So I am running my first campaign and it is going reasonably well so far. My players have hated and liked me in turn depending on the session, so I think I’m doing a proper job of it.
My worry is that I have a group of jack and slashers and am trying to mix in other elements to keep things interesting and possibly expand them as players. The problem sometimes is keeping them interested when they aren’t rolling dice. I’m going to be having them doing some hunting of creatures that are hunting mythical forest creatures. I’m looking for ideas or places to find ideas on how to keep them interested while not just walking them up to the bad guys.
I’ve had them tracking bandits overland before and can only go so far before I can see the boredom setting in and watch them disregard, what I feel are blatant, clues that they are being watched/tracked in turn. Any ideas or source material(modules etc.) you can recommend to help?
How about a race/chase? Some thief steals something and they have to run through the city to catch them. They could either run in a straight line with lots of dice of dice rolls for stamina or dodging confused citizens or even jumping across roof tops. A quick non-combat scene, unless they want to hit bystanders with a missed ranged shot. Or a clever player could use their knowledge of the city guess where they are going and cut them off. In the end, will the city guard appreciate this or be mad about the mess they made? It could even be in a forest with lots of trees to dodge (that would make a clear bow shot difficult, too) and muddy creeks to jump or slow people down. There are some you tube chase rules ideas out there.
I agree that having a chase is a great idea for adding both tension and more dice rolls in between combats. The chase itself could be the entire dice rolling event and doesn't lead directly to combat. The other idea is having the players spending extra time to set up for the creatures hunting the mythical creatures to catch them before they realize it.
Post by DM Onesie Knight on Jun 14, 2020 3:21:44 GMT
Your game might benefit from some more high-stakes skill challenges. Stuff that's still nail-biting and suspenseful, but isn't combat. The chase scene suggested by noveltrope is great. What you want to do is go for that action movie feeling, but get it from the noncombat parts of the game. If you do it right, your players will realize that things besides combat are actually fun! Then they'll start thinking about how they can make more use of the other sections on their character sheets. Let me spitball a few ideas at you:
- The building the party members are in has caught fire, and the doors have been barricaded from the outside. There is now some seriously life-threatening time pressure on whatever the party is doing; maybe they're looking for a hidden object or trying to rescue an important person. Maybe this adds another layer onto combat and the players have to realize they don't have the time to defeat their enemies before the roof caves in!
- Make a heist adventure! Put the combat stuff front-and-center, giving them some info about numbers of guards and patrol schedules. Basically give the impression that there will be blood, but they get to choose the terms of the battle. Then you get to sneak in the noncombat tasks and they feel more dramatic because people are counting on each other. Your fighter might not care about a basic diplomatic encounter, but if he's counting on the bard to smooth-talk him into the kitchen so he can knock out the head chef and hide in the serving cart, now he suddenly has a vested interest in the outcome of that social roll.
-More generally, be very generous about rewarding players who engage with the story and remember lore. You can train your players like dogs. If the guy who remembered that bit about the kingdom's history got a cool magic sword from the royal tomb, the party is gonna start paying more attention to historic info so they can have cool magic stuff too!