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I am currently building a campaign for DnD.

The main plot plays out on an island the heroes are stranded on after their ship goes off track and sinks.

They discover that this island is ruled by monsters that serve a mighty demon. The only humans live in a small town/city that is regularly visited by the demons to take a few of the people living there to perform a ritual and sacrifice those people/feed on them, etc.

The main goal for the group is to defeat the evil force and free those humans.

The island is undiscovered because it is so far from the shore of all the other continents.

The question is: How do I stop my characters from just turning around and leaving the island in a self-built ship/raft?

My first idea was to make it geographical difficult/impossible to leave by surrounding this island by a nearly closed ring of mountains (kinda in a U shape). An explanation for this could be that the island used to be a volcano that exploded (a real thing) and the mountain ring is what is left of the volcano.

My problem with this idea: is it believable? Isn't it a bit too random for them to have been stranded exactly through the passage that is open?

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Sea monster.

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https://www.belloflostsouls.net/2019/05/dd-monster-spotlight-dragon-turtles.html

D&D has so many great sea monsters and it is hard to get them any use if you stick to dungeons. I am fond of the dragon turtle. In your campaign, the turtle is charmed / compelled / enslaved by the demon. Your players winding up on the island was not by chance - the turtle brought their ship here. That is what it does. The demon and its servants go through a lot of humans and the turtle brings in new ones when it finds them. That is who lives in the village - the accumulated captures and their descendants. The turtle is also why they cannot leave. The village is built of their wrecked ships.

Once the demon is defeated the dragon turtle is freed. It will leave. Or maybe the players can take possession of the artifact the demon used to enslave the turtle. Or if the turtle is intelligent enough to understand what has happened, it might be grateful - which would be a cool and unforeseen twist for your players.

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    $\begingroup$ This approach is pretty common in games, too. Risen used tentacle monsters to keep players out of the water, Skyrim uses butcher-fishes. $\endgroup$ – TheDyingOfLight Aug 5 at 19:23
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    $\begingroup$ +1 because the demon should be integral part of what keeps the players in. $\endgroup$ – AmiralPatate Aug 6 at 8:48
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    $\begingroup$ @TheDyingOfLight *slaughter fish. Morrowind had a similar mechanism - there was nothing stopping you from travelling out to sea as far as you wanted but the only thing you'd find out there were angry dreugh. $\endgroup$ – MikeTheLiar Aug 6 at 16:50
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Have you seen Cast Away?

When the main character attempts his first escape from the island on a self built raft, he fails because outside of the lagoon the ocean is fierce and smashes the poorly built raft.

Indeed, if you look at images of atolls and their lagoons, you will see that, while the lagoon is usually calm, the open sea is way more active. Should this not suffice, boost the waves in the ocean, to make them a more formidable obstacle. At the end your characters can hardly have the skills and knowledge to build an ocean proof boat.

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    $\begingroup$ This. A raft isn't enough, and they lack the skills to make a real boat. However, folks that live on the island would probably be happy to help, if the players wipe out the demons $\endgroup$ – Kepotx Aug 5 at 8:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Nautha, that's not your question $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Aug 5 at 14:18
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    $\begingroup$ @Nautha I'm reminded of a similar plot element in the game Kings Quest VI. The Land of the Green Isles is surrounded by deadly currents and whirlpools and the only person skilled enough to navigate the waters is the old ferryman (whose trade had been passed down through his family). Unfortunately, the evil Vizier has forbidden the ferryman from operating. You could do something similar where the necessary navigational skills are concentrated in specific natives and the Demon is exerting some form of control/blackmail/etc. over them. $\endgroup$ – jmbpiano Aug 5 at 17:29
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    $\begingroup$ Is there any reason the people on your island would know how to build boats? If no, you have your reason... $\endgroup$ – Matthieu M. Aug 5 at 17:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Nautha the island may lack trees with timber suitable for building strong ships. $\endgroup$ – IMil Aug 6 at 3:48
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Session 0: Get Player Buy-In

Probably your best bet is to have a session 0 (always a good idea when you're getting ready to play an RPG) and discuss this with the players. Ask them if they have reasons why their characters might not want or be able to leave the island. You'll have a lot more buy-in if the players helped come up with the idea(s) themselves, but also if they agreed to a reason beforehand they're much less likely to try and circumvent it.

If you just present an obstacle (even one you think is insurmountable) your players WILL eventually try and get around it.

Finally, note that while this IS Meta-Gaming, Meta-Gaming isn't inherently a bad thing, though it is often made out to be.

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    $\begingroup$ +1, no matter what in-universe solution is used, this is critical for having a good game. $\endgroup$ – Carl Kevinson Aug 7 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ While this answer offers the OP an alternate solution to their problem beyond Worldbuilding, I believe a question that accepted this answer would be off-topic for Worldbuilding SE. Since then we're really looking at D&D logistics and not Worldbuilding ideas. $\endgroup$ – kuhl Aug 7 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ @kuhl If this was the setup for a story of somekind I'd agree, but it's explicitly for a D&D game. TBH I think it'd be better served being on the RPG SE than here, but still being for an RPG no matter how good the reason is, if the players aren't on board with it they're going to try and find a way to get off the island. Session 0 is about the only way to stop that without ending up with hurt feelings from players (even if they don't voice it). $\endgroup$ – aslum Aug 7 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with your general points. TBH the fact that a valid answer to this question involves meta-gaming almost seems like an argument for this question to be off-topic here and on-topic on RPG SE. It's just kind of an awkward question that sort of fits on both SE's but isn't perfect for either. $\endgroup$ – kuhl Aug 7 at 20:03
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There's nothing to build with

Much like Easter Island or Zavodovski Island, there are no trees, no reed beds, no large animals. Once you're there, either someone comes along with a boat to pick you up or you're staying for the foreseeable future.

How you actually get your adventurers off such an island is a matter of plot, but I'm sure the big bad either has a portal you can play with once he's defeated or they can skin him and use his hide to build a boat.

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    $\begingroup$ The Easter Islands used to have huge forests, but they where cut down by the native civilisation. Then errosion took its toll and the civilisation collapsed due to the lack of forest resources. Any mostly untouched Island will have impressive forests unless it is just a small rock or to close to the poles. $\endgroup$ – TheDyingOfLight Aug 5 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ @TheDyingOfLight, it's not a mostly untouched island though, it's full of demons. Also Zovodovski fits the description better, it's an all but bare volcanic island populated entirely by birds. Taking a boat anywhere near the shoreline is highly dangerous. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Aug 5 at 10:58
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    $\begingroup$ @TheDyingOfLight Just for awareness, that simply isn't true: history.stackexchange.com/questions/15428/… Note that I'm not saying it's not a possible answer, just saying that as far as the Easter Islands and the Rapa Nui go, they didn't starve due to deforestation and denuding. $\endgroup$ – CGCampbell Aug 5 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ @CGCampbell I never claimed that they were starving. I said with fewer worlds that there used to be an impressive civilization, they unknowingly destroyed their fragile environment and collapsed into a less impressive, less developed civilization. Your link even says that the islands impressive forests were destroyed by the natives. By the time the Europeans arrived food production and the population had settled into a new equilibrium. Source: Collapse by Jared Diamond $\endgroup$ – TheDyingOfLight Aug 5 at 19:21
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    $\begingroup$ The question mentions the town is regularly visited by the demons. I can't imagine the demons would appreciate their sacrifices preparing an escape... Even with the knowledge and materials, it would be relatively hard to conceal a large enough boat. $\endgroup$ – Vivelin Aug 6 at 5:34
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A curse?

The players wander into the town after the shipwreck, do regular adventurer stuff then eat, drink, make merry and have a Long Rest at the local Inn. But, the staff seem oddly apprehensive, constantly asking "are you sure you want all this free food we're offering?", "do you definitely want to stay in the luxury suite at the Inn?"

In the morning, the locals - with much hand-wringing and apologising - explain that by their actions last night, the adventurers have fallen under the Island curse. Part of the curse prevents the islanders from telling or warning anyone in advance, but they do as much as they are able (not that it's much) to discourage people from staying.

Leaving the island will kill our intrepid heroes - the further from the town they get, the more their health and stats with be drained. Encounters can be 'gated' by having different dungeons with sub-bosses whose defeat each lets them venture further and further afield.

This also means that the final boss doesn't need to be ludicrously strong or anything - he just starts out far enough away that the adventurers can't initially reach him without being severely weakened.

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TL;DR Requirements for building a reasonable ocean going ship are beyond a group of normal DnD characters, they don't have skills either to build it or to navigate it, and they have no knowledge of how far and in which direction any civilized land lies. Their only hope is that demons might have something that helps.

Being lost on a remote island is no picnic even in 21st century. Much less in earlier settings.

