Secret House Objectives

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We’ve been playing ahead a week at my FLGS and as such I’d like to try and help DMs avoid some of the issues I’m facing.

At the outset of the adventure each PC was given a secret secondary objective depending on which house they were aligned with. Before the week 3 session, DMs should remind the players that these are not mandatory. I believe the PCs were told to try and complete these objectives if the opportunity presented itself.

We basically had an all out war at our table as players felt the only way to keep their objective secret was to kill those PCs from different houses. I tried to explain to the players that failing to complete the secondary objectives wasn’t the end of the world, but most saw it as do or die. Many ended up dying. It made for awkward role-playing, unnecessary combat among PCs, and hurt feelings out of game.

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WOTC set this problem up by having the PCs earn worth for completing these goals, and tying worth to renown earned. I don't think WOTC fully thought this through. These are the pitfalls of allowing PCs to play evil characters, and why I don't typically allow it. I will definitely remind my players that these goals are not mandatory.
- Rico
The prequel to this season of encounters was The Dawn of Night (Played at GenCon and PAX Prime) had a solution if the PCs started going postal on each other at the expense of the main mission (which was a goal desired by Lolth as well). Below is the solution:


Most of the character background sheets indicate that completing the mission is a priority. However, players can be as unpredictable as drow. Fighting among party members could overshadow the task at hand.

If the players seem content with the infighting, let it happen. However, if anyone is uncomfortable with how the game is unfolding, explain that in games with evil characters, and with drow in particular, situations such as this can occur.

If an in-game resolution is needed, Lolth inter­venes. Tired of infighting that hampers drow in the service to her, she makes her anger known in a flash of violet light. Any character fighting against another drow is weakened. If the character does not cease hostilities by the end of his or her next turn, the char­acter is stunned until the end of the encounter.

This adventure was played with 4-6 Drow Pre-Gens (the same we use for this season of encounters, only with a background and mission one sheet) so the fighting agains another drow requirement needs a little change to make it work with tables of drow and slaves...

Otherwise this is a way to bring some order back if things are getting unfun for the players. If they like fighting with each other then let them...

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