22
votes
10answers
722 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
935 views

How is a play-by-email game actually played?

I'm currently interested in learning more about play-by-email RPGs. Searching the Web, I've found many forums and sites promoting PbeM campaigns (Aelyria and Blue Dwarf, for instance), but nothing ...
16
votes
5answers
468 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
592 views

Method for playing an online text-based RPG that doesn't require everyone to be online at once?

I am contemplating starting up a web-based text game for my D&D group to be played alongside our weekly sessions. The idea would be to play through events related to the main storyline, but not so ...
15
votes
6answers
512 views

How do I find artwork to inspire adventure design? [on hold]

Often when I find a cool piece of artwork online, I build some scene in my upcoming adventure around it and then show the image to the players during the session. The more cool artwork I have access ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

How Different is Dogs in the Vineyard from more “Traditional” RPGs?

Our gaming group has got a lot of experience in playing more mainstream/traditional RPGs; we've played D&D (3.0,3.5,4.0) World of Darkness, Rogue Trader, and even a little L5R. However, after the ...
9
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
608 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 ...
31
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I introduce an inexperienced player to the FATE combat system?

One of the things that I love about the FATE system is how flexible it is; even given the less than crunchy nature of the system, you have options galore. That's given one of my players analysis ...
29
votes
6answers
694 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
8answers
1k views

Introducing new players to GURPS

So, I have a group of players who have played a variety of other systems - D&D 3.5, D&D 4th, Shadowrun, White Wolf, etc. Some have played GURPS in the past and had some less than ideal ...
21
votes
9answers
772 views

How can you encourage players to portray a “realistic” reaction to in-game stressful/traumatic circumstances?

This question came to me while I was thinking about killing people in pen-and-paper rpgs. When a character starts his career, in most systems, he is somewhat young. As an example, when you are first ...
14
votes
1answer
536 views

How long does Thaumaturgy take?

I get the point that thaumaturgy takes time as opposed to the quick and dirty evocation arts, but how much time hasn't really been spelled out, unless I'm missing it. I've been coming up with my own ...
11
votes
7answers
387 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?
47
votes
13answers
4k 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 ...
36
votes
14answers
2k views

How to get out of a story deadlock

As with most of my questions, this is more of a general "how to handle a special situation" and not a plea to solve an existing problem. What is the best way to handle story deadlocks (as in: The ...
31
votes
17answers
899 views

How do you reassure a parent who is worried about RPGs being unhealthy for their children?

Are there any constructive steps fellow players and GMs can take when a high-school age player's parents express concern at their roleplaying game hobby? Assume the player is a healthy creative ...
31
votes
10answers
623 views

Is it advisable to rotate the GM role between players?

Is it advisable to run a campaign where the GM occasionally rotates to be a regular player while a player becomes the GM? I've seen some mentions of this strategy to prevent the GM from getting burned ...
26
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 ...
25
votes
12answers
1k views

Why is the GM usually the driving force in RPG?

In my limited experience, the GM provides a story to the players, ant their "main" characters mostly react to the environment. Having a look at a couple of random highly-voted (and IMO high-quality) ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the differences between the various editions of GURPS?

What are the significant differences between GURPS 4th edition and earlier editions? The recent spate of GURPS questions have piqued my curiosity, and the system looks like it would suit a campaign ...
21
votes
8answers
526 views

How do you DM differently when it's for only one person?

I've just finished running my first session with only one player, and it felt pretty different from running a session for a group. Could someone with more experience in this talk about what one ...
18
votes
4answers
17k 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
5answers
841 views

Tools/techniques for optimal tabletop gaming with one remote user

A member of our group has moved to Dallas and we're involving them in the game using Skype. The rest of us are sitting around a table. We have one laptop being used to show the player, and usually ...
17
votes
4answers
899 views

Is there the equivalent of a “Skill Check” in Dungeon World?

So in Dungeon World, everything breaks down to 'moves'. What about situations where a move is not available, but a check of some sort is called for, such as in the case of a non-fighter who wants to ...
14
votes
5answers
632 views

Are there any games that include a good rule system for running a business?

In my regular D&D 4e game, we are currently in mid-paragon tier. My character had accrued enough gold that he decided it was silly to continue paying for a room at the local inn whenever we rolled ...
13
votes
5answers
313 views

How do I let the world know about my role-playing system?

I have been working on a short narrativist system for quite some time now. I intend to offer it freely to anyone interested but I'm not sure about a couple of things: First, how do I package it? One ...
13
votes
7answers
234 views

physical objects to support your adventure

I once read a trick for DM's to give more immersion in the adventure: bath paper in coffee to make it look like ancient paper, and then write on it a message in red-ink calligraphy. Another one is ...
13
votes
9answers
612 views

GM-Less Gaming: How do you transition more traditionally-trained players into them?

