>bring up important location that could have vital information the party needs if they're going to avert the big bad's plans

>bring up important location that could have vital information the party needs if they're going to avert the big bad's plans
>party ignores it
>Party gets an explicit invitation to visit said location
>Party ignores it
>Party learns that the big bad is not only moving on said location, he send them a warning to not interfere in the form of a friendly spy's dismembered finger
>Party ignores it
>Party learns that violence has broken out at that location
>Party ignores it

At what point is it reasonable to just say he was successful in his plans, raided the magic item vault, learned the information he came for, captured/killed/enslaved anyone worth talking to, and fucked off? I'm not necessarily out to punish my table, but I think it's unreasonable to have the big bad wait around until the party shows up to thwart him.

  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    After all that you're probably good.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Have you considered that maybe both your plot and big bad fucking suck?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I mean, possibly? They've had no issue opposing him before, and they've openly seethed with hatred the few times he's escaped their grasp already. I'm not claiming to be perfect, they just don't seem interested in this one location.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        You know what. I was an asshole for no reason other than I am a bitter piece of shit and you reacted with more grace than I deserved, so I am going to actually give you are real answer.

        When stuff like this happens, I normally find it is helpful to take a look at how I have paced the game. If I have had a many-session long streak of rising tension in my pacing, I might lose sight of what is actually happening. To me, everything looks fine, but my players feel like their characters are barely keeping their head above water. So when things start to culminate and action is required, they are already tapped out and just feel like they need a break or something with some lower stakes for a bit as falling tension.

        So maybe take a close look at your pacing and also ask them privately on a one on one basis (not as a group or in front of each other) how they think the game is going.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >At what point is it reasonable to just say he was successful in his plans, raided the magic item vault, learned the information he came for, captured/killed/enslaved anyone worth talking to, and fucked off? I'm not necessarily out to punish my table, but I think it's unreasonable to have the big bad wait around until the party shows up to thwart him.

          After about 2 ignored /obvious/ calls where its very clear he's acting and they're not gonna do shit about it. If the party has multiple things going on and had decided to take one as more urgent, some grace is to be given but if they went camping in the woods for a week instead of campaigning to stop a lich from fucking obliterating a town and ignored two very clear signs it was happening then fucking whatever, just murder the town because that's whats gonna happen.

          Now, the side of the health of the campaign is to be observed and you need to talk to them to establish expectations and what's going on anyways because like and

          Your expectaions and your players' clearly aren't lining up. You may have to actually talk to them.
          No matter how heavy handed you think your hints are, it's possible they just missed them. People miss things when they're literally reading lists of instructions, so don't be surprised about this. Or maybe they think they aren't strong enough? Or this one place doesn't matter? Or whatever the fuck they're doing instead is more important/urgent?

          said you need to know what your players want, why they haven't acted and more and possibly change up what's going on in order to engage them or to know whats the haps. If everything's fine and there's nor real issue, do whatever as you were gonna do but assure all parties are having fun first and foremost before you go slamming hammers.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            As others have said or implied, the hints are obvious only to you. It's not uncommon for players to get lost, unable to see the forest through the trees.

            It IS reasonable to say the villain goes through with plans. But you have to demonstrate these consequences in a very explicit way, showing cause and effect. Consequences make the world feel real.

            But the players need to understand, and it sounds like they don't, the connection between those two things.

            A step I've taken to drastically mitigate this disconnect is to start each session by asking my players to recap the last session. Listen to what they remember and the dots they connect. This check-in step has been crucial for giving me the pulse of their understanding, and giving me insight into what kind of clues or secrets they're missing. Giving them an in-game bonus for remembering some crucial detail (who remembers the name of "that guy" you spoke to?) is also a positive way to reinforce good note-taking.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Anon, the party by the OP was told that important location was gonna have a place to advert the big bads, got invited there, got told big bad was going there and had a severed finger given to them and then got news that shit happened.

              They got a finger. They have recieved a package with a finger of a friendly spy they can identify. I don't care how dumb you as a player are meant to be but for fucks sake, that's a little heavy handed and there's only one of the five digits there.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >that's a little heavy handed and there's only one of the five digits there.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I hope you find peace, anon.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      That post makes me think you're a dumbass who missed obvious hints about plot points and when it blew up in your face you couldn't accept that you were at fault.

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >At what point is it reasonable to just say he was successful in his plans, raided the magic item vault, learned the information he came for, captured/killed/enslaved anyone worth talking to, and fucked off? I'm not necessarily out to punish my table, but I think it's unreasonable to have the big bad wait around until the party shows up to thwart him.
    If I were your players I would assume that's the violence breaking out? They missed all three strikes before that, I'm assuming that's out.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Punish them hard. They could have saved themselves a world of grief if not for their indolence, but instead they chose the way of pain.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      You aren't a DM.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Neither are you if you're too big a bitch to p-kill your slothful players.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        You lil bitch.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous
  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Your expectaions and your players' clearly aren't lining up. You may have to actually talk to them.
    No matter how heavy handed you think your hints are, it's possible they just missed them. People miss things when they're literally reading lists of instructions, so don't be surprised about this. Or maybe they think they aren't strong enough? Or this one place doesn't matter? Or whatever the fuck they're doing instead is more important/urgent?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Or maybe they think they aren't strong enough?
      I think this might be it. Confronting the big bad is probably out of their league at the moment, so they might just be a bit careful about going to a place they know he'll be at out of fear he'll just wipe them.

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Why do you come to us for permission to burn down the PC's hometown? We're not your dad, the dog beat us over the fence.

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >At what point is it reasonable to just say he was successful in his plans, raided the magic item vault, learned the information he came for, captured/killed/enslaved anyone worth talking to, and fucked off?
    How ever long you think it would actually take for them to pull it off. The world runs outside of the party show them that.

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I generally have a two hint limit. After that, it's the player's responsibility to either refer to their notes or in character find the thread of evidence. Your job is to create scenarios and adjudicate them fairly, not protect them from their own decision making.

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Smaugchad

    Well, you probably should have got them moving in that direction to begin with via some subplots but in a naturalistic campaign, sometimes the bad guys win. You just have to have other irons in the fire. I'm sure that the players are doing something else other than following the plot hooks you're trying to feed them. Develop that thing they obviously are more interested in into another path that might eventually intersect with whatever your "BBEG" is doing.

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Party ignores it
    Have you every considered Anon, that there never was a Party?

  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Sounds like you'd enjoy Harn.

  12. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Party returns to current town
    >It's gone.
    >No, not burned down, not destroyed, just a flat, featureless plain where the town used to be
    >A single board-and-stick sign sits there
    >PLOT ---->

  13. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You fucked up. All you had to do was put important (to PCs) item X or important (to PC) person Y in danger at that location.
    I'm not talking important to the plot, I'm talking shit important to individual sociopathic PCs who don't give a fuck about anything but themselves.
    Yes, it's railroading, but it was needed here and it's 'done right' in this case since it still all about PCs motivations. You're not just dropping them at the location through divine intervention.

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