60
votes
13answers
6k 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 ...
214
votes
23answers
13k 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 ...
39
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
29
votes
12answers
12k 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 ...
42
votes
13answers
5k 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. ...
32
votes
14answers
45k 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 ...
43
votes
10answers
8k 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 ...
71
votes
9answers
18k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
12answers
4k views

Where can I find actual play podcasts for RPGs?

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 ...
81
votes
19answers
3k 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. ...
52
votes
9answers
2k 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
15answers
3k 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 ...
35
votes
7answers
5k 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? ...
20
votes
14answers
4k views

Where can I buy original edition and out-of-print roleplaying books and accessories? [closed]

I know of a few online retailers that specialise in out-of-print (OOP), second-hand, and original editions of RPG books and accessories. Let's make a definitive list of them!
31
votes
23answers
3k views

Speeding Up 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 ...
95
votes
44answers
13k views

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

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 ...
71
votes
20answers
12k 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 ...
26
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
26
votes
16answers
2k views

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

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 ...
32
votes
8answers
9k views

What is the point of a spell component pouch?

While I'd like to think I know the general Dungeons and Dragons / Pathfinder rules pretty well, one thing I've never quite understood is the spell component pouch, especially in relation to the Eschew ...
8
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
26
votes
8answers
937 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
29
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I keep a long-range plot cohesive and coherent?

I enjoy GMing but I much prefer to to have some sort of long running plot (or meta-plot) rather than having a series of unconnected unfortunate events afflict my PCs. For example, I would love to ...
32
votes
9answers
1k 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 ...
40
votes
6answers
6k views

What is Sandbox play?

How would you describe the concept of sandbox play? How about to someone who is used to adventure modules or adventure paths?
36
votes
17answers
11k views

Can a D&D Necromancer be of a good alignment?

I've been considering creating a good-aligned necromancer, but I'm not sure if it's realistic from a role-playing perspective. Is there anything inherent in necromancy that would require someone to be ...
95
votes
5answers
58k 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.
20
votes
18answers
2k 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 ...
58
votes
3answers
8k views

What is “my guy syndrome”?

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 ...
30
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

How does attacking someone work?

OK, I keep going around in circles. In Dresden Files RPG, how do you work out punching someone vs using a knife/sword/weapon vs using a gun?
19
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the optimal way to design a well balanced party

Confession - I just TPK'd my group....again. One of the reasons that has been identified is that while the party is composed of 5 pretty well optimized characters, as a party they just aren't in ...
20
votes
10answers
1k views

Without a map or miniatures, how to best determine line-of-sight, etc?

I think the title says it all. Let's say you're mastering a game without the benefit of miniatures, maps, or any kind of physical representation of the environment. How would you keep track of details ...
25
votes
12answers
3k views

What role-playing games should I pick for an absolute beginner group?

I've always wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons, but where I live it's more of an underground thing, so it was difficult to find other players. After recently moving to a new school, I made a few ...
63
votes
9answers
12k views

As a man, how can I roleplay a woman better?

I rarely play characters of the opposite sex, and I find that I'm not very good at it, at least in my own estimation. This is hampering when I GM because it limits my range, and makes things hard ...
29
votes
9answers
2k views

Suggestions for decreasing metagaming and increasing player immersion?

This question is posed in a great way over on the Paizo boards, where I hang out since I play/run a lot of Pathfinder. Immersion is one of the key parts of the RPG experience to me, so I loved the ...
90
votes
10answers
8k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any good websites which have story hooks and plots points for campaigns? [closed]

Are there any good websites which have story hooks and plots points for campaigns?
37
votes
16answers
1k views

What tools or strategies have you found useful when not all players can be in the same physical space?

Having recently moved most of the way across the US, I am looking for effective ways to continue to game with roleplayers from my previous home. What tools (Skype, mapping applications, etc.) and ...
43
votes
6answers
2k views

Preventing saturation in a horror campaign

I am currently designing my first horror campaign and what I've come up with so far is pretty dark and gruesome. I worry that if it is gut wrenching the whole way through, eventually the players will ...
70
votes
18answers
4k views

How do I not cheapen death, while also respecting my players' time?

I DM for a group of very busy people, for whom the commitment of several hours a week is a real sacrifice: that’s a sizeable chunk of their free time for the week that I’m asking for. ...
54
votes
17answers
5k views

How do I roleplay an intelligent character?

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 ...
38
votes
14answers
2k views

Can D&D Fourth Edition be played effectively in a non-gamist manner?

I'd like to ask a question that's been brewing for a while. A lot of the answers and comments on this site seem to be from people who play 4e and are insistent that the right way/only way/best way to ...
33
votes
4answers
47k views

What are the differences between D&D 3.5 and D&D 4th edition?

I have a small group of players who don't play often and we've been playing D&D 3.5. I wanted to know if there are any significant differences between D&D 3.5 and D&D 4e? Do they use a ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

What are some of the major challenges in playing an Evil Character?

What are some of the major challenges in playing an Evil Character (whether that's a formal alignment or not) in a co-operative party game, and likewise, what are some of the reasons many groups ...
25
votes
8answers
719 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 ...
27
votes
20answers
1k 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?
22
votes
12answers
4k views

When and how should I introduce my kids to RPGs?

I grew up playing and DMing AD&D 1st edition. Have played a few other systems like Paranoia but really know the AD&D system well enough to not spend time constantly looking up rules. Do you ...

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