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Returning To The Game
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WillTasker
Lieutenant Commander
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Joined: 25 Jan 2017
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:33 pm    Post subject: Returning To The Game Reply with quote

I haven't DMed a pen and paper RPG in almost 20 years, and here I am two sessions in, Saturdays at 1 pm, with friends via discord.

Needless to say, I am *very* rusty and I can feel my storytelling abilities have really turned to mush. I now have a bad habit of narrating/skill-check/narrating/skill-check - basically I'm overly explaining or justifying why they're rolling Perception checks over and over. To me, thats boring.

It use to be I could walk into a session with a post-it note and run a game off the top of my head. Now I feel like I have to go in having written pages on pages of material and I don't much have the time or energy of late (adulthood is the pits).

And while they say they're enjoying it, I feel I can do a lot better.

Anyone here have any tips about making the DM side of things run smoother? I assume the only answer is "write more notes" which would help some. I'm running one out of a sourcebook starting this weekend so it'll take some of the creative pressure off of me... but I'm sorta disappointed in myself in how badly I am at this now!
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garhkal
Sovereign Protector
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Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 12092
Location: Reynoldsburg, Columbus, Ohio.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, don't overly think things through. I've caught myself being so super critical of myself, that i OVER thought things and made it worse..
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Kytross
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Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 692

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a game I ran a few years back. I think it went pretty well. There's lots of other games you can watch on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7x4j-tODJA&list=PL0cqZY0wr1R_iSRsQ545lVFFWT_G5IvRh
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Pel
Line Captain
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Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 928
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like to make a rough outline of any adventure parameters, along with a few backup plans when the players decide to color outside the lines. Nothing major, just a few notes and stock characters/ships if they decide to do their own thing. Oh, and a galactic map in case they want to travel.

Maybe dial back the narration a bit? Give them a general description and if they want/need more, they'll ask. Save Perception rolls for details important to the story. That will relieve some of your pressure and give the players more time and freedom to act.

If you're still struggling, dust off one of the old published adventures. If it's one you've run before that will shorten your prep time. Those take a lot of the behind the scenes load off the GM and allow us to tell the story.
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Zarn
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Joined: 17 Jun 2014
Posts: 695
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consider them to have 'passive' PER rolls of 3.5 per die plus modifiers, and look to how that'll play out. For instance, if someone's got 3D+1 in PER rolls, they'll end up beating a TN of 11 - and 11 is a Moderate roll. So they'll automatically see whatever you think a "Moderate" thing would be.

Also, only have them roll for actions when it matters. If it doesn't matter, they'll succeed by stating their action - unless there's complicating matters of course.

"I land the Gilded Hornet on landing pad 29, like traffic control wanted me to." "You land like you always do - fast, but slightly hard." Of course, if there's complicating matters, then a roll might be required. "I land the Gilded Hornet on landing pad 29, like traffic control wanted me to." "The Gilded Hornet's on fire, it is carrying a load of unstable Detonite, AND you're wounded yourself. You need a roll for that."
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WillTasker
Lieutenant Commander
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Joined: 25 Jan 2017
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your replies, I'll definitely have to check out that YouTube link when I'm at home. Thats probably what I needed to see, to be honest.

We took a break this weekend, which worked in my favor, so we're going to start Starfall this coming weekend. That'll stretch out for maybe a month's worth of sessions (I hope!). I also need to grab the Classic Adventures sourcebook, as that one seems to have the type of stories I'd need for a Smuggler and her Mon Cal co-pilot who are trying to avoid the Empire *and* Rebellion and still make some money.

The trick is I'm half-writing, half-thinking about writing a really big, goofy adventure - something much "lighter" than I'm use to - after the players were really amused finding the "beast riding" skill. I don't know how much notes to take ahead of time, simply the direction I *want* them to go, but we all know how that turns out with good players.
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