How to get my players to care *spoilers*


Rise of the Runelords


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We just wrapped up defeating Barl Breakbomes. They found the massive skin with the note from M about the attack on Sandpoint. They were on the first Ferry out of Turtleback, which took about 7 days to arrive. And another 7 days to get back. Once reaching Magnimar, one player wanted to go to the library, one player who married Shalelu, who is now pregnant, and is having complications is seeking medical help, and the rest are shopping for gear (stuff they want but don't truly need).

So we ended our session with the Group reluctantly leaving Magnimar to go to Sandpoint, a day or so after they arrived.

I don't want to punish the group, but I feel as if they feel the world revolves around them. I once showed them what happens when they fail to act the hero, during the Turtleback ferry scenario and the Black Mabba(I think that's the name, it's been awhile). But they have seemed to forgotten what happened.

The book says to allow them to play the part of NPCs during the attack, if they fail to arrive on time.

I haven't read too far ahead in the book, as I'll just forget most of it anyways as I prepare for each session.
How important is Sandpoint after this section? I was thinking of having them arrive with the town destroyed, on fire from Longtooth, the light tower collapsed, Most of the town dead. Etc.

I don't want to be a jerk to them, but when the Paladin says "I'm not leaving this city until I get my gear." I think something is wrong.
Would you "punish" them?


I'm sure the word choice will get you flak, but...yeah, I'd stick 'em with consequences. I'd also consider that maybe some of these guys need more downtime if they feel they don't have time to do in-character stuff. They need a "Winter Session", to borrow Mouse Guard terminology.

You may want to talk to them and remind them that their tardiness has consequences. Their reactions may help you adjust further play—it may be that the paladin has been feeling undergeared.


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The paladin is far from under geared. He's a video game player that feels like his character should have no flaws and it really bothers him that heavy armor gives him armor penalties. So he really wants full plate with none of the draw backs of full plate.


Look at it this way.

You know where the giants are supposed to be by this point. If you feel that they have a lack of investment/empathy for what's about to happen, there are two decent options to pursue.

One, have the players play out the siege as some of the more leveled/influential npc's. This can produce more sympathy for the situation, especially if you can create a narrative for the X days it'd take for the PC's to ride in to the rescue.

Two, if the time frame calls for the giant invasion to be successful, allow it to be so.
At that point you can have the pc's arrive mid siege, lending to the idea that they could've saved/done more. Alternatively they could've arrived late enough to have the giants entrenched and breaking the town, or mopping up after a successful battle.

It'd allow you to show them that the way they spend their time matters, and it may help then realize they don't always have the luxury of time. Might help set the mood more when it comes time for the end of book 6.

Do they have any ties to Sandpoint, or is the big city more important to them?

If they don't realize that a mobile army can be a time sensitive issue, it's not Punishing them to allow the natural course to occur.


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Sand Point has no further importance to the plot, (start of book 5 has a dungeon set under it you can move it or have the players find it int the ruins) so feel free to destroy it. When they leave remind them that a horde of giants is due to attack the town in a few days and it seems unlikely the locals can defend themselves.
When the town is massacred in their absence you should seriously consider having the Paladin fall. He deliberately walks away from a defense less town in order to go shopping sounds to me like none Paladin behaviour.

You are not being a jerk, you will have given them plenty of warning that bad things are going to happen and they choose to ignore it.
The entire campaign from here on is a clock until Karzoug awakens by ignoring this attack they bring that forward make sure they feel a bit short of time later but providing they don't go on holiday again they should still be in time

Dark Archive

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Yeaaah, I think it would be good way of reminding them that next time they take too much time, world might end :P Since you know, bad things happen if Karzoug is resurrected without interefence *coughcoughmharcoughcough*

And its not like you need to have all npcs killed, important to pc npcs could get captured. There is location in next dungeon for captured villagers if players don't manage to save them all during siege. (Remember that the giants don't just want to gather stone samples to find about the Scribbler, they also want to capture villagers to carve rune on them and then kill them to further Karouz's return)

I'd personally think it would be cool to have you go "Well, you took too much time, so let's see what happens on the other end" and then have players play as some of npcs and be rather out gunned. As in, they probably won't succeed, if they do, great, but I think it would create some empathy to see hopeless situation from npc's point of view.