I love GM-less games. Seriously. After decades of having to be the area "weird GM" because no one else ever wanted to run new and experimental things, the rise of GM-less RPGs hit my sweet spot when ...
12
votes
4answers
12k views

What is the best place to get quality polyhedral dice?

What is the best place to get quality polyhedral dice? Or what is the best brand of gaming dice? My dice are old and chipped and it's time for new ones. I'm getting back in the game after a break ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Character build for Gandalf in D&D3.5?

In my groups next campaign I am hoping to be a PC instead of the DM and I want to play a character who is like Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I began looking at options; he would ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Any tips for drawing dungeon maps using Inkscape or similar software?

As stated. I tried a few specialized mapping tools, but I feel like I'll be happiest just using Inkscape (an open source vector drawing tool). I'm still working on getting an efficient system down ...
34
votes
15answers
2k 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, ...
33
votes
13answers
751 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 ...
33
votes
11answers
3k views

Is it practical to run a weekly lunch-hour game of D&D with my coworkers?

I'm looking to get some of my coworkers together and start a lunch time, casual, D&D game. Has anyone done this - is there a practical way to do this? Our lunch breaks run for about 1 hour, but I ...
27
votes
7answers
965 views

Fighting boredom in combat as a player

Sometimes (as a player) I get bored during combat. At times I feel like all my turns are the same (especially when playing lower level characters) and when that is combined with no combat progress ...
26
votes
6answers
787 views

How do you handle verbal exchanges between NPCs without taking the PCs out of the spotlight?

One of the assumptions I make as GM is that the players should always be in the spotlight. Sometimes the players find themselves in a situation where they watch NPCs speak to each other. I don't ...
23
votes
18answers
2k views

Overpowered PCs (Gabe's Dilemma)

Penny Arcade recently ran the following strip: (Original strip here) While the resolution of this thread hasn't yet been posted, I'm wondering what we think here. How do you game with PCs who are ...
22
votes
7answers
2k views

How does D&D Vancian magic make sense in-game?

One thing that bugs me about Vancian Magic in D&D as I understand it is the following: How is "fire and forget" remotely believable when I can slot and ready more than one "copy" of a spell? Say ...
21
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it possible to actually kill a Tarrasque?

I've seen a good bit of conflicting information on this creature. Is it possible to actually kill it? Permanently? Is the answer to this something that varies from edition to edition of D&D?
20
votes
16answers
1k views

Why aren't magocracies and theocracies dominant in D&D settings?

Anyone has (or has links to) well thought-out, logical explanations for why magocracies and theocracies are not the dominant forms of government of D&D worlds? I'd also be really interested in ...
18
votes
10answers
674 views

What RPGs treat magic as being common?

Some fantasy RPGs treat magic as arcane and thus rare, possibly subject to suspicion by the masses. Other games treat magic as somewhat more prevelant but not ubiquitous. At some point in this trend, ...
17
votes
8answers
808 views

How can I motivate my fellow players?

Although I'm very much enjoying the one of the games I'm in, the other players seem to be flagging and losing interest. This is a bit disheartening as their lack of enthusiasm is bringing down the ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Earthdawn dice roll probabilities

After ad-hoc running Misguided Ambitions with my regular DnD 4E group - because one guy was MIA - I had a discussion with one of the players about Earthdawn's dice mechanics. The player argued that ...
15
votes
8answers
2k views

Vast and expanded realistic combat system

I am searching for a combat & damage system for an ad hoc RPG system set in Victoria era, more or less (though this part is completely unimportant). Are there any system that would bring me close ...
14
votes
5answers
774 views

A summary of visibility?

Does anyone have a pointer to a good (plain and simple, quick to use) guide to visibility ranges, or could someone please give me (us) a brief, basic summary of visibility? (How far can you see on a ...
13
votes
11answers
3k views

How do I select background music for my RPG campaign?

Music is an essential component of my games. When running games set in the Star Wars universe, the music of John Williams adds a new dimension to the experience, both for me and for my players. Now ...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

Starting the first game tips?

I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to start our very first session. Everyone, counting the DM, has yet to play the game and we are not exactly sure were to start. Our PCs are: Drow ...
12
votes
5answers
343 views

When the rules bog you down, how do you see past them?

Humans have a limited amount of working memory, and each of us has a different set of mental aptitudes and processes. I'm finding, personally, that the rules are so detailed and all-encompassing that ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a system for modeling insanity in d20 3.5?

I'm running a Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 (not Pathfinder) game, and I want to create a system by which players can use certain abilities, but at the cost of sanity and self-control. Is there a system ...

15 30 50 per page