Dump Your Advice!


Advice


I'm a relatively new DM (I've been DMing for around a year now, but i've just got into doing it "properly) and i'd like all of the advice you can throw at me, silly or serious!

One of my favorite things about D&D, Pathfinder and games of the like, are all of the discussions, styles and info on these things, and there are always the people who love talking about it whenever they get the chance, so tell me everything and anything!

Hopefully this thread is allowed.

Sovereign Court

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Wear sunscreen.


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1. Don't allow Evil (or CN that are really evil) alignments.

2. No "murderhoboes"- tell your players you want heroes.

3. Allow only limited books to start- Core, RPG, then allow more as the games goes on.

4. Allow limited number of figures per Player.

5. Railroading is Bad- showing a clearly marked trail is Good.

6. D&D is a Game, the object of a Game is to have Fun.

7. Don't split the party, this leads to half the fun and twice the work for you, the DM.


MinisculeMax wrote:

I'm a relatively new DM (I've been DMing for around a year now, but i've just got into doing it "properly) and i'd like all of the advice you can throw at me, silly or serious!

One of my favorite things about D&D, Pathfinder and games of the like, are all of the discussions, styles and info on these things, and there are always the people who love talking about it whenever they get the chance, so tell me everything and anything!

Hopefully this thread is allowed.

Think of the kind of story you want to tell, and make sure you make your vision known to your players without spoiling any twists or revelations.

Players will often come in with certain expectations on how a game of Pathfinder/D&D "should" play. These expectations can sometiems run afoul of your GMing style if you're trying to do something innovative with storytelling. (For example, I ran a game where a sense of vulnerability was a recurring motif. Because of this, the "build rules" for character creation made for much weaker characters than the players had come to expect from more traditional "heroic" adventures).

As long as you're confident and have a good understanding of how your players have fun, what the game's rules are, and what the broad strokes of your creative vision are, you can get away with breaking alot of the classic "GMing rules" while still making a fun and exciting campaign. The most fun I've ever had GMing, in fact, comes from running for a group of psuedo-"Chaotic Neutral" "murderhoboes" that would frequently run out on their own. I laughed along with my players instead of fighting against them, and managed to tell the story I wanted while ensuring that they enjoyed themselves.


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When I first started GMing I was given some advice that I feel helped me a lot.

First: keep it in the game, if anything happens in the game it stays in the game, this applies to the players and the gm.
Second: your a good GM if everyone had fun (including you) your a great gm if everyone had fun and a story was told.
Third: Lord of the rings is how most people think the game is going to be played, slayers is how most of the games end up.
Fourth: it is not the GM vs. the players, nor the players vs. the GM.

I would also like to add that it always helps to know what the party wants out of a game, a lot of my games were run to help de-stress the group either from school based stress or work based stress. In these games we therefore used lots of comedy, and sometimes we just had to fight endless monsters till the barbarian finally felt better, after studying for 5 days straight for an exam.
And remember never be afraid to ask people what they are looking for in a game.

hope this helps

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Never expect things to go as planned.

Players will always find their own red herrings, don't place any on purpose.

Players will never take a subtle hint, at least not the first time.

Players always do the thing you didn't prepare for. That is okay.

Your dice will love you and hate you, and sometimes you have to let the result direct the story.


DrDeth wrote:

1. Don't allow Evil (or CN that are really evil) alignments.

2. No "murderhoboes"- tell your players you want heroes.

I'm going to try not sounding confrontational...

1. Evil is perfectly fine, if that's what your players want to play.

2. The players might not always want to play heros... and that's fine too.

Quote:

3. Allow only limited books to start- Core, RPG, then allow more as the games goes on.

4. Allow limited number of figures per Player.

5. Railroading is Bad- showing a clearly marked trail is Good.

6. D&D is a Game, the object of a Game is to have Fun.

7. Don't split the party, this leads to half the fun and twice the work for you, the DM.

All good advice.

Run games on the fly, having to pull adventures out of thin air gets the creative juices flowing. It's also a good exercise to adapt when your players do something unexpected.

Talk to your players and see what expectations they have from you as a GM. Do they want a hack n Slash? Do they want a gritty tooth and nail game? Or something more cinematic?

You don't have to use everything printed. Look it over first and if it doesn't fit in the world you want to run, then cut it out.

