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 ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I use existing game mechanics in my own designs?

To what extent is it permissible to use aspects of a given system (for commercial use)? Say I wanted to have rules for how a skill check works, do I have to be careful that I am not using the same as ...
12
votes
8answers
3k views

What are some of the major challenges in playing an Evil Character? [closed]

What are some of the major challenges in playing an Evil Character (whether that's a formal alignment or not) in a co-operative party game, and likewise, what are some of the reasons many groups ...
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 ...
37
votes
12answers
8k 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 ...
30
votes
3answers
15k views

Is the old “Linear Fighters Quadratic Wizards” problem still around in 5e Basic?

(This question is a comparison to 3.x, though things might have been different in 4e) In 3.5e there is a large power and capability gap between fighters and wizards that fighters couldn't hope to ...
21
votes
8answers
23k 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
1k 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
33k 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 ...
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 ...
32
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? ...
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 ...
20
votes
4answers
879 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 ...
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 ...
30
votes
5answers
2k views

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?
26
votes
6answers
14k views

Should one buy the Pathfinder book when the content is available for free on d20pfsrd.com?

Does the Pathfinder core rulebook contain any information that is not included already on www.d20pfsrd.com that would make it worth it to buy the PDF version of the manual? Or does it only have extra ...
14
votes
12answers
5k views

How do you adjudicate what alignment a PC's actions are?

We have a group of three characters: The lawful good paladin (acolyte), the lawful good fighter (soldier) and the chaotic good druid (criminal). All try to help NPCs in need, won't fight between ...
12
votes
3answers
13k 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. ...
8
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
514 views

How do marks interact with dual attacks?

The specific example from last night involved a Demon ManipulatorDDI using his Deceptive Attack to attack both my paladin and an ally. Would this violate the mark and trigger Divine ChallengeDDI? My ...
67
votes
23answers
8k views

How can a GM quickly create interesting, engaging NPCs?

What techniques do people have for coming up with interesting personalities and histories for non-player characters? I'm mostly interested in the GM side of things. I don't want to do a ton of prep. I ...
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 ...
39
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 ...
66
votes
16answers
5k views

How do I stop my PCs from acting like insomniac monkeys on crack?

An issue came up in the last session of my Pathfinder campaign - that of chronic PC impatience. It happens especially when they go to cities and between major adventures. They go into a frenzy of ...
23
votes
17answers
39k views

A 2 Player RPG for buddies? [closed]

If myself and an old buddy sit down for a night of roleplaying, what game can we use? I've heard of a couple of romantic games, but they're not really for buddies. Are they? Suggestions please.
29
votes
10answers
8k views

1 GM and 1 Player games and game systems? [closed]

I'm eager to hear how other people handle this? I do quite a bit of GM-Less gaming in Mythic and some other fringe systems, but, sometimes it's just better to be playing 'other sides' even if you're ...
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 ...
46
votes
18answers
2k 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 ...
69
votes
18answers
6k views

How should a GM deal with sexuality in an RPG?

I think it's a matter of fact that since the first moment a player realizes that he or she can interact with someone of the opposite sex romantically within the game, things get hairy. I had my fair ...
68
votes
18answers
12k views

What can I do when I accidentally gave out an overpowered item?

In our last game, the players worked their way through a series of fiendish traps into a high security vault, where they recovered a Staff of the Magi. After the game I looked at the stats, and ...
37
votes
14answers
2k 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 ...
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.
50
votes
9answers
8k views

I failed to open a lock. Now what?

Picking a lock typically requires a DC 15 Dexterity check (Basic rules, p. 49). Likewise for manacles (p. 50), which can alternately be escaped with a DC 20 Dexterity check or broken with a DC 20 ...
24
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I continue to access Wizards of the Coast's D&D 3.5 Web articles?

It appears that in anticipation of D&D Next Wizards of the Coast has removed much of the Dungeons and Dragons, 3rd Edition Web content. I didn't perform a thorough search to determine if all the ...
13
votes
2answers
12k views

Guidelines for creating homebrew classes (base/PrCs)

Is there any (official or not) guidebook to the creation of classes, both prestige and base, that does not simply state what you must pick for a class (BaB, saves, concept, profficiences), but ...
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 ...
32
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
37
votes
9answers
1k views

Best answer for people concerned about RPG activities being occult or dangerous?

I've had many experiences where the very fact of roleplaying triggered some concerned comment from the "uninitiated," likely parents or neighbors. Some examples: A friend of mine hosted a Vampires ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
16
votes
11answers
3k views

How can I allow one character to sneak off and assassinate an NPC without boring the other players?

Setup In my campaign, one of the PCs is an assassin. Before the game started, I gave the player a list of assassination targets. One of the targets happens to be friends with the party's warlord. ...
16
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 ...
38
votes
13answers
6k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I encourage new players to be more descriptive in their actions and intents?

I have a party of new players, who are enjoying a sporadic session of Fate Accelerated. I'm learning a significant amount from the experience, and I hope they are too. In addition to some problems ...

15 30 50 per page