DMs spanking the party
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:21 pm 

I read a thread (TLG Update) that had some posts about some cocky adventuring groups and how the DM would spank them when they thought they should be able to take on any monster at any time.

I have a short one for this past weekend.

My grandson and his cousin playing for just the second time with me as the DM.

We were playing Castles and Crusades, with some tweaking of the rules by me using a few second edition rules from AD&D.

My grandson (Colton, 12) and his cousin (Josh, age 14) were running 2 PC's each.
Colton was playing a Thief, and a Ranger, and Josh was playing a Druid and a fighter.
(I was running an NPC Cleric to try to keep them breathing).....

The boys were playing in a Castles and Crusades adventure called Blacktooth Ridge on Saturday.
It was one of the first Castles and Crusades Adventures published, and is rated for 3-5 PC's of Level 1-3 and difficulty level 0-1.
It was an easy adventure for them, but we were unable to finish it, since the cousin had to leave at about 5 PM.
They were able to knock out the first scenario against a small band of Goblin Raiders in the smaller Goblins hideout.
The group had found a map leading to a larger hideout for the Leader of the Goblin Raiders at the smaller hideout.
We knew we would not have time to complete that second part, so we didn't even start.

But, I have an interesting tale about one of the Players and his Druid PC during that Saturday session.

Josh desperately wanted to play a Druid because they can have animals for companions at First Level (At the DM's discretion).
Through the Animal Friendship First Level Druid Spell.

After asking him if he knew how to play a Druid he assured me that he had done so before.
I asked some obvious questions and told him to read the Players Handbooks Druid PC section (Just two pages of text) while I finished with helping Colton with his PC's.
I told him to carefully read the Spell Animal Friendship as well.

After he finished reading, he said he understood it all, and I relented and allowed him to play a Druid and to obtain an animal friend.

I limited his choices for an animal friend to natural wilderness/woodlands animals of from 1-3 Hit Dice.
We ended up with his having a Black Bear (2 HD).
He chose the Black Bear because it has three attacks (Claw/Claw/Bite).
So, with the Druidic First Level Spell Animal Friendship (C&C Rules) he was also able to teach it some commands/tricks).
So he taught it Attack, Heel, Protect, Perform (Which is bascially simple trick commands, such as stand on back legs and roar), and a couple of other commands that I don't recall right now.
I allowed that he could do his training of the bear for a couple of months prior to the adventure, while in the woods outside of town before the group left on its mission.

In the VERY first wilderness encounter after leaving town, the group was passing an ancient broken down rubble strewn Tower in a small clearing.
The group had decided NOT to inspect the ruins of the tower, but to continue on to the Pass ahead, where some townsfolks had informed them they believed the bad guys base was located.

Just before leaving that small cleared area, on the other side a Large Brown Bear (5 HD animal) walked out of the woods leading a smaller Brown Bear.
Obviously to anyone who has watched the Discovery Channel at least once, that they were a momma bear and her cub out for a stroll, likely hunting for grubs.
I actually rolled this encounter on the wilderness encounter table too.
All the players PC's decided to stay put until she and the cub had passed… Except the Druid that is.

The Druid draws his bow as he tells his new friend (the Black bear) to run halfway to the Brown Bears, which it obediently did.
The momma bear sees the male black bear coming and this of course gets all her attention, and she stands up and roars, waving her front paws and snarling at the black bear menacingly.
Her Cub turns around and runs back into the woods.

As the DM, I had the momma just stand up and roar at the intruding black bear, while the cub ran back into the woods.
I did this in order to give the Druid a chance to back off from a possible confrontation.
A somewhat hidden DM hint that was missed completely, or simply ignored.
Instead of backing off, the Druid tells his bear to copy the momma by standing up on it's hind legs and roar right back at her.  8O

Of course momma bear interpreted that action as a direct threat and the black bear was now a menace to her and her cub, so she dropped to all fours and charged, attacking the Black Bear.
The other PC's simply watched all of this in shock and the Druid did nothing to try to stop the madness.
The Cleric tells the Druid that this encounter was a bad idea and that perhaps it would be better for the party to leave the bear and her cub alone.
(I was running the Cleric)

The Druid begins shooting arrows at the Brown Bear momma…

Three rounds later, the Black Bear is very much dead, and the Brown Bear was never injured by the black bear, and even though one of the Druids arrows had hit her, she never even noticed it as it happened during her fight with the black bear.
(It caused 3 HPs damage)
She sniffs the body of the dead black bear and then with a look around to make sure no one else is being threatening.
She sees the stick and swats it out of her side, then she yawns as if bored, turns and ambles back to the woods to find her cub.
The Druid finally decided to allow her to leave and not give chase, but only AFTER all the other PC's had refused to join him in the chase.
He really wanted to avenge the death of his poor dead Black bear friend!
The Druid then walks up to his dead friend and begins trying to dig a hole to bury him.
The rest of the group refused to help him with that chore and told him that the rest of the group was walking up the trail to the pass and that he could follow them after his chore was finished.
Looking back to the woods, he left the job undone and followed immediately.

