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What do you do well?

The Shaman

First Post
Here's a chance to pat yourself on the back. :)

What do you do well when you are running a game? What do your players like about how you referee? What do you think are your greatest strengths behind the screen?

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I build interesting encounters. I do a good job of making the environment matter, building/choosing monsters that work well together and/or with that environment, add wrinkles like traps or puzzles to combat, etc.

Sadly, I mainly run pre-published material these days, but I still tweak encounters to make them more interesting when I have time.

Hand of Evil

Making my players feel part of the campaign setting, they have a vested interest in the story, plots and sub-plots that I have going on.

Had a lot of good feed back on that over the years.

Crazy Jerome

First Post
Provide mystery and other opportunities to discover and gnaw on clues and information--often deep and broad in scope. (This is absolutely critical to this group. I've gotten good at it because I've had a lot of practice. :))

Keep the game moving with a large, social group. But keep the running commentary and other asides that are so much part of our fun. Also lots of practice.

Give the players meaningful choices for their characters.


First Post
Combat. I like to have a very interactive enviroment with interesting terrain and let my players try crazy stuff. Granted, I had to clue-bat a Jedi once to try force powers on a Rancor, but my players have fun.


First Post
When I speak, people listen. And I'm very good at listening to other people.

I'm also very good at improvising and maintaining coherence while doing so.

Also thought I'd link this old thread for an interesting take on the topic.


Staff member
People love my homebrewed campaign settings. How well they play out in game may vary, but a lot of people who have played in my games anticipate my next one, regardless of how the previous one played out.

I guess that makes me the Alfa Romeo of campaign designers.*

* watch Top Gear and that will make sense.

Super Pony

Studded Muffin
I geek out on the settings I run to the point that I almost always have a response for how something affects the senses (look, smell, taste, sound, touch), who the movers and shakers are in the nearby world, and I like to paint a picture of events happening in the setting around the players so that it doesn't seem like a staged set and more of a living world where NPC's move away, die in accidents, become more powerful in their own right, etc.

But then there is the hefty tome containing my faults...*slides 30lb leather bound tome of failures under nearby bed with foot*...


Mod Squad
Staff member
I yank chains. You give me a character who has a history with plot hooks and emotional entanglements, and I'll find new and interesting ways to push that character's buttons.


I make NPCs that the PCs care about.

I make the game world and its problems be personally relevant to the PC (and appealing to the player).

I portray NPCs well.


Steeliest of the dragons
If I may toot my own horn...and it's the point/premise of the thread, so...TOOT TOOT!

I get many compliments on immersion. The players really feel a part of my world...as Super Pony mentions, "engaging the senses" is a big poart of this, whether that has anything to do with the encounter at hand or not...in a city, in a dungeon, hanging out at the tavern...you get a complete picture/"feel" for where you are. Other things like regional food and fashions, seasonal "realistic" weather, all help contribute to this.

Along the "immersion" lines, the game world is not "the same" everywhere you go. Different realms, regions, kingdoms, each have a culture and lavor of their own that players seem to enjoy (some like certain regions better than others...but then, certain regions are designed to be more fun/amicable/adventurous/what have you, than others.)

Like Ahnehnois, I am often told I'm a good listener and so, am regularly listened to. Which is always nice.

I work with my players to do what I can to make their desires work, without disruption (or absurdity) of the world-setting. Some don't get their way and don't like it. But many more do.

I like to think I have a talent for diverse, "realistic" and enjoyable NPCs and NPC interactions, though I admit haven't had many comments about them other than the occasional "so-and-so is cool! Let's go back and talk to/see/have drinks with them" or "I like so and so" or "I'm not sure about so-and-so". Most any NPC, of any importance, gets some sort of personality and some kind of backstory/personal goals.

Everyone who is helpful to the party is not necessarily "nice." Not everyone who is "nice" can actually help the party. My players have learned to take each interaction as it comes and that someone being a d--k isn't necessarily an agent of the BBEG. Some people are just 'not pleasant" to deal with/have other concerns than what the party wants/needs...or just got up on the wrong side of the bed.


First Post
I post to messageboards ......

But mroe seriously, I am good at envisioning a world, on the fly and reacting to the player's ideas in the game.


Casting the spotlight on each player so they have a chance to shine, trying to incorporate their back stories, and letting them decide how the story unfolds. Basically saying "yes" when they want to do something.


I do my absolute level best, every time, 100% of the time, to provide my players with a good, fun experience when I DM. If I don't feel like I accomplished that, I find out what I can do to make the next session a better one.

I am constantly trying to improve my DM skills, tools, and repertoire.


I'm pretty good at running a game that is a fair challenge, not Monty Haul and not Killer Dungeon. The PCs pretty well always have the chance to succeed or to fail, with player skill as well as luck having a big impact. Lots of players find my games enjoyably challenging, though it can certainly go bad occasionally.

I'm good at ensuring the PCs are the stars of the show. They are always the stars, to me - I hate GMPCs. Being the star is a challenge, though - you have to Step On Up and show you're star material.


I do not believe in plot protection. BBEGs have bought the big one in one shot.
I have also killed beloved NPCs with natural causes.

Elf Witch

First Post
I am good at world building and making a world that my players enjoy exploring. I also make worlds that tend to make sense so you don't have arctic zones smack up against a burning hot desert.

I make interesting fleshed out NPCs both the good guys and the bad guys are more than just stats.

I work with my players to make the game fun for them I try and not say no instead if I really think a request is not going to work as it is presented I will try and come up with away to tweak it so it does work.

I design the game to give every player a chance to shine.

I know my players like to be like the heroes out of books and movies so I do things to help stop them being killed by orc number 1 in a non heroic way. One way I do this is through fate and action points. Also I have a house rule that unnamed mooks don't crit. That house rule I stole from another DM.

I incorporate a players back story into the game and make it worthwhile for a player who choose to take the time to create one.

I am good at reading people so I use that to judge if the players are having fun or if they are getting bored and adjust what is happening.

I am really good at thinking on my feet and doing things on the fly.


I recognize my deficiencies when it comes to running a game, so I don't do it :) I do an excellent job of playing quirky characters for my DM to riff off of and I usually make sure to understand a system very thoroughly and end up a reference point for the other players and DM. I used to help Co-ST an OWoD game in college and my DM didn't know Mage at all, so I covered all Mage questions and helped him w/some overarching plots for the game. In the 3E days, my DM asked me to make 3 L13 Ogre enemies specifically tailored to kill 3 of our party members. I made perfect counters to some of our group members and then the way things went, none of them fought the guy they were designed to fight and they were taken down easily. He was so frustrated :)

I'm good at "flying by the seat of my pants," it happens often in the games I run where the players take an "unexpected path" (not railroaded) and I come up with fun/interesting scenarios very quickly. I'm also good at stealing player ideas (i.e. they mention something in passing that they think would be cool/fun) and putting them into the adventures.

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