50
votes
6answers
5k views

Preventing saturation in a horror campaign

I am currently designing my first horror campaign and what I've come up with so far is pretty dark and gruesome. I worry that if it is gut wrenching the whole way through, eventually the players will ...
65
votes
5answers
14k views

Are peoples' competencies really as flat in D&D 5e as its math suggests?

Bounded accuracy is a major feature of the new system. It promises that bonuses to rolls won't grow too much throughout a character's career. And indeed, a first-level fighter would have an apex skill ...
30
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
42
votes
6answers
13k views

What is Sandbox play?

How would you describe the concept of sandbox play? How about to someone who is used to adventure modules or adventure paths?
26
votes
7answers
16k views

Are 3.5 Bards mechanically weak?

People frequently seem to think that Bards are mechanically weaker than other classes, and I was wondering if this was true?
38
votes
9answers
17k views

What is the point of a spell component pouch?

While I'd like to think I know the general Dungeons and Dragons / Pathfinder rules pretty well, one thing I've never quite understood is the spell component pouch, especially in relation to the Eschew ...
39
votes
17answers
23k views

Can a D&D Necromancer be of a good alignment? [closed]

I've been considering creating a good-aligned necromancer, but I'm not sure if it's realistic from a role-playing perspective. Is there anything inherent in necromancy that would require someone to be ...
39
votes
7answers
3k views

What makes a character/creature/power/ability/etc. over-powered?

In generic terms, what makes something, regardless of what game it's being used in, over powered? I hear the term a lot, and while I can recognize it when I see it in-play (often due to someone ...
17
votes
5answers
8k views

Can a spellcaster use spell slots above their normal limit if their ability scores allow bonus spells of that level?

This question is inspired by discussion here, about how Heighten Spell works with Reserve Feats. The question that I am asking here deals with whether or not players can cast spells using spell slots ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Does concealment allow a rogue to make sneak attack?

Can a rogue use cover or concealment in order to Hide, and thereafter make sneak attacks against enemies he is hidden from? For example: A rogue sneak attacks an ogre in melee, then runs behind a ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the complete set of combat modifers for fighting in darkness?

I am slightly confused on combat in darkness. There are modifiers for blinded combatants and invisible combatants, but not specifically combatants who cannot see due to darkness. Are they all ...
36
votes
9answers
3k views

Suggestions for decreasing metagaming and increasing player immersion?

This question is posed in a great way over on the Paizo boards, where I hang out since I play/run a lot of Pathfinder. Immersion is one of the key parts of the RPG experience to me, so I loved the ...
113
votes
10answers
10k 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 ...
111
votes
11answers
40k views

Without a magic item economy, what is gold for?

PHB page 144, Equipment, Wealth, Selling Treasure Magic Items. Selling magic items is problematic. Finding someone to buy a potion or a scroll isn’t too hard, but other items are out of the realm ...
41
votes
2answers
4k views

What do the terms “lines” and “veils” mean?

I have seen the terms "lines" and "veils" used on this SE (including on the chat) a number of times, especially in terms of social contracts between players. What do these terms mean? What is ...
68
votes
22answers
3k 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, ...
84
votes
18answers
6k views

How do I not cheapen death, while also respecting my players' time?

I DM for a group of very busy people, for whom the commitment of several hours a week is a real sacrifice: that’s a sizeable chunk of their free time for the week that I’m asking for. ...
41
votes
5answers
3k views

What do you do in Dungeon World when someone wants to perform an action they don't have a move for?

So in Dungeon World, everything breaks down to 'moves'. What about situations where a move is not available, but a check of some sort is called for, such as in the case of a non-fighter who wants to ...
33
votes
12answers
4k views

What to do when your character is just too good?

I'm playing in the Paizo Pathfinder Jade Regent adventure path and we're having a good time so far (campaign blog and session summaries). However, as my character has gone up in power I'm now ...
21
votes
10answers
2k views

Without a map or miniatures, how to best determine line-of-sight, etc?

I think the title says it all. Let's say you're mastering a game without the benefit of miniatures, maps, or any kind of physical representation of the environment. How would you keep track of details ...
23
votes
5answers
8k views

A PC dies every session - bad tactics or the normal outcome of adventuring?

In the campaign I'm currently playing in we have had a lot of character deaths occurring recently, almost (if not every) session. The party are 13th–14th level and are taking on significant ...
23
votes
1answer
3k views

How does attacking someone work?

OK, I keep going around in circles. In Dresden Files RPG, how do you work out punching someone vs using a knife/sword/weapon vs using a gun?
19
votes
6answers
6k views

What is the optimal way to design a well balanced party

Confession - I just TPK'd my group....again. One of the reasons that has been identified is that while the party is composed of 5 pretty well optimized characters, as a party they just aren't in ...
22
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I signal that alternate tactical end states are possible?

Question inspired by "Redefining Combat" on Clan of the Gray Wolf: It provides an excellent list inspired by army manuals of alternate tactical goals for a scenario: Here are some tactical tasks ...
19
votes
6answers
11k views

Can I use a full attack and natural attacks in the same round?

I'm playing a 7th level monk variant in D&D 3.5e and I'm a werewolf. The variant has a 1 for 1 BAB. (level 1 = BAB+1) If I'm in hybrid form, Can I make my 2 standard attacks followed by 2 claws ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

If I design a PC for use as an NPC, how much XP should he give when killed?

