Content of the article: "Getting my players to take a plot hood – advise/help"
Hello, so today I am bringing a very common question but with a bit of a challenge. So the other day I started a campaign in a homebrew world where outside of city is very dangerous, monsters and raiders are everywhere and most of the population lives behind massive walls. we start with the pcs in jail and they do your common city escape, except they skip the entire plot I made and I spend the entire time doing on the fly. So I think, well, I need to make my plot hooks more obvious and give the players more reason to follow one.
so I spent hours looking at how to make the perfect plot hook, and spend 4 hours prepping the next session which was 2 days later. I make a plot where they are outlaws after escaping, as they escaped by boat, and a city warship is chasing them down, i was hoping they would rather jump off and swim to shore or hide but instead they convince the caption of the ship to continue. so I think, ok, that's fine, I have a second hook to pull them in, later down the river they see a village burning on the shore, and the captain takes a group of men to go check it out, as my party was mostly good I was expecting them to go with the captain, and nope, they decide to fight the crew and take the ship, so again, ok, that's fine, I have another idea. so they continue down river and I have a giant jump out and attack the ship, as well as they find a mother and child hidden on the ship, thinking they would try to protect her they would flee from the giant as they are only level 4. and no again, they throw the mother off-board and fight the giant. so I stop the campaign there as we've been going for 3 hours all mostly on the fly again, and I ask, what do you guys want to do, and they said they want to kill shit and gain wealth, like raiding villages and the like, so I take a 20 min break and prepare another brand new plot for an evil campaign. and make a plot where their boat would get stuck and they would have to leave to go on land, and would find the raiding party of goliaths that raided the village a few miles down.
the warlord askes if they stole that boat, then through the head of the captain down before them. and the players decide to start combat – now I think this was a good fight and all the players had fun except for me lol, as one of my players is more experienced then I am. and keeps answering players questions when they are asking me, like can I do this and does this hit, and he, being older then me and more experienced just started answering, so I spend the next 3 hours basically keeping track of initiative and keep getting interrupted by this rules lawyer. but the players had fun and that is what counts, anyway, after they almost kill the warlord he offers for them to join him and they say no, so they kill him, and I have all the goliaths there recognize that the players killed their leader and now recognize the players as their warlord.
I literally gave the army and they decide, NO, we are good now, they kill the others, and decide to go see if anyone is hurt at the village that was raided and go to help, meanwhile I had thought they wanted to go evil and made a destroyed castle for the players to explore and make into a base, as it was being used by the goliaths. and they just go the other way to be good guys now, and im just like, wtf, I give you a chance to be good and you say you want to raid and kill people for loot, and then when I make a new plot during the combat they decide yea, we're good now and go that way, literally avoiding every plot I give them. so I bring up the question of do they want sandbox, so I asked them and they said no, they want me to make a plot and again I'm just like wtf, you've avoided literally 7 hours of plot making. anyways I need help, how do I get a group of players to follow a plot when they ignore everyone I make to do their own thing, but then when I offer sandbox they say no, they want a plot. and what do I do about the older player who is playing dm but won't dm himself, only interrupt me almost every time I speak. now I have been dming for 3 years with good success. I know how to create a good plot and I know players fairly well, but I do not know what to do with this group. and if your experienced at dming you know how hard it can be to come up with everything on the spot. like I have for 6 hours today and 4 the other day.
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