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Matt Richard
11 February 2002, 06:31 PM
I will start asking quesitons to all GM's to share. Hopefully, this will be a way for new GM's to gain advice, or for older, more experienced GM's to get new ideas. They will be titled: GM Convention.:p

The first question:
What is the biggest mistake:( you as a GM have made?

My response to this question is when I was playing D6 rules. Being an impatient GM, I quickly scanned the rules, missing a lot of them. There were a lot of times when the players would roll more dice than they should have, and things really got unbalanced. Then, when I re-read the rules, I started doing things right, and we had more fun:D .

Again: What is the biggest mistake you as a GM have made?

Corsair
11 February 2002, 07:16 PM
Its hard to know EVERYTHING as GM.

Often .. stuff is missed. Well .. I made a bit of a mistake:

I was not doing my roll checks properly. :o 8o

This kinda allowed the PCs in the game to be very successful, where I wanted them to be challenged (and fail one or two times).

Anyway, after reading up a bit more, I know what difficulties to set now. Heh. I cant be too lenient.

Grimace
11 February 2002, 07:29 PM
My biggest mistake was taking on too many players in a game session. I used to be able to not tell people "No".
So I ended up running a game (not Star Wars, but still a RPG) with 12 players!8o

As a word of advice to new GMs, don't be afraid to tell people "Sorry, I can't handle that many players, you'll have to wait until next time." If you don't, you'll get overwhelmed very quickly with players, and may pick up a fear of running games. Stick with what feels comfortable to you, be it two, four or six players.

Kobayashi_Maru
11 February 2002, 07:46 PM
My biggest mistake was not knowing when enough is enough or not nowing when to say NO.

Early off as a GM I let things get way too out of hand.
Don't ever let a Book of Life into a game!!!!!!!!! :D

Rigil Kent
11 February 2002, 07:52 PM
Actually, I think my primary mistake was in overestimating the players. For some absurd reason, I keep expecting them to be subtle and they never are...

I wholeheartedly understand Grimace's point and have actually had to state several times recently that two of the new players WILL NOT be able to play in my upcoming game. When they ask why, I simply inform them that I have no intention of running a group with 9 people in it. Seven is pushing it for me...

Overpreparation is another of my problems. I can be very...retentive when it comes to adventures (although I've got a player who puts me to shame.) And then, of course, you get angry 'cause they decide that they'd rather watch the pretty Twi'lek dancing girl instead of go get into a fight...

loudanddeep
11 February 2002, 08:17 PM
One big mistake I made once was not letting a party get killed by there own stupid mistake.
I had even warned them...
Of course, it would have wiped out the whole party....

I really hate games where the party does not have choices, and they get cattle prodded into action, almost rendering them npcs.
That causes me to sometimes give my party TOO many options, and no clear direction.
:(
I am working on it.
I think there is a fine line.

dp

ALFRED_THE_EWOK
11 February 2002, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by Grimace

So I ended up running a game (not Star Wars, but still a RPG) with 12 players!8o



Holy McChrist Man!! 8o I have problems getting two players to show up for a game, and it seems you guys got 'em coming out of the woodwork.

Gulmyros
11 February 2002, 10:58 PM
My biggest mistake was more a series of the same mistakes.

I gave the PCs too much cool stuff. I didn't have a head for game balance yet, and before I knew it the trigger happy blaster man had a personal weapon that could punch holes in starfighters....

Yeah, we had to get rid of that! :)

After a while it became apparent that things were amuck, so we put those characters on the shelf into semi-retirement and started over. That was easier than trying to undo all the damage that was already done.

The second run at it was much more successful.

Wade Trenor
11 February 2002, 11:11 PM
Being too lenient caused troubles in the few games that I GM'd. Questions such as "Do I have to use the Medpac now?" got "No, but he won't live without assistance in the next few minutes."
They always put it off until just after that last minute. Alternatively, "So what if we go the other way?" "All your friends will die, but you get a million credits." led to way too many deaths. You need to have solid repurcussions that keep the PCs in line.

Another friend of mine got a little petty, and "... all of a sudden two guys with bandoliers full of thermal detonators appear..." He wasn't the most popular GM we've had.

Lord Diggori
12 February 2002, 01:21 AM
I'd say I have problems in keeping things moving especially when rules questions are brought up. As a player I always hated GMs summarily barring actions before listening to the description of how they could work. So as a GM I discuss rules interpretation too long sometimes in an effort to appear fair. This slows down games considerably.

Random Axe
12 February 2002, 06:59 AM
My biggest mistake has been in not keeping the characters "hungry". Giving away too much money or making too much riches available, leads the characters to have too much stuff and then they start expecting more and more payment each time they take on a mission. Money loses its meaning once you give them too much of it.

DirkGreystoke
12 February 2002, 10:24 AM
The first question: What is the biggest mistake you as a GM have made?

Well, that is easy...having a time travel adventure. By the time we got through half of it, it was so confusing that we all sat down for 4 hours just to think of a way out..let alone stopping the Empire. It is a bag of worms that I will never open again.

Also, I have learned to be cautious as to what I allow players to have. Ten years ago I told a player he could not make a double-bladed lightsaber since they aren't in star wars. Now I will never hear the end of it.

