Hot answers tagged

111

The easiest way is to stop giving out XP at all. D&D very prominently features the so-called milestone rule in their Hoard of the Dragon Queen/Tyranny of Dragons adventures. They later refined that into the "Story-Based Advancement" rule that can be found in the DMG page 261, "Level Advancement without XP". They also introduced something else also ...


58

The short answer is, “Yes, it is possible.” That’s an almost-meaningless answer, though, because just about anything is possible in a Dungeons and Dragons game, if your DM/group goes for it. The rules are fairly flexible, and on top of that, the DM is free to change, add to, remove from, or ignore the rules as he or she sees fit (and, ...


47

When I've played (or joined in others playing) these quiet characters, the best way to run them is have an almost noir style internal monologue. "I looked at the wall, and frowned. I wasn't certain, but there might be something behind it. Best not to mention it though, I'd look like a chump if I was wrong." is much more interesting than. "..." ...


47

Two possible solutions: If the problem player continues to hunt ahead of the party on his own, sooner or later he'll get in over his head and run into a large Troll or band of Orcs. At which point he'll wish he had more backup! If he's lucky he'll only lose a bunch of hit points before retreating. Not so lucky, he'll be captured or killed. Either way, ...


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 ...


31

I set a limited numbers of must, might and should rules for character creation. Those generally look like: Your character must agree to do X — plot of the game. For example, work for Black Mesa, help NPC X, need work because of repayment on space ship, yadda, yadda… Your character must have Y — linked to theme of the game. For example, be a known hero, ...


26

Try this one: every PC has one chit representing a "+1" bonus to any roll. They can only use it once for session, and they can only use it to influence some other PC's roll. Make it a +2 if the Player can come up with a reasonable explanation. E.g.: I cover him with suppressive fire while he sprints toward the enemy (+1/+2 to dodge) While she tells her ...


25

Yes, it's quite possible. Stuff to keep in mind, cloaks of the walking wounded, faerie companions from themes, and the skald multiclass are critical. The skald gives a floating encounter heal, the faerie beasts give meatshields, and the cloaks make second wind heal 2 surges. The trick with this party is that they should be able to kill their opponents ...


24

An all spell caster party already has balance built into it. They can pretty much do whatever they want. Situation arises where they need a lot of meat shields? Summoning spells or animating the dead. A bunch of magical weapons and armor are coming their way and threatening to beat them dead? Dispel and Antimagic Zones. Lost of casters attacking them? ...


22

I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago, in the role of the newly-come player. The party, all around 20th level and with a couple of years of familiarity with the world, had found my new character embedded in magical rock and awakened me deep inside a Drow city. Now, the DM had to work on integrating me with the party and with the world. There ...


22

Talk to your players about your constraints as a GM Ultimately this is an issue where the party as a group of human individuals playing the game will need to make concessions in their play approach to the limitations of you as a human individual GMing the game. In a perfect world you'd be able to respond to their decisions instantly, allowing you to juggle ...


22

"Please Don't Do That." Players are not born with the knowledge that meta-gaming is [often considered to be] harmful. Not all of them, anyway. But I've found that the vast majority of players, once asked or coached gently a few times ("How exactly does your character know that?") are perfectly capable of performing the mental fire-walling necessary to ...


22

I've got a buddy at work... we watch Game of Thrones together. My lasting college friends were all on our Ultimate Frisbee team together. 5e's got this too... Downtime Activities. The one tool I've best used to encourage the growth of PC-PC relationships is those characters' downtime activities. In one group there's a pair that like to run Three-Card Monty ...


21

While some groups may accept an authoritarian structure, my experience has been that, for most groups, it is better to recognize that, even though one character is in charge in-game, all of the players are still equal out-of-game. So you and I would still be able to discuss plans or decisions out of game, even if my character must obey your character ...


21

It's going to be a while before we collectively have enough experience to answer this definitively, but based on my limited experience (and having read pretty much the whole PH on a long flight without anything else to do...), I think the answer is that you really want the healing role covered, but it doesn't have to be by a cleric or paladin. Without ...


