Story Time GMs! As a GM, we try to give our players free reign, to do what they want to do, but when devising a scenario, we always have a "plan" in the back of our heads. But every so often The players do something completely unexpected and ruin our plans. What was the biggest surprise your Players ever pulled on you?
>spend months trying to get my university to let me run a game
>when they finally agree, I spend months writing notes and maps and character portraits and the like
>wake up early on a Saturday to get everything ready
>drive to school with sodas, chips, burgers and the like
>set up in the library and wait until "game time" begins
>people start trickling in; all are inexperienced.
>one thought this was a poker club
>one thought it was a video gaming club
>the two guys who actually played D&D before were a fat brony guy, and a black kid who, while really nice and enjoyable to be around, I was concerned he might be mentally handicapped
>The worst by far, however, was this obnoxious stoner with mop hair and a T-Shirt of some hipster alt-rock band. He would be the source of all my woes, and inspire me to leave D&D altogether for over a year.
I've started DMing for some friends after they said they wanted to play DnD, it's my first time too.
I've never played a /tg/ at all so most of my stuff is coming from Fire Emblem, FFTactics etc, like, 5 maps leading into each other each with different requirements, it's combat / puzzle heavy and kinda' light in RP.
Am I doing it terribly wrong?
I always design my campaigns as a framework of events over a timeline and let the party run loose and do whatever they want. They inevitably run into plot or stumble into things that catch their interest and it all ends up running the course I'd planned in a nice, organic fashion.
When PCs are sufficiently invested you can straight up throw plot hooks and know they'll follow them. Mine mostly surprise me with the way they go about things, and what sorts of stuff they're willing to steal when given the right circumstances.
One of the first sessions I DM'd would've had PC's fighting an evil cleric and his zombie gargoyle on the roof of a church if they hadn't had the bright idea to burn it down and set the whole town on fire. Oh well.
I learned after my first campaign to not even plan things. I come up with a setting and a couple important characters then throw some plot hooks at the party. I don't plan the majority of encounters and just make everything up on the fly.
>every single one of them makes an elf or human wizard, save for the black guy, who makes an Elf Monk, and the stoner, who made (guess what?) a half-elf Rogue.
>it's unbalanced and awkward but they put together an interesting family dynamic where the Human Necromancer is the elves' stepfather, though he's considerably younger than them
>Finish character creation and start the game at the cosmopolitan capital city of an empire
>stoner interrupts me as I'm describing the setting
>"IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN STEAL?"
>I say no
>they walk into a general store, he interrupts me as I'm describing again
>"I STEAL ALL THE BREAD AND TOMATOES AND THEN CUT OFF THE SHOPKEEPER'S HEAD, LOL!"
>nobody else in the party has a problem with this
>I repress my anger and go along with it (I was a monumental pussy back then; I didn't know how to hold my ground in these situations and feared that I'd lose potential friends)
>they kill the shopkeeper and steal his fucking bread and tomatoes
>go into a magic shop and meet an old wizard who has a mission for them: to take an old spellbook to an anti-magic shrine and destroy it.
>As I'm talking, stoner interrupts again
>"I STEAL HIS BEARD, LOL"
>player is presented with dungeon miniboss after splitting from the group of his own will
>figure he'll try to run, give him ample warning and escape routes
>he confronts miniboss solo
>beats the shit out of Reefclaw with three lucky rolls and one fuck up on my part
>almost no damage on his character either despite having many stats with negative modifiers
>Gets back to group who just killed a spider together and took heavy casualties.
>Goes whole game saying "Did you know? I punched a Reefclaw. In the face! To death!" Every single encounter.
Goddammit man. I still don't get how an old man with only two positive stats (STR 18 and CHA 17) beat a dungeon miniboss solo. It's not right.
Trap involving rooms that had symbols relatin to elements. It was to open the lock to a sanctum owned by a long dea wizard, spells of the appropriate element summon elementals. If the spell was your own you controlled it, if it wasn't, from a wand or scroll somebody else made, it was hostile. The more powerful the spell the stronger the summons. The wizard had a contingency of scrolls of each element of levels 0-2 on a bench outside. The players looked at the scrolls, 1 of each element laid out on the table in the main hall, entered all the rooms and identified the elements from symbols on the walls and sat stumped for a little bit.
Then the ninja whipped out a wand of lightning bolt they had found earlier that i had forgotten about and zapped the lightning basin. I went easy on them and only gave them two medium lightning elementals, a level three spell was suppose to be a large elemental but with DR and 100ft fly speed it would slaughter them.
They then decided that it would be best to activate the earth basin with the scroll and hope they would fight each other. That... Nearly ended very badly... The fights were suppose to bejust trivial distractions, the main thing was the puzzle.
I'm a new GM, thongs were pretty balanced, some fights would have been dificult some not too bad. I underestimated the advice given to me before I started: assume players do the stupidest thing possible. The advice should have been think of the stupidest thing your players might do and they will undeniably fuck up so much worse.
>Not having a mob or police come in and gang-rape the hippy
What were you doing man?!
Hopefully the wizard will light him on fire or something atleast. >yfw he is an allpowerful butt-caster who fills mop-head's anus with lava.
>yfw you have no face.
>After the players finish, they get on the road to the docks, where the old wizard has a small ship lined up for them
>stoner makes comments and rolls to do obnoxious bullshit the whole way
>fast forward three sessions to the anti-magic shrine
>black dude looks like he's really enjoying the game, rest of the party has begun to dwindle and leave due to stoner's bullshit, leaving only me, stoner, black dude and the guy who was playing the human necromancer
>stoner has apparently gotten bored of disrespecting me through disinterest and idiocy, and has taken to playing on his fucking phone while I'm talking
>anyway, black dude and necromancer have worked together to defeat a tribe of hostile lizardfolk by burning their village down while they slept, but have accidentally set the forested island on fire
>they rush to the shrine at the top of the island, and when they get there, the stone deck cracks and a huge, black, leafless tree emerges
>it bellows in a deep, wise-yet-furious voice that he is the guardian of this island and they have disrespected his domain
>as I'm talking, the stoner interrupts me to say "I ROLL TO PLAY MILEY CYRUS AND MAKE THE TREE DIE FROM PAIN! LOLOLOL!"
>I ignore him, but he's persistent in this decision
>eventually plays Miley Cyrus from his iPhone at full blast while I try to talk
It was at this point that I finally snapped. I grabbed my notes and maps, and threw them away. I stood up, took my burgers and the last unopened Dr. Pepper and wordlessly left.
And that's the story of how I quit weed, I mean, D&D.
>eventually plays Miley Cyrus from his iPhone at full blast while I try to talk
why would anyone do that
God damn it, I expected more from you.>>33145461
If one of your players had asked you privately if they could roll to stab stoner in the back, killing him and kicking him from the game, what would you have said?
>Tfw first time gming
>Tfw no set plot, just making shit up
>Tfw 4 sessions in, so many memorable moments (character setting his arms on fire, Cult violence, Cult driving people someone to suicide, Psyker's player creeped out by powers but constantly searching for friends, one dating a psychopath who kills people for their skin.)
>Tfw players seem to be having fun
>Tfw I'm having fun.
>Tfw no brakes
Things seem to be going pretty well, if it carries on then I'll advertise a new game once this one is over.
>Group takes a mercenary job protecting a castle during a feast
>Attacked by light armored footmen with unknown sigil on them
>Write a hero Paladin that wants to order the world into perfect rank and file
>Paladin rides into town on a platform and golden throne
>Have 9 pages of notes
>He begins a speech to convince the party he's on the side of the good and just
>Kobold hands a potion of transformation to his Troll friend
>Hurls it across a field
>Nails the paladin
>Transforms into a giant squid
>Crushes the men carrying his platform
>Party rushes him
>Cuts out his eyes as he suffocates
>Disbands the small army
>Tear up my notes and interconnected stories I had planned
...so your players murdered Injustice superman in 12 seconds and you're upset?
It sounds like your players just bumbled into the role of legendary mercenaries which means you now have the easiest plot hook ever.
'cuz money should get them to do anything anyway so if you're really upset just throw them into 'Nam but with kobolds
>they're in the trees man
>first time gming
>nervous as fuck since it's the usual group and I kinda got shoehorned into beeing the next gm
>don't know what the hell I'm doing, just pull stuff out of my ass all the time with a max prep time of 2 hours per session
>somehow everyone likes it and is having fun
>mfw I realise that I started to draw a map and came up with a plot for a game that had no plot before
I have not had anything of the sort, with my players usually playing Neutral Good adventurers but I have done something of the sort.
>Epic level Campaign
>Kitsune Hengeyokai Healer (me), Badger Hengeyokai Warmage, Tanuki Hengeyokai Warblade, Crab Hengeyokai Marshal
>Crab Marshal buffs us with his Cha to Damage aura and we wreck shit up (He's got a whopping 35 in Charisma.)
>Head to the end of the dungeon, there's motherfucking Burning Hate himself, Zarus.
>Epic fight happens but he then casts some kind of spell to lower all of us to 1 HP.
>As he gloats, I reveal that my legacy weapon has one-last charge of Maximized Cure Massive Wounds and contigent revivify. (He was suppose to kill us afterwards and we would start off over as level one descendants of those heroes.)
>Warblade gets up and uses a manuever with save or die
>Nat 1 on Zarus' part
>He dies and suddenly thousands of human commoners roam the planes.
I DM a game of Pokemon:TA for a group of 7. A bit ago, they reached a point where the villainous corporation took control over a few towns, rounding up people as prisoners.
The PCs watched from afar as 60 of the armed-&-Pokemon-wielding grunts enter the city with an amusement park. This number is important.
The players then reached and snuck through town, grouping up with the Ranger Captain to form a plan. He had a psychic powered map that displayed dots to show where people where in the city, but not who they were; they all note that there's hundreds of people in the amusement park, and surmise it is where the grunts are holding people. They plan to infiltrate.
After some roundabout/failed plans, every member of the party has gotten inside of the park, although they are mostly separated. Five of the players group up and decide to head towards the indoor coaster that functions as the gym, hoping to find whoever is in charge there, as they know the gym leader was kidnapped.
The other two players, after regrouping with the Captain, decide on an entirely different course of action.
They decide to both use Earthquake at the same point to trigger a real one. Without warning the rest of the party, who they know are in the park.
