How I made my players love/hate me

My first time as a DM and homebrewer may have left a love/hate relationship between my players and I . . .


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A little background is needed on this one. I'll try to keep it summerized as much as possible, but there was a lot in this one year campaign.

I have a story that I built as a homebrew called; "The Aasimar and The Tower". Small rule I threw at them was you can be any race and class as long as its not angelic nor demonic as they are considered "Myth and Legend". So the campaign begins with the adventurers going to a kingdom named Cericole. Here there is an official adventurers guild that is said to pay good. Some filler happens inside the tavern that I will not bore you with, but the party is awarded the copper rank to take jobs. This means they can request copper level jobs which are the smaller, less paying types. So they get to choose a job to complete, though all jobs seem to be coming from a local town outside the kingdom known as the lumber farm of Brekhem. So the adventures head out on their first task, only to be ambushed halfway there by a small group of idiot bandits. After what seems like a easy fight, the bandit captain comes strolling up. Now you might think "oh, thats just one more slightly tougher guy" and you'd be right, though that was not the problem as the captain of the bandits liked having pets of the slightly larger variety. Like the two dire wolves he had with him at the time.

After a well fought battle leaving the new party with a new level to look forward to at the end of the session, they decided to continue to the original mission. Now for me as the DM this part got me excited, cause throwing a curve ball and seeing how people react and role play it is something that makes me smile. As they continue their treck to Brekhelm, suddenly a ball of fire streaks the sky and slams into the ground near them. The party obviously was a little shocked so they tried to ask things like, "Do I see a caster? Is there a cannon or ballista? Are we under attack?". I have them role perseption and tell them there seems to be no one attacking you. So then it sets in for them, they walk over to look at the reminants of what hit the ground. I say something that all of my players have come to love; "What you see is neither the stone of a astrial body, nor the steel of a projectile. What you see, is a unconscious young girl around the age of fifteen wearing a long white dress and chainless manicles around her wrists and neck that seem golden, and though the crater is large and wide, she seems completely unharmed." They helped the girl by deciding to bring her with. As they continue, though, they are met with a large view of the fishbowl continent that they were on from an up high view. "The sky seems to be dark and cloudy, and you start to hear thunder. When from many miles away you are blinded by a huge clap of lightning, and as you clear your eyes what stands in place of where the lightning landed juts a tower several miles tall." I ended a session there, with a little retaliation on the player's parts. All in good fun though as they were enjoying the story.

!!(This next part is dark, you don't like that kind of stuff then stop here.)!!

Well, they go to the town of Brekhelm and find it has been devistated. Buildings are smoking, Cericole guard units are laying everywhere, and there is not one living nor dead villager in sight. Upon investigating the town the adventurers stumble on a child in one of the houses. The child seems to be out of touch with reality and suffering from a extreme case of PTSD from whatever happened. The party starts to call for help from the adventurers guild through a magic ring, I gave them in session one, while also talking the child to talk to them. Suddenly the child complains of a pain on her leg. The party, being the good people that they are, try to see if they can help her only to find a red glowing curse on her leg. What the party doesn't know is if you do not cast lesser restoration and remove curse, the infliction will accelerate if they attempt to heal it. This is when the Cericole high court wizard shows up and trys to remove the curse. For this to happen I need to role a d20 and have one of the player match the number. But somethings aren't meant to be, as the curse set into the village child and started to twist her into a demon. The court wizard would then have opened the ground after apologizing, sending the former village child into a very deep pit.

The events of Brekhelm layed an image in the minds of the adventurers on what they want to fight for when they returned back to Cericole. They would later meet and be commissioned by the Queen of Cericole for a task to travel a great way to a wonder of the world, known simply as; "The Library of Wonder". A dangerous place that has taken the lives of people who entered, but is also said to have recorded events of times before any race lived. They were tasked to find a solution to the now invading demon race. As the bring there meeting to a close they head back to the adventurers guild and tavern to get some rest, only to be met with a now awake and confussed girl in a white dress and gold chainless manacles, with amnesia.

(Now here comes the part that they really disliked/loved me for)

After some adventuring with the now awake girl who barely remembered Iris is her name, they get to a city called West Famelle. When they enter they are found and told to meet with the leader, a mad wizard known as Barkon Zaal (Though he isn't evil, he is called mad because he is truely powerful and unconventional). Though, in the promise of getting stronger he offers them a test, a spell would to be placed on them subjecting them to face the ones that hurt them the most and they must face it either by accepting it, or fighting it. Though if they fight, they will see something they would rather not. Welp, sure enough the party starts to light up the demons in their minds and as the barbarian swings his blade to end it, I say the thing that put me at their redicule to this day; "As you drive the blade into the chest of the demon and grab his shoulder to pull him up the blade, you give him your final words. But in return, you hear in a small voice, 'But I was having so much fun adventuring with all of you'. Your heart sinks as you now pull the now smaller body of Iris off your shoulder, you look at her and try to find words, but she just places a hand on your cheek before whispering 'It was always meant to be this way'. Her hand then falls as she turns to sand, running though your fingers, when suddenly you all snap awake." 

(Needless to say that I got some hate from the players, but once everyone cooled down they all said it was a good game.)


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