How do I counter this? (Yes I said counter)

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Shrui wants to interrogate a goblin using red hot iron, shurikens, chains, rope, sunrods and who knows what else. So why would I want to counter this? Well it just so happens she captured the goblin by having Arannis cast Sleep on him and knocking him out, then she tied him to a chair, and used the chains to make some sort of crazy trap machine to keep anyone from getting inside. The problem with this is that the goblin they knocked out and tied down is a boss and I don't think he would be so easily held captive.


Anyone think of a way to get him out of this situation without causing a TPK?  
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
First of all, the names of your characters aren't relevant.

Shrui wants to interrogate a goblin using red hot iron, shurikens, chains, rope, sunrods and who knows what else. So why would I want to counter this? Well it just so happens she captured the goblin by having Arannis cast Sleep on him and knocking him out, then she tied him to a chair, and used the chains to make some sort of crazy trap machine to keep anyone from getting inside. The problem with this is that the goblin they knocked out and tied down is a boss and I don't think he would be so easily held captive.

Then how was he so easily captured in the first place?

Anyone think of a way to get him out of this situation without causing a TPK? 

I don't see where a TPK enters into it.

This guy might be tough, but they've got him at a pretty serious disadvantage. Plus they've insulted and threatened him and might very well wind up torturing him. He probably wants to kill them, but death's too good for them at this point. If he escapes, killing them flat out then and there need not be a priority.

So, I'd create a skill challenge, or pair of skill challenges, to simulate him arranging his escape. I think they should have two rounds to get however many successes. Maybe one round, because when he makes his move it will be fast. If they succeed handily, he just gets away. Out a window, down a drain, the final word of an extraction ritual, the cashing in of a diabolic deal, whatever. If they fail, not only does he get away, but he takes something with him, kills an NPC, destroys the building around them, swaps an innocent into his seat, or whatever.

On a side note, if the torture does occur, I recommend drawing a veil over it.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Well, the Goblins can try to mount a "rescue" mission... but I think the best counter is to give the goblin some fun info that'll lead the players on their next quest. Why make them fail at something fun and altogether unimportant like an interrogation? Fun should trump whatever "super amazing awesome" idea you have planned for them.



I'm all about Role-playing and improv. story... but I have a serious plan for this goblin, and a rescue mission defies goblin logic. Plus Shrui has done waayyyyy too many interrogations in her time, the very first one involved one item... a crowbar.
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
I'm all about Role-playing and improv. story...

We all are.

but I have a serious plan for this goblin, and a rescue mission defies goblin logic.

How so?

Plus Shrui has done waayyyyy too many interrogations in her time, the very first one involved one item... a crowbar.

So what?

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

First of all, the names of your characters aren't relevant.

Shrui wants to interrogate a goblin using red hot iron, shurikens, chains, rope, sunrods and who knows what else. So why would I want to counter this? Well it just so happens she captured the goblin by having Arannis cast Sleep on him and knocking him out, then she tied him to a chair, and used the chains to make some sort of crazy trap machine to keep anyone from getting inside. The problem with this is that the goblin they knocked out and tied down is a boss and I don't think he would be so easily held captive.

Then how was he so easily captured in the first place?

Anyone think of a way to get him out of this situation without causing a TPK? 

I don't see where a TPK enters into it.

This guy might be tough, but they've got him at a pretty serious disadvantage. Plus they've insulted and threatened him and might very well wind up torturing him. He probably wants to kill them, but death's too good for them at this point. If he escapes, killing them flat out then and there need not be a priority.

So, I'd create a skill challenge, or pair of skill challenges, to simulate him arranging his escape. I think they should have two rounds to get however many successes. Maybe one round, because when he makes his move it will be fast. If they succeed handily, he just gets away. Out a window, down a drain, the final word of an extraction ritual, the cashing in of a diabolic deal, whatever. If they fail, not only does he get away, but he takes something with him, kills an NPC, destroys the building around them, swaps an innocent into his seat, or whatever.

On a side note, if the torture does occur, I recommend drawing a veil over it.



First off, the characters names are relevant.
Second, he was easily captured because I role-play goblins as stupid, fat and cowards. Also, as I mentioned, Arannis cast sleep on him.
Third, I was think TPK in the sense that the goblins that escaped might come back with more allies... way more.
Fourth, I like how you think, a skill challenge sounds good, maybe he'll distract them using bluff and (after breaking his bonds, if that's possible) he'll head out the secret door.
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
I'm all about Role-playing and improv. story...

We all are.

but I have a serious plan for this goblin, and a rescue mission defies goblin logic.

How so?

Plus Shrui has done waayyyyy too many interrogations in her time, the very first one involved one item... a crowbar.

So what?



First - Not everyone.

Second - Goblins are cowards in this tribe. The goblin is going to be directly tied to Shrui's past.

Third - So she won't miss out on anything, nor will she gain any interest out of it, it's just what the party lets her handle because she is, so far, the best at it. That crowbar is now a metal rod she keeps for interrogation.
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
I'm all about Role-playing and improv. story...

We all are.

First - Not everyone.

It's safe to assume that those of us on this board are, and not to assume that you are in some way different.

First off, the characters names are relevant.

Not at all.

Second, he was easily captured because I role-play goblins as stupid, fat and cowards.

Now that's relevant.

Third, I was think TPK in the sense that the goblins that escaped might come back with more allies... way more.

Isn't that a rescue mission?

But this is a key example of a situation in which the monsters wouldn't be after a TPK. They would have the primary goal of rescuing their boss. Once they did that, there'd be little reason to slaughter the PCs. Therefore, a TPK is off the table unless you or the PCs want one.