Jak Knife
12 February 2002, 10:35 AM
My biggest problem as GM is by far expecting the players to react in the same manner as I would, they rarely do. Instead they do something comepletely off the wall and it leaves running things more off the cuff then I want. In turn they then get away with stuff they shouldn't. Example: just recently I had the entire party trap inside a detention center with twenty troops and eventaly 40 zero-g troopers who happened to be in the area. All this was brought on because instead off being rather subtle and sneaking out of this mine encampment which was rather small, they started some strong arm tactics such as bar fights and security guard shooting. Being a small totally enclosed facility, it wasn't long before more capable authorities arrived. It went in a downward spiral tell the only reasonable thing to do was kill the entire party. The only thing that save them was a force adept used illision with the assistance of calling on the darkside (illision itself doesn't give a DSP but to pull something like this off I needed some penalty) So they got out of this situation they had no right getting out of. (they still aren't completely out of it cause they are still trapped in this encampment with no way out cause it is under lock down)

But my point being I didn't apply party thinking to the situation but my own. If I had I could have cut the progression off sooner and not let it get to far gone (of course this party has a deathwish so may I couldn't have) or at least had more prepared in this direction so I could have really socked it to them.

Dr_Worm
12 February 2002, 11:44 AM
Wel l also have made the mistake of expecting characters to think like me. In the past few years I have added mysteries and crime drama's to my library of interest, and they have inpired me to make my advetures more mystereous. What I learned was that even when I was using classic cliche's I had problems getting the players to follow the line of clues that I had hidden for them. I had one instance when I was playing James Bond (by Victory Games) where the player found himself in a bar. Well I figured he would do the cliche thing and sit at the bar and chat up the bar tender, so that was the only way I planned for the reveal of key information. He however did just about everything you can do in a bar besides chat up the staff, and I ended up have to drop the information uncerimoniously in his lap.

I was not his fault it was mine. I learned that I need to provide a looser frame work for the players to move through. Now I basically write a GM outline of the relevant information with plot and progression points, and a list of the key NPC's (though this is flexable) and let the players figure it out in the style that suits them.

Talonne Hauk
12 February 2002, 12:51 PM
The biggest mistake I've made as a GM was rewarding my players with cool stuff and then taking it away the next session. It was justified in my mind to do that because they were only in need of it for the one instance, but I should handled it differently, by making it a one shot item, or handing it out in the form of a loaner, what have you. I've learned since then, and now it's onwards and upwards to even more spectacular blunders!

Rigil Kent
12 February 2002, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by DirkGreystoke
Also, I have learned to be cautious as to what I allow players to have. Ten years ago I told a player he could not make a double-bladed lightsaber since they aren't in star wars. Now I will never hear the end of it.

Snicker. I did the same thing. One of my friends was playing a Jedi and desperately wanted one after having read the TotJ comic. At the time, I was convinced that they were silly with a capital S so I barred it. Fast-forward to Episode I trailer. When Maul ignites the double blade, you could hear me "cooooool...." Although the player has since moved, he gives me crap everytime we talk.

Of course, when his character came back as a villain, he carried a double-bladed saber so it worked out. :)

Gulmyros
12 February 2002, 04:56 PM
From Jak Knife...
But my point being I didn't apply party thinking to the situation but my own. If I had I could have cut the progression off sooner and not let it get to far gone (of course this party has a deathwish so may I couldn't have) or at least had more prepared in this direction so I could have really socked it to them.One thing I have learned (and started to really understand, too) from GMing one game while playing in others -

The answer to the riddle or puzzle is always SO obvious - when you already know the answer.

How many times did I do something my GM thought was stupid or rediculous? "Didn't you get the hint?" he'd ask. "Don't the clues make sense?" And no, they didn't, unless you knew what they were supposed to mean.

On the flip side, I've learned that just because I think something's obvious doesn't mean my players will get it. So I have to be prepared to go in new directions when the party does something I wouldn't do in their shoes.

It's a fine line to walk, I tell ya!

DirkGreystoke
12 February 2002, 05:19 PM
Snicker. I did the same thing. One of my friends was playing a Jedi and desperately wanted one after having read the TotJ comic. At the time, I was convinced that they were silly with a capital S so I barred it. Fast-forward to Episode I trailer. When Maul ignites the double blade, you could hear me "cooooool...." Although the player has since moved, he gives me crap everytime we talk.

Good. I feel better now. What happened to me was one of my players, who is also my best friend, and I were watching an episode of the first MS Gumdam cartoon series. In one of the scenes Sha Aznoble has a double bladed beam saber {essentially a giant lightsaber} and for almost a decade he begged me for a double-bladed lightsaber. Like you, I said no. Then I had to eat my words when the Episode I trailer came out. I will never forget what he said to me. "Can I have a two bladed lightsaber? You know, like the ones in STAR WARS?" But like you Gully, I redeemed myself. The character returned much later as a Jedi Master with a double-blade blue lightsaber. But he still gives me crap too. I wonder if Lucas realized the hurt he was gonna cause us Gms?

Matt Richard
12 February 2002, 09:27 PM
I didn't think so many people would respond to this post. Im sure all of the advice you have given will help new GM's. Now, Ill have to come up with a new question. Keep responding, its fun reading some "GM Bloopers":D

Gulmyros
12 February 2002, 10:09 PM
It's fun to see how many people had the same pitfalls, more or less. Kinda makes you wish somebody'd put out a GameMastering for Dummies book to get you going in the early days.

