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141 votes
Accepted

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
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138 votes
Accepted

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
  • 90.4k
99 votes
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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
  • 11.5k
92 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
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90 votes
Accepted

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
  • 4,801
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
  • 90.4k
75 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
  • 22.6k
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
Accepted

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
  • 26k
71 votes
Accepted

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
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69 votes
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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
  • 50.1k
67 votes
Accepted

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
  • 102k
61 votes
Accepted

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
  • 4,323
58 votes
Accepted

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
Accepted

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
  • 46.7k
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

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
Accepted

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
  • 213k
47 votes

How to make a device to randomly choose one of three possibilities, with caveat that sometimes one of them is not available?

In general, a deck of cards is useful to select a choice from a menu that excludes prior choices. In this particular case, choose three playing cards to represent the monster's possible actions. On ...
sptrashcan's user avatar
  • 4,607
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
Accepted

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
  • 31k
45 votes

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

Refuse to buy it from them The first shopkeeper they encounter might recognize it as an invaluable family heirloom, and refuse to buy it in those grounds. On the other hand, he might also recognize it ...
inthemanual's user avatar
  • 12.2k
45 votes

How to make a device to randomly choose one of three possibilities, with caveat that sometimes one of them is not available?

Use a d6 with a reference table In the following table, the main entry is the attack assuming the monster is free to choose from among all its attacks. The parenthetical entry is the attack used only ...
Kirt's user avatar
  • 54.2k
44 votes

DM is playing mind games with us!

Direct Response I don't see anything wrong with what your GM is doing. If you're conducting a stealth operation, there should be a certain amount of paranoia involved. It's likely that your characters ...
T.J.L.'s user avatar
  • 48.8k
43 votes
Accepted

I want to nerf my character for roleplay purposes, but I fear I might have the "My Guy Syndrome"

Deliberately taking disadvantage arguably starts to fall into "My Guy Territory", but simply showing fear and hesitation through roleplay would be a good thing at many tables. Deliberately ...
TimothyAWiseman's user avatar
41 votes

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

Unequivocally yes You can and should remind the player of what his or her character would know—“you know that doing this is going to have serious repercussions, like X, Y, and Z”—but the choice (...
KRyan's user avatar
  • 354k
41 votes
Accepted

What does it mean for a word or phrase to be a "game term"?

A "Game Term" is any word/phrase that within the game has an explicitly different definition from its standard usage. If a term does not have an explicitly given definition, then it is not a ...
RevanantBacon's user avatar

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