Tag Info

New answers tagged

9

Don't worry about "support heavy." Do worry about Runepriest. And read up on the pedagogical technique of scaffolding. And go easy on the minions (even accounting for encounter for XP budgets). On your character mix: fighter and warlords are great. Runepriests are contraindicated. The fighter and warlord will be best buds, so long as they avoid the obvious ...


2

Surprised is referring to the "surprised" condition. Normally in an ambush, if the rolls to ambush succeed, the ambushers get a surprise round in which they can each take 1 action and the ambushed characters can't act. The ambushers also gain combat advantage against the ambushed. If a character has alertness, they don't grant combat advantage in that ...


1

I know that here, people love very long and detailed answers, but I apologize I can't afford it. Here is my two cents: You could take a look at the dungeons boss encounters in MMORPGs. Since the developpers make a lot of research in order to make the fight challenging and yet feasible by a well balanced team, I think there is a lot of inspiration to take ...


0

In any incarnation of D&D (and most proeminently in 4E) power goes up at the same rate as teamwork get's better. While it's true that a single powerfull character can break a game, a well balanced party can almost always throw some strategy that will crush the opposition, even on a non-optimized scenario. Since an encounter is not exactly just a fight, ...


9

Brutes And Soldiers slow down combat A Brute or a Soldier is fine, but more than 1 of either kind is simply going to drag things out. Soldiers tend to have very high defenses so the party will miss more often. Brute's have a lot of health which just takes awhile to drill down. They can often ofter some useful forced movement abilities, but almost always as ...


1

Perhaps consider throwing some natural elements into the encounter. Take the Players out of their element and give the opponents the upper hand. Rain and a muddy hillside, having to slowly clamber through sand pits to reach their nemesis. A fish should be no problem for an adventure to handle, until they are in the water with it. This will add a level of ...


1

Killing the character is so... straightforward. It lacks imagination, and imagination is what D&D is all about. Also, just killing them would rob you of a chance to do every DM's favourite thing: put your characters through hell. Notice, that's the character going through hell, not the player. If done right, the player will love it. Talk to the player ...


0

One other thought: Paladin of which god? Not all gods are Lawful Good. Some are just Good. Some are just Lawful. There may be some wiggle room there. See the item referenced about how to play a Paladin without being a goody-two-shoes. However, storytelling and role-playing are important. You have a character here who, for reasons that seemed good at the ...


1

Something Completely Different "Listen.. cough... the Yosritsi Prophecy... must not.. be fulfilled! * dies *" -Use it to add to the challenge - now they have to race to find out what the NPCs told the paladin that he struggled to give them some clues before he died! "Heh. Like you fools could stop the Yosritsi Prophecy from being fulfilled.. clearly I ...


10

A Radically Different Idea Your player had fun playing a greedy awesomedwarf? And now isn't having fun playing a Stop Right There! Paladin? Easy. Have him take that shit in-character. Whoa, whoa, what are you talking about? Simple. Have the paladin start to be dissatisfied with the course he's taking. Have him start bucking authority, becoming a ...


9

"there is no way around that". There probably is a way around it, but it depends exactly what you've set up. The PC could be eaten by a grue next session due to a series of bad decisions and/or dice rolls. The world would continue, even if those NPCs all die due to lack of that particular paladin. Options that might work depending on your plot and your ...


1

If the main issue the player has is playing a "boring" lawful-good paladin, the best suggestion is to make him, well, a less boring lawful-good paladin. Check out the answers to this question: How do I play a paladin without being a stick in the mud? for idea on how to play interesting paladins. Paladins can be fantastic characters to play once you ...


9

The cure I think the easiest remedy is to let him pick a new character, and make the paladin go with the group while you close all his plots and prepare a transition. You can also make the player control the two characters, or give the paladin to someone else. Talk to your players about the approach and tell them the situation is temporary. The prevention ...


-1

A Paladin is a zealous believer of his path and would usually even under the most stressfullest of situations stay true to his deity. If a Paladin converts, this is usually the result of a mind-shattering event, something of such emotional strength that it has a good chance of turning people insane. A bad night sleep, even if there was any deity, would be ...


2

The above advice is all very good, but I would also like to add another option. Over the years (been GMing since the early 80's) I've occasionally had players make characters that seemed like fun, but once they got into the game discover that they, for whatever reason, just didn't enjoy the character, they would let me know and I would usually go with one ...


5

Not much, save by DM fiat, also beware introducing chaotic evil characters to a non-evil party (or any party at all, for that matter) and expecting that party to continue adventuring. 3.5 Had the blackguard, which allowed high level paladins to swap moral absolutes (purely intentionally though, no accidental falls allowed), and just made low-level fallen ...


