Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

39

How do I tell the players "This house rule sucks and we shouldn't do it anymore?" That's exactly how you do it! Say, "This house rule sucks and I think we shouldn't do it anymore." If they object, well... then they don't mind the paperwork. If they agree, then you don't have a problem. Either way they don't feel cheated, because they're part of ...


37

In a society built around privacy of thought, easy and consequence-free mind reading is too powerful. We need to make it either harder or have consequences, either by changing how mind reading works or how society does. Some ways of doing that: Mind Reading is Hard There's many ways to do this. Maybe it's hard to drill past the irrelevant surface thoughts, ...


16

Abstractions Before you tweak the combat system, make sure you understand how its abstraction works. A single attack roll is not necessarily a single swipe of a character's sword. Rather, it represents your character trying hard to kill his opponent for the round. It could be a single slash, or it could be a lengthy clash of steel-on-steel coupled with ...


16

Enlist the help of your Creative Player to involve the others. CP is very creative and he is clearly motivated with the game. Explain him you have to focus on the other players and use hooks for them, so he could help you creating those hooks, being in character (he ask the other PCs favours that involve them) or totally out of character (he makes up that ...


16

Sure, you could cheat as a DM. However, in an ideal case, you're not playing against the players. :) You need to understand and practice that to gain their trust. And to gain trust (and lots of practice) in your own story-spinning abilities. You're playing a game together, a game that has rules than bind you as well... unless the story calls for you to ...


14

Either through high mortality rates, copious amounts of backstory, or actual force of personality, some characters become more "main" than others. This is something you should be taking advantage of. There are a few things you can do: Ask for more holes in backstory to make a common backstory for other characters. ("We both defended the City of ...


14

You're right that the basic initiative rules just kinda assume everyone's in the fight at the beginning of the battle and don't say more than that, so the addition of late arrivals requires some interpretation. In general, as new arrivals become aware of and desire to participate in the battle, they should just roll initiative for the first round they're ...


14

Although nominally specific to one game system, GURPS Psychic Campaigns is actually written as a toolbox of specific GM techniques that are directly useful in any game system, for anyone grappling with how to manage and run a campaign despite the unique challenges of psychic abilities. It's extremely well thought- and laid-out, giving you several variations ...


13

How can I make the player happy again, and avoid having to kill the paladin? It seems to be a drastic change, so the best way seems to be to create a new character and play that. I'm not in favor of killing the old one though. There are a million ways to part ways and why would it always be death? As a paladin, he could be ordered to help fighting evil ...


11

Everyone should advance Note how all the advancements in the the milestones chapter are shared equally. If I have a total epiphany after I finally confront my treacherous half-brother, that's not a significant milestone for my character, it's a significant milestone for everybody. Thus, my advice to you is that, by default, "absentee" PCs should advance ...


11

Be unpredictable The reason that the player can do this is that the rules are well-known. In order to avoid this problem, introduce some mystery. When the player rolls a skill check where the quality of the result shouldn't be known by the character, you should also roll (in secret of course). If your roll is in the high half of the die range, then treat ...


11

There are a few options that can help with this that I've seen used. Mind-reading is illegal, or inadmissible in court In a society where mind-reading is possible, it is likely illegal to do without cause. Even where it is legal, it's possible that evidence gained from mind-reading is not acceptable during legal disputes, like how polygraph tests are not ...


11

One of my favorite things about the 7th Sea GM book is... Rule 1: There are no rules Rule 2: Cheat anyway As the DM/GM/ST nothing you do truly constitutes cheating but it takes away fairness in games where the outcomes are determined by dice or entropic factors. Ultimately, I find that regardless of the system, DM transparency is truly up to the DM in ...


10

A Radically Different Idea Your player had fun playing a greedy awesomedwarf? And now isn't having fun playing a Stop Right There! Paladin? Easy. Have him take that shit in-character. Whoa, whoa, what are you talking about? Simple. Have the paladin start to be dissatisfied with the course he's taking. Have him start bucking authority, becoming a ...


9

Give them something better. If you're removing the rule because it's not worth it, why not just replace it with something that is worth it? That way they won't feel cheated. Like, every two levels, pick an ability score. Roll 3d6, and if it's higher than your current score, it goes up by one. Lets you improve your crappy scores, but prevents you from ...


