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57

As a gamemaster: Cheat. Use out-of-character knowledge. If the players surprise you with a plan, have a contingency plan for the NPC materialize even though you hadn't actually thought about it beforehand. Just make sure that you hide the "seams" caused by these cheats, and that you don't make the NPC seem smarter than they're intended to be. As a player. ...


54

There are several ways to approach a drunk and disorderly player. Standard drunk person handling techniques. Not really on topic for this site; Google it. Wheedle them, redirect them, you know, like you'd do with a kid. Go with it. "Roll the die, you get to take a shot!" Probably best if you're all drinking and just farting around. Some RPGs are called ...


53

On Going Beyond Stereotype One of the ways the authenticity of female characters in movies are judged is called the Bechdel test. Essentially, if a movie has only one female character, or if it has more than one but they only talk to each other about men, it fails the test. This is a good lesson to keep in mind when trying to fairly portray women in a ...


48

Everyone in my gaming group has gone through this gaming evolution at some point. Finding the joy in playing a dumb character is all about getting into your character's mindspace (or lack there-of) and not taking yourself too seriously. Make sure you are willing to make mistakes. Part of not being very bright is that your character can be confused, taken ...


46

Here's a technique I've used. When I invite people to a game I tell them that the game we're playing is a homebrew system called "Valadil's Game" which is loosely based on D&D. This does a couple things. Firstly, it scares off rules lawyers who want to play RAW. I figure those players aren't compatible with my games anyway and I'd rather just nip ...


46

Play more. Read more. Watch more. Expand your library of tropes. Once you have dozens of different innkeepers bouncing around in your head, your next innkeeper will probably be a collage of these tropes. Another idea is to take a page from creative writing exercises. Take a bunch of adjectives - tall, fat, jolly, glum, one-eyed, nervous, red-haired, ...


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

There's no such thing as senseless violence, according to the one who commits it. Characters who kill or torture without at least an internal justification are crazy, not evil. You don't have a reason to kill people in the party or at random, so you don't. This doesn't make you nonevil. Also remember that just because you're Evil doesn't mean you're a ...


42

Speaking as a Rules Lawyer (I try to think of myself as a good guy, i.e. "how can the rules let you do what you want to do"?) and the occasional TD, I've found a couple simple rules work out. No checking the rules on your turn. Look it up while you're waiting. That includes the DM - if you ask the DM if you can do something, you get their best guess; we're ...


36

I've used several techniques to make my improv a bit more random; these are: Preparation: Names always get me so I always make several pages of names with personalities, brief schick or quirk, basically a whole page of one line NPCs, the names are randomly generated along with the description, I just add in the quirks onto the page. Cross the streams: ...


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

Don't play with drunk people. Seriously. If she's so blasted that she's being irrational and uncooperative, then--sorry, sister, thanks for playing, go sleep it off. I have a very low tolerance for the inebriated, so I avoid hanging around them. Likewise, the OP might wish to define his/her tolerance for drunkenness at the table and say, in no uncertain ...


32

If your character is truly Intelligent, then the DM should help that character by offering INT checks and challenges that your character can solve with a DC check (or however that works in your game system). You should collaborate with your DM and have him/her feed your character solutions to puzzles or extra information that your character can share with ...


30

Well, I don't know about bushido, but in Rokugan, I think the answer of what they should do is "nothing", at least by themselves. Now, let me explain: The brother of the Empress is way too high in the social scale for them to affect him in any honorable way, at least under normal circunstances. Possible outcomes: Should they try to take justice in their ...


29

I play female characters about 25% of the time (and about 100% of the time as a GM), so this is something I've worked on/thought about over my gaming career. Depicting Your Character First, there's the general "How do I depict anything different from myself at the gaming table?" This is often a problem not just with crossgender play. I remember an ...


