Hot answers tagged

131

Don't run the campaign It is often important (but not always) for the party to have a preexisting, long term reason to stay a party. It is especially important in situations like this, with non-standard parties. Unless that reason is part of your pitch, it is incumbent upon the players to come up with that reason. Your Options Make it a One-Shot So you ...


113

I had a quick look around because I felt sure this would have been asked before but I can't find anything that would qualify as a duplicate. Short answer - go for it. I started playing in 1980 with a group of friends none of whom had ever seen or heard of a game anything like D&D. We made it up as we went along, had lots of fun and some of us still do. ...


93

"Fine, then we just won't play." "OK." Call their bluff, whether you think it's a bluff or not. If they're bluffing, they do want to play and will buckle down and figure it out if they have to. If they're not bluffing, they don't really want to play anyway and you've dodged a bullet. (GMing for a group that doesn't really want to play is a ...


78

I think it boils down mainly to the winning two step formula of Invite females to play Don't be a dick to them when they do Step one should be fairly self explanatory, but for some reason many people worrying about this topic skip it. Try it, it works. My roommate was talking to a manager lady at work about an unexpectedly shared interest in Babylon 5, ...


78

The game you want to run is not the game they want to play. Fundamentally, gaming is a consensual activity. You clearly have very strong views about what kind of game you want to play, strong enough to trump your annoyance with the rest of the players not playing that game. While it's not "wrong" to require justification, it will leave you without players ...


68

My suggestion would be to have the characters disappear through the portal like the leaving players requested, but in the process leave behind a set of evil twins (or perhaps good twins, as the party sounds like it might be an evil one to begin with) who promptly attack the party. That way the remaining players can still kill and loot (or capture, loot, and ...


60

It sounds like you already know the answer to your question. :) Leave the game. Life's too short. The only reason you need should be "we're not having fun in this game". If you really don't feel comfortable saying that, I've seen players quit games with excuses like "it's summer and we want to be outside more" or "we have a scheduling conflict".


57

If your players are playing their characters then you are a really lucky GM, and you should be proud of them. But yeah, I understand. We've spent ages preparing an encounter for the group. We've gone over all their possible approaches dozens of times and put stuff to gently railroad them into the right places to cover every eventuality. And yet still, the ...


57

So here's my issue: I like my character, I like our party, and I don't want to pull a 180 on my character and make him nice or throw away important motivations for him. Well, it sounds like your character just may be evil, or at least on the evil side of neutral. That doesn't mean he has to do evil things, especially if he has a reason not to. And, if ...


56

You're not having fun. Since the entire point of role-playing is to have fun, you need to do something about it. In particular, it sounds like the character he's playing (called a GMPC) is seriously distracting him from his GM task of running a fun story for the other players at the table. You have several options, depending on whether you're willing to ...


55

The DM is charged with making rulings on a huge variety of things that go on in the course of playing the game. You can make your case for why you think it should be a given way, and then await a ruling. Once the ruling has been made at the table, the DM is right.(1) During play, accept that and then press on as the other players wish to play for fun ...


54

Ask more generally about their comfort boundaries Tell the party that you have some ideas you think might be crossing the line, and ask them where they'd like the line to be drawn. In that context you might even give examples and include something similar to your idea as just one of several. Throw in a scaled-down version as a test Use the general concept ...


54

There are a ton of issues with that. That doesn’t automatically mean it’s the wrong move, just that it’s fraught with problems. Ultimately, most people feel that roleplaying works best when everyone, ya know, plays a role. As in, behaves as their character would, based on what their character knows, rather than how they would, based on what they know. This ...


49

Just to add to something others have been saying: If there is any secret information in the game, then Pass notes to every player, constantly! Occasionally scribble random gibberish like "Look at this paper and smile knowingly." and pass it to a random player. Make sure everyone gets used to it as "one of your GM quirks". Mix this up with meaningful ...


48

Sounds like you have a couple separate issues mixed in together. Uneven Spotlight Time If only some characters are engaged in the planning, make sure and spread the spotlight time around to the others. After 5 minutes of the planning characters doing their thing, go around to the other characters and get 5 minutes of what they're doing, don't let the ...


