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55005865 No.55005865 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

This thread is for posting enlightening tips/tactics you have picked up while DMing. This can be anything from props and random tables to fun quests and interesting roleplay situations to throw at players. I'll start with a few:

>If your players are fond of taking long rests in hostile territory, roll a d20 for every hour they sleep. On a 1, the party is attacked by a minor or moderate threat that disturbs their rest. This way their rest is disturbed by chance and not DM fiat.

>You can make plot hooks more appealing by incorporating the characters' race/backgrounds/class/etc into the hook. For example, a group of Dwarven Paladins is more likely to clear out your Bandit cave if it was instead a cave of demonic cult worshippers who have been sacrificing townsfolk. And the questgiver happens to be a young dwarf who's father was abducted.

>> No.55005956

Don't freak out if a couple of players are using cell phones/laptops/gaming devices during the game, especially large groups. It's impossible to hold everyone's attention at all times.

If everyone's doing it and it's actively affecting the game, *then* you need to have that talk with your players.

>> No.55006497

you can kill the players too not just the characters

>> No.55006566


As an addition to rolling a d20 during long rests, you can have an encounter happen on a 2 as well. This changes the odds of avoiding an encounter during a long rest from 66% to 43%, depending on just how hostile the environment is.

>> No.55006673
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There's nothing wrong with sticking to archetypes/"cliches" for NPCs. They became classics for a reason, and they help make sure that you have a wider variety of characters.

They also make a great launching off point for once an NPC becomes more prevalent, and gives your players expectations that you can follow or subvert.


Maintaining the illusion of choice is often a lot more efficient than giving full on choices. Sounds bad, but it's true. Players choosing whether to travel by river or mountain path? You can use the same random encounters either way, just adjusted slightly for the location. As long as you're not overt about this, the players won't care - heck, most my players *know* do this fairly frequently, but since they don't know when, it's not a problem.


Steal shit from other media liberally, especially if your players aren't familiar with it. Again, they probably won't care anyway - they're not there to hear your original novel, they're there to have a fun campaign.

That goes for mechanics as well as writing. Puzzles and encounter ideas are great things to nick, especially from video games. Just make sure you make the proper adjustments for the fact that you're dealing with a turn based, multiplayer system, not a real time single player one.

>> No.55006702

>rolling a d20
Roll a d6 if you are really concerned.

>> No.55006767

One fun thing to do is have an NPC befriend or admire a particular PC. THEN have that NPC come at odds with a different PC.

>The Fighter takes on a bounty to kill a crooked merchant. However, it is the same merchant that previously made friends with the party Mage and sold him spell scrolls at a low rate.

>A thief pickpockets the Paladin. After the thief is captured, however, it is revealed that the thief is the party Rogue' connection to the underground. Does the party off the thief, turn him in to the town guard, or let him go?

>> No.55006836
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Have a list of random names prepared, because as soon as your players realises that you've not named one of them already, they WILL ask them in character. Behind The Name is good for this.


If you run a game in Roll20, and it's text based, use the chatlog there for in character ONLY. Use a seperate program for out of character chat - I use Discord or IRC in my games, Skype is...passable.

If you can get a dicebot for that program as well, so much the better. If not, get players to stick to "/gr" rolls to avoid cluttering up the log. As long as you can see them, it's fine.

Oh, and always set shit to be Tokens, not Drawings, once you're done with it. The "Clear All Drawings" tool is useful for the amount of penises you'll probably be removing from your maps.


If an encounter's not mechanically fun and interesting on its own, and isn't plot relevant, scrap it. Filler for filler's sake is terrible. Your players will have more fun with one interesting encounter than three mediocre ones.


If you're having an issue with one of your players - fucking talk to them. Seriously. The amount of shit on this board that can be resolved by actually communicating is infuriating. If they're being an issue, address them in private, or message them after the game, or something. Don't be a fucking autist and let thing boil until one of you ragequits. Nobody wants that. For the sake of the game, nip it in the bud early.

Half the time, you'll find that this actually lets you fix the problem, rather than causing the game to crash and burn.

>> No.55007029


>> No.55007110
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I steal treasure charts, random generators and NPCs all the time. Gonna fight a wizard in his tower but have no idea what he'd store in there? Take it from a module and staple it in.

I've been trying my damndest to incorporate loot that isn't just a +1 sword or clear upgrade item for the party cleric. Giving them unusual magic or mundane items can sometimes be the most rewarding. Current campaign has seen more use out of a ring that let's you pop out your eye and use it as a surveillance camera than I thought any gag item would ever deserve.

Also giving them items that lets them resource manage has been pretty satisfying. Potions, wands, weapons/armor with limited charges gets them to decide when best to pull out the big guns for encounters rather than just darkvision helmets or invisibility cloaks.

>> No.55008644

"You are truly the wisest wizard cat"
Definitely this, skim through many modules and find things that catch your attention. Steal it for your game.
I recommend the One Page Dungeons, having a few of those printed up with an encounter chart for your level will allow you to fill in for an underprepped evening.

When designing your own encounters and traps, its ok if you don't have a solution made beforehand, your players might surprise you and find unique and interesting ways to solve problems.

>> No.55008656
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What, in your opinion, is the minimum requirements that an encounter needs to meet to be mechanically interesting?

I once had demonically possessed Orogs who had a "cleric" behind them casting demonic flavored bless and spiritual weapon. I liked the flavor of the encounter and it fit with the plot, but...was it a mechanically interesting combat without the demon stuff?

>> No.55009074
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Well, really that depends. If you'd taken out all fluff and context, would it have been fun from a pure gameplay persepctive? Did the players had to think of a strategy, or was it just "move forward, full attack" ad nauseam? That's always what I measure it by in the end - how many choices were the players really making?

Like I said, though, I only consider an encounter being really interesting necessary if it *isn't* plot relevant, as a means to keep it engaging. Afterall, if the players are already invested thanks to plot and character, then, well, that already fills the job, doesn't it?

>> No.55009194
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(Although, obviously it's ideal for *every* enciounter to be mechanically engaging. But some systems make this easier than others - Pathfinder is hard, for instance, whilst 4e does most the work for you)

Also, I apply a similar mindset RE: none combat encounters, just change "mechanically interesting" to "entertaining". If it's busywork, don't roll, and so forth.

>> No.55009264

>I've been trying my damndest to incorporate loot that isn't just a +1 sword or clear upgrade item for the party cleric. Giving them unusual magic or mundane items can sometimes be the most rewarding.

100% agree with this, and I'll add on the caveat that I genuinely don't see a problem with throwing the party some really powerful items every now and then. Our GM gave our level 6 PF party an item that can cast Control Weather at-will, requiring only a Use Magic Device check, as well as a couple of others.

You only really need to consider in-party balance, afterall. After that, the sky's the limit.

>> No.55009296
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Ah, I see. My players did try to think and strategize during that fight. They blasted spells and ranged attacks at the cleric even though it meant taking hits from the Orogs.

>> No.55009555
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Record your sessions. Listening to yourself GM really lets you see your strengths and weaknesses in a way you normally can't. Plus you can get hypercritical at yourself in a way nicer players won't.

>> No.55009613

>There's nothing wrong with sticking to archetypes/"cliches" for NPCs. They became classics for a reason, and they help make sure that you have a wider variety of characters.
>They also make a great launching off point for once an NPC becomes more prevalent, and gives your players expectations that you can follow or subvert.

This. Players aren't generally going to pick up on subtle hints at your NPC's deep and complex character the first time they meet him, they're going to remember "oh yeah, that kind of shady guy" or "oh, the femme fatale type". It's an immediate anchor that provides a nice baseline to take wherever you want, particularly when an NPC unexpectedly becomes a party favourite.

>> No.55009662

To reduce meta knowledge of rolls--rolling Bluff/Deception to lie to players, rolling sneak/stealth against them, etc.--and try printing out a sheet filled with prerolled d20 rolls (=RANDBETWEEN(1-20) on Excel).

This allows you to speed things up and not give your PCs a tell as to your NPC's true intentions.

>> No.55009695

"No" is your enemy. Telling your players "No" to their ideas is a great way to grind their flow of ideas and fun to a grinding halt.

I'm not saying you should allow your players to do anything. "Yes, and", "Yes, but" and even "No, but" are all acceptable. Never "No".

>> No.55009855

"No" is perfectly acceptable if they say something absolutely retarded though.

>> No.55009866

>Choose the interpretation that make the most sense.
We are literally playing games of pretend, so if the first interpretation you come up with doesn't make sense, change your assumptions until you have something that does make sense. For example, the seasoned rogue who has picked a hundred locks before suddenly being a clumsy idiot who forgets how to pick locks every time he rolls low would be a stupid story that does not make sense. Instead, there must be something special about the lock that would make it difficult for the rogue to unlock. Perhaps the mechanisms within it are particularly complicated, or it is a design that the rogue has never seen before. This is a story that makes more sense and will be more satisfactory to you and your players. Why such a complex lock was found on the peasant's shed is a mystery in itself, but you are a good DM, you'll figure something out. Don't be afraid to let the dice do the storytelling, you will find that sometimes they have some pretty interesting ideas.

You would think this would be obvious advice, but you would be surprised how often people get wrapped up in what they decided their interpretation is that they forget it is to change it.

>> No.55009892

If it were a mundane thing he was already a super expert at he wouldn't be rolling anyway, RIGHT?
>Dice frame things that have challenge or consequences
>Everything else is narrative

>> No.55009896

You've never actually GMed, have you? If you never say "no", you're going to end up with whining, retarded manchildren players who try to play brinksmanship games because they know that if they stick to their guns long enough, you'll give in for whatever idea they pulled out of their asscracks.

If it will never work, say no. If they repeat, get on with "no, and leave my table".

>> No.55009914
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Glimpses of someone else's story.

Sometimes this takes the form of pic related highlighting that the NPCs do not exist solely for the pleasure of your quests and infodumps.

Sometimes the party has messed with poor NPC Bob, and I use roll20's /as command to have "Bob's Player" lodge a meta complaint, or express confusion as to what's going on.

>> No.55009924

Well, obviously, because he was rolling, there was a chance of failure. It's explaining WHY there is a chance of failure that is the issue, not IF.

>> No.55009952
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Get better players anon. I'm sorry if you can't.

