Hot answers tagged

75

Well, I don't think I need to tell you that it's within RAW, per the spell description of Fireball [emphasis mine]: A bright streak flashes from your pointing finger to a point you choose within range then blossoms with a low roar into an explosion of flame. Each creature in a 20-foot radius must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 8d6 fire ...


49

This meta-game accuracy is a purposeful feature of using the optional grid rules — that kind of tactical detail is the whole point of using a grid. An obvious alternative that eliminates miniatures-based player precision is to not use the optional grid rules. There's some discussion of imprecise AoE handling on DMG page 249 (in short “make a call, consult ...


48

Boy, so many people lining up to tell you "don't do it that way it's badwrongfun!" I'll offer a differing perspective, which is yes, absolutely, use a house rule to this effect. It has the desired effect of adding verisimilitude without "nerfing" or "ruining" anything. I shall offer up real play experience and not pure opinion to demonstrate this. I used ...


44

No Roleplay should be about having fun. When you start to punish your players, it is very possible that they will quit your campaign. Even if your players are doing it just to pull your leg, you shouldn't make the game painful as noone will enjoy it. I would reccomend following options: Speak with them face to face after the game. It happens, that ...


29

I had a character like this called Mandred. At one point the party was hidden in the forest waiting for an elven army they were avoiding to march past and he decided to cast glitterdust on them and try to convince them he was the rightful heir to the throne (I should mention he was a Chaotic Evil Human Sorcerer). He failed his buff check (somehow :P ) and ...


28

No such good techniques exist and neither should you try to use them. What you are asking about is how to best rail road the players. This is generally considered a bad thing(TM) as it robs players of their freedom. However, you can do something about your fears: set expectations. Tell your players what you just told us in your question and ask for their ...


27

Give them an NPC to control until their own character can rejoin the story. If there's an NPC ally in the scene, that'd make a lot of sense. But more likely and perhaps even more fun, you can give the player an enemy to run in the scene! Hand them your notes for one of the NPCs and let him or her spend some time on the dark side. This lets the player ...


22

In the earliest rules, Chainmail with its Fantasy Supplement (Gygax & Perren, 1971), the fireball referenced the catapult rules for its mechanic. That includes the following optional rule (2E, p. 10): Fire Optional: Roll two different colored dice. One color is for an over-shoot and the other is for an under-shoot. To decide which number ...


20

Yes -- if you use that specific phrasing, "your character would not do that", you are denying their character's agency. Rather than use that phrasing, you should go a little deeper and explain why, in your world, the player's character would not do that. For example: Druid: I put on the chain shirt. DM: You think about putting on the chain shirt and ...


19

You aren't the first to have that thought - there are these legends of GMs who, after getting fed up with constantly derailed plotlines, decides to kill off their party with an abrupt rockslide. Overall, though, I think you're facing the problem the wrong way. You're thinking about how you can prevent players from ignoring the plot you give them - instead, ...


16

One way for religion to matter, as you suggest, is for it to cause adventures. At a surface level, this is no more difficult that getting any other factor to cause adventures-- Give that factor power and the authority to hand out quests or obligations, and go from there. Even the narrow history and literature of western Europe presents several broad ideas: ...


13

Prepare for a long answer... This is, ultimately, a sign of a flaw in your enemy tactics, not in the player's use of Fireball. Wizards are scholars with years of study and practice under their belt. Sorcerers literally have magic in their blood, a part of their very being that they have grown up with and come to know as well as any part of their body. So ...


13

I think everyone who has started GMing has had the same concerns. My personal recommendation regarding your idea of making players unlucky when not following the main plot is to do the opposite: A wizard wants to brew the greatest potion? An alchemist in league with the BBG has years of research that could be vital to their task. A warrior wishes to ...


12

As a preliminary note, a good solution to this problem will (as usual) involve talking to your players. Ask them if they think this is even a problem, and if so, what kind. You may find that they enjoy being reckless and don't mind dealing with the consequences, even if that means inaction or even death for their characters. If so, congratulations: you're ...


10

A fireball is in D&D what artillery is on a battlefield. Just like intelligent soldiers know how to deal with artillery, intelligent monsters know how to deal with magic users. Continuing the military analogy there are basically five techniques: Dispersal, so that AoE will strike a limited number of combatants Cover, using natural or manufactured ...


