Content of the article: "I want to make sure I’m playing NPCs fairly. How would you have them react?"
I posted this situation before in this thread. The dilemma is at the very bottom if you want to skip it without the context. In order to not have to type it all out again I will copy and paste:
Let's call these places the Continent for the place the players have been hired and the Island for the place they have to go.
The Continent and the Island are enemies and have been for an extremely long time but have had a treaty for a while due to a war going on between incredibly strong forces that threaten humanity. So, fighting each other right now isn't convenient.
For some reason the leader of the Island has been sending raid parties to the continent in this lords territory and stealing anything they can get. So far they haven't killed or permanently hurt anyone but they have destroyed houses and stolen things from the continents people. People from the Island have mostly been captured (except for the scout party the players killed) and won't talk about what they are doing or why no matter what the continent people do.
Not wanting to start a war or slaughter this entire Island continent, they are sending the party to investigate the leader and figure out whats going on.
The Continent tried sending ships to the Island and other people but every time they have gotten close they have been shot at or attacked. For some reason, traders have been able to go to the island and leave but no one from the continent. Any physical or magical communication has not been answered (hawks with messages, sending spells, etc).
Here is what I have loosely planned. The players will hear the same story but from the Islands perspective. Exact same thing but switched. Something is wrong right?
My plan is to have the dangerous supernatural force that has terrified the world be the instigators behind this.
2 of the party went into this little walled village and got in rooms for the night. The ranger likes to hang out just outside of town and set up camp (they are ex military) to keep watch.
Because they were outside, they saw a party of people come to the wall in the darkness, stick something to the wall, and then the Ranger attacked. Wiping out the group of people except for a few in a horror movie esque slaughter. They did capture 1 bandit and 2 others got away. The rest were killed. While the villagers on the wall were searching the living person, they found a symbol for some of the elite troops from the Continent. Now the villagers, and the party, think that the continent sent their people to attack them. The party was thinking the Continent are idiots for sending people to attack while they gather information on whats going on.
Also, earlier the party didn't mention that they have a friend out in the woods. The Ranger said they were with the party when they dropped off the bandit. So now the party is suspicious to the villagers and we left off with them all on the wall.
The party thinks the Continent sent people and have no idea that these are a 3rd party being controlled by the Evil forces in the world to cause unbalance and get a leg up in the war.
They were put on 1 day "house arrest" until the situation could be brought up the chain and asked about. They think that they helped and should not be punished at all and be fine but they didn't tell the villagers abut their friend in the woods at all and I made it clear that the people in this small village were already skittish and distrusting when they got there. It was also a slaughter in the dark of the enemies being killed so it was very intimidating.
A PC convinced there guards to let them go fishing for a dangerous creature in a nearby swamp that was causing them problems and had never been seen. I made it a water basilisk since there were no survivors and had them eat the statues for food. The party fought and killed the big one and a smaller one but another small one got away.
The guards that were sent to watch them made it clear that if they went to the swamp that they wouldn't help and would be far back in the tree line because this place had killed so many people. Partway through the combat one of the PCs thought that the guards should have been helping. I didn't want to manage it and argue with anyone and just had them fighting a different swamp creature while that was going on, which the party helped with afterwards.
Thing is, when the party gets back I have no idea how to deal with the social aspect. They came to this place that was already wary of visitors because of the recent attacks, were shown that they were nervous people, the PCs saw the attack, didn't tell the group on the wall about their friend in the woods who admitted to being with the group, and they also mentioned the name of a man who is associated with the enemy continent that one of the village guards remembered (which I rolled to see if they would at a DC 20 and they rolled a 19 +1).
There association with this man, who is also a pirate, is going up the chain as we speak since his name set off a red flag. I was not expecting them to mention him at all.
I don't know what to do. I feel like I have to explain my reasoning to the players because they don't get the full picture but I do and want to be fair. So I have to explain without spoilers. But the obvious option here would be to have them escorted, one way or another, to the chief of the island and face possible consequences as being enemies of the island. But I know the players are going to bring up that they did these things and don't deserve it.
Any help with this? What would happen in your games?
- I don’t know what to do with the story. Help.
- Help Organizing the most horrific night ever for my players!
- Cursed/blessed boomerang
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