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HunterOfJello
2016-10-26, 07:56 PM
To all the great DMs out there:

What do you think are the best ways you learned how to become a good DM? Also, if you were going to teach someone else to become a great DM, what would you teach them and how would you do it?

MrStabby
2016-10-27, 04:00 AM
1) Do some DMing.
2) Make mistakes
3) Learn from those mistakes
4) Repeat.

Generally the more you play and the more you DM the better an idea you have of what works. Sometimes you need to know not just what works, but what works at your table - no amount of reading elsewhere will cover this.

Regularly get feedback and accept you made mistakes; this will help you improve.


If I were to teach someone to be a DM I would ask them about campaigns they enjoyed. Which story arcs? why? and which encounters? what made those encounters fun? What didn't you enjoy? Then for each of these ask what the player/aspiring DM thought the DM was aiming for and why they did that.

On top of this, there are other general tips - like imagine you are seeing things from a player's perspective with only their knowledge - what do things look like there.

Altair_the_Vexed
2016-10-27, 04:38 AM
My wife is looking to start GMing, and here's what I've been telling her:

Start small, like with a single self-contained adventure.
Don't try to plan a massive long story-based set of adventures, because you never know how the players are likely to change your plans.
Let the game grow organically - introduce new material only when you need it, and create it only when you need it.

For a game setting, don't try to invent everything at once. Start the players outside a dungeon and tell them what stories and legends have brought them here to delve - and ask them to come up with a particular reason why they want to risk this particular dungeon.
With that reason, you can think about small changes to make to the planned dungeon - and future game sessions. If a player tells you his character has come here to fight goblins because he's looking for the tribe that attacked his village, go with that, and put in clues to lead to another adventure.

Most importantly, let the players drive the game most of the time. This way, they won't mind too much if you force them into a situation now and then.


1) Do some DMing.
2) Make mistakes
3) Learn from those mistakes
4) Repeat.
I may have to add this to my sig!

prufock
2016-10-27, 07:57 AM
Spend 10,000 hours of deliberate practice.

Quertus
2016-10-27, 08:00 AM
Find a good DM. Eat his brain. Acquire skill: "good DM".

Oh, you aren't an Illithid Savant? Hmmm... I guess you could try "pick his brain" instead. Or play in his games, and ask yourself, "what made them good?".

I find asking, "what made this bad?" from the many, many bad GMs I've had is also quite helpful.

Aetis
2016-10-27, 08:57 AM
Best theoretically possible DM would be one that:

-has memorized word-by-word every rule in every relevant system, and knows which rules to actually use/disregard for a given set of players and setting

-knows every optimization trick in the game, and knows which ones to use given a set of players

-comes up with amazing plotlines, setting, NPCs, monsters, and anything else you can find in a game of D&D; also has the best delivery of all these things

-knows every NPC's personality and backstory by heart, and can roleplay perfectly as any one of them at a flip of the coin

-always makes the perfect decision in-game with no room for improvement whatsoever

-super friendly and approachable, super-passionate about the game and his campaign, and always ensure that the pizza and drinks are on time

-knows his/her players well enough to make the correct decision regarding everything above (this includes pizza topping preferences)

SirBellias
2016-10-27, 09:05 AM
Basically, as others have said, learn from your mistakes. I'd like to posit that the best DM theoretically possible given above is very far from any DM I know of, and probably every other DM out there. Don't stress about it.

Aetis
2016-10-27, 09:08 AM
tbh getting the pizza on time with right toppings is like 90% of what a great DM is

Knaight
2016-10-27, 09:58 AM
The mistake-learning cycle has been covered already, and that's the main key. Beyond that I'd identify two things - starting small enough that you can get a handle on it (there's a time for the super ambitious game following 20 different groups of people, and it's not as a new GM or with a new group), and continuing to try and expand your art instead of plateauing. Once you've got a handle on what you're doing, feel free to try something more ambitious for the next game. Experiment with systems, settings, and more than anything styles, and get a breadth of experience.

Jama7301
2016-10-27, 10:17 AM
Something that's helped me with my group of friends is that it helps to be flexible. If you can work with your players to help them realize the character they want to play, within the confines of your world, it can go a long way. To me, being the best GM isn't about laying out the best story, or most memorable set pieces, it's to help people have fun. Not ensure they do, but don't be a direct impediment to the fun either.

EccentricCircle
2016-10-27, 01:42 PM
Practice, Practice, Practice.

