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Fri
2015-08-17, 06:27 AM
Hey, I was talking about this with my friends one day, and now I wonder what's you guys' opinion about this.

First, for the purpose of this thread we must assume the campaign isn't a dungeon-crawling kill-em-all campaign. Also I guess it works better on a traditional fantasy campaign or shadowrun campaign or western campaign, rather than say, a superhero campaign.

Imagine this scenario. You're playing as the party's face who abhor violence and prefer to solve problem with a good amount of charm and diplomacy. Or you play as a non lawful-stupid goody-two-shoes paladin. Your party is in a tense negotiation/mexican stand-off scene with another party which you hope to solve peacefully. Then, at one point, someone in the other party makes a wrong move. Maybe he say something that your party don't like. Or he twitches wrongly toward his weapon. One of your party member start swinging his sword/throwing fireball. Tactically, this is a sound move, since it gives him surprise round, but your character think this is diplomatically/morally wrong. Obviously this lead up to full blown fight. You don't know how to defuse this, since it's not really a misunderstanding, someone has really already got a fireball exploding on their face. But do you have to follow swinging sword?

Basically, when your party start swinging sword, do you always have to follow? If you don't, are you intentionally gimping your party for the sake of roleplay?

(Strangely, I just realized this is what Durkon did when OOTS met Miko)

WalkingTheShade
2015-08-17, 06:40 AM
Well, I guess, in the end, it actually depends on your character's personnality, their relationship with the rest of the party, the nature of the enemy and the balance of the fight.
If the party is at an advantage, options other than fighting might be available:

Convincing the rest of the party to non-lethaly neutralize the opposition and, after the fight, attempt diplomacy again with the upper hand.
Bodily interposing onself between the belligerents.
Making escape easier for the enemy.


If the party is at an obvious disadvantage, it might be wise to consider what the party has to loose in case of defeat. Would the enemy capture the party and listen to another attempt at diplomacy? If so, depending on your character, sabotaging the party's fight might be envisageable (but the other players might hate you for it). If the enemy is more likely to kill everyone, it's a fight or die situation, so...

Fri
2015-08-17, 06:44 AM
Well, for the purpose of this thread, let's assume that the party isn't antagonistic. It's a typical band-of-brothers scenario (or nakama, if you will). You might argue with them in the morning, but at the end of the day they're still your brothers-in-arm.

And what my friend said was basically simply, "Do not make things worse." But that's still too general in my opinion.

ExLibrisMortis
2015-08-17, 06:46 AM
You don't have to follow with a sword, but if you have, say, a wall of force or equivalent available, it's polite to put a screen between your party and the enemy. You have to stand by your party, but you can use defensive options that slow your allies as well as your enemies, to gain time and incentive to negotiate.

Yora
2015-08-17, 06:53 AM
No, why would you have to?

As long as your characters behavior is consistent so the other players have an idea how you'll going to ract to things, you can do whatever the hell you want.
And then suffer the consequences, of course.

tgva8889
2015-08-17, 08:17 AM
My personal belief is that you should do whatever will make the game the most fun for the most people. As Rich once said himself, sometimes you do things for friends that you would never do otherwise, especially things you don't want to do.

This response requires knowing the other players more than it requires knowing your character. So my first response would be to explain my conflict with the other players and either ask them, OoC, to not take the aggressive action because of my character motivations, or ask them to help me come up with a response that works for everyone. Roleplaying is a collective experience.

Vitruviansquid
2015-08-17, 09:24 AM
Always? No.

The important rule you follow is to not be disruptive. Sometimes it's the person who starts the fights who's disruptive, and sometimes it's the person who stays out of the fights who's being disruptive. There is no hard and fast test, but you'll know it when you see it.

Geddy2112
2015-08-17, 09:45 AM
It depends on the situation, but overall diplomancers and murderhobos are not the type of people to ever get along. Sometimes it is done with good intentions, but often this is a direct conflict of one player thinking it would be fun to roleplay this out, while the other says screw this I am going to kill them all. As a face, make sure you don't have the rest of the party standing behind you twiddling their thumbs-a bored fighter, barbarian, antisocial wizard etc is champing at the bit to leave the field bloody with corpses.

