Linked Questions

19 votes
9 answers
16k views

How to balance a "murder hobo" party with fair punishment [duplicate]

The events depicted in this question happened many months ago and that campaign is now over. While there is no fixing what I did, I want to move forward and learn from what I am pretty sure is a ...
SaggingRufus's user avatar
  • 4,323
22 votes
5 answers
4k views

How do I let players know that not every encounter has to be hack and slash? [duplicate]

My players kind of have a habit of, "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, WE MUST KILL IT!" Recently they came across a small goblin camp and one of them (who speaks goblin) verbally ...
Purple Monkey's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
754 views

How can I handle, or prevent, provocative actions by my players? [duplicate]

I have been DM'ing for a few years, and due to my upbringing I prefer to run games that don't really allow for what I consider to be evil acts in game. For me, that means using basic common sense and ...
PyroTornado's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
108 views

How do I stop murder hobos? [duplicate]

So I recently started DMing for the first time at a school club. I was basically voluntold by the teacher, and have never even played D&D as a player before. So I read 70% of the Player's Handbook ...
dndndndndnndndndnd's user avatar
75 votes
15 answers
20k views

How can I prevent players from using Persuasion or Deception to weasel their way out of a murder?

Background My players accepted a quest to basically be drug mules, delivering illicit goods to a faraway town. While alone with the NPC giving the assignment, they decided to kill him and take the ...
dehodson's user avatar
  • 861
94 votes
12 answers
25k views

Did I overstep my power as DM?

While playing a game with a previous group, in the middle of a combat, I had an enemy caster hidden from general combat, but still casting different spells like heal and other non-damage spells to ...
gareth the elf's user avatar
68 votes
13 answers
19k views

How can I impose consequences when PCs commit severe crimes?

For context, this is my first adventure as a DM. The PCs are level 2. About 40 minutes into the first session, while investigating the rumours about a ghost ship, the group meets with Aleyd Burrows, ...
Honore Shadeshield's user avatar
37 votes
14 answers
11k views

My players have a habit of always torturing enemies they capture for information, how can I make our adventure less macabre? [closed]

So I'm running the lost mines of Phandelver as a new DM and we're about 5 sessions in. I've noticed a pattern that seems to repeat itself: the players defeat and capture an evil NPC character that ...
notAlex's user avatar
  • 437
58 votes
17 answers
15k 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 ...
Necrofear04's user avatar
  • 1,131
65 votes
12 answers
11k views

How can I show-not-tell my players that they are The Bad Guys?

My players have an interesting habit of changing their behavior on a dime. Between objectives, they'll be trying to fix problems at small towns they pass through and helping the locals, but once they ...
N. A.'s user avatar
  • 1,057
46 votes
10 answers
24k views

How do I deal with players who make friends with goblins?

I want to run a campaign "from the book" for a group of new players (played RPGs before, but stuff much much lighter then D&D, and I've not DMed this edition before. I DMed D&D 4e once: over ...
Ryan Leach's user avatar
69 votes
13 answers
7k views

How to communicate to the players that an encounter can be solved also through diplomacy?

When you play D&D, you are not supposed to chat with the enemy during encounters. The system is made for fighting. However, in some circumstances, it would be nice to make the players conscious ...
Stefano Borini's user avatar
58 votes
14 answers
8k views

How can I get players to realize that their enemies aren't evil?

For an upcoming game, I'm planning on making one of the early hooks a standard-seeming "tribe of monstrous humanoids (in this case, lizardfolk, if that makes a difference) is bothering us, go deal ...
Tablesalt's user avatar
  • 1,089
99 votes
5 answers
81k views

What exactly is a "murder hobo"?

I've been here reading Q&A for some month now, and I already saw some concerning murder-hobos (or sometimes called murderous cretins). As I'm French, I tried to directly translate it, but it gave ...
Zoma's user avatar
  • 3,820
56 votes
11 answers
7k views

How do I deal with PCs who use kidnap and torture as an investigative technique? [closed]

I'm running a game in a modern setting with emphasis on the paranormal (Conspiracy X). The player characters are part of a secret government organization and are tasked with investigating & ...
D43m0n's user avatar
  • 884
32 votes
20 answers
7k views

How can I best implement a recurring villain when the players are not opposed to killing? [closed]

I am writing up a campaign for D&D4e that I will be playing in a couple of months and, though I do not have the storyline 100% all thought out, I know the general tone I am going for already, and ...
Tom Dacre's user avatar
  • 1,071
56 votes
9 answers
44k views

What are the essential features of a successful evil campaign?

