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16
votes
2answers
360 views

How can a DM brighten the mood?

Sometimes a story can turn away from its original direction and take on a darker tone, what is a good approach to lightening the mood? As a new DM, I started a Pathfinder campaign a year ago with a ...
11
votes
4answers
859 views

How can a DM restore an over-scaled, out of control campaign?

My game system is pathfinder but the setting is entirely of my own creation, with a group that is largely interested in the role-playing aspects of the game; when it's more dynamic to wave away strict ...
3
votes
8answers
3k views

How to deal with a character that does not fit my plot?

I am running a campaign in 4e, in which everyone is very very new, including myself. I have played a bit, but this is my first time DMing. I have a Warlord PC who does not work with my overarching ...
2
votes
2answers
208 views

How can I prepare unique locations for my sandbox, when I don't know which unique locations my group will travel to? [duplicate]

I'm making a sandbox campaign using 5e to run a post apocalyptic fantasy Tokyo adventure, so each main location is known to the players and I can't just put in random encounters. Those locations need ...
38
votes
12answers
8k views

As a GM, how can I stop killing my games?

Probably the worst issue I have as a Game Master is that I think of a game, I write a campaign plot for it -- End, Beginning and Middle, get hyped, hype my players, and after 2 months I get bored with ...
8
votes
3answers
750 views

When designing a campaign plot, how can I test it for complexity?

I am creating plot threads for my ongoing science fiction campaign. I know my players pretty well and they do like a well interwoven set of plots. I want to make sure that the plot threads I am ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

Recommendations for plots featuring div/daeva conspiracy to destroy civilization [closed]

I'm putting together a plot in a Pathfinder RPG campaign where divs (aka daevas) are orchestrating the downfall of civilization. I'm trying to set it up so that evil is working indirectly, by ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

Sometimes, losing a big conflict is the better plotline. For D&D, how do you encourage this result?

It is practically an old adage that D&D parties will never let a fight end in a loss (short of a TPK.) And that the game mechanics (especially later editions) encourage this thinking. But ...
13
votes
9answers
499 views

Too many divergent side quests. What do I do?

I'm running a D&D 4e campaign taking place in Forgotten Realms (in 3e timeframe as I'm more familiar with it). My plan for the campaign was for the group of PCs to arrive in Waterdeep, where, as ...
15
votes
3answers
852 views

How to run time-limited one shots

I and some friends are determined to try for this winter running only one-shots. rotating the GM for each one different characters each time the adventure must be completed in a single session one ...
31
votes
7answers
951 views

Using a Time-Skip as a Plot Device

In the game that I'm currently running, the PCs have traveled to the Realm of the Fae to gather information on their (im)mortal enemy, a Lich. When they emerge from the Fae Realm, I was planning on ...
25
votes
10answers
1k views

How can I fool my players into being pawns for the villain?

Concept I want to get a generally benevolent party to unwittingly further the villain's motives. More than parcel delivery - I'd like to tap into their sense of right/wrong, justice, vigilantism, ...
3
votes
2answers
174 views

Giving the PCs good reasons enter a dungeon camped by a enemy army (Rescue at Rivenroar)

This question is specifically for the module "Rescue at Rivenroar", but it's applicable to any dungeon-crawl with the following premise - the antagonists have just attacked a village/town, and have ...
8
votes
3answers
469 views

How to develop arcs for player characters

If you've got a vague idea for an overall plot arc, how do you go about developing individual plot arcs for player characters (if that's something you do)? I'm running two Savage Worlds campaigns, ...
2
votes
2answers
635 views

How should a DM recover from major player plot derailment? [duplicate]

Raj Got Stuck in the Crystal I’m a relatively new DM, and I ran into an issue with my group recently that I think I could have handled better. For our campaign, I designed a world where the continent ...
7
votes
3answers
586 views

How can I fix the Slaying Stone's premise?

I'd like to know how people have fixed the Slaying Stone premise hole: You have to go find a stone in a town overrun with orcs, goblins and a dragon, but: It only works near Gorizbadd It ...
23
votes
7answers
2k views

How do I fix this plot hole?

I started my zombie apocalypse campaign in a rather low-budget and low-powered way, mostly to avoid having flame throwers and incendiary grenades be the go-to solution for zombie hordes. When the PCs ...
11
votes
6answers
487 views

What drives the plot for antiheroes?

I've been planning to run an pathfinder campaign of epic proportions spanning about a year in a high-fantasy world made by a friend. My original plan was: The PCs steal an artifact of value and are ...
7
votes
2answers
394 views

What can I have the players do in my surreal horror scenario?

I'm gonna have the vast majority of my campaign take place in a large strange misty forest and I'm not gonna have any friendly human NPCs around too explain things. Here is the premise: After a ...
21
votes
8answers
884 views

What to do when your PCs skip an important part of the story line

In the earliest stage of my new duet campaign, I thought I had "rail-roaded" the PC into the first important encounter, one that leads to a major story line for the campaign. Specifically, the PC was ...
15
votes
7answers
422 views

How to I create material (on the fly) to support plot changes?

In both pre-plotted adventures and more story-telling ones, a lot of situations occur where monsters/npcs/magical items/geography appear, which wasn't thought of beforehand. I.e. I do not have the ...
22
votes
10answers
981 views

How do I find and eliminate plot holes?

I'm still a pretty new GM. Even though I enjoy coming up with plots and writing the overarching story-line, when I tell my wife (who does not play) how the adventure should progress (the long-view, ...
7
votes
2answers
211 views

Good storylines to accompany adding another player to the game?

I just ran my first two sessions as GM and we are probably going to be adding a 4th player to the group soon (making 5 of us total). I'm trying to thing of a good premise for the party to meet the new ...