Hot answers tagged

89

Alright, it sounds like you have a lot of problems going on here that I'm going to address individually using the ruleset that you've chosen for your game. First off, you're being taken advantage of. There's no easy way to say this, but your friend is attempting to take advantage of you during the course of this game that you're playing. An item to double ...


68

They did however love it and want to continue next week. I am afraid you have answered your own question. The first rule of playing RPGs (or anything) is to have fun, so just make sure you also have your share of it. Now, you are new players, so it is obvious you are going to spend time learning the system, learning how to play with each other, ...


65

In about 35 years of playing role-playing games, I have seldom witnessed anyone play 100% by-the-book. A few bits of advice: Don’t take the names of things too seriously. What really matters is the results of rules, not the names they use. The “in game” justification for a rule may be different from the “game design” reason. Unfortunately, many games only ...


55

It's up to you There are two play styles (with regard to this question at least), with their own drawbacks and advantages. The first is to keep the realms of the world (DM) and the player characters strictly separate. I use the term "Golden Box" to describe this. In Golden Box gameplay, the players cannot define anything about the world, including who an ...


54

"OK, you're refusing to accept the rules of the universe. What are the rest of you doing while he is arguing with the universe?" It really is that simple. You do not have to justify your rulings to him, and every time you argue with him you strengthen the impression (for him and the rest of the group) that his way is the only way to play, which would be ...


52

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 ...


50

Short answer: Tell this player that he can either play the game with the party, or go home and turn the cheats on Skyrim and play that if he feels like being a god character that doesn't need to bother following rules. Long answer: First: Frenzy and Rage can stack. The wording in Complete Warrior leaves no room for misinterpretation (CW pg. 34). Note ...


39

How To Learn To GM There are a variety of resources nowadays that can help you accomplish this. There are also many existing questions on this site about GMing that will point you to more content than you can ever consume. Watch In your question, you mention wanting to see more examples of real play. There's a number of ways to do so. Actual Play ...


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 ...


35

Welcome to roleplaying! I know it can be daunting; there are literally thousands of RPGs on the market as well as out of print ones that people still play. What is roleplaying? Many a roleplaying game has a "What is roleplaying?" section in the front, and they all have different takes on it, but the most common summary is that it's a formalized version ...


34

Ask him to leave While there are ways to create a social contract within a group, your problems sound severe. In many ways, it sounds like your objectives for playing and his objectives are quite different. When that happens, the best thing to do is to ask him to leave. My recommendation would be to phrase the request around the core of: "I'm sorry, but I ...


34

For D20/D&D3.5 - things like grappling/sundering/size disparity/jumping I often get it wrong.. so I would often rely a lot on the collective mindshare of the other players. If I come to a point that I can't remembrance, I usually offer something like "I seem to remember that it works this way.." give my solution and if nobody objects, well, that's the ...


34

You are correct Game Over is something that depends on the game. Outside of RPG you would think of Game Over either as the fact that you can't continue with the game as a player (some card or board games), you lose some of your progress but can try again (Video games with saves) or have to start over from scratch (saveless video games). The social contract, ...


33

Flat out tell them (as GM) that the best debriefing possible, after the mission has inevitably failed, is to blame the failure (likely, multiple failures) on the treasons of dead teammates who aren't there to defend themselves. Have a secret society order one PC to kill another, or to frame then kill them. If they don't do it, have their own secret society ...


33

The term for this is "narrative control." There are several approaches to narrative control in games. Back "in the day", most games (including all varieties of D&D up till now) reserve all narrative control to the GM, with players only having say over their own character's thoughts and actions. This sounds like what you're used to, and it's the usual ...


31

It all depends on tone. If the player challenging the GM is doing so in a constructive tone, which means that the player is trying to make the game world make sense -- the disease example is a good one for that -- then listen and make a ruling1 If the player challenges the GM in a style that is obviously PvP, or "I'm right you're wrong," or if there is a ...


30

To answer the primary point first: Sounds like you did a good GMing job, especially for a first time. The most important question is the one you answer yourself: Did your players have fun? (And the matching question, did you have fun?) If everyone's having fun then by definition you're all doing it right. With that said, some analysis of your more ...


29

Step 1: Forget "Writing Stories" If you come at GMing with an Author's mindset, you've just rendered your players little more than passengers on the railroad of your story. Write encounters. Have them be related, but not tightly interdependent. Write NPC's. Drop them into the right place when you need them. If the PC's kill them, erase the name, the ...


29

I've had similar challenges, both with getting group buy-in to try new systems and with getting people to feel comfortable GMing anything at all. My solution was a long-game process of changing the "landscape" of how people at the table viewed their role in the game. I didn't set out to deliberately address the challenges you're facing, but it's ...


28

The fluff is there to help you as the DM build a coherent fictional world. First, without any explanation even to the GM, "there's a bearded devil with an intelligent glaive in a cell" seems to not make a lot of sense. "But why didn't they disarm him?" "These guys are devils, why is a devil in a cell?" etc. PCs tend to investigate things and want to know ...


26

There's no easy way to tell how long an adventure will last. Sometimes they'll run through several adventures' worth of material in an evening, and sometimes they'll spend forever on what you thought was a minor task. Some reasons why material can take less time than you expect: The party thinks of a solution you didn't think of. Maybe you assumed the ...


26

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 ...


26

Firstly, have everyone who has never roleplayed before read Greg Stolze's How to Play Roleplaying Games. This is an excellent primer that takes the reader from zero knowledge of roleplaying apart from curiosity about it, to a fully fleshed-out idea of what it actually looks like to sit down and play a roleplaying game. Just having this knowledge will solve a ...


26

Talk "I don't want to discourage our GM by telling him so" is a strategy that won't help you change anything. Talk - first with the players to verify if there's a consensus and they really feel the same way as you do, and then confront the GM. The longer you postpone it, the more painful it'll get; it's better to deal with it sooner. Constructive ...


26

Of course it's okay. Games are made up by people like you and me; people like you and I are able to change rules just as well. That doesn't mean it's easy. Chapter 9 in the Dungeon Master's Guide is all about tweaking the game rules with options or your own ideas. It starts with some very good advice about the pitfalls of tackling rules design: Before ...


24

This looks to me like a case of expectation mismatch. Did you communicate the purpose and tone of the game to your players before you started? Are your players comfortable with this kind of game? Do you players want to play this kind of game? Ultimate the question to ask though is: Did my players have fun playing in this style? I looked at your ...


24

"You have completed your mission, but failed to identify, report, or execute any traitors who may have been on your team. The only logical explanation is that you are all traitors, collaborating in a conspiracy against The Computer. This debriefing chamber will now be filled with toxic gas. Thank you, and have a nice day." And what is this "completed the ...


23

The players cannot ruin the GM's narrative because this is a RPG not a novel. Storytelling in an RPG to the extent that it is not, in the eloquent words of Homer Simpson, "just a bunch of stuff that happens" takes place as a dialogue, not a narrative. The role of the GM is to provide the stage, the props and the extras, the role of the players is to provide ...


22

I'm gonna be the dissenting voice here, perhaps. I think there's definitely some kind of communication problem in your group. However, I also think he's playing more or less fine D&D. Stuff that is his problem Not being aware that he's annoying you. Being "too helpful" to your girlfriend so that she turtles. Not taking "what's good for the goose is ...


22

There's a few things you can do to help, but also ways you can unintentionally sabotage the game. Show respect This is the most important thing. You need to show, repeatedly and in front of the other players, that you respect his ruling even when it differs from how you'd handle it. There is nothing that will stop him learning as much as constantly having ...



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