New answers tagged

1

Don't give them a choice Put the group in a position where they can't run from the monster. For example, they're just coming out of a cave, and they look out and the monster is standing right there, and there are no other exits from the cave. Maybe the dragon also breathes its fire breath directly into the cave every 30 seconds. The fire breath doesn't ...


6

Showing That a Monster Is Dangerous The most important thing to remember when trying to convince your players of a fact or emotion is to show, not tell. So, how to show that your monster is dangerous? You can invoke the oldest trick in the books: Surprisingly Sudden Death. Have the group be accompanied by one or more relatively powerful NPCs. Then, in ...


1

The easiest way to make the party engage with something they perceive as possibly beyond their league is to have the creature attacking a place and people the party cares about. Do they have a town with NPC's that they are fond of, place them in peril and the party is either forced to have them die or try and fend the beast off. Alternatively if you do not ...


1

With any "secretly something" plot, there is a 50% chance the players will figure it out on the first sentence. There is also a 50% chance of them inventing a evil that is not there. And a 50% chance of otherwise breaking the plot, like jsut not staying there long enough to notice anything. The main deterent to make sure they stay on track wtihout ...


2

On the "flaws" of DM based RPGs is that players know there is "off the rails" unplanned stuff, and "story hooks" for long well laid out and planned adventures. The off the rails stuff is fun and all, but it can never match the epicness of Defeating The Big Bad of Evilness (tm). This means that even if players KNOW they have multiple options, they can find ...


0

Props Create some big printed sheets. At the top of them put the option you foresee. Give them different colors. Include a rough sketch of what they'd do to do the headline action, so you agree on what "ATTACK" means (CHARGE with weapons drawn). The point of these props isn't to railroad, but instead open up some options. Explain that these are not the ...


1

I don't know if there are any specific rules in DnD, but I had that problem quite often in my Pen&Paper party aswell. I like playing quite fleshed-out NPCs and my players became attached to a few, so simply killing them off won't do it, but although I haven't found a perfect solution here are some suggestions: Split the Party while players should never ...


7

Setting the Scene Another answer mentioned talking to your players out of the story to give them suggestions and let them know there are options, and that is absolutely something I would suggest as well. But for an in-universe option I would say that your narration and setup for a scene can provide a ton of hints on what options your party has. Something ...


3

One technique I use to ensure players can (and sometimes should) run away is: I send a massive, but otherwise peaceful, giant walking across the landscape passed them. Something 40m tall. Tell them they realise, upon seeing its vast size, that they obviously can't defeat it. It will ignore them if they try to talk to it - they have nothing it wants. So ...


2

Predictions are hard, particularly about the future However, you are not doing yourself any favours by playing the spell wrong. Augury gives you: an omen from an otherworldly entity about the results of a specific course of action that you plan to take within the next 30 minutes. Note “specific”, “plan” and “next 30 minutes” - the omen is only about ...


5

First, a bit of history Now, spell reads: you receive an omen from an otherworldly entity about the results of a specific course of action that you plan to take within the next 30 minutes. But how much further results can spell see at all? It is not specified so you are free to do as you wish, but in 3, 3.5 and Pathfinder it was The augury can see ...


6

Use your best judgement You are human (I hope) and aren't omniscient. You can't accurately predict how difficult an encounter might be for some players. I almost had 4 level 4's die to 6 skeletons and if someone had used Augury I probably would have given Weal for the treasure that was in the sarcophagi. You best bet is (probably) to weigh potential gains ...


7

5e can't handle this question very well This is, in essence, the same question as whether a player should get circumstantial advantage, disadvantage, or neither or a roll. Taken literally, almost every situation should receive an answer of "weal and woe", just like every roll should be made with both advantage and disadvantage due to the myriad tiny ...


19

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 them from failure and letting them learn from their mistakes. On the one hand, you want your players to have fun, and you want to create an interesting ...


61

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. You can attempt to calm the situation, shout at the attackers, fetch help, attack or something else!" Then ask each player: What do you do? You can even ...