Fab
13 February 2002, 03:46 AM
Originally posted by Gulmyros
The answer to the riddle or puzzle is always SO obvious - when you already know the answer.

How many times did I do something my GM thought was stupid or rediculous? "Didn't you get the hint?" he'd ask. "Don't the clues make sense?" And no, they didn't, unless you knew what they were supposed to mean.

On the flip side, I've learned that just because I think something's obvious doesn't mean my players will get it. So I have to be prepared to go in new directions when the party does something I wouldn't do in their shoes.

I couldn't agree more. When creating an adventure it all seems to make so much sense, but the players sometimes see things from a different perspective.

One trick I use is to have another role-playing friend of mine who isn't in the game I'm running read over my stuff and let me know what he thinks, both as a GM and as a player. He can give me hints to add things I hadn't thought of, or to take things out if they serve no purpose, but most importantly he can let me know what he would do if he were a player. If I see him starting to go off on a tangent I never thought of I either find a way to close off that tangent or else write something up which will cover that tangent if and when my PCs go that way.

BrianDavion
13 February 2002, 07:42 AM
well with the double bladed lightsabre it is obvious to me it's pretty much only a Sith thing, I doubt I'd let any Jedi carry it (they'd have to find a sith holocran and they'd get a few DSP for their efforts:)

Talonne Hauk
13 February 2002, 08:17 AM
Kinda makes you wish somebody'd put out a GameMastering for Dummies book to get you going in the early days.

Gully, I think you may have found your calling.:D

reliant
13 February 2002, 09:47 AM
My biggest mistake? Since I have only completed one gaming session as a game master (being new to GMing entirely) I'd say my biggest mistake was not having a good enough handle on the rules and also making sure the players understand them. I thought I knew most of the rules that I needed to know (because no one can know them all) but situations came up where some rules were called into question and I had to "fly by the seat of my pants" to get an acceptable answer. Since I have modified some of the rules to be more game friendly and also I have been working to make sure that I know what's what so I can explain it to the players...


------------------------------------------------
"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." Mark Twain

FallenAngel
13 February 2002, 12:20 PM
The biggest mistake ive ever made as a GM is making the characters too powerful too soon... in DNd, ive been known to give ability increasing items at disgustingly low level,s and various things like that. in response, i had to make the enemies far stronger, and my entire plotline went askew. watch out for it, freinds.

Donovan Morningfire
13 February 2002, 12:27 PM
Biggest mistake I've seen GMs make is thinking they are beyond ever making a mistake :D

Seriously, a lot of the mistakes I made were early on ones, when I first started GMing.

As to the proposed GameMastering for Dummies, it'd be a fairly short book:

Rule #1) The GameMaster is ultimately, always right
Rule #2) When the GameMaster is occasionally wrong, refer to rule #1
:D

Gulmyros
13 February 2002, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by Donovan Morningfire
As to the proposed GameMastering for Dummies, it'd be a fairly short book:

Rule #1) The GameMaster is ultimately, always right
Rule #2) When the GameMaster is occasionally wrong, refer to rule #1
:D Well, that would certainly thin out THIS thread, wouldn't it? :D

Matt Richard
13 February 2002, 05:55 PM
Can I PLEASE take what we have said here on this boards, put them in a file (arranging them to be pretty and all that) and then submitt it to DLOS as a compilation mini-supplement? I of course would everyone who wrote something.

I never would have guessed that somany people would respond.

So, is that ok with everyone if I submitt an arangment of what you see here to DLOS?:D

Jak Knife
14 February 2002, 04:20 AM
Originally posted by reliant
My biggest mistake? Since I have only completed one gaming session as a game master (being new to GMing entirely) I'd say my biggest mistake was not having a good enough handle on the rules and also making sure the players understand them. I thought I knew most of the rules that I needed to know (because no one can know them all) but situations came up where some rules were called into question and I had to "fly by the seat of my pants" to get an acceptable answer. Since I have modified some of the rules to be more game friendly and also I have been working to make sure that I know what's what so I can explain it to the players...


------------------------------------------------
"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." Mark Twain

This doesn't sound like a mistake to me, it sounds like you handle the situation right. As a player I get caught up in following the rules, but as a GM I worry less about the rules and more about the flow of the game. Now I realize that the times as a player I was caught in the rules is when I wasn't having fun and getting annoyed with the GM. As a GM, I now run a fast, loose game while remaining as consistant as possible. If I say something one week, then it is true the next even if it was not exactly right. Now blanent wrong (which I am completely capable of making) I correct, specially if the players bring it up to me. Believe me the players will make sure you know and follow the rules. That is not an excuse not to learn them, but you don't have have them memrorized word for word enless you like to run a very technical game.

Lord Byss
14 February 2002, 06:41 AM
Man, this is starting to sound like a self help group :( . Anyway I created a Goroth camapign in d6 and gave the players total freedom. They had been plaing command type missions for over a year now and I thought I would let them set up a rebel cell and let them be their own masters. I gave them too much freedom.

