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0

If you want your players to meet a/the god as npc, I can think of two such interaction can be played out. I assumed that god won't be fighting along side the pcs, because that will bring other questions with it. 1) The god is 100% present at the encounter. When the characters meet the big kahuna, they will know he is the big guy, the bearded guy in the sky, ...


0

GMing an NPC who is smarter than you is easy - you are god in your game. You know everything the players know and everything else besides. You even know what they're discussing at the table, which no in-game NPC could know. You know what they are planning and what lies they have agreed to tell or truths to omit. And you can take your time to make decisions ...


3

Taking a page from history, in medieval Europe unemployed mercenaries would sometimes resort to brigandage to supplement their income. Players as bandits aren't necessarily evil with a capital E, they could be more like self-interested Robin Hoods. There's no need to roleplay torture, rape, murder. You could dangle the opportunity for banditry/thievery in ...


1

Don't read the MM. Either send monsters with no killing tricky features (like harpies have), or give them the important information (or some opportunity to get it) through skill rolls (as others suggested) or NPCs and other in-game ways. The more emphasis on stats, the more the players will take it as a PC game, just with graphics substituted by ...


0

It might be smart to consider how expendable you view your players characters. Is it okay for them to die once in a while fom their mistakes, or should the game never really punish for making bad choices. While it might not be nice for a chacter to die (it sucks really), always keeping your players alive might have draw backs as well. IE your players will ...


16

The most important thing for an evil campaign to work is to give the players a goal or objective. In a good-aligned campaign, you don't need to necessarily start with a clear goal, and often you don't want to, as often the player's role is reactionary; someone does something bad and the players have to stop them. They do good for it's own sake, because ...


39

I've played in and run evil campaigns of various sorts in both 3.5 and 4e (though not 5e, I think my learning will transfer), and run into a lot of problems: My Guy Syndrome comes up a lot, as does a tendency to default to a regular D&D storyline only with more stealing of spoons and kicking of puppies to remind ourselves we're evil. Sometimes an evil ...


4

This depends on your playstyle and the way you want to play. Would the characters' reasonably know about these creatures and is that something you want to have the players' have access to as part of play? Now, there's plenty of old school play where you pretty much know nothing about a creature until you've dealt with it enough to figure out what it can ...


5

You have to balance out the fun of discovering a new monster with how devastating a LACK of knowledge could be to the party. Consider the harpy, with it's ability to lure in folks who fail a DC11 wis check. This could wipe out the entire party if they don't know to plug their ears. So is it more fun (for the players) to know about this and act accordingly ...


-9

Just what they see. Never ever read out the contents of the MM to a player, no matter which edition or indeed RPG. If they want that detail they should go to a sage or learn from experience (or a skill, since 5e uses those :puke:). In particular, you should never feel you have to stick to the MM so you're boxing yourself in if you read out the content. If a ...


1

I think you're best just using the METAR data from the real world, after all that's what the PCs would be using. It's easily available via the web (I use skyvector.com to find stations) and if they move a long way quickly you can get the data from the new location much more quickly from a laptop or tablet than you could generate realistic weather with dice. ...


3

One option would be to back the "crunch" level down a notch. Even if flight is central to the characters and campaign (S&R, bush flying, or similar, I'd presume, if a C172 is in play as opposed to a T-38 Talon or similar), it should be reasonable to presume that icing conditions, IFR vs. VFR, and other considerations that affect real-life flight would ...


5

Many GMs struggle to run gainful social interaction well (cf. this article). In D&D 3.X there are 3 main social skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, and Sense Motive. Some other skills, like Disguise, are effectively a specialized version of one of these general skills in terms of social use. All of these general social skills can also be used for other purposes ...


10

It's Up to the DM Really, it is. Does the DM want everyone to roll every time a character opens their mouth? Or just when they're "selling an idea?" It's up to the DM. As Often As Is Needed This is a good rule of thumb. Roll bluff as often as it is needed. For me, whenever I DM, I only call for bluff checks whenever someone is trying to "sell an idea." ...


8

I generally don't give anything away. Discovery is part of the fun to the player. I try to give a very detailed description of the monster as the players would see it (if it's in low light they may not see ALL the tentacles). If a player has a skill that might give them some more information I'd let them roll to see if they'd know a bit more.


41

Generally, you should only tell them what their character knows. Some DMs don't even tell them the creature's name until afterwards, they just describe its appearance. Let them make a skill check to see how much they know (eg arcana, nature, religion, history - depending on the type of creature. Or perception, if there is some visual clue). Or, if you ...