Fourth, I like how you think, a skill challenge sounds good, maybe he'll distract them using bluff

Thanks, but that's not what I'm saying. The goblin himself doesn't need to roll. Just pick what you think is an appropriate DC to detect his subterfuge.

and (after breaking his bonds, if that's possible)

Of course it is.

First off, the characters names are relevant.

Not at all.

Second, he was easily captured because I role-play goblins as stupid, fat and cowards.

Now that's relevant.

Third, I was think TPK in the sense that the goblins that escaped might come back with more allies... way more.

Isn't that a rescue mission?

But this is a key example of a situation in which the monsters wouldn't be after a TPK. They would have the primary goal of rescuing their boss. Once they did that, there'd be little reason to slaughter the PCs. Therefore, a TPK is off the table unless you or the PCs want one.

Fourth, I like how you think, a skill challenge sounds good, maybe he'll distract them using bluff

Thanks, but that's not what I'm saying. The goblin himself doesn't need to roll. Just pick what you think is an appropriate DC to detect his subterfuge.

and (after breaking his bonds, if that's possible)

Of course it is.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I'm all about Role-playing and improv. story...

We all are.

First - Not everyone.

It's safe to assume that those of us on this board are, and not to assume that you are in some way different.

First off, the characters names are relevant.

Not at all.

Second, he was easily captured because I role-play goblins as stupid, fat and cowards.

Now that's relevant.

Third, I was think TPK in the sense that the goblins that escaped might come back with more allies... way more.

Isn't that a rescue mission?

But this is a key example of a situation in which the monsters wouldn't be after a TPK. They would have the primary goal of rescuing their boss. Once they did that, there'd be little reason to slaughter the PCs. Therefore, a TPK is off the table unless you or the PCs want one.

Fourth, I like how you think, a skill challenge sounds good, maybe he'll distract them using bluff

Thanks, but that's not what I'm saying. The goblin himself doesn't need to roll. Just pick what you think is an appropriate DC to detect his subterfuge.

and (after breaking his bonds, if that's possible)

Of course it is.

First off, the characters names are relevant.

Not at all.

Second, he was easily captured because I role-play goblins as stupid, fat and cowards.

Now that's relevant.

Third, I was think TPK in the sense that the goblins that escaped might come back with more allies... way more.

Isn't that a rescue mission?

But this is a key example of a situation in which the monsters wouldn't be after a TPK. They would have the primary goal of rescuing their boss. Once they did that, there'd be little reason to slaughter the PCs. Therefore, a TPK is off the table unless you or the PCs want one.

Fourth, I like how you think, a skill challenge sounds good, maybe he'll distract them using bluff

Thanks, but that's not what I'm saying. The goblin himself doesn't need to roll. Just pick what you think is an appropriate DC to detect his subterfuge.

and (after breaking his bonds, if that's possible)

Of course it is.



First, everyone is different, hence the debates.
Second, it is extremely relevant (just kidding... you know that's a joke right?)
Third, yes it is.
Fourth, no it's not, goblin's don't "rescue" they try to make themselves look superior even though they're incompetent and savage.
Fifth, I like that idea even more now.
Sixth... I'm not so sure, he might escape, but he's knotted to a chair with a chain noose in front of him, tied to a chair with a rope that has shurikens as a sort of old fashioned barbed wire... so if he escapes he'll be likely to loose a leg... which allows for yet even more ties to their past history, I like that idea more again.

Thanks for the help, Question #2; What is the best way to reveal a goblin that killed a player character's mother and assisted drow and duergar to destroy her city? And by reveal, I mean literally admit to doing so after realizing who she was and using this as a taunt against her.
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.

  • 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.)



Yeah, compared to the PCs, even a Goblin Boss would be easy to capture, and intimidate or torture into sharing any information he might have.

If you don't want a Goblin Boss with valuable information to be captured, tortured, or killed, don't put it into the game.


Rescuing the Goblin Boss in almost any way I can think of will look like a cheap cop-out to your players, except possibly for one way. 

That would be to play the Goblin Boss in this situation to the hilt, resistig the torture (through willpower, deception, and anything else you can think of from a role-playing perspective) as long as possible, while a monster rescue party begins battering down some of the doors.  If the party breaks the Goblin Boss before the monsters rescue it, then reward them with whatever information they want.  If not, give them a fight with a Hobgoblin Special Forces Team and Goblin Cavalry; if the rescue party defeats the PC in a good fight, then the Goblin Boss gets rescued and the PC Party, beaten, narrowly escapes.  If the PC Party wins the fight, then fast-forward through the torture scene to summarize whatever information the PCs beat out of the Goblin Boss after his would-be rescuers are defeated.


Keep in mind that the PCs are treading on some dark territory by torturing monsters, and not every group is comfortable with that - these days, I usually outline, before a campaign starts, PC engagement in torture, murder, ****, and that sort of thing as boundaries that I won't cross as  DM; villains do that sort of thing, and it happens off-screen in my games.

If you and your group is OK with it, you might find some use in keeping in mind that even Goblin Bosses have family, friends, loved ones, homes, religious faith, liberty, and other sorts of things and ideals that all sorts of exceptional people would be willing to suffer great pain and die for.  Your Goblin Boss may be willing to effectively become a martyred saint rather than submit to the PCs.  Meanwhile, your Players should be aware that their PCs are becoming the sorts of tyrants and villains that true heroes would stand up to and resist.  As some of the mightiest people in the game world, the PCs set the tone and pace for the whole world, so a shift in tone and genre for your game might be called for, as mightier villains seek out the PCs to act as their disposible flunkies and henchmen, weaker peoples respond to PC violence and torture with escalating NPC violence and torture, and stronger peoples produce great heroes to try to overthrow the PCs' reign of terror.
[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

"Goblin's have family, friends, loved ones, homes, religious faith, liberty and other sorts of things and ideals..."


Not this goblin in particular. This goblin butchered his family, twisted his friends, handed other loved ones over as sacrifices, gave his home's location to a drow strike force, became non-religious and is being controlled by a Drow house. Why did he do this? Because he didn't want to die.

I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
It makes it harded to help you, if you trickle out the relevant details and restrictions us.

You won't like this skill challenge, but I wrote it up, so I'm going to post it:

Skill Challenge: Escape.

Complexity: 1 (4 successes before 3 failures, time limit of 1 round)

Level: As appropriate.

Success: The boss escapes, but is wounded in the process, and possibly leaves a clue behind.

Failure: The boss escapes unharmed, and causes a loss to the party in the process.

Incessant Babble: The goblin keeps up a constant stream of babble; pleas, rants, sobs, threats, bribery. This is a partly-trained, partly-instinctual method of distracting his captors. Keeping one's head (Endurance), placating him (Diplomacy), realizing his tactic (Insight), or shutting him up (Intimidate) will remove some of his advantage (one success or one failure.) If a PC simply humors or mocks the goblin in response to his chatter, that PC suffers a -2 penalty to any check in this challenge.

Busy Fingers: The goblin never stops moving. Even with broken bones, he's constantly shifting, wiggling, and shaking. Close inspection (Perception) or knowledge of goblins or bodies in general (Nature, Heal) reveal that all this movement might be loosening his bonds (one success, or one failure). If anyone strikes the goblin, the DC of any of these checks increases by 2.

Mental Blueprint: As part of his escape, the goblin makes a savant-like snapshot of the layout of the room and where everyone is. Silence (Stealth) and subtlety (Bluff) will blur his mental picture (one success, or one failure). If any PCs in the room are positioned in one place throughout the round, the party suffers one failure.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

...I have a serious plan for this goblin...

...a rescue mission defies goblin logic...

...he was easily captured because I role-play goblins as stupid, fat and cowards...

...Plus Shrui has done waayyyyy too many interrogations in her time, the very first one involved one item... a crowbar...

...Not this goblin in particular. This goblin butchered his family, twisted his friends, handed other loved ones over as sacrifices, gave his home's location to a drow strike force, became non-religious and is being controlled by a Drow house. Why did he do this? Because he didn't want to die...




By putting this NPC into the path of your PCs, by unfortunate-stereotyping your Goblins in this way, and by encouraging your PCs to act in a the way they are acting,  you've tied your own hands and painted yourself into a corner that will be nearly impossible to escape from.

A helpless coward with nothing to live for and a lot of information to share will cough that information up with very little effort on the part of the PCs, and there aren't too many people who will risk their lives to rescue this NPC either, considering he's a real scumbag that his associates have no reason to be loyal to, and they sound like they would be too stupid to recognize any value in rescuing him anyay.  There isn't much choice in the matter.

Your best bet is to take responsibility for your own setting, and play this out the way you've doomed it to be played out in the hands of your PCs.

Edit to add:  change your long-term plans for this Goblin.  His lack of flexibility makes him a weak-link anyway.
[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
When all else fails, there's always an evil cleric or necromancer willing to raise the poor slob from whatever layer of Hell he landed on. Perhaps a form of immortality was his true price for siding with the drow, instead of not being run through with a pointy stick.
It makes it harded to help you, if you trickle out the relevant details and restrictions us.

You won't like this skill challenge, but I wrote it up, so I'm going to post it:

Skill Challenge: Escape.

Complexity: 1 (4 successes before 3 failures, time limit of 1 round)

Level: As appropriate.

Success: The boss escapes, but is wounded in the process, and possibly leaves a clue behind.

Failure: The boss escapes unharmed, and causes a loss to the party in the process.

Incessant Babble: The goblin keeps up a constant stream of babble; pleas, rants, sobs, threats, bribery. This is a partly-trained, partly-instinctual method of distracting his captors. Keeping one's head (Endurance), placating him (Diplomacy), realizing his tactic (Insight), or shutting him up (Intimidate) will remove some of his advantage (one success or one failure.) If a PC simply humors or mocks the goblin in response to his chatter, that PC suffers a -2 penalty to any check in this challenge.

Busy Fingers: The goblin never stops moving. Even with broken bones, he's constantly shifting, wiggling, and shaking. Close inspection (Perception) or knowledge of goblins or bodies in general (Nature, Heal) reveal that all this movement might be loosening his bonds (one success, or one failure). If anyone strikes the goblin, the DC of any of these checks increases by 2.

Mental Blueprint: As part of his escape, the goblin makes a savant-like snapshot of the layout of the room and where everyone is. Silence (Stealth) and subtlety (Bluff) will blur his mental picture (one success, or one failure). If any PCs in the room are positioned in one place throughout the round, the party suffers one failure.



Sounds good actually. If you want to help this further...

The character (shrui) was born to a royal family, her mother locked herself in a cathedral dungeon (diablo 1) and was never seen or heard from again, the city was taken shortly after by drow & duergar who used shuri's brother as a spy. They brutally slaughtered the family however her brother never intended for his family to die. Therefore, after his father is killed by a drow, he actived a portal and escaped with his sister.

