Dungeons & Dragons Online

Players unwittingly choose to NOT be the main characters of their story. Claim other adventurers will investigate the plot hooks…

So I've got a group of 5 as a first time dm (shocker I know). I set up my world where a cataclysmic event happens hundreds of years ago and it shuffled the planet's landscape all over. I made it the result of Gods and Demons waging war with one another and the planet was their battlefield. The event was so devastating and chaotic, there isn't one definitive story that explains exactly what happened. So fast forward to present session time and I set up the plot hook where the Capitol of the country the party is in had just disappeared in the same fashion as the events hundreds of years ago. I had it where a local guild had several requests to just investigate the area where this Capitol used to be. Not to deal with what caused it, not to put the Capitol back as it was, just to go look and see what they could find. BUT as it turns out, they figured some other adventurers would check it out. They unanimously agreed to take on a different quest. This baffles me because they aren't a low key group of adventurers. One is seeking immortality, another thinks he is a living God and two others are the Deus Vult kind of holy warriors. I can think of several reasons why they didn't want the quest I made for them, but they didn't use any of them. They simply said that if it were that important, other adventurers would surely handle it. To me, this feels like they don't want to be the "main characters" of their own story. I understand that they will choose their own path and they will still be the main characters of their story in that regard. But I struggle to believe that my players would ignore the plot hook I tossed them if they really were playing the characters as they believe them to be. So here's my dilemma: I could let my players be masters of their own fate, where other adventurers truly will handle the quests they don't want. This will ultimately result in them making a new story for themselves and they won't necessarily achieve the things they want to do. They will be passing off the quests made for them to other people, so the other people will reap the rewards from those quests. Or the other option is to force them down the quests that will result in them achieving their goals. Not by telling them that they have to the quests I give them, but compell them to take on the quests via better rewards or harsher consequences. This is textbook railroading and I abhor it, but it might make my players happier in the long run. The easy answer is to let them ignore the plot and have them achieve their goals by enhancing the outcomes of their quests. I feel that this is lazy and results in a boring plot that won't satisfy. I obviously don't have the right answer but I know someone out there can relate and offer some advice. Let me know what you think.

Read more:  Wait... wasn't Star Wars today?

Tl;dr players ignore obvious set up to main story to do other quests. Should I let them do their own thing in their own world or should I try to push them down the plotroad? Maybe there's a better option, but I can't seem to find it on my own

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