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54

There's a two step process needed here. Say to your players what you just said to us Then mind your own business Have they not noticed that imbalanced loot is throwing off their party balance? Or is it that they don't care? If they do not care and are having fun, it is not a problem. If they haven't noticed, then just telling them "Hey gear is ...


50

Explicitly define "What's at stake?" Well, it sounds like part of your problem is that you two don't necessarily see eye to eye on the meaning of that roll. In my experience, the best way to approach this is to actually explicitly define the "stakes" of the check before the roll. That means you spell out the consequences of success and failure, then give ...


43

I would keep in mind the following: Don't panic! You are almost certainly doing a better job than you think you are Read the rules Start small, a single adventure Consider using pre published material Remember you job is to help the players have fun. Sometimes that might mean you have less fun, unless you get your personal kicks from happy players, which ...


43

Well first off, to answer your question about magic item limits, a character in 3.5e is limited to two magic rings. Found here: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/rings.htm in the very first paragraph. Second, AC bonuses do not stack unless they are different types of bonuses (armor, deflection, shield, etc.) or state that they stack. Usually, you cannot ...


39

I have managed only a couple of times, but as a GM. And the first time is one of my best gaming memories, and one of the reason I keep GMing. It was not in a Lovecraftian setting at all (Exalted actually, making me even prouder), so I won't be able to give you setting specific hints there, but the method can supposedly be applied to any game. I have found ...


35

Let's say I have a campaign where I want to put the players in a challenging spot by putting them in a no win situation and having them captured and stripped of their equipment (assuming they might get it back as they make their escape, so as not to complete make the players mad.) If this is not a natural consequence of previous actions ...


30

Player creativity should always be rewarded! Adding on to what RS Conley has written (and it is an excellent response), as a player of a campaign, you never, ever want to feel like you're non-participatory. As the master of the campaign, it's your responsibility to adapt to good, solid role-playing. If the players are clever enough to outfox a given set of ...


26

Introduce NPCs and plotlines/quests to handle redistribution and to bring the "lagging" PCs up to "speed" via personalized rewards (and, if very, very badly needed, punishments.) Examples: If your ranger has barely any items, run a sylvan quest for whose completion he is given a magic bow made / customized especially for him by a dryad. If it's your ...


26

I'm going to take a slight detour and address two sub-parts of your question before providing an answer, in order to provide some perspective the other answers may be lacking. Lying isn't the same as bluffing. Characters use the Bluff skill to make what’s false seem true, what’s outrageous seem plausible, and what’s suspicious seem ordinary. A character ...


25

The new GM is absolutely in charge of the new game. If you want to talk with them privately outside of the game or if they come to you for advice, great, but at gametime you need to play your character and live within the confines of the game as it is. If you've got any tips for getting the new GM over the learning curve, offer to share them. For coping ...


24

Don't even bother with anything like that. Tell the player to cut it out.


23

This depends entirely on what you're trying to do in the context of the narrative that you're creating. Certain stories lend themselves to certain means of presentation -- moreover, certain groups lend themselves to certain styles of narration than others. If your group has a significant problem firewalling player knowledge away from character knowledge ...


22

Steal a couple and mash them up Colleges and universities are actually, in general, remarkably good about putting their plans online. To make a believable college campus quickly, steal a couple, and mash them up. Then use the building plans featured in the street map for your internal plans. Internal plans: MSU, LaTrobe Library, Melbourne, Colorado State ...


21

On the one occasion we started a new group from scratch, we all went out to dinner together, during which we talked about what we were looking for in a game and did some basic worldbuilding. Also, it meant hanging out in a social situation and just getting to know each other. If it didn't end up working out, I believe it would be a softer rejection this way, ...


20

Have everyone make notes, and keep a copy of everyone's. Likewise, take a photocopy of everyone's character sheets. Put them all in a folder. Keep that folder safe. In the process of reopening, have everyone read their notes, and share some stories of past character deeds. If you have time before hiatus, wrap up or tie off a bunch of loose ends, but not ...


