Questions tagged [gm-techniques]

For questions about the practical arts and methods applied to gamemastering (GMing).

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5
votes
1answer
37 views

As a GM, how could I interpret Wits damage caused by pushed rolls?

I'll give a short explanation for those non-familiar with Forbidden Lands. There are no hit points as such, damage goes to attribute points. Simplifying a bit, when you fail a roll you can "push ...
16
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8answers
2k views

Techniques for hiding dice rolls when an NPC/enemy has advantage/disadvantage

It's common to hide die rolls as a DM and there are some advantages to it. The problem is that they can still hear two dice or see when you're rolling twice. Although it's rarely useful to do so, you ...
29
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8answers
4k views

What are the DM's responsibilities when dealing with a character's death?

This facet of RPGs is the thing with which I have the least experience/comfort level.  I'm sanguine about the idea that Dungeons etc. are inherently dangerous places, and that the PCs behavior is ...
8
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5answers
2k views

Which CR 5-13 monsters can I use against an all-flying party? [closed]

If I run a 5e game for a crow-man party who naturally have all-day flight as part of their basic movement modes, which existing published monsters / encounter types am I left with who have either ...
2
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0answers
74 views

Homebrewing tips for multi-table campaigns? [closed]

To be clear, I am not looking for homebrew. I am only looking for tips for running games, with the current requirements I have set. Anyway, I am going to be running a campaign for some new players. ...
7
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2answers
384 views

How do I roleplay Prejudice/Xism?

The world is not always nice place, and typically neither are our pretend ones. There are plenty of times in games where Characters may come across others who are prejudiced in some form. Perhaps ...
2
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2answers
577 views

How to handle a party's bad choices? [closed]

Not too long ago I started a campaign in Pathfinder 2e, and at a certain point I hinted at an enemy group's location and (superior) strength, while telling the party to go somewhere else and complete ...
49
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6answers
8k views

How can I deal with a 'soft' alpha gamer player?

Alpha gamer is a type of player in cooperative games, who effectively makes a decision for another player. In this question I am asking how to deal with a 'soft' version of this player archetype, who ...
14
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13answers
2k views

How can I tell my players that necromancers are not bad guys? [closed]

I'm running a homebrew campaign where a group of necromancers made a town into their own base of research. World Context: The town was abandoned many years ago and the country had no more any form of ...
26
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3answers
5k views

Herding Maids to stop being creepy

MAID is a rather fun setting thing. And from a game design standpoint surprisingly well made for a game that is focused around trying to be a funny, sometimes sexy, harem Anime trope. But I have yet ...
1
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4answers
221 views

How to get my players to open an iron flask [closed]

So my players have just found an iron flask and inside is a Lich. The Lich is going to be the next main plot driving component and I need the players to open it in order to begin this phase. How do I ...
5
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3answers
885 views

What is the optimal breakdown for time the GM and players hold the floor?

One thing I keep on running into while playing or running games online is managing the amount of time the GM and the players have the floor. Anyone have a useful ballpark figure? As a player, I ...
36
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13answers
6k views

How to DM unlikely strength checks

A question for all DMs out there. So, part of the fun of D&D derives from the randomness of the dice, and to interpret their results in a sensible way -even within the broad boundaries of a make-...
1
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0answers
42 views

What are some resources/advice for GMs looking to hone improvisational skills? [closed]

In an effort to prep for a one-shot that I'm running next month, I'm looking for any guides, videos, podcasts, etc. aimed at helping a GM refine their improvisational skills. I'm giving our DM a ...
8
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4answers
569 views

How to handle when a player wants to frequently rebuild her existing character?

I'm a DM. One of my players like to frequently reimagine/develop her character in D&D 4th edition as follows: Change the ability scores (swap them) between levels to better optimize the character ...
35
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4answers
4k views

How do I handle questions about in-game things that I'm not prepared for?

I DM for my brother’s four kids. Their ages are 14, 13, 12, and 10. I made everything up in the world, so it’s not an official campaign. They’re asking questions that I didn’t even think that they’d ...
10
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4answers
946 views

How to handle pursuit over long distances, between cities?

in an upcoming session it is possible I might have to handle a chase between cities. I'm DMing Tyranny of Dragons and we are going a bit off book (not a problem, in fact I like where the players are ...
33
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14answers
6k views

How do I deal with instant-solution spells like Comprehend Languages?