You don't have to follow along with the sword swinging murderhobo, just as they don't have to stand back and not kill everybody while you peacefully solve every problem.

Eventually this has to be resolved between the characters, but these kind of situations almost always lead to PvP or one player retiring their problem character.




The important rule you follow is to not be disruptive. Sometimes it's the person who starts the fights who's disruptive, and sometimes it's the person who stays out of the fights who's being disruptive.

This.

tgva8889
2015-08-17, 09:51 AM
The important rule you follow is to not be disruptive. Sometimes it's the person who starts the fights who's disruptive, and sometimes it's the person who stays out of the fights who's being disruptive. There is no hard and fast test, but you'll know it when you see it.

I also strongly agree with this.

Raimun
2015-08-17, 11:32 AM
No, you don't have to follow.

As Sartre would say: Radical Freedom! :smallcool: :smalltongue:

This comic from Existential Comics actually discusses a similar situation in length. One guy wants to attack, the rest aren't so keen. Dungeons & Dragons & Philosophers. (http://existentialcomics.com/comic/23)

Ralanr
2015-08-17, 11:39 AM
You have a choice in every situation. Even if you think you don't have one, you do (they are usually the ones so bad that you don't consider them).

There is no have or must in an rpg for how you play your character.

Vitruviansquid
2015-08-17, 12:26 PM
No, you don't have to follow.

As Sartre would say: Radical Freedom! :smallcool: :smalltongue:

This comic from Existential Comics actually discusses a similar situation in length. One guy wants to attack, the rest aren't so keen. Dungeons & Dragons & Philosophers. (http://existentialcomics.com/comic/23)

This comic made me think of it:

If your goal in sitting at the table is to prove how much smarter you are than the other players or GM, you are probably the one being disruptive.

TheOOB
2015-08-17, 05:05 PM
You have to judge you're characters roleplay with your parties social contract. You as a party member are obligated to help your party in combat, even if doing so goes against your characters code. Leaving your party out to dry is pretty much always a bad move. That said you can still help your party and roleplay. My current character, for example, will generally not perform any attack that deals damage or causes pain until the foes have attacked my party, even if my party initiated the fight(though he was recently forced to start a fight on his own through circumstance). That way I can roleplay my character without hurting the party.

The only time I think it's appropriate to not fight is when it's a big character moment that's telegraphed well in advance, something the party can expect and work around.

D+1
2015-08-17, 05:36 PM
Basically, when your party start swinging sword, do you always have to follow? If you don't, are you intentionally gimping your party for the sake of roleplay?
No, you don't always have to follow, but be prepared to accept the consequences. Are you intentionally gimping the party? No. The party is intentionally gimping YOU is just as valid an explanation. When the face is busy getting you out of a potential jam KEEP YOUR SPURS FROM JINGLING AND JANGLING. If the OTHER guys actually start it in that situation then you have no reason not to be responding in kind. But if it's your own peeps pulling that crap it's not YOUR fault if you don't want to pay the price for THEM being twitchy, self-centered jerks. But when the dust settles and they ask you why you don't have their back - be prepared to EXPLAIN IT TO THEM.

BootStrapTommy
2015-08-17, 06:23 PM
Actual transcript from a campaign:

Paladin: These guys are pretty sketch. I engage.
DM: Roll initiatives.
*relevant rolls*
DM: You're up first, Rogue.
Rogue: I'm gunna flank and strike from behind.
Fighter: Bow chicka Bow wow!
*relevant rolls*
DM: You hit. Damage?
*relevant rolls*
DM: Wizard, you're next.
Me: I cast Teleport.
DM: Um... Okay, where to?
Me: Back to town.
Fighter: What?! Why?!
Me: Because **** this ****.