Learn to think on your feet and make stuff up as you go along.
Learn to make it look as though you had it all planned out an are somehow prepared for anything.

Remember that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, and the more your players improvise the more you will need to as well.

Remember to figure out what your players want out of the game, and present your ideas in a way that will appeal to them.

Start small and see what the players do with what you throw at them. for example make lots of NPCs memorable, and see which they latch onto. Those are the ones to make important.

Always have something up your sleeve so that it will look as though you are more prepared than you really are.

And remember: When in doubt have a man walk through the door with a gun (or equivalent) in his hand.

Jay R
2016-10-27, 03:46 PM
Read lots of stories. Watch lots of movies. Think about what made the story fun.

Watch lots of fight scenes. Ask why each one lasted as long as it did, and why it wasn't longer.

If you lost interest, ask yourself why.

Examine the villains. Why is Richelieu, or Voldemort, a really cool villain?

What are the really compelling parts? What's your favorite scene? Why is watching Chris Pratt convince the raptors not to attack him cooler than any fight would have been?

What's the most fun moment in a Musketeers movie, or a Zorro movie, or a Marvel movie? Now, can you provide that kind of moment for each of the PCs in your game?

A role-playing game is run by rules. But it isn't made out of rules; it's made out of stories.

Darth Ultron
2016-10-27, 05:24 PM
Practice, as others have said. Volunteer to DM a lot. If you live anywhere near a comic/game/collectors store you might want to check and see if they have a ''looking for gamers'' board.

It should be a bit obvious but you really need to know the rules. So read them and even test yourself. You don't need to be an expert, but you should have a good working knowledge.

Organization is a big one. Write things down and keep notes. In the Ye Old Days we had to photocopy pages or, ah, write everything out by hand everything. Though now you can do it with a couple of clicks on a computer.

The tricky stuff, really comes on the social side. Now sure the ''forum wisdom'' is to do ''nothing'' and ''let the players run an awesome game'' and just ''stay out of the way'' or something like that. And you can try it, and if it works great. Otherwise....

Remember that as DM you control the world and everything in it. This give you a huge amount of control. (and yes the players have a tiny amount of control, but like 75% of them won't use it anyway) So keep in mind you can make anything happen...anytime...anything.

You are the one that needs to do things like keeping the game moving. You need to keep things interesting. You need to do it all.

TheFamilarRaven
2016-10-27, 06:10 PM
Given the OP is asking great DM's, I'll stroke my own ego by assuming I'm great and post a response!

A good DM knows how to:

- Plan out a day of adventuring. Each fight should not be a nova burst on each side, forcing the party to rest to regain their resources after 5 minutes of adventuring.

- Have contingencies in place should their session plans go awry.

- Have good grasp of relevant rules for the game system, and for the encounter/adventure.

- Be able to improvise if their contingencies don't have contingencies.

- Be able to entice players to follow the/a plot (loose or otherwise), without having to force them.

- Have a good grasp of their players' capabilities, and be able to design interesting challenges based on that knowledge.

- Roleplay monsters so that intelligent ones fight strategically, while others fight less strategically.

- Be personable enough to accept criticism when things don't pan out great.

- Plan just enough for at least the next session to have some sort of direction.

- Craft a decent plot that makes sense.

- Ensure everyone at the table has fun

A great DM knows how to do the above, and:

- Craft compelling narratives with well thought out NPC's

- Create vibrant worlds that live and grow outside of the view of the players, and adapts as the players interact with it.

- Expertly roleplay each and everyone of their NPC's, no matter how minor.

- Make memorable encounters.

- Pour hours into planning the adventure, so that any prep time they need is simply to make modifications to what they already have worked out.

- Continuously try to improve upon all of the above.

There are a lot of good DM's out there, but very few great ones and there's nothing wrong with that. I am not what I'd consider a great DM, but the people I've DM'd for generally praise my DMing abilities, so I'd like to think I'm at least a good one.

The key to becoming a great one is the last part, continuing to improve upon all of the above. When you first start out, you have to accept the fact that you may not even be a good DM. In fact, you might be hilariously bad. But as long as you and your players have fun, you've succeeded.

Making the game fun is the DM's first and foremost responsibility (it's the players' responsibility too, but not as much as the DM's). If, with each session, you try to refine your technique while still making the game enjoyable, then you will become a good DM. It easier to start small and work your way up. Practice planning out short adventures before your start practicing campaigns. Practice making small, local settings before you incorporate it into a larger one.