47

Two words: Dramatic Exit Though others adequately attempt to help with the group dynamics, I'll answer the question as asked instead: "How do I quit a game gracefully?" and work my way around to the same place. Work within the fantasy. Make appologies to the GM and offer to work with him/her to make it work within the story of the game. Make your last ...


46

The first thing you need to do is figure out whether this problem needs to be resolved in-character or out-of-character. Is the warrior's player doing this because the player enjoys this kind of PvP activity? Or is he doing it because he thinks it's what his character would do? If it's the latter, then you should take a look at My Guy Syndrome, then use ...


46

It's ok if it's ok with you. But from your question I'd say you are not 100% cool with it. D&D, like many RPGs, boils down to a conversation between the DM/GM/Narrator and the player(s). The DM describes the scenario. The player describes what his character does. (Possibly dice are rolled) The DM describs the results, how the scenario is changed. This ...


40

You've only talked about retaliatory responses to players who step out of line. Have you tried a group conversation before the game, so everyone can set parameters and know what they are? That works a lot better than punishing them for crossing lines they didn't know existed. This is especially important with horror games. Suspense, dread, terror, and the ...


37

NO It's not overkill, it's awesome. I just used the SPT to kick off a new group. Most (4 of 7) had never played before, and one thought that D&D was some sort of board game. We had a get-together before the first session where we just hung out and talked about media - what games, tv shows, books, etc., we liked and what kind of stuff we would want to ...


36

Female gamer geek, checking in with 2 cents... It's okay to treat women/girls like "one of the guys" -- as a matter of fact, it's preferable. Walking on eggshells around us is just as much unwanted attention as never taking your eyes off our breasts. Ignore people who suggest you have to communicate differently, be PC, etc. to get female players: the ...


36

In a game where logistics and character death aren't core parts of play, putting pressure on them to keep logistics discussions to a minimum is necessary. "For every 5 minutes you spend planning realtime, an [hour/day/week/whatever's appropriate] goes by game time. Over 10 minutes realtime and I start checking to see if the enemy gets wind of your plans and ...


36

As with any motivational approaches, there's the carrot and the stick. You have to be careful to not simply be permissive of the late behavior, or else you won't incentivize the people who are showing up on time to do so. Start at a known time and allow a buffer. On our group we have a "doors open" time and a "game" time, to allow for people to show up ...


35

No. You probably have opportunities in life to enrich yourself unjustly. And you probably don't. Character A is no different from you. But it sounds like you have a problem, not just a question: It sounds like the two factions of players are playing two different games. I won't even label the two games, nor characterize them. Suffice it to say that at a ...


35

This answer includes a frame challenge. 0. Let go of the fallacy of perfect balance. What I am looking for is a good resolution, or compromise, so that my players don't feel slighted and no one ends up with very high or very low numbers, creating overshadowing or spotlighting issues. Oddly enough, over the years that I played "roll 'em up" ...


34

We had this happen once. She always said it was her character. Eventually, in the middle of a dungeon, she tried to loot another (unconscious) player's body. The rest of us knocked her character out, left her to get eaten by the giant insects, and took the other unconscious PC to get healed. That was us responding in character. We invited her to create a ...


33

Switch to Paranoia. Paranoia is an RPG where the players are expected to backstab (and occasionally frequently frontstab) each other. If you die, just pop out one of your backup clones. This way the players can play the game they want to play without hurting (and in fact improving!) the overall session. Then talk to them. If you want to run a serious ...


33

Let people talk While experienced groups often have a rule that says "keep out-of-characters banter to a minimum", that can go out the window for a fresh group of strangers. Give people chances to chat. That means keeping a big gap between "everyone is here" and "let's start the game", so people can get to know each other. It also means pausing the game for ...


31

As noted, this is a player decision rather than a GM one. However, here is the system that one of my groups used to good effect in the past: Loot is pooled until the end of the night or adventure (although particularly powerful upgrades may be lent out on a temporary basis). Calculate the total sell value of the pool of items (that is, how much the players ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible