Topic: Players abandoning adventures because "it's too dangerous"

So I have a problem and I don't know what to do about it... This happened 2-3 times before. But yesterday it was almost instant.

So my players have new characters ("God That Crawls" ended in total party wipe). We began the new adventure. Everything was fine at first (in the city location). But when the players entered the "adventure" location ("The Seed" scenario) it all ended pretty fast.

They entered the first building (a Pub) and checked the whole place. Next, they went into the basement and fought with the disfigured family (both parties assumed, that the other one is hostile to them; PCs didn't really try talking to them - but to be fair that was the whole "catch" of this encounter).

They come out and for the first time roll to see - if their characters would be safe from the Fog effects. One character failed and got blind (bleeding eye effect; unknown to them - lasting only a few minutes).

So at that time they saw/completed like 5% of the scenario. The blind character (cleric) casts a heal spell to cure the blindness. And then they decided to abandon adventure because it's too dangerous. I don't like railroading the players so I just asked - are they sure about that - and we ended the session.

So this happened a few times before but never this quickly. I understand they like their characters and want to play "smart" and "safe". But honestly - I just feel down. I put much time and effort to prepare this adventure (I even made a colored version of the original map). And they barely started it and just decided to abandon the quest.

What can I do in this situation? I need Your advice guys :-(

Last edited by voyager156 (2020-09-25 11:44:23)

Re: Players abandoning adventures because "it's too dangerous"

Yeah, the general advice is "don't railroad" and "let the players do what they want." I think that's true to a certain degree, but I think everyone has to be on the same page that it will be a sandbox and the players may just skip entire things you've prepared.

That said, I think it sounds like you and the players are not on the same page. My LotFP group has changed players over the years and I think it has become a group of players who enjoy LotFP modules. They really want to know all the stuff from the module b/c they know how interesting and messed up they are. They risk life and limb (and having to roll up new characters) to explore every part b/c they know there's crazy shit in there.

Your players are playing more traditional D&D and seem more interested in surviving and winning than exploring.

Here's what I can offer:

-Talk with them about it. Maybe negotiate some ways to increase their survivability (like give them some followers or retainers who can take on some of the risk). I ended up giving my players better healing and luck points that allowed rerolls so that they felt more secure to explore areas they knew were deadly. Basically, find out what it will take to convince them to want to explore the areas they are running from.

-Let them read through some of the adventures they've already played (like The God That Crawls) and let them know these are the sort of adventures you're running - there's cool, weird stuff in there and it's always interesting and different. I know after we played Better Than Any Man and I let my players read it, they got really into playing LotFP when they saw all the stuff they missed out on interacting with.

-Find out what kind of game the players want. Maybe they don't like the idea of going through modules or adventures and just want to sandbox, fighting monsters and leveling up (mostly, they probably just don't want to die). You might have to tell them you're not interested in that and want to run some adventures - so maybe a huge treasure and XP boost for completing an adventure, and you alternate a prepped adventure with some sandboxing and character development.

-Give a boost for dead characters. Allow them to transfer some XP, a boon, or some other thing. My players earn "Raggi Points" equal to the level of the dead character that can be used for some extra boons to their new character. You could also allow them to play more interesting or exotic races/classes only after death.

Re: Players abandoning adventures because "it's too dangerous"

You have to meet 2 criteria before you can do a Raggi

1. The adventure or treasure has to be invested into the characters.  There has to be more to it than it is fun to go to this certain death. 

2.  You have to calm them to the danger.  Trick them into thinking they can win.  The first 20 minutes or so should be super easy.  Put up the weakest foes at the start.
(It may be necessary to appear frustrated as a GM at their initial victories.)

Re: Players abandoning adventures because "it's too dangerous"

This is an interesting problem with the lotfp approach. Some of the modules make fun of adventurers and sort of punish them for exploring or being too curious, and the dungeons are incredibly dangerous. This works great if the players are determined to play around anyway, live or die, but the rational choice is always to leave and get day jobs.

I think the 'creative agenda' just needs to be more explicit ahead of time: "you are going to this dungeon to loot it and are daredevils. The game is about the horror and comedy of what happens after that." It is railroading, but the minimal and explicit sort that lets everyone get on the same page. Then, let them play out the scenario however they want in a non-railroaded way. Railroading is mostly bad when its indirect or subtle - just say explicitly what the game is about and the players will be pretty happy usually as long as you give maximum freedom within the explicitly defined bounds of scenario itself.

It is equally frustrating if you want to do a dungeon but the players try to set up a bakery. Different creative agendas.

BTW, we get a warning about the TLS not being set set up right for this forum's login page. Not sure if its for the store also. I use a custom password for every site, but presumably somebody could sniff a password if they cared to. Combine it with a HSTS header after getting lets encrypt up and running and that should clean it up nicely!

Last edited by hertzrat (2020-10-03 08:38:15)