Becoming a great DM means mastering the art of storytelling, and devoting a lot of time into planning the campaign. This is not for everyone, and that's okay, because the game can still be fun without a great DM.

tl;dr You don't have to be a great DM to be a good DM.

PinkSpray
2016-10-27, 07:14 PM
There are some great posts here. I'll add some books that help;

Literary RPG Structure, by Taoscordian Games: provides GM advice from a professional screenwriter regarding story organization.

The RPG Handbook, by Thistle Games: covers all aspects of Gamemastery.

Play Unsafe, by Graham Walmsley: covers using improvisation to give your games a much more organic feel that touches what players are looking for.

How to Run a Great Superhero Game, by Avalon Game Company touches on how to run a game with the "larger-than-life", cinematic feel of motion pictures.

Write Great Fiction- Description and Setting, by F+W Media: provides the literary tricks to bring your settings and NPCs to life for your players.

Hamlet's Hit Points, by Gameplaywright: done by rpg guru Robin D. Laws, this book takes the "beat-points" of motion pictures and breaks them down giving GMs fun guidelines for how to handle story shifts in their games.

Robin's Laws Of Good Game Mastering, also by Robin D. Laws, this pinpoints what certain players come to the tabletop for and how to feed their wants better.

Play Dirty, by John Wick Presents where the author reveals how player-character motivations and disadvantages can be exploited to create intense immersion.

GM Mastery: NPC Essentials, by RoleplayingTips.com provides hundreds of diverse characteristics for NPCs to give them real personality and impact in your games.

Super Powered Adventure Planner, by LPJ Design provides a complete guidebook for organizing everything for your game from NPCs, scenes, house-rules, player advancement, and equipment tracking.

and finally, The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide, by TSR which provides a load of gamemastery advice from the original DM, Gary Gygax.

If you're willing to read and experiment the above books will make you a phenomenal GM. Most if not all of these books can be found at Drivethrurpg.com for a very affordable prices.

Hope this helps.

Dragonexx
2016-10-27, 07:42 PM
There's a link to a thread on how to be a good GM in my signature.

azaph
2016-10-27, 08:26 PM
How to be a good DM, my top five tips:
1. Cultivate a friendly and relatable manner.
2. Learn to love reading dry books, and absorbing all the information therein. You never know when you might suddenly need it.
3. If something horrible happens while you are 'on the job', don't try to shield people. Break it gently, but fudging things will only make everything worse in the long run.
4. Don't be too bound to your idea about how things should be - you'll end up ignoring the unique features of the people who are the whole reason you're there.
5. Swap the letters round. I know 'Doctor of Medicine' makes way more sense, but everyone says 'MD', so just accept it.

:smalltongue:

Cluedrew
2016-10-27, 08:56 PM
I have only one thing to add.

Don't try to be the great GM's you see around you. Learn from them, of course. But your end goal should not be to mimic them.

Be yourself, just better yourself to become a better GM. Play to your strengths, cover for your weaknesses and put whatever spin on the game suits you and the game you want to run. And for that matter, the players you want to/will be playing it for.

Dragonexx
2016-10-27, 09:57 PM
More advice: Work WITH your players. You're all there to have fun, work together to create a game that's fun for everyone.

Jay R
2016-10-28, 07:42 AM
This is not a tool available to everyone, but it's helped me a lot.

Get to really know several wilderness areas. I have set many encounters in locations based on places at Philmont, simply because I know it quite well, having been a Philmont Ranger for two summers. It helps to be able to quickly answer any question, even if I had never considered the question before.

Player: I try to fly to the south.
DM: You're in a canyon going east-west. About 30 yards past the river to the south, there's a high ridge, which goes up over 1,000 feet. You can go way up, or stay in the canyon.

or

Player: I run eastward away from the battle.
DM: That's following the river downstream. There's a single well-worn path, or you can bushwhack to the north of the path. There's no real space between the path and the river just south of you.

In both cases, I didn't have to decide what they encountered, because I know the Rayado River.

Kaveman26
2016-10-28, 08:46 AM
1. Learn Your Players

You can be the most immersive storyteller and role play enabling DM on the planet but if you have six hack and slash munchkins at the table it won't work. There is a reversal of this too.

Are they Monty Python quoting fourth wall breaking types? Factor that in. Flexibility and meeting the needs and wants of your audience is critical


2. The critical rule from Gygax

Gary Gygax is in essence the father of tabletop gaming as it pertains to this question. The critical quote from him is that the rules are not needed. When the DM realizes they don't need the rules they can truly embrace the game.

