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Moritz
05-08-2009, 04:48 PM
Have you ever had the party ganked/robbed/imprisoned/enslaved?

10th to 12th level decided they want to go into the Underdark. They're bee-boping through and encounter some Illithid who are running a slave trade. They get captured, lose all their stuff, and shackled to be later placed on the auction block.

They lost /all/ of their stuff. It too was sold off.

Good times were had by... well the DM - me.

templeorder
05-08-2009, 04:58 PM
In our games it may not be as horrific an experience as it sounds. From a player perspective, we tend not to focus on "stuff" too much, and most characters have a home or base of operation where other items are held in reserve... I've done a few "sold into slavery" routines, and i once had my own character in Ravenloft sold into slavery and lose his paladinhood all in one. For characters really attached to their "things" its tough and can really create some hostility. Sometimes having an opportunity to get back some of it helps, but be very careful - it may even be better to kill the characters than be in a situation like you describe. Depends on the group. I'm not sure characters in a realistic setting really would survive being slaves in the Underdark... without getting too graphic, they may prefer death.

Recently i had a set of scenarios that wherein the character lost most of their gear in a storm in the swamp, and were nearly run down and captured by goblins. They had to promise to help the goblins in order to get out of the scenario, which they did, and lived to escape the swamp later - no money, no items, just their lives.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-08-2009, 05:01 PM
Been there; great fun. Had it happen in the "A" modules as well as some home brew adventures. It's a great way to shake up the party. Keep in mind that i am old-school, so this kind of thing wasn't completely uncommon back then, not like now-a-days.

Moritz
05-08-2009, 05:09 PM
Forgot to add. One of the party members had stealth, she was able to escape the initial capture. Also, some new players joined and with their help, many of the PC's were able to escape before being sold off.

However, I think 4 of the 13 were sold prior to that and they all had to be reunited later.

Anyway, yes, it was tremendously painful for a few of the players to lose their stuff.

wizarddog
05-08-2009, 07:08 PM
On of the tricks I did to make an adventure where the player did not have their "stuff" was an adaption of Ravenloft with the House on Griffon Hill. The players were in Ravenloft but I gave them different characters in a steam-punk alternate world in the Griffon Hill setting. Where the players experienced the cross over in the modules they ended up in the other world.

In the steam punk world they had fire arms and some chemical items but no magic. Put them up against ghosts and monsters and they were at slight disadvantage. Some objects however, they could take with them like the icon, holy symbol, and the sunsword. Later the players could control their cross overs to get to certain places and items,

By the final battle, both characters appeared together to fight Strahda and his minions.

So instead of jinxing the players, I created a story where they were at a disadvantage without taking things away (or so apparently).

Kalanth
05-08-2009, 08:57 PM
I do it to often. So often, in fact, I have had to make a concious effort NOT to capture the players and strip them of their gear. Once in a while it can be special and fun but do it to often and it begins to feel expected and like the DM is out to get them. Definetly not something to do to bring the players down in power either. Players are supposed to get stronger as they level so the DM should just adjust to them.

tesral
05-11-2009, 12:47 AM
Good times were had by... well the DM - me.

That is the main reason I don't do this. 99% of the players do not find it fun. The idea is for everyone to have fun.

Moritz
05-14-2009, 07:55 AM
If the players/characters aren't challenged, then what's the point?

By taking their stuff, they're challenged to rebuild - better, stronger, faster. Kinda like Steve Austin when he lost both his legs, right arm, and right eye.

Otherwise he would have been some old retired astronaut whose claim to fame was going to the moon - instead, he became The Bionic Man (nananananananana) and got to save hot chicks from evil masterminds, and don't forget Farah.

So the moral of the story: Loose your stuff, get hot chicks.

tesral
05-14-2009, 11:13 AM
If the players/characters aren't challenged, then what's the point?


It's a take back. I don';t like take backs. It annoys me if it is pulled on me and I don't do it to players without a Damn Good Reason™.

