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99
votes
14answers
14k views

What do you do when your players guess your plots?

So I'm a new GM and am running my first campaign. I'm by no means running a terribly complicated game with Elizabethan parlor intrigue, but I do have a few twists that I'm excited to throw at my ...
99
votes
15answers
40k views

Why does everyone carry a 10' pole?

Based on this comment over on CRPG Addict: No adventuring party is complete without a ten foot pole. ... Jason, but WHY? In God's name, WHAT IS IT FOR?! What is a 10 foot pole used for (its ...
99
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 ...
97
votes
12answers
13k views

Is there a limit to Rule 0?

Rule Zero: All other rules can be changed by the GM. I appreciate that there is a massive amount of work that goes into being a GM and the last thing that any GM wants or deserves is to have his ...
96
votes
19answers
82k views

How do I play a paladin without being a stick in the mud?

What are some tips for/examples of an epitome-of-good type paladin who does not disrupt the 'sinful' fun of the rest of the group? As an example of the type of paladin I'm talking about, one of the ...
93
votes
2answers
45k views

How can I test whether a die is fair?

I have a d20 that seems to be, well, remarkably lucky.* How can I determine whether it's really just luck, or whether the die is in fact unfairly biased? *) Well, I don't, really. This is actually ...
92
votes
11answers
10k views

As a girl, how can I voice male characters effectively?

I was curious how to voice my male NPCs. I don't want to fill my world with female NPCs just because I can't voice male characters. I want to get more into the roleplay aspect of the game, but my ...
92
votes
6answers
66k views

Why would I ever cast True Strike?

One of my players has complained several times that True Strike is a useless spell. The effect of True Strike is: On your next turn, you gain advantage on your first attack roll against the target, ...
92
votes
1answer
468k views

What are the playable D&D races in 5e, and where can I find them?

There's not a lot of material published by WotC for 5e (relative to previous editions), nor is there planned to be. However, there are playable races for D&D scattered around in a few different ...
92
votes
1answer
12k views

Why does “dungeon” mean the places adventurers go to kill stuff?

Why does ‘dungeon’, in the context of roleplaying games and D&D in particular, mean the places adventurers go to kill stuff? I’m asking because ‘dungeon’ usually means a kind of prison, and I can’...
91
votes
1answer
26k views

How has D&D's guidance to DMs on when to extrapolate from written rules and when to improvise changed over time?

This answer (to a question about a levitating character trying to catch an object that exceeds the spell's weight limit in D&D 2e) states that: The spell levitate has a maximum weight limit, ...
90
votes
13answers
24k views

3d6 vs a d20: What is the effect of a different probability curve?

What is the effect on game play of replacing d20 rolls with 3d6 rolls in a D&D 4e campaign? I started thinking about this after reading this question where the example was given of playing a d20 ...
89
votes
17answers
11k views

How should a GM deal with sexuality in an RPG?

I think it's a matter of fact that since the first moment a player realizes that he or she can interact with someone of the opposite sex romantically within the game, things get hairy. I had my fair ...
89
votes
2answers
17k views

What is E6? Why would I use it?

I've heard a number of people reference an apparently common set of houserules for D&D 3.5e and Pathfinder called E6. What do these variant rules entail? What problems are they intended to solve? ...
88
votes
17answers
20k views

How do I communicate to my players that a door is, for the time being, absolutely locked to them?

I have a small dungeon in my campaign, a temple, that is a significant location for the broader story of my world. The players might very well enter this temple pretty early on in their adventuring. ...
88
votes
5answers
15k views

Rolling a D10 (0-9) for hitpoints. What do I get with a zero?

My character leveled up and I rolled a D10 to determine the rise in hitpoints. The dice that I used goes from 0 to 9 and I rolled a zero. The DM told me that this means I only add my modifier (0 + 3 = ...
88
votes
15answers
26k views

How do I handle my players killing things by catapulting a folding boat?

