Game Master / Dungeon Master
Rules, Policies and Tips on running your own Role-playing Game in this Community. Please read through this entire Thread (2 pages), you can skip the part of GMStatus as that only applies to advanced Game Masters.
Update November 2018: Please note that we no longer service Dungeons & Dragons / Pathfinder games here as our focus will be on our in house custom systems like ROK II that concentrates on role-play rather a need to know rules, have special dice rolls, or a Dungeon Master that is often inconsistent, etc. While Dungeons & Dragons is quite popular it is often run with certain expectations that are not all inclusive thus limiting the kind of Player participation that should be free and open.
ABSOLUTE FIRST: You should have been an existing active Player within the Community before you can be a Dungeon Master. A lot of Players and the Administrator of this site will be investing time to help you achieve the best Role-playing Game possible, please be understanding of that. You must be able to take constructive instruction and guidance about your Game or your Posts. For instance see: Page 2. The Key Is To ALWAYS Be Courteous. When respect is shown respect is given. If you are the kind of person that is easily offended or cannot follow the most basic Rules of this Community then please, do not start any Games here. Above all: Do not start Role-playing Games you cannot complete!
RPG Word definitions
- GM or Game Master = The person that runs an Role-playing Game
- Dungeon Master or Dungeon Master = Same as GM
- Role-playing Game = Role-Playing Game where players manage a character in a fictitious world
- Scenario = The theme or outline of a game
- Post / Message = The writings of someone that has been saved
- Thread = A series of Posts make up a Thread although a Thread can be one Post - what you are on now is a Thread
- Board = Where all Threads of a similar subject are kept - Example of a Board
- Forum = The Community as a whole
So you want to be a Game Master?
Being a Game Master (GM for short) can be very rewarding, but it can also be a lot of work. I would say the first attribute you must have is a love for role-play gaming. Then a real desire to make your scenarios work. You may not be very good at describing your games / scenarios at first, but if you work at it you will find that your words will formulate into just the right places / phrases / sentences because you really want it to. Too many Game Master's often give up on the first try - don't be one of them.
Frequently Asked Questions about GMaster Status (Optional)
Q. Do I need a special status to be a Game Master or Dungeon Master?
A. No, anyone can be a GM or Dungeon Master so long as they are willing to follow the policies set within this Thread.
Q. What is GMaster Status then?
A. GMaster is a group for very active Game Masters that need special options. It is not necessary for regular Game Masters.
Q. Do I need GMaster Status to start an Role-playing Game here?
A. No, GMaster status is not necessary, however before you can start Threads you do need to ensure there are Players willing to be in it. Please read on.
Q. So, when will I need GMaster status?
A. If you have a large Role-playing Game and several players and need things like the ability to Upload images within Posts and lock Threads. GMasters or those with GM status are allowed to Upload images in their Posts. All Game Masters already have a Maps section where they can Upload Images.
Q. As a GM will I be able to use images for my Role-playing Game ?
A. As a regular GM you use the Maps section, but if you have GMaster status, you can also Upload images within your Posts as well, but there are some limitations that you must be aware of, continue reading. As a general rule images and image code are not allowed in Posts by Regular Members because we have suffered in the past with:
1. Abuse: posting to someone's work, using image to advertise, etc.
2. Images stored on free host become broken and make for ugly captions
3. Your posts here are shown on many other Role-playing Game sites so large sized images (Width, height, KBs) cause a lot of problems.
Members with GM status (Given by the Architect) are allowed to use images in their Post but it CAN be taken away if there is abuse or you discontinue following the requirements mentioned below:
Topics You Should Read & Participate In As A Game Master
The following Topics I have hand picked for good reading. In order for all of us to improve and learn from each other you should also participate in them at some point during your time in the Community:
In Order By A-Z:
Can One Player And A Game Master Carry A Game?
Debate: Play By Post vs Table Top Role-playing Games
Dependable Game Master / Dungeon Master
Dependable Role-playing Game Players
Don't Break A New Player's Enthusiasm
Embedded Dice Support
Formula for Summoning Atmosphere in Role-Playing Games
Game Master's Almanac
Game Master's Assistant
Game Masters: How To Recruit Players For Your Role-playing Game
Game Masters Looking For Role-playing Game Play By Post Players
Game Master's Nag Player Button
Game Master's Rule & Policies Page
Game Master's Schedule Or Stop Waiting On Slow Players Guide
Game Masters That Cannot Follow Posting Rules
How to communicate with the GM privately (So you know when Players ask)
Looking For Committed Game Masters For JB's Boards
Managing Intelligent Monsters In Role-Playing Games
Maps & Mapping For Role-Playing Games
Melodramatic Role-Play Gamers
Over Reliance On The Game Master To Have Fun
Players Waiting On Players Syndrome
Right Amount Of Role-Players
Role-playing Game Etiquette
Role-playing Game Marching Order
Role-playing Game Newsletters
Romance In Role-playing Games
Text Role-playing Game Character Creator
Text Role-playing Game Creator Auto SRD Reference
Text Role-playing Game Creator's Gems
Using Alignment In Role-Playing Games
Using Player Character Status For Game Masters
What Kind Of Role-playing Game Experience Are You Looking For?
What Time Do You Play By Post On Here?
When Do You Close An Role-playing Game Due To Inactivity?
Why Our Play By Post System Is The Best!
Writing Tips For Play By Post Role-playing Game Masters
Your Favorite Way To Reward Players
Focus On Writing / Grammar
Using Interjections - Word Emotions
Q. How come I cannot start more than a couple of New Threads per day?
A. There is a limit on the number of New Threads a Regular Member can start. If you need multiple Threads then you will need to let 24 hours pass and then you can start more. Upgraded Members do not have this delay.
Q. Some of my Posts are deleted, why is that?
A. Most new Game Masters are very anxious to begin Posting and do not READ our Posting Policy which includes PROPER grammar, stay on Topic and be relevant. This means that your Posts should well formatted, grammatically correct and so forth. We do not expect perfection, but at the same time writing sentences in all common letters or using "Net talk" as a GM is not justified here. Remember, to be a GM you should be an exemplar of the Community's Rules and Policies.
Will You Like To Take Over A Current Board For Your RPG?
I have recently placed an Update about GMs taking over some of the RPGs we have here. You can look at this specific Post: Source 9
Era Pic - Those of you old enough to remember:
Don't Start Games If You Cannot Finish Them!
There is a trend by some excited Dungeon Masters to start Threads with games getting Players anticipations high only to have it fall flat. Here is a simple rule of thumb:
DO NOT START GAMES HERE THAT YOU CANNOT STAY AND FINISH
If you know in the next week you will be working or studying or on vacation then why start a game that will end in you having to tell the players that you can no longer continue? It is also helpful if you post your schedule, in fact I will start making that mandatory. For instance if you start a game it should be stated:
I will update this game every 'x' days regardless to player input. This way active players are not penalized because delinquent players do not show up. Dungeon Masters should naturally 'kill off' players that do not show up regularly for games. Of course you can't do that if you're not active yourself.
Penalty For Delinquent Dungeon Masters / Game Masters
If as a Dungeon Master / GM with GMaster status you are running a Role-playing Game and suddenly leave it unattended without notice, warning or an exact return / restart date with your Players hanging then you will lose GMaster status and related features will be taken away. Neither will it be restored upon your return. We run a serious mature minded Community with free features for your use and no matter what is your case you owe it to everyone to at least say, "I will be gone for 'X' and the game will restart 'Y'. Or if you know you cannot facilitate the game then state so clearly so no one is left guessing. Even with that said it reverts back to what was said earlier: DO NOT START GAMES HERE THAT YOU CANNOT STAY AND FINISH. Therefore if you are going to be a Dungeon Master / GM here you better finish your whole game to the very last Player.
Mixing Up Dungeons & Dragons Rules & Your Own Game Discussion Threads
One thing I have noticed as a trend among Dungeon Masters is to have a "Player" Thread as an 'open' Thread to Discuss the Dungeon Masters game. I can see the reasoning behind it as there needs to be some outside Discussion, BUT it brings up issues that I left alone for while but for which I think I can no longer do so.
All Dungeon Masters should please consider these points when having these 'open' Player Threads:
1. Your Player Threads should be focused on your Game and not other items in the Community or off topic items. As an example I see Posts being used to talk about personal interests or topics better suited for either the Welcome Board or the Role-playing Game Reviews Board.
2. When it comes to Dungeons & Dragons Rules please use the RPG Reviews Board instead of turning the Player's Thread into a debate over it. In doing so you will enable:
A. Players to see existing Threads about Dungeons & Dragons, there are in fact many existing Threads or ones can be started
B. References to be Posted about Dungeons & Dragons Game Rules
C. More than just the Players from your Game will benefit
D. Members not in your Game but who may know the answer to a Dungeons & Dragons related Rule will be able to participate.
E. Players to know about your Game Reviews Thread which is always located in the RPG Reviews Board
3. When something is related to the Member Wars Board as a whole please use the Member Wars Support Thread.
Do Link Your Content
As a GM you should offer a link to your content rather than simply say "Read the Rules" or "Check the Settings" and things like that. This is especially true when you are inviting new Members to your games. Remember you are familiar with where everything is located but they are not.
We do have very strict rules about external linking but in house links are fine. The proper way to link something is by using the URL tags rather than being dependent on the site putting it as "Source". For instance:
A pause from How To Be A Game Master / Dungeon Master to share scoop from past years:
Today is: 23rd October (GMT), in history on the 23rd of October, 1888 AD the following event happened:
Pelham Bay Park in Bronx, vested