1

For most scenarios which involve short-term stealth checks I have employed delaying the roll until committed to an action. It is a great idea. Implemented - it works a treat! For scenarios where they player wants to stay in Stealth for longer periods of time (e.g. staying in stealth and scouting ahead for the main party), I have implemented the following: ...


16

It's about the stakes you play for. Masks is about volatile people, not in the sense of "prone to violent outburst", though they are sometimes. It's about people trying to find out who they are, and a world trying to tell them who they are, and how one or the other gives as they grow up. Their identity and self-determination are maybe the only things they ...


10

This looks like a typical "we have a different model of what is reasonable". This is a beast. In the real world, all beasts are afraid of fire. A strange source of fire in the night is going to be something a beast would avoid. So obviously having a camp fire makes them more safe. This is a predator. Predators live in balance with their environment. ...


8

Sometimes the DM has to remind It's one thing for a player to make bad choices because "It's what his character would do", and it's another to make bad choices because they are not familiar with the game / genre / specific lore. Your player may be a combination of both, but you describe them as someone who is new to the game, so I would treat them as ...


15

I ran tabletop games for new players at a local game store for a while and I've had several players make wildly unwise decisions in their first couple sessions. There seem to be three main causes for this: Ultimate Greatest Heroes Your player just built the absolute best character imaginable. They're a pyromaniac with an attitude problem and completely ...


38

What This Might Be: This is a fine distinction to make, but I think the issue is less that the player can't picture the in-game situation, so much as that the player is drawing drastically different inferences from the situation-- different enough from yours that you can't effectively plan around them, different enough from the players' that they find him (...


37

However your table wants Is it more usual to ask the other players 'out of character', or is it more common to roll some kind of in-game check to identify the creature? Yes, it's usual and yes, it's common. And unless you poll every group that's ever played (or at least a statistically significant sample - PhD anyone?) you won't know which is more ...


2

It is not usual to ask out of game Asking out of game is known as 'meta-gaming', and this is not the usual way to do things. @pwi posted a link in a comment, which is highly relevant here. Of course, every game is different and if you're playing D&D as a mere strategy game like chess or as a "battle game", where everyone clearly knows the capability ...


10

There are numerous ways of achieving this. However, before posting my answer I would like to emphasize the following personal opinion: It's OK if your players miss your hints Some comments mention that dropping hints is difficult in role-playing because most of the time the players won't get them unless you become too obvious. I totally agree with this ...


4

Clue the players in more quickly than the characters In my experience, if you're too subtle with clues about this sort of thing, your players may miss them entirely. They probably have some other objective in mind and may only be half paying attention to your narration of what they assume is a quick resupply opportunity. This is especially true if you play ...


5

There really aren't any specific things Unfortunately, providing clues is one of the hardest single things that a DM has to do. And I've found there are no ways, besides being so obvious that you lose the impact of what you're trying to do, that will work for any given group of individuals. The problem is that if you're being subtle, there's a very good ...


1

Let them play the NPC's, for the most parts. In a recent Warhammer Fantasy game, we played on a ship. So the GM had us make a bunch of NPC crewmembers. Officer Ranks mostly - Captain, Doctor, Master Gunner, Ship Carpenter, Cook, etc. - the idea was to always have someone for people to play, if their characters are off-screen at any time. We never really ...


1

It might pressure you into Leveling them up faster then what the normal progression would be. Experience Points are rewards, like Gold is. It is also a rather granular reward. You can get some after every session, without it meaning you level up after every one. You got a persistent feeling of progress, even of most of the time that progress is just ...


1

It depends on your players Some players will consider this to be an improvement of the normal functionality. In fact, many of the campaigns made for 5e actually do this now, they suggest certain points in the story where the characters should get a level, so at the very least, Wizards of the Coast seems to think this isn't a game breaking idea in 5e, so it ...


1

I've seen level pacing become an issue, particularly if the characters like to stop and chase every butterfly on the way to major quest points or skip everything and rush to the closest solution. I recently switched from XP to Milestone at our table (every event ended with a 'how much should I have now' mathlete debate), but keep it paced by maintaining a ...


0

As an immediate solution for the cleric'd player: In the future they could purposefully position themselves to block the warlock. Maybe they just go and grab the warlocks hand, or just stand next to them and demand "look at me" and grab the warlock if they don't. If warlock then tried to cast the spell anyway, "roll for initiative" and start with cleric ...


3

Combat would begin when the Warlock declares intent to cast Eldritch Blast at an enemy. At our table any combative action starts the surprise/position/initiative process for this exact reason, plus the possibility that the lycanthrope could win initiative and either dodge or use a dash action to get to full cover or break range. That opens the Cleric up for ...


2

My rule of thumb, which I give great credit for my games being received with great interest, respect, attention, and being engaged seriously and pro-actively by my players, is to play everything out logically and fairly, without forcing results. So for my desire to have game worlds where characters (PCs and NPCs) may often survive a combat defeat, I address ...


10

1. The Bandits Decided To Not Kill Him In fact, they saved his life so that they can torture him later on for information, revenge, or simply because they are sadistic. The NPC who was with him managed to escape and informed the group of the situation. Now, this becomes a quest for the group of breaking into the bandit camp and saving their friend. ...


6

The other comments and answers definitely add a lot, and as we have relatively little information I'm going to do some sum up/add my two cents. You mention that Bob's character is your favorite. One possibility is that you are unintentionally giving more light/better rewards/etc. to Bob's character than the other 5 players. From their perspective they might ...


1

Allow a tag team system for each session My current DM is running us through a series of mini campaigns (Tales from the Yawning Portal) and he has allowed all 3 players to roll up 2 characters each. Each session one person can play 2 characters and the others choose which character they wish to play.


11

XP rewards tell the players "This is important" If XP are given for a certain activity, then the players will naturally gravitate towards that activity. In your case, this is towards combat, because combat is where the XP come from. In the original DnD, this was acquisition of gold, because that gave more XP than fighting by a factor of almost 100. By ...


9

You play the new PC as an NPC until it's convenient to ditch them The situation, as I understand it, is that your player wanted their old PC back, and now they have their old PC back, and therefore being asked to choose as the other answers point out will simply result in the player picking their old PC. The problem, then, is that either way you have this ...


14

Ask the Player to Keep One PC Talk with your player out-of-game and explain to him the problem. Let him know that having two PCs can be unfair to the rest of the players since he will get double the spotlight. Let the Player Decide How the PC Will Be Discarded Offer them options. Maybe the soon-to-be discarded PC decided that he doesn't like the group, ...


24

Tell the player to pick a character. Unless the whole table has had a discussion that "wow, we really need more resources in the party, and $PLAYER is the only one competent to play two PCs so we really want them to play two" there's no good reason to give one player twice as much PC as any of the others. Reasons not to do it abound: it's more spotlight ...


71

Tell them to stop The characters are not picking on Bob’s character: the players are picking on Bob. That’s called “bullying” and it’s not acceptable in any social setting. Blaming bad player behavior on the character is called my guy syndrome and it is also unacceptable. If Bob is using his character (which doesn’t actually exist remember) to annoy the ...


0

Use DMG mob rules to speed things up There are two sets of them. The first is tables that map accuracy to number of hits for mass units, and the second is permitting attackers to "cleave" through multiple weak creatures (PCs as written, but use for monsters). Enforce command limits Neither spell gives you full control over the creatures. Conjured ...


2

Minion Mobs For speeding up combat with a bunch of summons, I would suggest combining your minion groups into batches and then treating those as single entities. The new Mob has a number of attacks per round equal to (total summons * number of attacks per summon). They share a health pool equal to (average summon health * total number of summons). When an ...


2

With apologies for the necromancy: the existing answers cover a lot of good points, but there's one more that bears mention. Avoid creating situations where the PCs are expected to be merely bystanders. Players are participants, not just spectators. When an Exciting Thing happens in a RPG, the default assumption is that the players are expected to get ...


0

This is something I've dealt with myself in a few systems, and I fell back on the language of the spells. I ruled that the summons are NPCs, so I as the GM move them. And since the spells specifically say the summons obey verbal commands, I only allowed the summoner to state general commands or objectives to a crowd, who would do their best to achieve them (...


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