Hot answers tagged

124

You are about to start a new campaign. You need to pause the world and have the same conversation, GM and players, as you would at the beginning of any campaign. What kind of setting is this, what themes will you envision tackling, what's your playstyle? It sounds like you started in a "typical" magic-but-low-tech setting. The setting has now changed. This ...


66

It Will Only Change The World if You Let It - which might be fun How should one DM proceed if his or her group manages to seize control of a superweapon that could change the lives of the entire world? Is it a wise decision to let it roll, or should I take rid of it the sooner I can? First, a rhetorical question. How should a DM proceed if his ...


47

There's always something bigger: pit that against the party. 17th level is pretty high in Pathfinder, but it's far from the level cap. Sure, the party is now capable of vaporizing pretty much anything on land. Even if the disgruntled nations of the world band together to shoot something at the orbital platform like what happened in C&C 3, like a missile ...


44

No Roleplay should be about having fun. When you start to punish your players, it is very possible that they will quit your campaign. Even if your players are doing it just to pull your leg, you shouldn't make the game painful as noone will enjoy it. I would reccomend following options: Speak with them face to face after the game. It happens, that ...


42

Having players that are willing to spend time and effort outside of the gaming session preparing and planing is rare, do reward them. I think you should let the LOMC work spectacularly. It works exactly as planned, no side effect just bullseye and one hundred per cent success. Let the LOCM survive the initial use, and be ready to fire again and again and ...


32

Players are often stuck because they simply don't know what they should do. Percival's message deals with player engagement very well, but I'd like to offer a slightly different take on this question. If you can't figure out how the plot might be solved, players definitely won't Players' ingenuity often amazes GMs, but you can't assume they will figure out ...


28

No such good techniques exist and neither should you try to use them. What you are asking about is how to best rail road the players. This is generally considered a bad thing(TM) as it robs players of their freedom. However, you can do something about your fears: set expectations. Tell your players what you just told us in your question and ask for their ...


19

You aren't the first to have that thought - there are these legends of GMs who, after getting fed up with constantly derailed plotlines, decides to kill off their party with an abrupt rockslide. Overall, though, I think you're facing the problem the wrong way. You're thinking about how you can prevent players from ignoring the plot you give them - instead, ...


19

First of all, and I think I speak for everybody, I think that we would LOVE to see the plans your players came up with. Your players are very clever, and it is good to reward them. I'd recommend letting it work - once. However, lay your plans. Taking lessons from the real world, you can see some avenues of response - which recognize what they've done and ...


18

I would say let them have their fun without worrying about it too much. Odds are that they won't return to the superweapon once they've used it this once. The fun is in proving that it CAN work, not using it to stomp every encounter in the future. Anecdotal evidence: I was a part of a group in college that was similar to yours, at least as far as the ...


14

Destroying the cannon after your players worked so hard risks upsetting them and teaching them that they shouldn’t think inventively. There are plenty of plot lines and stories you could run where a super weapon adds nothing to the world dynamic; political machinations, kidnappings and small-scale stuff where subtly is key will render the cannon useless. ...


13

I think everyone who has started GMing has had the same concerns. My personal recommendation regarding your idea of making players unlucky when not following the main plot is to do the opposite: A wizard wants to brew the greatest potion? An alchemist in league with the BBG has years of research that could be vital to their task. A warrior wishes to ...


10

I agree with all of the answers here, but they fail to address another reason this is a bad idea: Not only will your players not like it once they figure out what's happening, there is no good guarantee that they will even understand that they are experiencing bad luck because they are wandering off script. The message you are sending with this technique is ...


10

Friend, never do that Gornemant of Gohort, Perceval, The Story of the Grail The problem with players going off the rails is the rails. The advantage traditional role-playing has over video games is the shared storytelling. Lean into that advantage whenever you can. If the players "go the wrong way," or refuse to take hints, you might be tempted force ...


8

I think partly it may be down to how you're setting up the situation and incentivising the players. You haven't told us what the players are doing, their alignments or their aspirations, so if you could add that it would be helpful. My assumption is that your players are all relatively good/neutral characters who are primarily playing DnD to have fun. ...


