New answers tagged

0

To add to the accepted and other answers I'll append the following: You are able to give insights into an encounter without spoiling any secrets. In the example given, when you described the boss, did you make mention that his armor looks different than those around him or that your players have seen before? [This only works with magic items that 'look' ...


1

Take advantage of the inherent limitations in the spell. Other answers have already touched on the casting time, so I'll skip that one, but there are a few others to exploit. Non-detection of low-level evil An evil creature of 4 or fewer HD does not give off an evil aura, unless it's an Outsider or Undead, or is a Cleric or Paladin of an evil deity. So you ...


3

Gaming for Optimization The motivation behind casting a free spell a lot is that you get the benefit with little cost. This thinking appeals to the type of player who enjoys optimizing for maximum "advantage": anything from gold to xp to anything that is a stand-in for "winning" in an rpg. It is important to understand this about the player. It is also ...


2

To draw an analogy, I'm short-sighted and I wear glasses. All the time. I don't just put them on when there's something I want to look at. I wouldn't appreciate someone telling me "look here, this ability you have of seeing things at a distance is rather disruptive, wouldn't you mind using it only when you absolutely have to?". And, if I was a character in a ...


-2

Make the spell weaken over time. Count the number of times it is cast and raise the roll needed to detect it by one every ten casts. People will work harder to hide things if they know you are looking for it.


2

Everybody already mentioned the fact these spells are not instant to cast and some people can take that badly. I agree with them but will try to suggest some other solutions. First, you can by GM fiat simply decide that these abilities are not at-will anymore. Make a houserule which says "lvl 0 spell slots are limited to 40 uses a day", it won't break the ...


0

If concerned about players taking cues from the DM rolling dice at certain points ("He rolled some dice and smiled while we looked down this dank corridor"). Then do it at random intervals when you know that nothing is around, perhaps even when you want your players to be concerned. I know that tables that i've attended (which tended to have 'some dice ...


0

Instead of making the whole world start to turn against him and his spells, have you considered just asking the player to try and cast Detect spells only when he suspects something? "Hey, I'd like to suprise you guys or have things be a bit mysterious, and you're making it hard with those spells, could you tone them down a bit to give me the leeway to make ...


37

Make the campaign manage this At low levels the basic method of detecting magic is through the use of the spell detect magic. At low levels the basic method of determining whether a creature's evil is the paladin's spell-like ability detect evil. The spell detect magic has verbal and somatic components and, when it's cast, provokes attacks of opportunity. ...


90

Considering there is a casting time and a bunch of cues that he's doing this, how is the world reacting to his constant spellcasting? It seems that the real solution is there. Do his fellow players stop to wait for his results? When entering a room, in the time it takes for him to cast Detect Magic and Detect Evil, the other players will most likely have ...


7

The root of this issue is framing, and a disconnect between your players assumption of the world and the world you want to run. If your group is aiming for any sort of immersiveness and not just a hack and slash dungeon crawl, your player is not playing "smart" at all. The first thing I would suggest you do, is sit down and make sure you're on the same page ...


0

I just want to add that the whole purpose of dice tables and rolls is to indicate a probability of something happening. It's a tool, not an integral part of the game. Unless your milieu is one where the gods really do roll dice (in game) and the players role-playing expect to experience that, then dice are just a tool for a GM to generate probabilities. ...


1

I like the idea of a character using detect magic all the time. He or she walks in a world that the mundanes don't even know exists. Detect evil, on the other hand, isn't as useful as the player might think. So, the character detects the captain of the guard as evil. No what? If they attack the captain, the rest of the guard attack and either capture or ...


0

Rather than two teams, with the logistical problems of party splitting, encourage two pairs. That is, two groups of couples: characters linked with each other far more strongly than with either member of the other pair. A pair could be a married couple, a brother and sister, partners in a government agency/military/law enforcement group, mentor/apprentice, ...


3

It used to be so that detect magic would give off a visual signal such as blue glowing eyes, and I assume the others like detect evil would have had a similar tell. For the detect magic there are are a few things you could do. Have the items hidden within an extra-dimensional area such as a bag of holding. Be under the effect of the spell which hides ...


2

The rules we've always followed were that the DM is the storyteller, and the dice (within the odds that the DM sets up) are part of the tension of the unknowns in the story. If the results of the roll would interfere with the storytelling, then they're secret. For instance: Player: I use my stealth skill to move from [x] to [y]. DM: [rolls dice secretly] ...


2

There is no reason at all that a GM should be expected to show dice roll. It is entirely a choice for the GM. The whole point of being a GM IS that you have control over the story. Transparency is not your friend as GM. You don't show the players the adventure details so they can check you are not adding extra orcs to the encounter so why should you feel ...


