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Old 02-22-2012, 07:37 AM
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The PBP Game Master Guide

Volume 3: The Game Master Guide




Thematic Music

"Artists should always think of themselves as cosmic instruments for storytelling."

This series of articles is intended to help new GMs (Game Masters) learn the craft of GMing. While it is built for GMs, players will likely find most of the information in here incredibly valuable to their playing experience as well.

This guide does not specifically cater to any one particular game system, but rather covers universal concepts, development of core skills and the integration and use of resources specific to PbP gaming at rpgcrossing.com. Veteran GMs will find much of this a review, but will likely discover many tips and tricks to make their games run smoother.

Articles List:

Note: Articles are intended to be viewed in consecutive order
rpgcrossing.com has a proud tradition of helping new gamers and GMs with both broad and specific topics. If you have a question or problem that relates to GMing or an issue in your own game, visit the DM Screen, where many skilled GMs will be happy to help you with your unique challenge.

If you would like to learn more than just the basic core GM skills in this guide, consider an apprenticeship in the PBP GM Academy where you will learn much more, in greater depth, and gain hands on experience in a controlled learning environment with a team of experts at your disposal.
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Last edited by Quori; 02-07-2013 at 09:17 PM. Reason: Updated EE Links
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:43 AM
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Becoming a Game Master


Ready to try your hand at becoming a Game Master? You're in the right place.

What is a GM?
 

Game Master Role
 

Gaming Groups, Adventures, Campaigns and Game Worlds
 

Prerequisite skill sets for PbP GM's
 
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Last edited by WoLT; 04-09-2013 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Updated EE Links
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:44 AM
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System Choices


"Good advice is to seek a group that makes you feel welcome and with whom you have fun. The best system in the world is worthless without a good group of people to play with."

Most GMs are already familiar with one type of system as a player, and at first it's generally best to stick with the system you know. But if you haven't decided yet, or are looking to expand your options as a GM, listed below are the top used systems on RPGX, the more popular ones containing a brief description.

In some cases, it may be more prudent to determine the appropriate setting first and let that decide which system you will use, though any system can be adapted to fit a setting, and many systems are designed to be universal, not requiring adaptation rules.

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the following systems:

D20 System - Dungeons & Dragons, Mutants and Masterminds, Star Wars Saga, D20 Modern, Pathfinder
 

GURPS System - Generic Universal Role-Playing System (GURPS) can be applied to any setting.
 

Storyteller System - World of Darkness (NWoD, OWoD), Scion, Exalted
 

Other popular systems you may enjoy:
  • Roll and Keep System - 7th Sea, Legend of the 5 Rings
  • Cortex System - Serenity, Supernatural
  • TRI-Stat System - Big Eyes Small Mouth(BESM)
  • Unisystem - All Flesh Must Be Eaten
  • Basic Role Playing System - Call of Cthulhu
  • Megaversal System - RIFTS Robotech, TMNT, Ninjas and Superspies, Heroes Unlimited, Palladium
  • Fantasy, Recon, Nightbane, Chaos Earth, Dead Reign, Splicers, Mechanoids
  • Fate System - Dresden Files, Spirit of the Century
  • FASERIP System - Marvel Superheroes
  • Warhammer System - Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Deathwatch, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay(various editions)
It's my first game, which system should I use?

Without knowing anything about you as a game master, your play style or what kind of game you want to run, consider running a typical fantasy setting game with Pathfinder. All of the rules are and legallyfreely available online here in a conveniently organized wiki to you and all your potential players. Pathfinder is also quite backwards-compatible with D&D 3.5 source materials; D&D being the largest RPG system franchise, 3.5 being it's most popular edition to date. Pathfinder is also pretty easy to pick up and it's not too rules heavy or too rules light, but about somewhere in the middle of the road.

While other systems may prove to be stronger in some areas or preferred by opinion, Pathfinder is easily the best choice for a brand new GM that isn't sure where to start. It is recommended however, that you not allow any 3rd Party Products or Monster Races as Players in your first game.

If you get through the GM manual but still have trouble creating a game idea and are in fact using pathfinder, consider trying Hollows Last Hope which is a free and very well reviewed adventure for level 1 characters or join the PBP GM Academy.
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Last edited by WoLT; 04-09-2013 at 06:26 PM. Reason: Updated EE Links
  #4  
Old 02-22-2012, 07:44 AM
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Gaming Tools and Resources


When physical, mental and digital resources are focused, one's power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously.

While there is literally too many resources to list the first and best advice is to always ask google for what you want. More often than not what you are looking for is available freely and legally for the asking.

This compilation helps highlight a few of the better reviewed resources.

Name Generators

Mapping Tools

Thematic Music Artists for Fantasy Settings
 

Other Useful Products for GMs

Quick Battle Map Tutorial
 
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Last edited by WoLT; 05-28-2012 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:45 AM
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GM Writing Exercises


An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.

Foreward
 

Set the scene
 

Dialog
 

Combat Writing
 

NPC Character Sketches
 

Creating Believable Settings
 

Plot Devices
 
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Last edited by Quori; 02-07-2013 at 09:21 PM. Reason: Updated EE Links
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:46 AM
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World Building


Eternity is in love with the productions of time.

