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Thread: Ask a GM: Introducing our Panel

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    Arrow Ask a GM: Introducing our Panel

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    Okay, it's time to get this show on the road. More than a month ago, I told you guys that we would be starting a new section called "Ask a GM." The purpose of new section is to be able to get advice from our panel of talented GMs. This could be anything from dealing with troublesome players, spicing up your game, how to outline a campaign, talking in funny voices to amuse your friends -- whatever. We may also field some specific system questions, but we may or many not have a GM who specializes in your specific system.

    For now, we're going to start out answering one question per week. So, please, get cracking with those questions. You should especially try to throw these guys a good curve ball on their first few questions

    It gives me great pleasure to introduce our GM Panel:

    Anaesthesia is DM with about two years under her belt and around 5 years as a player. Her games of choice are D&D 3e and Toons. One of the more unique things that Anaesthesia brings to the table is her experience with running play-by-post games. This is an area I could not advise on at all, so I'm happy to have an accomplished PBP GM with us. Ana's GM'ing style encourages her players to think things through and work as a team.

    cplmac (Patrick) comes to us with 17 years as a gamer and most of the past 9 years as a GM. He favors a fairly even balance of roleplaying and combat and views his sessions as much a social gathering as he does a game. His game of choice is Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Second Edition which he first started playing while with the 2nd Marine Division when he was over in Saudia Arabia during the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

    gdmcbride (Gary) first started gaming in the early 80s as a wide-eyed, completely oblivious nine year old. Whatever GM'ing is, he completely failed to get it at first -- think Monty Haul pre-teen fever dreams. At the age of twelve, Origins came to Dallas and he managed to talk his mom into buying him a badge. There he played his first serious game and his eyes were opened to the potential of the hobby. That was twenty-four years ago and he has been locked into the way of the GM ever since. He describes his GM style as, "First and foremost, fun now. Not fun later. Fun now." Gary's list of RPGs that he is familiar with is far to voluminous to list. If it involves dice, he's probably right on top of it.

    Grimwell (Craig) has been gaming since 1981 and really never stopped. He's a huge fan of the D&D stuff, but has dabbled with World of Darkness, Marvel, Conan, Top Secret, GURPS, and a horde of other systems he just can't remember at the moment. He's fond of games that are gritty and tough, but not impossible. Fun is more important than sticking to the rules, or reality. He considers gaming to be a good reason to get people together for some beer, BBQ, and general chatter; as well as high adventure.

    Farcaster (Robert A. Howard) - Robert has somewhere in the neighborhood of 19 years of GM'ing experience. Since his first disastrous experience with running a solo adventure straight from the Basic D&D Red Box in which he nearly insta-killed his first player character, he's been trying and trying again. At first, this was out of necessity, since most of the time his friends weren't willing to give the DMing thing a go. Now though, he's been in the GM chair so long, he just can't resign himself to just playing for very long. He is most familiar with D&D, but has also GM'd Star Trek in its various incarnations, World of Darkness (1st edition), Marvel Super Heroes, and a few others that he can barely remember.

    Robert also totally loves writing about himself in the third person...

    Webhead (Jordan) was first exposed to RPGs in 1995 and was decidedly GMing his own adventures within weeks, even though he had no access to, or understanding of, any "game rules". Hopelessly fascinated and eager to tell exciting stories, his obsession with role playing games has lost no potency with age. These days, he has dabbled in dozens of different genres and game systems in pursuit of those games that bring to most joy to his game table. His wanderings have slowly begun to settle as he refines his notions of what, in his mind, makes for "good" RPGs, but that still constitutes a staggeringly vast array of games that he just can't bring himself to give up on.
    Robert A. Howard
    Pen & Paper Games
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    DM?

    I would like to know... how do i get on the panel of The Justice league of DMs... lol
    I started playing in the late 70s when it was called chain mail... lol... yes i'm old... but i love the game... it is what i do... and makeing a better game it what i strive for... thanks... let me know... if the number is fixed... no worries... awesome site never the less... i'm here... it goes away... or something better comes along... lol but i doubt that...
    holla!


    ZTORM!!!

