The practical arts and methods applied to gamemastering.

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3
votes
4answers
60 views

How to Stop a Player Constantly Using Detect Magic/Evil?

In a group I play with there is a player who, assuming he has the ability to do so, constantly uses Detect Magic/Evil. There's nothing in the rules against this (that I'm aware of) when it's a class ...
17
votes
7answers
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I emulate TV Shows with only 2-3 main characters?

I watch a lot of TV. Probably too much. Shows like Buffy the vampire slayer and Firefly have a whole slew of characters, which is perfect for a gaming party as you fill in the slots to the point you ...
7
votes
8answers
1k views

How can I organize my counter collection?

I have just gotten a large collection of monster counters and am wondering how can I store them neatly and in an organized manner after I have punched them out? I am also thinking of ways to easily ...
30
votes
9answers
3k views

Introducing new players to GURPS

So, I have a group of players who have played a variety of other systems - D&D 3.5, D&D 4th, Shadowrun, White Wolf, etc. Some have played GURPS in the past and had some less than ideal ...
4
votes
4answers
514 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 ...
-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 ...
12
votes
4answers
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
532 views

How do I run Paranoia for just one player?

I have not run a game of Paranoia before, but I would like to try with one of my players. I intend to run what was once referred to as "Paranoia XP" and should be able to handle the general running of ...
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, ...
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'...
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 ...
37
votes
7answers
11k views

How to kill a character without making their player too angry

I have been DMing a game for a group of friends. In between two sessions, which ended with them facing a few enemy NPCs, I realized that these intelligent opponents had a very good way to kill one of ...
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 ...
76
votes
16answers
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 ...
82
votes
22answers
17k views

How to deal with player MacGyver-ism?

Role playing is an excellent hobby to train your problem solving skills. You learn to look at situations from different view points (i.e. the characters) and you have various skills and resources at ...
91
votes
13answers
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 ...
13
votes
5answers
467 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
225 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
694 views

How to handle a group of inexperienced players who split their party more often than I can handle

Recently I ran a steampunk themed one-shot where three of the five players were brand new to roleplaying. The session was successful, everyone enjoyed it and told me they'd like to play again. ...
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 ...
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 ...
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-...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
17
votes
9answers
925 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
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 ...
24
votes
4answers
48k 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
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 ...
154
votes
14answers
19k 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 ...
35
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
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, ...
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 ...
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
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. ...
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
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 ...
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
543 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
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
864 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 ...