9

I say, go for it, but with two important caveats: Get player buy-in Make sure the players are on board for the tweaks you're planning. Are they veteran players used to playing a certain way and might resent it? Do they have certain expectations you'll be breaking? Make sure you don't make unilateral changes to the system. Be prepared to rollback This is ...


9

In D&D 4e, "fumbling" a skill check on a natural 1 is a house rule only. By the rules as written, a natural 1 on a skill check is not even an automatic failure, much less a fumble — it's just 1 less than a roll of 2. The critical hits and automatic misses introduced in D&D 4e are only in the context of combat, and nowhere else. (This is why ...


9

Opposed skill checks When players are rolling diplomacy against an NPC, they are trying to bluff/deceive an NPC, or are trying to use insight to not be bluffed or deceived themselves and you choose to handle it through dice (vs. roleplay) you should roll for the NPC in secret. NPC actions occurring off-screen NPC actions may occur outside the current ...


9

The cure I think the easiest remedy is to let him pick a new character, and make the paladin go with the group while you close all his plots and prepare a transition. You can also make the player control the two characters, or give the paladin to someone else. Talk to your players about the approach and tell them the situation is temporary. The prevention ...


9

"there is no way around that". There probably is a way around it, but it depends exactly what you've set up. The PC could be eaten by a grue next session due to a series of bad decisions and/or dice rolls. The world would continue, even if those NPCs all die due to lack of that particular paladin. Options that might work depending on your plot and your ...


8

Push your PCs together. You can do this several ways. Your excitable player is going to be the most vocal person at the table no matter what, so to involve the other players, make his vocalizations be with them. Call for a scene. "This is going to impact Simon the Mage, let's see the scene where you two talk about it." If your excitable player's new ...


8

First of all, there's no right or wrong in here. The do's can be in some groups don'ts to a certain extent and vice versa. What I'm trying to say here is that what really decides what works and what doesn't is your group. These are merely things that I've used and they worked or didn't work for me. I'm hoping, still, that it may help you. DO's Use the ...


8

Making large changes to mechanics is a difficult and rewarding process. Most of the time, the problems that your designs will have won't be obvious until your players have banged on them a little bit. Messing around with mechanics is one of my favorite things to do in tabletop games, so here's a few things to keep in mind as you do it: Make sure you're on ...


8

The main practical problem with mind-reading when presented as a simple ability is that it is: cheap per use powerful undetectable That is a killer combo and difficult or impossible to balance against the normal run of abilities. Take out one of the three and you have a better chance: A powerful and undetectable mind-read that the character can only ...


8

Brutes And Soldiers slow down combat A Brute or a Soldier is fine, but more than 1 of either kind is simply going to drag things out. Soldiers tend to have very high defenses so the party will miss more often. Brute's have a lot of health which just takes awhile to drill down. They can often ofter some useful forced movement abilities, but almost always as ...


7

In addition to Yosi's excellent post: playing in familiar (in real life) setting is unsafe. Players will be much more interrested in the setting, in the characters, in the game - they will invest more emotions to the game and risk more as players, even if the characters will be extremely careful. This is not a bug, this is a feature, and a feature which ...


7

The typical way to do this is to roll for the player where only you can see the result (such as behind a screen or your hand). Any time you are rolling for hidden information, you're justified in making the roll yourself. Looking for secret doors? You roll, and tell what they do or don't find. Racking their brains to remember something useful about trolls? ...


7

I went through this same thing. I learned that through role-playing, you can establish the grounds of an appropriate mind read spell. Let's say you and I are both casters and have just met in a pathfinder world. We meet at a bar and I cast a charm person spell on you and it fails. As a fellow caster, you have probably identified that I have tried to charm ...


7

Plots Are Hard with a Mind-reader PC The GM can give mind-reading several different limitations, but the most common ones include... Limit Mind-reading to Surface Thoughts Low-level Dungeons and Dragons spells do this. When the mind-reader uses his power, he only learns the subject's surface thoughts--that is, whatever the subject is thinking about right ...


7

How to embrace mind-reading Investigation is boring and slow! It's often just a lot of nothing in disguise. The fun secrets are the secrets you actually know. Because then you get to go and do cool stuff with those secrets. Thus, mind-reading offers you a fast track to cool decisions and dramatic conflict. Don't be afraid to lay the bad guys' plans and ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible