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122

You are about to start a new campaign. You need to pause the world and have the same conversation, GM and players, as you would at the beginning of any campaign. What kind of setting is this, what themes will you envision tackling, what's your playstyle? It sounds like you started in a "typical" magic-but-low-tech setting. The setting has now changed. This ...


82

So, how do I get out of the vicious circle? Stop doing the thing that's causing it. You diagnosed this yourself: It's probably the worst issue I have as a Game Master, I think of a Game, I write a campaign plot for it, End, Beggining and Middle, get Hyped, Hype my players, and after 2 months I want the story to end, and it's usually too late to make ...


71

Short answer: You do not. You say that he does not fit in with your plans as a DM. But the thing about being a DM is NOT that you tell a rigid story that your players walk through: instead you put them in a series of situations, see how they react and frantically try to fit your story to it. I understand that your story is your baby and the PCs all try to ...


64

It Will Only Change The World if You Let It - which might be fun How should one DM proceed if his or her group manages to seize control of a superweapon that could change the lives of the entire world? Is it a wise decision to let it roll, or should I take rid of it the sooner I can? First, a rhetorical question. How should a DM proceed if his ...


58

Don't. This is something I started to do in my campaigns. When the players derail the plot, I build a new one for them to follow. If they want to focus on how the bad guys have tech that isn't public knowledge, they can. They're ignoring the larger problem of "oh crap, zombies" while doing so, however, so simply let the rest of the world go on into decay as ...


45

There's always something bigger: pit that against the party. 17th level is pretty high in Pathfinder, but it's far from the level cap. Sure, the party is now capable of vaporizing pretty much anything on land. Even if the disgruntled nations of the world band together to shoot something at the orbital platform like what happened in C&C 3, like a missile ...


41

Having players that are willing to spend time and effort outside of the gaming session preparing and planing is rare, do reward them. I think you should let the LOMC work spectacularly. It works exactly as planned, no side effect just bullseye and one hundred per cent success. Let the LOCM survive the initial use, and be ready to fire again and again and ...


39

Being a Killer GM is just as bad as being a Murder-hobo player The only real way to frame this answer is to show it in a similarly inglorious light and hope to highlight why your initial instinct is wrong. As much as players have a responsibility to make their characters interact with the world you create; as a DM you also have a responsibility to actively ...


32

Players are often stuck because they simply don't know what they should do. Percival's message deals with player engagement very well, but I'd like to offer a slightly different take on this question. If you can't figure out how the plot might be solved, players definitely won't Players' ingenuity often amazes GMs, but you can't assume they will figure out ...


28

Personally, I think this is a great idea. My players would be absolutely taken aback by such a development -- and they would love it. I understand your being concerned about being unfair to the players. But I think the fairness of it has to do with what the players' expectations are. In other words, how story-driven is your campaign? How much of it is ...


28

Story issues I think the transformation of your character could well work out the way you described it, but I think for such a basic and deep change to your characters morality and basic alignment you also need a very strong motivator/cause. For Anakin that was fear of the loss of the ones he loves, catalyzed by the death of his mother, a vision of his ...


27

You have an active engaged player. Run with it! I can tell you from experience that if you railroad them back onto the tracks, they are unlikely to ever be as engaged about your campaign again. If you want to tell a story without outside input, write fiction. Dungeons & Dragons is a Role Playing game, the player should be allowed to agency to control ...


24

Keep asking your wife :) Really though, that is your best option. You will always overlook things outsiders to the game will notice, simply because you might have an X number of ways of how the story could develop in your mind. So your best option is to work with someone who is outside the game and whose imaginations on things like that will not be limited ...


23

Well Lithe, I'll take a stab at your little problem as one of my favorite things to include in the game is a bit of moral grey area. 1) You have to remember that most of the time, people will automatically assume that those that work against them in anything but the most passive ways as the "bad guys" and usually even the good guys will do something ...