I welcome you to Jules Verne's classical adventure novel "The Mysterious Island" (1874). Warning, contains spoliers!

In Mysterious Island, a group of five enterprising Americans escape Richmond, overran by Confederates during the American Civil war, by stealing a Confederate balloon. Unfortunately, this happens during a mega-storm, which blows (and crashes) their balloon near a most remote Pacific island.

The whole story is about how they manage to build tools and make their life civilized. It is only possible because they have a talented engineer as their leader, and very capable rest of the group, including a sailor.

In order to leave they need to have:

  • an ocean-faring ship
  • enough skilled crew to man it
  • skilled navigator to set course
  • enough supplies to last them through voyage
  • most importantly, knowledge how far and which direction to go

Building an ocean-going vessel is not the same as a simple raft, the guys in the original novel can only attempt to build an ocean-going ship, because they have a quality sailor, which your team doesn't neccessarily have.

Being five, they are a bit short on crew, but still can attempt it. But also only if at least one of them was a skilled navigator.

But nevertheless, while they manage even to locate themselves by determining their latitude and longitude, they have no maps, and therefore no idea not only how close and in which direction is any other land, but also if there is any land close enough to sail to.

Having no compass, they risk leaving the island only to sail in circles during any storm or fog, until their supplies run out and they starve to death.

In their setting, there is a volcano, which lies dormant when they arrive, but wakes up later on. In your setting, there are demons, but, so far, they sound reasonably low key.

Assuming they can build the ship or, since this is DnD, some magically enhanced means of leaving island, they will still be hampered by demons, who obviously don't want anyone to leave.

Therefore they need to deal with demons first. And then you can think of deus ex machina which will allow them to leave. Probably makes sense to have it do with demons, maybe they have some artifacts that allow you to travel great distance over sea.

Regarding islanders, the same things apply. Heck, they even could be remains of a larger crew from a shipwreck that landed on the same island some centuries ago.

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The island is ruled by a demon and its monstrous servants, right? How many of those servants (or the demon itself, if it cares to do its own patrolling) can fly?

A raft on the sea would be easily spotted - and easily attacked - by any sort of aerial patrols.

Just make sure the PCs are aware of this, perhaps by having the townsfolk tell them stories about Old Bob who built a raft to try to escape and didn't even get out of sight of land before a trio of harpies found him. Two of the harpies hovered over him, out of bow range, while the third went to report and came back with a dragon, which burned Old Bob and his raft while half the town watched. Nobody else has dared to try building a raft since that happened.

You can also reference the TV series The Prisoner for a less-lethal variation on this theme, where any attempts to escape are foiled by a man-sized balloon (Rover) which rises out of the water, encases the would-be escapee, and then the person wakes up back in The Village. (Less-lethal because I seem to recall at least one case where Rover pinned someone to the ground and suffocated them instead of bringing them back.)

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Since nobody's mentioned it yet:

Supplies

They don't know how far away the next habitable land is, and they don't have the means to preserve fruit and potable water for more than 3 or 4 days. There is a surprising shortage of fish in the seas nearby, so they can't rely on the day's catch to supplement their stores

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What about skills?

Building boat which will safely sail through stormy sea requires skills time and resources.

Sailing and navigating it to get back also require skills.

With some luck, your players doesn't have complete set of them. Obviously they could try to rely on folks who live on the island. But will they accept coin, or favour.

What about geography?

There are many places around island with sharp rocks close to surface, which could rip bottom of the boat. Without map and skilled navigator getting to and off the island might be consider suicide. By addition, in this season, you have very strong sea currants which can drift boats towards rocks.

What about greed?

Always where you have powerful monster/demon you have also treasure. Why not tell adventurers about them. Bear in mind, folks don't know magic and can exaggerate just to get some help.

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  • $\begingroup$ A lot of answers focus on stick, this appears to be the first mention of any carrots. Upvoted. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Aug 8 at 3:02
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Magic

Considering the constant threat of being ritually sacrificed and/or eaten by their demon overlords, many inhabitants of the island will certainly consider the option to just leave the island and settle somewhere with less abusive neighbors. But the mighty demon lord certainly wouldn't want his livestock to escape. So he has to make sure that the villagers stay on the island. Whatever traps the villagers can just as well trap the heroes. This magic effect might also be the reason why the heroes stranded on the island despite succeeding on all their sailing skill checks.

