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Questions tagged [gm-techniques]

The practical arts and methods applied to gamemastering.

1
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0answers
116 views

Room and floor numbering conventions for large to midsized dungeons: most popular, advantages and disadvantages? [on hold]

Introduction I have been creating some multi-floor dungeons. It took awhile, but with time I found software, a notation format, and fidelity level that suited my needs. The one thing I'm still not ...
22
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5answers
2k views

Does limiting the number of sources help simplify the game for a new DM with new and experienced players?

I still consider myself pretty new as a GM. I have been running D&D 5e for about three years now (not regularly which is why I would say still newish). I am about to embark on a campaign with some ...
-1
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2answers
197 views

Dealing with an abusive player [on hold]

Continuing on my last question, which I will congratulate all the answers that I got, some of the answers were about that other player I mentioned. He plays a Druid (lv.3), and he is in a party ...
3
votes
4answers
294 views

How can I get an uninterested group of players to listen to me, or focus on the game in general?

I am having some major trouble running a game of Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords. As some people know this quite a hard campaign, and while it is the first one that I have ever really run, I am ...
3
votes
3answers
265 views

What can I do when a player gets discouraged by low rolls that cause poor PC performance?

TLDR: What can I do when a player is getting upset by low rolls causing poor PC performance? I'm running a duet gestalt Pathfinder campaign in Roll20 with an Incanter/Conscript (from the Spheres). ...
9
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4answers
418 views

How can I avoid “railroading” my players by giving them a limited set of choices with only basic descriptions?

I play Dungeons and Dragons 5e. I have a habit of highlighting certain choices, without realizing I'm doing it, because what I feel like I'm doing, is telling not showing. I have a problem with my ...
20
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7answers
4k views

Am I acting unreasonably or do I rein in my players?

I'm a very new but very eager DM. Me and my friends have long been wanting to play and as always we had no DM so I took up the reins. My players are very extremely creative and I want them to be able ...
24
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2answers
3k views

How to GM as a Solar NPC?

I'm considering using a Solar (INT 25, WIS 25) as a semi-benevolent (but also kind of annoying) come-and-go guide of sorts to 3 high-level PC's in an upcoming campaign. While I would like to imagine ...
32
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6answers
4k views

How do I implement a challenge where time runs backward?

I'm DMing a D&D 5e campaign that has pockets of "weird time" (areas where time runs faster or slower than normal). It seems like I shouldn't pass up the opportunity to have an area where time is ...
6
votes
3answers
302 views

How can I communicate to my players, that I like them to roleplay their skills more?

I am playing in a campaign I made myself using homebrewed rules based on a German pen-and-paper RPG called Das Schwarze Auge (DSA; The Dark Eye in English). I heavily influenced the character ...
8
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2answers
240 views

Handling the Scenario After Wild Player Financial Success

Well, they did it. Your players went head-to-head against an antagonist with Superb Resources, and instead of taking critical social damage and retiring from adventuring, they took him for all he's ...
35
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4answers
2k views

How does GMing a game for middle-schoolers differ from older and younger players?

My daughter has asked me to GM a D&D5e game for her and her friends, who are all aged 13-15 years of age. In the US this puts them in middle school, an age of interesting transitions. With ...
19
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6answers
3k views

What should I do (If anything) to prevent my players from rushing to the end of the Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign?

I'm running the Lost Mine of Phandelver Starter Set adventure for a group of players ranging from "new to the game" to "experienced veterans". We finished Session 1 last week and they have captured a ...
37
votes
9answers
5k views

How can I enjoy being a DM when I have an explorer personality?

I live in a small Finnish town with my wife and we want to play. But we cannot find any GMs there. So I decided to try to be GM myself. The problem is - I love to explore the worlds, story, monsters, ...
8
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0answers
319 views

Does the Monster Manual supersede the Player's Handbook [closed]

How does a DM know, in D&D 5th edition, which source to refer to if there is a seeming conflict between two core rule books? During the discussion under this question, I noted the following ...
2
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0answers
155 views

Is the rule “One Remote Player Per Session” Fair/Reasonable? [closed]

As a DM, I am not very fond of having some players "remote in" through my laptop/webcam, but due to everyone's busy schedule, I've recently made a rule to allow one person per session, first person to ...
21
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3answers
2k views

How do I reduce plot stalling in a collaborative roleplaying game?

My first attempt at running a session of Storybrewers' game Good Society completely stalled out in terms of plot. Good Society is a collaborative storytelling-style game. The facilitator's role is ...
0
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2answers
414 views

How does one design encounters that accommodate a high burst damage build?

There are some really powerful burst damage builds out there that can pretty easily one shot the biggest threat in the room. As a DM how do I counter high burst damage builds so that the main threat ...
7
votes
4answers
838 views

How do I encourage my players to … play? [closed]

I'm new to DMing. Of the many, many problems I anticipated I never expected to have players not do anything at all, and I'm not sure what to do with that. Its a small group with only 3 players. We've ...
81
votes
18answers
14k views

How should a DM resolve a smooth-talking player with a weak Charisma score PC? [closed]

This is an old problem, but one I am curious to find an answer to. One of our players is naturally a smooth talker, and his personality allows him to talk his way out of situations on the spot, and ...
7
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12answers
835 views

How can I convince my players that this evil character is good for the duration of the campaign until the big reveal?

There is an NPC that I want to introduce soon, but I don’t want the PCs to be suspicious of her until a later big reveal that she is a major villain. The NPC My game has a woman who is a noblewoman. ...
9
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3answers
185 views

How can I make a smart character act smart without prohibiting less intelligent characters from participating as well?

Preface I am playing in a campaign I made myself using homebrewed rules based on a German pen-and-paper RPG called Das Schwarze Auge (DSA; The Dark Eye in English). My Problem I have a very ...
5
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1answer
249 views

Do ability scores force a character to act in a certain way? [duplicate]

As a group, most of the players at our table are fans of rolling for stats. This leads and has led to multiple amazing characters and some .. a bit less amazing. Something that is rather consistent ...
9
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4answers
611 views

How to handle players who push fun aspects way too far?

I'm a DM running a Naheulbeuk campaign with coworkers on lunch time. The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk is a humorous french podcast adventure, which parodies RPG, fantasy pop culture and tabletop games. ...
10
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2answers
970 views

How can I be fair while using a GM vs. players style?

I am planning to run an one shot where it will be me against the players, with me running the game as the dungeon lord (AKA final boss) and the players will be playing as adventurers. However, as the ...
24
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I handle players attempting to intimidate enemies with non-enchantment spells?

I'm a DM for the first time and I'm running LMoP with a group of 5 very experienced players. I have difficulties in handling situations in which the players try to intimidate the enemy roleplaying ...
62
votes
13answers
14k 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, ...
3
votes
3answers
601 views

How can I prevent one character from leaving the group to do his own thing?

I have recently made a rather epic story for my players to play though. (In the sense of a long overarching story). I have been running for a few sessions but a particular player is constantly trying ...
29
votes
18answers
7k 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-...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I handle initiative and turns for a group of monsters?

A monster group consists of three kobolds. Firstly, as DM do I roll initiative once for the whole group? Secondly, when it is the kobolds turn, do I roll a separate attack for each kobold? If so ...
38
votes
7answers
8k views

How can I, as DM, dictate the emotions and actions of the players (magically)?

(Some of) my players are trying to role play in a meta-gaming sort of way. For instance, I had an array of weapons in a dungeon, and when they took them, they had to make a Wisdom saving throw, else ...
7
votes
2answers
387 views

How can I motivate my players' characters to explore, when they have teleportation?

My group and I are playing a Superhero Campaign. We are using the Fantasy Flight Games Roleplaying system used in their Star Wars series, with a mixture of the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. In the Marvel ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

How to include The Crooked's Crew as a Keeper

I've run 4 sessions for a group of friends now, and one of my players picked a Crew for one of their starting moves. They ended up being pretty fun characters for everyone to interact with, but when ...
41
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6answers
6k views

How do I keep my players from focusing too deeply on unimportant details?