I mean, seriously, if they ignore Black Magga laying on Turtle Ferry, you do need to remind them that consenqueces exist and that they shouldn't be dicks :P The game isn't video game were time progresses only when story says so


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I'd certainly suggest having sandpoint fall. I'd make a quick rewrite, have the giants attack with the purpose of digging out the scribbler, have a few PCs to rescue, who then mention that other NPCs (particularly Shalelu if she was there, or someone she cares about) has been captures by the giants and have the PCs chase the giants back to Mokmurian's lair.)

One of the huge advantages RPGs have over video games is that you can make the flow of time matter.

I wouldn't view it as a punishment, just as a consequence. The town barely matters after this point, and when it does matter it can be easily reworked.


There are two ways of looking at this and they're both valid.

One, is that there's a story that is meant to be "realistic", meaning bad things happen when heroes don't stop them from happening. That's kind of how things matter. If bad things don't happen when there are no heroes, why have heroes? So yeah, nuke Sandpoint.

Two, is that this is a game and it's meant to be fun. Having gold and no time to spend it can suck. Crafting/enchanting times are brutal. So when you've got a lull in the story, you're naturally going to take the opportunity to buy what you want. And really, gear is just a part of a character's image. So no, grant Sandpoint a reprieve until the shopping is done.

My groups have struggled with this for years, especially when we (try to) take Craft feats. It's frustrating to JUST finish doing <whatever> and settle down to build some of the toys you envision your character wearing, and <whoever> shows up and says "urgent, urgent, you MUST go <wherever> immediately because... reasons!" There's no real reason adventure developers couldn't simply let the urgent things start happening once the PCs are ready. Sure, sure, "pressure" is cool. But simply not being able to spend the coin to enchant that +1 armor up to +3 because it takes a couple bloody weeks... that's ANNOYING.

So, really, my question is, what do the players want? One or two? Some people like gritty, meatgrinder, realistic games, some people want to roll some dice and drink beer. Know your audience and run the game you collectively want.

Please note: there is no actual, legitimate reason why Runelords has to go at the pace that's written. It's literally as easy as ignoring "X days until Y", and you've got a game that's paced for the players.


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Anguish is on the right track - story elements are fighting with game mechanics. Whether we like it or not (and it seems most of us are conflicted) the game has an implicit bias towards an arms race. Perhaps its unwritten but it's there nonetheless - as a pc's abilities grow, the pc "should" be acquiring better gear; sometimes through looting, sometimes through shopping and sometimes through crafting.

This mechanic can be directly at odds with "<bad thing> needs to be stopped tomorrow" or "the good people of <blank> will fall to the <awful monster of somesuch> if we don't leave today" narratives.

But I think the OP's real problem is in the thread title - the pc's (players?) don't seem to care about Sandpoint. They are informed an enemy obviously too powerful for Sandpoint's defenders will be attacking "soon" and they take 2 weeks to travel and then go to Magnimar for shopping? Say what? And one of them is married to Shalelu who absolutely should have Sandpoint as her first priority?

<insert politically incorrect observation about party composition - so there's no arcane caster with access to teleport? This is not the last time lack of a high level arcane caster is going to be trouble.>

But let's look at this from the player's point of view - they didn't put Turtleback Ferry 200 miles from no where. And the 2 week trip back may have passed in 5 minutes of real time so you can't necessarily blame them for thinking the "real clock" starts when they get to Magnimar, since that's when they had actual choices about what to do (or at least they might be thinking of it that way.)

And let's also recall there isn't any other junction in the AP where this kind of time mechanic is operative. So it's hard to find fault with players who have been conditioned to have down time to not recognize a situation where down time might be minimal or reduced.

There isn't any rule against a DM asking what the player's are thinking. If they misunderstand the risk or are simply assuming nothing bad will happen until they get there, the DM can help clarify or correct their assumptions. If they're confused, that can be fixed. If they're self-absorbed or careless, that too can be rectified. And are their divine characters in the group (including the paladin?) A DM could always send signs, dreams, nightmares, etc. stressing one or more God's expectation for action in Sandpoint.

