DM needs advice (player death eminent)




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  1. #1
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    DM needs advice (player death eminent)

    Hello,
    I am in a situation where my PC's are captured and being interrogated. This isnt a harsh thing, acctually its just a guy talking in plain truths. The persont they tried to kill, thinking he was some super evil guy is realy a chaotic neutral leader of a somewhat shady smaller organization that is affiliated with a larger, more evil organization.

    The PC's are acting like zealots while chained to a table. The NPC now views them as lunatics that are hell bent on killing him. I have given them a few chances to try to change things around and talk the NPC into letting them free, but the continue to dig a deeper hole.

    Now this NPC feels that if he were to let them free for any reason, he would be a fool as they would almost certainly try to kill him. He already knows they are very able fighters.


    I never planned this encounter to be life threatening. The NPC's charisma was supposed to make the the PC's talk to the guy and learn some valuable information. But the PC's chose to attack him the moment they saw him.




    What should I do?
    The NPC should have killed them a while ago.

 

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    By all means, kill them.

    There's only so many excuses you can make for not doing so, and so much deeper the PCs can get themselves before you have no choice. Once you have killed them, make that clear to them.

    Never, ever threaten someone who's got you in a compromising position. Unless you are absolutely certain that their concience won't allow them to kill you. And this guy doesn't sound like a likely candidate. What are your players expecting, a Dr. Evil style slow moving easily escapable death trap?

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    you have two options, kill them or have something unrealistic happen. something like:

    villian's arch nemisis raids the "hideout" and villian has to flee before he can kill the party.

    person from more evil organization comes and tells villian to let them go, they have plans for these ones.

    one of the pc's god shows up and fries all those who oppose the party.

    seriously, kill them.

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    Killing them might be good, but that's a last resort for any DM. The guys CN, so play that up. Have it look like he's going to kill the PCs (even go through killing any NPCs, familioars, or animal campanions they have to show that the guy is going to kill them) but at the last minute the guy changes his mind, he's CN after all. Instead he strips them of everything they have and trades them to a group of goblins or other lesser creatures to make allies of. Under normal circumstance the PCs could wipe out the goblins (or what ever they are) but with no equipment and quite possible injured, it'll make for a tough encounter. THen they will really want to kill your NPC cause he has all their stuff. In the mean time the NPC keeps the stuff he can use (and actually equip him with it) and the rest he sells or gives away for future favors.

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    I never planned this encounter to be life threatening. The NPC's charisma was supposed to make the the PC's talk to the guy and learn some valuable information. But the PC's chose to attack him the moment they saw him.
    I've found that relying on a NPC's charisma to impress PCs is a recipe for failure. I've had PCs who would not be impressed if Galadriel herself was speaking to them. PCs have free will--and that can be a good thing or a bad thing in cases like this.
    Wolfspider

    Founder of BADD - Bothered About Disposable Dragons

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    "The sins of the previous edition don't excuse the sins of the next." -- Kamikaze Midget, giving words to my thoughts

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    My communities:

    Yeah, Wolfspider is right. Only if you've got the charisma to pull off the NPC can it work.

    I usually don't like to kill the PCs... but you've got no choice here. You might be able to save one of them... maybe somebody cast a Contingencied Teleport when he was a baby; maybe one of them has "demon blood" and always comes back to life unless coup-de-grace-d or burnt (or whatever). It wouldn't be a bad time to throw in a "PC Secret", but you'll still end up losing most of the group.

    Yep, nothing you can do that won't cheapen the whole game.

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    stripping them of everything and selling them off is a pretty nasty idea. Another idea, just to really make them crap bricks, is to have the villain come out and say they have to choose one of their number, and that individual is going to die.

    Just him saying that might get the PC's to wake up. If not, give them a real time limit, say 15 real time minutes. After that roll randomly and have the NPC and his flookies take one of the PC's and have him executed. Then, when the players realize how serious the situation is, they will definately try to think of a way out of the situation.

    Of course going through any of these situations might also make the players mad, since they would have no control of their fate. Or at least they might get the impression they had no control.

    In any event, at least one or all of the players are probably dead. You could just save them the pain, and hand them all new character sheets next session and simply tell them that the old players died at the hands of the NPC. If you stayed with the same world, the PC's would already have a villain that they'd want to see dead.

    K Koie

    PS: just had another idea. You could go with the above posters idea and let one of them live. Since the NPC is CN that is feasable. He could just walk in and say, "I'll let one of you live, but the rest of you shall be executed. You have 15 minutes to decide who lives or I choose for you." Talk about a ball-breaking situation!
    Last edited by kkoie; Saturday, 16th March, 2002 at 03:05 AM.

  • #8
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    charisma

    It wasnt like I couldnt properly roleplay the charisma, the NPC had no time to talk.

    I like the demon blood thing. I have one PC that may be good for it.
    I think this may serve as an excellent lesson in the importance of dialogue over hack and slash for my players.

    Thanks for your help

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    Re: charisma

    Originally posted by Norm
    It wasnt like I couldnt properly roleplay the charisma, the NPC had no time to talk.

    I like the demon blood thing. I have one PC that may be good for it.
    I think this may serve as an excellent lesson in the importance of dialogue over hack and slash for my players.

    Thanks for your help
    Sorry if it sounded like I was saying you couldn't do it; I was just trying to say that making Players like an NPC is a hard thing to do. Since you said something like, 'They attacked as soon as they saw him,' what could you do?

    (An aside: the PCs in my game were being hunted, this they knew, and it made them paranoid. In the middle of the day, while they were in camp, the sentry spotted a single man approaching them. They attacked him and almost killed him before he had a chance to communicate. And offer his help. )

    You may want to keep some of the PCs alive and use them as NPCs... or maybe thier children. Although that might piss the Players off a little too much. Still, they might like the idea of facing themselves.

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    On the flip side, my players talk too much. They can be surrounded by 20 orcs who are hell bent on hacking off their limbs, and I can count on a couple of the players to attempt to explain to them the mysteries of the universe (and they aren't joking about it). Two very different extremes.
    - Ace32

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