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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    So I'm running a campaign, and it seems that sometimes the party spends more time resting then moving. My worry is that, the next module in the campaign doesn't have a town a days walk away like they enjoy now, but several days of travel across across tundra. I'm worried they will spend more time fighting wandering monsters than in the dungeon.

    Another minor problem, is that if I throw baby mobs at them, they will grind them for XP, and these modules are a little "tight" on what level you should be to not overpower the modules.


    Suggestions?
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Give them a time crunch.
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    Certainly if you have magic, or magic items that specify that is how that goes, it does. why? Because MAGIC! Does that mean that is how that works in general? Well, the same way that a wizard cast a finger of death on something and that means that whatever he points at must make a save or die. Well, I guess thats ok, cause in D&D, death doesn't stop them from living.
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Two things come to my mind that made impossible for us to sleep.
    1- someone was chasing us
    2- everytime we slept we had the worst nightmares ever, and when we woke up we beared on our bodies the wounds suffered in the nightmare
    Last edited by noce; 2016-06-08 at 03:59 AM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    As always, the solution to having worries about your players actions is to...

    Talk it out with them. Sit down before your next play session, and talk to the group as one of the many humans sitting at the same table, playing the same game.

    Explain to them what your worries are. Nine times out of ten, just talking things out fixes the problem.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    The main issues here are:

    1) Why do you want to stop them from resting or going to town?

    So far you put out a few "worries":

    a) The party spends too much time resting.
    b) Grind for XP

    Solutions:
    a) Don't Grind the party to near death with random encounters.
    b) Don't give XP. No seriously. Don't use XP, XP is terrible. Just level the party when it is appropriate to level. When they accomplish goals that actually relate to progressing the campaign.

    If the party is trying to rest, it is because they don't want to die, and they are worried that if they don't rest, they might die.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    One way of dispensing with XP is just to hand out 'portions of a level' tokens.

    I've done that before, seemed to work well. "You won the fight, here's 1/4th of a level."

    "Tricked the scamming traders? AND you took out the hired thugs robbing the trade caravans? Here's half a level."

    I've also just handed out a full level at the end of so many sessions. Combat-heavy session? Have a level each, players.

    There's no singular way to approach a problem.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apophis775 View Post
    So I'm running a campaign, and it seems that sometimes the party spends more time resting then moving. My worry is that, the next module in the campaign doesn't have a town a days walk away like they enjoy now, but several days of travel across across tundra. I'm worried they will spend more time fighting wandering monsters than in the dungeon.

    Another minor problem, is that if I throw baby mobs at them, they will grind them for XP, and these modules are a little "tight" on what level you should be to not overpower the modules.


    Suggestions?
    On the surface, this is one of the best reasons I've seen for level actually mattering. However, level is generally a poor indicator of raw power, or ability to shape the narrative. Unless it's matter of, "ability x comes online at level y, and would completely trivialize the whole module", it really shouldn't be a concern. And if that is the case, then, realistically, the party ought to be hiring a level x npc to trivialize the module for them anyway.

    So I'm curious what makes party level so important in this module.

    But, if you really want the party to not need to go back to town, make them not need to go back to town. Give them Misha, the sentient necklace that will eat all their undesired loot, and spit out whatever they desire of "equivalent" value (just as if they had sold it in town).

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apophis775 View Post
    So I'm running a campaign, and it seems that sometimes the party spends more time resting then moving. My worry is that, the next module in the campaign doesn't have a town a days walk away like they enjoy now, but several days of travel across across tundra. I'm worried they will spend more time fighting wandering monsters than in the dungeon.

    Another minor problem, is that if I throw baby mobs at them, they will grind them for XP, and these modules are a little "tight" on what level you should be to not overpower the modules.


    Suggestions?
    Don't use wandering monsters? They typically aren't much of a threat to the party so just provide some easy xp and loot. On the rare occasion they do prove threatening to the party if anyone dies it's hugely anti climatic as they fell at a point which wasn't even contributing to the plot. It will speed up your game too allowing you to keep the plot of the module moving along at a nice pace.

    If that is too far for you then have wandering monsters on their first trip to town but then make it considerably less likely to encounter any more on each return trip as they clear the area out slowly and the monsters still around learn to avoid them.

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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    I'm going to have to agree with Beheld. Do away with XP and never look back. Our gaming group did this for our last campaign and it just makes everything better. I have taken the DM mantle up and we still have done away with it. As a Dm you'll always hear, 'Do we get to level up?" or some variation of that.

    Next is to take off the kiddy gloves and get your players to not play with a safety net. That safety net being the town. They need to learn to prepare for travel and be ready for tough encounters that a PC might not walk away from. If they fail to leave town. Then I recommend you begin to "off" NPC's that they may have grown to love. Or make a threat to the town in which they stay.

    Pathfinder Modules are nice because they tend to give you idea's for when things don't go quite as the book intended. (I.E if a boss npc gets away they come back later in the module more powerful, if they fail to deal with a threat the threat grows and comes to them.)

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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    There have been some great ideas. However, they might not work for all people.

    Resting or going to town is not a problem, it is a symptom of a problem. The underlying problem is what dictates what, if any, solution you can have.

    Players rest mainly to learn their spells so they can win fights. Players go to town in order to lighten their loads (assuming you even keep track of weight) and to buy better items so they can win fights. Winning fights is what helps the PCs advance the plot and "win" the game.

    If the players are looking at the game as a dungeon crawl, then they expect everything to be a fight, each one slightly harder than the last, with a final BBEG to defeat. Even if there is no actual dungeon, this mentality can take over the game. If there's a minor obstacle in the way, they want to kill it instead of talk their way through it. For that, spells need to be maxed out.

    Other groups might see things as individual challenges and be willing to do more roleplaying. But, even they need to have all spells ready "just in case".

    And then there is the unwritten rule that even if DMs are willing and wanting to kill PCs, it will only be done from fair fights. The Big Evil is not going to just appear in a room while the PCs are resting.

    I think the answer is __fold
    1) Talk to the Players and let them know that it isn't really a game if the PCs are at full health, buffed, and have all spells ready all the time. If they want that, you can just tell them what the fight would have been, award levels, lather-rinse-repeat, be done in 30 minutes, and go watch Boondock Saints.

    2) Give the PCs a reason that resting is worse than not resting. Maybe everyone knows that the BBEG will be here in a week. They can either struggle to level in time by taking care of things quickly, or be three levels behind because they entered only five fights in that time. Maybe they only have food for five days and it takes three days to get from one town to the other (leaves only two days to explore the cave).

    3) Give the PCs obstacles that they just cannot overcome by fighting so they get XP (of whatever form you are using) without needing to rest all the time. I find it interesting that if the PCs find a wide and deep chasm at level 2, they will wait and level up to get flight or some other means of realistically overcoming the obstacle, but if the chasm is replaced with a red dragon, they will assume it's a fight they need to take then and there (and if they need to take it, then they are expected to win).

    4) Enforce the fact that spell slots can be recharged only once per 24 hours. You cannot have three fights and rest three times in a single day.

    The main thing is that Players (out of game) and PCs (in game) understand that there is a legitimate reason for not resting so often.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barstro View Post
    1) Talk to the Players and let them know that it isn't really a game if the PCs are at full health, buffed, and have all spells ready all the time. If they want that, you can just tell them what the fight would have been, award levels, lather-rinse-repeat, be done in 30 minutes, and go watch Boondock Saints.
    You can have a perfectly fun and even challenging game without demanding that the party take fights with reduced resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barstro View Post
    4) Enforce the fact that spell slots can be recharged only once per 24 hours. You cannot have three fights and rest three times in a single day.
    This is not a solution. If the PCs think they are going to die if they move forward without resting, then declaring they have to rest for 22 hours instead of 8 means they will rest for 22 hours instead of 8, because the alternative is character death.

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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Couple of points (sorry not read all the replies).

    Read the rules on divine and arcane spell memorization. Clerics, for example, can only gain their spells when they pray and they can only pray for their spells once per 24 hours. Wizards, have a restriction on their mental capacity to revise spells within a given period of time, IIRC it's 8 hours but IAFB so can't check.

    Regarding XP, if they are unloading all their spells in one or two encounters (or random encounters) and then resting to be fully prepared for the next encounter, they are trivialising the combat and it's less of a challenge. Less challenge = less XP is awarded for that encounter.

    Regarding going to town use market forces. High supply = low demand and low prices. If instead of getting the default 50% of an item's value the merchants start giving 10% or refusing to take the 100th piece of kobold sized leather armour the party want to sell.

    Have a festival or fare take place in the town so all the spare inn rooms are booked up. Yeah you can try and rest and revise your spells down some back alley but there's a good chance drunk revellers/muggers/escorts/other out of luck people will disturb your rest. Or perhaps another adventuring group hoovered up all the spare scrolls/potions etc. Have a limit on what magic items are available using the max gp values of towns.

    Remove the reward/reasons that's causing the behaviour and they should start deciding, by themselves, to journey on longer and further.

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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    While they are resting at home, another adventuring party clears out "their" dungeon.
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    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    I'm going to second Immabozo's suggestion of a time crunch. Also, the world doesn't stand still while the PCs recuperate. Did they delve partway into that Goblin warren before retreating back to the nearby town to rest? Do you think the Goblins won't retaliate that evening and raid the town? What about their dungeon delving that killed a few cult members and a pet monster before they retreated to the dungeon entrance and sealed the door so they could rest? The surviving cult members are going to mobilize and either pursue, or reinforce their defenses, meaning the next fight is going to be way harder than if the party had continued to blitz through their unprepared defenses.

    Basically, if they are trivializing every challenge by hitting it fully prepared and with their biggest guns, up the challenges. Have realistic consequences to the ridiculous 15 minute adventuring day. Because while it's possible that they are resting to avoid character death, it's also entirely possible that they are just taking full advantage of you letting them face-roll encounters.
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beheld View Post
    You can have a perfectly fun and even challenging game without demanding that the party take fights with reduced resources.
    I'm not saying that one (or one group) cannot have fun. But the OP is running a module that I'm willing to bet had fights that do not expect the PCs to be at full health and spells for each and every one. I proposed my possible solutions as a way to encourage battles that are not constantly bulldozers vs. bulldogs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beheld View Post
    This is not a solution. If the PCs think they are going to die if they move forward without resting, then declaring they have to rest for 22 hours instead of 8 means they will rest for 22 hours instead of 8, because the alternative is character death.
    It is a solution; just not one that you personally endorse.

    Nor did I say that the PCs need to go forward even if they think they would die without resting. That is the exact reason TO rest. I am presenting ways to encourage the party to not rest simply because they have only a 95% chance of winning the next fight without running away and they want it to be 100%.

    Your scenario seems to me to involve a fight in the early morning where most of their spells have been used and now they need to rest to feel strong. I submit that they should have been more judicial in their spell choices in that fight, and they cannot fight the BBEG right now. Deciding that they can rest eight hours instead of the RAW (I believe) required time off to regain spells is changing the rules to encourage the type of game play that the OP is concerned about.

    On a similar vein; if the PCs quickly get to the BBEG, I see no reason that the BBEG shouldn't be an easier fight because he was caught off-guard when he had expected the PCs to spend eight hours in the room next door before barging in.

    EDIT: I had this scenario come up in a game.
    Me: Guys, I'm out of spells
    Party: We rest for the day
    Me: No, it's 9:30 in the morning and I woke up two hours ago. I'm not going to rest, I'm just advising you that I will not have spells available. Use your swords and I'll do what I can.
    Strangely, we still won those next few fights. It wasn't due to DM fiat.

    But, I prefer my games to be as real as complete fantasy can actually be. Others may have different ideas on what constitutes fun.
    Last edited by Barstro; 2016-06-08 at 10:43 AM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barstro View Post
    Deciding that they can rest eight hours instead of the RAW (I believe) required time off to regain spells is changing the rules to encourage the type of game play that the OP is concerned about.
    \

    The Raw is different for different classes. For Clerics, it is whenever their next prayer cycle is, which will mostly be 22-23 hours from when they last prepared spells (but could be shorter) and could be 10 minutes from whenever the party decides to rest or 8 hours or 22 hours.

    For Arcane Casters it is 8 hours from when they start resting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barstro View Post
    Strangely, we still won those next few fights. It wasn't due to DM fiat.
    Yes it was. When the DM fiats the encounters to be pathetically easy encounters that can be beaten by the party sleep walking through them while one person contributes nothing, that's still DM fiat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barstro View Post
    But, I prefer my games to be as real as complete fantasy can actually be. Others may have different ideas on what constitutes fun.
    I prefer my games to be good and not terrible. But unspecified others may have different ideas on what constitutes fun. I'm definitely not just being a **** and insulting people, Everyone has their own fun.

    Or you know, your version of real isn't very real, and my version of real is more real.

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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Poobah View Post
    Couple of points (sorry not read all the replies).

    Read the rules on divine and arcane spell memorization. Clerics, for example, can only gain their spells when they pray and they can only pray for their spells once per 24 hours. Wizards, have a restriction on their mental capacity to revise spells within a given period of time, IIRC it's 8 hours but IAFB so can't check.
    Wizards can prepare their spells only once per 24 hours after 8 (or 4) hours of rest.
    They need not prepare ALL their spells and can fill those (unprepared slots) with a few minutes' preparation.
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    "Guys, I wouldn't sleep here. This is brain mole country. Do you really want to risk having your brain eaten in your sleep for a couple spells?"

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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guigarci View Post
    Wizards can prepare their spells only once per 24 hours after 8 (or 4) hours of rest.
    There is no actual rule for this anywhere.

    It's based on an incomprehensible reading of table label, and it literally destroys Clerics, by making them only capable of preparing spells once every 48 hours if you apply it.

    Also it flat destroys itself the moment anyone casts planeshift.

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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beheld View Post
    Yes it was. When the DM fiats the encounters to be pathetically easy encounters that can be beaten by the party sleep walking through them while one person contributes nothing, that's still DM fiat.
    Ah, we agree; pathetically easy encounters are DM fiat.

