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Questions tagged [group-dynamics]

This tag is for game-participant dynamics including dealing with sensitive topics, managing group composition, and other table-level interactions. For questions dealing with the actual party of characters in the game, use the [party] tag.

38
votes
9answers
9k views

How do I run a game for a larger group?

I am currently running a Dungeons and Dragons 4 campaign for a group of 9 players. Whittling the group down to a more manageable size is not really an option since they are all family. When we do ...
39
votes
11answers
11k views

Is the DM Always Right?

I recently got into a disagreement with my DM for a DND 5E game regarding a use of Prestidigitation. The argument was that since it could create a Non-Magical Trinket, and Music Boxes are ...
38
votes
7answers
5k views

What's the purpose of the same page tool?

The same page tool has been mentioned on this site and I would like to use it if needed. The problem is that I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of the tool is. My first impression was that this ...
28
votes
8answers
6k views

How do you deal with a player that's determined to play the game in a way that is detrimental to the advancement of the story?

I GM a Dresden Files campaign, and I have a first time role-player that has become a problem in terms of advancement of the story. At first I chalked it up to inexperience, but its become more and ...
80
votes
22answers
5k views

How can I avoid players spending too much time planning?

Several times when I have played in or ran a game in which the players had an objective and reasonable resources, a lot of (real) time was spent trying to plan for every contingency. For example, ...
31
votes
8answers
36k views

Can D&D with only 2 players (plus DM) even work?

I DM'ed for my buddies this semester and it was really fun. I got my roommate hooked and now he's asking for me to make another campaign (I've got a great idea). The problem lies in the fact that I'll ...
36
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I emphasize role-playing during combat?

Right now, the group that I GM for is very, very tactical-combat focused. To some extent, we may as well be playing a dungeon crawl board game for all the role-play we manage. Now, in and of itself ...
47
votes
13answers
10k views

How to secretly talk to one of the players while DM'ing?

To cut it short, the players (it's a 3 people party) are in some kind of a Secret Service of a rebel prince who wants the throne. One of my players is working for the current king secretly, feeding ...
70
votes
7answers
10k views

Is starting a group with 5 newbies (DM included) possible?

Some friends and I want to start playing D&D (5e), but none of us, DM included (not me) have played before to any great extent. The DM and I have some cursory experience with 4e, but have never ...
40
votes
11answers
17k views

Can I be a follower of an evil god and not be evil?

I'm playing a warlock, a follower of the old god Cthulhu (chaotic evil). My character is chaotic neutral, and has been doing some not-so-neutral things (in my opinion). My patron god is a big part of ...
83
votes
17answers
10k views

How should a GM deal with sexuality in an RPG?

I think it's a matter of fact that since the first moment a player realizes that he or she can interact with someone of the opposite sex romantically within the game, things get hairy. I had my fair ...
49
votes
13answers
3k views

How do I deal with GM burnout?

There are groups that share the role of GM/DM/Storyteller/Ref, and there are those that don't. In either type there is always the threat of burnout - too much responsibility is put into the hands of a ...
22
votes
4answers
8k views

How do I deal with a bored or distracted player bringing down the group?

My group have been playing various D&D style games for a few years, I have one player however that often will drift off and start playing on his phone and several times has actually fallen ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

Dealing with a Diva Player

A friend of mine has started preparing a pbp Mutants & Masterminds campaign, and one of their players is someone I know to be problematic. Already, the player has started to show signs of being ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Maintaining balance with a very large group

I played DnD 3.5 while in the military and due to a shortage of DMs, was constantly flooded by players. Some of my games would include up to 10 or 11. I discovered quickly that balancing for this in 3....
17
votes
11answers
5k views

How can I allow one character to sneak off and assassinate an NPC without boring the other players?

