How To Teach Your PCs Humility


How To Teach Them A Real Lesson

by Hell-Kite

If you are the GM and at times really want to show your PCs that their impertinent behaviour that last session was clearly enough, you might think about this:

  1. Just kill their closest friends/allies, at best in their presence, but without the chance to do anything. For example, they could be undercover in an enemy fortress and then see how their own captured King/ruler/general is to be executed but they cannot reveal their identity.
  2. Let them be captured by the Wolfen/Ogres/whatever seems appropriate, and then take their incredible, indestructible and priceless magic weapons/armours/other items away. Then lean back, throw in a fight with a few goblins or dungeon rats, and see how they slowly but steadily realise their nothingness. Also see 7.
  3. To also diminish your PCs magic powers, let them stumble into a fierce ley line storm, turn the laws of nature upside down, let the gods turn their backs on their priests, have your psychics knocked out causing permanent major brain damage etc. Once they have to entirely rely on their fighting skills and are faced with a Gromek patrol or some angry Minotaurs, they will beg for mercy.
  4. Changelings, changelings, changelings, and other shape shifters! Possibilities are endless, starting with the common changeling spy, and ending with the changeling that disguised as the characters lover, slept with him, and, after a certain amount of time, reveals its true nature and that it killed or imprisoned the real lover a long time ago.
  5. Utilise the fact that most characters are, basically and regardless of alignment, vengeful, self-loving individuals - for example, they hate to accept mercy and will do everything to get their revenge. In such a case, let them be defeated once more, let them run into a circle of insanity, cut of an arm or two, and in the end tell them that with all incredible aggression and talk of revenge, they have to drop their alignment to something like anarchist if not worse.
  6. Cheat them into submission. (Rolling a natural 1: "Oh, unbelievable - another critical strike! Remember, only a natural twenty can parry this one!")
  7. Let them work for the wrong side. Nothing is more frustrating for a hero to learn, in the end, that for example all evil that happened was just possible because of they getting the arch-villain (unknowingly) exactly what he wanted.
  8. Get them killed by a super-powerful villain (Gods, Dragons, Elementals, The Four Horsemen, otherwise insurmountable odds). After all, they should have realised its real power had they been good role-players, and run away when there has been the time to do so. Also, a real role-player should know when the time has come to run for one's life and not foolishly hope to be still able to kill the villain.
  9. If everything else fails - KILL THEM UTTERLY AND POINTLESSLY! Possibilities are, as any GM, or reader of Palladium RPG Books knows, endless, so pick a really, really stupid thing to be killed by, like a goblin-horde, Wing-Tips, or maybe another group of heroes (Oh, well, apparently they were better than you...).

Teach_PCs_Humility.php -- Revised: January 27, 2021.