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20

Firstly, it sounds as though your players are doing a lot of the heavy lifting for you in that they are being very easily manipulated without much effort on your part at all. But let's talk about manipulation. Pa-pa-pa-poker face Manipulation relies on getting people to do something without them knowing exactly why you want them to do it, or even that you ...


18

For me this is largely about expectations, signposting and player agency. The first point is expectations. How much was the tone of the campaign discussed before you started? Did you make sure the players were aware you were going for a world where their actions can have negative consequences and that you would follow through on these? This might sound ...


7

My advice would be not to rub their noses in it unless they express displeasure at you rather than themselves. If the gnome's been in disguise for weeks then they surely know that they're in a "situation" of some sort. If they're happy and you start getting defensive then you're probably going to spoil things to some degree. If they're unhappy and you start ...


7

No. They're completely different rules for two rather different games. None of the Powers from D&D 4th edition are part of D&D 3.5e, and those that happen to have similar names to 3.5e spells work completely differently, and reference rules that don't exist in 3.5e. If you want a spell reference for 3.5e, you're better off cutting and pasting out of ...


6

Nope. There are a few extremely powerful spells, many powerful spells, and very few situation-dependent spells that matter enough. Often you won't know you need those spells until it's too late to prepare them, in any case. There are no spells in spell compendium that change any of that in any way. Additionally, there are few overpowered spells there, ...


5

No, there are no alternative reincarnate charts It's likely the expectation is that the DM adjusts the chart based on his campaign. That's because, if I remember correctly, when Dungeons and Dragons, 3rd Edition was in the planning stages, one of the complaints fans of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, 2nd Edition had was the necessity of cross-referencing a ...


5

Depends on the dirty work. And it depends on the players. But a tactic that comes to mind is the following: Make the kobold duke a jerkwad. Refuse to pay money. Order them out. Do something unlikeable. If they're good at taking story bait and generally have a soft heart, I'd probably toss out a kobold who seems half decent and have the duke dead-set on ...


4

You are the GM – do what you think is fair, and then make it fair by doing the same for the players I habitually give away ranks in Craft, Perform, or Profession for backstories, typically 4 in 3.5 or just the 1 in Pathfinder. Making those three in particular into “always class skills” is also a common thing I do (I do make exception for Perform in some ...


4

Read up on real life evil rulers such as Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Ad Amin, Haile Selassie I, Pol Pot, Gaddafi... The list is sadly almost endless. Any one of them would make a fine model for an evil ruler. Ryszard Kapuscinski's Shah of Shahs and The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat are two fine books about two autocrats, how their control worked, and ...


3

Margaret Weis helped create it. She owns it. It's canon. It isn't mentioned in many builds, due to some confusion surrounding if it is either 3rd edition, or 3.5 edition, being campaign specific, and the fact it isn't an official WotC product (but officially licensed - yes). It isn't a stretch to imagine officially licensed 3rd party publishers of game ...


3

Tower Shields are always bad for a character It is literally impossible to use a tower shield where you would not be better off using a heavy shield. See my answer here (and note that the accepted answer posits a single niche use-case that only “works” because of a misunderstanding of the rules). Only four classes gain proficiency in tower ...


2

I agree with @Nagora, but some ideas to tell them about this "in-game" if you feel it necessary: While they still have a chance to get out of it relatively unharmed, maybe drop more warnings. Have them meet a human slave or something on their way to the duke that tells them to trust no one or something along these lines. After they have been burned, have ...


2

If it doesn't do anything, it shouldn't cost anything If a character can, for example, create very pretty but ultimately worthless tchotchkes because he learned how from his father or can play the violin very well but no one's interested in the weird style of playing he learned from his mother, neither of these minor character details need be reflected on ...


2

In my opinion... The feat is often overrated. What this feat can do is make the character extraordinarily good at protracted melee. The bonuses involved can get huge, no doubt about that. But it's situational. In order to get the most out of the feat, you usually need to spend at least one round locked in a melee with something else. The problem? A ...


2

With 3rd-party sources available, one can reduce the tower shield's armor check penalty from −10 to at least −1... The armor and shield special ability maneuvering (Complete Book of Eldritch Might 163) (+1 bonus) and greater maneuvering (ibid.) (+2 bonus) reduce an armor or shield's armor check penalty by 2 and to 0, respectively. Yep, to zero. Straight ...


2

Find the Dragonlance sourcebook "War of the Lance"... it's obscure, so you might need to hunt Ebay or other sources. Inside this book you will find an NPC base class called the master. It's like Expert on Steroids or a pitiful nonmagic artificer. A level 13 Master who focused on Craft can make for you tower-shields of Legend. The of Legend property is a ...


2

Neither. This is what's known as a "second party" publication. You've heard of "third party" publishers, right, and the game owner is the "first party?" Officially licensed publications are second party. Margaret Weis/Sovereign Stone was officially licensed to do Dragonlance stuff, and so it's official inasmuch as anything's official (WotC does a lot of ...


2

I've upvoted several of the good answers here already, just want to add something from my own experience. During one adventure in my current campaign, my players took an action that seemed to me to be the height of foolishness. I confirmed with them, "you say you want to go in the tomb? Now? You're sure? Okay...". They had a higher level party of evil ...


2

A grappled opponent is nowhere near helpless. A pinned opponent is nearly helpless, but pinning specifies that they are not considered helpless (don't forget to throw away his weapon while you have him pinned!). However, if you're not alone, everyone but the one person with the highest Use Rope check can pile onto a guy and pin him while the best Use Rope ...


1

It is imbalanced, but not because of Spell Compendium The imbalances you note are very real. They have often been noted, commented upon, and even codified in the 3.5 tier list. Clerics and druids, as well as archivists and wizards1, simply are the most powerful classes in the game because they have access to all of these spells and can change them every ...


1

Not that I'm aware of, but if you're in the DM, it wouldn't be hard to make one that fit your needs using Internet References. Allow me to demonstrate; Reincarnation Chart Roll a d100 01-85: Consult This Post, and the following one, rolling a d126 to determine which race* 86-90: Consult This Post, rolling a d10 to determine which race 91-95: Consult This ...


1

I would be thinking hard about how this treachery could be revealed IC so that your players have as much information about the possible outcomes of their decisions before they make them. That way they also have the opportunity to outwit the kobolds too if they play smart, which gives them as much agency as possible. One thing that might happen on arriving ...


1

While playing a game scene, with players actually in character, you can suggest some intelligence rolls or skill rolls that let the character perceive a possible fraud or unexpected outcome if they proceed blindly in that direction. You can also avoid the roll and just give in the information as coming from the character skills without involving random ...


1

When you initiate a maneuver, you expend it for the current encounter, so each of your readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter You expend the maneuver for the combat. Not the maneuver slot. The way I see it, if you could ready 3 of the same maneuver, when you would use any of them, the maneuver would be marked as expended and you wouldn't be ...



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