Ideas on how to handle a denying/unaware team attacking player? [closed]

Short: Right now I’m thinking about our next session and how to handle a PC who has attacked us the second time with an AoE spell. To defend him: he’s denying that he has done it intentionally and even saying that he doesn’t know anything about it.

First: I don’t want/need the best solution, just some ideas – like "how would you react?".

But I will start by describing the whole situation:
We are a group of 5 PC – there are two double-pre-mates and I’m the lonely fifth one. Two sessions ago the fighter in question attacked two of us the first time while we explored a mine occupied by wererats and some following smaller ones. The first small rat attacked him, as he’s always the one going first. Our archer, the rat and I were attacked by black tentacles getting out of the face of our knight and/or the rat – as the rat bite him in his face. The rat was slashed in three parts and the archer and I were lucky enough to dodge. After we cleared the room we surrounded the fighter and asked him what it was, if he has any explanation or why he did it to us. He has only answered that he doesn’t know what it was and he hasn’t done it. We told him that we will watch him and aren’t really trusting him anymore.

Some days (in-game) later we got to an old cathedral occupied by orcs and ogres. We attacked the orcs with the help of the wererats, as the cathedral is the real home of them. While fighting the first ogre (the fighter his accompanying cleric and I) these black tentacles popped up again, this time clearly out of his mouth, and attacked the ogre, an orc, the cleric and me. All were damaged (necrotic) and also prevented reactions for one round as we had to get rid of these tentacles first.
During the fight we haven’t talked about it as there were a lot more orcs than we thought first. The end of our last session was that we have "finished" (we haven’t checked the cathedral – only surrounding) the fight. We’ve lost some wererats and we all are heavily damaged, nearly all spell-slots are used and we have this big-black-mysterium in our group.

As it was the second time, this time we were damaged and we’ve clearly seen that the origin of these tentacles is the fighter we have to react somehow.

My current idea is to call the archer, as he still doesn’t trust the fighter and was betrayed in his past, so he will very likely support me. After this I would like to approach the fighter and "command" him to drop his weapon and get on his knees. I have placed a force-ballista (artificer) during the battle and can use my crossbow. If he doesn’t follow we get to the first problem – if I really attack him he will get very likely unconscious as he has 4HP remaining. Should I? I’m a lawful-neutral/good dwarven artificer, trying to get part of "Hammers of Moradin" and waiting for a sign of Moradin himself that I’m worthy to join the hammers.
So from my perspective it would be possible for my PC to attack a presumably lying, betraying, team-attacking, necromancy casting human fighter.
But in success-case, he’s now on his knees, I would at first arrest/tie him, ask him again in hope that he will talk more about these tentacles and otherwise transport him to the next town to present him to the local guards or similar and get him judged.

Now the question: do you have other ideas? How would you react? Everything is possible/valid response – as I’m pretty new to DnD (it’s my first campaign) and I want to get some ideas about what else could be possible.

How do I handle bonds that don’t resolve?

So my first game of Dungeon World has hit the ground and we’re all having fun, but something seems off in handling Bonds at the end of session.

One of my players has the bond, "Able always has my back when things go wrong." while another has the bond, "I am working on converting Baker to my faith." And these are great, the players are having great fun in exploring them and acting on them, etc.

But then we get to the end of session move:

When you reach the end of a session, choose one of your bonds that you feel is resolved (completely explored, no longer relevant, or otherwise). Ask the player of the character you have the bond with if they agree. If they do, mark XP and write a new bond with whomever you wish.

This seems like it favors the bond with Baker, because that appears to be a goal with a more-or-less well-defined metric for completion. I can easily understand how this bond can resolve in a way the players are happy with.

In contrast, the bond with Able is more of an existing, recognized status, almost more like an alignment to be acted on than a bond to resolve (and in fact Able’s alignment is to protect those weaker). I can’t really see how this one can properly resolve if it’s getting acted on constantly, which seems to put them at a disadvantage, denying them both the xp and the chance to establish new bonds with the party.

How do I handle these bonds that don’t seem to lend themselves to any kind of resolution?

How do I handle initiative when a new force joins a combat that’s already in progress?

I am DMing a small hunger-games-like adventure where there are multiple parties of NPC who also are participating. It is pretty likely that the PCs will happen upon some of the NPCs fighting some monsters.

How do I handle the PCs joining the fight, do I roll initiative all over again? Do I just roll for the new combatants and add them to the round?


Also see this similar question for Pathfinder:
How to handle some new NPCs who enter a fight in progress?

How to handle your dice if they roll with a bias

I have purchased several sets of dice from different online retailers. I did some salt-float tests on them recently and I’m concerned a good amount of my d20s are favoring a specific corner (all 3 like the 6/9 intersection for some reason).

I’m in a friendly campaign where we’re not taking ourselves too seriously so "weighted dice" aren’t necessarily a problem (especially with such low-rolling dice), but I still want to level the playing field of my dice.

I’m thinking of using a high-walled rolling tray and some textured padding, like a towel, so the bouncing from the walls and the friction from the towel would prevent the dice from "snapping" into desired positions.

Would you say that’s a good way to deal with them? What would you do, besides getting rid of them?

How do I handle a player exploring the entire dungeon with his familiar?

My Warlock player has Pact of the Chain and likes to explore all the dungeon before going inside. The imp turns into an invisible spider and goes through the ceiling to all rooms without hard doors. In practice, this ends up becoming a 1 on 1 conversation between me and the warlock, describing each room, for about 10 minutes until all possible rooms are revealed.

To speed things up, I have the familiar roll a single Stealth check before entering and I compare that against Perception checks from Guards and Passive Perception from all other NPCs (I usually apply disadvantage to these checks, since it’s a spider and invisible). I still feel like it’s a slam of exposition that bores the other players at the table. When the party is going room by room, exposition is broken down in separate parts, and the risk engages the players. I’ve tried to ask each player to control the imp at each part of the dungeon, but players didn’t enjoy it. I also like to add important bits of information at each room (like a Guard using a secret password here, or toxic fumes there), which ends up taking even more exposition time.

One on hand, I want to reward the Warlock and his methodical exploration. On the other the other players are just standing there doing nothing while the imp explores. How can I make this part of our game enjoyable and engaging for everyone?

How do I handle kids’ conflicting goals?

I’m playing Amazing Tales with my two daughters (an even simpler version, actually– we don’t really make characters with specific skills, I just let them be whoever and we make up a story while occasionally rolling dice). The problem is, they’re trying to go in conflicting directions. The "campaign" currently involves being on a pirate ship, and while my 3-year-old wants to rescue their space alien friend who’s been captured by the mean ol’ pirates, my 4-year-old wants to join the pirates and keep their friend prisoner.

I know the #1 rule when gaming with little kids is "always say yes," because the more they’re allowed to let their imaginations run wild the more they’ll love the game. But I don’t know how to do that with two kids who keep coming into conflict. (We’ve been with the pirates for several sessions now, and this is not a new problem.) It’s not that my 4-year-old likes being mean– I’ve tried to explain how badly their alien friend wants to be free, and how sad her husband back home will be if they don’t free her– she just likes the idea of being one of the "bad pirates" and is willing to help them do whatever they’re trying to do. Last night I decided to let my 3-year-old have her way, and she rescued their friend over my 4-year-old’s objections. In a previous session when the girls themselves got captured, I let my 4-year-old talk her way into the crew and stand guard over her sister’s cage (I was hoping she would use the opportunity to free both of them, but she dutifully kept her sister locked up).

How can I let both of them have the story they want if their goals are mutually exclusive?

As the DM, how do I handle enemy NPC Perception when the party approaches them without being stealthy?

I have a little question. My players are following a group of bandits, but the players are not hiding, they are even riding horses. They reach a beach where the 5 bandits are preparing a boat to retreat; 2 of the bandits are paying attention to see if someone comes, and the other 3 are just talking. My questions are:

  • The 3 Bandits talking use their passive perception to try to see the players, right?
  • The 2 Bandits that are paying attention roll for perception to see the players?
  • If my players doesn’t go in Hide, just riding the horses to the beach, whats the DC the bandits must roll?

How to handle a party member spontaneously not showing up?

I am the GM of a party that consists of two family fathers, one guy working on a oil platform and another freelancer working in the film industry. So it happens quite often that one member spontaneously cancels. If we are in a dungeon and it is all about fighting, this usually is not a big problem – I just tune the encounter down a bit – but concerning role-playing and storyline, I have a bit of a hassle.

Let me give you an example: The party travels to Cheliax. The elf becomes alcohol-addicted since he could not handle the death of another party member. The orc and the human decided to bring him back to a rehab center in Absalom. I already prepared the adventure, but the elf’s player gets a call from his boss and has to work spontaneously. So he cancels 2 hours before we start.

How can such a situation be handled?

How do I handle when my players overestimate the importance of an encounter/a location?

TL;DR: How can I (and should I) make the players’ efforts worth their while when they overestimate the importance of an encounter or a location?

I am running a homebrew DnD 5e adventure where the players’ goal is to find the grove where the witch has kidnapped some children. Nearby there is a mansion where the local lord lives. The initial plan was for the players to be able to go to the mansion and find some clues to the witch’s location.

However, as the players arrived, they became certain that the children are actually inside the mansion, and started devising elaborate plans to sneak inside. Having spent almost a session on sneaking through what I thought would be a fifteen minute "walk in through the open gate, ask some questions, continue", I feel like I now have to provide some more reward for the players’ work than "the princess is in another castle".

What are some strategies to tackle players spending too much time on things that were meant to be minor?

I see three options:

  • Making up some reward in terms of resources that can be useful in the climactic finale
  • Giving no reward more than the initially planned small clues, as the players were simply unlucky with the path they chose/failed to solve the puzzle I presented
  • Being clearer that this encounter is not going to yield a satisfying reward (but this time around it’s too late for that)

On a meta level, I am wondering about how to deal with such situations in advance. Is it a good idea to plan each encounter/location with different rewards based on how much time players choose to spend there? Or rather to redirect them away from unimportant locations through narration?

How do I handle a character bent on diablerie of an Antediluvian?

I’m running a campaign and a character decided to change his goal from getting gun heels that are possessed by a demon (Bayonetta) to becoming third generation through diablerie. He’s made a deal with said demon in his heels (before the demon went in the heels) to become uneclipseable but I know that if at any point he wakes an Antediluvian the entire world will be screwed. I’m slowly “feeding” him elders, and I’m dreading when I have to bring an Antediluvian in. I’m almost certain that if I do throw an Antediluvian at him it’ll be the Ravnos Antediluvian as he’s bound to wake soon anyway.

How do I not kill the entire chantry with an Antediluvian?