36
votes
15answers
5k views

How to Handle a Powergamer / Munchkin [closed]

What are some strategies that I can employ to handle a power gamer that constantly outshines the rest of the party? This is a friend of us all and we don't want to boot him, but combat simply isn't ...
21
votes
8answers
24k views

Homebrew D&D with only 2 players (plus DM)

I DM'ed for my buddies this semester and it was really fun. I got my roommate hooked and now he's asking for me to make another campaign (I've got a great idea). The problem lies in the fact that I'll ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

How to make spell components relevant again?

The spell components mechanic has always seemed a bit ham-fistedly handled in D&D since 2nd edition. What should be an interesting way of defining a wizard generally becomes "I have my pouch" and ...
25
votes
2answers
34k views

How do favored classes work in Pathfinder?

I'm working on creating a half-elf paladin character for a Pathfinder game. Full disclosure: this is the first time I've tried creating a character; I've used ones other people created before. In ...
25
votes
12answers
7k views

What role-playing games should I pick for an absolute beginner group? [closed]

I've always wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons, but where I live it's more of an underground thing, so it was difficult to find other players. After recently moving to a new school, I made a few ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

How to increase difficulty in Dungeon World

I've been GMing for a couple of sessions now and I'm still struggling at making encounters or situations more difficult. I will describe dangerous situations and encounters in fiction but the ...
33
votes
12answers
13k views

Are there any penalties for wearing armor all the time?

In our campaign we have several characters who never remove their armor. They wear it while adventuring, sleeping, swimming, bathing, etc. Are there any penalties for: Wearing armor while sleeping? ...
20
votes
4answers
899 views

I have read the D&D PHB but am still having trouble grasping some of the basics, how can I learn more?

With credit to one of the more experienced members on the site, mxyzplk, I thought I'd ask where noobs like me should ask or find answers to basic questions about Dungeons & Dragons mechanics if ...
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 ...
34
votes
1answer
3k views

At level one, can you really never recover hit dice?

I was reading a review of 5e game play here from our RSS Feed. And in it he makes an observation about a strange rule: Weird rule thing. You recover half your level in hit dice during a long ...
34
votes
5answers
4k views

Does Burning Hands really require touching thumbs?

The D&D 5E spell Burning Hands has verbal and somatic components, and is described like this: As you hold your hands with thumbs touching and fingers spread, a thin sheet of flames shoots ...
12
votes
3answers
14k views

Can a Rogue (D&D 3.5) use sneak attack on both the first and second attack?

I know this seems like a question you can simply Google but the answers vary and my clan is under the impression that I can only use it on my first attack (once per round) and not on my second attack. ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

How to roll perception checks for characters who aren't actively looking?

This applies to all d20 systems, but with an example from the from the Pathfinder PRD (emphasis mine): Stonecunning: Dwarves receive a +2 bonus on Perception checks to potentially notice unusual ...
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
7k views

Do rogues get sneak attack damage added to attacks made outside their turn?

PHB says 'once per turn,' so, it would seem that a Rogue with Sentinel, for example, could "consistently" deal Sneak attack twice per round (whether the enemy triggers an OA or the melee weapon attack ...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

Multiclassing: How do Ability Score Improvements work?

Given that every class gets a minimum of 5 ability score improvements each at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 19 (Rogue and Fighter get more at other levels), do these ability score improvements occur by ...
8
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
79
votes
21answers
17k views

How to deal with player MacGyver-ism?

Role playing is an excellent hobby to train your problem solving skills. You learn to look at situations from different view points (i.e. the characters) and you have various skills and resources at ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
77
votes
16answers
6k views

Total Party Kill - What do I do as a GM?

Your party has had a streak of bad luck and/or made a poor choice and are now staring down death. The rules were followed to the letter and loss is assured. How do you handle this as a GM? Does ...
65
votes
14answers
14k views

My PCs have a plan that will get them all killed; how and why should I save them?

Related: How do I help my players figure out how to stay alive in a realistically-deadly sandbox campaign? I am running a sandbox game for a group of players who are used to more traditional ...
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 ...
25
votes
1answer
10k views

How does surprise work in D&D 5e? [closed]

Having come from earlier editions of D&D I found that my preconceptions on "surprise" and particularly the "surprise round" weren't working in 5e. The Player's Handbook deals with surprise on p. ...
31
votes
7answers
16k views

How do I get started playing Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition by myself?

I've been wanting to start playing D&D for some time, and I was wondering how I could get started by myself with relative ease. I own the first two player handbooks, and a set of dice.
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 ...
47
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 ...
24
votes
10answers
2k views

How do I transition my players from roll-playing to role-playing?

The context for this question is the same as this related question about spending time in town, but I am looking for sufficiently different advice so I thought it warranted its own question. I've ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

Tools/techniques for optimal tabletop gaming with one remote user

A member of our group has moved to Dallas and we're involving them in the game using Skype. The rest of us are sitting around a table. We have one laptop being used to show the player, and usually ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

Realm Management Rules That Work

I have been searching for years for a good realm-management rule set for RPGs. By "realm management," I mean a system that tracks the fortunes of large areas and / or groups in the way that most RPGs ...
45
votes
13answers
6k views

How to secretly talk to one of the players while DM'ing?

To cut it short, the players (it's a 3 people party) are in some kind of a Secret Service of a rebel prince who wants the throne. One of my players is working for the current king secretly, feeding ...
40
votes
3answers
10k views

Is there a OGL or GSL license for D&D 5e?

With the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Basic Rules being a free PDF, they are practically the SRD. But is there a license available for content creators that want to create commercial products ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

What about character death should be included in a social contract?

For a D&D (4e, primarily) game what about player-character death should be included in a group's social contract? What are some options for best reaching consensus about the possibility of death ...
38
votes
6answers
2k views

How do you handle verbal exchanges between NPCs without taking the PCs out of the spotlight?

One of the assumptions I make as GM is that the players should always be in the spotlight. Sometimes the players find themselves in a situation where they watch NPCs speak to each other. I don't ...
29
votes
10answers
5k views

How do you make hacking useful without excluding other players?

My Shadowrun group has a reasonably typical composition: "face", technomancer, rigger, mage, adept, and street samurai. The problem I have is making sure that the technomancer can use her skills ...
37
votes
12answers
9k views

When and how should I introduce my kids to RPGs?

I grew up playing and DMing AD&D 1st edition. Have played a few other systems like Paranoia but really know the AD&D system well enough to not spend time constantly looking up rules. Do you ...
29
votes
4answers
2k 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 don'...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I get my players to do extra “homework”?

I've noticed a problem with my PC's lacking rich backgrounds, or players lacking knowledge of the mechanics of their own characters. This has lead to me giving the players "homework", which I have ...
17
votes
6answers
5k views

Relationship Mechanics for D&D/Pathfinder?

My Pathfinder/D&D games tend to involve relationships - romantic, friendly, etc. - between PCs and NPCs alike. 3.x only has the Diplomacy mechanic for any kind of relationship mechanic. I'm ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

How should I restrain myself when both playing a character and DMing?

I'm currently playing an IRL game with two of my friends. As you might imagine, I was worried that they weren't powerful enough to take on the higher level encounters so I made a character to help ...
32
votes
5answers
1k views

Should the GM in Dresden Files be telling us what the target numbers are for thaumaturgy spells and skill checks?

In the Dresden Files game I'm in, the game master never tells us the target numbers for thaumaturgy spells and skill rolls. We roll, he tells us whether we succeeded, life goes on. I've heard this isn'...
23
votes
6answers
43k views

Two-Weapon Fighting & Bonus Action in 5e

During the latest gaming session our level 3 Rogue was Two-Weapon fighting with a Rapier in the main-hand and a scimitar in the off-hand. At the completion of our gaming session I contested the ...
8
votes
2answers
334 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 ...
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 ...
23
votes
5answers
9k views

Does a reach weapon allow you to threaten squares 10 feet away or not?

In D&D 5e, does a reach weapon allow you to threaten squares up to 10 feet away for the purpose of Opportunity Attacks or does it just allow you to attack squares up to 10 feet away? There is ...
21
votes
4answers
807 views

Must a situation's obvious characteristics be explicitly made into aspects?

I've never played Fate before and am learning from Fate Accelerated Edition with occasional reference to Fate Core. For the most part, it has been straightforward. On the other hand, I am somewhat ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Is possible to Chain-Activate Pearls of Power?

I will start a campaing in a few days and my players are on the "Character Building" mode for this week, and they are asking me a lot of really creative questions regarding possible builds. That's ...
18
votes
7answers
4k 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 (...
18
votes
5answers
6k views

Covertly casting a spell

This question about Charm Person got me musing about a problem with the spell. Obviously, you can't cast Charm Person in the middle of a forum to sway an interlocutor to your side without the other 20 ...

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