mtfiercewrites "How to best redirect a subgroup of players who are going off to deliberately break your adventure?"
This is a hard one for me to answer because even when I was playing traditional games I was always flying off the cuff. years before I heard the term sandbox I was doing just that and more, just reacting and creating by the seat of my pants. I used to get down on myself about how I never did any legwork, but it was actually my strongsuit.
So what to do when a few players in your group decide they want off the path and head off in a different direction entirely?
I'm gonna have to go back to my old standby of sorting things like this out before there's any play at all. Buy-in is key in thiss kind of situation. If it's made clear that the adventure is going somehwere and they players need to play characters that want to get there then there can be discussion. Some people intensely dislike that kind of play and this is a great time for them to opt out. or for you to find something else to play.
People use the term railroad like it's the dirtiest of words, but if I know I'm on a railroad and I like where it's going, then why not hit the drinks car, sit back, and enjoy the scenery? It's when I don't know why I'm on the train and i'm not happy about my unknown destination and the guards won't let me off that I get irate.
Look, kids, here's another hamfisted metaphor!! If you're halfway to your vacation and someone looks up and says "Skiing? I fucking hate skiing! Let me off the bus." then you've done something seriously wrong.
Wow, that WAS hamfisted, but it does illustrate my point that you have to get everyone to consent to a certain type of adventure if you're going to run that adventure...
...and I really, really hate skiing.