Page 1044 - Unheeded Oracle

29th Mar 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 1
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Unheeded Oracle
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 29th Mar 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
As a DM, NPC companions are great if you want a direct line to your party members' ears so you can inject things like "hunches" and "common sense" and "no, that will get you all arrested/killed" into the conversation without being too obvious.

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Rastaba 29th Mar 2018, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
...but plans that will get you all arrested/killed usually end up being the most fun...*pouts*
Guest 29th Mar 2018, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
Hey, the GM can talk, they can't make you listen.
Mocchi 29th Mar 2018, 11:15 PM edit delete reply
Hehe, one of my group's games started out with a scripted bar fight that caused the town guard to show up... I'm pretty sure the GM wanted us arrested for the plot, but instead we subdued all the guards and booked it the hell outta there lol
Specter 29th Mar 2018, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
"Hark my fair companions, if we do this we will destroy the world!"


"Dude, did your dog just talk?"

"Told you I was training him."

NPC companion immersion may vary.
Digo Dragon 29th Mar 2018, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
In an old D&D campaign I ran, the party carried with them for a while a talking skull named Paco. He made no bones about being evil and his advice to any conundrum would include murdering the person causing the party problems. Not an issue if they're talking about thwarting the BBEG, but bad advice when it's the city watch just doing their job to keep people out of private offices. :D
Snacker 30th Mar 2018, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
Was that a Dragonlance campaign? I think I know that skull! I ran the same one for a while.
albedoequals1 29th Mar 2018, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
A common sense NPC is always good to have around. I always try to have a bad advice NPC to balance things out so I seem impartial.

"This looks like something the queen would want to be told about."

"I'm sure she already knows. Hey, that's not all that far, you should jump."

Masterweaver 29th Mar 2018, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
And to have extra fun, have them switch roles every so often.
Digo Dragon 29th Mar 2018, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Extra points if it's the same NPC.
Zaranthan 29th Mar 2018, 7:40 AM edit delete reply
Double bonus points if it's some sort of two headed creature so you can have them argue with themself while you wait for the players to decide they trust today.
ChrisTheS 29th Mar 2018, 10:32 AM edit delete reply
I am totally stealing that for my next game where two-headed creatures exist.
Jennifer 29th Mar 2018, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
But sometimes, the party will rely on the NPC to either give them the answers or do everything. Didn't Seamus Young say something about how the party will treat a powerful NPC like a bazooka - fire him at the enemy then throw him away?
Hankroyd 29th Mar 2018, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
Voice of reason sucks. If the heroes are convinced they are in their good rights, no reasonning will stop them to do ... whatever they shouldn't.

An example, heroes are demon hunters and need help from the police. So they got to the nearer station to ask for help.
And I notice something wrong.

"Just to be clear, you enter the station with your enchanted weaponry ... swords, guns ... everything ?
- Yup !
- All four of you are OK with that ?
- Yes, the demons will go away, no time for parley. We are entering, ask them to come with us and lead them to the bad guys so they help.
- None of you see the slightest flaws in this ?
- Stop trying to trashtalk us. You are just disgusted we though to ask for help to deal with the demon.
- OK, sorry. So you arrive at the police station with you trusty machine gun ..."


It went very downhill from here ... the 'hunted' demons are still laughing about it
Story Time 29th Mar 2018, 4:12 PM edit delete reply
Any story of how the DM made it too hard to guess how to continue the story (Not a puzzle) that they need to ask the DM what are they supposed to do or how to continue?
SkyStream 30th Mar 2018, 9:29 PM edit delete reply
I was guest DMing in our main campaign and the PCs were climbing a "puzzle" tower to get to the big bad of this scenario I had come up with. They were on the final floor before reaching the boss and it was a pretty simple puzzle. They had to send their flier up to the next floor to activate a switch that would lower the stairwell for the rest of the party.

It took about 3 minutes before they realized the exit was up there which isn't so bad. However, it took them about 20 minutes of trying various things and discussing with me to understand their issues before I had to give them a nudge and literally send a message to one of the players to SUGGEST flying up there.
Aust Arrowsplitter 30th Mar 2018, 8:07 AM edit delete reply
So I've never had a common sense NPC as far as the main plot and how to solve it went, but in a recent game, the GM did give us a few NPC allies who were there for both helping PC development as well as being cultural guides. The part of the setting we were in was an empire that had walled itself off from the rest of the world for a couple thousand years, so not even the oldest elves outside remembered what they were like. They'd just opened their borders again, and so we were very much outsiders. It also didn't help that apparently their culture wasn't very religious, and every single PC was very much so, especially the Cleric of Erastil (my character) and the Paladin of Shaelyn (my wife's character). We started at level 8, and all of us had been called there through dreams and whatnot because our respective deities wanted us to help out with rooting out and destroying an Ancient Evil in a Can, the seal of which was close to breaking. Of course, being a Cleric, I *have* used divination spells in lieu of NPC-based plot advice, but at least those are player-initiated, and our DM is pretty good at doing the whole cryptic prophecy thing.