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View Full Version : Am I doing something wrong as a DM?



Arcane_Snowman
2013-02-11, 10:53 AM
This session, in the skype game that I've been running for several months now, the following happened, be forewarned the subject matter is unpleasant:

Another of the PCs had her son stolen by the Faeries some time ago, and after having cast several scrying spells found out that he was most likely in Arcadia, the Realm of the Faeries. After some other diversions and some hustle and bustle, she finally managed to get the party together and find an entrance into Arcadia. But before they got in, they ran across an old man who told them that they should be careful, for what they wanted might not look like what they looking for.

After a short travel through Arcadia, they ended up at a castle, where a servant greets them as guests and invites them in for the upcoming jousting tournament ("why else would they be there"), when they ask about the character's missing child, they are informed by the servant that he's never seen nor heard of him. Some further sniffing around yields the information that there are several children in the castle, though upon quick investigation the character's child does not turn up amongst them.

Come the jousting tournament, the Lord and Lady of the castle announce that the winner of the tournament will face the Lord of the castle, in a bout to attain his throne. All the boys are attending the tournament dressed up in knightly regalia and ready for combat, the players are invited to join as well though only one actually decides to participate. The combat was vicious, and the players saw that the victors growing in front of their eyes, becoming progressively older as they win more battles.

The player who was participating, being a somewhat skilled swordsman, defeats every single one of his opponents, until he finally faces the lord of the house. At this point, the lord takes of his visor to greet him, and I inform the player who had her child stolen that the Lord looked like the splitting image of her father. (I'm pretty sure you can see where this is going)

No reaction, nothing. I wait for something to happen but nothing, and once again we roll initiative. At this point the swordsman wins and proceeds to slay the lord in a single stroke.

The servant from before congratulates the swordsman and informs him that he may take the throne, whereupon he is informed that the swordsman finds this entire tournament abhorrent and he wants nothing further to do with it. Disappointed, the servant snaps his fingers, whereupon the characters find themselves in a ruined castle, no children save one. The lord of the house, who now looks like the young boy they were looking for.

Now, my question is this: did I fail in providing enough hints? I feel like I did everything I could, but I can't help but feel that I missed something. If so, does anyone have any suggests as to how I can improve?

Hopeless
2013-02-11, 11:06 AM
What exactly were you trying to achieve with this adventure?

I'd have revealed the old man who saw them enter was actually the son who had been released as the PCs entered and turn that particular faerie lord into a recurring nemesis for later on in the game but thats even nastier than what you implied

valadil
2013-02-11, 11:14 AM
Not sure how they missed it. The best guess I can come up with is that they assumed the lord's appearance was due to faery magic or trickery instead of a dramatic reveal.

While the story makes for an anticlimactic session, I still like the story as it played out in a dark faery tale kind of way.

CarpeGuitarrem
2013-02-11, 11:22 AM
Not sure how they missed it. The best guess I can come up with is that they assumed the lord's appearance was due to faery magic or trickery instead of a dramatic reveal.

While the story makes for an anticlimactic session, I still like the story as it played out in a dark faery tale kind of way.
Yeah, this. From the summary you provided, it seems utterly obvious in a tropetastic way. Of course, what I'd advise giving them is a way to get back to Arcadia to lay the smack down on the fairies who set them up for this.

Though, I'd be curious to see what it looked like in play. It could be that, as events were unfolding, the players' focus was on other things entirely. But...well...this is totally the type of thing where I'd have connected the dots way early on.

In the situation, though, once it became clear that nothing was going to happen, I'd have the kid/lord press his greeting. I mean, after all this time, he's finally getting to see his parent again. If the character is off-put and suspicious by this, so much the better. Don't be afraid to let things drop if it makes sense. The results may surprise you.

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-11, 11:42 AM
I'm curious- how did your players react when they learned the truth?

Thajocoth
2013-02-11, 01:14 PM
The rule of three.

Assume that players will miss things. Anything important for them to know, design three ways they can figure it out. (And, of course, if they're creative enough, you can reward them with the knowledge by other means as well. This will be the more likely way that they gain knowledge than the ways you come up with for them to do so.)

Also, if a real obvious clue is staring them in the face, and they're doing nothing, you could always ask "Hey, what's your passive insight?" (or equivalent for whatever game/edition you're running) & reward the information to the player with the highest passive insight. Circumstance bonus here to the PC who's child it is.

