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Questions tagged [story]

The sequence of events that take place in the fictional environment of a roleplaying game.

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+200

What's the earliest instance of a “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” reference to beholders?

Is there any recorded use of the phrase, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" being used in a commercially available D&D campaign or any rulebook of any edition, specifically to reference (...
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8answers
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As DM, how do I deal with PCs that expect everything in the game to be relevant to the story?

I've started DMing a new group. We've only had two short, 2hour sessions, and most players are new to DnD. I've been a DM before (though just a dozen or so sessions) but in those cases it was with a ...
3
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3answers
225 views

How do I make a player feel important when their skills don't affect the campaign? [closed]

You know how sometimes a character takes Dwarvish as their second language but you have no dwarves in your campaign? Or a Cleric specializes in killing undead when your campaign revolves around ...
31
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5answers
7k views

Is an unlikely coincidence bad storytelling?

I am the DM in a fairly new d&d 5e campaign. In it is a kobold barbarian who was once a dragon-shield in a now destroyed tribe. The black dragon wyrmling the tribe worshiped/protected is presumed ...
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0answers
108 views

Prematurely arrested players [closed]

In short, I have 2 players that had stolen some valued items that were crafty in how they would avoid leaving a trail (changing clothes, altering directions via water). Im happy to reward their ...
4
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1answer
681 views

What story arcs does the Tomb of Annihilation adventure (as written) fail to resolve?

I have been brought in as a substitute DM to finish the last 2-3 episodes of an almost eight month campaign of Tomb of Annihilation spanning over 30 sessions. (I was chosen to help maintain continuity ...
2
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0answers
268 views

How to tell a story where the players do not come out on top [closed]

I have been GMing a game for a few months now and all in all it has been a ton of fun. My party has just gotten done closing down a portal to Limbo that was being held open by a death slaad and ...
7
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1answer
125 views

Are there pitfalls to allowing for a Story with an open ending?

In 7th Sea second edition, I'm working with one of my players on a Story where their character is to retrieve a stolen item of significant value. He hasn't decided what the character wants to do with ...
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0answers
126 views

How do I learn to be a GM? [closed]

I have never played Pathfinder before or D&D. My friends and I started a trial run with various characters that they made and I have been directed into the GMing position. Yet I have no idea what ...
4
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0answers
392 views

How to teach gamers to roleplay [closed]

My question really boils down to: How do I deal with pc-gamers who want to play my game as if it were a computer game? I ran a game with several gamer friends, who were more or less new to the ...
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5answers
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Is D&D a suitable tool for fleshing out my own fictional world?

So I've gone around on the web, trying to figure out exactly how D&D works, and still I'm befuddled. Let me first start by stating what exactly it is I'm trying to achieve. So, I'm an aspiring ...
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3answers
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How do I make information that I give my players “accidental”?

I like the idea that the players of my campaign are meddlers. Creatures who have came upon knowledge only by accident or putting their noses where those noses don't belong. The idea that the ...
25
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5answers
7k views

Should I let one of my Players control his character's kids?

I have a Player whose character has kids. That's fine with me, the kids that this character has are 23, 24, and 25. The player wants to control the kids of this character whenever they show up. I'm ...
4
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1answer
265 views

How can I avoid metagaming and conflicting narratives when presenting parallel stories to the same players?

If you are one of my Players: "Sam, Harlan, Simon or Matt" please do not ready this. I am having the plan to run a side campaign in my World Custom 4e D&D game (Basically skins to replace the ...
3
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0answers
114 views

Help me find a recap of an adventure where different party/same players, visit village [closed]

A couple years back I found a text about a player recapping one of their most memorable pen&paper sessions. I found it in a forum thread where people shared some of their most memorable pen&...
11
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3answers
1k views

My PCs are getting distracted from the main storyline, focusing on their own ventures instead

Ok, I say PCs... but I actually mean PC. I am running a 1-player D&D 5e game for a friend (let's call her Jane), as a way of introducing them to the game. It was only meant to be a "non-canon", ...
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14answers
13k views

What do you do when your players guess your plots?

