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BGGCriticalMass
2019-08-12, 12:26 AM
Hi all. This is my first post so when you tear me to shreds do it gently.
I am playing in a 5e campaign - Tyranny of Dragons. One of the other players and their character is acting in a way that makes it difficult to trust them.

The player was trying to hide their race, class and other details (I suppose this is really on their father the DM for failing to have the player describe their appearance).

The character also is constantly collecting blood from enemies and from fellow party members when they are downed.(possibly they are playing a blood sorcerer homebrew?)
They also have a fiend familiar which some character classes are likely to take exception to.

Several characters have taken exception to what he is doing and asked him about it but he fobs it off and ignores them.

I am all for good roleplaying and I can understand that keeping secrets from other players can increase tension and make games interesting however the rest of the party is playing openly but this one player is constantly sending whispers to the DM and doing things we don't agree with openly (and possibly in secret).

What would you do in this circumstance?

I will get zone of truth soon so that may help.

Koo Rehtorb
2019-08-12, 01:04 AM
People are way too reluctant to act aggressively in character against other PCs that are doing things to deserve it. The last time a PC was ****ing with me I tackled him, held a knife to his throat, and made him make a Persuasion check against an DC of my choice to convince me not to slit his throat right there. He started behaving better after that.

Glorthindel
2019-08-12, 03:21 AM
The only solution is to kick the character out of the party (after pinning them down and removing those samples of your characters blood he has).

At the moment, he is hiding behind the social contract to work as a party, in order to protect himself from the rest of you, whilst not actually signing up to the same contract. You need to stop him doing that, and right now. Make it clear to him (and the DM, he is leveraging his relationship with the DM to protect himself) that unless he immediately becomes a team player (hand over the samples, answer your questions) he is voiding any protection under table ettiquette. If the DM tries to step in under a "no PVP" rule (no idea if your group has one) make it clear that his son is already breaking that rule, and either he enforces the rule on him too, removes it and allows you all to react to his hostility, or you walk from the table.

Good luck.

Pex
2019-08-12, 07:50 AM
What Glorthindel said.

KineticDiplomat
2019-08-12, 09:40 AM
Kill him. If he wants to be a sneaky “Mole” type character, he needs to be subtle enough to pull it off. “I’m randomly harvesting your blood for probable use in spells later” is not sneaky. And your adventurers, being aware of the threats of blood magic from a guy who wanders around with a fiend, are not going to be held back by some ur-contract.

Think of it this way: he is doing the equivalent of going around and copying peoples credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and social security numbers, usernames, and passwords while harvesting DNA samples - and then he keeps pointing a handgun at people like he’s checking if the sights are aligned. “Oh, don’t worry, I do that all the time” is not a sufficient excuse.

Edit to be clear: doing this to fallen enemies is perhaps a question of morality, and therefore open to RP and questions on what actions to take. Which will be influenced by table dynamic. Doing it to PCs represents an existential threat to them, and at that point their right to respond - regardless of table dynamics - is pretty unassailable.

lacco36
2019-08-12, 09:44 AM
Wasn't there some kind of guide specifically to cover How To RP Mysterious Menacing Stranger? I'm on phone so can't really search but I think one basic rule was "Explain your concept to players and GM and get them on board."

King of Nowhere
2019-08-12, 12:17 PM
I say to start by talking about it ooc. and maybe talk first to the dm and bring him to your side, or he'll likely defend the son.

the thing is, you can accept that this guy is doing something strange if you, ooc, know that he's not trying to screw you.
and you should also tell the player and the dm something like "my character knows enough about blood magic to recognize that what you're doing is dangerous. he also has no particular reason to trust you. so give me an excuse for not turning this into pvp".
This way, you turn your problem intoo their problem. you can accept their strange behavior if they can provide you for reasons, both in character and out of character, to trust them

BGGCriticalMass
2019-08-17, 04:31 AM
UPDATE from OP:
thanks for the replies and advice.
I became conscious again and asked what was happening and why there was a pentagram drawn on the ground next to me (he had summoned and sacrificed a demon familiar again while I was out). The party told me it was our sanguinophile up to his unusual antics. I look around and see him taking blood from another corpse and say, "If we aren't careful he'll be taking our blood next." and got the response "He already has." Since mine was the only character who had been unconscious he knew what that meant. I grabbed the gnome in a grapple (holding him up by his wrists) and demanded to know what he had done with my blood. He denied taking it at first. One player said he saw it. The other said he was in beast form dealing with the leader who had downed me and didn't notice (player had not heard / remembered it happening). The culprit said OOC he did not remember it happening but that was not sliding past. With no answers I intimidated and headbutted him. I told the other characters to go through his stuff and find my blood. Their mistrust of the character grew as they uncovered ink / blood mixture and an evil looking grimoire. After holding out for a while (DM forgot? to apply intimidation at all) the character admitted to using my blood for magic to identify a magic sword (the one used to down me by the enemy leader). I said, "What kind of magic is it that you need my blood for?". The answer was, "Satanic magic obviously you half-brained moron." I declared I was dropping the gnome and making an attack with my dagger...at which point the DM called an end to the session (about 30 minutes earlier than our agreed finish time).

