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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Yesterday we had a gaming session and we have been fugitives for a few days, wanted for aiding and abetting a theft (of a slave, basically we freed a slave) in Sigilstar in Thrane. Now my paladin has been planning to turn himself in to the authorities because not only is it the right thing to do, but we are also innocent anyway. Now my paladin is also in possession of a Syberis Shard currently being contested by forces from Houses Sivis, Cannith and Tarkanan and they are all alternatingly attacking us and wooing us to join their forces; I am not sure if that is relevant or not.

    Circumstances have led us to believe that our incarceration in Thrane is manipulated by House Sivis. I decided to turn myself in Breland's Sharn instead of Sigilstar so that I can get a fair trial; meanwhile the rest of the party decided to head for the hills, they will be hiding out at an ally's hold in near Newthrone in Q'Barra until the heat dies down.

    As we were approaching Breland, a chill overcame the landscape and all colors and sound and sensation was muted. It was one of our recurring opponents, an eladrin with the mark of shadow with cold/illusion/mind control powers. He is a mercenary but we are still unsure which of the groups hired him. He creates a Gargantuan Hydra out of nowhere which proceeds to kill me while the rest of the party runs away. After wards, the DM takes me aside and tells me that not only has my alignment shifted to unaligned from lawful good, I also no longer feel obligated by my honor to turn myself in because of the shift. Since this is 4e this does not aversely affect my paladin powers. I wake up alive and well and the rest of the party finds me unharmed.

    I was like, WTF? I felt like the DM shut down options on me, and not in a good way. I want to tell him that what he did was totally screwed up. Meanwhile I was discussing this with one of the other players, a guy who plays a rogue; his opinion on the matter is that alignment is just an entry on your sheet and does not define you in any way. If I feel that I am bound to act a certain way, I should and not let the DM dictate that for me. This sounds like okay advice until one thinks that perhaps the DM is trying to avert the story from going totally off track. My take on it is that liberating our party from the accusation will be better sooner than later because we will eventually want to stay at an Inn or purchase goods. The longer we are wanted, the worse off our situation becomes. The idea of being a fugitive does not sit well with me. Period

    Advice will be great. Should I talk to the DM? Role play my LG-ness despite the fact that the DM dictated that I am now Unaligned? I still want to turn myself in. My opinion is that ones concept of right and wrong does not change with alignment but rather how you react to those concepts under given stimuli.

    *sigh*

    Please help.
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    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    I think the GM's telling you that either the guy your playing has been mind-controlled, or else he's been replaced by an imposter. You get to roleplay the results.

    ED: Definitely talk to the GM & find out what's happening.
    Last edited by avr; 2010-08-01 at 08:51 PM.

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    Should I talk to the DM?
    Yes, definitely. This is the only approach that is likely to work.
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    That's definitely a screw-up on your DM's part. Changing someone's character's personality by fiat is something that should only be done if you've discussed it in advance.

    That said, the fault might not entirely be his. You're a defender/leader class. Are you the party's only defender? If so, they're screwed while you're in jail. Plus, you're in jail - what do you plan to do at the table while the rest of the party is off in the hills? Splitting the party is rarely a good idea, having one character off on their own for multiple sessions is even more rarely a good idea, and the DM might just have panicked.

    Social contracts can help avoid this - is this sort of behavior usually okay in your group, or can the DM reasonably say that he had no way of predicting you would take this course of action and many reasons to assume you wouldn't?

    A better option would have been for the DM to talk to you out of game and explain that your pally being AWOL for a few sessions was not in anyone's best interests, but that if you really wanted to, here's an NPC you can play for that time.

    Handling this in-game at this point is probably a bad idea. Explain to the DM that you were roleplaying your character, but you understand now how that decision made life harder for him. Try to figure out, together, a way that your character can stay with the party without betraying his ideals. Even if this means a deus ex has to happen where the law finds the real criminals and your party's off the hook. But it doesn't have to be that simple - maybe you now owe a favor to whomever turned the criminals in.

