What's your GM intro?


GM Discussion

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4/5

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I'm working on updating my GM intro--the little speech you give when players sit down at your table. I know some people don't care for them, but I find it helps to set the ground rules and hopefully avoid potential conflicts later in the game. Here's what I've got so far:

"Hi, I'm Rob, and I'll be your GM today. A few things you should know:

(rolling)
"One, I roll all my dice out in the open unless it is specifically supposed to be hidden (like rolling a Disguise check for you). This means if you get crit, you get crit. On the upside, it also means that if you one-shot the bad guy, he'll stay down. There will be no magic sliding scale AC.
(tactics)
"Two, I strive to be tough but fair. Low level bad guys, like inexperienced players, will make mistakes. Higher level opponents will not be so careless. If you charge into a fight with a raging barbarian swinging a greataxe, your character may die. If you decide to eat several AoOs to get into flanking position, your character may die. If you neglect to cast a spell defensively, you may lose that spell. And your character may die. I will do my best to warn you of such dangers...once. It will be on you to take that advice or learn from your mistakes. I'm not out to kill PCs, but I do try to play NPCs to the height of their intelligence.
(rules)
"Three, this is PFS, so I play as close to RAW as I can. That said, I do make mistakes and I welcome any and all corrections. If there's a disagreement, we'll try to look up the rule if it can be done quickly, but if things bog down, I'll make a call and we'll move on.
(behavior)
"Fourth, and perhaps most importantly: this is a social game. We're all here to have fun. If the actions of your character are making other players uncomfortable, that's not okay, and I'll ask you to dial it back. If your character is dominating any particular aspect of the game, I may ask you to dial it back. Please consider your fellow players and do everything you can do to help them shine.
(you can do wha?)
Finally, if your character has any special quirks or is likely to do anything particularly, please let me know about it now so we can sort out the rules before we get started. If I'm unfamiliar with it, I may ask you to provide the rules source."

"If you don't feel comfortable with any of the above, I will not be offended if you wish to move to another table."

Is there anything you like to tell your players before you start your games?

2/5

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(eyeing scenario front page) "Well, looks like this is a Baird scenario... how much prestige does everyone have saved up?"

(eyeing boxed text intro) "Well, looks like Osprey is sending you on a mission... how much prestige does everyone have saved up?"

(after a brief pause) "Well, looks like Baird chose Osprey for this one... (sigh) on the bright side, we will get a break for a snack before the next slot of games. Let's roll dice..."


That's very close to my initial spiel. I may adopt a couple of your turns of phrase.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Chicago aka thunderspirit

I wish I were that thorough — I'm not.

I always introduce myself and usually say something like, "I'll be dealing your death today!" I do mention the mistake clause (redward's #3) and the advance notice clause (redward's #5), and probably will do something like the dial-it-back clause (redward's #4) from now on cos I like it.

I always roll the dice in the open too, though, so that it's evident I'm not messing with the numbers.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Hi I'm (First name) . Big norse wolf if you're on the forums. I assume that your characters are semi competent quasi professional murder ho.. gentlemen explorers and will be taking most reasonable precautions when in the dungeon.

The Exchange 5/5

i don't need an introduction...

:-)

(well, actually I have one, but I couldn't resist the above line...

Silver Crusade 5/5

The one thing that I add is how I handle things where I know there is table variation. So my spiel includes perception, searching rooms, pre specified actions, NPCs taking 10, and the fact that initiative rolls and battle mats does NOT automatically equate to combat.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

Looks great, Rob. That's very much similar to what I was doing at Gen Con. I added in that I like to go around the table, have each player introduce their character. Something that I learned from Jon Dehning was to ask each player what his or her character excelled at... What makes that character special. I also ask at that time for the players to let me know of anything that might catch me off guard, such as Additional Materials, spells, combats tricks (such as styles, step up, etc). I let them know that I may ask how they got to a certain number, but point out that I am asking because I don't know, not to accuse them of anything.

I am also considering using Jon's idea of letting the players know that if I call for a Save DC, etc, and I get any answer but an immediate number, I will put that person into delay until he can tell me the value.

On the lower tier tables, I also point out my character folio (or shirt) and tell the table that they can use my reroll, without my stars, but that the table has to unanimously agree on its use. I also let the, know that I will not re,ins the of its availability (though I often do).
All that said, I may start using some of your ideas!


I try to look at everyones character briefly first.

I look at feats and magical items mostly. I usually alert the player how i rule of grey areas if I see any of them on their character.

