The guy who wants to GM without knowing the rules


Gamer Life General Discussion


I have a friend who's been pestering me A LOT lately. After seeing me play as the dungeon master for a few months he's near desperate to run a game, but he a has a tiny minor little problem:

#1 He doesn't understand the rules to pathfinder.

He claims that since he found a DM screen with all the conditions, character ability score descriptions, etc. he can run a game. But this is a guy who can't even make a character sheet. This is a guy who has trouble figuring out what to roll to hit or damage an opponent, even though the info is written clear as day in his character's attack worksheet and has been for months.

What the hell do you tell a guy like this when he won't shut up? When he begs and pleads and you reluctantly agree to give him a one night "trial session"? Have any of you run into people like this?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DeathMetal4tw wrote:

I have a friend who's been pestering me A LOT lately. After seeing me play as the dungeon master for a few months he's near desperate to run a game, but he a has a tiny minor little problem:

#1 He doesn't understand the rules to pathfinder.

He claims that since he found a DM screen with all the conditions, character ability score descriptions, etc. he can run a game. But this is a guy who can't even make a character sheet. This is a guy who has trouble figuring out what to roll to hit or damage an opponent, even though the info is written clear as day in his character's attack worksheet and has been for months.

What the hell do you tell a guy like this when he won't shut up? When he begs and pleads and you reluctantly agree to give him a one night "trial session"? Have any of you run into people like this?

Run a one man with him. You as player. He as DM. Throw in some typical, but somewhat normal questions.


Not knowing the rules could cause the game to slow to a crawl if he does not know what to do. Maybe agree if he learns the rules and can at least run a character on his own without asking other players as that would be nearly impossible to do as a gm. This might actually get him to learn the rules. Also does he have books?

Scarab Sages

His mechanics may be iffy, but how is he with the roleplaying aspects?
What is the big incentive for him, in asking to do this?
Is he wanting to run, because he wants to do the voices of all the NPCs, or write a clever plot?


10 people marked this as a favorite.

GMs are rare and beautiful creatures, and are to be encouraged.


Uninvited Ghost wrote:
GMs are rare and beautiful creatures, and are to be encouraged.

+1

Everyone starts somewhere. When these games first came out, SOMEONE had to be the player, and someone had to be the DM... It happens each time theres a new edition... Expecting the DM to have full and complete mastery of all things is optomistic to say the least.

It's always going to be a learning curve. As long as he knows where to LOOK for the rules, and the players are supportive anc can possibly help along the way, I'd say go for it!!

NOW, this player SOUNDS like he has a great story in mind that he wants to tell.... I would encourage wherever I could to HEAR that story. Just accept that the first few game sessions are going to be hell while he looks up the rules for every little thing...

If nothing else, this little excercise will FORCE him to understand the character sheets and rules concepts a bit better.

Silver Crusade

Suggest him to start by learning more about the basic rules before he could DM. He should at least be able to mechanically run an encounter without wondering what to roll, add, and calculate everytime.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Put me on the side of "so what?", not because he doesn't need to know the rules, but he's pretty well bound to have to learn the rules if he wants to run the game...unlike if he keeps playing, in which case he really never has to learn the rules because it's never his responsibility. I mean, if he really doesn't want to learn the rules, he's never going to keep GMing, not Pathfinder at any rate.

Put differently, you can't know the rules until you've GMed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Meh. I'm still hazy on many of the rules and I GM a 10K+ post PbP. If I get stuck I ask my players. They're a lot smarter about rules interpretations than I am.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I first GMed at 10 years old. And I'm pretty sure I sucked at it. But we had, you know, fun. 25 years later and we are still having fun, and I am still getting rules wrong. Give him a chance.

Pathfinder is rules heavy. But there is no rule saying that the players cannot help the GM out with rules :-)


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Yar!

One of the guys in my group is exactly this person. When he runs a game, he focuses on the Story (and in fact does a great job of keeping the Story deep, involved, and evolving according to our actions), and if any rules issues come up, we all put our heads together to resolve it quickly. Sometimes it involves a bit of discussion lasting even several minutes, but so what? We're all having fun, the Story is great, and once the rules issue is resolved, we get right back into the deep and well laid-out Story.

Give this guy a chance, but also be willing to HELP HIM when he needs it. This game is about cooperation after all (imo).

~P

Liberty's Edge

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
DeathMetal4tw wrote:

I have a friend who's been pestering me A LOT lately. After seeing me play as the dungeon master for a few months he's near desperate to run a game, but he a has a tiny minor little problem:

#1 He doesn't understand the rules to pathfinder.

He claims that since he found a DM screen with all the conditions, character ability score descriptions, etc. he can run a game. But this is a guy who can't even make a character sheet. This is a guy who has trouble figuring out what to roll to hit or damage an opponent, even though the info is written clear as day in his character's attack worksheet and has been for months.

What the hell do you tell a guy like this when he won't shut up? When he begs and pleads and you reluctantly agree to give him a one night "trial session"? Have any of you run into people like this?

Run a one man with him. You as player. He as DM. Throw in some typical, but somewhat normal questions.

Ninja'ed...this will either train him or make him realize the idea is ridiculous.


Pirate wrote:

Yar!

One of the guys in my group is exactly this person. When he runs a game, he focuses on the Story (and in fact does a great job of keeping the Story deep, involved, and evolving according to our actions), and if any rules issues come up, we all put our heads together to resolve it quickly. Sometimes it involves a bit of discussion lasting even several minutes, but so what? We're all having fun, the Story is great, and once the rules issue is resolved, we get right back into the deep and well laid-out Story.

Give this guy a chance, but also be willing to HELP HIM when he needs it. This game is about cooperation after all (imo).

~P

absolutely!

Let him do it. What are you going to lose? An hour or two of your time? That's not bad for the opportunity to help someone become a GM.

Start with a small party (one PC is fine)

Focus on the story and characters, not the rules - the rules are of trivial importance

When he asks for it (but only -after- he asks for it, you don't want to become a rules lawyer), be willing to advise him on the rules.

I've found that new GMs often have the most creative and interesting ideas. Everyone needs to start somewhere.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

My answers have been repeated above, but: Let him try. Be willing to help with rules. Every DM had to learn at some point. He will either realize he needs to learn more and work on doing so, or decide it wasn't a good idea. Either way if you are being supportive it should be a good experience for him.


+1. Let him try. We all started somewhere. I GM most of the time and I've hardly got it all memorized. There's no experience like experience. Sometimes you just gotta jump in and swim.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Guess who did that? I did. My high school buddies put up with my noobishness and helped me a lot and it is just about the only reason I still play.

Start low level

Start core only. Not a bunch of variant this and that, Pathfinder Chronicles, Ultimate this and that, mechanically difficult strategies, yadda yadda yadda.

P.I.G.=Play Iconic Guys. The crusty Dwarf fighter. The Halfling Rogue. The snooty Elf Wizard. Gnome Bards. Get back to your roots.

Learn the rules just that much better.

If you do it right...
You get another GM
The GM will become a better player
You will become a better player because you will learn the rules better.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Uninvited Ghost wrote:
GMs are rare and beautiful creatures, and are to be encouraged.

Word.

I encourage all my players to try running a game, because it encourages them to learn the rules and gives them perspective on what it's like to be on the other side of the screen :-)

Scarab Sages

Pirate wrote:

Yar!

One of the guys in my group is exactly this person. When he runs a game, he focuses on the Story (and in fact does a great job of keeping the Story deep, involved, and evolving according to our actions), and if any rules issues come up, we all put our heads together to resolve it quickly. Sometimes it involves a bit of discussion lasting even several minutes, but so what? We're all having fun, the Story is great, and once the rules issue is resolved, we get right back into the deep and well laid-out Story.

Give this guy a chance, but also be willing to HELP HIM when he needs it. This game is about cooperation after all (imo).

~P

This can work great, if everyone approaches it in the right spirit; this is an opportunity to grow the versatility of the group, by helping one of you learn the rules and become confident running a game.

No more wasted nights, if the regular GM can't make it. One of the occasional GMs can run a one-shot, or revisit their own campaign.

It can be absolute hell, if the players abuse the opportunity, using it to try get decisions in their PCs favor, past an inexperienced GM. We've all met this type of player; only speaks up to challenge a rule, when it's to his character's advantage, makes up bogus BS, that gets taken on trust, that subsequent GMs have to un-teach the group, causing confusion and delays.

Dark Archive

DeathMetal4tw wrote:

I have a friend who's been pestering me A LOT lately. After seeing me play as the dungeon master for a few months he's near desperate to run a game, but he a has a tiny minor little problem:

#1 He doesn't understand the rules to pathfinder.

