Page 126 - A Gentle Shove

26th May 2012, 7:20 AM
A Gentle Shove
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
<<First Latest>>

Author Notes:

Newbiespud 26th May 2012, 7:20 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Whoops! Woke up and realized I hadn't set up the comic for this morning's update. Sorry about that.

Anyway, this comic is about the players wanting to do one thing and the DM subtly reminding them they need to do another thing first.

77 Comments:

Umiyuri Papaeyra 26th May 2012, 7:41 AM edit delete reply
Umiyuri Papaeyra
Sweetheart! You had me a little worried there.
Ransom 26th May 2012, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
An hour and a half late? UNACCEPTABLE!!!

Heh, looks like Fluttershy's player needed a lesson in genre saviness, not to mention it'd be rather out of character for her to go adventuring alone. I wonder if that's going to be a theme for this session, if the player wants to play her as braver than she actually is.
darkwulf23 26th May 2012, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
As subtle as a carrot being thrown to the head.

I actually was in one 1st level campaign where we were going up stairs about 10 feet wide blocked by two frost zombies with a aura that did 5 cold damage each,(they were side by side and if you engage them you receive a cold damage at ten) and some sort of ghoul that can force blast us down the stairs. On top of that he actually question us "do you fight or do you run away?" Yea, real subtle use of rails there DM.
Mecryte 26th May 2012, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
What are you talking about, You be the Crazy Awesome derailer that slaughters them all.
The MunchKING 26th May 2012, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
That's what they make crossbows and longbows for. A few headshots from well outside of their ice-range and BAM! they become a non-threat.
Erin Palette 26th May 2012, 10:22 AM edit delete reply
Erin Palette
Pfft, AMATEURS!

Clearly, you should have destroyed the staircase. ;)
darkwulf23 26th May 2012, 12:35 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Good plan but we're using a poorly balanced group where our Ranger left and dexterity was the group's dumpstat. Magic is still an option though.

And to be honest, I know the zombies would normally be an expected encounter. It's just more what the dm said that made us think.
Bronymous 26th May 2012, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
Bronymous
Diplomacy check. Just politely ask them to let you pass.
darkwulf23 26th May 2012, 12:32 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Actually the first plan we had was to bum rush the zombies. Didn't work out too well. We had to retreat to a room that we all ready cleared and planned on doing an extended rest when the DM said that we shouldn't rest there because the zombies are in the next room. Was going to do that anyway simply because we were told not to just to lure them out of the stair case, but the damn DM has a habit of leaving for weeks at a time and we don't know when he'll be back. Oh and this takes place online.
MirrorImage 26th May 2012, 2:32 PM edit delete reply
MirrorImage
Dare I say the obvious?

"Fireball kthx?"
Kaleopolitus 26th May 2012, 2:57 PM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Bribe them with some brains, then go back to town to get said brains, then pay them said brains to get past said obstacle, then blow them up anyway because it's funny.
Zarhon 26th May 2012, 3:12 PM edit delete reply
Zarhon
Launch a grappling hook at one of them and pull him down. Due to the ice aura, the staircase is bound to be slippery enough to have him crash down the stairs and into your awaiting weapons/spears.

Or if that doesn't work, grease spell on the stairs and a mage hand shoving them from behind.

You could then climb the stairs yourself and just push the bastards down if they approach.

I TOLD YOU ABOUT THEM STAIRS
darkwulf23 26th May 2012, 3:46 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
You know, I never said that we couldn't figure out how to get past the zombies, I just said that the DM strongly "hinted" that we shouldn't go up the stairs. Still, it's interesting what ideas everybody comes up with.

Oh and PS. Why do we want to destroy the stairs? We need them to go up to the second level.
Guest 26th May 2012, 4:38 PM edit delete reply
No stairs = monsters on second level cant leave, eventually starve / kill each other, and you get exp for indirectly killing them, as well as an easier run through the dungeon.

If it's urgent to go upstairs, you can use ladders.
Zarhon 26th May 2012, 4:38 PM edit delete reply
Zarhon
bah didnt login...
Malbutorius 28th May 2012, 12:17 AM edit delete reply
DUH you leave then when your outside burn the house down, that'l show the DM not to railroad you.
Raxon 21st Jun 2012, 10:37 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
Player: I pull a book of undead themed erotica from my pocket, and attempt to bribe them to let us pass.

