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Thread: GM Advice

  1. #1
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    GM Advice

    Below you will find a bunch of recommended sources for being a Game Master / Dungeon Master. If you have recommendations, comments or advice to share, please reply.

    Items listed with a [FG] are Fantasy Grounds specific.

    GM Blogs & Advice

    • Sly Flourish - Though Mike focuses on D&D 5E, he has a lot of useful articles. Start with the section on General Dungeon Master Tips about a third of the way down the page.
    • Game Mastery 101 - Jason writes what may be the most accessible and intellectual articles about gaming and GMing, you will find many hours of thought provoking reading within his site.
    • The Angry GM - He cops an attitude and rambles a whole lot. But he also puts a lot of thought into the points and suggestions he makes. If you can find what interests you, it can be very interesting.
    • Matt Mercer GM Tips (video) - From the popular DM of Geek & Sundry, videos from Matt to help you GM.
    • How to Be a Great Game Master (video) - He holds your interest and has some interesting things to help you improve.
    • Matt Colville's Running the Game (video) - Another D&D guy, but he has lots of popular videos that can help you get started if you have never DM'd before.
    • DM Sage - Lots of thoughtful posts, they don't quiet resonate with me, but they might with you.
    • How to DM for Young Players - Though he has other useful articles, this one is a must read if you are going to GM for pre-teens.
    • D&D for Young Players and New Dungeon Masters - Geek Dad tells his story and observations of playing D&D with his own kids. Again, worth your time if this is your situation.
    • Newbie DM - Targeted at the new DM, this blog has a selection of articles and DIY tutorials for various projects.
    • Musing on Master GMs - Wonder what one experienced GM thinks it take to be a Master GM?
    • Loot the Room - A website with a RPG Blog, Maps, Treasure Tables, Campaign Building Resources and more.
    • Age of Ravens - A Blog with lots of Cyberpunk, L5R, Warhammer and other niche systems. Includes product reviews, game mastering advice and other topics of interest.
    • Gnome Stew - A collection of blogs from numerous authors with over 3000 posts.
    • Innroad Ministries - Lots of blog articles, but has a section for those to new to gaming as well.
    • Your One Best Piece of GM/DM Advice - A post soliciting advice, it varies from great to not, but enough good suggestions to spend your time reading through it.

    Resources

    • D&D 5E Rules Answers by DM David - David has several blogs with answers and discussion on some of the most common rules questions for D&D 5E.
    • [FG] Digital Dungeon Master - Dave's got a lot of stuff here; Twitch streams of his games, podcasts, downloads, and links to his favorite resources.
    • DawnForged Cast (video) - Check out his playlists for Be a Better Game Master and Dungeon Master Basics
    • Gnome Stew The Gaming Blog - With a handful of authors, you will get various perspectives on numerous RPG systems.
    • Harbinger of Doom - Brandes has various articles on game theory and design.
    • Dungeonsmaster D&D Resources - Lot's of various blogs on numerous GMing topics. It has a good selection of categories to filter on when you are just looking for something interesting to read or research.
    • Heroes Wanted Online 5E Resources - A large list of resources for D&D 5E, though many can be useful with any system.

    Adventure Creation


    Traps & Hazards

    Last edited by LordEntrails; May 24th, 2019 at 18:26.

    Current Projects: Ultimate Undermountain (NYDUM)
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  2. #2
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    NPC Creation

    Running a Session

    • Division of Spoils - A discussion of how gaming groups can setup a fair and equitable method for distributing magic items

    GM Tools


    Inspiration

    • Inspiration for Adventure - Swamp Witch - Dulux-Oz posts the lyrics for a song he finds inspirational for generating plot ideas
    • Old Radio World - American radio dramas, mysteries and adventure shows that can not only inspire adventure ideas, but also demonstrate narrative and voice skills.


    Adventures Sources

    • Adventure a Week - A source for PDF and FG adventures
    • Dungeon Masters Guild - The official WotC outlet for community content for D&D 5E
    • ENsid5r - A digitial magazine for D&D 5E that has adventures, classes and rules expansions.

    Maps


    World Building

    Books


    Other Useful Thoughts

    Last edited by LordEntrails; August 23rd, 2018 at 19:41.

    Current Projects: Ultimate Undermountain (NYDUM)
    Community Contributions: Gemstones, 5E Quick Ref Decal, Adventure Module Creation, Dungeon Trinkets
    DMsGuild Content: Balance Disturbed (Adventure), Dungeon Room Descriptions
    FG Product Reviews: Virtual Scribe Reviews

  3. #3
    Answulf's Avatar
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    I like it!

    My highest recommendations are two YouTube channels.

    Matthew Colville's Running the Game series is fantastic for new aspiring GMs:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-YZ...7hs8MaV7ELLCP_

    He also sent a lot of people towards Fantasy Grounds with a recent episode showing off the software:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnTDnDvw6yY

    This YouTube channel is the best. It's like taking a course on GMing at Oxford:

    How to be a Great Game Master
    https://www.youtube.com/user/Bon3zmann
    Last edited by Answulf; January 9th, 2017 at 17:03.
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  4. #4

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    I'd add Matt Mercer's GM Tips column as well. I wouldn't point people to Critical Role itself for new GM's though because that's a lot of pressure mistakenly thinking you have to perform to the level of professional actors and voice actors in a studio with a crew behind the scenes. CR is entertaining but could be intimidating to new GMs who think they have to do that.

  5. #5
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Thanks all, keep them coming and I will keep updating the first (two) posts. As you've noticed, I've tried to not add "entertainment" types of resoures, just those that give concrete resources and such.

    Current Projects: Ultimate Undermountain (NYDUM)
    Community Contributions: Gemstones, 5E Quick Ref Decal, Adventure Module Creation, Dungeon Trinkets
    DMsGuild Content: Balance Disturbed (Adventure), Dungeon Room Descriptions
    FG Product Reviews: Virtual Scribe Reviews

  6. #6
    I am just about to start writing my first adventure again in a very long time, so this will be super useful. Thanks!

  7. #7
    SirGraystone's Avatar
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    No matter the preparation, there's things that will go off road, players will have unexpected ideas, so from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, one very good advice is "Don't panic"

  8. #8
    Zacchaeus's Avatar
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    Worthy of a sticky I think.
    If there is something that you would like to see in Fantasy Grounds that isn't currently part of the software or if there is something you think would improve a ruleset then add your idea to the wish list http://fg2app.idea.informer.com/

  9. #9
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Thanks for the Sticky.

    I wanted to also bump this because I've added a bunch more links. One that I have found and added is on Node Based Scenario Design. IMO, this is one of the best set of articles on scenario design. If you are looking to design anything from a railroad to a sandbox, this will help. The article, and the others it links to (like the Three Rule Clue) are invaluable tools for increasing player agency, while maintaining elements of plot control.

    If you haven;t read them before, and have an interest in scenario or adventure design, I suggest you put them next on your reading list.

    Current Projects: Ultimate Undermountain (NYDUM)
    Community Contributions: Gemstones, 5E Quick Ref Decal, Adventure Module Creation, Dungeon Trinkets
    DMsGuild Content: Balance Disturbed (Adventure), Dungeon Room Descriptions
    FG Product Reviews: Virtual Scribe Reviews

  10. #10

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    Not sure if DawnforgedCast counts towards GM Advice but he does a video segment where he takes viewer questions and gives his take on how to handle the situation as GM.

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