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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.

7
votes
0answers
89 views

Using D&D as a medium to help learn IRL language? [closed]

I am a DM of a small group of friends; we prefer D&D 5e but this question can apply to any TTRPG. My friends have some experience with English, but are not comfortable with it. Lately I've been ...
4
votes
0answers
184 views

Improving myself and getting rid of my bad player habits [closed]

For a period of time (one or two years? Hard to tell) I became oddly ill. Incredibly sleepy, irritable, forgetful and it was all I could do to participate in the game. The GM thought I was becoming ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How to play a character with a disability or mental disorder without being offensive?

Two character concepts I've had recently are as follows. Someone who has been permanently deafened by their master as a symbol of their subservience. (NPC) Someone who has had a significantly ...
6
votes
0answers
198 views

GMs That Are Setting 'Average' Difficulties Too High [closed]

Definition Over the course of my TTRPG 'career', I have seen this pattern in different campaigns and with different GMs (probably 10-25% of those I played under). It looks approximately like this: A ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I handle a situation where one of my players wants another player gone? [closed]

I run a game with around 6 people. One of my players (A) wants another one of my players (B) not to play with us anymore. A has come to me in the past two different times with complaints about B, ...
41
votes
1answer
3k views

Which Article Helped Get Rid of Technobabble in RPGs?

Some time ago I saw an article on the Internet about technobabble in RPGs, specifically about why and how to get rid of it and replace it with something better. While I'm inclined to believe that I ...
44
votes
5answers
8k views

How do I deal with being envious of my own players?

I am the problem GM in question. I haven't played for a long time. My last two attempts at it were with GMs that represented "no" rather than "yes, but" approach. Often railroaded to the point of ...
5
votes
0answers
192 views

Is a Fractal Maze truly unsolvable? [closed]

I recently discovered the concept of fractal mazes from this question about running mazes without maps, and I'm incredibly interested, as I think it'll fit the unsettling tone I'm going for in my ...
0
votes
1answer
384 views

For what reasons do players prefer to have the risk of (Player) Character Death? [closed]

The Object of the Question In my almost two decades of RPGing, I've usually treated the probability of character death as a result of random chance in a matter-of-fact manner: as a thing that is, ...
9
votes
3answers
466 views

How to Roleplay an Intimidation-Oriented Character Without Being a Net Negative for the Party

Introduction and Context Over the course of almost two decades of gaming, and most of my real life, my experience is that there's a social approach which seems like one of the many workable choices '...
8
votes
12answers
950 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
156 views

How can a group use bidding mechanics to maintain narrative balance and quantify the importance of various choices? [closed]

Pretext Many times, a group needs to pick one out of several contradictory or even mutually exclusive courses of events or actions. This can involve PCs deciding between multiple things to do based ...
13
votes
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 ...
23
votes
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
132 views

Temporarily retiring character [closed]

One of the players in a game I GM is going to be leaving the country for a while. What options do I have (story-wise) for having his character leave the party in a way that still leaves the door open ...
57
votes
12answers
9k views

How can I show-not-tell my players that they are The Bad Guys?

My players have an interesting habit of changing their behavior on a dime. Between objectives, they'll be trying to fix problems at small towns they pass through and helping the locals, but once they ...
1
vote
0answers
177 views

What narrative techniques should a GM know? [closed]

This question is inspired by this answer which provides a named technique by which a GM can work around a specific situation. My question is: what are the various established techniques that a GM can ...
33
votes
5answers
5k views

How do I make my extroverted brother understand that we want to roleplay in private?

I have had a few occasions in my life where particular people (who have no RPG experience nor intention to play) were offended at the fact that several people in our roleplaying group would be ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

How to retain a player who resents another player?

I am asking this question because I don't think it has been answered by any of the linked questions, and I am on the verge of losing the player in question. How to deal with anti-authoritarian player ...
4
votes
2answers
317 views

How do I make quests rewarding for my player?

General question: Beside money or items, what else might be the reward of a quest? If the quest itself if supposed to be the reward, how to make the quest itself rewarding? Specific premise: I am a ...
2
votes
0answers
2k views

My guy syndrome - DM edition [closed]

I've currently read this question about the so-called My Guy syndrome, and since I recently started DM-ing myself, I couldn't help but wonder - is there an equivalent of this for a DM? A short summary ...
2
votes
0answers
117 views

Is there a system agnostic treasure table? [closed]

Many of the existing treasure generators are very tied into a campaign. They would include very specific treasures like "Wand of Ghoul Touch" or "1,500 gp". Even the gold pieces amount isn't very ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Looking for material regarding forging alliances [closed]

As a player, I'm the head of a persecuted resistance group, and I need to make friends and allies in order to secure resources. I don't know where to start though, I have many doubts I don't even ...
32
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I narrate Charm/Fear/Rage/etc effects in a liberating manner?

Or, How can I implement behavior-centric status effects without giving the players a sense of having lost their autonomy? It's something I have found to be a personal agitant as a roleplayer, and ...
-3
votes
1answer
153 views

What types of plants can be used as treasure? [closed]

I know there's amber, some rare woods for making armor and weapons, leaf armor, etc... but what other types of plants could be used as treasure?
2
votes
0answers
241 views

Can a trickster/prankster archetype be done well in Pen&Paper and if yes, how? [closed]

Ahhh, the cunning, funny trickster. We love him in movies and books - after all, his literary roots go back to the oldest myths of mankind. A lot of us probably wanted to be him at some point in our ...
17
votes
3answers
324 views

How can I arrange my game to facilitate the play of a nonverbal person?