GungHo
2015-08-18, 10:20 AM
I've played the "what the hell is wrong with you people" guy more than once, both in and out of character. Reception largely depends on whether or not the others felt I "spoiled" their surprise round or if they got a different read on a potential danger in the situation that I did. Generally, though, if my guy is the more level headed person in the group, then it makes sense that I'd play him as a little more measured. It's only strongly objected-to if I forgot my role as the trouble-maker.

dream
2015-08-18, 04:20 PM
What if your party gets TPK'd while your PC stands there with his/her/its arms folded in contempt? :smallconfused:

Once the s*** hits the fan, help your friends. Because friends. You can b**** about it later, when everyone is still breathing and stuff.

My take anyway.

Vercingex
2015-08-18, 05:09 PM
For the sake of player to player relations, I tend to generally err on the side of helping the party. My group tends to play with the conceit that the party sticks together. We don't draw swords on each other, or push other players past their limits. Now, during the fight, I might still try diplomacy, or to use less-lethal means, because there might still be hope of salvaging some part of the situation. And I would certainly have strong words with the offending PC. But overall, the players have to have each other's backs, so I would help my party member.

D+1
2015-08-18, 07:57 PM
Really, it's just not the sort of problem that arises unless the players HAVEN'T had any discussions among their PC's as to how to handle certain situations and why, where character A stands on the idea of being drawn into a fight with poor odds because... friends, as opposed to character B who's always up for killin' because... Valhalla. You don't have a Face in the party trying to fast-talk your way out of situations in the first place if one of the hotheads (player or PC) is gonna get impatient with all the dumb roleplaying crap and starts rolling dice. If you ARE the Face in that kind of party then you know that going in and you don't really have high expectations of non-aggressive negotiations in the first place, so won't complain when those attempts get the rug pulled out from under yet again.

It's when all the PC's find themselves in that kind of situation but there never has been any agreement as to what any given PC should expect in the behavior of the other PC's that you get feathers being ruffled over it, in game or out.

Sith_Happens
2015-08-18, 09:07 PM
What if your party gets TPK'd while your PC stands there with his/her/its arms folded in contempt? :smallconfused:

Once the s*** hits the fan, help your friends. Because friends. You can b**** about it later, when everyone is still breathing and stuff.

My take anyway.

This is an important caveat. It's perfectly fine to not be the second person to jump to violence (especially since it might turn out that the first person remains the only one), but once you're the last person not fighting it's both dangerous and kind of bad form to stick to your guns.

Sacrieur
2015-08-19, 02:17 PM
Absolutely not. I've had players keep themselves out of jail by doing this.

MrConsideration
2015-08-19, 03:29 PM
In a recent session, mid-way through a conversation one PC foolishly attacked and killed an innocent forest spirit. The rest of the group protested but I ruled that the player had already rolled the dice and initiated combat. They fled the scene rather than engage and then peaceably stopped the enemies following them using Entangle. Taking non-aggressive actions that help control the battlefield can be supportive whilst not aggravating the situation any further.

One player complained after the session that it would be extremely unfair if they hadn't escaped and others had to fight and possibly die because of another player's actions - luckily this wasn't an issue but it does concern me. However, keeping the world realistic and responsive to player agency means that a return to that forest is going to be a tough encounter, forcing them to make a lengthy, dangerous detour.

goto124
2015-08-19, 07:36 PM
I'm really scared of realistic consequences. What if a decision I made had consequences I could not possibly expect? How am I supposed to enjoy a fantasy game when realistic consequences force me to act as if I were IRL? I've played high lethality games, and I couldn't do anything because everything was deadly, or came at some price that wasn't exactly affordable (not just money- distrust by various people, etc). It was not a fun game.

... I sound childish, right?