>> No.55009959

I've never thought of this specifically, but I usually roll in secret using an RNG or use common sense.
"No, but" is essential. For crit failures, instead of 'You fail completely and dead end', I prefer, 'You succeed in a way that makes you really wish you hadn't'. The Emnity Clause is possibly the best idea to ever come out of Burning Wheel:
>A specific case of Say Yes, or Roll The Dice taken from Burning Wheel's Circles subsystem. In a situation where the player wants to find a character thus far unknown. In Burning Wheel, you test your circles attribute; A failed roll results in finding the character, but for some reason the new character has enmity toward the PCs.
So, say, when you roll a failed skill check: you find your back-alley salesman, but he's charging triple because he knows you need what he's selling. Are you really going to fight him in the middle of the black market and get caught here by guards?
Or when you're searching for your sword after it's fallen off a ledge, you find it. The problem is, someone else has found it, too, and they have every reason to not believe it's yours, because it's expensive and cool.
If they want to do something retarded, suggest an alternate, less retarded approach. People often get caught up in wacky ideas due to playing a fantasy game that they forget mundane solutions to problems. If they still want to push hard but still possible odds, say they can try, but remind them that the odds are stacked against them to an absurd degree.
If they want to try something actually impossible and can't explain how it could maybe work in this specific situation, then remind them of their other options. If they aren't reasonable enough to accept that there are some things that just can't be done, they shouldn't be at the table.

>> No.55009980
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Sometimes, when there's a mystery of some kind, you'll find yourself thinking "damn, my player's guess is such a good idea, I wish that was really the right answer". Protip: You're the GM. You can make it the correct answer.

It'll make the player feel smart for getting it, and it'll be a cooler story if it was that good an idea. Of course, you might need to make some further adjustments down the line, so do think carefully of what kind of ripple effect it might have.

>> No.55010099

How would you guys handle the PCs being at a casino? I was thinking it might depend on what they're doing, blackjack could just be played directly as could any sort of bet as simple as a coin flip or roll off while something like poker would be a series of deception and insight rolls.

>> No.55010116

I had a player interrogating a confused and sick old peasant couple because he couldn't accept that as peasants they had a very limited view of what the town mystics were doing.

>> No.55010119

I've GM'd before, just not for the whiny children you seem to be characterizing.

It's give and take. Games I run for players that think they can play me don't last very long at all.

>> No.55010133

How important is the act of gambling to the game? If you're in a "standard" heroic adventure, you probably don't want to bog down too much playing mini-games. If it's got skill, do some sort of gambling/perception/whatever opposed check. If it's pure luck, just flip a coin. Good results mean you get X amount of money, bad results mean you lose it.

But generally, I wouldn't want more than one or two rolls for a night of gambling, unless the act itself is important for some reason.

>> No.55010215

Well they'd be in a fae casino where they can bet pretty much anything and win really strange things. One character would definitely want to try to get info on somebody (they got a magic item which has negative and addictive properties in said casino but also lost most of their memories from within it). It would largely be a last ditch plan to get info, favors, or items they need.

>> No.55010227

Alternatively, you find yourself thinking "damn, my player's idea is way off and not what I was going for at all, I hope they don't pursue that." It is important to remember that just because an idea is not correct does not mean that it is not useful. Perhaps the wrong idea is just a piece of the bigger puzzle, or otherwise going down the wrong path reveals clues that lead them to the right path, sometimes by complete happenstance.

To go even further beyond, you don't even need a right answer prepared, all you need is a hook. This is what I've been trying to do. I don't begin thinking of solutions until the players commit to a quest; the only reason I bother is so that I have something to give them if they get stuck. Even then, the solutions I come up with are imperfect, sometimes undesirable, I fully expect my players to reject the solutions and use them as springboards to come up with better ideas.

>> No.55010248

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.

The stakes of the gambling are ultimately unrelated to the game being gambled on itself. Whether you're playing for your souls against a critical piece of info, or for a tiny amount of copper that would get you watery beers at a shit tavern, a game of craps is a game of craps.

And unless your players are really into mini-games, you probably don't want to bog down too much on the game they're playing with the fae itself. Just do something that's over in one roll would be my recommendation.

>> No.55010320

That was my plan if they wanted to play something longer like poker. I figured anything as simple as blackjack (a single round) or a roll off could be played out to let the players feel as if they had more control. I have a feeling that they'll enjoy having some minigames.

>> No.55010378

I really like this idea, instead of the stealthy ranger suddenly barging in like a fool, a previously unseen deer bolts from nearby altering the enemy to his presence

>> No.55010444

Seconded - I find it helps to remember that the dice roll is the element of random chance, and when someone fails at something because of bad luck, we don't blame it on them, do we?

So sure, sometimes it is just them fucking up, but things like an unfortunately placed branch snapping a Stealth check, or smoke drifting in just the wrong place to see through with a Perception check - those things can really help failures seem like less of a "your character is terrible" moment.

>> No.55010834

How about d20 + lowest stealth vs X+[hours rested]

X can go from 5 to 10 depending on the zone.

>> No.55010840

Twist in my next post, just a heads-up.

Through decades of DMing, I first came to understand the extremely important and revelatory fact that nothing necessarily has to be set in stone.
- Every great idea your players have can be stolen

- Everything you prepare and don't get to use can be put somewhere else later down the line, with a minimum of retooling

- If something is going "the wrong way" or seems like it won't be as fun, you can arrange all chess pieces on the board that the players aren't currently holding in their hands, as long as the new board state you make is "legal" and makes basic sense.

- Every die roll they don't see can be fudged to make everything turn out more fun for them

This was fucking revolutionary, and is what took me from "meh GM" to "good GM".


>> No.55010876
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>Conserve detail. If you've worked hard on your setting, you deserve to be proud. But don't bombard players with information unless it's relevant to them. If players want to know more, they will seek it out

>Keep exacting details to a minimum in building setpieces and events. The less written in stone (when/where/how they are), the more easily they can be adapted to the playing field of the players

>Assess the priorities of your players and shift the focus of what you have accordingly. If you have elements of exploration, interaction, and action, find what it is they gravitate to and put the spotlight there

>Run a game that you would want to play in. Passion trickles down to the players

>Pic related

>> No.55010891

Later I came to realize that while useful, it was also wrong in some very serious ways.
Some things DO have to be set in stone, and it's not always obvious which ones.

- Your players scrutinize what happens and why you had it happen the way it did, whether they consciously know it or not. You've got many several players, each with a lifetime of experience with entertainment media, and each of them has a chance at any given time to be able to tell (or subconsciously sense) when you're working your GM magic to create the perfect fairy tale storyline. Whenever this happens, they lose some of their faith that the game has real challenge, and that their decisions have true consequences. (Luckily, this is reversible over time.)

- Don't let the game world be a story. Movies, comic books, and other authored media is predictable in ways that reality is not, but it isn't as jarring when you merely spectate it. When you make the choices yourself, however, even when agasp with the marvel of the tale you're being told, it feels subtly and lastingly wrong whenever the world warps to turn everything you do into an epic adventure.
An adventure is being described to you, but you're not fully taking part in it.
You COULD be going on an adventure - one that's yours, and that's believable; something you can basically only do in a tabletop RPG - but instead you're delegated to simply listening to another author tell you yet ANOTHER prefabricated story. Either fully, or in part.
Reality is imperfect. It has anticlimaxes, and not everything always happens at exactly the right moment - you don't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need, and it's up to you to make the best of it. Sometimes the game needs to feel real.

>> No.55010940


- The best challenge is real, and is something you can own. The fullness of victory is only as fully raw and real as how "real" the player feels the challenge was.
We all know that you don't just stumble upon the solution to every major problem in life - and the best part about conquering the challenges of real life (when you manage to do so) is that you get to own them - you had to claw and cry and bleed and sweat your way through; every resource, opportunity, or idea you exploited, every setback you endured, and every choice you made, fully mattered and the world didn't magically give you just what you needed, the moment you needed it the most. If it did, life would be a subtle kind of hell.
If you monkey with a challenge and a player notices (and you don't necessarily know what they might notice,) then you've robbed the depth of their victory's joy.

>> No.55010961

If you use random encounters in your game, give them some nuance instead of immediately gunning for combat. My favorite way of doing this is adding a second die roll that gives a general gist of what the primary state of the encounter is, from tracks and remains to hunts, patrols, looting, or possibly fighting something else. Stumbling across bloodied carcasses and owlbear tracks, a scouting party of injured orcs retreating from a room, or a mexican standoff between goblins and kobolds with a shiny treasure in the center is far more interesting than "You see monster X. Roll for initiative."
Don't fall into the trap of monsters being sacks of XP and loot. Give them some personality and players will take interest.

>> No.55010982

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55011018

a terrible idea in practice. the least constrained player will always act on the side of finality to "solve" the problem, railroading the entire group in the process. Like he cares about the Mage's spell budget, get real. Then he'll ask how much xp he got for doing it singlehandedly.

>> No.55011062

Rolling in secret is awful, especially if you aren't on the absolute best terms with the players. Announcing that one player did well and the other did poorly after a secret roll is sure to cause suspicions of favoritism, especially if the player apparently favored is a girl.

>> No.55011077

>suspicions of favoritism
As always, the best advice for GMs is "don't play with immature people".

>> No.55011095

A good idea, but occasionally a player will pull a "Ackshually,..." and then you're screwed.

>> No.55011165

I'm not in this conversation, but this alleged solution brings up an interesting question: is immediately shutting down the game at the first sign of "metagaming" really the best strategy? Can the game be salvaged? Are you really willing to throw away all your preparation?

>> No.55011207

no kids allowed?

>> No.55011227

Not all children are immature, but most are.

>> No.55011241

Mostly game philosophy:
When not in combat, use the results of die rolls to move them one step closer to or further from success - AKA, draw it out and build a story. They don't fix the thing with a single roll, that first roll tells them what they need to fix it, then they can start fixing it. Or they can't fully translate the ancient script, but the smart one can figure out what script it is and where to go for translation resources. It's effectively what you do with rolls in combat: each one moves you one step closer or further from making the damn thing not able to kill you.
Skill rolls are for when the character is improvising or under stress, not for proving competence. They have the skill, they are competent. The raw die roll shows circumstances and what they had to work with, then you add the stat and skill bonuses to show their efforts.
Encounters are interesting situations the players could get involved in, not something trying to kill them. Rolling bandits could be anything from "bandits attack" to "the locals think you're bandits" or even "the local lord sent a henchman to the road to warn of bandit attacks. Adventurers wanted". See >>55010961
Never prepare a plotline, prepare a villain's plans. Also, don't plan on "enter at A, go through B to C to D to E, exit at F" adventures - instead prepare what I call Flashpoints: Flash A gets them rolled in, and could lead to B, C, D, or E; or they could even skip past them all and deal with F. But each one inbetween weakens F, and affects the others. They also give F time to prepare...
Know Your Tropes: if any one tries be genre savvy and figure out the metagame, switch it around. Plans get changed based on how intelligent the people going against your villain are - and if that intelligence leads them into a trap, all the better. Monsters turn out to be tougher, or have different weaknesses (the troll stole a ring that made them immune to fire is a great one).

