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GM advice/feels general
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You are currently reading a thread in /tg/ - Traditional Games

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>tfw party says they had fun
>tfw might get used to this
>tfw I think my group enjoys my GM bullshit.
>tfw one player constantly says he loved shit I came up with on a whim.
>tfw no face.

But yeah, I'm high improv DM and last quest they did was full improv and I think they really liked it. Nothing would really have killed them in it but they didn't know that and even ran straight through a trap, around four or five times.
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>Savage Worlds
>Players are secret agents
>Next mission is to retrieve a recently wounded agent from a hospital before staff learns who they are or before their attackers can finish the job

Okay! I've got a solid plot hook!
Now to start mapping the-

>My face when I look up a typical hospital floor plan
>Using realistic blueprints for anything.
Your players won't even ask why the hospital only has two corridors, anon. Remove all unnecessary parts.
>tfw the players say they like your adventures which you scribbled together on a drunk bus ride home
>tfw you don't believe them and can't help it
Am I the only one?
Just plan a basic dungeon and call the secret passages between rooms restricted corridors
I know that feel, I feel it so much It's about to wreck my ability to run games.
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>MFW group has zero participation, just have to have an NPC tell them where to go every time.
>MFW that doesn't happen they whine there's nothing to do even though there's 3 open plotlines they could just follow with some effort
>MFW they bitch I'm railroading them (which I am because see above)
>MFW they say encounters are boring
>MFW I make an encounter interesting and descriptive they bitch that an enemy did something that isn't in the rules and I'm making up stuff to protect my pet villain (who is an one-off minor baddie who instead of having an elemental just sit there before battle used his first turn to "summon" it. They moaned that Call Elemental has 1 minute casting time and I can't just break the rules however I want)
>MFW all PC backgrounds are basically amnesiacs and I have to fill in their stories, disappointed if I don't.
>MFW constantly moaning encounters too easy, then run away from every fight when I make them challenging

I love my friends, but they can be right fucking assholes. Not to mention it's my first time DM'ing D&D, and first time DM'ing in like eight years. I do try my best, but I get nothing constructive, just vague complaints and bitching. Fuck them all.
Everyone thinks they're being polite.

I'm about to play a game for the first time in years--not GM--and I don't want to confuse my GM, either. Assuming it goes well. Otherwise I'll say it went well enough and offer suggestions where it didn't.
I think what happens most frequently is that the players are
A) excited to be playing and are not objective in their criticisms
B) not really sure what to criticize
Here's a puzzle.

My players are all fantastic, each and every single one. With how the game has progressed, their characters have pretty much all but severed all contact with the others and the game has shifted from a personal to a political focus. They all have their own followers, territories and responsibilities now.

Mechanically, I've had to cut back on immersive RP and have events just be narrated quickly. "You passed that roll, so your speech to rouse the senate into agreeing with your reforms is welcomed." kind of thing.

I don't mind this too much, but my only gripe is that prep time is enormous. I've got several different maps for each player, all their unique lands, allies and everything that's going on within them. It's bloat upon bloat and I can't think of any way to make it more simple. What do you advise /tg/?

man I feel for you. find yourself a better group, friends or not.

also, why is captcha so obsessed with steak at the moment?
>mfw that almost sounds like my group of friends
We try our hardest, but no matter what we do we all end up being murderhobos. Everyone takes turns DMing, but I think the longest we have gone into a campaign without restarting was 3-4 sessions. It's really disheartening, we really like dnd but can never really actually play it.
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clarification: a GM will think his players are being polite

D&D makes the job harder, I tried Fate instead (which was actually well-received despite years of D&D3.5/4).

