Hot answers tagged

201

Reward the PCs with attention A group of level 2 PCs with a staff of the magi will soon find that everyone wants it. Many of these will be bad guys, but a few of them will be good guys. The GM can reward the PCs for their superior play by having the good guys contact the PCs and offer to take the staff off their hands for their own safety (instead of, for ...


144

A DM should not think of himself as having the right of Rule 0, which is why he controls the game. A DM should instead think of himself as having the responsibility of controling the game, and therefore being given the tool of Rule 0 in order to do so. Because ultimately, that is what Rule 0 is: a tool given to the DM to keep the game fun, engaging, and ...


129

Your first instinct-- gently talking to the player-- is a very good one. You can easily follow that up with a less gentle discussion laying out the basic idea that tabletop RPGs (unlike computer RPGs) are collaborative efforts where everyone needs to have fun. This includes not only the other players, but also you as the GM. Your second instinct-- ...


122

Consider that "sudden, undeserved wealth" is a fantastic story hook. The party is now famous. Against all odds they defeated the dragon and spent its treasure with abandon at all the best shops in town. The tale is going to spread of a band of adventurers and their dragon's hoard. Bards are going to sing about it in taverns far and wide. This kind of thing ...


120

While a lot of the other answers are perfectly valid and good ideas, I'd like to offer an alternative solution that hasn't been mentioned yet which can also work in some situations: deal with the problem out-of-game, not through DM fiat, but rather through admitting you made a mistake. DMs shouldn't be expected to be infallible. If you can explain to your ...


104

Yes, you are missing something; an incapacitated creature cannot maintain concentration: Being incapacitated or killed. You lose concentration on a spell if you are incapacitated or if you die. (PHB 203) Once the Raven lands on the Warlock's shoulder, Earthen Grasp ends as it becomes incapacitated. While perched on your shoulder, the raven can’t ...


99

The limit to Rule Zero is what the players are willing to accept. It's that simple. Unless you can convince him to change what he's doing, your only option is to walk away.


99

Since he's suggesting you play a Paladin and removed Heavy Armor and claim combat will be deadly, just start a conversation with him and how he imagines your character surviving without the Heavy Armor. Consider building a Paladin and then looking at the difference in his AC between what you'd normally pick and what the best available Medium Armor will do ...


97

Make it be cursed. A very powerful item will make many adventuring parties suspicious, but if yours are just happy to go forward using it, they are in for a surprise. I would pick an "interesting" curse that makes them wary of using it but still leaves them (technically) with the option to do so. For example, every charge used could alert some extraplanar ...


85

Although many tables allow some degree of tweaking in order to make a build match a concept, they usually involve some degree of horse trading, i.e. giving up something to get something else. Assassins get the Assassinate ability at third level. Arcane Tricksters get Mage Hand Legerdemain. Wizards get their own specialties. Unless he is willing to give up ...


84

The Brinks Job, The Italian Job, Willow, or Charlie Varrick? the players worked their way through a series of fiendish traps into a high security vault, where they recovered a Staff of the Magi. Your low level PC's broke into a secure storage site and stole something extremely valuable. Hollywood movies are packed with this trope: a big heist and the ...


80

Your issue has nothing to do with your Barbarian and his Strength. I assume you're talking about the encounter "Flat on Rat Street" from the adventure Shadow in the Sky in the Second Darkness Adventure Path. I ran that for my party too. They killed the baboon in one hit, downed the loan shark in one hit, and spent the rest of the time with him tied to a ...


79

The spell says (emphasis mine): No light, magical or otherwise, can illuminate the area, and creatures fully within the area are blinded. Once a creature is not fully inside the area this condition doesn't apply anymore and the creature stops being effectively blind. They just have to move. If the condition was permanent it would say so and there is no ...


75

What are tiers? Tiers are a ranking of how "powerful and/or versatile" the various 3.5 base classes are, with low numbered tiers being considered more capable than high numbered tiers. It's important to remember that certain caveats apply to the rankings: Tiers assume similar levels of optimization. Someone playing an optimized "weak" class (like a fighter)...


75

That's a 20th level epic boon (so very powerful) The power of a permanent truesight effect would be situational. If you measure 'power' by raw combat ability, then unless you're fighting invisible creatures truesight has little effect. Even if this player is fighting invisible monsters, the rest of the party is still vulnerable. So it shouldn't break combat ...


