Last night, we brought the group together for the adventure in a slightly more official capacity. There might be nothing more encouraging of the “let’s stick together” behavior than standing over a pile of bodies you didn’t help make. Or maybe they did help make the pile of bodies, and they just don’t know for sure. *scare chord*

So I wanted to try something a little bit different this time around. Rather than pushing the party toward an inevitable “joining forces” attitude, I actually repeatedly suggested the opposite, bringing up a few reasons why they had no reason to trust each other and why they might be safer individually. A little bit of “reverse psychology?”

I’m not so naive as to think that I had everything to do with the party getting together, or that by playing off the idea that they might be safer if they remained unaffiliated had much of an impact on whether they teamed up or not, but I think it helped “get it out in the air.” You know, a “Burning people! He says what we’re all thinking!” -kind of thing.

To a certain extent, I did push the idea that after their nocturnal revelry, they went their separate ways, only to meet up again unexpectedly (but not surprisingly) during the events of the following day. It is a small town, and there’s only one thing going on to get people’s attention. It makes sense to recognize people from the day before.

Once the events of the second encounter played out, the characters hadn’t just made a decision, but they decided to make the decision together, whether they intended to or not, and that kind of thing is difficult to just ignore. I had the NPCs start treating them like a group to apply a bit of cement, and welcome them into the fold.

I think the icing on the cake (as stated above) was putting the players in a situation where their characters were standing over a pile of bodies they weren’t responsible for, and prompting them for action. I think I suggested at several points that, “You can decide later, you don’t have to be a hero. You don’t owe these people anything.”

*cue evil laughter*