Sure as shootin', a paladin that heads to Magnimar to get his precious full plate off the designer rack while a town of innocents is ruthlessly looted should immediately fall. A paladin that learns of the impending attack should spend every ounce of his (and his allies') energy to get back as quickly as possible or barring that, send word of warning to the town and to others who might provide aid. Said paladin should spend every coin he or his group has available to the make that happen.

It would be interesting to hear more details about the Black Magga encounter. If a paladin shirked his duty then without consequence, it's going to be harder to argue for punishment now. (By the way, I'm not a big fan of paladins falling - in general a paladin player should be warned by the DM if an action will trigger such an outcome before he does it and then simply not perform that action.) Oh my goodness, did I turn this into a paladin thread? Sorry about that.


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The party consists of a human paladin of ragathiel, a halfling rogue, a goblin alchemist/gunslinger, dwarf fighter, and a gnome bard.

When Black Magga emerged from the flooded river, it took out a few buildings and then slammed into the church. the party at first acted like the heroes, but as the battle wore on, the party decided to back off, except for the fighter, who didn't want to retreat, but because everyone backed out was left with no choice. The Black Magga quickly changed targets back to the church, and slammed itself into it again, destroying it and everyone inside. It then proceeded to destroy the docks, and anything else along the shore line. It then retreated into the lake taking out the ferry returning to Magnimar. The PCs were not overly damaged, the bard still had plenty of magic left, they all had potions, and one or 2 of them have wands. The Magga was nearly ready to retreat due to the damage it had taken, no one was unconscious but they were worried that one of them would go down so they backed out.

i will admit our group, myself included is new to tabletop gaming. ROTRL is the first tabletop game I've ever run. I personally feel I'm overly generous to the group. I make sure everyone has magical gear. ive asked for lists of items they would like to come across in game, and when it makes sense I allow the player to find weapons etc they wanted. The paladin himself has an +1 axiomatic adamantine bastard sword and he deals a ton of damage to everything evi and chaoticl (which is just about everything) they come across.

I won't make the paladin fall, because I believe he the player would leave the group, and I'd rather have him in the group than not, he is my cousin, and I for the most part enjoy his play. He just has an issue with taking damage and dealing with the fact that your climbing, swimming and acrobatics will suck.

Perhaps I should not of allowed them to pay to have the ogres and giants magical gear be resized to work for them. I'm not sure if that is even allowed. I guess the fact they've been holding onto magical gear they couldn't use since they met Mammy and her boys that they got so blindsided.

As for Shalelu, I made it known that Shalelu will be heading straight for Sandpoint wether they go or not. The paladin was against going at all. I told him his gear that he was getting altered would still be here when he gets back to Magnimar.

I try and throw in a bit of added content relating to each characters backstory. We deal with different themes and the guys are comfortable with most topics. So unbeknownst to the group, Shalelu is currently experiencing complications in her pregnancy, that I've hinted at during our last few sessions.


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Black Magga should have stuck around for four rounds according to the write-up. The way it's described in the text, she shows up and immediately attacks the church. Your group may have backed off because you went for the "dramatic reveal" which said "too big for you." And let's be honest. Black Magga is too tough for most groups unless they have a Paladin or someone managed to hold onto that cold iron returning dagger the quasit had.

You know what I'd do? I'd have the Paladin receive a Holy Vision from his God saying "Get Back To Sandpoint NOW" because vengeance is called for. Have them show up as the attack is underway, probably at round 6 or later - they'll encounter the giants that would be heading to the distillery, and then see the Dragon ahead.

If he holds off because he needs his toys? They show up and find the town razed. There will only be a handful of survivors. And the Paladin gets a second holy vision saying "to remain in my good graces, you must track down the giants who did this and avenge Sandpoint. Or die trying."


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I'm seeing a bit of a contradiction here that puzzle me.
On the one hand, you want them to care about the world (and presumably, the NPCs)

H2Osw wrote:

one player who married Shalelu, who is now pregnant, and is having complications is seeking medical help,

But on this issue, you seem to be getting irate at someone seeking aid for an NPC they care about.

