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57

The problem The problem I had was: What do I do with all the "useless" rolls? Other answers on this question attempt to give these useless rolls a not-so-useless purpose. My answer attempts to help you reduce the rolls which you think are useless. The useless rolls are a result of the players picking up the dice and start rolling for checks that ...


32

One of the most important things for a DM to remember is to make failure interesting. Your players (and you) are there to have fun. Dying because you had a couple bad rolls isn't fun, it's just frustrating. And as you suggest, it's likely to discourage players. That said, that doesn't mean that there should never be a risk of failure in your game. If ...


21

There is ALWAYS something to be found!* What the players find, of course, may not be at all relevant or useful to the story or to the characters' progress. But in fact, a high roll when searching or observing an area is a great chance to use some creativity to both enhance the overall experience, and also to make the players think more carefully about their ...


14

Separation of Player and Character The biggest thing is to remember that just like the Players are not their Characters, you are not the NPCs. Keeping this straight helps eliminate many issues, but it sounds like you have a good feel for this, so lets look a bit deeper. Give the Interaction Purpose Idly chatting and flirting can be a struggle for some ...


13

So first, a couple of things I would do if you plan on doing something like this from scratch again in the future... The first point I want to make is something I've learned from hard, bitter experience. Some players are incapable of separating inter-PC and inter-player conflict. It doesn't matter what their ages, experience or life skills are. This means ...


12

There's no specific rule or best way. Roll for Shoes is malleable, and you'll work out what works for you. I have a couple of preferred approaches I've used, which work very well for setting up the number of dice to use for the difficulty of the task. The first approach is complex, the second is less so, and they can be used together. There is not anything ...


12

This is a great premise for some brilliant character dynamics and interaction and skipping ahead in time might see you lose most of it. I would either go with Greater common evil - Needs must, eh? Forced betrayal, i.e. the monk was forced to act the way she did because she was under greater duress than what the others were aware of. ANSWER: I would ...


12

I usually love to do this kind of stories. I could give you some ideas, so you choose from them and combine them as you feel. NPCs In my experience, interesting NPCs can be an amazing way to show the players how interesting the world can be. They will find NPCs during their adventures, that's for sure, and if you make them have an interesting past, you can ...


9

Managing the end of the game I'm very visual so I tend to think in terms of movies or tv shows. So if it's not a continuing game where cliffhangers make sense, then I wrap it up and maybe ask a few questions to give the players some input. "You come home and the elders greet you and feast you! You're the heroes and a celebration is held..." "Did ...


9

I recently just built a sand-box world for my players, and I have decided to handle the problem this way. First: Same Page. I had a talk with all of my players individually and collectively detailing what sort of campaign I was building. I told them that they can do anything that they want to and go anywhere they want to go. They understand that they are ...


8

Reading through the comment thread under the basic info, I ran into an approach suggested by a user and then tried by the guy who made the system. If you start reading from here, you'll see a lot of good stuff from them. The basic idea is that the world grows along with the player. The GM starts by writing down a Do Anything 1 for each of his important NPCs ...


7

True horror requires player buy in, characters with powerful motivations, a willingness to be less than powerful, and a willingness to make the wrong choices for drama. All it takes is one computational demonologist or heroic soldier and all the "bad decisions" go out the window in favour of "let's shoot the big green monster until it stops making us crazy." ...


7

The best things to do (in "best" order) given your assumptions and question would be: Sit them down individually and play through a mini-session or two with them. Translate what they want into what fits the game Break it to them that perhaps this isn't the game for them and maybe see about finding one that is. Now, on to explanations! I will be using ...


6

There's three steps, that help you avoid this. 1. Play games you like, with people you like This should apply to everyone at the table. You mention you knew the players didn't get along as people before you even started the campaign. Don't do that. You may like Player A, B, C, and D, but they may not like each other. If you really must play with all of ...


6

Safety in numbers only applies if you can trust the others Are you familiar with the game Werewolves of Millers Hollow? If not; it's basically a game you play with 10-20 people. Each person is either a citizen or a werewolf. The game is divided in "night" where people close their eyes and the werewolves secretly pick a victim who leaves the game and a ...


