42
votes
13answers
973 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 ...
39
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 ...
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
8k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
22k 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
519 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?
28
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
3k 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 ...
25
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
21
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I encourage my D&D Encounters group to do more role playing?

I'm a new player to D&D 4e. I've been participating in D&D Encounters since Season 1 and have even run a couple of sessions in Season 3 when the regular DM couldn't attend. I don't play in ...
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
564 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 ...
38
votes
27answers
8k 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
3k 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
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 ...
18
votes
9answers
727 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 ...
16
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 ...
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? ...
11
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
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, ...
29
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I Raise the Dead and Look Good Doing it?

I am a LE cleric (No god, but in a order of LG/LN cleric, faking to praying to their god) and we are in a mass combat campaign (Darn you Drow), and I want to raise an elite troop of undead to protect ...
25
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 ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

How does Shadowrun 4 differ from the previous editions - from an Actual Play viewpoint?

I have the old versions, and played the heck out of them. I don't have version 4. If I buy it, what can I expect?
22
votes
3answers
14k views

How does wizard & cleric spell preparation and casting work?

In 3.X wizards had spellbooks, while clerics had their entire spell list, but they both memorized/prepared spells every day from those lists, and had a certain number of slots for preparing spells in. ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

Can Bards attack while Performing?

If a bard is Performing and he's playing, say, the flute, can he attack during the Performance? At first, I'd say "no"; how do you swing a sword while playing? But then in this thread I read: ...
20
votes
8answers
2k views

Are there any official guidelines for Shadowrun payouts?

I'm trying to figure out how much to pay Shadowrunners for a job, and how to balance the NPCs. I couldn't find anything in SR4A (though I could've missed something). I've only played in a couple of ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

Is possible to Chain-Activate Pearls of Power?

I will start a campaing in a few days and my players are on the "Character Building" mode for this week, and they are asking me a lot of really creative questions regarding possible builds. That's ...
17
votes
9answers
644 views

What game systems determine skill levels only through use?

Is there a table top game similar to the video game Dungeon Siege where you don't really pick a class but what you become depends on what you do? You cast magic your magic skill increases, you beat ...
17
votes
5answers
802 views

Specific Items In A Group Social Contract?

Some gaming groups actually do a formal social contract, wherein they explicitly set some of the expectations and rules for the gaming group. What items should a group considering doing a social ...
16
votes
4answers
428 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
3answers
2k views

How do I help my players get more engaged in the story?

I play in a group where we routinely switch out GMs. When I GM I tend to prefer story-based games with lots of character building and descriptive role play. We tend to run Paizo's Adventure Paths ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Can a character take free action out of her turn?

Free actionsD20PFSRD in Pathfinder take almost no time. But can they be performed outside of one's turn or in response to some trigger? Scenario 1: Can a Barbarian enter rage in response to taking ...
15
votes
5answers
14k views

Build Advice For Pathfinder Oracle

I've made an Oracle, 1st level, Mystery of Lore, Haunted Curse, and I took Sidestep Secret as my first revelation. I'm trying to decide if I should focus on melee combat and take relevant feats for ...
15
votes
9answers
389 views

Where can I find a place to play?

Suppose you cannot use players' or DM apartments. Where would you play a whole campaign ? For the very nature of roleplaying, pubs and public libraries are not appropriate. Any proposals ?
14
votes
4answers
751 views

How to challenge legendary characters?

As characters get to Legendary in Savage World (Fantasy) they abilities soon seem to out class the Powers the creatures have. For example, most powers are saved with a attribute, say Agility, if you ...
13
votes
3answers
475 views

Where can I learn the meanings of RPG terminology?

Words like 'campaign', 'system', 'dX', etc. Is there a good web resource with them all on a single page?
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?
11
votes
2answers
324 views

What's the easiest way to adjust a module intended for 5 players so that it can accommodate 6 players?

I'm playing with a 6 character group in the H series of modules, Keep on the Shadowfell and Thunderspire labyrinth, which are both intended for 5 players. Frankly the combats are usually too easy, ...
11
votes
10answers
7k views

Which roleplaying games feature realistic combat? [closed]

For many players and referees the characteristics of a Roleplaying Game are important. Does it allow for extensive character creation or it is quickly resolved, is it rules light or does it cover many ...
9
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a limit to racial - magic item - feats - powers you can stack on a single standard action attack?

In a number of questions here in this forum people are asking can X or Y stack, or why does it stack or why doesn't it stack. My question is - Is there a limit in the rules on stacking in D&D 4e? ...
6
votes
2answers
814 views

What are the complete set of combat modifers for fighting in darkness?

I am slightly confused on combat in darkness. There are modifiers for blinded combatants and invisible combatants, but not specifically combatants who cannot see due to darkness. Are they all ...
5
votes
5answers
826 views

How should I restrain myself when both playing a character and DMing?

I'm currently playing a 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 them ...
37
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...

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