This is devoted to those common problems facing a GM. How do you get enough players? What do you do when there is a bad atmosphere within the group?
Everyone, please post those tips and tricks that come to mind. There is no one true solution. Different GMs, different solutions.
Some GMs, and the computer game industry too, seems to think gemstones, gold and magic weapons are the only way in which to reward the players. Most experienced GMs know this isn’t true, so I created this thread here to let us remind each other of the different alternative rewards a player can receive, and to have a place where ordinary item descriptions can be posted.
Game environments are not built with a ruler and some tape, they are built with imagination and an understanding of what is needed to make the game environment. If you take the time to learn about what you will need to do before you being the process, it will make for better results in less time with less work.
Does your character use the longbow? Here are some ideas to make the use of the longbow more realistic and more fun. It doesn’t have to be just another weapon. The longbow is a specialized weapon with many characteristics that make it unique and fun to role play with.
As the PCs travel the road, right after a bend they hear a sharp whistle and call: "Heeey, not so lazy, move your asses!" It is a large man that calls, and there are unwilling workers that listen. A small company, 10-15 men work on the road, push boulders aside, dig up roots from under the road, etc. The large man that shouted turns to you, smiles fast and mutters something under his breath, sounds like cursing some lazy worker. "Where does the road bring you from, travellers?" And does a little small-talk.
And what is really happening? A group of bandits is 'adapting' the road for shady purposes. The road will not be wider, but tighter, with enough cover around (and a few traps perhaps), and will become an ideal spot for ambushing travellers or entire caravans. The bandit leader wants them all to appear harmless. The 'lazy worker' he cursed was actually a guard that should give warning before any travellers come around (fallen asleep). Not surprisingly, the boss may decide for an ambush even now.