The practical arts and methods applied to gamemastering.

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17
votes
6answers
4k views

Is a GM hiding rolls standard?

I haven't been playing D&D for too long, maybe a year, but the DM of the main campaign I'm in always hides his dice rolls. I don't have an issue with it, but when I play with another group the DM ...
-2
votes
0answers
136 views

How do I threaten characters who aren't afraid of the usual things? [on hold]

The threat of dying is a fundamental motivator for most PCs (and, frankly, most people in real life). You buy armor so people can't kill you, you buy weapons so you can kill people before they kill ...
4
votes
4answers
513 views

What can I do when I've introduced an overpowered plot element?

In my Mythic Fantasy Role-playing Game homebrew setting, one god gave his cultists the recipe for a special alloy, and a rival god gave to a kingdom that opposes the cultists the same recipe. The PCs ...
5
votes
3answers
250 views

how can I convey to the players their PCs' cultural behaviors without telling the players what to do?

To begin this discussion, I think a working definition of culture may be in order. The Following is Adapted From Wikipedia and my own ideas Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge ...
13
votes
5answers
466 views

How can I GM a deal with the devil without a law degree and without reducing it to just a roll?

The players in my campaign want to go up against a noble family that's been dealing with a particularly high ranking contract devil. When they reach him, I want to be ready to offer them a deal, and ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

Is it okay to encourage class changes with magic items? [closed]

My party consist mostly of spellcasters: 2 Wizards 1 Sorcerer 1 Ranger (who is new) 1 Rogue The party is 5th-level, having made it this far because we had a Barbarian and a Paladin to man the ...
0
votes
3answers
175 views

Is it bad to be a “rules lawyer” as a GM? [closed]

For context: I started playing with some friends over a table-top simulator online a while back. As it turns out, I have a couple friends who find my citing of my chosen campaign setting (Forgotten ...
14
votes
5answers
352 views

How can I moderate the flow of information in a discovery-focused campaign?

30K foot view The overarching structure of my current campaign relies a lot on discovery. My players are placed in an open world that they can explore more or less freely, but in order to make ...
26
votes
15answers
9k views

Troublesome player that I can't convince to change and can't exclude from group

So there's a lot of topics about this on RG.StackExchange.com, but they all boil down to "Talk to the player." Unfortunately that's been done multiple times over the years to no meaningful effect. I'...
17
votes
8answers
4k views

As DM, how do you advise against a course of action without speaking out of character?

I have just experienced my first D&D game, and I was thinking about creating my own world to DM a campaign in. I'm trying to learn and research as much as possible for this. One thing is that, ...
3
votes
2answers
335 views

What could I do to please players who want to role play, and others who don't care at all?

I've been DMing with my friends for a couple of sessions on the starter set of D&D 5e. Our first time, I tried to incorporate more role playing, like having people call each other by their ...
15
votes
2answers
441 views

How do you deal with a player who always wants to be in the spotlight?

How do you deal during play with a player who makes things miserable for the others when he or she is not actively in the spotlight? Such miserable-making activities include frequently doing things in-...
21
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I foster strong friendship among PCs?

Some D&D parties are Murder Hobos, moving from monster-slaying to monster-slaying, and bearing no fixed address or loyalties. Some parties are composed of friends and family members who would ...
1
vote
0answers
138 views

Why Would a Herd of Goliaths Move From Their Stronghold? [closed]

Bit of backstory: One of my players plays a Goliath, who was banished from their herd for being a complete loose cannon. Eventually, I want the player to encounter their herd, having overtaken the ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

How does having monsters of the same type go at the same time affect balance?

I'm running a group of 6 PC's through HotDQ. All of them are new to 5e and we just started, so the combat is pretty slow, and some of them aren't all that excited about combat to begin with. I'm doing ...
3
votes
5answers
388 views

How do we prevent the PvP death of a PC from being cheapened and made meaningless by easy resurrection?

I am running a homebrewed RPG cobbled together from bits of systems like VtM, D&D, Pathfinder, etc. (that's not the problem, it works for us). Our campaign includes player-versus-player conflict, ...
2
votes
2answers
179 views

What's a good way to encourage players to use their encounter/daily powers more?