Admit when you're wrong as a GM. Sometimes you'll make a bad call, it'll happen. I've done it. Correct the mistake instead of being bull-headed about it.


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No. Summoners. Ever.

Ahem, I mean...

Let people play whatever they want, man! :)


Brace yourself for unexpected circumstances. I'm also pretty new to this whole GM thing (a little less than a year for me) and I have to say the hardest thing I had to learn was to adapt to what my players do. Plan ahead, but be flexible. Oh and this link was a huge help for me and maybe you'll get some use from it too :3 all credit goes to Nearyn for that one.


Try to say, "yes and..." more than you say, "no, but..."


never fight a land war in asia


1) Show, don't tell. This one sentence sums up a lot of what the difference between a colorful, memorable GM is and an average GM.

Instead of saying "Ok guys, you see 4 goblins walk around the corner. They move to attack, roll initiative.", you could instead say
"Ok guys, 4 little green-skinned guys --about the same height as John's character Hairfoot-- come around the corner. They have long rows of razor sharp pointed teeth that line their over-large mouths. The ugliest and biggest one's eyes turn and meet your gaze. A heartbeat later he pulls out a rusted dinged-up shortsword and charges you with a snarl! Roll initiative!"

Be creative. Be sure to describe sounds, smells, texture, moisture, weather, etc.

2) Keep note cards Having note cards with NCP names, quest objectives, etc can really help keep you in the moment, and prevent breaking the immersion. When your player forgets the old rogue's name who sold them the scroll, its much better to have his name handy instead of pouring through your old notes for 5 minutes.

I highly recommend you make a note card with all your players' names on them for quick reference. Have each player's name, AC, total HP, and Perception Check bonus handy, so you don't have to ask them every time.

3) Keep a good pace. If your players are like my friends, they can very easily get side-tracked and end up talking about off topics or talking too long about something in-game. Encourage your players to make quick decisions. Steer the conversation back to the game when it gets off topic. Set aside the first 30-40 minutes of game for the sole purpose of shootin' the sh*t and visiting. Afterwards, get down to business!


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4) Admit when you're wrong, and be consistent. Don't try to save face by covering up your mistake. If you noticed an error in your ruling (especially if a player asks you about it), apologize and move on. It's not a contest and pride has no place when you're the arbiter. You have a responsibility to be fair, and that is important. If your players feel that you're making too many arbitrary changes or are being inconsistent, they'll lose faith in your ability to lead the game.


Captain Wacky wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

1. Don't allow Evil (or CN that are really evil) alignments.

2. No "murderhoboes"- tell your players you want heroes.

I'm going to try not sounding confrontational...

1. Evil is perfectly fine, if that's what your players want to play.

2. The players might not always want to play heros... and that's fine too.

Sure, for a change of pace, a experienced DM (Not the OP, note) with a group of mature players might try a "all evil" campaign once in a while. I have done so, and it can be fun.

The OP is new. He needs to go heroic and not-evil to start.


Players love custom gear.

Few sentient things desire to fight to the death.

Download cool pics from the net to show players what some important in game things look like.

Put bonus xp things on a list and read it out at the end of a session (e.g., "use of a battle cry: 100 xp")

Use accents and model attitudes while playing an npc.

Avoid over optimized NPCs.

Always consider the INT of a character when you describe a scene.

Always consider the CHA of a character when interacting with an NPC.

Play out equipment purchases.

Make food scarce and/or pricey during winter.

Pickpocket, rob, beg from or overcharge characters with obvious wealth.

Roll Fort vs infection for unhealed damage more than a few days old.

Give lecherous PCs pregnancy scares and STDs from time to time.

Acknowledge racism between different races.

Give each nation it's own dialect of common that forces periodic linguistics check to avoid miscommunication.

Make players draw their characters.

Have periodic bouts of good and bad weather.

Have towns generally be a day apart and cities one or two weeks apart.

Have bouts of disease or plague among commoners.

Acknowledge and retcon TPKs caused by OP foes.

Never talk for more than 60 seconds.

Ensure players touch dice at least every 10 minutes.

Make religion a common source of comfort and debate.

Dont forget about conventional dangers (snakes, spiders, slander, rotten food...)

Slavery exists. Its sometimes dressed up as indenture, fealty, debt, etc but is functionally similar.

