Content of the article: "Just a story from my campaign of players not doing what’s expected."
Just thought I'd share a story that amused me from my campaign.
My players are on the cusp of a goblinoid horde invasion and were tasked to gather as much information about the enemy as possible until the elf army from the capital city arrives. They had a small map about 10 miles square and I put in like five different places they could check out. A tower that turned out to be full of puzzles, a camp of tribal goblins fleeing the horde themselves (that the party wiped out with reckless abandon so now they occasionally encounter orphaned goblin children crying in the forest, I like playing head games with them), and on was a ruins where there was some fighting, some exploration, and a small 3 level dungeon crawl.
They enter the dungeon in the ruins and it's a combination of puzzles and fighting fey or elemental creatures. They learn about one of the PCs background and his connection to a forbidden druid circle that travels back and forth to the Feywild. Then at the bottom of the stairs of the third and final level of the dungeon, one of the PCs decides that they've spent too much time down there and should probably check in with the task at hand since the invasion could be advancing. Then they all leave the dungeon, leave the ruins, and return to town. The third level was three rooms, each was supposed to be trippy and fun but also sinister and unsettling, like the Feywild itself. I had planned all of these cool backstory reveals for each PC and weird mechanics for nightmares and hallucinations where they would see their (possible) future and their past. A portal that they couldn't open but would learn how to open it later. All in those few rooms.
Unbeknownst to them, once they explored three of five options I planned for the elf army to arrive and the plot to move forward and away from that mini-map. Once they returned to town the plot took them with the army and they're now marching to break a siege in their first large scale war battle of a war campaign. They don't know how much cool stuff they missed! The ruins will still be there but that area will become enemy territory very soon and it will be a while before they can make it back there. From where I'm sitting they were so close to just finishing it and having some cool reveals and roleplay moments, but from their perspective how would they ever know. One of the funny things that happen in games where players have agency to do whatever they want. One of the things I love about RPGs. It just amused me so I thought I'd write it down somewhere.
- Is it bad DMing to not allow teleportation in this circumstance?
- Advice request: First time designing an artefact.
- So I rolled on the “Feywild Time Warp” table for my party…
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