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484
votes
29answers
56k 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 ...
366
votes
6answers
131k views

What is “my guy syndrome” and how do I handle it?

I've been reading forum posts and blogs who mention "my guy" syndrome as a specific type of difficult player, but I can't seem to find a solid definition for the term. Can someone explain this ...
235
votes
15answers
31k views

Managing a Medieval Low Orbit Ion Cannon

Sometimes I hate my players. My table is currently composed of five diabolically inventive players. They come from a mixed IT/Engineering background, so more often than not, I have to deal with some ...
208
votes
15answers
99k views

Without a magic item economy, what is gold for?

PHB page 144, Equipment, Wealth, Selling Treasure Magic Items. Selling magic items is problematic. Finding someone to buy a potion or a scroll isn’t too hard, but other items are out of the realm ...
207
votes
21answers
29k views

Dealing with difficult male players, when you're a new female player?

There was quite a bit of discussion about this after I posted this question, so I thought I would do as advised and re-ask the question in a new topic. I will be playing D&D 5th edition soon with ...
185
votes
9answers
64k views

How does rolling two dice and taking the higher affect the average outcome?

D&D 5E has an "advantage" concept where instead of rolling 1d20, you roll 2d20 and take the higher. Likewise, disadvantage means rolling 2d20 and taking the lower. How does this affect the ...
170
votes
21answers
67k views

Player claims their wizard character knows everything (from books). Solutions?

I have a player who is an elf wizard and his entire backstory and goal is knowledge related. He made his elf well over 200 years old and claims that his character has read a massive amount of books (...
170
votes
10answers
17k views

How does a player correct a GM mistake without being a rules lawyer or pushover?

You are playing in a game. The GM says that you need to roll a given roll. The rules clearly state something different. I realize one solution is to go along to get along, then tell the GM after the ...
169
votes
9answers
68k views

I'm at a loss with “Dungeons and Dragons.” How does one play it, anyway?

I'm no gamer at all, so this could be like a very silly, basic question for you guys. The thing is that I always read about "Dungeons and Dragons" game (not the video game, but the normal game to play ...
168
votes
6answers
143k views

What are the primary differences between the rules of D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder?

What are some of the rule changes that Pathfinder brings in comparison to D&D 3.5? I am curious what changes were made so I can explain to my group what it has to offer.
162
votes
6answers
12k views

How to let my players fail their rolls intentionally, but covertly?

I'm experimenting with some pen-and-paper role-playing involving characters with hidden agendas. To foster a proper sense of paranoia, I want these hidden agendas to be unknown to not only the other ...
146
votes
18answers
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, ...
143
votes
14answers
15k views

Who created the idea of Experience Points?

The idea of XP in all its many forms has been around for quite some time. What designer had the idea of quantizing success and advancement through a numerical method? What game was it for? The ...
142
votes
26answers
47k views

Players skipping side quests just to have a laugh at the DM

Something that's happening frequently at my table recently is that the players are making choices deliberately to waste my preparation. If they see something that obviously took some preparation that ...
137
votes
10answers
34k views

Can you drink a potion one-handed underwater?

I have a player who wants their PC to drink a potion underwater while one-handed, and as a DM I'm not sure how to rule it. Ask for a Dex check? What DC? Is it even possible? I couldn't find anything ...
136
votes
21answers
16k 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. ...
134
votes
14answers
24k views

Betrayed by my GM; how can I respond?

I was introduced to D&D three months ago and really delved into the world. I had so much fun creating my character and tried very hard to roleplay him differently from myself. I did my very best ...
134
votes
14answers
17k views

How can DMs effectively telegraph specific dangers in D&D?

There are some play-styles of D&D in which the spectre of player-character death is considered a feature of the game rather than a bug. For my own reasons (which aren't the point of the question), ...
131
votes
5answers
13k views

Is there a maximum attainable beard thickness?