Introduction
 

Brainstorm
 

Draw a Map
 

Content Creation
 

Wiki Organization
 

Game Preparation
After a lot of work, you finally have a homebrew game world. The next step is to work on the basic outline of the your campaign and populate it with adventures.
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Last edited by WoLT; 04-09-2013 at 06:27 PM. Reason: Updated EE Links
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:47 AM
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Writing Campaigns, Adventures and Encounters


Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure.

Introduction
 

General Gaming Advice
 

Play to the Audience
 

Dramatic Structure
 

Common Conflict Types
 

Popular Narative Devices
 

Rules of Writing
 

HLS Format
 

Starting the Game

You have your plot and starting adventure, now what? Find out more HERE.
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Last edited by Quori; 02-07-2013 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Updated EE Links
  #8  
Old 02-22-2012, 07:48 AM
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Setting up your new game forum


In successful organization, no detail is too small to escape close attention.


Being organized as a GM is key to saving time and being productive. Though each GM and game will have different needs, setting up your forum efficiently will help keep navigation clicks to a minimum for players and GM's. If you are unsure how to create your game, please see HERE.

What Kinds of threads should I have?
  • OOC Thread - This thread is for players and readers to interact OOC (Out of Character). It might have to do with a specific game question, it might have to do with someone telling the group they need a leave of absence, or it might just have to do with some personal news like someone telling about how they got a new video game or otherwise. The point of this thread is to keep your adventure threads free of a lot of unnecessary tangents and chatter.
  • House Rules - House rules are any modifications to the game system standard rule set that you are using. This list will likely grow alongside the game to accommodate new circumstances that crop up. List all house rules in this thread if you have them. If you don't have any yet, you will likely adopt some over the span of a long game.
  • GM Notes (GM only private thread) - Keep all of your notes handy in the main thread group. This can be plans or ideas or just things you want to remember. Although you can always go back and check the records of the game, as your game grows, having your own thread to edit becomes an increasingly more attractive option than tracking down which thread and which page a particular series of posts is on.
  • IC Adventure Thread - Keep the current active IC (In Character, or adventure) thread in the main thread group. It is recommended you number your adventure threads for the purpose of archive keeping or use some other system (Book 1: Act 1: Scene 1) so that readers and potential new players can easily navigate through the old story.
  • Locations and NPCs - Keeping public notes of major NPCs and locations in your world - as one or many threads - will help both you and the players remember who is who and what is what. This is especially important when the world is homebrew. Once such threads become long enough that they're just as difficult to wade through as the game threads, consider moving your game information to a wiki if you have not already. Use spoiler tags if you have large chunks of information and images for multiple entries.
  • Characters - To minimize PM communication between players and GMs, it's helpful to give each player a private thread. Such threads are used for character specific mechanical issues, the digital version of passing notes to the GM, awarding experience or other rewards, and other concerns the player or GM might not want to discuss publicly with the entire group.
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Last edited by Insacrum; 04-27-2012 at 12:23 PM.
  #9  
Old 02-22-2012, 07:48 AM
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Writing a Game Ad


Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image.

Forward
 

Game Advertisement Format
 

Live Example
 

Interview Questions
 

Selecting Your Players
 

Inviting Your Players
 
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Last edited by WoLT; 04-09-2013 at 06:27 PM. Reason: Updated EE Links
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:49 AM
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Post Formating Tips and Tricks


Our presentation is the measure of our capabilities.


This Article is written for the purpose of providing precise examples of how the formatting will look and be coded. You may of course experiment with your own methods of coding, but this provides a handy guide for learning some basic tricks Players and GMs can use to dress up their posts. These are only suggestions and many GMs will differ in precise format for any number of reasons, ask your GM.

As always, presentation counts as a Player and a GM. Taking the time to write out a beautiful segment of flavor text will fall short of its potential if it doesn't look good as well.

White Space
 

Pictures
 

Mood Music
 

Mood/Foreshadowing Text
 

Choosing text color
 

Private Tags
 

Inflection:
 

Nice and Tidy
 

For more information about VBcode, please go HERE.
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Last edited by WoLT; 03-19-2013 at 09:18 PM. Reason: Updated EE Links
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:50 AM
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Running the Game


"A GM can run any game as long as he knows where to find the rules for what his players want to do."
--Ancient GM Proverb

Introduction
 

Do I need a (Co-GM) Mentor?
 

Posting Procedures and Dealing with Absence
 

Be Prepared
 

A Cave, A Con, A Troll
 
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Last edited by Quori; 02-07-2013 at 09:30 PM. Reason: Updated EE Links
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:51 AM
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Game Rescue


Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer; into a selflessness which links us with others.

Introduction
 

Requesting a Game Rescue
 

Offering a Game Rescue
 

Performing a Game Rescue
 

Player Communications
 
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Last edited by Quori; 02-07-2013 at 09:32 PM. Reason: Updated EE Links
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:43 AM
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Congratulations on completing the GM Guide!

If you are interested in becoming a GM for Eternity's End, please continue HERE or consider starting your own game.
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Last edited by WoLT; 04-09-2013 at 06:28 PM. Reason: Updated EE Links
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