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Blue Cultist


“The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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Sep
2nd
2017

Pathfinder/ DnD nugget · 6:04am Sep 2nd, 2017

Incoming ramble about my Dungeons and Dragons/Pathfinder group.

I'm the DM of a small group of table top geeks, and currently we're playing pathfinder. My group occasionally surprises me with feats of utter amazing luck, but normally they tend to just blindly run down corridors and kill everything that moves. They can do puzzles, but the moment they leave the dungeon they tend to get lazy and not want to do any downtime stuff. worse, our problem player tends to bog us down further by trying to act like the face of the party but ends up getting the other characters very very annoyed.

Because this player completely derailed my last campaign simply by doing nothing for 3 HOURS when all he had to do was get the party to assault the local cult of Razmir (think dungeons and dragons version of scientology IE fake religion for a fake god), I decided to punish them all severely for not acting like a team.

In other words: I'm unleashing Kyuss on them. Yup. An Elder Evil. The Cthluhus of DND that are immune of divine magic and can end worlds. Worse, I picked The Worm That Walks so they're going to be fighting tons of worm monsters until they decide to try to kill the CR 19 necromancer running around trying to wake up the worm god... and they're just 6-7th level.

I've been soft-balling them for a year, and they've gotten lazy. They just sorta expect me to lead them around by the nose outside of combat. Its time I lit a fire under their asses and got them worried a little. Obviously I'm not going to just wake up Kyuss, I have to give them a chance to put down his herald before Kyuss wakes up. Of course, I could have been REALLY evil and had Atropus be the Elder Evil and they'd be fighting a whole damned rogue moon.

I'm expecting them all to die, unless I keep throwing tough fights at them. Tough, but survivable. I'm not a killer DM, but I like to keep my players on my toes.

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Comments ( 16 )
Comment posted by Kazuma Michishige deleted Sep 2nd, 2017

Well, if an Elder Evil doesn't promote teamwork, not sure what will. The Worm That Walks though? That's pretty rough.

What edition do you use?

4655614
3.5, from the Elder Evil book. but we're playing in pathfinder so the strength levels of encounters aren't spot on. Honestly, since they're game world is heavily water based I could have used Leviathan, but I'm not THAT evil. Water fighting is never easy.

I've never really understood the DnD lore or tabletop gaming like that.

I tried making a character at one of my friend's games but they said that a time warping magus was too dangerous and op if the character went insane through use of high level 'return' spells

4655963
Time travel stuff is ripe for abuse in DnD, and as a DM it would be hard to keep track of the story if that got out of control. Players can be like chimps with shotguns with that kind of magic. Hell, teleportation is very OP. big bad giving you trouble? teleport him into a wall or a mile in the air. Or, teleport him straight to a very hostile plane of existence. I've been guilty of that crap. One of the most evil things I did was transmute a guy into an ice statue... while we were in the desert. It wasn't pretty when the spell duration ended.

4656092
Aye that's what they said.

But I tried to explain it badly I think about the Recall and Return spells.

Either way I couldn't use that character and they just gave me one of the holy paladin sheets with a debuff for chronic sickness.

Spoiler: I died when I ran out of potions.

4656184
Paladins can be fun, but there is that stereotype of being captain boyscout to work around.

Also, that's still a more noble death than our problem player. The dude's died more times than Kenny. Jumped off a bridge to avoid a toll booth: but didn't ask what was below and ended up landing on rocks 200 feet down. He saw a village of people standing frozen in time: he went to pick their pockets and became trapped in stasis. He broke off from the party when we were hunting vampires in a mine. Swallowed by undead Nessie. A player lied about an axe at the bottom of a well and he jumped in and was eaten by a giant pike. Murdered a farmer, confessed to the murder, and was shocked when the courts found him guilty and had him hung. Death by sand penguins (yes. these exist). The list only gets dumber from here.

4656228
When he jumped off a bridge and landed on rocks kind of reminds me at the lowest point of my life irl.

Didn't do it to avoid a toll booth but semantics!

Did they find out what caused the stasis phenomenon?

4656254
We backed up a bit to spare his character, mostly because we had just gotten done helping him make that character. that one would have lasted a whole two minutes.

4656289
So you basically did a Recall spell? ;p

4656307
We call those 'mulligans.' xD

4656336
Lol :p maybe it's just how dangerous I want to be or the fact that every time a character dies the recaller dips into a more hazy version of reality where the lines between friend and foe blur for short periods if one rolls too little on the sanity check to recall time for a more dangerous game and make people be more careful with their characters.

After all, the DM is the Lord of the board and thus, it's flow of time is in their hands.

4656502
I don't want to pull the 'its okay, we can redo that action' card a lot, but as I mentioned my group's gotten used to that and I have to make them feel like I can't change their sheets every time they poop the bed. Hence why I threw an encounter at them that was meant for an average party level of 19 (when they were all lv 6 and 7.) And... really they have no one else to blame but themselves. This necromancer was walled up behind a door THEY opened when they kept saying 'this is fishy, something's going to try to kill us in this creepy rundown mansion.' They didn't even run after one player was disintegrated. It took magic to make their characters panic and run for the hills, but even then they tried to pull their old tactic of 'if we can't win, burn the house down.'

4656537

Death by sand penguins (yes. these exist).

Once in a game of HackMaster (the previous edition), I had the players encounter subterranean penguins. The only female player of the group loved penguins (it was a lure trap with leeches in their pool that caused cumulative -1 penalties as they attached themselves to PCs--the penguins were immune and could eat the leeches to survive).

As she's trying to figure out a way to capture a penguin to keep as a pet the player running a kobold (our problem player--in all fairness suffered from social problems but did nothing to try and work threw them) decides to fireball the penguins...all of the sudden the Deity of "Endangered Animals" (Yes it was a thing in HackMaster) shows up as he's caused a species to go extinct. The he had to get a penguin persevere set up at a big zoo and have all the penguins raised from the dead by druids...

...and that was letting him off easy... :trollestia:

As for your dilema, the players need to do things that make them think and act! Traps with actual time limits. Run a slightly lower power adventure but give them only a single session to figure it out before the bad effect goes into play. Make sure the effect is something they'll hate even if it isn't too bad mechanically (say all persons in a 100 mile radius start throwing fish at them...not even fresh fish...).

It'll cause them to work towards goals rather than feel like they can be ignored. Had that problem so bad in my last group that I left. Players just wandered about, working in a dungeon level until that got bored, decide not to fight the evil boss, and go to a different dungeon.

Wish I had done something like that years ago before they were so powerful or set in their ways.

Another idea is rotating GMs. Gives you a chance to play and for others to see how hard it can be.

Hope that helps! :twilightsmile:

4656585
Ah, a fellow Hackfan. I stole the sand penguins from the old edition of Hackmaster. :pinkiehappy:

And yes, I'm going to start challenging my players like this. Our problem player's been my target for two years and he's still no better at playing. his level 5 fighter was beaten in a 1v1 with a lv 1 fighter because he just runs straight toward the enemy and trades blows... and dies. He couldn't even take 30 standard skeletons at 8th level with several players as backup, he should have been walking through them. I've mostly given up on him developing character since every character is the same, and his alignment is Chaotic Neutral(the cop out alignment) since we stopped caring about what it was.

My other players either don't want to be take initiative, so your advice is probably best applied there. I have a villain to cause them trouble (a wererat gnome), so perhaps I can have him traveling about town spreading nasty rumors about them, ruining their reputation until they decide to try and hunt him down.

4656667
Sounds like a plan. I'd make the gnome a were-mole (just a personal touch--keep all the stats the same, but maybe give 'im some burrowing speed for movement), but that's just me.

Two years isn't uncommon for guys who just run straight forward into danger mentality. The eldest son of one of my previous players died five times before realizing he could be hurt, and then was overly cautious for another two years. So it happens.

As for HackMaster, have you played the new edition at all? I wrote the adventures White Palette, Ivory Horns, and The Ransom for the Keep on the Borderlands campaign book. :raritystarry:

I also own all eight editions of the Hacklopedia and the Monster Matrix if you need any ideas. :raritywink:

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