Hot answers tagged

71

Stop playing. Here are the constraints you've put on this answer: Player X makes this activity not-fun. Player X will not stop making this activity not-fun. Player X cannot be excluded from this activity. If these constraints are real, you should stop doing that activity. Do something different instead; whether that means movie night, or a different ...


44

To begin I want to cover the idea of fudging a roll. It may be considered controversial and all to many people, but it's both advised and explained in the DMG pg 18: DM CHEATING AND PLAYER PERCEPTIONS Terrible things can happen in the game because the dice just go awry. Everything might be going fine, when suddenly the players have a run of bad luck. A ...


35

Some of the games tagged on your question do specify in their rules, adventures and supplements that certain rolls can or should be made in secret. However, in practice, whether any given roll is made secretly or openly is a matter of playstyle choice and varies from table to table. There are a number of reasons to keep the results of rolls secret. The ...


19

If the minutiae of labyrinthine legalese doesn't sound like fun to you, and it doesn't sound like fun to the players, then don't use it. Your player is right -- it's not fair to agree to a contract without getting to hear the details. Instead, offer deals that are tempting, but dangerous. Let's say the party has a question for Mr. Mephistopheles -- they ...


18

There are many things that can encourage hesitation. None are unrecoverable though, and some are avoidable. Asking the whole group Ironically, one common source of player hesitation is asking the group as a whole — when you do that, nobody in particular has to answer so everybody has permission to keep letting someone else answer. “What do you do?” is a ...


13

No* I have not read that the DM ought to hide all die rolls in D&D 3.0e and 3.5e. This comes from reading the SRDs, the player's guide, and the DM's guide (albeit not recently). There are some spells or mechanics which do require a "secret" roll, such as reputation, disguise checks, and some spells. However, there is strong evidence that all the rolls ...


13

The problem with this question is the fact that there simply is no standard. Some DM's make all their rolls in secret and just announce the results. Sometimes it's for suspense, sometimes it's to 'fudge' the rolls a little. It's terrible disappointing, on both sides of the table, if the characters are taken out right at the start of the session just because ...


9

I have the following suggestions, after having been in one VERY successful game of this type for many years, and having generally tried to emulate that success (in varying results) since: If your campaign depends on discovery, have a lot to discover, and have many paths to discovery. Don't inadvertently design a setting where the players only have one or ...


8

You're the GM and if his "play style" is incompatible with yours, and the other players are fine with your style, as you describe, don't enable him and let his controlling behavior emotionally blackmail you into changing the way you run your game. Just run your play style and let him deal with it. If he can't handle it, he can leave. That is NOT "rude" nor "...


8

I see three possibilities: Either you change the world (and with it the campaign), change the enemies or you make the ore something more. Change the ore: Liesmith gave a very nice possible answer, so I'll just put in a few extra possibilities. For example: What makes this ore special? How is it so powerful? Maybe it is stabilised by God #1. Maybe it feeds ...


8

Given the extent of the lore that we know: The alloy was gifted by a god (let's call him Loki) to his followers, then the recipe was "leaked" to a kingdom (let's call it the Kingdom of Loathing), which hates the worship of gods, by Loki's enemy (let's call him Thor). My suggestion is to keep the physical properties of the alloy the same, but reveal a ...


6

If you have time to spend on this, you can ask the players to write the contract themselves. As neither your players nor their characters are in-real-life lawyers you can bet there will be plenty of loopholes the devil will be able to exploit. They can make checks if they want, and it could give them clues like "you mentioned you didn't want you soul to be ...


6

Make up a game 'bible' with the information you want them to have. Mark sections based on what classes or skills would have the knowledge and/or are expected to observe them. For example everyone knows that Thor holds a Festival of Duels the last full week of September. During the week, his follower cannot reject a martial challenge. However only Thor'...


5

What I do is, when someone shows interest in one of my predetermined plot hooks, I take an index card and I write: "Quest: 500xp" and a description of the plot hook. I give them the index card; if they complete the quest, they get the experience award. The purpose of the experience is not so much to bribe them to investigate the thing, as to let them know ...


5

Your party is fine, don't try to force them to change. The balance you are looking for is inherent in the separate schools of magic. Your first problem is actually a really easy one to fix: Have the casters make up spell casting cards for themselves so they don't have to constantly look them up. I don't mind letting new players get used to this, but if ...


4

The trope of a contract that hides some nasty surprises behind a maze of clauses, conditions, legalese, and loopholes is a time-honored one So is the one of a maddeningly simple "contract" which becomes a nasty surprise or series of them because of things the other party isn't aware of or can't see at the time they signed it. Think about Faerie shenanigans ...


4

Expand the Current Process Legal labyrinths are fun, but the more realism involved, the more games get bogged down. Perhaps, rather than representing the process with a single roll, a series of rolls would suffice. These checks would be built in such a way as to reveal progressively more about the risks involved with the contract. Some skills, such as ...


4

I ran into both situations in my last game. In the first case I made it clear that I was asking the group. GM: You've dispatched the giant spiders and though the trees are full of more, they don't seem to have noticed you. What do you do? Group: [collectively looks like deer in headlights] GM: The threat from the spiders is gone for the minute ...


3

Here's what I usually do -- it seems to work well enough: Give the players different short writeups. Model the cultural behavior with NPCs. Tell the players outright when their characters would know something the players don't. Player Writeups I like to give each player a short writeup about their hometown culture/environment at the start of the game. ...


3

Give it a half-life After a few weeks/months Dense Iron degrades into regular iron or even "light iron" and loses it's awesome or magical properties. Or maybe falls apart completely. It's going to be hard to keep a steady supply of Dense Iron Warhammers for one person much less an army.


3

I personally find nothing wrong with either of those expectations. That being said talk to your players. If they don't like the restrictions of the setting perhaps another area would be appropriate. If your players don't like all the rules perhaps you might try another system that is more conducive to a more fast and loose relationship with the rules (5e or ...


3

My players aren't the sort to go haring after everything that looks a tiny bit out of place anyway, and they tend to have a hard time remembering even the things that did pique their curiosity from one session to the next. I feel like this might be the core of your problem, here. You need to check in with your players and get some feedback. "So I've been ...


3

All of the above is good advice. I'd just like to add one thing that confuses and annoys people used to d20 rather than 3d6 systems. The odds can be very different in the interesting range of numbers. For example, if you have skill 12, using a combat option that gives you a -6 penalty for significant advantage can look like a reasonable bet to a d20 player....


3

There is no reason at all that a GM should be expected to show dice roll. It is entirely a choice for the GM. The whole point of being a GM IS that you have control over the story. Transparency is not your friend as GM. You don't show the players the adventure details so they can check you are not adding extra orcs to the encounter so why should you feel ...


3

The rules we've always followed were that the DM is the storyteller, and the dice (within the odds that the DM sets up) are part of the tension of the unknowns in the story. If the results of the roll would interfere with the storytelling, then they're secret. For instance: Player: I use my stealth skill to move from [x] to [y]. DM: [rolls dice secretly] ...


2

It sounds like the player isn't 'clicking' with the harsher system. I had a similar thing happen with one of my players when we moved from D&D to Only War (a Warhammer 40K based d100 system where you're often rubbish at everything). He failed a lot and would sulk as a result. We explained to him that this is how the game works and he decided he didn't ...


2

You can always say no, but if this is happening frequently, look at your scenarios. Joshua's answer is of course correct, though I think GMJoe summed it up even better with this script: "In real life, the advantage of splitting the party is that it allows you to do more than one thing at a time. However, as a GM, I can only resolve one situation at a ...


2

Know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away, and know when to run. And this? It's time to walk away. There are two huge strikes against any plan to take revenge against Bob in a game he's running. Bob is the GM. As such he has all the power possible. You have none. Bob is both GMing and playing a PC at the same time. This is a ...


2

What you describe is like the style I have generally preferred for decades, running games where I've invented most or all of the campaign world details myself (as opposed to running a published campaign world). What I do, which seems to work well for my own tastes, is start with giving no help/clues to mysteries at all, with clues to mysteries only showing ...


2

Fear The crux of the matter is you are unwilling to rein in a problem player, because you are afraid of the social ramifications. Until that changes, don't expect the player to. Put the game on hold And as @fectin mentions above, stopping the game (at least, temporarily) is probably wise. Continuing along these lines will just add to the resentment you ...



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