He claims that since he found a DM screen with all the conditions, character ability score descriptions, etc. he can run a game. But this is a guy who can't even make a character sheet. This is a guy who has trouble figuring out what to roll to hit or damage an opponent, even though the info is written clear as day in his character's attack worksheet and has been for months.

What the hell do you tell a guy like this when he won't shut up? When he begs and pleads and you reluctantly agree to give him a one night "trial session"? Have any of you run into people like this?

My worst experiences with gaming were with a GM (let's call him "Young Wallace") who actively refused to learn the rules of the game. It was High School and we didn't really have a huge group of people to play with at the time. In the end I decided I would rather not play at all then play with him at the helm. It turns out that the rest of they players followed my lead about a month later.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DeathMetal4tw wrote:

I have a friend who's been pestering me A LOT lately. After seeing me play as the dungeon master for a few months he's near desperate to run a game, but he a has a tiny minor little problem:

#1 He doesn't understand the rules to pathfinder.

He claims that since he found a DM screen with all the conditions, character ability score descriptions, etc. he can run a game. But this is a guy who can't even make a character sheet. This is a guy who has trouble figuring out what to roll to hit or damage an opponent, even though the info is written clear as day in his character's attack worksheet and has been for months.

What the hell do you tell a guy like this when he won't shut up? When he begs and pleads and you reluctantly agree to give him a one night "trial session"? Have any of you run into people like this?

I would tell him that when he can learn the basics he can GM. The start would be a making a character post level 10.

If he insist(for months) I give him a trial session, and rules lawyer him the entire night. :)

edit:seriously if he cant make a character I would be wary.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
J.S. wrote:


Put differently, you can't know the rules until you've GMed.

That is not true. I knew the rules pretty well before I GM'd the first time. It was my story telling any "give the players anything they ask for" attitude that killed my first campaign.


It depends on the players. Personally, I'm not crazy about games where the GM kind of makes up rules as he goes along, but some people thrive in that kind of game.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Offer to be a Teacher Assistant (TA) for him.

Some great games I've played in have been where the GM just wants to tell the story. When it comes to the Krunch a player steps up and helps manage things, keeping the numbers rolling out and combat flowing. Sometimes even help put together NPCs and the like so they are a challenge.

Can the PCs get away with a lot more and 'pull the wool' over his eyes? Sure. But if the PC's are mature and if the groups having fun, it works out.

Can he overextend things and might the 8 level monk PC somehow also have the Pounce ability as he charges and flurries? Sure. Is it a big deal? 9 times out of 10 it won't be. Pathfinder is pretty adaptable. 'Make a save' can cover a lot of random 'hmm' scenerios that pop up.

As long as everyone is on the same page for expectations it should work out fine.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's not so much the during game rules issues. It works perfectly fine to have a GM running the show and a player acting as rules expert, as long as the player can be objective.

Where the lack of rules knowledge breaks down is in the encounter design. If you don't know how the rules work, you'll have a lot of trouble building effective villians or effective tactics for monsters.

OTOH, GMs are rare. If you've got someone enthusiastic, don't scare him away. Suggest a one-shot or a module, just to get a feel for it.


A good friend of mine is not great with the rules, but is a wonderful story teller. He wanted to GM but realized he was s*!@e with the rules, and he decided to run 4e because the rules are simpler. Personally, I wasn't in favor of it, but I realized that even if I was not a fan of the 4e rules it didn't matter because he was that good at telling a story. Even though he wasn't good with making characters (on paper, not in terms of RP) or following rules to the letter, he always accepted help with them and I have always loved playing with this guy. Unfortunately, our gaming group dissolved shortly after that session due to unrelated reasons.

Grand Lodge

+1 on the assistant GM idea. The next time you GM, offer to let him manage initiative and play a few NPCs for you, managing the crunch and the fluff in a sandbox environment. If he ends up (predictably) sucking, then that'll be good feedback for him.


It's really tough to be the new guy, and we were all new once.

That said effort needs to be made. Loan the guy books if your comfortable with that. Give him access to your comp for PDF's. I've found that first comes interest, then comes knowledge.


[quote=]

GMs are rare and beautiful creatures, and are to be encouraged.

