The practical arts and methods applied to gamemastering.

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13
votes
5answers
587 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 ...
60
votes
17answers
3k views

How can I help my PCs remember clues that they found?

I'm a new DM running my first adventure in D&D 4e. I've heard of the "three clue rule", that there should be at least three independent pointers to any plot element you want the PCs to take note ...
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 ...
53
votes
11answers
4k views

How can I invoke actual fear in my players?

I'm a DM that focuses heavily on story, description and setting. My goal is to send players home wanting — no, longing — to actually be part of the mythos I've created. The ultimate goal for me as a ...
71
votes
15answers
4k views

How should a GM deal with “standing orders?”

I have a player who always tells me whenever he goes into a dungeon or other hazardous location, I am always checking for traps wherever I go. Assume that I am always looking around, wary and ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

How to end a game session smoothly

After my first (failed) attempt at playing tabletop RPG two years ago, I'm going to give it another try. Still as a GM. One thing I didn't do quite well last time was ending the game. I didn't know ...
7
votes
4answers
241 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, ...
17
votes
2answers
754 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, ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

How to deal with players breaking the game mood by overplaying their characters

Following this question Imagine, that you are trying to create a dark and scary situation: haunted mansion, spooky forest, ancient crypt... There is something out there that definitely is malevolent ...
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. ...
14
votes
2answers
536 views

Way to manage world factions and events

Abstract I have a loosely interconnected world where news travel slowly, but steadily so when a trader from a far off place comes visiting your place, what does he know? Whats his latest perspective ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I deal with players that get bored waiting for their turns playing online?

All of my friends (and my only and favorite role playing group) live far away from me now. One of them still lives in the city, the other three are in Nicaragua. We've spent great moments roleplaying ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

I want to run a trial in D&D 3.5, but how can I avoid invalidation by magic?

The Background I'm a pretty new DM, and I'm running a casual game of D&D 3.5 (with some rulings from Pathfinder added to the mix, for practical reasons) and I like doing special things for my ...
116
votes
18answers
12k views

How to deal with players who like to use the local authorities to solve their problems

The problem I have a player in my group which tends to approach local authorities (may it be guards or churches) when facing a threat. He thinks that, given his role (a bard in a medieval world, so, ...
34
votes
8answers
6k views

How should I respond to a player who roleplays too selfishly?

In our last session, a player of mine spent the last 30 min blowing up on me for "restricting" her character's story, and the story of the campaign, when I would not allow her to bring back another ...
12
votes
4answers
571 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 ...
34
votes
6answers
3k views

How to deal with players not taking things seriously?

As both a player and GM I play with my group of players (and close friends) on multiple occasions and they will often make fun of either my characters, NPC or a specific situation and won't stop ...
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'...
30
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
361 views

How can my co-GM and I improvise together when running a game?

Here's the background - one of the players have to leave town for an exchange programmee lasting 6 months, but I have already filled his slot with another player. We are thinking of ways to include ...
2
votes
2answers
205 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
389 views

Running an RPG with fast Drop-In-Drop-Out capability for an open day

Our university will have some Open Days for prospective students over summer, and our gaming society wants to present itself. Any somewhat traditional way of playing an RPG will take too much of ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Should “resistance to damage from non-magical weapons” continue to affect monster CR once the party has magical weapons?

My 5e group has reached level 5 and all have acquired +1 weapons. This renders the monster ability of "resistant to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage from non-magical weapons" a moot point. It'...
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'...
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, ...
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
8answers
11k views

The PC claims to know an NPC they just met, how should I react as the DM?

My friends and I are new to RP and we've only had one session of dnd-5e trying out the starter set. As we are quite into fantasy in general, we thought we could make our own PCs. So instead of playing ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

“Epic Level” Shadowrun

Recently I've run into an issue with my Shadowrun campaign for a number of reason, the most key of which is that my players have hit the 180-250 karma level where they've started to ascend to levels ...
47
votes
9answers
17k views

What are the essential features of a successful evil campaign?

Until this point, I have demanded that my players not build characters with evil alignments, as I am familiar with how to design campaigns and adventures around "good" or "redemption" themes. However,...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Guidelines for attacking objects

So in 3.5, there were some suggestions for assigning AC and hit points to common objects, but in 5e we're left to speculate - the PHB has precious little, and I didn't see anything in the DMG. DM fiat ...
15
votes
3answers
353 views

How to keep track of the current situation in a setting?

