Content of the article: "Help adapting to my players’ reaction"
This is both a gushing post about DMing, as well as a request for help. If you have ever been to Shomsey Village in the Kaybonn Valley, spoilers await ye!
First, I have to say I love my players. I am a new DM running a campaign set in Faerun for four players, two brand new and two barely experienced. Last night's session added another entry into the long list of times where my players' actions and reactions have inspired me to shift the story or create something new entirely. It highlights what I love about the art of DMing and the give-and-take style of creativity inherent in D&D.
Here's what happened.
The party was investigating some candidates running for local office, and found that one of them may have charmed a number of constituents into voting for her. The party found themselves in the candidate's basement amidst a throng of villagers who had all been enchanted via a nightly ritual that had been occurring for weeks. The candidate, alerted to the party's presence, sounded the alarm and combat ensued. The party quickly determined that the stone altar in the basement was the catalyst perpetuating the enchantments, focused their firepower on it instead of the villagers, and subsequently destroyed it.
This is where the story shift comes in. For flavor, I described the Enchanter's reaction as that of terror as opposed to anger. In my head canon, she was just terrified of the repercussions from the BBEG who had given her the altar. My party doesn't know that. My monk grappled the enchanter, and the session ended on a cliffhanger with their opponent attempting to wrench herself free from the grapple and escape. My players are now messing themselves in anticipation of what they may have unleashed by destroying the altar, and are expecting to start next week with a big battle.
So my question is, what can I throw at them to deliver on that anticipation. I fear that if I were to stick to my original plan of just explaining that she was scared of the BBEG, whom they won't be meeting for a while, it would be quite anticlimactic.
All PCs are Level 4. There is is a Knowledge Domain Cleric, Arcane Trickster Rogue, Oath of Devotion Paladin, and Monk of the Drunken Fist.
Would love to hear your thoughts.
- My Style of DMing (?)
- I have great players.
- Unfamiliarity with some rules can facilitate better narratives
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