#dnd5e - Let me talk to you about non-combat conflict.
Problems that don't get resolved from murdering someone.

Combat can be part of it or part of the solution, but here's a quick run-down of my 10 session types. Works best serialized, but can influence whole plots too.

1. Survival Against Danger.
A quickly devolving situation puts the party in fight or flight.

The volcano is about to explode, they have only minutes to find out why or escape.

An assassin has framed the party for the prince's murder, the guards are coming from all directions.
2. Unknown Magical Upheaval.
Some magical effect has changed the rules wildly, the party must stop it.

The town of Gold Hills, where the party is staying, has its gravity inverted. The young sorcerer responsible is unaffected but can't control it.
3. Understanding A Different Viewpoint.
A group does something amoral due to tradition or fostered belief.

An Eladrin envoy have come to Whisperwood to collect young elves and firbolg to bring back to the Feywild. Their Archfey leader believes it best for the forest.
4. Personal Stories or Relationship Development
A story central to 1 or 2 characters evolves in an unexpected way.

The fighter's old war buddy tracks down the party and hires them to clear out an old castle. The castle has paintings of the fighter's parents in the bedroom.
5. Completely Insane Situations.
The party has to contend with a strange situation that breaks verisimilitude.

Two stark-naked wizards duel across a river from one another as stone golems beat the hell out of each other on the only bridge crossing for miles. "HE TOOK MY GOATS!"
6. Politics or Group Relations
The party is stuck between doing the lawful thing and the right thing, and must choose a side.

The magistrate has put a 500 gold piece bounty on the head of a teenage girl for stealing a bolt of silk - the funeral shroud of the magistrate's husband
7. Guest Characters Herald Problems
When a friend comes to roll dice and introduce a whole new set of issues.

Jamie visits for christmas and his character Elazius is on the run from a kill-squad of hobgoblin Iron Shadows - seeking an ancient, powerful relic is in his possession.
8. Slice of Life
The party gets time to breathe.

The party goes shopping for new equipment, bumps into a new friend, does research on the main plot, has a nice meal, and hires 3 new guards to watch their ever-expanding menagerie of pets and work animals. The rogue sulks.
9. Kidnappings, Looming Threat, or Unavoidable Concern.
The party has to find an answer to delay a current problem.

The party's cleric is kidnapped by a vampire countess. Her demands? The nearby town was stricken blind and blame her - prove she is innocent, the cleric will live.
10. Ethics and/or Morality
The party made a decision previously that comes back to haunt or reward them in a bittersweet exchange.

The party have slaughtered hundreds of goblins that have attacked them for months before learning mercenaries have been kidnapping them for profit.
Now combat is, obviously, central to D&D - 3/4 of the book is written to arbitrate just that. Murderous spells, equipment, encounters, etc - but each of the above have the benefit of WORDS potentially working or being a far neater solution to the problem.
Find them all in one place with extra insight/examples on my website: dropthedie.com/beyond-murder-…

#dnd5e #dnd

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More from @DropTheDie

27 Jun
When you're writing an adventure for #dnd5e, try present the quest/job/bounty in the following order.

Tagline: "The gargoyles have come to life!"
Reward: "For each of the creatures you slay, I offer 80 gold pieces. If you find my missing men, I'll double the reward."
Guidelines: "Their roosts is irreplaceable. If damage comes to the repaired church, you'll answer to the Duchess."
Description/Background: "One of my men, Salfax, saw the creatures coming to life with his own eyes. There was no enchantment, no mage casting spells, just a stroke of lightning that hit the church. A moment later, death descended on the town."
Read 8 tweets
27 Dec 19
Dumb #dnd story time.

I once gave my players "A Tome of Absolute Knowledge." A thick wood-bound ledger full of tiny 3pt font script. There was a wooden mouth carved on the front that spoke (without moving) to anyone who wished to read from the book.

The players found it in an old abandoned library of a city that was swallowed by a swamp, so they were pretty hyped to pick it up and hear "I am one of the Tomes of Absolute Knowledge. I have the power to answer 4 more questions before the magic ebbs from my pages. Ask."

I could not make this up. The PC holding the book immediately said "Did this book just talk?" in their character voice.

Obviously, no DM could resist: I replied "Yes. I spoke. 3 answers remain open to you."

Instead of laughs, the table erupted in PANIC.

Read 12 tweets
1 Mar 19
Alright. I'll bite and try to give some kind of guideline to help you run megadungeons for #dnd5e (well, any #tabletop). General principles, at the very least.
- A thread -
There needs to be several reasons for your PCs to explore the place beyond "cool loot." While players LOVE loot, they don't want to, well, have their PC die.
CURIOSITY can be one of those things. "What new aspect of this story waits in the next level/room?"
That is how your PLOT (a dungeon, like any story, needs to have a plot or plot beats) should function. What about this megadungeon will drive my players to go INTO IT not OUT OF IT. "You're at the bottom fight your way out" is lazy and uninspired.
Read 20 tweets
14 Feb 19
#Diablo3 and plot - a thread.
Diablo 1 was a game that fit on a single CD and had fewer resource requirements than Angry Birds, but had what felt like HOURS and HOURS of voice acting, written text, and an understated plot that made you invested in figuring out the "why/what" 1/?
Part of the joy of the game was its dark tone and heavy emphasis on conversation. You'd go fight your way down a labyrinth for a few hours, come back to town, and talk to everyone as a little break. A reward for advancing further downward, it felt like a reward. Genius. 2/?
There was a small cast of characters, all of them normal folk trying to live in this shitty place with this crazy bastard ruling over them, hoping the rumors they hear are not true. They had skills, but NOPE, they didn't want any part of skeleton's with axes, dude. 3/?
Read 24 tweets

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