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9th Oct 2018, 6:00 AM
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Graphics Glitch
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Newbiespud 9th Oct 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Story time! Any stories about the campaign's hometown / early/starting town (not home bases) being dramatically changed at a later date, whether for tension or the party's benefit?

31 Comments:

Digo Dragon 9th Oct 2018, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
One of my longer-running D&D campaigns back in the day has the players passing through the hometown of two of the PCs--Summerset. It was a farming town with the benefit of being along a well-worn trade route between three bigger cities (two being ports), so it saw a lot of bartering traffic and all was good.

Well, except for that time the nation fell into civil war and one of the major battles met in the wheat fields of Summerset. The PCs arrived to support their side (and prevent the town from being wiped off the map from a large-scale battle). Got to use mass-battle rules on that and the PCs did very well in defending the town.

However, it was never the same after that. after the civil war ended and the nation became two different countries, Summerset found itself as a border town and closer to a river than it used to be (said river was routed closer to Summerset thanks to some nasty wizards). Thus, Summerset was walled in and became a military fort. The farms were still there, but the military presence to defend the border was something new the town had to get used to.

On the plus side, the PCs were respected high-level adventurers by this point, so two of them became military captains to train new soldiers.
albedoequals1 9th Oct 2018, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
I had a pathfinder game where my players used the building rules to make custom bases in the town where the story had started. We ended up with adventurer wealth funding a wizard's tower, school of magic with dorms, fighting dojo, and a large temple. One of my players even drew a custom map for the temple. The town had been just a farming community, but it was a destination for intellectuals by the time they were done with it.
ThatGuest 9th Oct 2018, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
I tried that in a campaign once but things went.....poorly. It's yet another story I can't really share here for public viewing. The closest I can say is......federal crimes all the way up to war crimes and litteral crimes against humanity. I'm talking Caligula levels of abusing power.
Digo Dragon 9th Oct 2018, 9:23 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Did they pay for their crimes in the end?
ThatGuest 9th Oct 2018, 1:17 PM edit delete reply
No most of them quit after I completely shut down their three way discussion about how to bring the town in line since some people were disrespecting them for being terrible people. They couldn't decide between killing all the parents in the town to scare the children into obedience, kill all the kids to scare the parents into obedience, killing all families in town to avoid triggering any kind of slain family member revenge thing, or the Fighter's pitch which was. "Hey, maybe we can just kill all the men in town and keep the women~"

At this point me and my best friend were just....speechless in horror. When I told them I outright wasn't going to let them touch an NPC, basically making NPC townsflok immune from damage like a video game they lost their minds and quit because I was "Railroading them and stifling their creativity."
Evilbob 9th Oct 2018, 6:51 PM edit delete reply
Evilbob
Yeaaaahhhhhh...

At that point, instead of invoking NPC immunity rule, you shoulda just resigned and told them why...

Orrrr... if you were somehow able to get another group of players in... you could have an interactive game already with a quest, mission, and Big Bad all set up ready to go! lol.
Redwings1340 10th Oct 2018, 12:20 AM edit delete reply
Wow. I get playing as evil, I often toe the line between good and evil in my characters, but that's just... Well that's full supervillain there.

Yeah, I wouldn't really want to GM a campaign where players were doing that either.
khyrin 11th Oct 2018, 5:51 AM edit delete reply
That sounds an awful lot like my campaign last year. one of our party members was an Inquisitor who didn't understand that his rank in his city's guard meant bupkis outside his city.
We visited my character's hometown, and a guard told the party to hit the bricks because the gate was closed for the night. As the guard turned away, his eyes reverted to a reptilian look for a moment.

The Inquisitor took this as "Ah, so the entire town is Evil and must be Purged."

I took that as a reason to make a touch-range attack to put the barrel of my revolver against the base of the Inquisitor's skull.

The Inquisitor's player was very glad he backed down after that when later in the session I confirmed a crit and took off an Arc BBEG Lieutenant's head.
ThatGuest 9th Oct 2018, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
And for the record I was actually already planning to destroy them for the sake of the world within the next session.
Guest 9th Oct 2018, 7:22 PM edit delete reply
Personally, that's about when I'd start a separate game as a one-shot quickie. With completely different players.

Same setting, different players with different characters. Hired by the local lord to drive out a gang of impractically evil despots who are terrorizing some town.

This other one-shot session is run in a chatroom, starting just early enough in the day to catch up to the main session. And of course, the main session was also moved to a chatroom for the made-up reason that you twisted your ankle or something, and the very real reason that your evil players are probably going to be frothingly mad that you reduced them to an encounter in someone else's story.

This might not be practical if you frequently DM at your own house, though.
ThatGuest 9th Oct 2018, 7:46 PM edit delete reply
Oh I told them exactly why I wasn't letting them do any of those plans and making townsfolk immortal. That's why they said it was railroading and stifling because in a -real- D&D game the fighter should have the freedom to go up to a woman he wants, kill her husband then claim her for himself now that she's no longer married (yes he actually did that in another game run by someone else that I was playing in)

I have also made them stand in villains in other stuff, usually as pathetic maniacs that the party gets to kill brutally.
ThatGuest 9th Oct 2018, 7:48 PM edit delete reply
The scary thing is......they're still not the worst players I've had to encounter......
DuoScratch 10th Oct 2018, 3:46 AM edit delete reply
These guys sound like the Chaotic Stupid kind of players.
ThatGuest 10th Oct 2018, 4:17 AM edit delete reply
I wish, chaotic stupid is usually just trying to mess up the game for a cheap laugh. These guy were -completely- into what they were doing, in hindsight I would not be surprised if the fighter had several restraining orders against him in real life.
Digo Dragon 10th Oct 2018, 7:33 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I might be under-surprised as well. Sounds like they'd cross a few lines I wouldn't be comfortable with, so... yeah, I don't blame you for bringing down the hammer.
ThatGuest 10th Oct 2018, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, you'd think that seeing the worst tabletop players in existence would make me bitter and dark all the time but I actually play and run very bright stuff. Which was actually a problem they had with me. My characters and settings are always too.......nice *makes them shudder when I talk to someone and don't shank them*
obscurereader 10th Oct 2018, 10:11 PM edit delete reply
Oooh, tabletop games where npcs aren't always assholes (possibly including but not limited to *not* always betraying or deceiving players/the party, which ends up allowing the possibility for diplomatic solutions) and are allowed to be nice? The world will always need more of those, and I salute you for being that kind of dm/player /sincerity mode.
ThatGuest 10th Oct 2018, 10:44 PM edit delete reply
I just find it hard to motivate myself to save a world if it's one that feels like getting destroyed would make it less horrible.
Classic Steve 9th Oct 2018, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
"Just like in..." I wonder what AJ has in mind.
Ganny 9th Oct 2018, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
Its the same as it was in the vision's Applejack got before she got Discorded.

http://friendshipisdragons.thecomicseries.com/comics/1081

Speaking of which, I'm wondering if Twilight's player will handle things as poorly as Twilight did when the Elements of Harmony fail to work...
ThatGuest 9th Oct 2018, 8:10 AM edit delete reply
She could be referring to a game that's broken. Often missing textures will be checkerboards and water textures will be neon pink.
Freemage 9th Oct 2018, 8:22 AM edit delete reply
This was an actual element of Feng Shui, by design. In the game, there's a restricted type of time-travel, where people who find a way to the Netherworld (kind of the timestream's backstage area) can pass to one of four specific eras.

If you tweak events in the past, you can cause elements of the future to change, though control is difficult (the shortest gap between portals is 50 years; the longest is over 1000--so you really can't know for certain how your actions will change the future junctures).

Most of the time, this causes what the game refers to as a Superficial Shift. Names change, maybe a few details are different, personal histories can get tweaked. But the big arcs of history are still the same.

However, if you have enough control over places of power, you can force a Critical Shift--with this, major historical events can have different outcomes, and even the laws of magic themselves can change.

As a result of this, when I ran the game, the players often would wake up and find some sort of event has triggered at least a superficial shift, causing a loved one to no longer recognize them (or even be dead/non-existent), for instance, or that their entire neighborhood is now a gang-ruled urban hellscape. Then they'd have to figure out which era the events changed in, who changed them, and how to undo the damage with the least amount of collateral damage.
you know that guy 9th Oct 2018, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
sounds like Day of the Tentacle
Departure_Dave 9th Oct 2018, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
That sounds like a lot of fun!
The Old One 9th Oct 2018, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
I started an all-humans pathfinder campaign by having the player's home village obliterated by a tsunami. They later discovered the region's doomsday cult had raised a new island in the middle of the ring of islands that was the campaign area, which caused the tsunami.
Winged Cat 9th Oct 2018, 10:18 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
We're actually trying to do that on purpose in my Traveller campaign. Home town is the Floating Palace: a high tech floating city, where some aliens nuked everything but the palace centuries ago. We're trying to rebuild and upgrade, starting with the starport so as to get resources from the local asteroids and build faster. Going out among the stars to get what we need, and recruiting worlds into our reestablished interstellar kingdom, is the main plot. (Technically it's only my PC's home town, the other PCs having been recruited in various ways, but it is the party's home base.)

A more epic one was in Exalted (naturally). The PCs came to set up a city on behalf of the Guild; the basics had been done by campaign start, but it expanded over the course of the campaign. The Guild was expecting some minor trade center, to make profiteering much easier. They were not expecting an industrial center, with an academy pumping out sorcerers, magical item crafting as a major industry, 5 separate manses channeling each of the setting's elements to power city services (including its own small printing press, in a generally medieval tech setting), and a city defense force that could hold its own against expeditions from the mighty Realm, that became a small but growing empire both in the land of the living and in the Underworld, thriving in part by taking in outcasts from other lands - most of whom could be trained and infused with power (and the rest taken in as mercy - which gained the loyalty of said newly empowered).
DuoScratch 10th Oct 2018, 3:42 AM edit delete reply
To be honest, I've never been able to try that. Once my players make it past that starting town they called home, they never look back at it, or really any place. They've been there, done that, and don't wanna go back. Probably what would happen, is that they'd let whatever thing I was trying to lead them back to stop happen, because they just didn't care. It's not the big capital where they can live in luxury, and some low level heroes can go handle that low level town.

Basically, they become snooty. XD
Destrustor 10th Oct 2018, 4:40 AM edit delete reply
Destrustor
Oh boy do I have one for this storytime!

So one time the game started in "waterdeep", right?

I put the quotation marks up there because the town was such a cartoonishly miserable hellhole that it had absolutely nothing to do with the established licensed fictional town.

It was constructed entirely out of rot, grime, and crippling poverty; the local currency was coins made of tree bark (for the rich folks) or literally-dried-up-disks-of-sand.
We once got a single copper coin as the party's quest reward and we were all blown away by the *opulence* of such a fortune; we could perhaps rent a room at the inn that night, and sleep on something else than slightly-packed dirt for once.
Every person in town was filthy, mean, and desperate. Every building in town was a run-down shack built on shaky stilts over the swampy waters of the harbor; the fancy houses stood on the grimy mud of the shore.
Speaking of the harbor, the entire bay's floor surface was literally covered inch-to-inch in sleeping demilich skulls, who would wake up just long enough to throw a scorching ray or two at you whenever you disturbed them with such rambunctiousness as "falling in the water" or "fishing because it's the only way you get to eat tonight".
The food was awful; you either got fresh moldy bread from the baker or slimy gritty fish from the water. Malnutrition was as rampant as starvation.
There was a guard post on the road out of town, made to keep the rabble of "Waterdeep" out of civilized society; we only got to escape that town's blight when we scrounged up enough money to pay the toll.


"Waterdeep" scarred our characters for life, so it was really therapeutic when we came back at levels 17+.
We bought out all the "land", evicted rescued everyone and brought them into a real city, dumped enough holy water in the bay to wake up all the demiliches and fireballed them all into oblivion, cratered whatever was left of the city, dumped hundreds of tons of concrete to fill it up, and built a 200-foot-tall solid-platinum statue of Bahamut in its place.

If the DM wanted to make us hate the place, I guess he did a stellar job.
Zontan 10th Oct 2018, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
I started a campaign once with the party meeting in a small town ruled by a young bronze dragon. They helped defend it from an attack by another dragon and that was how they got roped into the plot. Unbeknownst to them at the time, it was being attacked because the bronze dragon had one of the McGuffins the party spent most of that campaign gathering. By the time they learned of this much later and came back, they found the town destroyed, the dragon and his paladin champion dead, and the McGuffin already in the hands of the bad guys. They didn’t take it very well.
Redwings1340 10th Oct 2018, 6:24 PM edit delete reply
I would be a bit disappointed coming back to that too, because once I have an emotional connection with an NPC, I kind of expect to have a chance to keep that NPC alive. It would be a bit jarring heading to an important place and finding that all the NPCs you care about are just gone. Especially when I've already saved that NPC in the past.

I think it would probably be better to have the NPCs alive, but fighting in a bad position. Basically, it would sit a lot better with me if the dragon had fled and the Paladin were getting attacked by an overwhelming army the moment you arrived, it would set up a scenario where the party still has a chance to save the important characters, while still building up the bad guy of the campaign.

If they managed to successfully rescue the Paladin that would also successfully distract the party from the fact that the McGuffin is gone.
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