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272 votes
Accepted

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

When I tried asking them what was the point of their actions their response was they had to do it since they were evil. Bah! That's the problem with villains these days. They hear about the time ...
Ray's user avatar
  • 2,332
260 votes
Accepted

How to stop players from making the game X-rated

Social Scripts for escaping an unwanted Sexytimes RPG What I'm seeing in your question is that you don't have a D&D group, you have a sexytimes fantasy roleplaying group. Being in an RPG group ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
248 votes
Accepted

How do I manage a player who is handling traps by metagaming?

What's wrong with what he's doing? As far as he can tell, this is a good strategy. He's exceptionally tough, and running through traps has worked for him in the past, so he believes it'll be fine in ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 17.1k
192 votes
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Is it OK for me to give my players' characters punitive backstories when they don't provide their own?

You should cut that out. You've basically answered the question yourself in describing the situation to us: You have a requirement that characters have a backstory. If they don't bring a backstory, ...
doppelgreener's user avatar
184 votes
Accepted

What to do with players who have done something very stupid, but unwittingly?

In the short term, there are many ways to resolve this - have the person selling them the carriage inform them that they've been taken advantage of and advise them to shake down the boat buyer for a ...
SirTechSpec's user avatar
  • 16.3k
183 votes
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What do you do when your players guess your plots?

You're not doing anything wrong. Having players guess a plot development doesn't mean they know (unless you're confirming their guesses — don't do that, that is doing it “wrong”). It just means they ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
174 votes
Accepted

What is the purpose of easy combat scenarios that don't need resource expenditure?

Others have mentioned other reasons, but here's another that I find particularly compelling. In a game of D&D, it is generally accepted that the DM will build combat encounters to be difficult ...
London's user avatar
  • 1,506
161 votes

How to work with a player who cites ADHD as reason for disruptive behavior

Your player is not taking ownership of their condition A disclaimer before I start, first I'm not familiar with the AL's rules and recourse for DMs dealing with problem players. Secondly, I'm not a ...
Pyrotechnical's user avatar
144 votes
Accepted

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

Show them the missing key The unwritten assumption about doors in an RPG is that they are meant to be opened. As long as the players think that there is a hidden way to open that door, they will ...
Surpriser's user avatar
  • 1,888
143 votes
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How can I tell the DM that I wasn't having fun and that I fault him for it?

I think I'm going to have to Frame Challenge this question. Based only on how you described the combat and outcome, it doesn't really seem like the DM did anything wrong. It seems much more strongly ...
Xirema's user avatar
  • 52.7k
141 votes
Accepted

How can I convince players not to offload a seemingly useless weapon?

Let them sell it. Later, when they realize they needed it, let them troop back and buy it again. It can be a little mini quest: "figure out what happened to that sword we vendored". I think your more ...
Dan B's user avatar
  • 90.2k
138 votes
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Is saying "Your PC wouldn't do that" to a player denying their agency?

Yes -- if you use that specific phrasing, "your character would not do that", you are denying their character's agency. The player is an authority over what their character wants to do; your ...
Dan B's user avatar
  • 90.2k
129 votes
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As a DM, how can I handle my Druid spying on everything with Wild shape as a spider?

Introduce a threat to the spider. There are plenty of normal creatures that live in caves that pose a threat to spiders. Frogs, birds, and even other spiders are natural predators. You can ...
JRodge01's user avatar
  • 4,716
126 votes
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How do I explain to an AD&D player that items that increase Armor Class in D&D 5e are overpowered?

+2 AC is much more than an 8% improvement, in one case it is as high as 200%. Erik's and Quadratic Wizard's answers do a fine job of comparing the proposed item to existing magical items in the DMG. ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
125 votes
Accepted

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

As a DM, I've found that trying to distinguish characters solely by changing my voice doesn't work very well. It's not especially scalable, for one - if you have a full cast of NPCs, you're likely to ...
thatgirldm's user avatar
  • 22.4k
120 votes
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How do I indicate to my players that an NPC is no longer useful and that they should move on?

Remember that NPCs are people, not info dumps. Your players are following what I'd call the video game model of NPC interaction. In a lot of RPG video games, the NPCs are infinitely patient and let ...
Icyfire's user avatar
  • 63.7k
120 votes
Accepted

What to do if a player expected much more than DM gave?

The ruling seems very reasonable Originally the goblins were at a reasonable advantage and knew it. Successful intimidation made it so they weren't that sure anymore, probably assuming that the PCs ...
Anagkai's user avatar
  • 16.6k
119 votes

I dislike how players accurately place fireballs. Is there an alternative?

Well, I don't think I need to tell you that it's within RAW, per the spell description of Fireball [emphasis mine]: A bright streak flashes from your pointing finger to a point you choose within ...
Eidolon108's user avatar
  • 4,887
116 votes
Accepted

How can I handle a player who pre-plans arguments about my rulings on RAW?

Agree as a table that rules discussions happen out-of-session We have had this issue at our table. Rules debates that have gotten out of hand and players (including and sometimes primarily me in the ...
Rubiksmoose's user avatar
115 votes

As a DM, how can I handle my Druid spying on everything with Wild shape as a spider?

Handle it without crushing it. One of the best parts of playing D&D is creative uses of game mechanics. Don't take that from your player. Remember, your job as DM is not to counter or beat ...
aaron9eee's user avatar
  • 10.3k
114 votes
Accepted

How to work with a player who cites ADHD as reason for disruptive behavior

I don't know your player, but I know something about playing D&D in AL with ADHD. That's my hobby. I also know something about working with young adults with ADHD in structured settings. That's my ...
nitsua60's user avatar
  • 102k
113 votes

How do I address the need to kill off one member of the party for on going plot?

Then you need to damn the plot secrets and talk with the player and make sure they are OK with it. You don't need to give them details on how it is resolved but they need to know they will be killed ...
John's user avatar
  • 9,831
113 votes

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

As you've noticed, pretty much the entire history of gaming has taught players that a locked door is a puzzle and there will be a solution available somewhere nearby - maybe not immediately, but in ...
G_B's user avatar
  • 4,638
113 votes
Accepted

How can I impose consequences when PCs commit severe crimes?

This is not uncommon since many players come from video games, wantonly stealing from and murdering NPCs. NPCs in roleplay games tend to be smarter though, and have logic. Give them a reputational ...
Nepene Nep's user avatar
113 votes

How can I run an open-world game with vast power differences, without resulting in constant TPKs?

In game, make it clear that they won't always win The cause of your problems isn't open world, the problem is the preconception that PCs can always solve the problems in front of them with combat. ...
user-781943's user avatar
  • 21.8k
112 votes
Accepted

My players have a habit of always torturing enemies they capture for information, how can I make our adventure less macabre?

Don't reward the behavior. You control the game universe and everything in it. Start making your NPCs tougher and smarter. Let them resist the torture defiantly, going so far as to die to keep their ...
ruffdove's user avatar
  • 6,184
107 votes
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How should a DM resolve a smooth-talking player with a weak Charisma score PC?

This is a delicate thing to pull off as a GM, because it involves finessing the subtle aspects of a player's agency vs the rest of the imagined world. The usual model of player agency is that the ...
Novak's user avatar
  • 43.5k
107 votes

How should I handle players who ignore the session zero agreement?

No getting around it, and no need to work with in-game punishments. In-game punishments make the problem just another part of the game, and this is more serious than that. You've got to be blunt here:...
kviiri's user avatar
  • 54k
105 votes

How to deal with a player who says no all the time?

As ever, there are two approaches: in-game, and out-of-game. Out-of-game: It's a cliché on this stack, but for a reason: talk to this player about what they want. As mentioned above, not biting on ...
Upper_Case's user avatar
  • 21.8k
104 votes
Accepted

As a DM, how to avoid unconscious metagaming when dealing with a high AC character?

Avoid the DM vs Player trap It looks like you may have fallen into that trap, based on how you presented the problem. This isn't a matter of a "fair fight" between a monster (or a group of monsters) ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar

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