Hot answers tagged

101

You I'll deal with your issues first: you are an angry 14 year old. Don't sweat it; everybody was, is or will be. Maturity can in fact be summed up as learning not to punch the face of someone who richly deserves it. You have to remember that you have no control over the way other people behave; you only have control over the way you behave. And ... you ...


64

You say "Before he or any of the others had a chance to pick it up, the controlling player snatched it up and refused to give it back (Even though she had no use for it)." I feel like I can identify 2 problems from this sentence. First of all, how are you allowing her to pick it up without anyone else being allowed an "action"? Just because a player says ...


58

The rules as written for this, as taken from the DM DnD Basic Rules version 0.1 say: Typically, XP is awarded for defeating the monster, although the DM may also award XP for neutralizing the threat posed by the monster in some other manner. It doesn't specify how much of the XP you should award, so it is reasonable to interpret it as meaning you may ...


58

You could say to your players, "Y'know, in this campaign, not all problems can be solved by punching them. And some problems that could be solved by punching could be better solved by not punching, or by punching with strategy instead of with no real plan. What I mean to say is, punching things in the head is a good solution to a lot of problems, but it's ...


43

Well firstly, you need to behave in a mature manner, which is sometimes tough, even for us middle aged guys. The best way to show your maturity is when you go in, apologize to each person as they walk in, including the guy who acted like an arse. Take it on the chin and share how disappointed you are in yourself for reacting the way you did, but conclude it ...


38

The best solution I think is to talk to the person that is causing the issue. She might not realise that she is causing a problem. She might think that because that is what chaotic character would/should do, therefore it is her job to do it Then ask her as one person to another to please find another action that is equally plausible for a chaotic character ...


36

Talk with your players Your players are here, presumably, to play a game. They aren't out to get you. Remember that it takes two players to make a conspiracy. Politely ask them not to send whispers containing relevant in-game information. They probably aren't doing this to be malicious or trying to trick you - they maybe just don't see why it's such a big ...


32

You keep hoping for the players to push back against this behavior in-game, but that's not a fair expectation. The other players may not want to stir things up because, frankly, that's your job. You're running the show and you're responsible for the fun of the group. You set the tone. You're in a position of authority, so if you allow this behavior to ...


31

The main trick is to not have the players feel like they have to obsessively search every part of every room. Over time, this is dictated by your actions as the GM. (Obviously there's some switchover time if you're shifting styles.) If you hide a critical clue or tasty treasure requiring a DC 20 Perception check under the bunk of barracks room #57/100, or ...


26

"Not from 'round here" I've used "you were practicing in your master's keep, when there was a blue flash. When you woke up, the moon above was wrong... wrong color, wrong mare, wrong size, and wrong phase." This works quite well for players who don't have history and religion skills... for the religion skill, finding that the local gods have the same myths ...


26

As the DM, you can ask a player to leave your table if they're causing problems. Be willing to do that. :) (If, for whatever reason, you can't ask a player to leave, you probably don't want to run games for that group.) You say this was a public game. Are you sure you will have the same players as last time? (If the players you had last time had a bad ...


22

The easiest way to do this is to give the PCs a base. Whether it be a fortress or house they own or a village or town they are invested in. From this you can start building up a map around them. The quests could then range from setting up trade from a nearby city so the farmers can grow food more efficiently, to defending the village, to stopping a ...


20

Is it appropriate to punish a player [...] No, it is most definitely not appropriate! A GM is neither the player's parents, nor guardians, nor some judge and executioner. No one gets to dictate how someone else behaves. There are lots of manipulative techniques one could use to force others to do one's bidding1 but would you really use those on a ...


18

Escalation, especially public escalation is almost always the wrong answer-- like every group activity, playing in or running a game is an exercise in social capital. Ideally, everyone has fun, everyone gains social capital and maybe friendships are formed. Pessimally, things like this happen, everyone loses capital, no one has fun, everyone goes home and ...


15

I fully agree with GMJoe's answer and I encourage you to talk with your players. It's always good to have some feedback, this way you and your players will know how to make game more enjoyable for everyone at the table. But considering they ignored your comment about retreat, you may use this whole situation as more harsh learning example. If in the end ...


