25
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 ...
22
votes
6answers
463 views

Techniques for communicating setting and campaign information to the PCs?

In the past, I've almost always had at least one NPC that would travel with the characters as a type of "lore master" to expand on the story. I've tried to make the character witty and, once the ...
20
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
485 views

As a GM, what aids could I use to create adventure scenes on the spot?

As a GM, many a time I run into a situation that I know nothing of, am not prepared about, and need something, NOW! Maybe it is a freeform adventure and plot was not prepared, maybe I prepared some ...
32
votes
19answers
2k 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 ...
24
votes
7answers
4k views

How do I use Passive Perception to have some characters notice parts of the environment?

I'm new to DM'ing and have an issue I'm not sure how to deal with. The situation is this: It's pitch black outside and the PC is walking, with a lantern in hand, toward a building. A bird is ...
21
votes
10answers
1k views

What defines the “old school renaissance”?

I'm aware that the old school renaissance (OSR) is all about hearkening back to old versions of D&D and the play styles of the 70's and 80's, but what characteristics really define this movement? ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

How much experience should a PC be worth?

Long story short, I'm about to betray my party (by trying to kill them). I'm playing this betrayer on behalf of the GM. Assuming they defeat me, how much experience should they get? I am a level 14 ...
12
votes
4answers
824 views

How do I start DMing a new game after the Red Box?

I finished playing the D&D beginners Red Box with my friends. Now how do I start DMing another game? Where do I go from here?
12
votes
13answers
5k views

How to mitigate glass cannon syndrome in Pathfinder?

This is the more gamey part of my other question, What to do when your character is just too good? In D&D 3.5e and Pathfinder, damage output grows very, very quickly. Much more quickly than hit ...
10
votes
4answers
752 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
900 views

Burrowing, Large Creatures, Opportunity Attacks, Drowning, and Z-Axis Movement [closed]

In our D&D 4th Edition campaign, the players have recently encounter Bulettes, monsters with the Burrow movement mode, and we had a few issues dealing with their movement. Monster Manual 1 states: ...
17
votes
8answers
901 views

How valid is lying to players about the rolls they are making in The Dresden Files?

In last weeks Dresden Files game, the players followed the bad guy using a tracking spell, and found him in the projects at an apartment that they knew little about. Seeing his car, they decided to ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

Where does the D&D concept of a dwarf come from?

Where does the modern D&D of a dwarf come from? I've noticed it's fairly far from the old Germanic concept of a dwarf. Where did Gary Gygax and company get the idea for the current long bearded, ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

How to deal with rope trick in particular circumstance

Foreword: As it's my first post here, I can't insert more than a couple of links, so you'll have to find information on some of these feats and spells yourself on d20srd. The Question: Let's say in ...
13
votes
3answers
414 views

Do PCs retain memories of undeath once resurrected?

If an NPC has been turned undead and later destroyed/resurrected, do they retain the memory of being undead? Specifically the actions they took part in against the PCs? But also any details to the ...
12
votes
3answers
6k 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. ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Is casting the spell Blood Transcription an evil act?

A player of mine in a recent game of Pathfinder was playing a Lawful Neutral Magus and was about to drink blood from a fallen spellcaster to get his prepared spells for the day by using the spell ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a reason to ignore/adjust the Wealth By Level chart?

While reading this Cohort Question I was kinda struck by a quote in there and instead of asking an unrelated question in that area I figured it would be good to make a separate question. The quote ...
8
votes
2answers
360 views

How much, and what kind of, advance planning is appropriate for a sandbox campaign?

New GM attemping to get ideas for a campaign down something similar to a tabletop fallout game. How much info is too much info for general prep? Can there ever be too much? Or is there a general ...
8
votes
1answer
775 views

Is it possible to use rules from OGL or GSL in a computer game?

I'm experimenting with making an RPG game for mobile phones, and I could save some time if I used an established system for stats and combat etc. From a quick read of the licenses I'm not sure whether ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How compatible are D&D 4th Edition and Essentials? Can you use Essentials encounters with 4th edition characters?

I've seen posts about how (un)convertable D&D Essentials characters are to 4th edition. This is a question about monsters/encounters/adventures. People have been raving about the Essentials ...
14
votes
3answers
546 views

Does the Rules Compendium overrule the core books?

The comment below was originally posted on another answer: Furthermore, from a super-strict RAW perspective, it has been argued (not by me!) that the Errata rules don’t actually let a book claim ...
11
votes
2answers
283 views

What are the commonly accepted definitions of reskinning and refluffing?

I have come across this comment that seems to say there is a globally accepted definition of reskinning and refluffing and that it's not the same thing (I thought it was). What are the commonly ...
8
votes
2answers
475 views

Can a Half-Dragon's alignment change from their dragon's alignment type?

Is it possible for a Half-Dragon's alignment to change from their dragon's alignment type? For example, if a blue Half-Dragon (Lawful Evil) had an alignment-affecting spell cast on them, or was bitten ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I get more spell slots for my caster without resorting to the Extra Slot feat?

