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114

Reward the PCs with attention A group of level 2 PCs with a staff of the magi will soon find that everyone wants it. Many of these will be bad guys, but a few of them will be good guys. The GM can reward the PCs for their superior play by having the good guys contact the PCs and offer to take the staff off their hands for their own safety (instead of, for ...


78

While a lot of the other answers are perfectly valid and good ideas, I'd like to offer an alternative solution that hasn't been mentioned yet which can also work in some situations: deal with the problem out-of-game, not through DM fiat, but rather through admitting you made a mistake. DMs shouldn't be expected to be infallible. If you can explain to your ...


58

The problem The problem I had was: What do I do with all the "useless" rolls? Other answers on this question attempt to give these useless rolls a not-so-useless purpose. My answer attempts to help you reduce the rolls which you think are useless. The useless rolls are a result of the players picking up the dice and start rolling for checks that ...


58

For your players Use other solutions Intelligence is only one of 3 mental stats, and the one that refers mostly to book-learning, puzzling, connection-making and thinking stuff through. However, lacking it doesn't make you a bumbling fool; it makes you someone who solves problems in other ways. For example, if it's crucial that the characters know who ...


47

This isn't a rules problem, it's a diva problem. A player who wants the attention of the game focused on him and his awesomeness - by using attacks that let him dominate the battlefield and prevent other players from participating, or by getting upset and hogging your attention (via arguing about the rules) when he can't do so - is a diva, and needs to be ...


42

The Brinks Job, The Italian Job, Willow, or Charlie Varrick? the players worked their way through a series of fiendish traps into a high security vault, where they recovered a Staff of the Magi. Your low level PC's broke into a secure storage site and stole something extremely valuable. Hollywood is packed with this trope, a big heist and the ... uh ...


41

Make it be cursed. A very powerful item will make many adventuring parties suspicious, but if yours are just happy to go forward using it, they are in for a surprise. I would pick an "interesting" curse that makes them wary of using it but still leaves them (technically) with the option to do so. For example, every charge used could alert some extraplanar ...


38

All of you should leave and continue playing without this person. Someone so unreasonable as to laugh when everyone says they don't want them to DM anymore is not going to agree to anything that improves the situation by reducing their power over the group. So take the power away by doing something that doesn't need their cooperation: walk away and leave ...


33

The Dragon Needn't Be a True Dragon As Aaron's answer indicates, dragons that have appropriate CRs for the party will be at most Medium. Although that means the dragon could be, potentially, the size of a professional wrestler, for a dragon that's sort of... unimpressive. I suggest the following. Use a creature that could be mistaken for a dragon Were ...


33

Make it so that the curse is still tempting. He'll discover the curse, but make the item useful enough that the party will keep it around just in case the curse is worth it. Requirements or Drawbacks are good ways of doing this. A Sun Blade that causes a constant solar eclipse in a mile radius, a healing wand that moans in pain and requires you wound ...


33

One of the most important things for a DM to remember is to make failure interesting. Your players (and you) are there to have fun. Dying because you had a couple bad rolls isn't fun, it's just frustrating. And as you suggest, it's likely to discourage players. That said, that doesn't mean that there should never be a risk of failure in your game. If ...


32

There is only one thing scarier than a farmer with her flock of chickens... a sainted farmer, worshiper of the colonel with a flock of undead, flesh-eating chickens, here to sell you delicious chicken flesh. This idead inspired from this thread where: ... you are going to be playing a very different character than the cleric of a death god who has to ...


32

You should talk with the GM. The GM should kick the player out. The situation is clearly beyond the 'talking to people' point and several intermediate measures have been tried. The person the group unanimously doesn't want to play with is an jerk and you shouldn't play with them. Further intermediate measures will only allow him to damage the game ...


31

My group usually agrees that you need to touch the target with your hand to cast a touch spell on them, which mitigates a lot of real stupidity that can happen when you're taking touch spells too literally, so we usually count stuff that's "attached" to you as having the grappled condition (even if they're too small to actually grapple you, in which case you ...


30

A barbarian could trivially have a higher attack bonus. A fighter could too, but probably won't because there are better things he can do with his feats. And both will do more damage when they do hit. This is a perfectly average character, taking the feats that are expected of him. He's somewhat better, at this level, then some other classes might be, but ...


