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2

You don't say you have any problem with the characters having that information, only with having to invent it, write it all out, and hand it to the players. So, you say, "OK, your characters know everything available about the Triads". Give them a few highlights so that they feel like they can "see" the setting around them, describe roughly how deep their ...


0

Here's a particularly nasty way you could make mind-reading dangerous, to heavily discourage use: Mind-reading is permanent. That is, once you read someone's mind, there is no way to stop reading their mind. Over time the mind-reader becomes dependent on their victim's mental capacity, using some of it for their own thought processes, and their own brain ...


1

Well, the opening question was: So, how do engage an uninterested player? If all fails, how do you deal with her? Breaking in two parts: So, how do engage an uninterested player? Learn there interests first off. I think that is simple enough to state but can be difficult to carry through with. You need to know why that person is coming weekly/biweekly ...


0

Mind Reading "problems" Ultimately, I think that this comes down to a fundamental situation of "How can I avoid the player from solving every problem with a high Notice check?". Unless Mind Reading is a 100% successful method where you get all answers, it's really no different from a player doing a Sherlock Scan on an opponent, or making a Knowledge check. ...


1

Have the mind-reader walk the mindscape. This provides a number of advantages and opportunities of role-playing. Here is a basic outline. As described, this is a method that takes time. If mind-reading is instantaneous in your game, adjust as needed. The reader declares they are reading the subject's mind. "Alright, that might/will take a bit of time (be ...


3

The main practical problem with mind-reading when presented as a simple ability is that it is: cheap per use powerful undetectable That is a killer combo and difficult or impossible to balance against the normal run of abilities. Take out one of the three and you have a better chance: A powerful and undetectable mind-read that the character can only ...


3

Lets start out with the good things: People don't go to sleep in hostile environments, it's evolutionary unwise to do so and basic survival is still in our genes. So if she does sleep at the table, she trusts you. Not a bad start. There are a lot of reasons why people are detached from the success of their actions, but the most common reason is that it not ...


2

So to add to some already great answers, here are my 2 cents. Talk with her The first thing that you should do is to talk with her. Through this conversation you should get the info about both why she doesn't show interest while also getting the sparks that you'll need in order to adjust the game more to her liking. It doesn't mean that you must take those ...


3

My wife does that. She doesn't really join the game to play. She's there because she likes the story and she likes the company. The character is just there as a camera. You haven't mentioned her relationship with any of the other players. Is she someone's girlfriend or sister? Why is she even there? How did she get there? If you kick her out (or some ...


0

There are a whole set of different generators for a variety of different things available at http://megacosm.morgajel.net/. They're being added to at a fairly rapid rate it seems as well. The country, region and street generators might be useful for you in particular.


5

How to embrace the mind-reading Investigation is boring and slow! It's often just a lot of nothing in disguise. The fun secrets are the secrets you actually know. Because then you get to go and do cool stuff with those secrets. Thus, mind-reading offers you a fast track to cool decisions and dramatic conflict. Don't be afraid to lay the bad guys' plans ...


1

You are doing good as a DM by trying to do stuff that interests her. It sounds like she doesn't want to participate in the game anymore, ask her about it. Usually talking about it with the person involved helps towards a solution. If she doesn't want to play anymore, don't force her to. You can easily integrate the character's departure into your adventure. ...


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 ...


15

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 ...


1

I will give a very specific solution to the problem (shamelessly stolen from a movie). If the BBEG knows that his adversaries are able to read his thoughts and thereby predict all of his actions, he can do the following: Make the world's greatest plan for utter victory, and write it all down in pieces. Distribute the pieces of the plan among himself and ...


19

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 ...


2

I know you are looking for system-agnostic, but how you deal with it depends very much on the system and setting. Limitations on Mind Reading A person who can read anyone's mind easily, deeply, without detection, and with no way of stopping it simply breaks a whole lot of stories (most things with mysteries and most things involving any sort of bluff). In ...


4

Plots Are Hard with a Mind-reader PC The GM can give mind-reading several different limitations, but the most common ones include... Limit Mind-reading to Surface Thoughts Low-level Dungeons and Dragons spells do this. When the mind-reader uses his power, he only learns the subject's surface thoughts--that is, whatever the subject is thinking about right ...


6

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 ...


10

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 ...


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 ...


3

If you hit a public library, walk up to the reference desk, and tell them what you're looking for they'll be glad to help you figure out where to look for books on herbal medicine, historical medicine, alchemy, and related topics. Reference librarians are generally delighted when someone gives them an excuse to play in the collection. And books have the ...


