Save My Game - New D&D article seeking your input!

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A new D&D column will be starting soon on the web, and we'd love to have your input on what situations you have encountered. It's called

Save My Game

Have you got a game situation that you don't know how to resolve? Has your campaign become unbalanced or stale? One or two players hogging the show?
Want some advice or inspiration? Tell us the situation and our expert DM will use the problems you present here to present answers in an upcoming web column series. While we can't promise personal answers to all questions, boards members are free to suggest solutions to each other, and who knows?

:D
yeah, i have a question. how much does the master DM get paid and can i be one? haha

seriously though, it sounds like a good idea, though i thought that was the purpose of these two (dm and player to do) boards were for. it seems most of the questions on this board have to do with newer or inexperienced dms running into the same problems over and over....a good way to do it may be to institute a "DM FAQ" that takes on a lot of these common problems, like metagaming and infighting, etc.

but since you're already making the board, it will cut down on these questions showing up in the DM and player boards, which will leave more room for idea sharing rather than problem solving
yeah, i have a question. how much does the master DM get paid and can i be one? haha

seriously though, it sounds like a good idea, though i thought that was the purpose of these two (dm and player to do) boards were for. it seems most of the questions on this board have to do with newer or inexperienced dms running into the same problems over and over....a good way to do it may be to institute a "DM FAQ" that takes on a lot of these common problems, like metagaming and infighting, etc.

but since you're already making the board, it will cut down on these questions showing up in the DM and player boards, which will leave more room for idea sharing rather than problem solving

Think of it like the Behind the Screen articles. Its something I look forward too.

Here is mine, I like to ad-lib, but of late the group I am with seems to have not gotten bit by the same bugs that I do, and so the ad-libbing is no longer fun. But when I plan things out, the stories feel cliche and boring. How do I avoid the cliche, plan enough out to make a memorable campaign, and still balance in my style of DMing?
Do a bit of both. You don't have to plan EVERYTHING, every reaction of every NPC and every encounter. The best advice I can give is for you to plan a framework for your adventure and let your PC's and you develop the actual storyline. If that makes sense
There was a foundation on the Foundation boards with that same purpose in mind, but it got shut down. It's up and running over on EN World though (check the link in my sig).
Perhaps should we separate this in two kinds of problems: in-game problems, and out-game problems.
In-game problems could be like: "I planned a plot I thought worth one year of game, and the PCs solved it in 2 hours of game!", or "I got a Total Party Kill when my 6th level PCs faced a single one-level kobold!"

Out-game problems could be like: "Player#2 keep on killing Player#3's character!", or "My players want to do an evil campaign, and I don't want to run it!"
Sounds like a good idea, Mel. What is the format for this column? Is the writer answering readers' questions (like Ann Landers for DMs)? Or does the writer just pick an appropriate topic and write about it?
yeah, i have a question. how much does the master DM get paid and can i be one? haha

seriously though, it sounds like a good idea, though i thought that was the purpose of these two (dm and player to do) boards were for. it seems most of the questions on this board have to do with newer or inexperienced dms running into the same problems over and over....a good way to do it may be to institute a "DM FAQ" that takes on a lot of these common problems, like metagaming and infighting, etc.

but since you're already making the board, it will cut down on these questions showing up in the DM and player boards, which will leave more room for idea sharing rather than problem solving

Perhaps you missed the "what's a DM to do FAQ" that is currently stickied right below this one?

Yaa I think the articles would be interesting, however I'm sure if the author of them were to scan this form and the player to do forum for help or SOS threads, s/he would find more then enough for a few articles. To save time I will highlight some of the more common problems that I keep seeing here.

1) Alignment: How do play lawful, choatic or evil with out being disruptive.

2) The paladins code: Mostly would action X violate the code.

3) My players can't focus/ are to busy playing video games to play D&D.

4) My players keep fighting each other/ bragging about there uber builds.

5) Player X is playing power build Y and I can't stop it! It ruining the game and dwarfing everyone else.

6) And of course is player X a munchkin, and if so what do I do about it.

