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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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50148238 No.50148238 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

So, I got it into my head to go ahead and plot out a full tabletop campaign this month, and one of the linchpins to it strikes me as reasonable in-setting, but outside of it smells like I'm railroading them. I'm hoping for some advice/suggestions.

After some prologue stuff, the party (and most of the area) will overhear a massive magic throwdown in the nearby mountains. A day or so after this, the party will be approached by a female cleric or other religious type and asked to ferry a paladin's body back to the main temple for resurrection. If pressed, she will admit there were others of the order involved in the dust-up, but getting Sir Goodguy back home has priority because he has information about a threat.

After various encounters getting him home, the casket is delivered, and the party is invited to witness the resurrection as a courtesy/thank you for bringing him home. The ritual completes, Sir Goodguy is alive - just long enough to look panicked and claw at his wrist before teleporting out in a flash of light, leaving a roomful of armed paladins to turn and look at the players.

>> No.50148253

The whole thing had been a setup; a necromancer wanted what was in Sir Goodguy's skull, but since they can't rez him, let his order take care of it and yank him back. A teleport recall talisman had been sewn into him in order to yank him back when the time was right. The party are just patsies.

And this is where I start to worry about forcing them to return and rescue Sir Goodguy. The paladins (read: I) would see it as logical that the party would want to confront a possible major threat to everyone on principal, or at least in penance (and to avoid bounty-happy paladins dogging their steps). But I honestly don't know if that's being too heavy-handed in order to get them to the next stage of the adventure.

I'm a novice DM, so I really don't have a benchmark for this kind of thing yet. Am I railroading, or just overstressing?

>> No.50148306

Does the party as such, characters and shit, have any reason to help those people?

If not, then it will be a railroad. If yes, then it's a free game.
And if the party won't do this on simple moral ground, offer them a reward for help, it's not that hard.

The main issue is how much this will be of a stretch for the party to change their course and transport the body.

Also, if players are sawwy enough, they will consider this as a setup from the start, BUT most likely focus on the people who asked them to do this thing, expecting them to be the traitors or some other evil doers. So by making sure the people sending them with the body appear ok, you can make it much less obvious and much more engaging.

>> No.50148449
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OP, you really should get ready for the players to react shit in unexpected ways and get good in improvising shit. More often than not they'll go for the most asine, foolhardy and assbackwards approach when it comes to things such as what you're suggesting.

>pic unrelated

>> No.50148495

Why can't the necromancer rez him? It's in a standard spell arsenal, and the dead guy doesn't know who's calling him back.

>> No.50148511


It's a perfectly good ruse and all it does is set up the next stage of the plot, not harm the PCs directly, so it's cool. The necromancer is clearly a villain and if the players don't want to go stab a villain, why are they even playing D&D? My main worry here wouldn't be about railroading but rather overplanning a specific party route through the story. You can pretty safely rely on players wanting to stab a necromancer just for showing up with a handlebar mustache, but getting the paladin back home in the first place seems low enough priority, especially if they don't even bother pressing for details about why this paladin in particular is so important, that the party might reasonably just ignore it completely.

>> No.50148963


Actually, the whole thing was sparked by a comment in the DMG that the rez target can sense the alignment of whomever's dragging them back. Hence the shell game bu the bad guy.

>> No.50150313
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If you're trying to avoid railroading, make the adventure non-linear in its progression. Keep the sequence of events lined up in your head but don't have a single way to go about them. For Example:

>A goblin warlord is terrorizing a local town with his henchmen and plans to assault it with his new kobold allies in one weeks time. The simple mining town wont stand a chance and the players are the only ones with any real combat experience. The captain of the guard asks them for help.

So in one weeks time, the goblins and their allies will assault the town after taking preparations:

>Collapse the mountain pass to prevent reinforcements to the town
>Continue to murder miners and loggers until they can no longer leave the defensive walls of the town
>Make the shipment of gold to Kobold allies to guarantee their help in the attack
>Begin the attack in full force as the climax of the adventure.

So your players can either sit around town with their thumbs up their asses and wait for the attack or they can take the initiative to cripple the goblins before their attack:

>By preventing the collapse of the mountain pass, reinforcements are allowed to enter the city.
>By protecting the miners and loggers the town can build more defensive structures
>By intercepting the gold shipment to the Kobolds, the Goblins will have to fight alone. Players might have a hefty bonus as well.
>The attack is launched as planned but not as strong as planned. The goblins have a much lower chance of overrunning the town.

If your players would rather move on and leave the town to its own troubles, tough luck. Clearly they want to murderhobo the next town over instead of helping honest men with their troubles.

>> No.50150654

So the vibe I'm getting is, "Don't expect it to work, but it's not as bad as you thought". Okay, that puts me at ease. I'll probably need to come up with a couple additional carrots and sticks for both halves of the con.

>> No.50150681

Rewards if they seem uncertain can always be a good carrot. If the village in trouble is decent to them the party is more likely to be engaged.

A DM I had made a town treat us like monsters for no good reason, then got angry when we didn't bite the carrot because fuck those people.

>> No.50150907


>> No.50151825
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>> No.50154572

I mainly forsee an issue when you try to get them to transport the paladin's body. I know my players would just trust me and play along, but your players may very well just say "fuck it" and walk away. As others have pointed out, you have to provide more incentives. Why do your players care about all this shit? Furthermore, why are the paladins so insistent on using the players? Why do they need the party to transport the body? Why can't they just use their own staff? You have some tenuous motivations in your story plan, and that does tend to be how railroading occurs; when no one has clear intentions/motivations and seem to just be wandering about, following what the DM says is important.

>> No.50156967


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