This other question asks if attuning to a Belt of Dwarvenkind grants the following benefit (and literally nothing else): you have a 50 percent chance each day at dawn of growing a full beard if ...
129
votes
6answers
14k views

What is the source of the “spells do only what they say they do” rules interpretation principle?

Every time somebody asks a question like "can I use X spell for doing Y" the answer is usually "no" because spell descriptions are very short in 5e, and usually they don't explicitly say a spell can ...
129
votes
9answers
11k views

Can I begin roleplaying if I'm visually impaired?

I've been reading about RPGs for a long time, and I'm extremely interested in trying it... But I'm afraid to start because I'm visually impaired and have to use a screen reader to navigate a screen. ...
121
votes
16answers
29k views

Where can I find other RPG players?

I'd really like to learn how to play pen-and-paper RPGs. I know that it takes a few players to actually sit down and play, but I'm not at all sure where to find more gamers. How do I find existing ...
120
votes
12answers
21k views

Evil Campaigns: How to explain the difference between being evil and being a jerk?

My friend has recently started running an evil campaign. His players are having serious difficulty telling the difference between comitting evil deeds and doing random things that are evil acts. ...
120
votes
5answers
38k views

Are peoples' competencies really as flat in D&D 5e as its math suggests?

Bounded accuracy is a major feature of the new system. It promises that bonuses to rolls won't grow too much throughout a character's career. And indeed, a first-level fighter would have an apex skill ...
119
votes
11answers
94k views

New girl gamer in our D&D group is causing weird tension - what to do?

I'm concerned because a new player just joined our D&D 5e group and is super flirty with all the male players (both in person and as her character - she's a bard). And the problem is that she's ...
118
votes
18answers
23k views

What can I do when I accidentally gave out an overpowered item?

In our last game, the players worked their way through a series of fiendish traps into a high security vault, where they recovered a Staff of the Magi. After the game I looked at the stats, and ...
118
votes
9answers
23k views

What's the point of long, empty hallways in dungeons?

Many dungeons—published and homemade—often contain a multitude of long, empty passageways between rooms. For example, my DM is running "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" from Tales from the Yawning ...
118
votes
9answers
20k views

How to stop players from making the game X-rated

After 30 years, a few of my friends and I finally managed to get together and play D&D. We've managed to play 2hrs once a week for the last 6 weeks. I unfortunately ended up being the DM. My ...
118
votes
5answers
8k views

What's the greatest number of hands I can have to annoy my mother-in-law with?

My mother in law is coming to visit tonight, for dinner. She hates me, and will criticize my food. But tonight is my night. I've prepared the dish she most hates, a beautiful roasted Tarrasque chop, ...
116
votes
9answers
35k views

As a man, how can I roleplay a woman better?

I rarely play characters of the opposite sex, and I find that I'm not very good at it, at least in my own estimation. This is hampering when I GM because it limits my range, and makes things hard ...
115
votes
9answers
26k views

PC ate a necklace of fireballs bead. How dead should they be?

So one of my loony players found a necklace of fireballs. He is a suicidally over-confidant Tiefling sorcerer. Against all logic and reason, and probably just to prove that he could, he ate one of ...
112
votes
44answers
37k views

What tools are useful to organize a GM's campaign notes? [closed]

There are plenty of tools available to organize campaign notes. I've tried 4x6 cards, files on my computer, notebooks, and more. I have thought of trying mind mapping software such as FreeMind, note ...
110
votes
3answers
152k views

What are the big differences between the D&D editions?

I've been out of the loop for a while, and I used to play AD&D 2nd ed, but today I find there are a lot of different versions that have fairly different gameplay. Can anyone summarize the really ...
107
votes
11answers
17k views

Given powerful low-level Clerical healing, how can sick, crippled or otherwise unhealthy people exist?