+1

+2

We all have to start somewhere, and that start is going to be akward for him. Not only should you give him a chance, but you should do your very damnedest not to correct him, or try to establish yourself as a rules resource during play. New GMs suck. Always. The game might wind up being fun, but it will be fun in spite of a whole lot of things the GM does wrong. That's an inevitability. What isn't an inevitability is whether or not he enjoys himself enough to keep doing it and get better. And very few GMing experiences are less enjoyable than trying to learn how to do it with someone aggressively looking over your shoulder quoting rules at you. Plus, if the GM doesn't have experience, or full command of the rules, he doesn't have much besides the authority of being GM. Undermine that and the session will surely suck for EVERYONE.

Also I disagree with the consensus. If he's trying to learn Pathfinder, he's better off running a small party, because that's what the rules best support. Trying to learn a party-oriented system with a solo adventure isn't particularly useful GM experience, and vastly increases his odds of TPKing you on his first step out of the gate.

Once he gets a session or two in and learns how to take charge, you might consider making yourself available as an adviser between or during sessions, but only if he wants it.

It might be a little different if this was just some random gaming acquaintance, but you started the thread out by saying he was a friend. Be a friend and help him discover the singular pleasure of GMing. Besides, running a player character every now and then will help YOU become a better GM.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Let him DM.

Seriously, no question.

My first game, no one knew the rules. No clue what edition it was (probably second).
I, to this day, do not know what class i was. (I had a sword, a bow, and could cast 1 spell a day, spontaneously, including cure light and burning hands, so its clear we had no idea what a class was.)
We messsed up spells horrible, only reading the name and then using that to guess what it did. (Thought burning hands turned your hands into a torch)
Flubbed all sorts of encounters, we had a net body count of 3 rats. Not dire rats, just rats.
The DM had some Uber vampire/demigod NPC leading us.

Needless to say, I was hooked. So let him play and just roll with the game. If we can have fun through all that. Im sure youll enjoy the game just fine as he learns.


I have two friends that every now and then get the bug to DM/GM. One buddy, well, has no story concept and no grasp of rules. The last time we played in a game of his it was a storyteller game. He had us roll percentile dice all night for any task. About two hours later he stops the game and goes, " I think we are done, I don't know what to do with you guys." *sighs*

The other fellow, has a GREAT story worked out in his head. Filled with passion for his ideas. So much so, the player characters always seem to do the wrong thing, because we don't follow the story he had outlined in his head. O.o

But they are both friends, and we give them their night.

All that said:
One of our group begged to DM a game, it lasted eight very enjoyable years.

Try it. If it is horrible, well, you always have stories about it. Bet on fun though.

Greg


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Personally, I think it is entirely group dependant. I can imagine some groups who would direct snide remarks to the DM for getting the odd rule wrong - if your group is like that then I think he should learn with someone else.

It sounds to me, by virtue of the fact you asked the question, that you consider passing knowledge of the rules to be an important DM trait. In our game it is very much optional, but we dont mind the occasional pause for clarification as to how something works.

I think that, just as you should strive to play in a group which suits your style, you should also aim to DM a group who suits your style. If it's likely to be problematic, I think you should clarify that with him beforehand so that everyone is alive to the possibility that the other participants arent likely to enjoy the same things. That will make the debrief easier, in my opinion.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

I vaguely remember my first DM game. I started played D&D with a group five years my age. I remember spending my hard earned paper route money on a Dragon Lance adventure to run for them and them tearing me apart. Yet, when that group meets for a yearly D&D game, I'm the one DMing (but I have 20+ years of experience since then). My advice, indulge the person. DMing is like a muscle, the more you practice, the better it you are.

Dark Archive

Might have been suggested, but here goes:

Offer to be his wingman. Let him run the game, but turn to you for rules issues. Help him prep the adventure, e.g. look at encounters, help him with stats, but remember...his story, you are there only to advice, not to control.


Bruno Kristensen wrote:

Might have been suggested, but here goes:

Offer to be his wingman. Let him run the game, but turn to you for rules issues. Help him prep the adventure, e.g. look at encounters, help him with stats, but remember...his story, you are there only to advice, not to control.

This is the closest to my actual position on the matter.

He has desire to GM, you get him behind the screen and you help him - none of that "maybe when you're older," style crap: This is a game, and one should not be forced to do homework for it.

As a matter of fact, I'd say that the often tossed around "You need to know all of the rules to be a GM," is the number one reason why a willing GM is so rare to experience that many groups of gamers only know the one.

I'd even go as far as to say that you should carry this guy's first campaign or two while he gets into the swing of being GM and finds his way.


Uninvited Ghost wrote:
GMs are rare and beautiful creatures, and are to be encouraged.