Setup In my campaign, one of the PCs is an assassin. Before the game started, I gave the player a list of assassination targets. One of the targets happens to be friends with the party's warlord. It'...
53
votes
10answers
4k views

Running games for a constantly unreliable group

My RP club has been going on for many years, which has the unfortunate effect of us getting older. Many members of my club have started to acquire a 'real life', with more of their time devoted to ...
56
votes
7answers
15k 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 ...
52
votes
5answers
4k views

Is the same page tool overkill for brand new players?

I'm about to run the D&D 5e starter set for a group, most of which are entirely new to RPGs. The Same Page Tool looks like a great resource for a new group playing together, but not necessarily ...
21
votes
11answers
1k views

How to help players settle down and focus?

We have a weekly game in the evenings; however, we often don't start playing for a few hours after we get together, if at all. This has been exacerbated recently by other events with the same people ...
45
votes
6answers
5k views

How can I check whether an extremely adult/mature plot idea would be accepted by players without revealing any details of the idea itself?

I am running a post-apocalyptic zombie game with a dark and mature story, exploring a number of adult themes. I have complete buy-in from the players; some of them have stated it is their favourite ...
63
votes
13answers
15k views

How to deal with a player who is a bad sport?

I have a dedicated gaming group that meets every Sunday. We have been playing regularly for over a year now. It's small, just 5 of us including the current DM. We all rotate DM position per campaign ...
21
votes
8answers
9k views

PCs using disciplinary talk from DM as leverage, leading to group dysfunction

This is a follow up from my previous question (Dealing with 2 Immature Players Who Detract from the Experiences of Others), based on what I think is an unfortunate development since I originally ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I get less attached to my characters?

In terms of my preferences, I tend to like a balance between story and dice-rolling, and write 1-2 page backstories for my characters. I also like a cinematic style where failure means a temporary ...
29
votes
10answers
12k views

The group I DM for insists on rolled stats, but I don't want unbalanced PCs to cause group conflicts later

I'm going to be running a new campaign for my players, with our session 0 starting tomorrow. I was leaning towards the traditional ability score method of generation (roll 4d6, drop the lowest). I ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I rescue the game when the player characters refuse to work together?

I am a Game Master, and the characters in my group have started to regularly split up. The group's mage has always been a summoner and recently started summoning smaller demons. The fighter's player ...
114
votes
10answers
79k views

New girl gamer in our D&D group is causing weird tension - what to do?

I'm concerned because a new player just joined our D&D 5e group and is super flirty with all the male players (both in person and as her character - she's a bard). And the problem is that she's ...
42
votes
6answers
4k views

How to transform a bunch of strangers into a friendly group?

I am about to start a game with a bunch of strangers. I posted a flyer in a friendly local game shop (FLGS) and some folks responded enthusiastically. I talked a little bit to them about what sort of ...
63
votes
19answers
12k views

Problems with Party Formation: “You're the DM, you can figure it out.”

Sort of related to Is it wrong to ask a player to justify their character's actions? Scenario Player 1 wants to be a male drow necromancer that reveres Kiaransalee. Player 2 wants to be a male ...
74
votes
14answers
9k views

Is it wrong to ask a player to justify their character's actions?

When a player has their character do something completely outside of the perceived norm for that character, is it okay to ask them for a justification? If they can not give satisfactory justification,...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I convince my group to try a new system without always having to DM it first?

I always play roleplaying games with the same friends. We have a lot of fun, but I'm always a bit frustrated by the fact that they always resist when I propose to try new roleplaying games. Even ...
36
votes
5answers
2k views

How to support useful Intraparty Conflict

This is a question calling for tried and tested methods for facilitating entertaining CvC intraparty conflict. Although Player versus Player (PvP) seems to be the accepted term among a large ...
24
votes
6answers
1k views

Techniques for speeding up a game with many players at the table? [closed]

I have a table of six players already, and have more people interested in joining my game. I wanted to consult people who had experience with running large tables to see if running for larger groups ...
77
votes
4answers
9k views

OD&D said it could be played with 20-50 players and one referee. How was that expected to work and still be fun?

