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longarms
August 7th, 2007, 05:05
This is a great article for both DMs and players.

http://www.errantdreams.com/static/party_creation

"A character with a strong sense of morality who insists on his companions adhering strictly to his standards is likely to be a problem unless everyone in the party has the same moral standards. "

I think this perfectly articlulates the problems I have seen when one player is allowed to choose the paladin class (and to some degree the cleric and druid classes) when the campaign isn't built around that choice (meaning the others players are likely choosing PCs with disimiliar ideologies).

When I last ran my campaign, I had some of the PCs interested in developing ties to a "theives" guild, while the other PCs wanted no part in it. It was really annoying from a DM point of view. I guess it was my bad for not thinking about party cohesion enough.

Mainframemouse
August 7th, 2007, 09:09
I have fond memories of a game where I ended up the only good player in a group of 5 very evil players.

The campaign started of normally all 6 of us play neutral or good characters, until one character suffered a terminal encounter with a frost giant.

The player went of with the GM for a bit and at the next city we went about recruiting. Found ourselves a very helpful "lawful-good" bard (Choatic evil theif), expert in languages just what we needed.

The bard then spent the next few game sessions arranging fatal accidents, and replacing the party with members of his own gang. Three sessions later only my jolly priest remained.

I knew the importance of our mission, and i couldn't kill off or leave the evil players not in my characters character. So i spent the next 6 sessions surviving on wit and guile where the other 5 players tried to kill me off.

The GM only ruling was it had to be subtle, no out right attacts.

It was great fun, ended tragically when the party sold me out to a family of beholders.

Tropico
August 10th, 2007, 16:09
"A character with a strong sense of morality who insists on his companions adhering strictly to his standards is likely to be a problem unless everyone in the party has the same moral standards."

I could not agree with this more.

One of D&D Fantasy's bigger downfalls, to my eyes, is the way the classes seem to be designed from the very beginning into having conflicts and problems with each other. Without fail, players will take this design as a cue to start bickering with party mates, having supposedly theological/philosophical arguments that really go nowhere, and just constantly hindering the fun of the game in the name of supposed 'roleplaying' (which it isn't really.. or if it is, then it's the crudest, basest form of it available).

At the beginning it seems all interesting-like.. oohh, look the PCs are having conflicts, that's good roleplaying, let them discuss it and sort it out, let's see what happens, etc.

But after the 50th time or so it happens, youre just like good god man, not the good vs evil/city vs nature/stealing vs paying/white vs black/yes vs no thing AGAIN? Give it a rest already ..


I think this perfectly articlulates the problems I have seen when one player is allowed to choose the paladin class (and to some degree the cleric and druid classes) when the campaign isn't built around that choice (meaning the others players are likely choosing PCs with disimiliar ideologies).

Paladin, Cleric, Druid, and I would add to this sometimes the Ranger when he wants to be a pseudo-druid type instead of a hunter type, and the Rogue when he decides to go extreme-chaotic or party-stealing. Very tiresome stuff. It can be handled well mind you, but it takes a good set of both roleplaying and people-skills. Oh, and the Healer class from the 'Minis' book is also a prime class for this.

Like Mainframemouse suggests, this type of thing is fine when everyone is new to the game, or when everyone is into it and agrees upon the premise of it, but if someone in the player group is not, then they're just not, and allowing it just creates a slow-moving train wreck most of the time. I believe that this is a flaw of the system itself, not the players.

NymTevlyn
August 10th, 2007, 21:15
I've banned alignment discussions in my groups and changed the classes to be less focused on specific things like that. Let the characters make their own moral quandries based upon what factions they consort with.

Griogre
August 10th, 2007, 21:23
Another way to rein in this type of thing is remind the players that their characters most of the time don't have to adventure with someone they don't like. If the party's rogue steals from the group - boot him out of the party.

Same with the jerk of a cleric or that evil wizard. Once a player's character gets kicked out of the group of adventurers a few times it tends to stop most of that nonsense.

Tropico
August 11th, 2007, 00:55
Same with the jerk of a cleric or that evil wizard. Once a player's character gets kicked out of the group of adventurers a few times it tends to stop most of that nonsense.

Lol, that's a nice way of looking at it (and logical to boot).

'Evil wizard' reminds me of Edwin from Baldur's Gate, whom I kept in my party for his funny lines and the whole Belt-of-Gender-Change schtick which was hilarious. So note, if you want to play the party stick-in-the-mud, at least make it be funny ;)

But, I wanna say that I've actually caught myself doing this stuff recently as a player, even though I've been against it for a long time, and it's just because it's so easy to just fall into those patterns while you're playing. Because the system leads you to it; the grooves are in there. You just have to watch out for it.