Thursday, September 28, 2017

There Be Dragons

In response to someone's recent query "What level is ok to throw a dragon at the party?", I have this reply ...

I don't throw stuff at my party, typically. I create a world in which exist many creatures who settle themselves into certain locations and do their thing. I then let the party roam around as they will exploring and adventuring. If they are careful they watch and plan, and peer around corners, listen at doors, ask the locals for information, and try not to walk into a dragon's lair... unless they are prepared for it. So I have a few dragons here and there. So far they've not directly confronted any of them. They could ... but they don't because ... well ...Dragon! That's how I do it. What I don't do is try to manage what level encounter is appropriate for the party as that is just 1) waaay too much work for me, and 2) puts all the burden on me for any TPKs if things go south ("You threw a F*cking DRAGON at us!") ... etc. Nope. Not for me. I have a world. It lives and breaths and in between games I roll to see what the major NPCs and Monsters are doing, based on what their motives, knowledge and resources are. And then when it comes time for the game I let the party play smart or stupid as they wish, and if they encounter the Dragon - cool. If they avoid the Dragon - cool. But throwing stuff at the party and trying to mange what level encounter is "safe enough but not too safe" just never worked for me. I prefer to have a world, and let them live or die in it by their own decisions, not mine. I consider myself referee rather than story-director.

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