23

Be consistent: make tactical retreat a normal and important part of play First, Dungeons & Dragons, particularly later editions, has as the default assumption that a challenge put before players is intended to be one they can overcome, a combat they get in is one they can win. Particularly when that challenge or combat is perceived to be one the DM ...


22

Developing new products in secret is what corporations are supposed to do. If they have something and you don't, it might just be time to put more resources into R&D. Remind your players of that. Also remind them that, in the face of the zombie apocalypse, this story would be a minor footnote in the media and ignored by nearly everyone... if there's ...


22

We all need to play I believe that each person at the table is a player. To make this response easy to follow, one of those players will be called the GM, but I just wanted to make this aspect of my response clear up-front. "What is going to happen?" is a big part of play for every person at your table... except you, it seems. With your approach to ...


21

What if the technology were developed by the corporation as part of a black budget program that was funded by the Department of Defense? The technology was developed in secret, then for some reason the project was scrapped. The government stopped funding, but the corporation was 90% of the way to fully functional technology. As a calculated risk, the ...


19

There are two aspects to your question: 1. Character fit for your plans You haven't said much about how this character doesn't fit with your overarching plans. Depending on what that exactly that mismatch is, you have one of three problems: You've insufficiently communicated your game world to your players. Since the game is full of imaginative options, ...


18

Have more than one villain - and develop all of your villains into full characters who, besides their "villaining" dark side, have neutral and good traits as well. Go for realism character-wise. Nobody's entirely good or evil. Every power player has some good in them (and they might turn out to be the father of one of your PCs as well. Especially if the PC ...


18

I would say let them have their fun without worrying about it too much. Odds are that they won't return to the superweapon once they've used it this once. The fun is in proving that it CAN work, not using it to stomp every encounter in the future. Anecdotal evidence: I was a part of a group in college that was similar to yours, at least as far as the ...


18

First of all, and I think I speak for everybody, I think that we would LOVE to see the plans your players came up with. Your players are very clever, and it is good to reward them. I'd recommend letting it work - once. However, lay your plans. Taking lessons from the real world, you can see some avenues of response - which recognize what they've done and ...


14

Destroying the cannon after your players worked so hard risks upsetting them and teaching them that they shouldn’t think inventively. There are plenty of plot lines and stories you could run where a super weapon adds nothing to the world dynamic; political machinations, kidnappings and small-scale stuff where subtly is key will render the cannon useless. ...


12

I don't see anything wrong on that approach. If you are fair and you base the amount of power the Lich has gathered based on the time your players spent on the Fae Realm, and you don't force the plot (that kind of "time-skip" is typical of fae stories), I wouldn't be upset as a player. As Jeff says, overcoming challenges is what provides a satisfactory ...


11

You answered your own question, I just think you need confidence enough to follow your own advice. I'll address your points a tad out of order. First off, you're going to have to write the protest scene. This is one of the downsides to red-herrings ... they're there to distract your PC's, and occasionally they do the job too well and turn into main-plots. ...


11

Remember: no one is perfect. Your major NPCs rely on henchmen, contacts and contractors to do what they do. Things get messed up. This is where the PCs generally enter the fray and mess things up for the NPCs. Thus some plot holes are perfect there. Second, remember that no NPC know what everyone else is doing with perfect knowledge. Sure, Sauron ...


11

I am currently running a long term Pathfinder campaign (just passed three years) where the PCs are all pirates called Reavers on the Seas of Fate. Let me discuss how that campaign has been motivated. Survival At first, they were just random goons trying to make a living by working on board a merchant ship. They determined that sucked and that unlawful ...


11

I tend to run campaigns where everyone is morally dubious, since my main game is Shadowrun and that sort of lends itself to those sorts of things, but there's a number of things that I do to create the image that the bad guys are the good guys: First Impressions: Often, my players assume that the first people they meet are the people they're meant to be ...


11

1) Telegraph the danger of an overwhelming and impossible to beat situation This involves closely tying quests w/combat. Quite often combat itself is not fought to the death, but rather till it is obvious to one side that it's losing and they decide to cut their losses and withdraw. To get your players to do this you might need to describe, not so subtle ...



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