The practical arts and methods applied to gamemastering.

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0
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0answers
39 views

First time running an RPG campaign looking for tips [on hold]

hey guys was looking for some tips on running an rpg campaign, im using the champions complete rule book for a full on super hero setting, any one got tips on running the sessions smoothly ?
22
votes
15answers
8k 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'...
14
votes
2answers
365 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-...
-3
votes
0answers
81 views

d100 mechanics? [closed]

I got a D100 recently thinking it might be interesting to use in my homemade RPg campaign but then my creativity fell really quick with the use of the D100. The only thing i can think of is that it ...
24
votes
6answers
1k views

When GMing in a high-tech game world how do you handle potentially disruptive tech?

This question stems from my Eclipse Phase campaign, but applies to any high-tech setting. While the setting books describe a wealth of technology, there are plenty of tools that are not listed. That's ...
15
votes
14answers
11k views

How to mitigate glass cannon syndrome in Pathfinder?

This is the more gamey part of my other question, What to do when your character is just too good? In D&D 3.5e and Pathfinder, damage output grows very, very quickly. Much more quickly than hit ...
15
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, ...
9
votes
4answers
686 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
495 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 ...
16
votes
9answers
881 views

How do I help my players stay engaged (with the game and each other) at the table?

I GM a long-running Pathfinder campaign, and for some time now I've been noticing our group fall into a familiar pattern of lethargy, where only one player engages with me at a time and the rest seem ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

How to get players to do something without them feeling railroaded?

I'm DM'ing a play-by-post campaign and I'm at a point in the adventure where the group all meets for the first time. They've all had something stolen from them at the same time and saw a creature that ...
54
votes
10answers
9k views

I failed to open a lock. Now what?

Picking a lock typically requires a DC 15 Dexterity check (Basic rules, p. 49). Likewise for manacles (p. 50), which can alternately be escaped with a DC 20 Dexterity check or broken with a DC 20 ...
21
votes
7answers
2k views

I keep forgetting about lighting in the heat of a session. How do I remember my notes?

One thing I’ve been struggling with as a newbie GM is keeping track of how light or dark a certain room is. My players and I have been playing a D&D 5e starter campaign with me as the GM. I might ...
3
votes
2answers
313 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 ...
20
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 ...
24
votes
4answers
47k views

Calculating and balancing challenge ratings

Are there standard rules for calculating CR of groups? For example, in my Pathfinder bestiary, a single Stirge is listed as CR 1/2, and a group of 2d4 (average 5) of them is listed as an average CR 4. ...
9
votes
3answers
339 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 ...
152
votes
14answers
18k views

Managing a Medieval Low Orbit Ion Cannon

Sometimes I hate my players. My table is currently composed of five diabolically inventive players. They come from a mixed IT/Engineering background, so more often than not, I have to deal with some ...
34
votes
10answers
3k views

How do you discourage “player knowledge” as a GM?

As a trivial random encounter is winding down, a player thinks "That was too easy... The GM wouldn't give us an encounter that doesn't give XP," and starts searching for hidden bad guys or other clues....
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
373 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, ...
1
vote
0answers
133 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
170 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. ...
30
votes
8answers
4k views

How can I encourage combat as war-style play in my campaign?

I've recently begun a new D&D 5e campaign with a group of players who have all just come from a Pathfinder adventure path. I was the GM for that campaign and it was a very on-the-rails adventure ...
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 ...
3
votes
0answers
76 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 ...
44
votes
9answers
5k views

How do you deal with metagaming based on die results?

I ran into this problem in a session I had earlier today. My characters were going through a dungeon and after a fairly lengthy fight with a person who lived there, they decided they would question ...
8
votes
3answers
539 views

Inducing paranoia between player characters

I have a situation. My group is heading towards an elven kingdom in pursuit of a plot coupon. Unbeknownst to them, the plot coupon is evil and corrupted and is turning the royal elven family paranoid, ...
10
votes
3answers
582 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 ...
86
votes
11answers
10k views

Betrayed by my GM; how can I respond?

I was introduced to D&D three months ago and really delved into the world. I had so much fun creating my character and tried very hard to roleplay him differently from myself. I did my very best ...
8
votes
2answers
852 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
226 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
486 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 ...
69
votes
14answers
5k views

How do I keep the game moving without undermining player agency?

In basically every game I've run or played, regardless of the system, I've encountered the same problem: things that should be quick decisions end up taking ten, twenty or even thirty minutes, and not ...
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 ...
19
votes
10answers
2k views

How do I tie episodic sessions together to make larger campaign arcs?

My D&D group only plays perhaps once a month and occasionally one of them won't be able to make it. I (the DM) home-brewed our last campaign and, whilst fun, the big story arcs and multiple NPCs ...
3
votes
0answers
102 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'...
51
votes
12answers
2k views

How do I make weather an important part of the game?

We're starting up a dark ages fantasy game, using some homebrew rules similar to D&D. As the GM, how can I make weather an important part of the game? To be clear, I'm not trying to just toss in ...
21
votes
6answers
729 views

How to make players care about a community

I've built a lot of villages, some towns and a city or two but I've failed to bring them to life and make the PCs feel like they belong there (maybe not much belong but to just make them care about ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
34
votes
8answers
9k views

How do I get my players to form a PC party without just forcing them to?

I believe that it is generally a good thing that all the PCs travel together, as a "party". This way the GM has to manage one environment – not, say, five. The problem is how the GM can ensure such a ...
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
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, ...
9
votes
4answers
452 views

How does the GM effectively help players find Traits?

I've encountered a problem in Burning Wheel in the past, and I'm looking for a better way to address it in the future. The default Traits List in the Burning Wheel Gold rulebook (p310-355) contains, ...
20
votes
11answers
968 views

How to help players settle down and focus?

We have a weekly game in the evenings; however, we often don't start playing for a few hours after we get together, if at all. This has been exacerbated recently by other events with the same people ...
6
votes
4answers
418 views

Introducing new players to a Campaign mid-adventure

I am running a campaign where all of the players are members of an army, and the small group acts almost as a form of "special forces" in this Pathfinder campaign, taking on enemies that no one else ...