He said it was getting out of hand but was happy that people were mostly roleplaying well. Then he said to me, "I would like to remind you of your alignment." As if my Neutral Good Paladin (Level 2 so not yet declared to an oath but fairly obviously heading towards Ancients) should be acting differently. I messaged the DM afterwards to make sure he and his son were not upset. (No reply), I also explained that in the words of my character (whose background was to keep things short, an outlander), "You don't pat a rabid dog even if it used to be your family pet. You put it down and then mourn its death. You do not lie down to sleep next to it." I can't see my character realistically role played in any way that allows them to turn their back to the culprit EVER, let alone rest while they take watch.


His summary of the session included a statement that as I was about to attack, I saw a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye...To be continued.

Place your bets as to how this turns out:
A. The DM allows play to continue to its natural conclusion.
B. The DM saves the evil character using some form of deus ex machina
C. The DM comes up with some attempt to smooth things over so the party will (in his view) be able to continue with the adventure.
D. The DM comes up with some masterful plot device that meaningfully changes the character in a way that we can now realistically trust him.

BTW I DM for this same kid with my son in a Dragon Heist campaign and he has the most creative and consistent role playing in the group. He is a really good kid.

Also does anyone in our hobby really think it is worth the drama to have a player / character who declares they are using satanic magic. I mean he wasn't even born in the 80's but come on. I know two of the three other players are likely to say the character dies / changes / leaves (though I wouldn't let him leave alive if I was roleplaying my paladin anyway) or we can't continue.
I'm still hoping for something awesome. At least it is only about 8-10 hours into the campaign.

Pex
2019-08-17, 10:08 AM
As soon as the DM warned you about your alignment and ended the session, you were toast. He will not allow you to kill the PC with impunity. If you attack you will Fall and no longer be a paladin. You will be stripped of your powers or your character will be made an NPC. The DM is in league with the player. As with Global Nuclear War Games, the only way to win is not to play.

MrSandman
2019-08-17, 03:39 PM
Ugh, I had a somewhat similar experience once. A PC of unknown race would often disappear to do *something*. At the end of the day, it didn't really affect the party and nobody cared about this PC anyway, but it slowed the game down.

At this point, I think it would be best to have an OoC talk and say, "look, mysteriously mysterious characters aren't fun for anyone, especially not when they do stuff that can be interpreted as actively harmful against the party. So why don't we sit down, talk about this character and see if we can find any reason to keep it around?"

Regardless of what the GM thinks or wants to do, if it's annoying everyone else, it needs to be talked out.

Spore
2019-08-17, 04:04 PM
Just imagine if you met someone on the street and as it turns out he is the weirdo collecting blood. You would ditch them as early as possible.

I am not even sure if the existence of magic in universe makes this practice MORE or LESS creepy.

RNightstalker
2019-08-17, 06:52 PM
The primary issue is how the game is being run between the two. The whispering back and forth in front of the rest of the group is rude as hell.

BGGCriticalMass
2019-08-17, 08:01 PM
The primary issue is how the game is being run between the two. The whispering back and forth in front of the rest of the group is rude as hell.

The Whispering is a feature of communication on Fantasy grounds. The problem with that is it shows a lack of faith in the rest of the players to be able to play without meta (he could just say what he is doing and the rest of the party could role play like they didn't know what their character was doing). The alternative problem is that the whispers involve things the character is doing that the player does not want the other players to know. If it is because it goes against the party's interests as it seems then there will be friction as there is. If he just has some elaborate story arc that he wants to make a surprise then I honestly don't think it has been worth the frustrations.

zinycor
2019-08-17, 09:34 PM
If alignment comes into question, you could just kick him out of the party if the others agree.

More important anyway, is to talk to the player and the GM regarding this situation, tell them how you feel and that you don't appreciatte this sort of character.

Blackhawk748
2019-08-18, 09:16 AM
Ya, what you did I not a violation of standard Neutral Good behavior. This dude is taking blood from people and performing Fiendish Magic with it and you had plenty of circumstantial evidence for him taking it from you.

Shanking him at this point is well within the bounds of you alignment. If you were Lawful Good, maybe he'd have something, but you're Neutral Good so that's a moot point

Friv
2019-08-18, 10:34 AM
You can't solve out-of-character problems with in-character solutions, unfortunately, and this is a great example of that.

The blood-collecting and evil magic isn't actually the problem. It's just a symptom. The problem is that this player has a different idea of what's allowable under a party's social contract than you do, and the secondary problem is that the GM is their dad and is unlikely to reign them in.

The thing is, this isn't a rare problem, especially with younger players. He's either seeing what he can get away with, or he had a "cool, edgy" idea and hasn't thought about how it impacts the other players. Chances are, it's the first time he's run into this sort of problem, even though it isn't the first time we have.

You need to sit down with the kid and have a friendly but frank conversation. Explain why this particular set of antics is causing friction, and ask him if the two of you can work out a compromise. Point out that ultimately, not all characters work well together, and tell him that you're willing to bend, but you can't change too much without your paladin not being the character you wanted them to be, and that if he can't compromise, you're going to have to retire him.