15

If the party bypassed the encounter simply by picking right instead of left, I'd say no XP. If they worked out a tactic to avoid the combat, I'd give them full XP to reward creative thinking.


14

Was this player's behaviour justified? No, it really wasn't. They are entitled to prefer a play style that emphasises faster, combat heavy roleplaying and limited verbose descriptions – it is a valid way of playing. However, the way they went about expressing their views to you and the table was extremely disrespectful, especially to you. The preferred ...


14

Start from this basic assumption: the character's grew up in this world, therefore they know what a person who grew up in that world would know. Next, follow this simple rule: the players are on a need to know basis. That is, if the knowledge is not necessary for them to make the decisions they need to make to achieve their goals then, unless they ask, you ...


13

While the other answers are all good options, they're also all oriented from the OOC perspective. Another approach to this problem is to provide entirely in-game consequences, based on our unique ability to learn far more quickly from our failures than we do from our successes. Punish the party, in game, for solving with their fists, the problem that you ...


13

Even if the dungeon is huge I feel you do not need to talk about all parts of the dungeon. Zoom in to map only for the interesting rooms. So guys you're about to enter the abandoned castle left behind after Baron von Badass died 350 years ago. How do you approach it? Do you spread out or go in a group? Are you taking your time to search all the rooms, ...


12

Old-school DM here. The traditional answer would be: Yes, it's absolutely within DM prerogative to punish players for destructive behavior. From the 1E AD&D DMG by Gary Gygax (1979, p. 110), "Handling Troublesome Players": ... Strong steps short of expulsion can be an extra random monster die, obviously rolled, the attack of an ethereal mummy ...


10

It's one step, not one. It doesn't make sense otherwise. Say you want to design a Turtle (for someone's familiar) with low HP and high AC. HP doesn't get lower than 1 (1d4-1) and you decide to give it AC 15 to represent its hard shell. Taking it through the calculation process, the HP says it's Defensive CR 0, but because the AC is 15, you should add 1, ...


10

Craft the visible parts of the dungeon to lead them in the direction of the places they need to search, and give them some level of comfort in missing information. Consider what they think they need to do here. Its like the police have arrived after a murder scene, they put up the tape, and they're carefully cataloging every bit of evidence they find. ...


9

It's a game table emulation, not a game table As the DM, you need to both recognize and accept that it's a different game/gaming experience when played in the Roll20 (or similar) venue. The DM and the players lose the synergy and intimacy of the table top experience and the in person experience. (From a personal experiential level, this is what I miss ...


8

In my experience players don't read enough about the setting in advance even when material is available. Neither will giving them a 4 hour lecture in advance solve the problem. I'll give the players enough information in advance to allow them to make characters with in scope of the group template I usually decide. I try to teach the players about the ...


8

I find it hard not to reply to questions beginning with things like "how can I tell someone..." with the obvious answer "With your mouth. Use your words." But in this case I think it would be an injustice, since you already did that. I reckon you made absolutely the right decision to explicitly point out they could back out of the fight and regroup. They ...


8

I had a few of my characters split up in a large dungeon without a good means of communication either and faced the same problem. After a session of bad time management, I set a timer. I set it for 10 minutes each and stopped after the current person finished their combat turn or allowed the current subject of a conversation when time was up before moving ...


8

The least tactical conflict possible is one that presents a single goal and affords essentially only one route to reach that goal. For instance, imagine that the big bad the townsfolk have hired the party to destroy is an everyday inanimate wooden crate. To keep things simple, it's the target of an ongoing magical ritual that has given it immunity to all ...


8

One thing you can do to help your players feel like they are involved in a bigger plot is to intertwine the overarching story with the session-adventures. In each adventure, leave clues to something bigger going on. Eventually, even if you meet infrequently, your players will start to realize there is something more. Don't make these clues subtle, either; ...


7

It depends on what options the mob has. Per DMGII p.60. mobs have attack options including one or both of Expert Grappler (they can grapple multiple people, with no -20 penalty beyond the first) and Trample. Looking at that mob's stat block in Fortress, I see both Expert Grappler and Trample listed under Attack Options. Therefore they can grapple however ...



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