14
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a macguffin?

During our regular game session, everyone keeps saying,"We need to find the mcguffin!". Is this a new sandwich or something?
42
votes
6answers
11k 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?
19
votes
10answers
3k views

Is it possible to run Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition without a battlemap?

The push, pull, and slide mechanics immediately come to mind as being difficult to track accurately without a battlemap. Auras are another. Has anyone come up with a simple solution to narrating ...
19
votes
7answers
392 views

How do you maintain a balance between mystery and offering clues?

Giving good clues that offer just enough information can be difficult. I think I tend to not give the players enough information and then to overcompensate with a reveal that comes too easily. ...
22
votes
10answers
350 views

Keeping a published module interesting when some players have already played.

When running a published adventure which some players have already played, such as a RPGA module, are there any suggestions for keeping it interesting for all involved ?
5
votes
2answers
189 views

Over the Edge… Only Not

Is anyone using Atlas Games' Over the Edge for anything besides the standard Al Amarja campaign?
17
votes
6answers
2k views

How many sets of Dwarven Forge do I need to start with?

I'm not saying I have the kind of cash for dropping on my RPG that Dwarven Forge is asking, but I'm wondering if anyone here has actually played a campaign using them, and how many kits you'd need to ...
17
votes
9answers
12k views

Software to make DIY Item Cards [closed]

I'm a big fan of Paizo's GameMastery item cards. I also like GoDeckYourself but I'm wondering if anyone knows of any other software or websites that can be used to make your own Item Cards or Power ...
7
votes
1answer
160 views

What changed between the original and the revised editions of Universalis?

I've played quite a bit of the original version but I'm skeptical about buying an updated copy. I know there is a change to the way ties are resolved during a Complication, but I don't know the ...
12
votes
7answers
548 views

Settings and game mechanics for Sherlock Holmes–inspired theme

We tried to organize an investigation-based campaign, and we used the D&D engine. Unfortunately, this engine is not suited for investigation. The Call of Cthulhu engine is better, but it's deeply ...
8
votes
5answers
754 views

Writing a book from D&D adventures?

Are there instances of someone who wrote a successful book out of adventures played with friends?
19
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the primary differences between 3rd/4th/5th ed Ars Magica?

I'm not looking for an exhaustive list of all the small details, but I'm guessing there are a few big changes between 3rd and 4th edition. Can someone give a short list of the biggest changes?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What to do in the Shadowfell?

I have a drow assassin character who has recently been brought to the Shadowfell by the Raven Queen for a short quest involving taking out an upstart Dark One toying with necromancy. It will be a ...
11
votes
1answer
439 views

Tomb of Horrors in D&D 4.0?

Are there any resources on the web or in print about running or converting the classic adventure 'Tomb of Horrors' in D&D 4.0?
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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
5answers
674 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
853 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
577 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
358 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 ...
27
votes
4answers
23k 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 ...
24
votes
2answers
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?
51
votes
26answers
7k 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 ...
54
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
5k 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, ...
23
votes
10answers
474 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 ...
33
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 ?
14
votes
7answers
832 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
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 ...
18
votes
9answers
764 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
973 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
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 ...
44
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
184 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
2k 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
286 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
3k 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
300 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
1k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
180 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, ...
29
votes
5answers
2k views

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?
56
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
505 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 ...

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