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Here's my compilation GM Guide (with a new, 3rd chapter added.) I've also tried some new formatting and design work.
Please let me know your thoughts and any possible additions or new subjects to cover.
I'm also hosting it in multiple sites because some people (especially those on mobile devices) are having problems with some drop sites.
Excellent read so far!
I have something for the designing encounters part that you might like as well.
I can't get to the link. Have you made the document public? And is that link the link to the public version of the document? By default, google docs doesn't share files, and you have to be careful not to grab the "editing" version of the url off the address bar.
My mistake! This is a rough amalgram of tips in list form for encounter design. Combination of playtesting, gathered mutual tips for dealing with stuff the party throws at a GM and how to handle it.
I can say i've gotten very good at having the rocket tag effect of encounters go away, even in my CR 12 or so Eberron game.
Looks like a pretty good doc. I have to admit I skimmed it, but I did read some sections that jumped out at me. I hope you continue to add to it, as well as edit what you already have. The information is well thought, and your layout is coming along nicely.
One thing I wanted to mention is in regards to your section on planting a hook early on and comparing that to the first few minutes of a TV show. You rightly address the complaint that RPGs shouldn't be like TV shows, and the alternative of smart phones and spinning dice. I wanted to recommend that you could conclude this section with something that reflects that this is a device to hook ambivalent players, and that eventually, hopefully a GM can earn players' interest in the adventure, and will then no longer need a first-five-minutes-hook in every session. The parallel being that TV shows that last many seasons don't need to work hard to sell themselves to the viewers after the first seasons. They just need good story and content.
Very nice guide. I read all of it. Thanks for sharing.
I'd like to add: When a GM reads text from a module word for word, the players tend to zone out or even have their own off-topic conversations while the GM is reading. For this reason, I never read from a module word for word. I will paraphrase and explain things in my own words, instead. It won't be as colorful, but it will cover the basics and not be completely ignored. As a player, if the GM reads a long block of text, I interrupt them occasionally with a question to clarify something, this breaks the monotonous word trance and forces the GM to use their own words to explain something.
A great read! I especially like the design - what did you use to make it look so professional?
I had to think about one thing while reading your "Setting the Tone"-part:
There are some TV Shows with a huge amount of Mood Whiplash, though I agree that this is not often the case. A Groundhog Day episode from Supernatural from one of the earlier seasons sprung to mind, where
I do agree, however, that this would not work well at all in a RPG like Pathfinder since the mood is created by all of the players, not just the GM.