Milestone leveling for a party of players who drop in and out?

Historically I have generally used XP for tracking character progress in my party. But my latest new campaign I intend to move to a milestone approach.

However the one thing I don’t fully understand is the best way to manage milestones for parties where players drop in and out of sessions. Up front we have accepted that due to life my players will not be able to make every session and so we have agreed that sessions will take place the character will just be missing, or be jaegured.

What is the best way to manage milestone leveling in this case, should I track player attendance and take this into account, level everyone at the storyline moments anyway, or take more of a player by player approach (which feels like doing XP just without the XP).

I know DnD published material is moving towards the milestone approach is there any official ruling from them with regards to league sessions etc?

Is it ok to lie to players rolling a insight? [closed]

I’ve just started DMing.

I have a question about the Insight mechanic. I’ve formulated this problem using D&D but the system is otherwise irrelevant, I’m just asking about idea.

How does insight work? Is it about expectations of players or actual situation (bluff or not)? Is it ok to lie in response to a low result as long as it’s what the player expects?

Let me present an example. Let’s say I have a paladin in my game who is evil (but the players don’t know that). He asks the players to kill some evil people, his servants. The paladin’s motives are to kill the servants because they were disobedient as well as kill players because they are threat to him. This request is probably suicidal because the players probably can’t accomplish the task. The paladin knows that.

One of these servants is cruel, bloodthirsty and totally opposite to the paladin’s behavior. After a fight with this servant, the players talk to him. He says that the paladin is his leader.

That seems absurd to the players, so they roll an insight check and get a 5, which is far below the DC.

What to do?

  • Lie to them that this guy is bluffing? He’s not but it fits in expectations of players.

  • Don’t roll at all in the first place because no deception has occurred.

What do players and GMs like about combat? [closed]

What exactly is it that people are looking for out of RPG combat? I’m talking about their deep-down psychological motivations and desires.

If we’re going to assume a game being played, let’s assume D&D 5e, because I have some examples and some player-type buzzwords that we can all relate to. However, I can only speculate. I would love to see someone more qualified answer this.

My friend, first time DM, did a good job running Curse of Strahd. He was receptive to feedback throughout. After the campaign, I asked him some pointed questions as feedback (playing devil’s advocate). I was wondering what he thought his next step was for improving his GMing. He said something like "Combat could always be improved", "ok, how so?" (he did an AMAZING job with running combats and literally knows all the rules very close to 100% accuracy), "Encounters could be a bit more balanced", "ok, why do they need to be balanced?", "I don’t know, you don’t want combat being too easy, and not too hard" (red flag, this is showing lack of intention in his game)

I went on to analyzing all the players at the table, which I determined none of them cared about "combat balance":

  • 2 players just want the dungeon-crawl feeling of looting and gaining power through gear
  • 1 player is only interested in seeing all the interactions play out – the damage types, resistances, critical/fumble table rolls, counterspelling a counterspell, effects of being prone+grappled+blind+swallowed+unconscious+exhausted, etc.
  • 1 player likes the low-RP and spending time together at the table, and kicking-ass together

I pointed this all out to the DM, which to me looks like our table would benefit from having more "easy" encounters that pump us up, but all he could respond with was "Well, combat is a big pillar in D&D. Too easy, and it’s not a lot of fun. Same thing with being too hard". There were plenty of red-flags in his responses over the entire conversation, all of them indicating a need to defend D&D and the D&D mentality at all costs instead of identifying things that could improve his game and GMing.

My takeaway from that text conversation was a theory – an idea that maybe most players don’t care about combat, and rather that they like some other aspect stemming from combat. In the case of the DM, it looked like his enjoyment of playing and running both stemmed from exercising control. As a DM, he naturally has control. As a player, he’s a power-gamer, trying to gain control by gaming any advantage possible out of the rules or out of his back-story, sometimes adversarially. Deep-down inside, this DM has a psychological need to exercise control to protect his poor self-confidence and insecurities. It’s sad, but it’s a reality that I want to explore and understand better.

It makes me sad to see player insecurities manifest negatively at the table, especially since I do so much to promote an environment free of judgement.

Is there a summary of Nobilis 3rd edition rules for new players?

I want to start a game of Nobilis, but the 3rd edition book is huge (more than 300 pages) and I clearly can’t ask my players to read it, even only the rules chapters.

I found What are the basics of the Nobilis 2e system's mechanics, in a nutshell? but it is only about the 2nd edition. Having read both I feel like the 3rd edition rules are quite better (even if the 2nd book is a wondrous object).

Is there any good summary of Nobilis 3rd edition rules for new players?

Lore Jockey players

(Playing Dnd 3.5) I’ve been having problems with a player where he’ll trying to get me to homebrew rules for him based on these lore points. Recently he wanted to get his blade serrated to do bleed damage. After researching I found that wounding does bleed damage per round based on the amount of successful hits they’ve got on the creature. I brought this to the player and we calculated the cost. ( I think it was somewhere around 18k gp, if I did it right becuase it’s a dagger and the wounding adds a +2 to its cost ) But then he brings up like a line, "can’t the back smith just serrate it himself", I pull a line, maybe they can’t do that just yet technologically do with out breaking the weapon. Then he gave me a line like, "but the dwarves have the goblin ripper that was super small serrations". How would I handle a player that that I have to abide by lore that he’s read in from the dnd lore books? ( this may be my fault as I set the campaign in the sword coast so I don’t have to make a new world for them to run around in)

How do I deal with a player who gets offended when other players get to loot first?

I’m directing a 5e campaign and I have a party of three: A Tiefling Warlock (eloquent, rational type), a tiefling monk (rash, impulsive and danger seeking) and a half-elf rogue (his personality is not that well defined). We’re all adults: I’m 26, the warlock and the rogue are 25, and the monk is 29.

I had this devil trapped inside a magic circle, and a puzzle involving a talking severed head and riddles. As a reward for freeing him, the devil drops three rings (one blue steel, one red iron and one orange copper) to the floor and says “Pick one”, before disappearing.

The three stare at the rings, and the monk (who solved the riddle) said: “I will take the blue one first, you can get the others if they are still there.”

The warlock was silent, staring at the rings and thinking.

The rogue asked the warlock to identify the rings before touching them (not possible).

When the monk heard that the warlock could not identify the rings he said “I reach for the blue one and I take it!” The other players did not react and I rushed to say, “The other two rings dissapeared!”

And then it all broke down. The player who plays the rogue wants to stop the monk from touching the rings. I make them do a dex throw and the rogue won. But I had already said the rings disappeared, so in order to keep the narrative going and not allow them to meta-game with the knowledge, I ruled that the rogue was able to stop the monk from taking the ring, but he touched it with a finger and the other two disappeared.

The rogue starts complaining, claiming its not fair, and gets mad (the player). He takes it personally and starts to put away his things, really angry. I told him I already said the rings disappeared, and I’m not getting them back, and that I already gave him the chance to fight for the remaining ring, even though he has been getting all the magic items lately, and the monk has nothing yet.

He says he wants me to pause before narrating the consequences of the players actions and ask everybody if they want to do something, so that everyone can react to everything. He starts making threats, saying he cant play with us if we can’t play like he wants.

And when I explain to him that he has to roleplay that anger in-character, against the monk, he says “from now on my character is going to do the opposite of what the monk does and wants. And if he does something like this again, I’m killing him, and it’s not my fault because I warned him”.

It took me a while to get him to calm down a little, but the session ended a bit on the cold side.

For the record, the other two players side with me, and agree that events should flow naturally, even when it’s not totally fair to the players.

What do you think? I don’t like this behavior, and being called unfair touches a sensitive string, because its been multiple times now that I’ve done things to keep this player happy, including talking to other players individually and telling them to tone down their arguments with him and giving him a good amount of the loot and letting him get away with some power-gamey stunts.

A players character has spent their childhood in brothel and it is bothering me. What can I do?

The players character spent their childhood in a brothel before being sold to pirates and being a crewmate before deciding to retire and get married only to have their wife killed. The player himself is rather edgy and threatens PvP from time to time and being edgy assholes seems to be his trend since the other two characters of him I have seen are edgy assholes as well.

I joined the gaming group three weeks ago(They were playing three games and I got to join all three.) so I don’t feel comfortable complaining about it. He is the argumentative sort saying how his character being an asshole is the fault of the entire party rebuffing him(He is rebuffed because he’s an asshole rather than the other way around.) after every session and going as far as to say that his character could start PvP.

I am both new to the group and not in the state of mind where I can deal with that kind of person(Social isolation and exams taking their toll from my mental state.) so I don’t know how to prevent him bringing up his characters past as it is bothering me since it involves a child in a brothel.

What can I do in this case?Should I go talk to the GM or other players? Should I just refuse to acknowledge him?

Is the Chronicles of Darkness line suitable for play with a Story Teller and two players?

I have a group of three players, but more often than not real-life stuff means that only two are available to play at any particular time. I’ve recently had my curiosity piqued by the New World of Darkness/Chronicles of Darkness lines but have read varying advice as to how well the system/style would work with mainly two, occasionally 3 players.

Is the Chronicles of Darkness system suitable for two players and a Story Teller?

Please note – valid answers to this question must draw on personal experience.

Do players know if a hit from a monster is a critical hit?

There are a few different abilities that PCs can get where once they are hit with an attack they can decide to use to potentially turn the hit into a miss. Examples include the spell Shield or a Cavalier fighter’s Warding Maneuver feature.

The way our group currently plays all the DM’s rolls are hidden from us and they convey whether attacks hits or misses to us. In the case of a hit the player informally has until the DM rolls damage to decide whether to use a feature that might change the outcome.

While the players are aware of when an attack is a hit, are they aware if the attack is a critical hit? If so they would know that using such features would be a waste of resources.

This would also apply to rare features that can force a reroll after an attack roll is already made such as with the Rune Knight’s Runic Shield feature. If a player knows that an attack is a critical hit they would be more inclined to use such features.