EDIT: Can't believe I almost forgot about this one. The bain of all that is D&D, and probally the one thing that just won't ever die. The dreaded number 7) HOW DO I GET MY PLAYERS RO ROLE PLAY.

you may also want to look at how to deal with whinners, we do see a lot of those on here as well. But then a again an online article about how to say "NO" would seem kinda silly.

cheers
Ok, I am a very new DM and I just read the entire article about DM advice for new DM's... Well here is my dilema... One of my players is very very new, in fact he has only played 2 sessions total so far... I was wondering if there is anything I could do to encourage him to role play more and to metagame less? I am noticing in the sessions that my other player is dominating the session because he role plays and the other character stays silent and gets bored... My current campaign is a standard save the princess from the BBEG... Since I am very new to DMing I seem to be having trouble when I am planning because I really dont know what to plan... I plan out encounters and NPC's that the PC's might fight... The last two sessions went pretty well, but the second session resulted in 4 PC deaths due to really bad decisions on their part, however since I am DM I feel quite responcible for that happening... I do want to challenge the PC's especially the experianced one, while giving the inexperianced one some room to breathe so he can learn how to play the game, but I dont want to make it too easy on him and too hard on the other guy... I have been keeping the CR's slightly above their ECL to keep it challenging, but I try to not overwhelm them... As a PC I really enjoy those crazy narrow escapes, like the other day when I cut myself out of the belly of a black dragon just before I was digested... I believe that my PC's enjoy a hack and slash type of game but that just makes metagame come more naturally because of my one PC's lack of experiance... I also have trouble with descriptions, I know that the world I create is real but sometimes its hard to describe that to the PC's... Would added descriptions cause my PC's to be more interested in role playing? We are starting my new campaign this sunday so any feedback before then would be greatly appreciated :D Thanks a million and happy gaming :D
Wow Dear Abby for DMs, great idea.
There used to be a series of articles called "GameStoppers" which I found really helpful, and I was sorry you stopped publishing them. Some of the rules in the PHB and DMG are confusing, especially for a first time DM, or when munchkins are around. The "Game Stopper" series was good because it took a set of "problemtic" rules, and showed how they are to be used in a game. It was helpful to both DMs and players. Perhaps you should do something similar? (i.e. People raising a set of rules or problematic situation they encountered, and a course of action will be shown through a "real game")
A new D&D column will be starting soon on the web, and we'd love to have your input on what situations you have encountered. It's called

Save My Game

Have you got a game situation that you don't know how to resolve? Has your campaign become unbalanced or stale? One or two players hogging the show?
Want some advice or inspiration? Tell us the situation and our expert DM will use the problems you present here to present answers in an upcoming web column series. While we can't promise personal answers to all questions, boards members are free to suggest solutions to each other, and who knows?

:D

As to the classic problem Who me? There is the classic problem in all games of why exactly should our characters get off there fat behinds and adventure? Together?

Whilst this problem is one easily solved at low levels( for the money, only way to survive) it gets more problematic at mid levels (8-13) and almost unworkable at high (16 and up).

Any article could include sugestions for all 9 alignments at various levels.

That is probably already 27 headings and would make quite a major article in and of itself. The next step would be alignment interactions splitting a group. (By the way there is a great thread about a paladin and a hexblade at the moment splitting a party where it is clearly the bigoted paladins fault - great example of how assumptions can bite you)

Whilst there are threads about party suitability one of the most common problems seems to be parties not working.
Have you got a game situation that you don't know how to resolve? Has your campaign become unbalanced or stale? One or two players hogging the show?
Want some advice or inspiration? Tell us the situation and our expert DM will use the problems you present here to present answers in an upcoming web column series.

I don't need help, but this may prove beneficial to other DMs mired in moral issues (you asked for it):

My dilemma:

In one of my games that I am currently running, the PCs are arrayed as such:

1) A female paladin, level 16 age 40 Int: 8
2) A male wizard (NE) level 15 age 57
3) A male rouge/royal explorer (NG) level 15 age 30
4) A male monk/drunken master (LG) level 18 age 46