My players don't tend to use their encounter and daily powers during combat, to the point where they have run from encounters they could win fairly comfortably if they used their special abilities. ...
5
votes
0answers
201 views

How can I improve my tracking of light and light sources? [duplicate]

At the moment, I largely forget about light and light sources in my games. I assume that my players can see everything around them without stopping to think about whether it should actually be pitch ...
9
votes
3answers
360 views

How can I give my players intermediate consequences for failure in battle?

I'm running a Pathfinder campaign, and I frequently run into trouble setting up combat encounters that "matter" (in the sense that my players aren't just skipping through a park picking daisies and ...
3
votes
0answers
81 views

Wanting to start a Star Wars D&D campaign, but I want to really have deep political depth [closed]

I feel good as far as the star wars base setting, however I am struggling with how to add political depth to it. I would like to add some tough decisions that could change the way the game plays ...
10
votes
3answers
599 views

How to ‘meet in the middle’ with two different types of player?

I'm GMing a game for long-standing friends. I took over GMing duties last year, and in that time I've noticed that while everyone seems to be having fun and I can retain their interest, half of the ...
8
votes
2answers
863 views

How do I encourage my players to try creative solutions?

I ran a game of Numenera with an experienced group of roleplayers that went on for about six months. It went okay from the players' perspective - I had a strong handle on making things weird and ...
6
votes
6answers
519 views

How do I handle a player arguing for more actions than the game will allow?

I have a player in a Pathfinder campaign I am DMing that caused the game to come to a complete halt for nearly 20 minutes before I could get him to accept the rules of the game. His character is a ...
4
votes
1answer
231 views

Restoring an NPC's Mind

So in my campaign, one of the PC's is trying to find out about the origins of their magic crystal. They've been led to one of the High Priests in the city, but he has lost his mind, through deceit and ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

One of my PCs unknowingly slept with his sister [closed]

So some background: 3 sessions into the campaign, we arrived in Neverwinter and went to the nearest inn. At this inn, one of the barmaids started to flirt with our Paladin. Our paladin had sworn an ...
65
votes
11answers
9k views

Is saying “Your PC wouldn't do that” to a player denying their agency?

In a comment to my answer to What would be the side effects on a Druid of wearing metal armor?, @Kevin asked: "So, RAW a druid will never choose to wear metal armor or use metal shields, so the ...
10
votes
8answers
506 views

How to counter high-level players using scry and teleport / How to maintain intrigue?

So, my Eberron campaign has gotten to the point where the players are level 18, and they are resolving many of their issues by scrying on their enemies, and simply teleporting to them in moments of ...
3
votes
0answers
115 views

How smart should the BBEG be? [closed]

So recently I've run into an issue with some of my players concerning the tactical efficiency of the bad-guy spellcasters. Specifically, we're playing a Pathfinder Adventure Path at mid-levels (they'...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I make a PC's religion help drive the story?

As a GM, how can I make a player-character's religion help drive the story? I'm going to be making up a local religion for the region that most of the party is from, and I'd like it to really matter ...
24
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I let a wild and reckless character shine?

We're playing a rather serious story of political intrigue with a bit of magic thrown in. Most of the players are fairly sensible, trying to figure out who poisoned the duke, or how to safely dispose ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

How can I apply the abstract range system used by 13th Age in my D&D 5e game to reduce reliance on diagrams and drawn maps?

I have been reading through some of the 13th Age rules on combat and I was particularly interested in the way that system handles combat range. While I am loving D&D 5e, tracking distance and ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I handle a disruptive player with thin skin?

My problem is that I have a player who Takes everything that happens to his character personally and then throws tantrums, and Metagames consistently. We run a very homebrew game, all players know ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I keep players, whose characters are unconscious, entertained?

In each session, I always try to gradually crank up the tension and danger, so that the final combat encounter (assuming that it is a combat encounter) is the most difficult (read deadly). However, ...
18
votes
14answers
5k views

Is making characters who go off the rails unlucky a good technique for keeping the plot moving?

