32
votes
3answers
22k views

What Wizard schools are best to specialize in? Which schools are best to sacrifice?

The Wizard gains the ability to specialize in a school of spells, gaining a bonus spell slot per level that must be used to prepare spells of that school. In exchange, he must ban two other schools; ...
37
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
46
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
37
votes
4answers
2k views

For seasoned 3.X players and DMs, what is the “what's new” summary for 5e?

It seems the 5e rules are much more like the 3.Xe than the 4e. I also know a lot of players and DMs that simply refused to upgrade to the 4e rules, though they are now much more receptive to 5e, given ...
34
votes
9answers
5k views

How to get a new group into the spirit of the game Paranoia?

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 ...
56
votes
21answers
2k views

How can I avoid players spending too much time planning?

Several times when I have played in or ran a game in which the players had an objective and reasonable resources, a lot of (real) time was spent trying to plan for every contingency. For example, ...
31
votes
9answers
2k views

Are there any tricks to a successful play-by-post/play-by-e-mail game?

I've played in a couple of play-by-post games over the last couple of years, and they've all ended more-or-less unsatisfactorily. Usually posting would slowly wind down until we hit a bottleneck of ...
28
votes
7answers
15k 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.
41
votes
14answers
4k views

How can I play dumb?

I have a half-ogre character at my local larp group, and one of the roleplay-enforced restrictions for half-ogres is that they have low intelligence. I often find myself biting my tongue not to say ...
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
2k 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 ...
61
votes
12answers
5k views

Is it wrong to ask a player to justify their character's actions?

When a player has their character do something completely outside of the perceived norm for that character, is it okay to ask them for a justification? If they can not give satisfactory ...
23
votes
10answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Good resources for travel times?

What are some good resources, on or off-line, for determining clear travel times for: different methods of travel (eg: foot, horse, vehicles by period and type, etc) different terrain types ...
37
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
26
votes
5answers
10k views

Are melee combatants limited to standing around saying “I attack”?

Recently I heard a friend saying that melee combatants had fewer options than 4e or 3.x: Ranged combat was somewhat interesting in that you could deal with cover, aiming, and so forth. Fighters ...
26
votes
9answers
1k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
869 views

How to get players to be curious and ask questions?

I have recently noticed that my players don't really try to find out much about the world and story beyond the direct "what do we see?" I want to have them interact more with their environment and ...
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 ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

European Medieval Fantasy RPG with an appropriate setting, minimal bookkeeping, random characters, and simple rules?

I want to run a campaign in a fantasy-setting. I want there to be a primary focus on travel, adventure, swordplay and sorcery, with the option of pursuing more diplomatic solutions to problems. I ...
9
votes
5answers
6k views

How do you make a wizard who doesn't need a spellbook?

I know what you're thinking: "Dude, just play a Sorcerer". Well, I ask this question because of two main reasons. Wizards get some extra spells for specializing, and my DM says sorcerers are rare. I ...
31
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
28
votes
10answers
1k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of develop in play (DIP) compared to develop at the start (DAS) character generation?

Originally, Are you really DIPpy?1 What are the advantages and disadvantages to developing your character in play (DIP) compared to developping at the start (DAS)? What experiences have you had with ...
21
votes
6answers
602 views

What can I learn from playtesters?

As a roleplaying game designer, I'm interested in discovering the range of useful feedback that can be solicited from external playtesters. Assume a rule-set and playtest document is all the contact I ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there any adventures designed specifically for younger children?

I have been running an Advanced Heroquest lite game for our 5 year old and he is ready for something with a bit more story and plot. Are there any sources for adventures out there that are young ...
42
votes
9answers
7k 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 ...
42
votes
13answers
1k views

How do I help my players not get caught up on smaller plot points?

I just finished having a conversation with one of my players, and was led to a question I'm not sure I know how to answer. I'm running a sandbox campaign (D&D 4e, if it makes a difference) where ...
35
votes
13answers
5k 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 ...
33
votes
6answers
9k views

How is Polymorph “broken”?

I have read numerous posts from various websites saying that the wizard/sorceror spell "polymorph" breaks game balance. Even Wizards of the Coast somewhat admits that. Sticking to just the core ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Can a Revenant Assassin be used where a high-damage striker is needed?

The Revenant racials, as a whole, seem to be focused on survivability/durability, granting the ability to stay in the fight even at zero HP. The Assassin class, while technically a Striker, seems to ...
12
votes
3answers
25k views

Several damage reduction clarifications for Pathfinder

There are a few bits about damage reduction that I'm unclear on in pathfinder, specifically... Easy one first; Do cold iron/silver weapons equivalent (+3) count as magic for purposes of ignoring DR? ...
11
votes
7answers
553 views

Where to find game session reports?