I always phrase how I appreciate creativity and I want the characters to try give ideas abotu things they would try. Almost always if you approach a scenario in a means the author did not wirte for it is much much easier. Also I award my DM reroll to people when they do something fun. As I prefer my reroll enable a player to do something they would always remember VS save against some unknown effect that would make the game more interesting and would forget.

Then I usually start the game by handing the newest player a list with all the pathfinders names on it(plus some names of the other players' characters if I know them) that they need to recruit and bring to the VL. Then have them approach the other players as they get to descirbe their characters and interact.

Silver Crusade

Sometimes I ask how many animal companions I get to kill this table. All in jest, of course.

Grand Lodge

"Welcome to another exciting edition of Pathfinder Society on ice."

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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"Make a Will save."

The Exchange 5/5

Jiggy wrote:
"Make a Will save."

can I Take 10 on that? no? drat! Natural "1" again!

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Intro? You mean the box text, right?

The Exchange

I used to have a long drawn out speech ... now I've condensed it pretty much to ....

I tend to run x rated games ... I don't take them there, the table does ... soooooo ... if you're offended tell me now, otherwise let's game

so far no one has gotten up and walked away .. even when explore <redacted> or <redacted>

I've had some pretty interesting games doing that .. and I don't think anyone has complained.

If there are issues during the game, I deal with them there, otherwise I prefer not to limit the creativity of the table.

Dark Archive

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We will rock you starts playing.
The lights are dimmed.
Pyrotechnics start up.
The announcer calls over the microphone:
"Aaaaand now, the moment you've all been waiting for! The DM that puts the Master back in Dungeon Master. Put your hands together for DM_aka_DUUUUUDEMEEEEEISTEEEEERR!"

I am then lowered from the ceiling via a secret conveyance of magnets.

Scarab Sages 3/5

"Rocks fall."

Sovereign Court 5/5

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The_Superior_Dudemeister wrote:

We will rock you starts playing.

The lights are dimmed.
Pyrotechnics start up.
The announcer calls over the microphone:
"Aaaaand now, the moment you've all been waiting for! The DM that puts the Master back in Dungeon Master. Put your hands together for DM_aka_DUUUUUDEMEEEEEISTEEEEERR!"

I am then lowered from the ceiling via a secret conveyance of magnets.

This seems appropriate if you're running XCrawl.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

I tend to go with something like:

"Hi, my name is Robert Hetherington, although a lot of people know me as Pirate Rob and I'll be your GM today.

I know way too much about the rules for my own good but I still make plenty of mistakes. If you think I've done something wrong or are just curious about a bit of rules feel free to ask. Sometimes the answer is going to be, we're going to call it DC 15 and not worry about it, but if something is important to you I'm happy to take the time to get it right.

Now, if you would introduce both yourself and your character, that would make me happy."

After players to introductions I put a stack of index cards in the center of the table along with a sample initiative card.

"Now, if I could get everybody to fill out initiative cards for me. Unlike most people I like mine vertical. Just Name, Initiative Bonus and Other Notes (Sometimes I will ask for other stuff, depending on the scenario). Now Other Notes is things that are useful for me when I'm describing rooms, like you can only see 30ft or have tremorsense or get a free check against traps within 10 ft... That way when I inevitably forget, it'll clearly be my fault and I can make it right. (If I see somebody looking puzzled...) Not every character will have anything like that so it's okay to leave that part blank if you don't have any special vision stuff."

Inevitably people put random crap in other notes, that's okay though, I think Chris Mortika once wrote about his Hell Knight liking long walks on the beach.

Sometimes I will do initiative cards first before introductions if I'm ready to go early and have some players that are as well. I try to avoid having some people work on initiative cards while others are introducing.

Sovereign Court

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Sit down and say, "Where's the DM?"

Silver Crusade

Hello, my name is Chris and I'll be your GM today. By the way, you're all going to die. Horribly.

Dark Archive 5/5

I make sure I introduce myself to the players and pcs are introduced to ea other. I have changed my intro a few times but working on it still. I like some of the ideas I have read so far. I do want to keep it short but effective. Pointing out a long list of items to players could turn them off and or delay the start of play even longer.

4/5

joe kirner wrote:
Pointing out a long list of items to players could turn them off and or delay the start of play even longer.

Absolutely. For me it's a question of whether an ounce of prevention will prevent a pound of cure. I'm trying to whittle it down to the bare essentials to fit most modern attention spans.


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"Hi, I am <real name>. Do you wish me to use my evil glow-in-the-dark elder sign die or the pink ones that crit surprisingly often? The latter set is called 'the die set of PC humiliating', first one has a name but I choose not to say it out loud."