It sounds like this kid is otherwise a pretty good player. I think an out-of-character conversation that's not a fight will have some progress, especially if you do it between sessions and before the current escalation gets totally out of control.

BGGCriticalMass
2019-08-18, 09:39 PM
You can't solve out-of-character problems with in-character solutions, unfortunately, and this is a great example of that.

The blood-collecting and evil magic isn't actually the problem. It's just a symptom. The problem is that this player has a different idea of what's allowable under a party's social contract than you do, and the secondary problem is that the GM is their dad and is unlikely to reign them in.

The thing is, this isn't a rare problem, especially with younger players. He's either seeing what he can get away with, or he had a "cool, edgy" idea and hasn't thought about how it impacts the other players. Chances are, it's the first time he's run into this sort of problem, even though it isn't the first time we have.

You need to sit down with the kid and have a friendly but frank conversation. Explain why this particular set of antics is causing friction, and ask him if the two of you can work out a compromise. Point out that ultimately, not all characters work well together, and tell him that you're willing to bend, but you can't change too much without your paladin not being the character you wanted them to be, and that if he can't compromise, you're going to have to retire him.

It sounds like this kid is otherwise a pretty good player. I think an out-of-character conversation that's not a fight will have some progress, especially if you do it between sessions and before the current escalation gets totally out of control.

I appreciate all the feedback I'm getting. Apart from anything else it lets me know that I wasn't out of line to be confronting the character behaviour in game the way I did.

The kid is indeed a very good player generally. He is more in role than all of the other kids his age that I DM for in a different campaign.

There is another issue that I didn't mention earlier because I wanted people's opinions separate to it. My wife grew up in a conservative christian family. She has been okay with my son and I playing D and D (thanks Stranger Things I owe you). My son is one of the other players and his friend is the one playing the blood mage. The additional problem is that my son and I will not continue playing in the campaign with the self described "satanic magic" user character. I don't want to anyway because I do not want to play a character who is okay with what he is doing.

So the blood mage dies, leaves (though I don't think my character could be realistically played to turn his back on a corruption of life for rules of a society he has never been a part of) or is miraculously changed or the party (for this run of the campaign at least) disbands. So I don't really have a lot of wiggle room for compromise from my end unfortunately. The DM did write that we will need to respect each other's differences but the character he seems to want to play is not one that I or my son will continue to play with.

I had to let the DM know this but I stressed that I was not trying to manipulate his decisions but just be open and up front about the situation. He actually said that his family also had a strong faith so I am not sure what he has planned to resolve this. We will see. I did offer that the Flaming Fists could appear and stop the immediate violence (as the legal authorities of the land who my character would obey (he grew up in The Wood of Sharp Teeth with a father who was a tracker and guide -ranger- for the Flaming Fists in their ongoing fight against the werewolves who dwell there)). But that will only solve the issue of immediate violence, not the problem of a party that was artificially formed as "you have been travelling along the road together for the past few weeks" and does not realistically belong together.

Zhorn
2019-08-18, 09:43 PM
You can't solve out-of-character problems with in-character solutions, unfortunately, and this is a great example of that.
... Well it can be done with in-game tactics, but it's a gamble on how many times it takes for the lesson to sink in.
But I agree that an OOC conversation would be the most effective method of resolving the issue.

If it wasn't for their father being the DM and quite visibly on the kid's side, I'd be in full support of the party killing the character and burning the character sheet in after.
I don't see playing an evil character as the problem, only that (like others have pointed out already) there's an expectation of the other players to allow this character with clearly harmful intent to just be allowed do as they wish. That doesn't fly. If a character perceives another character as a threat to themselves or what they hold dear, they are in full right to resolve that threat.
In the case of a paladin finding out a character is using blood of involuntary party members for dark magic, you can be sure that's a one-way-no-questions-direct-train-to SMITEsville.

zinycor
2019-08-18, 09:45 PM
I appreciate all the feedback I'm getting. Apart from anything else it lets me know that I wasn't out of line to be confronting the character behaviour in game the way I did.

There is another issue that I didn't mention earlier because I wanted people's opinions separate to it. My wife grew up in a conservative christian family. She has been okay with my son and I playing D and D (thanks Stranger Things I owe you). My son is one of the other players and his friend is the one playing the blood mage. The additional problem is that my son and I will not continue playing in the campaign with the self described "satanic magic" user character. I don't want to anyway because I do not want to play a character who is okay with what he is doing. So the blood mage dies, leaves (though I don't think my character could be realistically played to turn his back on a corruption of life for rules of a society he has never been a part of) or is miraculously changed or the party (for this run of the campaign at least) disbands. So I don't really have a lot of wiggle room for compromise from my end unfortunately. The kid is a very good player generally. He is more in role than all of the other kids his age that I DM for in a different campaign.

