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45

Some quick searches show me that the internet is full of historical accounts, movies, TV-shows, and stories about kings, rulers, and other such nobility and what they do during their day. I am sure you are aware of this as well, so I understand that you want an answer in the context of a role playing game. The King can do whatever he wants Regardless of ...


40

Just to add to something others have been saying: If there is any secret information in the game, then Pass notes to every player, constantly! Occasionally scribble random gibberish like "Look at this paper and smile knowingly." and pass it to a random player. Make sure everyone gets used to it as "one of your GM quirks". Mix this up with meaningful ...


31

In a society built around privacy of thought, easy and consequence-free mind reading is too powerful. We need to make it either harder or have consequences, either by changing how mind reading works or how society does. Some ways of doing that: Mind Reading is Hard There's many ways to do this. Maybe it's hard to drill past surface thoughts, maybe it's ...


25

I thought about making up an excuse to talk to all players in the bathroom during stuff like the assassination example above so everyone will be suspicious of each other but it sounds like too much hurdle. Unfortunately, that's your answer. Metagaming in this case isn't going to be deliberate, but it's going to be hard to avoid. If you constantly ...


21

Questions Well, the easiest way is to have your character ask or empathize with other characters in play. "This war has to be pretty hard on you. Weren't you a civilian before?" These work well because they can be a chance to roleplay your character and ask valid questions of theirs. Some players get stage fright though, so be mindful of that and ...


19

One of the cool things about RPGs and GMing is that you can borrow from any media for your inspirations. I do it all the time, mixing and matching ideas to create something new and obscure (or lampshade depending on the genre) the tropes of the source material. The issues that I'd caution about: If you're going to publish your campaign on an RPG game ...


18

Borrowing worlds from other sources is a perennial tradition among GMs who for whatever reason aren't building their own worlds. There's nothing wrong with this approach to running a game, especially for a new GM who would rather focus on learning to run. That being said, there are a couple of things to watch out for when doing this: The setting is a ...


18

No There exist systems in which there is no “event” on a natural-1. It’s by no means a necessary component of an RPG. And this is ignoring the existence of trivial answers like RPGs that don’t use dice, or don’t use any kind of randomization at all. Those may not even have a meaningful definition of “fumble.” ...


17

Is she dissatisfied? Is she upset by this situation? Does she desire greater involvement, or would enjoy more if there were something different about the game? Or does she like her low level of involvement? There is no way we can answer these questions. They are questions for her. Talk to her, ask her straight out. She may be just fine with things the way ...


16

Enlist the help of your Creative Player to involve the others. CP is very creative and he is clearly motivated with the game. Explain him you have to focus on the other players and use hooks for them, so he could help you creating those hooks, being in character (he ask the other PCs favours that involve them) or totally out of character (he makes up that ...


15

I've run games with strict information compartmentalization like this, it really aids the immersion. Here's what you can try to do in order to not give away too much. Take other people aside too, not just for "super secrets" but for experiences they have outside the rest of the group. So if someone gets sent to the library to research, take them aside, ...


14

Either through high mortality rates, copious amounts of backstory, or actual force of personality, some characters become more "main" than others. This is something you should be taking advantage of. There are a few things you can do: Ask for more holes in backstory to make a common backstory for other characters. ("We both defended the City of ...


14

Use Chaotic Shiny's Civilisation Generator. Setting-agnostic: Yes. It covers a few date ranges from the past to the future, and is generically applicable enough. Scalable: Yes. As you take this smaller-scale, you may want to de-emphasize some generated details, ignore them, or treat them as properties of the larger civilisation this village belongs to. ...


13

As everyone said, yes you can, and yes we all have done it at some point or other. Only two things to avoid, and one thing to prepare: Avoid too literal adaptations. When a story is adapted from a media to another, it should be changed so that it fits better in the new media. Change whatever is needed to better fit the game, the players, etc... Example: ...


12

You've described the planet/civilisation generator at the heart of Stars Without Number almost exactly. You even have a "Special: Food Taboo" thing there beside the numbers, which is the kind of non-numeric information that it specialises in delivering. It's nominally a sci-fi game, but in a post-fall galaxy where anything from a medieval to high-tech ...