It seems like you've gotten at least one player to care about Shaelu. How might you take what you did to get the players' interest in that NPC and apply it to getting them more interested in the world?


When I played Rise of the Runelords when my party found out about the attack on Sandpoint they didn't have access to teleport either. But they hightailed it back ASAP and pushed it to get there.

So I had them arrive just as the first wave of giants.

I don't think the failure to teleport is a problem, but taking time out to go shopping certainly should have an effect.

Conversely if as a DM I try to ensure there is time for shopping/crafting. It's a trick you pick up when your players will want in game downtime and I try to tone down the urgency when I see that desire forming.


Um, not to be that guy, but isn't Shalelu an NPC, why on earth would you introduce pregnancy complications, that's the type of thing people are programmed to handle RIGHT NOW!


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Many, many good points above, so only two things to add:

(1) As a GM with naive groups (read: A kids' group consisting of 11-14 year olds), I have no issue whatsoever telling my players, "Look. Right now you're in a time-critical situation. You'll get some downtime to do some crafting and shopping in about... X sessions. If you choose to take time now, there will be consequences." They don't get to know what those consequences are.
If you let your players know when it's OK to shop and craft and when it isn't, they're a lot happier about the whole thing. I openly told my RotRL group, "OK, there's an indefinite break a bit after the start of Book 5. Tell me how long you'd like that break to be."
I find it better to work with the players to fit in downtime where it fits in with the story, rather than having them get resentful and rebellious and demand downtime when the story demands they're in a hurry.

(2) It's completely your game and your call, and your reasons sound valid, but I bristle at a paladin who cannot fall. As Latrecis said, let's not turn this into a paladin thread, but honestly, if a player told me they were going to play a paladin and I knew I could not possibly make them fall, I'd recommend a cavalier or some other non-paladin class. Paladins are stupid powerful with their huge saves, immunities, swift self-healing, and bypassing DR. They're annoying because of what they do to your BBEGs, but they're wonderful because you can give them visions from their gods telling them what they need to do. If you've got a paladin whose god says, "Do X RIGHT NOW" and the paladin feels free to say, "Nah. I'm waiting on some sweet gear. X'll have to wait," it really hurts the feel of the class, and makes it MUCH harder to get the party where you want/need it to be...


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I'm currently running this and my group is currently at the same point. Where does it say how soon the giants will be there? All I recall is seeing the note from Mokmurian to Barl Breakbones--which doesn't give us much of an idea.

I imagine that a big group of giants and bears moving over land probably can't travel that fast. My group has a Wizard with Teleport and a (NPC) Cleric of Desna with the Travel Domain, so she also has Teleport. Fortunately my players *were* concerned about Sandpoint, so they just teleported there--although they would certainly like to go to Magnimar for some shopping if time permits.

I'm having trouble reckoning distances, too. How far is Sandpoint from Turtleback Ferry/Fort Rannick?


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Quoting from the RotRl AE version:

By land, the journey to Turtleback Ferry from Magnimar is a voyage of nearly 400 miles through lightly patrolled rural terrain along the north bank of the Yondabakari River. By foot, at a speed of 30 feet, this amounts to a 2-week journey, while on horseback at a speed of 60 feet it's only a week-long trip. alternatively, the PCs can take one of the many river barges that ply the Yondabakari and Skull Rivers from Magnimar all the way to Turtleback Ferry (at a total cost of 50 gp per person - with a DC 20 Diplomacy check, the Lord-Mayor agrees to pay the party's passage), in which case the journey also takes a week.


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Spiral_Ninja wrote:

Quoting from the RotRl AE version:

By land, the journey to Turtleback Ferry from Magnimar is a voyage of nearly 400 miles through lightly patrolled rural terrain along the north bank of the Yondabakari River. By foot, at a speed of 30 feet, this amounts to a 2-week journey, while on horseback at a speed of 60 feet it's only a week-long trip. alternatively, the PCs can take one of the many river barges that ply the Yondabakari and Skull Rivers from Magnimar all the way to Turtleback Ferry (at a total cost of 50 gp per person - with a DC 20 Diplomacy check, the Lord-Mayor agrees to pay the party's passage), in which case the journey also takes a week.

