TPK in Storm King's Thunder

drkrash

Fighter
Validated User
#1
My boys had a TPK last night in Chapter 3 (the sandbox chapter) of Storm King's Thunder. They went to Port Llast, decided not to get involved in the frost giant attack on the city, but encountered a couple giants anyway while getting away. They are 4 6th level characters, so that's a pretty tough fight. Dice really went against them and that was that. There were some tears. :)

Anyway, I'm going to have them get captured. But I'm not sure where to put them. I don't want to circumvent too much of the story because I don't want them to be behind in level (we're using the story milestones).

I could just put them on the giants' longship as prisoners and give them a chance to escape, but at this point, I think I want to move the sandbox towards a conclusion so this doesn't accidentally happen again (even though they were enjoying the freedom of exploration). But I don't want an important NPC to just come save them and info dump on them, because that's not especially satisfying either.

Anyone have any suggestions that might help a dad out? :)
 

Calypso

Bunny With a Glock
Validated User
#2
My boys had a TPK last night in Chapter 3 (the sandbox chapter) of Storm King's Thunder. They went to Port Llast, decided not to get involved in the frost giant attack on the city, but encountered a couple giants anyway while getting away. They are 4 6th level characters, so that's a pretty tough fight. Dice really went against them and that was that. There were some tears. :)

Anyway, I'm going to have them get captured. But I'm not sure where to put them. I don't want to circumvent too much of the story because I don't want them to be behind in level (we're using the story milestones).

I could just put them on the giants' longship as prisoners and give them a chance to escape, but at this point, I think I want to move the sandbox towards a conclusion so this doesn't accidentally happen again (even though they were enjoying the freedom of exploration). But I don't want an important NPC to just come save them and info dump on them, because that's not especially satisfying either.

Anyone have any suggestions that might help a dad out? :)
Yep, I would put them on a longship, let them start their escape, then have Harshnag help either during or after, then move into chapter 4. Harshnag can either step in to help them escape, or help them when they start wandering unprepared through the frozen north.
 

PTiKachu

Damaramu will regret this
Validated User
#3
Frost Giants outfit the PCs to fight a gladiatorial battle against one another, then Cloud Giants attack the Frost Giants and there is an opportunity to escape.
 

vitruvian

Registered User
Validated User
#4
Frost Giants outfit the PCs to fight a gladiatorial battle against one another, then Cloud Giants attack the Frost Giants and there is an opportunity to escape.
Don't have it be a simple gladiatorial combat in a pit or anything like that... have the giants use the PCs as miniatures in a game of siege warfare, with a whole castle and keep and siege engines assembled crudely in wood and stone on top of a gigantic gaming table, pitted against other living miniatures they've captured in previous raids.
 

Azimer the Mad

Knight of Chaos
Validated User
#5
Don't have it be a simple gladiatorial combat in a pit or anything like that... have the giants use the PCs as miniatures in a game of siege warfare, with a whole castle and keep and siege engines assembled crudely in wood and stone on top of a gigantic gaming table, pitted against other living miniatures they've captured in previous raids.
This is beautiful and it is a tragedy that it never became a vintage Dragon magazine cover.
 

vitruvian

Registered User
Validated User
#7
On the other hand, the idea got a lot of play in Wormy...
That was exactly the reference, of course.

In fact, we should rework SKT and RoT so that the whole conflict between giants and dragons ends up being resolved in exactly this manner.... until the halfling thieves' guild from Finieous steals all the spoils from both of them.
 

Uqbarian

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#9
Do the PCs have any allies who could send a rescue party or pay a ransom? To make the former more interesting, you could have them roll up new characters to play for a session, as opposed to having NPCs show up (and hope you don't get another TPK!).

Another option is that the frost giants have a dirty and dangerous job that little people could do for them. Or they could sell the PCs to someone who is easier to escape from.
 

drkrash

Fighter
Validated User
#10
Despite some of the clever ideas posed here, I kept it very simple, as my players are 13 and 9. They woke up on a frost giant longship still docked at Port Llast with some dead townspeople. They saw Harshnag killing some giants. They were afraid of him, so they were sort of paralyzed into not moving. I almost had to have them out to sea in the ship's hold. But I coaxed them out and they met Harshnag. They are on their way to the Eye of the All-Father. I haven't told them that that's the end of their sandboxing for now.
 
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