I feel as though I've said this before, but I feel now that I have to say it again:
I am not going to suddenly KILL characters who fail to overlook some small detail, or who stumble into someone's presence, or who otherwise do something stupid. I may, with some development, make an attempt on a character's life, because they have failed to overlook something they've done, but in EVERY case this will be done in a manner that allows a reasonable expectation of the character overcoming the situation.
I will set up death dealing traps. These will not occur is apparently benign places, but will ONLY occur in situations where it is reasonable to assume that a death dealing trap would be almost certain to occur. I will not have vastly powerful, high ranking masters of power sitting randomly at the next table, who might take offense with a party member and then kill them mercilessly and without cause. I will not have a mage randomly blast a party member out of boredom (he'd send his minions to do it, and probably very minor minions if the party was low level).
Once again: I have absolutely nothing to gain by killing a party member just for the hell of it.
There is practically ZERO chance in my world that you would walk into a shanty and find inside the Lord of the Barony there. His retinue, entourage, what have you, would be parked all around the shanty, and its likely you wouldn't get within fifty feet of the place. If, by some queer or bizarre reason the Baron would be present because he likes to hide himself among the people, then he's not going to reveal himself without cause, is he?
Please understand, my world is reactive. It is there to present drama, create situations and provide opportunities. It is not a fantasy fun-kill murder death house for my amused and sadistic delights. People will not kill you if you do not give them reason. People will befriend you if you do not act like a constantly distrustful, defensive, timid mouse. I appreciate a reasonable amount of fear; but I am noticing an almost complete resistance to taking any kind of action, and it is beginning to drag the whole process down.
I have described and provided details and made up settings and introduced characters...on and on, in fact, for about a month now, and the party STILL has no plan, will pick no side and displays no willingness to take risk. I just about shouted out at work when Anshelm robbed the mage: "AT LAST!"
I am hesitant to encourage players to take action. Doing so for the sake of doing it would probably be bad, though I can't see how in comparison with the freight train that is coming at the party through the inaction they have embarked upon from the beginning. There is a lot of shit going on that no one has bothered to inquire into, and many, many people who have never been rationally questioned. Tiberius yesterday did not ask one question along the lines of "WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON," while pretty much taking a position of righteous indignation.
Please, please, please, find some kind of action to take. This wandering around and wandering around is driving me mental.