I think it was Latrecis who took this number, put in some prep time for the army, and slowed them down for stealth, and gave the attack a 6-week deadline.

This puts a solid stake in the ground you can schedule things by, and gives PCs at least a little time to shop/craft instead of the constant "go go go".

But of course THEY don't get to hear that number, so if they traveled on foot, 2 weeks are already up, but they have SOME time in Magnimar. If they diddle about too long... repercussions...


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Awesome! Thanks for the quick response!

Out of curiosity, what page was that on? (I have every version--the original AP volumes, the hardbound anniversary edition and the big deluxe tome thingy).


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NobodysHome wrote:

Many, many good points above, so only two things to add:

(1) As a GM with naive groups (read: A kids' group consisting of 11-14 year olds), I have no issue whatsoever telling my players, "Look. Right now you're in a time-critical situation. You'll get some downtime to do some crafting and shopping in about... X sessions. If you choose to take time now, there will be consequences." They don't get to know what those consequences are.
If you let your players know when it's OK to shop and craft and when it isn't, they're a lot happier about the whole thing. I openly told my RotRL group, "OK, there's an indefinite break a bit after the start of Book 5. Tell me how long you'd like that break to be."
I find it better to work with the players to fit in downtime where it fits in with the story, rather than having them get resentful and rebellious and demand downtime when the story demands they're in a hurry.

(2) It's completely your game and your call, and your reasons sound valid, but I bristle at a paladin who cannot fall. As Latrecis said, let's not turn this into a paladin thread, but honestly, if a player told me they were going to play a paladin and I knew I could not possibly make them fall, I'd recommend a cavalier or some other non-paladin class. Paladins are stupid powerful with their huge saves, immunities, swift self-healing, and bypassing DR. They're annoying because of what they do to your BBEGs, but they're wonderful because you can give them visions from their gods telling them what they need to do. If you've got a paladin whose god says, "Do X RIGHT NOW" and the paladin feels free to say, "Nah. I'm waiting on some sweet gear. X'll have to wait," it really hurts the feel of the class, and makes it MUCH harder to get the party where you want/need it to be...

Ah I never thought about speaking directly to the paladin as his diety. I will use that for sure before we finish.

As for everyone else.
Thanks the responses, I enjoy reading your thoughts, even if I've made a lot of mistakes along the way, I'm glad to see what I could of done differently and hopefully learn from you guys.


Kelvar Silvermace wrote:

Awesome! Thanks for the quick response!

Out of curiosity, what page was that on? (I have every version--the original AP volumes, the hardbound anniversary edition and the big deluxe tome thingy).

Page 130, last paragraph of the first column.

AE version...


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H2Osw wrote:
Ah I never thought about speaking directly to the paladin as his diety. I will use that for sure before we finish.

Well, I try to be rather subtle at first: The Inner Sea Gods guide has great "signs of the god's pleasure/displeasure" I use frequently. A cleric of Shelyn redeems a vile criminal and saves him from execution? I mention she sees a brightly-colored songbird flitting among the rafters of the otherwise drab slum they're in. A paladin of Torag decides the kids he's supposed to be searching for can wait another day and goes drinking instead of spending his evening searching? He notices that his hammer feels very heavy in the morning, and does not ring when it strikes, but rather emits a dull thud.

It's only when they're *really* screwing up or I need a major plot point that they missed conveyed that they dream of walking with their gods...


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H2Osw wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:

Many, many good points above, so only two things to add:

(1) As a GM with naive groups (read: A kids' group consisting of 11-14 year olds), I have no issue whatsoever telling my players, "Look. Right now you're in a time-critical situation. You'll get some downtime to do some crafting and shopping in about... X sessions. If you choose to take time now, there will be consequences." They don't get to know what those consequences are.
If you let your players know when it's OK to shop and craft and when it isn't, they're a lot happier about the whole thing. I openly told my RotRL group, "OK, there's an indefinite break a bit after the start of Book 5. Tell me how long you'd like that break to be."
I find it better to work with the players to fit in downtime where it fits in with the story, rather than having them get resentful and rebellious and demand downtime when the story demands they're in a hurry.

