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My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice
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TOPIC: My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice
#35757
My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice 5 Years, 1 Month ago  
What do you think about the device of having the party encounter a major villian but having his or her henchmen attacking the party while they slip away and live to fight another day? I know that device would get old after awhile, but I feel like it could provide some good roleplaying moments and invest the players in tracking down the villian and finally defeating or capturing them.

The world I'm developing has multiple options in terms of double-crossers and traitors, but I don't want to overuse that either. Sometimes, the "bad guys" should be obvious. I don't want everything to be shades of grey.

I think the other thing I will do is start with a smaller group of monsters in large encounters to see how the fight is going. If it looks like the group is not breaking a sweat, then reinforcements could charge in from the next room, etc. If the encounter already has all the monsters at once and the party is on the road to an obvious TPK, then it's tough to get out of that situation unless you have the monsters retreat or fib on some of the attack rolls.
Swanton
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#35758
My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice 5 Years, 1 Month ago  
minions are your friend.
pfworks
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#35759
My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice 5 Years, 1 Month ago  
If the party is going down in flames, send in NPC reinforcements for them.

Maybe another adventuring party has been following them, hoping to steal their glory or take their leavings. As a reward for helping out, the adventurers want to join them. You can spend the next session or two killing off the NPCs in place of the characters.

Maybe some bandits (good-hearted or not) jump in to save the day. In return, the party owes them a favor to be specified at a later date. The party might get off with a simple "You owe us one, let us go before the King's Guard gets here", or they might be recruited to take part in a major heist.

Maybe some hunters have been searching for the same monsters. They'll be really glad for the help, and take the party someplace safe to recuperate, and hey, as long as they're here [insert adventure hook].
jackattack
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#35760
My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice 5 Years, 1 Month ago  
jack, those ideas are helpful. I'll have to file those away!

Ideally, you don't want the party members to die, but what if one person suffers some terrible rolls and dies off during a campaign? How do you handle that?
Swanton
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#35761
My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice 5 Years, 1 Month ago  
Never become disappointed if your players overcome a challenge too easily. If the PCs won because of luck, the next time they might roll poorly, so no problem there. If the monsters were genuinely too weak to a real challenge, just tweak the next encounter a little. Monsters are like Doritos - crunch all you want, we'll make more.

But it's fun to mess with the players' heads. Have them enter an empty room, and when one steps on a certain floor section, it drops about an inch and the party hears an audible "CLICK!" Then sit back and smile while your players start sweating bullets. Nothing gives people the willies like the unknown. Later if something happens elsewhere in the dungeon, they'll connect it to the click room - I guarantee you.

Really want to make people nervous? Tell them that the doorknobs are shaped like human hands. When they reach to open the door, the hand grasps theirs back.

:D
Kradlo
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Kradlo
Make Mine Master Maze!
 
#35762
My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice 5 Years, 1 Month ago  
Really want to make people nervous? Tell them that the doorknobs are shaped like human hands. When they reach to open the door, the hand grasps theirs back.

:D

Awesome!

I also like the idea of not having an immediate trap but give the party something to worry about in the future.
Swanton
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#35763
My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice 5 Years, 1 Month ago  
Or just leave a copy of Grimtooth's Traps lying on the table.
pfworks
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#35764
My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice 5 Years, 1 Month ago  
They don't have a book like that for 4e yet, do they?
Swanton
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#35765
My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice 5 Years, 1 Month ago  
Ideally, you don't want the party members to die, but what if one person suffers some terrible rolls and dies off during a campaign? How do you handle that?
This is D&D. Resurrect them. If the party can't afford a resurrection, take it out in trade. The party has to kill a particular monster, or bring monster parts back to the temple for a sacrifice. The character who was brought back might have to pray to a new god for a year and a day, or perform some herculean task in the name of the deity that brought him back.

A mechanic my GM came up with when he re-wrote L5R was that the "Void" stat allowed you a certain number of re-rolls per session, whether you made the roll or someone else made a roll against you. It really cut down on accidental character-kills.

If the party has henchmen and hirelings, the GM can always sacrifice them instead of the character. A squire jumps in front of an arrow, an apprentice mage jumps up because he is sure he knows the right counterspell, the friar selflessly transfers the curse to himself, the lackey stumbles in the way of the monster's disemboweling swipe, and so on.

You can also make up new magical talismans for your party to collect as treasure. The fighter always wore the +2 bracer with the ruby in it because it looked cool -- you should have seen the look on his face when that axe bounced off his head and the ruby exploded! A magic item or artifact might negate a mortal blow, but ignore anything that's less serious. Having limited charges, or knowing that this is the last such item known to exist, should keep the players from going into god-mode. (If it doesn't, let them blow the charges and gank them later.)
jackattack
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#35766
My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice 5 Years, 1 Month ago  
Excellent, thank you for the suggestions.

I have come up with a bunch of props for the campaign - some tattered documents and sketches of an important villain and NPC. I'll post them once I get them from my cousin; he's drawing them for me.
Swanton
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#35767
My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice 5 Years, 1 Month ago  
Never become disappointed if your players overcome a challenge too easily. If the PCs won because of luck, the next time they might roll poorly, so no problem there. If the monsters were genuinely too weak to a real challenge, just tweak the next encounter a little. Monsters are like Doritos - crunch all you want, we'll make more.

But it's fun to mess with the players' heads. Have them enter an empty room, and when one steps on a certain floor section, it drops about an inch and the party hears an audible "CLICK!" Then sit back and smile while your players start sweating bullets. Nothing gives people the willies like the unknown. Later if something happens elsewhere in the dungeon, they'll connect it to the click room - I guarantee you.

Really want to make people nervous? Tell them that the doorknobs are shaped like human hands. When they reach to open the door, the hand grasps theirs back.

:D

Muwahahahaha!!! thank you so much bro, you've caused me an awesome traumatic overload of ideas in my mind to use with this!!! genious!

Greetings,
arsthein
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I want my DF Spiderweb Accesories Set!!! ^O^U
 
#35768
My (Hopefully!) Glorious Return to Dungeon Master --- Need Advice 5 Years, 1 Month ago  
The tips for traps and such have been great. I was hoping you could all contribute some ideas for puzzles or skill challenges that do not involve talking to a NPC or dealing with a trap. I have some ideas regarding a tomb that holds a treasure but the wrong use of the switches in the room lead to monsters attacking rather than the reward coming forth, etc.

What have you used in the past that has been fun?

Thanks again!
Swanton
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