Sound travel. The creature in the next room should almost always know you are coming if you fought your way in.

Some low INT creatures would kill each other over a shiny object.

Have snacks.

Pay attention to player mood.

A dropped target is not dead. Have certain bad guys survive to plot revenge.

Liberty's Edge

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Don't ever see the game as you vs. the players, and don't let them see it as players vs. you. If ever they say, "Man, you keep hitting me!" or something similar, always respond with "I'm not hitting you -- they are!" while pointing at the bad guy miniatures. Similarly, don't act excited when the bad guys get a hit in; instead, show that you're genuinely bummed (especially if somebody drops). It'll help them see you as being on their side instead of being the enemy.


Pay attention to what it is the players enjoy, and things that the players dislike. And do what you can to give them more of the things they enjoy and less of the things they dislike. But this doesn't mean give them an army of dudes for free if that's what they enjoy. Balance to the force must be kept also.

The Exchange

I'm not very experienced, so I don't mind leaning on players for rules help.


Your primarily responsibility in every situation is to make the thing that is most fun/interesting be the thing that happens next. This overrides everything, but requires paying attention to what your players find fun/interesting.

Players are notoriously uncooperative in terms of staying on the appointed path, and also generally resent obvious railroading, so try to make sure you can adjust on the fly all of the scenes and plots you planned to run when the players don't do what you expect. Changing information that the players don't know, without them knowing you changed it is an important technique. Like if you planned for an ambush at Inn #1 but the players decide not to stay at Inn #1, you can still run that ambush at whatever Inn they do end up visiting (maybe in a later session) or rework it so it makes sense if they end up camping in the woods and they'll probably enjoy "something happening" more than they would enjoy nothing happening. If the players kill the BBEG way too early in the campaign based on some lucky rolls, you can always retroactively make that guy a catspaw for the real villain.

So whatever you prepare, always try to anticipate how the players aren't going to go along with it, and how you can change things so that the players get to play through those scenes eventually anyway. After all, something happening is more interesting than nothing happening. It's also good to prepare some scenes that can fit in more or less anywhere in case your players throw you for a major loop and you just need to ride it out to the end of the session so you can figure out what's supposed to happen next, just try not to be too obvious about "this is filler" but players will often go along with even the wildest of goose chases if the goal (and outcome) is to upgrade their gear somehow, so the local "dude who enchants weapons" can make the party jump through lots of hoops if need be.


Loving all of this so far!


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My tips for new GMs:

My Advice to New GMs:
1- Don't use DMPCs: That is, resist the temptation of having a character of yours in the party, unless it's absolutely necessary, and even then, it should NEVER outshine the players.

2- Don't Get Too Attached to Your NPCs: Chances are they will end up dead or forgotten. Memorable NPCs are a real thing, but you should always think of them the same way you think of characters in Game of Thrones. ("This guys is kinda cool. He'll probably die.")

3- Learn to Improvise and Be Willing to Adapt: Your players will often surprise you with completely unexpected ideas. Learn to accept them and mold the story around their choices instead of forcing their choices to match your preconceived script.

4- Give Them Real Challenges, But Don't get Adversarial: Remember, the PCs are the heroes! They are supposed to be the stars of the game. Don't be pissed off just because they one-shot'd your villain. Sometimes it happens.

5- Assume Players Will Kill Everything: I'm exaggerating, of course. My point is: Always be prepared for the possibility of the PCs killing (or at least attacking) anything you place in front of them. Sooner or later they will attack someone or something when you were sure they had absolutely no reason to do so. Be prepared.

6- Remember: Your Priority is to Make the Players Have Fun: I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true: The GM has the most fun When the players are having fun. You'll quickly notice that you will enjoy the game the most when your players having a blast.

Also.. Give your Players The Following Advice:

My Advice to New Players:
1- CARRY A FREAKING BOW! If you are proficient with them, there is no reason not to! It's unbelievable how often players (even veteran players!) forget about this! Then a flying enemy comes along and their uber-warriors can't do anything.

2- Carry backup weapons. Because you'll eventually be disarmed or have your weapon destroyed. Have a back up. It doesn't have to be as good as your main weapon, but it has to be good enough to keep you alive until you find a better one.