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 ...


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


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 ...


1

How hard is it to dig a tunnel that is >30 feet underground without having it collapse? Is it even possible if the miners have to dig under a small stream, or under an extremely heavy structure like a thick castle wall? Excavating underneath a small stream means the miners are digging through rock or earth submerged under the water table. The tunnel ...


4

A lateral suggestion, inspired by Numenera — whose books I've recently thumbed through — just don't explain things that closely. This is appropriate for settings where a baseline level of strangeness is expected, and which exact weird things that happen are part of the content you as a GM provide. Keeping an air of mystery is what you go for. So, focus on ...


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 ...


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. ...


4

You can make your own with a script (With, for example, python), since (I know this first hand) finding the exact program you are looking for can be really hard. I did this to generate NPCs and it worked great, althought it may be a bit more complicated depending on the detail level you are looking for. If you just want generic data like names, sizes, ...


1

OK, with that cleared, let's dive in, shall we? Descriptions are everything One of the best ways to give the players the feel that their in someplace that is different from what they've been used to is to describe it differently. There are no more those descriptions of "A 10 on 10 feet room, with an orc in the middle". It's not this game. Not any more, at ...


1

Threats that can shake the kingdom itself include natural disasters, invasion or subversion by foreign powers, betrayal from within, and supernatural intervention. Natural disasters Floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, climate change (think "little ice age") and so on can disrupt the proper functioning of the kingdom on scales from local to ...


3

Have I tried it before? I have tried this solution to the problem you are presenting here a few times in the past. I've tried it with 3 of my groups at the time (about 4-5 years ago) with different amounts of success. I've also seen it used in 2 of the groups I've played with, when I've still mostly played, and again with different amounts of success. Is ...


0

There isn't any straight answer, but there is one possible obvious answer: Talk to your friends. It is pretty normal for people to not be okay with other's playing their characters, especially if those players don't know each other (well). You must discuss this with your player group. Obviously everyone needs to be present or at least have had the chance ...


3

Problems with substitutes I have played around with this a little (but not in D&D:Next, as explained shortly), and in my experience it generally does not work well. People tend to be attached to their characters and it can be uncomfortable to have someone else play them. No one else will play them the way their player would after all. This is ...


2

You may want to look at my posts on Logistics and Politics and Seven Types of Antagonists. Rituals and Rulings In many cultures, the king was expected to oversee certain rituals or sacrifices. This could be rarely, such as a few times a year, or it could be rather involved, such as month-long ritual efforts culminating in a major activity. China, India, ...


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 ...


11

Treat plot-based milestones as the boundary points between "sessions". Achieving a significant objective or winning a major battle, followed by an extended rest - that's a natural place to refresh everything in any case.


4

One idea I've used is to set a standard number of scenes making up a session. Sometimes, given the long times of PbPs, giving out those points once per scene works even better, if there's no balancing issues to account for. What constitutes a scene change is to be chosen by the partecipants, according to the game they're playing.


1

A statement along the lines of "X is always true" is easily proven false, but nearly impossible to prove true. Proving such a statement false merely requires a single counterexample, while proving it true requires examining every single element in the set that the statement covers. In this case, it is false that a "critical" failure always produces a ...


-1

get them to work together: if you've got one guy who loves coming up with this stuff maybe you could talk to the other players and see if he can help them come up with things for their characters too


1

No, it's not universal for games to have some sort of fumble triggering an event. In some games, it's a good thing that idea has been removed, in some other games the fumble mechanic is what moves the game forward. I'm going to show you why it's bad or good depending on the situation with examples of both. I've been playing D&D 3.0 with an old ...


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 ...


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.” ...


3

Even if you delegate responsibilities to others, you cannot entirely trust them. You need to provide overall guidelines for how you want them to perform their duties, but you also have to audit how they are performing their duties. A fun way for a PC to do this is to go in disguise amongst the people and see how the bureaucracy treats them. Obviously this ...


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 ...


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 ...


5

If you're looking for a lot of little things that come up for a ruler, I recommend poaching from a modern political drama. You'll have to re-skin the details, but shockingly little is really different about how we govern countries today versus how they were run hundreds or thousands of years ago. My immediate suggestion is to rob from the summaries of a ...


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 ...


5

For me, there are 2 main ways to look at this. The first one is to look at his/her relationship with her citizens while the other is about the relationships with other realms. Inside thy realm The main idea here is that there will be always someone (or some-group) who are not very happy with the ruler. Some of the problems they'll present will be left for ...



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