29

3.5 The defintiion of "living" according to the WOTC website D&D glossary and Monster Manual III's glossary on page 215. Living Any creature with a Constitution score is a living creature. Constructs and undead are not living creatures. Pathfinder (With thanks to Louis Huppenbauer) Jacob James: More or less... a "living creature" is any ...


29

There are two sections to the attack line, a name, and then the stats. I’m going to format the name in bold and the stats in italics: longsword +5 (1d8+2/19-20) Thus, the name of the weapon – which weapon it actually is – is just “longsword.” As in the generic, unmodified, non-masterwork, non-magic longsword (stats in the “One-handed Martial Melee” ...


27

Damage Reduction is not a penalty. Penalties are negative bonuses applied to a roll, e.g. for having low Strength. As such, your quote has nothing to do with the situation where you deal one-or-more damage, but the enemy has DR in excess of that damage (and you don’t overcome it). In that case, you do not deal any damage at all, nonlethal or otherwise. This ...


27

No, Pathfinder actually makes the balance quite a bit worse. The weakest classes got weaker, and the strongest classes got stronger. Changes to combat feats and combat maneuvers mean that the few mundane tricks the system had, are now much more difficult to pull off and are less useful when you do. Changes to magic items disproportionately hurt martial ...


26

I don't know if the V:tM players are familiar with D&D/PF, but if they're not, it would be a bit annoying for them to have to learn the rules, and it would put them at a disadvantage (enjoyment-wise) by the other players. What I think would be best for a one-shot game aimed more at creating nostalgia and memories is to use a system that none of the ...


26

Yes, wizards need to prepare spells multiple times to cast them multiple times. From the page you have linked: (If you've prepared multiple copies of a single spell, you can cast each copy once.) Think of it this way: When a wizard prepares a spell, it's like he's loading a bullet into the chamber of a gun. The bullet is the spell, and the gun is ...


25

Are you sure there's a problem? It sounds like the things that your players are doing are pretty legit, and not really overpowered. Remember that using the Violent Thrust option for Telekinesis consumes the spell all at once, and doesn't let you use either of the other options at the same time. The things that you're talking about all sound like sort of ...


25

Hell is the alignment plane for LE souls. Abaddon is the alignment plane for NE souls. The Abyss is the alignment plane for CE souls. Pharasma's judging process is not specified in the source material.


25

From the free Skull & Shackles Player's Guide. Repairing a Ship The fastest and easiest way to repair a ship is with spells. Mending is not powerful enough to meaningfully affect an object as large as a ship, but make whole affects a ship as if it were a construct, repairing 1d6 points of damage per level. So there's that. Other than ...


24

It depends on your style When I first ran my first game, I kept all the rules transparent. Barring some things that could reverse-engineer the NPC's I didn't want them to be able to gauge, I let every last thing be entirely known to them. "You need 3 successes (we were playing Shadowrun) at TN 6 to sink all the damage" There is nothing wrong with giving ...


24

Yes they do: Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race. -PRD Half-Elf Racial Traits


24

Magic items, aside from armor and weapons, doesn’t really even have a size, and just generally works for everyone, per Size and Magic Items: When an article of magic clothing or jewelry is discovered, most of the time size shouldn't be an issue. Many magic garments are made to be easily adjustable, or they adjust themselves magically to the wearer. ...


24

Disclaimer: I will look only at what the rules (Pathfinder, mostly) say about pricing this item. For an approach that takes the item's actual power into account, see KRyan's answer. It's severely underpriced The custom item creation rules for both D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder state that the item pricing tables are fallback solutions to be used when there ...


24

The situation you describe is often handled by some form or another of mass combat system, that allows you to convert a large number of creatures into a much smaller number of discrete combat units. I'm sure that such mechanics exist for Pathfinder, but I don't have an experience with them in that system. Here's what I would do. Treat the army as an ...


24

Malignant poison reads As a full-round action, the alchemist can increase the save DC of any poison by 4 and increase its duration by 2 frequency increments (for example, large scorpion venom lasts 8 rounds instead of 6 and drow poison lasts 4 minutes instead of 2). Additionally, malignant poisons take effect immediately and do not have an onset ...



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