The sequence of events that take place in the fictional environment of a roleplaying game.

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5
votes
4answers
276 views

How do I help players engage with plot despite giving me no good background hooks?

Two of my players are very excited about the game ("Super-Assassins Take On the Mafia, Ancient Evil") and made backgrounds with lots of good hooks I can use to tie them into the plot. The other two ...
30
votes
6answers
3k views

What to do when a great idea comes too soon?

As a GM, often a fantastic ending to a campaign comes to me before I start it. In the Star Wars universe, I picture the heroes stealing a Star Destroyer from the Empire or, in D&D, I picture the ...
1
vote
0answers
114 views

Do you share your story titles with players? [closed]

I've started to taking to naming my stories, even for no other purpose than record keeping. However I've been thinking about sharing the names of the stories with the players. If you do it do before ...
-4
votes
1answer
92 views

How do I manage to handle many villian organizations on an already NPC filled game? [closed]

I'm running a super powers (anime style) campaign with friends, we've just begun and we want to keep the anime "vibe" alive for as long as we can, since Japanese Animation shows make use of several ...
17
votes
4answers
905 views

How can I recognise when a Scene should be skipped?

There is a mode of thought that says RPGs should be like a movie or a TV show. We don't give screen time to the boring stuff. I had a scene play out where the players had to let a NPC know they were ...
8
votes
5answers
936 views

How to follow up the adventure if the party split?

In the last session, the party I'm DMing got into a great fight against the spirit of the valley (a big dire wolf). In the heat of the fight the cleric was bitten to the point that he dropped to 0 hp ...
5
votes
3answers
227 views

Can Asmodeus' AD&D and 3.5e backgrounds be merged without losing anything?

I was originally planning to make Asmodeus the ultimate bad guy of an upcoming campaign I am DMing, but when I discovered the background in AD&D's Guide to Hell I was immediately sold on the ...
5
votes
3answers
253 views

How can I optimize storytelling for a Pathfinder game with a party group in flux

The group that I game with has been falling one by one. Life happens I understand this happens. However there is now only 1 character(Myself) and the DM and while we have fun it would be more fun with ...
31
votes
11answers
3k views

Plausible explanation for large number of armed adventurers in fantasy RPG setting?

I'm working on a Dungeons & Dragons setting and want a comprehensive and logical explanation why, in a feudal society similar to Western Europe in the Middle Ages, there might be bands of armed ...
10
votes
9answers
2k views

How can I avoid focusing too much on one player character?

Currently in the game I'm running, one of my players is constantly excited about the game. Outside of the game, he writes pages and pages of material about his character, and consistently adds new ...
9
votes
7answers
455 views

How can I encourage my players to give me plot hooks?

Related: How can I help a player craft a backstory that gives me plot hooks? This question is about generating new plot hooks during play, rather than part of character generation, however. I ...
38
votes
15answers
2k views

How can I help a player craft a backstory that gives me plot hooks?

I have a new player joining my game soon who has taken the place of another player. Unfortunately, the character's backstory is lacking. It doesn't tell me a lot about the character. Because I draw ...
4
votes
3answers
807 views

What would it take for Pelor to abandon a paladin?

I am specifically running a D&D 4e game and am tossing around story ideas to incorporate an old character of mine as a guest star. A brief history of the character is that he is a dwarf who ...
1
vote
3answers
118 views

Monster suggestion for character backstory (AD&D 2e)

I'm writing up an elf assassin's backstory and I'd like input on what sort of monsters fit the situation I've put the PC in. He is in the employ of a lord, living in Suzail, capital of Cormyr in ...
10
votes
4answers
406 views

What fantasy adventures with rich descriptions are out there?

Me and my partner are playing Steve Jackson's Sorcery for the iPad together at the moment. It's her first rp experience of any kind and she's loving it! So I'm thinking I might DM something for her ...
5
votes
1answer
289 views

What is the established story/lore of Infernals and their realm in the IKRPG?

I'm contemplating running a campaign with the new IKRPG that may or may not end up (way down the line) confronting some Infernal creatures, possibly even on their home turf. What information is ...
9
votes
5answers
394 views

Running a campaign alternating GMs every session

The group with which I usually roleplay has a consistent problem: someone will say "Hey, I want to run a campaign in X system with Y setting." Everyone will make characters (which can take quite a ...
47
votes
11answers
3k views

How can a GM prevent growing disillusioned with their own game?

I recently began a new game in which I gave the players much more free reign in designing their characters than I might have in the past. What I wound up with was a very morally-diverse party, with ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

What use is a car, with no infrastructure? [closed]

I've got an idea that's not fully formed yet, kicking around in my head. I'm trying to set up a modern character who ends up stuck in a fantasy setting. Through plot-relevant forces, he was abducted ...
1
vote
9answers
732 views

PC in chains, planned myself into a corner

In a game I'm hosted, the PC (there's only one) has just gotten captured by the enemy. This was part of a plan to give his NPC buddy some major characterization by the way she rescues him, but I've ...
5
votes
2answers
212 views

Reward distribution and story continuity with rotating players/GMs

There are some people who like to GM, and maybe even like it more than role playing themselves. If you have one of those rare specimen in your group consider yourself lucky. Others are not averse to ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

How does “failure” work in Dungeon World? How does it move the story forward?