Original D&D is often the shorthand name for the 1974 Dungeons & Dragons, Vol. 1, Men & Magic, written by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. The section on "Scope" has this quote: Number of ...
32
votes
8answers
3k views

How do I make my role playing group a not exclusively male one?

My role playing groups have been, almost exclusively, male. What are some ideas/options for making the group and the experience more likely to attract, and retain, female players?
33
votes
8answers
12k views

Player complaining about “Kill stealing”

One of our players (our Fighter) has started complaining about "kill stealing". Not overly much, like throwing a tantrum or anything, but they're still voicing their opinion about it. Some instances ...
20
votes
11answers
2k views

Encouraging out-of-the-box thinking in combat encounters

I'm a GM currently running D&D 3.5. I try to think of situations that present the players with a number of possible solutions. The players, however, always resort to the same pattern of killing ...
19
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Player-driven versus GM-driven mechanics in Pathfinder

According to some people: Players shouldn't state the skill they want to use for a given situation, they should state their intentions. As the Game Master, you know how that intended action can be ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I get players to invest in their character concept and stop making new PCs?

I have been playing in a specific group for some time now. I now am in a position where I am going to be the GM once more. However I have a recurring problem with the players continuously switching ...
22
votes
6answers
6k views

How to DM mind control effects without angering my friends?

I have a bit of a problem, particularly relating to a custom monster I created. D&D has a lot of effects and abilities that change a character's behavior, ranging from a simple intimidate check ...
12
votes
2answers
7k views

Average gaming time and session frequency

Is there any (semi) hard data on average gaming time and session frequency? How often does an average party play and how long does an average session of theirs last? Has anyone surveyed this yet (...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I deal with aggressive/disrespectful criticism?

This problem hit me as both a Storyteller and as player. I joined a "Survival Horror" game of Vampire: the Masquerade; a minor encounter spiraled out of control in the second session. The GM gave us a ...
93
votes
13answers
13k views

Dealing with (supposedly) in-character bullying

There is a member in our current gaming group that has been difficult to deal with and I would really appreciate some advice. For context: We are a group of four people, including the DM, and have ...
65
votes
6answers
24k views

What can I do about the guys being distracted by a new girl in D&D group?

We recently got a new party member, and she is ... well, extremely distracting if you catch my drift. As the DM it is frustrating, because all the guys are trying to flirt with her, and shower her ...
33
votes
14answers
2k views

Narrativist Gaming: How do you transition more traditionally-trained players into them?

This was obviously inspired by the corresponding question on GM-less gaming. For the past couple of years I've become really interested in RPGs that are less about dungeon-crawling and combat and ...
33
votes
5answers
2k views

Dealing with people who turn up late for sessions

I run sessions every Monday evening at a pub in the centre of London, and most people come to play straight from work. Up until recently we were attempting to start at 7pm, but there were one or two ...
36
votes
4answers
920 views

How can the players reduce the workload of a game master?

As you know DMs do most of the job for the campaign (maps, plot, NPCs etc) and quite a bit of storytelling. Players, on the other side, bring in their creativity and add extra spice to the game ...
49
votes
11answers
10k views

How to handle loot disputes as the DM?

Context Most of the time, Loot distribution is Players' and PCs' problem. From my point of view, I'm responsible for putting the chest with X loot in the dungeon. The PCs being able to find it and ...
34
votes
7answers
4k views

How to deal with differing interests as a DM?

A few years ago, I ran a short-lived 4e campaign with a bunch of players who all had a different idea of what aspect of the game was the most fun to them. 2 players, close friends, wanted to treat ...
29
votes
12answers
12k views

How do we play with irregular attendance?

Some of my players (myself included) will always set time aside to play our weekly D&D 5e games, but others are more casual about their attendance, and won't make it most of the time, except when ...