Linked Questions

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 ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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/...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...

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