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View Full Version : Killing off players and player drama



Amridell
2013-12-28, 01:59 PM
So, I had this idea a while ago. I have a lot of trouble getting people to roleplay. I play with a pretty self conscious group (I myself am pretty self conscious) and they have a ton of trouble getting the confidence up to do so. So I devised a solution. Kill them.

Not directly. That's a poor way to play. No, I told each one separately that there's a 30,000 gold bounty on each one of their heads. They are level 7. A kill would be a huge boon to them. But they don't know the other players know. All but two think they're the only one. And the two think they're the only two.

I just wondered what everyone else thought of this idea, or had experience turning players on each other. Thoughts?

EDIT: Did I mention 80% of the party is evil? One of them (the rogue) being chaotic evil?

hymer
2013-12-28, 02:04 PM
:smalleek:
What on earth is that supposed to accomplish? At best it'll get ignored, at worst it'll end the campaign. It is extremely unlikely to result in improved interpersonal relations.

NikitaDarkstar
2013-12-28, 02:27 PM
I think that you will just get a lot of upset feelings, trust issues, an ended campaign, and no role-play. See you want In Character drama, but this is far more likely to start Out Of Character drama.

BWR
2013-12-28, 02:30 PM
Sounds like a bad idea. It's not inconceivable that it would work, but I would not bet on it. While having a bounty on the PCs is not in itself a bad idea, it is a bad idea if used as anything but an in-game consequence of the PCs' actions. Going behind their collective backs like this is a recipe for disaster if you don't have a solid in-game excuse for it, and even then it's iffy (some players will be fine, others will get upset).

What do you mean by 'roleplay'? Do you mean having any sort of consideration of the PCs' personalities and desires or do you mean actual in character speech and minor acting?

In the second case, the best way to get people to roleplay is put them in situations where you roleplay NPCs and they are forced to roleplay back. Don't let them get away with "I tell him to do what I want; Diplomacy roll 24". Also, roleplay interactions with NPCs that has no direct relevance on plot, and play up their personality. If you have fun and vivid NPCs, the players will be more inclined to interact with them.

In the first case, handle it OOC first. Tell the players to write down five core personality traits of their character, then keep a copy by you and remind them they have to take into account their traits. Don't be too stringent, and don't worry if personality shifts a bit. just get them into the habit of asking themselves "what would X do?"
If they are very reluctant and can't get into it, you might consider handing out some sort of minor reward for anyone who does a good job of roleplaying, like a small amount of xp, a one-time bonus on use of a skill, etc.

Finally, you may have players who are not roleplayers, but who like the dice-rolling and monster slaying. Some people are like that and just won't change no matter how you try to entice and encourage them, yet they still enjoy the game. If you have tried and failed, and are stuck with these sorts of people, you'll just have to accept it and run a game everyone finds fun. While it may be a little annoying for you, it's probably the only sort of game this sort of person will enjoy.
However depressing that sounds, most people will roleplay if given a little incentive. Rewards are generally better received than penalties.

Brookshw
2013-12-28, 03:06 PM
Huh, kinda reminds me of the prisoners dilema to some extent. Personally I'd advise against setting the party against themselves unless that was understood precampaign.

awa
2013-12-28, 03:29 PM
yhea i don't see how this will encourage role playing.
I can see it punishing role-playing because out of character info is so valuable in this situation and the cheater has a massive edge. I can see it slowing the game down with lots of note handing and leaving the room to talk. but i don't see how this would encourage people who arnt role-playing to start.

Amridell
2013-12-28, 04:16 PM
Oh, right, I should mention this is a one shot campaign and online. Sorry that I wasn't clear about that.

The cheater's edge is a bit of an issue. But these people are out for blood anyways (they're not all on good terms with each other anyways). I've known these people for a long time. Perhaps it's simply my group, and the specific online infrastructure (roll20). So far, the plotting alone has been hilarious.

Trinoya
2013-12-28, 05:10 PM
So, I had this idea a while ago. I have a lot of trouble getting people to roleplay. I play with a pretty self conscious group (I myself am pretty self conscious) and they have a ton of trouble getting the confidence up to do so. So I devised a solution. Kill them.

Not directly. That's a poor way to play. No, I told each one separately that there's a 30,000 gold bounty on each one of their heads. They are level 7. A kill would be a huge boon to them. But they don't know the other players know. All but two think they're the only one. And the two think they're the only two.