So I'm a new GM and am running my first campaign. I'm by no means running a terribly complicated game with Elizabethan parlor intrigue, but I do have a few twists that I'm excited to throw at my ...
29
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7answers
4k views

Who gets to write how character backgrounds tie into the game?

One of my player's character is searching for a long-lost brother whom he never knew. Who is ultimately responsible for how this NPC is written into the story? I realize that I am the DM, and ...
30
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3answers
5k views

How can I stress my players' resources while making the stressors feel natural without simply adding more combat encounters?

In a weekly campaign I've been running my players have recently reached levels where they are obtaining some of their core abilities. One of my players is a druid, who has chosen the wild shape-...
5
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4answers
588 views

How many (loosely linked) layers of story are managable for the players? [closed]

While plotting the course of our "campaign", picking up adventure or story ideas, I have come to a point where multiple plots interleave. But not in the classic, homogeneous "adventure -> story arc -> ...
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5answers
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How can I foreshadow the identity of a villain without making it too obvious?

I am currently running a campaign where, in one of the main story arcs, the villain is a rogue(assassin) with the charlatan background. He a very charismatic man who already commands a fair amount of ...
5
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3answers
644 views

How should I handle killing (or not) this character? [closed]

So I've been playing with the same group for a long time and they aren't the smartest which has led to the loss of many PCs in this D&D game. Only one has survived this entire time. His name is ...
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3answers
3k views

How can I get my player to work with the story instead of roleplaying a lunatic?

My play group is currently running a prototype game we made based on Dragon Ball Z using d20 rules; I'm GMing. One player in particular always makes characters that are mentally limited, crazy or with ...
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5answers
2k views

How do I turn a scenario idea into an adventure?

I'm still struggling with, as a GM, turning a scenario idea or a goal of the PCs' into a proper adventure. A proper adventure has challenging, multiple steps — I'm failing to get the “multiple steps” ...
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2answers
531 views

How does Fate handle wildly out-of-scope attempts to declare story details?

The way I see, Fate lets anyone declare details and describe parts of the world more or less as the player sees fit. Unless the setting is based on a certain fixed universe known by all players, ...
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5answers
2k views

How can I tell if my prep is right for a session's length?

Because I have a group that acts unpredictably, I stay away from laying out the whole adventure - let alone the campaign - beforehand. Instead I write each new session as a response to their actions ...
11
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4answers
326 views

Building Story as a Player

I would like to know how to help a new GM build story as a player. History I am playing a campaign with some friends and our GM is a new GM and we have been playing for about a month now. He has ...
5
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3answers
1k views

How do I design a campaign about stealing? [closed]

In the one-on-one campaign I'm running, the player's rogue wants to steal stuff. All the time. His goal is to become the Greatest Thief of All Time. I prefer good stories, but the player seems more ...
9
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2answers
569 views

Where can I find stories about the yakuza? [closed]

I'm planning my first (short) adventure, replacing my group's previous GM for a few sessions. Thing is, I'm new to Shadowrun, and I don't have much background knowledge of the universe in general or ...
20
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10answers
5k views

How do I tie episodic sessions together to make larger campaign arcs?

My D&D group only plays perhaps once a month and occasionally one of them won't be able to make it. I (the DM) home-brewed our last campaign and, whilst fun, the big story arcs and multiple NPCs ...
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0answers
214 views

Are amnesia stories good for RPGs? [closed]

I've noticed that some plot types seem hard to pull off in Role Playing Games. Are Party Amnesia plots good for the medium? Do they require any special handling? Should the players be in on it (...
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1answer
1k views

How long should I wait to bring back the Player character? [closed]

So I have been running this game for a while now. The player character has died a few times at this point and was resurrected each time. I made it clear that they had run out of resurrects. In our ...
7
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1answer
700 views

Help me re-find this role-playing story

I want to find this story again to inspire my fellow newer players to break the mold of role-playing. I remember reading an incredibly inspiring [D&D probably] story about a player who was role-...
23
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5answers
5k views

How should I go about stabbing my friend in the back? [closed]

I'll let that title sit there for a second while I explain my situation. So, first off - recently the DM let slip that his current campaign is loosely based on the Star Wars trilogy (which one though,...
27
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10answers
2k views

How do I hint at events outside the scope of the current quest?

