Recent Chat Activity (Main Lobby)
Join Chat

Loading Chat Log...

Prefer not to see ads? Become a Community Supporter.
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: To PvP or Not to PvP; that is the question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    pueblo
    Age
    34
    Posts
    26
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    To PvP or Not to PvP; that is the question

    Prefer not to see ads?
    Become a Community Supporter.
    If anyone who can start a poll is reading this... well I think it would be interesting to get some perspective.

    PvP has been a topic of much debate in some of my former groups. I have seen Dm's deal with it in most ways imaginable but it has never happened in a game I was dm'ing. I have been attacked as a Pc under questionable circumstances twice (by questionable I mean that it seemed somewhat unnecessary / out of character) and neither time was a very fun experience (despite the fact that I survived both). I often think about how to handle pvp situations and I'm curious to see what the community thinks. Below I will describe some scenarios and I'd like to hear how you would dm it.

    1) The party is mostly evil and the rogue keeps slipping off alone in the dungeon to "secretly" keep loot rather than share with the group. The leader knows what is going on and doesn't mind the rogue being true to his nature but another party member is getting angry, based on out of character information (in character he hasn't caught the rogue) he wants to kill the rogue and he expects the party to back him up (no one but the leader knows in character what the rogue is doing).

    2) In an Underdark campaign the party contains two drow, one of whom is the unofficial leader. Along the way the two drow have made a habit of speaking elvish about their new friends as potentialy valuable slaves after their mission is complete. One of the human players (a rogue) is irritated and the next time he levels up decides to spend skill points to learn elvish without telling anyone. Later one of the drow is wounded and refers to a human cleric as a slave, the rogue trys to start a confrontation between the cleric and the wounded drow.

    3) Around the campfire the party has been coming up with some great solutions to problems, their strategies seem almost flawless however one person never sticks to the plan and is consistantly a wrench in the gears of an otherwise well oiled machine. As a group they have repeatedly warned her in character to follow the plan, and they are begining to suspect that she is intentionaly trying to sabotage them. Tention continues to build, the group intends to kill the pc if she ruins another plot.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Wethersfield
    Age
    42
    Posts
    853
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    IMO there is a distinction to operate between two types of PC competitiveness/adversity. The first one, which seems to match the three cases you described breaks down to :

    1. players have secret plans
    2. the party is supposed to be coherent but every players is ready to give their "in character" behavior first priority at anytime
    3. players don't seem to openly admit that they're looking for a confrontational style of game with other gamers


    The other way would be to be open about this style of play : the GM shouldn't judge, just ask what are players position on the subject, how far may conflict go and still be entertaining, how about players who don'tt care for it ?

    From what I understand about D&D players, "let's play an evil characters campaign" means on one hand "let's play bastard badasses" with the freedom to derail the stereotypical goodie two shoes type of adventures. But on the other hand it's an implicit way to say "we want P vs P type of game". Which is fine, except the system doesn't give many guidelines about this, unlike say Paranoia. In my opinion the group must discuss this and maybe define limits to the inner-party adversity. Or maybe the concept of group is ill suited and they should play their characters separately. Problem : one GM might not be enough for a group-less game.
    Au gibet noir, manchot aimable, dansent, dansent les paladins
    Les maigres paladins du diable les squelettes de Saladins.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Albany
    Posts
    133
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Vrath View Post
    1) The party is mostly evil and the rogue keeps slipping off alone in the dungeon to "secretly" keep loot rather than share with the group. The leader knows what is going on and doesn't mind the rogue being true to his nature but another party member is getting angry, based on out of character information (in character he hasn't caught the rogue) he wants to kill the rogue and he expects the party to back him up (no one but the leader knows in character what the rogue is doing).
    I'd have to pull the player aside and remind him that his character doesn't know this and he's using personal knowledge in game. Personal pet peeve of mine. This is actually a good reason to have an NPC with the party, to point this out. Say Gork the Henchman says "What are you doing that for?" Player responds "He's stealing from us." Gork retorts "Really? What proof do you have?"

    May handle it nicely in game. I'd still have a little chat out of game though.

    2) In an Underdark campaign the party contains two drow, one of whom is the unofficial leader. Along the way the two drow have made a habit of speaking elvish about their new friends as potentialy valuable slaves after their mission is complete. One of the human players (a rogue) is irritated and the next time he levels up decides to spend skill points to learn elvish without telling anyone. Later one of the drow is wounded and refers to a human cleric as a slave, the rogue trys to start a confrontation between the cleric and the wounded drow.
    That's why I have a house rule where new skills must be learned IN GAME. You have to take lessons to learn it, skills don't just materialize inside your head. That curbs that one before it happens. Now, if the character bought a book of elvish in secret and learned it, then did what he did, I'd actually allow it. While PvP shouldn't be encouraged, playing in character is more important to me.