You don't need to rob the PCs to challenge them. If you do, I wouldn't consider you a very good GM.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-14-2009, 11:25 AM
When deciding which is the lesser of two evils, as a player, I'd take capture with items taken over TPK anyday. If you have a party that complains endlessly that they lost their items when taken prisioner, be sure to remind them that the alternative was TPK.

Moritz
05-14-2009, 02:29 PM
Tpk?
--- Merged from Double Post ---

You don't need to rob the PCs to challenge them. If you do, I wouldn't consider you a very good GM.

Yep. It's my only challenge. I'm a one trick pony.

You should see it, every game, "Oop, you fell down a hole, all your stuff is gone." or "You wake up, you've been robbed." or "Riding along, a Bullette rises from the ground and eats your wagon where you stored all your stuff." and my all time favorite, "Ninja Attack! They stole your stuff!"

Sethannon
05-15-2009, 12:12 PM
TPK = Total Party Kill.

As for robbing your players in prison situations, etc. Rarely, if ever, do I flat out take their items. If they look hard enough, they'll usually find them when they break out. The only time that I will flat out take an item is for the role playing factor of giving that character/player a desire to get it back.

On rare occasions I've thrown that in to add specific hatred for one player to an NPC, another time it was to showcase to a particular player that just because they had "fancy item x" that their character had other, equally impressive abilities/items. In both situations the people re-obtained their items, and it was more for character development/player development than anything else.

(And I'm still a bit sketchy on me doing it for the player development that one time, and haven't done so since.)

Dytrrnikl
05-15-2009, 01:13 PM
Due to the fact that I keep toys to a minimum, unless the player's take the time for their characters to craft items, my player's get attached to their toys. I also have a group of players that do not believe in running away or surrendering, because they have the mentality that they're the heroes, they're not supposed to do those things, they're always supposed to win. This phenanom begins around 8th level and progresses into meglomaniacal proportions as they reach higher and higher levels. As a DM, I have to control my sometimes borderline psychotic urge to create scenarios that result in TPK. So I use the capture and take away toys as a way to let my player's know that they getting a little big for their britches. In one campaign, the average party level was 13th level, the mage and cleric had most of the item creation feats, while the rest of the group had maxed out on the craft skills. At 13th level, they had managed to create a number of toys, but all well within the boundaries of what would be considered reasonable for 13th level characters. Twice I had encounters in which the best course of action, due to the extreme challenge of the encounters, would have been for the group to flee or give up, they did neither and managed to push through, barely, with near TPK occurring both times. Well, that's my cue to create the wave motion encounter - where I whittle down the characters resources to the point they want to run away and then ambush them with a fresh group of baddies that are on par with the group if they're fresh and full for the day. They get caught. Sometimes I strip the characters down to their birithday suits, other times they get caught and there items are sold off before they have a chance to free themselves. It does result in some pissed off players who have some pretty heated discussions with me after the session is done for the night. I listen and then calmly answer, "Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes it eats you. What can you do?"
This doesn't stop them from slowly rebuilding themselves back up or starting the process all over. I typically only have to pull this out once in a campaign, sometimes twice. Hero complex I find makes it particularly challenging to keep a campaign on the truly gritty side. At least from my perspective, Hero Complex belongs in Marvel or DC heroes, not DnD.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

You don't need to rob the PCs to challenge them. If you do, I wouldn't consider you a very good GM.

You are quite correct with this, in that it is unnecessary to take items from PCs to challenge them. However, I do believe that the PCs should need to have a humbling experience, to stab and annihilate built up arrogance and hero/god complex. It's a much more pleasant way of saying the PCs are getting too big for their britches, instead of having a TPK occur.

Hell, one of the ways my long time player's initiate brand new player's into the group, is by treating the new character like an enemy, capturing the new player's character and taking everything of value. I have warned all new player's that have ever joined my games of what to expect in the beginning. I've never had anyone turn away or not want to stick around. I'm sure it'll happen sooner or later.

