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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9
votes
5answers
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 ...
3
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0answers
337 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 ...
10
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5answers
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 ...
15
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8answers
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 ...
16
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5answers
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. ...
13
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1answer
1k 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 ...
13
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2answers
1k 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. ...
30
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7answers
4k 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 ...
27
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10answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
423 views

How much should I as a GM adapt the rules of my world to suit my players?

I'm DMing a DnD 3.5e game with some combat but mainly focused on narrative and building towards interesting moral themes. I told my players this in session 0. In the game for our last session the ...
21
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2answers
333 views

Strategies for effectively running a temporary online game

Other questions have done a good job of outlining where to find online players and some of the tools available for ongoing virtual games (Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, etc). Many of those tools have a cost ...
4
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2answers
212 views

Sources for Benchmarks of Prices in the Star Wars Universe

I am planning to run a Star Wars campaign, and I would like to get a better feel for the setting's economical 'realities', such as approximate relative prices of things and services. I understand that ...
24
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3answers
2k views

How to ask for useful critiques?

As a GM, I strive to make the best experience for my group and adapt and improve my style and skill. I usually do this by live observation and asking for inputs after the session. My problem lies in ...
10
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2answers
477 views

Save a dying PC without being too obvious

In my last session a PC left the party and engaged a one-to-eight fight. He is dying alone in an isolated place without many chances of becoming stable and the other players will probably need some ...
35
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4answers
4k views

How can I help my players make meaningful choice during dungeon navigation?

Foreword: I run a D&D 4e campaign, but I think that this question is overall system-agnostic. Recently I've somewhat shifted my D&D campagin towards a more traditional dungeon crawling style. ...
32
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10answers
3k views

How does one track/incorporate errata in relation to printed rulebooks without having to memorize, or constantly check against, the errata?

I bought myself a shiny new rulebook for a relatively new system and, of course, there's already a full document of errata! In order to make this easier for myself, I sat down with a pen and sticky ...
0
votes
1answer
580 views

Is it possible to wield a 'greatsword'? [closed]

Whenever I play a fighter or barbarian wielding a greatsword, I imagine them wielding a sword like this: Later I discovered that a greatsword is not that big, but it's more like a longer sword. The ...
4
votes
3answers
333 views

How can I encourage a good role-player to be more creative? [closed]

I'm currently GMing for a new group of people, and I have introduced them to a new rule that I've had success with before. The rule basically states that if you give a cool or interesting description ...
15
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3answers
807 views

As a DM, how can I ensure that everyone feels involved when only a single player is driving the story?

I've ran into a bit of a dilemma with a 5e campaign that's soon coming to a close. It's been running for about a year, and one of the primary goals that I had when I started the campaign was to focus ...
3
votes
0answers
105 views

What makes a convincing mafia? [closed]

I am currently in the process of creating my own world, in a Victorian Era/Industrial Revolution/Steam Age setting. It's not overly steampunk but light elements of it are acceptable, as well as some ...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

Are there any RPG systems that don't require a DM to narrate the adventure? [closed]

Are there any RPG systems that don't require a person narrating the adventure?
6
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6answers
229 views

Improving Lie Detection and Credibility Assessment Rules

Many systems have two or more skills/traits/other numeric values that can be pitted against each other in situations where side A tries to assess side B's credibility, where side B may or may not be ...
18
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3answers
2k views

How can I encourage a fellow player to develop a character a bit more?

As a player myself, I would like to encourage another player to add a little nuance to his dark and cringey character. The player in question is young and quite enthusiastic, didn't derail anything in-...
13
votes
3answers
344 views

How can I incorporate elements of the Hindu faith into my campaign without the attempts looking goofy or causing offense?

For this question, assume I will shortly be running a campaign for some players who are new to D&D, most of whom are of Hindu faith. I'd like to introduce some elements of the Bhagavad Gita and ...
17
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12answers
8k views

How to set up a “Forced choice” for players in a game?

I have come up with a plot twist to create a "wrong person, wrong place, wrong time" situation. That part is important, and I don't want to change it. However this obviously causes a potential ...
13
votes
5answers
267 views

How can I know what type of fun my player is looking for?

