Players destroyed an evil book

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The players in my game destroyed a book they found in a secret chamber in a defiled temple of Moradin with a rogue gateway to The Far Realm withing.

The book was just going to give info making the rest of the dungeon easier, but I want something dastardly to happy since they destroyed it without even inspecting it. All they did was was determin whether it was good or evil using the paladins divine knowledge.

What do you think I should do since they didn't even bother to check out the book before destroying it outright?
The players in my game destroyed a book they found in a secret chamber in a defiled temple of Moradin with a rogue gateway to The Far Realm withing.

The book was just going to give info making the rest of the dungeon easier, but I want something dastardly to happy since they destroyed it without even inspecting it. All they did was was determin whether it was good or evil using the paladins divine knowledge.

What do you think I should do since they didn't even bother to check out the book before destroying it outright?

My first instinct would be to continue the dungeon with them at a disadvantage... but I get the feeling they have no idea it was a mistake and they'll not know things are more difficult as a result. 

Perhaps you could set up a meeting with a prisoner who could clue them in?  Finding a wizard's notes regarding his research into the book?  An enemy who could be captured and questioned about the rest of the dungeon?
I think you should do nothing and get on with the adventure with no changes.

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Yeah, I don't think you can punish them for something they didn't think was a choice.  Destroying a book that is "evil" seems like a good decision to make.  Were the potential consequences made known to them beforehand?  You told them it was evil but was there any indication that it might also be useful in a way that wouldn't also be evil?

I mean, opening an "evil book" just seems like a really bad idea.   Like, Dungeoneering 101.  It's just asking to release the form of the Destroyer or something.
Hindsight being 20/20, it would have helped if you had planted a seed that they were going to need the book.  Like a blocked section of the dungeon with a code or a lock on it that they couldn't figure out.  Then, when they find the book, they might have stopped and said "wait, maybe there is something in the book that could help us with that door over there."

If you want the PCs to do something you have to give them a good reason to do it, and you also have to be prepared that they won't.  So lessoned learned.  Move on and try to prepare for it next time.

Afterall, you probably knew ahead of time that you were going to plant this book.  So next time you will again and you'll have the chance to plant seeds of it's importance, whatever it is.
Sleeping with interns on Colonial 1
I think you should do nothing and get on with the adventure with no changes.

Ditto.

If they had inspected the book more closely, I would have perhaps had something bad happen (it was evil). But destroying evil is the *right* thing to do from a stereotypically "good" perspective. Don't punish them for that.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
If they knew the book was evil, and just stuck it in a fire or something, you could have evil smoke pour forth and release the evil to plague them at another time.  The smoke rises and darts out of the room. Later in the module, have the smoke collect while they are fighting, and then form into a monster.  Every time they beat the monster, it just forms into smoke and leaves again.  This will make the players want to plan for it.  Add some anticipation. 

Don't forget to have a way for the players to find out how to destroy the smoke once and for all.
I think you should do nothing and get on with the adventure with no changes.



This.  They're already being 'punished' for not having the extra information that the book was going to provide.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
There was an old Shadowrun adventure I went through as a player. We got hauled into the weird fairy/astral planes. In one adventure, there was a gun on a pedastal. Before the munchkin gun beast could do anything, the wizard said "This doesn't belong here" and used an acid spray on it. That was the only gun in that section of the adventure. Sure, it was harder without it, but the GM actually rewarded the player for not munchkining with extra XP, because it was totally within character.

The players, without the info in the book, will have a harder time. They may even run into another fight or two, and gain additional XP. Let them go, sit back, and enjoy the ride. Skill challenges are going to be tougher for them... Maybe they don't know about a trap or two ahead of time. Tough.
Maybe the creepy, evil book plays the-cat-came-back with them and appears in the wizard's backpack after an extended rest.
Sleeping with interns on Colonial 1
I think you should do nothing and get on with the adventure with no changes.





I agree, if the book contained information on how to navigate the dungeon easier, that is punishment enough. If you feel the need to "punish" them, I like the idea about a prisoner that could let them know that the book would have made things easier.


But I like the way that went down honestly. Had I been  playing a paladin I would be adamant about not revealing whatever information  is in the book for risk of losing ones way. Should later that information, about making it easier be revealed to me;It would strengthen my characters resolve- the path of the righteous is narrow and tough.
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men. - Willy Wonka
I think you should do nothing and get on with the adventure with no changes.




This is a good option.

Another good option is to find a way to make that choice cool, cinematic, heroic, and interesting - the PC acted in character and took a risk by destroying the book.  That's not a bad thing, and you don't want to punish that!

Edit to add:  so, I post first, and read everyone else's responses next, and I guess I say the same thing most of them did, so consider it a +1.  I didn't say what GaiusBaltar said, though, and wouldn't have thought of that - that sounds like a cool, creepy plot-hook to me!
[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

My players do similar things to stuff I want them to have. You could have your group run across an old man desperately looking for the book. When he learns they destroyed it, he screams inconsolably. The old man needed the book to save his daughter.

My players do similar things to stuff I want them to have. You could have your group run across an old man desperately looking for the book. When he learns they destroyed it, he screams inconsolably. The old man needed the book to save his daughter.


