Dungeons & Dragons Online

How to strike fear into an arrogant player(s)

Content of the article: "How to strike fear into an arrogant player(s)"

So first off, I'm a new DM and I've decided to host a pbp on discord for my group of friends and it's quickly beginning to deteriorate. Now before I go on I'd like to clarify that they're somewhat new, they've played a bit here and there but never go too far into dnd with level 4 being the furthest they went and is subsequently the same level I decided everyone should start in my session — odd decision I know but they're mostly in it for combat but are gradually warming up to the idea of committing to roleplaying.

Now here's my issue, two of my players are incredibly arrogant, this isn't an issue in the group per se as none of them mind it and the times when said two are roleplaying always happened to be hilarious but during one of our sessions, I described the location my players stumbled upon as a; "ruined city covered completely in a strange fog which carried the faint but noticeable smell of smoke, with several harrowing claw markings almost as large as they are long strewn around the buildings who's wooden foundations are burnt charcoal black and as you wander deeper into the derelict streets, you begin to see large depressions on the moss-covered patterned stone. It was four toed and you can clearly make out the shape of razor-sharp claws almost as wide as a normal man's arm."

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Obviously that's a dragon and my players knew exactly what it was, now I expected some amount of caution but the reaction I got instead was excited responses coupled with numerous messages about how they're "gonna kill a lizard" which I thought as a joke at first. Boy was I mistaken as I had to improvise harder than I ever did in my entire life as I kept hinting at the power said lizard held, it was supposed to be a golden dragon who's secretly being mind-controlled so as to set up the appearance of my bbeg and I had numerous NPC's who survived it's assault warn the PC's that they're quite literally courting death and even had the dragon appear as a "a glimpse of gold scaled wings wandering amidst the fog" and almost immediately, the rogue (who was built specifically for tanking cause… Yeah) ran after it and I had the dragon fly away without noticing them else it'd be a complete tpk. Just so everyone knows, this was a last resort.

Now before anyone ask, yes, I've tried almost everything I could think of for them to fear this thing and nothing's working, they've even outright found out the reason why the gold dragon was evil but much to my chagrin, they've decided to test their luck instead on the drake and even had out of character discussions on what they'll do with it's scales or even rep.

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At that point, I decided to pause the session and simply sat there looking at my screen in complete shock. They were absolutely fearless and I've ran out of anymore good excuses on keeping them away from it so I'm preparing myself for their first wipe. I'm sure it's impossible to keep that from happening and I've begun fearing that this could be the result of my mistake as one of them joked that I didn't have the balls to kill them and I played along with it in good humor. So for the next time they roll their characters, what can I do to actually make them fear a threat that's obviously beyond them?

Source: reddit.com

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