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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"Hi, my name is... *rolls percentile dice* ...Mike Brock, and I'll be your GM today. I left my Pathfinder PHB at home, so we'll just go with 3.5 rules; I prefer those anyway."


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Hello everyone! My name is Mr. Morden, and I have a question for you all... What do you want?

...

What's that? We aren't playing Babylon 5? Oh silly me, I have the Pathfinder stuff right here... Okay, thank you and welcome to this wonderful Pathfinder edition of Tomb of Horrors!

Silver Crusade

Who are you?

Sovereign Court

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One thing that I've been disappointed with as a newer player to PFS is GMs that don't introduce themselves to players they haven't met. Especially new players. Take 10 seconds before the game starts. Say hello. Ask the new player's name. Tell them yours.

This goes both ways too. I'm puzzled by players that make no effort to say hello/introduce themselves to people they're going to spend the next 4 or 5 hours playing with. Naturally, these are usually the same players whose character introduction is along the lines of "Bort is a level 3 Fighter. He has an axe."

I appreciate those GMs who help to facilitate introductions of not only characters, but people as well. I find it always makes a better gaming session.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Quadstriker wrote:
One thing that I've been disappointed with as a newer player to PFS is GMs that don't introduce themselves to players they haven't met. Especially new players. Take 10 seconds before the game starts. Say hello. Ask the new player's name. Tell them yours.

I generally say who I am, ask peoples names, and then apologize about how I'm not going to remember any of them in about five seconds.

Silver Crusade

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So this is my official speech when players *right before in-character briefing*:

Hi my name is Venus/LadyO and I am going to be your GM today. Thanks for coming to play!

I have three outstanding rules when you play at my table:

1) Please don't lie, cheat, or steal OUT-of-character. IN-character is on a case by case basis with consequences.

2) I have no GM screen, what you see me roll is what you get. I apologize if I crit you in advance. I ask that all players do the same and allow you fellow players to celebrate in your critical and cry with your failures.

3) Although I am pretty well-versed in the ways of Pathfinder, I am not a rules specialist. So in matters of life or death, I will stop and check a rule to ensure fairness. Otherwise, I am going to make a ruling and keep things going and we can follow up on the rules detailing a situation on a break.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Jiggy wrote:
"Hi, my name is... *rolls percentile dice* ...Mike Brock, and I'll be your GM today. I left my Pathfinder PHB at home, so we'll just go with 3.5 rules; I prefer those anyway."

And my intro is "Hi, my name is... *rolls percentile dice* ...Jacob, and I'll be your GM today. I left my Pathfinder PHB at home, so we'll just go with 3.5 rules; I prefer those anyway. Does everyone know about taking 10?"

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

I guess I need an intro now...

Quote:
Hello, I'm TOZ, and I'm just here for the GM bennies.

The Exchange 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Michael Brock wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
"Hi, my name is... *rolls percentile dice* ...Mike Brock, and I'll be your GM today. I left my Pathfinder PHB at home, so we'll just go with 3.5 rules; I prefer those anyway."
And my intro is "Hi, my name is... *rolls percentile dice* ...Jacob, and I'll be your GM today. I left my Pathfinder PHB at home, so we'll just go with 3.5 rules; I prefer those anyway. Does everyone know about taking 10?"

Taking 10?

we don't have that kind of time! you know how long that takes?

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

When I GM at a convention I try to be as on point as possible.

I arrive before my slot and pull all my GM crap out and spread it across my area. Then when players arrive I ask for a quick overview of their PC and use that data to fill out one of my initiative tracking cards. Once everyone's together, I figure out their subtier and let the players get all the pre-game talk out of their system. "So I have X, Y, and Z prepared--what do you have?" "Can anyone cast this wand?" "Do you all think I spend my gold on this?" This gives me a chance to pick up on personalities and possible combat oddities that'll get thrown my way, and once it winds down I go into my intro.

Quote:
Hi everyone I'm Walter and I'll be your GM for this game! Something to know about me is that I love rolling my dice out in the open for everyone to see and I love seeing your dice rolled out in the open too. I also know a lot about rules but have a terrible memory so if you think I made an error during the game, with a spell or whatever, please point it out and we can give it a quick run-through. If it's going to be a longer, in depth rules discussion though, I'd like it sideboarded until after the game and in the meantime I'll come up with a solution that is fair for everyone under the circumstances. Any questions? Awesome, let's get started!

-----------------

When I GM at my FLGS is way more relaxed.

I typically fill in for a missing GM or take an overbooked table and run them through one of my often-run scenarios so there's less time for table prep. I make the players get the table ready for the game while I get my GM gear, then once they're all settled my GM intro basically boils down to this.