I am having trouble understanding the specifics of failure Dungeon World. According to the rules, a GM should "make a move" against players when they fail, and that's alright, I get that. What I ...
2
votes
2answers
400 views

What is the relationship between minotaurs and dwarves?

I'm creating a minotaur barbarian and I want him to be wielding a Mordenkrad that slowly increases in magic level (DM permissible) I read in the description that the mordenkrad come from dwarven ...
9
votes
4answers
638 views

Plot granted special ability standards?

For the campaign in question, I'm running one person through a dungeon inspired by Vagrant Story. Clearly some things from the video game can't be emulated, and many of those are integral to the game: ...
26
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
389 views

When the rules bog you down, how do you see past them?

Humans have a limited amount of working memory, and each of us has a different set of mental aptitudes and processes. I'm finding, personally, that the rules are so detailed and all-encompassing that ...
19
votes
10answers
889 views

How much plot guidance is too much?

I've played in many games that were extremely railroaded. There was basically only one feasible course of action and we, as players, were expected to take that route. (The GM would get very upset if ...
14
votes
7answers
878 views

How to transform a tragic hero into a villain?

First things first: let there be a tragic hero with some (yet undefined) personal characteristics. Let there also be a grim world, in which the stories take place (no fairies, knights in shining armor ...
19
votes
5answers
773 views

How to handle diverging expectations on “background density”?

Sorry, this is lengthy, but I want to put this into context. After many years (try 15) of not GM'ing a group of my own, I recently made an attempt to return to the head of the table and shake off ...
6
votes
6answers
203 views

In a Neverwhere style game how do I keep players connected to the surface world?

In a Neverwhere style setting, how do I keep the players interested in staying connected to the surface world? How can I make their connections to the mundane world matter to the players and ...
37
votes
14answers
2k views

How to get out of a story deadlock

As with most of my questions, this is more of a general "how to handle a special situation" and not a plea to solve an existing problem. What is the best way to handle story deadlocks (as in: The ...
19
votes
7answers
629 views

How to tastefully convey racism in RPGs?

I will use Eberron as my example: Eberron is a DnD game that has a player race known as Warforged, which are essentially living constructs. At the end of the last war (2 years ago in game) the ...
24
votes
9answers
549 views

How do I help create story around the table without writing it?

I love RPGs. I think they can create some of the most fun and enjoyable stories, both from an out-of-game and in-game standpoint. I also realize that "story" is the result of the game played by the ...
29
votes
10answers
871 views

What can I include in my character's background to help the GM build a better story?

Whatever the system or the world used, what can a player add to his character background that will help the GM make the game more interesting. Games are much more interesting with the addition of ...
6
votes
2answers
155 views

Have any RPGs ever been based on the world of William Blake?

In William Blake's more famous poems, the highly detailed personal mythology he created is not evident. But in everything else he wrote, characters such as Los, Enitharmion, and Rintrah recur ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Creating a group plot arc in Changeling: The Lost

I'm very enamored of White Wolf's Changeling: The Lost for a wide variety of reasons. First and foremost, I love the dramatic character hooks the setting provides - just coming up with variations on ...
7
votes
2answers
213 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
882 views

How to add a player who joined after the campaign started?

I started running a game, and then a friend of mine expressed interest in playing, so I invited him to join us. He created a character and came along to the next session. As the rest of the party was ...
31
votes
12answers
835 views

How do I allow player agency in situations with predetermined outcomes?

One of the current members of our group joined a little later than everyone else. His character's history wasn't developed too well, so I am running a one-off session so that the group can play out ...
8
votes
3answers
630 views

How to write in-character introduction to new players for a new game background

So, I have this uber cool game world and I want to run a super cool game in it. It should not really matter what genre for this, but let us assume it is fantasy. Instead of either a long conversation ...
29
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I keep a long-range plot cohesive and coherent?

I enjoy GMing but I much prefer to to have some sort of long running plot (or meta-plot) rather than having a series of unconnected unfortunate events afflict my PCs. For example, I would love to ...
33
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I get better at narrating/storytelling as a GM?

Personally, I've always had difficulty telling coherent stories, even from my own experiences. My wife has even coined a term (jokingly) for the type of story I tell, one that either makes no sense, ...
16
votes
5answers
643 views

Co-operative story-telling mechanics

What are some existing or potential game mechanics that encourage players to "take the reins" a bit more and involve themselves in a story-telling perspective? Specifically, are there any examples of ...
12
votes
4answers
253 views

Generating a feeling of nostalgia in the players

I'm new to GMing and am in the process of creating my first world. It's going to be a far future scifi setting, where the civilisation to which the players will belong is a space faring one that is ...
4
votes
2answers
171 views

Are there any scenarios based on “Hound of the Baskervilles”?

Are there any good scenarios based on the classic "Hound of the Baskervilles" story? The actual setting (Call of Ctulhu, D&D, whatever) isn't even that important as I plan to adapt it to my own ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any good websites which have story hooks and plots points for campaigns? [closed]

Are there any good websites which have story hooks and plots points for campaigns?