So, I'm not sure where to begin... I planned some epic battle and "that guy" showed up and ruined it. He took a magical item I (stupidly) gave him (folding boat, DMG 170), cast Catapult (EE, p.15) on ...
87
votes
18answers
21k views

How do I roleplay a character more intelligent than I am?

What are some strategies and techniques for role playing a character that is more intelligent than you actually are? It's pretty easy to pretend to be someone who is less intelligent, but the reverse ...
87
votes
11answers
22k views

Player may be manipulating die rolls, but I'm uncertain. How do I approach the situation?

I'm a new DM for four people who are all friends (I am also friends with all of them). During the game, I observed one player turn a D20 from a lower number to a higher number a couple times with her ...
87
votes
16answers
17k views

Total Party Kill - What do I do as a GM?

Your party has had a streak of bad luck and/or made a poor choice and are now staring down death. The rules were followed to the letter and loss is assured. How do you handle this as a GM? Does ...
85
votes
11answers
49k views

What can I do to paper to make it look aged?

I want to add some props to my game, I'm thinking of ancient scrolls or maps. What methods can I do to artificially age the paper in order to make it look older? A simple google search gives several ...
85
votes
10answers
14k views

Should I warn my players when they're about to do something stupid?

As a GM, I occasionally run into situations where the players want to do something very poorly thought-out. Honest mistakes, not intentional derailing. In these situations, I often feel the urge to ...
84
votes
15answers
32k views

A player always wants to recruit NPCs into the party. How do I handle this?

TL;DR: I have a player who wants to recruit lots of NPCs to avoid putting his own character in danger and to grab more spotlight for himself. I'm concerned about how this will affect challenge balance ...
84
votes
16answers
10k views

How do I stop my PCs from acting like insomniac monkeys on crack?

An issue came up in the last session of my Pathfinder campaign - that of chronic PC impatience. It happens especially when they go to cities and between major adventures. They go into a frenzy of ...
84
votes
10answers
37k views

Where do adventurers keep all their stuff?

This is a bit of an equipment logistics question so might not be all that interesting to everyone but... Reading the 5e PHB, the backpack weight listing says: Backpack: 1 cubic foot/30 pounds of ...
84
votes
2answers
23k views

What do the terms “lines” and “veils” mean?

I have seen the terms "lines" and "veils" used on this SE (including on the chat) a number of times, especially in terms of social contracts between players. What do these terms mean? What is ...
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 ...
83
votes
7answers
20k views

My group member is displaying disturbing behavior, what do I do?

As the DM, I am becoming more and more deeply disturbed with one of our party members. Here’s a list of things he keeps doing. attacking party members tried to rape a widow (asked if he needed to ...
83
votes
5answers
10k views

How can I stop myself from micromanaging other PCs' actions?

I’ve been having a problem in D&D. I love the game, perhaps too much. I keep finding myself trying to control the other players' characters (telling them what they should do, or where to go), and ...
83
votes
2answers
12k views

Why do Crawford's tweets seem to be treated on par with the actual rules?

I keep running into quoted tweets from this 'Jeremy Crawford' guy in 5e answers. My understanding is he's sort of in charge of the edition, like James Jacobs with Pathfinder. It makes sense that his ...
82
votes
19answers
43k views

How to stop a player constantly using Detect Magic/Evil?

In a group I play with there is a player who, assuming he has the ability to do so, constantly uses Detect Magic/Evil. There's nothing in the rules against this (that I'm aware of) when it's a class ...
82
votes
17answers
17k views

How should a DM resolve a smooth-talking player with a weak Charisma score PC? [closed]

This is an old problem, but one I am curious to find an answer to. One of our players is naturally a smooth talker, and his personality allows him to talk his way out of situations on the spot, and ...
82
votes
12answers
22k views

Did I overstep my power as DM?

While playing a game with a previous group, in the middle of a combat, I had an enemy caster hidden from general combat, but still casting different spells like heal and other non-damage spells to ...
82
votes
13answers
11k views

How do I keep the game moving without undermining player agency?

