84

In all seriousness... Don't do it There isn't a way to spring this on players without hurting feelings. If you do want to do it then... Set the Expectation Beforehand GM: Hi everyone. I'm thinking of running this oneshot game. There is a complication - there's a hidden traitor, much like tabletop games Avalon and Betrayal at the House on the Hill and so ...


78

Other answers have already dealt capably with your question: Can DM's force skill checks? Yes. Should they do so? Maybe - maybe not. But, it appears to me that your real issue may not be the skill check itself, it's how the DM dictated your character's response to it. You said: Last session, my DM made me roll a Deception check against another player. I ...


65

You need to talk to your players If this is happening both in and out of character, then this is clearly an out-of-game issue that must be handled out-of-game. Before going into this, I strongly recommend reading this article on the Five Geek Social Fallacies. You shouldn't be tolerating awful or abusive behavior, just because it's being done in a gaming ...


64

You were not being a jerk Both of your players were offered agency: the one got the chance to attack an NPC and the other got the chance to interfere with a murder. If the player who attacked the NPC is upset about this, what you next do is discuss with them why they feel that way, and why they feel that killing NPC's out of hand is a solution to a ...


50

As a spy, you presumably have a lot of deception-related skills. One good option is to make it look like a suicide. People who commit suicide generally don't want to be resurrected, and won't come back if you try. If you also create a fake corpse (find someone who died of old age and thus can't be resurrected, and disguise their corpse as the sorceress's),...


49

Two options, but first, something to understand... Acquiring Stealth in combat means your opponent lost track of where you are right now, it does not mean that your previous location was erased from their mind. Nor does Stealth make you invisible. Physically Go Looking For Them Remember that Stealth stops working if it makes sense that it stopped working. ...


40

Just tell everyone up front I usually start PVP-games, or, really, any game, with a pre-character-creation talk about what is and isn't okay in the game, how I'm resolving the major rules contradictions and underspecifications that are applicable to most every character, and what players should expect from the game. In a game where I wanted to do this, I ...


38

There are several options, some more devastating than others. I'll list my three favorite ones here: Chase the Rogue As Guildsbounty mentioned, a hidden Rogue isn't invisible: it just means their enemies have lost track of where they are. But their enemies still know where they were. You can run behind the last object you saw the Rogue go behind. Unless ...


34

This is something you'll have to settle among yourselves. Everyone plays D&D a bit differently, sometimes more than a bit. There are groups that go to extreme lengths to maintain a hygienic distinction between character and player knowledge to avoid "metagaming", there are groups that feel the game only improves by allowing players to leverage any ...


33

If possible, run the side session on another time or day with just those participating We've actually done this a number of times in a campaign I'm playing in. The players or DM occasionally come up with side quests relevant to a select few players, who we then find a time to play through an another day of the week. This prevents it from disrupting the ...


32

Betrayal is achieved through imperfect information, possibly conflicting goals, and the ability for orders to be miscommunicated. (Caution, game theory ahead) Literature Review I'm going to assume that you're familiar with the Prisoner's Dilemma, the iterated prisoner's dilemma, the stag hunt, (Kuhn 2009) and the problems with resource availability on ...


31

A note: While this is a system-agnostic question, certain systems (ex: DitV, FATE, Paranoia) are much better at handling this than others (ex: Any D&D system). Some games are even focused entirely around CvC conflict (En Garde, Everyone Is John, etc). For the purposes of this response I'm going to assume that in this game the party is all on the same '...


30

First of all, puzzles usually don't really fit into the rules of most games. Players don't solve them by using the mechanic abilities of their characters, they are solving them by using their own deductive reasoning. That's why I would recommend you to design challenges, not puzzles. A puzzle can be a nice distraction, but if puzzle solving becomes the main ...


28

It's not unusual to have a "no pvp" rule. I use a rule like this at my table and it works okay. On two occasions I've had people who really had a problem with the rule, so I asked them to leave my table, and the other players thanked me later. It is a bit unusual to say "no pvp or you die immediately". Why do you need an "or"? If someone tries to pvp, you ...


26

Sort of? To start with; remember that the GM is: (Usually) not adversarial The arbiter of all-the-things; including house-rules, rulings, etc. Essentially a story-teller that you are helping craft a story for (and that can't really know the entirety of the story since the dice and player actions will dictate it to some degree What he probably means Given ...


