Techniques to offset perceived inequities among player characters derived from differences in capability.

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22
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7answers
1k views

How to encourage a player's creativity without breaking the game?

I've just started a new D&D 4e campaign with a new group of players. One of my players came straight from 2nd edition, and has never played 4e before. She doesn't seem to grasp the layer of ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Monster Manual 1 - Is it balanced? Should I balance it?

I've been DM'ing a little lately 4 edition D&D and of course I'm confused again: My first adventure was a big question mark, I didn't use the exact guidelines for creating an encounter and ...
10
votes
4answers
11k views

Is two-weapon fighting only as a full-round action balanced versus fighting with a two-handed weapon?

One of the players in a Pathfinder game in which I am playing is arguing that characters should be able to get the additional attack for fighting with two weapons when attacking as a standard action, ...
10
votes
7answers
367 views

Differing Starting Points Levels

The GM of a GURPS game I'm playing in has set the game's point level at 150. However, he has also made the option available to take 250 or 75 points at the beginning, with the understanding that the ...
7
votes
3answers
335 views

How do intelligent enemies attack based on player threat?

How do I determine how intelligent enemies attack? For beasts and plants and such, I usually roll to randomly determine a player, then attack based off that. But intelligent, even semi-intelligent ...
7
votes
11answers
824 views

Balancing players' rolls, not characters

I have been the worst dice-roller in my party as far as I can remember. Be it D&D 3.5, 4th Edition, or any other dice based system, the goddess of luck has always been mean to me. To give you an ...
7
votes
3answers
299 views

Is maximum PC hit points going to unbalance the game?

I don't like randomization in character creation/advancement, so my preference is to not roll for hit points, but to take a fixed value every level. PCGen gives me several options, and Pathfinder ...
4
votes
2answers
149 views

The use of an intelligent magical item. When is it appropriate and how powerful should it be?

This is my first question, so forgive me if I seem to miss some of the protocols. I'm running a D&D 3.5 custom campaign setting, I tend to be a "low magic" and very high rp kind of guy focusing ...
7
votes
2answers
937 views

Power levels of RIFTS classes

Someone posted this link to a set of "tiers" for D&D 3.5 classes, and it got me thinking. I haven't played RIFTS in forever, and one of the reasons is the wide disparity in class power and ...
21
votes
8answers
2k views

How to balance a very-low magic campaign

Recently, my players and I got kind of bored with the fact that Pathfinder relies heavily on magic items than martial prowess for fighting classes. I realize and accept the fact that spellcasters are ...
7
votes
6answers
375 views

Adjusting Combat Balance

My Problem My players all seem to have +5 defenses and attacks over the monsters, in addition to the health and more deadly abilities... and they're in appropriate gear for their level (+2 gear at ...
35
votes
11answers
2k views

Is there a limit to Rule 0?

Rule Zero: All other rules can be changed by the GM. I appreciate that there is a massive amount of work that goes into be a GM and the last thing that any GM wants or deserves is to have his ...
7
votes
1answer
217 views

Will changing an artifact sword to another weapon type impact game balance much?

I have an ongoing campaign, that started with a vampire-paladin who is now a blackguard — he fallen to the dark side, thanks to Nightbringer. Then he lost the sword: he wanted to control ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

How can you balance a system without making it bland?

In one of my long-term PvP LARP games, we've done a lot of work trying to balance the system we're using, either by banning certain "classes" or "powers" or by altering their specs slightly to make ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

How to help my low-level spellcaster PCs feel more useful

My party right now consists of a pair of incredibly optimized characters (a half-orc fighter and a ranger/scout), one fairly well optimized character (a swashbuckler who's thinking about mutliclassing ...
11
votes
2answers
287 views

Assisted healing (and Inspiring Leadership) game balance

I renamed this question because I didn't estimate the problem correctly, which actually seems to be localized to assisted healing. The old title was "How do I restrain Inspiring Leadership". (Strands ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Are Strength and Dexterity balanced in Vampire the Masquerade? If not, how can I fix it?

