Hot answers tagged

107 votes
Accepted

Power player is a problem. Any fix?

Alright, it sounds like you have a lot of problems going on here that I'm going to address individually using the ruleset that you've chosen for your game. First off, you're being taken advantage of. ...
  • 15.5k
90 votes
Accepted

As a GM, is it bad form to ask for a moment to think when improvising?

No, it is not bad form Regardless of how much immersion1 you are trying to achieve, you are still a table full of people playing a game. When you run across a situation that surprises you as GM, or ...
79 votes
Accepted

How can I make my enemies feel real and make combat more engaging?

at the same time I have a hard time understanding exactly what else they would do. That is the core of your problem. To make them interesting, or boring but "alive" you must understand why they are ...
  • 21.7k
78 votes
Accepted

New DM on House Rules, concerning Nat20 & Rule of Cool

Natural 1s and natural 20s are poor triggers for anything termed “Rule of Cool.” The issue is that they are purely random. They don’t happen when it would be cool—they happen randomly. How “cool” can ...
  • 329k
75 votes

A player made a 4th-level character for our new game and didn't tell me. Now what?

Some miscommunication must have happened to cause this situation. Did you tell the player to make a 1st level character, and they brought a 4th level character anyway? Or did you simply assume they ...
  • 31.2k
74 votes
Accepted

Is homebrewing D&D okay?

In about 35 years of playing role-playing games, I have seldom witnessed anyone play 100% by-the-book. A few bits of advice: Don’t take the names of things too seriously. What really matters is the ...
74 votes
Accepted

Should I boost a new player's character level to match the rest of the group?

Yes, you should boost their character level Heterogeneous parties don't work very well in DnD. The game is designed around the whole party being roughly the same level. When you give the new player ...
  • 11.8k
72 votes
Accepted

The PC claims to know an NPC they just met, how should I react as the DM?

It's up to you There are two play styles (with regard to this question at least), with their own drawbacks and advantages. The first is to keep the realms of the world (DM) and the player characters ...
  • 9,661
72 votes
Accepted

Player character wants a gun in a prehistoric campaign. What to do?

You are the DM, you can say No, although "No, but ..." also works You are not required to change your world to accommodate a single player. What are the other players creating, as ...
65 votes

Power player is a problem. Any fix?

"OK, you're refusing to accept the rules of the universe. What are the rest of you doing while he is arguing with the universe?" It really is that simple. You do not have to justify your rulings to ...
58 votes
Accepted

How do I avoid micromanaging character creation?

I favor very open, liberal character creation rules, in both the games I run and in the games I play. I chafe quickly at too many restrictions, and feel that some DMs who enforce too many are shooting ...
  • 329k
56 votes
Accepted

How do I prevent myself from freezing up during a game I'm DMing?

This Sounds Stage Fright Related The initial description of this sounded like stage fright, and the comments thread (which may get edited into the question) confirmed it, so I'm going to answer on ...
  • 39.6k
55 votes
Accepted

How to handle a group that questions every decision I make as DM

Telegraph your decisions excessively, and allow retcons In my experience, what the DM is thinking is very different from what the player is experiencing. In the example you gave, while you "already ...
  • 62.9k
52 votes

Power player is a problem. Any fix?

Short answer: Tell this player that he can either play the game with the party, or go home and turn the cheats on Skyrim and play that if he feels like being a god character that doesn't need to ...
50 votes
Accepted

Is the same page tool overkill for brand new players?

NO It's not overkill, it's awesome. I just used the SPT to kick off a new group. Most (4 of 7) had never played before, and one thought that D&D was some sort of board game. We had a get-...
  • 32.9k
50 votes
Accepted

Can a player replace their pre-generated character with a new character they create, partway through an adventure?

If everyone at the table is ok with it, there's nothing wrong with letting a player have a new character. Everyone is meant to have fun in these games, and if a player would have more fun with another ...
  • 4,707
49 votes
Accepted

How do I convince my group to try a new system without always having to DM it first?

I've had similar challenges, both with getting group buy-in to try new systems and with getting people to feel comfortable GMing anything at all. My solution was a long-game process of changing the "...
  • 52.9k
49 votes
Accepted

How to make sure the players escape but feel like it was because of their wit?

The first rule of RPG plots is that no plot survives contact with player characters. You cannot rely on players to do what you expect. If a puzzle has two solutions, the players will invent a third, ...
49 votes
Accepted

Is D&D a suitable tool for fleshing out my own fictional world?

Yes... D&D is a game of heroic fantasy. It's about fighting monsters, becoming more powerful, and looting cool stuff. If you see it through, you'll get a pretty cool story by the end. It's also ...
  • 15.7k
49 votes
Accepted

Am I acting unreasonably or do I rein in my players?

The campaign is following Matt Mercer's Taldorei setting and using gestalt characters. If you aren't an experienced DM, don't try to be Matt Mercer Grow into your boots as a DM. We have some other ...
47 votes
Accepted

Should I give the players what they want even if it's silly?

“Okay. How are you going to achieve that?” The nice thing about pen & paper RPGs is that they can model pretty much anything, given an accommodating system and a group that collaborates well. ...
47 votes
Accepted

How to handle wrong application of Spells?

Learn about 'meta' knowledge and separate what the characters would know and what the players know (or, not know). First, welcome to D&D! It's worth pointing out that there are many things the ...
  • 27.2k
46 votes

How to make sure the players escape but feel like it was because of their wit?

My preferred method for doing something like this is thinking outside the dungeon: start the adventure after the player characters have escaped. Begin the first session with a prologue outside game ...
  • 53.5k
45 votes
Accepted

As a new GM how do I figure out rules quickly?

Know the most common rules. I assume from your question that you are not making rulings about things like attack rolls and damage - but if you are, you shouldn't be. You actually need to know this ...
  • 195k
43 votes

The PC claims to know an NPC they just met, how should I react as the DM?

The term for this is "narrative control." There are several approaches to narrative control in games. Back "in the day", most games (including all varieties of D&D up till now) reserve all ...
  • 173k
43 votes

Should I boost a new player's character level to match the rest of the group?

It's Probably Unnecessary The difference in power between level 1 and 3 is fairly significant, but it's unlikely that a level 1 in a party of level 3s would remain level 1 for long. Let's run some ...
  • 8,779
42 votes
Accepted

How can I enjoy being a DM when I have an explorer personality?

A Style or Category More Than a Tool There is a style of games in which the GM gets to be surprised and explore unknowns. These are games where the players also have the right to add story details, ...
38 votes
Accepted

Game Over in RPGs?

You are correct Game Over is something that depends on the game. Outside of RPG you would think of Game Over either as the fact that you can't continue with the game as a player (some card or board ...
  • 17k
38 votes
Accepted

Does limiting the number of sources help simplify the game for a new DM with new and experienced players?

The Restriction you're suggesting is a strict subset of the allowed rules in Adventurer's League Play 5th Edition Adventurer's League has a "PHB +1" rule for character creation, that ...
  • 51.4k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible