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42

This might not be as much of a problem as you think. Why? Because munchkining, minmaxing, optimising, whatever you want to call it - is severely limited in 5e. The main techniques for it in previous editions of D&D involved things which are significantly less effective in 5e. Multiclassing has been crippled by the all-important ability score ...


34

You simply might have creative differences Your player seems to enjoy idealized stories, where the only thing necessary to make a things right is effort by a willful, and well-meaning individual. There's nothing inherently wrong with wanting to tell, hear, and be a part of stories like this for a campaign.You on the other hand seem to be interested in a ...


30

The big thing is how a game structures its facts when you want to have clue scenes. Pre-established Facts The GM decides what happened beforehand, and now the point is to have all clues and witnesses eventually point towards that fact. This is the most common way games handle things, but there is rarely good advice towards doing it well. Start with Free ...


25

As a roleplayer who dislikes playing for stats, I loved it when the GM introduced an eggtimer. Players only got a limited time for rules discussions, swapping spells & checking/discussing rules and had to just plough in there and get stuff done. Oddly, the more munchkin-esque members of the party seemed to consider this a part of the crunchy numbers ...


23

Nitpick Try not to script things as immutable. That may be one thing that is frustrating your player. It is in general advisable to avoid making immutable plot points. The Savior You have a player with a very specific thing they have in mind for what they want in a game. My advice is to use this to your advantage, and create plots where saving the day, ...


21

Setting Expectations Whenever I as GM am dealing with multi-PC/NPC conversations, I first remind my players that I am a single-thread processor and can therefore only handle one conversation at a time, then proceed to deal with them one at a time as appropriate for the configuration of speakers. 1. One-to-Many Conversations The easiest way to handle this ...


19

Write it down! Perhaps they find snippets of computer files (autosaves, etal), pages left behind on some printer, or some other written information leak that gives them clues as to what has really happened. In general, any time you want to avoid a monologue scene -- use written delivery. Who knows? He might even be nice enough to write the party a ...


16

Here are the things I'm planning to do in my upcoming campaign to get the characters involved in the story. Emphasize BIFT (Bonds, Ideals, Flaws and Traits) and hook it right into your plot. This is 5e's gift to your style of play. It's not as emphatic about it as other systems, but it's really given mechanical weight to backgrounds. Backgrounds are ...


15

The Bad As you stated, it's not as creative as doing it yourself. Some may scoff at that. Many are the GMs and Players who have taken a character wholesale from other media without any effort to adapt them. "Anime characters? In MY D&D?" Them's fightin' words, so to speak. The Good So what if it's not as creative as a DIY job? Do you make the pizza ...


14

Let them know that they don't have to do theatrical stuff. Ease them in with third person statements like "My character chats up the female manticore" or first-person "I tell the guard I'm working for the King" etc. and let them develop into deeper immersion. Some people never do; it's not a requirement and there's no need to penalise them for not doing it ...


13

Using other characters is a great way to save time. The key to doing it well is the adapt the character to your setting. You want it to feel like Saul Goodman belongs in the story, even if you are fighting an interstellar war or casting Magic Missile. Give your character a new name. Depending on how cheeky you feel, it can be a name that's a clear ...


13

Expose bits of information through the agents/the minions of the villain. This can happen in several ways, e.g. Interrogations Written notes found on the bodies of the agents (in several forms - eg. it could be a message on the phone) Conversations overheard by the PCs remarks or comments addressed to the PCs I find this approach satisfying because it is ...


12

Things change. Information in my Shadowrun campaigns always had a shelf life, particularly when it related to something important. Corps don't sit around waiting to be screwed. They practice active security. Corps start to get wind of the fact that 'runners are making use of the sewers, so they make changes to the areas where their facilities interact ...


12

Release the Wombat of Discourse! This is my default strategy for the first time a group starts talking over each other so much it hinders play: I bring a stuffed animal to the session, and name it The [Animal] of Discourse. The GM may speak at any time, but only the player with the Animal can talk. They pass the Animal amongst themselves however it suits ...


12

The problem you have encountered was once known as the 15-minute workday. Since health, spells, etc are all things that are regained over time, the safest strategy is usually to do one fight, then back off to a safe distance and regenerate to full power before tackling the next challenge. SevenSidedDie wisely suggests ensuring that the world does not wait ...