What I thought would be a logical way forward seemed non-existant tto the players. Further proof that not everyone thinks like me :p . Anyway I would have thought they would cultivate contacts, gather info on occupying forces and gain allies with the already existing rebel movement of gorothites. However they complained that I threw them in the deep end (which maybe I did, as a player I would have loved that kind of camapign, but it wasn't their cup of tea). Anyway, after a few sessions of planning and arguing the party decided to do some trading to earn the rebel cell some money. Then it turned to book keeping. I eventually slapped them in the face with some unsubtle clues and gave them some commando style missions from their CO. Ever since then I have a phobia of giving my players total free reign of a situation just in case they sit there with their thumbs up their asses again. BUT, this is exactly what I have planned eventually. They are climbing the ranks quite nicely and Wing Commanders etc etc don't go on commando style missions, they delegate.

Lord Byss
14 February 2002, 06:49 AM
Originally posted by Matt Richard
Can I PLEASE take what we have said here on this boards, put them in a file (arranging them to be pretty and all that) and then submitt it to DLOS as a compilation mini-supplement? I of course would everyone who wrote something.

I never would have guessed that somany people would respond.

So, is that ok with everyone if I submitt an arangment of what you see here to DLOS?:D

Not sure about anybody else but I would love you to. Be sure to give us all a shout though when you are finished. Maybe you should compile this thread (big GM f**kups) with the other thread (best GM tricks) giving you a GMing SW for Dummies. It has a lot of potential Matt...

wolverine
14 February 2002, 12:44 PM
My list of the 3 biggest mistakes i have made..

1) in ad&dn 2nd edition. Not reading ALL THE SPELL description, and thinking of all the possible uses.
2) Giving too much sh** away, or to many 'cool' items
3) Allowing a player who knows more than me on a subject, to ram road over me in the game.

For a little elaboration on the last one.
Game was a Hunter type for Vampire/werewolf/hunter the reckoning. Players were a- human FBI agent, b-outcast werelion, c-outcast werewolf, d- human occult specialist, and e-ghoul. The player of the FBI character, has an uncle in the fbi, 2 cousins in the CIA, 1 grand parent in the CIA, 1 brother in the NSA, and 2 nephews in the Federal marchals. I had set them out at hunting a renagade mage who was using spells to kill people. THe regular aothorities were baffled, and i had things set out where they SHOULD HAVE used charcter interaction and skills to narrow down the suspects. THe FBI dude, just said he would use all his resources at the agency to get it done, then get all sorts of bugs, wires, tracking devices etc out into the top 4. He also badgered me when i tried to get him arested for 'murder' which was not OFFICIALLY in the line of his job, but broke out all sorts of rules.

The other time this happened, it was in a Twilight 2000 game, and one of the players was an ex marine, sniper. Needless to say, i got rattled again.

BrianDavion
14 February 2002, 01:50 PM
with the FBI guy what you should have just said was "they can't afford to give you any resources... budgeting problems"


if he says thats not realistic tell him "well neaither are werewolves and ghouls"


always remember in just about any type of game that the arguement for realism can be quickly shot down at most times:)

Matt Richard
14 February 2002, 02:34 PM
Dont forget to check out the player convention thread. That is if you have played (unlike me, who has never been a player, ive always been a gm).

Matt Richard
14 February 2002, 06:06 PM
ALERT!!! In twenty-four hours (10:10 Eastern, 7:10 Pacific), I will start to compile what you see hear into a mini-supplement to be published to DLOS (or I might give it into SWRPG Submissions, if this is something they would accept), so if you want yourself heard in the first edition of the GM Convention, you have twenty four hours. 8o 8o 8o

Wileama
14 February 2002, 07:44 PM
Lets see I think my number one mistake is that i don't actully have things though out enough. I have some cool single point ideas but i never spend enough time finishing them up. Then I've only just started to learn how to give the game some direction. Then I think it would be that I'm way to easy with my players. They get through battle so easily. Then I only just got the hang of the monitary system. That and made purchasing stuff way to easy some times. Like that Combat droid.... Now seriously there has to be a real market out there for the "dumbies guide to being a GM".

wolverine
14 February 2002, 10:55 PM
The problem i have had with using that type of statement, is that i have lost players over it.
Example #1. Gming a game of AD&D, one of the players is a Geologist/Gemologist, and was arguing with me that his PLAYER knowledge of something should over write his character knowledge on a subject, because role playing comes before ROLL playing. I finally said, that i am the gm, and for now until the current game is over, this is my decision, and it is final. He and 2 of his friends walked out. That left me with 3 people on a ship out in the middle of the Med to play games with.

Example #2. The guy i mentioned about earlier, would (when he GM'ed) listen to what a player had to say, and THEN make a ruling. WHen i Gmed, he just tried to push the envelope, but got all grumpy and pissy, when i made my calls, thretning to leave.

Talonne Hauk
14 February 2002, 11:47 PM
Geeze, Wolverine, that bites. (Groan for the bad pun.) But, in the long run, you were probably better off without those players, right? I know I've been undiplomatic at times with players, and losing them can kill an adventure, but it can also help, if they're the argumentative type. No one wants to be at an all night debate, which is probably why those other two guys left. That's another thing I've learned over time as a GM; pick your players carefully. But the most important thing I've learned is to always make sure there are enough munchies to go around.:p

Gulmyros
15 February 2002, 03:29 AM
Let me agree with Talonne. Better to game with 3 people and have fun than game with 6 people and spend the sessions arguing over rules interpretations all the time.

I like to have players who want to ENJOY the game whichever way the dice fall, rather than players who think they're trying to WIN the game...

Fab
15 February 2002, 03:44 AM
Originally posted by wolverine
Gming a game of AD&D, one of the players is a Geologist/Gemologist, and was arguing with me that his PLAYER knowledge of something should over write his character knowledge on a subject, because role playing comes before ROLL playing. I finally said, that i am the gm, and for now until the current game is over, this is my decision, and it is final. He and 2 of his friends walked out. That left me with 3 people on a ship out in the middle of the Med to play games with.

This guy was actually trying to make a case for meta-gaming and using role playing as his argument? That's like trying to make a case for raising the speed limit and citing all the deaths as a result of speeding accidents as part of the argument. You shouldn't have let him leave, you should have kicked him out first. That kind of attitude can kill the entire group, you're lucky you got rid of three bad apples before you ended up with the other three so disgusted that they weren't having fun and didn't want to play anymore.

I see where some have mentioned both that losing this jerk and his two buddies was better off in the long run (which it was) but that losing half the PCs in the middle of an adventure can crimp your style. Since this is a GM hint thread, what I would suggest doing at that point is immediately turning their characters into NPCs on the spot. If the player wants to leave, fine, but the character signed a contract, agreed to stick around, gave his or her word, etc. The player can come and go but the character stays. Play them as NPCs until such time as you can replace them with new PCs (who may or may not want to play that character) or kill them off (so that you as the GM don't have to play an overwhelming number of NPCs believably).

And another hint to would-be GMs, make sure you have your own copies of all your PCs character sheets. I use an Excel format I tweaked so that it's 99% formula driven. I have all PCs in this format, as well as important NPCs. It allows me to see their stats without having to ask them (and thus clue them in as to what I want them to roll for). It also helps when leveling up as you can prevent mistakes like not putting enough, or putting too many, skill points down. This will also allow you, in this case, when a player walks out and takes his character sheet with him, to simply whip out an Excel printout and continue the adventure without missing a single round. As soon as the front door closes behind the disgruntled player, you make your next round's rolls using him as an NPC.

I would only do this if the break is permanent. If the player is simply having a bad day, then replacing him as an NPC can be more trouble than it's worth. But if you're sure he's gone for good, why not?

wolverine
15 February 2002, 04:46 AM
Well, that may be true, as for throwing a person out. But how would you handle it, if he/she was only argumentative in a few cases, and where he/she ACTUALLY has a point to the argument......

Lord Diggori
15 February 2002, 07:08 AM
To me you got two options:

1. Appeal to the simplest logic first before GM authority. Explain to him ONCE that he's roleplaying ( playing a role) and he's a player character (playing a character), therefore his role is his character. If he tries to rebuff this talk to him later about his problem, maybe he keeps catching his girlfriend staring at you. *shrugs*

2. Dont be afraid to accept player input just because you're the GM. If it wont destroy your adventure/campaign let him know you'll take his suggestion under advisement. But dont take time out of the session to mull it over. The game is to be played.

BrianDavion
15 February 2002, 11:32 AM
a better trick would have been to change things and make some knowladge utterly useless..
one of your players is a gunsmith and says "ok I am playing a primative ewok but I am *describes the exact process a gun makes*

you simply say "sorry it doesn't work"

if he asks why simply tell him that physics work in your game a little diffrently.


if he argues tell him "a GM is essentially god, he can do whatever he wants, make any changes he wants, and bluntly put no need to stick to any real world truths... if I wish to rule that the world is flat, I can. if I decide that all your your real life knowladge does not apply to a fantasy world setting where things are diffrent that is fair... this game is not supposed to be realistic"

people who expect a game to be realistic.

even in the more "realistic" RPGs out there there are plenty of things that tend to be against the laws of physics etc.


seriously though, from the sounds of it this guy was simply a bad RPer.

some people seem unable to understand the differance between acting in and out of charcter...

a good example would be Darth Siderious/ Paplatine in a Rise of the Empire game...


I mean, it's rather OBVIOUS to most of us they are the same person (those of you who don't belive this and belive sidious is a diffrent person, hush for a moment please:)
and even if they aren't we all know that palpie is going to turn into the evil emperor evetually right?

well Imagine this, a Jedi char meets up with Palpie... and kills him right off the bat.

how is the GM going to react? well I'll tell you how, he's going to treat it the same way he would have if said Jedi suddenly cut down bob the super market manager for no reason. he's going to give a DSP.

why, because while you know this OOC, you don't know it IC, and the GM might have decided to play with history anyway.


anyway, sorry but meta game thinking is a teriable thing and I got ranting:)

Matt Richard
15 February 2002, 02:43 PM
The time (according to my clock) tells me you have only THREE HOURS AND TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES!!! to get yourself heard in the publication (still havn't decided whether to give it to DLOS or Submissions). Again, you have until 10:10pm eastern and 7:10pm pacific until I will not put your post in the mini-supplement/article.

Be advised, I will not simply copy and paste, I will go through, edit and arrange the posts, and if you said something that really doesn't work for the article, your voice wont be heard.

So again, THREE HOURS and TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES!!!

