Killer Game Masters

For all those games that happen to not be BrikWars

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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby OneEye589 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:33 pm

And your adventurers should know that THEY don't have to fight to the last breath, either.
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby knolli » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:59 pm

I once heard about a paladin-like character who wasn't willing to surrender when his group was ambushed, surrounded and aimed at by at least a dozen crossbows and offered the chance to do so. The paladin simply charged the first enemy and the player was totally surprised when the GM told him: "You are dead." He tried to argue that the bolts simply couldn't penetrate his superior armor and so on like Bonn-o-Tron. Sometimes PCs are just that stupid.
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby OneEye589 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:49 pm

I've played characters that wouldn't surrender, but that's even if I knew as a person they wouldn't survive. I had a barbarian once who would never run away from anything facing off against him. Stupidly, the other members of my party took it that they needed to stay with the character, even if that wasn't their character's personality.

But, there would be no shame in a rogue running away after being hit a couple times, even if they still had 20 HP left. They aren't about direct combat. I always think it's good to have some sort of battle the characters need to run away from. Maybe not every session, but definitely every campaign. It just makes sense.
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby IVhorseman » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:37 pm

Once, I made my players get eaten by a krakken, and forced them to clamber around in it's stomach like that horrible dungeon in Zelda.
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby Scottsman » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:57 pm

I plan to have a big nasty guy following them around that's basically indestructible. You can slow it down, but pretty soon it always gets back up. Any quick, easy way to convey to my players that killing it isn't an option?
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby OneEye589 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:54 pm

Allow them to find an escape route. Nothing wrong with them having to fight it later, whether they are stronger or they have other means of injuring it.

Quick and easy way; make the thing run away if it's intelligent. What kind of thing is it and what kind of place will they find it? That might allow for some special circumstances.
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby Keldoclock » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:50 am

Scottsman wrote:I plan to have a big nasty guy following them around that's basically indestructible. You can slow it down, but pretty soon it always gets back up. Any quick, easy way to convey to my players that killing it isn't an option?


Describe during combat how it regenerates wounds done to it. The shock players get the first time they fight a troll always makes my inner sadist giggle.
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby knolli » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:55 am

Keldoclock wrote:Describe during combat how it regenerates wounds done to it. The shock players get the first time they fight a troll always makes my inner sadist giggle.


Yes, be describtive. Another methode to show its superior strength is to have it kill a strong NPC. Or several at once. Let the PCs meet a noble knight who offers to train or spar with them. Let them see how superior he is and that he could easily beat two of them at once, even without using his full equipment. Let him be there when the players meet the nasty guy for the first time. Even fully rested and fighting at full strength, the knight is struggling to keep the foe at bay. When he realizes that he can't win he orders the PCs to leave and bring word to others.

Another idea that comes to mind is the undead kind. Whenever the big guy is beaten he doesn't stay dead. Something or someone resurrects him again and again. Or "he" is a magic construct that reassembles itself. The first time they meet the PCs can kill him but get wounded. In the night he appears again, disrupting the PCs' rest. Whenever they want to lay down, he pops up. Soon they are exhausted and out of spells/mana and potions. They simply can't waste their ressources on fighting him any more. And even if by some clever idea they come up with a way to stop its regeneration/resurrection, the puppeteer will soon create MK II without that particular weakness.
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby IVhorseman » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:24 pm

OneEye589 wrote: make the thing run away if it's intelligent.


What? that's not scary. If I were a PC in that game, I'd pursue it.

To show how horrendously strong something is, have it just dish out stupid amounts of damage. Kill a PC in one hit, or just simply don't keep track of it's health.
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby OneEye589 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:16 pm

Yea, run away were the wrong words. It might get bored, realize that although it's not being beaten, the PCs are too quick and get away too easily, so it goes to find a new way to get them.
If a giant animal is too slow to catch up to the PCs, being damaged or not, it's going to lumber away since it knows it's never going to catch dinner..

But again, it depends on the type of creature and the situation.
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby knolli » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:05 pm

It really depends on the kind of monster. A physically strong enemy can demonstrate his superiority by killing powerfull NPCs or destroying sturdy constructions with a single blow. The PCs should think twice when they see it kill a company of hard to fight enemies with a single blow or simply walkes through walls.
Other monsters are so sturdy that they can stand in a shower of arrows or take direct hits of artillery without any scratch or simply regenerate again. The enemy could be something like a Dark Champion who gets resurrected by his unholy god as often as it takes to fulfill his task.
I already mentioned the golem who reassembles itself after it got smashed.
Some monsters are imcorporal and such attacks pass right through them without any noticeable effect. But when they touch you you feel the chill of death.
The legendary spellcasters has shields that repell any kind of attack. Or he simply freeze the PCs in time or petrify them or bind them in any other way with his spells so that they can't move a finger. But he doesn't kill the PCs because they are not important, yet. Or because he toys with them.
Or it is not one but several guys that all look alike, i.e. wear the same full body armor so the PCs can't tell they are not the same person.
Maybe the guy who follows them is a headhunter who hunts the PCs for crimes they comitted or because he was hired by "the enemy". He has all kinds of gadgets that makes him really hard to kill. He will retreat if things turn bad, but he will be back. And he will use any means neccessary. He will manipulate the townfolks or bribe the officials.

It isn't important that the PCs whitness their foe's strength themselves. Let them catch rumors. Something or someone so powerfull must have earned some reputation. Have the bartender tell them about the evil knight called the Walking Mountain, have the Guard mention the how they lost half a company to "Wicked Ol' Jack". When the partys passes by the old Fortuneteller on the street suddenly speaks warnings of a Shadow who lies apon them and will swollow them soon.
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby Keldoclock » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:33 pm

Note of warning:
Do not use incorporeal creatures on low-level parties. They are very frequently much more powerful than their CR, and you should not use them against parties that do not have the appropriate spells or magic items to damage them.

At low levels, at least in D&D 3.5+, Paizo's Haunt mechanic works much better for creating ghosts.
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby IVhorseman » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:11 pm

Keldoclock wrote:Use incorporeal creatures on low-level parties. They are very frequently much more powerful than their CR, and you should use them against parties that do not have the appropriate spells or magic items to damage them.


Ohai fix'd that for you. Real GM's are unfair and they know it.
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby Keldoclock » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:35 pm

A real GM is often cruel but never unfair.
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Re: Killer Game Masters

Postby Scottsman » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:53 pm

Keldoclock wrote:A real GM is often cruel but never unfair.

:godwin:
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