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3

Focus your preparation on what you expect them to do, but have contingencies ready so that they can do other things if they choose. I run my current 4E Neverwinter campaign as a bit of a sandbox. I say "a bit" because everything is very time sensitive. This means that I don't have to worry about my party showing up and saying "hey, we've had a month to ...


4

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, ...


1

The first answer here is spot on. A lot of my prop experience has been trial and error. I have tried adding many props along the way in my campaigns. Some worked so well the players still mention them - others were forgettable at best. Always try to think about space, ease, and cost per use. If it is a $50 prop that you think can be used for most or all of ...


2

I use timed challenges and consequence maps. The players know it is a sandbox, but I also provide a time element along with the main plot. Nothing too restrictive, but something to keep them mindful of their actions. I also craft the main story in such a way that the players can approach it from multiple different angles. They have a set of things to ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


2

When it comes to character motivations, I always leave it to the players to explain it. Take the conversation OOC, and give it to the players straight - "OK, Monk has betrayed the party. Now we're starting a new thread; why are you trusting Monk?" This accomplishes a couple related goals: It gives the players agency over their characters, and it gets ...


2

I tend to run my Fate games like TV shows. So that's going to heavily inform my answers. First, I think it's perfectly fine in Fate for characters to not be friends with each other. In a TV show, alliances come and go, and that's just kind of the way it works. I also think it's okay to split the party in Fate, so long as you're conscious about table time ...


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 ...


2

In A One Shot If the game is a one-off (or totally episodic), then ending right after killing the big bad isn't all that bad a plan. There are other options, however. You can have them face a few more villains, or even have to get back to town. Which I would do depends highly upon time left. If I have an hour or two left in the schedule, it's definitely ...


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 ...


1

It depends if it's a "one-shot" or part of a longer campaign, and whether you've finished the adventure, or run out of time first. If it's part of a longer campaign, and you've finished the adventure, I'd usually end it after the party get back to town. They can divide their loot, sell off unwanted items, go shopping for that magical item they've been ...


-3

Ugh. This is the problem with so-called 'player agency'. Most players are not going to spend time to buy bread or prepare a marching order, or anything else they should have worked out previously(including having a goal), until you reach a point like your example. Sooo, you have to lead them through the steps. If you require the players to buy supplies, ...


1

For horror to be effective, the situation has to actually be (or at least appear) dangerous. If the player feels he can openly mock the Big Bad with no consequences... give him Consequences. Hurt the character. Not just hit points, but something lasting. Now, I wouldn't do that at the drop of a hat, and not per se at the "first offense"; but if a player ...


0

I think the primary issue is that you need the players to be doing something before the zombies come into it. That is, you almost have to pick a different genre of RPG and have a session that's interesting enough to be worth playing even before the zombies show up, and then the game will shift as the outbreak progresses. You need a distinct setting, and ...


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 ...


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

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

Generally, I would end the campaign with a conversation with the person who commissioned the campaign in the first place. It could be as simple as "Well, you slew the dragon that has been terrorizing us, so we like to have a party in your favor." And the party rides off into the sunset. This is a good time for the party to discuss what the different PCs ...


-1

One answer that I did not see that I have used effectively is have that player find a "ring of truth 2.0" If the a person is lying the character can see their mouth moving but hears nothing, The character cannot knowingly tell a lie or mislead someone with a lie of omission while wearing the ring. Once put on the ring cannot be removed for 1d4 X 2 hours ...


1

It's possible that I'm sticking my nose in where it's not merited here, but here's my take on it, specifically regarding knowledge/insight/discern motive-type checks: - Chris Perkins once said that the players should know that everything the DM says is true - that is, if the DM says "You feel like she's telling the truth" or "You can't read the writing, but ...


1

The DM should be describing information about the character's environment, not telling the players what their characters think, which is entirely the prerogative of the players. Telling the player "you don't see any evidence that the illusionist is lying or telling the truth" is a better solution because then the player simply cannot metagame based on that ...


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 ...


2

As many as you think is reasonable. The rules for Roll for Shoes don't specify how many dice the GM should roll, so it's left up to their discretion. Obviously, you can come up with any kind of more or less elaborate schemes for determining an appropriate number, but at least in the games I've run, the following simple scheme has worked quite well: For ...


2

I usually try to avoid long dialogs between one PC and an NPC, because I worry that the other players will be bored by spending a long time "out of the spotlight". When someone starts flirting with an NPC (and makes a good Diplomacy check), my preferred answer tends to be: "Yeah, you two are getting along great! ...Okay, so those two step away from the ...


0

I would also try to find some Zombie campaign rpg games. Some of them have good examples of how things should work and have a lot of story ideas and system behind it to support everything. An important factor is the system with which you are running the game. I would suggest the AFMBE (All Flesh Must Be Eaten). It has a lot of short adventure tips and ideas ...


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 ...


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 ...


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, ...


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 ...


1

Preface You request advice on getting people to behave within the rules of a game. One way to get them to see things your way is to use first principles, which for games is: "A game is defined by its rules." 1. Use Analogies A. Offer the example of common games like checkers, chess or tennis. They all have reasonably concise and well known rules. ...


1

I am currently doing this as the "player who moved away" playing in a weekly game with friends who still meet up at the old venue. The good news is that is it very workable. However, the limitations I have faced are not visual, but sound-based. And that's even though we play with exploration and combat on a shared map (D&D 5E currently). Invest in a ...


2

While I have not done a mixed online/face to face game, I HAVE done both all online, all face to face games, AND done business meetings with most people in person and 1-2 people remote. So I'll combine what I know from that and give you some general advice: Video Logistics Find something that works for everyone who is going to be remote and is easy and ...


2

I was in a group with one remote player for a little over two years, and have also taken part in multiple long-term online-only campaigns using various tabletops. I don't really disagree with anything Dorian said, but I'm posting this to elaborate on how we did it, and explain my experience with the tools we used. Please note up front -- if you are playing ...


2

We've played a game with a single member abroad a few months ago, and it was, well, workable. A webcam set to view the entire group This one allows the distant user to see the other people at the table, which is critical for the social aspect. (Even if you're using an online tool, consider using cameras to support it. I've played without and it costs a ...


1

While there are likely many solutions to this, many of which might even be a mix of the two below, I feel these two are the most straightforward ways of addressing this without some sort of specialized setup. At least until we get Virtual Reality up to Sci-Fi levels lol. Webcams are your friend. One of the first solutions to come to mind would be the ...


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 ...


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 ...


1

Take a break. I will keep it short, since several other very good answers have already been given. Here is some very general advice I believe every (new) GM should keep in mind while running their sessions: As soon as the players can't concentrate on the game for whatever reason, take a break. It may seem game-breaking at first, but I can ensure you that ...


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 ...


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 ...


1

Good job on ending the session early (but sadly not early enough). Your best bet is to talk with both of them and try to find a solution to their problem. (Yes, as a GM you have to babysit, sadly.) If the problem can not be solved easily, just kick them out (one of both). Role-playing is a group activity, and if they can't lower their ego... well, there are ...


2

Well, the very first rule for enjoying any kind of game (imho) is that the players get along well. So first of all I'd recommend you to ask the players to solve, at least up to certain point, their differences. Of course, it falls way beyond the duty of a GM, so if they're not your friends but only people with whom you play role, I'd recommend to change ...


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 ...


0

Is no one having fun, like he says, or is it just him? If he's not having fun, why is he still playing? You need to talk to him about whether or not he is really interested in playing in your game or not. Maybe he just wants to be there to hang out with friends, and could just spectate.


0

have the players roll a bunch of perception rolls at the beginning, list them all and cross them off as you go, they know the rolled them, but have no idea if they see nothing because of a bad roll, or if there is truely nothing to see.


2

So, what's the downside of saying, "nope, you find nothing"? You're committed to letting players make their own rolls (which is perfectly fine, though not everyone plays that way), so they already know that they hit a DC of 23 or less (or whatever). There is no need to punish yourself or them by pretending otherwise. It's not even particularly bad in ...


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 ...



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