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38

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 ...


14

Game time calendar Our group solves the exact problem you are describing using a game time calendar. This is essentially exactly what it sounds like: a table listing dates in a column, with checkboxes next to them on which we can mark the passing of days. We also left some space for short notes. We used this extensively in a very long sandbox like fantasy ...


13

The Molotov Issue Don't punish or limit your players, Challenge them! Your PCs may be great at coming up with incendiary devices that'll wreak havoc on their enemies, but once those enemies foolish enough to fall into the trap are dealt with, it stands to reason that the next foe will come prepared. Indeed, the might even pick up on the idea of using ...


11

Technically, @Joshua Aslan Smith 's points are correct, and in general they're good maxims for a GM to follow. However, @BESW 's comment on the dangers of escalation of brutally effective battlefield tactics is spot on. Even for more mundane applications, occasionally someone comes up with something unbalancingly clever, and while you definitely want to ...


8

To add to fgysin's answer, if your campaign takes place over longer scales, with travel taking e.g. weeks, quad paper becomes useful: In this case you'd use either a separate sheet, the other side of the paper or the right half for notes. Cross over days that go past with nothing significant happening, but use a number for notes if something is important: ...


6

I have absolutely no problems with PCs being smart, creative and inventive while solving problems. I have a problem though, when the players are smart/inventive in ways which don't fit the setting or their supposed PC knowledge. It seems to me that this is not an in-game issue, it is a social contract issue. The same could be said if the players ...


6

In some game systems, you can remind them that they are playing a character, not themselves. Have them roll against their intelligence, idea, luck, education, wisdom, etc to discover if their character is capable of coming up with the idea, then against other attributes to find out if they actually carried it out successfully. You don't need to make it ...


5

The problems with your approach seems to be the problems with MacGyver: People don't just instantly invent super technology that works extremely well and immediately solves problems and defeats strong opponents, except rarely and in extremely limited conditions that usually involve one-time surprises more than it's that their invention is a new uber-weapon. ...


4

Gantt Charts I've been spending a lot of time solving the problem of "what ELSE is happening?", and settled on the Gantt chart method. I can map out what is happening in parallel timeframes, dependencies, sequences, and triggers. During the game, I get access to the master chart (PDF copy, for instance) and simply make manual updates in pencil mid-game. ...


3

Why so stressed about the molotovs? I'm not familiar with the setting(s) in which you're GMing these games, but I know that even regular old D&D provides explicit rules and damage for throwing a burning pot of oil. It certainly isn't anything game-breaking. I also don't know what the circumstances of these characters crafting these molotovs are, but it ...


2

There are a number of disciplines that use timelines, not just RPGs. As a result, there are a number of tools for tracking them. While I was already aware of Aeon Timeline, it is OSX-only as well as commercial software. While we are used to investing in our hobby, I thought I should see if I could find some more options. This blog post brought a number of ...


2

If you aren't a strict simulationist, you can also have things only work the first time or when narratively convenient. Prepare this by already explaining the first time why it might not work. For example, in the case of Molotov cocktail, a simple reason it may not work is that not all flammable liquids explode. Alcohol needs to be ~40 ABV to even burn and ...


1

Perhaps molotovs weren't the best example, because liqour and the fact that it's flamable is just a microcosm of pouring hot oil onto enemies at the gate then lighting it. Historically, it should be fine. However, if your party is making a rapid firing balista out of some mundane items they found just lying around, then I think you can make it as difficult ...



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