(2) It's completely your game and your call, and your reasons sound valid, but I bristle at a paladin who cannot fall. As Latrecis said, let's not turn this into a paladin thread, but honestly, if a player told me they were going to play a paladin and I knew I could not possibly make them fall, I'd recommend a cavalier or some other non-paladin class. Paladins are stupid powerful with their huge saves, immunities, swift self-healing, and bypassing DR. They're annoying because of what they do to your BBEGs, but they're wonderful because you can give them visions from their gods telling them what they need to do. If you've got a paladin whose god says, "Do X RIGHT NOW" and the paladin feels free to say, "Nah. I'm waiting on some sweet gear. X'll have to wait," it really hurts the feel of the class, and makes it MUCH harder to get the party where you want/need it to be...

Ah I never thought about speaking directly to the paladin as his diety. I will use that for sure before we finish.

As for everyone else.
Thanks the responses, I enjoy reading your thoughts, even if I've made a lot of mistakes along the way, I'm glad to see what I could of done differently and hopefully learn from you guys.

I know we can come off kind of preachy (and I'm at the top of the list!) but I wouldn't say "a lot of mistakes" - if you had made a lot of mistakes, your group would be breaking up.

If everyone is having fun, you're doing it right. I intuit you are frustrated with choices your players are making but they are not frustrated. And if that's the case I'll give a snarky "Welcome to the party, Pal!" Cause that's life as a gamemaster :)

The AP doesn't actually have an explicit timeline to follow, it simply assumes the pc's will make their way to Sandpoint with some level of alacrity and the Giants will attack the morning after they get there. (AE, p.187.) So I don't see any particular problem with the pc's taking a day or two in Magnimar upgrading weapons, armor, etc. If they are having something "custom made" and it's going to take several days, that's another story.

I'm more concerned about the paladin details. A +1 axiomatic adamantine bastard sword is a highly optimized weapon for a paladin - given their class abilities to pierce other damage reduction. If he/they paid list cost for it out of their treasure, good to go. If you let them "find it" I'm concerned you're being a bit too generous. When I combine that with the Black Magga story, some alarms start to go off. This is definitely judgmental and continues morphing this into a paladin thread but... man o'man, a paladin who retreats from Black Magga and allows her to destroy a church full of innocents without laying down his life to prevent it, has completely betrayed the concept of a paladin. As NobodysHome said, paladins come with stupid level powers and they gain those by paying a price - you do the right thing regardless of personal cost or you lose the powers. If you're not able to nudge, encourage or direct the paladin player to take those responsibilities seriously, you're going to have trouble.

Frankly your urgency problem comes from this as well. The paladin should be your greatest ally here - he should be raging to get back to Sandpoint as quickly as possible. Focusing instead on fixing his climb, swim and acrobatic checks is about as wrong-headed as it gets. How often is the paladin making acrobatic checks anyway?


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Yet another idea: some desperate townsfolk or farmers from in or near Sandpoint show up, banging on the PCs door, begging for the "Heros of Sandpoint" to come to their rescue, since scouts saw giants on their way towards the town.

Or, since Shalelu seems to be on her back, some junior foresters formerly under her command show up with the same message: they are not as skilled as Shalelu and were hoping she could come and "fix" the giant situation. Desperately disappointed that Shalelu can't come and help, they turn to the erstwhile "Heros of Sandpoint" and beg for assistance.

As mentioned above, a paladin character is the perfect target for a "visions from your god" scene, as is any character with a slightly occult or mystical bent. Even barbarians and such could get "visions from your ancestor spirits". You wouldn't want to overuse such a gimmick, but it does wonders on occasion.

And if they *do* insist on shopping for several days after receiving such a warning, have their reputation take a nosedive, and the formerly admirative expression "Heroes of Sandpoint" becomes grist for the mills of ridicule and shame. This, even before they finally drag their feet to the scene of carnage that awaits them, and all those dozens or hundreds of dead innocents that they *could* have saved, if only they had arrived sooner. Have somebody like old Madame Mvashti survive just long enough to blame the PCs directly and cast a dying curse on them (as the spell, but with a hefty bonus to caster level so that it is very, very hard to lift).


