No Plan Survives Contact With the PCs  

Posted by Michael Donaldson in

Just recently I was in a game locally where things didn't quite go as planned with the DM. We were attempting to get a priceless treasure from the local mayor, and it turns out this little port town is one of those human elitist we-don't-like-you-kind-here sort of places. Seeing as the party had a Raptoran, a Fey, and a Lizardman in it tempers began to flare and it wasn't long before the inevitable bar fight left us in a bit of legal trouble.

The DM had planned for two reactions for us, from what I could tell - we resisted arrest or we went quietly. These, of course, seemed like the only two things that we could do. What actually happened was completely beyond her expectations.

Using their human charm, the "regular" members of our party were allowed to remain relatively unmolested and were allowed to await the mayor (judge and jury) in the courtroom. The "lesser kind" (Lizardman Bard2/Cleric1, Raptoran Scout5/Fighter1, Fairy* Monk6) were confined to the jail cells below the courthouse.

(*Note: This fairy is more like a bamphing gnome than a pixie)

Down in the dungeons, the fairy began bamphing from cell to cell using his obnoxious Stealth to cause trouble and spook the guards. After the paranoia had run high, he used the bard to create both a flaming effect around him and ghost sounded a crackling for the perfect demonic flying demonfey creature, and the poor town guard ran in fear. We spent the rest of the day waiting for the mayor to show up, and by midafternoon the bravest townsperson quickly ran a message to us informing us that the Mayor had found us innocent and we were free to go.

Unfortunately, the DM told us, we were going to have to stop here because she had planned for either a arrest-resisting action-packed fight to the mayor or a drama-filled biased court battle between the man and the party. When things deviated, she had no recourse after her mayor had fled from the "demons" and we were left hanging.

If you're a DM, you're all too familiar with the concept I've described here. Tomorrow, I'll help you out with some tips for dealing with when the party really derails the plot.

This entry was posted on September 9, 2009 at Wednesday, September 09, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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