Page 1241 - Diverted Diversion

2nd Jul 2019, 6:00 AM in School Raze
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Diverted Diversion
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 2nd Jul 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete
NPC helpers can be great, but it's always important to remember that once they're out of sight, they're at the DM's mercy.

Got another early Spudventure for you all! Our adventure through the Dungeon of the Mad Mage continues as we explore the Goblin Market and encounter Yek... THE TALL!
The Forgotten Ones, Session 6: Podcast | Video

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Digo 2nd Jul 2019, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
I think the real trouble is when the party refuses to sacrifice an NPC for the cause and the adventure bogs down into a quagmire of the GM wearing 17 hats at once.
FanOfMostEverything 2nd Jul 2019, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
Mind you, actual hats can help keep the various NPCs straight without overtaxing the GM's vocal cords.
Digo Dragon 2nd Jul 2019, 4:56 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
There was a point in one of my longer-running D&D campaigns where I had drawn NPC portraits and held them up when the NPC was speaking so that everyone could keep their dialog straight.
Guest 3rd Jul 2019, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
I love how that could rapidly devolve into a puppet show by itself.

… darn it, now I want to do that.
albedoequals1 2nd Jul 2019, 10:52 AM edit delete reply
Yes, but goodguys don't sacrifice people, so if you don't want 17 NPCs following the party around, you have to settle them down with a spouse and baby, or a nice desk job. :p
CrowMagnon 2nd Jul 2019, 12:48 PM edit delete reply
I had the Leadership feat in Hell's Rebels for a good while, which my DM streamlined to being able to pick an NPC companion at the start of a mission who would be able to contribute to skill checks and a few very limited abilities in battle, as opposed to being treated like fully-fledged characters. After we reached a certain point in the story, he asked me to retrain that feat into something else because he felt it was still too much trouble to keep track of, but it's a system I adopted for a Ponyfinder game I'm running.
Jennifer 4th Jul 2019, 12:58 AM edit delete reply
Thanks for this; I often play with just one or two players, and it can be helpful to have them lead a party of NPCs who can be relied upon not to get in the way but still "support" the PCs.
Ether Space 3rd Jul 2019, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
I tried that, but two of my NPC followers ended up hooking up with one another.
...I also have my own NOV wife and kids traveling with me, as well.
Ether Space 3rd Jul 2019, 9:30 AM edit delete reply
Oh for goodness sakes.
Dratted autocorrect
ANW 2nd Jul 2019, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
Story Time

Missing by one point
Both good and bad situations
dzonewolf 2nd Jul 2019, 10:20 PM edit delete reply
So, Tablestuck game I'm in, my character, an Indigo Blooded Prince of Void, decides to mess with his fledgling kismesis (they'd sorta been dancing around it for a while), our Cobalt Blooded Heir of Heart. So, he brings along a little vial of ground up hallucinogenic mushrooms.

They're talking, she brings up coffee since it's going on a little longer than they'd expected.

He gets up and pulls open a cabinet, gets an 11 on his stealth roll to flip a little something extra into the pot. Her passive awareness (perception) is 10.

They go back to talking, she's drinking her coffee, not really paying attention to the fact that he isn't, and finally she finishes it and rolls her saving throw against the DC of the shrooms. 13 vs 14. My character is laughing as he walks out the door and she realizes she can barely stand.
Winged Cat 2nd Jul 2019, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
The way you phrased that suggested you were exploring Yek - as in, that he was a sort of Dungeon Man for you to go through.
Newbiespud 2nd Jul 2019, 11:29 AM edit delete reply
Accidentally a word, as always.
Digo Dragon 2nd Jul 2019, 4:58 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Think of it as a pre-death autopsy.
Blyndpwn 3rd Jul 2019, 3:43 AM edit delete reply
Pre-death autopsy. So many jokes, so little sleep allowing me to focus enough to write them effectively.
Guest 4th Jul 2019, 5:28 AM edit delete reply
Dungeon of the Mad Mage: Fantastic Voyage edition
Enigmatic Jack 2nd Jul 2019, 2:21 PM edit delete reply
Used to play with a group whose GM absolutely LOVED using NPCs. And having the party control them once they joined up (which we didn't have much of a say in.) There were several games where we ended up with more NPCs than players, and if we didn't try to use them in the game he'd specifically prompt us about what each of the NPCs were doing.

One game was really bad, as we were going through a cave system and picked up a few different fighters and at least FIVE damsels in distress. I was saddled with two NPCs personally, and I finally had the idea to have them escort the women we'd rescued back to the wagon we'd left outside and stay there to guard them. If we weren't out by dusk, they were to head back to town because protecting the girls was a TOP PRIORITY.

The GM didn't like it at all, but he couldn't really argue so we ended up getting rid of seven NPCs with that one line and didn't have to deal with them for the rest of the adventure.
dzonewolf 2nd Jul 2019, 10:22 PM edit delete reply
That's just cruel, if you can't manage a bunch of NPCs, don't bring them in.
Robin Bobcat 2nd Jul 2019, 3:46 PM edit delete reply
The trick with NPC minions is that they're unreliable.

Not because the DM will make them do things horrible to the party, but they're simply... not competent.

That sounds bad, let me rephrase. You cannot expect the average turnip farmer to have a core competency set on a par with the average adventurer. Even ones with a couple levels in Useful Things might still miss something or be distracted.
CCC 4th Jul 2019, 3:33 AM edit delete reply
That is a slander on turnip farmers everywhere! They're extremely competant. turnip farming. When the adventure needs some turnips farmed, they will be the best you have.
Story Time #2 2nd Jul 2019, 4:38 PM edit delete reply
Any story that the GM try to take the npc helpers by sending them to an obvious trap?
hankroyd 3rd Jul 2019, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
Never needed to do that.
Either the helpers were just greedy beings waiting to backstab the party.
Or they were honest helpers that the PC intended to betray as soon as possible.

yeah, as a group we were very messed up...
Guest 4th Jul 2019, 5:22 AM edit delete reply
Yek the Tall is one of the funniest Dungeon of the Mage's NPCs.

Allying with him would be worthwhile for anyone seeking to control the second level of the dungeon, like the Zentharim do.
Guest 4th Jul 2019, 5:36 AM edit delete reply
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist is a great module to have NPC helpers.

It helps to have said NPCs be useful but still have their own lives and goals.