New answers tagged

3

Here's how I handle this: I allow everything. Between sessions you can make any change to your character -- change their levels or feats or race. You also can retire your character and bring in a new character with the same level and the same wealth. I don't attempt to make up a story reason why this happens. I tell my group: "Bob is a wizard. Bob ...


9

When I'm acting as DM with my group -- who are, I admit, not children, but still occasionally flummox me -- I usually try to work with them change "can I?" and "what would happen if?" questions into either "Tell me what my character sees/hears/knows about..." or "I want to..." plus a general course of action -- ...


11

The art of improvisation and the Chaos of playing with kids It sounds a little bit awkward, but there's indeed not an exact ruleset for improvisation. And in fact there's nothing wrong about improv, since you cannot have all the answers to all of the possible outcomes and that counts especially for young players. They just think differently. I DMed for about ...


46

Redirect questions seeking information by asking what the character is doing to learn that information. Here is how I would respond to each of the example questions you give: Player: Can I go 20 miles from here in search of a village? DM: That sounds like a long trip, are you going alone or do you want to talk with the party about searching for a village? ...


19

Improvise! This is much easier said than done, but ultimately a big part of DMing is going to be improvisation. No matter how much you think you can prepare, your players are going to do, find, and say things that you would never have suspected and learning how to roll with that is part of the job. You've actually got a few options within improvisation to ...


0

There are many options The imp is easy to deal with - just kill the imp and don't allow the warlock access to 10 gp worth of charcoal, incense, and herbs or a brass brazier. Without access to the material components of the find familiar spell, the warlock can't resummon their imp. Primal companion is more difficult. The ranger merely needs to take a long ...


2

For an officially published approach: Out of the Abyss (roughly chapter 2), has a longer chase section, not with towns, but that could be adapted in as it is weeks or possibly months long. Basically: the DM tracks a score of how close the chasers are, and rolls daily on random events, which can raise or lower the score (also dependent on how the players ...


2

You can introduce setbacks, or give players "short cuts," enabling them to effectively catch the villain. If the villain is a considerable distance away, and they have any indication of where he has been, they could cut him off from ahead if another road led to his location. Alternatively, the villain may have had a number of horses die in a rock ...


4

I recommend making the chase less like the one in LoTR The Two Towers and more like a sort of scavenger hunt. One hint leads to another. The party tries to retrace the steps of the villain, but are not actively chasing right behind them. Otherwise, the players will try their hardest to catch up, which might not be as viable or fun as investigating where the ...


1

Comprehend Languages only lets you understand what the text says. It makes no guarantees about whether that text is relevant, complete, accurate, or authentic. For example, historians have found and translated many texts from ancient Egypt that mention their trade partner Punt. None of them bothered to explain precisely where the land of Punt actually is, ...


8

My suggestion maybe seems a bit railroady... ...but your players won't necessarily know. I DMed some chases (it was my home-brew system, but that issue is interchangeable)... and every time I started by writing an end for this situation or at least had some scenes in mind where it could be possible to catch the target. The first chases I DMed were roll/skill-...


2

Give your players an advantage by letting them change the problem. My guiding principle for designing challenges is the OSR-style: "No obvious solutions, many possible solutions, solvable by common sense." The easiest way to do that here is to make Comprehend Languages open up new possible solutions that still take work to do. Then it gives the ...


1

Decide what the purpose of the ancient text is. Obviously, you want the players to be able to read the text in some way. As someone mentioned before they either need a rosetta stone (quest to search for a mcguffin), or a person that can do the translating (quest to find person), or a spell (quest for a scroll, or "good job preparing, wizard!") or ...


-4

Most of the time, you should allow players to use resources such as comprehend languages to solve problems- after all, it is 1 less magic missile for them to use later. However, if they are using it a lot, and there is something that people really don't want them to read, here are two ways to make it more challenging: Glyphs of warding with counterspell. A ...


8

In 5e in particular, and D&D in general, magic at a certain level solves certain sets of problems. In T1, things like "I am hungry", "it is dark outside", "I need to get down this pit" and "what does this book say" are solved. In T2, "We need a camp in the wilderness", "we need to cross this chasm&...


7

There are four pieces of advice I give other GMs when I hear them complaining about stuff like this. You should not actively circumvent player choices. Spell slots in 5e are at a premium, as are known spells for most classes. In other words, unless you’re a Cleric or a Wizard, picking a given spell means you are actively giving up other spells, which affects ...


