Hot answers tagged

136

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 ...


124

You are about to start a new campaign. You need to pause the world and have the same conversation, GM and players, as you would at the beginning of any campaign. What kind of setting is this, what themes will you envision tackling, what's your playstyle? It sounds like you started in a "typical" magic-but-low-tech setting. The setting has now changed. This ...


111

Yes -- if you use that specific phrasing, "your character would not do that", you are denying their character's agency. The player is an authority over what their character wants to do; your authority is over what the character can do. Rather than tell the player that their character doesn't want to do something, instead express it as their character's ...


105

You I'll deal with your issues first: you are an angry 14 year old. Don't sweat it; everybody was, is or will be. Maturity can in fact be summed up as learning not to punch the face of someone who richly deserves it. You have to remember that you have no control over the way other people behave; you only have control over the way you behave. And ... you ...


88

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 ...


78

You say "Before he or any of the others had a chance to pick it up, the controlling player snatched it up and refused to give it back (Even though she had no use for it)." I feel like I can identify 2 problems from this sentence. First of all, how are you allowing her to pick it up without anyone else being allowed an "action"? Just because a player says ...


75

Well, I don't think I need to tell you that it's within RAW, per the spell description of Fireball [emphasis mine]: A bright streak flashes from your pointing finger to a point you choose within range then blossoms with a low roar into an explosion of flame. Each creature in a 20-foot radius must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 8d6 fire ...


67

There's no "right" answer, there are major playstyles that hit the two extremes and then there's compromises in the middle. The ENWorld post Combat as Sport vs Combat As War illustrates two different end state playstyles - in "combat as sport" the GM never makes "level inappropriate" encounters (no matter how hard you have to twist logic to get there), with ...


66

It Will Only Change The World if You Let It - which might be fun How should one DM proceed if his or her group manages to seize control of a superweapon that could change the lives of the entire world? Is it a wise decision to let it roll, or should I take rid of it the sooner I can? First, a rhetorical question. How should a DM proceed if his ...


59

How do the Kobolds remember which parts are trapped? Basically, this answer is about weaving the Kobold's own marking system into the narrative. It does assume you draw your own maps and don't use Dungeon Tiles or anything. Obtain 6 or so pretty looking symbols (they don't need to have meaning, but if they look Draconic it's bonus awesome) Mark every ...


59

To be clear, he's asking for details on these samples he's collecting? I would say if he's that interested in a detailed list, then have him make it up himself. You would have to approve, of course, but just say something like, "You collect a variety of samples to help with your research. Go ahead and make a list of samples that you think would be ...


59

It's up to you There are two play styles (with regard to this question at least), with their own drawbacks and advantages. The first is to keep the realms of the world (DM) and the player characters strictly separate. I use the term "Golden Box" to describe this. In Golden Box gameplay, the players cannot define anything about the world, including who an ...


58

You could say to your players, "Y'know, in this campaign, not all problems can be solved by punching them. And some problems that could be solved by punching could be better solved by not punching, or by punching with strategy instead of with no real plan. What I mean to say is, punching things in the head is a good solution to a lot of problems, but it's ...


58

The rules as written for this, as taken from the DM DnD Basic Rules version 0.1 say: Typically, XP is awarded for defeating the monster, although the DM may also award XP for neutralizing the threat posed by the monster in some other manner. It doesn't specify how much of the XP you should award, so it is reasonable to interpret it as meaning you may ...


56

I'm going to make one critical assumption about your gaming group. If it's untrue, I don't know if my answer will be helpful: The friendship of the people at the table is more important than the game you're playing. Going forward I'm assuming you're all friends foremost, and you play games as a form of mutual recreation. Now, on to my answer. TL;DR: This is ...


53

The Brinks Job, The Italian Job, Willow, or Charlie Varrick? the players worked their way through a series of fiendish traps into a high security vault, where they recovered a Staff of the Magi. Your low level PC's broke into a secure storage site and stole something extremely valuable. Hollywood is packed with this trope, a big heist and the ... uh ...


