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242

Reward him. Your player is playing his character smart, not hard. He's being clever and resourceful. He's considering what his character would do in character. I wish I had players like the one playing your Bard. He stops to think about what he can do, instead of just mindlessly deciding you expect him to attack and attacking. You can do so much more with ...


139

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 crushing weight of the earth He digs a hole big enough for himself (between 3-4 feet deep) Lots of people claim he'd have trouble breathing, which is likely ...


138

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 general problem is that "the sword you need was coincidentally given to you as a reward for a fetch quest when you were low level" is already pretty hokey. So, ...


134

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 authority is over what the character can do. Rather than tell the player that their character doesn't want to do something, instead express it as their character's ...


120

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 psychologically powerful weapon and all sorts of things from flaming oil to bursting clay pots were used against enemies. See Greek Fire as an example from as early as ...


120

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 is an inherent information imbalance in RPG: you have it, they don't. It is your job as DM to give them information that is relevant, reasonable and accessible. ...


114

How you reward play choices Mechanics are the answer. Specifically, the mechanics involved in reward. I've found that, fundamentally, it's all about the reward cycles encoded in mechanics. And especially when players have read the mechanics, they will tend to do what's rewarded most. Rewards come in about 4 basic types: ways to improve the character's ...


99

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 campaign plot for it, End, Beggining and Middle, get Hyped, Hype my players, and after 2 months I want the story to end, and it's usually too late to make ...


98

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. His bedroll will get damp and then it'll get full of bugs--whether they're upset or happy or indifferent about his presence, they'll be omnipresent. Good luck ...


95

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 cheated and more importantly, you would not know the plot. So your GM could recycle it into a future adventure and still use it to good effect. There is no reason ...


94

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 offer. Why? He wasn't serious about leaving, and they caught on. I was. If someone knows you won't pull the trigger, they do not have a reason to change what ...


90

Give them options, or a hiding place perhaps. Trying to tell them out of game to run is (unfortunately) well into the realm of railroading. On that note, there is one option: Show them in-game that running is their best option. This can be accomplished by having a known-powerful NPC friend defeated by said baddie, or an appropriate knowledge check about them ...


90

Sometimes, clever and creative players are a pain, because you planned for something very different. Yet, it is the clever and creative play that makes the game so rewarding. Instead of getting the player to adapt to your plans, I suggest you adapt your plans to the player. Make going to the authorities interesting If the authorities are always helpful, or ...


90

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 the same thing. It highly depends on the system, though. For demonstration of these terms: My next character in an upcoming Pathfinder campaign is a "Rogue ...


89

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: "How is your character going to figure that out?" or "What skill are you going to use to try to know that answer?" or simply "well, your character isn't sure, ...


87

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 world" - yet there are still those who want to sweep floors for 3 months then buy enough gear to plow through whatever comes, there are still some tools to ...


86

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 there is closer and more important for the characters than it is for the players. No matter how immersive your storytelling skills and how much everyone around the ...


84

I strongly advise you to at least involve the player whose character is temporarily to be replaced. There are at least two good reasons: you betray the player in question by replacing his character with a replica just like that. He won't notice until the surprise and I wouldn't appreciate a revelation like .. and look, there is .. yes, you! And the ...


83

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 enough to fall into the trap are dealt with, it stands to reason that the next foe will come prepared. Indeed, they might even pick up on the idea of using ...


79

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 wants more attention than the other players or, via their outlier character, wants their character to constrain/implicitly control the rest of the group. This is ...


77

Stop dealing with the 98% of the population. If they're so rich, they are now peers of the 2% of the population who rule in various ways. Peasants may have little to offer in reward (perhaps fealty?), but queens, nobles, generals, and the heads of merchant empires will want to either control or ally with such powerful figures – before their rivals do. As a ...


77

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. So of course it is doomed to fail, they will never kill them and they will surely get caught. But why should they all be killed? The evil general probably has ...


73

Definitions: Group: everyone wanting to build a character to a roughly similiar set of requirements. Everyone: A set of 1 or more players with sufficient system expertise who communicate in some codified way, e.g. through a forum or around a game table. Thesis: An option is overpowered if, when presented as a choice, it will always be chosen by members of ...


73

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 respite for some players. For some people roleplaying can actually be hard mental work (or for some kinds of people it can be mildly stressful, if enjoyable); ...


72

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 somehow she failed to get the results of that action back from you. You don't have to wait until all players are agreed before allowing a player to act. Now, OK, ...


72

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 consequences of his decisions. Of course this will cost you some plot that will be ruined when the party dies, but in the long run, it will worth the effort. ...


71

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 to figure out how that happened. Why did you feel like sexual coercion was a reasonably obstacle to throw in front of the group trying to fulfill their ...


70

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 heart that these stories have happy endings. Real feelings come first Your players seem to be really sniping at each other, and you want to make sure there ...


69

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 they persist... Y'know, honestly? I'm not interested in arguing about this. Feel free to plot and plan all you like, if you encounter [PC's future cause-of-...


68

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 tiny hints at best. You mentioned you're currently using things like letters on the dead guards and the actions of authorities. Do your players see these ...


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