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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Why would characters adventure together?

    So, role-playing-wise, why would characters decide to adventure together? With all the racial and class options added over the years, lots of players want to play a wide variety of options.

    I understand diversity, but if player A is playing the stereotypical LG human paladin, and player B is playing a bloodthirsty CN lizardfolk barbarian, why would these 2 characters ever decide to adventure together? My bias aside, how would the NPCs/townsfolk, in a mostly human setting, react when they see said lizardfolk (or any other monstrous race)? How would social encounters play out? Would the paladin (or any other character) shun the lizardfolk (and therefore the player) because of the social difficulties that character has forced upon the rest of the party? Should all the characters be forced to adventure together just because they are played by players at the same table?

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    In my experience there is three ways to solve this problem. I mainly play other systems than DnD but I think the idea translates.

    1. The DM tell the players the general outline of the "plot" and the players make characters that would fit in. That usually means that they can get along. Exampel: Dm says " the game will be a heroic quest to bring a magic ring to a mountain and destroy it. The game will start at a diplomatic meeting about how to deal with said ring. Make character that would want to get involved and save the world."

    2. Make a story that forces the characters to co-op. Example they can start the game in a caravan and they all get abducted by the same gnolls. Or, they can all get cursed by something and it requires that all of them go this same place together to break it. Or something like that.

    3. Make characters together and pretty much simultaneously, like at the same table or over skype or what-not, and make sure that they can get along.

    Thats all I got. I usually go for solution 1 when I DM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Generally? I'd say that's one of the things the players need to figure out among themselves somewhat, and what session 0 is for. Maybe the palladin is seeing if "their kind" is as bad as he thinks (hint hint https://keychain.patternspider.net/archive/koc0004.html), maybe the murderer is escaping justice and has no cover other then the party(and wants to keep said cover), maybe the lone wolf needs allies for his great quest or is called in by a personal favor. There's a thousand and one reasons players can come up with, with the added bonus they tend to help flesh out characters and backstories more in the process.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Or just gloss over the differences (can you tell i dm for kids?).

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    These are all great questions. A simpler way of asking this might be, "Why are you friends with people who are different than you?"

    Maybe the Lizard Barbarian and the Paladin appreciate the differences each one brings to the table. It's fun to understand one another especially when your background is very unlike the person you're talking to. It opens up new ways of thinking and looking at the world. That's what diversity is all about. Learning from one another and finding differences interesting.

    If you don't understand why different people are interesting and valuable, then you probably don't understand diversity.

    Would the Lizard be shunned in a human town? Maybe. It depends if that town understands diversity. That's up to the GM to decide.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Why would a character not want to be part of the team?

    The players have full control on their characters, they cannot say "that's how my character act, I have not responsibility over it". They can shape the psyche and the past of their characters so that they are interested in adventuring together with others. Why, as a player, would you build a character that does not want to be part of the team? Unless you enjoy "not playing" because the group leave without you (or even just call the guard to put you in prison), or you enjoy annoying the other players who have to find an artificial reason for you to be part of their team?

    Taking your example of "stereotypical LG human paladin, and player B is playing a bloodthirsty CN lizardfolk barbarian". Maybe the paladin saved the life of the lizardfolk, which consider he has to find a way to pay back his debt. And as they adventure together, they both learn from the other and become less stereotypical and more open-minded (possibly with an alignment change).

    And if you need to retroactively change the mindset and background of your character so that his choice of "remaining in the group" makes sense, you have the right to do it. (Or you have the right to ask to the other players to make their characters more compatible with your, or you can make your character leave the game and come back with another character).

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaGuru View Post
    I understand diversity, but if player A is playing the stereotypical LG human paladin, and player B is playing a bloodthirsty CN lizardfolk barbarian, why would these 2 characters ever decide to adventure together?
    That's something your characters should decide.

    Especially if you give "free reign" to play evil characters - they should create (part of) their back story together. Otherwise, I predice in 2-3 sessions they will start to murder eachother, becasue "that's what their character would do".

    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaGuru View Post
    My bias aside, how would the NPCs/townsfolk, in a mostly human setting, react when they see said lizardfolk (or any other monstrous race)?
    that depends on the setting, the people, the monster, and how immersive your DM is.

    I have DMs where I know this won't be a problem at all.
    I have DMs I know I don't have to try and show my face or get attacked by city guards.

    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaGuru View Post
    How would social encounters play out? Would the paladin (or any other character) shun the lizardfolk (and therefore the player) because of the social difficulties that character has forced upon the rest of the party?
    again, up to the groupo.

    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaGuru View Post
    Should all the characters be forced to adventure together just because they are played by players at the same table?
    No. That simply doesn't work, because players are human. It's supposed to be a game, and everyone should be having fun. If there's someone who's definition of having fun includes "screw the rest, I'm having fun in spite of everyone else", then that person has to have a chat with.