    I simply feel that allowing the party to rest all the time to have all spells available to make every fight easy is fiat instead of real.

    Those fights of mine were not "pathetically easy". It involved more work from the mundanes and my caster being in much more harm's way by trying to aid in any way possible.
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    1. Add obstacles. In videogame parlance they call it the Broken Bridge.

    If suddenly an avalanche, flood, snowstorm, etc. has closed off the road to home, they will have to press on.

    2. Give incentive to press onward.

    "If you go back, this treasure will be looted long before you get back." "The alignment of stars will open the thinny gates to Tir Na Nog for the next hour only!"

    3. Destroy the town.
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barstro View Post
    I simply feel that allowing the party to rest all the time to have all spells available to make every fight easy is fiat instead of real.
    It's a simple solution.

    If the PCs storm through a compound in minutes, they encounter scattered and disorganized groups of enemies, but are hampered by their dwindling spell slots, creating challenge.

    If the PCs hit-and-run the compound, its defenders will organize and band together, also creating challenge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    XP for treasure. Since at least half of the people reading now are preparing scathing replies to that: random encounters are worth minuscule xp. Enforcement of spell casting requirements and times. Time crunch.

    Give the group a reputation for being slow, dilettantes, or ditherers. And have a rival NPC party that beats them to the prize when they screw around. But seriously, give them a reputation for taking their sweet time and have their quests go to the go-getters. If the players are "the good guys" why are the villains waiting around for them to be at full strength? Villains are notoriously proactive; crimes against creation don't typically just go around committing themselves.
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Quote Originally Posted by redzimmer View Post
    1. Add obstacles. In videogame parlance they call it the Broken Bridge.

    If suddenly an avalanche, flood, snowstorm, etc. has closed off the road to home, they will have to press on.
    Used to excess, this can lead to railroading. I'm not opposed to minimal railroading to keep the story going, but there are many out there who are much more opposed than I.
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barstro View Post
    Used to excess, this can lead to railroading. I'm not opposed to minimal railroading to keep the story going, but there are many out there who are much more opposed than I.
    Used to excess, this can lead to the PCs rising up against the heavens and leading a crusade to dethrone the vengeful God of Weather.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    It's a simple solution.

    ...

    If the PCs hit-and-run the compound, its defenders will organize and band together, also creating challenge.
    I agree. In fact, I would add reinforcements if there was enough time to send word to the next camp. After additional thought; I would have the enemies lure the PCs far into the dungeon, seal off the exit, and do their own hit and run in order to deplete spells before a larger fight. Upon winning, the PCs would find some inter-dungeon memo outlining that the PCs were seen in there earlier and that this tactic should be used. That should be enough of a clue that the enemies are structured and hit-and-sleep tactics have their own drawbacks.

    However, the OP said he is running a module. As such, there may not be provisions for such a thing (or take more work than the OP wishes to invest).
    Last edited by Barstro; 2016-06-08 at 01:58 PM.
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    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Dynamic world is a natural solution - spending time in any which way in a dynamic world usually comes at a cost. Dungeons with ecologies, roaming creatures, active opposing parties, dangerous rests, moving events. Players resting means the Ritual of Terrible Evil is finished and they have to face substantially greater odds, or on sufficiently high levels the world is ****ed. Or perhaps the bad guy no longer needs the princess and she's now imprisoned and their real quest will become freedoming her. Or perhaps nothing that concerns the PCs is particularly going on and it doesn't really matter; depends on the state of affairs.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    SRD Averages - An aggregation of all the key stats of all the monster entries on SRD arranged by CR.

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    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Weather Effects, Fog, Getting Lost and relying on survival checks.

    Then they get jumped.

    Or, tyrannically ran city of SS police level inspections where no one is safe and they get caught with *insert whatever* as contraband, and they are sent to jail.
    Last edited by killem2; 2016-06-08 at 04:16 PM.
    Path of the Nefarious: A Way of the Wicked Journal.
    Please take a look at the adventures of my group going through Fire Mountain Games's Way of the Wicked, An evil based Pathfinder Compatible adventure path.
    http://d20evil.blogspot.com/

  29. - Top - End - #29

    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    Well, you really can't ''stop'' the party from resting. Resting is part of the rules and it's how characters regain abilities and spells and hit points and other things. So, doing a ''24'' version of D&D just won't work.

    If you really want ''no rest'' just add in House Rules like ''all characters get full HP, spells and abilities at the start of any encounter''.

    Though stopping them from resting in a town is easy:

    1.Have no town nearby.
    2.Have the only town nearby be a Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy.
    3.Put a block between the town and where they are.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Segev's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location

    Default Re: How can you keep the party from resting or from going to town?

    It boils down to why this is a problem. What is causing them to rest/go to town so often, and why is this a problem for your game?

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