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67

Powerful drama requires powerful motivations. When everyone at the table agrees that they want a Horror game, they must craft their characters around these motivations. If they don't buy in, then you get the kind of power-fantasy where the heroes do the quite sensible thing of feeding Cthulhu a couple cases of dynamite and legging it. That isn't horror, ...


63

What you're experiencing is a mismatch in what you all expect the actual game to be. As such, a boon will likely not make up for the confusion — at best it will be inexplicably ineffective at altering the players' choices, and at worst it will exacerbate the problem. Different games, same name You see roleplay and adventure in a believable world as the ...


40

Describe in the abstract Roleplaying a socially adept character is extremely difficult if one doesn't have those skills in real life, but that doesn't mean you can't run one as NPC, or play one as a PC. RPGs ask us to use our imaginations to fill in many things, like character appearances, settings, and descriptions of action. We try our best to roleplay ...


40

Take charge, respectfully Treat your players' action declarations as statements of intent rather than a completed part of the narrative. Feel free to slow things down to insert details and intermediate steps when needed. What they are doing isn't always a problem. When a player says: "Ok, I go there." ...treat what they said as: "Ok, I intend ...


34

This system seems arbitrary to the player, because it is. There are no objective criteria to be met, and all the decisions are being made by the GM who already has huge power over the game. It's hard not to see not getting the highest reward as being snubbed. Which is not to say you can't or shouldn't ever award things this way: without trust in GM's ...


27

I think you're metagaming. You, the GM and player, know that continuing to pursue the truth will lead to madness. Your characters don't know that. They don't know the risks yet. Your characters are just finding out (possibly for the first time) that "magic" or something like it is real. If you, in real life, just found out that magic was real, wouldn't you ...


26

Ask Them The most important question here is why they aren't engaging with you on this. We can't answer that. They can, but you have to ask them. If you do that, be calm and polite. If someone says something that you don't agree with, DO NOT ARGUE WITH THEM! Trying to argue with them about their opinion on this matter will just make them turn defensive, and ...


24

I can make things up on the fly based on his dogma, but that would hardly be quoting, would it? Actually, it would be quoting. Your character can't make up scripture and call it a quote, but you can. You, as the player, have agency to add material to the world you are playing in. How much of the world you can edit is dependent upon your game's ...


23

(Background: I am also a Christian, along with several of the people in my gaming group.) tl;dr -- The fictional god of your fictional world is not the God of our universe. Make the fictional god clearly distinct from our God. Figure out how much of what the party knows about that god is true. Define what you mean by "God" in your game world. Your game ...


23

I'll never claim to be the greatest GM, but here's a few things that I've come up with after a couple of years running a game: Describe how instead of just saying what Sometimes all you need to do is give the players the gist of the NPC's message if you add in a description of how they say it. Say something about the nervous tick, the furtive glances, the ...


22

You need not be your class(es) You are playing a character, who has a certain skill set. That character may self-identify as a rogue, and then may recognize a distinct switch from being a rogue to following the way of the monk. Those are options. They are not the only options. Consider Miko Miyazaki: Elan: So Miko, did you take levels in the old ...


22

Unfortunately there's nothing within the rules that dictates how a Druid must act. Though, the introduction to the class clearly states Druids are also concerned with the delicate ecological balance that sustains plant and animal life, and the need for civilized folk to live in harmony with nature, not in opposition to it. (PHB, pg.65) Druids are also ...


20

Firstly, it sounds as though your players are doing a lot of the heavy lifting for you in that they are being very easily manipulated without much effort on your part at all. But let's talk about manipulation. Pa-pa-pa-poker face Manipulation relies on getting people to do something without them knowing exactly why you want them to do it, or even that you ...


18

It depends on a lot of things: The Skill For some skills, you logically should be able to tell. A few of them (like Disable Device) actually have different outcomes if you fail by a lot vs fail by a little, so you can use that to guess how far off you are. Open Lock lets you tell pretty easily if you succeed or not, since in one case the lock is open. In ...


18

Roleplaying games don't expect people to be good at combat, but simulate it. We then apply a double standard to social things because most of us are familiar with them. For political machinations, in abstract sense, you can get away with "tell, not show." Influence: Science and Practice is an excellent reference for techniques that influential people can ...


