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[ERROR] No.33879065 [DELETED]  [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

Okay so...

I just failed miserably as a DM.

Some background.

I have played a grand total of 3 RPG's in my life. The first time several years ago where a friend made my character for me, the next three years ago where I just rolled dice and hoped for the best, and the last time I didn't even play. I sat in and did one round of combat for some dude I never met before.

My friend's recently have wanted to get into DnD and I told them that I would DM, as I have

A) The most experience
B) Am the best at making crap up on the fly
C) The most free time right now

I sucked ass tonight Gen/tg/men. I failed miserably and despite my reading I still have next to no idea how to make things up in time and develop an interesting world. I know a lot of this comes with practice, and I'm more than willing to do that. I'm just looking to you for any advice or tips to help me along my way.

We are currently playing Pathfinder, but I am more than up to other systems, although preferably something still in DnD style. Also if you could change certain rules what would you change in the version/RPG of your choice and how does it improve the game play?

>> No.33879739

Use published adventures. They will give you more or less an idea of what DMing is like.

>> No.33879793

Don't beat yourself up, no GM starts off as amazing. As for rule changes, all I suggest is that you remove the ability to use Katanas and nothing else.

>> No.33880217

What system/Edition do you think is the best for a newbies such as my group and I?

I appreciate the kind words, and why remove Katanas?

>> No.33880254

Because I hate weeaboos and am trying to pressure you into agreeing with my ideals. It's just good old fashioned prejudice.

>> No.33880451

Oh, well have no fear I am not a fan of Weaboos either, but I have no problem with a properly played character with a Katana. Unless you make a ninja samurai half elf vampire drow ranger I don't much well care if you want a curved sword from the east.

As long as you're not a fuckwad. Which luckily I don't have to worry about in my small group.

>> No.33880519

Well did you just think that your short comings come from not having an interesting world? you could always ask your players in that case. This kind of IS for them.
As for a system i do like 4E because of how streamlined combat can be and besides that its fairly open. I've played pathfinder too and while it is fun, combat can drag and can be confusing for starting players in my opinion.

>> No.33880716

Not entirely, I think my major problems came from a lack of preparation and general inexperience. For the most part I''m still trying to figure out general rules, and even though this was only an hour long session my players did stuff that I had completely not planned for (I know this happens often, and I know this is my job to roll with smoothly, I just know that I did not do that)

I think I would rather just do 3.5 instead of Pathfinder, but I was originally informed by a friend that Pathfinder was his favorite so I thought I would give that a try.

>> No.33880855

Pathfinder is probably 'better' I say this because of the resources freely available to the player, and a slight balancing of some aspects
But GM-ing is hard, and it's hard to get good at it. Apparently I'm a good GM, but I know my games are full of plot-holes and a fucking nonsensical story line. I think this is because I've pretty much given up preparing for specific adventures, and now I just have a stack of 'dungeons' and a stack of 'encounters' that I just throw at the players whenever I feel that a given thing seems relevant. I run with some serious bullshit, and make all my stuff up on the fly. It's a method that kinda works for me, but it's killed games in the past for me, by writing myself into a corner because I don't actually remember what happened in the last sessions and my players do.
I really need to learn to keep proper notes, not the chicken scratchings I have in my notebook.

Basically don't let this get you down OP. Focus more on the group having fun than anything, and try again. Find a method of GM-ing that works for you, whether it's published adventures, meticulously written plots, complete freeform or something in between

>> No.33881268

General advice:
- Use published adventures.
I know it's been said before, but it bears repeating. Focus on running a game first, making your own campaign comes second.

- Talk to your players.
Communication is key. Don't be afraid of a little railroading to keep the game from spiralling out of your grasp, but make sure your players are okay with it first.
Also, there's no shame in asking your players for ideas if you've played yourself into a corner.

- Don't use 3.5/PF
With the amount of detail prevalent in OGL games, properly winging something is nigh impossible for a beginner.
I found 4e infinitely easier to run, both for its mechanics and its wealth of published adventures.
13th Age is a little closer to 3.5 while keeping a lot of 4e goodness. It has few (of any) published adventures, but making things up on the fly is easy enough, especially with some fan toolkits for quick enemy creation.
If you want to focus on your storytelling first and foremost, I suggest Dungeon World. It's a love letter to D&D where the mechanics get out of the way. But it's pretty big on metagaming as a storytelling tool, so beware. It might very well not be for you or your players.

