224 votes
Accepted

Managing a Medieval Low Orbit Ion Cannon

You are about to start a new campaign. You need to pause the world and have the same conversation, GM and players, as you would at the beginning of any campaign. What kind of setting is this, what ...
nitsua60's user avatar
  • 101k
183 votes
Accepted

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
111 votes

Managing a Medieval Low Orbit Ion Cannon

It Will Only Change The World if You Let It - which might be fun How should one DM proceed if his or her group manages to seize control of a superweapon that could change the lives of the entire ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
87 votes

What do you do when your players guess your plots?

Cherish it. Reward them for it, even. If you're as subtle as you claim you were in your hints, then your players were actively paying attention and putting in significant effort to figure out your ...
Monkah VII's user avatar
81 votes
Accepted

As DM, how do I deal with PCs that expect everything in the game to be relevant to the story?

Your players are new to the game (and new to your game). Unless you've told them what to expect, how could they know what your game is like? Getting stuck investigating small details or trying to get ...
kviiri's user avatar
  • 54k
70 votes

Managing a Medieval Low Orbit Ion Cannon

Having players that are willing to spend time and effort outside of the gaming session preparing and planing is rare, do reward them. I think you should let the LOMC work spectacularly. It works ...
Marius's user avatar
  • 5,077
64 votes

Managing a Medieval Low Orbit Ion Cannon

There's always something bigger: pit that against the party. 17th level is pretty high in Pathfinder, but it's far from the level cap. Sure, the party is now capable of vaporizing pretty much ...
Thomas Jacobs's user avatar
64 votes
Accepted

How do I keep my players from investing too much time in their doomed characters?

Tell it to them straight I see no reason not to just say: "These characters won't be around long, don't sweat the chargen too much". You can go hush-hush all you want, but it will all go down in the ...
Szega's user avatar
  • 61.6k
62 votes

How can a GM continue to progress the campaign if the player characters cause a plot-critical item or NPC to be lost/killed?

One uncomfortable answer: Don't write quest structures that are that fragile. If your plot depends on the PCs taking very specific, scripted actions, and not taking such actions results in a complete ...
AlienAtSystem's user avatar
61 votes

What do you do when your players guess your plots?

After many many years of gaming, often as GM, I have discovered two immutable truths of game-related plotting: There is no hint so subtle that players will not notice it, pick up on it, and run all ...
Novak's user avatar
  • 43.3k
61 votes
Accepted

When should I tell my players that they have forgotten something?

Are They Having Fun? / Just Tell Them. Before anything else, take a step back and think about what you want to accomplish. If they are having fun now, carefully consider whether it is necessary to ...
fectin's user avatar
  • 13.7k
60 votes
Accepted

Important NPC needs to die in a fight - narrative or dice?

Do not remove player agency The big difference between an authored story and a roleplaying game in simplistic terms is that: In an authored story, the author decides on the actions and consequences ...
KerrAvon2055's user avatar
  • 4,196
59 votes

As DM, how do I deal with PCs that expect everything in the game to be relevant to the story?

Players The players are new and possibly overwhelmed by having too many options. Thankfully, this is easily solved by talking to them and reiterating that the game you play is more open world. Make ...
Sardathrion - against SE abuse's user avatar
54 votes

Is an unlikely coincidence bad storytelling?

It is very good storytelling. One of my top tips for DMs is, if you can shove player's past into the mix and make it look flawlessly pre-meditated, the players will adore you. It is always good to ...
Ghiojo's user avatar
  • 1,949
54 votes
Accepted

How do I continue to progress the plot if the party kills the giants in chapter 10 of Storm King's Thunder?

Failure is an option Players, through playing, can and should be able to meaningfully interact with the world. Usually they make the world better; sometimes they make it worse. Don’t rob your ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
50 votes

How do I keep my players from investing too much time in their doomed characters?

Forget the disposable characters “You have a long and trusting relationship with the Flaming Skies Mercenary Company. Here’s a summary of them. Work it into your backstory.”
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
50 votes

How can I convince evil characters to save the world?

Evil characters need a world to live in too They may not need any convincing. Evil is predominantly about egotistical self-interest, and little could be more in their self-interest than the world not ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
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 ...
Joel Harmon's user avatar
47 votes
Accepted

Is making characters who go off the rails unlucky a good technique for keeping the plot moving?

No Roleplay should be about having fun. When you start to punish your players, it is very possible that they will quit your campaign. Even if your players are doing it just to pull your leg, you ...
Momonga-sama's user avatar
  • 9,963
46 votes
Accepted

Should I let one of my Players control his character's kids?

When to say yes If all of the players at your table each control more than one character/PC, then yes. (We used to play that way with small groups back in the day: each of the three of us had two PC'...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
45 votes

My players want a tighter narrative, but have wandered off course. What now?

As it stands, they have two parties with a vested interest in their capture/destruction: the one(s) who framed them and the authorities that arrested them. If they don't want to pursue the plot, have ...
Karelzarath's user avatar
  • 3,148
44 votes
Accepted

Is there need for messengers in DnD 5e, if spell Sending exists?

Sending is expensive and has certain limitations The question already notes the primary drawback to sending, which is that it is expensive. The Adventurers League Tyranny of Dragons Player's Guide ...
Quadratic Wizard's user avatar
43 votes
Accepted

What's the earliest instance of a "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" reference to beholders?

The earliest reference is 1983 First time I heard it referenced in Dungeons and Dragons was in the 1983 Saturday morning cartoon. It was Episode 2, The Eye of the Beholder, specifically at this point ...
Slagmoth's user avatar
  • 22.2k
39 votes

Managing a Medieval Low Orbit Ion Cannon

First of all, and I think I speak for everybody, I think that we would LOVE to see the plans your players came up with. Your players are very clever, and it is good to reward them. I'd recommend ...
Xavier's user avatar
  • 1,067
39 votes
Accepted

Who gets to write how character backgrounds tie into the game?

This is fundamentally a question of playstyle In differing styles players have jurisdiction over differing amounts and kinds of fictional material. In some styles, it would be completely ...
Please stop being evil's user avatar
38 votes

Is an unlikely coincidence bad storytelling?

A general rule of storytelling is that you can go wild with unlikely random coincidences to set up the story (first act), but while the story is progressing (second act) they should be used more ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 12.1k
37 votes
Accepted

How to throw off suspicion for the big reveal in a way that it is not unfairly blindsiding them?

If the plot is "way too easy to scope out", then perhaps your mastermind isn't as smart as he thought he was. This happens in real life a lot - search for "dumb criminals", or just look at famous ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
36 votes
Accepted

How can I add details to my character mid-campaign?

Most DMs I know would love it if their players came up with more story details for their characters or the world, so it's definitely not bad etiquette. Just tell the DM about it in whatever is the ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 81k
36 votes

How can I handle a PC wanting to be a "twist" villain?

You've told us: your group is playing in a premade campaign that doesn't really have enough plot your group is unhappy because there's not enough plot one of your players is proposing to make their ...
Dan B's user avatar
  • 89.6k
35 votes

How can I stress my players' resources while making the stressors feel natural without simply adding more combat encounters?

Obstacles. I had an encounter light night that forced my players to utilize spells to their advantage. Here's what I ran in order to get them to expend spells in search of an answer. A pool that ...
Lino Frank Ciaralli's user avatar

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