Questions tagged [system-agnostic]

For questions that are explicitly not restricted to any one particular system or rules, where the asker wants solutions to the question that are not directly tied to a game's mechanics.

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Best Traveller version for Star Trek

There are some similar questions, however there are not specific enough for me. I want to run a game (as game master) in a Star Trek based setting. I did some research and decided that Traveller is ...
Maxxer's user avatar
  • 708
2 votes
4 answers
2k views

How to create systemless stats for monsters?

I'm writing a monster compendium that focuses on the lore of creatures, such as their behavior, habitat, and mythology, rather than on game mechanics. However, I'd like to include basic stats for each ...
Chaotic's user avatar
  • 163
17 votes
7 answers
3k views

How to handle it if one player wants to take a risky course of action that nobody else wants?

Here is a situation that happened in a game that I was DMing: The PCs had the option to ambush another group of adventurers, but this was highly risky: the PCs would be in trouble if caught. I ...
Alex319's user avatar
  • 3,208
-1 votes
2 answers
277 views

Do people ever replay a scenario when it has been spoiled? [closed]

I have rarely played any kind of RPG but I read the posts here out of curiosity. Background A GM has spent weeks or months designing a game world. Well into the game a character invents a nuclear bomb ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
1k views

What are the techniques for writing descriptive posts in a timely manner as a game master?

To clarify, especially after Covid I have become an exclusively text based game GM and I am looking to improve my description of events (and maybe add a bit of an artistic flare) but that results in ...
Maiko Chikyu's user avatar
  • 20.7k
12 votes
6 answers
6k views

I want to nerf my character for roleplay purposes, but I fear I might have the "My Guy Syndrome"

I could use some assessment of my current situation. Do you think my current behaviour falls under the My Guy Syndrome and how do I best proceed in this situation? I have a group of friends with whom ...
Azzarrel's user avatar
  • 896
8 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is the "revolving door of death"?

In this Stack Exchange question, we have the following statement, given while discussing players taking on ridiculous risk. Sometimes players bemoan the revolving door for life and death, I suspect ...
HFOrangefish's user avatar
  • 1,371
26 votes
6 answers
8k views

Player wants to play their one favorite character and nothing else, but that character can't work in this setting

I'm a helper DM for a West Marches style of game, using a heavily homebrewed setting and mechanic set. One of our prospective players has a character concept that simply cannot work with the setting ...
Stop Being Evil's user avatar
11 votes
8 answers
6k views

Avoiding alpha gaming when not alpha gaming gets PCs into trouble

Another question discussing alpha gamers which might be relevant. Alpha gamer is a type of player in cooperative games, who effectively makes a decision for another player. On tables, I'm usually ...
HFOrangefish's user avatar
  • 1,371
9 votes
15 answers
1k views

Is there a simpler way to roll for letters?

My daughter, age 10, likes to generate the names, or at least initials, when creating characters for various games (simple homebrew RPGs at the moment, or even just drawing the characters and ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 487
2 votes
1 answer
206 views

What should we be aware/cautious of when hacking together these systems? [closed]

We've talked new games and settings, what we like and those we found awkward. We haven't played all of the following together, we have a diversity of experience so I can rely on the opinions of others ...
GlobaBones's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
546 views

What are possible ways to deal with a truly problematic player? [closed]

I am compiling a guide of "typical practices" among rpg groups (you can see it as an extension of the Same Page Tool but that also extends to logistical aspects). I figure it would be useful ...
Anne Aunyme's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
155 views

Looking for a term, maybe an app [closed]

So my campaign setting uses a major adjustment to the class, subclass, and leveling aspects of 5e. While all 13 classes cam be chosen, the campaign only has a few subclasses unlocked I have set up a ...
Xisnue's user avatar
  • 357
21 votes
7 answers
3k views

How can I help players who have trouble interjecting into conversations and roleplaying?

After recently starting a new campaign with a group of players that I've had for separate groups before, I noticed that one of the players often struggles with the ability to interject when they want ...
Cassie's user avatar
  • 1,831
3 votes
0 answers
126 views

What are some alternative methods for running encounters where a PC loses control of their character? [closed]

There are a number of spells and monsters in various fantasy and sci-fi RPGs that can significantly influence a PC's behavior, take control of a PC altogether, or even replace a PC without the ...
ruffdove's user avatar
  • 6,129
4 votes
2 answers
216 views

How to make a good height and weight table? [closed]

I am wondering how I would make a good height and weight table that has balanced ranges across a range of around 6-8 feet. When I have tried making a table, it always ended up being too light for ...
AshDrake049182's user avatar
26 votes
11 answers
3k views

In session 0, how can I indicate that I'm not interested in a heavily optimized game without denigrating it as a play style?

This is a question about how to scope out prospective games where I'm a player. "Casual" isn't really accurate as a description of me as a player, since I'm very invested in story elements, ...
CabinetCat's user avatar
  • 1,223
8 votes
5 answers
3k views

Should I postpone Session Zero, so an irregular player can attend?

I am currently trying to start a campaign with a group of friends and our Session Zero was scheduled for next week. One of my players has now told me, that he is unsure, if he will be a part of our ...
TreeSpawned's user avatar
  • 1,838
11 votes
1 answer
735 views

Translating in-game between player characters without breaking the game's rhythm

(I struggled to find a "decent" title that encapsulates the issue at hand, so if you have a title idea that fits the question better, I'll gladly take it over the current one) I recently had ...
Matthieu's user avatar
  • 8,794
22 votes
6 answers
4k views

How to best take notes as a player in an ongoing campaign?

I'm a player in years-long campaign. I'm also a GM in a (different) years-long campaign. I noticed that even though I tried to take extensive notes, I'd often miss important things (volume != quality ...
ESCE's user avatar
  • 14k
2 votes
2 answers
212 views

How do I prevent a teleporting artefact from splitting the party? [closed]

During my campaign the players will find a magical diary. The diary is an artefact that, when read, transports the reader into the time period described therein. They can interact with the people and ...
Daron's user avatar
  • 674
9 votes
3 answers
4k views

What's the typical dice size? Or how big should the channel of a dice dispenser be?

I need some help. I'm trying to design a dice dispenser / tower where dice will slide or roll thorough a channel with a square cross-section. Many sources show that a typical d20 has a "diameter&...
Mołot's user avatar
  • 24.1k
14 votes
2 answers
997 views

Are aftercare/feedback techniques for play by chat different to in person play, and how does it work when we all have a tight schedule?

I regularly play in a game via real time chat. We all have tight schedules, and can only make a two-hour slot. Recently I've been interested in the concept of aftercare techniques or other ways of ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
19 votes
7 answers
4k views

Did I overstep the players' agency by forcefully resolving conflict between one player and the rest of the group? [closed]

In my last game, conflict emerged between one of my players (let's call him Bob) and the rest of the team. Finally, I (as GM) stepped into it and forced the player to give up. Backstory A session ...
Guy with jewels' names's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
129 views

Dungeon Mastering: How to dungeon master a game about non-heroic peasants living in a village [closed]

How would I engage the PCs? Say, I announced to them that a hurricane was going to blow over the village and destroy all the crops, kill a bunch of livestock, and ruin the whole thing. What would the ...
Computerized Free Will's user avatar
17 votes
8 answers
2k views

How can I introduce twists to a heist when the dice always succeed?

I think it's pretty well known that the best heists are those where the party gathers information, makes plans, gets their gear together, and then in the middle of executing the plan something happens ...
Richard Winters's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
287 views

As GM, how to implement an enemy that erases the PC's memory [closed]

I like the idea of an innocent-looking enemy, or even just a zone, in some dangerous place, that slowly erases the memories of anyone near it, whether randomly or starting from the newest memories. ...
LogicalKip's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is there a way to blend hex and square grid for battle maps?

I'm new to hexes and not too experienced with map-making in general, and I want to expand my understanding of them. While I was figuring out how radiuses would work for things like spells on a hex map,...
Superz's user avatar
  • 61
7 votes
5 answers
2k views

How can I bring up mental health in session zero?

I've recently started playing role-playing games again, and my current group are excellent in that they are very conscious of eachother's mental well-being. We openly discuss what we are and aren't ok ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
423 views

How to improve the variety of narration in my text-only game of D&D?

I, and one of other players in my play-by-chat group, have expressed a desire to improve the narration of our character's actions. When they brought this up, I noticed the sort of unvaried ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
11 votes
0 answers
130 views

How was loot sold historically? [closed]

Looting and selling valuable equipment is a key revenue generator for PCs in many RPGs, but how did this work historically? I have a vague idea from fiction that when armies brought home large amounts ...
ucbpaladin's user avatar
  • 1,341
12 votes
1 answer
465 views

As a GM, how do I build a complete group of players that fit my style and preferences?