In basically every game I've run or played, regardless of the system, I've encountered the same problem: things that should be quick decisions end up taking ten, twenty or even thirty minutes, and not ...
80
votes
12answers
12k views

Is saying “Your PC wouldn't do that” to a player denying their agency?

In a comment to my answer to What would be the side effects on a Druid of wearing metal armor?, @Kevin asked: "So, RAW a druid will never choose to wear metal armor or use metal shields, so the ...
80
votes
4answers
14k views

What is Pathfinder's relationship to D&D?

Pathfinder is often conflated with D&D, 4e I think, but it isn't actually named "Dungeons & Dragons." What is Pathfinder's relationship to D&D, and how does it fit in with the various D&...
80
votes
2answers
155k views

What are the most and least-resisted damage types?

Inspired by these related questions, as well as my previous question on the matter, I'm curious what the most and least resisted damage types are in DnD 5e? Ideally I am looking for a list similar to ...
80
votes
4answers
10k views

OD&D said it could be played with 20-50 players and one referee. How was that expected to work and still be fun?

Original D&D is often the shorthand name for the 1974 Dungeons & Dragons, Vol. 1, Men & Magic, written by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. The section on "Scope" has this quote: Number of ...
80
votes
7answers
14k views

Does this character concept involving never taking a long rest and converting spell slots to sorcery points (aka coffeelock) violate RAW?

Does the following, very cheesy character concept, violate any RAW? Please cite rules or official rulings in your answer. (Apart from RAW, I expect my DM to disallow or limit the concept, in the ...
80
votes
4answers
47k views

Can you multiclass the same class twice for different class features?

The way that 5e works, each class has a sub class that dictates a heap of class features. The question here is generally, can a character of a specific class take levels in that same class in order to ...
79
votes
23answers
22k views

How can a GM quickly create interesting, engaging NPCs?

What techniques do people have for coming up with interesting personalities and histories for non-player characters? I'm mostly interested in the GM side of things. I don't want to do a ton of prep. I ...
79
votes
22answers
6k views

How can I avoid players spending too much time planning?

Several times when I have played in or ran a game in which the players had an objective and reasonable resources, a lot of (real) time was spent trying to plan for every contingency. For example, ...
79
votes
7answers
31k views

D&D 5e and “Theatre of the Mind” in combat

Our target play style for combat encounters would be to use battle boards roughly half the time (when there is enough of interest in play that the tactics are fun to play out), and to skip that with ...
79
votes
5answers
12k views

What exactly is a “murder hobo”?

I've been here reading Q&A for some month now, and I already saw some concerning murder-hobos (or sometimes called murderous cretins). As I'm French, I tried to directly translate it, but it gave ...
79
votes
5answers
98k views

Do Cantrips use your character level or class level?

Cantrips seem to be the only type of spell that cares only about your class level. However, in the multiclassing section they are not mentioned, does this mean that cantrips use your character level, ...
78
votes
10answers
25k views

How should I respond to a DM who unfairly plays the “rules-lawyer” card?

My question: How would you, as an experienced role-player, deal with this situation? I was recently invited to join a 4e startup goup. I've RP'd a fair bit in my day, but not in decades, and never D&...
78
votes
7answers
12k views

How can I get a player to accept that they should stop trying to pull stunts without thinking them through first?

How can I get a player to accept that they should stop trying to pull stunts without thinking them through first? To explain the issue, one of the players in my game wants to assassinate a high-...
78
votes
4answers
11k views

What happens when my players get promoted and their puns stop working?

In Paranoia 2nd edition, player names are structured as firstname-clearance-sector. The ...
77
votes
14answers
20k views

My PCs have a plan that will get them all killed; how and why should I save them?

Related: How do I help my players figure out how to stay alive in a realistically-deadly sandbox campaign? I am running a sandbox game for a group of players who are used to more traditional ...
77
votes
14answers
9k views

Is it wrong to ask a player to justify their character's actions?

When a player has their character do something completely outside of the perceived norm for that character, is it okay to ask them for a justification? If they can not give satisfactory justification,...

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