Linked Questions

109 votes
18 answers
19k views

How can I make my PCs flee?

My players never run away or avoid conflict. Ever. I throw them ridiculous encounters, they will stay and fight. If I tell them, "You know you're not gonna make it, just run," they stay and fight and ...
user avatar
32 votes
18 answers
10k views

How can my villain intimidate my players' characters into submission?

I'm planning a new campaign where the villain will force the party to do his bidding, starting from level 3. The opening will be an encounter with the villain, where he will "ask" them to do not-so-...
Vylix's user avatar
  • 32.8k
34 votes
19 answers
8k views

How do I add a recurring fantasy villain without frustrating the players?

I am currently running a campaign which is still in its early stages, and I plan to introduce a recurring villain. However, if the villain is always the main "big bad" behind every session and he gets ...
Extrakun's user avatar
  • 7,047
59 votes
11 answers
8k views

Techniques for allowing character defeat without character death

Character death can be extremely disruptive to an ongoing RPG, particularly in a game where character agendas are the driving force behind the plot. However, for a good story with a sense of conflict ...
Rain's user avatar
  • 4,573
26 votes
13 answers
21k views

How to create a villain for level 1 players

I want to build a cool devil overlord as a villain for a group of three level 1 PCs. How would I go about making a villain who's more powerful than them without going overboard? Should I be scared to ...
the dude's user avatar
  • 269
30 votes
5 answers
3k views

How can I present an "unsolvable right now" puzzle without frustrating my players?

I think me and my players are quite fond of puzzles in our TTRPGs, me designing them and they solving them. Last session I presented them with a puzzle that was unsolvable “at the moment”. I thought ...
Helwar's user avatar
  • 961
16 votes
5 answers
3k views

How can I dissuade my players from attacking a deadly foe who isn't meant to be attacked? [duplicate]

I will be taking over as DM of our group in a few weeks. Our party right now has a large number of magic items, and while I don't have a problem balancing that, I would rather replace lesser ones ...
David Wilkins's user avatar
15 votes
8 answers
3k views

How do I introduce a larger-than-the-game villain (so that the players can beat him one day)?

I have a cool villain I really like. I mean, I love that character. I would squeal with excitement if my players could meet him, figure him out, confront him and foil his plans and maybe even kill him....
eimyr's user avatar
  • 17.2k
29 votes
4 answers
4k views

How do I telegraph that an encounter that was too difficult before is now achievable?

Assuming you used the techniques from How can DMs effectively telegraph specific dangers in D&D? and How can I make my PCs flee? to telegraph danger and the need to improve the characters skills/...
Thyzer's user avatar
  • 18.4k
12 votes
5 answers
1k views

How can I best invoke the trope of a foe who radically outclasses the heroes in Fate without compromising player agency?

One trope I and the group I often gamemaster for enjoy in shows, films, and other media is the hero(es) come up against a foe which greatly outclasses them, which they must then outwit or trick to ...
Lord_Gareth's user avatar
  • 18.2k
4 votes
5 answers
520 views

Should I warn the GM of probable mistakes he made or could make?

The question isn't strictly bound to rules - although sometimes there are mistakes about those too, the GM is kind of a novice - but is mostly related to reading some statblocks in the book. To better ...
Snakehelm's user avatar
  • 2,417