As part of an early quest, my PCs are likely to face off against a wizard. The problem here is that the stat block for Mage NPCs listed in the Basic Rules has a Challenge Rating of 6, while the PCs ...
15
votes
2answers
23k views

Optimal Dragonborn Warlock for DPR/AC with Blade pact and Fiend patron

How can I get the highest Damage-Per-Round (both melee and ranged using pact weapon and Eldritch Blast) and AC possible (with DPR being more important than AC) with a Dragonborn Warlock taking the ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

What Are Freedom of Movement's Limits?

What conditions and effects does the spell freedom of movement [abjur] (PH 233) overcome? I want a fair, reasonable, and consistent method to determine what spells and conditions are overcome by the ...
42
votes
20answers
6k views

How to handle a rules-lawyer player?

As a game master, what strategy/strategies seem to work well for handling players that have spent more time reading through the rule books than you have? While it's helpful at times to have the ...
32
votes
6answers
19k views

How compatible are books for D&D 3.0 and D&D 3.5?

I found a bunch of D&D books at a used bookshop, but am now realizing half are 3.0 and half are 3.5... How compatible are these with each other? What are the major rule changes I'll need to watch ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

Attacks of Opportunity while holding a reach and a non-reach weapon

Assume I wield a Whip in one hand and a dagger in the other. If a creature moves from 5ft to 10ft it has technically moved out of my reach (dagger), but at the same time it is still inside my reach ...
46
votes
3answers
5k views

Are there any rules for a Cleric to change his faith?

There are rules for a Cleric who loses faith, and how to regain his standing through atonement. But what if he abandons one faith entirely for another? Presumably his new god/faith should be picking ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Determining “level” of an NPC ally for purpose of budgeting encounter XP

Hypothetical party: 1st level human wizard (PC) 3x guard NPC 1x acolyte NPC This is the player's first time, and it's a solo campaign. The first mini-adventure involves recovering the cargo of a ...
6
votes
4answers
61k views

Can someone explain what the “Proficiency Bonus” is in D&D 5e/Next exactly?

I am reading the 5e rules, and I keep seeing how you can add proficiency bonus to attack rolls checks with weapons you are proficient in and skill checks in skills you are proficient in, but I can't ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

Can you cast spells with a Somatic component if you're holding a two-handed weapon?

I have a halfling cleric of Bahamut who wears his holy symbol as an amulet around his neck as a spellcasting focus (so material components are not an issue). However, as per this question, this does ...
7
votes
2answers
248 views

Where are the rules about what sources are primary?

Maybe it's just too early in the morning and my brain does not properly connect with the rest of the body, but... ...yes, this is a question about primary sources. What happened is I was talking ...
83
votes
9answers
19k views

As a man, how can I roleplay a woman better?

I rarely play characters of the opposite sex, and I find that I'm not very good at it, at least in my own estimation. This is hampering when I GM because it limits my range, and makes things hard ...
16
votes
5answers
4k 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?
71
votes
13answers
14k views

3d6 vs a d20: What is the effect of a different probability curve?

What is the effect on game play of replacing d20 rolls with 3d6 rolls in a D&D 4e campaign? I started thinking about this after reading this question where the example was given of playing a d20 ...
40
votes
16answers
2k views

What tools or strategies have you found useful when not all players can be in the same physical space? [closed]

Having recently moved most of the way across the US, I am looking for effective ways to continue to game with roleplayers from my previous home. What tools (Skype, mapping applications, etc.) and ...
52
votes
6answers
16k views

What makes grease a good spell?

I often see people list grease as good go-to 1st level spell. Why is this? The spell description lists 3 of its uses: forcing saves and slows movement of enemies, disarming enemies, and preventing ...
38
votes
4answers
3k views

For seasoned 3.X players and DMs, what is the “what's new” summary for 5e?

It seems the 5e rules are much more like the 3.Xe than the 4e. I also know a lot of players and DMs that simply refused to upgrade to the 4e rules, though they are now much more receptive to 5e, given ...
47
votes
13answers
3k views

How to communicate to the players that an encounter can be solved also through diplomacy?

When you play D&D, you are not supposed to chat with the enemy during encounters. The system is made for fighting. However, in some circumstances, it would be nice to make the players conscious ...
39
votes
1answer
6k views

How has D&D changed over time in its guidance to DMs as to when to extrapolate from written rules and when to improvise?

This answer (to a question about a levitating character trying to catch an object that exceeds the spell's weight limit in D&D 2e) states that: The spell levitate has a maximum weight limit, ...
38
votes
14answers
3k views

Can D&D Fourth Edition be played effectively in a non-gamist manner?

I'd like to ask a question that's been brewing for a while. A lot of the answers and comments on this site seem to be from people who play 4e and are insistent that the right way/only way/best way to ...
43
votes
14answers
5k views

How can I play dumb?

I have a half-ogre character at my local larp group, and one of the roleplay-enforced restrictions for half-ogres is that they have low intelligence. I often find myself biting my tongue not to say ...
35
votes
5answers
17k views

Are melee combatants limited to standing around saying “I attack”?

Recently I heard a friend saying that melee combatants had fewer options than 4e or 3.x: Ranged combat was somewhat interesting in that you could deal with cover, aiming, and so forth. Fighters ...
32
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
1k views

How do you DM differently when it's for only one person?

I've just finished running my first session with only one player, and it felt pretty different from running a session for a group. Could someone with more experience in this talk about what one ...
37
votes
7answers
6k views

How does D&D Vancian magic make sense in-game?

One thing that bugs me about Vancian Magic in D&D as I understand it is the following: How is "fire and forget" remotely believable when I can slot and ready more than one "copy" of a spell? Say ...

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