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159

I'm a consultant IRL, and run into this kind with every client I have - So, I have a standard practice in life: whenever I encounter a situation where someone has made an important declaration that I think might be in error, I say something like: "I think I'm confused." - I always assume that I might be wrong (even when I'm pretty sure I'm not.) I would ...


65

The game you want to run is not the game they want to play. Fundamentally, gaming is a consensual activity. You clearly have very strong views about what kind of game you want to play, strong enough to trump your annoyance with the rest of the players not playing that game. While it's not "wrong" to require justification, it will leave you without players ...


62

I don't think it's anything to really be dealt with, unless you object to the idea of torture in your games. Of course, there are detriments to using torture, which is why it's a case of last resort (or no resort) for many intelligence agencies. What detriments? People will say anything to get out of pain. You end up with a lot of dross to sort through, ...


61

This is not a direct answer to your question, but a suggestion that I feel is worth noting. Don't retcon past events, expand upon them. Instead of saying this never happened, say that it has. Exactly like it happened. But not because the player was drunk. Assuming your players are not omniscient, you can write things into the past, present and future of ...


57

Congratulate your player on solving a problem without fighting. Really. It does not often happen in FRPGs and yet even ancient cultures managed to avoid fighting most of the time. Talk to the group about whether they would like you to craft encounters where not-murdering-everyone was a viable solution. Incidentally this seems very much the way a bard ...


47

My girlfriend and I have played 4E D&D and she is completely blind. Here are some of the things I did to help her out: I obtained a PDF copy of the rules and copy/pasted enough of it so she could print enough of the core rules out in Braille. I also made a plain character sheet for her as well that was also printable in Braille. I bought her a set of ...


44

Check This Part Thieves and gamblers, fast talkers and diplomats, bandits and bounty hunters, and explorers and investigators all might be considered rogues, as well as countless other professions that rely upon wits, prowess, or luck. Although many rogues favor cities and the innumerable opportunities of civilization[...] Class fluff is, for the most ...


43

Sometimes a skill-focussed player can bypass entire obstacles with that skill. This is a shining moment for them (which you don't want to step on), but boring for the rest of the group. The general principle I'd follow here is "Yes, but...", useful throughout GMing: Don't say no, but do say what obstacles arise as a result. First, take a look at the ...


39

There are a ton of issues with that. That doesn’t automatically mean it’s the wrong move, just that it’s fraught with problems. Ultimately, most people feel that roleplaying works best when everyone, ya know, plays a role. As in, behaves as their character would, based on what their character knows, rather than how they would, based on what they know. This ...


35

Let's say I have a campaign where I want to put the players in a challenging spot by putting them in a no win situation and having them captured and stripped of their equipment (assuming they might get it back as they make their escape, so as not to complete make the players mad.) If this is not a natural consequence of previous actions ...


35

Whether the GM should run what I identify as an (N)PC depends on the DM and players. I do it all the time. It works well for me. There seem to be a few keys to success here. The (N)PC must not overshadow the PCs. I recommend multi-classing (if possible) since that allows the (N)PC to fill in holes, but not to dominate. The (N)PC shouldn't have a ...


34

Alignment is a mess, particularly Law and Chaos I am almost certain that you will never find two people who define Law and Chaos exactly the same way. The books definitely don’t; there are actually different definitions of each such that the same action or person could be equally described as Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic, because the different definitions ...


33

Each Game Is Different It sounds like your problem is with 'play style'. You want a game where your cool scouty guy can go and scout, scrag a few guards, and get the players into the enemy fortress with none the wiser until the alarm gets raised - when the players are already in the mage's sanctum. Killing him. Messily. Instead, what you've got is ...


30

Player creativity should always be rewarded! Adding on to what RS Conley has written (and it is an excellent response), as a player of a campaign, you never, ever want to feel like you're non-participatory. As the master of the campaign, it's your responsibility to adapt to good, solid role-playing. If the players are clever enough to outfox a given set of ...


29

The caller is an archaic role that is only relevant when the play group is very large. And by very large, I don't mean six or eight players, I mean ten or sixteen. Our sense of what a "large" group is has adjusted drastically downward since BD&D was written, and consequently the purpose and utility of a caller is no longer obvious. The gameplay ...


26

It's probably useful to distinguish between playing more than one character sequentially and more than one character at once. I'm assuming from your question that you mean at once. I'd say it's acceptable any time your group is comfortable with it. Some games explicitly call for this: Apocalypse World gives players the ability to play multiple PCs as part ...


26

If you forgive me, the odds are that this is a perception thing, not a reality thing - unless you own biased dice. The sane way to determine which is true is test, test, test: take a dice, and roll it a thousand times. Keep a tally of how many times you roll each number. That will do one of two things: Most likely, it shows that there is no substantial ...


26

The Barbarian is known to be a more powerful class than the Swashbuckler. The Barbarian is a so-called "Tier 4" class, the Swashbuckler a "Tier 5" class (see the Tier System for Classes). Parts of the definitions of the involved tiers are "Capable of doing one thing quite well" (Tier 4) and "Capable of doing only one thing, and not necessarily all that ...


25

In general, no, but it depends upon the game. In games where the GM plays an adversarial role or adjudicates rewards, also playing a character creates a conflict of interest. There will likely be questions of favoritism toward her own character. There's no getting around this. Even if the GM says she wants the players to succeed, then that suggests she may ...


25

Experienced players talk about their expectations There is no “Goldilocks” here that works for everyone in every game. Each player, each group, each system, each setting, and each campaign are going to have different expectations. Those expectations may very well be totally different in the next campaign. So the right thing to do is to talk to ...


24

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 ...


24

Well, obviously, there's the Dragon Ball option. Somehow a Bigger Bad shows up, hands them their asses (that can be tough, though) and sends them back to the training montage. Also in the same vein is the "invulnerable" monster. Not unbeatable, but not without some element that will send them on a quest. To take a popular example, think Harry Potter and the ...


24

Sometimes combat is just long and boring. Try a more exciting game system, or house-rule the more long and annoying parts. Some game systems are tuned towards long combat rounds and grind. There's some system specific tips out there for speeding combats, see Speeding Up Combat for 3.5 as an example. Time limits etc., not going to list them all here as ...


23

Roles Really Aren’t That Important in 3.5 To begin, spells are the most powerful class feature in the game. Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 doesn’t really care much about roles: you will be more powerful the more magic you have. You will never be more powerful going for a non-magic class, even if the rest of your group is already magical. So I call ...


22

Stefano, I am a GM and one of "those" players. The main thing that makes me hesitant and generally concerned about my character gets killed comes from a few sources: The few times I have died have been a result of a bad roll and not the result of heroics or stupidity on my part Many GMs claim, "I am not trying to kill the PCs, they won't die unless ...


22

I think you're always OK to say "Hey, shouldn't it be X instead?" No one gets offended at this unless the person is coming off like a know-it all (e.g. "Well I rolled this instead because per the book that's what it is nyah"). Maybe it's a mistake, maybe it's a specific thing to that encounter, maybe it's a house rule, maybe you're wrong, whatever. If you ...


22

I would say this is bad practice. You've just had the players roll alertness when they should be rolling empathy. Say one of your characters has Empathy as a Superb skill. They get a huge bonus on the roll. Say they also have only an Average Alertness. You've just denied them a +4 on that roll and they don't even know it! (If they find out they will be ...


22

This exact setup happens all the time in movies, so let's examine how they handle it. If they are the only character, then as a GM, completely tune the story to them. They shouldn't have to do hacking, or at best they have to shoot their way in to where the Russian hacker who already knows stuff is. James Bond doesn't use keyboards. Avoid his minimums ...


21

Our very own Graham Walmsley has a book on this very subject: Play Unsafe. The core idea is to always build on others' contributions, never trying to block or frustrate the stuff that other players throw into the game. This creates a wonderful forward momentum where a lot happens fairly quickly, with high player investment and a large degree of the ...


21

I've gamed with my kids, I think most importantly you have to look at RPG gaming as you would playing a board game or any other "traditional" gaming. #1 you should be having fun and using the time together to create future fun memories. How would you act if you play Monopoly, or Sorry, or Scrabble with your kids? Obviously you try to win and do it in a ...



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