141 votes

How can I convince players not to offload a seemingly useless weapon?

Let them sell it. Later, when they realize they needed it, let them troop back and buy it again. It can be a little mini quest: "figure out what happened to that sword we vendored". I think your more ...
Dan B's user avatar
  • 87.8k
137 votes

Is saying "Your PC wouldn't do that" to a player denying their agency?

Yes -- if you use that specific phrasing, "your character would not do that", you are denying their character's agency. The player is an authority over what their character wants to do; your ...
Dan B's user avatar
  • 87.8k
95 votes

Dealing with a Repeatedly Cheating Friend

You are in a toxic cycle with this player. The sheer magnitude of offenses and the effort they put into going unnoticed demonstrate forethought. This isn't something they just fell back into like it ...
Axoren's user avatar
  • 11.4k
91 votes

How can I deal with a 'soft' alpha gamer player?

I've been that player; how did GM's get me to back off? The best GM at handling my over-eagerness to help a novice player had 3" x 5" card that he'd hold up to me. On it was written three ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
90 votes

How to discourage mundane play?

NautArch's answer of "Session Zero" is an excellent starting place, and should be the first option. If, however, everyone claims to be on the same page - and that page is "adventure in the great wide ...
minnmass's user avatar
  • 17.9k
90 votes

What's the name of the role of characters who buff teammates?

The term I have heard the most would be Support, as it is their role to assist the other party members. While in a lot of system Healers double as Supports, or Supports double as Healers, they're not ...
Nyakouai's user avatar
  • 4,791
89 votes

DM is playing mind games with us!

This is a valid way to run a game. The problem you are having is that you're asking questions that your character wouldn't know the answer to. So an equally valid response to your questions would be:...
Dan B's user avatar
  • 87.8k
76 votes

How can I show-not-tell my players that they are The Bad Guys?

You know you need to signpost your actions - but something I've learned in my - cough - years of DMing is that often when I think I'm making something incredibly obvious, my players think I'm dropping ...
thatgirldm's user avatar
  • 22.3k
75 votes

How do I deal with this very annoying teammate who engages in player versus player combat?

“This behavior is ruining the game for me.” This sounds very not fun. Your friend needs to understand this. This is an out-of-game conversation that needs to be had. You need to cordially explain to ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
73 votes

8 hour sessions require a meal! How can we incorporate meal breaks into the game itself?

I'm going to take a radical position and suggest that eight hours is a long time to roleplay without a break from playing a role in any case, and that the meal-as-a-break may actually be a welcome ...
Glen_b's user avatar
  • 2,118
73 votes

I saved my players from a tough battle, what now?

The Sword of Teamwork and The Hammer of Not Bickering Your party is in the middle of a classic movie plot, where the team has an initial setback caused by a failure to work together effectively. Take ...
Tim Grant's user avatar
  • 25.6k
71 votes

How can I deal with someone that wants to kill something that isn't supposed to be killed?

I have a personal favorite line I give to players who are trying to argue about this: If you encounter [insert unimaginably powerful being here] in-game, you're welcome to try your plans. And if ...
guildsbounty's user avatar
  • 64.8k
69 votes

Which Article Helped Get Rid of Technobabble in RPGs?

"Causality and Choice in RPGs, Part 1: Getting rid of the {TECH}" on The 20' By 20' Room blog by Neel Krishnaswami It was a bit challenging to find this ...
V2Blast's user avatar
  • 49.6k
67 votes

Is it possible to emulate common polyhedral dice rolls using just a d6, and if so, how?

It's pretty trivial if you allow occasional discarding of rolls/rerolls. d2 (gonna need this later): if result is odd, read as a 1. If result is even, read as a 0. d4: discard any results of 5 or 6.* ...
nitsua60's user avatar
  • 101k
64 votes

How do I convey that players can solve problems in ways that don't involve punching them?