As a standing rule, my players are not allowed to divulge their alignments to each other out of character. So far, the wizard has everyone fooled into thinking he is a “good guy,” when in fact, he has been hired by the BBEG to “slow down the party using any means at your disposal, so long as you are not discovered.” Realizing that the party might revolt against me, the DM, if one after the other seemingly innocent misfortunes befell the party, (not to mention the party would likely find him out) the wizard bides his time and begins quietly researching an original spell that will have the potential to cause some serious and continuous headaches for his fellow PCs. And I have to hand it to him, this thing reads as if straight from The Book of Vile Darkness:

Immaculate Conception
Conjuration (Teleportation)
Level: Sor/Wiz 8
Components: V, S, M (material will remain anonymous)
Casting Time: 2 rounds
Range: Touch
Duration: Nine months
Target: One female
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

This spell causes one female of the caster’s race to become pregnant, provided the caster produced the spell’s components, and provided the target is physically capable of bearing children. The caster needs only to hold the spell components in one hand while touching the victim’s abdomen with the other and utter the verbal component of the spell. If the victim fails a fortitude save (DC 18 + caster’s int/cha modifier) she has a 30% chance to become pregnant, and she automatically becomes infected with any diseases with which the caster is currently infected. If she succeeds a fortitude save, the spell has no effect.


So the wizard sneaks up on the unsuspecting sleeping paladin and successfully casts the aforementioned spell. After about a month of game time (the party was on an extended sea-voyage) the paladin realizes that something is ‘not right,’ and, being of slightly less than average intelligence, automatically assumes that she is to give birth to her deity’s avatar. Ecstatic, she rushes to her home temple and gives her order the good news, and is promptly thrown out on her “whorish backside” for marring the temple’s good name. The drunken master is thrown into prison for ****. (He always was a dirty old man).

Undeterred, the paladin arranges a secret meeting with her childhood mentor, Brother Flavius, a high-level NPC cleric. Knowing the paladin’s extremely prude-natured character all too well, Flavius is persuaded to cast a commune spell to get to the bottom of this mystery. Upon the discovery that the pregnancy was brought about by arcane magic, the paladin is reinstated, the drunken master is released from prison, and the wizard is burnt at the stake. But there is a catch: this leaves the paladin pregnant, and unable to continue in the adventure, during which time the BBEG, un-foiled, may well destroy the world.

So she wants an abortion.

Before right then, I hadn’t considered this possibility, so thinking fast, I said, “That’s only legal for the certified wizards in Arucia (a kingdom with a monarch that was politically way off in left field).”
“So I want to go to Arucia and find a certified wizard”
“Well…. crap.”

Does having an in-game abortion constitute an evil act, and therefore cause a paladin to irrevocably lose her powers? Neither her temple's sacred creed/code of honor or bylaws speak to this issue. A paladin is supposed to adhere to the letter of the law, but what about when she leaves the jurisdiction to find a more liberal one?

My solution:

As for my solution, this is a situation that I would call a 'toss up.' What I always do in a situation like this is flip a coin. Since you really can go either way on this one, and it is only a game, I tell the pally: "Call it in the air. If you win, it’s not evil. If I win, it’s evil." Not scientific, I know, but it removes me from the decision making process, and I get to avoid all the really hairy issues like this one. I would recommend this method to any DM mired in moral issues. But use it in emergencies only. So long as you keep a record of what is termed 'evil.' and what isn't, you should be all right for consistency.



To view the entire thread on which this was originally posted, click here:


http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=360802


Please contact the moderator in charge of a particular forum if you want to discuss an issue about a post.

I first must apologize for this being completely off-topic. I can't help but point out that Immaculate Conception actually refers to the Catholic doctrine that the Virgin Mary was born free of Original Sin. It does not refer in any way to Jesus' conception (and as such renders a complete misnomer the name of the spell aaron3579 outlines).

Cheers
1) A female paladin, level 16 age 40 Int: 8
2) A male wizard (NE) level 15 age 57
3) A male rouge/royal explorer (NG) level 15 age 30
4) A male monk/drunken master (LG) level 18 age 46

As a standing rule, my players are not allowed to divulge their alignments to each other out of character. So far, the wizard has everyone fooled into thinking he is a “good guy,” http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=360802

I'm sorry but WHAT ? Your paladin never detects evil? I assume the Mage is hiding his alignment, yes? And the Paladin has not seen his true ways all this time through his actions? Those are HIGH level characters and I assume they have been together for a long time?