1

For those particular tokens, I use a three-pronged approach, one method for each size of token (1", 2", and 3" circles). 1" tokens - Stored in film canisters, labelled alphabetically (using small blank stickers), themselves stored in a 4L really useful box with a 9L sorting tray (trust me - that works). 2" tokens - Stored in two of the smaller compartments ...


10

The problem with this question is the fact that there simply is no standard. Some DM's make all their rolls in secret and just announce the results. Sometimes it's for suspense, sometimes it's to 'fudge' the rolls a little. It's terrible disappointing, on both sides of the table, if the characters are taken out right at the start of the session just because ...


34

To begin I want to cover the idea of fudging a roll. It may be considered controversial and all to many people, but it's both advised and explained in the DMG pg 18: DM CHEATING AND PLAYER PERCEPTIONS Terrible things can happen in the game because the dice just go awry. Everything might be going fine, when suddenly the players have a run of bad luck. A ...


34

Some of the games tagged on your question do specify in their rules, adventures and supplements that certain rolls can or should be made in secret. However, in practice, whether any given roll is made secretly or openly is a matter of playstyle choice and varies from table to table. There are a number of reasons to keep the results of rolls secret. The ...


12

No* I have not read that the DM ought to hide all die rolls in D&D 3.0e and 3.5e. This comes from reading the SRDs, the player's guide, and the DM's guide (albeit not recently). There are some spells or mechanics which do require a "secret" roll, such as reputation, disguise checks, and some spells. However, there is strong evidence that all the rolls ...


3

All of the above is good advice. I'd just like to add one thing that confuses and annoys people used to d20 rather than 3d6 systems. The odds can be very different in the interesting range of numbers. For example, if you have skill 12, using a combat option that gives you a -6 penalty for significant advantage can look like a reasonable bet to a d20 player....


2

Give it a half-life After a few weeks/months Dense Iron degrades into regular iron or even "light iron" and loses it's awesome or magical properties. Or maybe falls apart completely. It's going to be hard to keep a steady supply of Dense Iron Warhammers for one person much less an army.


0

Figure a way to counter the alloy This is probably a variation on IanDrash's answer but perhaps your PCs can discover a way to disable the properties of the alloy. Perhaps they discover a substance that causes that specific alloy to become brittle. The game's rules will inevitably change. Instead of being a race to arm your kingdom it becomes a race to ...


2

It sounds like the player isn't 'clicking' with the harsher system. I had a similar thing happen with one of my players when we moved from D&D to Only War (a Warhammer 40K based d100 system where you're often rubbish at everything). He failed a lot and would sulk as a result. We explained to him that this is how the game works and he decided he didn't ...


1

Maybe try Paranoia: High Programmers and as GM you can take the role of all the underling challengers and just basically be forcing the lone player to make a whole lot of choices to keep their empire from falling apart. There will be rival UVs, Violets pretending to be your best servant, plotting to take your spot. Up and coming Indigos trying to rat out the ...


8

I see three possibilities: Either you change the world (and with it the campaign), change the enemies or you make the ore something more. Change the ore: Liesmith gave a very nice possible answer, so I'll just put in a few extra possibilities. For example: What makes this ore special? How is it so powerful? Maybe it is stabilised by God #1. Maybe it feeds ...


6

Given the extent of the lore that we know: The alloy was gifted by a god (let's call him Loki) to his followers, then the recipe was "leaked" to a kingdom (let's call it the Kingdom of Loathing), which hates the worship of gods, by Loki's enemy (let's call him Thor). My suggestion is to keep the physical properties of the alloy the same, but reveal a ...


0

I was participating in a game taking place in some fictional fantasy world from which me and several friends were sucked by some magic from our real world. My character had a Charisma of 1/10 and was mainly built around melee combat with a weapon in his hand. Guess what? Most of interactions were social, at which a close friend of GM was very good, and those ...


0

One thing I did when I saw a PC death as very likely was to put it into story context. In this case, it was a PC that both I and the player really liked, and this character dying would be a real loss. I played that up. I set up the adventure with some premonitions about dramatic upcoming events (it's rare to be able to do a good premonition type thing ...


1

What I found effective for a very detailed world with a lot of cultural/historical stuff that characters should know (and players generally didn't) was pretty simple. I found that writing up long books of world notes, history and culture was futile, since most players are not interested in spending their off time doing "D&D homework". Those sorts of ...


3

Here's what I usually do -- it seems to work well enough: Give the players different short writeups. Model the cultural behavior with NPCs. Tell the players outright when their characters would know something the players don't. Player Writeups I like to give each player a short writeup about their hometown culture/environment at the start of the game. ...