She discovered the truth when they apparated into the Nentir and she tore out his heart (bare hands) and entered a state of total dismay. She drowned her sorrows at inns everywhere until she was saved by Leucis.

Shrui's mother actually had trapped herself in the tomb, when she heard fighting she emerged, only to have a goblin (who was aiming at some else) shoot her in the heart.

The odd part is that Shrui is about to interrogate said goblin. So how do I make her hate him even more...
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
...I have a serious plan for this goblin...

...a rescue mission defies goblin logic...

...he was easily captured because I role-play goblins as stupid, fat and cowards...

...Plus Shrui has done waayyyyy too many interrogations in her time, the very first one involved one item... a crowbar...

...Not this goblin in particular. This goblin butchered his family, twisted his friends, handed other loved ones over as sacrifices, gave his home's location to a drow strike force, became non-religious and is being controlled by a Drow house. Why did he do this? Because he didn't want to die...




By putting this NPC into the path of your PCs, by unfortunate-stereotyping your Goblins in this way, and by encouraging your PCs to act in a the way they are acting,  you've tied your own hands and painted yourself into a corner that will be nearly impossible to escape from.

A helpless coward with nothing to live for and a lot of information to share will cough that information up with very little effort on the part of the PCs, and there aren't too many people who will risk their lives to rescue this NPC either, considering he's a real scumbag that his associates have no reason to be loyal to, and they sound like they would be too stupid to recognize any value in rescuing him anyay.  There isn't much choice in the matter.

Your best bet is to take responsibility for your own setting, and play this out the way you've doomed it to be played out in the hands of your PCs.

Edit to add:  change your long-term plans for this Goblin.  His lack of flexibility makes him a weak-link anyway.



This goblin would NEVER reveal his ties to her family without "knowing" he was safe. Shrui is well-known by the goblin slaves because while escaping she killed them with her bare hands. (No joke, say hello to the character who went through an encounter like this.) The goblin boss knows that Shrui would do worse than kill him if he tells her this. That's why I like Centauri's idea.
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
I'm with Centauri. Just kick your plans up the food chain to the goblin's boss, an entirely new NPC you just made up for this purpose. Have the goblin reveal that he was just following orders the whole time because he is a coward. It doesn't make him innocent, but it does let you keep the general idea of the NPC intact.

In the future, try not to get too fixated on what a character is or should be and worry about what they are now. In this case an info dump.
I'm with Centauri. Just kick your plans up the food chain to the goblin's boss, an entirely new NPC you just made up for this purpose. Have the goblin reveal that he was just following orders the whole time because he is a coward. It doesn't make him innocent, but it does let you keep the general idea of the NPC intact.

Thanks, but I think that was YronimosW's idea. I do think that a boss, even (or especially) a dumb, cowardly one, would have someone who owes him favors, like an extraction.

In the future, try not to get too fixated on what a character is or should be and worry about what they are now. In this case an info dump.

Agreed.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I'm with Centauri. Just kick your plans up the food chain to the goblin's boss, an entirely new NPC you just made up for this purpose. Have the goblin reveal that he was just following orders the whole time because he is a coward. It doesn't make him innocent, but it does let you keep the general idea of the NPC intact.

Thanks, but I think that was YronimosW's idea. I do think that a boss, even (or especially) a dumb, cowardly one, would have someone who owes him favors, like an extraction.

In the future, try not to get too fixated on what a character is or should be and worry about what they are now. In this case an info dump.

Agreed.




Oh, my bad. Apologies to YronimosW.

This goblin would NEVER reveal his ties to her family without "knowing" he was safe... The goblin boss knows that Shrui would do worse than kill him if he tells her this....



Why not?  You are, after all, dealing with a race of stupid fat cowards.  Either he'll talk, and this whole thread is a real issue, or he won't talk, in which case it's a waste of time. 

If he's NEVER going to talk, then he holds out under torture until he is rescued or until he dies - problem solved.


If he is going to talk...

Given enough time and pressure, even smart, strong, and brave people will crack and say or do things they don't want to say or do.

One of the few things in your favor is that in Real Life, torture makes even very smart, strong, and brave people say whatever it takes to relieve their suffering, whether it's true or not, including blatant lies, things their broken minds become convinced are true, or disinformation given to them by their superiors.  Real Life history is full of people who confessed under torture to strange and absurd things, in spite of having some very intimidating governments or gods to answer to.

So, some, maybe all, the information the Goblin Boss provides under torture will be of questionable value, and your PCs will have to find out, possibly the hard way, which pieces of information are true, which are lies the Goblin Boss told to deliberately deceive them, which are lies the Goblin Boss told because he wished they were true or because he thought that's what the PCs wanted to hear, and which are lies that the Goblin Boss was told but believes to be true.




I'm with Centauri. Just kick your plans up the food chain to the goblin's boss, an entirely new NPC you just made up for this purpose. Have the goblin reveal that he was just following orders the whole time because he is a coward. It doesn't make him innocent, but it does let you keep the general idea of the NPC intact.

In the future, try not to get too fixated on what a character is or should be and worry about what they are now. In this case an info dump.



Agreed - I say count your losses on this NPC, let him reveal the minimum amount of information you can get by with, and then defer the rest of your future plans for him to a superior officer.  Then, be careful about making the superior officer too easy to find and capture until you WANT him to spill the beans.


Oh, my bad. Apologies to YronimosW.



Oops - I guess I'm agreeing with someone who's agreeing with me - this thread is moving fast tonight Laughing
[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
So, re-reading this thread a bit, I guess the bottom line is that the real question here is a common one for new DMs:

Q:  I've got a recurring character (Key NPC, Pet Villain, DMPC) that the PCs are about to kill.  How can I keep this character safe without railroading the PCs and telling them "you can't do that"?