She becomes infected with any disease the caster has? Not a pally. Ok so she didn't hear/feel the Wizard enter the room, touch her abdomen, cast a spell that uses Verbal and Somatic gestures to cast while she slept, fails a Fort save (Which at her level she should have at least a Fort +20 if not higher) , the spell makes its 30% chance, and then the wizard leaves the room? What feats does this Paladin have? Does she have any spell resistance items?

I DON'T see a Paladin wanting an abortion just because some spell was cast on her. What Genes does the kid have besides the host, the casters? Even so I don't think the church/pally would go for such a thing. Maybe it's time for her to settle down anyhow. She's 40 for crying out loud!
Please contact the moderator in charge of a particular forum if you want to discuss an issue about a post.

Come on guys, I put the link to the original thread on the post...
some topics i would have liked to be covered

1.- How to handle rules discusions

personally if im not 100% certain im right on a rule i give my players the benfit of the doubt and rule their way after all there are many ways i can get back at them.

But after play is over i like to check the contested rules and if i see that i was right i contact the player who challenged the rule and inform him/her of the correct rule so he/she'll know what to expect next time.

just some thoughts

SoulLord
My #1 bit of advice to DMs anywhere and everywhere is to always keep a jar of aspirin around at least as large as your dice bag.

As for my gripes (mostly inherited, some a matter of gaming circumstance):

1. Powergamer X plays to do as much damage as possible, as often as possible, while being hit as little as possible. Powergamer X is also exceptionally lucky when he rolls his stats (and the group as a whole was just a hair shy of finding a different DM when I introduced them to Point Buy and Ironman rolling...). And worse still, Powergamer X has been playing long enough to know how to do it all to perfection. But worst of all, Powergamer X also only sees any given character as a group of numbers on a piece of paper, and he's the most experienced player in the group. Powergamer X is a bad influence on the other players, and he also DMed a different campaign before I started DMing the group, so the players are used to thinking of their character's survival before their character's motives (if they ever think about their character's motives at all). How do I undo the damage done by Powergamer X and hopefully reform him as well? I'm kind of hoping to avoid the death penalty, but at this rate it's a consideration...

2. The only place my group can meet is the student lounge of the community college we all go to. Unfortunately, there's more going on up there than just D&D, and my players have classes to go to (often meaning someone has to leave just before their initiative order). How do I keep the focus of my players so they can pay attention well enough to know how to play others' characters when someone has to get up for class?

3. I'm running a Forgotten Realms campaign, but I have only the resources available to me in the campaign setting book and the Underdark supplement. Unfortunately, almost everyone in the group either A: has had the FRCS longer than me, B: read almost every one of the FRCS novels, or C: played every incarnation of D&D video game since the good 'ol days of the Super Nintendo. In other words, my players tend to know more about any one specific location than I do, and they're inexperienced enough that although they know what the DM says goes, they expect the DM to know everything there is to know about everything in the game. I lose face every time a player says something like "but there's a fameous tavern in Baldur's Gate where every sailor stops by for a pint or two before dealing with business in town!" How, as a DM, do I keep authority over my own campaign without using Rule Zero every time my players walk into any town on the map?

4. My players are used to picking classes based on abilities instead of storyline potential. Almost no one in my campaign in the scores of characters that have popped in and out over the past OOG months (it's a large, transient, irregular group) has taken a single craft or profession, and the only ones to take perform were bards. When I point out that a couple ranks in a knowledge skill would be useful, the player quickly retorts that Spot and Listen will let the character to get the jump on his or her enemies (even though the character in question might be a wizard or bard or some other form of nonprimary combatant, and almost certainly not the party scout). How do I get my players to think of their characters as PEOPLE instead of sheets of paper with cheeto and mountain dew stains on them?

5. My players think their own thoughts and emotions should drive their character's actions, like a puppeteer or some anime mech pilot. It's not uncommon for the player of the lawful good monk to pull a large web of rationalizations for his "monk's" actions and how his "monk" sees things, while the player is clearly thinking along evil lines and what he can do in character that would result in the most harm to anyone involved. His monk has positive mods in both intelligence and wisdom (both +3 or higher if I recall correctly) and would clearly be able to see things correctly and predict the consequenses of its actions, but the player steadfastly says his character is his own and that he may do as he pleases. How do I get the player to stop thinking like himself?


