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73

The GM taking away XP is not really your core problem. Your core problem is the game you want to play as a group is not the game he wants to run. The solution is simple - go find a GM who does want to run that kind of game, or have one of you GM (or take turns GMing) to run that game. Regardless of how "good" of a GM he is, he's not the GM that's good for ...


60

Understand what makes the game fun for your players and then try not to back yourself into a corner where you feel pressure to fudge rolls in the first place. If character death is acceptable to your players then you should feel no pressure to erase a crit. If it is not then you should have death or resurrection mechanics which allow for the player to take ...


54

Probably the easiest way to avoid forgetting a few key things is to use a physical prop. When you have an important bit of information or a "quest item," write it down on a notecard and physically hand it to the players. You're not "giving away" anything if they've already identified the thing as important by themselves. But now they have a handy reminder ...


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 ...


51

Maybe he's a Watcher In the Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition book "Dungeon Master's Guide" there exists some very useful advice for running the game that is applicable to nearly every RPG out there. One section of advice addresses different player personalities, including the idea of "the Watcher." A watcher is a casual player who comes to the game ...


46

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 ...


40

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 ...


38

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 ...


34

Punishment ... wait ... what!? RPG are supposed to be fun. From what is said, the games the GM wants to run and the one the players want to play are different. So, have a assertive conversation with your GM and agree on a game that you all want to play. Be careful to never criticise your GM personally, only things he has done. So never say BAD Your ...


33

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 ...


33

Whether the GM should run what I identify as an (N)PC depends on the DM and players. I do it all the time. It works well for me. There seem to be a few keys to success here. The (N)PC must not overshadow the PCs. I recommend multi-classing (if possible) since that allows the (N)PC to fill in holes, but not to dominate. The (N)PC shouldn't have a ...


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 ...


29

Well, for starters, I'd say don't use D&D. It is a game tailored towards violent conflicts, which is exactly what you're avoiding, it seems. Mind you, I said "violent conflicts". No story, thus no game, can exist without any conflict whatsoever. I'm not also saying it's completely undoable with D&D, just mainly... a waste of its design and practical ...


27

If talking through the problem with him - usually the go-to answer for this type of question - doesn't work, then you have to move on to the next step: impose consequences for his behavior. The best way to do this is to kick him out politely. Sit him down privately and say that games are meant to be fun for everyone, but he is clearly not having fun. ...


26

While I think it's awesome to award experience for in-character behavior, it's also very hard to quantify role playing into experience (how much gets you 100exp?) On top of that, in DnD, exp translates very observably to combat prowess - so it also makes sense to give other types of benefits. Good role playing should give good role-playing benefits. If the ...


26

These are all interpersonal problems rather than gaming ones. Here's how I'd handle each of them. Same Character I'd tolerate it. Not a big fan of this kind of behavior, but it happens. I think it's a roleplaying maturity thing. One thing I used last game might help you. I like the list of 100 questions about your character, but didn't want to ...


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 ...


25

This is a system transition issue, not a creativity issue. 4e is a very different system and that's okay, but it's not for everyone. There's a gap between the player and the system and your job as GM is to help facilitate bridging that gap. Your goal in this should not be to make the player conform to the system, but to help the player understand the ...


25

Ask them nicely. There's no uncertainty in the outcome of this encounter, therefore it's not interesting to resolve via chance. You, as DM, should either dictate or negotiate. There's no point in resolving it in game via the false illusion of choice and skill. Given that this is a narrative structure, negotiation can lead to character development, whereas ...


24

The question is: Is darkness an important element of the adventure? If yes, then torches may be a rare resource and it can be important to keep track of them. A sunrod could destroy some of the atmosphere and take some danger from the dungeon. If the focus lies on slaying monsters and grabbbing treasure, bookkeeping of torches and their duration may be a ...


24

In general, no, but it depends upon the game. In games where the GM plays an adversarial role or adjudicates rewards, also playing a character creates a conflict of interest. There will likely be questions of favoritism toward her own character. There's no getting around this. Even if the GM says she wants the players to succeed, then that suggests she may ...


24

When I run into this situation it is usually from a lack of context. The player doesn't feel his character has any reason to be in the situation they are in. The issue is more subtle than not liking the adventure's premise. The issue is that the player as his character doesn't feel any connection to the premise. The way to overcome this is to give the ...


24

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

Write the story as if the characters were not there. Make sure that all your NPCs have motivations, goals and personalities. This is what would happen if the world was run like clock work. This is your story. Now, add the characters into the mix. Let the story be modified by what the characters do. The NPCs will react, and depending on their ...


24

Aside from being unwieldly, prone to soda spills, sudden gusts of wind and players taking a peekā€¦? :-) Personal opinion: As nice as professionally-printed dungeon maps might be, personally I much prefer sketching the current part of the dungeon on scratch paper as the players advance. This has several advantages: it is clear to everyone that my sketch ...


24

For someone as nomothetic as you, there is only one option: Leave. I've been in your position. I've, in fact, written a paper (along with @CRoss and @mxyzplk) about different approaches to the rules. This group, as described, is intensely anti-nomothetic: they prefer the traditions of their group and their consensus simulation of a real rather than ...


23

Mounts have several advantages and several disadvantages, especially for adventurers. Here's one Texan's perspective on going horsed vs not. Advantages Ability to carry a lot more grub/gear/loot than you can yourself Keeps you from getting tuckered out from long marches (the horses may get fatigued, but you're still semi-fresh for a fight) Faster ...


23

My party also prefers to see dice rolled in the open, so I've had to learn to creatively doctor encounters myself. Change the Numbers Instead of changing your rolls, change the numbers you're adding to the rolls or comparing the rolls to. If you feel you have to justify this, perhaps monster's so mad it takes a penalty to attacks and defenses, or the party ...



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