7

It seems to me like you've taken the wrong message from some of the previous answers; I haven't read them, so I don't know exactly where they were coming from, but here's the gist: While "don't make the players roll for something they have to find to proceed" is an okay rule of thumb, it's not very nuanced. A better version of that rule is "do not give ...


6

Whenever I ask players to make a roll I have the following two things into consideration: Would it be dramatic for the players to fail at this point in time? Is this a place where the failure or success of the players can lead to a branch or some other consequence in the story? A practical example: The current plot requires that two characters sneak ...


3

I make here the assumption, based on your other post, that you're referring to "God" in a monotheist rather than polytheist vision. This makes a major difference : a monotheist "God" tend to transcend all qualities, possess all of them, etc. Such God will be ineffable and completely out of understanding of any mind, and it's mere "presence" is likely to ...


5

Metagame it, Batman style! No, I'm serious. When you read Batman comics, or watch some of the animated series, Batman always has a contingency for everything. No one can escape him, because Batman always outsmarts them. He's a master psychologist, has way beyond average observation skills, even Sherlock Holmes wouldn't be able to give him a run for his ...


4

It's really worth noting that there is a vast difference between super intelligence and omniscience - being able to think much further ahead and deduce things is NOT the same as knowing everything including what anyone and everyone is thinking and, depending on your theology, possibly every possible thing that will happen in the future. Opening a door of ...


5

There are some fantastic answers on here, and this is just meant to supplement them. One of the most universal characteristics of supreme beings is that communication with them is difficult. Whether they communicate through oracles, or merely answer prayers, or require sacrifice to be heard, part of roleplaying any deity - outside of the extraordinarily ...


1

As the GM, you are omnipotent and omniscent. What you say, goes. This counts double when playing god. One way to go about it to simply reverse the order of things. Rather than figuring out all possible paths before speaking, just answer questions and adapt the world to match. So rather than figuring out how to answer "why did Bad Person X do Terrible Act Y ...


10

You can't It is not possible for you to model the thought processes of God, no matter how much time you spend on it. There are too many fundamental barriers to emulating its mind, some of which you have touched upon in this question and in your previous one. The silver lining here is that your players aren't in a position to do this either. Nobody, in the ...


3

Some really good answers here. One thing I'm surprised I don't see mentioned: You say a large portion of why the player is so cautious is a previous encounter that went poorly, so now when he sees something similar he runs. I might put the party in a situation where I'm sure that they'll want to run, but make it so that they can't. Either they're somehow ...


3

This is a social contract problem and one of the easy things to do is figure out if this is a miscommunication problem or "this guy is being a jerk" problem. This is actually really easy to determine, quickly. Consider if you think something works a certain way, you argue for it, but then look it up and find out you're wrong. "Oh, man, I'm sorry, I really ...


-10

Allow him to continue this behaviour but inform him he must "consult the bitter oracle". If he pisses her off by presenting invalid interpretations she ports him to the starting town and to find his party again he must role 5x d6 to achieve a number below the number of turns he has been attempting to rejoin his party.


6

I'd deal with it differently according to two separate cases. Either way, first you need to get the the player to acknowledge that he keeps being proved wrong by the lookup, and he doesn't know his spells as well as he'd like, and the lookups are disruptive and undesirable. It might be that this is how he thinks the game should be played. It might be this ...


24

I think a lot of the answers in How do you help players not focus on the rules? are on point here as well. They talk about limiting time spend discussing and taking things offline, but perhaps the most important is establishing that your rulings stand and that as a more experienced player, and additionally as the GM, your interpretations of the rules are the ...


3

Keep a computer open with a searchable version of the rules available for anyone to use. There should be a quick way to look up rules since not everyone has memorized the entirety of every rule book and even the most avid gamer is going to need to check on a rarely used spell for an unusual situation. The SRD for 3.5, the PRD for Pathfinder are obvious ...


16

Place a firm but fair and transparent limit on the amount of time that is allowed to be spent discussing rules issues. I keep a few cheap plastic hourglass timers handy during gaming sessions to fairly and transparently give out time for out-of-character interactions. This includes letting the party decide group tactics, adjudicating rules issues, or ...


1

What's obvious to you isn't obvious to them. This is always going to be the case. What seems clear in the head of the GM sometimes isn't clear if you are just going off descriptions. (I've screwed this up so many times, I'd be embarrassed to admit it.) i) don't have only one right question! You want to feed them some information, they want to get that ...


1

I too am a realitively new DM running the starter set. The one thing that strikes me is that your group is a little light on experience for the final chapter. The final chapter starts with the warning that it assumes the characters at this point were level 4. Half your party is below that and this could be why they are feeling so overwhelmed. I would ...


0

One of your jobs as GM is to ensure coherency of the group The issue you seem to be addressing is that you want the campaign to progress at the speed of "1 team vs. the world." Instead, you are having to address it as "4 individuals vs. the world," and having to run it four times slower than you'd like. You've recognized the issue, and that's the first ...


10

You're not going to stop the players from going a step ahead sometimes, or several steps. To stretch your example a bit, consider that one day even making the axe will be a step ahead, because you'll want to dictate the result of gathering the materials. Your players won't know where a step too far is, since they're not psychic or omniscient. You need to ...


2

Four solutions spring to mind: Interrupt your players. "Hold on, you need to roll [whatever] to make an axe first". This is a slight backtrack for a player who already imagined to be chopping down a tree, but shouldn't be too much of a pain. Have them fail. "The crude axe you improvised falls apart when you strike the tree. Perhaps you need to put more ...


0

I have two ways to deal with this: Way 1 Encourage the players. The players are most likely a bit scared and shocked from the battle. Narrate a scene where a character does something awesome. E.g. A goblin sneaks up with a nasty dagger but player hears and turns around with his sword and decapitates him. Obviously you may want to add more than just a few ...


0

A potential problem here is that your character may not feel as if the quest of being a detective will not be suited to their character. They may also be bored or restless by the prospect of investigating if they really want some action or a battle. If this is the case, keep this player feel wanted and needed or give your player some fights along the way. ...


0

I'd suggest you don't ao much try to avoid it happening (it will anyway), but simply try to keep players "in character" as much as possible. Confused, distracted, interrupted table conversations can be seen simply - as in real life activities that require co-ordination and group decisions - confused, distracted, interrupted conversations between people ...


10

All of these factions are trying to stay secret, that doesn't mean they leave no marks upon the world or cannot be interacted with by outside factions like the PCs. Know What's Going On First, it's important to keep track of characters within the secret societies, what they are doing, and what they know. GMing often involves some degree of abstraction and ...


0

Realism makes boring investigations Realism sucks for games, it sucks even more for entertainment and pacing. In reality, investigations take weeks, months or years. They're not very entertaining at all. In fiction, investigations take a short amount of time, and dead ends are very rare, and investigators happen to ask the right questions, happen to ...


4

People give out information that they're not supposed to give all the time. There's a concept in computer security called "social engineering" whereby you basically trick people into telling you what you need to know; simply call up BigCo and say you're testing the phone lines, can they verify their access code? Ten to one you'll get a distracted secretary ...


0

This is not a problem about player agency. This is a problem that the players are all trying to "play different games" at the same time. It's situations like this that I recommend a group sit down with a plan of what gameplay is supposed to look like for this campaign you're playing in. After you leap that huge hurdle, a small tertiary technique you can ...


7

Great suggestions all around. My thoughts re-iterate on some points that @Jessa touched on, but hopefully provides some additional context. Let's face it, for a lot of players, RP dialogue is hard. It can feel awkward for some people and it can be especially hard to think of clever questions or keep lots of plot details in mind when you're uncomfortable. ...


1

Keeping the party together when each character has an independent goal can be very difficult, so it shouldn't be your responsibility alone. Here's how everyone in the game can help keep things moving along. Leadership This is something where a single player can have a major impact on the flow of the game. And if you want players to have agency while ...


16

How can I get them asking the right questions without my leading them around by the nose? If players chase a trail that you haven't thought out, follow the advice laid out in the other answers here, which basically say: make it the right trail. That's good advice. I'll try to add something else, which is: "How do I not end up having to do this?" ...


22

Don't let a roll (or a missed question) halt the game. Turn it into a "Yes, but..." failure, and advance the plot over the bodies of mooks. Go buy Gumshoe. The game has investigation mechanics which will likely help you here. In short, if the players have to know something to progress the plot, don't let a roll happen. If rolls are happening, then failure ...


22

Stay Flexible Be ready to improvise about what kind of information the PCs can get by talking to various characters. Anything that hasn't been shown to the PCs yet can deviate from your notes at any time you want/need it to. Move plot points from their original "places" to be wherever the PCs happen to look. Are they asking the right questions of the ...


57

The answer to this depends on your playstyle - but you don't have the problem you think you have. Observe: If you run a simulationist sandbox-y style of game, where you don't require your players to achieve anything in particular for you to consider the game a success, there are no wrong questions. There are questions that don't get the players the answers ...


2

In addition to considering the things you can do to speed things along, you might want to consider the things that you should probably avoid. The bit that sticks out like a sore thumb for me is: GM: Okay, are you guys going into the forest? Player 1: I am, yeah. GM: Okay, but are you going alone? Is anyone else going? By asking the confirmation ...



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