Home Page
* Home Page
* Official Forums
* Gaming Forums
* PADnD Blog
* Game Room
* RPG Profiler
* Online Utilities
* Combat Chaos
* RPG Tips Index
* D&D Humor Index
* World of Arkuth
* Our Guestbook
* Ultimate xChange
* Art Gallery
* Download Center

*Class, Kits, Races
*Lists, Tables
*Rules, Systems
*Articles, Writings
*Character Sheets

*(CR2) Classes, Kits
*(CR2) Dragons
*(CR2) Equipment
*(CR2) Magic Items
*(CR2) Monsters
*(CR2) Programs
*(CR2) Other Stuff
*(CR2) Portraits
*(CR2) Priest Spells
*(CR2) Races
*(CR2) Wizard Spells

*(3E)Character Sheets
*(3E)D&D CC
*(3E)Prestige Classes
* Alignment Test
* Online D&D Tools
* 3.5e Character Gen
* Ability Test
* Class Test
* Mage Test
* Dragon Kind
* Why We Play D&D
* History of D&D
* D&D Satan
* Disclaimer
* Privacy Policy



Role Playing Tips - By Johnn Four


Copyright of Guardian http://members.aol.com/cmuel59749/index.html

1) Dice. Rolling dice is your enemy. The more time you spend dealing with dice, the less time you can spend planning the critters' moves, top bad guy's plans, and dealing with the PCs' actions. It's not that you want to roll fewer dice (nothing scares hack'n'slashers like picking up a double- handful of d20s, with an evil, gleeful grin, and rolling all of them), you want to spend less time doing it. So, roll a lot of dice at once. When you need a number, start in the upper left corner of the pile, read it, and set it aside. Apply some common sense. If a 3 hits AC 0 (THACO=3), and you rolled a 19, don't even bother with the combat tables. You hit. On ability score or skill checks, if it's a 5 or less, the character most likely succeeded. No real need to waste time checking.

2) Combat. Decide what the bad guys are going to do. Go around and ask the players what they're going to do - in one or two words ("Kill everything, spell, magic item, hide, etc."). Roll initiative. Call out the initiative. While you're doing that, the PCs should be making to hit and damage rolls (even if they miss, the dice are at least rolled and not taking up your time waiting for the PC to roll his or her dice), looking up spells, etc. The idea is that the player is ready with the information by the time you get to her or him. Now you and the players can spend the time describing the fight - role-playing - instead of dealing with mechanics. If you do a little roleplaying with the PC who won initiative, you're actually giving the other players a chance to get their stuff together.

Another note on combat. Roll the dice only when it's necessary. If a party of 9th level combat-heavy dragonslayers is attacked by twelve 0-level bandits, the bandits are going to lose 99.99% of the time. An encounter like this is barely a sidenote in the adventure, and should be dealt with as such.

DM: "You're four days out from Calanport when about a dozen rough-looking men step out of the trees on the path. You're surrounded. The one in front of you, with an eyepatch, says, Give us your money."

Player: "I laugh at him and draw my sword."

DM: "Four minutes later, you clean off your sword and continue your journey."

End of encounter. Elapsed time: 27 seconds.

In situations like this, the PCs probably won't get any xp - there was absolutely no challenge involved, their character didn't grow from it, and it's not worth the time to total up all 57 xp. If your players are real sticklers, remind them to, "Work with me, guys."

3) If you have a player who constantly dithers about what to do in combat, and despite all friendly assistance on your part, continues to waste time trying to decide what he's going to do, start out considerate and gradually move to being harsh. Have one of the more experienced or quick players try helping the slow one (this is especially important for new players) to free you up without penalizing anyone. If things don't start improving after four or five sessions, tell the player that it's better to make a decision - even if it's a wrong one - than to stand there in the middle of combat and do nothing. If the problem persists, tell the player if he waits any longer, he'll lose initiative, or give his opponent another free attack on him. If the player still dithers, go ahead and pass him over in initiative and come back to him when he's made a decision. If that doesn't work, remind the player that he's role- playing, and his indecision is also his characters' - and start giving out free attacks to opponents. But whatever you do, DON'T KILL THE CHARACTER! This may mean a climactic combat is held up a bit. Not everyone can make snap decisions very well, and it may take time for the player to become comfortable with your style of play. Be aware that not everyone can adapt well to speed-combat. You certainly don't want to lose an otherwise good player simply because he or she has trouble making decisions in the middle of a combat game!

Caveat: In the final climactic battle, switching everything to slow-motion detail, where every parry, every thrust, every spell, is life-dependingly precise, can easily make this the campaign players will talk about years later. Just be sure that you, as DM, stay intense in manner, speech, and demeanor through the entire scene! It's exhausting, exhilirating, and worth every drop of sweat.

4) Always be prepared. This goes with being a great DM: Come to the game prepared. Be at least passingly familiar with major encounters, puzzles, magic items, and NPCs. When the players are discussing their next move with each other (in character, if possible) use the time to quickly scan over the next section of notes for the adventure.

5) In general, an hour before the game, I sit down and read over my session notes - what I want to have happen during the session. This doesn't mean I railroad the players - quite the opposite. Keep the notes general enough for flexibility, but specific enough to give you a general plan to work from.

6) Shift as much work to the players as possible. If the player wants his character to research a spell, make a magical item, what-have-you, have the player do the spell writeup (in PH format) or magic item description (in DMG format) and give you a copy. Don't ever accept an original. This way, if the sheet gets lost in the session pile of books and notes, there's a backup. If the player doesn't put the spell/item in the right format, or didn't include enough information, hand back your copy with notes scribbled in about what changes need to be made.

When it comes to maintaining strongholds, territories, land, NPCs, etc. the player should be handling around 90% of this work and giving you periodic updates (email works great). The player should keep the original material and give you copies. Remind the players when their characters need to pay taxes, maintenance, etc. and let them do the writing and math. The player should draw up the floor plans, description, magical defenses, etc. It's not your job. Take care of as much of this sort of material outside the game session as you can. If a player brings it up during game time, and it's not vital that it be taken care of right now, be polite and put it off until the session's over.

If your players have computers, make sure they send all this sort of material to you electronically. It's so much easier to deal with bookkeeping in electronic form.

7) Track down tools to make life easier. Irony Games has a load. Netbooks are a source of ideas and innovations (though you may have to wade through several K worth of flotsam to get to the diamonds). Build and distribute your own tools - just make sure you don't violate anyone's copyright! There are also some tools on my site you may find helpful.

Have more fun at every game!

Johnn Four

* Coat of Arms 1.2a
* Promisance
* World of Phaos 0.9.2
Is Magic Armor Lighter Than Standard Armor of the Same Type?
Yes indeed
No, never!
In 1E yes, in 2E no
Only for encumbrance
Of course it is
Not in my world
* And-Mag.com

© 1998-2019 Copyright PlanetADND.com - All Rights Reserved.
Owned and Maintained by Cole E Austin & Staff
Original site design by Cole Austin
World of Arkuth © 2009-2019 Copyright Cole E Austin

Wizards of the Coast, Dungeons & Dragons, and their logos are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast LLC in the United States and other countries. © 2015 Wizards. All Rights Reserved.
PlanetADnD.com is not affiliated with, endorsed, sponsored, or specifically approved by Wizards of the Coast LLC. PlanetADnD.com may use the trademarks and other intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast LLC, which is permitted under Wizards' Fan Site Policy Found Here