11

The GUMSHOE system (used in Trail of Cthulhu and some other games) is a whole game system designed to keep things going during investigation games. Investigation is generally hard to play in some systems because either you flat out give the information to the players with no effort on their side or there's some kind of roll that, if failed, stops the PCs on ...


9

You have several major options depending on your desired playstyle. Easy Game Mode - Either level them up so they overwhelm the dungeon, or sprinkle in more magic (especially healing), or just change the rules so they can recover everything with a short rest. There are infinite variations on this. No death penalty! If you kill an enemy you regain your ...


8

There are two techniques that can go 90% of the way to making playing-initiated retreats like this not boring or tedious. "Time passes" Use your role as DM to control the passage of time. Skip the uneventful parts. Do you know that nothing will inconvenience them on the way out of the dungeon? Narrate to skip ahead then. You backtrack through the halls ...


7

Put him outside of his comfort zone Disclaimer: I don't know your friend at all, so take what I am writing here with a grain of salt. I know it worked on myself and on friends of mine, but take a moment first and try to imagine how your friend might take this. It might be fun and challenging for him, broadening his personal horizons. Or it might make him ...


7

I'm having a similar problem in that I don't much care for that type of book keeping even as a player, and can only imagine it being much harder as a DM. I've gotten some great suggestions for less rules-intense systems if you want to take a look at some (DND 5.e has been suggested, so you might already be halfway there), but here's a few bits of advice I ...


7

In the campaign I'm DMing right now, I have a bunch of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic characters scattered around the area. Except for the librarian at the Arcane College (Twilight Sparkle), the rest of them are all inconsequential background characters that are doing their own thing and aren't really involved in the story. My players find this pretty ...


6

The way to deal with players who fall into a pattern is to throw them curves that disrupt the pattern and force them to adapt. The hard part about this is doing it in such a way that it doesn't just look like you the GM are picking on them. (You are, in a sense, but you're also trying to keep the game from being completely pointless.) It's quite likely ...


6

The problem as I understand it isn't so much that they optimize characters as trying to optimize how they play while they are supposed to roleplay an encounter. One tactic I've often seen used when "table talk" gets in the way of the game is: The GM can announce "You're in the middle of battle and your lives are in peril -- I expect you to stay in ...


6

I watched a whole lot of Law & Order with an eye toward trying to understand how they structure their mysteries. I noticed a few things that I think ought to help run a mystery game. (Life has gotten in the way of testing my theories in the game I was to run, so do report back if any of this helps!) First, a mystery is not a confusing story--it's a ...


6

Presuming a single "canonical" timeline, with alterations to that timeline always having had been true, the language you're looking for can be found in the Continuum role playing game. You can get a sample glossary, sans philosophy, at the Continuum glossary. Of particular import are the concepts of "up/down." and "age/yet". Therefore, "Down [in the ...


6

When questions come up about how much detail to plan for when prepping for a campaign/session etc, one of the answers I tend to agree with is that you only do as much as the players are going to see/experience. There's no point in having a detailed history of some far off land if it is never going to come up. To a certain extent the same applies here. ...


5

You've been playing RPGs in the same style for many years. Consider breaking out with a sledge hammer. Run a couple of one to three session "quickie" games that are in unfamiliar and rules-lighter systems. Give out pre-made characters, or use a system that includes a quick character-gen method where optimization is difficult or pointless. Tell your ...


5

I greatly agree with Joshua's answer, but I feel he's taking some shortcuts in his understanding of the player you have a problem with. It is not so much that he likes idealized stories, whilst you like realistic stories. For one, people do change, and with effort a lot of people can be convinced, so from that perspective scripted stories are the unrealistic ...


5

Bringing someone into RP over a voice medium for the first time is difficult, especially if you have players who do not know each other. I would recommend getting the group together on skype for something not related to gaming, where you are not putting anyone on the spot for decisions or roleplay. A fun option is to pick a movie off netflix if everyone ...


5

Lead by Example Exhibit the behaviors you want to see. When your players type a question, reply to it by voice. Be sure not to exclude them, or even to let the comfortable players hog the spotlight. Make sure you query them directly - OK, Joe, what do you do? (of course, if your table's convention is to use character names, do that instead) When they ...



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