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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14
votes
3answers
461 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 ...
26
votes
11answers
2k views

Excuses for opponents using nonlethal force? [closed]

In plotting out low-level encounters at the start of a campaign (especially with new players) I prefer to create opponents who don't want to kill the PCs right away. Instead, I generally have them ...
140
votes
22answers
17k views

How do you help players not focus on the rules?

Background - My Group's Gaming Style When I GM, I run games loosely from a rules standpoint, and do not feel bound to adhere to what the rulebook says when it doesn't make sense in a given situation. ...
6
votes
2answers
319 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 ...
29
votes
5answers
13k views

How to manage a mute PC?

I am GM in a custom universe I created (medieval fantastic), and a player asked me if he could create a mute character. I refused because I was afraid it would be too hard to manage, and not fun for ...
31
votes
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 ...
56
votes
11answers
8k views

What to do when a player character does something that seems suicidal?

Every now and then a player character does something extremely risky because "it would be fun." What are some good ways to handle this as a GM, for the different styles of play? I like playing non-...
35
votes
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. ...
152
votes
17answers
19k views

How to deal with players who like to use the local authorities to solve their problems

The problem I have a player in my group which tends to approach local authorities (may it be guards or churches) when facing a threat. He thinks that, given his role (a bard in a medieval world, so, ...
23
votes
4answers
21k views

What is Cold Iron actually? [closed]

It came up in Dresden Files, but is not limited to that game, you can find the term in DnD as well. I would like to know what it means. If you look for Cold Iron on Wikipedia, you only get iron: "...
0
votes
1answer
502 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 ...
17
votes
12answers
2k views

How can non-magical healers be useful when magic healing is available?

In many roleplaying games the prerequisite to perform magic healing is knowledge, and during action it is mostly limited by magic capacity and sometimes time. Meanwhile the prerequisite to perform non-...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
319 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
votes
3answers
754 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 ...
51
votes
13answers
15k views

How to handle wealthy player characters as a GM?

One of the long-standing settings our group keeps returning to is classic medieval fantasy. (Examples are MERP, Rolemaster, The Dark Eye -- But this question is aimed to be system agnostic and is ...
31
votes
8answers
1k views

How can I encourage a style of play where enhancing others' fun is the most important goal?

Let's assume that we can break play styles into two categories: "selfish play," where you want to have fun, and "less-selfish play," where you want to have fun but you want everyone else at the table ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I encourage players to make characters appropriate to the tone and theme of a game?

I have been a GM for many years and have experience with many different systems and settings of different themes and moods, but my current group seems to be having issues I've never had to deal with ...
17
votes
5answers
878 views

Adding comic relief

As a GM, I would like to add comic relief to my sessions. Comic relief is the inclusion of a humorous character, scene or witty dialogue in an otherwise serious work, often to relieve tension. ...
38
votes
6answers
4k views

How to deal with players not taking things seriously?

As both a player and GM I play with my group of players (and close friends) on multiple occasions and they will often make fun of either my characters, NPC or a specific situation and won't stop ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

How to cut back on pre-game joking?

When preparing for a new game (be it a one shot or a campaign) our party, yours truly included, often slips into a humorous mode. It's usually light-hearted fun, and most of us like it, but some, ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

As a player, how can I help other players explore their characters on a deeper level?

I'm playing in a group with a diverse group of players. Some have everything about their character planned (like myself and one other player), others came to the table with a concept and nothing else. ...
38
votes
16answers
2k views

Do role-playing games have to be fun? [closed]

There is a hypothesis that entertaining activities (like role-playing games) should be "fun." Quotes like "It doesn't matter, as long as you're having fun" and "The rules aren't important as long as ...
3
votes
0answers
97 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
161 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
votes
6answers
214 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 ...
17
votes
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
318 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
249 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 ...
18
votes
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 ...
15
votes
4answers
619 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 ...
490
votes
29answers
57k views

How do I get my PCs to not be a bunch of murderous cretins?

Most RPGs teach you that casual violence is the best solution to all your in-game problems. This is so well established a part of the vast majority of RPGs that there are entire satire RPGs like Greg ...
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 ...
83
votes
23answers
23k views

Why is burying yourself not such a great plan?

One of my player is a clever guy. At night when the others are putting the camp together he digs a hole big enough for himself (between 3-4 feet deep) and asks someone to cover his body with dirt; he ...
41
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I build a sense of wonder in my games?

I guess this is part three of a series of questions, with part I being on building tension, and part II being on building comedy. Greg Stafford has talked of his primary motivation as a gamemaster ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
31
votes
13answers
4k views

How to begin a role-playing scenario in medias res?

If I am running a pre-planned role-playing scenario, how and when can it work to start the session in medias res? The narrative technique can work so well in literature, film and video to increase ...
0
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
41
votes
10answers
2k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of develop in play (DIP) compared to develop at the start (DAS) character generation?

Originally, Are you really DIPpy?1 What are the advantages and disadvantages to developing your character in play (DIP) compared to developing at the start (DAS)? What experiences have you had with ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the pros and cons of having a party leader?

What are the pros and cons of having a player party leader, or leaders? Is it more fit for some situations than others?
22
votes
4answers
2k views

How to become better at descriptions of what your character is doing?

A (very) common GM question is "What is your character doing?" How do you, as a player, describe effectively what you character is doing? What techniques do you use to evoke wonder and spark ...
17
votes
3answers
422 views

How do you build rule mastery in your game?

No one likes the "rules lawyer." However, most GMs like players to know the rules. There is nothing more frustrating to have a player, or players, come to a table to play a game--that they are excited ...
30
votes
13answers
2k views

How can I deal with players who are reluctant to spend resources?

There's a certain kind of people who like to hoard whatever limited resources they get "just in case"; they usually end up never using them, always waiting for bigger emergency. On the other hand, ...
18
votes
8answers
1k views

How can I motivate my fellow players?

Although I'm very much enjoying the one of the games I'm in, the other players seem to be flagging and losing interest. This is a bit disheartening as their lack of enthusiasm is bringing down the ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

I'm not a DM anymore. How do I adjust to being a player again?

For the past 5 years or so, I've been a DM/GM across a couple of different systems for a few different groups of friends. Now, I've taken a step back and gone back to being a player. How do I deal ...
24
votes
18answers
3k views

Overpowered PCs (Gabe's Dilemma) [closed]

Penny Arcade recently ran the following strip: (Original strip here) While the resolution of this thread hasn't yet been posted, I'm wondering what we think here. How do you game with PCs who are ...
15
votes
9answers
1k views

What to do when you end up duplicating another players character?

Frequently I seem to roll up characters who are the spitting image of someone else's character. Most recently I rolled up a Utility Force Wizard for Star wars: Saga edition, which matched someone else ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

How to get to know my players' expectations?

I am soon starting a new game with a bunch of new people that I have never played with - and some of them I barely spoken to. I am going to be the GM and will introduce them into the setting that they ...

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