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189

It's pretty reasonable you're annoyed. One of your fellow players secretly plotted to kill your character for revenge (and it worked), the DM - the one guy you pretty much have to be able to trust - was in on it, and your fellow players offered you no emotional support at a point when you clearly needed it and instead made things worse for you. People have ...


165

Reward him. Your player is playing his character smart, not hard. He's being clever and resourceful. He's considering what his character would do in character. I wish I had players like the one playing your Bard. He stops to think about what he can do, instead of just mindlessly deciding you expect him to attack and attacking. You can do so much more with ...


114

Reward the PCs with attention A group of level 2 PCs with a staff of the magi will soon find that everyone wants it. Many of these will be bad guys, but a few of them will be good guys. The GM can reward the PCs for their superior play by having the good guys contact the PCs and offer to take the staff off their hands for their own safety (instead of, for ...


92

Historically speaking, your players aren't doing anything wrong. Incendiary weaponry has a long history in europe stretching back to the early middle ages and "dark" ages. Fire was and is a psychologically powerful weapon and all sorts of things from flaming oil to bursting clay pots were used against enemies. See Greek Fire as an example from as early as ...


84

What you are trying to create in a sand box is player agency. My definition of this is: Players making informed decisions that have reasonable consequences It is important to remember that there is an inherent information imbalance in RPG: you have it, they don't. It is your job as DM to give them information that is relevant, reasonable and ...


83

No, it's not fair to punish a player in this way. But it's not okay for this player to take an unfair share of control over the game, either. You are the DM — you are in control. You are in the Big Chair, and the group put you there to be responsible for pacing and mediation. You have that job because players striving for the benefit of their PC is fun but ...


79

I don't think it's anything to really be dealt with, unless you object to the idea of torture in your games. Of course, there are detriments to using torture, which is why it's a case of last resort (or no resort) for many intelligence agencies. What detriments? People will say anything to get out of pain. You end up with a lot of dross to sort through, ...


78

Don't ask your players to roll the dice unless failure has a consequence. This mantra isn't particularly obvious in the rules of D&D as many times the checks are relatively pointless and failure at those checks doesn't really come with much cost. Failure is an opportunity both for you as the DM and for your players. Here are some ideas as to how to make ...


78

While a lot of the other answers are perfectly valid and good ideas, I'd like to offer an alternative solution that hasn't been mentioned yet which can also work in some situations: deal with the problem out-of-game, not through DM fiat, but rather through admitting you made a mistake. DMs shouldn't be expected to be infallible. If you can explain to your ...


77

The Obvious Answer The pat answer is that the player is clearly signalling that they aren't interested in simulating time spent in town with any degree of granularity. They want to show up, hit sell, and get on with the adventure. The sense of time compression may be a result of their minimizing the importance of the tasks. It could be because they feel ...


77

Understand what makes the game fun for your players and then try not to back yourself into a corner where you feel pressure to fudge rolls in the first place. If character death is acceptable to your players then you should feel no pressure to erase a crit. If it is not then you should have death or resurrection mechanics which allow for the player to take ...


76

The game you want to run is not the game they want to play. Fundamentally, gaming is a consensual activity. You clearly have very strong views about what kind of game you want to play, strong enough to trump your annoyance with the rest of the players not playing that game. While it's not "wrong" to require justification, it will leave you without players ...


75

Speaking as a Rules Lawyer (I try to think of myself as a good guy, i.e. "how can the rules let you do what you want to do"?) and the occasional TD, I've found a couple simple rules work out. No checking the rules on your turn. Look it up while you're waiting. That includes the DM - if you ask the DM if you can do something, you get their best guess; we're ...


74

Find better friend(s) From what you said, Bob is an obnoxious toxic character. Do not role play with him and ditch him as a friend. Life is too short to waste on this. I get that you want revenge but really it is not worth it. Act like the grown up in the room and go do something fun instead. As a side note, racism or any other form of abuse, should not ...


73

The single-most overlooked, in my experience, is evidence of deaths. It's a dragon? What's it been eating? Few creatures actually eat EVERYTHING, so what's left by the dragon? Oh, there's an owlbear's beak and claws... there's mangled bits of what used to be +5 plate... (see those runes, there, there and there?) A broken longsword. Dead mind flayers. And ...