Their plan worked on solid rolls, and the park came the fuck down, causing two other players to roll death saving throws, and killing everyone who was inside buildings, a death tally of roughly 500. (The rest of the party had a Psychic with them, who sensed danger, so they ran outside of the building they were in, but not quick enough to avoid all damage.)
This is why numbers are important. Only 60 of those people were grunts, the rest were civilian prisoners. 440 innocent casualities.
I thought it was hysterical, especially when one of the ones who used Earthquake kept fucking with the player who lived in this town about how "the bad guys killed all your friends, it's tragic".
Pic related, the "monument" the earthquake player left.
I've got nothing individually spectacular, but my group is ridiculously over-prepared for everything.
In D&D, they would all be that paranoid motherfucker who bought ten miles of rope at char-gen because 'you just never know when you might need MORE ROPE'.
But since we play SHADOWRUN.....
They do things like pay someone to try and mug the owner of the bar the Johnson meet is going to take place, and then shoot the guy to earn the barkeep's gratitude for saving them a day or two in advance.
So at this point, there's no such thing as an actual 'Neutral Ground' meet in Seattle. One time they were so loved by the patrons that when the Johnson had his mercs in the crowd stand up to keep their pay in his pocket, they were beaten right the fuck back down before the actual team could do anything to them.
The most extreme example of an individual action would be a run against Sader-Krupp proper in Berlin which had them laying prep-work four in game years and almost two in real life preparing for it.
Well before they actually GOT the damn job. They just assumed at some point they were going to have to do shit on Lofwyr's home ground and buried themselves in fluff and splatbooks until they thought they knew what to expect, and planned accordingly.
If I could only encourage more than two of they six of them to fucking ROLEPLAY every so often, they would be the perfect fucking group.
Here's how you do it.
Study this gif carefully and take its lessons to heart
> Railroading GMs
Truly, the blight of our times.
>"I STEAL HIS BEARD, LOL"
This is the point where I roll for initiative, claiming to have full stats for the wizard. Then I'd have to wizard cast a number of bullshit made-up spells, like "Polymorph: Babyhands", and "Mordenkainen's Spastic Colon" until the Stoner's character is left crippled for pulling such retarded shit.
You don't let players walk all over you, man. Even if you just let the dude get away with the murder for the time being, you don't let his ass out of the town without an ambush squad of justice-hungry Paladin Guards ready to maim him.
Well for start I've gotten really lucky. I started playing 4 years ago, and I still play with the same group and we are still on the same story with two of the original characters Still around! They enjoy it and are always really into the games.
Craziest thing they ever did was spend a few hours (real time) torturing a dwarf.
Party gets a job in bumkinnowheresville from a guy who is not as backwards as everyone else to follow a nomadic caravan, and get a VIP out quietly, and take him to the next major city.
Well, sorcerer and ranger go in using spells and skills to hide in plain sight and scout the camp. A few checks later and it all goes to hell. Mange to get the guy out, but not as quietly as told. They were promised 20,000 gold for the job, and this is the most money they've ever seen. (As a GM I like to keep loot cash wise to minimum so that they have other goals outside of lol cash money)
Anyway they get to a major city and deliver the target. But because they fucked up the Dwarf captain refuses to pay them.
Party spends a couple of hours in real time planing how to kidnap, torture, and rob the dwarf before granting him death.
That really tested my improve GM skills
Every game needs to be an equal balance of railroading, made possible by players understanding that the GM needs an opportunity to set the scene and influence their motivation, and full on free-roaming and open-ended fucking around, made possible by GM ad-libbing to allow players to fill in their part of the story and explore their motivations and character goals.
One without the other either gives you players that are being dragged around against their will, making an effort to contribute as little as possible out of spite or boredom, or it gives you an aimless campaign where players have no investment or connection with the fictional world before them, leading to player inaction, out of paralysis of choice.
>player is a total that guy but a good friend, party can usually keep him in check
>playing a homebrew class, mix between paladin and rogue, gets his powers from a god
>one session, murders a guy before knowing whether he was evil or not (he was evil, to be fair)
>that night, recieves a vision from his god warning him not to do that again or he'll lose his powers
>fucking idiot challenges god to a fight
>god curbstomps him
>argues ooc that he didn't die since it was all in his head
>okay, your character is not dead, but because god defeated him in his head he is now a braindead vegetable, roll a new character
>player doesn't even mind
That's how it started for me, I was nervous as fuck too, practically vomiting with anxious nausea but once i got into things, what happened next just flowed and snowballed.
Everyone seems to be having fun and noone's complaining so I just keep going.
>"I STEAL ALL THE BREAD AND TOMATOES AND THEN CUT OFF THE SHOPKEEPER'S HEAD, LOL!"
if this was me GMing, that's when 40+ city guards surround the shop and train swords and crossbows on the stoned rogue. if he stands down, then he would've learned a valuble lesson as to the life expectancy of idiots, and a plot hook for adventure (his punishment is to do 'x' quest as penance), if his character tries to fight, well, his character will die horribly and nothing of value is lost.
Players interacting with Gods in game always leads to interesting outcomes.
Had a lengthy campaign that escalated from a bunch of gutter-trash thieves stealing shit for a living, to excavating the hidden history of their city, to an age old battle between Gods with the party members taking up the mantle of the various Deities with an investment in the conflict.
Each player ended up becoming the unofficial Avatar of the various Gods, except for one of them, who was a stealthy, clever gun-wizard who wanted nothing to do with the Gods. He thought their time was over and that they should stop interfering with the world of man.
As they came closer to the climactic battle, that player started getting whisperings from the Trickster God who had caused all the problems and fucked up the natural order of things. She started offering him hints and clues and eventually tried cutting a deal with him.
When it finally came down to killing her Avatar (the corrupt King of their land), he had one last chance to side with her and take the King's spot as the all powerful ruler of the largest Kingdom in the world.
He told her to fuck off and that she had her chance to cut him a better deal before she was desperate and losing.
>>playing a homebrew class, mix between paladin and rogue, gets his powers from a god
That's just silly, everyone knows that mix between paladin and rogue is yandere and yandere gets powers from purest love for the beloved one.
Last thing that really threw me off the rails was when I had the players involved in a large battle between two nations and the objective I gave them was to sneak around the enemy positions get into their camp and assassinate their leadership. Instead they decided they wanted to command their side's armies themselves. Their logic was that they were probably more capable leaders on the battlefield than the actual commanders (most of the generals had recently been Great Purged by the recently deposed corrupt prince) and that asking the soldiers to fight a massive battle with massive casualties just to provide a distraction was wrong. So I gave them all leadership scores as if they took the feat, told them that they had command of a number of soldiers equal to the number of followers they would've had, and we ended up playing a massive game up Warhammer for about a month to settle it. Ended with the enemy army being routed, lower than expected casualties, and the enemy leadership being captured alive and put on trial. Fun times.
I learned not to "have a plan". I tend to start with some "pre-made" tales (pretty straightfoward, dungeons most of the time), while creating a living world in the process (i'm pretty good improvising NPCs and NPCs relations). After 1 or 2 short dungeons (If my players tend to spent time roleplaying in the meantime, instead of just going to complete the goal) I had enough NPCs, relationships and "groups" created to let them loose on the city. I gave them some kind of goal inside of a living place, and they tend to do shit with that.
First time DMing d20 Star Wars, so was a lil nervous. Warned the PCs that it might feel rather railroaded due to my inexperience. Admittedly, the first session was getting used to the system, so that was railroaded a smidge. However, there is a main story arc that everyone is following nicely whilst they carry on with their own personal stories. Any locations that they are visiting I make a simple synopsis with basic stats, such as any enemies in the area and write a couple of basic encounters, but they generally create their own stories. For instance, I created a massive background to a character who hasn't even turned up yet (because they haven't gone to a specific planet yet that has been subtly hinted at by some of the other NPCs) whereas another character that I created who was there merely to sell a ship to the Wookiee character turns out to be one of the most fun characters for the party to interact with! Just goes to show that less can be more.
I am vehemently against railroading, so when my players want to do something other than the main plot, unless I can think of a reason why they shouldn't, I usually let them do it.
I decided to run what I thought was a pretty col campaign. Start with them defending the retreat of the outlying village under threat of an incoming zombie hoard and have them assist the capital in the breaking of the siege, then going off to find out what culty things are behind it. right as soon as they got into the city they decided to dismantle the city-wide black market. four sessions later and they are just now beginning the offensive against the corruption in the city.
Shit's pretty cash.
Honestly a lot of the time their general antics are what thrill me. One of my favourite sessions ever was when a player who's character was a Warforged Wizard with his dump stat being wisdom broke into a house with the help of an Elf Druid and the shenanigans were quite hilarious.
My players wanted to pull the head off of a wooly rhino they were fighting. They ended up killing it a bit too fast, and were a bit disappointed, so I brought it back to life and let them try again, only for them to start rolling poorly and decide to kill it normally. It was a good show though, minus the one guy who was causing problems for the party by trying to tame the animal.
I had the lolrandom character in the party come into ownership of a slave. Said character claims to be good, yet only seeks to really use the slave for his magical realm, as I was told out of game by the player's 'friend.' I never intended for anyone to pick the slave, as a reward to the quest they finished. This most recent development I am waiting for the party to address, because the characters apparently all despise what he did.
This sorta happened to me once.
>GM obviously wants us to go to this one down and deal with the Big Bad who enslaved our characters a bit before.
>Though unlike other parties, we roleplay a lot.
>End up having 3 sessions where we do nothing but argue among each other, completely in-character, on what the proper course of action is to deal with the big bad.
>Decide my character get's fed up with this one crossdressing high society cunt in our group and have my character kick him in the dick-my -pc-didn't-know-he-had.
>Get kicked out of the town we were in.
>Spend another session arguing in-character in the middle of the desert.
>Decide to head East and see what we can find.
>End up going to a city the GM didn't expect us to head to until late game.
>GM scrambling to catch up.
>GM loses notes
>Meanwhile the players themselves are railroading each other as the Crossdressing Cunt doesn't want to leave the city while mine does.
>Medic actually knows a lot about the GM's plot, but keeps the information to himself.
>Crossdresser confronts him about this.
>Ends up in bloody crit success murder
>Pure blood bath as the rest of the party pounces on him and tears him apart.
