15
votes
3answers
2k views

Dice Notation - Dice that start at 0

In the past I've toyed with playing games using dice numbered from 0 instead of 1. So, for example, playing a d20 system game with 3d8, numbered 0 to 7, treating a roll of 21 as an automatic success ...
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
424 views

How do you make Dwarves Religious in a custom Fantasy setting?

This is a follow up to How can you add character to in-game religions? If you're building a fantasy setting where you want really rich, tradition-filled religions, what would you do to give Dwarves ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

How do I record a session?

I want to do some audio recordings of sessions, both for my own purpose and to share. What do I need? How do I do it? How do I make it listenable to others?
5
votes
1answer
62 views

In FreeMarket, what does the target use in a Breaking or Ghosting Aggregate Challenge?

In FreeMarket, what does the target use in a Breaking or Ghosting Aggregate Challenge? Assuming, of course, that the target is the superuser, playing the Aggregate. For a Switching challenge, the ...
15
votes
6answers
570 views

Dealing with high player churn?

In my current D&D 4e game we have extremely high player churn. Any given night we may have between 2 and 5 players (out of 10 to 12) leave and or join (leaving often takes the form of simply not ...
29
votes
14answers
1k views

Do role-playing games have to be fun?

There is a hypothesis that entertaining activities (like role-playing games) should be "fun." Quotes like "It doesn't matter, as long as you're having fun" and "The rules aren't important as long as ...
47
votes
13answers
2k views

How do I make skill checks more than just sequences of die chucking?

I think I don't get skill challenges. As I understand it at some point I break the narrative by proclaiming: "This is a skill challenge. You need 5 victories before you reach 3 failures. Go" And then ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Psion's role in the group

Psions are listed as controllers. My daughter's 2nd level Psion seems to act more as a striker, doing a bunch of damage to one opponent and not having the ability to control the field as much as when ...
28
votes
10answers
2k views

Strategies for dealing with turtle or roach players?

How should GMs deal with players who turtle or roach? By turtle I am referring to players who obviously wanted to play because they joined the game, but when they're actually at the table they keep ...
29
votes
10answers
7k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
4k views

What striker builds let you play a secondary defender role?

I'm going to play D&D 4e on the PC side of the screen for the first time soon, and it looks like the best way to fill the party's needs is by taking up a striker that can also defend a bit. ...
7
votes
3answers
418 views

What's an appropriate banality rating for the Fallen?

In the old World of Darkness game Changeling: the Dreaming, no specific banality rating is given for demons (as in Demon: the Fallen)? What is an appropriate rating, and how is that rating justified ...
7
votes
1answer
169 views

What's an appropriate banality rating for the Imbued?

In the old World of Darkness game Changeling: the Dreaming, no specific banality rating is given for hunters (as in Hunter: the Reckoning). Is there a more appropriate rating than the standard human ...
5
votes
2answers
608 views

Where is the list of banality ratings for “Changeling: the Dreaming”?

One of the rulebooks for Changeling: the Dreaming (a game in the old World of Darkness setting) has a list of banality ratings for the other WoD races, both supernatural and non-supernatural. Which ...
7
votes
3answers
156 views

Does the subject of a memory change when flooding in Freemarket?

In the game Freemarket, you have the ability to flood/bleed memories between characters. The only time this becomes ambiguous is when a memory is a first-person memory. Here's an example. Pretend my ...
6
votes
1answer
400 views

How to create shadows in RPTools maptool?

I'm testing out RPTool's MapTool. So far it's pretty OK, but there are a few things I'm missing. One of the most important is how to create drop shadows underneath platforms (elevated pieces of ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I keep my Blood Mage alive?

I just made it to paragon tier! My wizard Bai has been focused on area damage with some control effects, especially slowed (save ends). I use Orb Mastery to make the opponents' saves more difficult ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What books cover Fey Pact Warlocks and their awesome masters?

What books (and magazine articles) provide background (3rd party material okay)? Please specify as much detail as possible for indicating if the resource has enough detail to make worthwhile. I saw ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Do any powers use the percentile dice anymore?

The "percentile", or "10d10" dice are still found as a standard component of most polyhedral dice sets. But, I've yet to see use of them in my (albeit limited) experience with D&D 4e. Are there ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What books cover Star Pact Warlocks and their awful masters?

I'm a huge sucker for blending cthulu-inspired material into high fantasy. I can't stop myself. What books (and magazine articles) provide background (3rd party material okay). Please specify as much ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

What game/circumstance uses Fudge dice?

I read with much interest the question about Fudge dice, but what are these dice useful for?
5
votes
5answers
289 views

How do I get players to use their Interrupts?

Is there a good tool to get plays to remember their immediate interrupts? (please remember I play D&D4e with kids, so kid specific answers are always appreciated)
55
votes
11answers
10k views

Overview of D&D retro-clones

I'm getting more and more interested in the D&D retro-clones. I keep seeing various names thrown around, like Labyrinth Lords, Swords and Wizardry, Lycanthropes &… something else starting with ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the differences between Pathfinder's Kingmaker and Birthright?

I've only read the rules for Kingmaker, but I've heard that Birthright is similar in many respects. How is the 2nd edition setting similar to the Pathfinder setting? I know they are both about kingdom ...
10
votes
8answers
6k views

What rpgs are focused on kingdom building and what sort of mechanics are used in each system?

I've read Kingmaker, and I've heard of Birthright. I'm wondering what other rpgs are out their in that vein as those are the two I keep stumbling upon. I'm interested more in the type of mechanics ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What has Essentials done to improve upon Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition treatment of Magic items?

