View Full Version : Stupid GM tricks

16 May 2002, 07:49 AM
My GM from our Dungeons and Dragons group and I were talking about ttricks, traps and techniques GMs use to challenge their players, especially ones that are very munchkin. I have been having some problems with a PC who is rapidly approaching problem status. Any ideas how I can take him down a peg in game?

I was thinking of the "Evil Kirk"- Taking the character sheet, photocopying him and then turn him back on the PC as a villain/rival. Any thoughts?

16 May 2002, 07:53 AM
Problem Player?
Describe Problems

16 May 2002, 11:47 AM
Bounty Hunters etc with powered armor (environmentally sealed) Using chemical warfare in combat is a good way to make things more challenging. A good bounty hunter gives himself the advantage and picks his fight. If he cant choose the terrain, bring the terrain to the fight.
Good ideas are spore bombs, Poisonous gas, or even take a few hints from Boba Fett, Sonic Beam weapons are the most dangerous you can get in a fight especially if your oponent has high dex.

Sherman Shipyards
17 May 2002, 10:33 AM
I have the PC go down a long corridor with hidden blast door that close at a hight rate of speed. To avoid being smashed, the PC would have to make a DC 18 Reflex Save. A spot check to find the a hidden door would be DC 25. and wuld have to be done for every door. If the Fails he would have to take 3d10+5 in damage. One door may miss him, but 10 to 15 doors won't.

evan hansen
18 May 2002, 09:29 PM
The key, I believe, to keeping players "in check" is, ironically enough, to let them do whatever they want.

But they have to learn consequences.

If a PC wants to unleash a toxic gas on an entire city and kill everyone in it, go ahead and let them. But as the GM, you always have multiple outs. In a case like that, try doing something as simple as having there be a deformed survivor that comes back 4 adventures later to kill this PC. Or have one of the casualties' sons get a vengeful streak.

You get the idea.

I believe that a game should reflect the "real life" that a person in the Star Wars universe would see. People have free will. As long as the means are realistic (buying a death star would not be realistic of course), let PCs do what they please. But backlash should be realistic to match.

Also: NEVER make it look like you're trying to screw people. That irritates gamers more than anything. And explain your policies up front. The less confusion, the better. In this way, you can "trick" players or challenge them, but they still have control over their own destiny.

19 May 2002, 07:18 AM
By taking the "Evil Kirk" approach, it sounds like this guy is probably turning every bad guy you send at the group into a steaming pile of guts. Using his own shadow to take him down a notch might work. Then again, he may just blow through his shadow like he blows through everything else, leaving you back at square one.

I agree with Evan about PC actions having consequences. If this particular player likes to blow people away, always remember that NPCs don't live in a vacuum (unless, of course, they're mynocks). Everyone has friends and relatives who will come back to avenge them. This can start a vicious cycle, as the friends and relatives of the first guy are avenged by their friends and relatives, etc. You get the idea.

Unless you're operating in a completely lawless area of space, there are also the Authorities (whoever they may be: sector rangers, local cops, the I.S.B.). To quote a famous doctor, "I have the death sentence on twelve systems." These are the guys who are legally bound to defend/avenge folks, and killing enough of them (or, heck, only one of them) will usually bring the walls down around your problem PC.

Of course, the non-combat option to dealing with your friend is: don't have any combat. If his skills are geared towards making things die, tailor the adventures so that combat isn't an option. Have characters make extensive use of interpersonal and technical skills. Check his character to see which skills he lacks, and then use that information against him.

Not sure how much this will help, but it's worth a shot.


19 May 2002, 07:41 AM
Here are a couple of suggestions:

1) Run adventures where combat is not a viable option. Maybe the next mission requires diplomacy. Perhaps an NPC has vitally important information and won't tell the players. They have to find a way to convince the NPC to give them the data. I once played a Tapani Sector campaign where I hardly ever rolled dice.

2) Make combat very realistic. The key to this is remembering that combat tends to be chaotic and dangerous. One or two close scrapes and the player will be more careful about getting into blaster fights. For example, last night I had a player running a powerful Jedi PC decide to send his character right into the heart of the battle so he could use his lightsaber on as many foes as possible. Unfortunately for him, there was a low computer terminal in between, and he rolled abysmally on his jump check. He fell flat on his face at the feet of half a dozen soldiers. He survived, barely.

19 May 2002, 08:53 AM
I don't know about D6, but in D20, Opponents with an attack bonus just a bit higher than theirs, a few levels higher than them, and possessing a 'mastercraft' light repeating blaster with both the Rapid Shot and Multishot feats can be easily deadly ...

19 May 2002, 11:13 AM
For those UBER jedi, i have found that a sniper using a firearm or other projectile weapon, just under orders to target the lightsaber itself, is enough.

Take a game we played here in london 2 weeks ago. Before yavin time frame, the party was sent to investigate some planets for a possible rebel base. You guessed it, the yavin system. We found a powerful dark sider there, and during the combat (in which a non force sensitive wookie with a strange metal sword (GM GIVEN) took him on for 4 rounds before we all got there), instead of me shooting him like everyone else, i targeted his 2 lightsabers. Took one out, which allowed our parties jedi to cut him twice.

2 years ago, while Gming, did the same thing on the players, with boba fett, who came to collect 2 of the 6 people in the party for bounties. One was a jedi, and i had them all roll sense/perception to notice the ambush, non did. Blam, went the jedi's lightsaber.......

The other nice thing i have seen done, was having a EMP gun, similar to the Jawa weapon used in new hope, but long range (40 feet max) conical. Anything in it's cone get's shut down for 2d rounds........

19 May 2002, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by VixenofVenus
I don't know about D6, but in D20, Opponents with an attack bonus just a bit higher than theirs, a few levels higher than them, and possessing a 'mastercraft' light repeating blaster with both the Rapid Shot and Multishot feats can be easily deadly ...

I totally and completely agree, but I don't want to go on an anti-class/anti-level diatribe right now... ;)

As it is, D6 does allow for uber-characters, though the progression is a bit slower (depending on how willing the GM is to hand out character points). Being that the system is largely skill-based, high codes in any skill can lead to an imbalance. My players are currently at a relatively managable level, though they do (occasionally) get a bit too big for their own britches.

One thing my first GM told me holds true to this day: "No matter what level the characters are, there's always someone out there higher level than they are."


Talonne Hauk
19 May 2002, 06:19 PM
Dratted double-post.

Talonne Hauk
19 May 2002, 06:20 PM
I'm not sure what sending a mirror image after your character would do. If the problem is that your character is a min/maxer or "stat whore", then sending someone with exactly the same stats after him wouldn't help. Your player would probably think, "Hmmm. If I had just a few more ranks in this skill, I probably would have beat him." If, on the other hand, your player is actually playing smart and thinking of situational advantages, then you'll have to think like he does.
I would suggest throwing a multitude of NPC's at a character. Many GM's make the mistake of pitting one NPC after a character at a time. One stormtrooper is not a viable threat. But you throw a couple of dozen after a character, and he'll know he was in a fight.
And always hit your PC's where it hurts. No one can completely cover their bases with the skill points they're allotted. If your player is better suited for melee combat, put him behind the controls of a starfighter, and make that the focus of your adventure. Players tend to throw the skill points where they feel they'd be most useful. Throw everything, and the kitchen sink, at 'em. Let's see them deflect THAT with a lightsaber.
Remember, players only win because the GM lets them.

evan hansen
19 May 2002, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by Talonne Hauk
I would suggest throwing a multitude of NPC's at a character. ......
And always hit your PC's where it hurts. If your player is better suited for melee combat, put him behind the controls of a starfighter, and make that the focus of your adventure. Remember, players only win because the GM lets them. [/B]

This raises a good point, but it's a fine line, I think. *All* things are group-by-group specific, so everything said here needs to be analyzed and tried -- obviously that includes everything I say too. :-) With that said, it's important to realize that some groups will react differently. Some groups will respond, as Talonne suggests, by putting more points into a different skill -- starfighter piloting in this case -- while others will get upset. Players put points into skills for a variety of reasons, a common one being that they *enjoy* that facet of the game.

If you want lightsaber duels, you'll be upset if your GM continually puts you in shoot outs, dogfights, and boxing matches.

So you have to walk a fine line. Give your player what he or she wants enough to keep them happy. Make the responses proportionate so they realize their bounds to keep you happy. And, as suggested before, you can occasionally take them out of their element.

Mix 'n match, so to speak.