18

As you say, this house rule works well for your group. A new player objecting to a house rule they don't understand is no reason for you to change it. And they don't understand the point of the house rule. They've observed their fellow players and seen the rule's results, and are trying to adjust their actions to fit what the rule is meant to encourage — ...


18

When a player is hogging the limelight like this, the way to deal with the situation is to stop encouraging them. The player is getting their fun by having everyone's attention focused on them (see this question for a similar situation). (This isn't a bad thing, by the way! It just means you have to make sure that the rest of the group gets their fun, too.) ...


17

Involve the players What strikes me as I read both of these situations is that the players seem only tenuously involved in the events that occur. The major action seems to be on your side of the screen, or in the hands of the dice. In any game, this will tend to make players dissatisfied, because there seems to be little reason for the players to actually ...


17

Your PC can invent a new technique on his own Taken from wikipedia's entry on the Southern Praying Mantis kung fu style: Praying Mantis The association of the term "Praying Mantis" with the style is also controversial. Each branch of the style offers a different explanation. The traditions of the Chow Gar and Kwong Sai Jook Lum branches ...


17

The problem isn’t the player, it’s your overly-narrow concept of “druid” There are no rules for what happens to the player because the player has done nothing wrong. His class is not his character, and he is allowed to play his character however he likes. There can be exceptions if a player is being disruptive, but I don’t see anything in your question that ...


17

Give them a reason to explore You are most likely correct that a mini-lecture on the benefits of exploring in game will not get your players to explore more (and may annoy them, as well). You telling them that exploring is a good thing will never be as good as them realizing that they need to explore on their own. But what you can do is provide ...


17

There are no in-game restrictions that prevent any of this: it depends on the DM. This certainly adds fun roleplaying possibilities to a game. As to if it is possible, there are not reasons to not do so. Bahamut is Lawful Good, and Selûne is Chaotic Good. While they are on opposite ends of the Good spectrum, they are both Good. There is no known animosity ...


16

I've had good experience with a system somewhat like this, which like Magician's suggestion focusses more on letting the players reward each other, but had as an extra criteria that you had to explain why you were awarding it. This turns out to be the key point. The basic gist was that each person at the table (including the DM) would get one token (which ...


15

Reward Non-Combat solutions How you reward your players is dependent on the players. Some players will respond to non-traditional investments of XP (the tradition in D&D is to give XP for the murder of animals, you could offer XP for simply solving a problem†). Some players will respond to material items, others will respond to, you as the GM, buying ...


15

In addition to the excellent answers already posted, let me suggest that you look at the kinds of protagonists that Lovecraft wrote about; police investigators ("The Call of Cthulhu", "The Horror at Red Hook"), artists looking for unique experiences ("Pickman's Model"), and people who actually wanted to find out more about the squiggly things under the bed ...


15

You can't It is not possible for you to model the thought processes of God, no matter how much time you spend on it. There are too many fundamental barriers to emulating its mind, some of which you have touched upon in this question and in your previous one. The silver lining here is that your players aren't in a position to do this either. Nobody, in the ...


15

Separation of Player and Character The biggest thing is to remember that just like the Players are not their Characters, you are not the NPCs. Keeping this straight helps eliminate many issues, but it sounds like you have a good feel for this, so lets look a bit deeper. Give the Interaction Purpose Idly chatting and flirting can be a struggle for some ...


15

This will get gimmicky and old pretty fast if you're not careful, and you run the risk of burnout. That said, there are some ways to make it work. Pre-plan a few lines you know will get used. Prepare some fairly generic rhyming words you can use in a pinch to put a few lines together. Do not solely use couplets! Mix up your rhyme scheme with limericks ...


15

Ask your DM None of these things are specified by rules—they're entirely the province of your DM and group's creativity. Talk to your DM and find out—or work out together—what the answers are. Nobody outside of your group knows your group's world, and can't answer questions about it with any authority.


15

A breath weapon is a tool to achieve a purpose, so probably they wouldn't. They'd threaten to do something more specific with it, instead. So, none of these: Watch out or I'll sword you! I'll get you with my dagger! Watch out or I'll breathe on you! But instead, more like these: Are you truly so ready to die? *rests hand on sword ...



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