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GMing Pen and Paper RPGs: The What, How, Why, When etc
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Old 18 Jun 2008, 09:42   #1 (permalink)
Zen
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Default GMing Pen and Paper RPGs: The What, How, Why, When etc

OK, so I've committed myself to being GM for the Dark Heresy Demo Version: Ths Shatter and most likely Crisis_Vyper will use that to justifiy that if we start a Warhammer RP group, that I should be the GM.

So, any GMs or ex-GMs that can tell me what I need? What should I know? Any advice and suggestions?

EDIT: Also, when is it justifiable to do this?
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Old 18 Jun 2008, 11:18   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: GMing Pen and Paper RPGs: The What, How, Why, When etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
OK, so I've committed myself to being GM for the Dark Heresy Demo Version: Ths Shatter and most likely Crisis_Vyper will use that to justifiy that if we start a Warhammer RP group, that I should be the GM.

So, any GMs or ex-GMs that can tell me what I need? What should I know? Any advice and suggestions?
Right, here's a few pointers:
  • Make sure you have a lot of notes. Seriously, a good Player will be taking notes himself, so try and play with a laptop or a large notepad in front of you. Not only do you need quest notes, you need to keep track of what the Players do as well. If the Players promised Drunken Bill they'd help him Sober up after their Quest is done, you need to remember that!
  • Have the entire Quest planned out, or at the very least have the vital bits planned out.
  • Anticipate where the party might wander off. Railroading annoys the hell out of people, so if it seems obvious the players are going to do potentially deviate off course, have the route planned.
    An example from my last Dark Heresy game: I had a rough mental map of the building they were in, and knew where all the enemy NPCs where. As such, I could work out how any combat would resolve itself if they came to blows, based on where they engaged.
  • Be prepared for things to go pair-shaped. No plan ever survives contact with the Players, so make sure you can keep things going even after your End Boss gets killed by a flippantly thrown battleaxe ten minutes in.

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EDIT: Also, when is it justifiable to do this?
Pretty much whenever the players act like that guy in the comic... or when the Monty Python quotes begin.
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Old 18 Jun 2008, 12:24   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: GMing Pen and Paper RPGs: The What, How, Why, When etc

Hehe, thanks. Now , I feel like a Janitor, a really powerful janitor but a janitor nonetheless. Thanks, Wargamer. I'll be sure to keep my 'evil' inside at all times
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Old 18 Jun 2008, 12:47   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: GMing Pen and Paper RPGs: The What, How, Why, When etc

Ok, hints? Wargamer covered most of them, but one of the best ones I can give you, is:

GET TO KNOW YOUR PLAYERS!

Seriously. Don't make anythign until you know what your players like doing, what they hate doing, what scares them, what makes them like people, and what is to far for them (getting under your players skin is great, but hitting a nerve ends a game)...

Also, I would suggest giving your players little jobs, like recording combat information, and other things, that way, when you get stuck looking up a rule, they can pretty much continue playing the combat if needs be, and the game doesnt stop (blank time like this kills immersion).

All I cna say is good luck, and post specific problems here.

Oh, and the commic... Very funny I love CAD. Only do this when the player agrees about somethign unfair to another player, but then gets angry when it happens to them... I HATE THAT!
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Old 23 Jun 2008, 04:46   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: GMing Pen and Paper RPGs: The What, How, Why, When etc

^^ agreed to that i have a friend who plays tau and gets pissed at some cover rules we put down such as "you cant shoot through the bush no matter what" he agrees so that my defiler cant battle cannon him but when it comes to his broadside "well thats just the end of the bush i can see through it". (btw love CAD ;D).
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Old 23 Jun 2008, 13:16   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: GMing Pen and Paper RPGs: The What, How, Why, When etc

OK, so I've done my first PnP RPG for Dark Heresy with Crisis_Vyper and another friend, we call CY. OK, first problem: they want to loot everything, even a ROCK! Second problem, our friend, CY is sorta out of character (acting weird and stuff, not fitting of a Feral World Guardsmen) but now, he's playing a Psyker which fits the bill......almost. Watch out for our next session
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Old 23 Jun 2008, 15:38   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: GMing Pen and Paper RPGs: The What, How, Why, When etc

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Originally Posted by Zenai
OK, so I've done my first PnP RPG for Dark Heresy with Crisis_Vyper and another friend, we call CY. OK, first problem: they want to loot everything, even a ROCK! Second problem, our friend, CY is sorta out of character (acting weird and stuff, not fitting of a Feral World Guardsmen) but now, he's playing a Psyker which fits the bill......almost. Watch out for our next session
Ah, yes, the "Take The Nails" approach.

When facing with this sort of group, I would suggest you become an absolute pack-nazi. Slam down hard and fast rules about how much your people can carry, and what sort of space they take up. For example, you might decide they can carry up to 10kg in weight in their backpack (albeit with some notable encumberance penalties), and/or 12 items in the backpack, whichever limit is reached first. All items carried must physically fit inside. In addition, each player's wallet can hold up to 30 coin-sized objects (including small gemstones, rocks, etc). Finally, they may only carry three rifle-sized objects (including swords and hammers), and up to two pistol-sized objects (including knives).

All that might sound a lot, but start doing the math; if your guy starts with a Crossbow, Hammer and Stubgun, that's most of his weapon slots used up already. With the heavy limits set down on what can be dragged around, the party has to pick and choose its swag. This also means they won't waste time trying to steal coins from a dead drug-addict if they could be looting a PDF soldier later.
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Old 23 Jun 2008, 15:52   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: GMing Pen and Paper RPGs: The What, How, Why, When etc

Oooooo, thanks, Wargamer ;D I'll be sure to remember that
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Old 23 Jun 2008, 17:01   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: GMing Pen and Paper RPGs: The What, How, Why, When etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
OK, so I've done my first PnP RPG for Dark Heresy with Crisis_Vyper and another friend, we call CY. OK, first problem: they want to loot everything, even a ROCK! Second problem, our friend, CY is sorta out of character (acting weird and stuff, not fitting of a Feral World Guardsmen) but now, he's playing a Psyker which fits the bill......almost. Watch out for our next session
I did not loot a rock. That was CY. I went in the weapons storage facility for you guys (since CY is complaining thatb his weapon sucks), and nothing else. And as for the taking of the chain that says 'Cynthia' on it, I am roleplaying my character. But I do agree that the looting is a little uncontrollable. I will make sure that it will be enforced this week.

I have a surprise for our mutual friend who loves to loot if he dares to loot things that are not meant to be looted.
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Old 23 Jun 2008, 17:20   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: GMing Pen and Paper RPGs: The What, How, Why, When etc

I'll agree, take notes, unless you have a good memory.

It also helps to have the best imagination in the group.

The friend who's our GM has a special gift: He has the greatest imagination ever, yet he can sometimes use it for horrid stuff (like blurting crap out in class and what-not). He can sometimes be an idiot, but, while GMing, it just rolls off his tongue and god, it makes it more 'epic'! Not to mention the stuff said above in the comic, that happens with our Vampire: The Masquerade group A LOT.
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