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 ...


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, ...


38

Don't make it your problem. Make it their problem. (The players). If you don't want to run a split party, since it increases DM work load, then before the next game session begins you need to tell the players that you are not interested in running two games instead of one. Core reason: DM's are allowed to have fun too. Then, as you suggested yourself, ...


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 ...


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

"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 ...


22

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 ...


22

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-...


21

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 ...


19

When a character leaves the party, the right thing is usually to make that character an NPC. Offer the player the opportunity to bring in a new character to join the party (with the same experience and gold). This lets you preserve the character's decision to leave the party, but also lets you keep the group together. In my games I have a rule which is ...


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 ...


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 ...


13

No. There is no rule requiring that all characters in the group be the same level. Additionally, it's not uncommon in organized official Adventurer's League play to be at a table where each character in the group is a different level within the intended tier of play for that adventure. The gap in character advancement should narrow naturally over the ...


12

What you're asking about is meta-gaming, when a player uses information the character does not have. There are a few different ways you can approach it. Prevent It When the characters split up, the players split up. If one group of characters is doing something the other characters should not be privy to, make the other players leave the room. This works ...


12

The solution somewhat depends on what the other players are using the "downtime" for. If they are all pushing for short rests between combats to use their hit dice for healing, then a Cleric of the Life Domain is particularly good. In terms of mass healing for cheap, you might consider a single level of druid, or two levels of Ranger, with remaining ...


11

So, there are a number of problems here. 1. Poor class design First of all, your party’s choices of class are problematic: all of them are difficult-to-use classes, where a naïve approach to them, attempting to use them to create the characters they’re described as, tends to work poorly. The exception there is the bard, but even the bard, as jack of ...


9

Is it necessary? No. But nor is it necessarily optional. On the one hand, My Guy Syndrome is a real thing; It's entirely possible to play a character in a way that makes the game worse for everyone. On the other hand, forcing a player to play their character in a way that they don't enjoy is also a real thing, and hurts the enjoyment of that player - and, if ...


9

Be A Diva You are essentially looking for some way to handicap your pure-kill potential, and you're looking for some way to act that will generate that. There are an unlimited number of ways to do this, here are some that are famous and/or have worked for me: Lazy Hercules Syndrome: I once rolled up a 2e character that was hell on wheels compared to the ...


8

Play the encounters as if they were balanced for a party. A single character should then logically be handed their backside on a plate and either retreat or die. If you are designing encounters in such a way that a single clever player can defeat them then IMO the PC is entitled to the XP and the problem is that the DM is failing to produce a challenging ...


8

I disagree with the others saying you should try to bring the characters back together. Then again, I also do not believe in "My Guy Syndrome" as being a bad thing. That said, I think the fairest solution to this is that you - as the DM - are telling a story with the players. This character has chosen to leave the group, and is therefore no longer part of ...


7

Since you said he is an old friend, maybe he just don't know exactly what a defender is supposed to do (Put the monsters on a hard choice between attacking someone who have better defenses, or take a harsh punishment), and instead tried to make a "tank" as defined by the previous editions (Have a huge AC, have a ton of HP) and expecting the monsters to ...


7

There are a multitude of things you can do, but make sure your DM is prepared to allow for the pulling of punches. I think a seasoned guide is a great way to look at it. First off, there's no rule that specifies that you can deal less damage than you rolled or that you can use less dice than indicated, other than to leave things alive when you down them. ...


7

Usually the right answer is to not let the players split the party. Splitting the party means that all the players whose characters aren't in the scene will be bored. They might disconnect from the game, start checking their phones, et cetera. You, as the DM, are part of every scene, so you might not realize how boring this is for the players whose ...


7

The core of the issue As far as I can see, the most common cause of this issue is that the players don't feel the need to roleplay the sort of relationships you're after, because as far as they can tell, their characters have little reason to feel that way about each other. As DM, you can't tell the characters how to feel, but you can put them in situations ...


6

The bulk of RPGs are not only about group storytelling. They are about creating a story about a group. However, players sometimes need reminding. Try that first, and say that you are not keen on running a story about 2 separate parties. Your reasons might be that it will divide the time you can dedicate to each party, and also increase the amount of prep ...


5

My answer is... maybe. The question to me is "What game are you playing?" I'm not talking about game system here, either. You are apparently using D&D or Pathfinder in this example. That's irrelevant. There are a large number of ways to play D&D. In some of those games getting more loot IS the point and inter-character conflict is anathema. In some ...


5

Pretty sure there's a million of these questions floating around, and the number one answer is always: kill them while they're sleeping. If you have access to poison, that's helpful to do so, but killing them in their sleep is virtually always the way to go. They're defenseless and you can bypass a lot of worrisome mechanics and go straight to victory. ...



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