Q1. Loss of loved ones or loss of honour / status could also be pretty harsh (needs fully-fleshed campaign and characters and players who care to have impact though)

    Q2. I’ll give them xp and let them short-circuit the adventure as long as it’s genuine use of smarts and skills within the virtual game world and not just some ‘gamist’ use of mechanics – clever use of spells needs to be judged carefully as to which side of the line that falls on.

    Q3. I’m often willing to halt the game for short periods for rules checks because consistency is important and on-the-fly-judgements can become a slippery slope of precedents that players try to leverage. But there are limits – You have to judge the players’ mood on this, sometimes momentum is everything and you don’t want to lose it. Sometimes a snap decision is needed to keep things flowing. I usually add a caveat ‘….though I reserve the right to have things happen differently in another situation’.

    Q4. DMs’ screens are, mostly I think, vital pieces of psychological armour for the DM 😉

    Lurkinggherkin´s last blog post..Adventure Post-Mortem: The Falcon Series (WGA1-3) – Part 2

  2. Q1. The worst thing to happen to an adventurer is ‘nothing!’
    Not all games have stats or levels. Loss of treasure, armour, cool weapons, or special items also stings.

    Q2. Short circuiting the adventure with clever thinking is cool. Plus there is such a thing as being too clever.
    Worst case just then add on the next adventure if you need to fill the session.

    Q3. Key thing is to know all the rules of the game [. Stopping to check and halting the game is very poor form.
    Have crib sheets of all the obscure rules or just make a judgement on it as fairly as you can [easier with some games than others].

    Q4. Never used a screen – I hate a barrier between GM and players.
    Plus there should be trust there not a screen.

    Darran Sims´s last blog post..Midweek Character – Sam Winchester

  3. I tend to be a stickler for rules and want to keep the game going fast — meaning I have incredibly detailed 3×5 cards. Sorcerers have the durations of the spells and centipedes have the definition of “swarm traits” and rocs have the rules for the Snatch feat on their cards so I can get the rules right and don’t have to look up a single thing in the game.

  4. i’ve gm’d for almost 15 years and i’ve never used a GM Screen. i’ve never seen the point. of course, i just make a habit of either remembering all the neccesary rules for whatever game i’m playing, or just making up house rules as i go along.
    i believe the most important things for a GM to be is creative, imaginative, and open to suggestion. all of which, i believe, a screen detracts.
    it presents rules and numbers as if they are set in stone and it creates a barrier between the GM and the players.
    if you need a screen to hide your die results because you’re worried about an NPC missing a roll, then you should quit being a GM immediately. why? because your players don’t trust you. and trust in the GM’s ability is an absolute must if you want your players to have a good time.
    if a die roll is such a big concern that you feel like you have to cheat, then don’t even bother rolling. just throw out an arbitrary number.

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