A:  You can't.  Either railroad the PCs (generally a bad idea), or let them have their way with this character (generally a good idea from the players' point of view), and try to find some way make the most of the character's loss (if you can successfully make lemonade from this lemon, then its generally a good idea no matter how you look at it.)  In the future, don't rely on the survival of anything you put in your PCs' way.
[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
Oh, my bad. Apologies to YronimosW.



Oops - I guess I'm agreeing with someone who's agreeing with me - this thread is moving fast tonight



Ha, yeah. No worries. Smile
Well thanks to anyone trying to help, however so far only Centauri has managed to tell me something that actually helps me out...

I don't need advice on how to prevent this from happening (otherwise I wouldn't have let it happen) I made it happen for a reason, I could easily say that the goblin isn't who he is (because the players don't know that yet) or I could do the smart thing and have him escape shouting taunts revealing himself and driving Shrui into a rage (my objective).

So I guess you ask, Why would you be so stupid as to put a information sack in the heavily fortified room with a character who's sheet specifically says "Ten times the standard emotions of a normal being," and "Knows how to make someone suffer due to her personal suffering," why? Because it's easy to get rid of something they don't know about, I just decided he should be that goblin because it makes for good role-playing. It's not like I initally plan every single detail in my campaign, I only plan rooms and encounters. I simply decided that he has to be that goblin boss because it would have huge connections to this character's past. After 10 years of improvising these rp moments and creating devious plot twists, I know what I'm doing... I just prefer to see if anyone else has an interesting idea to add to my brainstorming board.
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
There was a suggestion in one of the early posts which I think was unfortunately ignored.  Given the manner in which you've described the goblin (willing to do virtually anything to save his own skin), it seems to me that he would be a perfect candidate to sell his soul to some sort of devil/demon/higher ranking nasty in exchange for his freedom. 

Depending on how such pacts work in your universe, the devil/demon does not necessarily have to appear.  Perhaps the goblin boss could simply say something along the lines of "May my master Xo'buxx protect me... " before he sloughs off the ropes binding him.  Then it becomes a skill challenge to try and recapture him before he escapes.

It is still an a**-pull, but at this stage, pretty much anything you try will be.
Well thanks to anyone trying to help, however so far only Centauri has managed to tell me something that actually helps me out...

I don't need advice on how to prevent this from happening (otherwise I wouldn't have let it happen) I made it happen for a reason, I could easily say that the goblin isn't who he is (because the players don't know that yet) or I could do the smart thing and have him escape shouting taunts revealing himself and driving Shrui into a rage (my objective).

So I guess you ask, Why would you be so stupid as to put a information sack in the heavily fortified room with a character who's sheet specifically says "Ten times the standard emotions of a normal being," and "Knows how to make someone suffer due to her personal suffering," why? Because it's easy to get rid of something they don't know about, I just decided he should be that goblin because it makes for good role-playing. It's not like I initally plan every single detail in my campaign, I only plan rooms and encounters. I simply decided that he has to be that goblin boss because it would have huge connections to this character's past. After 10 years of improvising these rp moments and creating devious plot twists, I know what I'm doing... I just prefer to see if anyone else has an interesting idea to add to my brainstorming board.



Whoa chief. This post comes off as very defensive and a bit confusing.

I haven't seen anyone advocate writing every single detail of your campaign. All I am saying is that for story purposes, it is probably best that you change gears while retaining your overall goals for the character's story arch.

Related to that, lets ask some questions. Is it really best for this to come to a head for Shrui right now? Is the story best served by this scenario?

I believe you wouldn't be here if the answer was yes to either of these questions.

So, rather than have the goblin just get away, which you yourself pointed out as being a copout, I suggested rolling with the decision and changing the scenario slightly.

So, I'm wondering what the hang-up here is. As you said, they won't know the difference either way so what is it? Please, don't take this as a personal attack. I wouldn't be posting here if I genuinely didn't want to help you.
There was a suggestion in one of the early posts which I think was unfortunately ignored.  Given the manner in which you've described the goblin (willing to do virtually anything to save his own skin), it seems to me that he would be a perfect candidate to sell his soul to some sort of devil/demon/higher ranking nasty in exchange for his freedom. 

Depending on how such pacts work in your universe, the devil/demon does not necessarily have to appear.  Perhaps the goblin boss could simply say something along the lines of "May my master Xo'buxx protect me... " before he sloughs off the ropes binding him.  Then it becomes a skill challenge to try and recapture him before he escapes.

It is still an a**-pull, but at this stage, pretty much anything you try will be.



Thank you, sorry if I overlooked this, helpful person #2. :P
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
Well thanks to anyone trying to help, however so far only Centauri has managed to tell me something that actually helps me out...

I don't need advice on how to prevent this from happening (otherwise I wouldn't have let it happen) I made it happen for a reason, I could easily say that the goblin isn't who he is (because the players don't know that yet) or I could do the smart thing and have him escape shouting taunts revealing himself and driving Shrui into a rage (my objective).

So I guess you ask, Why would you be so stupid as to put a information sack in the heavily fortified room with a character who's sheet specifically says "Ten times the standard emotions of a normal being," and "Knows how to make someone suffer due to her personal suffering," why? Because it's easy to get rid of something they don't know about, I just decided he should be that goblin because it makes for good role-playing. It's not like I initally plan every single detail in my campaign, I only plan rooms and encounters. I simply decided that he has to be that goblin boss because it would have huge connections to this character's past. After 10 years of improvising these rp moments and creating devious plot twists, I know what I'm doing... I just prefer to see if anyone else has an interesting idea to add to my brainstorming board.



