26
votes
7answers
2k views

How to encourage a player's creativity without breaking the game?

I've just started a new D&D 4e campaign with a new group of players. One of my players came straight from 2nd edition, and has never played 4e before. She doesn't seem to grasp the layer of ...
19
votes
4answers
31k views

What are the major differences between Pathfinder and D&D 4e?

I'm really only familiar with D&D 4e. Could someone give me a rundown of the major things that would be different if I were to DM Pathfinder? (I gather it is more similar to 3.5e, but I only know ...
18
votes
9answers
690 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
1k views

Easy-to-learn system that supports one-on-one play [closed]

The Situation I'm looking for a system that I would be able to GM and have my wife as my only player. I am experienced with RPGs; she is not. She joined a D&D 4e game with me and my friends ...
15
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
757 views

Adapting literary works into RPG adventures

Beowulf is a classic tale which has been translated many times and has had many film adaptations. Seamus Heaney's new translation and Frederick Rebsame's translation are good starts if you have not ...
38
votes
5answers
2k views

What is wrong with the D&D 3.5 FAQ?

I've heard from several places that the D&D 3.5 FAQ is generally a bad place to find information about the rules of the game. I don't really understand this distrust, since it's an official ...
31
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 ...
26
votes
9answers
1k views

How can I create within-party intrigue without destroying group cohesion?

I am a novice GM playing with several more experienced D&D players (who happen to be good friends). I wanted to spice up the game for them and take advantage of their own intelligence/experience ...
26
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

How to make a dense, immersive horror atmosphere?

I'm currently narrating a horror-esque campaign set in a dystopian future based on the Lovecraft Mythos. My problem is that my players break their own sense of immersion often, making the game seem ...
15
votes
5answers
589 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
987 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?
8
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 ...
39
votes
6answers
1k views

GMing a setting when your players are more familiar with it than you

My players often ask me to GM games in specific settings we all like. Most of the time, they know FAR more than me about that setting. They will object to events I have happen or how I play an NPC, ...
30
votes
8answers
2k views

How do I make my role playing group a not exclusively male one?

My role playing groups have been, almost exclusively, male. What are some ideas/options for making the group and the experience more likely to attract, and retain, female players?
25
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
534 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 ...
21
votes
10answers
2k 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? ...
18
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
526 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
13answers
8k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Animate Objects vs Animate Dead - is there anything stopping the Good-aligned 'Necromancer'?

Is there anything stopping you using Animate Objects, with or without Permanency, to affect a bunch of corpses? If so, what? And would that qualify as an Evil, Chaotic, or Neutral act? Have you ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I calculate my probability of success in Vampire the Masquerade?

How can I calculate my chance of success given my ability + skill vs a difficulty? How is this complicated when the difficulty is rolled as well?
9
votes
2answers
1k 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: ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Does Pathfinder significantly fix known problems with the Monk class?

As a somewhat follow up to this question re. unarmed strike, I'm wondering: Does Pathfinder significantly fix the monk class (this, and other potential well known class issues)? Specifically *: ...
39
votes
3answers
3k views

Are there any rules for a Cleric to change his faith?

There are rules for a Cleric who loses faith, and how to regain his standing through atonement. But what if he abandons one faith entirely for another? Presumably his new god/faith should be picking ...
18
votes
6answers
2k 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, ...
16
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

How do you rule halfling tossing as a combat action?

The party I am GMing has three characters over 6' tall with 20+ strength as well as a halfling and a kobold, both small and about 3' tall. A couple of times, they have wanted the big characters to ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How many dice does the GM roll when challenging the players?

I'd like to run a game of Roll for Shoes, but I'm not sure how many dice I roll when the characters face various challenges. I'm under the impression that it's supposed to be the same number of dice ...
14
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
585 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I decrease the difficulty of a scene on the fly?

I was a DM for the first time yesterday. It was a lot of fun, and all things considered, I think I've made a pretty darn good first session. It was, however, too difficult. I've based the various ...
13
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
9k 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
1answer
2k views

Why do some classes mention the same skill in both Trained and Class skills?

Consider this example from the Rogue class traits: Trained Skills: Stealth and Thievery. From the class skills list below, choose four more trained skills at 1st level. ...
12
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What is Exalted Paranoia Combat?

Having spent some time reading, and occasionally posting on, the official Exalted forum, I've come across a number of people talking about "paranoia combat" What does this mean? They also generally ...
11
votes
2answers
556 views

Is this how to hide?

I know that Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 is a pretty lousy stealth simulator--which is probably why I've not seen a lot of folks try to play characters that hide--, but I want to clarify the hiding rules ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

What does increased caster level affect?

A orange ioun stone adds +1 caster level, what does this affect? Damage from spells? (Like fireball) Duration and area of effect? "Amount" of effect (Like number of missiles from magic missile) ...
8
votes
2answers
510 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
5answers
1k views

Can a Psion become a Thrallherd, then drop Diplomacy with Psychic Reformation?

I have a Psion(Egoist)/Thrallherd with Psychic Reformation. I'm wondering whether I can use Psychic Reformation to drop the points in Diplomacy and the Inquisitor feat, and reassign the points to ...
8
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

What does “+6 to hit, Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4)” mean in a creature's stat block?

My friends and I are very new to D&D, played like 3 times. In a monster's stats next to weapon damage it says stuff like "+11 to hit" and "Hit: 5 (1d8+1)". For the premade characters it just says ...
6
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
415 views

Is there any good place on the internet that hosts monster playtests?

I've been a DM for a while for 3.5. I've run many NPC characters, however only a small fraction of monsters out of the books (comparatively). Also, I like to use templates liberally as well as advance ...
43
votes
13answers
13k views

Is a fumble on a natural 1 an official rule?

I am currently a player in a D&D 3.5 game where rolling a 1 on any attack roll is not only an automatic miss, but also means that something "bad" happens – such as dropping your sword, falling ...

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