53

There are so many ways to enjoy roleplaying games that we sometimes — often, actually — forget that fact and just assume that how we play is the way. Unsurprisingly, this results in unpleasant things when different ways to play collide and nobody notices that hey, maybe these are different and don't mix well! What you (personally or as a group) need to do ...


53

Firstly, the assumption you're making is well-meaning, but wrong: as DM you shouldn't feel like you can never “break character” to just speak as a person to the other people at the table. You're playing a game, and sometimes you need to pause playing and just talk about the game directly. It may seem counter-intuitive, but games work much better when you've ...


52

Make it be cursed. A very powerful item will make many adventuring parties suspicious, but if yours are just happy to go forward using it, they are in for a surprise. I would pick an "interesting" curse that makes them wary of using it but still leaves them (technically) with the option to do so. For example, every charge used could alert some extraplanar ...


51

0. Do your players want this, too? If you haven't discussed a different playstyle I think they're reasonable to still expect the "sporty" style you were previously playing. That's why I think--even one session in--a change like this would be equivalent to starting a new campaign: same setting and same characters, but different game. If you have not had ...


51

Your players are telling you that they might not want to adventure. First and foremost, ask your players if this is the case before acting on advice from random strangers on the internet. It appears to me that they are not interested in playing in an adventure, and that is perfectly fine. There are many other options for the kinds of games to run. The ...


50

The situation here is complex and hinges on several issues that come up in play, namely player attention, difference in player-character skills, social contract etc. Because of that I'll try to establish a general rule with exceptions, instead of having a huge discussion not suited to RPG.SE format. If a player forgets a story detail the PC knows, remind ...


49

How to get players to play “Team [Class]” campaigns Get buy-in from the players. There is no step 2. Return to step 1 and make sure you've completed it if you think you need a step 2. If someone is always going back on the concept and trying to wedge something in, then they didn't actually buy into the idea enough to follow through. There was a lack of ...


49

This meta-game accuracy is a purposeful feature of using the optional grid rules — that kind of tactical detail is the whole point of using a grid. An obvious alternative that eliminates miniatures-based player precision is to not use the optional grid rules. There's some discussion of imprecise AoE handling on DMG page 249 (in short “make a call, consult ...


48

Boy, so many people lining up to tell you "don't do it that way it's badwrongfun!" I'll offer a differing perspective, which is yes, absolutely, use a house rule to this effect. It has the desired effect of adding verisimilitude without "nerfing" or "ruining" anything. I shall offer up real play experience and not pure opinion to demonstrate this. I used ...


47

There's always something bigger: pit that against the party. 17th level is pretty high in Pathfinder, but it's far from the level cap. Sure, the party is now capable of vaporizing pretty much anything on land. Even if the disgruntled nations of the world band together to shoot something at the orbital platform like what happened in C&C 3, like a missile ...


44

No, don’t Here I’m echoing the advice of Angry GM in his Five Simple Rules for Dating My Teenaged Skill System. Please do note that Angry GM lives up to his name, and his articles are littered with strong (but self-censored) language. It’s all pretty tongue-in-cheek and harmless, in my opinion, but your mileage may vary. Anyway, the second of the five ...


44

No Roleplay should be about having fun. When you start to punish your players, it is very possible that they will quit your campaign. Even if your players are doing it just to pull your leg, you shouldn't make the game painful as noone will enjoy it. I would reccomend following options: Speak with them face to face after the game. It happens, that ...


43

Well firstly, you need to behave in a mature manner, which is sometimes tough, even for us middle aged guys. The best way to show your maturity is when you go in, apologize to each person as they walk in, including the guy who acted like an arse. Take it on the chin and share how disappointed you are in yourself for reacting the way you did, but conclude it ...


42

Having players that are willing to spend time and effort outside of the gaming session preparing and planing is rare, do reward them. I think you should let the LOMC work spectacularly. It works exactly as planned, no side effect just bullseye and one hundred per cent success. Let the LOCM survive the initial use, and be ready to fire again and again and ...



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