Dungeons & Dragons Online

Should I Imprison My Players?

Content of the article: "Should I Imprison My Players?"

Yes, it's clickbaity.. but also not not true. I have been running my homebrew for three weeks now, and it's been interesting and a real challenge to DM especially so when everything you planned for the tonal start of the campaign was basically ignored and the players found a legitimate and fair, but frustrating, around what should have kept them in the city and given them an idea that in this world not everything is true and lies and deception are around every corner. But I digress. Overall, it's been fun, most everyone seems to agree, and I've been told consistently by a few players that I am doing far better than expected, and given suggestions on how to make things more immersive and more engaging. I do have one 'problem player' who just acts like an asshole, in and out of game, and that's been a challenge when he just wants to kill everything. And it seems like the biggest problem is that so far the characters, in general, don't have something keeping them together or forcing them to actually work together for a common goal. Which is fair, considering that was supposed to be in the start of my campaign and they found an in-game way to get out of a city-wide lockdown, so up until now it's been hard to just throw something at them due to their locations thus far until the most recent session, for lore reasons and worldbuilding.

But I think I found a way to make them bond like they already should have. Maybe. Hopefully.

Long story short I have five players at my table, and one of them has something going on with a demon and is looking for a sword in exchange for the release of their soul. So when the party went to a deserted temple in the middle of the 'slums' of one of the capital cities, he made his way inside and told the party check on him if he hadn't returned in some time, and they would be in two separate groups around the block. It took a while, they went in, had some shenanigan's, and went their separate ways back to the brothel where they're staying (thieves' guild for the demon player). But the 'problem player' (Who just acts like he has anger management issues in game and is an asshole to everyone, and literally everything) and another player, who is a morally good do-getter (That is more or less the extent of their character to be honest) decided they wanted to roam the streets and alleys in the middle of the night for an hour on their way back because of some bullshit I made up on the spot when he wanted to get a bounty, and the NPC at the town hall said something about having a few issues in the past with mishaps in the night. I don't honestly even remember what was said. So in an effort to skirt irl boredom, they decided to patrol the streets for a while to see if anything's up, and that's where we ended the session. So, on to my idea.

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I feel like it will ultimately be up to rolls and feeling the room out, but I have a potential encounter planned for the two of them, since the others made their way separately back to the place they are staying, and will have a few things from the church to talk about there. Meanwhile, these two may encounter a vampire spawn (since I can't find a just straight up vampire for 5e, but I'm thinking a vampire spawn with the ability to charm, you know, like an actual vampire) basically trying to get freaky with a guy in an alley, and will shoe them away. If they investigate further, they can realize that the guy seems pretty out of it, maybe drugged or just drunk, but he is saying almost everything the woman is saying, almost in a 'These are not the droids you're looking for' kind of way towards the party. She may attempt to charm one of them to avoid a confrontation, which may or may not work, but at this point a confrontation is bound to happen. When the two players are close to killing the vampire, depending on concentration rolls for the charming of the man, he may attempt to start attacking the two players with his bare hands to more or less free his woman, and knowing one of the players will likely end up killed. If not, great, but I know him. The NPC is as good as dead. If that happens, and the vampire is able to escape with this distraction, the shouting and sound of weapons will likely attract any guards in the area, if there are any. IF that happens, and everything has gone 'to plan' to this point, the two PCs will almost certainly be found and arrested, assuming the fighter doesn't just try to kill them all, which I'm not doubting honestly. But if they are taken into custody, it will become clear in the morning with the rest of the party that they don't seem to be in their rooms. They can ask the receptionist if they returned from the night before, ask around to different people, even go and file for a missing person at town hall, maybe even use the thieves' guild to figure out what supposedly happened. Then the trick will be that they will have to work together to try and figure out a plan, wither that be to break in somehow, pay what would ultimately be a murder charge, or prove their innocence, maybe using rumors from their assets to pinpoint the location of this vampire in the coming nights before a trial for the two PCs, and try to use it as evidence towards their innocence. If worst comes to worst, there is a trail, and it can be a legitimate thing where guards are witnesses (including the few that the fighter escaped from the day before when they arrived in town and he had a deer carcass with him, but didn't bother to clean up before entering further into town and running in the street to get to the brothel everyone was staying at, attracting guards attention through dice rolls, convincing them he was attacked, leading them to an alley, and then ditching and somehow escaping rather than explain himself). I think it could be a lot of fun, honestly, and actually bring the party closer through some common goal or conundrum besides (big monster, it's bad).

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The only thing I'm worried about is A. The players who can't do much for a lot of this depending on what happens, and B. If I have to fudge a few rolls to not kill two PCs like that. I think depending on how it goes down, it is only fair and would go down in such a way, unless they can truly convince the guards otherwise when caught. But otherwise I think it could be an effective way to bring them party together naturally, through things they do and decisions coming back to bite them in the ass, but I'm genuinely curious if anyone else has had anything similar to this, let alone so early in a game? What went wrong, what went right, suggestions, opinions? I have a week to figure things out, and it very well may not even go this way, but if it does I want to be prepared.

Source: reddit.com

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