When a GM creates his own setting (e.g. two neighboring kingdoms), he details it with important people, political relationships, events and so on. During a campaign, PCs' actions alter the setting's ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I get my players to do extra “homework”?

I've noticed a problem with my PC's lacking rich backgrounds, or players lacking knowledge of the mechanics of their own characters. This has lead to me giving the players "homework", which I have ...
13
votes
6answers
825 views

How do I motivate players to do character sheet updates outside of session?

I run a weekly campaign with one session every Sunday. My core group (4-5 people) always show up, with the occasional person who joins from time to time (either playing a new character they wanted to ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

How do I balance an all-spellcaster party?

This here campaign I'm about to unfold is going to feature 2-3 players, 2 of which definitely want to get spellcasting characters and the third is very likely to go down the same path. Q: How do I ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

If the Wealth-By-Level is an indication of the value of Magic Items for Player Characters, does the WBL for NPCs have the same purpose?

If the Wealth-By-Level is an indication of the value of Magic Items for Player Characters to use in combat, does the WBL for NPCs have the same purpose, or is it there for some other purpose (to ...
44
votes
9answers
5k views

How to handle players who make unmotivated characters

I'm a relatively new GM, and I'm having trouble getting my (also new) players to create motivated characters. I don't mean that the players themselves are unmotivated, but the characters they create ...
8
votes
2answers
226 views

Character power

I am in a pathfinder campaign where the GM has straight up told me that our martial characters are too powerful and making the game unbalanced for everyone. We are currently level 3 and our characters ...
28
votes
8answers
4k views

Building a good comedy adventure?

I was wondering how to build a comedic adventure for D&D (or at least get some tips on it). The DM guide mentioned the multiple ideas for campaigns and one of them was comedy! I tried to start ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I keep surprising my co-GM when he's playing in my campaign?

I recently started a D&D 5e campaign with my gaming group and one of my friends has decided he wants to GM also. The setting we're playing in is a homebrew setting; I created the general outline ...
2
votes
0answers
112 views

How to handle multiple main villains in your campaign [closed]

I was hoping to pick your collective brains in preparation for my new 5e Eberron campaign starting in a few months. Most of the blogs/books etc I've looked through look at campaign design with one ...
28
votes
14answers
4k views

How do I run a maze scenario without using a map?

Inspired by a question on another site, what's the best way to add a labyrinth to an adventure scenario without making the challenges contingent upon player skill at mapping or navigation? I'd like ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Player Turned Sensitive About Failure, PC Injury

While I have been DM/GM'ing for a long time I have had a player suddenly change their attitude towards the game. They are not an experienced player, but they are not new to the entire role-play ...
6
votes
1answer
343 views

How can you handle PvP Combat so everyone has fun?

Recently my group's campaign in Anima: Beyond Fantasy took a turn towards a combination political intrigue/martial arts tournament that inevitably ended up resulting in PvP matches. The first of these ...
6
votes
5answers
426 views

Dice results hidden from the players? [duplicate]

Does it make any sense to specifically hide the results of a player's dice roll from the said player? This method is based on my assumption that many actions do not immediately reveal themselves as ...
21
votes
6answers
15k views

How do I build interesting dungeons? [closed]

I'm a new GM and I need to undestand how to build enjoyable locations. I don't get how to build interesting dungeons. For example, I need to explore a castle. But a castle is not as complicated as ...
7
votes
4answers
605 views

My players want to resolve conflicts nonviolently. How do I tell them it won't work?

When I'm GMing and trying to create tension by having a big boss fight, invariably one of the players will ask me if his character can, instead, bribe the big boss or try to smooth talk him or make ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

How do you handle different difficulties at the same task? [duplicate]

In a game of Dungeon World, how do you handle different difficulties at the same task? A few examples: climbing a wall with easier handholds vs. climbing a smoother wall pushing a heavy cabinet out ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

How does Lost Mines of Phandelver expect PCs to take on side quests without demanding pay?

Note: my question is specific to the LMoP adventure. I am not asking for general advice on motivating players. I've recently begun a new campaign in 5e with my group of players. We are all new to ...