DM: ... The zombies are highly offended by your offer and explain that they are very devout.

Player: *rolls dice* I am very sorry about that. There are so few loyal followers, and this is usually such an excellent way to distract them. Would you allow us to pass if we promised to perform eighty hours of community service at the orphanage, each?

Because when the DM makes random crap up on the spot, there's always some fun way to mess with it.
Mecryte 26th May 2012, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
Every time I've been subtly railroaded, I've found a way to catastrophically derail the campaign at hand. 3 weeks ago, my party and I were chasing down this banner that can resurrect and control any undead within a mile. Upon reaching it's chamber, a group of mercenaries that had taken an alternate path had arrived, followed by an endless line of undead in a 10x7 infinite corridor. Just to resemble a challenge.

I plugged that one up immediately with Punish the Profane.

The mercenaries, under control of the DM and saved by our group, become so consumed by greed that they try to take the banner. Not well aware of what might result, Our elf cleric Natural 20d a diplomacy check to convince them to "wait until after we've discerned all of the magic around it before we try something as foolish as that."

What happened next was a blatant act of railroading. He determined that we were only convincing the ones adjacent to the elf, and that no-one that was at any one point adjacent to her would be affected by her speech. So he went all the way around and grabbed the banner from a square where no-one would be adjacent to him. This was to cause a dimensional teleport that affected everyone in the room, The DM was waiting a month to spring that on us, only for us to be genre savvy enough not to touch it.

So we were going in whether we liked it or not. Me being a dwarf (And scoring well on "Fast talk the DM"), got a saving throw against being pulled in. The other players were then convinced by the DM that jumping in is their choice, and they all did so eagerly. I didn't go down so well. A consuming vortex in front and a wall of zombies behind, I asked for a boon from my God and paved my way into the vortex (DM believed it was for fluff so it was allowed with a good religion check)I proceeded to derail the campaign by saying that the vortex is no longer controlling where i am going. He attempts to rerail me with a 24 Arcane and i appose with 29 Religion. Upon exiting the vortex, we arrive in his new world, but we are in control. We land in an unexpected spot and caused the area we land in to be remodelled as an area resembling our dimension. The boon sent with us causes a radiant barrier which repels all the evils of the land.

We then had a 45 minute argument with the local Deity. We won the argument. We are now hellbent on destroying his new land, rather than saving it, as he intended.
Joe 26th May 2012, 1:13 PM edit delete reply
And you're level...35? 40? Because otherwise, nothing that begins with "We just told an actual god that we're going to destroy his land," ends well for you.
The MunchKING 26th May 2012, 1:40 PM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
or the "Local deity" isn't that tough.

I mean HOW many D&D games have been about how the strongest Warrior from a far away land, or a powerful wizard gets himself set up as a God is some backwater?
Mecryte 27th May 2012, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
We're level 5, the god isn't well informed of my full plan, as I specifically said that "You brought us here against our will. We saw upon our entry a war torn country. We are going to reform this land as we see fit. If you want to accept our help, feel free to do so or send us back now."

I might earn a full Henderson out of this.

The merit of getting away with it? Dwarves are fucking awesome!
Mecryte 27th May 2012, 2:08 PM edit delete reply
Other things that were relevant during the conversation. (My thoughts in brackets

-The god is immortal in his own realm (Trans-dimensional teleport?)
-He is incredibly hard to kill when not immortal (Noted)
-He can summon gargantuan sized colossus at-will (Wouldn't that be a bit power draining?)
-Killing him would raze the land (Is this like a heart and brain combo? Would be awfully convenient if so.)
-Titans, Colossus, Elementals, and Orcs are the natural inhabitants of this land. (I'm a dwarf, and i racially hate these things)
-Creatures from other times and universes exist here. (A likely excuse to justify having futuristic video game characters in here, implying lack of creative development. Is he really going to shove futuristic weapons upon high fantasy characters?)
-The reason why killing the god would raze it is because he IS the land. (Oh really?)

These were threats to not kill the DM's God.
Raxon 21st Jun 2012, 10:53 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
I hear that, man. Dwarves are hardcore, and... wait a minute... If the god is the land, then the the survival of the land depends on the survival of the god. Now unless the dm is pulling this out of his arse, logic dictates that the survival of the god is also dependent on the survival of the land. You are a dwarf. You are racially inclined to tear through stone as easily as you would through the flesh of a thin, delicate dwarf!

WRECKING STUFF IS WHAT DWARVES DO! Now get out there, and wreck a hundred and ten percent! SOMETHING SOMETHING SOMETHING RALLY CRY YEAH!
Mecryte 25th Jun 2012, 5:05 PM edit delete reply
It gets better. His entire communities consist of Giants and Goblins and Orks (Oh My), It's almost as if he's daring me to completely wreck it, and yet, openly warns me not to.
deeman45 26th May 2012, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
I recently GM'd a homebrew game based on 4th ed. (set in the real world and simplified a bit) where the players were exploring an old, abandoned manor. The manor had four levels--a ground floor, a second floor, an attic, and a basement. I intended that they tackle the basement first, and the only remaining stairs going up were blocked off by a strong iron door with a key. The thief in the party tried to pick the lock but rolled abysmally low, and I informed him that the lock was holding strong. The party immediately called me on my blatant railroading...and then walked off, grumbling, without trying anything else.

Funny thing is, had the thief tried again with a more successful roll, or had they thought to use their rope and try to wrangle the railing of the 2nd floor's balcony, I would have played along and let them break the rails--and that's just the "really, REALLY obvious" solutions I came up with, not even mentioning some of the crazy imaginative solutions some people here could come up with.

Just goes to show that sometimes, the number one thing keeping players on the rails is their own bitter insistence that the rails exist... ;)
Jujun 28th May 2012, 2:59 AM edit delete reply
About half the games I've dmed, all the players were like this. They won't even try anything unless I blatently tell them to do it. Just forget about puzzles. Though it is nice when I have to run a game, but am not really feeling it. I'll throw a simple puzzle at them and watch them talk and do nothing for an hour or two while I take a few advil.
Raxon 21st Jun 2012, 11:03 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
You're too subtle. You need a huge flaming banner above a door with a riddle engraved on it. The banner should have magically glowing letters that say "THIS IS A PUZZLE SOLVE IT TO ADVANCE"

If you have very savvy players, they'll expect a trap. If you have very stupid players, they'll probably do it immediately. I say probably, because idiots can ve VERY hard to predict.
Guest 26th May 2012, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
I think there's a difference between railroading and logical gameplay.

I mean sure there are tons of times where people rush into dangerous things, but I'm willing to bet that most sentient creatures would be like, "Scary massive monster appears and we have to deal with it...lets stop and think about this for a moment hmm?"

The problem, of course, is the fine line between what makes sense and subtle railroading from the dm by appealing to reason.
Digo 26th May 2012, 1:22 PM edit delete reply
The operative word being "Most". My players tend to either skip that part or assume its way out of their league... more often the former.
ADemonicPresence 26th May 2012, 9:52 AM edit delete reply
ADemonicPresence
recently, in a vampire campaign, our dm- er, 'storyteller'- sent someone extremely important to bring our party to a meeting of everyone important in the city so we could choose a side in the brewing conflict (which we had been ignoring and the dm was fed up with that). we proceeded to literally stab the guy in the back and retreat to our lair because at least half of us were paranoid that he was trying to kill us.
Nezumi 27th Jun 2012, 8:21 PM edit delete reply
... WHY would he even try that? "Assume that it's actually a trap" is probably the most likely response from a group of Vampire characters/players. The only group I can think of that would be more likely to assume that it's a trap is Paranoia players.
Bronymous 26th May 2012, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
Bronymous
Whats that? Subtle railroading? More like that rabbit just assaulted you with a carrot. Kill the wabbit, and go investigate the smoke. I assume because Twilight doesn't yet know what's going on, she's going to get a letter that explains everything anyway, and the rest of them will be along shortly. Meanwhile, loot and XP abound for trailblazers.
Lyntermas 26th May 2012, 11:16 AM edit delete reply
Lyntermas
Subtlety, thy name is Angel. It seems that Angel will play railroad conductor again in A Bird in the Hoof.

Alt-script time!
TS: Come on Fluttershy, we need you for this.
FS: I'm sorry, Twilight. I'll wait right here at the bottom of the mountain until you guys get back.
*ring*
FS: Oh sorry. I've got to take this.
DM: Go right ahead.
FS: I'll be right in the next room. And remember: I stand perfectly still at the bottom of the cliff.
.....
TS: Alright, girls, we got only a few minutes. Rainbow Dash, can you carry her up the cliff?
DM: Don't you think Fluttershy would, uh, resist?
TS: She said she would "stand perfectly still". Can't go against her wishes, DM.
RD: But I don't have the strength to carry a pony for an extended period of time. Can't we just leave her?
AJ: Nopony gets left behind. Could I drag her up the cliff?
DM: The cliff's too steep. Your combined weight would keep dragging you down.
AJ: Good point. Twilight, I need to borrow your map.
TS: Um, okay.
AJ: Alright, what do I have to roll to find a less steeper route up the mountain?
DM:...Roll a Nature check.
AJ: *roll* 19.
DM:...You look over the map and see a route with a gentle slope. It would lead to the plateau that you were already headed to, but it leads all around the mountain and it would take an extra half-hour to get there.
AJ: Alright, I've got Endurance to spare. See you girls at the top.
...
FS: Sorry about that, girls. Anyway, how are you doing? Can I see you anymore?
AJ: You should. You're up on the plateau with us.
FS: WHAT?
MirrorImage 26th May 2012, 2:41 PM edit delete reply
MirrorImage
DM: "As you travel, you come across a set of tracks running perpendicular to your current path."
RS: "I roll to identify them. 27"
DM: "Railroad."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnTdopLyvbY
kriss1989 26th May 2012, 8:47 PM edit delete reply
kriss1989
*golf clap for MirrorImage*
Kaleopolitus 26th May 2012, 3:05 PM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Gods, how I've missed the laughs from your alt scripts xD

You are a brilliant man XD
Zarhon 26th May 2012, 3:08 PM edit delete reply
Zarhon
Well at least they got practice for when Twilight gets petrified.

And when Rarity has to haul Tom.
darkwulf23 26th May 2012, 12:41 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Yea me, I'm the type of player that will willingly follow the plot hooks and go along with the rails as long as the DM is subtle or creative with it. If I feel that he is blatantly trying to railroad me too often or he, as the DM, not as his NPCs, tell me don't do something because it's a bad idea, well I am more likely to rebel.
darkwulf23 26th May 2012, 12:53 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Actually, you want a subtle way to remind players their route, enforce realistic consequences. They refuse to deliver the message from the general to the captain. Congratulations, the battle was lost. They stab a guy they were suppose to talk to simply because he showed up evil on the paladin's radar, the town guards are now bringing them in for murder. Course at the same time you got to let the players roleplay, otherwise they'll just fight you.
Zarhon 26th May 2012, 3:18 PM edit delete reply
Zarhon
For characters with low int/wisdom you could let them do what they want and show the exactly how badly their plan goes. Then they snap out of their scrubs imagine spot and get asked what they want to do again.

The rest of the party / NPCs can also watch said individual stand with their hand on their chin / doodle things on them.
Rycr 28th May 2012, 6:38 PM edit delete reply
One of my friends uses that method pretty well, actually. In one campaign, the party was supposed to talk to the Thieves Guild in an attempt to clear their names of a major crime that...well...they did commit but not entirely on purpose. In exchange for clearing their names, the party had to give up one of their own to be sacrificed, because he'd pissed off the Guild in the past. Or they could fight against the leader of the Guild and a whole bunch of powerful guards and take over after killing them, then clear their own names with the Guild's influence over local politics. The character's player had RPed him as a jackass and the whole party joined in and had their characters come to hate him, so the choice was obvious. But apparently not to them. Instead, they came up with some elaborate plan to kill the party member, then summon his soul before the Thieves Guild could use it in whatever ritual they were planning to do with it, and resurrect him when they were at a safe distance. The plan went off without a hitch, which was not at all what the DM was planning, so at the end of the session he reminded them that they had pissed off the most powerful thieves guild around and also failed to clear their names, which basically resulted in the combined ire of both sides of the law. I sadly wasn't around for the next session so I don't know what happened, but I know the DM was planning an ambush that would lead into an all-out brawl against all of the bounty hunters out for their heads after both the City Guard and the Thieves Guild post huge bounties.

But that particular party has a "damn the consequences" outlook, so they probably won that battle somehow and went right back to doing whatever the hell they wanted, having learned absolutely nothing from the experience.
Digo 26th May 2012, 1:21 PM edit delete reply
Worse yet, when a PC splits off to go take on something that was meant for a team battle. I've had players get killed for breaking off the group and trying to go solo somewhere.

The worst incident was the party rogue and ranger wandering into a KNOWN white dragon's lair just on the lead that a minor boss character might be there. The minor boss was there, but was already dead. And guess who just showed up to see two adventurers messing with his lunch? XD
The dragon ate well that evening.
darkwulf23 26th May 2012, 1:30 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Well, rangers and rogues are suppose to be scouts. Why have them if they can't scout? Unless they are dumb enough to not use a natural 10 on stealth or try to take on the big boss or minions on their own.
The MunchKING 26th May 2012, 1:42 PM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
Can you take 10 on Stealth?
darkwulf23 26th May 2012, 3:58 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Well normally you can take ten on any skill check provided that you are not stressed out and can think things through, with the possible exception of knowledge checks. Plus if an individual is trained on stealth, it would be safe to say when he is semi-relaxed he can easily fall back on his training. Still, it is up to the DM.
Digo 28th May 2012, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
Rangers and Rogues are indeed supposed to be scouts.

However, scouts do not wander into a known dragon's cave using no stealth while the rest of the party was a quarter mile away and unaware of where the scouts went off to. :)
Carveus 26th May 2012, 4:38 PM edit delete reply
It's not always a death sentence. I'm playing in an AD&D game; I split off from the part to pursue some personal plot to discover one of the bad guys who was hell bent on killing one of the other part members.

Having a contract to keep her alive, I take on the bad guy, who was intended for our party of 5. She had over 100 HP, regenerated and an AC of 0. Me, with my THAC0 of 18 and 24 HP had her down to a third of her HP by the time the rest of the party arrived with back up. I'd lost half of mine, but never underestimate what one very determined, if somewhat foolhardy, player can do.
reynard61 26th May 2012, 6:39 PM edit delete reply
reynard61
For they were crunchy and good with ketchup!
DCHorror 26th May 2012, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
The problem is, what if the railroad doesn't work?

One group I was a player in, the DM threw a corpse collector at us. He made it clear that we were supposed to run away. Our barbarian and paladin had other ideas, deciding that the corpse collector was an abomination that needed to be destroyed.

So, instead of running away in the face of danger, we honestly beat a monster that was out of our league without the help of our only pure magic user. Our DM had to end the session because he was a little flabbergasted at the turn of events.
Zuche 26th May 2012, 6:24 PM edit delete reply
There's a chess maxim: "The threat is stronger than the execution."

In D&D, it's very common for players to confront the encounter that's supposed to warn them away. That's not a threat.

A real threat's consequences come from being unable to be in several places at once. You can win the fight, but can you avoid the attention you'll draw? Can you withdraw from this battlefield in time to prevent other villains from going after another objective, preferably one your group prizes?

Maybe this will be an easy task. Maybe there's no such danger after all. The important thing is to make the players believe there could be, and that it could be more important than the fight in front of them.
kriss1989 28th May 2012, 9:09 PM edit delete reply
kriss1989
A great example of this appeared in the Young Justice episode Cold Heart. Due to an unnatural blizzard covering all of North America, Kid Flash needs to run 4000 miles in 4 hours to get a heart to a little girl for a transplant. Durring the run, which he resents because he doesn't get to go on the big "destroy the five flying ice fortresses" mission, he runs into Savage attacking police. KF turns around and heads back to fight the villain to prove he's a real hero. After getting into the fight for a bit, his wrist counter beeps to alert him to the fact that he has less than two hours left. Leaving the battle, which he had wasted 15 minutes on, he manages to make it to the hospital with 20 minutes before the heart goes bad. He is then told the girl died 12 minutes ago. "Don't blame yourself, I'm sure you came as fast as you could."

Yes, it was a lie for a bigger plot to prevent the transplant. But the amount of time he was late by was no coincidence. Savage had a stop watch he had timed the fight with. Subtract a few minutes, and you have a perfect guilt torpedo. Well played, Savage wasn't the threat. The time limit was. And Savage's job was to distract KF from the real threat. If KF hadn't realized he was running low on time (thank goodness he had warning beeps set on the hours) he might have won the fight, but the girl would have died.

If you're curious why they went through all this just to kill one girl, the short version is that the supervillain mastermind, Count Vertigo, is her uncle. She's the Queen, and if she died he rules the nation and have total diplomatic immunity.
DCHorror 4th Jun 2012, 11:44 PM edit delete reply
Actually, part of the point was that we had just come out of a fight a little easier than was expected. He was trying to say we're not as big and bad as we were feeling.
Colin 26th May 2012, 7:11 PM edit delete reply
I may or may not have terrified my players into submission when they snuck ahead by revealing a horde of high-level undead buried in the last level of a crypt in the town. I use little cardboard tokens to represent enemies; when I didn't stop laying them down after 6-8 (my usual limit) they began to get nervous. Nearly the whole 8x7 crypt was filled with boneshard skeletons, ghouls, the lich who made them, etc. and they were only level 2. They were wise enough to not attack and sneaked back up. The look on the greenest player's face as she walked back in was a picture. :-)

The paladin NPC who accompanied them has sent for help, but it'll take 3 days. Unbeknownst to them, this discovery will be the domino that sets off all the other factions in the town.

The town's healer/alchemist, who had sent them there to scout and clear out the place under the pretext of getting a magic wand, will activate her own army of flesh golems.
The thieves' guild run by the priest in town will seize the chance to raid the inn's cellar.
The barmaids of the inn (who are all doppelgangers) will choose that very same moment to do the same.
The two of these groups will discover that the barman was in fact a feared pirate who decided that now was the time to plunder the mayor's mansion (he heard the paladin talking to the party), and he'll turn up with a couple of his mates, all ready to burglarise the sheriff's office for the key.
The sheriff will just so happen to be having a talk with the bandit leader with whom he was running a protection racket.
Depending on chance, all four of these factions will either meet and try to destroy each other, or will come face-to-face with the mayor, the final faction, who is a polymorphed Ancient Gold Dragon, sitting on his hoard that he built the town to hide. (Needless to say, they won't survive this.) The PCs will be caught in the middle and can try to help, hinder or stand back from any faction.

These players, I might add, are evil or unaligned. Their original aim was to take over the town. If they make it through this, the mayor will *make* them the new occupants of the town, because they managed to eliminate more corruption and evil than they could ever dream of.
Thud 26th May 2012, 10:05 PM edit delete reply
Bit optomistic aren't you?

I mean you're assuming there'll be anyone left.

An average party could turn this into a minor armageddon.

An evil party could probably get half the continent wiped out with that.
darkwulf23 27th May 2012, 11:51 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Here's my plan in dealing with a bunch of people trying to one up each other using a morally questionable outlook on life. Back up and let them kill each other. Then pick off the survivors.

Hell if I have a rogue or a player maxed out on bluff and diplomacy in the party, either plant evidence or convince everyone to kill each other all at once.
xuincherguixe 27th May 2012, 3:06 PM edit delete reply
xuincherguixe
At first I was like, "Wow. The players have their work cut out for them."

Then I saw the whole evil thing. So now it becomes an issue of balancing experience gained for killing targets and what is the most efficient way to eliminate threats.

And then I thought about it some more and the Ancient Gold Dragon can solve all of that by himself. Therefore the smart thing to do is pick off the various factions and hope the dragon in his Lawful Good ways doesn't kill them because they haven't done anything too horrible yet.

And then in a poison him in his sleep. (I'd wait a few levels for that)
The MunchKING 27th May 2012, 8:02 PM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
If you know any poison strong enough to do a number on ANY age catagory of Gold Dragon, you're shopping more powerfully than me...
The Guest 27th May 2012, 9:44 PM edit delete reply
So basically, the town will be in the midst of a chaotic confrontation, where the biggest threats will be too busy to pay the party any attention. I'd sneak around looting valuables and then hightail it outta there.
Crimson Doom 27th May 2012, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
Haha! I love FS's expression in panel 5. So nonplussed! To be fair, though, most peop... er, ponies don't expect to get hit in the head with a carrot.

As for railroading... not so much for me. I've got pretty good players on that score; closest I ever got was reminding them not to let a rival party have the gem they were sent to a dungeon to get. Which was actually really funny, since the gem contained some powerful magic (which they knew), and they almost let the rival party have it in exchange for letting them have the contents of a treasure chest in the room which, unbeknownst to them, were all cursed.
Urthdigger 27th May 2012, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
Urthdigger
The players I play with have a tendency to be very used to being railroaded... to the extent that they kinda expect the DM to drag them along pretty much (One of the reasons I don't play with them anymore). The last session I did with them had the DM actually mention to me later that we were expected to ignore one encounter we stopped to fight (So far in every campaign they've played, any battle pushed their way was meant to be finished for the plot).
Qin the Kirin 27th May 2012, 10:22 AM edit delete reply
on the other side. my players don't take kindly that i railroled them, especialy if the railroad is to obvious.

i remember this Alternity adventure, the players go to a miner's Colony on a volcanic planet, and a lava geiser, hit the ship, short tale, the need to reapir the ship is they whant to leave the planet. but the colony is onder atack of native creatures called Moltenoids. one of the players Refused to leave the ship. and on a mistake of my part y tell him. the adventure say, you all need to leave the ship. and for that moment foward, they make fun of me, as if i have taken the ship and put the players off, in the same maner, you do it to the ketchup. LOL!
Appkes 27th May 2012, 1:24 PM edit delete reply
It used to go with my group that whenever the GM started dropping subtle hints, we all conveniently became very oblivious. And once he got to the not-subtle-at-all approach, we all became violent paranoid thugs that blasted anyone or thing that looked "suspicious".

Eventually he gave up on hints and let us Missile Storm our way through the ddors
Appkes 27th May 2012, 1:27 PM edit delete reply
It used to go with my group that whenever the GM started dropping subtle hints, we all conveniently became very oblivious. And once he got to the not-subtle-at-all approach, we all became violent paranoid thugs that blasted anyone or thing that looked "suspicious".

Eventually hed give up on hints and let us Missile Storm our way through the everything, only to be confronted with a random creature of uber power.

We always killed it somehow.

And then we started to play Paranoia. We ran through a set of clones each before we realised how dumb this approach was in this system.
The MunchKING 27th May 2012, 8:44 PM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
Maxim 6: If Violence isn't your last resort, you failed to resort to enough of it.
Guest 27th Jun 2012, 8:32 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, in Paranoia, normally "Become violent paranoid thugs" is the first step, if not sooner.
DM's choice 28th May 2012, 12:20 AM edit delete reply
Angel = Player Stupidity Containment Device
Interesting thought XD

Or as we call it in my rounds: Summon DungeonMaster
Azureink 28th May 2012, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
Azureink
image "You called?"
darkwulf23 28th May 2012, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Well played.
Wayra Hyena 28th May 2012, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
First, I love the way Angel has been introduced. I sense this is only going to get better for the few other times he appears, even if he isn't a common face in the show.

Second, I can railroad at times as a DM, but normally that's when the players genuinely don't know what to do. Sometimes you just have to take a player by the hand and show them the direction to the next plot point, or give them little hints as to what to do next... at least in MY group, otherwise they then have to trust the hairbrained schemer wanna-be one-man-show hero type who tries to do everything himself and normally fails. It's only gotten them nearly killed 70% of the time. Anyways. The game I'm running currently isn't neccessarily a sandbox exactly... but it's rarely ever railroaded. Essentially I have created a world with certain problems and NPCs they can interact with, and it's the PC's choice if they want to go after them and solve them (I firmly suggested at the beginning of the game that most people make their characters to have lived in the country for a while or to have some connection to it so they would have an in-character reason for being there) or they can meander off elsewhere. They could go investigate the Assassin Guild that was immobile for 400 years and suddenly came out of the woodwork... or they could go ride the giant centipede! They could investigate the death of the High Oracle('s double in, they're used to assassination attempts) orrrr they could go participate in plays and gladiator-esque bloodsports!

Here's the problem. As a Dm, I. Record. Everything. They know that the country is going to hell, and it is NOT waiting for them. If they're in the country when all of this comes to a boil, they will die. This isn't a timed game because running them on set time limits would just be cruel, but every now and then they pass certain points and I progress the state of he country. They could also leave if they wanted, and they have, in fact, done so twice. However, there is also no guarantee that the problem will stay within the country, and once it begins to overtake the world, their characters are due for some serious cramming if they want to survive. Even if the entire country was destroyed, we would still have a game, but now they're dealing with something even worse because they just left the problem to fester. They've been moving at a pretty good pace, trying to keep with the story and rarely getting distracted. I'm a forgiving DM, but I also remind them that the world moves on with or without them, and it's their choice to either participate in it, or act like the world doesn't exist and fall behind.
Raxon 21st Jun 2012, 11:23 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
That is so simple, so straightforward, and yet so vast and interesting. I love this idea, and I hope you don't mind if I save this timeline concept for later use.
darkwulf23 28th May 2012, 11:50 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Just to let everybody know, railroading is when a DM forces his players to follow his paths or prevents them from following a different direction despite their say. And it is not always bad if used sparingly, sometimes you do need to guide your players to the proper path if they are lost, unknowingly going to get themselves killed or derail the plot. It's when you do it all the time and you are trying to control their actions that you have problems. Most groups if they start derailing all the time, it's because their are too many rails as it is and they need more freedom.

However, on behalf of the DMs I'll say this. Before you start trying to screw up the plot consider this. Is he really trying to railroad you or just trying to keep the story moving? Also, no matter what campaign, the one who works the hardest is ALWAYS the Game master. Every hour spend in a campaign setting exists because he spent at least an hour beforehand getting it ready.
Bronymous 28th May 2012, 7:31 PM edit delete reply
Bronymous
True Story. I never get to play because no one ever wants to spend the time coming up with a story- and we don't even derail. Like, EVER.
Dragonflight 28th May 2012, 7:43 PM edit delete reply
That's definitely a good point. Sometimes though, you might find yourself using a minor railroad to overcome a player's inability to creatively solve problems. And then it can be overcome by that player anyway.

Case in point: An old Battletech game I was running at the time using Mekton 1 rules. It was set a thousand years in Battletech's future, allowing me to handwave away how they now had Macross-style mecha and effortless combat mechanics.

I'd introduced psionics, and the big bad had somehow psionically reincarnated himself as Stefan Amaris, arguably the biggest traitor in the Battletech universe. This person started a war with the first truly alien species mankind had met, and they owned an interstellar empire twice the size of humanity.

Over the course of the game, I'd had a growing reliance on energy weapons trend itself into the systems used by both sides. But for saving the life of the alien queen and turning the tide of the war, the alien queen gave a player who'd been feeling left out because his decisions were alienating the group, a brand-new battlemech. It was built in "their style" which apparently included lots of heavy machine guns and missile launchers and repeating gauss rifles.

This was getting near the end of the campaign, and you could tell when I handed the sheet over to the player and the others borrowed it, that the wheels were starting to turn. They realized that if the mech I'd given that problem-player was all kinetic based, and the common weapon was energy-based, just maybe I'd had a reason for it. Which was why they'd rebuilt a mech-sized assault rifle to include a railgun with heavy ammo capacity. Just in case.

What did the problem player do? He thanked the queen for the design, immediately took it back to the ship, stripped out all the ballistic ordnance, and loaded it up with energy guns.

Then the final campaign boss monster showed up, with Radiation-Absorption Armor, and ignored incoming energy damage. The problem player immediately complained he'd been rendered irrelevant and it was hideously unfair. But the other players had their Just-In-Case railguns, and handled themselves well.

So even if you railroad someone with good intentions, it can still go horribly wrong. :)
Bronymous 28th May 2012, 11:07 PM edit delete reply
Bronymous
That's less a problem with railroading (if you can call it that, I wouldn't), and more a problem with that kid's situational awareness.

Besides, who picks lasers over kinetics anyway? Anyone who's seen Return of the Jedi knows better than that.
xuincherguixe 29th May 2012, 1:41 AM edit delete reply
xuincherguixe
Well, what if you're piloting these giant walking machines of death with the intent of assassination? Lasers have inherent silencers!
Raxon 21st Jun 2012, 11:30 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
If that's the case, you get a top of the line, long range, absolute precision sniper rifle, slowly and quietly get nice and close, and then aim for the ammo. Even lasers have ammo, it just comes in the form of secondary power supplies. Anything with any significant amount of energy explodes. It's a standard giant mecha rule.
CV 28th Apr 2014, 1:57 AM edit delete reply
The mountain start to spread smoke..ITS A VOLCANO, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!! also fluttershy need to do roll for courage, before investigation.