    It's a situation with a lot of good places it can go, all of which require a lot of creativity and quick thinking from the DM. Sounds like he panicked, but the situation is fixable.
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    I would talk to your DM away from the rest of the group and explain your concerns. He'll probably tell you that he was trying to keep you from derailing the plot. If this is the case, take pity on him, and do what he asks if it doesn't feel too wrong. If you can, try to come to a compromise, in which you get to roleplay your character how you want to, but his plot isn't wrecked.

    If he still doesn't budge, and you feel like being rebellious, go ahead and roleplay just as you would anyways, since an unaligned character is just that, unaligned. You can take up whatever alignment you want.
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    (1) Clarify why the Alignment Shift occurred. If you're Mind Controlled, he should have said so right off the bat.

    (2) If the DM is not using a Mind Control gambit, ask him to explain what just happened. If he is, in fact, railroading you, tell him you are uncomfortable with this turn of events.

    As a general rule, DMs should not spring RP modifications on PCs unless it is clear that these sort of things might happen. Upsetting PC expectations results in just this sort of situation.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    Should I talk to the DM?
    Absolutely. It's the only way to resolve anything.

    Tell the DM what your concerns are and how arbitrary changes affect your fun. Be honest but not accusatory. Then listen. Find out why the DM made those decisions...maybe there's a way you can work them in to your character concept. If not, maybe you and the DM can come up with another solution that satisfies both of you.

    But it all starts with communication.
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Woah. Just woah. Railroading is necessary sometimes, but it needs to be done subtly. What your DM did? Anything but subtle. And changing a PC's personality like that is just a no-no. You definitely need to talk with him.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    As has been stated many times in this thread you should speak with you DM. They, like most DM's, would understand and try to wor out with you the best course of action. Make sure 2 things though, that you do it off to the side away from the game, and 2, that you don't be aggressive or accusitory.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Thanks guys. Stuff I clarified to the DM via SMS and awaiting response.

    Is it mind control (cannot fight without some mechanical hurdle) or corruption of some sort (which I can try to fight simply through RP)?

    How does it affect my choice of actions over the next sessions?
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    Kaun's Avatar

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    I thought paladins had to have the same alignment as their gods in 4e?

    I could be wrong tho
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    If I remember right, Paladins of a god do share their alignment, but once the god grants them powers, they're permanent. So a Lawful Good god will have Lawful Good paladins. One of said paladins who becomes Chaotic Evil will no longer be a paladin of that specific god, but he still has all of his paladin powers.
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    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Glyphstone View Post
    If I remember right, Paladins of a god do share their alignment, but once the god grants them powers, they're permanent. So a Lawful Good god will have Lawful Good paladins. One of said paladins who becomes Chaotic Evil will no longer be a paladin of that specific god, but he still has all of his paladin powers.
    beat me to it. A paladin can belong to any god and be Unaligned though.

    the only issue is that if they are no long a Paladin of a specific god then i believe the Channel Divinity powers that are dedicated to a specific got don't work.

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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    In addition to talking with your DM, you ought to ask the rest of the party which way they want the campaign to flow from here. If your paladin's trial is a major plot point in their eyes, you may want to let your DM know that as a group. If not, and it's just an obstacle to the campaign at this point, you may want to reconsider your position.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    The DM has replied. The mechanics he has come up with is like this. Every time we encounter evil eladrin mind control guy and one of us dies, he can add an evil token/counter into the guy. The guy doesn't die, he wakes up from the illusion slightly more corrupt. If his alignment slides to CE, he will be totally under the control of eladrin guy.

    The DM clarified that his intent was not railroading but inserting a personal horror effect of ego vs. id vs. superego into the plot. So yeah, my pally can still fully act but only has two more tokens to go before full mind rape suckiness.

    In game terms, this means the primary defender is now scared of approaching an enemy controller.
    Last edited by cupkeyk; 2010-08-02 at 12:35 AM.
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    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Shouldn't you shift down to just Good from LG then? Unless I've misread and you've died twice.
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    The DM has replied. The mechanics he has come up with is like this. Every time we encounter evil eladrin mind control guy and one of us dies, he can add an evil token/counter into the guy. The guy doesn't die, he wakes up from the illusion slightly more corrupt. If his alignment slides to CE, he will be totally under the control of eladrin guy.