5

D&D is not a game where players expect to have to use frequency analysis to translate unknown languages. Puzzles in RPGs are hard to do well. There is no reason the puzzle-solving skills of the character should match the skills of the player. The guy playing the big dumb barbarian might be an expert at this kind of thing, while the guy playing the genius ...


14

In a glance at these answers, no one seems to be highlighting what I believe to be something very important to answer this question: Consider that this puzzle (if the people who made it meant it to be a puzzle) exists in a world with Comprehend Languages. There are your intentions as the DM (make an interesting puzzle to solve) and there's the intention of ...


9

Change the problem so it would aid to figure out the text but not complete the challenge You could tell the players the answer in an indirect manner, like a riddle, or give them a part of the solution and instructions on how to get the next part of the puzzle. As a DM, you won't be able to think of all the ways a player might react to your challenge, and you ...


6

Three options In my experience you have three options to handle such situations: Ban, ignore or embrace Banning is the cheapest solution Yet effective, just banning a possible problem solver is not very creative. In my games I handled it more with the "Yes, but"-approach. Ignore the problem If you know your party can solve problems like a chasm ...


22

First, make sure this is central to your game If deciphering these texts is not a crucial and repeated plot element, the effort of such a change is not worth it. If it IS a crucial and repeated plot element, make sure you have worked out how it will affect the other aspects of the campaign (see below), as well as the overarching reason for these puzzles - ...


14

You are free to ban them as a DM, but reconsider the puzzle Comprehend Languages is a tricky spell. There is a reason why the Five Torches Deep 5e hack replaces it with a a substantially nerfed version called Lexicon. Along with spells like Polymorph and Wish, it is considered one of the most overpowered spells by quite a few DMs I've seen. It is designed to ...


69

This is a gating problem. In the design of games occasionally we like to put bits of the world behind gates, be they literal or metaphorical. The upper floors of the tower are behind a locked door... and now we look for the key. A dungeon-area is flooded and inaccessible... until we learn to breathe water or redirect the river. Clues are hidden in the ...


43

Rather than punish your players, reward them for using creative means to solve problems. A character intentionally spending spell slots to solve a problem you have presented is the intended chain of events during play. You're describing the exact use case for this spell. If the puzzle is just "decipher these ancient writings to find the answer," ...


-2

You definitely shouldn't unilaterally give the player disadvantage because of a character quirk, but you might offer to trade them something for it. A bad memory could be a boon; perhaps they are resistant to some charm spells like Friends or Suggestion (which are rare enough that it would likely be balanced) and will only spend 1/4th of the specified time ...


-2

Yes. Consider the following three points from the rules: If do not (willingly or not) benefit Dexterity, you decrease your AC accordingly. If you intentionally do not pay attention to your attack, stay motionless not even trying to avoid attacks or close your eyes, then the attacker has advantage on the attack roll. You could intentionally merely hold your ...


7

Your NPC is more than one NPC A.k.a the multi-phase boss fight Build more than one stat block for the character. This allows you to make honest and consistent rolls for the current situation. The rest is just the usual descriptions and roleplay. There's already precedent in the DnD canon: there are legends that Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon, sometimes ...


6

You could go Rock Lee style and secretly encumber the enemy with hidden weights beyond their carrying capacity. This will give them a disadvantage on attack rolls by RAW and reduce their speed. Giving them ring mail without proficiency in heavy armor will also remove their dex bonus and the lowest base ac of 14 for heavy armor and similar effects to being ...


1

Attacks: as GM you can give disadvantage for any reason Defenses: If you want to leave their ac as is you can create a threshold below their AC where you change how you describe how you narrate their actions in response to the players actions but leave their AC unchanged. Remember to ask for damage that you are not going to record or the players will get ...


3

Ignore defence while fighting is a class feature of Barbarians (making Reckless attacks, giving opponents advantage). Your enemies can tell you're doing this. It takes training to do that in a real fight when people are really trying to kill you; the instinct for self-defence is pretty strong, I'd think. (That's why only barbarians can do this, not any ...


20

Look Away! In the PHB Combat Section, "Making an Attack" explains that... When you attack a target that you can't see, you have disadvantage on the attack roll... When a creature can't see you, you have advantage on attack rolls against it. RAW, your NPC could deliberately close their eyes or look away when attacking or being attacked, making it ...


10

AC is not fully under your control Besides your choice or armor and buffs, of course... Player's Handbook, page 14 Your Armor Class (AC) represents how well your character avoids being wounded in battle. Things that contributes to your AC includes the armor you wear, the shield you carry and your Dexterity modifier. This implies your AC is the sum of your ...


39

Technically, you can't do this There are not rules that support being able to choose to be hit or to choose to miss with an attack. In fact, there are even features that only activate when you are hit or when you miss and so a character could activate them intentionally which is otherwise not possible and potentially imbalancing in some cases (I can't ...


11

As the DM, you can do this if you want. As written, there is no rule that states you can do this. But you’re the DM, and you can design your bad guys however you want. There are several spells that raise AC, like mage armor and shield of faith, but as the DM, you can just give your bad guy a feature that raises their AC at the cost of an action or bonus ...


14

"That Sounds Interesting-- How Is Your Character Going To Do That?" Having a player who knows what he wants his characters' story to be is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, at least you know what your player wants, and when you need to throw him a bone over some other disappointment or circumstance, you know what will be effective. On the ...


-1

I think that HP of monsters is generally better off revealed to the players and that an HP bar is one of the best ways to show that information. Players will want to know this information anyways at every point in a battle. So just give it to them in the most efficient way possible. Don't bog combat down or confuse your players. The GM has many things to ...


2

Yes, with some help You need two spellcasters, 7th level Warlock or Wizard with Metamagic Adept feat (Extended Spell) and a 9+ level Bard, Cleric, Druid or Wizard. If you want a foolproof plan, one of spellcasters must be a Divination wizard who rolled a Portent die sufficiently low (10 or less will do). Pick the following spells: Magic Circle and Summon ...


9

Turn it into a story. You seem to be viewing narrative, storytelling, like it's procedural - you develop a story only by talking and organically having it happen. However you can do it the other way, setting a story goal and then defining the path that is taken to these goals. If your player wants the goal of their character dying, rising from the dead as ...


26

For switching your player's character's race, it's best to cooperate. At my table, I have a rule: if you're ever unhappy with your character's race or class, I will fix it for you. If you want, you can retire your character and bring in a new character with the same xp and gp. If you'd like to keep the same character but just change their race or class, we ...


12

Conduct a new session 0 Session 0 is essentially a term for a discussion with the group about the expectations of the group as a whole for the game, how it will run, and what everyone wants out of it. It sounds like your game has now been running for so long, and even changed systems, that people's expectations may have drifted apart. It may therefore be a ...


4

There are no available options to do this Which is frustrating for you regarding your preference to keep your monster/NPC making follow PC rules. (Un)fortunately, as DM, you are free to make your NPCs however you like. Yes, it means they can do things that players can't, but the RAW Monsters have abilities that players don't get, either. It's okay to dip ...


4

You can probably come close This does depend heavily on your setting, specifically the details of "what exactly happens to your soul when it dies?" I don't know the answer to that question for any official setting, but if you're the DM then you get to choose for your setting. As long as the answer is something like "Your soul travels to a ...


16

No To put it simply, there are no individual spells (short of Wish) that can do what you want. Either you resurrect someone with free will, or you change their stat block. Alternatives... You are the DM, and you have a great deal of latitude here. As you said, you could just make up some plot device magic spell...but there are some closer-to-RAW solutions ...


7

Large parties can be diffcult to run for any DM. You have a couple options to deal with this. Force split the party Pitfall traps, haunted houses with secret rotating doors, dopplegangers inflitrating the party, Magic maze, etc. By dividing the group, they can handle a lot less at once. This allows you to use creatures such as goblins, zombies and other ...


0

Balancing is always tricky with large groups. In such a large party i would separate them in smaller groups. Like a secret wall in a dungeon, pulling some of them to another room, or something like that. If you choose to compensate in numbers (+ foes, -hp), you are at risk of some characters outshinning others because of large dmg bursts causing "one ...


0

The Heroic method of rolling characters calls for 2d6+6. This prevents scores under 8 but actually increases the odds of an 18. An alternative would be 2d4+6. Max score of 14, min score of 8, thus allowing some randomness but still keeping everyone in the same range.


0

Choose class first, then roll Choose the character class first, then roll 4d6-drop-lowest down the line. If the prime requisite is lower than 13 (roughly a 50% chance), you may choose to reroll the entire array (again and again, if necessary). This ensures that the character either is competent in his area of expertise or has surprising strengths in other ...


1

Don't give wrong answers, give inconclusive answers If you roll low on an Insight check and get told that they seem honest, as in your answer, the player obviously knows out of character that they've been given the wrong answer, and can assume that the opposite is actually true. However, if instead you said "You don't know. She's hard to read." ...


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