3- Remember: there are no aggro mechanics in Pathfinder. If you want your enemies to focus on you instead of the squishy wizard, you have to give them a reason to! Most often, this reason is raw damage output, but there are other ways.

4- Don't underestimate consumables. I know potions/scrolls are wasted after you use them, but sometimes, they're all you need to get through that one encounter/challenge.

5- Don't overspecialize. Be awesome at whatever it is that you want to be awesome, but don't do it at the cost of being ineffective at everything else. Sometimes, your usual course of action will not be a viable solution.

6- Always try and get as much information about your next challenge/enemies/puzzles/quest/etc as you can. Knowing is half the battle.

7- Carry wands of Cure Light Wounds and wands of Lesser Restoration. They'll save your life more often than your party. ;).

8- Put skill ranks in Perception. Even if your Wis score is not very good and Perception is not one of your class skills. You'll be rolling Perception skill checks more often than any other, so you might as well invest in it. It'll probably save your life at some point.

9- Carry a scroll of Daylight. Seriously. Sooner or later your GM will throw a vampire or shadow demon in your way. They all do. (Admittedly, this advice is based more on personal trauma and paranoia than actual game analysis) :P

Good Luck & Have Fun!


Lemmy wrote:

My tips for new GMs:

** spoiler omitted **

Also.. Give your Players The Following Advice:

** spoiler omitted **...

If you could link me to some of those wonderful ranged flying creatures... i'd be really grateful... *evil grin*


Can't remember out of the top of my head (other than pretty much every arcane caster past 5th~7th level :P), but it shouldn't be difficult to find something in the bestiaries.

Flying enemies don't even need to use ranged weapons... Simply having longer reach than the PCs will be enough.


1. Rid yourself of the notion that a GM "tells a story". A game is not a book or a movie. The point of a game is for the players to have agency, the ability to decide their own path. If you want to tell a story, tell your friends to sit down as you read a book or something.

Don't prep plots, prep scenarios. Not only will it be more fun and engaging for you and your players, but it will also be a lot less work. If you think of the game like "ok, the players will go here, then this will happen, then they'll do this, etc. etc." you open up so many possible failure points where the game will run off your railroad. What happens if the players don't decide to interrogate that person? What if they miss that clue? When this happens you'll not only be lost but all your work hammering out the rest of the railroad will be wasted.

2. Figure out what matters and doesn't matter to you and your players and spend your time appropriately. Like think about travelling in a dungeon vs travelling in town. Travelling in dungeon is interesting business so pratically every step is played out, but for walking around town most people just say "ok you wanna find a tavern? Right after 10 minutes of walking you reach x generic tavern". I think in this specific example most people do it automatically but I think it really needs to be applied to more situations. For me, all speech is done in the third person and quickly settled with roles unless it is a genuinely important dialogue. Honestly, who wants to hear small talk with fruit vendors. But if it is the players trying to convince a mad scientist not to unleash his monster against the townsfolk that shunned him, then hell yeah every inflection of every word will be played out in full. Think about the time/effort cost vs the fun payoff with every element of your game and it will improve dramatically.

3. Give your players enough information to make informed choices. If you have the choice between Door 1 and Door 2 but you can't discern any difference between them, it's not a real choice and is less fun for you and the players. Don't just spring that wolf attack on them, let them see tracks, hear howls, etc. This not only makes it more fair (the players can never blame you for trying to kill them as they knew what they were getting into) but creates lots of yummy drama. Sure it's cool if the adventurers decide go into a forest to fetch that magic sword and at some point they bump into monsters, but it's more interesting if they are already aware of the monsters in the forest and have to weigh their desire to get the sword vs their desire to not get eaten. Making sure there is enough information available also allows players to plan things out, which can lead to some really elaborate, really awesome scenarios that wouldn't be possible if all conflicts were simply sprung on them.

4. Let them fail. If your players are simply looking for a power trip then there are many video games offer this in a much more convenient format. Removing the possibility of failure (as many GMs do) they remove meaning from the player's choices. I mean, if you're going to succeed no matter what, why should you even bother thinking about what you're going to do next? My mantra is that if the choices aren't meaningful then the players aren't engaged. And if the players aren't engaged out come the IPhones and the "oh yeah of course I'm having fun... No really, I am."


If the players find a solution other than the one you planned, go with it.