Whoa chief. This post comes off as very defensive and a bit confusing.

I haven't seen anyone advocate writing every single detail of your campaign. All I am saying is that for story purposes, it is probably best that you change gears while retaining your overall goals for the character's story arch.

Related to that, lets ask some questions. Is it really best for this to come to a head for Shrui right now? Is the story best served by this scenario?

I believe you wouldn't be here if the answer was yes to either of these questions.

So, rather than have the goblin just get away, which you yourself pointed out as being a copout, I suggested rolling with the decision and changing the scenario slightly.

So, I'm wondering what the hang-up here is. As you said, they won't know the difference either way so what is it? Please, don't take this as a personal attack. I wouldn't be posting here if I genuinely didn't want to help you.



Sorry for being extremely defensive (for no apparent reason) just some stuff irl causing bad mood, I'll look over the thread tomorrow and pick off what I can but I've got stuff irl causing a bad mood. (If that isn't obvious)
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
Sorry for being extremely defensive (for no apparent reason) just some stuff irl causing bad mood, I'll look over the thread tomorrow and pick off what I can but I've got stuff irl causing a bad mood. (If that isn't obvious)



Alright, apology accepted. I hope things pick up for you soon. Smile
...what does "ten times the standard emotions of a normal being" mean?  How is your player measuring more or less emotion, and what does normal mean?

Pet peeves aside, there are (at least) three easy ways out:
1) The goblin escapes (Centauri did a great job with this one).
2) The goblin dies screaming and cursing the PCs' names, and is resurrected/re-animated later by malevolent forces.
3) The goblin turns out to be a minor, if vicious and cruel, cog.  The creature actually responsible for your emo-torturer PC's backstory is a nastier villain a little further up the food chain.  (This does require some flexibility on your part.)
Your question is "How do I counter this?"  ...So, what exactly do you want to counter again?

If I understand correctly, your NPC is in the hands of the PCs, is about to be tortured by an expert torturer but nonetheless will not talk, has no hope of rescue or holding out, has no time limit on the length of time he will be tortured, has no physical limit on the amount of torture the PCs will dish out to him except his own death, and has no external limit on the amount of torture he will be subjected to, except for any mercy granted by what sounds like a very persistant, single-minded PC, and unmerciful PC. 

The situation is, in effect, that this character will be tortured to death, period, unless you find some way to say "oops, you can't do that" without actually saying "oops, you can't do that"?


  1. If this is the direction you wanted things to go in, then let things unfold as the Players wish.  There is no problem, I see nothing to counter.

  2. If this is not the direction you wanted things to go in, then things have gone in this direction already, the trigger has been pulled, and you can't bring the bullet back now. It's too late to counter anything.


    • You can counter it in the future by not setting this sort of situation up again, but it's pretty tough to counter something that has already happened, especially if you have tied your own hands by elimination many of your options.  In the future, don't dangle bait in front of the PCs that you don't want them to take. 

    • You can't counter something that already happened, but you can try to do damage control.  For now, your best bet would be to just play things out in the direction they are going in.  If you had plans that require this NPC to live, then change or cancel them.

    • There are a few ways to have your NPC cake and let your PCs eat it too; Players don't really like it when this happens; the best ways of doing this would be through things that the PCs have a good chance of stopping (things that have a strong chance of working out badly for your NPC):

      1. "You didn't kill me after all!"  The NPC rises from the grave, is actually his own long-lost twin brother, wasn't dead after all, or any of the other standard soap-opera excuses to launch a sequel for him.


        • most players will see right through this, and will probably object unless you have the skill to pull it off convincingly; I've seen the "he somehow survived having a dungeon dropped on his head" and "you actually killed his twin brother" versions of this a couple times, and it's never been pretty

        • having the PCs face a broken, tortured, mangled, vengeful ghost or undead revenant version of this NPC again in the future will probably be your least offensive version of this option; the angry, ghostly NPC might work well because the NPC is, after all, a torture victim - a classic background for a ghost

        • the least repugnant version of this option would depend on the NPC dying - if you haven't resigned yourself to that, don't use this, because most variations on this option will look very cheap

        • this probably won't work more than once per campaign - if you are going to do this, make it count, be sure it makes sense, and be fair about letting the PCs prevent it from happening again in the future



      2. "The cavalry arrive to save the day!"  The NPC gets rescued at the last minute by a deus-ex-machina.


        • most players will see right through this, and object unless it makes sense in your story



        • a convincing rescue party with a good motivation for rescuing the NPC and a fair chance of being defeated is probably the least offensive version of this option, but will still allow a chance that the rescue will fail and the NPC will be tortured to death after all

        • this could work great if it's a challenge that the PCs have a fair chance of beating; the rescue party's goal should be rescuing of the NPC, rather than fighting the PCs to the death (thus, no TPK necessary, because an overwhelming force needs, for example, only to bloody the PCs, grab the NPC, and run, leaving behind a much weaker and more beatable force to delay the PCs)

        • don't do this unless you are prepared to see the rescue fail



      3. "Fast as fast will be, you'll never catch me!"  The NPC escapes somehow, through a secret door, magic spell, cockroach-like escape and survival skills, or something similar.


        • most ways of doing this will look like a lame deus-ex-machina, and your Players will likely object unless you make it look good

        • I've seen it tried a couple times without a chance of stopping it, and it always looked cheap in those cases;  Centauri's suggestion for a skill challenge to make this happen is probably the least noxious version of this option possible, but, unfortunately for your NPC, still allows a realistic chance that the PCs will prevent your NPC from escaping death by torture

        • don't do this unless you are prepared to see the escape attempt fail







There aren't too many other bases to cover.