Related to this: the DM can be an Old Testament gawd who serves up floods and "rocks fall everyone dies". Doesn't mean you should. You have infinite power but you have a responsibility to use this power wisely.

kyoryu
2016-10-28, 10:20 AM
Well, what everyone has said above.

To that, I'd add:

Learn some writing techniques. A lot of writing techniques are *also* incredibly useful for making scenes in RPGs feel "alive". I don't mean larger structure, as that's hard to pull off if you give players any agency, but how you present action, scenarios, etc.

Be a servant to the players. Remember that the point is for the players to have fun - if the players don't see what's going on, it's not interesting! Give them information, remembering that it's what they do with it that's interesting. Sure, you can hide stuff, but make sure they know enough that there's a compelling reason for them to do things. Sid Meier (of computer game fame) said there are three types of games - ones where the computer (in this case, the system) has all the fun, ones where the designer (or the GM in this case) has all the fun, and ones where the players have all the fun. Strive for the latter.

But that doesn't mean just give them everything they want. Adversity is good! Losing is good! Losing on occasion teaches players that they *can* lose, which builds up tension and suspense.

Pay attention to your players. Notice what they do and don't like, and don't be afraid to incorporate stuff they like into a game. If they really like an NPC, the worst thing you can do is leave them at the last town to be forgotten. If certain things bore them, try to figure out why, and either fix the deliver problem if that's it, or just skip that sort of thing if they don't like it at all.

Jay R
2016-10-28, 11:56 AM
What the players want today is an easy, risk-free way to defeat the enemy. But what they will want tomorrow is to have triumphed over an enemy that they thought was going to kill them.

kyoryu
2016-10-28, 12:09 PM
What the players want today is an easy, risk-free way to defeat the enemy. But what they will want tomorrow is to have triumphed over an enemy that they thought was going to kill them.



But that doesn't mean just give them everything they want. Adversity is good! Losing is good! Losing on occasion teaches players that they *can* lose, which builds up tension and suspense.

"Doing it for the players' enjoyment" != "just giving them everything they want"

Joe the Rat
2016-10-28, 12:25 PM
As I am a work in progress, so take this advice with a grain of salt.

Observe. Look at what other GMs do. See how they prep, how they work in the game, how they make these really obvious boneheaded mistakes regarding the rules that [I]surely[I] you would never do, and see how they work around it. Steal what works for you, avoid their mistakes. (Observational Learning)
Keep in mind that not everything will work with your group, and you will still make a whole other set of mistakes.
There's a fair number of livestream (and recorded-from-livestream) games out there. You can watch and learn while not being caught up in play.

Make notes. Whenever something goes wrong, whenever the players do something you did NOT expect, whenever someone asks a question that you don't have an answer for, write it down. This gives you a list of things to work on adding to the game. My favorite is plot holes. I'll have something in the game that makes no damn sense (how did the goblins learn to fly an airship?), then work out an explanation, which can spin off into another plotline (outcast sky elf is working with them to get revenge on his people).
Also, note what works really well, so you know what to try again.

Play to your strengths. Are you multilingual? Are you a frustrated voice actor? Do you have awesome drawing skills? Use your talents to add to immersion. Use voices, make handouts, play teh awesome mix tape, add a little color to your games. You should still try to improve in your weaker areas, but capitalize on what works.

Think like a player. They are your audience. What do you value, as a player, to make a good game? How do you interact with other players, with other interests? Play to what your players enjoy in terms of content and focus. This also helps you to remember that the game is more about their experience than your story.

Knitifine
2016-10-28, 01:02 PM
Find a good group.
Setting up a group of player that are all on the same page is essential for building your storytelling skills.
Familiarize yourself with good player types and problem player types and make sure your group doesn't have any problem players right off the bat.

SimonMoon6
2016-10-28, 01:06 PM
For me, the key is empathy.

If you were a player, what would you want a DM to do? Figure that out and then, when you're a DM, do that.

It's pretty much that simple.

Jay R
2016-10-29, 09:59 PM
Find a good group.

Yup. If you are lucky enough to manage it, this is probably 95% of being a great DM, and the remaining 5% isn't that difficult.

If you ever find an active, involved, cordial, cooperative group that's easy to DM for, be extremely grateful to them.

If you don't find them, then being a great DM is quite difficult.

Stealth Marmot
2016-11-01, 03:12 PM
When I figure it out myself I might have more to tell you, but here is my advice as a kind of sort of person who has done a little bit of DMing and a bit of playing.

