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55

I don’t think there is a problem Barbarians kill things. That is what they do. There are lots of things they can’t kill, or can’t kill very well, and there are lots of problems that cannot be solved by killing. They are useless, or nearly so, in such situations. This situation, however, is exactly their forté. Their specialty. They were born for ...


51

You have several options here, all of which include changing the players' tactics and/or changing your own. Enforce consequences for the PCs' murderous behavior If someone came into my castle and started murdering my cooks, I'd have my guards after them so fast they wouldn't see it coming! Just because it wasn't in the written records doesn't mean it ...


41

As with almost anything in roleplay, a little research on the real world can pay large dividends. Begin by looking at real-world police technique. (To begin within, Google "Reid technique" - badly outdated but still generally used in the US, and appropriate for most fantasy games as well - and the "PEACE method", a more recent approach widely used in ...


34

You have two problems: an agency problem and a knowledge problem. Agency The likely reason why your players weren't all happy with the outcome of the situation you describe is because you took away their agency. Generally speaking in D&D, the players' expectations is that they control their characters, not the DM. By taking a suggestion from one player ...


29

Usually speaking (without going into specific systems, where it might differ) what you share with the players regarding the character sheets and information of NPCs is roughly the following: Anything that any person would notice These are things that anyone should understand about their current situation. Yes, the Dragon is bigger than you are. Yes, it has ...


26

When this happens in my games, I give a very clear warning: "Folks, the in-character lamp1 is lit. Anything you say is now considered in character. Anything you say you'll do, you'll do." By locking down conversation to in-character conversation, this sort of rambunctious chatter can be reduced, or at least immediately given consequence. On the other ...


19

The Simple Part There's an easy way to handle this: "Hey guys, I'm glad everyone's having fun, but things have gotten a little too silly for what I was thinking of. I'd like to scale back the silliness to (point to a book, or movie, or tv series as a common example)." It may not be a hard sell, because your players did take the time to put ...


19

It sounds like nobody was happy with the outcome of this game session. The point of gaming is, on its most basic level, to have fun together as a group. You aren't having fun. So, you need to change the outcome. There are a few approaches available. Ret-Con This just didn't happen. Maybe you want to "rewind" the whole encounter to a certain point and ...


17

Most of these examples focus on the PCs talking to an NPC, but all of them are applicable to the PCs as well. When interrogating a PC it is even easier. As the GM you know that characters motivations, fears, desires. The real danger there is a player that isn't willing to stay in character if it means "losing" the interrogation, but that's another topic ...


17

Unfortunately there's nothing within the rules that dictates how a Druid must act. Though, the introduction to the class clearly states Druids are also concerned with the delicate ecological balance that sustains plant and animal life, and the need for civilized folk to live in harmony with nature, not in opposition to it. (PHB, pg.65) Druids are also ...


15

Your first question is about half a GM problem, and half a player/PC problem. I've been on both sides of this issue: GMing for a character who had little reason to participate in the story with the other PCs, and playing a character who had no reason to participate in the story and every reason to run wildly in the other direction. In both situations, the ...


11

I know you're not a native English speaker, but in many circles of general nerd culture in America and on the Internet, there is a phrase for what you're doing right now: your spaghetti is falling out of your pockets. In all seriousness, though, you seem very anxious about your situation and you should take a step back and relax. You say you're good at ...


11

The problem isn’t the player, it’s your overly-narrow concept of “druid” There are no rules for what happens to the player because the player has done nothing wrong. His class is not his character, and he is allowed to play his character however he likes. There can be exceptions if a player is being disruptive, but I don’t see anything in your question that ...


11

The villain is villainous because they do bad stuff™, but the villain is hated for other reasons. The villain does not have to be exceptionally evil/villainous (i.e. does not have to be trying to destroy The Kingdom/The World/The Multiverse), but give the players lots of petty reasons to dislike the villain. Some examples: Let the villain make a habit ...


11

I will try my best to answer this question. I have somewhat limited experience as a DM, but I have conversed with some other DM's, whose games I usually play or watch, about a variety of hypothetical problems, solutions, and otherwise. In any event, I have here some options for you to take a look at when the game grinds to a halt. Plot Twist! Plot Twists ...


