View Full Version : Using a confederate

2009-08-21, 06:49 AM
I'm still fairly new at gaming, but I write my own campaigns and I was wondering if anyone has tried a similar experiment.

I decided to kidnap one of the PCs, I got her okay for it and her character was going to spend at least two (possibly more) sessions out of the game, with perhaps some cut scenes just to show out of game she was okay.

Problem was I had to find something to do with her in the mean time, and I needed a convincing way to get the rest of them to rescue her. So, I gave her an NPC I had planned to introduce to the party myself and she was on a mission for the Big Bad to lead them to the final fight.

This could have gone very badly, I think, as the character came with instructions as well as information she needed to pass on to the party as well. And she could have just ignored my instructions completely and gone her own way. Fortunately, she didn't, maybe because my instructions led her right back to her old character.

Has anyone tried similar ploys? Having a player slightly in on your plot and decieving for your big reveal? What sort of player do you need to pull this off?

2009-08-21, 06:56 AM
I generally avoid those, but the one time one of my players got replaced by a Greater Doppelganger, he did a good job of both maintaining his cover and promoting the Doppelganger's will.
What you need is a good roleplayer, who won't mind if things happen to his or her character, as long as it advances the plot. In my experience, these players are rare. Most players just play to have fun, and for a lot of those, fun means controlling their own characters and deciding what they're doing.
I also tried this on a player who went to the complete extreme. When his paladin killed a child for no reason the players all sort of figured out he's a doppelganger (my favorite monster).

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-08-21, 08:12 AM
In my last campaign, the big baddies were the demons and devils (yes, working together) who were trying to invade the Prime. One of the PCs picked up a magic staff with a fiend possessing it, and at appropriate times I passed him notes which were messages from the fiend. Over the course of 8 sessions, he ended up selling his soul to Dispater for power (after having started out Chaotic Good). The party had no idea and was completely thrown for a loop when they asked why he had a bunch of minor benefits and why his fire spells completely ignored resistance and immunity; his response was a casual "Hellfire is a wonderful thing. You should try it sometime..." to the dragon shaman of Bahamut in the party. :smallbiggrin:

2009-08-21, 08:18 AM
I've done it lots of times over the years. I've had PC Parties fulfill prophecies partially by giving one character secret instructions to push the plot along. I've had characters secretly blackmailed and forced them to work against the party's interest while appearing not to.

Like any narrative nechnique, it should be used sparingly. Not just because you need a good role-player to pull it off (I've found most people are happy to play along and find the experience fun - but then you have to know your players), but because each time you do it you erode the trust between the players and the game.

Having them doubt things just a little is a fine, even good thing. But too much and they can start not believing anything they hear.

2009-08-21, 08:22 AM
Agreed. It will be a good while before I do this again and you do have to find a good roleplayer.

2009-08-21, 09:31 AM
My DM did this with two characters in the same game, in slightly different ways. One of them was with my character, whose backstory was driving the plot. I would get information via Sendings or letters back home that would help us figure out where to go and who to talk to. Everyone knew what was going on, and the rest of the party was actively trying to help my character accomplish her goals. (Which we finally did last session! Yay!)

Then he and another player managed to pull one over on all of us. One of the players had switched out his character for a time (enough for the original character to pick up a template), and he brought in a temp character, a divine champion of somebody. The character's arrival had been proceeded by a note that I believed to be from my character's mentor, telling me to meet up with this guy. Long story short? New character was working for the BBEG, turned on us during the final fight, and was in fact a divine champion of Bane. And the rest of us had no idea until the BBEG went "Thank you for all your help, Nezpiet." And we were all "wha-- OH ARE YOU KIDDING ME YOU TRAITOROUS DOG."

And then the player brought in his old character, all templated up, and helped us kill everyone. It was awesome.

So, can it work, with the DM and a player working together to pull one over on the party? Absolutely, and it can be a hell of a lot of fun.