>> No.33881308

And I forgot:

- It's a game.
Don't sweat the minor mistakes, because the biggest mistake you can make is not having fun.

>> No.33881694


I was lead to believe that 4th Ed. was bad overall though. I've also heard that DnD Next/5th Ed. has improved on just about everything thus far over 4th?

Regardless I'll check it out for the time, at least until I get better overall.

And that's what I'm working towards, my main thing is that I want the PLAYERS to have fun, as I know that once they get into it I'll have fun as well.

>> No.33881803

4th ed certainly streamlined a few things, but it really killed the spirit of the game. I'm no fan of 3.5, but it felt like an actual tabletop RPG and not 1 man army Warhammer. It went from needing an imagination and a piece of paper/something to write with to needing miniatures and battle mats as well. To me, that part just felt like they were trying to shove their product in our faces. They also redid the combat and changed it into something that felt like it came out of a video game, this was especially true for casters. They also fucked some lore over, but that never really effected me since I've always made original settings. Now 4th ed is going to suck because they're just making another 3.5 and throwing in SJW bullshit to market it as if we weren't allowed to have gay characters before.

Now all that is just an opinion, 4aboos don't flame me.

>> No.33881930

Ignore people who tell you that 4th edition "isn't D&D", and ignore any sentimentality about how it "ruined" the brand.

On its own, D&D 4e is an excellent tactical combat game, with extremely consistent rules, an area other tabletop RPGs often fall flat in. That's its main strength and its main weakness. If your group enjoys meticulous, turn-by-turn grid-based combat, they'll enjoy 4e. If not, then they won't. (Contrary to popular belief, it's still possible to roleplay in 4e, too.)

If it sounds like your players wouldn't enjoy 4e, I highly recommend you to try Dungeon World, which is an excellent, less mechanics-focused system good for newbies and veterans alike. The rulebook is here: http://book.dwgazetteer.com/

>> No.33882203

Passerby here, I saw that and was inspired to make a thing.

>> No.33882207

Have either of you tried DnD Next yet? And if you have what are your opinions on it in comparison to 4e?

And what makes it harder to roleplay in 4e?

>> No.33882237

In other news this just became my new computer background

>> No.33882240

>And what makes it harder to roleplay in 4e?

Not a goddamn thing.

It's a complaint pulled square from thin air.

>> No.33882280

Allow me to rephrase the question, why do people generally SAY that it is harder to roleplay in 4e?

>> No.33882413

...this is oddly touching.
And I feel like a hypocrite now, because I am a miserable little pile of mistakes.

>> No.33882439

Because it doesn't have detailed rules for roleplaying. It trusts you to use your own sound judgment for most ordinary things.

For some reason, a bunch of 3.5 fans really didn't take that well.

>> No.33882441


Because that lets them attack 4e's "qualifications" as an RPG.

"LOOK! You can't even roleplay in it, so it's not an R P G! QED! Go back to your basement, 4rry."

>> No.33882609

"Because I -hate- weaboos" they say, while posting on 4chan, on a board that used to be called /touhougames/, no less.

>> No.33882625

Because they're literal fucking idiots.

>> No.33882632

Well, I am downloading 4e now, I'll skim through it when it's done to see if I like it more than what we're rolling with now.

Pun intended.

>> No.33882641

Because people are dumb. If anything 3.X makes it much harder, because of the ultra specific skill applications and infinite amount of tables for everything

>> No.33882664

wow its almost as if people haven't been saying that for decades

>> No.33882703

It will continue decades into the future as WOTC continues to interpret "Edition" as "whole new thing"

>> No.33882747

Ask your players what they thought was shit. Stop doing it.

And just like that, you're golden. World building comes down to drawing a really rough map, choosing where everything is and then moving those things around until the players find it.

>> No.33882781

id argue 4e actually recaptured the spirit of the game that was lost because they made everything a lot more free form

> and throwing in SJW bullshit to market it as if we weren't allowed to have gay characters before.

you seriously had to include this? like you couldn't just forgo associating an internet boogeyman with everything you dislike just this once

i mean i've been having edition wars on /tg/ ever since 4e came out and this is the first time i've ever heard anybody say this

and hell, it's not like pathfinder hasn't been doing it in spades

or fucking white wolf hasn't had characters who literally have "preferred pronouns xe xhe and xir" in thier books since the 80s

>> No.33882787

>What system/Edition do you think is the best for a newbies such as my group and I?
Dungeon World! Don't do as I did, getting into a hard as fuck system right out of the bat. Use that, I'd have played it if I only knew. Read the rules, that'll teach you to improve as a GM.

>> No.33882810

I feel like it's harder because every shop I've visited is really up-the-ass about the rules. That's not really a problem with the actual system, but more of a deficiency in the people who play it.

>> No.33882845

SJWism would be if it said that homophobes can't be good aligned or whatever.

The edition with the most stringent SJWism is 3rd (saying that slavery, exploitative sex, etc. cannot be tolerated by goodguys, etc.) and second place is 4th (again, completely out of left field, claiming that good and lawful good chars can't tolerate slavery).

Inclusiveness of le Varsuvius and SFK elves aren't SJWism, because it doesn't include moral judgment. Planescape afterall had an entire race of herm furries with 12th level casting, but it presumably wasn't SJWism because they weren't portrayed as good.

>> No.33882872

If you had been following the development of 3.X at all before 4e came out, you wouldn't have been surprised.

Go back and read Monster Manual IV and V from 3.5. It's literally a 4e book, I shit you not, down to the "here are some examples of kobolds with character classes who fill a specific role in a battle, and this is there is there neatly arranged stat block and powers".

>> No.33882887

Dnd 5e

>> No.33882904

Pathfinder is way worse at it than 4e can ever hope to be. I agree with you fully there.

>> No.33882933

Nothing other than someone wanted to bitch about 4e, and he chose that instead of how the monster math is completely fucked.

>> No.33882970

Anon, if you're GMing Pathfinder, just use the adventure paths, and improvise. If you don't like something in Golarion, just refluff it. If you don't like a certain encounter in the path, replace it. If you don't like certain aspects like the start of say Skull and Shackles, replace it with iono, a refluffed beginning of Way of the Wicked (ie. not that 40 day boat shit, but a prison break which leads to only a few days on the boat). Its easier to adlib based on what they already have if you are not too experienced in GMing.

>> No.33882971

I'll download Dungeon World as well and gloss over that when I can then as well. Really at this point I'll take almost anything, I just want to have my friend's have fun with some dice and words, and as long as I can make them happy then that's all that matters. Though I would like to get better at this myself for other groups, should I ever find them.

So you're saying that the edition itself isn't what's wrong, it's generally the people who run it?

Why do you say that?

Care to elaborate on the monster math part?

>> No.33882974

Don't forget ToB with its functioning martials.

>> No.33882996

You're wrong.

>literally a 4e book


>here are some examples of kobolds


>neatly arranged stat block and powers



>> No.33883002

>I'll download Dungeon World as well and gloss over that when I can then as well.
If you decide to not play it at least read the GM rules. They're full of excellent GM advice for any game. Plus the game is damn simple so you won't be hogged down by its complexity.

>> No.33883004

can't have those, oh no. would ruin the spirit of d&d it would

>> No.33883016

I only wish 4e was as good as Tome of Battle.

ToB set the bar way too high, I was so frikken underwhelmed by how lackluster the 4e martials were compared to that book. Obviously, they're better than core martials, though.

>> No.33883019

I like 5r because it unslaughtered a lo of sacred cows, yet has something that resembles balance.
4e, mm1 and 2 monsters have too much hp and too little damage. Halve hp, double damage, and pretend purple worm and dracolich don't exist.

>> No.33883050

What is Tom of Battle? is it an expansion on DnD systems or is it it's own system?

Hmm... Screw it I might as well download the DnD Next while I'm at it. I have off work tomorrow anyhow and reading never hurt anyone, and can anyone else back up those ideas?