25

The DM is wrong here As the DMG explains on page 237, a roll is called for by the DM when the outcome is in question. Unless forced not to by magic (ie. something that explicitly overrules this) you have agency over what your character believes. If you state that you do or do not believe what someone says, there is no room for a roll, as the outcome is not ...


24

I have witnessed a game where the two stories are played out asynchronously. Group A was going through their scenario (Took 20-30 minutes?) while Group B waited out their turn (with brief moments of "meanwhile" dialogue to keep them involved). Group A found the group of "bad guys", and managed to launch a sneak attack. After the surprise round, they rolled ...


22

I assume you are not sure of your players about this, because you are asking this question. First of all, no, do not betray the trust. There's a very good chance some will get upset. Well, unless you want to weed out the players who get upset, to create a group which enjoys this kind of shenanigans without warning, then this is one way... To make this work, ...


21

I have tried this in two ways in the past. I think of the two, only one will be of use for your objective. PC Villain in the Group Create the villain with its player and discuss what their villainous goal actually is. Ensure the player can and will commit to being a villain. Their goal should require the villain to need to be close to or involved with the ...


21

The DMG says: Some DMs prefer to run a social interaction as a free-form roleplaying exercise, where dice rarely come into play. Other DMs prefer to resolve the outcome of an interaction by having characters make Charisma checks. Either approach works, and most games fall somewhere in between, balancing player skill (roleplaying and persuading) ...


20

If you're looking for permanent ways to get rid of her without the 'ease' of resurrection, there are a few options available to you. I'll only go over the ones that you could potentially purchase and don't need to have a pre-determined target, since you have magic-items as a tag. Note, I'm assuming you have the requisite UMD score to be able to use spell ...


18

Inciting intrique (without forcing firefights) Ensure that both factions' real goals require resources or skills that exist in the other half of the party. If the goals can be accomplished alone, the party splits into two separate parties that merely happen to be travelling together. Example: If faction A contains the party mage, make sure faction B has ...


17

Can they force ability checks? Yes they can A few ability checks are explicitly given by the rules, but in general, the GM is expected to call ability checks in situations where they think they are appropriate. So to answer the immediate question, the GM calling social checks against other players is not categorically bad. But it is highly situational. In ...


16

Figure out how to make the NPC less distracting The other two answers are great, but as described it sounds like a social problem bleeding into the game. Your player is frustrated and no one else seems to notice or care. The game gives them agency that they don't have socially, so they used what they had to remove their frustration. Without knowing more ...


15

The DM resolves the move as normal Looking at the situation "I stab the fighter, who I'm standing right behind and who does not suspect me" definitely fulfills the trigger for backstab When you attack a surprised enemy with a melee weapon. So, that means the Thief succeeds in this first, sneaky attack and does damage to the fighter. If he does that though, ...


15

You are a rogue type, and clearly evil, so you need to think nonlinearly about this. There's a lot of spells and magical doodads that might/could help, but the easiest practically-no-cash-required way is to make them unwilling to return. "If the subject's soul is not willing to return, the spell does not work." So - kidnap a kid, or loved one, or ...


14

Trust the people you play with Or, if you don't: ask yourself "Why am I spending my leisure time with people I don't trust?" People understand the difference between themselves and their characters. It is inevitable and desirable that the players know things that the characters don't (like when the pizza's coming). They then compartmentalize that knowledge ...


14

Out of character discussion Sadly enough, this kind of thing can realistically only be resolved by talking about it out of character with the players, because the realistic in-character resolution simply isn't possible. It'll result in an escalating train of readied actions until one of the two players gets their way. The realistic in-character way of ...


13

This is a great premise for some brilliant character dynamics and interaction and skipping ahead in time might see you lose most of it. I would either go with Greater common evil - Needs must, eh? Forced betrayal, i.e. the monk was forced to act the way she did because she was under greater duress than what the others were aware of. ANSWER: I would ...


13

You might want to read the Houses of the Blooded rpg. It is designed to be a game of political backstabbing and power play. It is well written, coupled with a fantasy setting (and quite interesting one) and is grim and romantic by design. You will need to prepare an awful lot of custom setting material. But game includes actual rules for: Vassal-lord ...


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