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Robbed!
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Thread: Robbed!

  1. #1
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    Robbed!

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    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.
    "And then you wake up."

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    Often enough

    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.

    Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
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    Running: 3+ campaigns set in single custom milieu world.

  3. #3
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    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.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    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.
    "And then you wake up."

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    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).

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moritz View Post
    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.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    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.
    "And then you wake up."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moritz View Post
    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.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

  10. #10
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    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.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    Tpk?
    --- Merged from Double Post ---
    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View 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!"
    Last edited by Moritz; 05-14-2009 at 02:35 PM. Reason: Automerged Double Post
    "And then you wake up."

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    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.)

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    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 ---
    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View 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.
    Last edited by Dytrrnikl; 05-15-2009 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Automerged Double Post

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    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 ---
    Quote Originally Posted by Nocturne View 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.
    Last edited by Nocturne; 05-15-2009 at 01:56 PM. Reason: Automerged Double Post
    Choose your perception and control your reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dytrrnikl View Post
    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?

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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