>> No.55011264

Unless you're completely blatant about it any party can be railroaded and the players will be completely unaware.

Even if you give them a complete a total sandbox with total control and agency, they're still going to whine that you're railroading them if something they don't like happens.

So, stop caring, and find actual adults to play with.

Also, don't recruit from /tg/, there's a reason most of these guys don't have games.

>> No.55011267

I've seen 13-year olds that are much more mature than a handful of the twenty-somethings I know. Take that however you wish.

>> No.55011292

>Skill rolls are for when the character is improvising or under stress, not for proving competence
This is one reason I don't understand why DnD 5e abandoned taking 10 or 20. I've broken my picks or gotten them stuck in occasions where I was under no or next-to-no stress, simply because I rolled that 5% chance.

>> No.55011316
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>the least constrained player will always act on the side of finality to "solve" the problem
My players have proven this wrong several times. Sure, if you make That Guy the least constrained player, then he's going to railroad. Most other players take into account the fact that they don't want the other PCs to hate them, and this affects their decision making. And some players will simply put the party's needs above their own and concede, only to badmouth the NPC backhandedly later, which makes for good roleplaying.

>Like he cares about the Mage's spell budget
It's not about the scrolls or the budget, dude. It's about the relationship that the Mage has formed with the merchant. The Mage player is likely to say "Awww not my merchant friend!" and try to convince the Fighter and rest of the party to let him go free. Plus the NPC might be able to help out the party later. Watching players try to persuade each other at the table is the whole fun of this idea.

>Then he'll ask how much xp he got for doing it singlehandedly
This makes me think that you are definitely playing with a "That Guy." Try making That Guy the one who builds a quick relationship with an NPC and watch him vehemently defend his new ally and try to pull them into the good graces of the party.

>> No.55011343

Look into different, more archaic games - why the fuck would the Fae play Blackjack? If it's a game of chance, consider Two Up, or even just "rolling the bones" - dice games have always been popular. Have them aim for a target number - seventeen on a D10 and 2D6, and whoever is closest (but not over) wins. Look at the I Ching, choose six patterns to be "winning" throws, and have your players throw sticks against a number of NPCs. Snail/toad/cockroach racing - get some actual cockroaches and have them race.

Shit, I'm sure you can think of some more.

>> No.55011351

WotC and Hasbro don't care about creating or publishing a quality game. They're the EA of the traditional gaming market. They know they can survive on market saturation and brand recognition alone.

To be fair, that strategy is paying off, especially with the massive amount of pop-culture exposure D&D and MtG have gotten lately. Being referenced in sitcoms and viewed as hip, trendy, and cultured/educated has done wonders for sales.

>> No.55011366

Samefagging in case you missed it.

>> No.55011372

>>55011241 (cont)
Give XP for players deliberately bypassing encounters (with character knowledge). This gives them incentive to think intelligently and be engaged in the game world.
You might go old school and also give XP for gold earned and spent.
XP for social encounters and skill challenges also gives them incentive to do more than combat (for D&D style XP for this, count it as the typical CR for their level, then adjust based on how well it moved them closer to their overall goal - a small step forward can be 10-20%. Using a percentage of the total XP required for their level also works if you want them to go more social than combat).
Never be afraid to improvise rules - it's your game, just be consistent. Learn the ways the dice roll in your system, and what targets the players can typically hit. With that in mind, you can improvise anything.

>> No.55011405

Is there a way to handle mildly dysfunctional people without the game becoming a clusterfuck? Personally I'd rather not characterize them all as "good" or "bad".

>> No.55011437

That's a good tip. Thank you.

>> No.55011484

Isolate them and take steps to prevent them from reproducing.

Or, just be a mature and reasonable adult yourself, and make it a point to keep the majority of your players the same. One manchild is manageable. Two make things difficult. Three is a nightmare.

>> No.55011496

You're going to have to define "mildly dysfunctional". My definition may differ.

>> No.55011531

Set up a quick and simple way to signal them that they need to calm down - a word, a card you can tap/raise, or even a emoticon if you're online.

Don't be afraid to go "ok guys, going to need you all to slow down so I can keep up and keep the game moving" and "first let's see what (other character) has to say before we come back to (other character)". Both have worked well with me getting players to pull themself up and recognise they needed to settle down.

Talk to them outside the game. 'I'm happy to see you excited and really into the game, don't forget to give others time to shine'. Try to set up their character in a supportive role to other characters when it comes to story beats.

I do this for my players. I expect and encourage them to do the same for me - when I get too loud, or if I talk too fast. Generally I'm good at catching myself as I'm doing it, but there's always that one or two times where they know they can quickly get me to take a second to reset and start again.

>> No.55011548

my mom did actually get cancer, so maybe there's something to these
"You are truly the wisest wizard cat"

For 5e, discovered this by trying to drastically scale down Princes of Elemental Evil, if you want a decent challenging low level boss, you can take a monster of appropriate CR (a medium challenge), then give it 1 legendary resistance and one of two Lair actions roughly equivalent to a cantrip or first level spell, with of course the name filed off and damage types changed to something appropriate.

The most enjoyable and memorable fights are ones where they have to deal with a recurring obstacle while still fighting it.

Air elemental Banshee (that now does sonic damage) with a vacuum pull every turn, to get the back row in screech range, so you have to focus on micromanaging your distance or get possibly get oneshot? Fun.
Gorgon with animate object and the statues of previous victims standing everywhere so you have to deal with them while fighting her(scaled down by making fewer statues at once)? Fun.
Salamander that creates bonfires, which then start to shoot fire at you like those cursed zelda torches, so you have to focus on putting out the torches in addition to fighting it? Fun.
Water Weird in a room of twoinch deep water, that creates icy terrain, hits you with ray of frost slows, and regularly dips back into the water to pop up some distance away, making the entire fight one of trying to frantically chase it down while you slip, slide, and trudge around in an otherwise smallish room? Fun.

There's a lot to learn from vidya if you squint. No enjoyable boss is just "hit it til it dies, while it tries to hit you til you die."

As another form I'm also trying to think of ways to weaken enemies to reward clever strategic thinking, without making them too easy if they solve it, but not too deadly if they don't. Games assure solving by making them super obvious (glowing, etc), but I want rewarding Aha! moments instead.

>> No.55011597

he said mature. If a 9 year old is more mature than his 25 year old competition, you take the 9 year old.
You'd be surprised how many times I've seen that be the case. It's more to do with raising than age.

>> No.55011669

Passive checks ARE taking 10. Any time you are doing a task over and over again, with no particular attention to any given attempt, is a passive check.

walking down a corridor looking for traps? Passive check, bonus+10. Stopping and inspecting the ground immediately in front of you because this door looks mighty suspicious? Active check, roll a d20.

Trying to ram a door with your shoulder? Active check, roll a d20. Knowing you're not gonna get it first try and instead hoping to eventually splinter the wood enough the latch it gives way? Passive check, +10.

>> No.55011695

>to reward clever strategic thinking, without making them too easy if they solve it, but not too deadly if they don't.

I've had this backfire on me so many times. My players just want a simple romp, I'm the one who likes strategy.

Maybe I should make some shitty monsters and try to beat the party with them using only tactics. I think they'd resent me if I won, though. But I'd have fun, I know that.

>> No.55011725

Huh. I must have missed that part. That's very helpful, anon. Thanks.

>> No.55011748

maybe you do that but the monsters don't win at the end for some made up reason. it woud be a hair raising battle.

>> No.55011789

"Learn to improvise."

Players feel a lot more invested if they feel like they can alter your story, and you have to do a lot less prep work if you learn to roll with the punches. That's not to say that "blar blar everybody is railroading" or whatever, just, learning to improvise is the greatest gift I ever picked up as a GM, and is the one piece of advice I try and pass on all the time.

>> No.55011820

Some games can be salvaged, but no game is better than a bad game.

Plus, I never throw away my preparation. I can use what I make for a different group that's more willing to play earnestly.

It also helps that I improvise like 60-70% of my material

>> No.55011835

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55011860

I generally advise people to just ghost and stop inviting players who exhibit any remotely clear signs of trouble, but if you've made up your mind then, well, it depends.

What follows is basically the full monty of how to deal with erratic people when you absolutely have to. Keep in mind that this is for when you think the unspoken rules of common sense and social decency might not hold:

Talk to the problem player between games, when the other players aren't around.
- Be concerned about the issue, not confrontational.
- Make sure to explain clearly what the problem behaviour is, while wrapping it in a subjective I-statement like "I feel that (...)" or "It seems to me that (...)", or "I think I've noticed that maybe"
- Don't talk about the problem behaviour as if it's a trait they have like "edgelord" or "low attenton span". Always describe it as "something they did." Avoid anything remotely like name-calling.
- Make sure to listen respectfully and thoroughly to their answers before responding at all. Even if they say multiple things you disagree with, just try to remember the most important ones and let as much slide as you can for now.
- Be on your best behavior, even if they aren't; keep your cool and regain it whenever necessary.
- If they flip their shit or cross a line, or say something to you that gets you riled up, then tell them you're gonna need some time to think about it, and you will continue the conversation at a later date.
- If they're stubborn about admitting to the problem behaviour, you can humour them by giving them an "out" that still makes it clear that the behaviour they're denying is unacceptable. E.g. "You know what, I think you're right; I misunderstood what was going on, so forget I said anything. I just misinterpreted the situation because of how much I dislike overly edgy or zany player characters at my table. See ya next week."

>> No.55011876

>If a 9 year old is more mature than his 25 year old competition, you take the 9 year old.
See, that's what I keep saying, but the jury never fucking agrees with me!

>> No.55011907

This thread has a lot of sound advice, so I'd like to ask a question on how to approach a game issue.
How do I challenge (or affirm) a player character's beliefs when the pc's belief is that large government inevitably leads to oppression, especially in a setting where the downfall of said large governments have thrown the world back to the bronze age and the fantastical creatures that they held back roam the world to pillage at will, without turning it into a political firestorm?
I am stumped on how to do this without opening a can of worms, and apparently this belief is is an important principle to the player (character).

>> No.55011943

Honestly, the recommendation I would give is to give that character an opportunity to peer into the inner workings of governments. Don't go out of your way to change how they're depicted for his or her benefit, just give the opportunity. Maybe they are tyrranical. Maybe they're not. Maybe they're just kind of clueless, scrabbling desperately for solutions to insoluble problems. Give them an opportunity to see (at least a little) what it was like in the "Good old days" for good or ill.

But describe, don't preach. Make it realistic and of a tone with the rest of your work.

>> No.55011955
File: 200 KB, 1021x498, 1489586734428.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

When you're trying to do the investigate the mystery thing, follow the rule of three. Each clue should exist in three seperate places in the world.