I have a friend who wants to be introduced to RPGs. We played a campaign in a game system of my own creation that went pretty well, but I want to show them a variety of systems so that they gain more ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What do strategy vs tactics mean in tabletop RPG combat? [closed]

What's the difference between "strategy" and "tactics" in the context of tabletop roleplaying game combat? I have some idea of how these terms differ in English and I've read the SE tag descriptions ...
1
vote
4answers
475 views

How can I encourage my players to use unlimited freedom? [closed]

I'm trying to make rules/game so that players have as much freedom possible. My intention is to concentrate on role-playing, where stats are not that important and the new system I'm building will ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How can a 'Session 0' successfully align campaign participants' expectations? [closed]

Many GMs - myself included - like to begin a campaign with a "Session 0": a session where the ground rules of the campaign are laid out plainly before any actual play begins. Some topics of discussion ...
7
votes
5answers
721 views

How do I create a sense of science about magic?

Based off of this question. Magic in many games is considered well-understood, but ill explained (hence 'magic'). Assuming that I control the environment and have a mild will to bend mechanics, how ...
1
vote
1answer
476 views

How can I fudge die rolls when they're made out in the open? [closed]

At some tables, dice are rolled on the table and are open to everybody to see, and this can't be negotiated. This can make it hard for the GM to fudge with the visible part of the results, if the ...
4
votes
1answer
173 views

Advantages/Disadvantages of “Prior Career” in Character Generation [closed]

This could be considered related to - but definitely not the same as - What are the advantages and disadvantages of develop in play (DIP) compared to develop at the start (DAS) character generation?. ...
10
votes
1answer
432 views

How can I help inexperienced LARP crew to speak confidently?

I've been crewing as part of a particular LARP system for a while now. The roles I play are almost invariably handed to me. I'll frequently have a short brief and 5 minutes of prep before it's ...
31
votes
9answers
9k views

DM is playing mind games with us! [closed]

We are playing modern day campaign with high pressure on realism. Our DM in not very experienced, but appears thoughtful and planning. We played just one session, but there is one glaring thing: Every ...
43
votes
7answers
5k views

I saved my players from a tough battle, what now?

In my last game my players were almost overwhelmed and I saved them, with a NPC joining the battle. My players were bummed out after the fight and had a heated discussion about the fight. How can I ...
12
votes
2answers
536 views

How do I add player agency to a canned adventure?

Our current GM is going to be out of town for a few weeks, so I have decided to try my hand at GMing our group using the We Be Goblins module from Pathfinder. The module is short and has good reviews ...
4
votes
2answers
556 views

How to handle a PC death early in a session? [duplicate]

Sometimes you have to end a session at a very suspenseful moment. For example the group used the whole last session to prepare for a heist or a fight and just as the action is about start you look ...
26
votes
7answers
6k views

New player decision paralysis

I'm introducing a new player to RPGs. She struggles to put herself in the mindset of her character and make the decisions the character would make, which is the essence of role-playing. She can ...
3
votes
0answers
130 views

How can I better describe how dangerous an opponent is to players without ruining immersion by simply telling them statistics? [duplicate]

Yesterday I was running the 5th Edition Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure and one of the players was separated from the party. He entered a room in the dungeon and saw three blue guard drakes as ...
2
votes
3answers
404 views

My group doesn't really roleplay [closed]

Before I played P&P, I role played a lot in multiplayer CRPGs, mostly in Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2. I played on “persistent worlds” (basically like a small MMORPG with enforced role play) and ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

How do I correct giving the players too many plot details?

As a beginning DM, I still have to find my way in telling parts of the plot. Twice, I've said things about the plot that I later regretted - once because it wouldn't make sense for the PCs to know ...
32
votes
3answers
1k views

In gaming's infancy, were PCs expected to distrust, mistreat, and work against other PCs?

In the 1970s at the dawn of role-playing game history in the campaigns of the time, was it the expectation of both the players and the figure managing the campaign that the PCs would betray each other?...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do RPGs have metaplots?

Lacking a more definitive source, I'm working from the metaplot article on Wikipedia, which says, in part, that The metaplot is the overarching storyline that binds together events in the official ...
2
votes
0answers
81 views

Get players to actually role-play [duplicate]

We are a bunch of newbies, have just completed our first campaign and are one evening into the second campaign. It is now that I noticed that despite playing role-playing games, almost no one is ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

Which is better of the two: effects happening before rolling, or after rolling? [closed]

Plenty of systems use both types of abilities "before a participant A rolls, add bonus/effect to opposed number/roll of Participant B" or "If a participant A would succeed, add bonus/effect to opposed ...
16
votes
13answers
2k views

How to help PCs develop a greater backstory

As a GM, I really enjoy those moments when I can tie-in one of my PC's backstories to the greater narrative, either through a choice NPC from one of their backstories or by having a PC development ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I get my players to be less tense and anxious?

My players are nearly all newbies who prefer a very roleplay heavy campaign with combat that is very deadly, quick and sparse... but I've run into a snag. The party, in-character and out, are ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Rolling dice for non linear distributions [closed]

Background I'm the GM of a role playing group, improvised rule set. I of course have stats for each character and roll dice to determine skill successes and so on. What I do different from the few ...
20
votes
9answers
3k views

Making my players part of the action instead of being just witnesses

May be somewhat related to this question. First, a word about the setting. We are in a somewhat classic fantasy world with many references to Japanese mythology, culture, and traditions. We are ...