I think your friends are gamers. They seem to value a number-crunch challenge, feeling like they've "won", and are not there for your story-world-people at all.
I guess you have to focus on encounter creation? That sucks, man

That sounds really political
No wonder it's a pain to manage
Ugh, that sounds horrible to play or DM. I don't know what it is about this player ruleslawyering. I've had to deal with it, too, but I usually tell them to STFU because muh rule zero. In fact, one of our more entertaining sessions happened when I told the DM ( a first-timer) that he SHOULD railroad us, if he thinks that will make for an entertaining session. And it did. Far more entertaining than our lolrandumb shenanigans we were engaging in because we had no direction.

I think that is the crux, though. If I think back to every point where the party devolved into heated shit, it's been because they lacked direction. This has been true as a player and as a DM. It's tricky, because players need both a clear goal to work towards, that they want to work towards, while also having a lot of agency to influence the world and said encounters. As a DM, it's hard to prepare for all this.
>tfw want to GM so bad it itches
>tfw current campaign I'm playing in doesn't seem to have an end
>tfw too many scheduling problems to have more then one session per week
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>tfw you finish a campaign
>the ending was satisfying
>everyone had a great time
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>tfw everyone in your group sends you almost the same text message: "will be late, play without me for the start"
Get used to it. I used to run games almost every single day.

Now with uni, family, work and the other real life responsibilities, I barely manage two games a month
>Run a horror game.
>The girl player genuinely leaves the room at the third scary part.
>Everyone has a blank look for a minute when it's over.
>'Holy shit, I thought there was no way to make a horror game work'
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Scary camp fire stories interactive edition

why wouldn't it work
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Yay, I love it when things work out
Because horror is so often about disempowerment and isolation, while most game systems are about empowerment and socialization.

Also, proper horror pacing requires a lot of trust from the players to the GM, as in a decent horror story nothing important happens for a big chunk of the story.
>tfw players don't appreciate your intricate plots of intrigue and grim daaaarkness
>tfw they love phoenixes (stupid wordplay on a regiment that is mustered from IG's recovering at the world's hospitals) and want to join them
>tfw they cling to random female npc made up on the spot
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>tfw think that the session was crap
>the players all loved it and can't wait to play the next one
i don't know if it's me who has really high standards or if it's my players that have really low standards
Sometimes it's just that you lose sight of what is having fun as you become too engrossed in preparing the show, then you focus on the things you screwed up and wonder why the public had a great time. It's a matter of point of view.
Things that never happened
My group is so fucking metagamey. None of them take it seriously, they always purposefully try to do the option that I'm completely unprepared for. They once tried to beat a boss by forcing a bag of devouring onto his head. Then when it didn't do anything the first time, they tried it again, explaining to his bodyguards that "he really needs to look harder" for his MacGuffin. One guy split a flaming skull in half and when it regenerated, it became two skulls. Now he's trying to make an army.
Thing is, though, it's so fun. It's mental gymnastics for me, and the best kinds of things happen when I'm so exhausted that I just start making up ridiculous shit too, which they immediately try to cash in on.
I could never do a serious, emotionally intense campaign with my friends. They're all too self-aware. And GM'ing for them is always a struggle. But it's so worth it.
It is delicious truth, anon. My players are great and I love GMing.
You mean, like if I said that players could get a reasonable amount of items of up to scarce rarity in a DH2 game, there would be one or two characters who started with sack of vanaheims each to sell on black market in exchange for influence?

Is attempting to abuse the system "fun"?
Go full kingmaker. "The party has graduated from adventurers to petty nobles."

No dungeons, at least not detailed. They can send/sponsor parties, but they don't get to participate on a skirmish scale.
>Next mission is to retrieve a recently wounded agent from a hospital before staff learns who they are or before their attackers can finish the job
I too enjoyed the Phantom Pain.
>enjoying things
I don't belive you
Only complaint I have is the OOC chatter that happens every now and then.
>not having assembled the perfect group already
>he really needs to look harder for his MacGuffin
They're obviously trying to do physical harm to the guy, if the guards don't recognize that the bag will eat him, it's at least reasonable to think they're trying to kidnap him.