For example, the mystery who killed Mr. Body, where and what with. The bloddy knife should exist at the botom of the well. Anyone skilled in anatamoy, or phoresnsc or something like that can examamine Mr. Body and determine he was stabed to death. One of the NPC's at the dinner party just happens to be a Doctor with that skill set.

Three ways to find the same information, so no matter what avenue your PC's take to dig up clues they're should have a good chance to run into them.

Now, theres always the case of you thinking A + B = C and they think A+B=AB... so I usualy *also* go with three clues all pointing to the same conclusion... but of course that gets exponentially more difficult and you end up trimming shit out as they find the stuff one way or the other so they don't get TOO inundated with repeat information... it's all about familiarity with your players and how the react to shit at that point.

>> No.55012043

>>If your players are fond of taking long rests in hostile territory, roll a d20 for every hour they sleep. On a 1, the party is attacked by a minor or moderate threat that disturbs their rest. This way their rest is disturbed by chance and not DM fiat.

8 * (5%) = X% chance of being attacked every single night.

Solve for X, and then determine whether the frequency of monster attacks is justified or unacceptable. Explain your reasoning.

>> No.55012057

>tfw one of my players is an honest to god police detective and sees through every mystery I try to throw his way in an hour, tops.

>> No.55012072

Oh jesus this would probably shatter me. My players tell me I'm fine, but I am waaay to hard on myself.

>> No.55012146

If it's the character, then have them find a small community that thrives under a leader who is competent and genuinely concerned with providing health, safety (including a justice system), and defense for their people - highborn and lowborn - in return for taxation.

A talented and benevolent sovereign ruler in a small and uncomplicated community is pretty much an undeniable sweet spot when it comes to forms of government.
Its problems have nothing to do with oppression, and everything to do with stability. When the ruler dies, and whenever a general/high priest/other powerful individual is dissatisfied, there's a chance that things go haywire. There are ways around it, like producing good heirs (both in the sense of being well-trained and skilled, and being morally/ethically good) and trying to adapt a culture of contentedness rather than competition, but they are mitigating factors at best, and both come with a cost.

>> No.55012160
File: 42 KB, 720x720, 1483674192550.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

>Listening to my own voice/

Oh no. No no no. No. Fuck no.

>> No.55012205

Not that anon but moreover, having the players interact with the ruler often and portraying him/her as a down-to-earth, competent person may help quite a bit.

>> No.55012210
File: 49 KB, 438x615, ....jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

>Listening to yourself GM

>> No.55012251


Hey, my character is now a half-devil/half-angel demigod. I'm going to fly up into the sky and cast a mass mind control spell on the entire world to create a perfect army we will invade other planes with. Also I'm going to succeed at every possible check for any of these things. Cool?

Of course it's not cool, and there's no "no, but..." that will satisfactorily resolve this without actually just being a "no" that you're not willing to call a "no" because you have some stupid rule you think you're supposed to stick to.

>> No.55012257

>I'm not saying you should allow your players to do anything. "Yes, and", "Yes, but" and even "No, but" are all acceptable. Never "No".

The millennial laissez-faire parenting model, applied to DMing. This is modern gaming, ladies and gentlemen.

>> No.55012320

>Believing it's the GM's job to be a good parent to his players

Yes, modern gaming indeed

>> No.55012335

No, but you can get there eventually if you find the right magics.

>> No.55012343

In a role playing game, generally speaking, not being able to do stuff is less fun than being able to do stuff.
The only time you should be told you can't do stuff is when there's a good reason to.
In other words, if in doubt, default to some variation of "yes".
If not in doubt, then you already know the answer, which might be "no".

It's just a heuristic that produces a better gameplay experience on average.

>> No.55012347

>Hey, my character is now a half-devil/half-angel demigod. I'm going to fly up into the sky and cast a mass mind control spell on the entire world to create a perfect army we will invade other planes with.

No, but if you create a character according to the rules in the book, you can work towards that. I'm sure it'll be amazing when that moment finally happens.

>Also I'm going to succeed at every possible check for any of these things. Cool?

Yes, but only as long as you actually succeed on the rolls to do so. I'm really digging your confidence, though.

>> No.55012389


>> No.55012417

Depends on the individual situation.
Some shit is just flat out impossible, or beyond the bounds that I set as GM.
I say no to things like that straight away.
If it is possible, I will tell them that they need to put work to it, or readjust it to fit within the game's parameters.

>> No.55012440

>Not having your players refer to you as daddy

>> No.55012454


Those are both just "no." "No, but..." implies compromise, you can't just use the words without any of the meaning behind why you'd use those words in the first place.

>> No.55012524

Some would argue that you can't just use an extraordinarily-specific example as a strawman to counter a generalist philosophy. but what do I know; I'm just a baby.

>> No.55012583


>8 * (5%) = X% chance of being attacked every single night.
That would make it a 0.4% chance to be attacked every night. Wut? You just gave the probability of being attacked every hour of every night, also known as the probability of rolling 1, 8 times in a row.

You mean (19/20)^8. Which would give you the percentage chance of NOT being attacked at night Which is 66.3%. Then to find the percent chance of being attacked at least once per night you just subtract that from 1, which gives you 33.7%

1/3 chance of being attacked makes taking a long rest in or near enemy territory somewhat risky, so players can't trivialize a dungeon by sleeping in every room. Plus if they decide to take a short rest, then you can simply roll 1d20 for a 5% chance of being interrupted.

>Solve for X, and then determine whether the frequency of monster attacks is justified or unacceptable. Explain your reasoning.
This is obnoxious and you should unironically kill yourself.

>> No.55012585

>Give the quest an estimated deadline and tell them that so that players don't sit and wait until stuff happens or constantly sleep 8 hours to heal.

>Re-skin and homebrew the fuck out of the game so that you will always have creatures to use of any level and challenge the meta-gamers to actually play the adventure and not just the game.

>Steal something from the party in order for them to go anywhere you want them to go. You can do this once per group, but they will go to the ends of the earth to get it back.

>The same can be done with murderhobos by introducing a monster they cannot hope to defeat but instead of attacking them, it blocks a few attacks with ease and leaves. They will try to follow, thinking they can beat it.

>Solid world building does half of the adventure writing for you. They almost write themselves.

>When a player rolls to detect a lie, roll a d20. Sometimes it's a Deception roll, sometimes it's just a d20 that you look at for a moment. Do this consistently and the player can tell for certain if the NPC is lying or not unless they roll high enough.

>Stickynotes are very handy for handouts, secrets, and keeping track of initiative by sticking it on the GM screen.

>There is no best way to GM, just a way that works for you. The only way to know this is to try new things until you got something you want to keep doing.

>If a meta-gamer already read the entire module, scramble and randomize the fuck out of it so you can still use the content and they can't use it to their benefit unless they play the adventure, not just the game.

>Getting PCs together should happen before the first session starts. Groups tend to fall apart and get awkward starts because the PCs act as if they don't know each other and aren't motivated to stick around.

>Buy a fresh sushi set with chopsticks so you won't get sheets and dice dirty as how greasy pizza would do.

>> No.55012605

You employed a ridiculous example, and we responded cheekily, what did you expect?

>> No.55012623

>No, you can't do that, but you might like this instead
>No, you can't do that now, but with the proper planning and luck you can eventually
How is this difficult?

>> No.55012659


That's not what strawman means. And that's actually exactly how you demonstrate that a concept is flawed, you push it to the extreme and find places where it breaks. It's one of the single most effective and widely used approaches in formal argumentation.

>> No.55012661

>Everyone on 4chan is a piece of shit. Don't listen to their advice about DMing unless your take is 110% grognard shitcocks.

>> No.55012684

You built a fictitious character proposing an absurd idea to an imaginary GM. That's actually EXACTLY what a strawman is.

>> No.55012728

>treating adults as adults is millennial parenting

I know this is /tg/ but this is still somehow disappointing to read.

>> No.55012735

Have you ever heard the phrase "The exception proves the rule"
>inb4 that's not what it means
Except it is.

>> No.55012760

>The same can be done with murderhobos by introducing a monster they cannot hope to defeat but instead of attacking them, it blocks a few attacks with ease and leaves. They will try to follow, thinking they can beat it.

I really enjoyed this one.

>> No.55012764

Not everything is possible, anon, for different reasons that are particular to every individual game and GM.
I don't enjoy telling my players no, and I usually only use it when they jokingly suggest the impossible, but sometimes I need to.
No is not a bad word, you need to know when to use it, like fuck.

>> No.55012920

That's not the problem, you dope.
Read the post you replied to.
>No, you can't do that, but you might like this instead.
This literally denies a player proposition, but suggests a better option.
Obviously a rule of thumb doesn't apply 100% of the time. If someone was proposing a blatantly retarded idea, I'd tell them to come up with another one. The point is that you don't just say 'lol fuk you' and leave the players holding the bag when they're trying to do something you didn't plan for.
Are you dense?
Almost any negative can be phrased in a no, but fashion, anyways.
>Can I use my ERP character?
>No, but you can follow the rules and make a more serious one.
>Can I make a character with obvious political commentary?
>No, but you can leave.

>> No.55012983

Never stop reading.
How much fun you're getting is extremely important.
Weapon props are fun.
Drawings are cool, even quick doodles explain so much.

Organization, communication, reminding and date-setting are very important.

You will have a fully failed game that will destroy your enthusiasm and will, but don't mind it, just book the next session. Most players wouldn't mind.

>> No.55012986

>, especially large groups.
Avoid having large groups.

If you have 1-5 you are good. 6 is the groan point, but it's doable.

Seven people? Divide into two groups repeat first step.

>> No.55013028


No, it isn't. A strawman is when you depict the opposition's argument as being something more absurd than it really is. "Conservatives want to kill immigrants" and "Liberals want the government to pay for everyone to sit around all day" are two popular strawmen in the U.S. these days that people will typically use.

It would arguably have been a strawman if I said that they would actually let the player play that character and take those actions but I didn't because nobody does that. That point wasn't to mischaracterize how they'd behave but rather to illustrate a situation in which even the person claiming to follow this rule would be forced to admit that it doesn't actually work.

>> No.55013091

No, but is No with better PR

>> No.55013139

>It would arguably have been a strawman if I said that they would actually let the player play that character and take those actions but I didn't because nobody does that. That point wasn't to mischaracterize how they'd behave but rather to illustrate a situation in which even the person claiming to follow this rule would be forced to admit that it doesn't actually work.
But you did that implicitly by suggesting that the GM in this case is a hard liner who won't stop using the 'Yes, But' rule in extreme situations, or more accurately, that if it doesn't work in this case it doesn't work in general. What that poster should have accused you of is the perfect solution fallacy ("It doesn't model edge cases, throw it out").

>> No.55013156

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55013195

You truly are the wisest wizard cat.