I'm GMing a long-term game with some friends, and they are the sort who, as soon as I drop a hint about anything, go "Let's investigate that!" I want there to be an overarching story arc, but it's ...
1
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1answer
241 views

Creating an artifact that the heroes must destroy? [closed]

I'm on a Lord of the Rings kick, so I'm curious how you'd create a major plot device that is both the main antagonist and the strongest weapon they have without killing the party with Ring Wraiths (or ...
4
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2answers
444 views

What is a fractal style of story generator?

Inspired by this question: I have never heard of a Fractal style story generator, I did a quick google and am somewhat uncertain as to how this differs from developing a normal story arc. So, what ...
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1answer
1k views

What are some 'Realistic' ideas for side-quests? [closed]

Okay, to start off by "Realistic", I don't mean stern, and lifeless. I mean within realms of reason, and not high-fantasy stuff. So, our group is playing a campaign, and there's no over-arching ...
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2answers
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How to make your players hate your villain, but not your game

How does one build the character of a villain such that the players (playing heroic characters) hate the villain as much as possible without detracting too much from the quality of the game? What ...
15
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3answers
2k views

How to make a great villain who your players hate more than anything else? [closed]

I'd love to hear from you guys what you consider to be the best way to make the motive that drives the players to defeat the villain to be something personal and even passional. I believe a villain ...
8
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4answers
1k views

How do I retrain myself to see characters as people and not systems?

Background Some of my previous questions (see What should I do when other players refuse to engage with my character's flaw? and Excessively clever characters vs. narrativist RP?) have alluded to ...
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4answers
692 views

How do I help players engage with plot despite giving me no good background hooks?

Two of my players are very excited about the game ("Super-Assassins Take On the Mafia, Ancient Evil") and made backgrounds with lots of good hooks I can use to tie them into the plot. The other two ...
33
votes
7answers
3k views

What to do when a great idea comes too soon?

As a GM, often a fantastic ending to a campaign comes to me before I start it. In the Star Wars universe, I picture the heroes stealing a Star Destroyer from the Empire or, in D&D, I picture the ...
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0answers
173 views

Do you share your story titles with players? [closed]

I've started to taking to naming my stories, even for no other purpose than record keeping. However I've been thinking about sharing the names of the stories with the players. If you do it do before ...
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1answer
181 views

How do I manage to handle many villian organizations on an already NPC filled game? [closed]

I'm running a super powers (anime style) campaign with friends, we've just begun and we want to keep the anime "vibe" alive for as long as we can, since Japanese Animation shows make use of several ...
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4answers
1k views

How can I recognise when a Scene should be skipped?

There is a mode of thought that says RPGs should be like a movie or a TV show. We don't give screen time to the boring stuff. I had a scene play out where the players had to let a NPC know they were ...
9
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5answers
1k views

How to follow up the adventure if the party split?

In the last session, the party I'm DMing got into a great fight against the spirit of the valley (a big dire wolf). In the heat of the fight the cleric was bitten to the point that he dropped to 0 hp (...
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3answers
1k views

Can Asmodeus' AD&D and 3.5e backgrounds be merged without losing anything?

I was originally planning to make Asmodeus the ultimate bad guy of an upcoming campaign I am DMing, but when I discovered the background in AD&D's Guide to Hell I was immediately sold on the ...
5
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3answers
353 views

How can I optimize storytelling for a Pathfinder game with a party group in flux

The group that I game with has been falling one by one. Life happens I understand this happens. However there is now only 1 character(Myself) and the DM and while we have fun it would be more fun with ...
33
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11answers
5k views

Plausible explanation for large number of armed adventurers in fantasy RPG setting?

I'm working on a Dungeons & Dragons setting and want a comprehensive and logical explanation why, in a feudal society similar to Western Europe in the Middle Ages, there might be bands of armed ...