    3) Around the campfire the party has been coming up with some great solutions to problems, their strategies seem almost flawless however one person never sticks to the plan and is consistantly a wrench in the gears of an otherwise well oiled machine. As a group they have repeatedly warned her in character to follow the plan, and they are begining to suspect that she is intentionaly trying to sabotage them. Tention continues to build, the group intends to kill the pc if she ruins another plot.
    Again, I'd probably allow this one, depending on the classes involved. A paladin, for example, would be permitted to do this but then have to deal with the reprecussions for it. Same for clerics of good dieties. However, a wisdom role may "suggest" to these classes a better way to deal with it without killing. It's still their decision, but a bug in their ear goes a long way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Toms River
    Posts
    164
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    1) The party is mostly evil <snip>
    I'll pass on this one. I don't allow evil PCs; it's *my* job to play the bad guys.

    2) In an Underdark campaign the party contains two drow, one of whom is the unofficial leader. Along the way the two drow have made a habit of speaking elvish about their new friends as potentialy valuable slaves after their mission is complete. One of the human players (a rogue) is irritated and the next time he levels up decides to spend skill points to learn elvish without telling anyone. Later one of the drow is wounded and refers to a human cleric as a slave, the rogue trys to start a confrontation between the cleric and the wounded drow.
    I too vastly prefer some in-game pretext for picking up new skills. But again, it sounds like a case of characters who'd never have made it to my table in the first place.

    3) Around the campfire the party has been coming up with some great solutions to problems, their strategies seem almost flawless however one person never sticks to the plan and is consistantly a wrench in the gears of an otherwise well oiled machine. As a group they have repeatedly warned her in character to follow the plan, and they are begining to suspect that she is intentionaly trying to sabotage them. Tention continues to build, the group intends to kill the pc if she ruins another plot.
    This comes under the heading of "idiot spoiling game for other players". If a GM-to-player chat can't uncover some darned good reason why the character is being such a prat, they'll find themselves uninvited. If they're really obnoxious, I'll be sure to find a legitimate way to remove their PC first (and sometimes, death is too good for them), usually to the great appreciation of the rest of the players.
    I'm not stupid, I'm not expendable, and I'm not going! (But I'll happily be the GM...)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Dearborn
    Posts
    7,262
    Blog Entries
    13
    Downloads
    1
    Uploads
    1
    I don't encourage PvP, but if it comes to that, roll initiative. Again no one has a bar over their head that prevents two PCs going hammer and tongs.

    I also encourage the players to build characters that make such an event unlikely.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    The Dean of Old School
    The Olde Phoenix Inn
    Metro Detroit Linux Users Group

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    houston
    Age
    44
    Posts
    650
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    I don't encourage PvP, but if it comes to that, roll initiative. Again no one has a bar over their head that prevents two PCs going hammer and tongs.

    I also encourage the players to build characters that make such an event unlikely.
    i have no problem with it as long as it is within context, and both players have been playing their characters, and it isnt something personal.

    i had a situation in shadowrun, where my character prevented the group from keeping some supervirus or something (it was a pregen adventure set in alaska) to sell to the highest bidder. they plotted against me from that point, and i (in character, no metagaming) had the feeling all wasn't well. i knew i was going to die at one point, so i just popped a WP in our vehicle. TPK. we went for beers afterwards and laughed our butts off about it. good times.

    now, if it is something between the PLAYERS, then that is something that needs to be worked out, but, you know, sometimes two characters are just heading for a confrontation, and, if done well, it can lead to memorable roleplay...
    "well, g'night! dont let the flesh eating demon bed babies bite!!"
    facebook.com/houstonderek

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cedar Hill
    Posts
    431
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Anyone ever try introducing an NPC more annoying than the party members whom they might rally against?
    "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." - JFK

    "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."
    - Noam Chomsky

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    houston
    Age
    44
    Posts
    650
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Engar View Post
    Anyone ever try introducing an NPC more annoying than the party members whom they might rally against?
    do you remember "free city of haven" for thieve's guild? i converted it for my homebrew. there was this npc named "potiphar the phat" thay absolutely gave the party the creeps. they were having some internal conflict (political, alluded to in another thread), but having this slimy scuzzball as a nemesis brought them together in ways i never thought possible.