9

There's basically two types of interrogation. Factual Information Where is the secret passage into the fort? How many troops are there? Etc. Finding the answers to these questions isn't actually entertaining or fun. The best way I've found to handle this is to simply skip the interrogation. "Using the map we got from the scout, we avoid the sentries ...


9

In general, no. In a game with a realistic tone players shouldn't have access to the hard statistics of NPCs. I'm not familiar with the Dragon Age pen-and-paper game, but from what I know of the video game the tone is realistic with leanings toward human drama. What I'm getting at is that it's not very realistic for a character to have specific and ...


9

The players were discussing which route to take. While they may have been talking somewhat out-of-character (by discussing mechanics and whatnot), the players were discussing the situation. I would let them discuss what they feel the need to discuss. However I would also make a note of how long they are talking, and how loud they are talking. If they are ...


8

thatgirldm wrote a great and thorough answer for your particular problem, but it seems to me like you're trying to treat a symptom rather than the larger problem - which is that your players are metagaming. First, is the campaign set in the past (relative to another campaign) or are the characters time-traveling? If it's the latter, another in-game solution ...


8

This really depends on the type of game you are trying to run. Most GM's that I've interacted with (myself included) don't give exact numbers on stats for NPC's. Many only give descriptions that can help to glean close to the stats of the NPC in the scenario. Health is a bit of a grey area compared to the rest. Some GM's give a complete tally, some only ...


7

Jessa's answer is great for what to do about the TPK that's already happened (or didn't happen, depending on what option you take). As for avoiding such a situation in the future, I'd advise reexamining how you build your combats to avoid a setup where one mistake by one player in one round creates an unavoidable TPK. Now, it's entirely possible that the ...


7

You need to talk to your players about this directly, out of character. It sounds like they are playing one style of game (kill everything in sight), and you want to be running something different (a little more nuance and cooperation). You and your players need to get onto the same page about your expectations for the game. "Punishing" players is usually ...


7

First off, Erik mentioned pulling in the god's domains, personality, and history. This is vital. I would suggest having a couple of victory conditions: kill the god trap the god heal the god None of these should be easy, but all of them should be do-able. Of the three, trapping the god should probably be the easiest (it doesn't solve the problem, just ...


7

In addition to the suggestion of keeping the discussion in character, if the talk is taking too long ( and it's understandable that it will take a little while, but these discussions can run in circles and that's a good point to intervene ) you can take it a little further by reminding the players that while they talk time is passing in character. Maybe ...


6

One way you can make them feel less "wasted" over time is to have the old world have an influence on the new world. If the new world is remarkably different, it does not need to be over-the-top, but subtlety will go a long way. Consider that the long-living parts of a campaign are the subtle stories that grew over time, not the moments of "OMG we would ...


6

Another angle is to capitalize on the fact that these adventurers are probably not temporal mechanics majors. Even though the players (and maybe even you) have bought into the inflexible timeline theory, since they're metagaming with it, go ahead and change it up. Heck, even if the players were told that's the way it works, surely it wouldn't be the first ...


6

A side quest to return (i.e. "Return from Hell") Neither a retcon, nor a deus ex machina: you can have the party dropped into a new afterlife world. From there, they (or their souls, mechanically the same thing) must find their way out. This is satisfying because they can resolve the situation through playing forward, rather than returning to something in ...


6

I think there's two important things to consider here, to determine the best cause of action. The character's background Has this player written any kind of background for this character that would explain his behaviour and also explains why he is a Druid? This might give you a lot of insight into why he is acting like this. If he does not have a ...


5

When you want some negative consequences for losing the encounter but you consider a TPC too much and a rewind too much of an immersion breaker, you could bend the rules and judge that the player-characters are only knocked out and captured. Even when the rules-as-written say that the characters are dead as doornails, your players certainly won't complain. ...


5

It could be that the players think "this is part of the survival mechanism" because actually it is. If a player whose character dies can instantly pick another survivor to play, then the consequences for the party of killing a PC are significantly less than the consequences of trusting a possible zombie: you need to reverse this, since players respond to ...



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