Shred-Bot
2013-02-11, 03:12 PM
Also, if a real obvious clue is staring them in the face, and they're doing nothing, you could always ask "Hey, what's your passive insight?" (or equivalent for whatever game/edition you're running) & reward the information to the player with the highest passive insight. Circumstance bonus here to the PC who's child it is.

Agreed... sometimes a player won't figure out something that their character probably would (particularly if the character has a superhuman int or wis score). Give them opportunities to figure it out, but if they keep missing it don't be afraid to have them roll whatever kind of check (knowledge, spot (for recognizing the child), whatever) makes sense to keep the game moving.

Thajocoth
2013-02-11, 03:39 PM
I had a game once where the players were in a cave, joking around, rolling all the knowledge checks for fun, expecting nothing. It all started when one player decided to roll streetwise to see if there were any sewers nearby (miles from the nearest city, so obviously not)

They rolled an amazing religion check. They were also inside a primordial's large intestine (they had used the rear entrance). They were all like "Wait... Really?"

You never know when those knowledge checks would be handy.

Arcane_Snowman
2013-02-12, 12:03 AM
What exactly were you trying to achieve with this adventure? It was supposed to be short side adventure, the game is more like the Days of our Lives with Magic than it is Lord of the Rings, so it focuses on the lives of the characters, rather than a single epic adventure. Though they've obviously also had some of those.


I'm curious- how did your players react when they learned the truth? The ones who hadn't called it (which incidentally also were the ones who were incapable of saying anything in character as they had no clue.) were surprised. The question about my policy on PvP came up briefly, but the slayer ended up walking off into Arcadia anyway, determined to find some way to make things better.


The rule of three.

Assume that players will miss things. Anything important for them to know, design three ways they can figure it out. (And, of course, if they're creative enough, you can reward them with the knowledge by other means as well. This will be the more likely way that they gain knowledge than the ways you come up with for them to do so.)

Also, if a real obvious clue is staring them in the face, and they're doing nothing, you could always ask "Hey, what's your passive insight?" (or equivalent for whatever game/edition you're running) & reward the information to the player with the highest passive insight. Circumstance bonus here to the PC who's child it is. Looking back, there were a couple of things I could've done better, but doing wrong is probably overstating it. I was pretty upset when I posted this, having finished the session not that long before.

ArcturusV
2013-02-12, 12:30 AM
You know, it was kinda obvious. But as I was reading the description there the first thing that popped into my head "... the old man at the entrance is the kid/has something to do with it." A vague warning like that just screams out that you should shake down someone. If they know enough to give a vague warning, they know enough to give specifics.

Twist seemed kinda obvious. When you call attention to something like "this guy looks like your father"... it's putting a giant neon sign on the situation. It's excusable to pass up only because the situation might have been pumped up enough that players were just waiting to see the final duel and weren't really thinking things out. But... they should have seen something coming between the Vague Warning, the Aging, and the Familiarity in the Lord.

That said the session sounded kinda... boring. I mean the meaty chunk of it sounds like only one character, the Swordsman, got to do anything. He was dueling. He was kibitzing with his foes. He was getting the option to be the new Lord, etc. Everyone else was just watching. So having a session like that where most of the party is passive isn't exactly ideal. It can be daunting to run multiple scenes but having some of them participating, and some of them sneaking off to investigate while the Tournament distracted everyone could have been better for pacing and keeping everyone involved.

Then again maybe I"m reading it wrong as I wasn't there and don't know the actual particulars. Or maybe the party didn't have an issue with that.

Altair_the_Vexed
2013-02-12, 06:46 AM
If you want your players to figure something out, you need to make sure they've been told, and not in a confusing psychedelic Through the Looking Glass manner, either.
In your case, the players' characters being in the fey realm, with all sorts of weird stuff going on, was confusing the issue. Who knows what is real? When a person looks like another person (but not the one the PCs are looking for), there's no reason to be interested beyond a general reaction of: "Huh, more strange stuff. Whatever."

See, once you've established all the weird stuff that can happen in your game, the PCs don't react in the same ways as they would if those things happened in real life.
Example: I put my PCs in a spooky haunted house once - they mainly ignored all the spooky weird stuff, 'cause they assumed they were just illusions.