12

Although nominally specific to one game system, GURPS Psychic Campaigns is actually written as a toolbox of specific GM techniques that are directly useful in any game system, for anyone grappling with how to manage and run a campaign despite the unique challenges of psychic abilities. It's extremely well thought- and laid-out, giving you several variations ...


11

First and Foremost the King needs to remain king... As you note you could as king effectively delegate ALL of your responsibilities away leaving you endless leisure time. Beyond the moral or philosophical issues with that scenario there is the very real political and personal danger this engenders. If everyone sees the kingdom running swell without the ...


11

Possibly the Original Fumble Mechanics While I'm no role-playing game scholar, Chaosium's Runequest (1978) apparently included fumbles, at least as early as 1980 (which is the Runequest version I just extracted from my shelf and dusted off and whose binding cracked when I flipped through it). It reads FUMBLES An Adventurer using a weapon for which he ...


9

Gygax Would Like How You're Thinking The Dungeon Master's Guide (1979) for 1st edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons has Appendix J: Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Vegetables (220-1), which alphabetizes a "Plant And/Or special Part" list and provides corresponding "Uses And/Or Powers" for each It doesn't, however, quantify those uses or powers with game ...


9

There are a few options that can help with this that I've seen used. Mind-reading is illegal, or inadmissible in court In a society where mind-reading is possible, it is likely illegal to do without cause. Even where it is legal, it's possible that evidence gained from mind-reading is not acceptable during legal disputes, like how polygraph tests are not ...


8

Push your PCs together. You can do this several ways. Your excitable player is going to be the most vocal person at the table no matter what, so to involve the other players, make his vocalizations be with them. Call for a scene. "This is going to impact Simon the Mage, let's see the scene where you two talk about it." If your excitable player's new ...


8

The two resources that I've collected (with pretty much the same aim as you), apart from the aforementioned Appendix J in the 1st edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide, are: S. John Ross' Rules for Herb-hunting (with Fantasy Examples) Though made for GURPS, it is mostly a framework for how herbalists search for herbs, the quantity they may find, how to ...


8

I've had variations on this kind of player and even have someone similar presently. Definitely try to have a conversation with this player - advice snippet #1 whenever player issues come up here. As why they are there, what they are looking for in a game, even ask if you or any other player is doing anything they dislike. However! You and the game may ...


7

So, you have player A who is the spy, B and C who are loyals. Call in A for normal information exchange/private time. Call in B and have the Prince tell him that he's heard a rumor that someone may be betraying the cause. He knows that based on the rumor that it is likely either the PCs, or some other little cluster (if it exists). However, have the Prince ...


7

This is marked as system agnostic, and rightly so. However, there are a few systems where you do directly help with this. (FATE, Apocalypse World, etc.) If you do have a relationship to their characters already, then by all means, poke it and prod it and have fun with it! Role play that directly feeds into roll play and vice versa tends to be the best sort ...


7

I've run exactly this scenario to extremely good effect (a Star Wars game in which one of the characters was an Imperial double agent). It's possible to surprise the players without cheating, but you've correctly identified a major problem which you must avoid. There are three parts to the solution: If meeting with a player privately, you must meet with ...


7

He holds the highest ranking job of the feudal system, which means it is his responsibility to protect his entire kingdom - he answers to no one, but should he fail to protect his land, he could face anything from a revolution to complete obliteration by another king. Which means, the two biggest things that preoccupy a King's time are: His People Other ...


7

My wife and I play one-on-one on a somewhat erratic schedule. Sometimes we do two "sessions" in a day, sometimes a "session" is a few scenes we squeeze in here and there over the course of three days. Our solution is pretty simple: the boundary between "sessions" is determined by the fiction. A "session" is done when you've resolved whatever feels like a ...


7

I really enjoyed some of the entries in this long-ago set of articles on RPG net, Vegetative State. It is a series all about plants and herbs with focus on their uses in gaming. Topics include: foraging medicinal plants poisonous plants mind-altering plants mushrooms legendary plants creating your own magical plants the spice trade


7

I went through this same thing. I learned that through role-playing, you can establish the grounds of an appropriate mind read spell. Let's say you and I are both casters and have just met in a pathfinder world. We meet at a bar and I cast a charm person spell on you and it fails. As a fellow caster, you have probably identified that I have tried to charm ...



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