Otherwise, I do not know what you want.
[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
I don't see why transference is off the table.  From what you've told us, the only person who recognizes this goblin's history is you, and the easiest escape is to abandon the idea that this particular goblin ties back to your character's history.  You may think it is good roleplay, but if that information is never conveyed because the characters kill this goblin, or you use any of the admittedly lame suggestions in the previous post by YronimosW to let this goblin escape its fate simply for the purpose of conveying the information, your players are going to feel railroaded.  In fact, it appears that you're looking for a way to do this without looking like you're doing this.

Also, I am not sure I understand the consistency by which your goblin character operates.  First of all, this character is a stupid coward and is under torture from a super-skilled torturer, and you are asking this board to find ways that this captive goblin can make the torturer more angry?  This seems counter-productive to me.  If I am in a room with all the nasty things you described in the OP and I'm a stupid coward, I'm either going to be crying or begging for my life incoherently.  That is much more consistent with what you've described with this goblin, who has taken great pains to avoid death.  Have him lie, have him plead, and try to get him to appeal to player's sympathies.  Make him appear weaker than he is so they discount him.  Do what is necessary to keep him alive, or even better, keep him in a position where he can return later.

If this fails and they murder the goblin, then he wasn't as connected to your player character as you first presumed.  Transfer that role to a different goblin.  

Perhaps you can play with that idea a bit, giving up choice (yet untrue) information about another goblin who killed your player character's mother.  Have the goblin tell the torturer that he knows where that goblin is now and that he can help her find him, if only she lets him live.  I'd also come up with a bluff score for the goblin if you don't have one in case they insight that information.  If they have succeed on the opposed check, drop a little clue that there is more that the goblin isn't saying, but that you believe he is telling the truth about knowing who killed the character's mother.  If they fail, say only the last part.  In this way, your player has a tangible reason to keep the goblin alive without knowing that he is in fact the one who killed her mother.  I also doubt your players are going to fault you for playing the goblin in this way later on.  Special NPC's of a certain race, especially ones who lead, don't always exhibit the same characteristics as their fellows.
I'm of the belief that you should transfer the backstory role to another goblin. Have the unfortunate greenskin that's about to be tortured the executor of the familial suffering, sure, but the mastermind? No.

Furthermore, if goblins are stupid and cowardly and whatnot, how unusual/scary would a goblin who isn't? If there was a Xanatos-goblin running Xanatos gambits?

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Defenders: We ARE the wall!

 

I've replaced the previous Edition Warring line in my sig with this one, because honestly, everybody needs to work together to make the D&D they like without trampling on somebody else's D&D.

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
Well thanks to anyone trying to help, however so far only Centauri has managed to tell me something that actually helps me out...

Oh, please don't mention it - especially if you're going to mention in a condescending statement like that. There have been plenty of ideas here better than mine. It's coincidence that mine managed to conform to the narrow set of circumstances you've set up, and probably only because I shot-gunned a range of idea.

I don't need advice on how to prevent this from happening (otherwise I wouldn't have let it happen) I made it happen for a reason, I could easily say that the goblin isn't who he is (because the players don't know that yet) or I could do the smart thing and have him escape shouting taunts revealing himself and driving Shrui into a rage (my objective).

If that was your objective, why didn't you mention that in your initial post. Wait, I think I know....

So I guess you ask, Why would you be so stupid as to put a information sack in the heavily fortified room with a character who's sheet specifically says "Ten times the standard emotions of a normal being," and "Knows how to make someone suffer due to her personal suffering," why?

Why? Honestly, statements like the previous one and "after 10 years of improvising these rp moments and creating devious plot twists, I know what I'm doing" make it seem like your reason "why" is to come here and brag about your campaign, characters and "knowledge." It's tiresome, and I'm done with it.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

If this goblin is such a jerk and betrayed his own family, friends, well-wishers, and colleagues, why not have those very same betrayed goblins (and whatnot) kick the door in and demand the PCs hand him over "so they can deal with him personally?" The old "Nobody kills Grak but me!" routine.

A big fight ensues. Set up fair parameters by which the goblin captive can be released from his bonds either due to his own efforts or those who are trying to snatch him from the PCs. This will create time pressure on the PCs which increases the fight's dynamics and takes the focus off grinding everything to dust. The goal is thus not to kill all the goblins that just busted into the room - it's to keep your prisoner from being taken from you. If the goblins grab him, they flee with him.

Done properly and with an eye toward making it cool, your goblin will either get away to resurface at another time OR the PCs will have shed their own blood in a hard-fought victory in defense of a lowly goblin. I doubt many players have even done that before.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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If this goblin is such a jerk and betrayed his own family, friends, well-wishers, and colleagues, why not have those very same betrayed goblins (and whatnot) kick the door in and demand the PCs hand him over "so they can deal with him personally?" The old "Nobody kills Grak but me!" routine.

A big fight ensues. Set up fair parameters by which the goblin captive can be released from his bonds either due to his own efforts or those who are trying to snatch him from the PCs. This will create time pressure on the PCs which increases the fight's dynamics and takes the focus off grinding everything to dust. The goal is thus not to kill all the goblins that just busted into the room - it's to keep your prisoner from being taken from you. If the goblins grab him, they flee with him.

That's awesome. A "rescue" in which neither side really cares for the target or necessarily has anything against the other side, but both sides are trying to keep him alive. Very cool.