I'm DM-ing an upcoming campaign and am considering banning or nerfing spells like Comprehend Languages because they can be used to instantly solve potentially interesting problems like reading an ...
3
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0answers
160 views

How should a GM go about handling a combat encounter against an enemy team of runners?

I have a group that is about to encounter another runner team in combat. They both want to do the same job and are going to be fighting for the package. The two thoughts I had were to make some of ...
1
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0answers
51 views

When writing and preparing a campaign should I include all the side stories and all possible encounters? [duplicate]

I have worked out an entire world with a story and several side stories (they'll be optional) should I just put them in the middle of the story of where they'd be available or should I put them into a ...
27
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9answers
6k views

Can you lower your AC on purpose?

For roleplaying reasons I would like to make a NPC appear weaker than it actually is. When the players first fight it, it should seem to have a very low AC and miss many attacks. Is this possible in ...
21
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4answers
4k views

How to handle when a player wants the DM to hard-bend the story for his/her epic idea of outcome?

I'm a DM. My level 11 player, at the first stepping stone of a Paragon Tier, started to fantasize, moreover, insist on a particular outcome for him for level 21 (Epic Tier). In short: he wants to die ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Is there a RAW way to resurrect the dead as an undead slave without changing its stats?

The trivial answer, of course, would be "Wish", but perhaps there is something more specific that I overlooked. I'm asking for a plot-device in my homebrew campaign. The idea is that the big ...
6
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2answers
381 views

How would you challenge a party of 8 players characters without killing them?

I have a party of 8 players, and more continue to join (against my wishes). How would you recommend challenging low-level (4 or lower) players that are in a large group? How do I give everyone a ...
39
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4answers
5k views

How to handle “I investigate for <this particular thing>” checks

The characters enter a room, and get the general "what do you see" spiel. One player announces that he wants to "Investigate the room for ". (Let's say "investigate for odd ...
18
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4answers
6k views

A player loves the story and the combat but doesn't role-play

Together with my best friend Jon, I'm in a group of people who enjoy RPGs. I've been GMing for several years in this larger group. Other friends of that group also GM. I'm the most story-oriented GM, ...
2
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1answer
78 views

How to write an entry for an organization?

I will be running my players through a homebrew world. My players usually enjoy reading lore and quite familiar with the lore of the previous universe we played in. Though I haven't ever done this in ...
31
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7answers
8k views

How should I as a GM handle a player character who has a bad memory?

There is a player in my campaign who's characters defining trait is that they have a bad memory. I like creating mechanical representations of character traits if it makes sense to do so. I've given ...
29
votes
1answer
837 views

How do I accommodate a blind player at my remote table?

For remote play at our table, we use a camera stuck on a microphone-boom-arm that we can rotate by 360°. We found out that we prefer it to have our rest position at about 45°, instead of top-down ...
39
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5answers
6k views

How do I move forward when an impending doom was stopped by accident?

I'm having an issue in a campaign I am running where an impending doom that was part of a front was stopped by the players pretty much by dumb luck. In order to both prevent any of my nosy players ...
1
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1answer
273 views

When is it appropriate to contest a DM? [closed]

Ι am struggling to find helpful information about when it is appropriate for a player to challenge a DM's decision. There was a recent question which triggered this "old chestnut" for me: ...
16
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3answers
3k views

How should a player and GM handle an ability that necessitates a player seeing a GM's roll?

A Dual-Cursed Oracle gets the following Revelation at 1st level: Misfortune (Ex): At 1st level, as an immediate action, you can force a creature within 30 feet to reroll any one d20 roll that it has ...
8
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5answers
1k views

How can I get my players to delegate to NPCs?

I have ran into this issue in many games using different systems. My players either start in or reach a point where they should be above things that normal adventurers are about, whether it be ...
36
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9answers
7k views

As a DM, is telling your players what their characters conclude a bad practice?

