150 votes
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Why is burying yourself not such a great plan?

I wasn't comfortable with some assumptions people are readily making in their comments, so I did some research and a few calculations. I also incorporated some suggestions made in the comments. The ...
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  • 1,633
139 votes
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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 ...
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  • 76.6k
136 votes
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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 ...
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  • 76.6k
128 votes

My PCs have a plan that will get them all killed; how and why should I save them?

What you are trying to create in a sand box is player agency. My definition of this is: Players making informed decisions that have reasonable consequences It is important to remember that there ...
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  • 188k
127 votes

How to deal with player MacGyver-ism?

Historically speaking, your players aren't doing anything wrong. Incendiary weaponry has a long history in Europe stretching back to the early middle ages and "dark" ages. Fire was and is a ...
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111 votes
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As a GM, how can I stop killing my games?

So, how do I get out of the vicious circle? Stop doing the thing that's causing it. You diagnosed this yourself: It's probably the worst issue I have as a Game Master, I think of a Game, I write a ...
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102 votes

Why is burying yourself not such a great plan?

He won't get any sleep, and then he'll die. I get the impression this player hasn't ever tried to sit on the ground for a while in an undeveloped area. There's all manner of creepy crawlies out there....
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  • 52.7k
96 votes
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Dealing with "fearless" players

Bit of an introductory story: I got a discount from my phone company for retention, by threatening to cancel. My neighbour also threatened to cancel after hearing about my discount, but didn't get an ...
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  • 32.1k
96 votes
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How to deal with player MacGyver-ism?

The Molotov Issue Don't punish or limit your players, Challenge them! Your PCs may be great at coming up with incendiary devices that'll wreak havoc on their enemies, but once those enemies foolish ...
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96 votes
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How do I help my group stop derailing our GM’s set-piece battles?

How do I help my group/GM stop cheating ourselves out of plot? The only person that is cheating you out of a cool plot is your GM. Because he told you. If he had not told you, you would not feel ...
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  • 21.6k
94 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 ...
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  • 11k
92 votes
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Should I warn my players when they're about to do something stupid?

When things like this happen, I always give my players this chance to clarify/confirm, just like you've shown in the examples. My reasoning for this is simple: the game world and what is happening ...
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91 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 ...
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  • 13.7k
90 votes
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How do I keep the game moving without undermining player agency?

Maybe I'm treating the question as more specific than it needs to be, but in your example it appears to me as though player 1's agency is being denied. Twice she stated her action clearly, and yet ...
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  • 4,579
90 votes
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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 ...
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  • 4,741
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:...
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  • 76.6k
86 votes
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Players playing weird characters breaking the immersion of my group

Different players get different things out of gaming. Unfortunately, some people's gaming styles mean that their fun comes at the expense of others'. Often in a case like this, the player either ...
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  • 172k
82 votes

My PCs have a plan that will get them all killed; how and why should I save them?

Let them fail - miserably! But don't kill them... A lot of good stories start out like this: You have a bunch of over confident wanna-be heroes who want to kill the evil general with a stupid plan. ...
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  • 1,886
81 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"x5" card that he'd hold up to me. On it was written three ...
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80 votes
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How to fix a terrible lapse in judgement

Oh. Oh my. This is a pretty difficult situation for everyone involved. Let's not sugar-coat it more than we must: you made some profoundly poor decisions in play. For your own benefit, you really need ...
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  • 28.3k
78 votes

How to deal with anti-authoritarian player characters?

Don't save the character As long as you keep saving Bob's character and he has fun acting this way, he'll keep this behavior. The first thing that needs to be done is to make him accountable for the ...
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  • 3,929
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 ...
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  • 20.5k
74 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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 2,072
72 votes
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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 ...
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  • 24.5k
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 ...
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  • 60.7k
69 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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  • 47.8k
68 votes

Why is burying yourself not such a great plan?

Because it's so much easier to bury yourself and your party properly. This does require some resources, but they can basically be gathered from the surrounding forest. Kearny's Nuclear War Survival ...
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68 votes
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How to deal with time-sensitive decisions?

Separate in character quick thinking from out of character quick thinking. Players, especially new ones, should get some time to think about what they are going to do. They should even get time to ...
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  • 77.7k
66 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.* ...
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  • 98.7k

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