Let them fail, but don't make them. By the sMe token, don't stop them from succeeding '"early"

Reward creative problem solving and improvisation.


MinisculeMax wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

My tips for new GMs:

** spoiler omitted **

Also.. Give your Players The Following Advice:

** spoiler omitted **...

If you could link me to some of those wonderful ranged flying creatures... i'd be really grateful... *evil grin*

Dragon.


Find out through play and from what they put on their character sheets what they enjoy. If someone has put up various combat modifiers for different situations, they enjoy combat. With a big backstory, they want to roleplay. If they put together clues and such, they probably like mysteries. Once you know what brings their jollies, GIVE THEM THAT. If they turn uberpowerful, up the challenge level or end the campaign if you need to, in favour of a new one.

When making campaigns, start with the end and work backward from there.

Reward considerate behaviour like peace-brokering between other PCs. Gloss over bad stuff. If they start attacking NPCs, it is often best to just say "okay. You kill them." and continue doing so without a single check until they get the hint and stop. NPCs can be replaced. A PC that thrives on random murder needs to either change or be kicked out.


Still loving all of this

Sovereign Court

Always have a towel

Have a system to keep initiative. I personally use index cards that I hand out to players and have them put their character name on the upper left and initiative modifier on the upper right. I also ask for will save +'s and certain skill +'s that you might want to roll as a DM - sense motive, perception. When combat starts I have the players write their initiative below their modifier and I then do the same for NPCs/bad guys and put the cards in order from first to last. When someone delays I pull the card out of stack and tell them it is up to them to let me know when they want to go back in order. When someone readies I turn the card 90 degrees so I can easily pull it back into order when they act.

Liberty's Edge

Spastic Puma wrote:

No. Summoners. Ever.

Ahem, I mean...

Let people play whatever they want, man! :)

I loved having a summoner in the group when I was a GM, but that might have been a function more of the player than of the class.

Liberty's Edge

The Human Diversion wrote:

Always have a towel

Have a system to keep initiative. I personally use index cards that I hand out to players and have them put their character name on the upper left and initiative modifier on the upper right. I also ask for will save +'s and certain skill +'s that you might want to roll as a DM - sense motive, perception. When combat starts I have the players write their initiative below their modifier and I then do the same for NPCs/bad guys and put the cards in order from first to last. When someone delays I pull the card out of stack and tell them it is up to them to let me know when they want to go back in order. When someone readies I turn the card 90 degrees so I can easily pull it back into order when they act.

I also use the index card system. I like name, initiative, perception and sense motive on the cards.


Any special advice for Roll20.net based games and DMing?


1) If you are having a problem, often times the solution is to pull your players aside, explain why something is a problem, and talk about how to fix it. Don't try to be sneaky.

2) Don't railroad. Allow the players to make their own decisions and there is no shame in looking up from your books and saying "Well. We're calling it early because I have absolutely no g$$ d@+n idea what to do here. I'm going to take the next week to prepare because for some reason you guys decided to be pirates in the middle of a campaign."

3) If you must railroad, conceal it. Nobody wants to be forced onto the train, but everybody loves a train robbery.


Remember that just because they are not going down a path, doesn't mean they won't like the destination. If they don't know what the destination is and aren't consciously avoiding it, placing the destination in their path again can often lead to good results. Be flexible about locating your "plot points". And remember that a plot point is not a mile market in a train trip - its a "player decision point", like the train stopping at a station, and the players choosing to stay on, switch trains, or get off entirely.


Try to say yes as much as possible.

Silver Crusade

I've seen it said but do not...I repeat DO NOT play out purchases. It isn't a big deal at lower level but once the party hits about level 10 and has some money to throw around they are going to be looking for cheap and powerful magic items. They will want you to relent and allow them this...you will waste a lot of time for a lot of different reasons and deal with more arguments then you should have to if you play out purchasing equipment.

Buying stuff is not an event. Adventuring and killing stuff or talking to witnesses of crime or chasing bad guys or getting ambushed or talking to the astral projection of the BBEG are events…..buying alchemical fire is not.

Unless the store owner could be a potential source of information to further the plot there is zero reason to play out purchases. Just assume that they have access to gear via the size of the settlement and go by the prices in the book.