The magic effect might be something subtle like an implausible current which always washes ships back to shore or something more obvious like a magic energy barrier (which might or might not be visible from the outside). If you want that spell to work within the magic rules of DnD, you could ask on Role-Playing Games Stack Exchange for the best way to blockade an island using standard DnD spells or artifacts. But remember that you as the DM are not restricted to published material and are free to invent any new magic spells or effects when the plot requires them.

Dealing with that magical escape prevention mechanism might be another subquest of your DnD campaign. Maybe it's generated by a magic artifact which needs to be found and destroyed? Maybe it's destroyed when the demon who cast it is defeated? Maybe the demons have some way to bypass it?

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You can't

People have free will. They can choose to leave and do nothing but being "adventurers" they are motivated by loot and XP so it's highly unlikely it will ever be an issue.

The players spending several months of game time rolling for wind direction and random encounters plus building proficiency checks for the raft verses a storm and suddenly the demons will look far more interesting.

Odds are you are trying to solve a problem you will never have.

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    $\begingroup$ Indeed. If they can pull off building a sea-worthy ship, and navigate the currents and all that, then let them leave. If they indeed escape, then give them a quest, where they have to go back to the very Island, with explicit task to save the people there (perhaps some noble's relative, or whatever)... $\endgroup$ – hyde Aug 7 at 9:21
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First of all, this is D&D. If you are going out of your way to prevent players from leaving your setting, you'd be railroading your players. That's not what D&D is about.

Having said that, why are your players there? If they're there because their ship got of course, and they are shipwrecked, your players have no motivation to stay on the island -- instead, they have lots of motivation to get off the island. They were on a ship going somewhere, so they already have a mission. Your players won't know there's an adventure in store for them on the island, they will think that getting off the island is the side-quest.

Instead of going out of your way preventing them to leave the island, give them motivation to stay on the island. Perhaps they were rescued by the villagers (either from the sea, or from the beach when they were washed ashore). The villagers may turn to them for help. If your party is good aligned, they will be obliged to help. The villagers could keep the party's stuff as a ransom (many players will do anything to keep their magical items). The villagers could prevent the players from building a vessel. Or perhaps the party is kept hostage, to be given to the demons on their next visit.

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    $\begingroup$ Like meta-gaming, there's nothing inherently wrong with railroading. Most published modules are "railroads". It's only really an issue when you present the world as sandbox but it's not. You don't get on a roller coaster and then complain that you don't get to make any choices about the direction it takes. As long as everyone has agreed beforehand a railroady plot is totally fine. $\endgroup$ – aslum Aug 5 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ There are different styles of GMing and Playing an RPG like D&D and they are as valid as each other providing the table is having fun. $\endgroup$ – Sarriesfan Aug 5 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ The first paragraph nails it, and should be read over and over. A GM shouldn't need to resort to contrived plot elements to prevent the players from doing what would be otherwise logical. $\endgroup$ – GrandmasterB Aug 7 at 15:54
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Because of sea monsters/treacherous tides/other impassable conditions, the castaways are unable to safely leave (they might have tried and been turned back).

There is a way out but only the villagers know it. But they have been unable to leave (or save themselves from the demons) because they lacked something the castaways have unknowingly brought with them.

The only way out is if the castaways and the villagers work together.

The villagers, not being fools, insist that everyone goes or no one goes. The castaways, not being selfish jerks, agree.

Now the castaways must, with the help of some villagers, defeat the demons. Once that's done, they can work to build the required number of sea-worthy crafts (for those that wish to leave) and get the hell out of there.

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Reefs, while barrier reefs often shelter near shore waters creating calm lagoons they do so by breaking the energy of the ocean in walls of waves. Without local knowledge attempting passage through such reefs is often suicidal, there's a reason that over 1600 ships have been lost on the Great Barrier Reef. If the locals don't take to sea there is no local knowledge and the PCs simply can't get out, until they get teleport spells of course.

Alternately depending on the time constraints you need to create, it could simply be the wet season thereabouts. With storm clouds constantly haunting the horizon and heavy rains daily no-one is willing to take ship least they get hammered flat by the weather, this usually only lasts for a matter of months however.