So you might have done better by saying that the Lord was revealed to look just like the missing kid would if he was grown up - rather than looking like the PC's father, which is more likely to trigger thoughts like: "They're trying to mess with my head with cod-Freudian, dream-sequence shenanigans."

Jornophelanthas
2013-02-12, 07:37 AM
That said the session sounded kinda... boring. I mean the meaty chunk of it sounds like only one character, the Swordsman, got to do anything. He was dueling. He was kibitzing with his foes. He was getting the option to be the new Lord, etc. Everyone else was just watching. So having a session like that where most of the party is passive isn't exactly ideal. It can be daunting to run multiple scenes but having some of them participating, and some of them sneaking off to investigate while the Tournament distracted everyone could have been better for pacing and keeping everyone involved.

Then again maybe I"m reading it wrong as I wasn't there and don't know the actual particulars. Or maybe the party didn't have an issue with that.

To be fair, the DM apparently offered ALL player charachters the option to enter the tournament, and the swordsman was the only one who accepted the challenge.

Phaederkiel
2013-02-12, 01:15 PM
if you ask me, your players did not pay attention and got their due accordingly.
I mean, they have a corpse they can ressurrect, have they not?

Only things which are not ideal is that you were not able to make more players enter the tournament, and that you provided the old man. As a marking stone with those words carved in, the players would not have had an opportunity for shaking the guy for more information (even if they missed it)

I'd probably try and make the old man into the wandered-off swordsman, aged and cursed.

Blarmb
2013-02-12, 01:36 PM
You're not responsible for other people's thick heads. If the players need or want giant neon signs pointing at every relevant detail to enjoy the game, by all means provide that game. I don't think there is any reason to assume that as the default way of going through things though.

1337 b4k4
2013-02-12, 02:32 PM
Only things which are not ideal is that you were not able to make more players enter the tournament

Ugh (and not to pick on you specifically Phaederkiel, you're just the most recent sample), please don't listen to stuff like this. The fact is, as long as you weren't actively denying other players the opportunity to act or participate, then if they weren't participating and they were bored it's their own fault. You are not responsible for making sure your players are constantly engaged and having fun at every second of every game. Players are responsible for their own fun. That isn't to say that you can ignore your players and their gaming goals entirely, but you aren't there to service their fantasies any more than they are there to service yours. Nothing in your story suggests that these sorts of "one player in the spotlight for a long time" events are a common occurrence in your games, and provided they aren't, you're doing just fine on that front.

As to your hints, honestly as mentioned above, perhaps the only thing you could have done differently was give a 3rd hint somewhere. Players are blindingly oblivious to everything (except apparently that twitch that you have when there's an ambush ahead, then players always seem to know exactly when to blow all their spot and scry resources don't they?), so sometimes you need to hit them over the head, repeatedly, with clues that a blind and deaf mole rat could follow. I would not have changed the outcome, players are responsible for their actions and you gave them opportunity to discover. Just because they were genre blind doesn't mean you did anything wrong.

Phaederkiel
2013-02-12, 04:35 PM
i take no offense.

I did not promote that every player needs to get pulled into every plot at all times. But long solo missions can lead to everybody elses minds trailing, which can lead to "I did not see this plothook coming".

On the other hands, I heartily disagree with hitting them over the heads with

clues that a blind and deaf mole rat could follow.

In my opinion, you gave WAY more than enough clues. If you deemphasize the thinking aspect of the game, you emphasize its mechanical, its combat, its probably most boring aspect.

And you will get the players that you breed for. I like mine smart, competent and alert.

Synovia
2013-02-12, 05:26 PM
RE: 1337 b4k4's comments.


I'm generally in agreement on this. If almost all your party has chosen to sit something out, its not your job to find them something to do. That being said, its also not your job to prevent them from doing something else. You don't have to suggest that the rogue go off investigating something else, but if he decides hes going to, you have to be ready to handle that.