29

Based on the Turkish proverb "Pinch yourself before you punch the other guy" 1 Upset player's perspective You mentioned that she thinks that particular die roll is a no-win situation for her character. She may be protesting that she is getting robbed of her agency, and being railroaded into your story against her will, and that roll is just there to ...


27

An effective command and control structure uses decentralized authority to give decision-making capability to those with the most facts at the appropriate level of granularity. In modern military thinking, there is the idea of what I call articulation* decentralized authority1, 2. Roughly speaking it's that officers are not lords and masters, but that they ...


26

While I think it's awesome to award experience for in-character behavior, it's also very hard to quantify role playing into experience (how much gets you 100exp?) On top of that, in DnD, exp translates very observably to combat prowess - so it also makes sense to give other types of benefits. Good role playing should give good role-playing benefits. If the ...


26

There are a couple approaches. First option - don't. Make real sure your group is on board with this, because many people find scenes like that at the table unacceptable (and it's not just binary, there's also the depth to which you go into it). There's a lot of related topics (loss of control, permanent effects on a character, squeamishness, other psych ...


26

The successful dumb characters I've seen aren't just dumb. Develop the character as much as you would a character that's not supposed to be dumb. I find that characters who use one syllable words or weirdly bad grammar but seem otherwise unimpaired get boring pretty fast. Your character can often follow his friend's lead most of the time, but when he is ...


26

My first rule of changing something you don't like about the game... When you'd like the game to change, talk to the group. Take what you just explained here and explain it to the group... you feel like you're getting the short end of the stick and would like more interesting duties once in awhile. I would be surprised if they reacted badly. If you ...


25

OK, I don't have time to answer this as I want to. My background is in psychology, and I fell into Roleplaying games when I turned 10 in 1976. So by the time I was in college, understanding where the term Roleplaying game really came from, I understood the critical nature of immersion, how it is the most important ingredient for game success. And to be ...


25

This entirely depends on your game, and your gaming group. What you are referring to (acting as yourself instead of your character) is called "meta-gaming" and involves making decisions that are outside of the purview of your character's personality or knowledge. Whether or not this is an acceptable practice depends in part on your group and in part on the ...


25

This is a system transition issue, not a creativity issue. 4e is a very different system and that's okay, but it's not for everyone. There's a gap between the player and the system and your job as GM is to help facilitate bridging that gap. Your goal in this should not be to make the player conform to the system, but to help the player understand the ...


25

Don't solve your player character's moral conflicts Telling your player what they should do is boring. They should confront their own moral conflicts, and take their own options and carry their consequences. All the samurais codes can't prevent any kind of situation, in the end, any individual must take the action that he thinks is less dishonorable. I ...


24

If the other players are sympathetic to the situation, I'm guessing that drunkenness isn't uncommon at your game table. There's nothing wrong with that, if that's the way your group enjoys playing. The point is to have fun after all. So without criticizing the player, the solution is really pretty simple. In most cases (including yours, from the context of ...


23

Don't worry about it. Relax. Work out the character's motives, likes and dislikes. Ask your girlfriend or friend who is a girl to review. Never try to do a voice ;) I believe that regardless of gender if you give an NPC realistic motives they will appear a realistic character. Good luck :)


23

The most important thing I do to achieve this, I think, is to communicate to my players that, while I am responsible for handling the actions of their enemies, I am not their enemy. In fact, I am on their side, because what we are all working to do is enjoy ourselves and put together some bits of story worth remembering. A lot of factors go into this, from ...


22

The answer depends on just how stereotypical one wants to get. Male noble stereotypical traits: Take charge might-makes-right attitude. Women are divided into several groups: Women of quality & virtue for marriage Women of quality but not virtue for flirtation and/or fornication Women of Virtue but not quality. Typically in habits and cloistered. ...


22

What I've found works realistically is not to always misinterpret things but to simply fail to put things together. When the rest of the party comes up with a four part plan, the stupid character won't see how the parts fit together to accomplish anything. This method is less amusing than always being wrong, but it lets you play a dumb character who isn't ...



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