You could say to your players, "Y'know, in this campaign, not all problems can be solved by punching them. And some problems that could be solved by punching could be better solved by not punching, or ...
GMJoe's user avatar
  • 22.2k
61 votes

How to handle players who make unmotivated characters

Your players are telling you that they might not want to adventure. First and foremost, ask your players if this is the case before acting on advice from random strangers on the internet. It appears ...
Tritium21's user avatar
  • 9,789
59 votes

How to explain to a new player that metagaming is encouraged in this group

There are so many ways to enjoy roleplaying games that we sometimes — often, actually — forget that fact and just assume that how we play is the way. Unsurprisingly, this results in unpleasant things ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
59 votes

How do I deal with being envious of my own players?

If you are not having fun as the GM, maybe its time to pass the torch. When I started playing D&D, the person GMing was really good at it, but did not enjoy it. One day after the session was ...
SaggingRufus's user avatar
  • 4,302
58 votes

How can I help my players make meaningful choice during dungeon navigation?

As a GM, the solutions are all about providing more information: Sounds and Trails When they examine their choices, give them hints what lies down each passage. A part of the dungeon in use by kobolds ...
AlienAtSystem's user avatar
58 votes

How would combat work without opportunity attacks?

Coming from a D&D point of view... The game becomes a lot more mobile, speed is more valuable, the concept of front-liner diminishes, and being at range is either difficult or not important. I ...
BlueMoon93's user avatar
54 votes

How do I make engaging Man vs Wild encounters that aren't excercises in rolling dice?

I used to play a game that was fun and exciting: you rolled a dice and depending on the result moved up some ladders or slid down some snakes and the first one to the top won, its name escapes me for ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 206k
52 votes

Make the player roll even if there is no chance of success?

No, don’t Here I’m echoing the advice of Angry GM in his Five Simple Rules for Dating My Teenaged Skill System. Please do note that Angry GM lives up to his name, and his articles are littered with ...
KRyan's user avatar
  • 345k
51 votes

Player wants to play their one favorite character and nothing else, but that character can't work in this setting

“I’m here for the basketball tournament” ... “Sir, this is the table tennis club.” This is basically the conversation I’m hearing. You and the rest of the group have showed up to play one sort of game,...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
50 votes

Make the player roll even if there is no chance of success?

Does the player know the action will fail? Does the character know? There are two kinds of actions that are guaranteed to fail - obvious ones and non-obvious ones. If a character tries to jump to the ...
SPavel's user avatar
  • 15.7k
50 votes

How can I limit (but not outright ban) exotic races?

Optimize for pearls, not sand. You are trying to optimize your approach for sand, when you should be optimizing your approach for pearls. Allow me to explain. When an oyster gets some sand or grit ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
49 votes

Player wants to play their one favorite character and nothing else, but that character can't work in this setting

Understand their underlying motivation Like in every negotiation, often one of the most powerful things you can do is to understand the real, underlying needs of the other party. It is not uncommon ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
48 votes

What's the name of style where GM assumes idiotic behaviour unless stated otherwise?

The root cause here appears that the GM is taking player agency away. Either no information or obfuscation of information in one case and die roll only when convenient for the GM in the other. I ...
Sardathrion - against SE abuse's user avatar
47 votes

New player decision paralysis

Psychology The phenomenon of overchoice may be the root of the problem. Particularly for a new player having a large number of options for her character to take is not helpful. Since you specifically ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 206k
46 votes

How can I show-not-tell my players that they are The Bad Guys?

Some suggestions: Wanted posters. Historically, paper was expensive and many people in the middle ages weren't literate, but fantasy roleplaying games are not necessarily this historically accurate. ...
Quadratic Wizard's user avatar
46 votes

How can I make conversations with NPCs more succinct?

Handwave and summarise the boring stuff I have struggled with a similar problem. I like to make my world immersive and give distinct characteristics to every NPC my group encounters. However it can ...
linksassin's user avatar
  • 30.6k

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