303

There are a number of reasons why the character's book knowledge may not be useful at a given time. There are also a number of reasons why the character's knowledge wouldn't be as extensive as your player seems to think. 1) Book knowledge isn't practical experience. You can read all the books in the world about riding a bicycle, and you'll still fall off ...


133

This can be solved mechanically Just to take a different tack: If he wants to recall how to steer a boat, ask him to make a roll against his Navigator's Tools Proficiency, and/or Vehicle Proficiency. If he doesn't have them, he can make a general Int check for very general knowledge. If his claim is that he should be able to roll any skill on any subject by ...


115

Roll with it Let's address this by taking things back to 5e fundamentals. Working from, "How To Play", from PHB page six. 1. The DM describes the environment "You've taken over the pirate ship but your crew are all dead. What do you do?" 2. The players describe what they want to do. "As an ancient elf I've read historical books about ship battles and ...


109

Give him exactly what he wants. I know, I know, but please, hear me out. So, you've read all of the books you could possibly get your hands on and have acquired hundreds of years worth of knowledge? Excellent. Using your example of the ship, a suggested DM response: You have read (roll D100)...... 65 books on sailing. 23 of them directly contradict ...


92

You don't need to go to the effort of plotting to kill her off. What you do need to do is speak to your GM and your group and tell them what's on your mind: your character doesn't have much to do, and you'd like to roll up a new one. At that point, you may still need to come up with a plan of how your character can exit stage left, but you'll have their ...


81

Powerful drama requires powerful motivations. When everyone at the table agrees that they want a Horror game, they must craft their characters around these motivations. If they don't buy in, then you get the kind of power-fantasy where the heroes do the quite sensible thing of feeding Cthulhu a couple cases of dynamite and legging it. That isn't horror, that'...


59

Your players are telling you that they might not want to adventure. First and foremost, ask your players if this is the case before acting on advice from random strangers on the internet. It appears to me that they are not interested in playing in an adventure, and that is perfectly fine. There are many other options for the kinds of games to run. The ...


59

Control water is probably your best bet Control water is a 4th level spell accessible to several classes. It allows you to "control any freestanding water inside an area you choose that is a cube up to 100 feet on a side", which should hopefully be large enough to contain the target ship. Note that you can't move the area you're affecting, so make sure the ...


59

It depends on what you find to be fun The Alexandrian has an interesting article on Meta-Knowledge and Meta-Skill, in the context of determining whether your fresh faced level 1 adventurer knows that trolls are vulnerable to fire. I recommend you read it in its entirely, but I will paraphrase. Simply put, this sort of meta-knowledge is impossible to put "...


52

Two players could play one character, but probably it would be too boring. They could agree all the character's action, and they could take turns when role playing him. But that would be less interesting and exciting than having one character. Also, it can lead to discussions when the two players are agreeing what to do, so the game can be even slower than ...


42

Outside materials for particular campaigns, there is only one official way for a PC to become a lich. The Book of Vile Darkness is detailed in the 5th edition Dungeon Master's Guide (p222). It doesn't describe the ritual to any great extent, leaving it largely in the GM's domain to determine what steps a character aspiring for lichhood ought to take. Some ...


37

Talk to the player about why they are playing this character this way Does the player have a larger purpose? What's the point? Is there a story they are trying to tell? Try to understand what's going on in her head about why she's approaching this character in this way. She knows a lot about Victorian Europe — perhaps this is a typical archtype for this ...


34

Change Your Character (And Yourself) It’s a crummy world in which no one ever changes. You can change your existing character in two ways if you think like an author: The other PCs barely know your character. You can objectively change things about them that simply haven’t been revealed yet. Maybe your PC always did have a soft spot for elves or whatever....


33

Well, if the player's characters are frustrated and annoyed by your character's quirk then that's just fine. However, if the players are upset then we are heading into my guy territory and that's not fine. In either case, your character is allowed to develop and this will solve the problem. When people have a bad habit that annoys their peers then either a)...


33

Given that the DM seems to dislike the idea of a change of cast, you are not feeling like playing this character like you're playing it now and your friend seems uninterested in changing his ways to let you have fun (but at least the DM seems cooperative enough), I'd like to suggest something that worked for me in a World of Darkness campaign I've been part ...


32

Not really They're two completely different systems, and you'll get quite a headache trying to figure it out. It'll be much easier to just pre-make some new characters for them than to try and make a 4e character work in 5e. For a few interesting points: A 4e character, even a Wizard has in the region of 25 hit points and about 5 or so Healing Surges A ...


31

Is this really a problem? Mary Sues in fictions, especially fan fiction, are annoying partially because the world warps to suit them. In an RPG that will not happen (or at least not in the same way) because the other players and the GM provide elements that are out of the hands the person running "Mary Sue". Mary Sues also tend to be too perfect in ways ...


31

Experienced players talk about their expectations There is no “Goldilocks” here that works for everyone in every game. Each player, each group, each system, each setting, and each campaign are going to have different expectations. Those expectations may very well be totally different in the next campaign. So the right thing to do is to talk to ...


31

Optimise for fun! I'm also an engineer/solver type. There's no shortgage of us playing D&D. The way I dealt with this is to shift my focus from "solving" the adventure to "solving" the story. My job, as a roleplayer, is to focus on being a character that contributes to the most interesting and fun story for the players, and not on efficiently getting ...


28

I think you're metagaming. You, the GM and player, know that continuing to pursue the truth will lead to madness. Your characters don't know that. They don't know the risks yet. Your characters are just finding out (possibly for the first time) that "magic" or something like it is real. If you, in real life, just found out that magic was real, wouldn't you ...


28

Play the character you want to play While the results of a random quirk generator can be interesting, that doesn't mean the results will be right for you. There're only so many characters you'll be able to play—ever—, and playing a character with a personality trait you no longer want to play isn't fun. If changing the trait would make the game fun for you ...


27

Definitely discuss with your GM, but don't discuss it with the other players unless the GM thinks it's a good idea. I've been reading a lot of John Wick lately (Play Dirty, Play Dirty 2), and he's all about drama in the game. He puts characters in terrible, soul-wrenching situations to push them to change. It's good stuff, whether you run games, or play in ...


27

Enlarge/Reduce By casting the Reduce of Enlarge/Reduce, you will be able to do the following: The target's size is halved in all dimensions, and its weight is reduced to one-eighth of normal. Should you target the sails, that should hobble the ship enough to prevent movement, but also still make it easy for you to undo the effect and have a fully ...


26

It is usually considered outside the DM's job scope to directly increase the hit points (or combat effectiveness in general) of one particular character. Players have a certain amount of freedom in how they build their character, which occasionally means they shoot themselves in the foot. But the DM can do some things like: Offer a way to remove the ...


25

The alignment system is not very good It doesn’t make a lot of sense, there are numerous cases where the suggestions for what is in each alignment are contradictory, it relies on the poorly-explained idea that there are objective, cosmic Goods and Evils and Chaoses and Laws. It works well enough for simple adventure-fantasy where we are the Good guys, ...


25

These new characters don't come naturally to me. I have to actively force myself to 'sit on my hands' and contribute less than I naturally would. But you also say: not unintelligent or uncharismatic, but more meek and less likely to take the lead. This character isn't uninvolved and shouldn't be sitting on any hands. Practice listening. Help support the ...


24

Walk back your decision to allow into the campaign characters with game-breaking backgrounds The player found a flaw in the system and, instead of pointing out the flaw and the two of you working out something reasonable, the player ruthlessly exploited this flaw: The player realized that there's no limit the complexity of a character's background. You're ...


24

The Real Problem: Your Character Has No Stake There is an open question about the game world (does magic exist?) which your PC and the other PC have staked out opposite sides of. The action of the game so far revolves around the investigation of that question (and genre conventions suggest the answer will be yes) To be honest, this is not a good situation ...


23

This Is Not A Problem Mary Sues are a problem in other media because the plot bends unrealistically to how great they are. They are a problem in gaming mainly when a GM brings in a Mary Sue NPC/GMPC and bends the world to fit their "coolness" at the expense of the rules and/or story as well. A player in a trad game, however, who lacks narrative control ...


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