This tag is for game-participant dynamics including dealing with sensitive topics, managing group composition, and other table-level interactions. For questions dealing with the actual party of characters in the game, use the party tag.

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26
votes
8answers
888 views

How do I run a game for a larger group?

I am currently running a Dungeons and Dragons 4 campaign for a group of 9 players. Whittling the group down to a more manageable size is not really an option since they are all family. When we do ...
20
votes
8answers
1k views

How do you deal with a player that's determined to play the game in a way that is detrimental to the advancement of the story?

I GM a Dresden Files campaign, and I have a first time role-player that has become a problem in terms of advancement of the story. At first I chalked it up to inexperience, but its become more and ...
30
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I emphasize role-playing during combat?

Right now, the group that I GM for is very, very tactical-combat focused. To some extent, we may as well be playing a dungeon crawl board game for all the role-play we manage. Now, in and of itself ...
44
votes
13answers
2k views

How do I deal with GM burnout?

There are groups that share the role of GM/DM/Storyteller/Ref, and there are those that don't. In either type there is always the threat of burnout - too much responsibility is put into the hands of a ...
17
votes
9answers
678 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I make my role playing group a not exclusively male one?

My role playing groups have been, almost exclusively, male. What are some ideas/options for making the group and the experience more likely to attract, and retain, female players?
16
votes
11answers
1k views

How can you find a balance between effective/optimised characters and creative characters?

When creating characters, I often face a dilemma between making a character. It feels like they can either be optimized so they can "pull their own weight" or having a character I think is creative ...
53
votes
21answers
2k views

How can I avoid players spending too much time planning?

Several times when I have played in or ran a game in which the players had an objective and reasonable resources, a lot of (real) time was spent trying to plan for every contingency. For example, ...
34
votes
13answers
5k views

How to secretly talk to one of the players while DM'ing?

To cut it short, the players (it's a 3 people party) are in some kind of a Secret Service of a rebel prince who wants the throne. One of my players is working for the current king secretly, feeding ...
51
votes
13answers
4k views

Is it wrong to ask a player to justify their character's actions?

When a player has their character do something completely outside of the perceived norm for that character, is it okay to ask them for a justification? If they can not give satisfactory ...
21
votes
5answers
546 views

Maintaining a party in a world of mistrust

In essence, how would you keep a colorful group of players together in a world filled with mistrust, without going too much meta? Here is the scenario : Our hero consists of members of a special ...
18
votes
11answers
976 views

Encouraging out-of-the-box thinking in combat encounters

I'm a GM currently running D&D 3.5. I try to think of situations that present the players with a number of possible solutions. The players, however, always resort to the same pattern of killing ...
4
votes
1answer
604 views

Average gaming time and session frequency

Any (semi) hard data on average gaming time and session frequency? (How often does an average party play and how long does an average session of theirs last?) Has anyone surveyed this yet (with ...
2
votes
1answer
326 views

Looking for Group in RPG-deprived cities [closed]

I live in Santiago de Chile. RPG resources here are -to my knowledge- few and far between. AFAIK there's one single shop selling RPG dice, the rest of the bookstores having dwindled and waned their ...
32
votes
5answers
683 views

How to support useful Intraparty Conflict

This is a question calling for tried and tested methods for facilitating entertaining CvC intraparty conflict. Although Player versus Player (PvP) seems to be the accepted term among a large ...
29
votes
14answers
978 views

Narrativist Gaming: How do you transition more traditionally-trained players into them?

This was obviously inspired by the corresponding question on GM-less gaming. For the past couple of years I've become really interested in RPGs that are less about dungeon-crawling and combat and ...
26
votes
5answers
956 views

Dealing with people who turn up late for sessions

I run sessions every Monday evening at a pub in the centre of London, and most people come to play straight from work. Up until recently we were attempting to start at 7pm, but there were one or two ...
32
votes
4answers
532 views

How can the players reduce the workload of a game master?

As you know DMs do most of the job for the campaign (maps, plot, NPCs etc) and quite a bit of storytelling. Players, on the other side, bring in their creativity and add extra spice to the game ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Group social issues when roleplaying as the opposite gender

Some time ago I was thinking of a character for a system (which I won't mention, to avoid any bias) who was of the opposite gender. I'm fairly convinced that it's because of the characters background, ...
17
votes
6answers
444 views

Techniques for speeding up a game with many players at the table?

I have a table of six players already, and have more people interested in joining my game. I wanted to consult people who had experience with running large tables to see if running for larger groups ...
33
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I check whether an extremely adult/mature plot idea would be accepted by players without revealing any details of the idea itself?

I am running a post-apocalyptic zombie game with a dark and mature story, exploring a number of adult themes. I have complete buy-in from the players; some of them have stated it is their favourite ...
23
votes
4answers
3k views

How to deal with a player who doesn't understand party roles?

In our group (specifically Pathfinder), we have a player who's playing a master summoner (a very squishy class), and doesn't understand that his character can't solve every problem like the rest, ...
15
votes
4answers
701 views

Maintaining balance with a very large group

I played DnD 3.5 while in the military and due to a shortage of DMs, was constantly flooded by players. Some of my games would include up to 10 or 11. I discovered quickly that balancing for this in ...
14
votes
10answers
3k views

What's a GM to do when the party is intent on killing each other?

I have recently taken over running a Dnd 4e campaign where the party is constantly trying to kill each other, even in the middle of encounters. Despite reading the rule books, I cannot find any advice ...
27
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I quit a game gracefully?

I've been in a game for a while and I've been distracted for several sessions because the game simply hasn't been very interesting to me. The setting and story set by the GM aren't very gripping and ...
16
votes
5answers
709 views

Cooperative character building?

I'm aware of games where the players cooperatively build elements of the story world (I hear Dresden Files does this), but are there any where the players cooperatively build their characters? What ...
12
votes
2answers
685 views

How can I rescue the game when the player characters refuse to work together?

I am a Game Master, and the characters in my group have started to regularly split up. The group's mage has always been a summoner and recently started summoning smaller demons. The fighter's player ...
9
votes
5answers
377 views

Resolving confusion & conflict re: group's relationship with system rules

RPG groups have a unique relationship to rules: we have total control over them. Sure, we choose a ruleset and study it, but it's up to us how much of the rules we ignore or modify, and we can add ...
7
votes
3answers
261 views

How to gather a group of players in a foreign country?

I am a person who has to relocate a lot due to employment reasons. I tried to build English-playing groups with little or no success. In some cases, I was able to gather only one person or two. Only ...