Until this point, I have demanded that my players not build characters with evil alignments, as I am familiar with how to design campaigns and adventures around "good" or "redemption" themes. However,...
Cat's user avatar
  • 3,862
57 votes
7 answers
7k views

What makes a character/creature/power/ability/etc. over-powered?

In generic terms, what makes something, regardless of what game it's being used in, over powered? I hear the term a lot, and while I can recognize it when I see it in-play (often due to someone ...
Zach's user avatar
  • 8,481
46 votes
9 answers
28k views

How do I run a successful and engaging campaign without combat?

I'm thinking of starting my own campaign with a few of my friends with me as DM, primarily because I wasn't extremely impressed with the campaign my friend was DMing. When I started thinking about the ...
Gordon Gustafson's user avatar
58 votes
7 answers
17k views

My players went from 100% murderous cretins to 100% nonviolent diplomats; how can I achieve a middle ground?

Related: How do I get my PCs to not be a bunch of murderous cretins? History The same group of players and I have played D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder for over one and a half decades combined. We are ...
Zangief's user avatar
  • 2,065
31 votes
10 answers
7k views

How can I utilize overly-violent PCs for character development / progressing the story?

I'm fairly new to D&D and especially DMing. I've started a new campaign with 2-3 people and more may be joining soon, which might make this question entirely useless to ask if the new players ...
J0hn's user avatar
  • 413
30 votes
7 answers
6k views

What are good ways to resolve intense intra-party conflict without PvP?

The Short Version: An evil PC is killing town children during long rests. The town authorities have decided that they need him (and the rest of the group) to handle a big problem anyway. Several other ...
Geoffrey's user avatar
  • 409
48 votes
6 answers
13k views

Can massive damage knock out rather than causing instant death?

Suppose, as happened last night, a character intends to subdue rather than kill an opponent. She made a melee attack, hit, declared her intent to knock out. The damage roll was enough to reduce the ...
nitsua60's user avatar
  • 102k
30 votes
11 answers
6k views

Should the players accept the point of view of the GM about alignments or the other way around?

I want to run a good alignment campaign in D&D 5e with my friends, but we are not even at session 0 and we already have a major disagreement. I usually GM tabletop RPGs that are not D&D, ...
O.B.E GM's user avatar
  • 301
54 votes
6 answers
14k views

How do I make interrogations interesting?

Throughout my gaming career, one type of interaction has consistently failed to engage me: interrogations. All of the interrogations that I have seen in roleplaying games follow this formula: ...
Jakob's user avatar
  • 4,951
35 votes
6 answers
10k views

Is there any way to keep a player from killing an NPC?

I was running a one shot for friends and a player had gotten annoyed with an NPC that the other players really liked. This came to a head when after a combat encounter the Player decided to attack the ...
Gwideon's user avatar
  • 1,952
45 votes
3 answers
6k views

Can a D&D campaign be successfully used as a Sunday school teaching instrument?

I am an RPG guy who is also active in my religious community. Recently I was asked to conduct a class at my local mosque (my religion's equivalent of a church) for kids ages 7-12. To make it ...
AbuMariam's user avatar
  • 613
21 votes
9 answers
10k views

Managing New Player "Murder Hobos"

I am running a LMoP game for a group of new players, and everyone is having a great time. We are all very new to it all though - it's my first time running a prewritten campaign as a DM, (only had a ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 23.1k
39 votes
3 answers
13k views

How to deal with a Murder Hobo Paladin?

Our party has a Lawful Neutral Oathbreaker Paladin that has been very much a murder hobo from the beginning. We have been able to keep him in check in most cases but in our recent session he went off ...
RoomNoSenpai's user avatar
24 votes
5 answers
13k views

Does 5e address the murderhobos problem?

In DnD 3.5, the system by default only gives significant XP for killing things (monsters, vermin, shopkeepers, etc), which often leads to player characters becoming "murderhobos" in an ...
Yamikuronue's user avatar
  • 5,494
29 votes
6 answers
11k views

How can I get players to stop ignoring or overlooking the plot hooks I'm giving them?

I have run a couple of campaigns with a few of my friends, and these people are genuinely interested in Dungeons & Dragons. However, no matter what I do, they will not focus on the story, ...
Bookwyrm's user avatar
  • 1,327
26 votes
11 answers
2k views

Excuses for opponents using nonlethal force? [closed]

In plotting out low-level encounters at the start of a campaign (especially with new players) I prefer to create opponents who don't want to kill the PCs right away. Instead, I generally have them ...
Epiphanis's user avatar
  • 2,606
20 votes
8 answers
8k views

What to do about the NPC massacre?

In my campaign, everything is constantly going badly. The Source has been destroyed, devastating the local region. The main hardhold was shelled with white phosphorous. Almost all of the NPCs (...
Daniel Paczuski Bak's user avatar
31 votes
11 answers
2k views

How can you encourage players to portray a "realistic" reaction to in-game stressful/traumatic circumstances?