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  • $\begingroup$ But that is something my players don't necessarily know. So an attemt of leaving might kill them. I am looking for something that gives them the knowledge that right now they can't get off that island and don't even need to try. $\endgroup$ – Nautha Aug 5 at 14:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Nautha All they see when they look out from shore is white water, waves many feet high, and/or, depending on whether you go with the barrier reef or the storms, apparently endless lightening shot darkness. If they think they can survive that then they get what's coming to them. $\endgroup$ – Ash Aug 5 at 14:27
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Difficult ocean voyage

Building and navigating a long-distance ocean-going vessel aren't particularly easy skills to just develop on your own just because you need them. If the players were on a long distance voyage, many days away from any safe land when they were wrecked on this island, then this would be quite a difficult and time-consuming endeavour. Even just gathering enough supplies that they don't starve would be a major effort.

Of course, this point largely relies on the players and their characters realising this and so deciding not to try. You don't really want to have to actually use the difficulty of the voyage against them, because if you do the story simply ends with them drowning at sea, which doesn't work.

If the players make a quick raft and launch it immediately, despite your telling them how far their previous voyage had travelled since they last saw land, you can have them immediately wrecked close enough to the island that they can make it back.

If they take time on a more serious effort, that gives you time for:

The demons don't want people leaving

Whether the demons' rituals are building up to some particular plan, or they're just living here feeding on the inhabitants, they don't want it known in the world outside this island that they are here. Perhaps major countries or religions would arrive in force to destroy them if their presence is known. Perhaps not, but the demons fear it is possible.

So the demons actively patrol the island for people attempting to leave. The party's ship-building camp might be attacked by a small group of demons one night. When it becomes clear the PCs are capable of putting up a good fight, the demons will attack in greater force.

You can push this as far as making it so that in order to be free from demon attacks in order to finish building and stocking their ship, they essentially have to defeat the demonic forces on the island anyway; the demons through everything they have at the party, up-to and including the evil overlord attacking in person. No party I've ever played with would actually make the GM do that though; they will hopefully display some interest in what is obviously the plot the GM has in mind and go chasing up what the demons are doing here.

This works for the people living on the island too; they've learned the hard way that the surest way to bring the attention of the demons is to start building a ship.

Don't wait for the party to discover the town

People from the town are aware that a ship has wrecked on or near the island (perhaps they saw it go down, or maybe they've just noticed bits of wreckage washing ashore). So there are searchers who discover the party's camp (either organised searchers looking for survivors, or opportunistic ones looking for salvage).

Or maybe some foragers or farmers happen to spot the camp as they're heading back to the town, and can tell the party it's madness to sleep outside the walls because the demons always come at night.

Or their campfire was seen on the first night, so a patrol of soldiers from the town come to investigate, in case it was a sign of demonic activity.

If the players declare they want to spend many days working on a ship on the beach, without exploring the island, that gives you plenty of time for other groups on the island to believably discover them, and therefore introduce the framework of your intended story.

The players want an interesting story

Basically, the best way to make sure they don't spend game time figuring out how to build a ship is to give them something more interesting to do. D&D doesn't really have any tools to shipbuilding an interesting gaming experience anyway, so this isn't hard. Just have your plot make contact with the players, and they'll likely want to follow it.

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Shipworms - they live in the ocean surrounding your island and are well-known to eat through wood - the fishing boats & docks constantly develop leaks & need to be repaired, and no sane person ever goes farther than they can swim back because of this risk

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The demon has warped space around the island

I'm assuming that the villagers on this island would also try to leave, given the opportunity, and they've had way more time to build a ship or raft than the players will. So what's keeping them there?

Inspired by legends of the mysterious "black hole", the demon lord Kazuzu has crafted a powerful spell. Ships are free to arrive at the island, but anyone who attempts to sail away from the island will inevitably find themselves sailing back towards it. Or, at best, circling it. Like the interior of a black hole, space is so bent that there is literally no path in any direction that leads "out".

The villagers have small boats they use for fishing—they need the fish, since their crops keep getting trampled by monsters—but they've learned by now that escape is impossible. So they don't even try.

The only way off the island is to break the spell. The only way to break the spell is to defeat Kazuzu.

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  • $\begingroup$ IIRC, something similar was used in LOST, where someone attempting to leave the island found that the area around it wrapped around, so that they eventually reached the island again on the other side. $\endgroup$ – TheHansinator Aug 7 at 19:35
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For another D&D inspired solution the Island exists in a pocket dimension similar to the Demi Plane of Dread that the Ravenloft setting exists in.

In that setting player characters can pass into the Demi Plane through the mists and are prevented from leaving it by the Dark Powers that control the area. Their escape can equally be allowed at the whim of those powers. In Ravenloft players attempting to leave find themselves returned to were they started, teleport and similar spells with targets outside fail.