6

Make up a game 'bible' with the information you want them to have. Mark sections based on what classes or skills would have the knowledge and/or are expected to observe them. For example everyone knows that Thor holds a Festival of Duels the last full week of September. During the week, his follower cannot reject a martial challenge. However only Thor'...


1

Your second is what I've memorably seen called "zipper DMing" making the PC take damage because they didn't declare they put their junk away before doing their zipper up. Collecting arrows is a simple thing easy to do after every battle and can be made part of the routine just like cleaning a blade. On the other hand "I am always looking for traps wherever ...


0

You seriously think that a medieval character wouldn't think of filling a clay flask with lamp oil, putting a rag wick also soaked in oil into the flask, lighting it, and throwing it? That's all a molotov is - and just takes some basic common sense. In this specific case the PCs understanding of what they can do is IMO more realistic than yours. So how do ...


0

Could you maybe just talk to them about this? I know this is three years late, but honestly, it seems like in a situation like this you should just let them know how badly it upset you, how the 'revenge' bob the NPC set out for hurt you personally, not just your character, and ruined the entire end of the campaign for you, regardless of how 'funny' it was....


2

Know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away, and know when to run. And this? It's time to walk away. There are two huge strikes against any plan to take revenge against Bob in a game he's running. Bob is the GM. As such he has all the power possible. You have none. Bob is both GMing and playing a PC at the same time. This is a ...


4

The trope of a contract that hides some nasty surprises behind a maze of clauses, conditions, legalese, and loopholes is a time-honored one So is the one of a maddeningly simple "contract" which becomes a nasty surprise or series of them because of things the other party isn't aware of or can't see at the time they signed it. Think about Faerie shenanigans ...


4

Expand the Current Process Legal labyrinths are fun, but the more realism involved, the more games get bogged down. Perhaps, rather than representing the process with a single roll, a series of rolls would suffice. These checks would be built in such a way as to reveal progressively more about the risks involved with the contract. Some skills, such as ...


6

If you have time to spend on this, you can ask the players to write the contract themselves. As neither your players nor their characters are in-real-life lawyers you can bet there will be plenty of loopholes the devil will be able to exploit. They can make checks if they want, and it could give them clues like "you mentioned you didn't want you soul to be ...


0

A MacGuffin is a nearly perfect trope to do just what you want. As all tropes, it has it place and work amazingly well if done correctly or it can feel derivative and misplaced. For example, the players find a bunch of coins with a specific sigil which are worthless in $current_local. A little later, they find a pendent with said sigil. No one seems to know ...


19

If the minutiae of labyrinthine legalese doesn't sound like fun to you, and it doesn't sound like fun to the players, then don't use it. Your player is right -- it's not fair to agree to a contract without getting to hear the details. Instead, offer deals that are tempting, but dangerous. Let's say the party has a question for Mr. Mephistopheles -- they ...


-3

Have the player make the check like you did, only this time its a secret check. Then you give the player information based on what they have deduced much like a knowledge check for a monster. The better the check, the better an understanding of it you have. Let some of the contracts have something very tricky in it to produce a higher DC as well for those ...


5

Your party is fine, don't try to force them to change. The balance you are looking for is inherent in the separate schools of magic. Your first problem is actually a really easy one to fix: Have the casters make up spell casting cards for themselves so they don't have to constantly look them up. I don't mind letting new players get used to this, but if ...


0

Stop giving them reasons to split up You are the one that keeps presenting situations that encourage the party to split. Just stop doing that. You admit that, "when they did split, it was for good reason." So, what do you expect them to do - act against their own interests just to make it easier on you? You can ask them, but I don't think they'll be very ...


2

You can always say no, but if this is happening frequently, look at your scenarios. Joshua's answer is of course correct, though I think GMJoe summed it up even better with this script: "In real life, the advantage of splitting the party is that it allows you to do more than one thing at a time. However, as a GM, I can only resolve one situation at a ...


0

You're the DM; its your prerogative to play any way you want. They are the players; its their prerogative not to play with you if they don't like it. Talk to your players and find the sweet spot where everyone is happy or, at the least, minimally discontent.


3

I personally find nothing wrong with either of those expectations. That being said talk to your players. If they don't like the restrictions of the setting perhaps another area would be appropriate. If your players don't like all the rules perhaps you might try another system that is more conducive to a more fast and loose relationship with the rules (5e or ...


0

If you stop following RAW as closely as possible/practical then whats the point of it being pathfinder? If you have provided sufficient backstory then the players should be expected to make characters that are fitting. I was in a game where the DM didnt tell us that it was an almost no magic game, so there were issues with my full caster...



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