Working With New Players

Dead Poets Society

Now that I’ve got my do’s and don’ts out the way, I want to start to dig a little deeper. One thing that’s definitely changed about my games over the past few years is that I stopped playing with the same group of people and starting recruiting. Vigorously. In the past three years I’ve introduced about eighteen people to D&D through long term campaigns (longer than a year), and working with new players is something I love doing, though it can occasionally tax my patience a bit. It’s definitely been for the better.

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My Beholder Hatrack

Beholder (Dungeons & Dragons)

Recently, my D&D character helped kill a Beholder. A small one. We did what adventurers do, looting its treasure and making off with its prisoners, and I paused for a moment. Properly stuffed, that beholder would make a lovely hatrack in my character’s foyer. Because he has a foyer in the small house he shares with his wife. I asked if anyone else wanted the body, but no one did. They couldn’t carry it with them. That was when I figured out something important.

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Advice for New GMs

30 Days of GMing

It’s my first post in the 30 days of GMing, and I’m excited to get this challenge going. I’ve written a lot of new GM advice, from things I wish I’d known when I started to how to put a party together to the absolute basics. I love the thought of new people sitting around tables and living rooms all over the world and having fun while telling stories and smacking monsters. But I can write more about it. My biggest piece of advice for a new GM is don’t panic.

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Things I Wish I’d Known

Chuck vs. the Cheese Balls

New GM

This is the post my dental horror kept me from writing, the one I was really looking forward to. I’ve been running rpgs for twenty years now, from my secondhand copy of Darksword Adventures all the way to my playtest game of D&Dnext. I’ve run live-action games, story games, adventure, horror, and mystery. It’s given me plenty of time to take risks, and plenty of time to make mistakes. So here’s a lightning round of things I wish I’d known when I started.

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New GM: Enough Rope


Psychological warfare is one aspect of being a GM that I have not delved into much during my games, at least not consciously. Trying to use some of the tips and tricks Jim outlined in his posts becomes harder when you are too busy juggling all the other things you need to as an inexperienced GM. This is where something I mentioned last week comes into play: letting your players do the work.

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New GM: Using Hooks


Well I have finally returned from the abyss of thesis work and back to writing here at TPK. Today we’ll be looking at hooks, how you introduce adventures to your players. For a new GM it can be hard to implement them properly so lets take a look at what I did and how I learned from it.

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