Mr Beer
2015-08-19, 07:39 PM
It's situational and there is no right answer to this question without further context being provided i.e. you can only judge on a case-by-case basis.

tgva8889
2015-08-19, 08:48 PM
I've had a game devolve before because one player I was DMing kept trying to kill everything that moved and a different player was playing a crusader of peace and justice character. They came to blows more than one time. The discussion basically came down to two players playing their characters to do opposing things because "That's what my character would do." I eventually managed to convince the more homicidal one that he needed to let the rest of the party hold him back every so often so the crusader of peace and justice character could resolve some interactions more peacefully.

It is a very situational thing. But I think the best solution to such a problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place by having the players discuss what their characters would do to work together. Just because your character is incredibly prone to violence in a particular situation doesn't mean they don't restrain themselves in the presence of their friends, and just because your character doesn't want to take violent action doesn't mean they won't step in to defend their friends.

Hawkstar
2015-08-19, 09:09 PM
What if your party gets TPK'd while your PC stands there with his/her/its arms folded in contempt? :smallconfused:Time to go off and find some better-quality, less-homicidal friends.

Once the s*** hits the fan, help your friends. Because friends. You can b**** about it later, when everyone is still breathing and stuff.
Meh. If you do something too morally objectionable, we stop being friends. If it's too morally objectionable, when I start sword-swinging, it's at you.

TheThan
2015-08-21, 07:04 PM
You're playing as the party's face who abhor violence and prefer to solve problem with a good amount of charm and diplomacy. Or you play as a non lawful-stupid goody-two-shoes paladin.

For starters, I don't believe players should play characters like this. Playing the party face does not mean you must abore violence or must be excluded from participating in said violence. Even if the attempt at diplomacy goes bad. Secondly, why would a character who abhors the concept of violence be out adventuring in the first place? Thatís part of the job, go kill the bad guys. Itís the same thing with the goodie two shoes paladin, just because heís lawful good doesnít mean he canít kill enemies, especially when said enemies are suddenly trying to make mincemeat out of him and his friends.

But to answer your question. I would say no, you donít have to fight; you could try to calm down the situation. But if you fail, youíre party might be a little bit mad at you for not helping; or you could suffer losses for not helping, it's surprising how often one die roll can change the direction of a fight.. Especially if youíre a spell-caster. plus, spellcasters that aren't casting their spells or aren't acting like they're in the middle of a big brawl are magnificent sneak attack targets.

D+1
2015-08-22, 12:23 AM
In a recent session, mid-way through a conversation one PC foolishly attacked and killed an innocent forest spirit. The rest of the group protested but I ruled that the player had already rolled the dice and initiated combat.
Bad form, IMO. This is basically playing "gotcha" and is especially bad when it's really the other players and their PC's who must then pay the price for ONE player/PC's choices. Why not just ask the player if they've really considered the ramifications? Why not let the other players at least have some input BEFORE you unilaterally declare that the stupidity of one player is the fault of all and must be paid for by all? An opportunity for PC's to stop the dumb one? An opportunity for other players to talk the dumb one out of it? Why wouldn't you as DM, KNOWING that this is a really stupid move to be making, pause and give the player time to reflect or to make it clear that he actually has some kind of sensible reasons for the action? Instead you opt for, "You rolled that die so MY hands are tied. I am forbidden by law to interfere anymore?"

But maybe that's just me.

dream
2015-08-22, 01:03 AM
Time to go off and find some better-quality, less-homicidal friends.
You're assuming the players/PCs have full knowledge and control of the situation. That happens how often?:smallannoyed:

The s*** has been flying defiantly against the fan for decades with RPG sessions, many times without PCs knowing how or why to stop said s*** from flying. See: Gamemaster.


Meh. If you do something too morally objectionable, we stop being friends. If it's too morally objectionable, when I start sword-swinging, it's at you.
"Morally-objectionable" and Dungeons & Dragons or Shadowrun or most RPGs are peanut butter & jelly: they go great together. Add bananas as desired. You mean to say your PCs stands around weighing the logical implications of NPC/monster attacks trying to decipher the weight of negotiation vs. combat? Right.

I defend PCs I hate when combat starts, if only so I can continue hating them. Or as Sabertooth told Wolverine, "No one kills you but me."