions of the GM; because if that's the case, why even bother having a GM?

It's perfectly possible but it requires both the DM and players to be perfectly in-sync about what kind of game they want to play. You'll never really achieve that unless you have a steady group of many years and your interests intersect perfectly.

>> No.48655396

>>48652479
i can improvise... not sure how well though. i shall see though.

>> No.48655758

>>48628861
Advice: it is a lot easier to replace a problem player than it is to accommodate one.

>> No.48656692

So im also a beginner DM and have run a few sessions now, and i wanna know how do you guys deal with a player that asks me what the best course of action is. Basically trying to get me to help them with their meta gaming.

>> No.48656819

>>48656692
Tell them there is no best course of action, only what they or their character would believe is the best choice.

>> No.48656930

>>48643931
This guy has okay advice but he is a bit of an asshole he acts like it's impossible for the first game to be okay and that no one is going to have fun no matter what.

>> No.48656988

>>48656819
The problem is they ask me what their character would think is the best choice. The concept seems to be just out of reach for them.

>> No.48657056

>>48656988
If he doesn't know what his own character would think is the best choice either a. the possibilities of choices he has is so vast that more then one would make sense for his character. b. His character is really in depth and complicated. or c. He is too lazy to actually roleplay.

>> No.48657254

>>48657056
I think it might partly be laziness, this group are all first time players used to video games n such, though its only one of them that does this. It really wouldn't be an issue if didnt get upset at me when i tell him i dunno, its up to you. This motherfucker even questions why he cant use a perception check to see how many hit points a monster still has.

>> No.48658093

>>48657254
Then you have two choices
1. Explain to him that table top games don't work like rpg's they are much more indepth and follow much more different rules, half the game is using your creativity to solve problems

2. He is a bad player and either get rid of him once the campaign is done or try and teach him how to improve.

>> No.48658548

>>48658093
Thanks for the advice man, i'll talk it through to him and if no change gonna have to drop his ass.

>> No.48661297

>>48656692
>>48657254
>It really wouldn't be an issue if didnt get upset at me when i tell him i dunno, its up to you.
This is like a player who minmaxes high INT and then insists he roll against it to outsmart the falling rocks and everything else.
Since he's a beginning player, I might suggest a few examples for him as to what a character night do, followed up with a few options for what his specific character could do.
This is one of the times alignments can actually be used, as characterization shorthand.
>Well, if you were LE Elven Paladin, you might think X was a good idea, if you were a NE Dwarf Rogue, you might think Y was a good idea, but you are a blah, blah, blah, with blah in your backstory, so you might think A, B, or C is a good idea.
If he counters with:
>But which one is best?
>There is no "best" choice, just your choice.

But that's the training wheels option.
If he continues trying to get you to make the choice, remind him that if he's handing over control of the character to make choices, then he's not really playing.
It's like giving the video game controller to your older brother to "get past *this* part" every few minutes.

>>48658093
This anon is right too.

>> No.48661448

>People getting mad over railroading and quantum ogres
/tg/ browsers who have never run or even played in a game detected
Intelligent, subtle railroading is how almost every good game is run. GMs are magicians, and their key tool is the illusion of choice.

Thats not to say the players shouldn't be able to make their own choices and follow their own paths; the key is to make sure you don't waste time preparing content for somewhere they end up avoiding and have no content prepared for the place they did in fact explore.

>> No.48661508

>>48661297
Also really good ideas might help get some of his creativity flowing and introduce the alignment system as ive neglected it slightly, much appreciated anons

>> No.48661571

Don't lie to the players.

Your NPCs can be wrong, your NPCs can be uninformed, your NPCs can lie.

But you, as the DM, are the source of truth.

>> No.48662436

>>48634519

>b) design a sandbox for the players to play in. A good example would be owod city books.


I'm a new and inexperienced DM (not OP) and I figured doing this and slowly integrating a main overarching story as I get more used to DMing would be a good way to ease myself into DMing.

My setting:

Floating islands in the sky, no planet underneath them. A new adventure on every island, so I have to write up mini adventures for them.

The first few were mainly combat islands with no RP to help my players get used to it (they're mostly all newbies to DnD), the current island is a "undead attacking the town, gotta figure out why, oh shoot our healers just got thrown into jail that's probably important information".

I've got more little adventures like that in mind until I finally start feeding "why are we living on floating islands and not a normal planet" tidbits.

>> No.48665129

>page 11
???

>> No.48665248

>>48628861
make a world. sound simple but you need to do it. what do the guys like to do in a normal game (hack and slash, enter debates, trade and commerce, explore, scheme). give something to each player. be open and honest. a little rail reading to get back on track is ok once in a while but let the players do what they want to. if they want to play the part of the general instead of the soldier then let them

>> No.48665918

>>48665248
they like a good balance of things. typically they like a good amount of fighting... except one who always builds his character as some guy who is good at fighting but hates fighting (he's the not so creative one). they like trading and talkin to people about stuff and they like scheming and one is a fan of stealing stuff in the most outlandish over the top unnecessary ways (she's the type who tries to get DMs to facepalm or rage)

>> No.48666219

>>48665918
every town make a shop owner who has an item that isn't good mechanically but has good fluff
>a broken sword that used to be owned by a demigod (+1 to hit deals 1d4-1 damage)
have most of the plot hooks in dialogue with individuals in the town or maybe they buy potions from a fake apothecary who soled them snake oil instead of a real healing potion. when they go to crack his head open the thieves guild move in to defend there best fence

>> No.48667546

>>48634192
>every destination results in the same events because I just magically teleport people around to follow the party
But they're happening in a different place. By definition, that's a different event.

Heck, they don't have to be by the same people, and they don't have to be doing the same thing.

"You meet cultist Bob/Jack/Degrezon in Altia/Punjab/that bar down the road worshipping his dark gods/sacrificing kittens/scratching his balls and giving you the finger. He attacks and you (assumedly) kill him and find evidence that the changelings are behind the prince's murder, and you can use that to clear your name! Or go genocide the changelings, or whatever you want to do.

Is THAT railroading?

>> No.48667876

>>48667546
this is rail roading
>"You meet cultist Bob/Jack/Degrezon in Altia/Punjab/that bar down the road worshipping his dark gods/sacrificing kittens/scratching his balls and giving you the finger.
DM cant keep names / places / actions strait because thay dont matter

and then without any ability to enter diplomacy
>He attacks and you (assumedly) kill him and find evidence that the changelings are behind the prince's murder, and you can use that to clear your name!
you must do this because this is the only way to solve all your problems
welcome to the beginning of rail roading
https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Gamemaster

>> No.48667895

>>48667876
also if you want more stuff to read about having to put up with bull shit here is another link
https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Examples_of_Play

>> No.48669654

>>48667876
>>48667895
I'm curious if you read the pdf

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