DM Tips in 140 characters or so #3

Alright I’m back with another weekly installment of random questions answered by all the dungeon masters out there on twitter. If you want to get in on the action just follow me @thadeousc on twitter and shoot me some answers.

Question #1: How do you come up with names for your NPCs?

jediknightgirl: this website is good for random name generation http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

sponng: I twist names of groups of people. Last batch of NPCs were from HS football team.

cordaxmike: all of my npc.’s were some variation of plot device. Plo devis, etc

DMSamuel: I usually take real names and change some vowels OR consonants, it’s an easy way to make odd names.

Question #2: DMs want to share some clues on how you promote role play at the table?

matt james: I reward role-players via in game storyline. If they work hard to stay in character- intangible benefits will come there way.

DM Simonides: Most important: the DM sets the tone for the table. If you RP at the players and don’t break character, they have to reciprocate. Also, be quick to curb non-in-character chatter with in-game action, but if the PCs are RPing, let them do it and butt out. Finally: don’t force it. Maybe they don’t RP because they don’t enjoy that aspect. Ask them and respect their answer.

WolfSamurai: Bribery. Bonus XP/gold/items. A bonus to some rolls. Someone role-plays enough will get more of the story and NPC attention.

mrfb: I give out small XP and bonus point (ala @gregbilsland’s fun point system) rewards after each session for RP. My theory is that people who like roleplay will do it naturally, but others need a mechanical bonus to coerce them a bit.Ultimately some players just don’t like RP, and I don’t force it. Sometimes they’re so bad at it I don’t want them to, haha.

DMSamuel: As well as what has been said already, as a DM I ask for the active participation of ALL my players. I also award XP for good RPing, and bonuses if someone does something especially cool. but some find they like it after they start to do it and no one makes fun of them – won’t happen if you don’t support it

dylanmcintosh: I agree with Matt James – probably give out extra xp or other treasures.

WastexGames: I had all players create a back story for their PC using very pointed questions. Then integrate the story into the campaign.

Question #3: DMs how often do you use endurance? How do you work it into your game?

d20plusmodifier: Endurance is easy to work in if you use extreme weather conditions in battles, extreme winds, cold water, etc.

AceDrummer_CLB: as part of the story, rests are less effective. movement penalties, combat penalties…

pdunwin: Endurance featured in two recent SCs. I use it to reflect environmental forces, heat, gravity, etc.

jediknightgirl: For long journeys. If the party travels hard for eight hours, and they want to go longer, I make them make endurance checks.

ChrisSSims: Endurance plays a big role in Dark Sun heroic tier. I’ve also been toying with thinking up some cool action uses for it.

Question #4: DMs What do you do when you suspect your player is not being honest about their character i.e build, bonuses or HP remaining?

WolfSamurai:  I take a look at most of the characters fairly often and I’ll ask questions if something seems out of whack.

AceDrummer_CLB: shady players? I keep and verify all PC Sheets. If caught cheating they warned once, if twice then not asked back

d20plusmodifier: Lure them away from the group, ie: Impossible skill challenge that only they can beat, then kill them.

DMSamuel: for starters, I get a copy of everyone’s char sheet and check them out before we start the adv arc and after every level up. Then I just try and keep track in my head of how well a PC is doing – I trust my players and don’t have this problem right now. But in the past, I’ve given them something that they can’t possibly cheat at 100% of the time, to see if they still try to If they still do, I take them aside, after a session, where no-one else can hear and I talk to them. ask them why they aren’t having fun and why they think they have to cheat to have fun. usually make a deal with them, if they agree not to cheat, we will “fix” their character so it is more fun for them. fixing usually means make a new character or retrain the old one – they also have to agree not to cheat anymore – I point out that sometimes failure is fun too, and they should embrace it and try to play off of it – then everyone has fun.

d20plusmodifier: @DMSamuel Or just kill their character. ;D

pdunwin:Slap it into CB. In game, I might ask for a quick recount. It’s usually just a mistake, not dishonesty.

DM Simonides: I have copies of char sheets to spot check powers, skills, feats to see what my PCs are capable of. As for cheats at the table…As for table cheating: nothing. If a player feels the need to cheat or fudge, they aren’t hurting the game except for themselves.

dndblog: If the character is out of balance with the rest of the party, I’ll try to give extra magic to the others to counterbalance.

Question#5: What books from previous editions or other games do you use as inspiration or material for your campaigns?

Mosuke0089: AD&D 2nd edition core books, D&D 3.5 core books and for battles (large ones) Bernanrd Cornwell’s Arthur histories

d20plusmodifier: Sometimes I look through d20 Apocalypse for ideas.

pdunwin: I like to reference 3.5 Eberron material. I just bought Sharn: City of Towers. I’ve never been very enamored of older edition stuff that hasn’t been brought over to 4E already.

mrfb: Dungeonscape (3.5) and Arms and Equipment Guide (3.0) are both great. Old Monster Manuals are always ripe for stealing, too.

jediknightgirl: I used to use 3.5 books to build NPCs and monsters when 4E first came out. Made for good inspiration.


if the character is out of balance with the rest of the party, I’ll try to give extra magic to the others to counterbalance

Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.


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About Thadeousc

Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.

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