>Now he's trying to make an army
I don't recognize this one. Is this pile of skulls not trying to kill him? Why is he storing something that is constantly on fire?

Try refluffing something. They can't metagame if you make 'original' content/they can't recognize it. Adapt stuff from different editions.
That's not the point though. No matter what I do, they're going to try to find ways of fucking with the system. I've resigned myself to bizarre comedy adventures because in any sort of seriousness they either get away with ridiculous bullshit or die immediately.
Does anyone have a good path/3.5 encounter generator? I plan my sessions out a little, but my players sometimes act random as fuck and just want to get surprise combats out of the way quick.

Also, why the fuck is there always one asshole trying to be the BBEG? There is always that one guy who wants to join against or go off on his own and try and take out the party. Hes trying so hard to be buddy buddy with the evil guy even when he was petrified and thrown to the bottom of an ocean.
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>GMing TESRPG for friends new to RPGs
>Only one has played any elder scrolls game
>That's cool though mang
>"You guys should totally play Oblivion or Skyrim. Morrowind is really lore heavy but a little hard to get into. I have a DVD copy of Oblivion you could borrow if you'd like."
>Happily accepts.
>Three weeks later, still hasn't played it.
>"Hey man, this has always bothered me until now, but what's an Argonian?"
I'm not asking you to read 300 page book about the custom backstory that my neckbeard wrote, I'm asking you to play a critically acclaimed video game. You had one job: to have fun. It's not like your computer can't run it.

>Good friend of mine guest GMs in what gradually became a murderhobo campaign
>He's far better of a GM than me, keeps the group focused
>I'm having way more fun as a player, playing an orc who strangles minotaurs to death. He's illiterate and collects spellbooks thinking that they'll teach him how to write.
>Friend leaves, actually lives out of state
>Next session
>Friends realize how bad of a GM I actually am
>I realize how bad of a GM I am
>Nobody wants to take over GMing
>Me spend three fourths of our sessions drinking and going out to grab food now
I want to have shit actually happen but my group is literally >>44640739

>"Although you're not wounded, the Captain put you on rest for the remainder of the evening as a reward for your hard work. What would you like to do?"
>"I go to sleep."
>"It's 4 pm and light out. Anybody you want to talk to?"
>"Not really. I'll just idle."
>There are roughly 150 soldiers in this garrison, 15 have names and backgrounds, 5 provide services and training.
>There is a map of the fortress with the locations of all the major NPCs, along with the surrounding area. I literally spent 45 minutes drawing it.
>I actually wrote 6 sidequests whose plothooks were scattered across the garrison, all ignored
>Urge to railroad rising
Next session
>"I don't want to be stuck in this garrison! I wanna be an adventurer! Like in Skyrim!"
>I draw a massive dick in my notebook all over my background story while biting my lower lip until it bleeds

Two out of my three players are entirely combat spec'd. Because, I mean, fuck diversification.
>noncombat player is bored
>Him: "I'm gonna roll to play my flute"
>Me: "You sure? Ok."
>"...1 out of 100? Wow."
>"Crit fail. You blow into your flute, botching the note. It blows like a whistle. A really, really loud one."
>"That's it?"
>"Roll observe."
>"The entire bandit lair is alerted to your presence and they're rushing you."
>"We're in a bandit lair? That's bullshit."
>implying abandoned mines near major trade routes are anything but bandit lairs
>implying anybody here is trained in observe or lore or logic or Profession [Banditfucker]
The problem is that I absolutely love these guys and they actually enjoy playing. I just want to make them into more rounded players that can roleplay decently. But I feel like a smug asshole whenever I try.
yeah no
I always play with the same people, and surprisingly it gives variated results
>Enjoy playing with my childhood friends
>Hate GMing, it's always really stressful for me
>Stuck forever being the GM, because I'm the only one in my group who's willing to put in the work to get shit done in a timely mannner, organize the group, and work with players to get a session ready
>If not for me running the shit, we would all probably be too lazy to even play
>Everyone else is fine with this status quo because apparently they all like me as a GM and my sessions are ussually fun and interesting.
>While I appreciate this, all I want inside is for someone else to take over and give me a break.
>Tell player "saturday, 6pm" multiple times
>Literally go to the gym with him daily. Repeat it
>Day of, say it again in group chat to all players
>"Whoa what? You said sunday. We are going to see a shitty B slasher flick tonight. We cant make it!"
Next week:
>"Wait what? You guys played even though you still had 4 players and just I didnt show????"
Try playing in another group while simultaneously GMing this one?
Sounds like it could be either a dream or a nightmare.
I gave my players a narrative choice between two campaign goals (which could both be completed in either order, didn't give any indication that they were time-sensitive) and they argued for two 5 hour sessions straight.
Now I just put them on rails and pretend like they're being given options.
That's just bad GMing. You don't let your players sit there for five fucking hours, two sessions in a row, debating something that's completely pointless. Assuming a standard schedule, you just wasted two weeks of your group's time when you could have just resolved that in 5 minutes by explaining that it's not as serious as they're making it out to be.