Matt Richard
15 February 2002, 08:40 PM
Just an anouncement regarding the arangment: I have decided to submitt it to DLOS, I have already started the compiling, and I should be done by tommorow, so expect it to appear on DLOS very soon.

darkvet
16 February 2002, 11:35 AM
My biggest mistake would be the same as Gulmyros(post #8), I rewarded my characters with way to much and let them advance way to quickly. Next thing I knew even the great Lord Vader was little match for them.
I have also learned not to be so easy on players, they don't have to win all the time, a little tragedy and heartache keeps things interesting.

Matt Richard
16 February 2002, 11:56 AM
An anouncement, I have submitted the GM Convention to Ryan Matheny of DLOS!:D :D :D It should be up in a couple of days. Check DLOS constantly for the update!

Fred Getce
16 February 2002, 04:55 PM
My only and biggest mistake (were talking taking newbie mistake to a whole new level) was when I ran AD&D, since that is the only game I actually had. I would award XP and treasure like it was going out of fashion in two hours. After maye two months of running Mystara in the D&D Basic set my characters had an approximate of 175,000 XP, four magical weapons, two suits of magiacl armor, two magical shields, 4 magical potions, 2 magical bags, three magical cloaks, plus each character type (Fighter, Mage, Cleric and Rogue) had magical items appropriate to their class. Fighters had the strongest magical swords from the GMs manual, Mages had Staffs of the Magi, Clerics had Mace of Disruption, Rogues had daggers of backstabbing. Plus each of them had a few thousand gold peices, plus about two dozen gems of different value, and at least something akin to their own stronghold (large manor houses, wizard towers, small keeps and castles).

Of course now I view myself as a executive GM.

My players say I am a killer GM just because I have racked up some pretty impresssive PC deaths in one game session (I believe three in one session).

My crede is "I'm not that bad!"
My players "Nah, at least you grease it up before you service the account" or "Ok, whose your personal tonight?".

Now I am serious, I AM NOT THAT BAD!

Matt Richard
17 February 2002, 09:13 PM
Despite the unfortunate mishap at DLOS, I did send my submission after all the files were lost and I have just received word from Ryan Matheny that it will be the next thing that will come up on DLOS.

Expect the second GM Convention soon!

Dr_Worm
17 February 2002, 09:46 PM
What is DLOS? Do you have a link to it?

I actually thought of something else (spurned by the last post). Another big mistake I have made is to rely on rolls and tables too much. As an example I GMed a AD&D game years ago and when it come to doling out treasure after a particularly nasty encounter I used the magic item table and rolled unbelevably good. The result was an intelligent two-handed sword +5 that was flaming and shot Fireballs (or something along those lines). I let the party have it because I rolled it up (luck of the draw) even though it was far too good an item for the level of the party. The same type of thing happened when I played D6 SW and I used the mishap tables too much instead of being a creative GM and tayloring my mishaps to move along the story. Dice have their place and so do tables, however their use should be used with discretion.

Matt Richard
18 February 2002, 08:44 PM
Dark Lords of the Sith=DLOS
http://starwars-rpg.net/dlos/index.html

Darth Bile
20 April 2002, 11:46 AM
lately it's been giving out too much stuff or for being too lenient with certain people in the game who throw fits when something doesn't go there way.

The Admiral
21 April 2002, 05:20 PM
I actually managed to pull one of my greatest mistakes last session.

In short, on Thursday night I managed to be just drunk enough that the appeal of the left-overs of the very nice chinese take away I'd had earlier managed to temporarily erase the part of my brain that deals with the inherrant dangers of reheating rice.

Consequently, a rather severe and agonising case of food poisoning hit twenty minutes prior to my players arriving.

Fortunately, I was only unable to warn one player, and my erstwhile housemate kept him merrily entertained anyway whilst I spoke to God via the ceramic Dei-o-phone.

I'd kick myself, but I'm pretty sure I suffered enough :-)

Dan Stack
21 April 2002, 07:29 PM
I don't know if these count as single mistakes - more changes that I needed to make in my GM-ing style.

The first big change I had to make was remembering that the players are the heroes of their game. For example, in a D&D game back in the early 90's I thought it'd be neat to have some characters from a former campaign show up to be mentors to the characters. That did not go over well at all. I've since learned that it doesn't matter whether it is "realistic" or not, when playing a heroic RPG (like Star Wars), the PCs are the heroes. If Luke Skywalker shows up in an adventure, it'd best either be for a few minutes of flavor/NPC interaction or so that the characters can rescue Luke. Luke had better not be there to show off how much better he is.

The second change I had to make in my style was opening up my GM style to be less linear and more imrovisational. I've given up my fear of winging adventures. In some ways it puts me in the same boat as the players in my game - I don't know what's going to happen next. But man it can be a challenge when they go way off-track of what I'd expected. However it has improved my games quite a bit as I no longer have an urge to shove the plot in the pre-ordained path I had laid out. Not that I seek anarchy in my adventures, but I've stopped thinkking of one path to success.

Jaggard
21 April 2002, 08:20 PM
Um ah well

When I first got the WotC rule book I got a game started and I ended up GM (I have never ever been a player. Anywho we played the example in the book. Well when the party was in the negociations to help out they almost instantly accepted the deal and only asked that they get to take any items they can get from the bad guys, and salvage rights to any damaged property.
I should have seen it coming.
By the end (they were great they allowed time for looking up the pertinant rules that we didn't quite get, namely the jumping and damage) They had an air taxi and at least one more vehicle, several blasters and a few other items. All told they had quite a haul (as they were not too worried about colateral damage). I thought it would be true to the story that the items they got (some damaged some not) are worth at least their used price and more for big items that have noteriety from the events. Then swindled them on a ship deal with a hutt. The bought a ship with the loot with enough left over for some very minor character building supplies. Their ship got them to another system and broke down in orbit. They had to call for help and did a great job of playing stir crazy poeple about to die in the void of space because of a stupid mistake they blamed on each other. They sold the ship for a fraction of what they got it for and ended up on a planet with enough money to last a week.
It worked out all right because they saw my first mistake of letting them have a lot of common items that they could sell for something better. I let them sell it and then they figured I'd let them pull one on me again by getting something like a ship at such an early level. Their mistake was counting on me to make another mistake (a common one, because people have trouble guageing currency, and values of items in another culture). And of course I pretended like that was my intent all along.

Darth Bile
22 April 2002, 06:26 AM
i've yet to get sick from reheating rice, so i don't know what the inherent dangers are admiral, this is the first time i've heard of someone getting sick reheating rice.

dgswensen
22 April 2002, 04:37 PM
I've made a few howlers in my day... not sure I could narrow it down to one, in fact, but here's some of the worst moments:

1) I ran a fantasy campaign for over three years, that ran no less than 55+ games. It was so huge I had one player who wanted to get a tattoo of a symbol from the game (he still does) and another who grew almost dangerously obsessed with it. However, I didn't want it to end, and kept stalling the Final Conflict, until one of my players up and moved away. She's promised to come back to finish the game (now that's a dedicated player!) but things don't look so good for that happening.

2) Fifteen minutes from the climax of one of my campaigns, one of my players -- who had a history of violent depression -- had an "attack" and acted out violently during the game. He broke a few of my things and stormed out of the house, disappearing for most of the next day. I don't know what I could have done differently to prevent that from happening, but that campaign died literally minutes from the end -- and I never went back. I really do regret that, as it was one of my best stories.

3) I once heroically killed off an NPC very near and dear to the hearts of my players. My two female players were actually in tears, and one of them -- my girlfriend -- called me all sorts of bad names for killing off one of her favorite characters. I caved, and a few episodes later "miraculously" brought the character back. It was embarrassing, no one liked it (except the girls), and then the character was sort of quietly retired. I still feel like a schmuck for giving in like that. The things we do for love, I guess.

reliant
23 April 2002, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by Darth Bile
i've yet to get sick from reheating rice, so i don't know what the inherent dangers are admiral, this is the first time i've heard of someone getting sick reheating rice.

You can get sick from re-heating rice? I have always just been lazy and ate it cold anyway but this certainly is disturbing news... Are you sure you didn't get sick from eating the leftovers that were with the rice? Old Chinese food certainly has made me (and many people I know) sick before, reheated or not.

The Admiral
23 April 2002, 11:23 AM
In danger of veering off topic;
I asked around the worldly wise (including a nurse, my mother and a former home economics teacher) and they all agreed, re-heating rice is BAD karma. On the other hand, i couldn't find any wisdom to that effect online. So I guess, you can take your chances. I know I'LL never be doing it again. :-)

Darth Bile
23 April 2002, 03:48 PM
i've always reheated my rice and had no bad side affects from it, guess i got a stomach of iron then, oh well, i know it's not good luck, cause if it wasn't for bad luck, i wouldn't have any luck at all, hehehe, and that is true, if any of ya knew what i was going through right now.:(
another problem is showing favoritism, specially with cerain person in my group right now.

Grimace
23 April 2002, 04:44 PM
Guys, could we please veer back on topic? As neat as the rice discussion is, this is a forum about GMs, not health issues.

Thanks.

Lord Diggori
26 April 2002, 07:35 AM
I think the most mistakes I've made have been related to not disclosing enough in-character knowledge. My SW players are way more often than not inferior SW fans, at least compared to me.
I'll assume they know something that they don't cause it wasnt in the original movies, was not explicitly conveyed, or the player simply forgot cause unlike me they dont watch the movies bi-monthly.

I lost an enitre party once cause a character jumped to lightspeed without plotting a course while in a planets gravity well. Luckily, for me as a GM, his PC wouldnt know anything about hyperdrives anyway (no astrogate ranks, no starship operations feat, but huge levels of repair and computer use) so it wasnt my fault for not disclosing important info. B)

Matt Richard
1 May 2002, 02:51 PM
Well, after months of waiting, my article, GM Convention can now be seen on DLOS!!! Check it out and tell me what you think.

VixenofVenus
3 May 2002, 12:52 PM
Biggest mistake as a GM ... we got way to big a group ... had a every other week type group with two different GM's running different games every other week ... and we had a few sub-par players who wouldn't pay attention because the game group was too large.

In my opinion ... 4-6 including the GM will be the largest groups I ever do in the future.

Korris
6 May 2002, 05:19 PM
Well I've made some biggies, but generally Ive learned from all of them. However recently I made...perhaps the biggest.

Ok the problem...I underestimated my players ingenuity.
Level 8 Soldier/3 elite trooper and Level 9 Jedi Guardian attempt a rescue of some rebel agents held captive on 'Devastator' Anyway they sneak onboard disguise up and head to the detention centre. Low and behold Darth vader was awaiting them having sensed the jedi.
The Player systematically shot Darth Vaders lightsaber and destroyed it in one shot, and taking out the 8 level 6 Stormtroopers and 4 level 6 Officers. Darth Vader narrowly escaped on 1 wound and 11 vitality left. (d20 system).

Maybe someone can help me with this...Shooting weapons out of peoples hands is getting a common recurrence. I assigned a -12 attack penalty which means that is is extremely difficult, however those natural 20's seem to show up at the best of times.

Dont get me wrong, its good fun for the players, and thats what is important. Although It seems that Im having a hard job giving them a challenge.

Lord Diggori
6 May 2002, 10:19 PM
Nat. 20's are uncontrolable, can't fault yourself for them. But defeating 12 decent level Imps and Vader is kinda amazing. Are you using overly simplistic tactics or are they tactical geniuses?

Korris
7 May 2002, 02:50 AM
Maybe a little bit of both. My players have all been roleplaying for 15 years with various of GM's, even bad Gm's.
It had got to the point where they had one GM that was insistant on killing them...dont ask me how, but it resulted in the players winning and the GM ripping his NPC character sheet in half and storming out of the house. LOL

Current tactics are 'combine fire' if theyre unable to hit the players anyway. Use smoke grenades and stun grenades.
Although one main rule I have altered is the critical hit system.
I keep the usual 'threat' range the same 'however the second roll should be within the threat range as well, instead of a normal hit. This reduces the amount of criticals, which makes encounters easier.
Call me what you will, but I think its unfair for a character to lose his life so easy.
Maybe they changed the system in the revised rules.
Oh and that reminds me, Armor...
Non of my players wear armor, theyre better off without it as its pretty pathetic with average to high level characters (and low level characters cant really afford the stuff that will make any difference)
I know theyve changed it, but what exactly have they done to it?
I heard one rule where it now combines with class bonus but doesnt give any advantage to defense, only damage reduction. Sounds very good and reasonable. Can anyone confirm this?

Forge1021
7 May 2002, 12:14 PM
My biggest mistake is letting two VERY different groups of gamers play in the same game. I have a small game group, 6 PCs, set in the NJO. Half of 'em are tried and true role-players. Guys who come up with bizarre class/race/bio combinations regardless of battle playibility. The other three are hack and slashers. It's tough to reconcile their playing styles, no matter how hard I try. I was in the middle of having them negotiate for safe passage of refugees with an independent planetary government when the hack-n-slashersran amok and tried to take on the approaching Vong in a hi-jacked ship. Combat had ended for like an hour, and the other guys got bored. That game ended REAL quick. Only one fist fight tho'.

Lord Diggori
7 May 2002, 03:28 PM
Korris,

The stats for armor are at the WOTC SW site. They let you keep the class bonus and yes armor is damage reduction now.

If you have two veteran PC's skilled at getting out of tough spots and you wont kill them then scenes like this will be repeated alot. If that's your style stick to it but I'm know to kill PC's as long as it's reasonable.

Have you tried combined fire set on stun? That could slow them down.

Korris
8 May 2002, 06:49 AM
Lord Diggori, thanks.
Got those stats now ;)

As for killing players...sure Ill kill them if they get stupid (In tthe d6 system a new character got surrounded by 8 stormtroopers and asked him to put down hi weapon...unfortunately he went on to try and shoot them, that was the end of him)
But in the end roleplay is all about fun, its hard to come to terms with characters dying, especially if you have played them for so long. Mybe Ive just lost far too many characters in the past that I really adored. Its not a nice feeling. Bah Im just a big sap ;)

Lord Diggori
8 May 2002, 07:34 PM
Hey I've been there too. I may have lost a total of 30 or so PC's in my decade of roleplaying. That's no small number i know. :D My PC's last a whole lot longer now. Yet, as long as I play them well I have no fear of PC death, and considering some GM's welcome it at times.

To me I see it as game versimulatude: without the great risk there can be no heroism. Your style works well, keeping the core cast is important. I do it myself sometimes, cut the players a break. But the shock of a sudden death really brings the plot to life ironically and the tone of the game gets serious like a real movie or novel.

Just my preference. Light-hearted games can be extremely fun too.

Korris
9 May 2002, 02:03 AM
Yeah thats true.
Generally as a rule of thumb I judge the character/roleplayer over the level of character.
Ive had one player who creates carbon copy characters everytime.
Another who seems to acquire top level imperial equipment (while being an independant - Stormtrooper II blaster carbines etc, StormCommando armor, and for a guy who cant modify armor...geeesh it put Boba Fetts armor to shame when I routinely checked his character sheet. Its these kind of people that get zero slack. However the true Hero is one who struggles with his own destiny, routinely develops his character from ingame experiences...Now thats the Player i look out for.
One of my players Id almost consider invulnerable through roleplay as opposed to game mechanics. He is such a good roleplayer, one of his Npc friends could die and he would really feel the grief and react to it. He once set of to Storm the Inquisition because his local Gunsmith got arrested by imperials because they knew he was connected to the player. Now thats what I call Black Hawk Down.

I think most people would agree that Gm's are sympathetic to Good well thought out chracaters and roleplayers, and perhaps indifferent to 'Gun Bunnies' and 'Stat Demons' Because after all, theyre just a series of numbers to that player, not a whole personality.