In my attempt to make a more harsh, uncaring setting, I’ve hit a stumbling block in terms of the ease with which even low level Clerics can treat the poor and the sick: A 1st-level Cleric can bring ...
106
votes
10answers
21k views

As a player, I am approaching a situation where “My Guy” syndrome seems inevitable and almost appropriate. What can I do to soften any problems?

Alright, so this problem takes a bit of background to explain, but in a nutshell: Having talked with the other players in the group, and having seen how things play out in-session with the party, ...
106
votes
20answers
9k views

How should a GM deal with “standing orders?”

I have a player who always tells me whenever he goes into a dungeon or other hazardous location, I am always checking for traps wherever I go. Assume that I am always looking around, wary and being ...
106
votes
17answers
15k views

How to prevent metagaming induced by trying to not metagame?

We have a lot of questions on how to prevent metagaming on this tag. But usually the metagaming is something like Using player's knowledge to optimize your character's actions. Now, I've ...
106
votes
8answers
181k views

Is there a legal way to get D&D 5e core rulebook PDFs?

As much as I like having the hardcover core rule-books in front of me, usually I read or reference most information for RPGs on my computer. Unfortunately, my google-fu has failed me at finding ...
104
votes
22answers
24k views

How to deal with player MacGyver-ism?

Role playing is an excellent hobby to train your problem solving skills. You learn to look at situations from different view points (i.e. the characters) and you have various skills and resources at ...
104
votes
18answers
15k views

When should I fudge dice rolls?

When I started my first D&D campaign as a DM, I accidentally rolled and confirmed a crit on a PC from a goblin. It was an instant kill as our campaign had no cleric. That time I decided to fudge ...
103
votes
13answers
15k views

How many people does it take to steal a Star Destroyer?

The stats for the Imperial class Star Destroyer in West End Games's Star Wars RPG list the skeleton crew for the vessel as 5,000 people. They define the skeleton crew as "the absolute minimum number ...
102
votes
10answers
16k views

As a player with ADHD, how do I avoid disrupting the game?

I read a question by a DM wanting to know how to work with a player who cites ADHD as reason for disruptive behavior. Almost all answers are of course things the DM could do. Now I am wondering, what ...
102
votes
6answers
20k views

How can we handle “firing” our DM?

I'm new to the game and new to this site, so hopefully I'm ok in asking for help with a situation that is plaguing our otherwise happy group. My roommate and I have been hosting D&D 5E in our ...
101
votes
18answers
14k views

How can I make my PCs flee?

My players never run away or avoid conflict. Ever. I throw them ridiculous encounters, they will stay and fight. If I tell them, "You know you're not gonna make it, just run," they stay and fight and ...
100
votes
1answer
22k views

Why is the D&D gorgon a metal bull?

In mythology, the gorgons were Medusa and her sisters; snake-like beings who petrified those who saw them. In Dungeons & Dragons, gorgons are bulls with metal scales and the ability to breathe ...
100
votes
6answers
14k views

Can a snake be prone?

It sounds like a silly question, but it caused way more discussion the other night in my Adventurer's league game than I'd care to admit... In 5e, the prone condition is described as: A prone ...
99
votes
18answers
9k views

How do I not cheapen death, while also respecting my players' time?

I DM for a group of very busy people, for whom the commitment of several hours a week is a real sacrifice: that’s a sizeable chunk of their free time for the week that I’m asking for. Now,...
99
votes
6answers
38k views

What is a session 0?

What is a "Session 0"? When is it done? What does it contain? Is it recommended, if not mandatory? What is each person's role (DM/GM, players, etc.)? What topics are best discussed there? Usually ...
98
votes
14answers
14k views

Dealing with (supposedly) in-character bullying

There is a member in our current gaming group that has been difficult to deal with and I would really appreciate some advice. For context: We are a group of four people, including the DM, and have ...
98
votes
3answers
19k views

Why are psionics controversial?

I have recently had a conversation with some of my friends about psionics and their place in the D&D universe, both lore-wise and gameplay-wise. We were discussing the psionics as an optional part ...

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