142
votes
4answers
31k views

What is “my guy syndrome” and how do I handle it?

I've been reading forum posts and blogs who mention "my guy" syndrome as a specific type of difficult player, but I can't seem to find a solid definition for the term. Can someone explain this ...
86
votes
15answers
16k views

Where can I find other RPG players?

I'd really like to learn how to play pen-and-paper RPGs. I know that it takes a few players to actually sit down and play, but I'm not at all sure where to find more gamers. How do I find existing ...
306
votes
27answers
24k views

How do I get my PCs to not be a bunch of murderous cretins?

Most RPGs teach you that casual violence is the best solution to all your in-game problems. This is so well established a part of the vast majority of RPGs that there are entire satire RPGs like Greg ...
51
votes
6answers
3k views

What is role-playing, and where do I start?

I have been told that roleplaying is great fun. I've looked and looked and it all seems so complicated. Could anyone tell me a good place to start, and what sort of things you end up doing in ...
105
votes
9answers
38k views

I'm at a loss with “Dungeons and Dragons.” How does one play it, anyway?

I'm no gamer at all, so this could be like a very silly, basic question for you guys. The thing is that I always read about "Dungeons and Dragons" game (not the video game, but the normal game to play ...
89
votes
13answers
7k views

How can DMs effectively telegraph specific dangers in D&D?

There are some play-styles of D&D in which the spectre of player-character death is considered a feature of the game rather than a bug. For my own reasons (which aren't the point of the question), ...
44
votes
7answers
11k views

How do you tell if a D&D book is 3.0 or 3.5?

I'm new to d20. I recently acquired a bunch of D&D books and I'm sure they are all either 3.0 or 3.5, but it doesn't say in the book which version it is. How can I tell which version the book is? ...
32
votes
12answers
15k views

What set of books makes a complete starter set for 4e?

I've asked several questions about 4th Edition D&D because I may be able to start a game. However, I'd need to purchase (some) materials. I am aware of the 4 book set (core) and the expected ...
55
votes
11answers
10k views

Overview of D&D retro-clones

I'm getting more and more interested in the D&D retro-clones. I keep seeing various names thrown around, like Labyrinth Lords, Swords and Wizardry, Lycanthropes &… something else starting with ...
98
votes
20answers
7k views

How do you help players not focus on the rules?

Background - My Group's Gaming Style When I GM, I run games loosely from a rules standpoint, and do not feel bound to adhere to what the rulebook says when it doesn't make sense in a given situation. ...
38
votes
13answers
67k views

Optimizing a D&D 3.5 Monk

I have complaints from someone in one of my groups that the 3.5 monk isn't good for anything offensive, only for defense and disarming (defenestration wasn't mentioned). My experience has only been ...
34
votes
10answers
3k views

How do you discourage “player knowledge” as a GM?

As a trivial random encounter is winding down, a player thinks "That was too easy... The GM wouldn't give us an encounter that doesn't give XP," and starts searching for hidden bad guys or other clues....
73
votes
16answers
6k views

How can I make my PCs flee?

My players never run away or avoid conflict. Ever. I throw them ridiculous encounters, they will stay and fight. If I tell them, "You know you're not gonna make it, just run," they stay and fight and ...
34
votes
1answer
8k views

What are “tiers”, and what tier is each class?

I tend to play Wizards, almost exclusively, though I have branched out and played Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, and, at some point each other core class. I would like to play something different for my ...
15
votes
1answer
22k views

How do I handle Arcane Spell Failure?

Recently, we’ve seen several questions related to the topic of Arcane Spell Failure, and how to get around it. I have answered these (here and here), but neither question is directly about ...
32
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the Rules Compendium overrule the core books?

The comment below was originally posted on another answer: Furthermore, from a super-strict RAW perspective, it has been argued (not by me!) that the Errata rules don’t actually let a book claim ...
37
votes
5answers
3k views

What is a social contract?

The concept of "social contract" comes up in discussions of group dynamics and RPG theory. We even have a tag for social-contract. But there is no good, easily-found definition online anywhere. Our ...
8
votes
4answers
43k views

How do multiple natural attacks work?

Okay, I need some clarification. The Pathfinder Core Rules state this about natural attacks: You do not receive additional natural attacks for a high base attack bonus. Instead, you receive ...
65
votes
34answers
65k views

Looking for solo (one person) RPGs - do they exist?

I am looking to find out if solo RPGs exist, and which you'd recommend. I do not mean "one-on-one" 1 player + 1 GM games. I really mean "1 person." Update: After receiving two (fine, up-voted) ...
52
votes
13answers
10k views

What software is available for virtual table tops?

As the younger members of our group get older, they are going off to college or {gasp} getting on with their lives. We still game but are finding it harder to get together as distances increase. ...
101
votes
5answers
17k views

How does rolling two dice and taking the highest affect the average outcome?

D&D 5E has an "advantage" concept where instead of rolling 1d20, you roll 2d20 and take the highest. Likewise, disadvantage means rolling 2d20 and taking the lowest. How does this affect the ...
69
votes
18answers
10k views

How do I roleplay a character more intelligent than I am?

What are some strategies and techniques for role playing a character that is more intelligent than you actually are? It's pretty easy to pretend to be someone who is less intelligent, but the reverse ...
42
votes
6answers
12k views

D&D 5e and “Theatre of the Mind” in combat

Our target play style for combat encounters would be to use battle boards roughly half the time (when there is enough of interest in play that the tactics are fun to play out), and to skip that with ...
28
votes
20answers
2k views

How do you deal with missing players?

If you know ahead of time that you're going to be missing a player, do you reschedule? Or just play them as an NPC or as a group puppet?
61
votes
3answers
76k views

What are the big differences between the D&D editions?

I've been out of the loop for a while, and I used to play AD&D 2nd ed, but today I find there are a lot of different versions that have fairly different gameplay. Can anyone summarize the really ...
35
votes
24answers
6k views

How can I speed up D&D 3.5e combat?

I'm looking for ways to speed up the combat in my D&D 3.5 game. It seems that turns - both player and non-player - simply take too long. I have thought about giving everyone a 30 second timer, but ...
59
votes
11answers
7k views

Is there a limit to Rule 0?

Rule Zero: All other rules can be changed by the GM. I appreciate that there is a massive amount of work that goes into be a GM and the last thing that any GM wants or deserves is to have his ...
29
votes
18answers
3k views

When GMing a game, how much should you prepare in advance?

Obviously you need to have some high level idea of what's going on in the world around the players, and where you are heading with the story, but in an ongoing game at some point players will be ...
36
votes
9answers
3k views

What can I do to give the players the same feel their characters would have about wilderness travel?

I find that in a lot of our group's games, traveling long distances through wilderness is too easy. In real life, it's quite arduous traveling overland. No one who's just walked a hundred miles is ...
32
votes
16answers
4k views

How to: Create a good backstory for how the party got together? [closed]

I'm making a list of things to do for character creation for my first game as DM, and one things I've often heard is to have at least some reason for the players to have come together for their ...
26
votes
7answers
16k views

Are 3.5 Bards mechanically weak?

People frequently seem to think that Bards are mechanically weaker than other classes, and I was wondering if this was true?
18
votes
13answers
5k views

Where can I find actual play podcasts for RPGs? [closed]

I'm hoping to listen to podcasts of a variety of different games, to get some idea of what's out there to be played--but a lot of the ones I seem to find (such as The Rolemonkeys) seem to be out of ...
15
votes
7answers
7k views

Finding online RPG players for a play-by-chat RPG Campaign?

I'm thinking of running a Pathfinder campaign for Skype (text only) and I don't have a group of players. How can I go about recruiting people for play-by-chat games instead of in-person? Are there any ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

What advantages does hiding have?

It is possible to use the stealth skill to "hide" in D&D 5e. But are there any mechanical benefits to doing so? In combat, you gain advantage on an attack if your target can't see you, and confer ...
32
votes
9answers
3k views

How do I run a game for a larger group?

I am currently running a Dungeons and Dragons 4 campaign for a group of 9 players. Whittling the group down to a more manageable size is not really an option since they are all family. When we do ...
45
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Immediate actions during other actions

As we all know, immediate actions are just like swift actions, but can be performed outside of one's turn. However, unlike a swift action, an immediate action can be performed at any time - even ...
112
votes
44answers
24k views

What tools are useful to organize a GM's campaign notes? [closed]

There are plenty of tools available to organize campaign notes. I've tried 4x6 cards, files on my computer, notebooks, and more. I have thought of trying mind mapping software such as FreeMind, note ...
37
votes
14answers
69k views

Where can I find fantasy minis on the cheap? [closed]

I'm looking to build a collection of fantasy miniatures, preferably pewter - but I don't want to buy them one at a time from my local hobby store... Much too expensive, and they don't often carry ...
49
votes
23answers
27k views

Are there any good tabletop RPGs for young beginning players?

I'm looking for a fun, easy to get into RPG for my kids. It could be simple and card-based, or more "normal" tabletop style. I'm looking for something less bloody and dark, and more fun and easy to ...
40
votes
8answers
9k views

How do I learn to become a good GM?

I have played and tried to GM games since I was in elementary school, beginning with games like Shadowrun, Earthdawn, and Champions. Recently, I've gotten dack into gaming with a variety of other ...
30
votes
1answer
15k views

How does Stealth work with Sneak Attack?

So, in Pathfinder, it seems that being able to use stealth in order to gain sneak attacks only works in the surprise round, with the rules as written. So, imagine a scenario where we have a sniper (...
14
votes
5answers
8k views

Living forever in D&D (via spells)?

I was thinking of a way for a humanoid (PC or NPC) to live forever in a D&D setting, but through rather "common" and reproducible means, such that they will be available to many. By this logic I ...
29
votes
3answers
5k views

Is a Dragonwrought Kobold a True Dragon?

The Monster Manual refers to some creatures with the Dragon type as “True Dragons,” and some later books refer to True Dragon status as a prerequisite for various options. Races of the ...
27
votes
4answers
8k views

Do Cantrips use your character level or class level?

Cantrips seem to be the only type of spell that cares only about your level. However, in the multiclassing section they are not mentioned, does this mean, that cantrips use your character level, ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Do you lose your prestige class features when you no longer meet its requirements?

Certain prestige classes detail a list of requirements that are possible for the player to lose (alignment, casting at a certain level), but not what happens if you no longer meet those requirements (...
23
votes
8answers
3k views

How do you deal with a player that's determined to play the game in a way that is detrimental to the advancement of the story?

I GM a Dresden Files campaign, and I have a first time role-player that has become a problem in terms of advancement of the story. At first I chalked it up to inexperience, but its become more and ...
74
votes
20answers
35k views

I'm creating an original setting for D&D—where do I start? [closed]

Creating a new fantasy setting for D&D is daunting but I don't want to use one of the published settings. I have a blank piece of paper in front of me and a whole world to create. My friends want ...
120
votes
4answers
92k views

Differences between D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder

What are some of the rule changes that Pathfinder brings in comparison to D&D 3.5? I am curious what changes were made so I can explain to my group what it has to offer.
117
votes
10answers
11k views

How does a player correct a GM mistake without being a rules lawyer or pushover?

You are playing in a game. The GM says that you need to roll a given roll. The rules clearly state something different. I realize one solution is to go along to get along, then tell the GM after ...

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