The other issue is, your characters may not have taken part in this challenge because they don't feel their character is suited for it: if the tournament is armed combat, mano-a-mano, the wizard isn't going to volunteer to sword fight. Its not his thing.

bbgenderless100
2013-02-12, 06:37 PM
This session, in the skype game that I've been running for several months now, the following happened, be forewarned the subject matter is unpleasant:

Another of the PCs had her son stolen by the Faeries some time ago, and after having cast several scrying spells found out that he was most likely in Arcadia, the Realm of the Faeries. After some other diversions and some hustle and bustle, she finally managed to get the party together and find an entrance into Arcadia. But before they got in, they ran across an old man who told them that they should be careful, for what they wanted might not look like what they looking for.

After a short travel through Arcadia, they ended up at a castle, where a servant greets them as guests and invites them in for the upcoming jousting tournament ("why else would they be there"), when they ask about the character's missing child, they are informed by the servant that he's never seen nor heard of him. Some further sniffing around yields the information that there are several children in the castle, though upon quick investigation the character's child does not turn up amongst them.

Come the jousting tournament, the Lord and Lady of the castle announce that the winner of the tournament will face the Lord of the castle, in a bout to attain his throne. All the boys are attending the tournament dressed up in knightly regalia and ready for combat, the players are invited to join as well though only one actually decides to participate. The combat was vicious, and the players saw that the victors growing in front of their eyes, becoming progressively older as they win more battles.

The player who was participating, being a somewhat skilled swordsman, defeats every single one of his opponents, until he finally faces the lord of the house. At this point, the lord takes of his visor to greet him, and I inform the player who had her child stolen that the Lord looked like the splitting image of her father. (I'm pretty sure you can see where this is going)

No reaction, nothing. I wait for something to happen but nothing, and once again we roll initiative. At this point the swordsman wins and proceeds to slay the lord in a single stroke.

The servant from before congratulates the swordsman and informs him that he may take the throne, whereupon he is informed that the swordsman finds this entire tournament abhorrent and he wants nothing further to do with it. Disappointed, the servant snaps his fingers, whereupon the characters find themselves in a ruined castle, no children save one. The lord of the house, who now looks like the young boy they were looking for.

Now, my question is this: did I fail in providing enough hints? I feel like I did everything I could, but I can't help but feel that I missed something. If so, does anyone have any suggests as to how I can improve?

Probably not, if you feel like you missed something odds are you did.

Arcane_Snowman
2013-02-12, 09:35 PM
if you ask me, your players did not pay attention and got their due accordingly.
I mean, they have a corpse they can ressurrect, have they not?

You're making the assumption that we're playing D&D, which we aren't: death is very much permanent, barring divine intervention of the Christian Mythology variety.

Blarmb
2013-02-12, 09:50 PM
You're making the assumption that we're playing D&D, which we aren't: death is very much permanent, barring divine intervention of the Christian Mythology variety.

Well then, perhaps they should find ways to hold back on the killing eh?

Doxkid
2013-02-14, 12:47 PM
Hmm. Have you sent disguised enemies at them before?

Have you made a distinction between a mook who happens to had a decent modifier for impersonating the party's caster and a faux god-king who the game was suppose to revolve around for the session?

It sounds like your players are enured to what you wanted to bring in because of it's presentation ("fool me once..."); even if you put up a big show for an old trick it's still and old trick.
---
To help fix this you could now allow divination spells to work on the baby, but have them all hone in on the corpse. Perhaps it also would have helped to have one of the children (with a very, very obvious and recognizable feature) quickly age to adulthood while the players were at the castle.

The first time they see him he's a little toddler and babbles "Hiya, hiya, hiya!"

Next time he's a young child and says the same thing.

Then he's a teen/young adult and, recognizing the players, smirks and says "Hiya. You only get one from me this time; I've grown out of that."

Synovia
2013-02-14, 02:06 PM
JMO, but "The king looks like your father" doesn't spring anything on me. There's too many reasons someone could look like your father, especially in the Faery realm. My first guess would have been that its an illusion designed to make people more likely to respect his authority. I think I would have gone with a scar or something.

icefractal
2013-02-14, 10:54 PM
Yeah, I wouldn't say that "it's the son, magically aged" is the obvious conclusion. For one thing, if that's the case, why didn't he say something? I'm not saying it doesn't make sense, but it's not more obvious than "the fey are trying to mess with your head" or "somehow it's the ghost of that PC's father".

That's why the rule of three is a good idea. When you know the answer to begin with, it makes any clue appear a lot more obvious, because you're just looking at it from the perspective of "does this lead to the answer?" instead of "does this lead primarily to the answer?"

