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ITT: we give simple advice that can help our fellow GM's
I'll start
>keep a list of names (male and female) on hand so no matter who the PC's meet, you have a name for that character, even if you just made them up and didnt plan for them
>have 2-3 "can happen anywhere" battles so if players go somewhere you didnt expect at all, and you have nothing planned, you still have some solid content to finish the session and make a new plan. Some example could be: a surprise orc raid, drow assassins sent by an enemy faction descend upon the heroes, or an earthquake opened a fissure and fire elementals are pouring out.
>dont ever make your story rely on the heroes fleeing or running. it doesn't matter how much you tell yourself "well they shouldve known better", a TPK because you railroaded them into running away is bad GMing
If you see a player's PC strugling in their supposedly field of expertise, don't be a dick, don't ignore it, throw a bone to him. And specially don't kill his PC to "free him" from the burthen of playing it, that is a double dick movie.
Practice Hands https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-U41n1678I
>Play something except DnD for a change.
>that is a double dick move.
My name is Richard Johnson, and I will be your GM tonight.
>bad omen
I find this to be extremely useful: http://themagictreerpg.blogspot.com/2008/10/gms-ten-commandments.html?m=1
Always remember that it's just a game. Everything doesn't have to be perfect, so long as everyone's having a good time.
Talk to your players if you have a problem
Encourage them to talk to you if they have a problem
Establish clear expectations for game type (intrigue? dungeoncrawl? exploration?), level of difficulty, and tone (lighthearted? serious?)
Know the rules that come up the most often in your game
Play the game that suits what you want to do (don't play D&D for a slice-of-life game for example)

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