Nocturne
05-15-2009, 01:50 PM
Well I have not been one to take stuff from my players permanently, mainly because I try to controll what they get to begin with. That being said there are very few times in my veiw that it's a good idea to just take stuff away. One may be that it wass a mistake to allow an item in the first place and it's unbalanced, but in most cases it's simply lazy DMing. Period, I have never seen a player permanently lose a hard earned item and be happy with it. And the only time I've seen DM's permanently take items from a player (not includeing gp), was due to power tripping or spite because the players RP a situation contrary to the DM's plans. In either of those situations it was poor DMing and they were replaced quickly. Remember DM's are not supposed to controll the experience, but facilitate. If the players do not have fun in your games then you shouldn't be Dming the group.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

Well I have not been one to take stuff from my players permanently, mainly because I try to controll what they get to begin with. That being said there are very few times in my veiw that it's a good idea to just take stuff away. One may be that it wass a mistake to allow an item in the first place and it's unbalanced, but in most cases it's simply lazy DMing. Period, I have never seen a player permanently lose a hard earned item and be happy with it. And the only time I've seen DM's permanently take items from a player (not includeing gp), was due to power tripping or spite because the players RP a situation contrary to the DM's plans. In either of those situations it was poor DMing and they were replaced quickly. Remember DM's are not supposed to controll the experience, but facilitate. If the players do not have fun in your games then you shouldn't be Dming the group.

Now that I think about my previous post that seems a little harsh, as I know that Dm's often struggle with the crontroll issue. But I think the game, any game should be enjoyable for all.
Also in refference to some peoples arguement about, players would rather lose their stuff than die. I, as a player, would rather see a character get killed rather than lose everything. Playing isn't really that fun if you have no chance. Players, even though they are, hate feeling like they're completely at the whim of the DM.

tesral
05-16-2009, 12:09 AM
You are quite correct with this, in that it is unnecessary to take items from PCs to challenge them. However, I do believe that the PCs should need to have a humbling experience, to stab and annihilate built up arrogance and hero/god complex. It's a much more pleasant way of saying the PCs are getting too big for their britches, instead of having a TPK occur.


I'm failing to see a problem here. Why do they need to be "humbled" The DM can set up anything they want to. Winning is way to easy as DM. Frankly no challenge in that at all. I can beat them up and take their stuff any time I want to. Why would I want to?

Dytrrnikl
05-16-2009, 08:06 AM
I'm failing to see a problem here. Why do they need to be "humbled" The DM can set up anything they want to. Winning is way to easy as DM. Frankly no challenge in that at all. I can beat them up and take their stuff any time I want to. Why would I want to?

One of the things I have always been very clear about with my players, since I began DMing in the mid 90s, is that I treat PCs as though they are normal people that do some extraordinary and amazing things, with better than your average joe capabilties, but I still view them being people, nothing more and nothing less. This fits into to the style of game I run - gritty and realistic, where adventures are treking through crappy terrain and unfriendly environments that prevent their own obstacles besides facing the baddies; people around town, while admiring what the PCs do, and treat them with respectful deferrence also see them as being a few cards short of a full deck for wanting to go out and face the world, even seeing the PCs as dangerous to have around. I play my own characters, when I'm a player with the same mindset. It's one of the reasons why i get bored easily with games where magic items can be bought and sold at a local guild, or the GMs run a game with the PCs being viewed as the next best thing to sliced bread. My view of gaming is shaped by my interpretation of the character Bilbo from the Hobbit - an all together ordinary chap that got pulled into and accomplished some extraordinary things.

Moritz
05-16-2009, 03:14 PM
The 'challenge' aspect is simple. Faced with adversity, the heroes can now only rely on their wits, their skills, and their talents to rise and reclaim or rebuild.

If they cannot meet and defeat the challenge without their special stuff, then I guess they're really not the heroes they thought they were.

Personally, I don't care to hold the hands of my players, give them everything they want through Monty Hall means, or hand the keys of the kingdom over to them without earning it.

Life is Suffering - reward and accomplishment is what you can eek out of that.

PS: I've only once ever had my players robbed/captured. It's called a plot hook. Do it more than once in a campaign, and it would get annoying.

nijineko
05-16-2009, 04:13 PM
the only time i've seen this sort of thing turn out well, was when the pcs manage to escape, get back most, if not all their stuff, (or replace it with on-par or better stuff) and come away with something else of significance. treasure or information or something else of value, even if not material.

come to think of it, that's usually how it turns out in the stories too.

Baron_Samedi
05-16-2009, 09:37 PM
As a campaign i had organized was unfolding, my group pursued a group of Drow slavers into the underdark to recover one of their comrades. After a few adventures of finding their way to their ultimate destination, and successfully liberating their imprisoned cleric...they were ultimately captured by illithids...the group was divided...the martial classes served and fought as gladiator slaves, the spellcasters were made to serve in forced labor. On their own initiative, both groups organized resistance to their mind-flayer captors. (each group was playing apart from another at this point.) And after carefully operating their insurrection, they were ultimately destroyed by the illithids, and their bodies thrown in to feed various beasts in the pens of the underdark...

Vulture
05-17-2009, 07:45 AM
I once had my player captured and their stuff was taken from them, they then had to escape from the prison and in the process get their items and armor back, it was fun becuase they realised that thay had begun to rely on items and brute force over thinking their way through the adventure.

Baldwin Stonewood
05-18-2009, 01:54 PM
I play in game where we have a showy dandy character. He has been robbed several times by NPC's.

The first time the DM gave him every chance to split up his gold into several pouches but the dandy choose not to follow the sagely advice. A npc robbed him. You would think he would have learned a lesson - Nope!

Xandros
05-24-2009, 06:13 PM
I inherited a group from a DM that clearly went to the Monty Haul school of DMing. The had a huge abundance of magical gear. Stuff beyond the level they should have had for their level even. Their DM had moved away, and they were looking for a new one. So, I took in their group and their characters as is. They were overly dependant on their over powered gear. Very little roleplaying, very little character developement and no encounter was a challenge to them. So, I shanghaied them. They woke up in a cage suspended in the air, buck naked with no gear. They needed to use their wits and imagination to escape. The Fighter used a heavy stick for his first improvised weapon and they looted what little they could after that. They were able to get some of their old gear back from their slain captors (Some of their good gear, but more reasonably leveled) after having it used against them.

Besides this case of needing to cut back players powerful equipment, it is a good challenge. That is one reason we play, for the challenges. It is also something that could happen to a band of adventurers for real.
Although players become attached to their special stuff, they should not be defined by it. Take away that crutch once and challenge their wits and imagination.
In the OPs scenerio their stuff didn't disapear. If the players wanted it back badly enough they could try to track down who it was auctioned off to. A lot of roleplaying and uses of the gather information skill, and trips across countryside to track down more encounters to get it back. That can be a whole set of adventures themselves. Admittedly most players wouldn't bother doing so. That shows that they aren't as invested in those material items as it seemed. Some wouldn't even think about the fact that those items still exist in the campaign world and they can go 'off script' and try to track it down. That shows that they aren't as invested in the campaign world as a living breathing world.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

It's a take back. I don';t like take backs. It annoys me if it is pulled on me and I don't do it to players without a Damn Good Reason™.

You don't need to rob the PCs to challenge them. If you do, I wouldn't consider you a very good GM. You also don't need to have them face dragons to challenge them, or set traps to challenge them. Players play for the challenges. If they don't want the risks then they can stay at the in with some hot cocoa while the rest of the group goes out adventuring. The green berets drop their people in the wild with no gear and make them use their wits to survive. If it's good enough for the green berets it's good enough for a GM. Of course you can tell them that if they need to rob their soldiers to challenge them, they aren't very good sergeants. :lol:

tesral
05-24-2009, 07:37 PM
You also don't need to have them face dragons to challenge them, or set traps to challenge them. Players play for the challenges. If they don't want the risks then they can stay at the in with some hot cocoa while the rest of the group goes out adventuring. The green berets drop their people in the wild with no gear and make them use their wits to survive. If it's good enough for the green berets it's good enough for a GM. Of course you can tell them that if they need to rob their soldiers to challenge them, they aren't very good sergeants. :lol:

