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61 votes

How to guide my players into realizing they have multiple options available for an encounter?

As these are all new players, there's nothing wrong with a bit of "out-of-game" DM guidance at these early stages. After describing the situation you can simply say: "What you do now is your choice. ...
PJRZ's user avatar
  • 28.4k
54 votes
Accepted

What is the Five Layer Model of horror scenario design?

The Five Layer Model for horror scenario design is a handy tool put out by Graham Walmsley, as an aid for GMs to come up with good horror. It's put out as a supplement to Cthulhu Dark, and as such, is ...
UrhoKarila's user avatar
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47 votes
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How can I avoid railroading in a sci-fi campaign?

They're really not that different... ...because you left out an important adjective: abandoned. Often, those "fantasy" adventure locations you cited - a crypt, a prison, a cave system, a ...
T.J.L.'s user avatar
  • 48.8k
41 votes
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How can I check if a new group is OK with a plotline from an ethical standpoint without spoiling the plot?

Establishing a Protocol Many RPG groups have a protocol for handling potentially uncomfortable situations. At the start of your game, you give all your players a card with an X on it, and you say: &...
Dan B's user avatar
  • 90.3k
39 votes
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How do I handle when my players overestimate the importance of an encounter/a location?

I’ve seen this issue from both sides. As a GM, it’s really easy to say something ambiguous or describe something in a specific manner that the players interpret as “ooh, let’s check that out” instead ...
Bardic Wizard's user avatar
37 votes
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Convincing characters to take up epic quests in a (mostly) realistic world

I would strongly suggest you to use famous Same Page Tool. Sit together, read the questions, discuss them. Now it looks like you all are trying to play different games, and no one is happy about it. ...
Mołot's user avatar
  • 24.7k
31 votes
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How do I cover a vast area of land with dense vegetation?

Doing this mechanically RAW, is probably impractical: At first glance, the third level spell Plant Growth could be what you're looking for Plant growth is a third level spell on both the Druid and ...
Tiggerous's user avatar
  • 25.1k
26 votes

True Resurrection ruins plot hooks

I like the cultural taboo ideas, but another idea to consider is that there are spells that can trap souls (such as Trap the Soul) and thus negates the issues created by True Resurrection's existence ...
Pyrotechnical's user avatar
26 votes

How do I handle when my players overestimate the importance of an encounter/a location?

One way to deal with this is to nest a side quest within the encounter where they have overestimated the importance. Rather than making the encounter more significant than you originally intended, ...
BprDM's user avatar
  • 2,466
25 votes

How do I run an adventure with the party in competition with an NPC party in a race for the MacGuffin?

My first major campaign was almost exactly this structure, and it was a lot of fun. The setup was, the land was in danger of destruction due to the loss of eight magical load-bearing MacGuffins, so ...
thatgirldm's user avatar
  • 22.5k
24 votes

How do I turn a scenario idea into an adventure?

I often have that problem, though not to quite the degree you describe. I often stall on how to develop a basic idea into a meaningful adventure scenario. I can do it, but I get some really nasty ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
24 votes

How can I check if a new group is OK with a plotline from an ethical standpoint without spoiling the plot?

If something is too dark depends entirely on what your group is comfortable with. To illustrate the point, Let me start with three examples: I have played in at least one group in which destroying an ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 44.6k
24 votes
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In the final act, how to drop clues without causing players to feel "cheated" they didn't find them sooner?

Hide the clues in an inaccessible location High level adventurers go to places nobody else goes to live and tell the tale all the time: fallen cities in the frozen waste, ancient crypts full of undead,...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
23 votes

How do I cover a vast area of land with dense vegetation?

Strangely enough, there's no real reason to resort to Magic to make this scenario work. The southern United States has been dealing with this problem in the real world since the 1940s! That problem ...
Jacob's user avatar
  • 339
22 votes

True Resurrection ruins plot hooks

They still need the body This spell functions like raise dead [...]. This spell can even bring back creatures whose bodies have been destroyed [...]. The fact that it can bring back creatures ...
Falc's user avatar
  • 456
22 votes

True Resurrection ruins plot hooks

The King's problem might not be to get the diamond, the problem might be finding someone able and willing to cast True Resurrection. Being able to cast 9th level cleric spells isn't something common. ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 12.2k
22 votes

When designing an adventure, how can I ensure a continuous player experience in a setting that's likely to favor TPKs?

Plot armour I am talking from experience with computer games rather than with D&D, but the general idea of being somewhere out of your depth and only ever 1 decision from death is the same. The ...
SeriousBri's user avatar
21 votes

True Resurrection ruins plot hooks

The most direct approach, and also the best approach, is to just avoid high levels altogether. Pathfinder tends to break down at high levels. The might of 7th, 8th, and 9th level spells is just too ...
KRyan's user avatar
  • 354k
19 votes
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How can a Lich look like a human without magic?

The Lich can instead prevent others from detecting magic on it. With use of the spells Nondetection or Mindblank, which guard against divination magic, the Lich can prevent a divination spell like ...
user48255's user avatar
  • 11.8k
19 votes

How to guide my players into realizing they have multiple options available for an encounter?

What you're facing is one of the hardest problems to tackle as a DM, and probably one of the harder lessons that any teacher must face in their career. That problem being the balance between shielding ...
Andrendire's user avatar
  • 11.9k
18 votes

How do I cover a vast area of land with dense vegetation?

Green Dragons have gone to live there I had a quick look through the Monster Manual, wondering if any creatures have regional rffects that are suitable. As it happens, one of the regional effects ...
K-T's user avatar
  • 1,285
18 votes

How do I handle when my players overestimate the importance of an encounter/a location?

There are different ways on how to deal with this all of them valid. You will have to choose for yourself what fits right for your group and game. Depending on what your game and preparation allows, ...
Deeps's user avatar
  • 5,907
17 votes

True Resurrection ruins plot hooks

Reframe the problem: the king already tried to resurrect his daughter this way, and it failed. The PCs' first task is to find out why. They're also authorized to raise her if they can fix the problem ...
The Spooniest's user avatar
17 votes

How do I make this idea of a Session 0 game of a campaign work?

You seem to be pre-planning the start of the adventure here. That's not what Dungeon World is about. Quoting from "First Session", "Getting started": Once everyone has their characters created you ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 81.5k
15 votes

How do I cover a vast area of land with dense vegetation?

This sounds like the perfect place to implement Regional Effects to a creature's Lair In the Monster Manual, there are many monsters that have Lairs with Regional Effects. The best related example I ...
David Coffron's user avatar
15 votes

How can I avoid railroading in a sci-fi campaign?

Not all dungeons have walls. A dungeon is really an encounter graph with connections between them. Encounter graphs can be generated without any walls. You can start an encounter graph with a goal ...
Yakk's user avatar
  • 15.7k
15 votes
Accepted

How could a Lich maintain the appearance of being alive without magic?

He's still alive when the PCs meet him, but his phylactery is ready to go Although it's widely believed that a lich must always commit suicide as part of the process of attaining lichdom, that's D&...
Quadratic Wizard's user avatar
15 votes

When designing an adventure, how can I ensure a continuous player experience in a setting that's likely to favor TPKs?

You can't have it all. If the continuous player experience is important, then it needs to be easier to avoid the "wrong" choices, non-death consequences need to be prevalent, or death needs ...
Upper_Case's user avatar
  • 21.8k
15 votes

How to add a magical composite bow to a treasure haul?

You put the enhancement bonus in front and the strength rating in brackets behind. So it‘s a +1 composite shortbow (+2 Str bonus) You find this way of writing in the NPC statistics section of the DMG (...
Peregrin's user avatar
  • 4,873

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