Goblin Ambush from Menace of the Icy Spire

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This is regarding the Goblin Ambush encounter found in Menace of the Icy Spire.  I'm planning to run Icy Spire this week, and, in looking at this encounter, I can't see a reason in the world why the PCs would engage it, especially if they enter in at area A.  I suspect that my players will simply walk away from this encounter... there's really no reason given for why they should try to capture the hill and defeat the goblins, and, with the obvious tactical advantage the goblins have, I can't say that I'd blame them if they chose to avoid this encounter.

So, I guess my question is, does anyone have advice for coming up with a compelling reason why my players should engage these goblins?

If you really want players to do something you believe they are unlikely to do offer an incentive.  Make sure there are rumors of treasure, a reward, something along those lines.  If your players are Dwarves they may not need much motivation to slaughter a bunch of goblins on a hill.

Thats about as far as you may need to go.  If you still believe they will bypass it, simply relocate the hill in the way of something they need to get to if you want to be heavyhanded about it.

...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"
I can't see a reason in the world why the PCs would engage it

Players seldom seem to need a reason to bash things; but yes, they could leave the encounter (and treasure) behind.

I personally instead ran the encounter with the goblins guarding an ice bridge over a long ravine (so the PC's couldn't really go around the encounter). I used a Don't Break the Ice game as the bridge (the ice cubes are about 1"), and had the Goblins (and any fire based attacks) occasionally knock a block out.

I used a Don't Break the Ice game as the bridge (the ice cubes are about 1"), and had the Goblins (and any fire based attacks) occasionally knock a block out.



Hey, that sounds really clever.  I think I'll do somthing similar where the PCs will at least have to move from the Eastern edge of the encounter to the Southern one (or the other way if the fail at the skill challenge).



I'm not familiar with the scenario, but there's no reason the PCs have to kill everything in sight. 

To that end, the PCs can ignore such an encounter if desired, or the Goblins might present a role-playing opportunity, where they might even be convinced to help the PCs, or the Goblin stronghold might have wandering patrols around it that the PCs might have to avoid by a stealth and percpetion Skill Challenge, with a failure causing the Goblin patrols to raise an alarm and send angry Goblin hordes in pursuit of the PCs.
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
You could also have those same goblins that were ignored initially provide a hindrance to the party later on in the campaign for whatever reason.
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