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-15, 12:13 AM
The trope you used is so blindingly obvious that I wouldn't beat yourself up over it too much.

Not only is it one of the oldest Fair Folk tropes in the book that time runs weird betwixt the realms of Faerie and the mortal world, but you blatantly showed your party that children were aging at a greatly accelerated rate in the context of the contest and that the Lord is the one who's won to the top. That all, combined with the old man's warning and then dropping the father resemblance....

If all of that isn't Neon trope signs, I honestly don't know what is.

dps
2013-02-15, 12:24 AM
The trope you used is so blindingly obvious that I wouldn't beat yourself up over it too much.

Not only is it one of the oldest Fair Folk tropes in the book that time runs weird betwixt the realms of Faerie and the mortal world, but you blatantly showed your party that children were aging at a greatly accelerated rate in the context of the contest and that the Lord is the one who's won to the top. That all, combined with the old man's warning and then dropping the father resemblance....

If all of that isn't Neon trope signs, I honestly don't know what is.

Yep. People are advising him to use the rule of three, but Arcane_Snowman did provide 3 clues--the old man's warning, the aging of the contestants, and the resemblence to the PC's father. The only problem that I see is that it would have been fairly easy to leap to the conclusion that the old man who gave the warning was the son, but that obviously didn't happen. The players had everything they needed to figure it out, but they didn't. That's on them.

Codyage
2013-02-15, 12:39 AM
Hmm the whole son being the lord thing is what is concerning me.

You think the son would actually go to their parent. It is magical aging yes, but unless time is also rapidly speeding along. The Lord should still be able to recognize their parent. But that is more of a npc concern than with the players.

The whole splitting image of her father thing seemed like a false clue. I would probably have done splitting image of the husband/lord's father. All though it isn't impossible, having your child resemble only your one parent and not your mom or your spouses parents is slightly odd. The fact they are in the fairy realm they could easily chalk it up as an illusion.

You also said you informed the player with the missing child of this. Which means she is the only one who recognizes it. In game, no one else but her would know what her father looked like. Unless they all happened to meet her father before, but this is just using the information I have received.

So that means if one player drops the ball, in this case not recognizing her dad, that means everyone else doesn't know because of her and her alone. Now if they had seen her child before he disappeared. I would have just said it appears as the child would if he were x years old, with some additional fighting damage. Like a scar, maybe longer hair.

That way everyone gets a chance at figuring it out. Not to impossible, I mean your players should have still been able to figure it out. But from an in game perspective, it is much harder, because they don't know what her father looks like.

dps
2013-02-15, 12:43 AM
You think the son would actually go to their parent. It is magical aging yes, but unless time is also rapidly speeding along. The Lord should still be able to recognize their parent. But that is more of a npc concern than with the players.


I had assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that the child was stolen as an infant. He wouldn't recognize his parents, and indeed might well be unaware that he had been stolen from them.

Arcane_Snowman
2013-02-15, 04:42 PM
@Coydage: I agree, hinging the conclusion on one player was a bad idea, but by the same token I was working with a number of things:
1) A child looks nothing like their adult self, maybe young adult sure, but someone who is 4 is going to look vastly different at 35.
2) The father, who was my first choice of recognizable similarity (as he was one of the PCs), had had his face stolen by the Faeries (for completely different reasons) and so had never actually been seen.

Saying they look like they would've X amounts of years in the future is just throwing the conclusion down their throat. But having the lord not be responsive is another thing I think I did wrong.

TuggyNE
2013-02-15, 08:03 PM
2) The father, who was my first choice of recognizable similarity (as he was one of the PCs), had had his face stolen by the Faeries (for completely different reasons) and so had never actually been seen.

At this point all bets are off, really. It's classic Fey to use stolen faces to try to throw off naive humans, and the actual being wearing that face could be anything, really. Maybe a stone.

Arcane_Snowman
2013-02-16, 04:58 AM
At this point all bets are off, really. It's classic Fey to use stolen faces to try to throw off naive humans, and the actual being wearing that face could be anything, really. Maybe a stone. Of the child, not of the mother, sorry wasn't being specific.

Kaun
2013-02-17, 11:24 PM
To me it sounds like you covered your basses. If they made an assumption and it was wrong, that is on them not you. You covered the rule of three.