I had to let the DM know this but I stressed that I was not trying to manipulate his decisions but just be open and up front about the situation. He actually said that his family also had a strong faith so I am not sure what he has planned to resolve this. We will see. I did offer that the Flaming Fists could appear and stop the immediate violence (as the legal authorities of the land who my character would obey (he grew up in The Wood of Sharp Teeth with a father who was a tracker and guide (ranger) for the Flaming Fists in their ongoing fight against the werewolves who dwell there). But that will only solve the issue of immediate violence, not the problem of a party that was artificially formed as "you have been travelling along the road together for the past few weeks" and does not realistically belong together.

Personally, I would just retcon the satanic PC out of existence, let the kid create a new character to join the party, and call it a day.

BGGCriticalMass
2019-08-18, 09:54 PM
Personally, I would just retcon the satanic PC out of existence, let the kid create a new character to join the party, and call it a day.

Well my character was attacking when play was stopped and was going to say "If you want to serve satan, then go to hell". If Some major demon comes to take the mage to renew / review or consumate his contract then so be it.

zinycor
2019-08-18, 09:59 PM
Well my character was attacking when play was stopped and was going to say "If you want to serve satan, then go to hell". If Some major demon comes to take the mage to renew / review or consumate his contract then so be it.

That's an option, but not what I was suggesting. I suggested a Retcon, keep everything as it was but the players and GM agree on ignoring the fact that the devil worshipper ever existed, then have the kid playing the demon worshipper, make a new character (Hopefully one that doesn't disturb any sensibilities) and have him join the party and continue the adventure.

The problem to have the demon take the mage, is that it is like punishing the kid playing the character for doing something he didn't feel wrong. And as you describe the situation, doesn't seem like it is needed to do that.

denthor
2019-08-18, 10:33 PM
Your alignment is already shot to hell he admitted satanic you can not party play with this gnome. Roll a new character or he does. You tried to kill him played a paladin well.

Just so you know I have a distaste for paladins I enjoy watching do things that make them fall. So for you get a compliment from me is impressive(it stunned me to type it). First time for everything.

Welcome to the boards insanity. You picked a great one to start with.

Tawmis
2019-08-18, 10:41 PM
B. The DM saves the evil character using some form of deus ex machina


Option B is bound to happen.
Something with the character's pet fiend is about to jump into the fight or something.
A few things...
The kid mention "Satanic reasons" for collecting the blood.
Now hold the phone.
Is this campaign on Earth? Because I don't think there's a "Satan" to be found in D&D.
There's an ample metric ton of devils and demons, sure. But Satan?
And the moment the DM reminded you of alignment - I hate when people assume their alignment is ALL that they do.
Even LAWFUL GOOD characters might break the law if the law is questionable in an area.
And someone taking my blood, without my consent, no matter what my alignment, is about to get a dagger across their throat.

Clistenes
2019-08-19, 08:24 AM
Has the character actually done anything against any other PC? If not, you could just ask the player if they are planning anything funny, and if they promise they aren't, let them play their mysteriously ominously egdy character as much as they want...

denthor
2019-08-19, 09:35 AM
Has the character actually done anything against any other PC? If not, you could just ask the player if they are planning anything funny, and if they promise they aren't, let them play their mysteriously ominously egdy character as much as they want...


Drawing a pentagragm next to a Player Character while unconscious, taking vials of blood while unconscious and publicly announcing they are doing satanic things. In my view is more then being shady or just edgy.

My 1/2 orc wizard (CG/N)would be horrified she would kill you outright.

My Hobgoblin (NE)priest of a negative energy plane god Toldoth (I think) would not kill you outright. She would engage in series of depraved test to your darkness. Test one let's eat kolbold rump roast and kidney pie. Yesterday it was a live kolbold. You my friend need to talk to this imp. She was swaying (lE). She kept and imp skull in a nitch of honor above her alter you would be kissing it.

My cleric/thief (NG)of a knowledge god who was neutral would brand you an extremist. You would not be trusted and submit to be questioned by his superiors or dismissed immediately.

My ranger Hawk (CN/g) would adventure with you everyone needs to eat. Including the monsters we encounter your dinner. Hawk was not a good guy either.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-08-20, 09:28 AM
Talk. To. The. Player.

You've got two out-of-character problems here: the player is running a character who does not fit with the group, and the player is running a character that's outside your personal comfort zone. Neither is okay, and the latter in particular cannot be addressed in-game. You say that he's a good dude; he should be willing to work things out with you, whether that means a retcon or his character becoming a villain or what.

kyoryu
2019-08-20, 10:10 AM
As others have pointed out, this is mostly an OOC problem, in that it’s abuse of social contract.

Specifically, you are being told that your character must remain a victim and not respond because of group (real life) unity things, and another player is using this fact to engage in behavior that, were it not for the social contract, would have more severe consequences.

First thing to find out is if everybody else is okay with this.

But the most important thing is that you don’t have to put up with it. You can choose to, if playing the game is that important. You can just choose to leave.

But I think the best solution would be talking OOC. State the things that you like about the game and the player. Then, state the issues you have, and make clear the criteria you would have for staying. The group can agree to those criteria, or not. And then you can stay or leave with a clean conscience.

kyoryu
2019-08-20, 10:12 AM
Neutral Good or not, there is no scenario where an appropriate response to someone taking your blood while asleep and doing evil magic with it is “okay, whatevs”.

A realistic response involves stopping that from happening - either by forcing the person to stop or getting as far away from them as possible.

GuzWaatensen
2019-08-21, 04:09 PM
I think you got some pretty solid advice already, but I would like to address one detail of how you handled the situation. From your description it sounds like you went from the kids character declaring "I'm a satanist" directly to "I stab him". Wich might be in character for your paladin - for all I know - but I actually agree with your DM on the alignment implications (even though his warning about the shift might have been uttered in anger and not based on reason).
Even the most zealous of Paladins would react with a detect evil (eventually followed by a smite) and not just a stabbing. You might have also made an intelligence (or similar check) to ascertain if you were in any immediate danger by that revelation, followed by a grapple check and some rope work if necessary. But a direct stabbing seems rather Murder-Hobo to me...

(And I think denthor is trying to convince you otherwise just to see you fall)

BGGCriticalMass
2019-08-21, 06:39 PM
Even the most zealous of Paladins would react with a detect evil (eventually followed by a smite) and not just a stabbing.
(And I think denthor is trying to convince you otherwise just to see you fall)

I have used Detect Good and Evil previously. It didn't reveal anything about the character but why would it. RAW would not show a character with an evil alignment. If I used it again it should show the sight of sacrificing a demon familiar as evil though and may show the spell book and blood ink as evil.

Mr Beer
2019-08-21, 11:33 PM
I consider it 100% fine for a character to shank another character in that situation, "Good" does not mean "Naïve Moron" and it's canonically true that D&D adventurer parties, regardless of alignment, are comfortable with using ultraviolence as a problem resolution technique.

As said above this is an OOC problem. I would say that I'm not comfortable with having evil, treacherous party members so basically cut it out. If that doesn't work, I'd bail. FWIW I consider this kind of thing the height of teenage edgelord behaviour. It sounds like a great idea when you are 14 to be the evil guy who LOL betrays the party and they can't stop you because of their silly alignment. In reality it's merely predictable and irritating.

Zhorn
2019-08-22, 12:15 AM
Agreed Mr.Beer.
I still agree the best way to resolve this is OOC, but the player would really benefit from facing the consequences of their play style, so in future games they'll at least have the experience based knowledge of 'why' your character needs to be valued by the party and not an antagonistic threat.
Present yourself as a danger to the party; and your value to them devolves into how much xp and loot you are worth.

Matt Colville has a few great videos on wangrods and evil player characters (I'd fish them up, but I'm in a lecture waiting for it to start. shhh, don't tell :smalltongue:).
They're good for both the perspectives on why you shouldn't, and also how to make it work, but the general lesson is it being approached in a mature manner.
My personal favourite is the story of EVERY player in the group coordinating with the DM thinking they were going to betray the party, without knowing the DM was coordinating the same thing with every other player.
In any case, betrayals are best reserved as set-piece moments, where the revaluation that you can no longer trust that character is a moment of great change in the party dynamic. Up until that point, it can be made clear to the party that there will be a conflict of interests in the future, but for the time being everyone has shared objectives and benefits from working with each other.
Bringing this back on topic, that confrontation WAS the moment OP described. It wasn't meant to be a set piece at all, but once those dominos started moving, there was only one way for them to fall.

Themrys
2019-08-22, 03:05 PM
He actually said that his family also had a strong faith so I am not sure what he has planned to resolve this. We will see.

Perhaps he just meant to say that his family has a strong faith and doesn't care about playing satanistic characters because it is just a game. And that he expects the same attitude of you.

There's no need to drag your faith into it. You play a paladin, you cannot be expected to play in a group that contains an evil character. I am not religious at all, I would still refuse to play with that character because that level of dark 'n gritty just is not my cup of tea.

Either the kid shares a bit more about his character, especially the reason why the paladin should be okay with it (perhaps he's planning a redemption arc?), or he makes a new one.

BGGCriticalMass
2019-08-22, 06:27 PM
Perhaps he just meant to say that his family has a strong faith and doesn't care about playing satanistic characters because it is just a game. And that he expects the same attitude of you.

There's no need to drag your faith into it. You play a paladin, you cannot be expected to play in a group that contains an evil character. I am not religious at all, I would still refuse to play with that character because that level of dark 'n gritty just is not my cup of tea.

Either the kid shares a bit more about his character, especially the reason why the paladin should be okay with it (perhaps he's planning a redemption arc?), or he makes a new one.

That might be why I left that part out entirely til I had plenty of feedback. Well I suppose someone had to have a go this being a web forum and all. Congratulations you have set yourself apart amongst a number of your peers. Now take a good hard look at yourself and see how your feedback differs from EVERYONE else. You might also notice how my response to the offered feedback is different towards yours when compared to all the others.

Yes it is just a game but as I have pointed out, it is a game that I can only play in conflict with his character because it is a game I am only wanting to play as a character who is opposed to his shenanigans. If you weren't paying attention it was the choice of keeping information from my wife and/or doing something I know will go directly against her faith and her wishes especially for our son that I will not be a part of. The only real reason it was mentioned at all was to point out that I don't have much space for compromise.

zinycor
2019-08-22, 06:47 PM
Yeah wow really? That might be why I left that part out entirely til I had plenty of feedback. Well I suppose someone had to have a go this being a web forum and all. Congratulations you have set yourself apart amongst a number of your peers. Now take a good hard look at yourself and see how your feedback differs from EVERYONE else.

Yes it is just a game but as I have pointed out, it is a game that I can only play in conflict with his character because it is a game I am only wanting to play as a character who is opposed to his shenanigans. If you weren't paying attention it was the choice of keeping information from my wife and/or doing something I know will go directly against her faith and her wishes especially for our son that I will not be a part of. The only real reason it was mentioned at all was to point out that I don't have much space for compromise.

Don't be so hard dude, Themrys does have a point. It is just a game. Which is liberating, you can play a character who is a thief, even if you would never do so. You could be a knight in shinning armor, even if you didn't believe in ideas of rights or wrongs in the world. The point is, the character that you play doesn't relate to the person that you are, and you shouldn't judge others for playing their character in whatever ways they do so.

Now, In my opinion, the problem is not so much that this kid chose to play a satanic character, is that he did so without having consent from others to do so. He pushed the limits of the relationship you all share at the table and found resistance. This doesn't need to be malicious, since I would believe that the kid did so without knowing.

I believe that as an adult is your duty to make known the fact that having a satanic character in your team bothers you, that it isn't something that you care to explore. And a good group would recognize this and you would all make adjustments as needed.

But the fact remains. There isn't anything wrong with playing an evil or morally wrong character.

BGGCriticalMass
2019-08-22, 07:04 PM
Don't be so hard dude, Themrys does have a point. It is just a game. Which is liberating, you can play a character who is a thief, even if you would never do so. You could be a knight in shinning armor, even if you didn't believe in ideas of rights or wrongs in the world. The point is, the character that you play doesn't relate to the person that you are, and you shouldn't judge others for playing their character in whatever ways they do so.

Now, In my opinion, the problem is not so much that this kid chose to play a satanic character, is that he did so without having consent from others to do so. He pushed the limits of the relationship you all share at the table and found resistance. Thos doesn't need to be malicious, since I would believe that the kid did so without knowing.

I believe that as an adult is your duty to mkae known the fact that having a satanic character in your team bothers you, that it isn't something that you care to explore. And a good group would recognize this and you would all make adjustments as needed.

But the fact remains. There isn't anything wrong with playing an evil or morally wrong character.

Sigh. The inevitable move towards internet forumdom. Themrys made a point by ignoring the conversation and context. So have you. I never judged someone for playing any character. I pointed out that the way a character was being played was leading to in-game conflict. Out of game I did talk to the DM (his father - I thought it better than talking to the boy who I had not heard was not upset at that point) to let him know I felt I was playing my character appropriately for their beliefs, background and situation, and to let him know that based on my wife's beliefs I and my son would not be able to continue playing with the character the way it is. Here is a direct quoyte from part of that message (name's removed): "To be honest (my son's) mother would not want him playing D and D with someone who was playing a satanic character and would probably thereafter have a problem with me or (my son) playing D and D in general. I am not trying to manipulate your decisions in saying this. I am just trying to be open.
There has at no point in our group been ANY out of game malice and as I have said to you the readers and to the boys father, I have every respect for how well the boy engages in role playing. No malice. Compliments.
Any interpersonal conflict I have is born from frustration at presumption and borderline condescension.

Themrys
2019-08-22, 07:08 PM
That might be why I left that part out entirely til I had plenty of feedback. Well I suppose someone had to have a go this being a web forum and all. Congratulations you have set yourself apart amongst a number of your peers. Now take a good hard look at yourself and see how your feedback differs from EVERYONE else. You might also notice how my response to the offered feedback is different towards yours when compared to all the others.


Ok, thanks for informing me that you don't want and therefore don't deserve my attempts to help you solve your problem.

Perhaps you should take a good hard look in the mirror.

Just so you know, I don't care what "everyone else" does. I also don't care if you hate me more than anyone else, or whatever it is that you are trying to tell me. I do what is right, and if everyone else does things differently, I don't care. (And if you think that "what everyone else does" is an indicator for what is right and what is wrong, then I wonder how you play your paladin, because that's not how I play paladins, just saying.)

You remind me of the kid I once knew who objected to videogames that had the word "satan" in the title, but would happily play egoshooters, or illegally copy music.

I foresee an escalation of the conflict. If you can't even be civil with random strangers on the internet who are trying to help you and didn't even disagree with you, I don't think you can be civil with people who actually disagree with you.

zinycor
2019-08-22, 07:13 PM
Sigh. The inevitable move towards internet forumdom. Themrys made a point by ignoring the conversation and context. So have you. I never judged someone for playing any character. I pointed out that the way a character was being played was leading to in-game conflict. Out of game I did talk to the DM (his father - I thought it better than talking to the boy who I had not heard was not upset at that point) to let him know I felt I was playing my character appropriately for their beliefs, background and situation, and to let him know that based on my wife's beliefs I and my son would not be able to continue playing with the character the way it is. Here is a direct quoyte from part of that message (name's removed): "To be honest (my son's) mother would not want him playing D and D with someone who was playing a satanic character and would probably thereafter have a problem with me or (my son) playing D and D in general. I am not trying to manipulate your decisions in saying this. I am just trying to be open.
There has at no point in our group been ANY out of game malice and as I have said to you the readers and to the boys father, I have every respect for how well the boy engages in role playing. No malice. Compliments.
Any interpersonal conflict I have is born from frustration at presumption and borderline condescension.