This question came to me while I was thinking about killing people in pen-and-paper rpgs. When a character starts his career, in most systems, he is somewhat young. As an example, when you are first ...
Khaal's user avatar
  • 3,962
22 votes
6 answers
7k views

Am I allowed to determine tenets of my contract as a warlock?

A friend of mine invited me to a short campaign. I chose to play as a Hexblade warlock since I thought that it would be interesting to have a sentient weapon as a patron. As part of my character I ...
Maiko Chikyu's user avatar
  • 21.7k
24 votes
6 answers
7k views

Is Coup de Grace on sleeping and bound opponents an evil act? [closed]

So I was recently participating in a Pathfinder Society game. Our ship was attacked and boarded by pirates. First thing that happened was one of our party cast sleep, and succeeded in putting four of ...
aslum's user avatar
  • 9,402
32 votes
4 answers
21k views

What is a reasonable player cost for Manor rebuilding?

At some point during the introductory adventure Lost Mine of Phandelver, the PC's are capable of liberating a manor. My question is, what is a proper price to charge the party as a cost to rebuild ...
Airatome's user avatar
  • 18.6k
19 votes
7 answers
3k views

Can PCs hide motivations from the DM?

So, one of my PCs is a Lawful Neutral Knight, coming from a small landless noble family. From the beginning of the campaign he told me that he wanted a lord to serve under, and to enhance the ...
Cole's user avatar
  • 191
19 votes
6 answers
2k views

Bad/Rash character actions and consequences that don't kill my game

When a character (I mean the in-game character, not the player) makes bad decisions, there should definitely be in-game consequences that have an effect on the character. I'm not trying to punish the ...
Antonio's user avatar
  • 5,959
19 votes
8 answers
4k views

How can I deal with a "goof-ball" player in my WoD group?

I am a storyteller in a World of Darkness group, and I'm about to start designing a new scenario. However one of my players (let's call him Eric) is worrying me. Eric usually goes the goofball route ...
Circusfreak's user avatar
  • 1,531
23 votes
3 answers
8k views

How do I handle a shapeshifter in disguise when the players go into "everyone's a doppelganger, let's murder everyone" mode?

I ran into issues with shapeshifters since, after the first encounter with one, the players turned into "everyone is doppleganger in disguise" mode, which makes using their trademark ability pointless....
pppddd's user avatar
  • 1,112
16 votes
9 answers
11k views

How to help players who roll really badly? [duplicate]

Scenario: player rolls to attack, rolls a 1. Next round, rolls a 1. Round after that, rolls a 1. Fourth round, rolls a 2. This really happened today. He was going back and forth between two different ...
Soulrift's user avatar
  • 10.5k
21 votes
6 answers
3k views

How to deal with players that fight villains but are worse than them?

The long story I started a Warhammer fantasy campaign with 4 players. Two of them were totally new to RPGs, and two others just slightly experimented. They created "good" characters, not a ...
Aracthor's user avatar
  • 868
14 votes
7 answers
4k views

How to keep the players working together?

I am the GM of a group of 5 players, I know them as I usually play other games with them. Here is the composition of the group: a Barbarian (B) a Paladin who worships Tyr (P) a Rogue (R) a Cleric who ...
Réda SGHYAR's user avatar
21 votes
7 answers
6k views

What's the best way to kill a character in a way that is memorable, and treated with respect by players?

Sooner or later they're going to die. Most games have a risk of death in them and that means that a character is going to get killed and is not coming back, no way, no how. It's new character time. ...
Rob's user avatar
  • 31.5k
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
19 votes
6 answers
7k views

How much greed is too much for a Chaotic Neutral character? [closed]

I have recently started GM-ing a new group of players, most of them are unexperienced. One of the players is a Chaotic Neutral Rogue. This description of Chaotic Neutral mentions that such character ...
MMM's user avatar
  • 629
25 votes
2 answers
4k views

Must I use all available damage, if I want to leave my target alive?

If I roll a successful attack roll, then a damage roll that is greater than the remaining HP of a monster, do I have to apply all of it or can I leave him at 1 or even 0 HP? It doesn't Instant Kill ...
DrowMonk's user avatar
  • 653
22 votes
7 answers
1k views

How do I roleplay getting used to violence?

So I just rolled up a character for a D&D 3.5e game and looked around table to see we had two ex-soldiers, a professional bodyguard, and a 'famous' adventurous. (A level 1 bard with a big mouth.) ...
IgneusJotunn's user avatar
  • 10.7k
23 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
F. Randall Farmer's user avatar

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