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Unfortunate Random Encounter

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  • Unfortunate Random Encounter

    I was running a game where my party was travelling across a rural countryside. One of my players is..paranoid and she tends to randomly stop and "scan the area"; basically just an active Notice check. I like to have fun little things for her to notice when they are NOT being followed by ninja (the proper plural for ninja is ninja), so I don't have to keep saying, "you see nothing."

    Well this one time she had a particularly successful "scan" where she had pumped a Hero Point into boosting her skill check and rolled her max. Well i couldn't let that go to waste so I took the "large, oddly smooth stone" that I had prepared for her and BSd some unusual markings on it to make it more interesting.

    Well that was a mistake. The party hyperfocused on this thing and started into trying to suss out the meaning of the markings and reasoning for the rock. One of the other players asked what KIND of stone it was, so I just spouted out "granite." This set them on a tangent for why igneous rock was found in an area with so much farm land. So then they had to try and dig it up to see if there was anything under it.

    By this point I was not feeling like this was too big a deal, but the players wanted to try and dig it up. I emphasized how heavy it was, but they made the attempt. And all rolled high.
    So, I decided there was a hole under the stone, which led to questions of how the stone was still in the ground.
    So, I said there was more stone around it and this was just an outcropping, which led to a conversation about whether it was man made.
    So, I said the hole was too dark to see anything and they could not see any worked stone.

    And then they brought out rope I had forgotten they had to try spelunking into the hole.

    Knowing I was hosed I considered ending it, but they were all having so much fun with it I just ran with it and tried to come up with entertaining answers to their questions. Eventually I had to break "for dinner" and completely rewrite their entire campaign.

    The lesson I learned from all this? Allow your party to have fun in a manner they choose, within reason. But sometimes, rather than winging it, it is better to just say, "There does not appear to be anything there."
    The first thing we need to ask the sheep is who sent it? - High Druid Keefe

  • #2
    Re: Unfortunate Random Encounter

    So you tell them there's an ancient, shriveled man in the hole. He gives them a sword, mutters the words "it's dangerous to go alone. Take this," and he disappears.
    Everyone gets a laugh, and somebody gets an old sword. Back to the story.