>> No.55013228

you truly are the wisest wizard cat.

>> No.55013251

You're right. I apologize and recant. >>55013139 got it.

>> No.55013257

"You are truly the wisest wizard cat."

Yeah, giving players tools to toy with is almost always better than just strict equipment upgrades.

>> No.55013311

You truly are the wisest, wizard cat.

>> No.55013328


On the subject of stealing shit for games. THere's a board game called Descent that has some modules to take from a Hero Quest style build a dungeon crawl to a board game adaptation of a tabletop campaign. Two, one them is for pirates.

The dungeons in the campagin modules are tiny but damn near every floor has a gimmick, like a boss that con only be hurt if you've drunk from the cursed fountan that is slowely killing you, with a fountain that will cure said curse on the on the other side of the area, or having to move around the giant pit where a giant is imprisoned and if you stop in certain areas it will swing at you, to corpse of a dragon that consatnly spawns carion feeder monsters...

Good for some inspiration to add gimicks for spicing up your battles.

>> No.55013398

Not to attack you here or anything, but I kinda feel like half the issues people have with 5e boil down to missing things when they read it.
I had a 4e guy in another thread complaining about wands being effectively unlimited heals compared to 4e's limited healing surges, so I explained to him that 1. there are no 5e wands that heal, 2. 5e wands don't even work like that, they have like 6 charges max.
He had assumed that since it had wands they were the same as 3.5 wands.

>> No.55013428
File: 155 KB, 500x890, Alva_and_Zulie.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

Sometimes I love you guys bromantically.
One of the things I like to do is wade through shitty but not irredemable homebrew and think about how I would try to improve it.
It helps me think about the system's mechanics, flavor, and how a player might use them.

>> No.55013453

The BEST best trick is learning to improvise ways to get them back on your railroad without knowing the difference.

It's not an always tool, but it's very useful once you can pull it off. They get to have choices and effect the story, but they become detours, not seperate branches.

>> No.55013519

I almost kinda feel like this should be the case, if we actually found some pie-in-the-sky way to objectively measure maturity.

Because there are plenty of physically grown people who it would definitely be taking advantage of them to have sex with. Nor advanced enough to be held accountable for their own legal actions.
To set it on some arbitrary number of years is a really bad system of measurement.

>> No.55013565

If you ever have him as not a player, ask for his help in creating a mystery.

or better yet, ask him to tell you an unsolved case. That way it's a real doozy, but if your players find an answer you might be able to play him back with a lead.

>> No.55013614

>generally speaking, not being able to do stuff is less fun than being able to do stuff
Which is why everybody hates Blue control.

>> No.55013653

Because it set up its casino so you can pretty much only get to it from a modern city. There are plenty of table games trending towards the more modern patrons. There will also be older games but I doubt any of my players will have much interest. Beyond that in the universe fae aren't all ancient, in fact I was planning on the owner of the casino to be at most 200 years old.

>> No.55013676

During my highschool years I participated in a game that had as many as twenty people at once. It took him a year to figure out that he should split players into groups.

>> No.55013763

I'm a little afraid of sounding condescending. There aren't a lot of players where I live and I don't want to alienate anyone salvageable.

>> No.55013802

Wait, why can't he make a character with obvious political commentary? Do you suspect he is trying to tick off other players?

>> No.55013814

was he playing it westmarches style?

If so seems fine to me. Now all 2 at once with no second GM, that would be a bit insane. My group tried to do 10 once and it dies in the first 30 minutes due to sheer coordination frustration.

>> No.55013854

I'm fairly new to 5e, and still trying to adjust to the differences between it and 3.5e. I didn't like Proficiency bonuses at first, but it seems to make more sense then basing skill points on Intelligence, for example.

>> No.55013893

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55014041

You truly are the wisest wizard cat.

>> No.55014061

You shouldn't design the story based around how the PCs succeed. It's extremely hard to get out of the habit of trying to push them into your particular story instead of letting them tell their own. What's much better is designing the story of how they fail - or, rather, how the story went bad because they never existed. Figure out how the villains win, or the cataclysm lay waste to the region - how everyone fails to stop the worst from coming to pass. Then, unless the PCs intervene somehow, that's the story you tell. It only changes when they change it.

>> No.55014100

Yeah, I didn't want to specify in case it sparked off-topic discussion. Whenever I see people making characters that have political commentary, they do it with all the subtlety of an eighteeen-wheeler painted neon yellow blaring Move Bitch at full blast.

>> No.55014141

This is a good idea, if only because random treasure means you won't just give your PCs things you think they'd like. It's much more fun to give them something weird and see how they use it than just giving them a bigger Hammer.
You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55014145

You truly are the wisest, wizard cat.

>> No.55014211

Out of curiosity, why does this actually matter?

>> No.55014261

Hello strawman.
Really its more about
"Im going to jump off the bar and swing across on chandelier"
"No. Its too high to jump/ there isnt a chandelier / it wont support your weight"
OR things like
"im going to go for a called shot to shoot the knife out of his hands so he can't kill the girl"
"The system can't handle that. You can shoot him, if you do 20 damage he will die before he stabs her"

>> No.55014329


Because some players will metagame if they see you rolling dice when they try to talk to certain NPCs. They figure that if you are rolling then there must be some DC gate they just have to pass to get something important.

Having them not know that you are rolling deception etc makes it slightly more realistic, in theory of course.

>> No.55014358

Not a strawman. See >>55013028

pls reed thred b4 post

>> No.55014364

Dont just make trolls no longer weak vs fire and acid. This is weak sause, its not clever to turn around and say
>"Hes HEALS from fire now"
If you want to do somthing like that, take the troll stats, scrub off the name troll and call it somthing like a Bergale.
If you start messing around with cannon facts it draws people out of the game.

>> No.55014378

This is why I roll dice idly whenever I play in meatspace. Sometimes I roll dice and go "hmmm".

>> No.55014421

All twenty at once. We pulled every desk in the clubroom into a single longtable and we'd go one by one down the line for each person's turn during combats. Outside of combat it was a free-for-all. Despite all this we all more or less got to do what we wanted and had fun. What I would give for those days.

>> No.55014462

sounds like a fuckin mess

>> No.55014477

no u rong

>> No.55014499

You truly are the wisest wizard cat.

>> No.55014532

3(.5) is actually the only edition with skill points.
The rest are all yes/no proficiency.

BAB is also 3(.5) only, and more or less only served to make 3/4 BAB classes unable to hit.
Though the 4 core classes did have different THAC0 progression, so you could cite that I guess.
Letting everything be able to hit equally accurately, and just some things hit more often is a way better system, in my opinion. Glad they kept it from 4.

>> No.55014551

How long did things take?
Also, what edition? That matters on how efficient y'all were.

>> No.55014677
File: 7 KB, 180x137, Ramsay_and_yara.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

>mfw 20 good men

>> No.55014698

Given we're back to having 6 saves though, I do sort of wonder if they'd have been better going back to using Poison/Death, Implement, Transmutation, Breath, and Spell.
Because at least that way half the saves wouldn't have been useless 90% of the time.

>> No.55014926

not to bother but what game is that in pic?

>> No.55014952

This was all years ago so I might be fuzzy on the details. The books we had were for AD&D, but the DM never actually read them. He was DMing based off of what he was told of the rules from when he was a player in another group with a bunch of old guys, so he misunderstood or made up a lot of rules, but we never noticed because we were all stupid and didn't give a shit except to have fun. We cleared a dungeon of cultists, cleaved our way through a city full of zombies, traveled overland and oversea as diplomats to unite two nations against the demonic invasion, and delved into a demonic maze to defeat a fallen angel, a doll, and the headless horseman. This was all done in about a year. We an hour to play every other week.

>> No.55015020

In the 2e days my DM would roll behind a screen for any situation the players called into question, regardless of whether it was rollworthy or not. If the player asked whether someone was telling the truth, the DM would roll against party Intelligence whether the NPC was lying or not. But if the party didn't say anything, he would play it up to the point where a player took action that could be based on the lie. If the roll favored the player, he would say, "the more you think about it, the more you think he was lying when he said such and such and you should investigate further". And we were completely unprepared when that happened.

>> No.55015058

Man, how did they ever mess up that bad is what I want to know. 2e gets railed for not being playtested, 2.5 splatbooks get an evil rep for all the unbalanced shit, 3.0 arrives on the scene with the bag of rats craziness, they swear they will fix it, and we get this. How

>> No.55015128

This is best, despite all the shitty troll responses to it.

I'd like to add these more broad levels of "yes."

"Yes, and..."
"Yes, but..."
"No, but..."
"You can try..."
"You can try. Are you sure?"
"We're playing X, not Y. You should try something more appropriate."

>> No.55015141

"You truly are the wisest wizard cat"

>> No.55015192


Arc the Lad 2

>> No.55015554

But why is that a problem? Generally, you're not going to have the NPC lie unless they're trying to conceal information from the PCs. And generally, you don't want that information to be concealed forever. So why is it a big deal if they become suspicious after you roll the dice? It's not like they can immediately validate their suspicions; they already failed the roll.

I don't know, I feel like a lot of times DMs just care about metagaming because someone told them they should rather than because it's disruptive to the game.

>> No.55015748

When our DM used to threaten us about metagaming, I literally had no idea how to comply. I I was relying on using information from outside the game to move and act within the game, yet I wasn't supposed to use information from outside the game to win the game.

>> No.55015789

I envy your experiences. Some people will throw themselves headlong into any problem because they feel that "There is nothing that the GM would not let us win. It's a game, after all."

A good player will look at a chasm with a lever on the other side and think "how do I reach that?" A metagamer will think "What did the GM hide that will let me solve this?"

>> No.55016170

This is what I came in here to post, but I would change "Never 'No'" to "Always consider 'Yes', first"

Of course it's okay to say "No" sometimes, if what the player suggests is seriously bad for the game. Just don't default to "No" just because it wasn't part of your original idea.

>> No.55016902

I still haven't done it yet but make a dice tower before each game (roll on a dice generator online, print it and hide behind your gm screen) use these roll for every roll or if you like to roll the dice on the moment just use these dice for some of the player "passive" skill without them even knowing you roll stuff for them, by passive skill I mean things like perception, understanding an ancient book, ect...
I'm using that because if I ever say "roll perception" the player will know that something is off and will probably OOC search for something even if his character have no reason to do that
But don't use these rolls to entierly replace your players agency, they are only to be used for very specific opportunities

>> No.55017026

Always have a session 0 to establish the game. Be it the setting, tone, or first dungeon, it is better that your players know what to expect from you and vise versa

>> No.55017149

For the first time in a long while, 5e was playtested to heck and back.
There are still a few issues, core beastmaster ranger was really underwhelming, but they released a fix which is fine.

4rries still hate it because it's not "muh perfect balance" but it's far and away better than 3.5 in that regard, and won't really come up unless you have a player actively trying to break everything by multiclassing six times, 4 of them Unearthed Arcana classes still under playtesting. Since most hinge on 1-2 level dips, just rule multiclassing has to be done in equal measures.

if memory serves, Dungeon World is built very heavily on the "yes, but" mindset.

>not saying roll perception / sense motive / etc when there's nothing there just to make them paranoid.

>> No.55017157

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55017636

I once had a young girl 11/12 I guess played at a game I ran, she was with her mom and she got the rules pretty quickly, though she was kind of shy as it was the first time she was playing ttrpg, not allowing kids for the reason they are kids would be stupid. (Though don't invite kid to your erp games that would be rather incorrect)

>> No.55017656

>>>not saying roll perception / sense motive / etc when there's nothing there just to make them paranoid.

Oh I often do that to keep them on edge but I plan on doing both things in future games

>> No.55017780
File: 22 KB, 480x480, My reply.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]


>> No.55019103


Im actually pretty sure you suffer from low-grade autism. Not even joking.

>> No.55019294

But there *is* risk involved, your lockpick might get stuck and snap in two. That's what rolling 1 simulates.

>> No.55019571

Here's a quick question from a newb DM. There is this one player in my group who always tries to get into trouble/looks for stupid deaths. For example, if the party has met some neutral faction or a future friendly faction, this player always starts a fight that's going to get them killed. Even the other players get mad at them for fucking up the story, but she's a good friend of us and that's why nobody wants her to quit. She does pull her decisions back after a good 5-10 minutes of arguing, but I'm looking for good ways to get her to stop.

>> No.55019573

>Next week on DM Detective!

>> No.55019720

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55019822

Ask them why they are doing it.
Generally, players do shit like that because they are "bored", but it's inexcusable when it is bringing down the fun of everyone else.
Politely and privately tell her that while everyone wants her to be there and have fun, those kinds of antics bring down the fun of everyone else, and that isn't cool to do to your friends.
Have more npcs directly engage their pc, get them involved or at least noticed, bait the player in.
Describe said player, look for trends.

>> No.55020331

I have had infinitely more success keeping players entertained with a couple things:
>holy trinity party composition is shit
No way around it: it's shit and limiting. Let players make a character they want and care about. When someone says "oh, well we don't have a healer. Guess I'll switch", then they arent invested in more then a sheet of paper with numbers. I had a group with no healers and all weak combatants. Every fight was deadly and had to be outsmarted rather then out rolled, and everyone loved the sense of danger.
>magical items are interesting, but rare and not a stat boost
By this I mean a sword of +1 and shit don't exsist, but a paint brush that is essentially a photoshop paint tool leads to much better creativity and and less need for specific spells/classes/ect. Making them rare gives excitement and appreciation for even small events. I had one DM who would literally dump gold and items on us at least 4 times a session for mundane shit to the point where we were using them as explosives. I waited 3 months for my group to find a bag of holding and the look of awe on their faces was golden. It was the object of wonder and desire to them since they had to work for it and spent so long without "comfort items", we're now trained to use things creatively due to prior magic items nit just effecting dice rolls.
>set the world on auto pilot, let the players write the story
Mold your ideas around what the players are doing. It's not a dick suckling contest, but fate is following these guys around for a reason. Have events happening in your world wether they interfere or not, and let them, following short and long term goals, bumble into it for a suprize plot hook that furthers their ends as well.

I could go on but those are a couple things I feel have helpped immensely at making it fUn for myself and my party.

>> No.55021130


You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55021257

Just take the dice poker rules from the first two Witcher game, it should work pretty well and you only need d6

>> No.55021337

Yeah, that's pretty frustrating. It's also not too difficult to cure, though. You just need to start making the metagame work for you. E.g., do a multi-level dungeon, have a way to sneak into level two early on, and then have an encounter which they barely survive. The metagame logic is now "we must have gone into an area we're not supposed to be in yet." Or give them a puzzle they can't solve, with a time constraint that keeps them from trying forever, then later have them find a solution. After a while, they'll start thinking using Metroidvania logic rather than platformer logic.

>> No.55021389

When the players do something you don't like, flip through your notebook. Look at a page for a while, then roll a dice. Write down the result in your notes, and then continue the game as normal.

Works every time.

>> No.55021781

Can confirm. I have curbed game breaking behaviors by embracing the butterfly effect.
>lol I rape the villager and set his house on fire
>19 sessions pass
>we are here to receive our reward from the king for slaying the dragon!
>like hell you are. We heard about what happend on out farmers hovel. Seize the rapist and arson and put him to trial

Consequences are steady, but regret is forever.

>> No.55023421

It really needs to be defined. The GM doesn't usually come out and tell you what he wants out of the game. But if he doesn't get what he wants, or eventually you run out of GMs and there won't be another game. I see GMs post here regularly about my players are too dumb/ too smart/ too reckless/ too timid. There's no rhyme or reason to it, so how do you know when you've crossed the line?

>> No.55023756

I've figured out how to Pavlovian train my players to roleplay. Finally, after all this time. Here's how.

Instead of asking.
>Ok, what do YOU do?

I ask,
>Ok, what does (Character Name) do?

It took some time, but eventually my players finally started to understand they could make decisions that disaligned with their own beliefs.

>> No.55023911
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>> No.55024091

It means repeating the same action to elicit a specific response, eventually training a person to accept the initial action or set of variables related to it as a condition to the response.

In this case, asking what "Character" wants to do instead of what "Player" wants to do causes cognitive dissonance between the player and his character, dissociating the person themselves from the role, even if temporarily. Done often enough and with the right timing, players will slowly start thinking in character without needing to be prompted.

Obviously there's a great deal more nuance to that, but calling it pavlovian isn't necessarily wrong. The biggest issue is when you use nicknames far too often to start with, and the brain is used to the disconnect.

>> No.55024628

Two words; collective hitpoints.

If the fighter hits the 4HP goblin for 12 damage, he kills three goblins. If this is narratively impossible the other goblins either freak out and run for it or they are killed on the next attack where it makes sense.

>> No.55024745

purely anecdotal, but in my experiences, the sillier the character, the more competent the person behind it

>player that plays cowardly dragonborn bard is always the first person to come up with diplomatic options and solves my puzzles before anyone else
>joking memester is usually the most resourceful player
>non-memorable characters just kinda treated it as a video game, didn't really talk to many NPCs and just fought random encounters
>player plays a mysterious, completely serious warlock. never casted a single spell besides his cantrips and i'd argue his actions led to the party almost getting TPK'd

>> No.55025908

When do you use this method? Sounds integrating senpai.

>> No.55026272

As a GM, do you like roleplaying the NPCs?

>> No.55026420

I love my player's silly characters, roleplay is so boring when everyone is dark and brooding batman style.

>> No.55026997

Not him but I use pretty much the same thing when the players are dealing with chaff enemies like goblins past level 1 or 2. If you are fighting a team of vampires or demons or whatever I won't use collective HP and I only use it when it makes sense (if there are two goblins left 30 feet away from each other the fighter won't kill them both with one sword swing). I don't use the overkill mechanic when it comes to enemies fleeing, instead I tend to give the enemies wisdom saving throws with bonuses and malluses as they start taking losses. A group of 40 enemies have lost 5 guys? Roll wisdom saving throws with advantage and an extra +2 if they fail they retreat. Down 10 guys? Just advantage. Down 20 guys? Normal saving throw. Down 30 guys? Disadvantage. Down 35+ guys? Disadvantage and +(number remaining-5). So once the enemies start taking losses they will start to peel off in greater numbers, very very rarely will the enemies make a last stand.

Personally I enjoy having my players fight mobs of weak enemies and they seem to enjoy the massive kill counts they get and the multikills both make players feel more useful, keeps fighters from being completely outclassed by AOE casters against mobs, and speeds up combat so they don't spend an hour killing a group of 40 goblins.

>> No.55030267

I like to use morale in my games, especially for magic user foes. I choose some of their spells to facilitate an escape, and often have them retreat a few times before letting the party kill them off. That way the party clues know some of what to expect, and the party mongos just enjoy killing him that much more because it was denied them twice.

>> No.55032037

Too bad this thread is on its way out, I enjoyed it.

>> No.55032984

>a way to handle mildly dysfunctional people

Yes. Stop inviting them to roleplaying games and make it clear you don't want to roleplay with them, though you may still enjoy their company in other contexts if you choose.

If it's a new player whose gaming habits are still malleable, you can try to help them find more productive ways to reach whatever mental need they're trying to satisfy with their behavior. This won't work on a player who is very stubborn or very experienced, as their bad habits are locked in at that point and are extremely difficult to dislodge. It also takes patience, time, and a specific attitude (i.e. teaching roleplaying etiquette the same way you teach a game rule) which you may or may not wish to put forward. It basically amounts to socializing your player into compliance with the unwritten principles of roleplaying etiquette. If you have other misbehaving players who reinforce bad behaviors, that can make it very difficult to achieve progress, since those other players, intentionally or not, are socializing the new guy toward misbehavior.

I only recommend attempting this kind of teaching on players who are both inexperienced (as their habits may still be changed with time, particularly if they see you as a mentor), and possess desirable traits such as creativity, tits, relevant specialized knowledge (i.e. engineering, chemistry, warfare, renfair, etc), deep knowledge of source material, or raw intellect.

>> No.55033146

>"im going to go for a called shot to shoot the knife out of his hands so he can't kill the girl"
>"The system can't handle that"

Play a better game, like One Roll Engine/Wild Talents.

D&D 5e can also do it; the rules for disarm are in the DMG and permit ranged disarms. Even the core book for Shadowrun 5e, despite being a complete train-wreck of a ruleset, lists it as the very first example of a called shot. I 'm not even sure what poor excuse for a roleplaying game can't handle such a maneuver.

>> No.55033241
File: 40 KB, 532x343, 1495745995989.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

you truly are the wisest wizard, cat

>> No.55033678


>> No.55034330

You are truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55034391

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55035223

>is immediately shutting down the game at the first sign of "metagaming" really the best strategy?
Protip: Metagaming is inevitable, unavoidable, and sometimes beneficial, like when the Players find excuses to stick together, not split the party, and take the plothook.
It's really easy to have too much metagaming, so avoiding it is still generally a good practice though.

>Can the game be salvaged?
Games can be salvaged.
Some players or groups cannot, but I tend to try to hold groups together for as long as possible, because if they weren't at one time worth keeping, I wouldn't be gaming with them in the first place.

>Are you really willing to throw away all your preparation?
Like anon said, nothing is ever really thrown away.

>> No.55035261

>if we actually found some pie-in-the-sky way to objectively measure maturity.
How about understanding and accepting that they have to wait until they are the legal age of consent before engaging in sex?
That sounds pretty mature to me.