Is there a place on the internet that gather stories of rpg game sessions? I've read some on game-specific websites but is there a common place to read other's tales?
33
votes
10answers
4k views

How can a GM justify changing a player's alignment?

Lately, in one of my campaigns, I've been having problems with a character who everyone agrees is acting out of alignment. Everyone, that is, but him. The problem, of course, is that he's playing a ...
29
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the major changes made to Vampire: The Masquerade for its 20th Anniversary edition?

In October 2011, the 20th Anniversary edition of Vampire: The Masquerade was released to the general public. Although the majority of the work is derived from the game's second edition (1992) and its ...
28
votes
8answers
1k views

What are the most important differences for a 1st Edition AD&D Dungeon Master learning to run D&D 4E?

I'm a campaign designer and DM with 20+ years of AD&D 1st edition experience. I've been "retired" from the game for over a decade, assume I don't know anything about 2nd, 3rd, or 3.5. Now I'm ...
28
votes
11answers
4k views

Should a GM be a Player?

Game Masters have plenty to do; no need to enumerate the tasks here. But should a non-player character be a 'regular' in a party? By gaining a voice in the in-character interactions, the GM taps a ...
26
votes
9answers
3k views

Tried all the existing advice, but players still never roleplay fear

I've read some other posts on here about how to telegraph danger to my PCs and how to make them flee. The problem is, I believe I am actively using all the strategies in both of the posts and my PCs ...
25
votes
12answers
3k views

One of my players is too passive and uninterested

Game is DnD 3.5, not that it matters. So, yeah, she is playing an Elf Rogue and she is like a ghost during the game. In the last session, the party was searching for a guy and some Halfling told ...
21
votes
7answers
8k views

Help! My party isn't challenged?

While I've been running my campaign, I'm starting to get stumped. I am playing with a party of four, and we recently switched from 3.5 to Pathfinder, but the problem was the same in both situations. ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

Can players use crafting to improve beloved magic items instead of churning gear?

I'm all about the story, and as such, I've always been a fan of long-term attachment between players/characters and their special (usually magic) items. But with D&D 4th edition, it seems the ...
13
votes
1answer
9k views

What are the best ways to move and full-attack in the same round?

One of the most important things for any physical fighter to accomplish is to maximize the amount of time you spend full-attacking. Once you have BAB +6, not full-attacking halves your potential ...
12
votes
3answers
612 views

Non-combat objective: Delay larger enemy force

I'm re-writing the "Battle of Albridge" encounters from The DM-kit's Reavers of Harkenwold. As supplied they are mostly just a rehash of earlier fight-to-the-death skirmishes on re-used maps. Instead ...
41
votes
27answers
9k views

What can I use in place of Fudge Dice?

If someone doesn't have any fudge dice, what are the best methods to replace them and why? Term: Fudge Dice are six sided dice with two sides labeled with a +, two sides with a -, and two sides that ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

How to deal with players not taking things seriously?

As both a player and GM I play with my group of players (and close friends) on multiple occasions and they will often make fun of either my characters, NPC or a specific situation and won't stop ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I thwart a vampire in the party planning on dominating all of us?

We have a party member in Pathfinder get bitten on purpose where the rest of the party didn't see, so he turned into a vampire and nobody knows in-game. He is pretty much planing on turning the whole ...
20
votes
9answers
1k views

How to Manage Player Frustration and Disengagement

Many RPGs have random elements, such as dice rolling, which can determine success or failure of an action. In some of these games, failure basically means the player character does nothing or ...
18
votes
9answers
745 views

How to help players settle down and focus?

We have a weekly game in the evenings; however, we often don't start playing for a few hours after we get together, if at all. This has been exacerbated recently by other events with the same people ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I GM and play a PC without spoiling the fun?

We're returning to D&D 4E after a long absence from it, coming back from Savage Worlds since we've really missed HP-based battles and videogame-like logic. However, as we talked about our new ...
15
votes
4answers
8k views

Is there a good searchable database of D&D adventures?

I have shelves and shelves of RPG books, and a lot of it's D&D. I have every Dungeon magazine from #1 on. But for some reason I can never find the right adventure for what I need. What I'm ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Guide to convert a 3.5e DM to a 4e DM

I have never played fourth ed, I have read most of the new books, but it is so different as to be quite foreign to my play style. Is there a primer or guide out to help 3.5 DMs switch to 4th smoothly? ...

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