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    Z, we had an open invitation to apply to be on the GM panel that closed a week ago. For now we're set, but we'll probably have open spots on the panel at sometime in the future as well. If so, we'll open it to an application process as we did before. Still, feel free to post your input and advice on questions after we've posted them.
    Robert A. Howard
    Pen & Paper Games
    Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Just wanted to say "welcome all." It wouldnt surprise me if i call on you for an answer from time to time.

    Thoth-Amon

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    I forgot about Chainmail. That goes back a bit. I was introduced to Chainmail from a Vietnam Vet. That was before D&D came out and D&D was an advancement in gaming (thanks Gygax and gang).

    I'm old school. Questions are presented to the DM. I never got that GM in my head. Of course, the button reads "Chaotic Evil DM"...

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    I have a question about Modern D20 SRDS. I am starting a new group that will play by post once we figure out everything about the world I created and find a system that fits. My question is do any of you DM's have any suggestions on what Modern system I should use if I want to have players use guns and drive vehicles? The campaign is zombie based. The world became infested within a month to the point where there is only 10% amongst the living left in the entire world. Thanks for any insight!!!

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    how do we post a new question to you, I couldn't start a new thread. I'll post it here just in case.

    I've never GMed before but I'm in Korea and there are only 2 other guys interested in playing. Would you have any tips for gaming with a group of 2? I've heard it's possible to have a fun game even 1 on 1 but I've never played a successful (i.e. fun) game with less than 4 players before. I tried to GM a game for my brother and sister which failed quickly but I think I'm ready to try my hand at GMing again if I can figure out how the 2 person group will work.

    Thanks

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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kidd View Post
    how do we post a new question to you, I couldn't start a new thread. I'll post it here just in case.

    I've never GMed before but I'm in Korea and there are only 2 other guys interested in playing. Would you have any tips for gaming with a group of 2? I've heard it's possible to have a fun game even 1 on 1 but I've never played a successful (i.e. fun) game with less than 4 players before. I tried to GM a game for my brother and sister which failed quickly but I think I'm ready to try my hand at GMing again if I can figure out how the 2 person group will work.

    Thanks
    It depends on your friends but i would suggest each play two characters, making it twice the fun.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    Like our resident Arch Lich said, "you could have each person play two characters." Another option would be to have them each play a dual classed character. One could play a fighter/cleric type combination while the other plays a mage/thief combination.

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    I've done 1 on 1 sessions... and they can be great for getting plot done with out it being the whole groups burden of player knowlege,,, as for the 2 on 2... very do-able... remember your are not just the DM your a player too.... The DM runs all the worlds NPCs... that is known... but try making a DMPC i like to call them... they are you personal character... to round out the group and help the players in the campaign...
    Be sure to build the character just as they would build theirs with them would be even better... If you the kind of DM that starts adventures... right at the point of the group being together and sort of having them already have background with eachohter this is perfect for this example: Jack (PC) you and Tully(PC) have been traveling for days... you finally reach a small town... called Ashmoon after getting a bed for the night and resting you make your way down to the inn... there you see a familar face... it's Gnarl "DMPC) the handy dwarven smith... he's done some side jobs with you before... he can always be trust, plus there isn't a lock made he can't open... at least that's what he tells you all the time.

    This way it;s a lot like 3 people play... I also think they idea of encouraging duel class... if you feel it;s needed.. but there is nothing better then relying on tact and preperation too win the day... hope this helps... good luck...


    ZTORM!!!
    "My kindness is not my weakness, It is your Handicap." Z'izum(C)
    "We are the Dreamers of Dreams, We are the Music Makers" W.W. & C.F.(C)
    "Mercy is for those who believe they deserve forgiveness, I on the other hand have no such delusions." ~Kern Dragonborn~

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    While in theory I like what ZTORM says -- I have found, PERSONALLY, that it can be awry. It has one advantage -- in that if you provide that "party gap" it lets your players play whatever type of character they want, instead of worrying about filling all the party niches.

    Another option I present is early-on, give them some money/bartering tool -- and suggest that they hire NPCs. This can make for interesting roleplaying situations (and increase the value of CHA in your game), where they involve some of your NPCs (which you can take/relinquish control whenever) in order to fill those party gaps.

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