6

I'll assume that you and your players are on the same page, that they're convinced that this is a fun and interesting approach to playing, and that the sticking point is that even though they're committed to trying things your way, they keep falling back into old habits. In my experience, the best way to change these habits is to change the social ...


6

Since the group is small and the players are happy with the IC relationship, do not reconcile the characters. Simply give them reason to be in the same place at the same time and let them oppose each other or form a temporary truce as they please. Perhaps eventually they will genuinely reconcile, but I don't think it's really for the GM to decide that's what ...


5

I'm a little bit surprised to see so many answers to this question without what I thought was the obvious one, so I'm going to put it out here. What you have here is an obvious disconnect between what the player thought the situation was, and what you, the GM thought the situation was. Very seldom do players actually do things that they believe are ...


5

Choose your Moment A session should usually end at the end of a scene (unless you're doing a cliffhanger ending). Let the final scene reach its natural conclusion then tell your players "That's all for tonight. Thank you for playing." You don't need to use those exact words, but the idea is to have a firm statement that the action is over, and a positive ...


4

Really it depends upon the style of game you are running and what sort of consequences you are looking for. In a game with high character mortality then it might be acceptable to kill characters because they fell into a trap. In other games though even a complete Total Party Kill against the big bad would have the GM find a way to keep them alive (taken ...


4

When I GM, there are generally four ways a perception check plays out. 1) There is something to be discovered. If I know that there is a trap or an ambush in the room, then the player's might spot that thing. Depending on the amount of success on the perception roll, the player's may get different levels of information. Maybe they realise that there is a ...


4

Ending the Game In general, I don't end a session immediately after a boss fight (or any fight, really) unless I'm pressed for time. Typically I allow (it's more of an unspoken requirement really) my players to return to town/home base/wilderness camp/whatever-the-next-goal-in-the-game-is and I attempt to foster a small social encounter between the PCs. ...


3

You would solve this problem in the same way as you solve all conflicts: take a deep breath and a a break, analyse what is going on, then address the problem in a mature way. Taking a break is essential. No one acts like the adult in the room if they are emotional and upset. A few minutes, hours, or even days are probably needed to cool the fires. Allow ...


3

I've run across this problem a number of time while playing as part of a group in an open ended game and it tends to come down to not really having a plan. The way to deal with this is to help your players put a plan together of what they are going to do, because they in all likelihood are being vague because they don't know their options. Questions that ...


3

We assume that players are by default going around being perceptive at an ordinary level. If there's an interesting detail that might escape the players' notice, the DM will call for the relevant characters (maybe everyone, maybe the guy in front, maybe the characters with darkvision, etc...) to make a perception check. If everyone who was given the ...


3

When players get complacent, change things In my own campaign, the PCs are trying to survive a viral zombie outbreak. This is how I've run that campaign. Setup During their first month the PCs outran and outfoxed the zombies because zombies are slow and stupid. Zombies have no traits that make them dangerous except numbers. If there are enough of zombies, ...


3

As I understand it, the characters are going to solve the puzzle anyway. because your story depends on them solving the puzzle. So I say, why bother if they will solve it? They do it. Eventually. In my opinion, the real challenge the characters face should be what it costs them to solve those puzzles. Time? Money? Health? Favors? Some other resource? The ...


3

The "uncontrolled gestalt" Something many, many players and characters find interesting is the chance to occasionally use an ability from outside their purview - especially when they're a non-magic type getting access to occasional magic. Let the players bearing pieces of the McGuffin occasionally access the shard's power to do something they can't ...


3

Presenting the global map and history of their world is a good start. Have more in-depth descriptions of your world readily available in a notebook so you're prepared when your players do something unexpected or ask questions. Once players detect you're making up the world on the fly, suspension of disbelief may fade. The DM doesn't want to look like a hack ...


3

The way I did it was by showing the world map, but also by presenting a series of options. Essentially there were notice boards that various people had posted things they wanted doing on. Initially there were 5 or 6 missions for different important people. Doing those missions let the players explore the world and see what was there, gave them contacts, ...



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