69

Sometimes, clever and creative players are a pain, because you planned for something very different. Yet, it is the clever and creative play that makes the game so rewarding. Instead of getting the player to adapt to your plans, I suggest you adapt your plans to the player. Make going to the authorities interesting If the authorities are always helpful, or ...


69

When things like this happen, I always give my players this chance to clarify/confirm, just like you've shown in the examples. My reasoning for this is simple: the game world and what is happening there is closer and more important for the characters than it is for the players. No matter how immersive your storytelling skills and how much everyone around the ...


65

I strongly advise you to at least involve the player whose character is temporarily to be replaced. There are at least two good reasons: you betray the player in question by replacing his character with a replica just like that. He won't notice until the surprise and I wouldn't appreciate a revelation like .. and look, there is .. yes, you! And the ...


64

Here's a technique I've used. When I invite people to a game I tell them that the game we're playing is a homebrew system called "Valadil's Game" which is loosely based on D&D. This does a couple things. Firstly, it scares off rules lawyers who want to play RAW. I figure those players aren't compatible with my games anyway and I'd rather just nip ...


63

Explicitly define "What's at stake?" Well, it sounds like part of your problem is that you two don't necessarily see eye to eye on the meaning of that roll. In my experience, the best way to approach this is to actually explicitly define the "stakes" of the check before the roll. That means you spell out the consequences of success and failure, then give ...


63

This is not a direct answer to your question, but a suggestion that I feel is worth noting. Don't retcon past events, expand upon them. Instead of saying this never happened, say that it has. Exactly like it happened. But not because the player was drunk. Assuming your players are not omniscient, you can write things into the past, present and future of ...


62

A witchfire sometimes spawns upon the death of a hag, when one of these savage crones dies with some terrible plot unfinished or simply proves too maliciously tenacious to succumb to death’s grasp. (Source) You say "TPK"; I say you have just been handed the perfect opportunity to invent a terrible unfinished plot that just so happens to require the ...


61

There's a two step process needed here. Say to your players what you just said to us Then mind your own business Have they not noticed that imbalanced loot is throwing off their party balance? Or is it that they don't care? If they do not care and are having fun, it is not a problem. If they haven't noticed, then just telling them "Hey gear is ...


61

It sounds to me like an expectation problem. You should easily be able to resolve it by asking the player why they feel the need to say those things. Once you figure out why, you can do something about it. Although my suspicion is that the player is used to a GM vs Players style of gaming and thus covers all his bases because otherwise, they get picked on. ...


61

This is a brief answer not really based on roleplaying games, but on living in corrupt societies, however briefly. Namely, USSR/Russia. The thing about institutionalized corruption is that it's not subtle. Everyone knows about it. Depending on the rest of the social organization, it may be illegal to speak about it openly, but everybody still knows. And once ...


60

Stop dealing with the 98% of the population. If they're so rich, they are now peers of the 2% of the population who rule in various ways. Peasants may have little to offer in reward (perhaps fealty?), but queens, nobles, generals, and the heads of merchant empires will want to either control or ally with such powerful figures – before their rivals do. As a ...


59

Probably the easiest way to avoid forgetting a few key things is to use a physical prop. When you have an important bit of information or a "quest item," write it down on a notecard and physically hand it to the players. You're not "giving away" anything if they've already identified the thing as important by themselves. But now they have a handy reminder ...


59

You've run into one of the dangers of pre-planning a plot. I'll give some ideas at the end about how to plan campaigns so this doesn't happen as much in the future, but first we have to deal with the current situation. Other answers have dealt nicely with the "stay on the rails" and "take a short detour" options, so I'd like to talk about a third choice: ...


58

Corruption isn't obvious in "liberal" societies. This answer is firmly situated in the western idea of corruption, best illustrated in House of Cards (BBC 1990). Obvious corruption tends to get corrected, as it has no shadows to hide in. The best signs of corruption are the fact that everything is too polished. An effective corrupt institution will operate ...


58

Maybe I'm treating the question as more specific than it needs to be, but in your example it appears to me as though player 1's agency is being denied. Twice she stated her action clearly, and yet somehow she failed to get the results of that action back from you. You don't have to wait until all players are agreed before allowing a player to act. Now, OK, ...



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