The social aspects of role-playing games.

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92
votes
10answers
8k views

How does a player correct a GM mistake without being a rules lawyer or pushover?

You are playing in a game. The GM says that you need to roll a given roll. The rules clearly state something different. I realize one solution is to go along to get along, then tell the GM after ...
62
votes
13answers
7k views

Where can I find other RPG players?

I'd really like to learn how to play pen-and-paper RPGs. I know that it takes a few players to actually sit down and play, but I'm not at all sure where to find more gamers. How do I find existing ...
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, ...
51
votes
9answers
5k views

How to Fix a Terrible Lapse in Judgement

In the gaming group I run, I said at the very first day that this was going to be a very "adult" campaign. I told them I wasn't going to pull punches, and that the party would have to really think ...
45
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 ...
41
votes
11answers
3k views

Is there a limit to Rule 0?

Rule Zero: All other rules can be changed by the GM. I appreciate that there is a massive amount of work that goes into be a GM and the last thing that any GM wants or deserves is to have his ...
37
votes
6answers
2k views

What to do when you seem like you do not fit in with a group?

I'm looking for some advice and input on a situation I've found myself in as a player. To give a little background, my gaming group (4 men, 2 women, between the ages of 25 and 32) is about to end a ...
36
votes
14answers
1k views

When and how should I get the players to cut back on their out of character chatter?

I like that my players have all become such good friends. But they're all louder than me. We end up just chatting and hanging out more than gaming because I can't get them to stop having out of ...
34
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 ...
33
votes
7answers
552 views

What can I do to keep my cool at the table?

I've had some problems in the last couple of weeks with getting on tilt when things start to go a bit downhill in the game. In the first game, random effects converged in just such a fashion as to ...
33
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I politely ask a player to leave my game?

So, after a few sessions, the new player I'd invited has been a bit of a disaster. He doesn't get on well with any of the other players, laughed when someone's character died (in our campaign that's ...
33
votes
11answers
3k views

Is it practical to run a weekly lunch-hour game of D&D with my coworkers?

I'm looking to get some of my coworkers together and start a lunch time, casual, D&D game. Has anyone done this - is there a practical way to do this? Our lunch breaks run for about 1 hour, but I ...
32
votes
17answers
1k views

How do you reassure a parent who is worried about RPGs being unhealthy for their children?

Are there any constructive steps fellow players and GMs can take when a high-school age player's parents express concern at their roleplaying game hobby? Assume the player is a healthy creative ...
32
votes
5answers
705 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 ...
32
votes
3answers
761 views

What policies should be made at the start of a campaign, to define the desired game experience and avoid bad feelings later?

My group and I work on the assumption that a game system's default assumptions are its manifesto, and that by choosing a system we are choosing to let its assumptions stand except where we institute ...
31
votes
3answers
1k views

How to handle a 'power-GM'?

My rpg group is generally very good about 'playing well with others' and most of us lean towards story-gaming more than anything else. We have one member, though, who tends to be a pretty prototypical ...
31
votes
11answers
498 views

How to get better feedback from players?

OK, we started a new campaign yesterday and I really want to take quality feedback from my players. When I ask, "How was it? Do you like it?", I generally get some vague answers like "It was good, I ...
31
votes
10answers
717 views

Is it advisable to rotate the GM role between players?

Is it advisable to run a campaign where the GM occasionally rotates to be a regular player while a player becomes the GM? I've seen some mentions of this strategy to prevent the GM from getting burned ...
30
votes
14answers
1k 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 ...
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?
29
votes
12answers
1k views

How do you compensate your game master?

It's fairly common to see games (especially D&D) choose someone as the bullet-swallower - one player becomes the emulation engine on which the game runs. The bait is the ability to take charge of ...
28
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
28
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I bring a player back to immersion and away from the distraction he brings to the table?

Currently, one of my players brings his 3DS to the table. He picked up a new game, and insists that he's "just grinding," and that he's paying attention (and to his credit, for the most part he is), ...
27
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I quit a long-term 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 ...
27
votes
20answers
1k views

How do you deal with missing players?

If you know ahead of time that you're going to be missing a player, do you reschedule? Or just play them as an NPC or as a group puppet?
27
votes
8answers
4k views

Should a new player call out a “bad” GM?

I've started playing my first D&D game. The group I'm playing with wants me to be the GM, but since I've never played D&D before this I wanted to play as a normal player first. There was one ...
27
votes
8answers
623 views

How can I encourage a style of play where enhancing others' fun is the most important goal?

Let's assume that we can break play styles into two categories: "selfish play," where you want to have fun, and "less-selfish play," where you want to have fun but you want everyone else at the table ...
26
votes
7answers
3k views

My children want to start playing RPGs; at what age should I allow them to participate unsupervised?