    The DM clarified that his intent was not railroading but inserting a personal horror effect of ego vs. id vs. superego into the plot. So yeah, my pally can still fully act but only has two more tokens to go before full mind rape suckiness.

    In game terms, this means the primary defender is now scared of approaching an enemy controller.
    Well, that sounds reasonable (except that you should be G, not UA) though it's a bit rough springing it on people who weren't expecting a Survival Horror game.
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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Actually I have died twice The first encounter with the same guy involved his imaginary umberhulks and it was a TPK. We all woke up fine and dandy. The DM had us do insight checks at the time and obviously none of us realized the shift then. Now, since the shift is two from my original alignment, no insight check was required as the evil murmurs start becoming more audible.

    This time around, I was the only one not smart enough to have run away.

    -_-

    Then, I wonder if we are expected to run away everytime this guy comes along, because that would be worse.
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    Thanks guys. Stuff I clarified to the DM via SMS and awaiting response.

    Is it mind control (cannot fight without some mechanical hurdle) or corruption of some sort (which I can try to fight simply through RP)?

    How does it affect my choice of actions over the next sessions?
    If you have a strong enough will, you can overcome the mind control.

    There is no mind control, citizen. Please go back to your fun.

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    If he's telling you what's going on in your character's head, that's wrong. The players control their characters. The DM controls the rest of the world.

    At the same time, that's kinda lawful stupid, not lawful good. You're taking actions that separate the party, lock up the plot progression for a time, and take your character out of the game, probably permanently. Sometimes you need to metagame a little.

    While 4e does make DMing a lot easier, on-the-fly-DMing is still incredibly difficult. The DM's only going to have stats prepared for what he's got stats prepared for.

    He should've talked to you out of game about it instead of trying to force you in-game.
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    I would say that since your character now realizes what's going on, you can either kind of accept it, or actively fight against the corrupting influence and stick to your original plan.

    Which one you do should probably be determined in part by what the other players want to do at this point - as noted above, is the trial a big deal for everyone in the group? If so, stick to the original plan, focus on not giving in to the corruption. If you're just kind of pulling things off track, then yeah, it's a decent excuse to not split up the group.
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    Actually I have died twice The first encounter with the same guy involved his imaginary umberhulks and it was a TPK. We all woke up fine and dandy. The DM had us do insight checks at the time and obviously none of us realized the shift then. Now, since the shift is two from my original alignment, no insight check was required as the evil murmurs start becoming more audible.

    This time around, I was the only one not smart enough to have run away.

    -_-

    Then, I wonder if we are expected to run away everytime this guy comes along, because that would be worse.
    Run screaming any time he shows up. Or anything that could be him. Or anyone that looks like they could be him. Like, say, anyone male.

    Or solve this problem with your DM through the use of fire.

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Quote Originally Posted by mobdrazhar View Post
    beat me to it. A paladin can belong to any god and be Unaligned though.

    the only issue is that if they are no long a Paladin of a specific god then i believe the Channel Divinity powers that are dedicated to a specific got don't work.
    There's nothing in the description for Channel Divinity or the paladin class, that specifies they lose the benefits of Channel Divinity (specific deity) when they change alignment.

    Also- I thought you can't start out as an Unaligned paladin of an aligned deity? I know you can for clerics- but I don't think it's the same for paladins.

    Avengers, Clerics, and Invokers, as I recall, have less strict starting alignment requirements than paladins do.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Thoughts; As it's mind control, this means two things for me - The DM is perfectly allowed to suggest you no longer feel such a compunction to hand yourself in, and this guy does not sound like the kind of mercenary who doesn't have a reputation.

    Find out what you can about him. Do not tackle him head on. Find out who he is, what makes him tick, his history, any weaknesses and so on. If all else fails, get hold of as many allies as possible and ambush him at a time of your choosing.

    And as for the trial thing, if you as a player still feel that it is the best way to resolve the problems facing your character, it's entirely legitimate for your character to carry through with his original intentions. He may do so with more trepidation now, or just as confidently but more coldly dispasionate about it, but he could still do it.

    You've really got to balance the benefit of dealing with the legal problems (and the likelyhood of doing so successfully) against the risks associated with not dealing with the Mercenary, though.

    Keep us posted, this sounds like an interesting situation.

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Playing CoC is all well and good, but if I sign onto play a game o' D&D, and I find out half way through that it's really CoC, I'm going to be annoyed.
    I have to say, if it's well done, a sudden switch in style and tone can work very well.

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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Quote Originally Posted by Project_Mayhem View Post
    I have to say, if it's well done, a sudden switch in style and tone can work very well.
    "Done well" almost always means "done with the consent of your players" though. It might still be a surprise, but you need to know if your players are OK with the DM explictly controlling their PCs' reactions before dropping such a big switch on them.
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    OK,fair point. I was more talking about a case of chop chop slash slash oh crap this suddenly became horror. I agree that losing control of your character can be lame, even if its your own stupid fault (as happened to me recently. Sure, walk into an obvious trap that you know has been set up by an organisation who favour mind raping)

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Just one question.

    You say that you're going off on your lonesome to turn yourself in and the rest of the party is just going to go hide?

    Is your action something that the rest of the party (and DM) find annoying and selfish?

    Because looking at it from another angle, you're basically asking for a solo quest while the rest of the group sits on their hands doing nothing.

    It's a bit heavy handed on the DM's part, but is this his way of subtly telling you to play with the rest of the party instead of going against everyone else's wishes?
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Quote Originally Posted by Kylarra View Post
    Shouldn't you shift down to just Good from LG then? Unless I've misread and you've died twice.
    Stupid, stupid 4e alignment system implying even more stupid things about alignment than the stupid 3.5 alignment system did.

    Good is NOT a step down from Lawful Good. Chaotic Evil is not worse than Evil. Lawful is not better, Chaotic is not worse. Anarchy is Order!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Run screaming any time he shows up. Or anything that could be him. Or anyone that looks like they could be him. Like, say, anyone male.

    Or solve this problem with your DM through the use of fire.

    Playing CoC is all well and good, but if I sign onto play a game o' D&D, and I find out half way through that it's really CoC, I'm going to be annoyed.
    I concur. There are fun homebrew mechanics, and then there's things that are too unexpected and game-changing to have not been warned about. Even CofC's mechanic is out there for everyone to see. Obviously, we don't know what type of situation you're in, what the game was pitched as beforehand, how long your group has been together, or how much you guys like CofC... All of these things can have an impact on how you take this.

    Quote Originally Posted by cdrcjsn View Post
    It's a bit heavy handed on the DM's part, but is this his way of subtly telling you to play with the rest of the party instead of going against everyone else's wishes?
    No, that's not it at all. It's just that this occurrence of mind-control happened to concur with the (in my opinion correct) decision cupkeyk made. Altho there is a certain onus on the player not to be selfish or hog spotlight, there's an onus on the DM not to put the players in a situation where someone who was roleplaying their character accurately would make an adverse decision.
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    Default Re: 4E or any: Talking your DM out of a railroad

    Man, I’ve seen ass-pull and I’ve seen ass-pull, but that’s some serious ass-pull.

    “I planned allllll along that your character would shift his alignment EXACTLY WHEN IT WOULD BE MOST CONVENIENT FOR ME.” ::evil finger temple thing:: “I see all.”

    Sorry. Having a hard time believing it was all planned from the start and worked out just so conveniently for the DM. I advocate violence and fire. Or RPing the way you damn well please, since “unaligned” doesn’t mean “has no sense of honor”.
    "We speak for the dead. We are all they have when the wicked steal their voice. But we do not owe them our lives."

    Roy Montgomery, NYPD Sgt., Castle

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