1. Practi-...oh they already did that.

2. Start sma-...oh they got to that too.

3. Know your gro- OH FOR ODIN'S SAKE!

Alright there are a few more specific things that I have found that helps a good DM.

1. Don't over complicate things. If you have 7 different plots going on, and none of them are being resolved because the players are working on the eighth, then the game will get bogged down and confusing. Keep focus on what the party is doing, and make sure the focus still keeps on the main plot. Side quests and issues are great for specific characters, but overarching plotlines should be limited to 1 or 2 at most. This usually isn't a problem for newer DMs, but it can creep up.

2. Make sure you have the right system for the gameplay style. Certain games are more fit for certain playstyles. I used to play in a very good game, but we were using the Call of Cthulu d@0 and had a bunch of homebrew rules for action and fighting, with only the occasional sanity check. I told the DM that I figured that d20 modern or a similar system would be a better game for it, but he dismissed that. It's a shame because he was a good DM.

3. Don't plan too much, or too little. Practice helps figure out a good balance, but planning too much leads to limiting player actions which strips them of agency, and planning too little can leave you without a paddle.

4. Don't put the Deck of Many things into your game.

5. Don't.

6. Put.

7. The Deck of Many Things.

8. In your game.

9. EVER.

10. Also avoid Helms of Opposed Alignment. Remember that player agency is important to having a player feel like they could enjoy the game, and deciding how their character thinks by changing their alignment, especially PERMANENTLY, is bad.

11. You'll notice changing alignment is in the Deck of Many Things ARE YOU NOTICING A PATTERN??

12. Scope. Your first level characters should be saving a village at best, not saving the world.

13. The players can help. Ask them about their characters. One of the most important questions: What is their current goal? If they just say money or fame, ask why they need money or want fame.

14. Central Casting, a great book for making player backstories and making plot hooks for you.

15. IMPORTANT TIP: Have the players roll and make their characters together, including backstories. In fact, have an entire session BE nothing but character creation. I cannot tell you just how great this is for so many reasons. This allows the players to decide what sort of group they have and balance it out. This also means that they can have their character have a backstory together by discussing possibilities and getting names and childhoods lined up. It also is an amazing way for getting a feel for your players, how they will interact, what sort of game they want to play, and what their expectations and interests are. Plus, you can adapt the treasure and encounters on the characters and adapt the story to fit in pieces of their childhood. The character has a fear of scorpions you say? Well that Giant Spider is now a Giant SCORPION instead.

16. I always find a good start is making sure that the players start in a situation that allows them to e close to one another, but not doing anything. I usually use the idea of them all being on the same cart or in a recent case, a ferry. This allows players to just chat it up for a bit and get a little bit of their backstories out, and introductions over. Put a timer on for about 15 minutes and just let them at it. After that, the carriage arrives, (or in one case, fell into a trapped pit, in the ferry's case going over a waterfall) and the adventure can begin.

SimonMoon6
2016-11-02, 03:12 PM
12. Scope. Your first level characters should be saving a village at best, not saving the world.

This is the one thing I disagree with. First level characters can save the world. They just can't fight the monsters and people who typically endanger the world. But if there's a big red button labeled "save the world," they can certainly press that button. And it makes a nice change from fighting rats and more rats in a sewer... or yet MORE kobolds.

But what do I know? I once ran a 1st edition D&D game in which the first adventure was against a mad lich, the second adventure was against Tiamat (not really, just a chimera with good press), and the third adventure dealt with an island full of beholders. And the characters all started at 1st level of course. And people didn't advance as quickly back in 1st edition as they do today. The only time the PCs were in serious danger of dying was when they had a random encounter with a pack of wolves.

Ashes
2016-11-02, 03:23 PM
I played for 13 years before finding the system and setting that I was good at GM'ing. I'd tried it many times before, but always failed.

So I guess my advice is, find your game and run that. If your players don't want to play it, don't GM. This is supposed to be fun for everyone. It's not your job.

Stealth Marmot
2016-11-03, 09:07 AM
This is the one thing I disagree with. First level characters can save the world. They just can't fight the monsters and people who typically endanger the world. But if there's a big red button labeled "save the world," they can certainly press that button. And it makes a nice change from fighting rats and more rats in a sewer... or yet MORE kobolds.