I will soon be the GM of a 4 players party. It will be my very first game as a GM, and one thing that terrifies me is to let players make the choices they want and lose them far away from the plot. I ...
13
votes
6answers
694 views

How to solve a player feeling like their socially-focused PC isn't useful?

I have a player (I'll call him Jeff) whose PC is a peaceful diplomat. He invested most of his points in Charisma and charisma-based skills. He also has minor telepathy (able to read and influence ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

Should the GM point out when a PC's behaving contrary to the world as the GM sees it? [closed]

Should the GM point out when he believes a PC is acting against what the GM believes is reasonable behavior? And, if so, should the act of pointing this out be obvious or subtle? For example, a PC ...
38
votes
19answers
6k views

Dislike how players accurately place fireballs. Is there an alternative?

I'm running 5e on a grid with minis. The one thing that I hate is when a sorcerer or wizards casts a fireball that perfectly hits enemies in the aoe. The player counts the squares on the grid to ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

How to GM “An arresting skinner” in a balanced, fair and fun way

In Apocalypse World, the social and beauty oriented class Skinner has a move called "An arresting skinner" which does pretty much what it promises: An arresting skinner: when you remove clothing, ...
7
votes
4answers
245 views

How can I scale traps in a published adventure for a larger party?

I'm about to start DMing for a group of 7, mostly new to Pathfinder. I myself have not DMed Pathfinder before, and haven't played it recently. We'll be going through the Mummy's Mask adventure path, ...
9
votes
4answers
690 views

What can I do to help me remember details about the area the PCs are exploring?

I've recently started DMing Curse of Strahd. The players took the bait and ended up in the Death House. Our currently first and only session of this module ended with the party just reaching the third ...
31
votes
5answers
5k views

How to explain to a new player that metagaming is encouraged in this group

I am part of a social board games group that meets most weekends to play short (max one session) games that usually involve role playing of some kind. Recently someone invited a friend from another, ...
12
votes
9answers
4k views

How should I deal with metagaming?

I'm the GM and author of my own system, which we have been playing for a couple of years now. Last year, four completely new members joined. Two players are giving hints to others even when their ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How can PCs find how to restore Horrifying Visage aging?

The Horrifying Visage attack of a D&D 5e ghost involves a Wisdom saving throw with a haunting failure ramification: If the save fails by 5 or more, the target also ages 1d4*10 years. ...
2
votes
2answers
210 views

How can I provide a challenge for a powergamer? [duplicate]

One of the players in my game is the most fervent powergamer I've ever met. I know it's how he gets enjoyment from the game, and so far it doesn't intrude on the other players' enjoyment, so I've ...
31
votes
6answers
6k views

How to deal with a player who “jumps the gun” with premature rules-lawyering?

My question is somewhat similar to this question, however I feel I have a different situation in which my question is not covered by the answers stated. I have a player in my campaign group of 5 ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the impact of sharing GM notes with the players? [closed]

Recently I've finished a game with my GM (tips hat) having no problem with answering "most of some questions" about the setting, plot, game etc. but wasn't comfortable with sharing his GM notes. That'...
12
votes
4answers
587 views

How do I get the non-magic-user in the party to feel more valued?

Issue: I'm running a long campaign and recently one of my players mentioned feeling a bit left out, not being a caster. I kind of have to agree; all the PC's are pretty well-rounded so there isn't ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

As a GM, how can I adjudicate de-escalating combat?

As a sister question to How can combat be de-escalated once started by a player? In a D&D 5e game, a player rushed into combat with an NPC that wasn't particularly hostile. As a player, I wouldn'...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

Somebody has any GM/PC experience in Harry Potter RPG by Matthew A. Kearns? [closed]

My girlfriend really fun of Harry Potter "universe" and I like it too. She use to ask me to tell her interesting stories since I am a history teacher. I thought it could be much more interesting to ...
52
votes
6answers
5k views

How should the DM manage the discrepancy between the player's memory and their PC's memory?

It may happen that, during a session, players don't remember the name of a NPC that they met (or, more generally, information about something that happened) during the previous session. Obviously, ...