Since Revised edition, I have found that Dexterity is a very powerful trait and that Strength is not so important. Dexterity + Wits determine initiative, which is a big advantage in combat. ...
6
votes
4answers
241 views

Balancing encounters for faster feat progression

I'm DMing a group right now in Eberron (so I already have to take Action Points into account for encounter design), and my players, who are fairly new, are super intrigued by all of the interesting ...
5
votes
2answers
114 views

How would I run a game of Legend without a Battlemap?

Since both battle-mats and miniatures tend to be fairly expensive (and I would personally prefer a more descriptive style of battles anyway), I was wondering how one might run a game of Legend without ...
14
votes
5answers
577 views

How can I offer players a balanced opportunity to take powerful races, without adjusting their level?

I'm planning to run a Planescape game in 3.5 and want to offer players the opportunity to play unusual characters within the system. Ideally power level wouldn't be a concern, but some players might ...
10
votes
9answers
1k views

Two players compete for same role - how do I balance this?

I have a D&D 3.5 group of four players, the classes are; Wizard, Rogue, Barbarian, and Swashbuckler, the level of the players is 4. (Having no healer is part of the game, not part of my question) ...
9
votes
2answers
153 views

Dealing with defense in BESM

In BESM, it seems to be a lot easier to build a character capable of dealing massive amounts of damage than a character capable of taking massive amounts of damage. As a DM, I don't want to build ...
3
votes
4answers
228 views

How to limit weapons on Agents of Oblivion?

Well, we recently started playing the Campaign Setting by Reality Blurs, which is a "Perfect Cocktail between horror and Espionage", and tough we're liking it, there's not a guideline to limit ...
8
votes
2answers
201 views

How do I keep a horror-like feeling with supernatural powered PCs?

I'm going to use Savage Worlds to run a horror campaign in a modern day setting; think X-Files or Supernatural. My players all agree and are excited about the horror concept, but they want to be able ...
3
votes
2answers
104 views

How can I balance magic in a setting that imposes penalties on its use?

I am starting an adventure in a custom setting that may end up as a campaign, depending on popularity. However, part of what makes the setting unique is that magic is illegal and severely punished by ...
6
votes
1answer
287 views

Help me evaluate this homebrew Pokémaster class

So one of my players dropped this bomb on me during the discussion stages for a campaign we're going to start soon - he wants his character to be a Pokemaster. Reading through the class though, it ...
12
votes
4answers
402 views

In FATE, what is the relative value of each characteristic?

There are a lot of FATE variants out there, but most have a few common types of characteristics in common: a number of aspects, a base number of fate points (refresh), skills/abilities, stunts, and ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

My players almost die in my encounters every time. Does this mean my encounters are too hard?

I'm running my first campaign with three friends. This is the first time any of us have done any table-top role-playing. I'm working the party through the H1: Keep on the Shadowfell campaign using ...
25
votes
12answers
2k views

How does a DM correct the balance after accidentally giving the players too much gold?

Inspired by some of the answers to Pitfalls of using the optional 'XP for Gold' rule in a Basic D&D Retro Clone game? As DM/GM, you slipped up and ended up giving the PCs significantly ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

How can I maintain game balance at extremely high levels of power in a point-build system?

More specifically, how do I keep the game fun when all parties involved are extremely powerful? The game I'm asking this about is a Wild Talents 2nd Edition game where everyone is built on a budget of ...
22
votes
10answers
792 views

How do I balance game interactions between a giant mecha that can level cities and its pilot?

I have had recurring trouble with a subject I like, and would like to implement into my games, but can't find a good way to do so: mechas (big huge robots) From a system point of view, it is usually ...
6
votes
2answers
263 views

Would a greatsword that is +1/+3 vs aberrations unbalance my game?

My current D&D 3.5 campaign is about aberrations and I want to give my low-level characters an advantage against aberrations. (They're level 2 at the moment). One of my players is playing a ...
27
votes
7answers
960 views

What makes a character/creature/power/ability/etc. over-powered?

In generic terms, what makes something, regardless of what game it's being used in, over powered? I hear the term a lot, and while I can recognize it when I see it in-play (often due to someone ...
9
votes
2answers
870 views

Would magic 'weapons' make the monk more balanced?