73

Definitions: Group: everyone wanting to build a character to a roughly similiar set of requirements. Everyone: A set of 1 or more players with sufficient system expertise who communicate in some codified way, e.g. through a forum or around a game table. Thesis: An option is overpowered if, when presented as a choice, it will always be chosen by members of ...


73

It leads to "All or Nothing" skill development This is going to cause exactly the problem that the 'bounded accuracy' philosophy of 5th edition was designed to address: All skill checks become either trivially easy for experts, or impossible for everyone else. That is to say, the DM either sets skill DCs low enough for everyone to have a fair shot at ...


71

Breadth of Option Unexpected monster rears out of the darkness, clearly well beyond the battered party's ability to handle? Wizard teleports home. Fighter manages to kill the thing half to death before he gets eaten. Ambuscade! The earl's men have the party cornered, and demand they surrender - only execution awaits if they do. Wizard casts ...


71

The spell enables relatively secure resting in dangerous places You are correct that, on the whole this spell enables the party to rest securely knowing that they will not be murdered by the most common dungeon dangers while they sleep. They are safe from spells, creatures and objects that may try to encroach into their safety bubble. Creatures can even ...


69

So, your first mistake was allowing the players to go to Fantasy Costco and freely spend their wealth on magic items. Magical items aren't purchasable by default; the only things players can buy are what you say they can buy. The Dungeon Master's Guide discusses this on p.135. But it's done, so what can you do to fix it? 1. They might be cheating (...


69

No, this makes the current system less balanced. The current system for cantrips gaining damage at regular intervals is the magic users' equivalent of the "Extra Attack" feature that other classes get (rogues get increased Sneak Attack damage instead). Consider the humble Path of the Zealot Barbarian. At level 5, they can do the following using a Greataxe (...


67

CR and Encounter Building are not an exact science If you find that your group is too effective (or too ineffective) in dealing with enemies, you will have to improvise and adjust the difficulty. Homogeneous groups share weaknesses Shambling Mounds lack ranged attacks and are slow. A single character able to attack at range can defeat any amount of ...


66

He doesn't want me to run the NPCs either. There's no basis in the rules to allow this. NPC's cannot be run by the player; that's actually the definition of an NPC. As DM you need to assert control of the NPC's actions; only if the PC dies might you consider letting him run the NPC in lieu of generating a new character. You should absolutely allow the ...


64

This is not balanced. Okay, I don't usually do "is this balanced" questions, because I don't really know what 'balanced' is. But, to paraphrase Potter Stewart, "I know it when I see it, and this ain't it." You've obviously tried to balance it, and that's laudable. And there may be room to make this concept balanced. But it's not there yet. First-off, let'...


63

It's not OP compared to other 1st level spells. Consider Burning Hands, which deals 3d6 in an area, or Inflict Wounds, which deals 3d10 damage, or Dissonant Whispers, which deals 3d6 while wasting the target's reaction in order to provoke attacks of opportunity, or Chromatic Orb, which deals 3d8 damage. While Guiding Bolt is a bit stronger than these ...


63

No need to ban the bastard sword, because it's not part of D&D 5e yet. D&D Wiki is mostly full of things made up by random people on the Internet — the Bastard Sword you link to is some random person's homebrew. You would have to choose to add it to your game, not ban it. Is it balanced? Meh, doesn't matter. You don't want it, so there's no reason ...


58

Play to your other players' strengths Your barbarian, as you have noted, is very good at dealing high damage to a single target. Maybe even two targets if he took cleave. The aim now is to play to the strengths of the other party members as well. A swarm of 8-10 rats would be easier for a mage with burning hands or sleep than the barbarian. An incorporeal ...


58

Almost-certainly not. One of the authors of the third edition, Monte Cook, has claimed that it was an intended feature to reward “system mastery,” for example here. He credits/blames Wizards of the Coast’s familiarity and success with system-mastery-based rewards in Magic: the Gathering for this choice. But this was written well after the fact, and always ...


58

Crouching is a no-brainer And no-brainers are bad design --- you've created a new action that has a very negligible downside. No wonder your players are spamming it! Think about it --- the only downside is moving slower, but the character can stand up for free, so that downside hardly ever comes into play if the player uses the rule to its fullest. I ...


57

Get them to help you build yours You said that you don't want to play somebody else's character, but what if they helped you build yours? That way it's still your character but they've helped you optimise it. From your question it certainly seems this other player enjoys optimising characters for pathfinder, so perhaps they'd relish the opportunity.


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