A little bit of backstory. Me and a few friends from my job decided to play D&D 5e while we're kinda stuck in one place and were quite bored. So we got everything we needed and they chose me to DM....
16
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4answers
464 views

How to deal with players who take up most of the time by doing solo actions?

I am sure this has been asked already, as this is probably a very common problem, but I didn't find anything. I am playing in a campaign I made myself using homebrewed rules based on a German pen-and-...
6
votes
1answer
239 views

Mechanics for one-shot (stealth) incapacitation [closed]

I feel like the rules of 5e (I'm not familiar with other editions) are really lacking in department of stealth opportunities. I'm mostly talking about one shot kills, but not necessarily. Examples: A ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

When do I tell my players when they're under an NPC's class effects that cause disadvantage on attacks?

There's a pretty good chance that my PCs will enter a team-battle tournament soon. One of the characters that they might fight has an ability that would give disadvantage to attack someone other than ...
38
votes
5answers
4k views

What information do I actually need from my players’ character sheets?

I am a DM for two D&D 5e games. I always ask for character sheets when we first start out, so I can have a general sense of what I'm in for, and to get working on incorporating backstories. Our ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

How can I make sure every one is having a good time? [closed]

I have recently started DMing for a group of six (I have only had groups of two before). I have a few quite players and some of them are more involved than others. But I don't want my quieter players ...
34
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I make an NPC useful without overshadowing the player characters?

I play DnD 5th and I find my group often has many NPCs accompanying them, like 4 players and 4 NPCs. Most have some form of tie to the group, but few are actually as useful as the group members, as ...
13
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5answers
1k views

How can I convey and sustain a level of realism in a given horror campaign? [closed]

TL;DR: How to convey to the players, beyond explicit statements (which sometimes doesn't work), a level of realism that you as GM expect for a given horror campaign? How could this level of realism be ...
8
votes
5answers
605 views

How can I encourage players to role-play using their ability scores?

The physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), haven't been much of a problem. Feel free to include advice on role-playing these scores as well though. When it comes to the ...
15
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5answers
771 views

What are the consequences of telling players their character's thoughts as a method to help guide their actions?

I generally try to keep my campaigns fairly open-ended and avoid railroading my players, or keep it to a minimum when it is performed. Generally they always tend to have a plot hook or two that they ...
14
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5answers
1k views

Is it reasonable to punish a paladin for breaking an oath to protect a creature they did not realize was a major antagonist? [closed]

Backstory The events of my homebrew campaign take place after the fall of a powerful mage tyrant, assumed dead. About 6 sessions ago, my players recovered a living horse and dead human from a "...
22
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6answers
4k views

How can I help/encourage a wizard player with their bookkeeping?

One of my players is playing their first caster in 5e and chose a wizard. Unbeknown to them, the wizard class comes with a fair amount of bookkeeping both in long rests and downtime with their spell ...
23
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3answers
3k views

How can I make conversations with NPCs more succinct?

IMPORTANT: don't just read the selected answer, all of the answers to this question provide good techniques to apply in different scenarios when it comes to conversations with NPCs. I chose the one ...
7
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4answers
397 views

What are the advantages/disadvantages of sharing personal dream sequences with the party?

First time Storyteller here. Woooooo. There's a dream sequence that I'm writing for one of my characters and I'm not sure if it's considered kosher to share that (basically read it aloud) to the ...
6
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4answers
257 views

How can I get my group to care about developing a village?

I am currently planning out a scenario for a group where the scenario will involve governing a village and expanding it using kingdom building rules, all while also solving mysteries in the land (...
8
votes
2answers
270 views

How to plan/run interesting sessions where the PCs have extensive resources?

Our group has recently started a 40KRPG: Rogue Trader campaign. In this campaign, each session is basically standalone (we meet up too infrequently for anything more complex), though with consistent ...
7
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1answer
311 views

How do you transition from a one-shot to a campaign?

In previous games that I have both DMed and played, both homebrewed and published adventures, the games seemed to go nowhere. We went into the dungeon, slayed the things, looted the things, and left. ...