10

Well, the reaction here largelly depends on your style of play, thus any answer may be of a very limited use in your game. Thus I'll just point out what I usually do in my games and you'll need to use your own judgement whether these methods fit in your game. First thing you should always have in mind is that players have much less of a sense of the world ...


10

I agree with all of the answers here, but they fail to address another reason this is a bad idea: Not only will your players not like it once they figure out what's happening, there is no good guarantee that they will even understand that they are experiencing bad luck because they are wandering off script. The message you are sending with this technique is ...


10

Friend, never do that Gornemant of Gohort, Perceval, The Story of the Grail The problem with players going off the rails is the rails. The advantage traditional role-playing has over video games is the shared storytelling. Lean into that advantage whenever you can. If the players "go the wrong way," or refuse to take hints, you might be tempted ...


10

Religion can lead to a lot of adventures in real life. (The Crusades come to mind...) The key, I would say, is that you think about the values and culture beyond just the trappings. Is the religion evangelical, with mission trips abroad? Large, with important conferences and councils? Are members dedicated to local service in the community? Are they ...


9

I just played a game in a similar situation. We were running a Stargate-themed game and I was the team doctor. We spent three to four game sessions in non-stop combat situations where our four soldiers shined and discovered of a "magic" healing device along with an NPC who could use said healing device and usurp my character's entire reason for being there, ...


9

Rather than think of players like Alice as a distraction, take the opportunity to inject a little spice in your games. It's a nice chance for you to break up the pacing before it gets too same-y. The best way that you can make unpredictable, explosive, reckless characters like that shine, is in situations where planning and careful consideration won't do. ...


8

Pre-warning - I have little experience as a DM dealing with difficult players, but I'm getting pretty used to dealing with difficult tables in general. A couple of things we found really handy for our horde of uncooperative players: Talk it out / Remind him You said in the comments that: I have talked to him about it before. He seems understanding ...


7

Since this is a somewhat subjective question, I'll give my first attempt at an answer. First let's get this out of the way: a lot of DM's need a little dose of courage when it comes to players trying to color outside the lines. Getting upset when your players go outside what you've planned is the absolute wrong reaction. This is gaming, not a poetry ...


7

There are basically three options here. RAW: Don't ignore the part of the spell description that indicates that the environment is affected by the spell as well. I.e. It ignites flammable objects in the area that aren’t being worn or carried. Meaning, sure the spell may not affect the player directly, but perhaps it burned the rug the ally is ...


7

Don't use a grid system If you are tired of pin-point accuracy, I would suggest you stop using a pin-point accurate grid system. In my experience, it's fairly easy to switch to a non-grid system while still using minis. Actually in one of my campaigns, we frequently switch between them, based on the level of sloth we're feeling. Ultimately, it's up to you ...


7

For me, the answer is no. I do not see my job as GM as one of creating plotlines for the characters to follow. My job is to create the world for them to inhabit. I create antagonists whom they may choose to oppose. I create mysteries they may choose to investigate. I create sites they may choose to explore. I create hooks to suggest goals to PCs that may not ...


6

House Rule Suggestion: Firing into Melee For the last few months my group has been using a house rule for 5e we've called, "Firing into Melee". It adds two rules Two creatures are in melee if either has attempted to attack the other within the last round and neither creature has moved since then. An area effect (be it spell, attack, trap, or something ...


6

As a DM, it appears from this (non) problem that you are missing the point from two directions. Taking the adversarial position, you versus the players. That isn't what this game is. Your efforts are somewhat like a good teacher or a good coach: give your players challenges of increasing difficulty so that they grow. The players aren't playing against ...


6

Here's one option: The wizard can point to any square they like, and the fireball is centered there, just like the spell implies, but there's nothing to say they have infinite time to figure out optimal placement -- in reality people are moving, distances are hard to judge, and so on -- if they have to stare at the map and start counting squares, then the ...


6

I run D&D 5E combats describing distance in multiples of 30 feet, calling these "moves". Most spell/weapon ranges are in multiples of 30 feet. I made throwing weapons (normally a range of 20/60) have a range of 30/60 for simplicity. Since 5E doesn't have concepts like "5 foot step", the approximation is OK. "The archers are two moves away." - means PCs ...



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