Linked Questions

15
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How can PCs estimate the power of opponents? [duplicate]

It's common for players to assume that opponents are always “level appropriate.” However, mixed level modules change this situation. Recent modules like Tomb of Annihilation can have PCs stepping into ...
3
votes
0answers
134 views

How can I better describe how dangerous an opponent is to players without ruining immersion by simply telling them statistics? [duplicate]

Yesterday I was running the 5th Edition Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure and one of the players was separated from the party. He entered a room in the dungeon and saw three blue guard drakes as ...
101
votes
18answers
14k 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 ...
57
votes
17answers
12k views

Dealing with “fearless” players

I have some "badass" players in my group who do not fear death, 4 out of 6 to be precise, which causes problems for the rest players as they feel they are always getting dragged into trouble, trying ...
51
votes
12answers
11k views

Risk of a TPK vs realistic NPCs

I am a novice DM running a game for an even more novice group of players and I beginning to think that my next session may result in a TPK (total party kill, for the uninitiated). Is this something I ...
34
votes
17answers
4k views

How to handle character death in adventures with save-or-dies

I am currently running an LotFP adventure using D&D Next, the amazing Better than any man. In SevenSidedDie' s great answer to a previous post of mine he touched upon philosophical differences ...
55
votes
11answers
6k 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 ...
34
votes
8answers
4k views

Should the DM allow characters an equal opportunity to flee or avoid an encounter?

Last session I DMed, I killed a player's character. The party wanted to assassinate the main political figure in a town. To inspire general dislike, I made the political figure a racist thug. I run a ...
30
votes
11answers
3k views

How can GMs evoke the tone of danger in an RPG?

Forked from this question which focuses more on exploring signals of specific danger. Here, my question is: how can a GM evoke the feeling of danger during a game? How can they create tension that ...
31
votes
9answers
11k views

How can I tell how powerful an NPC is without being explicitly told?

Recently in a session, I almost caused our party to fight a lich at level 5. For D&D 5e, a lich has a CR of 21. There were a few clues to his strength that I missed, such as being locked in a room ...
25
votes
6answers
4k views

How to deal with time-sensitive decisions? [closed]

Before I start I have looked and seen similar questions like this, but I don't think the answers truly address the issue I'm having with my group. I'm having an issue with my group with mostly new ...
29
votes
8answers
5k views

How much, if at all, should a DM coach new players on basics?

As DM, how much should I coach a party (composed entirely of brand new players) to consider things like assigning someone to stand watch while the party sleeps, covering/hiding provisions, recovering ...
17
votes
9answers
3k views

How do I help my players figure out how to stay alive in a realistically-deadly sandbox campaign?

Related: What to do when a player character does something that seems suicidal? and How can DMs effectively telegraph specific dangers in D&D? I like playing sandbox-style RPGs (whether ...
29
votes
8answers
5k views

How to deal with overly cautious players?

Recent encounters with hard to hurt opponents have left the party pretty beat up. The player is now seemingly scared by similar encounters and prefers fleeing. I'm GMing a solo game of Pathfinder for ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

How to handle a PC that likes to “push the envelope” without resorting to OOC conversations

I am currently looking at starting up a pathfinder campaign with a group of friends I play with, wherein I will be attempting to GM. Having played with this group for a while I have gotten to know ...
26
votes
5answers
5k views

How do I handle offended players as GM?

We're playing Shadowrun5E. Currently, the Shadowrunners are defending Kaurs Farm (I think it's a mission from Sprawl Wilds in English) but even though the NPCs clearly stated that they should only do ...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

Sometimes, losing a big conflict is the better plotline. For D&D, how do you encourage this result?

It is practically an old adage that D&D parties will never let a fight end in a loss (short of a TPK.) And that the game mechanics (especially later editions) encourage this thinking. But ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Divided party on a deserted island

My gaming group (and some NPCs) are shipwrecked on a deserted island. I'd like the characters cooperate to survive in this hostile environment, because I want to make the game world really dangerous (...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Please stop giving the town sheriff a noogie!

Related to this question but more closely related to this question. How can I get my PCs to not cause a single or small handful of characters to become the butt of a joke when that humor could easily ...
13
votes
4answers
11k views

How to effectively (pre)build encounters for a 'Sandbox' Setting

I have a dilemma for my user created (original) High Fantasy setting. I have every zone, NPC, region and it's potential creatures all designed and solid. It's been a long running RP over Forums for ...
27
votes
4answers
3k 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/...
24
votes
5answers
8k views

How to make a dense, immersive horror atmosphere?

I'm currently narrating a horror-esque campaign set in a dystopian future based on the Lovecraft Mythos. My problem is that my players break their own sense of immersion often, making the game seem ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I make the players think outside their normal selves?

I have been DMing a custom campaign, and the players are starting to complain that I am being to "god like" and throwing "to powerful encounters" at them. The group is level 2's and 3's, and I have ...
11
votes
4answers
7k views

Allowing players at too low a level to enter Wave Echo Cave

I'm a new DM with new players working through the Lost Mines of Phandelver. The players were able to level up to 2 without too much trouble, but after a (too-brief) sojourn in Phandalin they decided ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

Worried about killing PCs in Rise of Tiamat

I am running RoT. This question is not about the final battle with Tiamat being a TPK. I am worried about regular characters fighting regular adult dragons in the sea of flowing ice, etc., dying to ...
18
votes
2answers
553 views

Differing expectations on fight or flight

Last night, I joined a D&D 3.5e campaign. The two other characters in the party were on their way to a grove, inhabited by friendly druids, when they discovered it had been converted to a quarry. ...