In the case of your Island it could be a plane that your party have crossed into, and cannot leave until the demon is defeated. Perhaps its presence causes the plane to exist, perhaps it was imprisoned there by a higher power.

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Its seems like a combination of all of the above is the best answer

Reefs, shoals, and man-eating critters make simple rafts too dangerous. But, there aren't proper tools to build a real boat than can make the trip safely.

But, if they succeed in the quest, then they get tools to build a boat if they need it. Or they get a boat as part of the payoff. Maybe magic restores their lost ship. Or their ship was bewitched or ensorcelled, and they only think it sunk, but the forces that brought them to this island to solve the curse of the deadly danger will reveal themselves and give them back their boat.

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A few things could be used.

Isolation

You could make the island so far from the mainland that it would be impossible to sail back. If your players were on a shipping route, maybe a strong storm caused them to veer waay off course. Think Point Nemo, but an island.

Strong Currents

Currents can be used to carry people to distant places, but can also hinder travel. Perhaps your island sits near a strong current that stops players from heading towards the mainland, and carries them to a latitude where the winds stagnate (look up horse latitudes).

Deadly Storms

The open ocean is not known for being a calm place. Your players could attempt to leave the island but find that any raft they build cannot withstand the power of mother nature. This brings me back to the first point. The storm could cause them to be isolated and makes it nearly impossible to leave.

Sea Monsters

What could possible make the ocean less inviting? Giant ocean monsters would definitely be a roadblock in trying to escape. Perhaps this sea monster lurks near the island and traps ships on the island via artificial currents.

These are just a few options, and maybe the best option would be to combine a few. Just make sure the story is interesting enough that the players only think of escaping as a passing thought.

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  • $\begingroup$ Isolation is something the players do not know. They can't be sure if this island is far from shore or not. String Currents, Deadly Storms and Sea Monsters both have one big flaw they share: First of all what happens after the story on the island ends? The storms/current wount just go away like that. Second it might give the players the feeling that they can make it if the just try hard enough. $\endgroup$ – Nautha Aug 6 at 5:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Nautha Everything (except currents) could be because of the demons, and once they are defeated, the problem goes away. Also make it seem impossible ("You barely even made it 30 feet before your raft was completely destroyed by the crashing waves"). $\endgroup$ – Nepthys X Aug 7 at 0:06
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Personal motivation.

So your players are shipwrecked on an island. They are hurt, they are incapacitated. In fact, they only survive because X helps them. X rescues them with X's little boat, X shelters them in X's little house, X nourishes them from X's little supplies. Then X gets culled by the demons, while X's children (who the characters never saw, because they are away in the big city getting an education) are next up for culling. Last words of X before the minions strike: 'Save my children'.

Should the characters now still want to leave the island without doing something about the demons and their minions, allow them their chickenhearted escape and later hit them with Guilt (tm) until they return.

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Ursula K. LeGuin, in her Earthsea trilogy, had the Roke Wind, which prevented anyone wishing to do harm to the island of Roke from sailing too near it. It would sink their ship or blow it away. Do this in reverse.

Personally, I would create a few interesting places that the adventurers could go if they tried to escape. For example, there is a permanent dip in the jet stream due to an ancient enchantment, because the air was needed for the forge of an underworld demon to operate his forge. That causes an updraft that will carry their makeshift raft up into the air and deposite them on a floating island, suspended on a stable point over the updraft coming out of the netherworld. The only escape from there is either a really long rope, a parachute, a flying carpet, or training a large flying bird to carry them back down.

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If they have the skills to pass the checks to build the ship and leave let them. Then give them a monster, then tsunami, ect otherwise they don't leave the island because either it moves because it's ontop of an animal making the land they came from further and further away from them so they can't sail there with whatever supplies they can muster.

Or else they just can't leave. Some island tribes did not develop boats to move into deep ocean and your players may not have the skills necessary to build a deep faring boat much less supplies of wood palm trees are not the same as ash wood ect.

They don't know how to bend or treat the wood there is a lot of stuff that goes into making ye old boat and big sea worth ye old boat at that. They also need supplies for however many weeks or months to get back home and they need to navigate well to do that if you don't have NPCs or the players themselves can't do these things they'll all die (you could let them) the locals will not let them take all their food for months long voyages and you players also need to preserve the food! They need another boat to find them, they need a magical portal to teleport them off the island, or maybe a flying creature? All of these things they don't have and won't have if they don't go on with the quest!

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protected by Monty Wild Aug 6 at 3:43

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