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I think this was a thread, but it's really old.

So I just learned the super basics of GURPS and I'm going to try playing it with friends some time. We randomly came up with "Post apocalyptic cyberpunk western" as a setting (I can make it work) but I'm not too sure how to go about actually making the game. Like, building encounters and situations and what not. I don't really know what what to create. If anyone has advice, that'd be cool.

Basically, GM 101.
  
you want to figure out how you want to build it first.
One method is top down. You figure out the world, then continually narrow down to the region, the city, and then the encounter.
The opposite method is bottom up. It's exactly as it sounds, doing it the other way around.

doing bottom up would be better for putting more emphasis on enounters, top down would be best for crafting a world for these encounters.
  
I haven't GM'ed at all, but from the games I've played, the advice I have is: "The game _will_ go off the rails, and your players will do things you can't possibly be ready for. Be ready."
  
If they get out of hand. RFED.
  
Fwip said:
I haven't GM'ed at all, but from the games I've played, the advice I have is: "The game _will_ go off the rails, and your players will do things you can't possibly be ready for. Be ready."

thisandthis.jpg
  
Fwip said:
I haven't GM'ed at all, but from the games I've played, the advice I have is: "The game _will_ go off the rails, and your players will do things you can't possibly be ready for. Be ready."

That's like, half of the appeal for me. It's like improve storytelling.
  
I'm going to be running my first game as GM for 4th ed. DnD tomorrow and I was wondering if people had any pointers. I have been a dungeon master/storyteller for many games before including 3.5/Hellcats and Hockeystick/Paranoia/Mutants and Masterminds. However I am new to running this system. Is there anything I should keep in mind?
  
Uh..
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/intrinsic-or-extrinsic
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/differences-in-scale-vs-differences-in-kind
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/when-difficult-is-fun
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/counter-play
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/depth-vs.-complexity
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/more-than-exposition
Maybe: http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/perfect-imbalance
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/episode-07-pacing
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/power-creep
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/the-illusion-of-choice
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/the-feeling-of-agency

There
  
I'm actually pretty familiar with The extra credits videos, and they are definitely useful for roleplaying advice as well.

I meant to ask if there were any challenges I should watch out when running a 4th ed. specific game in comparison to other roleplaying games.
  
4th ed has a tendency to make the players feel like they have more control over situations because the rules and mechanics are so much more defined, polished, out in the open, etc. ie, they can argue with the DM.


Crush that.
  
I certainly hope one of you fine fellows can assist me; I looked up Dragons (whadda surprise!) in the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Monster Manual, and it states that dragons (especially Silver Dragons) can assume the form of a humanoid and retain that form as long as they like. Does the dragon keep his original form's ability scores (Strength, Constitution, etc.), or do you use the ability scores of the humanoid that he assumes the form of?
  
It should retain its stats. But this wholly depends on your universe in this one, I'd say. Because both possibilities can lead to great experiments. Maybe it varies from dragon to dragon.
  
Most books I've read about various pen and paper games almost append "this or that, or whatever, or not, depending on the GM's discretion" don't be afraid to rule over your players with an iron fist, but always be prepared for them to succeed a roll they shouldn't.

I've only ever DM'd "speed n d" games with very light rules and rules of thumb. I'm participating in two right now one I'm actually leaving to play in about an hour or so. Anyway, one of them has a Tri-Stat system of mind/body/soul which is pretty cool.

As far as encounters go, it all depends on what kind of story you're doing. The story I'm playing in is a harsh world where lots of forces are out to get us and we're all automatically "wanted" which means almost every encounter the enemies have stronger stats and abilities than us. What I've seen the DM do is that he doesn't layout a strict character sheet for these foes. However, if he wants to make something tougher than me, and I have to roll a seven or below to "succeed", he'll make the enemy roll an eight or below for that slight advantage. Then with damage modifiers he'll do slightly more if it lands depending.

And its exactly like improv story telling and you're a great storyteller so once you find your sea legs I bet you're an awesome DM to play under, it'd be a real treat for anyone in your party to see where you take them next.

Also, try to have common incentives to keep the party together. For fluidity of game, only rarely should people split off and do their own thing and then not for very long. Feel free to have secret conferences with players before or after the game if you want to have hidden surprises from the rest of the group, or just an objective only they know about.

One of the most difficult things for me DMing is finding good roleplayers, people who don't "meta" game. (They hear something out of character and their character changes behavior unrealistically).

Sorry, this is a long tangential unsolicited multi text dump.

Tl;Dr version: You're going to be an awesome game master.
  
@Spore: What about proficiencies for the morphed Dragon? Would he get the weapon/armor proficiency of the humanoid he morphed into? Would he still be able to use his other special abilities while morphed? Or, should I just wing it and go to town making him a Guest PC killing machine? This would make a wonderful plot development for a campaign....
  
You could make it dependent on the dragon's age. Elder Wurms don't give a fuck about their form.

Grasshopper killing cities? Hells yeah.
  
I did a bit of looking into the Dragon's special ability; it's similar to "Polymorph", where the caster's adopts the physical characteristics (STR, CON, DEX) of the new form. But, it's mental faculties (INT, WIS, CHA) are unaffected. I'm thinking a Silver Dragon polymorphed into a Human Cleric. This will be amazing.... >:D
  
No, grasshopperzilla!
  
I think I'll save that for another time, Spore.
  
Ooh, how's about a Half-Dragon?
  
By half dragon, do you mean a dragonborn?
Or as a dragon morphed into a dragon into a dragon... Mindfuck.
  
No, I mean a Half-Dragon; a dragon/humanoid hybrid.
  
So...
A human child of a dragon? Or a dragon child of humans?
  
human born child of dragons is how it is usually done. But not particularly human, as half dragon is a template, at least in 3.5.
This is because a dragon took humanoid form and scoodilypooped a girl.
  
Aw, crap... I wish I had seen this sooner....

In D&D 3.5, there is what is called ECL, or Effective Character Level. When I wrote up the race list for the campaign I'm trying to run, I only went with Level Adjustments of 3 or less, without checking how many Hit Dice some of the creatures got. So, I now have a massive ECL discrepancy; two of my players have ECLs of 8 and 9, and one with ECL 1. One more player is slated to join, so I don't know where her character is going to stand where it comes to ECL.

So, what should I do to balance the tables so everyone can enjoy the campaign? At first, I was going to average the ECLs for all characters and do an escort mission of sorts, but upon reflection, I don't want to have to resort to a "scrappy mechanic" to start the campaign.

Then, I though the best route to balance to just allow the players with low ECLs gain enough levels to reduce the discrepancy to a more manageable level, but then I thought I might be robbing the lower-level players of the fun of developing their player characters.

What's the best way for me to balance the tables so everyone can enjoy the game, with minimal fuss?
  
Sorry 'bout that duplicate posting; I got error 503'd right after finishing this post. Please disregard this post; carry on!
  
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