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Firstly, you ought to remove the word "Force" from your dictionary. You can "strongly motivate" players to do something, but to "force" them to do anything goes strongly against the collaborative storytelling experience that tabletop RPGs are supposed to be. They control their characters, they get the final say in what they do. That said, you control the ...


0

Use "in medias res" Start the players out where they already have the Macguffin. They are already on the quest. They are in the middle of the action. Present them with the situation and then ask them how they got there. What actions/mistakes did their character make that got the Black Crow Gang shooting at them in a dark alley while the Hacker is ...


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Follow the Breadcrumbs This should be a fairly simple scenario to setup, assuming your players are reasonably interested in the story you are telling and following obvious narrative signs. Any time I have a plot hook or scene I really want to play out, I always start with the scene and then work backwards one step at a time to figure out how to get my ...


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Metagame So look, you want the illusion of choice, but you want to force the players to do something. Those two are directly in opposition. While there are some good suggestions here to increase the likelyhood of success your best bet is just tell the players (not the characters) that they need to take the McGuffin for you story to work properly. If you ...


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It's always a bit of lost work, but this calls for some backup plans. Think of the possibilities of them not taking it and design some countermeasures. You should not thuggishly force them to take the Macguffin, but you can send a group of thugs in the game to do so. Say they get delivered the Macguffin somehow. If they take it and swallow the plot-bait, ...


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Provide some other motivation to take it Your players don't see a need right now to get involved in Dave's business or quest. Fair enough, most people don't get involved with everything. There are plenty more reasons why a party might take a device other than any particular concern over Dave and his goals. The device appears to be valuable, and substantial ...


3

Have the party decide between two pointers that reference towards the same MacGuffin. Either they decide to take over Dave's role and follow your original plan, or they skip it and you make sure that skipping it somehow leads them into the same situation. Of course, don't make it obvious, they don't need to know that this was just another path to the same ...


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Provide clues and context As you have described this set up, what is currently lacking is the combination of context and clues. Context Based on the overall structure of your adventure or mission, there are a variety of things that the PCs are currently aware of, and things they are currently not aware of. If you want the players to be moved to take ...


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You have close to zero say in what players do, so telling them what they do is out of the question. However, the consequences of what they do (or don't do) are almost entirely your jurisdiction. You have an idea about what happens if they go your way. Also try to formulate some ideas about what happens if they do something else instead. Just rest assured ...


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0. Nobody can force players to do anything. Unless it's part of the campaign premise, anyway. No matter what you drop in front of them, if they have a choice in the matter, they can take it. Whatever approach you take, keep this in mind - they might just decide to pass on this, and there's nothing you can do about it. 1. Make it look appealing. If your ...


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Play to the party's motivators If one party member is a greedy fella and another is a do-gooder then if "the job" is blowing up some evil corp, then the party may be on board. If the job is stealing billions of credits, then the party may want to join in for a cut. Have the party know that Dave can't do it For example, if the party just saw Dave as he was ...


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To me it sounds like this is the start of the campaign, so simply do that - start it off with this scene of them getting that thing, maybe even before character creation, so that they know they need to make a character that would make such a decision. Or talk to your players. For a more concrete answer we would probably need information like who are ...


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