New GM – Session 2


Being a new game master PLUS being under-prepared is a recipe for a difficult and not very fun session.

Unfortunately, the date for my second session snuck up on me, and while I knew I wanted to start the Rise of the Runelords adventure path, I hadn’t had time to actually read up on it. So I ended up doing a ‘filler’ session with a few vague ideas for quests for the players to go on. While this gave them freedom of choice, it also led to a rather stilted session. My lack of experience meant that I had very little ability to improvise on the spot.

My players had rather powerful first level characters – a ranger, a monk and a sorcerer – so I made the mistake of making the enemies they face TOO tough, nearly killing the monk in the process (the result of some rather poor rolls from the players and a fantastic critical hit from the boss). While I’m not against player character death, it was not something I wanted to see in our second session.

Needless to say, I learnt a valuable lesson from this session. Preparation is key. Perhaps in a few years, I will be able to prepare more open-ended adventures, but for now, I would rather focus on preparing a few well-designed encounters. Trying to generate interesting dungeons and determining treasure on the fly is just too much for a budding game master!

And so, I planned to start Rise of the Runelords in my next session.

Abigail Holden

Gamer, geek, LEGO fanatic. I also love Pathfinder RPG, The Sims, cross stitching, crochet and sci-fi and fantasy movies, games & books. And animals.

9 thoughts on “New GM – Session 2

  • 11th April 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Let me know if you need any advice, my friend. I’ve certainly been there!

    • 9th April 2013 at 10:40 am

      Hahaha yeah, the boss critted for max damage… Thank goodness Pathfinder characters are quite tough. Needless to say, I learned some important lessons from this session!

      • 9th April 2013 at 10:49 am

        Well the best lessons are learnt through mistakes. I wanted to know, how long are the sessions?

        • 9th April 2013 at 10:57 am

          Obviously, length of sessions depends on the time available etc, but most organised play sessions (e.g. at a comic book shop or convention) tend to be 4 hour slots. If it’s much shorter, you don’t get much done (pen and paper roleplaying tends to take a while, especially if there are lots of players), and if it’s too long, people can get bored/antsy etc. We did an epic all day session a few weeks ago and could barely stand after sitting for so long!


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