Sometimes personal life will enter the game. It’s best to keep that at a minimum, but as a GM it’s hard sometimes not to take the opportunity to make a point, both in game and in real life. Pictures help.
Most of the time players gloss over their character bios. They usually jot down one or two lines of generic backstory and focus more on the here-and-now, then fill in their history as it’s convenient. What’s fun is when a player totally blows off the bio and makes up some ridiculous back story. Wedging it into the game repeatedly makes the game even more fun for both the GM and players. Except for the player with the bad back story, that is.
Players fear no authority figure. Most of the time. A good GM will make it clear that player actions have consequences, and sometimes those consequences lead to rolling a new character. As a GM, sometimes you have to lay down the law to your players. Let them know who’s in charge. There’s a fine line to this though, players aren’t overly attached to beginning characters, and you risk killing the game altogether when you kill off a character.
Juggling players and their personalities can be harrowing at times, especially when some of the players aren’t exactly friendly towards one another. It doesn’t help that some players tend to steal the show once in a while and re-railing them sometimes makes the game concentrate on their character more than others. As a GM, you don’t just manage the game setting, environment and NPCs, you also have to sometimes manage the people playing the game as well.
Despite your best efforts as a GM to get your players’ characters where you want them to be, they will inevitably muck up the works and go the opposite direction.
Players will almost always want to take the path that leads to certain death. As a GM, if you want the game to last more than an hour or so, you will have to steer them in the right direction from time to time. Of course, from time to time, you will also want to hasten their deaths yourself.
The beautiful thing about NPCs is they have no life other than the one you give them. They have no family commitments to worry about, no plans made, no schedules to keep. This can help GMs move players toward a specific path without totally railroading the game.
As a GM, when giving your players instructions, keep them clear and simple. However, be expecting the fact that even the clearest and most simple instructions can still be botched. Usually in a new and exciting way.
Many players will mimic their real world habits in game, including slacking off at work.
Give players an inch, and they will take 1.9174×1013 miles. Fortunately, as a GM, you have clairvoyance and can grant misguided shopping spree wishes when you know that there is no chance they will ever benefit from their ridiculous requests.