The monk in D&D 3.5 (and, to a lesser extent, in Pathfinder) is generally considered underpowered. Would adding magic 'weapons' that could add enhancement bonuses and magic weapon effects to a ...
7
votes
4answers
348 views

Pathfinder Battle Royale!

A friend and I were thinking about doing a Colosseum battle to the death with our group, for game sessions when not everyone was there, or just to let people test out character builds. What we were ...
3
votes
3answers
588 views

Better Weapon Focus

Last time a played DnD it was 3.0, I remember, the Weapon Focus feat, thinking ti is kind of dull, but sometimes prerequisite for more advanced feats. So I would changed it in a way like: ...
11
votes
5answers
371 views

How can I stop a large level disparity from being a problem?

In my campaign, my players each have several different characters at the home base. Every session, they pick which one they want to play. However, some players always use the same one and so have more ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do Weapon Mastery feats have the requirements they do?

I've been playing and DMing in Epic tier for some time now, and have introduced quite a few house rules already (mostly common ones - free expertise feats, free improved defences), and I'm wondering ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

My fifth level PC has a +2 longsword but that's about all

How much can any single possession take up a character's wealth? For this question, I'd like answers that operate under the presumption that wealth-by-level isn't a minimum but instead a target. I've ...
6
votes
3answers
583 views

Minor Effects for Magical Items

I tend to prefer high-magic fantasy games, where magical items can be purchased (at around the DMG prices, in D&D) in many large(ish) towns - it's common for the very well-off to have magical ...
12
votes
5answers
367 views

How can I balance an enemy that my players might encounter at different levels?

My story revolves around 8 angels that my players must defeat. The thing is I want them to look for them in no particular order. How can I balance an enemy easily in advance, since they may encounter ...
6
votes
4answers
477 views

What can be done to maintain balance in a magic system in which mages must construct their own spells?

I'd like to build a magic system in which every spell is a one-off. A spell is created to serve a particular purpose and is cast once. I'm thinking that the time and place of the casting would be ...
4
votes
3answers
163 views

How do I estimate puzzle durations?

I'm looking to run an immersive/ARG style LARP and I'm trying to block out the time that I'm estimating players will spend on different tasks. One part of this is going to involve puzzle solving, and ...
10
votes
3answers
429 views

How should I handle nerfing a player for the purposes of game balance?

Background I run a Live Action Role-Playing game on a monthly basis (from March through November) for anywhere from 10-30 PCs (with 3 other Plot members and anywhere from 0-10 NPCs). The majority of ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Dealing with Tome of Battle's power inflation

Wait, your swordsage can run up and stab a guy with a fireball (which he's immune to), on top of a normal attack. He can do this 4 times, and take a one round break to get a full charge again? ...
12
votes
4answers
712 views

How can one prevent the gadgeteer edge in Savage Worlds from becoming overpowered without banning or nerfing it into oblivion?

According to the text in the Deluxe Edition of Savage Worlds, the Gadgeteer edge available to weird scientists (WS) allows a player to indefinitely accumulate devices at a rate of one per session, ...
15
votes
4answers
346 views

Rules for player inventions

To illustrate what I mean, let me give a quick example: In the-dark-eye, there is a Staff Ritual named Hammer des Magus (No idea what the term is in english). Its effect is that everything ...
8
votes
4answers
886 views

Is magic, hacking, or rigging vital for balance in SR4?

I play Shadowrun now and then but ignore magic, hacking, and rigging in my games. Every time I mention this to others they tell me that I should just play Cyberpunk or d20 Spycraft. I ask why, and the ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Balancing a mixed game in nWoD

Jadasc raised a great point here. There are few problems that can challenge a mage that won't completely outclass a vampire, unless the vampires are extraordinarily experienced or well connected ...
10
votes
3answers
534 views

Players rolling all of the dice in D&D 4th Ed

I was looking at the variant rules listed in the Unearthed Arcana, and noticed one that I think could work pretty well in 4th Ed. Players Roll All The Dice Basically it turns the monster's attack ...