Maybe you just have a special group of retards, but I can't see myself allowing my group to do something that pointless. It just doesn't make sense as a GM.
I had to accelerate a DH campaigns ending by two sessions due to scheduling issues and I really feel like I dropped the ball on several occasions, most notably in unresolved plotlines (it was quite a rp, intrigue based mission.) But even though it was damn close to railroading at times (at least I thought so) my players seemed to like it
Oglaf's overthinking comic is so spot on it hurts. My players once argued for 4 straight hours wether or not something they ALREADY did (they knocked a guy out instead of killed them), was the right choice or not. then it went to blame, then alternatives, then to contingencies for the apocalypse. All in character. I had to throw a random event at them to shut them up.
>painstakingly craft audio playlists/soundtracks for the session, for each encounter, location, etc for immersion
>no one says anything
>ask them for feedback post session
>"oh did you have music playing? my computer's muted, i was listening to some video game ost"
>Be foreverGM for a group of lazy fucks
>"Guys, session is scheduled for [time]"
>Tell them for two weeks (we only play 1-2 times a month)
>Day of, one guy tells me he can't get time off work and another one bails
>Put in a huge amount of work, players don't care
>Ask for feedback, get "eh, whatever, I don't really pay attention anon"

If I didn't enjoy the creation process, I'd kill them all and not even think twice. Fuck being a foreverDM, fuck shitty friends who don't fucking do anything, fuck having to provide food/drinks/snacks while also DMing, fuck people, seriously.
>tell friends about RPG.
>friend always wanted to play a game.
>first few weak we circle around, each one being the DM.
>my turn to DM, constantly come up with shit out of thing air.
>friends loved me as a DM.
>can't never play because everyone only wants to play when i say i will be the DM.
>tfw forever DM.
>tfw i love it.
>tfw when i'm always afraid to make a bad game and loose my group.
No one asked you for this and you didn't said anything about doing it. You have just yourself to blame.
I'm weaving four prewritten adventures into a vencan conspiracy city mega dungeon. Wish me luck
Introduce a common enemy or opposing nation so that they have to band together and stop the evil

>damn, nigga it's been too long
>gettin too old for this shit, nigga
>the gangs all here
>just like the old days
>enemy horde slowly marches over the hill
>lets. fucking. do this.
Yes, we either have the game where everyone shines despite have completelty diferent characters or we have a TPK in 40 minutes

Remember, guys, to regularly prune bad players. No player is better than a bad player. They spoil moods, waste the DM's energy, and contribute nothing to the game.

Encourage ideas from your better players. Let them in on how you do what you do when they show enough interest to run a game.
Nobody trusts you, Frank
You're a piece of shit
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>one of my players thanks me for GMing
My heart can't take this
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>nothing important
The build up is important anon. It's just not exciting

cuck yourself
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