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Chapter 1: Overview / Getting Started / What's a Roleplaying Game?

The Game Master

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 6
While the rest of the players must create their characters for a Starfinder game, the Game Master (or GM) is in charge of the story and world. The Game Master is a player, but for the sake of simplicity, she is referred to in this book and other Starfinder products as the Game Master or GM, whereas the other players are referred to simply as players. The Game Master needs to detail the situations she wants the players to experience as part of an overarching story, consider how the actions of the player characters (or PCs) might affect her plans, and understand the rules and statistics for the challenges they will face along the way.

Many Game Masters find it fun and convenient to run premade adventures, in which the game’s story and mechanical preparation is largely complete. The Starfinder Adventure Path line fills this role nicely. Other Game Masters enjoy preparing original game material, and many use a blend of both methods. Either way, the rules in Chapter 11 help Game Masters figure out which characters or creatures are appropriate opponents for a given group of player characters, as well as how to adjudicate everything from zero gravity and environmental hazards to what sort of loot PCs should get as rewards for their accomplishments.

During the game, the players roll dice and use their player characters’ statistics to determine how in-game actions are resolved. Much like a referee, the Game Master is the final arbiter of any action’s success or failure, and she can always override the rules if she disagrees with an interpretation or feels a given rules interaction is breaking the mood.