Quote:
So I know everyone here but just a reminder, I'm Walter and I like my rolls in the open. Keep it honest people. Also if you need to make any purchases do it now so I don't have to get it up as much during the game. Thanks.

-----------------

Sidenote: I ask players to bring up my mistakes during a game because they are typically small things--diagonals through difficult terrain, spell specifics, feat clarfications, etc--and I want to have them fixed as quickly as possible. Rarely does a discussion derail to the point where I sideboard it, and only when players are doing something particularly janky (like firing colossal rounds out of a crossbow, courtesy of shrink item).

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Walter Sheppard wrote:
so I don't have to get it up as much during the game.

Is that a common issue at your tables?

Silver Crusade

Jiggy wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:
so I don't have to get it up as much during the game.
Is that a common issue at your tables?

He must be running a lot of scenarios featuring the Paracountess.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:
so I don't have to get it up as much during the game.
Is that a common issue at your tables?
He must be running a lot of scenarios featuring the Paracountess.

I still think the problem is that Wands have a limited number of charges...

Wait, this was the thread about healing right?


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keep it short and simple
be friendly
skip the 'you're all going to die' crap

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Jiggy wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:
so I don't have to get it up as much during the game.
Is that a common issue at your tables?

It is when you own the FLGS and are running an overflow table. ;)


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Walter Sheppard wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:
so I don't have to get it up as much during the game.
Is that a common issue at your tables?
It is when you own the FLGS and are running an overflow table. ;)

*whhhhooooshhhh*

Silver Crusade

Walter Sheppard wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:
so I don't have to get it up as much during the game.
Is that a common issue at your tables?
It is when you own the FLGS and are running an overflow table. ;)

Walter, have you ever considered going into comedy? You'd make a great "straight man".

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Well there is a typo there... Keep it classy, Walter.

Silver Crusade 3/5 Venture-Captain, Latvia—Riga aka Tiaburn

Since I usually invite people in my group by names via their Facebook accounts, we are pretty much know one each other. When I did convention game, my introduction was alike:

"Hi there!
(intro)
My name is Aleksandrs or you can find me up on Facebook as Tiaburn. It's pretty weird, so I've written that on those sheets you have in front of you. When we finish, you can take them with you as reminder of our game. Later, you can check all other's links and find more about game we played together.
(game/story)
We will be playing a funny story in fantasy medieval-like setting, where people live together with dwarfs, elfs and other goblins. Meanwhile, you can read more about goblins on that colourful handout I've prepared and translated into Russian specially for you. As I've mentioned, we will be playing goblins. This will be combination of mind-theatre performance and chess play.
(rules)
You don't need to think about rules, because I'm pretty familiar with those and will teach you at once. If you know something better than me, we can argue and open all those books from table behind my back to find an answer. If we do not manage to find it, while another volunteer will bring me a cup of coffee from 1st floor cafe, we'll take a average number between your proposal and 42 as a general answer to all questions in universe.
(wrapup)
As we'll progress through the story, you understand more about rules and other stuff. But now, lets start our game. I encourage you to speak only from your character name, behave like your character might do, perform your character specific actions and keep the game atmosphere as close to us really living in a fantasy world.
(excuses)
I don't have anything against you personally, but as GM, I will be acting from a position of all the bad guys in Golarion you meet. If it occasionally leads to someone's character death, I didn't plan that, but scenario authors and your actions made me to do that"

Last part of that is same for several years, and most of my players are familiar with that.

Lantern Lodge 5/5

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"Hey, I'm Jeff. Now, the Royals are in the World Series for the first time since I was two. So we're going to make this quick and painless- -I want to be done by first pitch."

"You see Vescavors."

#oKCtober #funsponge

Silver Crusade

This seems as good a place as any to ask.

What does FLGS stand for?

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Friendly Local Gaming Store.

Sovereign Court

Unfortunately my introductions go like this.

Me: "Hello everyone, okay tonight we are playing.."
Players: "Hey, should we order food first?!"
Players: "Yeah I fancy dominos"
Players: "Nah Indian!"

[Game stalls for 15 minutes while players bicker over food orders]

Lantern Lodge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

"Hey, I'm Jeff. Now, the Royals lost last night, so I might be a little bloodthirsty and/or revenge-minded. Apologies in advance."

"You see more Vescavors."

#oKCtober #HopeSpringsEternal #funsponge

Dark Archive Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Greenville aka Nekoshibou

Hi, I'll be your GM tonight. My job is to bring you uncomfortably close to the brink of death. That being said if you step to far to the right I am prepared to have a nice memorial service after the game. :)

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