0

Brian stated it far better that I could ever could. If a certain mechanical aspect blocks your story and hurts the fun of your players, throw it away. But I do believe that there are other things to solve this idea which may be a little less drastic. Talk with the player It is my number one solution to most of the problems I've encountered: have a ...


13

How can I make the player happy again, and avoid having to kill the paladin? It seems to be a drastic change, so the best way seems to be to create a new character and play that. I'm not in favor of killing the old one though. There are a million ways to part ways and why would it always be death? As a paladin, he could be ordered to help fighting evil ...


5

Address the problem at the source: Retcon1 the story. If your players demand an in-story explanation, remember the origins of the owlbear: "A wizard did it." At the end of the day, all the participants involved are aware that the game that they are playing is a story. The cleanest solution, therefore, to an external (non-narrative) story influence that is ...


2

Never In general, there is almost nothing to be gained by rolling behind the shield unless you're not using the rules mechanics. Ok, bloody rarely There are a few cases, especially in old-school play, where the keeping of certain information hidden is worth the inherent distrust triggered by rolling behind the screen. If players should not know a ...


2

The idea of rolling behind the screen is to prevent the players from knowing whether or not they've succeeded - when the result isn't immediately obvious to the character. Examples include: Searching for someone (they shouldn't know if there's anyone there, or how well-hidden that person is) An Enemy Attacks (They shouldn't know how strong the enemy's ...


0

To add to some already great answers, I wanted to add my thoughts on the subject. In short, the main line of logic that will run through all of my answer is that you should decide for yourself according to the things you are trying to get out of the game. We participate in roleplaying games due to many different reasons. Some of us are there for the story, ...


11

One of my favorite things about the 7th Sea GM book is... Rule 1: There are no rules Rule 2: Cheat anyway As the DM/GM/ST nothing you do truly constitutes cheating but it takes away fairness in games where the outcomes are determined by dice or entropic factors. Ultimately, I find that regardless of the system, DM transparency is truly up to the DM in ...


4

There are already good answers that covers most of the cases when rolling can be useful. I will address it from a slightly different angle, that is, this specific question: If nobody can see the roll then I could claim that i rolled any number I require, right? You roll behind the screen because you don't want players to see too soon the outcome of the ...


16

Sure, you could cheat as a DM. However, in an ideal case, you're not playing against the players. :) You need to understand and practice that to gain their trust. And to gain trust (and lots of practice) in your own story-spinning abilities. You're playing a game together, a game that has rules than bind you as well... unless the story calls for you to ...


7

Sometimes Rolls Should Be Secret The point of rolling behind the screen is that you don't want the players to know what you rolled. This is most used in opposed checks and skill checks. Do they really need to know how well the NPC is rolling Bluff, or if they were seen while hiding by an enemy Spot? No. It's more fun if the players don't have perfect ...


9

Opposed skill checks When players are rolling diplomacy against an NPC, they are trying to bluff/deceive an NPC, or are trying to use insight to not be bluffed or deceived themselves and you choose to handle it through dice (vs. roleplay) you should roll for the NPC in secret. NPC actions occurring off-screen NPC actions may occur outside the current ...


4

There are two parts to be discussed when talking about the Laws of Magic in DFRPG - taken liberally from (YS232): The Social/Legal Aspect (The White Council and how others look at the Lawbreaker) A lot of what is covered by the rules of magic is in the details, and who is interpreting it. that is nuance, to be decided in game. There is a very great ...


1

I am going to share my ideas on gaming, from various systems over many years. While it does not directly address the OP's question per se. I think it might be helpful. Meta gaming is a reality of the process, how you handle it should be part of your gaming philosophy and you players should have a basic understanding of your philosophy. Here are some of the ...


2

Either talents would break the The Third Law of Magic and thus expose whoever uses it to mighty retribution if they are caught. The Laws do apply to all who do magic, and not only full member wizards as was demonstrated by Harry's apprentice being under the Doom of Damocles. Of course, this applies to human (and human only) and not to anything with ...


1

I don't like the "You don't remember anything" way. I use this method with my players (the game is Pathfinder, but I think this advice is quite general): I don't let know them the DC of the roll If they have success, I say them clearly useful informations ("trolls are weak to fire") If they fail, I say them some silly lore or wrong informations ("trolls ...


2

The core of the problem is that when this happens, the player has two choices: a) make their character act particularly ignorant about this thing b) connive some way for their character to figure it out Neither of which is fun. Another option, is to use your GM powers, and modify a small aspect about the monster. "Yes, you remember trolls are generally ...


4

This can be difficult in many games, since while it's all very well to tell people they have some sort of moral obligation to separate player and character knowledge, feeling obliged to compromise your character's safety or the party's goals in the name of "good play" can be an unfun catch-22 for some players. And of course acquiring all that player ...


6

Here's a range of options, suited to different playstyles. Also you can mix-and-match. "You Don't Know": If the player fails a roll, the GM says they don't know. This is probably the simplest approach. What about "botching?" Shouldn't you make it more than just "You don't know." Enh, maybe they still don't know. Even in games that feature special ...


7

The typical way to do this is to roll for the player where only you can see the result (such as behind a screen or your hand). Any time you are rolling for hidden information, you're justified in making the roll yourself. Looking for secret doors? You roll, and tell what they do or don't find. Racking their brains to remember something useful about trolls? ...


11

Be unpredictable The reason that the player can do this is that the rules are well-known. In order to avoid this problem, introduce some mystery. When the player rolls a skill check where the quality of the result shouldn't be known by the character, you should also roll (in secret of course). If your roll is in the high half of the die range, then treat ...


9

In D&D 4e, "fumbling" a skill check on a natural 1 is a house rule only. By the rules as written, a natural 1 on a skill check is not even an automatic failure, much less a fumble — it's just 1 less than a roll of 2. The critical hits and automatic misses introduced in D&D 4e are only in the context of combat, and nowhere else. (This is why ...


3

Save your Mechanics Changes for Experienced Groups You're a first time GM, and you had a lot of difficulty getting your group together. Do you really want to risk adding a broken mechanic to your newly formed group? An easy way to lose players is to have a power imbalance, because certain players will feel that their contributions are nonexistent, and lose ...


8

Making large changes to mechanics is a difficult and rewarding process. Most of the time, the problems that your designs will have won't be obvious until your players have banged on them a little bit. Messing around with mechanics is one of my favorite things to do in tabletop games, so here's a few things to keep in mind as you do it: Make sure you're on ...


2

Too much is if the players say it is too much The only limit to customization is what the players will accept. Although I don't play 3.5 much, I ruthlessly customize in other systems. It helps create exactly the type of game I want. I have never actually had any player object to the ammount of customization (though there are sometimes discussions about ...


9

I say, go for it, but with two important caveats: Get player buy-in Make sure the players are on board for the tweaks you're planning. Are they veteran players used to playing a certain way and might resent it? Do they have certain expectations you'll be breaking? Make sure you don't make unilateral changes to the system. Be prepared to rollback This is ...


0

Roll for shoes is the system I have used in this situation. It's very easy for you to game-master and it's very easy for muggles and kids to pick up and play without feeling like they're immersing themselves in some baroque super-geeky subculture. My kids enjoy it and we can pick it up and play at any time with almost no prep. I enjoy board games and even ...


1

I'm taking @mxyzplk's word that the official rules for Pathfinder offer no solution to your case and I'm going to cover the "what's the non official but good way to make this happen?" question. D&D 3.5e (which PF is based upon) had this rule where people joining the fight later got to act at the initiative count they would have acted if they had rolled ...


2

My take on this would be the following (though I'm not sure whether the RAW dictates the same): Roll an initiative for everyone - including those in C23 and C21, in this specific situation - at the beginning of the fight. (To speed up combat, roll a single initiative score for any and all "unexpected combatants" as well, and use that for anyone/everyone ...


14

You're right that the basic initiative rules just kinda assume everyone's in the fight at the beginning of the battle and don't say more than that, so the addition of late arrivals requires some interpretation. In general, as new arrivals become aware of and desire to participate in the battle, they should just roll initiative for the first round they're ...


2

Back in the day, I used initiative to determine what order things happened, and that included movement. (I did individual initiative each round, since I wanted a little more tactical feel.) I did a simple d10 roll, modified for Dex (Reaction/Attacking Adjustment, with the sign flipped) and for weapon speed (Speed Factor from PHB p. 38, divided by 3, ...


1

If there is one single thing that has made me a fairly good GM, it's... It's actually two things. I suppose I could boil it down to only one thing, but that would make things ridiculously abstract and unclear. Not very helpful. First, know thyself. I mean scrutinize yourself, the things you write and how you present it to the players. Analyze every ...


0

The time between adventures is commonly called downtime and how that time is handled is different from player to player. A way that works nicely for me is to let some time pass ingame between adventures so the characters have time to develop a bit. I ask the players what their characters have done in the meantime and I phrase it so that it's implied that ...


0

I've used a middle ground among these answers: I ballpark time when it's not critical, and when it is (in combat, or exploring a dungeon) I track time meticulously. Ballparking time is easy enough and doesn't require any paraphernalia. It feels somewhat awkward at first, but soon you get more skilled with estimates, communicating them clearly, and generally ...


1

Actually, I might be able to help you hear with a few techniques: Write down objectives for you and some basic character traits, but don't strap yourself into a given story. Players are unpredictable. They break your stories, rebel against any constraints, and they will always have a different mental image of the world than you do. The best way to combat ...



Top 50 recent answers are included