Stupid DM Tricks #371

Put the party in a time loop and run the same scenario every session.

No more annoying preparation! Just think of all the time you’ll save!


just trust in your own memory issues for slight changes to slowly (or quickly) creep into the scenario naturally!


There are groundhog day scenarios. Pudding Fare is a Oneshot with that exact concept (Pudding Faire - Dungeon Masters Guild | Dungeon Masters Guild)
→ all about breaking the loop

If you want it to last forever you just have each loop end with a fight with an Oblex ( who then proceeds to eat their memories.

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Offload menial worldbuilding onto your players, call it “collaborative storytelling”

“After some waiting, you meet the mayor of the town…” “What is his name?” “What do you think should be his name?”

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“After a tiring fight at the shore, you finally come to a small temple and village complex carved into a mountain. You are greeted by a slightly older looking human lady in priest robes. She introduces herself as Runara, priestess of Dragonrest and and invites you to come inside the village for rest and food.”

“Is she hot?”

“Uhhh you find her hot.”

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That would rquire keeping track of those names, which is clearly way too much effort.

Stupid DM Trick #372:

Use the classic ‘Knowing a thing’s name gives you power over it’ bit from various folklores and fantasy stories.

As a logical consequence, nobody in your world will admit to having a name, so nothing to keep track of.

(Also good for players, because choosing a name is always the hardest part of playing an RPG.)

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Dice, particularly heavy metal ones, are excelllent tools for creating tension.

Player rolling an investigation check (particularly a low or mediocre roll) on a perfectly mundane and not trapped chest? Roll the d20 behind the screen and hesitate a bit before you tell them that they do not find any traps/anything unusual.

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I think you are in the wrong place, this is for stupid DM tricks ^^

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@truecrawl :vulcan_salute:t2::joy::joy::joy:

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known as:

@H is catching up”

Do any of you list the main pillars of play when announcing a module / campaign session? You know: “this session will feature a lot of combat.” “The module is social activity & exploration ONLY”

Honestly, I never again want to see the long faces of people who get served sth unwanted. Is that the way to prevent that?

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answer in line with this thread: “do not join a game” :partying_face:

useful answer: “run a session 0”

in extreme cases (e.g. “this will be a dragonborn romance game”) I would also announce it before running a oneshot

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I’d put it in more general terms.

“Expect some vicious foes,” maybe, or “The game takes place in a vast wilderness.” That sort of thing.

Something like “This session will feature a lot of combat” sounds like the events of the scenario are predetermined. That’s something you definitely don’t want.

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That is good advice and I thank you for being the only one to take my question seriously on this thread.

Stupid DM advice:

  • just roll a die at random, smirk or flinch, then continue unabated. Nobody needs to know what that was for or what it affects.

  • if a player questions you about a topic you are sorely lacking in & you have a religious PC at the table, you can turn to that player and ask what the deity thinks. Simply help them along with bits and bobs of knowledge about the deity and let the answer emerge organically. It will be as if the game had always had the answer and you only ever needed to dig a little to arrive at it.

  • If a scenario is painfully slow or simply drags on for too long, let the scenario itself leave out of boredom. The infamous unsolvable locked door simply vanishes into the wall out of frustration, the quiz-giver instantaneously dies of old age, the town goes to sleep out of tedium. Let the world have strong opinions of what the players are doing or messing up, even if it feels kind of unfair or unruly. Boredom is an inflicted sin and goes both ways.

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