I know some of these overlap, but an answer for one will almost certainly not answer any of the others to solvency because of the deep-seated nature of each in my group (all caused by the initial Powergamer X) short of blacklisting Powergamer X from the group. Unfortunately, I can't do that because the rest of the players would see that as despotic, and if asked to leave the game with him, he would take every player that matters (the ones with the potential to actually be decent players if Powergamer X just changes his ways).
Hey, It sounds like your in a really rough spot... My suggestion would be to do a few sessions where skills like Knowledge are actually important... Also, if your having trouble with campaign setting, try changing it... Besides, its really cool making up your own world :D Then no one can dispute whats in your world because well... its yours... It is friggen hard to get PC's to start roleplaying... However I am lucky and one of my Players is big into acting... I would suggest getting your players to fill out a character questionaire and hand out some exp for them doing it... Also, in the game try cut down as much as possiable on the metagaming and OOC conversations etc... Best of luck to ya buddy :D I hope that all goes well :D
Me and my guys are all about super scary 1st level charcaters, and as the dm, I've decided I've had enough.
Its in the stats! If the stats don't allow for maximized effcet, then everything else falls apart. Come up with a modified point buy that grows with them as they level, so their progresion is two fold, more meaningful, and more meaningful becasue they'll have to play harder to get to 2nd level.
Trust me, it works.
Also try outlawing the extra classes: ya know, bard, barbarian, paladin, and so ao, and stick witht he basic four. Pick stuff like fast movement and make it a feat. In doing so you should also expand the fighter skill list a bit too, just to be fair to your requesit 'WHAT?!?!? NO RANGERS?!?!?" player.

The more you make the game your own, the harder it is for it to be ruined by overly ambitious pcs who want to do too much too soon.
But then a again an online article about how to say "NO" would seem kinda silly.

cheers

Maybe not so. After all, as my experience has shown, the biggest part of being a DM is learning how to say NO, especially in the small areas that I grew up in where if you weren't playing with this group, you weren't playing. A column on intragroup conflict and how to deal with it would seem ideal to people to whom maintaining player balance is crucial to playing at all. Character balance is secondary at that point. At times the DM has to let a player have what they want or else there may be no group or no place to play.

Beyond that small-town gaming experience, I would like to see more DM tips in an accessible format. Like you said, a lot of what is in a few of the forums boils down to a few questions that, if were answered, could alleviate a lot of the clog from these rooms (and would also be highly appreciated, maybe even made into an Advanced Dungeon Master's Guide).

Peace
1. Powergamer X plays to do as much damage as possible, as often as possible, while being hit as little as possible. Powergamer X is also exceptionally lucky when he rolls his stats (and the group as a whole was just a hair shy of finding a different DM when I introduced them to Point Buy and Ironman rolling...). And worse still, Powergamer X has been playing long enough to know how to do it all to perfection. But worst of all, Powergamer X also only sees any given character as a group of numbers on a piece of paper, and he's the most experienced player in the group. Powergamer X is a bad influence on the other players, and he also DMed a different campaign before I started DMing the group, so the players are used to thinking of their character's survival before their character's motives (if they ever think about their character's motives at all). How do I undo the damage done by Powergamer X and hopefully reform him as well? I'm kind of hoping to avoid the death penalty, but at this rate it's a consideration...
(all caused by the initial Powergamer X) short of blacklisting Powergamer X from the group. Unfortunately, I can't do that because the rest of the players would see that as despotic, and if asked to leave the game with him, he would take every player that matters (the ones with the potential to actually be decent players if Powergamer X just changes his ways).

Hey man, there are more...subtle ways to making Powergamer X not so powerful. Here are soem of the one's that I've developed for dealing with this type:

1) How the enemy responds in battle. -- Often I made the mistake of having the party's opponents attack the weakest PC or the mage first. This is wrong. Develop situations in which the enemy has the time/ability to recognize that one enemy (one PC) is more powerful than the others, then enable them to call in the heavy forces that will concentrate all their force on the most powerful PC to eliminate him first. Then make him/her sit out the rest of the session and talk to you about their new character, which you can then funnel into being a character, not a set of stats. If not, repeat the process until problem gamer either reforms or leaves, no despotism necessary.