But what do I know? I once ran a 1st edition D&D game in which the first adventure was against a mad lich, the second adventure was against Tiamat (not really, just a chimera with good press), and the third adventure dealt with an island full of beholders. And the characters all started at 1st level of course. And people didn't advance as quickly back in 1st edition as they do today. The only time the PCs were in serious danger of dying was when they had a random encounter with a pack of wolves.

The idea of scope expanding over time is suppose to reflect the character growth of the characters in the game.

That said, what can seemingly START as a small scope can expand over time as the players unravel what is going on.

Smaller scopes are helpful for starting DMs as well since they don't have to have their world as hugely fleshed out.

Smaller scope also allows a character to be more closely attached to the world that they are inevitably saving. When immediately you start off hearing about the people of the world being in danger, it's hard to be attached. "The people are in danger!" "Yeah yeah..."

BUT if the players ended up meeting these people, saving the town, forming relationships, and getting attached to these characters and NPCs and environments, they feel more motivation and connection to the plot. "If we don't save the world what about Redwood the sometimes drunken bar patron we got a thousand laughs out of?"

I'll use a media example. Deep Space Nine.

When the Dominion declared war on the Federation, would you ave felt one TENTH the dread and tension you did if the series had begun with the invasion? I doubt it. Instead the first few seasons began with low stakes, but allowed for the characters to be fleshed out, their relationships established, and experiences shown that brings attachment to each other AND the audience.

You can't raise the stakes if you are all in on the ante.

That said, the players can be on the save the world quest from the start, but the scope of it may not be apparent, and their involvement can rise slowly.

End of the day, if the level 2 characters are the chosen ones and the only ones who can stop a demon horde from taking over, why wouldn't a Balor just show up, kill the heroes in one round, and then peace out?

(Of course, this problem doesn't happen as badly in game systems like World of Darkness or Shadowrun where the power progression is more linear than exponential, but the attachment to the world idea is still a good reason.)

kyoryu
2016-11-03, 11:30 AM
BUT if the players ended up meeting these people, saving the town, forming relationships, and getting attached to these characters and NPCs and environments, they feel more motivation and connection to the plot. "If we don't save the world what about Redwood the sometimes drunken bar patron we got a thousand laughs out of?"

Couldn't agree more. It's a thing that GMs often miss - they're invested in their world and their plot because *they* made it, but the players often have little if any investment in it.

Getting your players invested in the world is a key thing, and easy to overlook. It's also a lot easier to do so by picking up on the things that they already seem to like, rather than trying to "force" them to care about the things you think they should care about.

If they decide that Guard #387 is somehow interesting, then keep ol' 387 coming back!

Lorsa
2016-11-03, 12:32 PM
To all the great DMs out there:

How do one judge if one is a great DM? Actually, what does make a great DM?


What do you think are the best ways you learned how to become a good DM?

By being observant of my players, to see what kind of things they enjoy vs. not enjoy. Then trying to introduce as many of the former as possible while avoiding the latter.


Also, if you were going to teach someone else to become a great DM, what would you teach them and how would you do it?

It depends on the person in question. I would play with them, see what their weak spots are, inform them why some decisions weren't the best and then tailor both my advice and training sessions to the individual.

MrStabby
2016-11-03, 01:00 PM
By being observant of my players, to see what kind of things they enjoy vs. not enjoy. Then trying to introduce as many of the former as possible while avoiding the latter.




I would say this is the bit to be good. To be great you are capable of logical abstraction from what they do/don't like to understand more fundamentally what they want. Then you engineer the type of encounter they haven't had before but you have calculated they will like because you made those abstractions. With this you can work out how to adjust the kind of things they don't like to make them fun for the players rather than abandoning them.

Stealth Marmot
2016-11-04, 04:02 PM
If they decide that Guard #387 is somehow interesting, then keep ol' 387 coming back!

Now I want to add a recurring character in my game named Guard 387.

Stealth Marmot
2016-11-04, 04:04 PM
I would say this is the bit to be good. To be great you are capable of logical abstraction from what they do/don't like to understand more fundamentally what they want. Then you engineer the type of encounter they haven't had before but you have calculated they will like because you made those abstractions. With this you can work out how to adjust the kind of things they don't like to make them fun for the players rather than abandoning them.

Not everyone is a mind flayer who can read minds and has an INT of 25+ like you though (according to your avatar at least)

So to build this skill, you need practice. :)

Cluedrew
2016-11-04, 06:46 PM
To Stealth Marmot: We once had a "Generic Solider Number Twelve" in the party. OK it was the character's description, not their name.