First run as a GM last night! Here are a few lessons I learned



Last night I took the oath and embarked on my journey as a GM. The past year has been a fantastic journey leading up to this point…I’ll be the first to admit that fear of failure, not being good enough, perfection syndrome, etc delayed me from starting…but I took the plunge and glad I did!

Here are a few things I learned:

  1. Take time before the session to familiarize yourself with the player’s choices for weapons, spells, and abilities. You never know how they will use them but you can start to think about creating challenges for them, or how to handle what they might throw at you. Say for example, a Xill Ronin casts Aazul’s Conjuration and is about to release 1D4 demon imps into a scenario that “crave living flesh, any flesh…”
  2. Relax! You’re going to have fun. You are your own worst critic. Roll with the curveballs, and let the game take a life of its own.
  3. Write down little notes or story prompts to develop the plot. I didn’t have a good enough handle on this part before starting, fortunately we didn’t get too deep in to the story, so I have time before our next session to develop it.
  4. When in doubt, roll! Have a mutant reptoid charging out of the bridge and there are two crew members it can shoot at…which one does it target? Roll a d2 and decide!

Here’s a few fun items I’m incorporating into the game:

  • A mysterious object with runic characters and a special power that will be discovered in-game. My wife did the artwork for it. I gave one of the players the secret knowledge of the language ahead of time so they can translate what it says.
  • Prompt questions for characters as they develop. I had them make up their own call sign. Also, since they are military, they obviously have some sort of tattoo that came during their initial training. What does it look like? What’s the story behind it?
  • Share bits of the vision, story, mystery ahead of time in our discord channel. I made a fuzzy version of the object and shared it in the game channel ahead of time with some back story.
  • I asked the crew members individual questions, or gave them individual plot points that could cause betrayal between the members, or a close bond depending on which way it goes.
  • I created a few custom trigger events when the timer hits that will invoke part of their character creation and have specific results.

We are continuing the story, and I’m going to build on what I learned the first round. I’m writing out snippets of a captain’s log and science journals using a space font…it’s actually the alphabet developed for the “Commander Keen” game…one version will be completely in that font, and another one I share with the reptoids will have English underneath it so they instantly know what it means.

Thanks everyone for being an amazing community, I’m looking forward to many more adventures. I’m learning I really love being a GM…weaving all the details together and watching it unfold.

Also many thanks to @Andreas for being an amazing community member and mentor for me as I walk this path.


@Peterfromfargo did admirably on his first experience being a GM. He rolled with the curve balls, made good judgment calls (holy moly but those spells aren’t specific, are they?), asked for help when needed, and provided a fun atmosphere. The force is strong with this one!


Ah Gees, this post gives me the warm and fuzzies!!!

Remember you will have bad sessions! They don’t matter too much and you can learn from them. But make an effort to learn from them, not beat yourself up about them!

Also, the amount of notes goes down with time… but it’s a great practice to get into, cause you never know if a campaign revisit 5 years from now is going to happen!!!

Powers and abilities are important to know…but you can never account for the synergy a group of players might bring, or not bring to the table!

It’s fun to be the conductor of a run-away trans dimensional space train!!! Flow with it! Players are awesome most of the time, and they are the engine on this thing called RPGs.

Know your NPCs!!!


I’m err’ing on the side of taking lots of notes…as I start I want to learn from each encounter and decide what elements to reuse, change, etc…plus it helps me think through story details as I get a better grasp on improv :slight_smile:


Awesome to hear that you (and apparently your players too) had a blast!

Have no fear and keep going!


The world always needs more GMs! Good on ya for jumping in.