Recently I've been reading some articles about the eight types of fun and how these are applied to tabletop roleplaying games. Even though I have been playing with the same people for quite a long ...
31
votes
5answers
9k views

What's the name of the role of characters who buff teammates?

In a RPG party, if Tank → Front line in case the party should be dealt damage Damage Dealer → Deals damage to enemies Healer → Heals teammates etc. … what's the name of the role for ...
30
votes
9answers
6k views

How to discourage mundane play?

I am freestyling a campaign w/out an °official° system, and I have run into a problem. With certain players, they refuse to play as adventurers, choosing instead to get a steady job, then saying ...
15
votes
4answers
653 views

What to do about a GM that does not allow for out-of-character discussion?

My GM tries to keep the game moving by not allowing for in-party discussion or out-of-character questions or remarks. For example, our party travels across town to an NPC's place with the intention ...
43
votes
6answers
5k views

Persuading players to be less attached to a pre-session 0 character concept

I am currently running a campaign that is coming to a close. This is fine, and as planned. However I would like to start another campaign after. I mentioned this to (some of) the players, who seemed ...
0
votes
1answer
159 views

Using Causal Influence Diagrams for Plots and Quests [closed]

I'm analysing the possible outcomes of certain plots in my campaign. At some point I realised that keeping the possible causes and effects in purely text form was inconvenient. Luckily, thanks to an ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

campaigns spanning long time [closed]

In my experience, campaigns often span a relative short amount of time, and i'd like to change this. On one side, this is because downtime is often hard to play and justify and make meaningful: you'...
2
votes
0answers
253 views

Messing with cell phone during D&D sessions [closed]

There are lots of questions on this site about players using their phones (the phone being a symbol for not keeping their eyes on the game -- it could be a magazine, a tv, or the bird feeder at the ...
3
votes
0answers
237 views

Categorisation of GM Types [closed]

RPG theory seems to recognise the differences between player interests, and acknowledge a few loose categories/archetypes thereof - the tongue-in-cheek four in the Munchkin File, expanded to the more ...
23
votes
13answers
10k views

How can I deal with someone that wants to kill something that isn't supposed to be killed?

To clarify: By something that isn't supposed to be killed I mean things that are out of mortal's power range. As far as I can tell this isn't a system specific problem. I experienced the same thing ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

As a Game Master, how should I handle a situation where a character can and does do everything?

I have made a number of characters that can do everything in a party across a wide variety of role-play systems, and seen several more as both a GM and as a player. I have also seen these characters ...
1
vote
0answers
244 views

Fixing/Improving My Model of Reciprocal Economies [closed]

I’m unsatisfied with how things like reciprocal economies are usually handled in RPGs. I've come up with a homebrew mechanic of my own, but it's also far from perfect and I’m trying to improve it. In ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

How can I design a scenario to include one remote player in a way that accounts for the resulting issues? [closed]

Similar situation to this question: Tools/techniques for optimal tabletop gaming with one remote user I will have one remote player, but I'm not worried about technical aids. My question is rather ...
30
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the benefits of using the X Card safety tool in comparison to plain communication?

I am aware that this question may come across as ignorant or as an attempt at trolling. While I cannot prove it, I hope enough people believe that this question was asked in good faith and with the ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I gain the trust of other PCs?

I'm having a bit of a problem regarding how to roleplay a schemer character when everyone knows exactly what I am. I'm the most veteran player in my group, so, for long I have been setting example ...
0
votes
1answer
167 views

Firing a relativistic kill missile at a god in an otherwise medieval world: How to Adjudicate? [closed]

My players have come up with a (deviously clever) solution to an impossible quest to kill a particular god-like being: accelerate an unobtanium missile at it to relativistic speeds and smash it into ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

Playing a Character as Unobtrusive and Subservient, Yet Not Passive

In one of the campaigns I'm in, I'm playing an AI/robot that belongs to another PC, and acts as an automated assistant. The other players and GM seem to like the drone's spotlight moments (in the '...
13
votes
2answers
756 views

How to raise the difficulty and have players love it?

I'm having a little discrepancy with my usual gaming group regarding a topic I don't see much, difficulty, or how challenging the games actually are. We usually play very system heavy games like ...
7
votes
0answers
105 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 ...
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
224 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
2k 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, ...
46
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
53
votes
6answers
9k 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
251 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 ...

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