I just wondered what everyone else thought of this idea, or had experience turning players on each other. Thoughts?

EDIT: Did I mention 80% of the party is evil? One of them (the rogue) being chaotic evil?

Killing players is likely against the law, and will likely lead to a lot of paper work and awkward moments.

Killing their PCs on the other hand.. .well... if they are evil, go for the bounty, sounds like fun.

inexorabletruth
2013-12-28, 05:24 PM
As a one-shot, there are far less consequences with this kind of paranoia inspired RP, so it may work a little, but turning players against each other is a better DM tool when everyone is already good at RP and not overly self-concious.

But with one-shots, RP isn't really that important. You're not trying to build character depth; you're just trying to kick-in-the-door, kill the wandering monsters, and get the treasure before everyone runs out of Mountain Dew and Cheetos.

If you really want to build RP, announce that from here on, you will be rewarding good RP with RPXP. Don't make it a competitionů just e-mail or PM them their RPXP reward and state what you like about their most recent RP that made you want to reward them. This is a better resource for ongoing campaigns, but I find it really brings out the shy ones. Everyone wants XPů honestly I think they want it more than the gold.

Another thing you can try is insisting on elaborate back stories for their characters. Give players a chance, and they won't shut up about how they were born during a goblin raid, during a famine, under a full moon, while their father died protecting the mother from the plundering horde. Get them to answer questions like:
What part of the fantasy world are they from?
Country, County, and City or Farm will help them get familiar with the setting's geography as well, but it will also get them thinking about what kind of life they lived. Like was it cold there? Or was it more tropical? Barbaric, or civilized? Theocratic or democratic?

Who were their parents and siblings?
Most adventurers are either orphans or sons and daughters of prostitutes. But if you get them thinking about their Blacksmith father, their jewelry making mother, and their younger sister who worships the ground their character walks on, you develop a home life that fosters the character's moral compass. It helps them think about why their character has the alignment they already have.

Why did they become an adventurer?
Adventurers are the one-percenters. People don't just suddenly become adventurers. Something most likely inspired or even forced them into the role. What pivotal moment in their character's life made them decide to leave their homeland, abandon all they know, and join whatever sect or mentor they had to join to learn what they needed for their chosen career path.

What was it like training to be an adventurer?
Adventurers have chosen paths to their careers. Bards pick apprentices. Monks train in monasteries. Wizards go to schools, and Clerics go to temples, so on. While there are exceptions to these rules, the variants from these patterns will have a different type of upbringing and mentality. For instance, a self-taught Paladin may have quirks that a Paladin brought up by the Templars, who could guide their training and instill the official doctrine in them. Also, a self-taught Paladin might not be recognized by the church they claim to serve, because they weren't "properly" trained. How would this affect their character's self-image?

INDYSTAR188
2013-12-28, 05:38 PM
Regarding your imposed RP solution... I would encourage them to (by encourage I mean drop hints and adventure threads) for them to kill a would be assassin who gives them clues as to who put the bounty out, where, etc. Then, have them go negotiate a way out of the bounty. There are lots of other ways to handle it but I think that would be a 'good' idea to kick-start some RP. I think making it clear that killing the person who put the bounty will only increase it, but negotiating is a more effective way to solving the issue.

A trick I've used is to provide rewards for good RP. We use 4E, so if I get particularly good RP I give an Action Point, or a one-time use of a +2 bonus to any roll, or I auto-success (secretly) whatever they were trying to do, within reason. I also do this for creative solutions to battles or for descriptive narration of their combat.

SowZ
2013-12-28, 07:31 PM
Not trusting the other characters until you really know them, party betrayal for personal goals, etc. is all par for the course in my games. But most people don't like it.

Coidzor
2013-12-28, 07:33 PM
Don't kill players, that just leads to legal trouble. :smalltongue:


So, I had this idea a while ago. I have a lot of trouble getting people to roleplay. I play with a pretty self conscious group (I myself am pretty self conscious) and they have a ton of trouble getting the confidence up to do so. So I devised a solution. Kill them.

That's... That's not really a solution to the problem of player confidence.

DrBurr
2013-12-29, 01:39 AM
IMO though its a risky move, it could very well cause chronic backstabbing and hurt feelings which can lead to the end of groups. But it could also be an interesting roleplaying scenario assuming your group can handle it.

Brookshw
2013-12-29, 12:26 PM
Don't kill players, that just leads to legal trouble. :smalltongue:
.

No legal advise :smalltongue: