Hi guys im new to canonfire and greyhawk in general so could use some help.
Here's the problem i have been runnining a greyhawk campain setting with a group of mates now for about half a year and they just aren't listening much they seem determined to out do each and not work as a team.
As a result of this they often go into a adventure and just try to kill everything by charging straight in, this often means that someone dies and i have to have them resurected. what can i do to try and get them to think more and work as a team? and should i be leniant with there deaths or should i be like ''oh well that was always gonna happen''?
Any help is massively appreciated thanks.
p.s. im running their adventures in saltmersh in keoland and if anyone knows where i can get a map of seaton that will be appreciated aswell. :)
First question I would have is whether everyone at the table is having fun? From your post it sounds like you aren't at least and in that case you have an issue. If you are all enjoying the campaign, regardless of how the PCs work together or not then why change it?
Assuming from your post you are not happy with how things are, then you can guide the players in the right direction. Don't be lenient with deaths that are caused by poor or reckless decisions as long as the players have clear warning in-game that decisions they are making are reckless. For example, ignoring the warnings from the locals about the dragon lair in the swamp when low level should have consequences as long as the players understand that you are running that kind of campaign. If your players have so far experienced level-appropriate challenges wherever they go then this kind of tactic could upset them.
Similarly, it should be possible to craft your adventures so that the group has to work as team and generally the game, whatever edition you play, is geared towards that. You can encourage this further by making sure there are things in your adventures that only the thief/rogue can tackle like traps and obstacles along with similar challenges where clerics and wizards can be important (not least in battle). Of course, the fighter/paladin/ranger is pretty ubiquitous since every party needs someone in the front line.
Out of the game, you could just try and sit down and talk to your players to explain that you are not enjoying the game as much as they apparently are. Being the DM is a tough job and given you've stepped up to the plate to take it on, they should make an effort to ensure you have fun as well.
Hope this helps and no doubt others will be along here with more advice shortly
Thanks flint that helps alot. And yeah I'm having fun with the overall adventures yet I keep trying to get the group to work work together as I believe they will be successful.
However with there being alot of us (8 to be precise) it does slow things down abit.
I do like the idea of have the thief being the only one to complete a certain part of the adventure as it may mean a relinquishing of control from some of the others likewise for the wizard(me) or the clerics.
Welcome to Canonfire, Maz03! This is the place for advice about the World of Greyhawk.
I have historically been a very lenient DM, allowing players who died to be resurrected. However, I have had more fun lately allowing the dice to fall where they may - and my players seem to be loving it!
I suggest that you stop saving the PCs. Play their opponents intelligently, as if they were your own characters. Roll your dice out in front of the players so that when you roll a critical hit, they can't complain that you fudged it. Roll the damage in front of them and, if they are slain, they stay that way. Until they reach a level sufficient for one of them to cast the spell him- or herself, they can pay through the nose if they can find a cleric willing to cast a Raise Dead spell or they can make up a new PC.
...I have historically been a very lenient DM, allowing players who died to be resurrected. However, I have had more fun lately allowing the dice to fall where they may - and my players seem to be loving it!
I suggest that you stop saving the PCs...
-I think it's time for that the cleric who does all those resurrections to either get transferred or have a really awful accident...
Definitely introduce yourself, Maz! Tell us about yourself, your gaming style, the edition you prefer, and whatever else you wish to share on the adjacent Forum.
I think some of my colleagues have given you some great advice. I think a group of 8 is unwieldy and cumbersome, personally, as you have noted. Could you shave it down a few people, or run two different campaigns on different days to cut down on the size and help implement a group mentality? The fewer characters in play at once means more interpersonal interactions...just like having a class of 15 students is better than 30 for more one-on-one time.
Also, what ages are your players? Not to sound demeaning, but typically younger players tend to lack the experience and maturity to work cooperatively, although this is not always the case. Even 'mature' people knife each other in the back to promote their own causes.
Finally, I am personally not against slaying characters who act foolishly, and sometimes that means you gotta work together, or give that encounter a wide berth if you aren't ready to tackle it. It's called consequences if you just blunder forth unprepared, without a plan, and don't work cohesively to achieve the objective.
Just my take. Personally, I prefer smaller groups to bigger ones (3-4 players in my mind), if for no other reason than to keep play running more smoothly.
Lanthorn the edition that I'm currently running is a mix between 1st and 2nd editions of adnd. And my gaming style is definitely one that like to add puzzles and tricks whenever and wherever I can.
I do agree that 8 of us (including me that is) is alot forme to handle at times but they do seem yo be getting better we shall see on Saturday if that really is the case.
As for their ages some are students like myself so between 17-20 yet 2 are late 20's (yet the most immature lol) and another is in his early 40's it's not the age range or the ages them selves that is the problem it's that some of them have never role played before not just dnd so they are still learning.
Thanks for all your advice I'll definitely take it into account.
You could use the old "they all get arrested" idea. Here is how it works:
1. Set the PCs up to be the patsies for a serious crime, get them arrested, and thrown into jail. A real crap hole of a jail.
2. After a few weeks, or even months, the PCs' release is secured by a shadowy government official on the down low, but of course there is a catch...
3. ... the catch being that the government needs somebody "off the books" to unofficially take care of a problem for them. Fortunately this task will involve dealing with some very nasty individuals in need of a comeuppance, so even good PCs will have no moral qualms about being involved.
4. And the task also carries with it a full pardon for success in the endeavor, and perhaps some minor payment, so PCs will have reason to make sure things go well. Adventure and reward? Sign me up!
5. Still not enough of a reason to cooperate? Well, perhaps the penalty for failure being DEATH might take care of that.
Yeah, you might see some cooperation then. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
Wow cebrion that seems like a really good idea I may have to wait till they get to seaton as it's much bigger than saltmarsh and the "police" will be heavier there. This idea will lead into possibly a couple of my harder adventures that I have planned.
Thanks for the help.
Another option you could try (this worked with an evil group I was playing in a few years ago, stopping the entire party killing each other on the first nights sleep) set them on some mission and get the person that hired them to place a "co-operation" spell on them.
The spell will only be removed once the said task is completed. Obviously you could quite easily modify the T&C of the end of the mission. Who knows the players might even forget the spell has been placed on them and start actually co-operating themselves.
A "Geas" cast by a wizard, or a "Quest" spell cast by a Priest (Charm sphere) would work here, if you need magical 'strong-arm' tactics to ensure compliance and cooperation.
Otherwise, use good old fashion blackmail. That works, too.
Typically, though, if your players KNOW they cannot survive against a greater enemy without banding together, that usually encourages teamwork. If not, let them die for their stupidity and foolishness.
Even knights know when the dragon cannot be slain...sometimes...
Feel free to introduce your self in the Welcome to Greyhawk forum. Also if you get thee chance join in on our Thursday night chats. Simply click on the Greytalk Chat Now! link to your left and presto you have a room full of lurker awaiting some chat.
One thing you could do is at the beginning of the session inform the players that anything said will be considered in character. If they wish to say something out of character they must state out of character before they make their statement.
Example: One player says aloud we should rob the palace. Well just so happens the palace guards over hear this and arrest them.
A player says I'm playing my ipod. A NPC asks what's an ipod?
After a while they will learn that their is a structure to the game and how you want to focus on the structure.
If this seems to falter you can give negative experience points for bad teamwork. So you would of gained 500 experience points for slaying the giant red spider. However, you received a penalty of 100 experience points for not cooperating with the party and minus another 100 for disrupting the roleplaying of a fellow player.
Neither of these are long term solutions. However, implement them andd you either have players willing to cooperate or move on. The decision is up to you.
As far as character deaths. If a player often makes decisions that would normally lead to their death. Then let them die. Tell them resurrection is 50,000 gold pieces per level of character raised, or simply have the remains consumed by fire or acid.
Thanks for the ideas guys I'll definitely use some of them but with so many to choose from you have spoilt me and it may be hard to choose but for one thing I'll definitely have fun this saturday when I implement some off them.
I can't vouch for it, but there might be some ideas there. I haven't done anything with the Saltmarsh/Seaton area yet, but I plan to.
... Here's the problem i have been runnining a greyhawk campain setting with a group of mates now for about half a year and they just aren't listening much they seem determined to out do each and not work as a team...
-Maybe the obvious question to ask is "do your players want to work together"?
... I think a group of 8 is unwieldy and cumbersome, personally, as you have noted. Could you shave it down a few people, or run two different campaigns on different days to cut down on the size and help implement a group mentality? The fewer characters in play at once means more interpersonal interactions...just like having a class of 15 students is better than 30 for more one-on-one time... Personally, I prefer smaller groups to bigger ones (3-4 players in my mind), if for no other reason than to keep play running more smoothly...
-I don't know if there's anyone here of a "psychological" or "sociological" bent here, but FWIW, they've done studies and found that groups of three or four tend to be ideal for creating cohesive teams. Anything larger than that tends to fragment into two or more smaller groups. Modern militaries take larger units and sub-divide them until you end up with a three or four man team. And yeah, smaller groups are easier to handle, too.
...they often go into a adventure and just try to kill everything by charging straight in, this often means that someone dies and i have to have them resurected...
-I still say that an "in game" way to eliminate the resurrection cop-out is to get rid of the priest doing the resurrections.
...As far as character deaths...Tell them resurrection is 50,000 gold pieces per level of character raised, or simply have the remains consumed by fire or acid...
-IIRC, the basic spell is 10,000 gp minimum anyway. Where are the players getting that kind of cash?
BTW, there's a high priest in Saltmarsh?! That little Saltmarsh website (which again, I can't vouch for) lists cathedrals of Kord and St. Cuthbert, a temple of Boccob, and a shrine of Obad Hai. I'm a little surprised there's nothing for Xerbo or Osprem, but maybe it's there, but just not referenced. I also think "cathedrals" are a little high-falutin' for Saltmarsh, but perhaps they were built in an earlier and more optimistic time. Anyway, I suspect that there would only be one or two clerics or druids of 9th level or higher of any faith in the whole town, and probably not even that.
Assuming that the 9th level+ cleric/druid doesn't have a sad accident and doesn't get transferred to a more populous diocese, there is still the question of what spells they have handy.
Kord's clerics might have a soft spot for adventurers of CG/CN/NG/N, and St. Cuthbert the same for professed worshipper of LN/LG. They'd still expect a stiff payment in cash or quests. Boccob's high priest would be focused on spells other than raise dead/resurection. Since they're being distracted from their usual duties to bring the dead back to life, they might charge the Argon rate. Obad Hai's druid's do reincarnation spells, not raise dead/resurrection. That could be interesting. They'll still charge a lot.
Thanks for the ideas guys I'll definitely use some of them but with so many to choose from you have spoilt me and it may be hard to choose but for one thing I'll definitely have fun this saturday when I implement some off them.
-I guess today's the day. Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
Hey all I took several of your ideas in today's session and they seemed to work. My favorite was the "everything you say will be considered as being in character rule" which ultimately lead to the elven thief being thrown into a swamp pit by the much bigger human fighter, this then lead to a 20 minute long rescue attempt at getting her out of it. I think the human fighter may wake up will less gold in their pouches next week. The players then realized that they had to think before they spoke which sped things up and made it alot easier.
Also implementing a shortage of healing potions lead to a more cautious group that thinker better during a fight. They even called parley to one group of bandits even when they outnumbered themjust so that they didn't loose too much help which was worth the gold they paid they thought.
So all in all guys a big thanks is needed for you all and and for once a congratulations for my group too.
i'm glad it all worked out. It seems your group was forced to cooperate in order for the party to succeed. I like the fact that they parlayed. I'm sure it was much more enjoyable to role-play out that scenario.
On a side note: IMC, only priest's of a god of the death can bring the dead back to life. Druids get reincarnation. I always have the reincarnated character have a connection with people and places in their past life. The druid will inform the party that their friends soul or spirit will be placed into a new mortal vessel. Nature chooses the form and though the new form will assume a different persona, it will also know or feel the connection and personal experience's it had in it's past life. In some cases the druid will give the new form a name and instruct the other players on the new forms name.
Sorry I'm a bit late to the thread, but I had some input that may be useful.
Your group sounds like the one I adventured with in the early 1990's. We were all in our early- to mid-20's (so there were lots of high spirits) and we had a similar number of players to boot. We tackled the Temple of Elemental Evil together, eventually beating it, but not until the players figured out that role playing has to have a structure of some type to be really enjoyable (and thus successful).
After getting our behinds handed to us several times early on due to player chaos, our DM had a sit-down talk with the entire group. He was getting stressed and exhausted from the constant horseplay, out-of-character sideswipes and general disorganization. At the time we, as players, didn't grasp just how much work being a good DM really was. So, he dumped a ton of extraneous chores he had been doing to hold the group together back onto us (where rightfully they should have been) and then asked us to organize them with those we already had.
After some serious head-scratching, we did it and some of what we came up with might be useful. To help with group cohesion, we designated different jobs for players, in addition to running their PC's.
1. We designated a party caller - one player to call party actions in combat and crack the whip when folks got really over-the-top chaotic.
2. One person was responsible for keeping a party "kill list" of monsters defeated to reduce brain drain on the DM when it came time to sort out XP. The DM still assigned XP values and so forth, but that kill list made things a whole lot simpler at tallying time.
3. One player kept a party "kitty" - basically a collection of items that the party had for group use or any class-specific treasure that we had no use for and wanted to sell. (I.E.: If we came across illusionist and druidic scrolls, but had no characters of that class type - drop them into the kitty.) Additionally, each player would contribute a bit of loose cash (only whatever they could afford and were willing to part with) to the kitty to help with resurrections and/or training costs if the need arose. As we worked our way up through magic items, the kitty also became a repository for stuff to equip henchmen (and, believe me, that aided their loyalty and morale checks later on when we needed them to come through in a crunch).
4. One player was responsible for mapping - always a big job.
5. One player worked with the mapper to set up dungeon rooms and outdoor spaces on the table top. (We started using miniatures early on in the campaign.) This had the double effect of giving us better maps and it helped us problem solve and settle disagreements visually when adventuring and during combat.
6. One player chronicled our adventures - keeping logs of our deeds, the names and locations of important NPC's, verbal clues, riddles, dates and so forth, so we could get access to them as needed in the adventure.
7. Finally, after several gaffes where we had missing information sheets (due to player absences or lost documents and the like), we mutually agreed to keep the party lists and tallies at the location where we played regularly. So the kill list, kitty, maps and so forth were all in one place and easy to find when the game session began.
This didn't all come about at once, mind you - we played that campaign for almost three years straight, once a week. The key point is this is what resulted from getting the players active in helping the DM create and track the game world. It also helped when we got to the point where our characters were high enough level to consider creating strongholds, as one side benefit. Another was combat - as our fights got bigger and tougher, we got much more effective at dealing with curve balls in-game - and our DM threw lots of them at us, just as he should have.
Perhaps most importantly, it taught us the difference between what our characters would do/think in-game and what we would. We still laughed, joked and had a great time, and our DM knew when we were in character and when we weren't.
The system works best if it is allowed to evolve. We rotated jobs until we found folks who were good at each one. This had another side-benefit since we could easily compensate for a missing player in any given game session (life does get in the way sometimes) and then have them pick right up where they left off with the party when they got back.
Anyways, that's the structure worked for us. I hope some part or variation of it will work for your group too. I still use this system today with the smaller four-person group I DM for now. It saves everybody lots of brain drain and makes the whole thing much more fun.
Hope that helps. _________________ <div>Braggi, Swain and Varlet at Large<br /></div>
...My favorite was the "everything you say will be considered as being in character rule" which ultimately lead to the elven thief being thrown into a swamp pit by the much bigger human fighter, this then lead to a 20 minute long rescue attempt at getting her out of it...
Hi maz03 and welcome! I am very a much a "dice fall where they may" DM. If the characters act reckless and one gets killed, don't let them get resurrected so easily. Make them go to a local priest, maybe that priest is certainly willing to do it....for a fee (make it costly) or even better, in exchange for a favor after the character is successfully raised. Voila! You have a new side adventure or you could wrap it into the current one
Baeronimus, priest of St. Cuthbert, says the church is in search of <insert item that just happens to be in the same dungeon/area they are exploring>, they need to bring it back to pay back their debt. If they shirk their responsibilities, someone from the church will certainly see to it that they get a cudgel and worse upside their heads.
You can always make it more than what it is, keep a side adventure handy for this.
That what you say is strictly in character rule is a good one.
Even 'goodly' faiths would expect payment in exchange for a Raise Dead (or even MORE rarely, Resurrection). Good alignment doesn't mean 'for free,' UNLESS the character was a staunch member of that faith in high standing...or a PC acting in the interests of that faith.
Check out my 'Curse of the Cairn Hills' thread in the Campaign Journal forum, if you are interested, for how I ruled just this situation...
cheers guys i have had great fed back from my group since last Saturdays and cant wait for tomorrows session.
Braggi i like some of the roles that you used as player characters some of these are currently being used by my own set of characters but I'm certainly going to implement some of the others and again guys Cheers
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