This just seems mean and pointless, though.  It's just not the DM being a fan of the characters.

Unless of course that's merely the hook to them finding the actual way to save his daughter.  Otherwise it's just punishing them for a crime of which they were unaware.
I may have been too pithy and over emphasesd the point.Smile It is horrific that the destruction of an evil thing could have consequences like that. It sounds to me like the good paladin likes to destroy things and is missing out on Koesherbacon's mystery. Koesherbacon did say he wants something dastardly to happen. It is an in game-wakeup call that may give the good paladin pause. To quote Hamlet, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. "

Like you said there needs to be a way out.... and if through guilt the Paladin pledges to resolve the problem the DM could put an object that could save the daughter in the adventure. The old man may have maps. The ones from the book the DM created and the paladin destroyed. The old man can share on the condition that the paladin (won't work if paladin doesn't buy into the proposition) uses the maps to find the item.  The paladin should then agree to  deposit the quest item at a nearby temple on the way home. In this way the old man can save his daughter and the good paladin can learn to think twice. The DM can makeup for the punishment by giving the paladin some evil stuff to destroy on the way using hints like, "this vile evil thing should be destroyed".  The old man can heap praise on the good paladin for his couragous spirit. Now that the paladin is in the game the old man has hope again.


Just some possible thoughts to get the game back on track


Yeah, I don't think you can punish them for something they didn't think was a choice.  Destroying a book that is "evil" seems like a good decision to make... I mean, opening an "evil book" just seems like a really bad idea.   Like, Dungeoneering 101.

Agreed.

Ah, I'm seeing the difference now. I am running an evil campaign!


Or at least an unaligned campaign.  My rogue (thief) is evil. I didn't realize it until we weren months in the campaign. My dwarf is lawful good, but his backstory contains evil aspects and he has been tempted to become evil to get more powers. He is an invoker, but wants more combat abilities. Also, I am drawn to Eberron which has much more grey then black in white in the machinations of empires. By the time I'm done with my adventures they will seriously be considering dealing with Vecna and regretting having killed Orcus. I am working to have the Opotsnee go against the whole multiverse. The enemy of my enemy is my friend... The Opotsnee are aliens and the are using the Far Realm to consolodate power. It won't be a truly evil campaign and I'm taking care to see that Avandra, as opposed to Pelor has a front and center role in the world.


My dwarf now caries the "Book of Vile Evil" and is willing suffering corruption points. When I saw the name of this forum, I'm thinking... no no it is to soon to let them destroy the book!


Don't know if our thread founder is thinking on the same track. Interesting that he put useful information in the evil book... don't you think?
...Interesting that he put useful information in the evil book... don't you think?



It's the sort of thing I mean when I refer to Gun Safety Rule #5:  "Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy."

By that, I mean:  "Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, Baby Orcs, 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."

And in this case, it can be extended to include, "Never put your only clue to something important into a risky situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and forever."  Important clue, hidden in a book with the Bulls-eye of Evil printed on the cover, laying in easy range of a loaded Paladin with a hair-trigger?  Yup, it was already toast before the party ever saw it!

[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
The players in my game destroyed a book they found in a secret chamber in a defiled temple of Moradin with a rogue gateway to The Far Realm withing. The book was just going to give info making the rest of the dungeon easier, but I want something dastardly to happy since they destroyed it without even inspecting it. All they did was was determin whether it was good or evil using the paladins divine knowledge. What do you think I should do since they didn't even bother to check out the book before destroying it outright?



Being something of a self preservationist the destroyed book scribes itself onto the bones of the PCs and alerts every worshiper telepathically as to who they are, what they look like and their location at all times...
The Citadel Megadungeon: http://yellowdingosappendix.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/the-citadel-mega-dungeon-now-with-room.html
As a player I defeated the DMs' goals with ease twice.
Once I overcame incredible odds to kill a white dragon before it could attack. The vengful DM said the mate watched the whole affair and then attacked me then the rest of the party. I viewed this as a spiteful act. It actually ended up turning it into a game of players vs DM.

The other DM set-up an epic boss battle that I defeated in one round. It cost my character his life. This was the first time I had played with this goup. When he realized his big boss was dead he shrugged his shoulders and we continued on. (He even allowed me to be raised.) It was one of the most fun experiences I had in an RPG.

Don't be vengeful. They already will have trouble w/o the aid of the book.

As a DM, I would let them know about the missed chance. I like the idea of using it as a hook for another adventure. An evil mage is summoning a demon. The only way to stop it is to use the book they destroyed.  Fortunatly, a copy exists in the lair of an evil lich. They have to travel 200 miles to find the person who knows where the lair is and... 
I started playing D&D in the 80's. I've played D&D, 1e, 2e, and 3.xe (and many other RPGs). I also played Magic since it came out (except for a few years around the change of the millennium. I say this so you know a bit of my experience, not because I care about editions.
They have been punished because now they dont know the ins and outs of the dungeon, Once they have a extended rest I like to tell them what they could of done differently.

The later part of this thread got me thinking... was the evil book with the maps some kind of trap?  or was it meant to help the players out?  What would have happened if they tried to use the book? 


What if the players were right to destroy the book? 

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