    to this day, if i go into "potiphar voice", anyone involved in that campaign involuntarily shudders...
    "well, g'night! dont let the flesh eating demon bed babies bite!!"
    facebook.com/houstonderek

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Jordan
    Posts
    5,171
    Blog Entries
    41
    Downloads
    1
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Vrath View Post
    in general, i don't encourage pvp unless and until the group either okays it, or indicates interest. having said that, i don't discourage it, and i also host the occasional "samurai shodown" tournament just for a change of pace. players go toe-to-toe in various creative battlegrounds with various rulesets depending on the type of game. very much in the style of the various popular fps video games out there. usually takes place "just-for-fun-and-out-of-continuity" so as to keep any deaths from affecting the game, and to allow the players to pull all the stops.

    1) The party is mostly evil....
    my rule is, "evil characters are npcs, hand me your character sheet, please." however, for the sake of discussion... i would have a little chat out of game with this player. i'd also mention some ideas as to how to bring this into a character context. something like.... your character could have some intuition that something isn't right, and start trying to spy on the rouge; your character notices that the rouge always seems to have money, and shops in the best shops, and starts to wonder; your character wants to ask some advice or questions of the rouge but can't find the rouge anywhere.... i would take it as a teaching opportunity and offer some advice for how to justify the character being suspicious, and then how to go about following up on the suspicions. by offering a creative outlet, i would hope to curb the metagamed source of anger.

    2)In an Underdark campaign....
    well, if the player didn't tell the dm, i'd be more inclined to nix it than to let it slide.... however, if i was playing a loose game where i don't require the in-continuity of leveling up, then i might let it slide. after all, the secretiveness could be justified as being irritated at the constant conversation that his character can't understand, plus interpreting the body language as something negative being commented on about the rest of the party. again, try to use it as a teaching moment about how to play the role. but really, i'd hope that the player would consult with the dm about it. even so, if i okayed the character without noticing it, then i'd call that dm-slip for not noticing and heading off a potential issue. so in the end, i'd likely let it go... especially if the players could be talked into good rp.

    3)Around the campfire....
    sounds like it's time for an out of character chat. first private with the dm so as to get a feel for both sides, then a group chat perhaps if needed. i would eyeball carefully the group for planning to kill someone.... while i don't use the alignments as they stand as anything more than a general guideline-preferring rather to have a statement of ethos and morality for each character-this is something that might have reprecussions beyond what the players might expect.
    Last edited by nijineko; 07-21-2008 at 09:59 PM.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Menifee
    Age
    42
    Posts
    990
    Blog Entries
    1
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    I've been thinking about the initial questions here and I don't really think the problem is "PvP" per se.

    In the first two examples, the problem is metagaming. Someone is using out of character knowledge to the advantage of their character. As a GM I just crush that with "Your character does not know that." and stick to it.

    The third example is someone who's deliberately ruining the fun. For folks like that I try to talk to them discreetly and clue them into the common goal of everyone having fun together. If they don't catch on, I encourage them to find a new campaign to play in.

    None of the issues related are really about the question "Should I allow my players to have their characters in conflict?" when you break them down.

    On that question, there is no right answer - it varies from group to group and it's on the individual to find a group that best fits their fun.
    --
    Grimwell

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    24
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    I like to allow my players the freedom to do as they choose a long as they understand that there WILL be consequences to actions.
    My last campaign was an 'evil' one. My players really enjoyed getting their hands dirty and doing nefarious deeds they normally couldn't.

    BUT playing evil does tend to make everyone more self-centered and the concept of a 'party' very soon disintegrated. It wasn't long before the only way to keep the group together ingame was to 'force' them to work together. The one pvp fight that did break out I broke up by having the groups powerfull employer attack them and break up the fight, along with a stern talking-to about playing nice.

    A lot depends on your group dynamics. We generally only play with friends, and over the years there have been some very hurt feelings over actions around the D&D table. Role playing is a very interesting social experiment and as with any society, those who no longer fit in, leave.
    Gone insane...back soon

Similar Threads

  1. Question about using mini's
    By cplmac in forum Strategic / Miniatures
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 05-08-2009, 05:46 PM
  2. More a question really
    By tesral in forum Feedback
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-11-2008, 01:15 AM
  3. A Question About Feats
    By cplmac in forum Dungeons & Dragons
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 05-20-2008, 11:37 AM
  4. Ok...noob question
    By Shadow Dweller in forum General RPG / Industry Discussions
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 02-19-2008, 04:37 AM
  5. 4.0 question
    By Moritz in forum Dungeons & Dragons
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 09-21-2007, 04:38 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •