Content of the article: "How can I make my players feel more invested in the game?"
If you recently released Richard back into the big city and have accidentally slayed a god you accidentally created, please don't read this.
I've been DMing for a group of 3, all new to D&D. We've been running this campaign for almost 2 months now, and they seem to be having a lot of fun with it. We've got a Grung Monk, Loxodon Bard, and Warforged Rouge.
The first "arc" we had went off without a hitch, and we transitioned into our second, kind of revolving around pirates and buried treasure. Halfway to their destination, their boat was beached onto a small island by the local Kuo-Toa. The Kuo-Toa were in search of a new god, and dragged the ship to shore to inspect it for any "godly items" on board. The party got aggressive and offended their Archpriest. As payment, the party had until sundown to find the Kuo-Toa a new god, or face the wrath of their fishy hordes.
I thought this would be a good idea, including player choice which could affect the world in some serious ways which would possibly add new plot-lines. I forgot the fact that my players were unfamiliar the the Kuo-Toa, and they themselves tried becoming gods. The Loxodon Bard had a history of intimidating his opponents into submission, and went on to brag about all of the mighty opponents he's slayed with a stare. With a decent enough performance check, he won over the crowd, who started to put their faith into him.
Although he didn't become a god directly, they created a god in his image out of the sand on the beach. The god took form as a massive loxodon with three heads and glowing red eyes. Afterwards, the Archpriest mentioned: "But what is a god without a sacrifice?" and the god began to demand fear from his following. But not any fear would do, it had to be something special. Something personal.
The real problem started when my players realized they couldn't really think of anything their characters would be afraid of, even after several minutes of questioning on my part. One of them decided to say they were afraid of losing their friends, which was actually a pretty good answer. So the god decided to realize his fear by erasing the other PCs from his memories. This proved surprisingly ineffective, as the bard just asked the Archpriest: "Can we go now?". As they walk off, the crowd loses so much faith in their fear-mongering god, it just dissolves into the sand it was created from.
This threw me for the biggest of loops, and me and all of the NPCs could only sit there silent, trying to process what was just said. In our after-session talk, they apparently just didn't care. How can I try getting my players invested in their characters as people, and not just Skyrim creations?
TL;DR: Party creates a fear-god, doesn't care when it erases memories of friends, stuns DM.
- Yesterday my campaign came to an end, and I need to vent a bit.
- Should I kill a PC when the player defies a clearly way too powerful NPC?
- I made my players cry and im very proud.
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