7

For me, the answer is no. I do not see my job as GM as one of creating plotlines for the characters to follow. My job is to create the world for them to inhabit. I create antagonists whom they may choose to oppose. I create mysteries they may choose to investigate. I create sites they may choose to explore. I create hooks to suggest goals to PCs that may not ...


6

Turn the cannon against them. Let them build their toy, but toys do not always stay under your control, especially when you acquire the attention of nearly every high-level individual in the realm with your new "thats-no-moon." Let them face the challenge of maintaining control now that they have created the LOMC. All you end up doing is rebalancing the ...


5

I think 'the dark wanderer' and MC-Hambone have really good answers, but I wanted to add a few more suggestions. I read up on this specific scenario to get an idea of what the players may have missed, so I'll give my suggestions for how to handle it in this specific situation, and possibly how to use these suggestions more generally. Hopefully at least a ...


5

There's already a bunch of great answers here, but there's two options I don't see suggested yet. The world doesn't necessarily work the way they think it works. Who says your fantasy world has to be round? You can't get an orbiting cannon if the world is a flat expanse. Or who says that the atmosphere thins out as you get higher up? Maybe it gets hotter ...


5

How should one DM proceed if his or her group manages to seize control of a superweapon that could change the lives of the entire world? Is it a wise decision to let it roll, or should I take rid of it the sooner I can? That depends on what you want to do. In my mind, this is a great setting for a new type of challenge. Your players have, because their ...


5

It depends on what you want your game to look like. There are different kinds of roleplaying games, but what matters here is how much you want to world to be realistic. If the world is very realistic you can't "cheat" to make them follow the plot. The plot will have to be strong enough for the PC not to derail from them. Here I call realistic worlds that ...


4

Don't try and come up with an idea to break it just for the sake of breaking it. If you manage to invent some arbitrary 'oops it blew up' reason to stop them using it, it will just make you look like an ass, especially after they crafted designs using CAD. They came up with an ingenious solution to the problem and it will just look like you're annoyed with ...


4

One the players is a cleric. That cleric is the servant of a god. Said god has been napping on the job a bit and grated all the requests leading up to the building and firing of the cannon. But after the firing, the god sits up and notices. They don't like these mortals messing with things mortals were not ment to mess with. At first I think the cleric ...


4

As you said, the existence of this weapon could change the entire world. So, they need to acknowledge this fact when thinking about their new creation - after all, as conjurers they probably have higher-than-average scores in Int and Wis. Maybe a NPC that is helping them in the creation of this "magic item" can warn them about the risks. Also, their ...


4

The solution I use is let the players do whatever they want, and then act like they did exactly what I expected them to do all along. This tends to work very well for me, mainly because my gaming group has an annoying tendency to to do the one thing I never imagined them thinking of doing. In your case, it sounds like your players are unsure what to do, so ...


3

I see 2 options to 'get them back on track' that are simple enough. Add a wandering NPC that can tell them they got off track. Perhaps they know a little something extra like the general location of the point at which the water begins to be poisoned, but not the source. A small bit of info or a hint to keep them from getting bored after they run out of ...


3

You need to actually evaluate the plans your players execute. For example, if the players are following a poisoned river upstream, and randomly decide not to test where the source of the poison is actually coming from, they should definitely find no (or less if there's multiple sources) poison at the next place they test. Because the players missed some ...


3

I understand it can frustrating to have your players deviate from your well-planned story, but nothing prevents you from tweeking it a bit so it fits the players' choices and advancements, without forcing them into doing anything. For example, if the party decides to go to the left instead of the right, you could just switch the rooms around, and they'd ...


3

Yes, with some caveats First, you're going to need player buy-in if you want to use fate/fortune to guide the PC's towards the story as you have it imagined. The option to play a game 'on the rails' can be enjoyable, assuming everyone involved is willing. Second, the fact that fortune is getting in their way needs to be known to the players, if not to the ...


2

As most others have said, bad idea. But there can be cases where this can work, and be a good idea. Specifically, where there are in-world reasons for this punishment. But, be careful. If the witch has put a curse on the party to perform the quest or face ill luck, then they might rebel harder, and go off questing for a way to reverse the curse. They might ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible