|Pitfalls of GMing and Scales of War.
||[Feb. 20th, 2010|12:02 am]
Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition
So I have a notch in my GM belt that I actually would have rather avoided. I got my first TPK tonight as a GM. There were three parts to the TPK. First is that they were short handed. They had 4 people instead of the expected 6. I did adjust the XP total downward, but I still think they suffered for it. Second was luck. I was rolling excellent. A lot of "just enough" rolls to hit. Whereas the PCs were rolling horribly. Third was the PCs themselves. They let the minions hang around to nickel and dime HP away and (most fatally), when the NPC leader made a second offer to let the PCs flee, the PCs basically spat in her face. At the point that offer was made, their fighter was stone dead (not just dying) and the 3 remaining PCs had about 24 HP between them, with no healing, action points, or daily powers left. The NPC said that if the PCs left and didn't return, they could leave with no further harm done and take their fighter's dead body with them. And they said no. At that point, I couldn't keep them alive without the players ~knowing~ that they were never going to be in any real danger for the whole of the campaign. And if the players feel no real threat or danger to their characters, there's no tension or excitement. So I felt that I had to kill them at that point. And I did. I feel kind of bad about it, because luck and other things outside their control did play at least some part in the massacre. Also I did have an interesting campaign planned out and I'd put some serious time & effort into the planning, but now won't get to use it. Oh well. That's the way the d20 rolls sometimes.
I alternate GMing with another person, so I won't start up a new campaign for a while, but when I do I was planning on running the Scales of War campaign path. Are there any suggestions on using it or things I should do? I know there's something about a key that's used in one adventure that was supposed to be foreshadowed or given out in an earlier adventure, but wasn't actually mentioned at all in that earlier adventure. Any hints or experienced suggestions about things like that would be welcome.