38
votes
12answers
3k views

How do I create a great fantasy villain that inspires the party to rally against them?

In my early years of GMing it was simple enough to say that the badguys were evil and that was all the justification we needed. They are attacking the village because they are evil, they are stealing ...
14
votes
13answers
2k views

Where do I get inspiration for good scenarios?

What are the best [not only RPG related] sources of ideas for a good scenario? I'm not asking about ready scenarios, but inspiration to create your own. For starters: Shutter Island movie - good ...
11
votes
5answers
624 views

Tricks allowing continuous narration during a fight [closed]

I used a lot of tricks that allowed to skip the counting of every swing and blow and dodge. I think people should share such solutions. My favourite tricks: Roll a bunch of dice and just take look at ...
20
votes
5answers
817 views

What makes a skill challenge great?

What makes a skill challenge a good one. What makes then enjoyable and fun? What ways can we make them memorable?
8
votes
2answers
521 views

What about Arete / Masteries and Dark Heroes?

I just received World of Darkness: Mirrors, and I'm quite interested in house rules describing dark heroes (usually über humans in a fantasy setting). Problem is: I just don't understand how the Dark ...
7
votes
3answers
328 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
19k views

Random Dungeon/Maze Generator

I'm looking for a good random dungeon/maze generator. Some key features I'd like it to have: Can generate a regular maze (one entrance & exit, even passage width, every spot within the area is ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

A medusa and a beholder look at each other. What happens?

What happens when a medusa and a beholder look at each other? Will the beholder petrify, or will the medusa lose her power?
50
votes
26answers
6k views

What alternatives are there to replace orcs, kobolds, and hobgoblins in low-level encounters?

In your average "generic D&D" campaign and setting, orcs, kobolds, and hobgoblins are frequently used to stock low level adventures and dungeons. These are usually nice for 1st/2nd level ...
52
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I make my game more “noir” as a GM?

I ran a couple of Shadowrun games at Dexcon, my first time GMing at a con. It's not my first time running Shadowrun; I based the games off of a couple jobs my players did in a then-ongoing campaign. ...
35
votes
15answers
4k views

Narrative Combat versus Use of Miniatures

When I first started playing D&D, my DM did not use battlemaps or miniatures to describe combat. Everything was described to us, and questions to the DM were part and parcel of the experience, ...
17
votes
9answers
352 views

How to encourage the GM-curious?

I have a couple of players who might be interested to try GMing, but have so far been reluctant to "take the plunge" and start up their own games. I think this is mostly because they're not sure that ...
32
votes
15answers
1k views

Music during game or not? [closed]

We tried to use background music during gaming sessions, but it turned out to be an annoyance. Do you have success stories, and which music did you use ?
13
votes
7answers
772 views

How much should characters know about encountered creatures in 4e?

The shift from 3.5e to 4e in D&D has meant a big shift towards emphasizing tactics during combat. While I was apprehensive about this at first, it turns out it's quite entertaining, and a good ...
24
votes
6answers
2k views

From D&D3.5 to GURPS

I always wanted to move from D&D to GURPS, but the different system and lack of pre-made material always put me and the players off. Have you tried such transition, how did the players handle it, ...
32
votes
8answers
8k views

Combat rules for large battles

In the later chapters of a future campaign I'm thinking of having a section where the players take charge of parts of an army and fight a larger battle. I don't want to hand-wave the strategy, I want ...
18
votes
9answers
690 views

Dealing with a changing set of players in a continuous campaign

I have a group of players who have all been integrated into the game. However we all live in different counties and at any one time only a subset of the players can play at any one time. I try to ...
16
votes
12answers
928 views

What is important when choosing an RPG? [closed]

I am currently writing a guide to creating a free RPG and I would like to include a section on how to mould the game in such a way that would make it appealing to the general roleplaying public. What ...
38
votes
13answers
5k views

Playing 4th Ed D&D for the first time, what should I read to avoid holding everyone back?

I've been invited to join a new game of D&D 4th edition this weekend, but haven't played proper D&D before. Are there any resources I ought to read or get before I turn up, so that I'm not a ...
38
votes
17answers
1k views

Your friend wants to learn the ways of the Dungeon Master, what do you do?

I believe that all tabletop role playing gamers should at one point or another try their hand at Dungeon Mastering. However, it's a goal that at times can feel overwhelming. What advice would you ...
7
votes
3answers
177 views

Suggestions for a Mountain Witch follow-up?

We played a one-shot of Mountain Witch and some people have expressed interest in a similar game but whe don't feel like just reshuffling the dark destinies. Has anybody written similar scenarios or ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Which Traveller editions are (mostly) compatible?

There have been several editions and offspring versions of the Traveller RPG. Those are the ones I know of: Classic Traveller (the very first edition) Traveller T4 Traveller 5 Mongoose Traveller ...
12
votes
10answers
271 views

Do your players make maps while exploring the unknown of your game's world?

If so, how do they do approach map making without slowing down the game. If not, and if you wish they did, what are ways to encourage players to do so? Also, what are good ways to make maps without ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Good sources for pre-painted minis? [closed]

Does anyone know some good places to look for pre-painted minis besides the WOTC and Reaper lines? I'm interested in either factory-painted or hand-painted.
13
votes
10answers
1k views

Do you use character sheets? Or, do you use a blank sheet of paper? [closed]

Also, what are the advantages and disadvantages for each approach?
14
votes
10answers
2k views

Character Sheets paper or plastic?

What do you guys use for character sheets? I used graphing paper for a while. My biggest problem is the whole erasing things after a while the paper gets... lets say well used... Anyway to make the ...
15
votes
15answers
2k views

What are some interesting ways to structure a random encounter table? [closed]

The standard tables I've seen have been basic 'Wandering Monster' tables where you roll some dice in order to generate a random encounter. I'm sure many have taken this concept further, but I haven't ...
13
votes
4answers
280 views

Megadungeon or modules for a weekend of play?

I've been having gaming/camping weekends with some friends and we've only played Call of Cthulhu so far, using modules. This time I plan on running an OSRIC/1e game, and would like to run the ...
16
votes
6answers
999 views

Can you use a Spelljammer ship to get to Ravenloft?

This is an insane question, I know. But it's one that's been bugging me for at least half my 33-year life. :) I love both the Spelljammer and Ravenloft settings of AD&D 2nd Edition. One of the ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Where can I get old D&D Encounters content?

Does anyone know whether there's any way to get a hold of the content from previous D&D Encounters seasons? I'd like to be able to try some of it out.
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I mitigate the power of Spitting Cobra Stance?

The Ranger has an encounter power called Spitting Cobra Stance that seems grossly over-powered—in one group I play in, the Ranger will enter Spitting Cobra Stance at the beginning of combat, and ...
6
votes
2answers
173 views

Are there any environment-based settings written for 4E?

I was a big fan of the 3E "environment" books such as Stormwrack, Sandstorm, and Frostburn - they generated many exciting hours of adventures. Has anyone taken a shot at updating these to fit into the ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I convert 2nd Edition AD&D to 4th?

I grew up on second edition AD&D. I played some first edition, and frankly found most 1st edition add-ons to be highly compatible with 2nd Edition. However, I'm a huge fan of Ravenloft, ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?
55
votes
22answers
2k views

What approaches are there to lessen or eliminate reliance upon dice in an RPG? [closed]

Is it necessary to use dice all the time in a dice-based RPG system? In other words, are there occasions or means by which you speed up gameplay by either reducing the number of rolls or removing the ...
7
votes
4answers
464 views

What's a good way to use treasure XP in 4th edition?

I've been incorporating some houserules to give my 4e game a more old-school feel, as I would probably be running a 1e game if my players didn't love having powers so much. One thing I'd love to do ...
13
votes
6answers
673 views

Choosing between Tales From the Floating Vagabond and Paranoia for a “one-shot.”

I'm in a group now, headed by a very (very) capable DM. We've been playing a very solid, very serious D&D campaign in an awesome setting entirely of his creation. However, some of the players have ...
16
votes
3answers
648 views

Do marks go away when one of the parties is dead or incapacitated?

While DMing for DnD Encounters, I had an interesting rules concern come up, that I can't see handled in the rules specifically. We always assumed that when a character or monster goes unconscious via ...
32
votes
9answers
2k views

Are there any tricks to a successful play-by-post/play-by-e-mail game?

I've played in a couple of play-by-post games over the last couple of years, and they've all ended more-or-less unsatisfactorily. Usually posting would slowly wind down until we hit a bottleneck of ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Rules for lasso capture?

In D&D 3.5 suppose a character decides to capture another character, animal or object with a lasso. How would you handle a throw for this situation ?
8
votes
4answers
410 views

Will a house-rule for trained skills work?

I've been using a house rule for a while now. If you have a trained skill, and you are making a knowledge check it's free. For example, if you are trained in nature, and fighting natural beasts; you ...
108
votes
44answers
18k views

What tools are useful to organize a GM's campaign notes?

There are plenty of tools available to organize campaign notes. I've tried 4x6 cards, files on my computer, notebooks, and more. I have thought of trying mind mapping software such as FreeMind, note ...
11
votes
2answers
612 views

Do Technomancers experience any strange effects from being in UV nodes?

In Unwired(p.171) they talk about the legendary UV Nodes. These nodes are overwhelmingly potent, and have addictive qualities to all users. There is a technomancer playing in my game who may have ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Dealing with magic in Ravenloft

Ravenloft is my pet peeve when it comes to settings. I don't like it, it's too dark for my tastes, but occasionally I had to survive through it, although for a brief time. Something I never got clear ...
12
votes
11answers
363 views

Real World Mythic Setting Material

Can you recommend setting material for roleplaying games (books, websites, etc.) that presents places in the real world but with supernatural overtones based upon a locale's myths, fairytales, and ...
18
votes
10answers
698 views

How to handle knowing more than your character does

I've read the rules. I know the math. I know, as the player, that X monster is vulnerable to Y damage and if I move through the door 4 squares into the room, my burst 2 will catch every baddie there. ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Increasing cleric hitpoints

I'm running a Dwarf Cleric in a vanilla FR D&D 4e game. My character is intended to be somewhat of a defender as well as a leader. The problem I'm having is that I haven not found any ...
11
votes
4answers
318 views

Player Agenda - how to keep people happy at the table

There have been many attempts to classify player types and what they seek to get from play sessions. For instance this WotC marketing survery and this article on the RPGNET wiki on Creative Agenda. ...
19
votes
8answers
2k views

How does Charm Person work?

In a campaign I've been playing in, we've been having a real tough time deciding how powerful to make the first level Charm Person spell for Magic Users. We are playing Swords & Wizardry, a ...
7
votes
5answers
230 views

What techniques do you use for integrating new players into your campaign?

So, you've found a new player, someone you don't know well or perhaps don't know at all. You have a slot in your ongoing campaign. How do you do it? Do you make sure she's a good fit before inviting ...

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