View Full Version : Two speeds party

2010-06-03, 06:29 PM
Recently I've issues with the party I DM.
After a complex twist of fate, the PCs are gone back in time and, freed from the end-of-the-world plot and an-enemy-in-every-city own imposed destiny, they're back to open adventuring.

Now, one of them wants time to research a powerful spell, for backstory purposes and for power too, other two want to search the library to know how the world is, and the remaining two are exploring the city, the arena and the multiversal dock (Spelljammer).

Now, the three ingaged in passive activities are stuck in their tasks and they're also refusing different hooks given, while the two left are really playing.
Now the three are starting to have issue 'cause the other two are the ones who really play, while they wanted to flash forward at least three weeks.

Any suggestion to try to satisfy both sides?

2010-06-03, 06:34 PM
So you have two people who don't want to go along with a 3 week jump? You have a couple of options. You can meet with the party of two separately to explore, while the passive players are doing something else, or you can jump forward 3 weeks and then have everyone explore.

2010-06-03, 06:43 PM
Two words: time distortion. The ones doing passive things can pay 'x' worth of gold/equipment/stats (could maybe homebrew some aging affects or have some event happen to put them on the back-foot story-wise) to finish their work in a time-dilation chamber/circle.

2010-06-03, 06:55 PM
Penny's one is more expendable, while Uber, your is not. No offense, just it will make no sense in game, since the characters have no reason to use limited resources to go fast.

This is a sandbox drawback: party split

2010-06-03, 08:28 PM
Research is boring to roleplay. Tell the one researching the spell that (s)he got the spell (or failed the roll); tell the other two how big the universe is (or tell them they failed the roll, or give them misinformation).

Then tell them the 3 weeks have gone by and it's time to play the game.

2010-06-03, 09:02 PM
I'd let the two who want to explore do so.

Then I'd hand the other three the character sheets for lower-level locals, possibly using the temporary PC's to introduce a sidequest or to serve as guides - something to keep the game moving and all the players active.

I've had good luck with this in the past - even when I haven't had specific plans for the characters, my players have immediately sketched out some generalized motivations, characteristics, etc. for them.

My players have seemed to enjoy this, but I'd shy away from pushing new characters onto them too often.

2010-06-04, 03:12 PM
So, two of the players want their characters to research the time and place they're in?

If you have some material extensively detailing the setting and/or its history up until the present time -- sourcebooks or your own notes -- maybe you could give that to them to pore over together while you run a session for the other two players. Encourage them to discuss what they want to do, based on the information they receive. You might as well have the spell researcher read and talk with the others, since they'll presumably share all of the important details, anyway. Say that the three of them meet up before the other two get back, maybe.

Of course, that relies on you having such material available. Really, the relevant thing is for the players to have something to do. It doesn't have to be related to the campaign. Maybe they could play Magic or something. Or, hey, they could skip showing up for a session, if they don't need to be there.

On the other end of things, you could try to fill up the active characters' activities with things that take time more than they require detail. Give them a rare opportunity to take a cheap round-trip spelljammer voyage that will eat up a bunch of days getting to and from the sites of interest. Try to work a few flash forwards into their adventures, too, in other words, to even things out a bit. Remind them that they can continue exploring along with the other characters once the group meets up again. It's nothing that they need to rush (unless there's some unmentioned reason that they're pressed for time).

In short, try to get the three "downtime" players to allow the others some time to explore on their own, and try to get the two "explorer" players not to use up too much time. Explain the benefits of them coming to an agreement about this amongst themselves: If you're forced to resolve an issue in favor of one side and against the other, someone's going to wind up with a decision they don't like. And if you routinely have to do this because your players are uncooperative with each other, it's likely that everyone will have to face a decision that they don't like eventually. By being willing to compromise, they can hopefully minimize everyone's total dissatisfaction.

If push comes to shove, I recommend leaning towards running the game for the explorers. Individual players are generally entitled to decide for themselves what their characters do, even though the other players or the DM may dislike some of their decisions and the consequences of those decisions. This is no less true for the metagame consequence of temporarily excluding some players from play than it is for in-game consequences.

2010-06-04, 03:19 PM
Run a side session with the explorers. Other players can either skip or run NPCs.

But, make sure that the people who were doing other in character research receive benefits equivalent to the explorers. Just because 2 characters are demanding a side-story doesn't mean they should get more XP or character rewards than the other guys who were also doing things relevant to their characters.

2010-06-04, 03:33 PM
Is there any particular reason why those who want to explore can't wait for the minute or so it takes to tell the others "Three weeks pass. Here's what you've learned."?

I get that their characters want to keep busy during that time, but it shouldn't be hard to think of some harmless time-wasting activity for the sake of keeping all the players happy.