>> No.55037662

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55038410
File: 55 KB, 450x600, 1503074127927.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55039196

You seem to be using the word 'dysfunctional' in a different way than I'm using it. I don't mean a player bent on wrecking the game no matter what. I mean someone who has anxiety problems, or a naturally suspicious person, or a depressed person. The standing advice seems to say to never play with these people, which I do not like. Because I myself am mildly dysfunctional, yet I still want to play in good faith. That's why I think rolling in secret is awful- I've been burned by bad GMs showing favoritism, so I can't help but be aware that it happens.

>> No.55039212

Well, the maps and encounters are reusable, but the character creation work you've done with the players is thrown away.

>> No.55039338

I like the idea.

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55039351

What game on the screen?

>> No.55039402

Your actual issue is that you do not trust GMs because of bad apples in the past.

>> No.55039508

I see what you mean.

I wouldn't know how to deal with it, but I can offer encouragement: A few roleplayers I know are perfectly well-behaved and capable, yet have mental issues like depression, insomnia, asperger's, anxiety, and attention disorders. That said, they all are intelligent and functional enough to carry out their day-to-day responsibilities, so I'm not sure how much similarity there is to your situation.

Also this guy >>55039402 is right. You just need to shop around and find a good GM. Be discerning and don't compromise your standards out of desperation. It's better to not play a game than to be in a bad one. Look for personal referrals if possible.

>> No.55039564
File: 27 KB, 600x337, 1498669401900.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55039589

You truly are the wisest wizard cat.

>> No.55039630

Stealing is great, but I have a challenge with not making it seem tacked on sometimes.
You are truly the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55039749
File: 947 KB, 1280x720, wp_ss_20161229_0001.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]


Class of Heroes 2G

>pic unrelated

>> No.55039805

Maybe this is a meaningless technicality, but I don't believe that most of these people are "bad" and that I just need to find a "good" GM. I think that people just don't understand each other, so they dismiss the other person as "bad" rather than try to understand. If everyone did that, there wouldn't be any games. And that's how it was in my town not too long ago. When the FLGS had the DnD launch event at their store, they invited people to play. But everyone stood on the wall and watched, because they were socially inept geeks who were afraid of making gaffes amid new people. I don't think these people are all unsalvageable, because I am one of them. I took the risk and played at that event, but I'd be lying if I said I was comfortable doing it, especially with everyone watching me.

People are defending rolling in secret because that's what they do, but that does not mean there isn't a better way. To dismiss people who disagree with doing that as being "immature" or "bad" is really just a way of defending to one's self their own way of doing things, and I happen to think that is dysfunctional in its own way.

>> No.55039887

"You truly are the wisest wizard cat"

>> No.55040007

One I figured out recently: you don't wanna just pull loot from lists in your rulebook, and you don't want to make up every item yourself. Make the concept up yourself, complete with nifty backstory and a unique quality or two, then fit it to stats already in the game. Alternatively, add a few of your own quirks to a premade item.

Also, history history history. The history of an item, area or monster can help you make it aesthetically, mechanically and narratively interesting. It particularly helps inspire me when I decide what a place was used for, how it was used, and by whom.

One I stole: If you're spending more time prepping something than your players are playing it, you're doing something wrong. Rooms don't need to be three and four paragraph affairs: try to keep the contents of any given chamber to a few sentences. Obviously puzzles and particularly large or complex rooms can transcend this, but those can be used sparingly to save your sanity.

>> No.55040156

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55040160

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55040230
File: 44 KB, 787x523, 1503002215769.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

>that does not mean there isn't a better way
You undermine your entire argument with this line, because rather than accepting and stating that rolling behind the screen is simply one of many methods in a GM's handbook, you decry it as an inferior option.
After you make a long-winded post about not stating something is good or bad.
Where your argument fails is that, yes, bad GMs exist, ones who do not promote fun, trust, and cohesiveness, who believe their belligerence is the rule of law, who view the players as enemies to be brought low, who can't communicate like a rational adult to other rational adults.
As I said before, you need to trust your GM that he is, at all times, doing right by you and is putting his best effort to providing a good time for you, his player. If you implicitly trust your GM, it doesn't matter if they roll behind a screen, or on an app, or pre-rolled everyfuckingthing beforehand the week before, because you have faith that whatever their method, they have you and your good time as their primary objective.
That trust is a two way street, however, and as a GM, when someone decries my personal methods of running games when I'm busting my ass and burning oil till 4am 3 nights a week to provide 2-6 hours of good time for you out of a misapplied sense of distrust, I hold the right to tell you to deal with it or find another table, because questioning an adult's honesty and integrity is generally a massive insult for many, in many cultures.
Trust me to do right, I trust you to do right, and we all have fun. Do not? Fuck off.

>> No.55040311

I think rolling behind a screen is a bad method, but it's true that I don't know if there is a better one. I believe people can be given the benefit of the doubt, but methods should not be.

>> No.55040913

So your GM is doing things that violate your trust, but you want to somehow make things okay and keep playing with the guy?

That's unlikely. Changing your GM's behavior from a player's seat is difficult at best. You can certainly try helping him improve, but I still think looking for another GM is the better option here.

>> No.55040930

You truly are the wisest wizard cat.

With advice like that, at least.

>> No.55041034

If you have problems with the GM, talk to them about it.
That said, you already stated you have problems trusting ANY GM, so you may need to rethink your position, because that trust is mightily important on both sides.

>> No.55041412

I started this trend of giving everyone at the table a single chance to initiate a "Secret Questline' if they manage to succeed on the highest number on a dice roll. Only rules are
>You're only allowed one Secret Questline die per session
>Goes up in increments as events happen (d4, d6, d8, d10, etc)
Mine pulls from our previous campaign with our PCs all Demigod-tier and scare the shit out of the current PCs for, say, forcing them to go to the Nine Hells for a quick scene. It's also hilarious as fuck to see the one veteran in our group shit his pants every time cause it's all ridiculous shit. You can structure it however you please, but my whole table loves the idea.

>> No.55041488

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55041954

Somehow people saw this conversation to read that I am in a game with a bad GM and cannot deal with it. That is not the situation and it has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the method of rolling secretly. I think it's a bad method because it kills the information about whether a player performed an action well or not. I don't think anyone is stupid for suggesting it; after all, almost everyone has done it. I just think these rolls can be rolled openly if the nature of the ability is changed.

>> No.55041979

For example, let's pretend the player wants to try to find out whether a captured bandit is lying. This is a case where the DM might roll secretly to hide whether the bandit is in fact lying.

Since everyone here is familiar with d20, let's assume the player would want a roll with his "detect lie" skill bonuses against a DC. Well what does he do when he tries to detect the lie? He asks slightly different questions toward the same information, and very carefully observes the bandit's facial expressions and tone of voice. A good random result would indicate that he detects betraying involuntary reactions or inconsistencies in answers, or he unmasks fake reactions. But what would a poor random result indicate? Well the book says he can't tell. But can he tell whether his questioning is with it? Can he can tell whether his observation skills are sharp? If he can't, can other party members tell whether his questioning was solid?

If he can tell, that means he can know whether he performed well or poorly. If he knows he performed well but still did not detect a lie, then the party knows this is not a fruitful avenue of action and can find another course. Why it wasn't fruitful- whether an extremely smooth liar or no lie to be found- is irrelevant.

If he knows he performed poorly, he should not be allowed to roll again. The reason he failed to perform well has nothing to do with the bandit, because the bandit is -static-. That means it must have to with himself. Maybe he's not in the proper frame of mind to ask questions, maybe he's tired, maybe his mind keeps wandering. Another PC might be given the chance to roll.

But all of these rolls can be made in the open without divulging the secret of whether a lie is present or not.

It is the test that is bogus, and needs to be changed. The roll is not to determine "is there a lie" or "is there a secret door", the roll is to determine "how good are you at detecting lies at this moment".

>> No.55042094
File: 132 KB, 500x860, immunitydog.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

Begone capricious feline.

>> No.55042121

Even better, sometimes you can make a mystery that's just a plot hole. Your players will patch it up and you should run from there.

>> No.55042187

depends on the NPC.
they seem to think that every NPC would give meaningful information, and would end up asking literally everyone for a sidequest, and 90% of my NPCs are just confused townsfolk

silly characters are fun, i just don't know what to do when GMing a 5e campaign where a player is bored out of his mind because he runs away from every combat.

>> No.55042309

>Not having children solely to play your campaigns because you repulse regular players

>> No.55042331

For me, 5 is the groan point. 4 is ideal.

>> No.55042515

A lot of people in this thread have mentioned something like this already but I wanna expand on it just a bit.

I find it best when NPC's (or PC's in other games you play), are simple enough that they leave a very clear impression within a few minutes of them, but also have enough depth to circumvent some of what the players might believe about them. I'm not good at articulating so I'll expand.

They meet a Dwarf who's part of the city council. He's a crotchety middle aged Dwarf, and might be easily offend-able. This leaves a really clear character impression of, "That irritable Dwarf on the council", but later, you can maybe reveal WHY he's that way. Maybe you reveal he has a soft spot for his family, and he's just uptight because he likes to get stuff done on the council and make the world a better place for his children.

Anyways, this is just how MY players have best connected with my NPC's.

>> No.55042833

>If your players are fond of taking long rests in hostile territory, roll a d20 for every hour they sleep. On a 1, the party is attacked by a minor or moderate threat that disturbs their rest. This way their rest is disturbed by chance and not DM fiat.

So literally roll a random encounter, except with none of the nuisance present in a mechanic present during the genesis of the hobby.

Damn that's clever.

>> No.55042980

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55044062

Don't be afraid to tweak, bend or break the rules of the game you're running if it'll be more fun that way.

>> No.55044218


You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55045180

We had this in a Black Crusade meets Rogue Trader campaign.

It started oout on the crew of an asshole warlord whom pooled together resources and favours to get a ship of their own and all the supplies to run it. Obviously Warlord won't be happy that some of his best crew are becoming new rivals, so would rather they die than manage it. Luckily he has no idea. The Warlords ship is docked at a large space port in the screaming vortex unknowing that three docks over their ship is almost ready.

1) Complete their normal duties so that the Warlord doesn't get suspicious. Each player had one minor objective.
2) Ensure that their own private ship a few docks over is up and running and ready to leave.
3) Obtain a few swarthy officers, the ship still needs at least a Doctor, a Troop officer, a Bosun and a Engineer. These are roles that require utmost attention and cannot be handled by the players.
4) Complete any personal objectives at port if possible. Each player had one minor objective.
5) Escape with your ship.

