Rob this tomb

You guys are all friends and you’ve been adventurers for a while. You’re in this tavern and there’s an old dude eyeing you from across the room. He shuffles over and gives you a cryptic riddle!

I think that can get old if you do it too many times. Like, twice.

I also noticed that NPCs are often used by a DM to provide information that helps the players know where to go next on the adventure. It’s like the NPC wants you to get going on the adventure. Would it feel different if everyone told you to stay away?

Say, instead of the old man telling you about rumors of treasure in the house on the old hill, he’s telling you about the foul murders that happened up there years ago and how it’s completely haunted and people disappear up there regularly.

Or maybe, instead of someone offering to sell you a treasure map, you got it while doing a little pickpocketing. Or some guys get into a fight and one runs off with the map, and if you want what he has you have to chase him down and take it?

At some point, players will have a map of the area with all these dangerous spots marked out. They can take the initiative to ask around about them or research in old records in town or maybe sneak out there and look around. They need to figure out, of these dangerous spots, where is there likely to be some treasure?

On the other hand, maybe they get put off by all the talk. But what adventurer worth his salt would say “nah, I don’t want to check out the Robber Woods of Tartary, all I keep hearing about is all the robbers” and instead sit around waiting for someone to tell him where to adventure?

As an adventurer, I would think, if everyone avoids this place, maybe there is stuff there nobody has picked clean. If there’s a reputably safe dungeon, there won’t be anything good lying around.

So? Should the dude in town say “rob this tomb” and hand you a map, or should he say “get the heck away from here before the terrors in that tomb belch forth and devour us all”?

2 Responses to “Rob this tomb”

  1. mundanemonster Says:

    I’ll definitely keep this in mind… certainly makes more sense to say ‘stay away’ in many cases, building intruige. Could be very useful mixed in with other options to let players decide how heroic/ambitious they want to be!

  2. 1d30 Says:

    I think in providing an actual warning for how dangerous something is, it might be good to have an in-game signal. For example, if it’s an unexpectedly tough dungeon right at the entrance you might have the Birds of Tyaa hanging around picking at carcasses.

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