Just some more thoughts on the situation:

There are several places where enchanting/buy/sell can be done without it interrupting the flow of the game. Directly after the giant invasion is one such place, as is directly after retaking Fort Rannick.

As others have mentioned, they do seem to have a fairly high level of gear already. If they've been defeating most things without issue, and even gave Black Magga a run for her money, there's no reason they can't collect their gear after or have it delivered.

Personally I haven't played a Paladin, and I can tell that the falling rules can be hard for a GM to work with especially if your related to the pc. Nobody wants to maim another's character, but the falling rules are there for a reason.

Perhaps a few subtle hints, as was suggested, will go farther at first then a divine vision. Maybe even overhearing a Harrow reader and having them get a sort of "accidental reading" would also help.

Ie. A Harrow stand is set up an the mystic seems distressed. They call the pc's over saying "Pardon me, but may I read your fortunes? My cards have been behaving... strangely lately" Have ill omens show up, the Harrower sighs and "It's been like that All Day. I Just don't understand it".

A bit less direct then a vision, but gets a point made.

If the PC's have worked out or been made aware of how long it'd take for the giants to arrive, then their actions are rather callous. They're allowing a town to be razed because it's inconvenient to save them.

If they only have a vague idea, and are fairly sure the giants can't beat them to Sandpoint, perhaps signs that they're mistaken should be planted.

Perhaps a terrified ranger shows up, or somebody who was on the road, that rode day and night to the limit to get to Magnimar for help. A person like that might've seen the giants in the distance, or happened upon them camped for the night. Even riding hard he might've only arrived a day or two ahead of them.

A terrified witness begging anybody who'll listen for help (IE the pc's ideally) Should motivate them to act.

If it doesn't then there should be consequences. I get you're worried your cousin might stop playing, but he's chosen a class that's not only ment to champion the cause of his divine patron, but to stand up for the downtrodden.

If he's not willing to play the hero as a paladin, then he should've rolled a fighter.

Lantern Lodge

NobodysHome wrote:
They're annoying because of what they do to your BBEGs, but they're wonderful because you can give them visions from their gods telling them what they need to do.

There is also a magic item in Book 5 that is terrific for this.


I'm assuming this is already resolved, but if not, remember that even if certain characters don't care, Shallelu DOES. If she finds out that anyone is putting her before the safety of Sandpoint, she will browbeat the crap out of her paramour.


I'm using prophecies too. One PC is a witch with time patron, and her tutor is Madam Mvashti.
I've used big and small prophecies (both about the overall story arch and the next step). I don't need it to direct my players, they are involved with the plot, but it's fun to find the clues when they happen.

Grand Lodge

I am a big fan of character actions or inaction's having really consequences in the game world. Back in the 3.5 days when I was running Age of Worms the fate of the world was all on them. Their first failure was in the arena in Greyhawk and failing to kill the big worm. Greyhawk City went from Gem of the Flanese to City of the Dead in a matter of hours. When they failed to kill Kyuss in the final chapter the World of Greyhawk was forever changed to an evil worm infested dead zone. We moved to Pathfinder before any of that was dealt with.

In this case here, I would definitely be all about Sandpoint burning. If they know the attack is imminent then they should take the proper actions to ensure they are there. If not, then treat Sandpoint very poorly. When they show up, they could find out about captive townsfolk and go after them. Still might let them save some face.

My group just finished the Black Magga encounter and are about to set out for the Dam. In the back of my mind I have the sneaky suspicion that unless I lead the by the nose they will not deal with the missing Captian of the Black Arrows (despite my bringing him up several times) or the Kreggs. I never lead my party by the nose. In all likelihood they will find themselves resting comfortably in Sandpoint, without a care in the world, when the stone giants come knocking.

Sometimes it is good for the party to not have any prep time to ramp up before the fight.


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Remember that the module does not expect the party to be able to teleport back to Sandpoint right away. If they don't just sit around for a bunch of time in Magnimar, they should be fine time-wise, though I wouldn't let them know that. The uncertainty of when the giants arrive should be enough to keep them from dawdling. A day or two to sell stuff and check in with the mayor on their previous mission, etc., on top of the regular travel time shouldn't be something to be punished.

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