Im planning on building a wizard/Warmage/Ultimate Magus. By level 15 I will have caster level 11 in both classes, this leaves me with 5 levels left. I was planning on taking Dragon Disciple to ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Can a martial character combine a lesser style with greater style, arena training, or other at-will modifying feat?

What level of stacking is possible with at-will modifying feats? Take, for example, the fighter power: "Cleave" At-Will Martial, Weapon Standard Action Melee weapon Targets: ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I read the Attack line on power cards in D&D 4e?

I've just recently started playing D&D 4e through the Red Box, and I am confused about how to fill in the power cards. So, take Nimbus of Holy Shielding for instance. I understand the Target and ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Attacks of Opportunity from moving within a threatened area?

I'm curious about moving in threatened squares, say I'm a fighter and I'm already in a square fighting a monster with normal melee range and I move to the opposite side of him so that an ally can move ...
4
votes
2answers
253 views

How do the Planar Shepherd's features interact with the Outlands?

I have recently read up on the Planar Shepherd, and I have a few questions about it regarding its interaction with the Outlands. And while I know the Planar Shepherd is in an Eberron book, and as such ...
4
votes
1answer
234 views

Where do I go from the Red box?

Me and my group just finished the essentials red box, and are looking at moving to the full 4e game. I'm doing some preliminary reading of the books and one thing is confusing me a little. The ...
41
votes
7answers
1k views

What is a good way to become a better NPC/monster actor?

One of the biggest problems I have as Game Master, (going on 30+yrs) is in portraying NPC and Monsters in any RPG. Is there a good resource for becoming a better 'actor'? Instead of just saying... ...
35
votes
12answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
11answers
28k views

What's the best software for mapmaking?

I use paint.net and paint shop pro to create fantasy cartography. Is there any better software, and why?
52
votes
19answers
16k views

How do I play a paladin without being a stick in the mud?

What are some tips for/examples of an epitome-of-good type paladin who does not disrupt the 'sinful' fun of the rest of the group? As an example of the type of paladin I'm talking about, one of the ...
46
votes
9answers
1k views

Running games for a constantly unreliable group

My RP club has been going on for many years, which has the unfortunate effect of us getting older. Many members of my club have started to acquire something called a 'real life'. I'm not entirely sure ...
36
votes
17answers
977 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 ...
30
votes
10answers
4k views

How do I handle a group that does not understand the 'assumption rule'?

1st rule of D&D (as of 3rd edition/pathfinder): The GM is the final arbiter on all rules. I understand this, completely, and do not disagree. That said, I'm having trouble with a group that ...
33
votes
8answers
3k views

What is some good advice for starting Paranoia with a new group?

My roleplaying group is talking about taking a break from our 4e D&D campaign for a bit, and doing some one-offs. We are planning on doing a few sessions with a GURPS game of some sort, and the ...
58
votes
19answers
4k 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 ...
27
votes
6answers
2k views

Fortifying & Defending a shop in a city

When they're not adventuring, the PCs in my campaign own a magic item shop in a very large city. They have a staff, inventory, marketing, and in general it operates like you'd expect an item shop to ...
25
votes
10answers
1k views

Crime Investigation in a fantasy world [closed]

I am writing a campaign which relies heavily on crime: investigating it, clues, leads, witnesses, evidence, corruption, etc... The setting is fantasy, low-tech, and for the time being - let us leave ...
23
votes
10answers
944 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
13k views

Is there a spell managing program/app for D&D 3.5e?

I'm playing a necromancer wizard in a D&D 3.5e game via Roll20. I've found that it's very tedious to manage and choose my spells because I have to look in the list of the wizard/sorcerer spells ...
10
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
26
votes
9answers
980 views

How can GMs evoke the tone of danger in an RPG?

Forked from this question which focuses more on exploring signals of specific danger. Here, my question is: how can a GM evoke the feeling of danger during a game? How can they create tension that ...
19
votes
18answers
2k views

What RPG systems work well online?

I have a number of RPG-loving friends, but they're unfortunately scattered around the world. I'd like to run a game with them online, using emails or message boards or something of that ilk. (like ...
55
votes
15answers
4k views

When should I fudge dice rolls?

When I started my first D&D campaign as a DM, I accidentally rolled and confirmed a crit on a PC from a goblin. It was an instant kill as our campaign had no cleric. That time I decided to fudge ...
35
votes
8answers
4k views

As a girl how can I roleplay a male character better?

I am one who wants to play both female and male characters. Up until now I have played two male characters but only for small quests (5 sessions max). At the moment we are playing "Shackled City" and ...
31
votes
6answers
854 views

How to maximize the opportunities of roleplaying military rank in a PC group, while minimizing the limitations on the players

Some games come with a predisposition toward the characters having military rank. This is typically an element of the setting material, and is intended to aid immersion, and produce interesting social ...

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