It's now just another dark tale born of Arcadia.

Synovia
2013-02-18, 09:55 AM
Yep. People are advising him to use the rule of three, but Arcane_Snowman did provide 3 clues--the old man's warning, the aging of the contestants, and the resemblence to the PC's father. The only problem that I see is that it would have been fairly easy to leap to the conclusion that the old man who gave the warning was the son, but that obviously didn't happen. The players had everything they needed to figure it out, but they didn't. That's on them.

The problem is that there's several conclusions that this info could lead to.

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-20, 02:58 PM
The problem is that there's several conclusions that this info could lead to.

And it's on the players' heads if they went with the wrong ones.

Synovia
2013-02-20, 03:14 PM
And it's on the players' heads if they went with the wrong ones.

On the player's heads? This isn't some arcane punishment system, its a game.

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-20, 05:47 PM
On the player's heads? This isn't some arcane punishment system, its a game.

And that precludes consequences for actions how?

Synovia
2013-02-20, 05:55 PM
And that precludes consequences for actions how?

For what actions? Why are you punishing your players for them not picking up on a bunch of vague clues that could have been meaningless in the Faewild?

They missed the plot cue on this one. The plot is over and played out. Move on to other things.

Kaun
2013-02-20, 06:58 PM
Honestly this sounds like it was a good lesson for the players.

The Faewild is a strange and dangerous place. It is best to keep your wits about you.

If this story had ended with a happily it would have seemed a bit weird in all honesty.

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-20, 07:26 PM
For what actions? Why are you punishing your players for them not picking up on a bunch of vague clues that could have been meaningless in the Faewild?

They missed the plot cue on this one. The plot is over and played out. Move on to other things.

You think the clues were vague, I think they were blindingly obvious. We have other individuals in this thread who agree with either conclusion.

And why are negative consequences a "punishment" exactly? It's not the DM/GM's job to coddle his/her party so that they never have "bad things" (define said things as you wish) happen to them.

Synovia
2013-02-21, 08:53 AM
You think the clues were vague, I think they were blindingly obvious. We have other individuals in this thread who agree with either conclusion.

And why are negative consequences a "punishment" exactly? It's not the DM/GM's job to coddle his/her party so that they never have "bad things" (define said things as you wish) happen to them.

No, and its not the GM's job to railroad his players into a poorly formed plot. They didn't take the hook, move on with the story. Consequences are fine, but "its on the players heads" suggests punitive action.

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-21, 11:58 AM
No, and its not the GM's job to railroad his players into a poorly formed plot. They didn't take the hook, move on with the story. Consequences are fine, but "its on the players heads" suggests punitive action.

No, it suggests that the players failed to notice an obvious plot hook that was plainly laid out for them and is one of/some of the oldest/most well known tropes when it comes to the Fair Folk. When a DM abides by the rule of three and the players still kill their child, it's their fault.

And his plot wasn't rail roading, as far as I've seen. :smallconfused:

Synovia
2013-02-21, 04:40 PM
No, it suggests that the players failed to notice an obvious plot hook that was plainly laid out for them and is one of/some of the oldest/most well known tropes when it comes to the Fair Folk. When a DM abides by the rule of three and the players still kill their child, it's their fault.

And his plot wasn't rail roading, as far as I've seen. :smallconfused:

The problem is, one of the most common faery-folk tropes is face stealing. There's no reason for the PCs to believe that the King isn't someone just stealing a face to influence them. Every one of the clues suggests that just as much as it suggests the king is the child.

The phrase "on their heads" is a colloquialism that come from the phrase "on your head be it sworn" which is essentially a "if you do this wrong, you die". Its a colloquialism that specifically indicates punitive action.

By saying "its on their heads" you're saying they should be punished. Not that there should be consequences, but that they should be punished.

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-21, 04:50 PM
The problem is, one of the most common faery-folk tropes is face stealing. There's no reason for the PCs to believe that the King isn't someone just stealing a face to influence them. Every one of the clues suggests that just as much as it suggests the king is the child.

I'd like to see an explanation for this, because I'm not seeing it.


The phrase "on their heads" is a colloquialism that come from the phrase "on your head be it sworn" which is essentially a "if you do this wrong, you die". Its a colloquialism that specifically indicates punitive action.

And now you're getting into a literal argument of semantics.