If Josh had been an adult player, I would have removed his Druidic status after that encounter and made that PC a simple fighter (In game action, not all at once) but instead I told him that trying his Animal Friendship spell again any time soon would be useless, as his actions had wasted the life of his new friend and he had threatened a peaceful mother bear and her cub for no reason.
Neither of which were Druidic actions.
I told him that the Druidic/Animal gods knew what he had done and would not heed his plee for a new friend.

BTW: Every spell he tried for the remainder of the adventure went haywire for some reason.............

"Guys, I am starting to think Tegel Manor might be haunted..."
Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

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Last edited by Gnat the Beggar on Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:45 pm 

good DMing anny. i would have maybe done things slightly different but i would have actually done more to affect the character and make him see what he had done, but yea pretty good and maybe a lesson learned for him?

good job he wasnt playing a paladin :)


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:11 pm 


But as I said, all his spells went haywire from then on.
I am quite sure he had no idea (At the time) why his spells either backfired completely (Helping the enemy) or simply did not have the effect that the book said it would.

He was quite confused by it all and argued about his spells effects (per the book) a couple of times.
I explained that there was a game related reason for this to be happening, but I refused to be any more clear (At the time).

After the game I told him to re-read the Druid PC pages in the PHB and to re-read the Animal Friendship page too.
After he was finished reading, I explained all that had happened in the game, both during and after that Brown Bear encounter, and that I am normally a very lenient and forgiving DM, but that his Druids actions went completely against what a true Druid would do in the instance above.

Well, except for perhaps a Dark Druid, which he was not playing.

"Guys, I am starting to think Tegel Manor might be haunted..."
Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

Charter Member of the ATM


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:59 pm 

My favorite party spank happened a long time ago....

A low level party of adventurers are travelling from Point A to Point B.

Along the way, they encounter a tough looking, armored, scarred and eyepatch wearing kobold with a sheathed sword sitting on a fence post on the side of the road....all alone. As they walked by him, I told them the kobold looked like he was just taking a load off, and nodded to them as they approached.  I mentioned the custom made weapons and expensive looking leather armor that made the kobold seem quite different from his usual bretheren.

The group consisted of two guys who had gamed with me since Day One, and two "newbies".  The vets, knowing my GM style and sometimes unorthodox characters, told me they just nodded back and kept walking.  The two newbies smelled blood, and didn't let their better instincts for trouble get into the way.  "Just one kobold?" they asked, grinning at each other...I said yeh, they said "We rush to attack him!".  The two veteran players said they were backing off to watch the fun...

Five minutes later, both the newbie characters had gotten the crap beat out of them, and were moaning in pain sprawled across the trail.  The old tough kobold paused to kick the shit out of the prone and broken characters a couple times, relieved them of their purses, once again nodded to the two characters that had stayed back on their horses, and strolled off down the road whistling a happy tune.  Little did the attackers know the kobold was a 7th level fighter with weapon specialization, a NPC I often trot out for laughs every once in awhile...fair warning was given he was NOT a common kobold as I described the particular armor and sword he carried as custom made (what kobold carried such equipment) and just the fact the dude was old and grizzled should have set off warning bells (what kobold warrior gets old and grizzled unless he's pretty damn kick ass?)

The lesson that I teach with that particular NPC:  Not everything is as it seems; the monsters in my campaign setting are NOT always standard Monster Manual and thus caution should be taken; and big things come in small packages!!!  It' a good lesson to impart to PCs at the beginning of what could be a tough campaign, to get them in mind to suspect everything and take nothing for granted....and it's non-lethal, in that they can avoid the encounter entirely, or get the hell beat out of them (I always figure the kobold just wants to teach these young punks a lesson and doesnt' want to kill them and have some bounty taken out on his head...)

Mike B.

Mike B.

"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
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