I've been GMing for some years now. During that time, I feel like I've developed somewhat of a style/preference with the kinds of games I like to run. While I feel my games can be enjoyed by a variety ...
Gadianton's user avatar
  • 1,221
21 votes
10 answers
5k views

How can I limit (but not outright ban) exotic races? [closed]

Systems which offer a race/ancestry/lineage choice for character generation often feature both ordinary races (human, dwarf, elf, etc.) and exotic races (tiefling, shardmind, genasi, etc.). As should ...
Totofofo's user avatar
  • 786
15 votes
3 answers
798 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 ...
Kyyshak's user avatar
  • 2,931
57 votes
4 answers
8k views

Dealing with a Repeatedly Cheating Friend

I'm the GM of a long-running online Vampire: the Masquerade campaign. Three years ago, we had a new (and young) player who cheated on dice rolls. I kicked him out. A while later, he messaged me to ...
Guest's user avatar
  • 523
55 votes
6 answers
11k 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 ...
Diamond Dust's user avatar
22 votes
5 answers
5k views

How do I deal with this very annoying teammate who engages in player versus player combat?

I am playing with some friends over Discord, and one of them makes characters with a bit of a light temper. Not that bad, right? Wrong. If you do something or say something he doesn't like, he makes ...
Tompke's user avatar
  • 245
42 votes
4 answers
4k views

What does it mean for a word or phrase to be a "game term"?

These two questions use the phrase "game term": Is “a special melee attack” an actual game term? What does 'ally' mean, as a game term? Both answers seem to make a distinction between game ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
32 votes
5 answers
7k views

How can I handle a PC wanting to be a "twist" villain?

My group has been following a premade campaign that has a decentralized plot structure that relies mainly on adventurers "finding their own adventure". This means that while the campaign ...
Andrendire's user avatar
  • 11.7k
19 votes
3 answers
3k views

My gaming group can't agree on play-by-post or scheduled games

I'm currently helping out as one of the DMs of a larger gaming group that will periodically see two or three players plus a DM go on a mission, usually handled in play-by-post format. Right now, I ...
Stop Being Evil's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
213 views

Where can I find experiential-based resources for West Marches/Open Table games? [closed]

I'm currently getting ready to run an Open Party/West Marches style game with a pool of about 16 players. We'll be using 5e, but my question is system-agnostic. I of course started with Ben Robbins' &...
solutionorppt's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

How do I DM for this group when we can't handle a large group properly, but also can't count on any smaller group all attending?

I just concluded an online game with my players. (We played 5E, but I want to move to Dungeon World.) I started with four players, and that has since grown to around ten people wanting to play, which ...
From A Public Comp's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
422 views

What is the first game with explicit fluff/crunch distinctions? [closed]

I find myself involved in discussions frequently where one person will claim that a piece of text in a rulebook is "just fluff" or "pure flavor" and can be "refluffed" by ...
Benjamin T Hall's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
1k views

How do you determine what action belongs to who in a modernist GM-based game? [closed]

Lets say we have a game. The group playing the game accepts the following modernist1 conventions: GMs control the in-game world, except the PCs. They have final say over what happens (and has ...
Please stop being evil's user avatar
15 votes
8 answers
2k views

Can conflicting descriptions of the recent past be handled better than GM fiat?

I've been having a problem in RPGs lately where participants, myself included, have radically different ideas about what just happened on a basic factual level. For example, in a recent Pokémon RPG ...
Please stop being evil's user avatar
16 votes
5 answers
3k views

How can I handle a player who seems to utilize skills their characters don't have?

Well the tag is slightly misleading as these players do not cause problems. However I have encountered several players who exhibit skills their real life counterpart has without actually metagaming. ...
Maiko Chikyu's user avatar
  • 20.7k
21 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is the origin of the term 'quantum ogre'?

As I understand it, a 'quantum ogre' is a piece of game content that the party will be unable to avoid encountering. It's a way of saving on prep time for the game master but that subtly removes ...
Tiggerous's user avatar
  • 25.1k
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are there any problems using a mix of hex and square grids on a map?

I'm creating some maps with a 5ft hex grid and hoping to keep them system agnostic. There are some rooms that have a shape that doesn't fit the hex grid well and would fit a square grid much better. ...
Saydn's user avatar
  • 131
35 votes
7 answers
6k views

How would combat work without opportunity attacks?

Opportunity attacks have a long history in the world of tabletop games and D&D in particular. 3.5e/PF both had an exhaustive list of actions which can or can not trigger an OA. Various games have ...
enkryptor's user avatar
  • 67.3k
32 votes
11 answers
11k views

Is it possible to emulate common polyhedral dice rolls using just a d6, and if so, how?

This is a question that I've asked myself numerous times, but I've never gotten a really satisfying result. The issue is this: let's assume we only have one or multiple d6 dice (arguably the most ...
PixelMaster's user avatar
  • 26.1k

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