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
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
859 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
7k views

How to kill a character without making their player too angry

I have been DMing a game for a group of friends. In between two sessions, which ended with them facing a few enemy NPCs, I realized that these intelligent opponents had a very good way to kill one of ...
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
597 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
13answers
996 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 ...
41
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
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 ...
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
24k 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
541 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
7answers
1k views

What makes a character/creature/power/ability/etc. over-powered?

In generic terms, what makes something, regardless of what game it's being used in, over powered? I hear the term a lot, and while I can recognize it when I see it in-play (often due to someone ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
590 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 ...
40
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
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
737 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
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 ...
14
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 ...
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? ...
12
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How can a DM run D&D 4e combat as theater of the mind rather than a grid?

I am DMing a new 4e group, and I am interested in approaching the game as a "theater of the mind" style combat rather than the traditional grid format. We are locked into doing D&D 4e because of ...
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 ...
26
votes
3answers
19k 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. ...
24
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?
20
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
19
votes
9answers
658 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 ...
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
5answers
852 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
457 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
5k 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 ...

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