Category: Bad GMing

How to Be a Bad GM: A Primer

Before the game begins, help the players out by telling them how to create the party you need for the game. Include a more powerful NPC in the party so that you can enjoy being a player as well. Create an adventure that involves as few choices as possible. The closer you can get to reading the...

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Smoke ‘Em if You Got ‘Em

How do you give GMing advice to a friend without upsetting them? is an entertaining RPGnet thread about the age-old dilemma of giving criticism to your friends. There’s some good advice in there, and I’d have linked to it solely on that basis — but the clincher was that the GM in...

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Meet My New Monster, the Ball-Buster

GMs have a lot of power in most RPGs, and that includes the power to continue personal, out-of-game disputes at the gaming table. For instance: Player: “I’m going to scale the castle wall” Crappy GM: “Okay…it’s windy, so that’s +2, and the wall has mildew...

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The Iron Fist and Abused GM Syndrome

Continuing our informal series on bad GMing (which began with My Girlfriend is AC 100 and Gandalf Flies in on His Gold Dragon…Again), here’s another classic example of GMing gone wrong: “My way or the highway.” This one’s tricky because in moderation, it’s...

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Gandalf Flies in on His Gold Dragon…Again

Fresh on the heels of yesterday’s post about classically bad GMing, My Girlfriend is AC 100, let’s look at another slippery slope: The powerful canon NPC. Crappy GM: “Having already knocked out Frodo and Samwise, the orcs are about to overwhelm your position.” Player:...

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My Girlfriend is AC 100

A recent TT forum thread on bad GMing got me to thinking about this one — see if it sounds familiar: Crappy GM: “The ogre misses Arwen again.” Player: “Again? It missed the last five times, too.” Crappy GM: “Uh…yeah…it missed.” Suuuuure it did....

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