>My character ends up blowing him up and covering the entire party in his gore and accidentally killing another PC with the splash damage. Raising the death toll in that one session to 3.
>GM's face when.
And this is why Railroading is sometimes good.
Where do I begin?
>Party starts a war via false flag.
>Healbot cleric mind-rapes her own father.
>Token monk beatstick becomes the uncle/dad of the group.
>They fucking ally with one of the (near literal) 4 horsemen, and then spend a chunk of the game helping him, for funsies.
>If they don't kill it the first time they see it, they do everything they can to make it their friend. trolls, orcs, enemy armies, you name it.
>Party is currently running 4 fully-involved, completely separate espionage plans AT ONCE,
>Digging a secret access tunnel under a city to flood it with troops/soldiers.
>Manipulating Healbot's ENTIRE CHURCH CLERGY into mounting a holy crusade against an evil necromatic dragon.
>A plot involving the death of a body double(party alchemist has like...5 of them), an old ally assassin, and totally destroying the entire power structure of an entire nation MID WAR so that they can put the Healbot's now (semi)un-mindfucked dad at the helm so they have deeper pockets of resources and soldiers to call on.
>Sneaking into a fully fortified city-state, killing the prince, stealing the plans for the magical equivalent of a nuclear weapon, killing the man/men who know about it, then proceeding to collect massive spoils and a impressive reward for their army showing up as a sub-contractor for a mercenary guild.
I swear to god, I am not exaggerating.
My party is equal measures insane, brilliant and fucking horrible. if you want actual stories, just pick something and I'll elaborate, I guess.
>Players are supposed to break into a noble's estate
>Decide to get in with the nobles by forming a travelling band for festivals
>Goodbye adventure, hello world tour
>Campaign ignored hence-forth
Most of mine just involve the party going in the opposite direction I thought they would. I don't consider any of them bad, but they often caused me to scrap my adventure plans for the night and wing it.
>set up base in the dwarven capitol rather than the human one. (It makes sense in hindsight as the industrial dwarven society is more relatable to them than a monarchist human society.)
>Reverse-break into the prison they just escaped from to take advantage of some secret tunnels that lead under the guard tower, stoneshape an entrance into the underside of said tower and recover their stuff rather than face the next session without it.
>Snatch gold hoard guarded by stone golem (that I placed as bait to encourage them to find a way back when they were stronger) by flooding dungeon and tricking stone golem into teleporter.
>Escape from an underwater dungeon by waterproofing a giant shell and using buoyancy to float it (with party inside) to the surface.
>Stab the corrupt city guard in the throat.
But seriously, everytime you create a NPC with any plot importance, ask yourself "but what if the PCs kill him/her/it on sight?" and plan from there.
Because some of these NPC WILL get killed on sight, especially if they start monologuing.
Not sure this qualifies, but
>Online campaign with some new players from school
>Traveling to first dungeon
>Come across a dead elk, all ripped to shit
>Meant to be a set piece, to show that shit happens that doesn't always concern them
>When they investigate, give some hints that it was killed by
>Party immediately starts arguing about whether they should continue to the dungeon or if they should track down whatever killed the elk.
>Friend from home playing with me congratulates me on derailing the campaign at level 1.
I never get to be a sky pirate.
Having something more interesting than the goal plopped in front of players.
Your second mistake: adding more detail than necessary. You really shouldn't be able to tell from a ripped up Elk Corpse that Werewolves did it. It'd look like something big, bad, and hungry did it, yeah, but not the exact species.
A 1st Level dungeoncrawling party ain't a CSI team.
When running a game tell the party exactly what they should know, but up to the level that they know it. If you got 4 ranks in Knowledge: Wildlife and a +0 Intelligence... all they should be getting is a "Yeah, something big, angry, and hungry did this and it lives close by... like that place you're heading to..."
Yeah... that'll scare the shit out of your players. It should. It's their first real adventure. Make them feel like scared newbies.
>What was the biggest surprise your Players ever pulled on you?
They happened upon a den of necromancers corrupting a forest that was the site of an ancient battle instead of delving into their lair in the local graveyard.
Plot nodes are a legit thing, mang.
Let me start by saying that my party was mostly full of extreme do-gooders. They liked the sappy romantic endings and one of them actively avoided all conflict if they could, and tried their hardest to diplomance their way out of everything. I thought I had a pretty good handle on them.
They helped stop a war between trolls and elves (with a surprisingly pair of surprisingly ruthless Shadowrun-like missions). One of the causes of said war was a plague of dragons in the mountains north of the forested area where they were that caused the trolls to be driven south out of the mountains. The dwarves were said to be shut in their fortresses and the dragons laying seige to them. Rather than go fight dragons, they latched onto an NPC they had rescued that tied back into a mysterious airship sighting they had VERY early in the campaign.
He was supposed to travel with them, watch them, decide they were good people and then let them in on the secret. Instead, they just straight up asked 'Hey aasimar dude, you're really far from home and that sucks. How can we get you home?' And took off with him, ignoring the dragon conflict altogether. I usually use plot nodes, but in this case, the dragon/dwarf fight was being used as a plot hook I was sure they'd bite on, but apparently, mysterious face-concealing aasimar that don't speak Common are far more interesting. I ended up scrapping that batch of content and just referencing it as something they took care of in the epilogue of the campaign.
I know my players so well it is almost boring. I can always tell what they are going to do and I am always ready for it. It never deviates much from my original plan. Until a month ago.
>NPC from start of game is devil lord slowly corrupting players
>One PC hits on him as he is in town
>Jackpot. Romantic relationship with BBEG
>PC also accepts pregnancy from this coupling
Although surprising, it really just played into my plans.
>Devil successfully convinces PCs that one of their allies in a war might betray them. He won't
>Devil convinces them that the ally might have a dragon orb he will use on them
>They want to investigate and diplomacy first
>Devil gives staff to help kill ally if they need to
>They investigate. Find an orb(Fake of course). No confirmation yet though
>Go back to ally's castle. Rest and spellcraft tomorrow to confirm
>Go to library to spellcraft. Devil lord kills all of ally's spellcrafters and pins it on PCs trying to steal magic orb
>PCs confront him in his throne room
>Argument almost resolved. PCs and ally almost to the point of reconciliation and inquiry into what actually happened
>Staff flies over to boss and explodes. He thinks they attacked him. Fight ensues
>Dark Heresy Game
>First time GMing, First P&P game for them too
>Mary sue everywhere apart from 1 guy at least making an attempt to play his tech priest well
>They're struggling to find their way around the area I've created for them
>(physical maps and all, but due to botched roles they rarely found said maps, a mistake on my part i suppose)
>Right okay they need some outside help
>idea, robot dog guide, they find it in the next room along with a data slate and a dead guardsman "with scraps of bright ginger hair still clinging to the skull)
> dataslate reads:
> I have waited for as long as I can, but if it takes for ever, I will wait for help. Help will come, if it takes 1000 years, help will come
>nobody got it
they shortly strap det-packs to the dog and send it on a suicide mission against a single mediocre ork Kommado that got the drop on them
>Because of tension between PCs, and the staff came from the devil's lover, they decided to try sense motive
>Everyone believes the lover did not do that on her own
>Except the ranger who is also the town's harsh sheriff. Ranger attacks druid. Druid and summoner attacks ranger. Fighter, oracle and rogue barely holding off minions.
>Ranger KO's druid. Summoner KO's ranger. Everyone else KO'ed by minions and boss.
>My first full party wipe.
Pic related because the Devil lord was going to reveal himself after they killed their ally. Plot was going to happen and they would discover the whole big plan behind the war.
Then they had to go and die on me. With the amount of tension I built up, the game really can't be continued easily because everyone will metagame and focus on the merchant(devil lord) who betrayed them. Whole campaign right out the window.
>spend many years working on a homebrew in spare time on and off, but it's always been a passion
>this is the third campaign set within my world, and while slightly different from the first two it isn't on much of any dramatic level
>There are four players. One is an experienced PnP player who, while he can play a character well does so in largely black and white practices of good and bad which can lead to obnoxious characters. Another is a minmaxer that never listens and will take any excuse to make a joke even when trying to set an atmosphere. The other two are a couple, new to PnP and while rather timid and as of yet uncomfortable are slowly getting into the swing of things. Neither of the couple knows how to or can bring themselves to rp their characters
And so this is my crew. While we have fun when we do play I almost don't want to continue each time. I spend stupid amounts of time trying to put together fun, interesting and non-cliché scenarios for them while balancing the progressing campaign which will constantly be shat all over. The minmaxer doesn't care and just wants to roll dice. The experienced player will make the whole story revolve around him if no one stops him (and no one ever does) saying that without him there'd be no story. In the end any kind of fun i might get from telling a story is entirely lost.
What do you think /tg/? It's not the worst, we do have fun but i'm increasingly disheartened that the one aspect of the game i myself get to enjoy (ie not just being with friends but partaking in the activity) with telling a story never goes appreciated. It's a ton of effort and work to put it together and honestly I feel taken for granted.
Why the hell didn't you tell him to piss off?
>Why the hell didn't you tell him to piss off?
When you are running a game for the college, suddenly turning someone away can be spread around the social circles that you're rude to people. Suddenly, you have a dead table. Either that or said asshole can get the ear of a dean or the administration, and suddenly you can't game at all, or worse.
Then again, the person might be a whipped ass pussycat too.
That sounds awesome. I'd love my gm to do shit like that.
Most of the time we have no problems saying "well we fucked up, better high tail it out of here"
And that's exactly what your group should have done
Just don't let your players fuck up your story.
When I DM, I make sure they stay there.
>Players meet an old man in the tavern
>he wants them to go get macguffin from nearby dungeon
>they plan a bit, but then decide to see if there's other people who need them
>I just tell them there isn't, and then tell them they go to the dungeon
>so they do the dungeon like they're supposed to
What's so hard about it?
I've stopped planning sessions altogether. I'll make a setting, some characters, and maybe even a set piece, dungeon, or special encounter that I store away into my notes to be reflavored and implemented as need be. Anything more always ends in the players to completely derail the story, often times before it even begins. Honestly, one of the most fun times I've had with the group was in a one-shot sci-fi game with rules that we pretty much made up on the spot that involved exploding blood terrorists.
The secret to plotting is not to force the players to head in the direction of the plot.
The secret is to re-arrange the plot so that the plot is always in the direction the players are going, and to make it seen like that's what you intended all along.
I ran the Changeling: The Lost demo game yesterday. The players were experienced, took it seriously, but not so serious that they wouldn't have a laugh. Good times were had.
But this game, as written, is kinda odd if the players don't jump at the chance to be murderhobos. They were recruited into a rebellious little organisation to overthrow the king of eternal summer so that the winter court could take over and restore balance to nature.
Some guy from the summer court shows up at a secret meeting to try and hassle them to make them admit to plotting something, but there's nothing he can even do at that time, and the players just criticised his lack of manners for interrupting their afternoon tea party.
Then on the walk back through the Hedge they meet some ogres who try to intimidate them, but the ogres are attacked by black swamp gators, while the players take the opportunity to just walk away with a laugh, by passing combat. As written, that's a perfectly valid option.
They got a call to go steal a book that's supposed to foretell the future from some old guy, who was written to be easy to bully, and would have given it to them anyway, so they got it without a problem.
(To be continued)
When they return the book to the head of the rebellion, the twist is that there never was any rebellion, and she just wanted her diary back. The players are supposed to feel utterly betrayed by this, and she amplifies the feeling of betrayal and sorrow with her magical veil, feeding on their emotion and draining them of the will to resist her. Then they can either submit to her will and sign a contract to never reveal her secrets, or fight back against her.
Their reaction was to just not give a shit. If she wants her diary, she can have it and they hope it'll make her happy. The whole cunning plan of deception and betrayal was silly and unnecessary to them. She could have just, like, asked politely and honestly, and they'd have done it anyway.
All I could do was laugh and give up, congratulating them on winning by way of not giving a fuck.
Maybe it's all my time playing the old way, but I don't even bother with that. I build the story around the players.
I make a hexgrid sandbox, load it with cities and dungeons that I can swap for level appropriate ones
or not, weird exploration setpieces and easter eggs, script a broad background story with events that will happen in the background unless the players chose to intervene, and set it all in motion.
Not to say I don't move things in front of the players from time to time, but they seem to like being given the choice between the dangers and rewards of adventuring through hexes and shaping major events in their favor.
You are trying too hard, brother. -1/10
Yeah, who doesn't love them some illusionism? It is even better when the players finally get what's going on, they sure love that shit.
>Just don't let your players fuck up your story.
>fuck up your story
Oh look, you're a shit GM. The storytelling in RPG's is collaborative. If you're removing player choices from the equation beyond combat choices, they're no longer part of the storytelling process and it's you telling your shitty Tolkien fanfiction to them while they get to play combat minigames.
Plus, saying 'NOBODY ELSE NEEDS HELP, GO DO WHAT I TOLD YOU' and then telling the players that they go to the dungeon is the definition of unsubtle railroading.
'Nobody else needs help' means your plot is so brittle it will crack and fail if they don't do this thing. 'Tell them they go to the dungeon' is taking agency out of the hands of the players. And since personal agency is all they have in this game, you've eliminated the need to play the game, after all they can just sit there and listen to you tell your story instead.
How about you read >>33150610's image and get back to us after you improve. >>33152843's hexgrid sandbox with multiple directions is more engaging than trying to sit through some neckbeard's shitty 2/10 fantasy fiction that can't handle unexpected party direction.
I don't DM a lot, but when I do, I'm a reactionary DM.
When the PCs do something unexpected, I do a quick mental checklist:
Does this screw up the plot to the point that it cannot continue? If not, integrate this new information into the plot. If so, create a new plot based on the consequences of their actions. On the spot if need be.
On the spot plot tend to be more grandiose and catastrophic than planned plot, because as far as I'm concerned if you're gonna blow up the campaign, I'm gonna at least make damn sure the explosion is fun to look at.
But, in part of reactionary DMing, a lot of times I just ask the PCs what they're planning on doing next. We do online text-based games, so not a whole lot gets done due to the time spent just typing shit. Which means I keep a pretty good handle on the game just asking people what their plans are before a game day and building off that. And when the unexpected comes around, that's when shit starts getting crazy.
None of my players have ever accused me of not having material prepared, even when I'm blatantly pulling shit out of my ass, just because I adhere to the rule of "do it big".
And if you've fucked things up to the point that plot cannot continue in ANY form, we do a quick epilogue and you win. Or lose. It depends on what you did.
I'm not trying to fill out a time card here, if you fucking beat the campaign, we're done. It doesn't matter how it happened.
And then it's the next DM's turn to run a plot that I'll screw up.
As a side note, the war they're interrupting was caused by the samesuch false flag, which they performed in order to steal precious military secrets from a fortified base FOR THE BBEG.
>Half the party dresses as elves.
>Other half as the knights they're meaning to steal from.
>At a pre-approved signal, the "elves" charge in and kill anything they can, before setting fires and running.
>Other half of the party sneak in disguised, steal some secrets, then sabotage a building to explode (held lots of alchemical/spell components).
>Run into two new player-characters in the meanwhile who join the shennanigans quite readily (escaping from an awaiting military tribunal).
>The result of their actions was the Alabaster Knights blaming the elves, and starting a war.
>Which killed lots of people; including two old friends of the Healbot's Father, leaving an orphan daughter.
>Healbot's dad adopted the full elf.
>Healbot is a half elf, whose mom died due to sub-par care by elf healers.
>Is understandably still rather bitter.
>At the time, healbot didn't know his daughter was even still alive.
>Healbot stole a heirloom intelligent weapon.
>Healbot eventually confronts dad about things, he says she's clearly being influenced by the (granted, COMPLETELY BATSHIT INSANE) weapon.
>Insane weapon psionically attacks dad, who is not prepared for the sheer levels of -fuck- contained therein.
>Adopted daughter pleads for her to help.
Forgot to mention the first Act of the game.
>Worked for the BBEG, knowing he was evil
>Helping him because the pay was good and they didn't immediately see the depth of his insanity.
>Lose the party's favorite NPC/ally to a horrible, horrible death/undeath/unlife
>Run off defeated, demoralized, and in some cases, heavily injured
>This is the end of the first Act.
This game has been running for, and I shit you not, over 3 years 1/week for 6 hours a week, and we're only HALFWAY THROUGH ACT TWO.
As a GM, I really kind of hate the other players. However I reward creativity more than anything so this is how it goes.
>One-off, Pathfinder, standard Inn has infestation quest with a spin.
> Party consists of Dwarf Paladin worshiping Torag and and a Human Winter Witch Noble that is obviously based off of Elsa from frozen.
> They ask around town looking for rumors. Dwarf Spends a day repairing the stone walls along the hillside village because fuck main quests. Turns out the Local Inn had a visit from a Gadget Wizard. He's installed a Semi-infinite Ale barrel in the tavern that constantly refills itself.
> Wizard connected the Barrel to a demiplane of water that is filled with Magically generated Alcohol. Mentioned during narration that the barrel smelled of salt. Dwarf Paladin is filled with Roid rage over the ruined ale.
> During the investigation sea creatures come out of the barrel portal, they attack out of anger.
> Winter witch heroically kills the creatures using the puddles on the floor as a source of ice for creative use of Snow Shape to transmute spears into the Walruses attacking.
> I'm impressed by the ingenuity.
> They then try to solve how to close off the portal.
> Both fail swim checks to maneuver in the water demiplane. Dwarf almost dies. Winter Witch saves him.
> Despite seeing coral structures inside of the water world they decide that the barrel is too much of a hassle to destroy via the main quest.
> Dwarf has an idea. Alcohol is flammable, let's make a semi infinite bomb because he hates the under dark and he also quests to destroy the minions of Asmodeus.
>Wat, this isn't in the story.
>the end their first session by asking for directions to the nearest Dwarf stronghold.
>Next session-- Just bullshitting my way to victory because I assume they are going to derail anything I throw at them. I try to keep them interested.
Which reminds me;
The heirloom weapon?
It's the soul of a serial killer, and former expert demon hunter, crammed into a scythe.
The backstory for him is, he took the fight to the demons (on their home plane, no less) one too many times, and went a bit loopy.
Then Healbots DIRECT ANCESTOR caused the event which drove him insane, by siccing, I kid you not, fucking vampires on his entire family, whom he came home to.
When it's finally revealed who did all of this to him, he goes from Hannibal with a Grudge to full on Bloodknight for several months; driving the Healbot temporarily insane with paranoid delusions of danger.
Eventually she Will saved out of it, and brought the weapon kicking and screaming into marginal sanity, at the cost of a large chunk of her own.
Now, note, she was halfway through the whole "I'm fucking insane" thing when her dad threatened to wrest control of said weapon (now something she was cripplingly dependant on).
The upside of all this? The weapon is actually rather fucking powerful, and being able to contain it's raw, unadulterated insanity (temporarily) means she (likely) won't be driven completely insane by using it to it's full (and frankly, crassly overpowered) potential.
Lets put it this way; she once wielded it's full might against a handful of demons, and proceeded to out-kill the literal-blood-knight killy-mc-fuckstick barbarian of the party.
When he was one level above her.
Downside was, she went too far and went genuinely insane for like...4 sessions.
>mfw one of my players occasionally look at me with a smug grin and say that they defied my railroading
> They head east through a desert belong the mountain village they were in. Hear shouts. Gadget Wizard is in trouble. His flying ship is damaged because some Scorpions were eating the arcane engine.
> Party kills Vermin menace. Gadget wizard offers to help them on their quest. He takes them to the Dwarf Stronghold.
> Dwarf Antagonizes the Wizard the entire trip. I throw a mini boss at them. Dark Phoenix. Despite my description the Paladin insists that phoenixes are noble and good creatures, refuses to fight.
> Is beaten within an inch of his life. Finally casts detect evil, OH WAIT, IT'S EVIL.
> Phoenix dies after almost performing a fantastic TPK. Somehow party survives.
> Party leaves the phoenix on the bow of the ship, Forgetting that phoenixes regenerate.
> winter witch finally realizes that phoenixes are weak to cold, starts to actually fight because at this point she's done no work.
> Phoenix dies. This time they push the corpse into a canyon from the ship. Paladin does blood curdling war screech nearly deafening me in the process. He's sitting in the chair next to me.
> Anger kicks in, time to improv.
> Before the phoenix was pushed off the ship the Wizard stole some Dark Phoenix feathers for study, maybe a constant fuel source? Who knows?
> Paladin detects evil all night, can't find the feathers. Gets no sleep and is fatigued the next day.
> Paladin threatens wizard, tells him he's kill him for hiding evil things on the vessel. After and arguement the Paladin finds the feathers in the Wizard's mattress, where they preheated the bed.
> Destroys the feathers.
>End of session
>Party arrives at dwarf stronghold. It's abandoned, only one dwarf left alive.
> A fungal plague has killed most of the miners in the area. The tunnels are full of zombies and crazed miners. Paladin goes smite happy and almost dies from enjoyment.
> Winter witch Player lost character sheet, bullshits reason why i should let him switch characters. I don't feel like arguing, why not?
> Crazy turn of events, a fire sorcerer appears. new PC.
> Party neglects to check the mining operations room and wanders the mines for 3 hours Real time despite my efforts to force them down a one directional corridor
> Dwarf nearly dies to electrically charged fungus on the walls, twice.
> Eventually the party finds a dwarf miner named Franck with a fantastic beard, he shows them to the under dark entrance.
> Dwarf paladin fails a necklace of fireballs save, some how doesn't die. it's like he's got plot armor despite my efforts in trying to murder the party.
> Eventually party finds the entrance tot he under dark.
> Entrance is hidden in a mining operations office on this level. DETECT EVIL
> It's an office, there is evil coming from a desk, it happens to have a quest item in it.
> They determine that the desk is not inherently evil, but the use of it in a bureaucratic manner has caused it to become evil.
> Eventually they find a key in the desk, it leads to secret door in the office, welcome to the under dark.
> Spend another 30 minutes combing the supernatural blackness of the under dark. Party is surrounded by stone statues.
> Terracotta army waiting to be activated.
> they sneak past.
> Eventually they come to a place that they agree is a good place to put the bomb. They attempt to light it.
> rumbling in the distance, Boss approaching,
>sorcerer says, Fuck it, lets get out of here.
> Cast spark, teleport out of under dark.
I had a player new to my game, and he built a character (fairly well) and hopped into game quickly.
The bloody MOMENT I placed a new plot hook down, he sighed loudly, nudged the nearest player and said, no joke:
>"And the railroad begins!"
>My party's collective face.
What he did not know, what he could not know, is that I fling heaps of possible plot hooks and questlines at the party, with no -real- plan of how they will even BEGIN to work out, and ad-lib everything.
>He proceeded to lolrandumb and kill some villagers.
>Remember the Healbot?
>Remember how she's kind of an insane bitch?
>Those were "her" villagers.
>Living in the party's keep.
>The player (metagaming now) ran off, realizing his fucked mistake, and disguised himself.
>She has scry.
>There was a witness.
>And he left some blood on the ground.
Have I mentioned that the party has raised an army of 270-ish Warrior(5), equipped with tower shields, longswords, and breasplate (all masterwork)?
She mobilized them.
All of them.
>"After he's captured, they bring him to the clinic. I will close the clinic and spend the next 3 days repeatedly harming and healing him, experimenting with new forms of surgery on him. I have the spells to restore any permanent ability point damage I do to him, as well. I make a note to wake him before the procedures continue."
>She looks at the player, in-character voice.
>"Please count down by 7s, from 2000."
>Out of character. "It's a method to keep torture victims awake and coinsious and prevents them from hiding mentally from their pain. should I roll a Knowledge to know that, or is it ok?"
>"Nope. you got this. Both of you roll a Will save for Sanity damage, Healbot, take 2 steps toward Evil axis."
Do not piss off Healbot.
> Teleports to his house, it's at least 1000 miles away from the stronghold. No climatic ending because they are two far away to see the explosion or to feel the effects because he lives on an island.
> Anger returns, they ignore the boss and blow up part of the under dark. Teleport caused anticlimactic ending, grumpy taste in mouth.
> tired of GMing for a while.
Speaking as a player here:
There was that one time where instead of stealing a macguffin for the leader of the local thieve's guild chapter in order to get information on the BBEG's organization, we just stole the leader and interrogated him. which resulted in running for our god damn lives and half the town being caught on fire. We were politely asked to leave after that.
Then there was the time where another player blew up a fucking mountain with a nuke instead of fighting fifteen enemies, completely destroying my safehouse and fucking up my personal quest line.
Then there was the time where I got pissed off at the other players for being rampant murderhobos when I was supposed to be a law enforcement officer and joined the BBEG's team who in retrospect, were probably the most lawful organization considering that global law enforcement was corrupt as shit and instigating wars while the BBEG's team wanted to wipe them out and start anew. They also promised me magical girl powers and I'm all about that shit. I may or may not have destroyed 30% of the map with a SHIELD-esque helicarrier in an attempt to kill the rest of the party after they desecrated holy land, pushed over old ladies while taking "check out this situation" selfies, demolished three medical marijuana dispensaries for shits and giggles, then rifled around in the bio-disposal bins of abortion clinics, locked a bunch of people in a closet, covered them with dead fetuses, and set fire to the clinic. I don't talk with those guys any more.
> rifled around in the bio-disposal bins of abortion clinics, locked a bunch of people in a closet, covered them with dead fetuses, and set fire to the clinic
They were shitty and used OOC knowledge to suddenly want to go to the beach just outside of blast range. The DM was douchey enough to allow it, which is another reason why I don't game with them any more. Mostly because the DM had my character dateraped when I failed a few CON saves while getting info at a bar. Then I got pregnant, died, lost the baby, and was brought back to life. Having to hear about how my character was a whore who only wanted the D for the rest of the campaign was intensely frustrating.
There was that one time in PF where we were supposed to somehow get into a heavily-fortified city and instead of using all of our money on siege weaponry, I bought a bag of tree tokens. Plant it at an angle against the wall, activate it, suddenly there's a sixty foot tree bursting through the wall and giving us an entry/exit point. Repeat this process about twelve times around the entire place and walls don't mean shit. The GM was pissed and never let me buy magical items ever again.
Talking as a player
>GM test a campaing with some friends and me
>The first section is mostly battles as the second is investigation
>I get lucky, REALLY LUCKY in the first phase, as I kill in really awesome ways most of the mobs, even the miniboss in like 3 rolls
>One of the players worships me as a new God
>It was just a test night so it doesn't go on, still I was really sad because I took all the fun for myself
>Same campaing, final phase
>A 4 days campaing and we finally face the final boss
>This time Im using a do-it-all mage, with spells like "slippery floor" "shockwave" "Change face" and such, but it's almost useless agaisnt this guy
>One guy gets killed, my friend and I are almost dead, we both lost a leg against him
>I can't cast anything and we don't have enough time to use the "Super rare item able to stop the final boss"
>I-I throw my cape at him
>GM doesn't understand
>It's dark, I will throw my cape at him because he's charging at us
>Ok dude, whatever
>Get the best roll in all the game
>Everyone even the GM jump and cheer
>My friend had enough time to cast a thunder and finally kills him
The best part was that I tried the same thing in a normal fight and it failed
Your players, bar that new one, sound awesome. And you are awesome.
> They determine that the desk is not inherently evil, but the use of it in a bureaucratic manner has caused it to become evil.
This made me laugh far harder than I should have.
question as a new GM
is it ok to prevent players from doing retarded shit?
for instance I am working on a campaign where I am going to attempt to have multiple side quests for the players to look at while also having a singular main quest that I am hoping that they will eventually get around to accomplishing
the plot revolves around escorting a person of interest around a country if they wanted to kill this person of interest is it ok that I send a DMPC with her as a bodygaurd that is going to be a major pain in the ass if players attempt to attack the PoI?
or can I just say no to things that might go against their characters morality?
like if a lawful good character says they want to murder innocent civilians because lolrandum can I say no to that or should I let him and then punish him for it?
>is it ok to prevent players from doing retarded shit?
The easy answer is to get players that don't do that shit.
The mid level difficulty answer is to change to GURPS and have your players that are likely to do retarded shit take the "common sense" advantage. This mainly works if you've only got 1 or w people who are silly/impulsive
The hard answer is to analyze their personalities, talk to the one that's the most mature, and then determine if it's viable to have a mature discussion with the rest.
>the plot revolves around escorting a person of interest around a country if they wanted to kill this person of interest is it ok that I send a DMPC with her as a bodygaurd that is going to be a major pain in the ass if players attempt to attack the PoI?
That is not OK.
Also, if they want to kill them for reasons other than LOLRANDOM, then let them. Don't be afraid to let them fuck over the plot. At least ask them to "think about whether your characters understand the consequences of killing the NPC or not"
>or can I just say no to things that might go against their characters morality?
There's a fine line between saying to a player "You made this character, and you're not playing it" and dictating to a player how to play their character.
So basically, yeah, you can do it.
In a recent session, one of my players was about to have his character essentially torture an enemy. I had to remind him that his character has a code of honor that does not permit torture.
>like if a lawful good character says they want to murder innocent civilians because lolrandum can I say no to that or should I let him and then punish him for it?
I'd normally run with letting them doing it and punishing them. Punishments including not being lawful good any more.
Tell them "Okay, you can stab the baker in the dick but you're going to become CN the moment you do" and if they want to stick with it, fine.
>the plot revolves around escorting a person of interest around a country if they wanted to kill this person of interest is it ok that I send a DMPC with her as a bodygaurd that is going to be a major pain in the ass if players attempt to attack the PoI
This is fine though, it makes sense to do this in and out of character
> I want my players to act out my shitty novel and have zero fun
>Manipulating Healbot's ENTIRE CHURCH CLERGY into mounting a holy crusade against an evil necromatic dragon.
To be fair, that's the sort of thing that 2e might suggest you do with your *explicitly fanatical* followers. I'd say that that's not too out of line at all.
Eh, not so much unexpected, more GM forgetfulness.
>retrieved a rich CEO from his island home
>travelling back via boat, no cover, nowhere to run
>suddenly 7 drones flying straight at us
>team discussing what to do, slightly freaking out since it's risky for anyone to conk out to go Matrix/Astral
>"Hang on, why am I sitting here? I have an LMG"
>LMG's have a ridiculous range of 1000m or so
>just start plinking away, only one drone even gets to fire at us and misses
I guess there was one more instance where we did something unexpected, that was where my stats where just too ridiculous for what the GM had ready. Probably a more interesting story, but oh well I've typed this up already.
> playing shadowrun
> say to the players the Johnson has a mission and wants to meet
>one of them says he wants the group to meet the Johnson
NOT THE SORT OF JOHNSON I HAD PLANNED
>but it's a pretty impressive one
This is the party that just broke me even attempting to start a plot.
>Playing Star Wars Saga pre-Clone Wars (about seven years before: Look "Separatist Crisis").
>Players wanted a pirate-campaign.
>"Okay I guess I can still pull them with plot hooks and the such".
>For simplicity players contact me saying they have an intertwining back-story. Likethem.jpeg
>They say both their ships (parties of two) crash after attempting a piloting bet (one of the pilots was a Wookie),
>We laugh I say good job for skipping the first generic session.
>I choose random planet, Togoria. Allied to the Trade Federation and on the border with the Republic.
>Fast forward to crash.
>Naturally both parties begin firing at each other, blaming each other for the crash.
>Because this is pre-war OOM-B1s were basically security guards, 3 "rounds" later a speed pulls up to them.
>Unloads 5 OOMs (one was blue coloured, was really GMPC as none of them had Use Computer).
>Droids ask if they have Trade Federation permits and if they require assistance.
>Wookie responds with a thermal detonator.
>her and her boyfriend's characters ended up romantically involved as it tends to go
What, my girlfriend never have, and we game all the time. It's not even a thing we actively do, it just happens. We also don't act relationship-y during games, it's not the time or place and we don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable. But yeah as far as character relationships go, so far
>escaped clone male ganger who didn't care about sex, probably neutered and just a uni student female mage - neutral
>assassin droid and klatooinian male driver - neutral so far but that's obviously not going anywhere
>female punk techno who fancies another character and female Norse mage - just friendly
I don't think we'd ever end up with a character relationship even if we did happen to make compatible characters, it would just feel cheesy I guess.
At this point I just deleted all my notes. I knew this was going to be crazy.
>As this is the future high command can clearly tell when they are under attack.
>Mass squadrons of Vulture Droids scramble from orbit, tank battalions and infantry formations surge towards them.
>A mass alarm is heard from a Trade Federation base aprox. 2 KM behind them.
>Panicking; the Chiss attempts to fix GMPC and use it to contact the Lucrehulk in orbit (as the ground forces are always 100% automated and cant be reasoned with).
>He succeeds but droid is reasonably fucked after taking a grenade to the face.
>Droid is robustly hard-wired to serve Chiss (DC should have be 40 as per the rules, but I didn't want the party to instantly die made is 20).
>And so begins the Chiss' skill whoring, and impressive use of fellatio...
>Contacts Nemodian Officer on the Lucrehulk, says it was a mistake, that they could work out a business deal... He worded it SO damn well I couldnt deny him.
>Alarm is called off. Trade Federation transport picks them up under escort of 100 B1s and 5 Vulture droids.
>Spend 1 hour talking with a B2 squad escorting them through the Lucrehulk. HK unit and B2 have a tech-off where the B2 basically says he is inferior which was hilarious.
>Get to conference room where Nemodian gives them 5 minutes to justify why they should be spared.
>Chiss once again completely masters the conversation playing deception, excuse, admiration and tact.
>The party get offered a job to go to Manaan and destroy the Republic's mining efforts (this is before the Clone Wars so they needed some subterfuge and not just blatant Trade Federation people).
At this point I used only about 5% of my planned material. And this is the second session.
>Mid-flight to Manaan the players spend 4 hours IRL taking over the Munificent frigate that was taking them to Manaan.
>Now in the Wookieepedia it has 150,000 B1s and about 400 standard crew members.
>I thought they were absolutely nuts, but they fucking did it. With me even throwing them a bone.
>Tactics include, blocking transmissions from servers, setting up a proxy server, over-throwing the bridge, holding off a blast doors from literally thousands of B1s, and some of the most ridiculous rolls I have ever seen.
>4 hours IRL spent role-playing in basically 2 rooms and a corridor. (After this I gave them a level and 3 force-points).
>Then they command the GMPC to drop them out of hyper-space.
>I roleplayed that it basically pressed a random button. Dropping them in the Umbara system.
>I was thinking; okay this is Republic space on the border between two giant powers. There would definitely be some sort of frigate here as a garrison.
>Accumulator class frigate hails them.
>Chiss completely bull-shits the story making the Captain believe they are Republic Spec-Ops.
>Chiss mentions they also rescued a Jedi.
>The Captain immediately demanded that the Holo-feed was turned on and that the Jedi's name was declared.
>The Jedi did both.
>Now the Jedi thought the Captain had no way of knowing she was a renegade and fugitive from the order.
>Naturally the Captain contacts the Jedi Order asking if she was genuine.
>She had a figurative price on her head.
>The Captain demanded she came aboard and was held in custody.
>They didn't really have much choice in the matter as they hadn't actually unlocked the ship's controls only hacked basic systems and server controls.
>They get boarded. Players except the HK and the Jedi get escorted to living quarters until the issue is discussed with the Jedi. (HK was the "Jedi's servant droid". Heh.
>Jedi demands to contact the Jedi Masters with what she had discovered.
>After revealing the plot against the Republic and how the Trade Federation were massing ships in the Togoria system the Captain agreed it was most urgent.
>Also its worth noting that the Trade Federation at this exact time invaded Kashyyyk.
>Jedi Order demands she comes at once so that this information doesn't spread. They tell the Captain directly to detain her until she is with them. (I roleplayed that their emergency message cut-off Asoka Tanho :D)
>The Jedi refuses, and begins walking off, she is quickly surrounded by what I called "Peacekeepers" (pre-Clone War Republic volunteers).
>After agreeing to leave quietly she is escorted by two Peacekeepers.
>She violently butchers one and knocks out the other.
>The HK unit then hacks into a bridge terminal...
>He rolled a nat 20 and this is wear shit got real.
>He opened EVERY airlock and EVERY blast-door, effectively killed 15,500+ crew members within seconds.
>Some survived in the hanger bay and other force-shielded areas.
>Chiss and Wookie survived by shooting a door mechanism after receiving the information via the communicator.
>The Jedi however.. Didn't have any warning.
>She was killed instantly (as was the droids intention).
>Player rage quitted.
So now as a GM I'm left with four PCs (level 3) that have alienated both the Republic and Trade Federation, own a Munificent and an Accumulator frigate. I have absolutely how they are going to deal with the hanger bay and this giant fucking issue. Holy shit this group is awesome.
And let me stress. They did all of this without my fudging the rolls (except that repair check on the GMPC).
But goddammit I want to finish my story, why can't players respect that instea if just focusing in combat?
Given a quest to free slaves, but instead let's go kill monsters. Ok, it is your duty to catalog monsters in the area for safe travel of peasants. Nah, let's just kill things instead. Fuck you, do you want a swarm mode? No we don't want to die.
They lasted 5 waves of 3d20 slavers trying to bring them back to the plot.
I've told this story on /tg/ before, but I think it'll fit in nicely.
>Party is taking an extending rest, researching things with their spare time.
>Allow them to roll to research something and slowly gain points in it, like a much more specific skill
>Suddenly, during an extended rest, Barbarian asks "Hey, if I roll a 20, can I learn to fly
>"Yeah, sure, whatever"
>Motherfucker rolls a nat 20.
They sold one of their companion NPCs into slavery. And thus began the most ridiculous Star Wars game I have ever been a part of. I tried to kill them so much, they just kept getting away.
Many thanks. I just wanna be the best GM I can be.
Healbot is pretty awesome, even if she's a bit moody at times. Rest of the party is equally madcap/awesome in their own ways.
You're right, total railroading OR total freedom are a shit.
New players, or players who aren't into roleplaying or character motivation (outside of increasing #s), are paralyzed by perfect freedom.
so how'd the Barbarian break the game after that? I gotta know if he used his powers of flight to bury an axe in peoples' heads.
I agree that the key is balance, but the thing is, railroading is a weird topic to talk about.
the trick, I've found, for making an engaging game, with an interesting story, is to build a world, a sort of place that exists in a logical way, without -needing- the characters explicitly, and then weave the character's (and their backstories) into the world itself.
While, not everyone can be the scion of some great ruler, adding any kind of flavor to a character's existence in the world, and allowing them to use that level of personal resource through roleplay to gain power and ability will foster a story about the characters, even when the world itself isn't about them.
My players once described the way I GM to me, and it sort of stuck as an ideal for me to maintain;
>"You kinda just build this world, and we're part of it. The world spins, whether we're there or not, and stuff happens, even if we aren't around to make it happen; but what we do is still important."
The ideal balance is when the players's characters are part of the world, when the player's feel like they have agency, but that having agency is not always a good thing. When they fear some decisions they need to make or have made, and regret them, not because of what they do directly to the character's, or even the party as a whole but because of what they caused in the world at large.
I try to give my players logical consequence for their actions, and ground them into the world with responsibilities and attachments, whether that's to NPCs, to the story as a whole, or to something less tangible.
I enjoy doing similar. Typically, this ends with the players finding out about the horrific destruction left in their wake.
In example, they just recently started a gang war and robotic rebellion on the last planet they fled.
I relish the idea that they'll come back some day.
>give my PCs free reign
>spend 5 real life hours reading in-game newspapers(lots of plot hooks given), eating in-game sandwiches and usurping a shop and running it like a normal merchant
>spend 1 hour acting out riding a horse
Sometimes railroading is OK.
> usurping a shop and running it like a normal merchant
I have this hilarious image in my head of an adventuring party going into a store, beating up the owner, throwing him out, and then putting an "UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT" outside and waiting for customers.
Saying "LOL" out loud is an offense punishable by punch in the face.
Also I spotted your problem.
>last unopened Dr. Pepper and wordlessly left
>last unopened Dr. Pepper
>unopened Dr. Pepper
Mountain Dew, anon. Do you even drink it?
I would talk about how the other players and I went off the rails and had an exciting adventure and many laughs along the way. But that shit never happens. You know why? Because my DM ties us to the fucking train.
Everytime we want to do stuff that is not on his shitty Forgotten Realms Homestuck crossover railroad, deus ex machina happens.
Want to light something on fire? Someone just so happens to be nearby with a wand of create water.
Want to throw something, someone just so happens nearby that is a ace archer and shoots it down.
Want to kill something, well they are twice my level and fuck it if he ever tracks HP of any NPCs.
Want to leave the area? Go for broke, you will find the world in perfect order with no need of mercenaries or any jobs that need being done. The area will wait till you come back, cause that is the only thing the DM will let you do.
That's my DM, ladies and gents. And everyone else in my group is too pussy to do anything.
Remind me again, why you haven't stopped playing with him? Why you haven't taken the GM reins yourself to outdo him?
>Want to leave the area? Go for broke, you will find the world in perfect order with no need of mercenaries or any jobs that need being done. The area will wait till you come back, cause that is the only thing the DM will let you do.
This seems like it is easy to get around. Just stop trying to be an epic hero and become a salt merchant, or architect, or miner or some way to leverage your magic powers into making large amounts of cash that isn't stupidly risking your neck. Druid? Go start a plantation. Bard? Time for that epic solo music tour. Wizard? go nuts, spells are worth money. Cleric? Time to start building cathedrals with Stone Shape.
tl;dr: If your DM won't let you World of Warcraft in his setting, play Minecraft.
>become a salt merchant, or architect, or miner or some way to leverage your magic powers into making large amounts of cash that isn't stupidly risking your neck
Oh look, barbarians raided your mine/studio/caravan. Looks like you have nothing left but to go back to the railroad. Come on, Anon. Look all the toys I gave the other players, don't you want some? (I won't give you any though)
>Druid? Go start a plantation
Gets burnt down
>Bard? Time for that epic solo music tour.
You get aids, only the railroaded epic wizard NPC can cure you, but only if you do his quest.
>Wizard? go nuts, spells are worth money.
A better wizard than you set up shop next to you. You make no money.
>Cleric? Time to start building cathedrals with Stone Shape.
Your god literally comes down from heaven and commands you to get back on the railroad.
>Remind me again, why you haven't stopped playing with him?
Because then I would have no game, because the rest of the group will complain all the live long day but never do anything.
After seeing all these stories... I am beginning to be very, VERY paranoid about gaming in general.
Any hints as a player for warning signs to spot before things degrade into a toxic that-guy stew?
well, at least you gave it a shot. I, personally, would advise leaving the group, as quietly and politely as possible, if it's a more freeform adventure you want. find another group or even start your own up. but, that's just my opinion, ultimately it's up to you.
I apologize if I sound like a "wiser-than-thou" prick, but you could probably find some kindred spirits if there's a FLGS nearby, or even play online using Roll20 or Skype. I've got a Hunter: The Vigil session planned with some guys in Alabama, soon, so it shouldn't be too hard.
It's not the railroading, but the degree of it. When the game stops being fun because anything but forward action on the GM's plot train is off limits, you have a problem. Usually you know because you can't fail anything remotely plot-relevant even if you should have.
Counter to this, the alternative is a proper Gygaxian sandbox full of hex crawling, mega-dungeons, and resource management, and that is an acquired taste.
Look at it this way, you don't have a problem unless there's a problem.
I found, by talking to my players a lot, that they enjoy campaigns in which they aren't important a lot more than those in which they become famous heroes.
Why is that?
I think it's because being more anonymous gives freedom to the players.
That's not to say that they can't become powerful. Gaining influence in a setting in some form or shape is just a natural result of growing stronger in a game. It's just that they decide whether they want to save the world or not.
Took me a while to get there. My first campaigns were much more rigid. The key thing to becoming a better GM is talking to your players.
I think the secret in general is communication. That and finding a drama bomb quickly and defusing it by confronting an issue immediately.
or, because I'm a twit and only just thought of this, you could talk to your game-mates outside of sessions and see what they really think about it. if they don't like the railroading either, take it to the GM with their support, but if they're fine with, quietly leave the group and find another/start your own.
Like I said in a previous post, they don't like it either, but because of two reasons they don't do shit:
1) They are pussies
2) The DM bribes them with in game benefits.
I don't get toys because I told him to stop the bullshit.
>Usually you know because you can't fail anything remotely plot-relevant even if you should have.
Oh god this, DCs mean nothing in the campaign I'm in. If the DM wants it to succeed, it will. If he doesn't, it won't.
huh. my bad, must not have caught that. I say give it one more try, though, make them see that there's strength in numbers, take on your DM. and if it doesn't work, find/start your own. once more, final decision is yours, those are my two cents,
Then make several characters for the purpose of constantly calling down his killshots on your character. It'll look so cartoonish the other players will get tired of the shit and might be open to waking the fuck up.
Otherwise you're being a whiny bitch and should just walk out in the first place.
oh, sweet. thought for a minute you were gonna tell me to fuck off for giving you unwanted advice. best of luck in your attempts, anon.
Are you having fun? If the answer is no then leave the fucking group.
If you have enough free time to play with that group and enough internet to post on 4chan than it's easily possible for you to find another game online, roll20.org is a thing now so you can get the experience of a tabletop without the neckbeard aura.
I mean hell, if you're willing to play
Pathfinderthen post your skype/means of communication right now and I'll add you to my group
My friend and I are both GMs for similar campaigns, but there seems to be a bit of a unique problem present in both of them.
Each GM thinks that the other three players in their campaign is lazy, but it's because the parties in both games are members of organizations that both pay well and line up with their ideals. We're stuck in campaigns where the party is fine with just following orders and staying in line. Granted both campaigns are incredibly fun, but not a single character goes out of their way to make any sort of important choice because they agree with their mission.
Along the same lines, the characters are usually shy or reserved, so while everyone is acting fully in character, the entire game just halts. As a GM, I'm stuck because things aren't just going to happen while the party sits around with their thumbs up their asses. And as a player, my character isn't confident enough in their thoughts to start anything.
I've tried throwing in a new character in the other guy's campaign to try and get things moving, but it's been a few months worth of sessions and still nothing's come of it.
The other problem is that I want to introduce a GMPC to suggest ideas to the party (not necessarily even along the lines of my plot), but feel like that'd be a bit too much hand-holding/railroading and it'd bring them even further out of the game.
Does anyone have any advice as to how we could make our players feel more in control of the game without giving up the benefits of being employed and faithful to an organization?
Perhaps have them move up the ranks in their organization, placing them in positions of responsibility and greater operational freedom? That way, they'll have to start making their own decisions while still being part of a larger group.
This is a good idea. If it were me, I'd let them have their fun within the organization for a while, then throw a wrench in. A new leader is in charge, which means there are some changes to the organization, and see how the characters react to that. Or, the organization comes under attack, either by some radical force, or the larger establishment, and the players have do deal with this. These are layman's ideas though, I've personally never GMed, although I'd really like to.
So, why haven't you taken over GMing yourself then? Notice that one went unanswered.
You've got some issues. If he literally will not let you do anything but the railroad, you have no fun, and you waste hours of your time, why bother showing up?
I would be out long ago. I'd rather waste my time with vidya than get dicked over so we can listen to the GM's SPESHUL SNOWFLAKE fanfiction tier story. And if your 'friends' complain that you leaving will ruin everything for them... well if your friends don't want you to have fun so that they can have fun, they aren't your friends.
>i don't like railroading
>there are no easy answers to anything
>the PCs have to not be idiots
>i'm very rarely a cunt
>it always comes out when the PC's are a bunch of mouthbreathers
>de facto leader approaches the town sheriff
>"HAVE YOU SEEN ANY BAD GUYS?"
>then they piss him off to the point where he pistol-whips one and shoots another
>then they get patched up and they all wonder in the desert without a compass, a map or a reason
>they get all their stuff stolen by bandits
>they die from dehydration
>that's how most of my sessions end
i don't believe in happy-endings
I'm glad now to know my group of 5 in PTA are just doing a kanto games run. There's a surprising amount of potential to breath life into it while still having the games' progression.
I can't imagine actually letting them get away with shit like that though. My mentality is players are in no way entitled to be "allowed" to win or do whatever the fuck they want and murder hobo around.
I'm curious how you keep your plot alive.
I'd have to disagree. The DM needs to respect the players' ability to choose their path, but the players also need to respect the effort the DM puts in and not make things pointlessly difficult for him.
Haha fuck that.
DMs are like Admins or Mods
And since Admins = Shit and Mods = Fags regardless of where they are or what they're doing, it's your duty to be as much of a pain in the ass to the DM as you can possibly be.
So much this. I absolutely hate players that just run around looting whatever they want.
Then they get mad that the guards are after them in every fucking town and they are stuck in a corner from everyone hating them.
Well as a player I know of one instance were we flabbergasted the GM.
We find a secret lab deep underground. The Golem was an alchemy golem guarding one room in the lab... the lab itself. The entrance was a rope bridge.
We lured, read dragged, the thing out onto the bridge and, our Fighter still pinning the thing, cut the ropes. We shouldn't have been able to do that, we got a few lucky rolls. We were supposed to beat the thing, but only just, and after using up most of our resources. Instead we had full spellbooks and only a few hitpoints down. Though the fall ALMOST killed the fighter.
3/5 of the party are either that-guy or murderhobos in other games. I'd rather just play with the two quiet guys, as they have more interesting characters. The other three are Marys and Garys and loud players though.
No, they aren't. Everyone, DM and player alike, is there for the same reason, to have a fun adventure, and it's the responsibility of the players just as much as the DM to make that work well. A group needs to meet in the middle when deciding what that adventure will be like - and if a player has chosen to take part in a particular game, then he has the social responsibility to create a character that will be interested in engaging with that kind of adventure. The DM needs to make the characters care about the world, but *so do the players*.
Why? The DM creates a world, and the players create their characters. What makes one of these so much more important than the other? What you call "the DM's story" is simply "preparation". A DM relies on being able to actually use that preparation in order to engage with the players, and players ignoring hours of work that they know were intended to be the basis of the game is no less rude than arriving at someone's house for a lavish dinner and deciding you'd rather have crisps. The adventure should - has to, really, if you want a game that works well - be something that everyone is interested in, including the DM. Once again: if you decide to play in an adventure about, say, a thieves guild, you have a social responsibility to create a character who cares about thieves guilds in some way, and won't simply bring the group to a screeching halt by saying "nah, my character doesn't care about that".
>ALL BOW DOWN TO DM!
The DM may make a world, but if the players don't like it, they won't play in it. And fuck your preparation? Who are you to tell me my character MUST go to this town just because you prepared for it? I play my character, not you. If you want to play my character, then write a fucking novel and do us both a favour. A DM reacts to his players.
To use your example, DM is hosting a dinner, and then forces everyone to eat everything, absolutely everything he makes, because he fucking prepared it and you are ungrateful motherfuckers.
Have tried playing and got a few Rogue edgemastering.
One of them asked the DM for "Sleeve Blades" which are basically edgier daggers. And then dressed his character in white and red. Then his friend also made a rogue, same think but black and red.
>Going down dungeon
>Take like 6 damage of "I attack the ranger", roleplay: "Ooops sorry my hand slipped" lolsorandumb
>Smileys fucking everywhere in chat, my 4chan autist mind cringing
>We finish the dungeon, Warrior and Cleric near death from tanking boss
>These two edgemasters decide they try to kill us
>They get a killing blow on the cleric and the warrior is almost dead
>Get really lucky with initative, Rapid Shot them, pass AC and roll one 7 and one 8. Both + 1 due to point blank shot.
>They both die that turn
>Start whining at the DM that I just PKed them for no reason and I should be kicked
>Their reasoning being that they didn't attack ME so I had no reason to kill them
>They think this works like a shitty AI game from early 2000s or something
This being the first session I thanked the DM, the warrior and the cleric player for the session and mentioned I wouldn't be back next week.
So yeah, no good experiences with roll20 or online play in general.
I all fairness they were 15 and 13 respectively. But still that's no excuse to be that much of a tool.
The other two players were pretty cool and I wouldn't have minded playing with them, but the rogues really fucked it up for me.
I reckon you can probably find a nice party but we didn't have such luck.
>Because the overwhelming opinion on /tg/ is that the players just have to go along with whatever the DM has prepared.
Thats just as stupid
I never realised how fortunate I was to game with the people I do until I started reading these threads, they're far from perfect but we're all just there to have fun and have cool adventures, its not a contest
There is but you need to be a supporter ($5USD/month)
Also most parties would likely not enjoy that, since you are expected to have Skype + Headphones and a Microphone. Echo from hell is pretty shitty.
>The DM may make a world, but if the players don't like it, they won't play in it
Which is why, if you don't want to play an adventure about a thieves guild, you should either not play in a game about one, or you should talk with the DM about doing something else. What you shouldn't do is agree to play the game, then do your level best to grind it to a halt by refusing to engage with the basic premise. As I said, a group needs to meet in the middle to find something everyone wants to play.
>fuck your preparation
Yeah, fuck the guy who spent hours of his own time to make an enjoyable experience for the group to enjoy. And it's not like making him throw out his pages of preparation and ad-lib the entire session will degrade the quality any, is it?
>Who are you to tell me my character MUST go to this town just because you prepared for it?
It depends. If the game is a grand adventure with the players questing across a continent, then yes, the DM should not insist that a particular town is visited, and his preparations should be more generic to reflect that. If, on the other hand, the entire game is based around politicking and intrigue in a particular city, then a player agreeing to participate in that game should be willing to accept that premise and create a character who can engage with that and not want to wander off to kill kobolds halfway through the first session. This is an article I quite like on the subject:
>To use your example, DM is hosting a dinner, and then forces everyone to eat everything, absolutely everything
No, to use my example, it's like coming to dinner and having crisps, because that WAS my example. A good DM will prepare for various different outcomes and be ready to make stuff up when the party inevitably departs from his predictions, but the players still need to be willing to engage with the game rather than stonewall it.
Literally this. I shit you not. No matter what hooks I dropped in front of them, someone days of in-game time passed where they described themselves just mooching around the city and sleeping in the shop after hours.
I have more experience and authority as a DM now, but hey, it was their own story they were writing. It just sucked ass.
>playing Call of Cthulhu
>players investigating disappearances of several fishermen
>all disappeared near new england town
>town is actually infected w/ mind controlling leeches from the ocean/lakes
>one huge mass of leeches has formed around the town leader
>town has been killing/kidnapping fishermen and such to feed to the leader
>investigators discover all of this
>get him crazy fucking drunk
>bluff their way through town acting like they're infected
>offer drunk guy to leech king
>leech king sucks him dry, alchohol is poisonous
>leech king dies
I'm actually always hoping my players find a way to defeat something without fighting, or if they do fight, they do it in a creative way.
That's why I try to let my encounters do the same thing. Instead of just show up at random, they usually have some sort of strategy up their sleeves, or improvise (within reason) when the players get the jump on them.
That way, you entice you players into trying the same. Which gets rewarded by a more fun fight.
I started by simply describing the way the enemies attacked. Let em set fire to some bushes to create a barrier, have a few of them jump out of trees halfway through the fight, or maybe have a swashbuckler swinging on some ropes and such. Before you know it the players will start improvising more.
My GM wierd when it comes to railroads.
if He has little-to-no prep time his games turn into "all aboard the plot railroad! choo, choo!"
Give him too much prep time and you get this big, vibrant world to explore with plenty of stuff going on and more than enough details for the gm to ad lib almost any action the party takes, (though chaotic-stupid actions still end up having 'dies horribly' type outcomes) but the first quest will inevitably be "find the plot, the GM has hidden it somewhere in the world"
Don't know what to make of him, is he shitty? or is he awesome? who knows.
I am the GM
>Transforms into a giant squid
This is easiest plot derailment to recover form, though.
In fact, I might just start my next campaign by having this be the backstory and letting my players deal with the consequences.
As a DM, tis is the biggest surprise my PCs ever gave me:
It was in a mission where my PCs had to warn their employer, an important merchant, that someone would try to assassinate him during the next 24 hours.
The PCs realise with shock that he is in the King's palace. The infiltrate it (with a lot of luck, and a character built only for tis kind of ting for roleplaying and backstory missions), and totallyfuck up my plans. I had planned for them to sneak in, roleplay a lot, and warn him, with maybe a discreet combat encounterin the gardens.
Instead, they fight 8different monstruous or magical types of guards, get in as servants, and use hats of disguise and bluff to change identity each time, so as not to be found. They kidnap their own employer (who doesn't recognise them), but end up fighting the assassin on a balcony). The PCs use their incredible max-edout speed to escape the palace's wraith guards. One of the PCs ends up swinging on a giant chandelier (to make a 180 turn), which was already damaged by AOE spells.
The PC insists on calculating the damage to the chandelier and the ceiling caused by the tensions his use of it puts it to. Due to bad rolls, it breaks, taking the ceiling with it. It crushes almost half of the nobility of the country, about 6 levels before I'd planned or expected it.
All of my careful railroading for the next 100 hours, destroyed.
They say my face was priceless.
>And it's not like making him throw out his pages of preparation and ad-lib the entire session will degrade the quality any, is it?
If you can't ad-lib and pull a whole story from your arse and your players still thinks it was prepared, you shouldn't be a DM. And that sounds like you, you are just a shitty DM who has to railroad because you can't ad-lib for shit. I don't even wanna see all your invisible walls.
Then it's your fault. You shouldn't have allowed him to roll it. You should have told him "You don't have the proper training or equipment to attempt that roll" before he rolled.
Ale is not flammable,
any beverage must be at least 30-40% APV in order to burn at all.
The more purity the better it will burn.
The only way to achieve alcohol levels this high is to distil the ale, and at that point it stops being ale and becomes a spirit.
Distilled ale would taste horrible, have to be flat before it was distilled, would potentially still explode the still and would produce a very small amount of actual drink.
It would pretty much be a tastless whisky
I think the biggest surprise was when the Kill Team looted an entire class of first graders, to make them ded killy.
There have been plenty of surprises in my games, but I think that one comes to mind for the one singular time I got caught speechless.
>try to GM
Life is hell. For the life of me I cannot find a group that doesn't consist of rubbery loudmouthed SJWs, "lesbian trannies", obese neckbeards, guys who dropped out of college cause they couldn't take the pressure and neurotic plain janes. It's not like I have anything against these people on principle, but goddamn if I can't relate to them. Several times I've started campaigns with new groups I met online and had to call it off cause I couldn't keep cringing any longer.
The only way I've ever been able to have good games is by introducing hipster friends to RPGs. Last time I had an interesting game was a non-starter just like so many people ITT, it was a space-piracy setting and the players had gone to Moscow to find a pilot, but ended up getting in nasty bar brawls, snorting coke in nightclubs built in the old subway lines and sneaking liquor to one another in the hospital. It was fun, but they lacked the entrepreneurial spirit necessary to plunder the stars like I'd dreamed ;_;
Mother fuckers caused a slowburn of a gas giant they were airship swashbuckling on, then rolled a nat 20 to try and control the ship as it was goin down. And all this happened within the first five minutes when one of my close friends (shose somewhat of a dick) said "I cast fireball into the gas". So not only did they kill everyone besides 3 small cargo transports that made their ridiculously high saves(by either getting nat20s or being one of the ships that I had set up with character captain with ridiculous pilot skills.) They then decided to use what fuel left to go over to said ships and kill everyone inside, strap the ships together, and fly off to the next planet in the star system, crash land, and slaughter the residents of said planet. (the plan was eventually to have them go through a portal to the next planet, so I had everything all set up for them)
yeah, ive got one of those brewing right now. After 60 days in game, a portal to hell will open. then for every week after that, a new one will open in a random place an atrocity happened. What is your favorite timeline set to use?
Second session of a Deadlands campaign. Posse is staying at this farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. The owners of the farm keep telling them about their daughter, but there's no daughter around. Long story short, they hear something in the basement, go to investigate. I planned for them to fight the vampire daughter in the basement.
Instead the flung the door closed, the hukster cast a spell to lock the door, and the party thanked the couple for their hospitality and then moved the fuck on.
if you are tuly worried you could alwyas help me playtest my game system. I usually punish edgy faggots and weaboo mary sues but award ingenuity, good RPing, and other plot enriching stuff. Mostly because all of my playteset are the backstory to the world.
Picture a planet kinda like earth, but during the 1500s. Then a prison ship from an intergalactic empire crash lands on the planet, and the planet is in space's equivalent of Bermuda triangle. Millions of aliens spill out, become the fantasy monsters and races known today, while the robot prison guards get mindfucked by one of two AIs, the one who crashed teh ship on purpose or the one that controlled the guards originally. then around 700 years passed, and technology ranges from sticks and stones to hyper gauss cannons with underslung railguns.
Its also the world that this
happened. though i retconned the whole burning of the planet thing and put a magic ward that stops fire from happening outside of designated magic zones.
Heres the link to the main rulebook, which has links to all the others.