21

I know you asked specifically about in-game methods, but in-game methods for altering player behavior are notoriously unreliable. If you punish the character for scouting ahead, the player is less likely to realize why everything is suddenly so hard, and more likely to assume you're just a mean DM. This sounds like a problem that needs to be talked out out-...


20

The best game with a system for party cohesion I've seen is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay's 3rd Edition. As part of character creation, the players collectively select a 'Party Sheet' that describes the nature of their party. A number of different party sheets (such as 'Swords for Hire' or 'Servants of Justice') are included in the rule set, each with their ...


20

Use out-of-character discussion to let the other players know you're engaged and not bored. This is more important in online gaming because you don't have any body language, eye contact, or other social cues to work with. In particular, tell them that you're playing a loner. Engage with the group in-character privately, when NPCs aren't around. Keep your ...


20

Things don't really work all that well without a dedicated healer. But there are some things you can do to work around it. The first and most obvious would be to provide plentiful healing potions. Your heroes should be able to find, and purchase, these fairly easily (maybe even at a reduced price, make up a story reason if you need one). For the first few ...


20

I see several easy ways to fix that: Split XP between all the members of the team (it's not clear if you already do that) Don't reward with XP easy confrontations. What an "easy" confrontation is should be considered at the scale of the whole team. It will make "farming" dangerous, so if a character needs power he has to get the help of the others. Stop ...


19

To preamble this answer with some experience, I've been a fan of the Witcher Saga for over a decade, played and run RPGs in that setting and I don't think I have to mention the video games. The official RPGs suggested (back in the old days) one witcher per group, but there are ways to distinguish between a couple. Geralt was great at everything, being the ...


18

Here are the steps I would take: Make sure you understand the group's current goals. Get together with just the new player and work together to design a character that has at least one common interest with the other characters. Still with the new player, design a scene where the new player meets the party. On your own, design a scenario where the new ...


18

Generally... no. You shouldn't need to give up your character's integrity. There's usually alternatives and compromises available. Now, there is My Guy Syndrome, which is that you'll do unfun things because "it's what my guy would do", without realising you have a choice there. There's also Making the Tough Decisions which is "you can shape your character ...


18

The magus is, ultimately, a fancy fighter. But the differences matter. For the basics, the magus gains four major class features: Spells. One way of thinking about the magus is that the magus uses spells like the fighter uses feats, accepting per-day restrictions in exchange for greater power and much greater variety. This is true, but spells also mean ...


17

One way of handling this situation is to create characters as a group. Rather than coming to the table with your sheets already made, take a session and built the team together. It's easier to encourage diversity at the concept stage than to tell someone with a built PC that they have to start from scratch. Moreover, you can be there to ask questions like, "...


17

The goal is to build an incentive system where "I'm going to farm for a while" yields less XP than "we're all going to advance the adventure together". That way, adventuring together is the most effective way to get more powerful. Step one, disincentivize solo farming. Every build has a counter. He's stealthy? Monster with blindsight. Wizard with alarm's ...


16

It's often easier (and generates more interesting stories) if there's some pre-design criteria designed to link the characters. However, it's not necessary, you can do "random folks" games fine. There's often some element of metagaming to them - most traditional D&D campaigns started with various different people in an inn and some guy shows up '...


16

The magus blends both the mage’s arts and the warrior’s arms with devastating results, slicing apart foes and blasting them with eldritch f lames[...] (Ultimate Magic, pg.8) Role: Magi spend much of their time traveling the world, learning whatever martial or arcane secrets they can find. They might spend months learning a new swordfighting ...


15

No, you cannot use a Revenant Assassin as a high-damage striker. Original Assassins have fantastic mobility, interesting secondary effects, and absolutely worthless damage (a thought explored in both practice and theory). Roughly speaking, you'll want your striker's DPR to fall within (8*Level+24)/4 and (8*Level+24)/2. To calculate DPR, use the following ...


15

One "rule" that always works is to begin character creation with the requirement that the characters be an established group with a particular purpose. It's up to the players to decide what their group and purpose is, but it must be reflected in their character's creation and backstory. Non-exhaustive examples are a merchant team, a squad of soldiers at war, ...



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