>> No.33883064

>Tom of Battle

Fucking... Meant Tome, my bad.

>> No.33883124

Tom of battle....there's a PC in that name just waiting to come out.

>> No.33883139

3.5 splatbook, contained 3 martial classes that didn't suck.

>> No.33883151

Tome of Battle.

Its generally considered to be the best (along with maybe Psionics) of a list of 3rd edition subsystem books which introduce a new, I guess, power source or schtick, that you can either use new classes for, or use magic items and feats to dip into.

The reason I love it so, is that it doesn't just introduce the Warblade, who is a martial flavor class (like the fighter) with the great taste of vanilla, who's super effective, but also that it has tons of goodies for existing chars -- a non-Tome of Battle class still counts 50% of their class levels as initiator levels, so, say, a fighter with feats to burn can, along with using Rings of the Diamond Mind, access the 9th level maneuver Time Stands Still (a martial timestop usable 1/encounter or more), and a Stone Dragon Belt to get the 9th level maneuver Mountain Tombstone Strike (a standard action 2d6 con drain + weapon damage attack).

Robilar's Gambit + Stormguard Warrior is also UNBELIEVABLY good.

>> No.33883176

Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords, otherwise called the Book of Weaboo Fightan Magic, was a splatbook for 3.5e that introduced 3 new classes (Crusader, Swordsage, Warblade) and the martial maneuver system which was functionally spellcasting for martials. Furthermore there were many rules for how to access this system or level it up when taking other classes beyond the 3 introduced so it became very easy for martials to gain access to magic like powers.

>> No.33883202

Is there any way to somehow use those mechanics and convert them into 4e? Or is such a thing both impossible and blasphemous to suggest?

>> No.33883244

Just play a warlord or fighter. They're not quite as good, but casters are way less good, so it evens out. Also, intelligence focused warlords are extremely entertaining.

>> No.33883257

D&DNext/5e is VERY good for beginners, but after coming from 4e's 'superhero starter characters' and 'functional encounter design' it looks far too basic for my liking, so make of it what you will.

I saw this said elsewhere and Im inclined to agree with it: 4e DMs wont mind switching to 5e; 4e players will hate it.

>> No.33883258

There's a difference between liking anime and being an absolute fucking weeb.

It's the same as people who like playing Dungeons and Dragons and 400 pound neckbeards with permanent cheeto fingers.

>> No.33883265

It really depends on your group. What do they want? What do they like?

Also, as many have said, don't be hard on yourself. No one is perfect the first time. It's a different kind of challenge than what people are used to, so you have to learn how to handle it.

Ask your friends what they enjoy, and see what you can remember them enjoying. Do they like free-form stuff, with the plot squarely in their hands, or do they like to follow a designed plot?

Also, don't be afraid of saying no to things. it's weird, but I see that ruin games for new GMs a lot. They want to give their friends a great time, with whatever they want, and somehow they just lose interest or investment. Be sparing with that, though, of course.

Saying no sometimes gives players incentive, or a goal. If done wrong, or too often, it makes people feel unwanted.

>> No.33883268

The easiest thing to convert it into is Pathfinder.

>> No.33883452

If you want, start 5e at lvl3. 1 and 2 are supposed to be over with by the end of your second session anyway.

>> No.33883579

>It's the same as people who like playing Dungeons and Dragons and 400 pound neckbeards with permanent cheeto fingers.

You know what? I've been on 4chan for 7 years, and my image of the average 4chan poster is male, about 20 years old, white, decent looking.

And every fucking time somebody or some tripfag gets his image dropped it's a 400 pound neckbeard with permanent cheeto fingers.

And every single time I tell myself "I know I really shouldn't be surprised. I know I really should have expected this." And I never do.

>> No.33883600

8 years. I keep forgetting it's 2014.

>> No.33883606

Communication is key, gotcha. I'll try to find a time to talk to the group and get a better grasp on wha they want, and I'll remember that I have the right to say no if I have to.

But is it doable in another system? Or rather I should ask if anyone has any martial fixes for 4e as of right now? (Assuming 4e Martials are as bad as everyone says every other other editions martials are)

>> No.33883682

ToB martials were the prototype for 4e martials.

>> No.33883773

I'm sorry, but the moment someone uses "tradition" as an argument for anything at all, I just stop listening and dismiss all their opinions from then on.

>> No.33883889

With a rules-heavy game like Pathfinder, you have to spend so much time on the actual mechanics that it can be hard to do a good job with the actual role-playing, at least if you're new to GMing. Consider something where the rules are simpler, like Castles & Crusades (1st edition AD&D with modernized mechanics), if you want to stay within the D&D extended family. Swords & Wizardry Whitebox (brass tacks original D&D polished up a bit) is going to be simpler still, but it retains the weird, disparate subsystems of old school D&D. Labyrinth Lord (Moldvay Basic D&D with some minor tweaking, mostly in terms of presentation) falls somewhere between them. Pic is a comparison of some of their tables. I don't really expect you to digest all the information, but just by glancing at them, you might be able to get a bit of a feel for their respective approaches, levels of detail and so forth.

Regardless, you should definitely look over some adventure modules. Even if you're not going to run one of them, you can pull/steal ideas and encounters and so forth from them. Also, remember that GMing is like riding a bike: it takes practice before you're any good, and you can expect a few skinned knees.

>> No.33883909

White Box -- http://www.swordsandwizardry.com/WhiteBox3p.pdf
White Box Heroes (more classes) -- http://swcompanion.wdfiles.com/local--files/odds-ends/wbh

Labyrinth Lord -- http://goblinoidgames.com/docs/GBD1001_no_art.zip

Castles & Crusades:
Quick Start -- http://www.trolllord.com/downloads/pdfs/cnc_qs.pdf
Player's Handbook -- http://www.uploadmb.com/dw.php?id=1361806385
Monsters & Treasure -- http://www.uploadmb.com/dw.php?id=1361808378
Castle Keeper's Guide (helpful but optional) -- http://www.uploadmb.com/dw.php?id=1361806529

>> No.33884014

i am going to DM in 3.5 and i have similar problems.
where can i find adventures to downlaod?

>> No.33884032

>once per day
>Once per turn

This is a change I never fully understood about 4E. 3.5/PF/5E etc. seem to be like, "At first level you can heal 1d6 twice per day," whereas in 4E they went crazy with it: "You can heal 1d6 whenever you want, then rest for a few minutes to get the power back."

Not sure which I prefer tbh.

>> No.33884222


No, 4E martials are pretty good.

>> No.33887374

This is actually much more helpful than you would think, thank you very much.

I second this request

This is very good to hear, as most of our group doesn't even like mages and I would lie most of the party to be somewhat good without bogging everyone else down

>> No.33887485

There's pretty much only one party role in 4e that can't be filled by a competent martial. Hell, the Ranger is considered one of the best classes in the game if built right and the Fighter has some of the largest variety of options and support.

It's really only useful once every encounter, and 3.5 was literally built around the assumption you'd have 4-5 encounters every day and use most of your x/day abilities (see Smite Evil and Barb rage) about once an encounter anyway.

Also, Healing Surges are a LIMIT to how much you can heal, the exact opposite of a magical unlimited HP source.

>> No.33889122

What role is that anon?

>> No.33890541

How does the Monk class hold up in 4e?

>> No.33892184

Controller. There's a Martial Controller in Essentials, but it's not very good.

Pretty damn well. High mobility multi-target striker.
The monk's gimmick are special movement modes tied to her attacks.

>> No.33893750

Good to hear, and what about other characters such as bards? Are they still good as well?

>> No.33894003

Master of positioning friend and foe alike.

Pretty much every class in 4e is good. Just the Assassin (Shadow Striker), Hunter (Martial Controller) and especially Seeker (Primal Controller) are a kinda weak.
Then again, if you know what you're doing (or read the CharOp guides) these classes are playable just fine.

>> No.33894151

Sorry to hijack your thread OP but I'm in a similar situation.

How do you deal with one character that's significantly more durable than the rest of the group?

I'm sort of at an impasse. I don't want to make the monsters too difficult because then the rest of the group would die really fast but at the same time I don't want it to be so easy that one character can carry the weight of the entire party on his shoulders.

