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Help and Tips

   
Help and Tips

I'm a brand new GM and was looking for tips on how to host a good game. I plan on using 3.5e for my game. Any suggestions on how to keep it fun would be great. Thanks.

A few ideas to get you started:

Time Commitment
As a general rule of thumb, once a week posting is the minimum to keep a game alive in the long term, though posting most days is a better practice if you can.

Organization
When you create your first game, play around with the forum a little bit. Also take a look at other games to see how other GMs have organized their threads. A nice, organized forum can attract players.

Clear Communication
If you have nay house rules, preferences, quirks, etc, put them all out front first. If you want a Lord of the Rings inspired game, let people know. If you want something darker, lighter, inspired by something else, be clear about that too. The more you let people know your expectations as GM, the better the players will be able to meet them.

Be prepared for a lot of applications
3.5 is one of the more popular systems on this site, and you'll likely get more interest than you could reasonably accommodate for a single game. Have in mind a way to select applicants. I'd strongly suggest even if you get 10 really good applications or more, to only choose as many players as feel comfortable handling.

Building on Peacemonger's list...

Time Commitment - establish this up front, and get buy in from players. I have played in games that daily posting is required, and others where the GM states once per week. As long as you and your players are all on the same page, you should be fine.

Applications - however you select applications, ask those who don't get picked if they would be willing to go on a "Reserve" list.

Start Small - For a first time GM, I would suggest running a short adventure. Don't set out to run the entire Shackled City AP. Set out to run something along the lines of a single Dungeon magazine adventure. Once you get to the end of it, ask your players what they thought, what you could have done better, what they would like to see more/less of. And then ask them if they want to continue.

Keep it Simple - Don't set out to run a really complicated game. Players have a way of breaking the lest laid GM plans. I find if you plan less, and just start with a general outline, it is easier to change your tact based on players actions, and to throw in new and interesting things as you will.

Don't be afraid to say "NO" if prospective players beg to use books you don't feel comfortable with/don't own. Know your own limits so you don't become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of info that can be out there. There's nothing wrong with stating that you just want core classes and races only, so please no oozetouched half-fey dragonblooded warforged centaur factorums.

To add upon everyone else's suggestions, do not be afraid to look into those you are considering accepting. Look at their post history, especially in previous/current games. You want to make sure whoever it is you want to bring on board is willing to stick around for the long-haul, and will not cause problems.

Furthermore, don't focus too much on party formation (aka the mage/healer/warrior/thief array). Good players will quickly figure out how to adapt around such things.

Yeah, if you're gonna use 3.5 definitely limit the books you'll deal with, or limit each player to a certain amount of sourcebooks. Playing online via PbP makes it possible for players to put together some seriously complicated characters mechanically.

Also try to be as clear as possible about what you require in an application when you advertise your game. Getting into games is competitive on the Weave and people sometimes get pretty heated about not getting in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koradin_Soulforge View Post
Also try to be as clear as possible about what you require in an application when you advertise your game. Getting into games is competitive on the Weave and people sometimes get pretty heated about not getting in.
This is half true I think. I often see players disappointed in not getting into a game, but the only times I've seen people get heated is because of the miscommunication itself. Players are pretty good at knowing that if 15 players apply, and there's 5 slots, that means 2/3 won't get in.

One example of this was in a game I was in earlier in the year. It was a complex process that took several steps, a numeric system to rate PCs, even a full blown prelude that served as a semifinalist part of the application. The process was laid out, and players were willing to write long back stories, answer a dozen questions or so, etc because that's what we put forth. The only part that got heated was when the GM of that game had a trick up their sleeve. When players/PCs were basically voting one of the semi-finalists off the island, it was actually voting them into the game. The person with the most "no" votes got an automatic spot. Although it made sense in the context of the game from a narrative perspective, the players didn't like being tricked and the GM had to reverse the decision.

In this case, even those players who didn't get in were all right with it, even those who'd spent over a month making their characters and being a part of the prelude. It was only that one part when the rug was pulled out that any real issues existed.

@Titan: As long as you list out what you're interested in for your game and stick to it, you'll be fine.

EDIT: You can also check out the podcast some of the moderators and admins started about play-by-post roleplaying. Only listened to a few of them so can't attest to all their episodes, but they have some good information to someone starting out: https://www.myth-weavers.com/showthread.php?t=401397

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamazaki View Post
Furthermore, don't focus too much on party formation (aka the mage/healer/warrior/thief array). Good players will quickly figure out how to adapt around such things.
And interesting stories tend to result.








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