Game Master's Journey 144: Teaching New Players & Tips for New GMs

Game Master's Journey 144: Teaching New Players & Tips for New GMs

Today I continue my series on the Roles of the GM. In this episode we discuss the GM as a teacher. As GMs we often find ourselves teaching players a new game, or even teaching players who’ve never played an RPG before.  I give you strategies to set yourself up for success and ensure your players come back for more. I also give some tips specific to teaching 5th edition D&D to new players, and finally I give some tips for new GMs preparing to run D&D for the first time. 

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GMJ 143: PHB Chapter 8: Food & Water, Descriptive & Interactive Roleplaying, Resting & Downtime

GMJ 143: PHB Chapter 8: Food & Water, Descriptive & Interactive Roleplaying, Resting & Downtime

I continue my discussion of chapter 8 of the PHB. We’ll talk about food & water, & interacting with objects. We’ll also discuss social interaction and the difference between descriptive and active roleplaying. I have some thoughts on how you can encourage more immersive active roleplaying from your players. Finally, we’ll go over resting and downtime activities.

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GMJ 140: PHB Chapter 7: D&D Ability Scores & When to Call for a Check

GMJ 140: PHB Chapter 7: D&D Ability Scores & When to Call for a Check

I dig into chapter 7 of the Player’s Handbook and discuss ability checks. I tell you how you can determine which ability and skill to use for a check and how to assign the DC for a check. I also touch on helping, group checks, encumbrance, and hiding in combat. Finally, I provide some insight on how to know when to ask for a roll, and when not to.

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GMJ 137: The GM as Rules Arbiter and PHB Introduction & Chapter 1: Using the Random Height & Weight Table

GMJ 137: The GM as Rules Arbiter and PHB Introduction & Chapter 1: Using the Random Height & Weight Table

Today I’m starting two new series on the show! First, I begin my series on the roles of the GM. As game masters we wear many hats, and there are a lot of skillsets involved. Today I discuss the GM as rules arbiter. When it comes to the rules of an RPG, the buck stops at the GM. Most RPGs have a rule zero which gives the GM ultimate authority when it comes to the rules, not the books or developers of the game. Second, I will begin a series of segments in which I will dig into the PHB and DMG. If you’ve been asking for episodes on how to play and/or run RPGs, this is for you! Hopefully I’ll tease out some gems from these books you didn’t even know were there.

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Game Master's Journey 136: Building D&D Encounters using the Unearthed Arcana

Game Master's Journey 136: Building D&D Encounters using the Unearthed Arcana

Today I’ll discuss an alternative method for building encounters for D&D that Wizards has provided in the Unearthed Arcana. After some playtesting, I’ve found this method to be easier and work better than the method presented in the DMG. It’s also not nearly as confusing or involved as it may seem. I also discuss the dangers of getting too used to adjusting encounters on the fly instead of designing them correctly to begin with. Finally, I give some pointers on creating a legendary version of a non-legendary monster to throw at your PCs.

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Game Master's Journey 132: Bringing PC Backstories into the Adventure

Game Master's Journey 132: Bringing PC Backstories into the Adventure

Today I’m discussing PC backstories and how to bring them into the story of your campaign. I’ll give advice not only for GMs, but also for players on how to better give the GM what she needs in order to bring your backstory into the main narrative. Not only will using these character hooks enrich the story of your game, but it will also increase player buy-in and engagement. I also talk a bit about the new player options for D&D being released in the new Unearthed Arcana articles and how you can, and should, make your voice heard.

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Game Master's Journey 130: Primordia 2.0 - Improving Your World Through Revision

Game Master's Journey 130: Primordia 2.0 - Improving Your World Through Revision

Today I’ll discuss some revisions I’m considering for Primordia as I begin preparations for my first campaign in the setting. I’ll also answer a few remaining listener questions about the setting. This is a great example of how worldbuilding is a process that never truly ends. Never be afraid to make necessary revisions to your setting, even when you already have campaigns up and running.

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Game Master's Journey 127: Adventuring in the Wilds of Primordia

Game Master's Journey 127: Adventuring in the Wilds of Primordia

Today I resume discussion of my homebrew D&D world of Primordia. I talk about how some of my assumptions about the world have come into conflict with running actual adventures in the world and the solutions I found to the dilemma. I also discuss what adventures in Primordia will be like, and I talk more about the Wilds of Primordia and what kinds of things you’ll find out there. What makes Primordia unique, and what will the life of an adventurer really be like in Primordia?

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