Buying stuff in real life is a thing…it’s an event…we also don’t have magic, and monsters, and heroes who basically have super powers…..so yes, buying stuff in real life is actually a thing….in the game world it really isn’t.


krevon wrote:
Try to say yes as much as possible.

But don't be afraid to say no either.

And make sure you have a separate bowl for snacks for yourself, bigger the better.


Doesn't apply to online games, but our group has had great success using candy for enemy miniatures. Granted we use red rose tea figurines for PC and some NPC minis because the closest place that sells minis is on the other side of the ocean, so use the good minis if you have them, but most everyone likes yummy snacks after a fight.


Online games i would suggest having stats for monsters and npcs ready, the items and magical items already ready, and ur maps and pictures ready. Once u have that, ur basically ready for most of it lol


A little preparation goes a long way. Having a couple of things as simple as a stack of cards with names and simple descriptions on them can make semi-improvised interactions memorable.

"Oh crap, they want to talk to some random bard! This wasn't in the plan"
*draws a random card*
"This unusually tall but non-threatening bard says his name is Felix".

You can then set the card aside with a note that he's a bard they ran into. You can then have these NPCs recur rather than creating another NPC if the situation calls for it.


My (current) top 5.

#1 Communication: OOP communication is key. I cannot stress this enough. OOP communication is key. Talk to your players. Have your players talk to each other. IP is where the magic happens, OOP is where things can come unraveled.

#3 Fun: The point of the game is about having fun. Fun for you, fun for the players. Sometimes it may get serious, sometimes it may get silly. Make sure that what is fun for your is fun for your players and vice versa. See also rule # 1. Remember not everyone’s fun is the same. Different strokes for different folks and all that. Some of the advice up-thread I consider great, other advise I consider nonsense. I don’t doubt others will feel the same about any I might offer.

#3 “No”: “No” is not a bad word. Use it, love it. “No” helps define the world and the story you and your players are building.

#4: Gaming Style: not everyone has the same style of games. In addition to parts of rule # 3, part of the fun is stealing. Not people’s dice bags, but their techniques, shortcuts, and sometimes the “spin” that they put on things which might have seemed familiar until you heard / saw how they did something. Be willing and be excited to be inspired by both other GMs & other players, it keeps the game from getting stale.

#5: Trust. Build it, keep it. Odds are if you can’t trust your players and they can’t trust you, none of you are going to end up having much fun.

-TimD


Thanks for point 5 drdeth :) I had a feeling I was messing something up dumping my players in the middle of nowhere with a note because I thought in a sandbox they shouldn't feel pushed in a story. Instead of looking for quests, my players get feyleaf and grilled chicken, then they tend to get bored. A solid story that can be manipulated easily by the players sound like the next step for me.

Scarab Sages

On the "No Evil" thing... Lawful Evil can work quite well with a good group, as long as you make it abundantly clear that no PvP will be tolerated. Sometimes you want to play the Anti-hero that has a harsh view of justice, or an amoral killer in the service of a nation.

The Operative from Serenity, Dexter Morgan, The Punisher, Judge Dredd, James Bond, these are all great concepts that can work in a "Good" game and are at home in the lower left corner of the alignment grid.


DrDeth wrote:
Captain Wacky wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

1. Don't allow Evil (or CN that are really evil) alignments.

2. No "murderhoboes"- tell your players you want heroes.

I'm going to try not sounding confrontational...

1. Evil is perfectly fine, if that's what your players want to play.

2. The players might not always want to play heros... and that's fine too.

Sure, for a change of pace, a experienced DM (Not the OP, note) with a group of mature players might try a "all evil" campaign once in a while. I have done so, and it can be fun.

The OP is new. He needs to go heroic and not-evil to start.

Point taken.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Be sure to check out the Pathfinder Compatible section for lots of monster books, adventures, NPCs, and more that players seldom see coming. Most players are familiar with the monsters in the Bestiaries (and frankly, the Tome of Horrors). But if you want to pull out something that will throw them off their game, be sure to check out the Book of Beasts series (disclaimer, I publish these), the Mythic Menagerie series, the Psionic Bestiary, and adventures from Purple Duck Games, AAW Games and 0one Games.


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Imbicatus wrote:
On the "No Evil" thing... Lawful Evil can work quite well with a good group, as long as you make it abundantly clear that no PvP will be tolerated.

Sure, but again, not something a new DM should try.

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