And I think you made the right thing, but that doesn't give the right to treat Themrys so poorly, like he had said something wrong or terrible.

BGGCriticalMass
2019-08-22, 07:16 PM
Ok, thanks for informing me that you don't want and therefore don't deserve my attempts to help you solve your problem.

Perhaps you should take a good hard look in the mirror.

Just so you know, I don't care what "everyone else" does. I also don't care if you hate me more than anyone else, or whatever it is that you are trying to tell me. I do what is right, and if everyone else does things differently, I don't care. (And if you think that "what everyone else does" is an indicator for what is right and what is wrong, then I wonder how you play your paladin, because that's not how I play paladins, just saying.)

You remind me of the kid I once knew who objected to videogames that had the word "satan" in the title, but would happily play egoshooters, or illegally copy music.

I foresee an escalation of the conflict. If you can't even be civil with random strangers on the internet who are trying to help you and didn't even disagree with you, I don't think you can be civil with people who actually disagree with you.

I'm not sure why I am bothering but... I don't regard your input as worthwhile because you did not respond to me and my situation but to some inaccurate impression you got. I don't hate you. I don't know you. "What everyone else does" was in reference to the fact that you seemed to be telling me to keep my faith out of the game where noone else did and you still have missed the point there. What you did was not right. It was and continues to be a criticism of a person that I am not which you would know if you read my posts properly. I forsee that the game will continue. I forsee that All of the players will get along very well (though the characters as they are will not).
If you come into a constructive conversation having heard and misinterpreted some of it and start being critical then get upset when people call you on it that is on you.

EDIT: posts combined due to my infraction of the double posting rule


And I think you made the right thing, but that doesn't give the right to treat Themrys so poorly, like he had said something wrong or terrible.

I don't know why asking someone to reflect on their unconstructive input into a conversation they clearly were not paying attention to is treating them so poorly. Asking me to keep my faith out of the game was clearly off the mark. Themrys should have been able to understand that before commenting.

Cluedrew
2019-08-22, 07:35 PM
Another vote for talk to everyone out of character. You could play out what is about to happen but you should only do this if everyone is on board with it. And really whatever your reason for being uncomfortable with something in the game, if you are uncomfortable with something in the campaign bring it up. Don't let it fester bring it up and if they feel it must be in the campaign then you just have to decide if the rest of the game is worth it.

Also I would recommend dropping mention of faith and just talk about that you are uncomfortable with satanic magic. Really even if you file off the serial numbers the idea of someone contracting with an personification of evil and possibly/probably sacrificing allies as a hero makes me uncomfortable. There are interesting questions to ask there, but a table-top role-playing game with people I am not very comfortable with is not the place for that.

BGGCriticalMass
2019-08-22, 07:41 PM
I am sorry that the forum got tense there. I appreciate that you, Themrys, were trying to give constructive feedback. Unfortunately you came across as condescending by highlighting "it is just a game" as if I didn't know that. Also your assertion to keep my faith out of the game implied that you had not read or understood the conversation.
I should not have been sarcastic. I did not need to lump you in with internet trolls. I could have more politely pointed out that you were mistaken about the situation without escalating things.

EDIT: posts combined due to my infraction of the double posting rule.


Another vote for talk to everyone out of character. You could play out what is about to happen but you should only do this if everyone is on board with it. And really whatever your reason for being uncomfortable with something in the game, if you are uncomfortable with something in the campaign bring it up. Don't let it fester bring it up and if they feel it must be in the campaign then you just have to decide if the rest of the game is worth it.

Also I would recommend dropping mention of faith and just talk about that you are uncomfortable with satanic magic. Really even if you file off the serial numbers the idea of someone contracting with an personification of evil and possibly/probably sacrificing allies as a hero makes me uncomfortable. There are interesting questions to ask there, but a table-top role-playing game with people I am not very comfortable with is not the place for that.

Thanks Cluedrew. I am in the same boat as you.
In these circumstances I needed to alert the DM regarding my wife's faith and her wishes regarding our son because they would impact on my son and I continuing to play. I brought it up with the DM and it ruffled no feathers at all. It has only caused the disturbance in the force here.
I honestly think the DM was surprised by how far his son was pushing the "edginess" of his character all of a sudden and was going to reign him in regardless of my character''s response.
As has been pointed out, Satan is not a part of the Faerun universe but the meaning was clear.
I also think that it could have been an interesting plot point and source of creative intra-party conflict if it had been done more gradually and subtly. I t seems likely that the resulting conflict in-game would have happened eventually though. For an excellent example of "evil" magic played out in an interesting way, check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWLFc2z5xS4

Cluedrew
2019-08-23, 07:54 AM
To BGGCriticalMass: I have a joke that is true that goes something like "No PvP, however the characters are allowed to try to kill each other." The most important bit is making sure that everyone is on board with this idea. So I have had other PCs try to kill my character but there wasn't any malice between players. Our characters ended up on different sides and we were cool with that so we played it out and the characters tried to kill each other.

Also good job apologizing. Everyone makes mistakes but too few people apologize for them.

King of Nowhere
2019-08-23, 10:58 AM
the way you describe it, it seems that everyone is nice people, and the problem is due to conflicting views on the social contract at the table and the kind of tone for the game.
I hope you can find a compromise. unfortunately, if you cannot there is nothing really to do. you may just have incompatible play styles.

d&d parties are a bit like lovers in that regard. sometimes it is realized that someone is a bad person, and in that case he/she must be kiccked out of the union and avoided.
and sometimes everybody is doing their best but they have different, incompatible ideas and projects, in which case they still have to break up, but they can stay friends afterwards.

BGGCriticalMass
2019-08-23, 07:14 PM
Good news. The Fey patron of my son's character intervened, predominantly to keep the party from splitting to maintain the safety of my son's character who is a child.
The blood collecting mage was made to explain himself. It turns out he was a charlatan of sorts. A mage who had failed to become a summoner as he had wished and used illusions to appear more fearsome and powerful than he is. He is attempting to contact a powerful being that appeared to him briefly through a portal, perhaps ill advisedly, with his collection of blood. He was secretively hoarding more than his share of the gold to be used to increase his magical power somehow.
Whether this involved a character retcon or whether this was the original character design I don't know. It is what it is and the party is continuing on with the tension of party disunity largely resolved. We may end up having to face a powerful evil that the wizard, perhaps foolishly, is wanting to contact, but at least the party knows, or thinks they know, what is going on and are continuing in their current quest.
There were a lot of funny moments with the group as the child character and the gnome wizard character tried to disguise themselves in cultist robes with the gnome sitting on the boy's shoulders and constantly failing strength / dexterity checks. They ended up able to use a magic disc and mask of many faces to pull off a serviceable if silly disguise.

Zhorn
2019-08-23, 08:06 PM
Retcon or not, I'm glad to hear a positive resolution that allows the game to continue.

Also, whenever a group has two or more short characters...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4QK5l_zhAw

BGGCriticalMass
2019-08-23, 08:56 PM
Gotta love the Muppets.

The Inception moment when a player is playing a game of make believe pretending to be a character who is pretending to be a different character, but then a character who is the imaginary friend of another character steps in and says you can trust this character. He is only pretending to be untrustworthy.

The Library DM
2019-08-28, 02:05 PM
So let me get this straight— the kid was basically playing a PC who thinks he’s performing a demonic blood ritual to gain power, but which may not actually be a functioning ritual at all (and the player knows this)? And, in the meantime, the PC uses low-level illusion magic to try and appear more menacing/mysterious than he actually is. So, in essence, the character (not the player) is the “edgelord” teen/goth type, trying to look tough and fearsome and pushing the boundaries of social acceptance, while really being somewhat ordinary at heart. If that is the case, it’s a great send-up of so many terrible “edgelord” roleplayers I’ve encountered, and I think it’s a hoot. If it’s a retcon, it still works (and is a brilliant one).

And if I have my interpretation wrong, I heartily suggest the character I describe to a group with a good sense of humor.:smallwink:

On a side note, I also agree that it’s wrong to single out a person’s faith and say they shouldn’t bring it to the game. Faith is essential to who a person is, and is (or should be) a part of that person in every moment and circumstance. For example, I am not a D&Der who sometimes is a Christian— I am a Christian who sometimes plays D&D. I certainly do not cease to be a Christian when I play D&D, anymore than I cease to be one when I eat dinner. I can readily imagine and play a PC who is not Christian, and a fantasy world where Christianity does not exist. But I personally don’t stop being a Christian when I do so. Also, if the imaginative play is going to cross boundaries which offend me in my faith, or which go against my principles, I am right and justified in speaking up to that OOC, and express my concerns to the DM and other players. It may still be “only” a game, and the offending moment intended only as imaginative play, but that doesn’t trump my faith. (Consider the example of saying “it’s only a game” when a player begins to graphically describe violent misogynistic fantasies. Maybe it is “only a game,” but at that point it’s also crossing a line of the social contract, if not worse.)

The sauce for that goose is sauce for the gander— I would certainly expect to be questioned if something I said or did in-game offended another player’s faith or principles. And I would want to resolve the issue, even to changing the in-game events/story if that were the case. The phrase “it’s only a game” doesn’t exist to excuse egregious actions in play— it exists to remind us that the game itself is lesser than our real life concerns, especially our principles and faith. People are important— the game is not.

So I applaud the OP’s actions in taking up his concerns privately with the father, allowing a resolution to be arrived at that was satisfactory to all.

As for the in-game actions of the paladin, I’m surprised he didn’t go “Holy Avenger” on the offending wanna-be warlock! :)
Demonic pacts are not something a paladin should take lightly.

BGGCriticalMass
2019-08-30, 09:23 AM
Thank you for your support.