Totally agree.

Anyone can learn the rules, but you can't learn enthusiasm.

Assist him by pointing out particular portions of the core rulebook that he should read. Ask him to be your GM assistant for a few sessions. He can be responsible for learning all of the rules and being the go-to guy regarding "XYZ", where "XYZ" are the rules that you feel are the most important, or where his knowledge appears to be the weakest.

In short, encourage and support him, don't shoot him down. We're a small enough hobby that every extra player and GM makes a difference. And who knows, in twenty years time, you may both look back at his start and laugh about his lack of rules knowledge when he first started, but also appreciate the twenty good years of gaming that you've had together.


Let him give it a try. I actually started DMing 3e in 2002 without having read anything except for the cover (books had arrived from Amazon like two days prior to that. Imagine someone who had only DMed AD&D for the past years try to explain from thin air what an AoO was).

Maybe he's shaky in the rules department, but that fixes with experience. But maybe he is great at making up stories.


I think you should encourage him. Enthusiastic GMs are altogether too rare, and my guess is he'll quickly come up to speed on the rules he absolutely MUST know in order to run a game. (I would not, however, start him out GMing for strangers etc. as things will be slower at the start.)

How much of the rules you need to know honestly depends on the kind of group you play with. My spouse and I take turns GMing for our group, and we run a very rules-relaxed game. (Example: we don't use a grid or movement rules, and guesstimate distances for spells etc.) When we don't know a rule, we guess 90% of the time and look it up when it's really important. This would cause some players I've met to rapidly develop an eye twitch, but our players really prefer this casual style that's focused on advancing the story.

The game in which we're currently players, however, the GM adores the rules, adheres to them all religiously, and has probably never fudged a roll in his life. The game's just as enjoyable, but it has a different feel to it, and that's ok.

Rambling... anyway, the larger point I'm trying to make is depending on what kind of group this guy ends up GMing, he may not really need to have a masterly command of the rules. And I really think in any kind of game, ability (and dedication) to generate interesting content trumps rules proficiency, any day.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Once upon a time, three wise men were asked to give advice about the relationship between roleplaying and rules.

The first one said: "The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules."

The second added:" Rules don't matter."

and the third said: "Think the rulebook has all the answers? Then let's see that rulebook run a campaign!"

Those three sages went by the name of Gary Gygax, Monte Cook and Mike Mearls. And what I'm trying to say with this is that you absolutely should give him a shot at GMing, because roleplaying isn't about the rules.

And because it's true what a fourth wise person said:

"GMs are rare and beautiful creatures, and are to be encouraged."

Scarab Sages

Steve Geddes wrote:
Personally, I think it is entirely group dependant. I can imagine some groups who would direct snide remarks to the DM for getting the odd rule wrong - if your group is like that then I think he should learn with someone else.

I think if there are people in the group likely to act like that, they can look for a new game, regardless of whether the GM is an old hand or new blood.

Every GM gets the occasional rule wrong, or forgets a rule, even the veterans. What defines a good GM is how well they roll with that and recover.

You can prepare to a certain degree, to reduce the number of things you have to memorise. Have the useful charts on a GM screen, print monster statblocks to prevent page flipping, bookmarks in unusual abilities, a pad with short description of named NPCs, so you keep them consistent.


As long as your group doesn't mind, I'd encourage him to run a game, and not just one night. Give him a few sessions to get into it and learn what he's doing. It's not often that you find people that enthusiastic to run a game so they should be encouraged whenever possible.

Only exception I'd say is, if the guy can't some constructive criticism, he probably shouldn't be running a game. Personally, I wouldn't be able to run a game today if I didn't have great players who've told me what I was doing wrong and how to fix it, but some people can't handle that sort of thing.

Otherwise, as long as everyone is having fun, who cares if some rules get bent, broken, or forgotten.

Sovereign Court

Just to throw in an anecdote.

My girlfriend learnt the rules by GMing Curse of the Crimsone Throne for me.

Of course, it helped that she had me on hand for advice but just as total immersion is the best way to learn a new language, so it can be a good way to learn to GM.

Good pre-published adventures can be great here - no need to worry about encounter design, just storytelling and making the mechanics work.

Incidentally, she probably still couldn't make a level 10 character from scratch, I don't really think I could.

I only make level ten characters when they go up from level nine.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

DeathMetal4tw wrote:

I have a friend who's been pestering me A LOT lately. After seeing me play as the dungeon master for a few months he's near desperate to run a game, but he a has a tiny minor little problem:

#1 He doesn't understand the rules to pathfinder.

He claims that since he found a DM screen with all the conditions, character ability score descriptions, etc. he can run a game. But this is a guy who can't even make a character sheet. This is a guy who has trouble figuring out what to roll to hit or damage an opponent, even though the info is written clear as day in his character's attack worksheet and has been for months.

What the hell do you tell a guy like this when he won't shut up? When he begs and pleads and you reluctantly agree to give him a one night "trial session"? Have any of you run into people like this?

With all due respect....

I suggest he GM a game.

But not with you as a player.

Absolutely no offense intended. It sounds like you are focused very heavily on crunch, and are impatient with people who are not like yourself. This is not a good or bad thing--just my perception of what you're like based on your post, and I apologize sincerely if I'm off the mark. I'm going to also guess based on what you've said, understanding again that I might be off the mark, that he's probably passionate about becoming a GM because he has a story to tell, and figures he'll work out the mechanical details as he goes along.

If I am figuring things right, the kind of player you are and the kind of GM he wants to be will not get along. This does not mean he will be a bad GM and it certainly doesn't mean that you are a bad player. But just that you may not work together well in a group on opposite sides of the table.

Another possibility--

He's got a learning/information processing style that requires him to do, rather than simply read. He won't learn how to GM, including keeping track of all the rules, until he actually tries to. Some people (myself included) don't learn simply from reading a rulebook--they have to go through the whole process to keep it in their heads. I can't tell you whether I am a good GM or not, but my players have told me they've had fun in my campaigns, so I must have done something right even if I didn't always remember everything (I did of course try to get a strong grasp of the rules before playing, but there were certainly things I had to doublecheck--and often).

It's quite possible after he goes through a test run or two that he's got the rules down solidly enough that he'll do fine in a variety of formats. He just does truly need to be given the practice to do it.

In either case, I would suggest he run with a group and not a solo session--I think it will be much better for him to get feedback from multiple players with different playstyle preferences.

A final note--

Good GMs do not spawn fully formed from cabbage patches/the head of Zeus or James Jacobs/underneath dank musty tables in FLGSes. Most good GMs were once probably mediocre GMs. Maybe even bad GMs. The passion to want to be one, as others have aptly noted, is not to be discouraged. With time and encouragement--and useful feedback with detailed praise and constructive criticism--even a GM who seems off their game can become an excellent one. While not all GMs become star GMs, it's worth seeing if it's possible, IMO.


I echo what has already been said, and I'll offer a little story, free of charge:

My group has the benefit of having numerous (actually, all of them) individuals who are capable, and more importantly, willing, to take on the mantle of DM. But we all had to start somewhere.

For me, it was taking over the reigns while our (at the time) most experienced DM kept a watchful eye over my campaign. It started off as a one-shot, and wound up growing to a 3 year, multi-planar escapade that our group (current and retired members) still talk about.

I had never DM'd before, and had only played for about 6 months, but because I had the support of my friends, it would up being a great experience for everyone. They were a little leary at first, but we all knew and respected what we did, and it led to years (15 years with the same group with only a few changes to the lineup)of great times and memories!


Uninvited Ghost wrote:
GMs are rare and beautiful creatures, and are to be encouraged.

I vote for this on a shirt, or a poster.

Or a flag.

Maybe a tattoo.

...Perhaps something in Time's Square?

Shadow Lodge

Is he intent on Pathfinder? Maybe he could GM a more rules-light game.


Let him DM, and let somebody else be the rules lawyer. As long as everyone has fun who cares if he dosen't know eveything. Never let the rules get in the way of a good time.

Silver Crusade

Like the others said, let him try.

I would encourage at minimum, though:
1. Reading the combat section of the Core Rulebook
2. Reading the feats and skills sections of the Core Rulebook

I ran games in high school, like many. Like many, I profess I sucked like a Hoover switched to "turbo". It was 14 years before I ran a game again. I *still* sucked. Two years later, and I'm running a very much loved run of CotCT for my former 4th ed group.

Anyone and everyone can improve. It helps if you have a good GM to emulate, a decent module to start with (or a great story of your own to help spin), and very patient friends.


Rules are highly overrated.

Community / Forums / Gamer Life / General Discussion / The guy who wants to GM without knowing the rules All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in General Discussion