2) Reorganize your experience system. I've found this to be most effective in conveying what I expect out of the people I'm playing with than anything else. When the classic "munchkin" only get 750 experience at the end of the session, according to a rationalized set of rules, they can't complain. Then again, they will. But that is the point at which you can say that the rules are in your favor and will not change. (P.S. It's best to mention this before you institute it, not at the end of a session, elsewise you may get lynched.)

3) Beyond awarding advancement to things other than killing enemies (I like to use the experience row for 4th level characters throughout the campaign, so that an 18th level party is only getting 75 XP for each CR 10 thing they kill, none for less than that.) and putting the party in impossible-to-triumph battles that can be retreated from (considering the sacrifice of Gamer X), you have to feel it out.

By the way, if you know what Washtenaw means, you should email me because I can help you 1-on-1.

Peace
A topic i'd like to have discussed is armor class. I play 3rd edition since it came out and i noticed that AC values quickly get out of hand, especially with the changes to alter self and polymorph in 3.5 which let you assume outsider forms (but some monstrous humanoid forms also have high natural AC values). Thus even low level characters (1st-4th level) can achieve ACs in the high 20ies and low 30ies and it just keeps stacking up until mid and high levels where ACs easily exceed the 50ies.

This has several impacts on game play. First, NPCs and monsters tend to hit only on a 20, the DM *needs* to put an unusual high amount of enemy spellcasters in the game to at least weaken long term buffs (1hour or 10min / level) or damage PCs with damage spells if dispelling fails (which is probably the case in most of the times since enemy spellcasters usually have a lower caster level than the PCs).
If the DM uses NPCs/monsters who actually can hit the PC's ACs at a reasonable probability (about 13-16 on a d20) they tend to do so much damage that they kill a PC within 3-4 strikes or even 1-2 if a critical hit occurs.

This makes the game either boring, since the PCs are virtually invulnerable in physical combat or insanely deadly, because a lucky series of rolls can kill a PC without a chance.

We (our playing group) think about how to solve that issue for ages now but besides some odd house rulings (level dependent max. ACs for PCs/NPCs) we couldn't find a satisfying solution for the problem.
An update on my dire situation:

I think I have it fixed. The players are finally getting the point that the game is about roleplay, not "what would I do in that situation?", and it may have to do with the questionaire I made them all fill out a couple sessions ago on their backstory and motivations. They're getting better and focusing on the game instead of the noisy people who also hang out in the student lounge, though that may also have to do with their caring more about their characters. They're also now more interrested in what playing a class is LIKE than what the class can DO, partly because they're considering backstory and class more heavily (I now make them fill out said 25 question, three-page questionaire and pick their class before they roll stats). As for those players who know more about the FRCS than I, they've finally admitted to themselves that when they as players assume that something is the way it is in the setting, chances are it's not going to be that way unless it's something that they've already encountered in my campaign... They are now less certain of what distant regions of the world are like when their character has no experience of them.

As for the problem of the metagaming, munchkin-building Powergamer X, he was a constant irritant in the group, gradually taking up more and more time in arguments at the gaming table. Other players came to me and complained about said player taking up precious gaming time, spoiling the fun of the game, and making gaming a chore, not a hobby; something to dread, not enjoy.

So I kicked the powergamer out of the group (yes, I did provide an in-game death for his character). We have now had two full sessions without the powergamer in the group, and it is truly sad how much of a difference it made. With the powergamer in the group, a seven hour session would have, tops, two hours of actual roleplay. How many hours of actual roleplay per seven hours now, you ask? Seven hours, not counting the occasional break for snacks and biological necessity. And it's quality roleplay, wrinkle-free.
Here is the discussion thread for the first article in the series.

Save My Game: Allocating Treasure

http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?p=5650690#post5650690

Enjoy

MJ
  • PC power - I also have a problem with coping with rapidly increasing PC damage output and AC. By level 10, it's already getting to the point where monsters that can last more than 2 rounds against the characters have abilities or damage that can instantly kill them. It becomes hard to make challenging encounters that aren't just quick death for whichever side is unlucky.


  • New abilites, prestige classes, and feats - argh. One of the best and worst things about 3rd edition. Fitting in the prestige class combinations people want is not always easy. I don't normally use the rules for required training time and money to get skills, levels, and feats, but there are so many new things out there now that it seems like these special levels and abilities should require quests or training. What's the appropriate balance here? How do you fit in the new things the players want to use with their character, should everyone just be able to get any ability? I try to encourage them to involve a roleplaying element by having them fit in why they have these abilities (not too difficult).

    The real problem is with the players seeing 'no-brainer' progressions for their characters just because some prestige classes are clearly superior to others. It's hard to encourage someone to take a less powerful prestige class or ability just because it is better for roleplaying. I feel like a training time/money/quest balance could solve the problem, but how do you go about setting up a system like that, and efficiently implementing it for all the new material that comes your way? As a DM, I feel like the designers should have incorporated these things into each of the new abilities and classes presented, but sadly, no such balance was established for these new rules.


  • Prestige class requirements - Why should I tell one of my players that they cannot take a cool prestige class just because they didn't decide to buy a weird feat or allocate skill points to something useless? Class abilites, like spellcasting or evasion, I can understand - but to say no to a prestige class (or make them wait several levels) just because the player never saw a need to put skill points into Craft (basketweaving) or something similar just seems wrong. Sure, it's up to me to allow or waive whatever I want, but how about a good system for substituting training time, quests, or something else for those strange requirements.
with AC... I DM a level 1 cleric with an AC of 19 and the Dodge feat. so I send everything within CR;1-3 that ahs a high attack bonus to hit him. So far he has taken 5 points of damage in the ENTIRE campaign. It's horrible. and a Pally with AC 17. If I had monsters with high enough attack bonuses that did less damage I'd definately use them but all the ones with high AB's are CR:4-5 except maybe BuigBear. +5 is pretty good.
I have a problem in my ring of friends of having a bunch of followers and no leaders. They all have a hard time of making a decision and acting on hints. One of my friends who is a more get up and go type of guy has taken a break from D&D and now all the players are left starring at walls. I hate to get really blatent when it comes to game hints but its getting to the point im just telling them where they are headed next instead of them deciding on what to do next. So I was wondering if anyone had any tips on turning sheep into shepards.
with AC... I DM a level 1 cleric with an AC of 19 and the Dodge feat. so I send everything within CR;1-3 that ahs a high attack bonus to hit him. So far he has taken 5 points of damage in the ENTIRE campaign. It's horrible. and a Pally with AC 17. If I had monsters with high enough attack bonuses that did less damage I'd definately use them but all the ones with high AB's are CR:4-5 except maybe BuigBear. +5 is pretty good.

Masses are key. An orc going 1v1 against that monk is going to be fairly useless... but in a group of five orcs, one of them is bound to hit. They don't need to hit hard or individually hit often... The Law of Large Numbers is a DM's best friend. On a d20, there's a 1 in 20 chance that a 20 will be rolled. On 5d20, there's a 1 in 4 chance one of them will roll a 20, and even better odds that one will roll higher than 15 (about 1 in 4 on 1d20, but almost 1 in 1 on 5d20, though the probability comes out a bit wonky on that one at around 1.25 to 1, so if a math buff can fix that, 'twould be great).

Anyways, remember that goblins and whatnot are pushovers singularly. Thirty of them show up and you have a challenge, not because they can soak damage as a mass, but because as a mass they have a higher probability of dishing it out.
Since you asked for the probabilities:
23% for a 20 on 5d6, 76% for 16-20 on 5d6. It's another case of the multiplication rule. Look at it from the probability of not rolling the desired value if you want to figure out why.
I would like to see answered.

Ways to get groups to co-opporate other than in combat.

I have been in games as players or Dm, where players want to do there own thing not in the storyline although fun they later complain to the DM that there is no story or its getting boring or the DM does not allow the party members to do their own thing because they fear thinking on the fly.

So a main help is
1 to determine how much non story compared to how much story should be played in a session

2. How do you help those less gifted with wittyness and experience to give the players the chance to cause trouble for themselevs for a change rather than always being called to clean up someone elses trouble.
Ok, I've read through the posts, and I know this one has gotten a lot of play, but I want to add my vote for advice on how to deal with Power Gamers who ruin everyone else's Role playing with their Roll playing.

Also. I'd like some advice on how to get my players to play something other than the same old race and class they always run.
How about save my game by dealing with high Bluff/intimidate/diplomacy skills.
Also. I'd like some advice on how to get my players to play something other than the same old race and class they always run.

I've found my players get tired of the same old thing... eventually. Just let them play the race they want to play until they get tired of it... unless it has a level adjustment or is rare in your campaign. Even if you house rule that Kalashtar exist in your Forgotten Realms campaign, but they only come from one island in the Pirate Isles, and they are extremely reclusive because of frequent raiding on their shores by the pirates that lend the Isles their name, it doesn't really make sense that the day after the party LOSES a kalashtar party member they run into another one who just happens to want to join the party.

If it ruins suspension of disbelief, requires you to change past events in the storyline, requires you to substantially alter your game world mid-game, or if the class/race combination being repeated disturbs the flow of gameplay, it's always your perogative to say "No, you can't be YET ANOTHER Dwarven Cleric of Torm. Why not a Gnome Fighter, or a Half-Orc Bard? They'll be fun!"
Sounds like a good idea! I think you should write about metagaming and bad roleplaying! Sometimes it can be a great pain in the ass when players dont roleplay!

I think it would be great if you write a hole article TO THE PLAYERS about roleplaying better!

Bad roleplaying can really make a good game go bad!


ps. sorry for my bad english!
Im a PC in a custom campaign setting and find that every1 in our party is overpowered we are at lvl 15 and 1 player has 8 portable holes our DMs dish out treasure like gruel we get as much as we want. For a test i made a dwarven defender at lv 15 he hafd ac 41 ....... NO1 complained we have 5 people and 2 roleplay mer and my freind one of our members cares only about money and xp he doesnt play D&D he plays Final Fantasy ffs.



PLEASE HELP ME!
Talk to them! If it dosent work! Hook up with another group and/or a new dm!

Im playing with some guys i just introduced to dnd. And alredy from the beginning i really focused on the roleplaying! not the hack and slash get all the tresurre dont ceare if you are a coold blooded evil killer even if you are a paladin! There is always new players or dm`s you just have to work to find them! put a note up in the local game store!
where you write that you seek a new dnd playing group!

maybe not the best solution, If they are close friends! but as a last option you may want to get another dm or group to play with....

<->what ever you do! good luck! I hope you dont have to leave the game! and that they ( the other players ) start roleplaying!
What about character envy? How does one handle a group of well-established characters, and some are planned out far in advance (and tend to show it in combat) and others... aren't? What is the DM supposed to do when three players have done their homework to make their characters do exactly what they want them to do, and the fourth one hasn't?

It's not good for game continuity if the "lagging" characters suddenly lose some abilities and magically gain a whole set of new ones they supposedly had for awhile but never used. It's also not fair to the other players, who did their homework and thought carefully about what they wanted their characters to do, and planned the best way to do it.

At the same time, telling the other player to "deal with it" is rather harsh. After all, even though we play for the camraderie of gaming together and the thrills and perils of the storyline, blowing pretend monsters up and gaining power and treasure is 1: an excellent stress relief and 2: wish fulfillment.

Basically, how does one go about balancing a party when the party's not balanced?
Let the game continue. (no sarcasm)

If the under-powered PC wants to, let him make a new character. Just don't penalise the players who put a lot of time/thought into their PCs because one of them didn't. Those that did are likely more attached to their creations.
How do you handle PCs who expect you to play favorites and/or don't read the rules and expect you to let them do whatever they want?
Oh, I know the answer to that one!

Kill them! Horribly!

(No really... when players realize their characters are in serious jeopardy they sit up and pay attention. If they die, explain to them whatever errors they made in combat that lead to their character's death. Explain that poor decisions=death. If this is a problem, open up the PHB to the combat or magic section and suggest they read/refresh.)
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