Some games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, come with ratings/recommended ages before they can be played. Are those accurate? Beyond the ratings, are there any general guidelines I should follow when ...
25
votes
16answers
2k views

How to design game elements other than combat?

Most RPGs I know about and have played are fighting-centered. That doesn't mean that all gaming is only about fighting, but that most of the rules and character abilities are primarily useful in ...
25
votes
10answers
5k views

A player leaving without warning and dealing with the mess?

I had a player that was very very angry and took stuff way too seriously. After the end of the last campaign, we (the party as a whole) were hesitant to re-invite him but decided to give him a chance ...
25
votes
8answers
1k views

Bad group, how to leave?

I have sometimes joined groups whose play style didn't work for me. At some point it became clear that as much as I wanted to enjoy the game I couldn't. And I was probably undermining the fun at the ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

What etiquette should a new player observe at the gaming table?

I have never played an RPG and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to do anything special or not when playing. This post tells me what I should bring but what on earth do I do when I get there? I'm that ...
25
votes
3answers
1k views

A fellow player is uncooperative with the group and gets GM favoritism. How do I handle this?

I actually have two situations but they are interconnected. Our group is currently playing a Dresden game. The GM and one of the players are married. Along with that, he is a new member to the group. ...
23
votes
6answers
614 views

How do you switch from parenting-mode to GM-mode?

Directly related to this question. My players are my children, aged 7 through 14. A GM has a different relationship with players than a parent does with children. A parent tries to encourage and ...
23
votes
2answers
568 views

How do I politely decline to hear a gaming story?

Sometimes I'm just not in the mood to hear a story about a game that I wasn't in, especially if it's objectively a lot less interesting than the people who were in the game thought it was. Or, and ...
22
votes
10answers
1k views

How do I encourage a GM to use the rules as written?

Related to this question, there are some game masters who either don't know the rules or ignore them properly. They come into conflict with rules lawyers, players who know the rules well and expect ...
22
votes
6answers
2k views

How do I foster enjoyment in the type of make-believe required in RPGs in a child who isn't old enough to play RPGs?

I have a four year old son who, when he gets older, I would like to introduce to RPGs. What types of non-RPG activities should I be doing now to foster enjoyment in the kind of make-believe that ...
21
votes
9answers
4k views

Helping a player who states “I have very little imagination” enjoy the game more?

I have a friend in a couple of my role-playing groups who just isn't enjoying the games very much. (We are currently running Exodus in one campaign and an D&D retro clone in the other.) This ...
21
votes
6answers
834 views

How can I treat old and new players fairly, without upsetting anyone?

The last time I ran a game of D&D there was a lot of tension between new players (both to the group, and D&D) and old players. It stemmed partly from oldbies not wanting their ball taken away, ...
20
votes
6answers
539 views

How to encourage new GMs (in a club environment)

I am part of a games club that has been running for years. Our size varies but we usually have around 10-15 members and run 2-3 games at a time. We change games every 6 months (this also varies ...
19
votes
9answers
577 views

What makes a good pitch for a new game?

What should make up a pitch about a new game to a prospective group of players? What does a good RPG pitch entail? What should go into the case for why a game should be played (and why that GM is the ...
19
votes
1answer
468 views

How to play a character that has an alien mindset and thought process?

I have a character that I am currently portraying who is not human, and I would like to increase the obviousness of his non-humanity ( mainly through dialog and actions ). The character is a ...
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, ...
18
votes
9answers
3k views

What is a good way to get regular people interested in D&D? [closed]

How do I get regular people, non-gamers, into playing D&D? Anybody have any useful ideas?
18
votes
7answers
1k views

Should a GM seek to share costs? [closed]

After the release of D&D 5e and reading through all the advice on the exchange me and a couple of friends decided to start running weekly sessions, I paid for most of the initial materials (map, ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

How to behave in the first session?

For the first time I have been invited in a group where I don't know almost anybody (it's me and a friend of mine and random people we met in a game association). Since I have social anxiety I am ...
18
votes
8answers
965 views

How valid is lying to players about the rolls they are making in The Dresden Files?

In last weeks Dresden Files game, the players followed the bad guy using a tracking spell, and found him in the projects at an apartment that they knew little about. Seeing his car, they decided to ...
18
votes
4answers
997 views

How do I, as a DM, help a girl integrate into a group of all male role-players? [closed]

We have recently had an addition to our gaming group. She is very bright and has picked up the rules quickly and seems to have enjoyed herself. We have had one session with her involved and she has ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

How to avoid arguments with a player about what “should” happen?

I recently GMed my first real role-playing game with a few friends who are also new to tabletop RPGs, and it went quite well except for a few parts. Here's an example; the basic scenario was (a few ...
17
votes
9answers
1k views

What real world skills can RPGs improve?

What real world skills can be improved by playing Role-playing games? What skills have you or others in your experience improved through gaming?