Unfortunately, a possible escape for the goblin is not the poster's actual objective.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

That's awesome. A "rescue" in which neither side really cares for the target or necessarily has anything against the other side, but both sides are trying to keep him alive. Very cool.

Unfortunately, a possible escape for the goblin is not the poster's actual objective.




Thanks... I don't think you'd be surprised if I told you I wasn't able to discern the OP's actual objective. We'd need a team of scientists working around the clock to figure that out.

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Sorry about aggressive attitude yesterday, looked over the ideas today and actually found it particularily useful. As I mentioned the actual objective is for the goblin to drive one of my PCs into a frenzy. To do this I'm considering iserith's idea, combining it with aspects from other replies to flavour a little more. Sounds good to me, once again apologies for over-aggressive behavior, being tired and having an irritating environment get me... well iritated. And also I think I noticed someone ask about how Shrui is ten times emotional? She's over-emotional due to her backstory, it's in at least two of these threads.

(Btw - Centauri, I mentioned that ten years thing because as I said, extremely tired and also because of belittlement from others (not on the forum) not a good combination.) 
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
I still don't understand your goblin's motivations.  His race is stupid and cowardly.  This particular goblin has made several deals to avoid death.  If I'm running the goblin, it seems like I am running counter to these ideas if I am seeking to enrage the person who has the power to end my life or cause me significant pain.  That seems like a significant character inconsistency and is likely to lead to the goblin character's death at the hands of the players, which you've expressed you do not want.  That is, unless you are going to DM hand wave the goblin to safety, which I think lets your players know that they're being railroaded.
I still don't understand your goblin's motivations.  His race is stupid and cowardly.  This particular goblin has made several deals to avoid death.  If I'm running the goblin, it seems like I am running counter to these ideas if I am seeking to enrage the person who has the power to end my life or cause me significant pain.  That seems like a significant character inconsistency and is likely to lead to the goblin character's death at the hands of the players, which you've expressed you do not want.  That is, unless you are going to DM hand wave the goblin to safety, which I think lets your players know that they're being railroaded.



Okay, I guess I obviously didn't give you guys enough info. in the first place.
Umm... The goblin "boss" was a former Drow slave, he sold his fellows to the Drow to gain approval, unlike his cowardly and stupid background he is more of a diabolic goblin. He actually was using this, not only to stay alive, but eventually just to gain power and influence in the goblin-slave rankings. The goblins he's with now are as someone here suggested, sorry can't remember their name, actually all against him because of his more than evil nature and his hatred for his own race. He's trying to enrage Shrui because he specifically wants her to follow him to the Drow overlords (about 3 encounters over) so that they can kill the last of the Cheshires and possibly promote him to the "Goblin-Slave" General. I like what someone suggested... They mentioned the goblins coming back to "rescue" him only because they want to kill him for betrayal. However since Shrui obviously likes to torment the guy for information the party won't let go so easily. As Centauri mentioned I might also have a chance to have him merely break his bonds, cut his losses, and run off taunted Shrui all the while.

Keep up with suggestions if you can ignore my preceeding ignorance. 
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
Maybe I still don't understand, but it sounds like you want this goblin to get the players to do something for him.  Why would enraging Shrui do this?  It doesn't set a foundation for working together, especially considering this goblin killed Shrui's mother.  I'd need a solid explanation why Shrui wouldn't just kill the goblin outright upon learning this information.  If I were Shrui and I was a lawful good character (which she doesn't sound like to me), I would still make a case for killing the goblin boss due to the extreme emotional repercussions of having found my mother's killer.

As I suggested above, a diabolical goblin would transfer blame for Shrui's mother's death by shifting the blame to someone he wanted out of the way, lying during interrogation in order to increase his value to the players as a source of information as to the whereabouts of said individuals.  If they are not aware of this goblin's significance in the hierarchy, it would be easy to have the goblin suggest that he is a lot less important than he is, thus increasing the surprise when they find out he has used them for his own purposes. 
Maybe I still don't understand, but it sounds like you want this goblin to get the players to do something for him.  Why would enraging Shrui do this?  It doesn't set a foundation for working together, especially considering this goblin killed Shrui's mother.  I'd need a solid explanation why Shrui wouldn't just kill the goblin outright upon learning this information.  If I were Shrui and I was a lawful good character (which she doesn't sound like to me), I would still make a case for killing the goblin boss due to the extreme emotional repercussions of having found my mother's killer.

As I suggested above, a diabolical goblin would transfer blame for Shrui's mother's death by shifting the blame to someone he wanted out of the way, lying during interrogation in order to increase his value to the players as a source of information as to the whereabouts of said individuals.  If they are not aware of this goblin's significance in the hierarchy, it would be easy to have the goblin suggest that he is a lot less important than he is, thus increasing the surprise when they find out he has used them for his own purposes. 



He doesn't want the players to do something for him. Besides following him to the drow, simply because the drow there are personally seeking two escapees in the first place, and the goblin could easily lead them there and say it was "planned" for them to follow him. Also she is definately going to try and kill him outright, too bad the next few rooms have cover and I'll he'll do is run, Shrui obviously wants him dead in the first place.

Could you flesh out the second part a little bit? I'm not quite sure what you're suggesting beyond the fact that he could use the party to eliminate his overseers, which he doesn't want to do. (Too much time spent working his way up the ladder means he doesn't want to jump off, mostly because he's been brainwashed) 
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
Your goblin sounds extremely confused and confusing, as do your players. 

It sounds to me like you know what you want to do, so just do it and let us know how it works out.