I'm DMing for a party of new players (4) that have all been wanting to play tabletop games for a while. It's worth noting that these guys all play video games (Witcher, Dragon's Age, etc.) and that is there only experience roleplaying.
They all wanted to play alignments, which I don't necessarily like (my preference is letting the players alignment develop over time based off of over all actions) but I decided to let them do it. We're using Pathfinder Rules and the party is made up of the following:
- Lawful Neutral - Tengu Ranger
- Chaotic Good - Half-Elf Fighter
- Neutral Good - Elf Druid
- Lawful Evil - Dwarf Bard
First lets address the Lawful Evil - He's actually hiding his alignment from the party, and traveling with them for his own reasons. He talked to me about this in advance and I liked the idea of a potential betrayal, so I let him keep the alignment, which in hindsight, might not have been the best idea.
The issue I'm running into is that the party doesn't know their limit as far as dealing with NPCs. In several situations they have upset higher level NPCs and suffered the consequences but I don't think they get it. Here are some examples of what they did and the consequences.
During the first session the LE bard, tried to steal something from a level 4 fighter NPC who of course caught him.
Now In order to try to give him some consequences for his actions, I had the NPC restrain the Bard while another NPC friend shaved off part of his beard. Nothing awful but hoping to drive the point home that you can't just mess with random people.
Later in the same session, they wanted to hunt an owl bear, which an NPC ranger took 15 minutes real time to talk them out of.
Then, last night the group is in the sewers of the town and run into a guard patrol who are looking for contraband which are being smuggled in the sewer. Just so happens I know that two of my players (GC and LN) are carrying Opum and Fayleaf. My idea behind the encounter was to teach them there are ways out of a situation other than fighting, especially when they are a higher level.
Instantly they jump to fighting, and get beaten to a pulp (had to switch to non lethal damage or it would have been a TPK. They ended up having to dump the drugs and pay a "fine" of 300gp which happens to be all of their money.
Are there any good methods other than killing or maiming a PC, to show them that brashness has consequences?