20

Figure out why the player/character is being anti-social. This is best handled outside of game. Is the character under the impression that some sort of mind effect would cause his character to go on a killing spree? (sociopathic IN character?) Or was he bored? (killing time!) If the player is bored, maybe he's a hack and slash fighter in the middle of a ...


19

Have you thought about breaking it up into two groups in the same campaign setting? That might be a way to make it more manageable. To get the quieter people involved, you will have to give their character information or knowledge that no one else has and get them to share it. This requires a bit of enforcement regarding what is in-character vs. ...


19

You're definitely doing all the right things; it's hard if your players don't cooperate. Let's see. The first thing I'd try is starting sessions in media res. You can sort of force a bit of momentum if the night starts with the characters under fire in the middle of a combat, or pleading for their lives in front of a judge, or what have you. At the very ...


19

Can they? Yes. These are their own characters, after all. Nothing in the rules requires them to lay their full minds open to the DM. If it did, that would cause problems when a player decides that the PC needs to have a change of heart, for good or for ill. Is it a good idea? Usually not. A DM who knows the PCs' true motivations can work them into the ...


17

Graham Walmsley's book Play Unsafe is stuffed with great ideas for bringing NPCs to life, as well as really solid advice for working with your friends to make the game more interesting and exciting in general. I highly recommend it. One trick (which I learned from Graham!) is to list three distinct mannerisms for each NPC, and use these as a guide at the ...


17

Extract the first few plot points that are going to take place at the destination and put them on the road. This strategy also helps you be less railroad-y because the players are out in the open and have more choices about where to go instead of being locked into a city/dungeon/what-have-you.


17

As someone who has been GMing primarily since 2001, the answer is "Yes, but not disasterously so." The skill sets for being a player and being a GM in a game such as Pathfinder/D&D/White Wolf are entirely different, which means if you spend a lot of time doing one set of those skills (GMing), then the other set will get rusty, like any set of skills you ...


16

I would suggest: The GM picks a simple game they feel comfortable with (perhaps Dungeonslayers or Warrior Rogue and Mage ). They begin with a simple adventure, rather than plan a whole campaign Don't assume it's going to go brilliantly at first Prime the player team to be "nice" until the GM has found their feet Don't try and take in too much from the ...


16

If possible (you haven't left off the game on a very intense cliffhanger), move forward the campaign world by one month for every week that passes IRL. Write updates on what happens in the world, ask the players to sum up their characters' reactions to the events. Example: "With the coming of spring the King falls quite ill, which gives rise to talk about ...


16

It sounds like your players and you have different expectations of the expectations of the game. Use the Same Page Tool to come to a consensus. Functionally, neither you nor your players are behaving wrong for the game that you or they are playing. Unfortunately, you are not playing the same game. This problem is not an "in character" problem, it's an ...


15

You say this makes designing encounters pretty hard for you. I say you care too much. You seem like this is your problem, though in fact it should be theirs. If you design encounters that take into consideration their self-imposed handicaps, then they won't ever feel there is a problem. You nurse them overmuch. If you tell them the problem, they will not ...


15

No, it's not a legitimate thing to do because The Player Put the DM in a Difficult Spot The lies the character's told--and you're certain now that they were lies1--should have been Bluff skill checks. Make those checks. Now. By yourself. Roll for the player despite his absence. Such rolling lets you determine which folks believed the character, which ...


14

Develop a cast of personas/actors to draw from. Think about popular actors/actresses. The majority of them are not very versatile, and yet many enjoy watching them in various roles. Often these celebrities personas become so ingrained as who they are that people will watch a movie specifically because of the stars in question. With this in mind you can begin ...


14

I prefer the other version of the question. How much plot guidance is too little. Aim for a smidge more guidance than the bare minimum and you'll have a party with plot without risking too much railroading. As everyone said, how much guidance is something that will vary from group to group. Even within a group it'll vary from session to session. I ...



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