28 October 2012

How to Destroy the World with a 5th Level Party

So, here's something that I, as Game Master, don't get to say very often: I think my players just destroyed the world.

This is my Pathfinder campaign I'm talking about. We've been playing for a little over a year now (though intervening Real Life made a longish break there recently).

The details of the destruction remain to be revealed, we ended today's session in a cliffhanger. But something big will definitely happen, that much I can say without it being a huge spoiler for my players. Some of you may wonder, though, how the protagonists of a roleplaying game end up destroying the world, anyway? Well, let's see... It all actually comes down to a couple little coincidences that happened early on.

Firstly, there was our character creation session. I basically gave the players free hands with regards to their character builds. So they opted for (mostly) evil alignments. I figured, what the hell, this could be an interesting change of pace. And it was, and is. Though it is also quite difficult for a GM, since the players' actions are even more difficult to predict than usual...

Secondly, for the first few sessions I decided to use ready adventures, because we were all new to Pathfinder (both the rules and the setting). As it happened, one of these adventures sent the characters on a quest for one piece of an ancient artefact. An artefact, which, if all pieces were brought together, as the characters would discover during the adventure, was capable of destroying the world.

Given the fact that the party was essentially lead by a chaotic evil wizard, it is perhaps not so surprising that the idea of destroying the world was taken not so much as a threat than an intriguing proposition. So they kept the piece of the artefact for themselves, and decided to keep an eye out for the rest.

I'm pretty sure this was not actually the intent of the original adventure's writer. But as GM I figured there was actually some interesting potential in the characters' endeavours. Once I moved from ready adventures to original material, I started dropping hints about the possible location of other pieces of the artefact, until today the last one was actually in their hands... I wasn't 100% sure if they would, in the end, actually activate the thing. But it came as no surprise when they did.

Did I make it too easy for them to actually destroy the world? Possible slightly, yes. They're still relatively low level, after all. But there have also been hints of some other, unknown power pushing them towards their objective... The campaign won't end here, of course. The end of the world is by no means a problem, but an opportunity. I have some ideas already about where we might be heading in future sessions. It is a multiverse, after all...

No comments:

Post a Comment