By saying "its on their heads" you're saying they should be punished. Not that there should be consequences, but that they should be punished.

Nice strawman there.

Barsoom
2013-02-21, 05:02 PM
Here's my thought process as I was reading this (in bold)
Another of the PCs had her son stolen by the Faeries some time ago, and after having cast several scrying spells found out that he was most likely in Arcadia, the Realm of the Faeries. After some other diversions and some hustle and bustle, she finally managed to get the party together and find an entrance into Arcadia. But before they got in, they ran across an old man who told them that they should be careful, for what they wanted might not look like what they looking for. Really? Illusions and trickery? I the realm of the faeries? Why thank you, old man, I would have never guessed it mysef! Oh, wait, I would.
After a short travel through Arcadia, they ended up at a castle, where a servant greets them as guests and invites them in for the upcoming jousting tournament ("why else would they be there"), I hope we don't get to encounter the missing child sword in hand when they ask about the character's missing child, they are informed by the servant that he's never seen nor heard of him. Of course not, he's a lowly servant Some further sniffing around yields the information that there are several children in the castle, though upon quick investigation the character's child does not turn up amongst them.

Come the jousting tournament, the Lord and Lady of the castle announce that the winner of the tournament will face the Lord of the castle, in a bout to attain his throne. Sweet All the boys are attending the tournament dressed up in knightly regalia and ready for combat, the players are invited to join as well though only one actually decides to participate. The combat was vicious, and the players saw that the victors growing in front of their eyes, becoming progressively older as they win more battles. I guess the son fought in a tournament and aged? Have to look for him among the adult folks.
The player who was participating, being a somewhat skilled swordsman, defeats every single one of his opponents, I would not let him fight unless we can assure before each duel with complete certainty that the opponent is not the missing child, magically aged - by using divinations or whatnot until he finally faces the lord of the house. At this point, the lord takes of his visor to greet him, and I inform the player who had her child stolen that the Lord looked like the splitting image of her father. (I'm pretty sure you can see where this is going) Yes. Yes, I can.

No reaction, nothing. I wait for something to happen but nothing, and once again we roll initiative. STOP, FOOL! At this point the swordsman wins and proceeds to slay the lord in a single stroke. Crap

The servant from before congratulates the swordsman and informs him that he may take the throne, whereupon he is informed that the swordsman finds this entire tournament abhorrent and he wants nothing further to do with it. So... why the wanton killing, dude? Disappointed, the servant snaps his fingers, whereupon the characters find themselves in a ruined castle, no children save one. The lord of the house, who now looks like the young boy they were looking for.

Synovia
2013-02-21, 05:45 PM
I'd like to see an explanation for this, because I'm not seeing it.



And now you're getting into a literal argument of semantics.



Nice strawman there.

If you're going to use colloquial phrases, have the decency to know what they actually mean.

By saying "its on their heads", you are suggesting they have done something worthy of punishment, and should be punished. Your ignorance of the meaning of the phrase does not make it semantics, and does not make my statement a strawman. It makes your statement incongruous with your intent.

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-21, 06:15 PM
If you're going to use colloquial phrases, have the decency to know what they actually mean.

By saying "its on their heads", you are suggesting they have done something worthy of punishment, and should be punished. Your ignorance of the meaning of the phrase does not make it semantics, and does not make my statement a strawman. It makes your statement incongruous with your intent.

It is a strawman when you're misrepresenting what I'm saying and then arguing/debating based upon that misrepresentation. That's the definition of a strawman.

Edit:

And for the record, the idiom generally means that the person committing the action that invoked the use of the phrase accepts responsibility if it goes awry. That's not synonymous to being "punished".

Kaun
2013-02-21, 06:25 PM
maybe its time to agree to disagree?

or hair pulling?

both are valid options.

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-21, 06:43 PM
maybe its time to agree to disagree?

or hair pulling?

both are valid options.

Eh, no need for the latter. I've said my piece succinctly enough and I'm not going to get dragged into a pointless argument.

Jacob.Tyr
2013-02-21, 07:46 PM
I don't see anything wrong with anything you did. Looks like an awesome story, albeit dark. If getting thid child back was the mothers main motivation for adventuring I'd offer the player a chance to roll a new character and let her retire, or discuss how they think this changes their characters motivations/mental state.