There were about 2 choices for each role, and 3 others they could potentially get on their team. For example someone who is knowledgable enough to make a superb quartermaster with the skills to make interpersonal relationships with businesspartners, there was a famous smuggler on planet who had been caught and imprisoned, and the ships current quartermaster who was a disgruntled with the job and would be interested in a change.

However, one of the players had the job to Assassinate the smuggler despite the players being interested in hiring him.

For the Doctor, there was a xenobioligist awaiting a delivery from the warlord, a dozen tyrannid hormagaunts seperated from the hivemind and captured. This was one of the PCs jobs to ensure the deal goes smoothly. Another PC however, had an objective to sabotage the warlords ship in some petty, vengeful way and decided the best way was to "Accidentally" release the guants.

>> No.55045375

You are truly the wisest wizard cat.

Can you tell me how to successfully bitch to the DM about a full half of the party?

>> No.55045676

Handwrite a letter in elven script.

>> No.55045924

One, take him aside in private. Out for drinks or coffee or something like that. Two, couch your complaints in statements beginning with "I feel..." or "I think...", as opposed to flat-out attacking somebody else's behavior. Three, if it seems like half the table is That Guy, reflect inwardly and consider the possibility that YOU might be the one who doesn't mesh well with others.

>> No.55046029

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55046223

"You truly are the wisest wizard cat"

>> No.55046244

I was going to include a pair of Half-Red-Dragon Troll brutes as part of a red dragons minions, the two sons of a Dragon who wanted to see if the natural immunities of a red dragon against fire would overcome the trolls vulnerability to flame. It does, meaning that they resist fire and only acid prevents them from regenerating.

Is this a clever point that the players can learn about if they do any investigation to the dragons forces or lair before hand, or just a DM meme that will frustrate the players who didn't have acid on hand at that exact moment.

>> No.55046415

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55047795

Depends: do your players hate thinking and expect to win every combat with just die rolls?

>> No.55048938
File: 18 KB, 400x400, C8eDD83UwAEhnzZ.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55049142

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55049949

You are truly the wisest wizard cat.

>> No.55050048
File: 50 KB, 675x547, 1501801674884.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

You truly are the wisest wizard cat.

>> No.55050654

There's nothing wrong with railroading.

I know, this sort of advice flies right in the face of all those worthless "quantum ogre" tips you read, some that are in this very thread.

Most people don't really care about so-called "player freedom" and in the overwhelming majority of cases it supposedly occurs, they're just fucking with the DM. Having guidance and being told what to expect is very helpful for players so that their characters can react as appropriate. It's downright irresponsible as a GM to force the act of action on them to boot.

Do you want to have alternate tracks prepared for the player? Go ahead, there's nothing wrong with that. Just make sure it's significantly different from what you planned, or else you're wasting everyone's time.

>> No.55050917

I wouldn't go that far, but I would say that too much freedom in the face of player expectations can absolutely lead to them all bluescreening.

>> No.55050986

>too much freedom in the face of player expectations can absolutely lead to them all bluescreening.
This is true.

>There's nothing wrong with railroading.
>Most people don't really care about so-called "player freedom"
This is significantly less true.

>> No.55051195

Here here!
The key is understanding the difference between freedom and agency. You've got to make the players choices matter (why else do you have players eh?) without making them the only things that matter (because then why are they even doing things?).

>> No.55051546

You truly are the wisest wizard cat!

>> No.55054585

>'But only if you say "You truly are the wisest wizard cat!"'

How many of you posters actually *said* it in addition to posting it?
What good is having the wisest wizard cat if you don't listen carefully to their words of wisdom?
The unwise among you may have just earned your cursed fate.

>> No.55055574

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55055649

You truly are the wisest wizard cat.
But yeah, pretty much this.

>> No.55057575

>I wasn't supposed to use information from outside the game to win the game.
>win the game

You don't 'win' in RPGs. You can overcome challenges and experience defeat or success, but you don't 'win'. The rules aren't there to exploit so you'll win, they are a translation of the in-game actions that the GM and the group agreed on.

The GM isn't there to be defeated, the fellow players aren't your opponents. The dice and monster stats aren't there to be studied so can get gaming skills and experience. Your character isn't just a bunch of numbers on a sheet flapping his gums via your own brain. It's a separate person who has grown up in a world different from reality. It knows things that you don't. It can do things that you can't.

I finally get why meta-gamers exist. They actually think they need to 'win' the game and stay safe instead of playing the adventure as an adventurer.

>> No.55057665

When your player wants to introduce rules themselves
>can i drop the molotov without a skillcheck and also not get hurt because reasons?
ignore them

Be as engaging as possible, when players are bored, introduce interesting npcs

Don't leave them without a lead

Make lots of notes and have some way to remember what happened last session

>> No.55057840


You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55057959

Not only did I say it, I said it again aloud in Moe Szyslak's voice after seeing that post

>> No.55058357

"You truly are the wisest wizard cat"

>> No.55060941

You are truly the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55063225

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55064351

If you are high enough away from the target, i'd allow that.

For example, in a siege situation, this would be perfectly normal.

>> No.55067141

>Nat 1 matters on skill checks

>> No.55067303

Common misconception, assuming you are talking most DnD systems, nat 1's are not automatic fails. Skill checks do not crit or crit fail.

>> No.55068810
File: 29 KB, 361x402, yay.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]


>> No.55070899

Here's my take on the issue.
1. Have you trained your players to consider scouting/investigation as a viable tactic? If they've never done it before, or if investigation has only cost them time with no benefits, it's unfair to expect them to suddenly decide to investigate this specific enemy's forces.

Ideally, whether to investigate or not should be a meaningful choice, and you should deliver appropriate hints to indicate risk vs. reward in this particular case. (Do they have plenty of time? Does the dragon know they're coming? etc.)

2. If the players don't investigate (and thus don't bring acid), or bring acid and then run out, do you think the encounter will still be interesting? Are there opportunities to turn a slow TPK-through-attrition into an exciting chase/escape sequence? To sneak past the dragon-trolls? To negate the threat they pose without combat (by trapping them for example)? Include hints to alternative methods if you feel like it's appropriate.

To conclude: If you have trained your players to investigate things, go for it, just give them an out in case they run out of acid or forget to bring any. If you haven't, hint that they should investigate, and make the "dragon troll escape/trap/stealth section" the default encounter, with acid being an easy, "bonus" alternate way for smart players to bypass the fight.

>> No.55070986

>You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55072799

Yeah, but that 10% chance of something crazy good or crazy bad happening is fun for a lot of people. My group uses crits on skill checks in our games, and I think it adds to the experience.

>> No.55074068

>You don't 'win' in RPGs.
I keep seeing this, it's a complete departure from the old style. Say what you want, but Gary's dungeons were made to be bested, and that's why they are revered today. And as for metagaming, someone who battles monsters on a regular basis totally would analyze and read up on their abilities and methods, precisely for the purposes of gaining skill and experience. He'd be a fool not to. I'm not defending breaking the game, for example by sneaking peeks behind the GM's screen when he's in the john. That's ridiculous. But saying "you can't know that trolls regenerate, that's metagaming" is equally ridiculous. If trolls are as common as they are in adventures, you can bet their trademark ability is as common as that in myths passed around, and I shouldn't need an INT roll to determine whether I know it or not.

I was in a forum game once where the boilerplate stated that if we did anything metagamey he would bring in a mind flayer. He never defined what he considered to be out of bounds, and when I asked him, he didn't even know. How am I supposed to abide by a rule that no one knows the bounds for? And for this I am called autistic. Try cleaning the shit from thine own butt before reaching for mine.

>> No.55074972

>Gary's dungeons were made to be bested
What part of 'overcoming challenges' didn't you get?

>If trolls are as common as they are in adventures, you can bet their trademark ability is as common as that in myths passed around, and I shouldn't need an INT roll to determine whether I know it or not.

Who says they are? In what setting is your character adventuring? How is it that your previous character knows a lot and this new character knows even more? This is another meta-gamer flaw: assumptions. You're making assumptions that make it easier for you to 'win' the game. The moment you see something that is described as a troll but isn't, that's when you get angry because your assumption was wrong.

You actually want to avoid the chance to fail a knowledge check on how to beat a monster, because you can't stand to lose. Guess what: You don't need an INT check, you can figure things out for yourself. Skin scars from fire and acid burns, it scars because it doesn't heal. THAT is why they don't regenerate. You can figure it out by trying new things, thinking as an adventurer instead of a player with a bunch of unreliable dice.

And then calling something ridiculous because of another assumption. What myths? The ones you read on the internet? In pseudo medieval times, there is no internet! Go read the Monster Manual back to back, you'll just get pissed when there's a homebrew monster in front of your adventurer because you need to rely on that pesky INT check to know what it is.

You're not called autistic because you're confused by rules that you cannot work around. You're called autistic because you don't see the difference between reality and the setting. You just see the game as this dry rules system with objects and people that you need to manipulate in order to best it while staying within your comfort zone. You're afraid of challenges because you don't know how to handle them. You don't know how to handle them because you're afraid you might not 'win'.

>> No.55075481

You are truly the wisest wizard cat.

>> No.55078943

You truly are the wisest wizard cat

>> No.55079411
File: 80 KB, 640x480, driver.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]


There are many replies with text.
more of them should be accompanied by images.

They would not reduce the amount of text, and would help keep the mind awake and aware.

These long stretches of posts, with many words to say, that are unaccompanied by images leads to a state that kind of feels like highway hypnosis. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_hypnosis )
instead of losing awareness while at the controls of a moving vehicle and crashing,
I'm losing awareness and later catch myself and realize I've just been staring and realize I'd stopped reading a bit ago.

Does anyone else here ever experience that?

On a lesser note, images also make good mental reference points when you want to go back and re-read part of the thread you read earlier.

>> No.55079532

>Record your sessions. Listening to yourself GM really lets you see your strengths and weaknesses in a way you normally can't. Plus you can get hypercritical at yourself in a way nicer players won't.

This can also work for games you play with a group online that uses text instead of voice. (if you play via IRC then depepending on the IRC client you use you can set it to keep logs [i recommend making backup coppies of those logs because I lost nearly all the logs of the first game i was ever in, it ran for a year and a half, because my IRC client had some huge glitch and not only ruined itself and had be be reinstalled but also purged the folder it was storing logs in])

like earlier today when I was looking though the IC logs of today's session and realized that the way I had worded the intro post would give the players false expectations.

rip /3/

>> No.55079770

>Gary's dungeons were made to be bested
Scenarios or quests might have a "win condition" like saving the princess or returning with the McGuffin that means you succeeded in overcoming the challenge.

But what is the general win condition of D&D?
How do you win?

There is a difference between "success" and "winning".

>anon bitches about assumptions
>anon assumes so much they use the word "you" a couple dozen times.
Rank ass bait

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