am thinking of starting up a game and would like some tips and advice on being a good gm
On one hand advice is tricky as what works for one group may not work for another. But I'd offer:
Know your adventure - So when the players go off track (and they will) you can improvise what happens. Remember you are sharing the story so there is no right way to do it. Reward them for being clever by not putting up road blocks if they deviate from what you want to happen. But if they wander down a dead end have a plan to pull them back on course.
If you are new, starting with a prewritten adventure is often a good plan as a lot of the work has been done. As you read it, run a hypothetical character of your own through it. What might you do? It will help you predict the player's actions.
Know your players- What sort of game do they want and have you catered for that? Are they the type who like combat or prefer to socialise with NPCs.
You should also pay attention to the attention you are giving each player. Make sure everyone gets a fair chance to be part of the adventure. Don't let the loud players dominate, and watch the quiet ones to make sure they get to do something.
Never play favourites (even and especially if the favourite is your girlfriend! :-).
Know the rules - You need not be some rules genius, but know the basic system well enough to improvise what you don't know. This will help you avoid flipping through the rulebook instead of running the game.
Enjoy doing it!- GMing is a lot of fun, so don't lose track of that under the pressure of running a game. Otherwise it can become a chore. One of the upsides is never having to wait your turn as being GM means you are always doing something.
Good luck with your game. Hope that helps!
Logic, my dear Zoe, simply allows one to be wrong with authority.
I'd stress - get rid of preconceptions. This game is not like more popular RPGs. If you have players coming from other RPG systems - you will have to shatter their preconceptions. They should not expect to run around with guns shooting Daleks and accumulating high tech treasure. The system is not built for it. Combat is the last resort, and that's enshrined in the rules themselves.
The system is built to simulate the Doctor Who genre - so if they want to have fun, they need to behave in keeping with the TV show.
"This is my timey wimey detector. Goes ding when there's stuff."