What exactly does Essentials do different with magic items, in comparison to the original core rules of 4th edition?
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Tips for starting a TORG campagin [closed]

I'm digging into the TORG RPG right now. Bought 25 books so far and love the world, the flair and even the rules - at least most of the rules. Is anyone still playing this systems and is able to ...
11
votes
3answers
901 views

What is the meaning of the “bardic lore” skill?

The bardic lore skill always left me baffled. I never had clear the terms of such skill. A bard can roll a bard lore throw to know some abstruse information. The fact is that the throw is bound to a ...
12
votes
7answers
985 views

Anyone have write-ups (or alternatives) for “missing” skills in D&D 4E?

I decided that my urban campaign setting for 4E would be better off if characters had some "mundane skills and knowledge." One solution is adding the Knowledge, Craft, and Profession skills back in ...
13
votes
5answers
6k views

How do you create a new D&D 4E character class?

I'm a somewhat experienced game designer, yet creating a 30-level character class for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition intimidates the hell out of me. Where do I start? Is there a list of kinds of ...
7
votes
5answers
698 views

Has anyone released Castle of the Mad Archmage upper levels?

I'd really like to run COTMA, but for some reason the idea of coming up with the ruins and level 1 kind of intimidate me. I'd like to see some examples that I could either use as written or just use ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Status Markers for Miniatures Games

The DM at the table I was at for the WOTC DD 1 hour dungeon delve at Gencon this year was using some neat little status markers to indicate when your character was bloodied (little plastic blood ...
2
votes
2answers
924 views

Any news about a Malazan RPG?

Has anyone seen anything about whether a professionally published RPG based on Stephen Erickson's Malazan Book of the Fallen is in production or in discussion? I've done some poking around, but most ...
4
votes
5answers
277 views

Is there a way to salvage print distribution or put it out of its misery? [closed]

I thought I'd try a publishing-related question. Print distribution for hobby games has been in trouble for a long time. Especially since the collapse of Wizard's Attic, distribution seems to be on ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

Using the iPad as a GM-tool [closed]

Anyone have any experience using the iPad as a GM-ing tool? If so, how did you use it? Any apps that are particularly good for GMs?
14
votes
7answers
2k views

Downtuning lethality in Savage Worlds

My groups go-to system is Savage Worlds, and it works pretty well for our needs. But the system uses exploding dice, and that means that sometimes a casual encounter that should be a cakewalk for the ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

How does character movement translate to real-world speed?

If a Human is in desperate need to run away from a monster and he decides to use three Move actions (Standard, Move, Action Point) on his turn to run, how fast is he running?
9
votes
2answers
241 views

What's the current state of the Kult rights?

I am pretty sure Kult's not currently in print from anyone, and I'm reasonably familiar with the US publication history. However, I haven't been able to find any information on plans, attempts, or ...
20
votes
12answers
453 views

How can you add character to in-game religions?

I'm thinking mostly from a DnD3.5 background, but am open to input for any setting - even non-fantasy - but my focus is on fantasy settings. How can you add character to religions so that they're ...
4
votes
2answers
154 views

Do you factor in advantage dice when deciding who goes on the owe list?

In 'In A Wicked Age', a person who rolls lower dice against higher dice, and survives the first round, is supposed to go on the owe list. How do you handle a first-round purchased advantage die into ...
11
votes
1answer
516 views

How do I build a new, balanced, disease in D&D4e?

Constructing diseases and the underlying mechanics for diseases seem to be under-described in D&D4e. How do I set a level for a new disease I want to create? How do I choose difficulties for the ...
17
votes
7answers
1k views

Where Can I Find Good Ship Plans? [closed]

I need a variety of ship plans - not surface deck plans, and not side views, but actual interior arrangements of various sorts of vessels - orlop deck, cable locker, that sort of thing. They are ...
18
votes
13answers
5k views

Where can I find actual play podcasts for RPGs? [closed]

I'm hoping to listen to podcasts of a variety of different games, to get some idea of what's out there to be played--but a lot of the ones I seem to find (such as The Rolemonkeys) seem to be out of ...
21
votes
10answers
2k views

Without a map or miniatures, how to best determine line-of-sight, etc?

I think the title says it all. Let's say you're mastering a game without the benefit of miniatures, maps, or any kind of physical representation of the environment. How would you keep track of details ...
5
votes
1answer
264 views

What would a River Shaman look like?

What sort of build would be appropriate for a Shaman dedicated to a River Spirit? Or maybe an otter.
34
votes
7answers
665 views

What can I do to keep my cool at the table?

I've had some problems in the last couple of weeks with getting on tilt when things start to go a bit downhill in the game. In the first game, random effects converged in just such a fashion as to ...
31
votes
12answers
2k views

How do you get your players to realise roleplaying isn't a videogame?

One curse I've had while playing and in particular while GMing, is that one group of players I have is stuck in the mindset that things are laid out, one after another, in linear fashion for them to ...
25
votes
4answers
19k views

How to randomly generate a village or town for old school D&D game?

There is a lot of material written on random generation of dungeons for play. But inevitably characters have to return from the to spend those ill-gotten gains. And where else but a nearby ...
8
votes
2answers
376 views

Does ranged magic that requires line-of-sight also require line-of-effect?

This came up during a combat last week. The party had barricaded themselves behind double doors and the wizard was peering through the keyholes, dropping Scorching Bursts on anything foolish enough ...

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