>> No.33894184

As OP, this question interests me as well.

>> No.33894246

If durability is the only issue, you just ignore that character and kill everyone else first.

If the character is flat out more powerful, you talk to the player and see how you can tone it down, or you just boost the other PCs to level the field.
The latter tends to be more appreciated.

>> No.33894493

Well that's an option I was planning on keeping in the back of my pocket for awhile.

So far they've only been encountering mostly unintelligent enemies so it's reasonable to think they would be willing to beat on the guy even if they can't get through his AC.

That's not to say I haven't sent some of the enemies to attack the rest of the party of course. He just happens to be the one who charges in first. I think it would be pretty unreasonable and perhaps even metagaming for a DM to send all of his enemies past the guy who charges in straight towards the weaker party members just because.

>> No.33894995

>But it's pretty big on metagaming as a storytelling tool
Not really. You can play without any metagaming at all. It's not FATE. Now there's a game that requires metagaming.

>> No.33895158

>>I've heard good things about FATE, does it have any negatives or is it as good as /tg/ says?

>> No.33895199

Was meant for

Don't know why that happened.

>> No.33895486

FATE's a well designed game, with no big objective flaws. Possible turn offs are, it's a generic system, so you have to put in some work to customise it for what you want, and it's reliant on metagaming in the form of its fate points system.
The rulebooks are available for free from their site, so you can check it out without spending anything.

>> No.33895555

Late to the thread... 4e is my preferred system as well, but google up feat taxes and monster math. There are easy to implement, well made fixes for both of them.

In MM1+2(probably a bunch of the published adventures as well, haven't used any), monsters come with way too much HP and do way too little damage. Makes combat take way too long. MM3 fixes this, and there's another monster book I can't remember where the math isn't borked, compendium?

There are some feats that affect a character's accuracy and defenses, which monster numbers assume all characters have after a certain level. Giving all characters these feats for free at certain levels frees them up to use their feats for whatever they want, rather than what they have to take to remain competitive. At the least, you want to make sure your players know about these feat taxes, but I strongly suggest giving them for free.

As mentioned previously, assassin, hunter, and seeker suck. I've heard something similar in regards to vampires. Otherwise, there isn't any linear warrior quadratic wizard bullshit to deal with. Everybody is competent and useful at first level, and remains so through the entire level spectrum.

>> No.33895621

If all of this stuff is true of 4e then why does it have such a bad rep overall? Or is that strictly due to the "You can't Roleplay in it!" argument that was mentioned before?

>> No.33895623

Against intelligent opponents it makes perfect sense to try and ignore the tanky guy to go deal with the squishies first. If he's a proper tank, then he should have the damage dealing or otherwise abilities that would make enemies NOT want to completely ignore him, else that's the weakness of his build he has to deal with.

>> No.33895641

It's metagamey for the monsters NOT to react to their opponents strengths and weaknesses, unless they're extremely unintelligent.

First off, they'd wanna prioritize whoever's causing them the most harm, second they'll wanna prioritize whoever they can bring down quickly.

>> No.33895761

That and the slaughter of some sacred cows, i.e. normal edition warring.

>> No.33895782

People are pretty quick to shit on something that's replacing something they love. Fans of 4e have been shitting all over Next since the first playtest packet, fans of 3e shit all over 4e as soon as they heard their books wouldn't work with it, and fans of AD&D shit all over 3e as soon as they started catching it at cons.

4e does have its flaws, specifically the math and feat taxes. It's also not for you if you don't want to use a grid+minis. All editions of D&D(possible exception of 5e?) have been built for use with a grid and minis, but they're usually handwaved pretty easily. That's not the case with 4e.

One large part of 4ehate comes from the way all classes work from the same basis. They all have atwill/encounter/daily powers. As opposed to the other editions where fighters can fight all day long, and wizards can blow shit up three times a day. There are a dozen ways to fluff it so it makes sense, but it just rubs some people wrong.

>> No.33895827

It fills a narrower niche than previous editions. The hate it gets is all pretty much just the result of people's subjective dislike of that niche.

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