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1

I would suggest a 5-by-5 method. Essentially, you create 5 major goals for the party, and for each goal, 5 requirements. This allows you to have a loose story, with set milestones for the players to strive for, but still gives them the ability improvise. Here is an example: Stop Dragon Invasion: Recover Tome of the Dragons Decipher Tome Find Chromatic ...


3

Mongoose Publishing Excerpts from Mongoose Publishing: Slayer's Guide to Kobolds Kobolds are a common sight in many campaign worlds; deemed by most adventurers to be a minor nuisance at best. Certainly, most experienced adventurers would question the need to study kobolds in any great depth, but then, few have faced the full might of a kobold clan and ...


2

The biggest source of information on Kobolds and their societies in 3.5 is the book Races of the Dragon. The Kobold chapter is 18 pages long, and has the following sections: A Day in the Life Appearance Psychology Kobold Life Society and Culture Religion History & Folklore Language and Settlements Of course, the book also includes "normal", ...


-2

Your Problem isn't optimized characters, it's Armchair Strategists. Often a leftover from GMs who like to spring 'surprises' on players through overlooked technicalities like 'you didn't say you were wearing a glove when you touched the door handle! 450 electrical damage!', the Armchair Strategist is a player who likes to ask about 500 questions before ...


6

The problem as I understand it isn't so much that they optimize characters as trying to optimize how they play while they are supposed to roleplay an encounter. One tactic I've often seen used when "table talk" gets in the way of the game is: The GM can announce "You're in the middle of battle and your lives are in peril -- I expect you to stay in ...


-2

So this borders on being a rude answer, but if you/your players actually know the rules, rules discussions/disputes/shenanigans shouldn't dominate the time. Discussing obscure rule interactions/exceptions can be a lot of fun, but is very different from optimizing characters or disputing/explaining rules in play, and it's also different than actually ...


5

You've been playing RPGs in the same style for many years. Consider breaking out with a sledge hammer. Run a couple of one to three session "quickie" games that are in unfamiliar and rules-lighter systems. Give out pre-made characters, or use a system that includes a quick character-gen method where optimization is difficult or pointless. Tell your ...


0

I think you have the right idea so far. You may want to do a bit more writing for yourself to feel confident about your story. Fully create your antagonist and world timelines, then adjust them according to player actions. Essentially in addition to your players, you need to be "playing as" the antagonists in between sessions as well and advancing him ...


1

The best thing you can do is talk to your players and try to understand why they are doing this instead of focusing on RP. What do they like to do (besides stat max)? Are they stat maxing because they are afraid you are going to kill them (or because that happened to them before with another GM)? Are others trying to compete with the "Alpha Stat Maxer?" ...


7

I'm having a similar problem in that I don't much care for that type of book keeping even as a player, and can only imagine it being much harder as a DM. I've gotten some great suggestions for less rules-intense systems if you want to take a look at some (DND 5.e has been suggested, so you might already be halfway there), but here's a few bits of advice I ...


4

I had a similar situation with my group (I think 3.5/PF brings the optimization out in folks). First off, talk about the type of game you WANT to have, and stress that combat optimization isn't necessary. Then get their buy-in to prioritize, or at least give equal weight, to non-combat activities. Then have each player give you a stat-free character concept, ...


25

As a roleplayer who dislikes playing for stats, I loved it when the GM introduced an eggtimer. Players only got a limited time for rules discussions, swapping spells & checking/discussing rules and had to just plough in there and get stuff done. Oddly, the more munchkin-esque members of the party seemed to consider this a part of the crunchy numbers ...


16

Here are the things I'm planning to do in my upcoming campaign to get the characters involved in the story. Emphasize BIFT (Bonds, Ideals, Flaws and Traits) and hook it right into your plot. This is 5e's gift to your style of play. It's not as emphatic about it as other systems, but it's really given mechanical weight to backgrounds. Backgrounds are ...


42

This might not be as much of a problem as you think. Why? Because munchkining, minmaxing, optimising, whatever you want to call it - is severely limited in 5e. The main techniques for it in previous editions of D&D involved things which are significantly less effective in 5e. Multiclassing has been crippled by the all-important ability score ...


4

My suggestion is to play softball. Let them know the encounters won't be very hard beforehand, that they don't need to worry about maximum effectiveness and then follow up on that promise. A lot of min-maxing players have grown into that habit because of GMs who run very difficult encounters or saw the need to match a player character's competence with ...



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