I, a new DM who has run around 10-15 game session so far, am in the process of watching Critical Role Campaign 2 (currently at Episode 23). We all know Matt Mercer and his famous quotes like "You ...
0
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1answer
149 views

Making pit traps more interesting [closed]

I'm currently running the Barrowmaze campaign, which has many 10'x10'x10' pits, often in corridors, so there's no way around them. When reading the campaign, I thought they would be quite interesting, ...
3
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2answers
577 views

How to use Inspiring Leader so it's not a permanent HP increase for the whole party? [closed]

I wanted to ask the question "Is Inspiring Leader basicly a permanent HP increase for the whole party?", but apparently that question has already been asked and answered, even though it ...
16
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5answers
4k views

How can I help one of my players be more tanky?

I'm running a game of four (currently) 5th-level characters. All of them are heavy damage-dealers (a wizard, warlock, ranger and paladin) with the paladin as the nominal tank. However, the paladin is ...
24
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6answers
3k views

How can I have a villain restrain PCs in an “intelligent” way without killing or disabling some or all of them?

The 4th level party got captured during a showdown with a major villain at the end of the last session: three of them (Warlock, Ranger, Priest) were rendered unconscious and the survivor (Bard) got ...
35
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10answers
8k views

How do I help a player terrified of their character dying in combat?

Relatively new DM with a group of 5 players (some with ttrpg experience, some not) through a twist on the essentials kit module. One absolute first time player is running a 3rd level rogue with low HP ...
28
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4answers
4k views

How can I make people fear a player with a monstrous character?

I am running Curse of Strahd at the moment and one of my players is using a Bugbear, which is causing me some challenge. The module specifically states: Barovians thus react to nonhuman characters ...
26
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5answers
6k views

How do I kill the party?

I have twice before had a game in which, for story reasons, I wanted to kill the entire party all in one go. Once because I needed the players to enter the afterlife, the second because I wanted the ...
13
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3answers
1k views

How do I respond to a player's criticism that the breadth of feats available in Pathfinder 2e is by its nature restrictive?

Not sure how better to phrase the title. Let me explain. I recently migrated a 5e campaign across to PF2e. One player has been resistant to this move. As an example, he asked how a character might ...
8
votes
2answers
290 views

How does a low Strength stat translate into the narrative?

I'm having trouble with something. In a ADnD 2e campaign how should a low Strength translate into the narrative/roleplay of the campaign? It's easy to figure out how high Strength would work when ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Do spell targets know they were targeted if they make their saves?

A lot of spells in D&D 5e either work or they don't, with no visual or audio effect. If your target cant see or hear that you are casting a spell, and they make their save for that spell... do ...
8
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3answers
329 views

How to avoid alienation by expected but slow mood shift, and still keep players out of spoilers?

I run a My Little Pony(MLP) campaign. By design, at the start of the campaign what the citizens (PCs) know about the world is true, but it's not the whole and complete truth, and many issues of the ...
50
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7answers
6k views

How should I prevent a player from instantly recognizing a magical impostor without making them feel cheated?

In the campaign I'm running, I'm looking to introduce an NPC who is secretly an antagonistic oni in disguise. An oni's shapechange feature, however, is explicitly described as magical, and one of my ...
7
votes
3answers
485 views

How do I introduce my BBEG's power without my pcs rushing in to fight them?

I made a homebrew creature that's supposed to be impossible for them to fight at the moment as that creature is the BBEG. I wanted to show the strength gap between the pcs start and how strong they ...
12
votes
3answers
861 views

How to work with Portent for replacing enemy rolls

It seems like, RAW, if a Divination Wizard is in the party then the DM would have to ask that player whether they want to interrupt the roll ... on every single roll that any NPC makes. That's going ...
9
votes
1answer
698 views

Does the ability check DC of Dispel Magic scale with the slot level or the original level of the spell cast?

We just played our weekly game and one of our PCs cast dispel magic and we got confused with the wording of the DC to dispel. Is the rise in DC based on the spell slot level used or the normal level ...
3
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0answers
44 views

How should I set up and execute air battles in my session to avoid easy encounters? [duplicate]

I'm running the Storm King's Thunder campaign in dnd 5e, and we are at the portion where the PCs get an airship to travel around in. There are approximately 5-6 lvl 7 PCs, and they have 3 or 4 hard ...

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