Challenge is something I've never had a problem with. However, I don't do things to my player that would annoy me if I was the player. One of those things is the take back. Now, if a player sets up a character via stupid actions the world might take advantage of that. However I have never seen a need to "humble" the PCs or remind them the world is bigger than they are. I'm the DM, I have everything at my hand. Huge armies, powerful gods, flaming missles from the sky. I don't need to prove anything.

What I do need to do is make a fun and entertaining game.

Rook
05-24-2009, 09:03 PM
Losing everything does tend to revitalize characters that "have-it-all". I have a lot of fond memories of the A modules for that very reason. We played through them using our own characters rather than those provided and were jarred at first, of course, when we lost all our cool stuff. We quickly came to realize how much fun it was to focus on the character's skills, relying more on strategy, and getting stoked when we acquired pretty basic gear or low-level magics.
I've never DM'd a situation like that other than the A modules, but this thread makes me want to...

shilar
05-24-2009, 11:33 PM
PS: I've only once ever had my players robbed/captured. It's called a plot hook. Do it more than once in a campaign, and it would get annoying.


Yes it is annoying I was playing a 2nd ed wizard in one game the GM took my spell book no less than 17 times. I was the only one losing my stuff too and only my spell book. He gave the fighter a sword that came when he called it no matter the range yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Do you know how ridiculous it is for a 18th(yeah you can guess how often I lost my book comparing level to times lost) level wizard to have no spells above 3rd level in his book? Still I'm impressed I got him that high and stayed effective. It's a good plot hook but the plot gets old fast.

curtis
06-07-2009, 02:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moritz http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/Greys/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?p=76377#post76377)
Good times were had by... well the DM - me.

This is what creates power gamers that I hear people complain about. This is the kind of thing that turned me into a power gamer. The reason why is, because you need to be able to play to have fun, and if you cannot do anything it is no fun.

This is the reason I inclued impoved unarmed strike and always have dex as my characters 2ed stat. Arcane lock is a most as well, I put it on all of my characters bags.

Grandore The Giant Killer
06-08-2009, 06:05 AM
Ya know this reminds me of something that was hilarious that happened to a friend of mine. His character was camping inside a jungle scenario and he fell asleep for the night. Well in the middle of the night a monkey came in and stolen his back pack that had all his weapons and valuable items in it. The look on the player's face said it all. It also reminded me of a time where someone was on a mission to go through a dungeon with a femur leg bone of a king to put his skeleton back together so he can finally be put to rest... Well a pack of wolves took 1 sniff of that bone and followed him like a dog on a t-bone steak. Well One wolf got the bone and ran off with it. Just imagine someone having to run throughout a whole entire dungeon just to look for this bone a wolf snatched from him.

My DM is pretty good when it comes to not stripping characters. The only time he ever really strips a character is usually when you just join and he knows your character is strong so he may start you off completely naked. However he usually has your weapons and stuff stashed away somewhere.


I once was part of a slave trade with my Rogue. However it was hilarious because we were in like circus wagon carts. And since my character was a cat (custom rules with races) I clawed through the wood on the door and pretty much so broke out. I ran away and managed to gain some decent items. Well months later I get shot in the ass with a tranquilizer dart from some Tifling and where do I wind up? Yet again in a circus cart. Except of course they were smarter to use metal doors this time. So I got sold to this Tifling wizard... The same Tifling that shot me in the ass with the dart... Here is the part that absolutely floored me. The guards asked him if he wanted my gear and he said "No sell it". So what do the guards do? Throw all the stuff into the damn ocean. Well here is the part that killed me. He bought me to "free me." Well hell I already was free until this retard shot me! Oh I was pissed beyond any sense of recognition. I refuse to call that Tifling by his actual name and I literally call him Retard now.