    -------------

    If you're the lizardfolk player in this scenerio ... talk to the (out game) group becasue they go no reason to accept homocidal monster in the (in game) party

    If you're the paladin player of this scenario ... talk to the (out game) group, because I got a feeling either your paladin will fall or you'll end up killing that lizardfolk. Find a reason to work together, or solve this issue by talking person to person.
    Yes, tabaxi grappler. It's a thing

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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Agreed. A session zero where you go over both DM general ideas for the setting and plot and Player ideas for characters let you nip any issues in the bud beforehand. If I am running a human centric political intrigue campaign, you probably shouldn't play a lizardman barbarian.

    As to intraparty interactions, they need to set up reasons that their characters would be/work together because that is the assumption of the game rules. D&D is designed to run adventures for cohesive groups of like minded adventurers. That mind can be a lot of different things, but the rules don't really support rogue elements.

    Additionally, plot hooks like Out of the Abyss (where you start as prisoners of the drow) allow you to hand wave a lot of these issues as a shared enemy can make strange bedfellows.

    Finally, I believe the design philosophy was to make Standard Human fairly vanilla and the uncommon races more ability laden in order to offset the fact that (in most campaigns) humans can go anywhere while uncommon (and especially monstrous) races will face ostracism if not outright hostility from your average commoner. Kind of a cost/benefit thing.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Honestly, this is what backstory is for.

    You have a bunch of players who want to play a wide variety of characters with different races/classes in a campaign. Usually, there is some cooperation or organization to at least make sure the bases are covered with the choices, but sometimes not.

    The DM then sets up the scene at the beginning of the campaign and the reason why these characters are together is either part of the first scene or part of the character back stories.

    ANY combination can usually be explained one way or another. However, if your group/DM allows inter party conflict and PVP then there will be combinations that will NOT work in the long run. A lawful good paladin and chaotic evil murder hobo may have trouble finding common ground unless the chaotic evil character works hard to hide their inclinations and doesn't take obvious actions that would disrupt the party. On the other hand, if the chaotic evil character focused their attention on enemies of the party then the paladin might overlook some excesses since it was against the bad guys.

    In the long run, it is a role playing aspect and if the players want the characters in conflict then there isn't much that can be done and if the players want to get along then they will work out a backstory or explanation for why these disparate characters are working together.

    However, if the characters are played in such a way as to be truly incompatible in the long run then at least one of the characters will eventually have to leave. I've had this happen in a 1st edition game with a barbarian who hated magic (lack of magic use was part of the class at the time) and a mischievous gnome illusionist thief who loved magic and tweaked the barbarian at every opportunity. Eventually it became a problem and the thief exited the game by stealing a particularly powerful magic item from the barbarian who was trying to destroy it and leaving with it. It was a lot of fun to play out but the two characters were fundamentally incompatible the way the player's wanted to play them.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaGuru View Post
    So, role-playing-wise, why would characters decide to adventure together? With all the racial and class options added over the years, lots of players want to play a wide variety of options.

    I understand diversity, but if player A is playing the stereotypical LG human paladin, and player B is playing a bloodthirsty CN lizardfolk barbarian, why would these 2 characters ever decide to adventure together?
    Because of some overarching threat (The Dark Lord! The spreading of a plague or blight from the Dismal Swamp!) that both of their communities believe needs to be addressed. (See LoTR's odd 9 person party as an example of that. Elf and dwarf in the same party? Eh, no).
    My bias aside, how would the NPCs/townsfolk, in a mostly human setting, react when they see said lizardfolk (or any other monstrous race)?
    Depends: what experience have lizardfolk and humans had with each other during the last 25 years? Cordial, antagonistic, neutral?

    How would social encounters play out? Would the paladin (or any other character) shun the lizardfolk (and therefore the player) because of the social difficulties that character has forced upon the rest of the party?
    Why do you want pre packaged answers to that? Role play it out. As to "forced on the rest of the party" : if you can't come to a compromise (see how Gimli and Legalos put up with each other as they began the journey) then you all - the players - are the problem here, not the characters. You are creating your own problems during a leisure activity. Ask yourself this: why am I making this so hard? Answer that before you go any further.
    Should all the characters be forced to adventure together just because they are played by players at the same table?
    Yes, unless the DM wants to run two different games.

    Honestly, if you The Players, can't dream up why your two characters are on the same team, then change characters until you all make a team that fits together better.

    You, the Players, are at a table to play a game together to have fun.

    Do that.
    Or,
    agree ahead of time that this game will include conflict between players and then role play that conflict.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2019-09-20 at 10:29 AM.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaGuru View Post
    So, role-playing-wise, why would characters decide to adventure together?
    Typically they wouldn't.


    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaGuru View Post
    Should all the characters be forced to adventure together just because they are played by players at the same table?
    It is the player's responsibility to make a character that would want to adventure this way. IMO, you have to suspend a little reality to make this happen.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    DM imposed: "Create your character and come with a reason why you would have fallen afoul of the law and been sentenced to five years of public service in a sort of foreign legion."

    Player solved: "Okay folks, what is going to bring you together?"

    The second option is almost always going to be the better solution but it requires more work.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    I've never really seen it as an issue. IRL workplaces are pretty diverse. One guy might value time at home with his family and be very altruistic while another person values money more than anything else and has a very amoral world view. Both of those people can still work at a company on the same team effectively because they want to make money. Adventurers are just co-workers.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by firelistener View Post
    IRL workplaces are pretty diverse... Both of those people can still work at a company on the same team effectively because they want to make money. Adventurers are just co-workers.
    Adventurers are not just co-workers. And these aren't just humans of different races raised in the same ultra-tolerant diversity fest 1st world country. Generally, in modern 1st world countries, work doesn't entail regularly facing a real chance of death. I see the enmity between dwarves and elves, let alone half-orcs, lizardmen, etc. as being at least as bad as the worst racial animosity historically seen in humans. In that environment it's kind of absurd to think a lizardman, dwarf, elf, half-orc and a human are all going to team up to face death together.

    I think you just need to gloss it over and roll with it. Trying to justify this just seems contrived. It's like trying to explain magic by using physics based real world arguments.
    Last edited by Shabbazar; 2019-09-20 at 12:21 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shabbazar View Post
    Generally, in modern 1st world countries, work doesn't entail regularly facing a real chance of death.
    Unless you are a fireman or a soldier.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Unless you are a fireman or a soldier.
    Maybe. If you look at Dept. of Labor statistics those aren't the most dangerous jobs. And even the most dangerous jobs in 1st world countries aren't anywhere near as risky as D&D adventuring. When's the last time you heard of a big city SWAT team suffering a TPK?

    Also, IMO, it's worth considering the well publicized resistance by many (most?) police, military and fire units to the introduction of women and minorities. And those unwanted out-groups were at least all human and from the same society! The question could as easily be "why does the male human barbarian adventure with the female-human-different-ethnicity-barbarian"? That is debatable and requires explanation. The more exotic stuff? I consider it unresolvable in any logical way. It just has to be hand-waved.

    To be clear, I'm not trying to justify modern discrimination. I'm just saying that its existence in the presence of all our human commonalities makes me skeptical of how you could make a logical argument that an elf and a half-orc would carry on merrily together.
    Last edited by Shabbazar; 2019-09-20 at 12:52 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    There are lots of rationalizations.

    Sometimes there's a real bond -- like they're all part of the same cult, or the same political party, despite their varied backgrounds, or they're thrown together by fate and danger and must learn to trust eachother.

    Sometimes it's straight up metagaming -- these players all want to play a D&D game together, so their characters will have to be allies. If it's a real issue, then force some sameness: everyone must play humans, perhaps who all grew up in the same town, and maybe even all have the same background (such as sailors from the same ship).

    I rather like a different explanation altogether. I go ahead and accept that, in the game-world, most such groups *don't* get along and *don't* adventure together. But all those other groups don't get stories, even whole books, written about them. And that's what a D&D really is: shared collaborative storytelling. We just happen to be playing out the story of that one group out of 100 that somehow found good reasons to cooperate. Because that's the one story that's worth our time to spend a few hours a week telling. In this version, if one of the characters just can't find a role-playing reason to join such a group, you say that's fine, even normal -- after all 99% of characters are like that... but you just have to keep rolling up a new characters until you find one that WILL join the group... and THAT character's story will be the story that we use at our gaming table. Not wanting to tell the story of characters that don't get along isn't so much different than not wanting to tell the story of a bunch of 0-level farmers and shopkeepers in your world, who never gain levels.
    Last edited by Ganders; 2019-09-20 at 01:17 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Pex's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaGuru View Post
    So, role-playing-wise, why would characters decide to adventure together? With all the racial and class options added over the years, lots of players want to play a wide variety of options.

    I understand diversity, but if player A is playing the stereotypical LG human paladin, and player B is playing a bloodthirsty CN lizardfolk barbarian, why would these 2 characters ever decide to adventure together? My bias aside, how would the NPCs/townsfolk, in a mostly human setting, react when they see said lizardfolk (or any other monstrous race)? How would social encounters play out? Would the paladin (or any other character) shun the lizardfolk (and therefore the player) because of the social difficulties that character has forced upon the rest of the party? Should all the characters be forced to adventure together just because they are played by players at the same table?
    Because the players choose to, and that's all the reason you need. "It's what my character would do" is never excuse for bad behavior. You chose to play that way, so choose differently to get along and enjoy the game. Some people get so worked up about roleplaying they forget it's a game. {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by Pirate ninja; 2019-09-23 at 06:19 PM.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    The most driven, stable parties I've ever played in have all been created as parties. Each person made their character with existing history with the others, loyalties and hooks and such.

    Any other way usually results in a fratricidal period, with players being killed or driven out until the party comes together under one, often tyrannical and charismatic leader.

    So- if you want a dictatorship and table turnover- just leave the players alone, no session 0. If you want a healthy successful team, let them each make a character- while they're making a party during session zero.

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    Cheesegear's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaGuru View Post
    So, role-playing-wise, why would characters decide to adventure together?
    Loads of reasons.

    I understand diversity, but if player A is playing the stereotypical LG human paladin, and player B is playing a bloodthirsty CN lizardfolk barbarian, why would these 2 characters ever decide to adventure together?
    First up, what's the adventure, and which of them is holding the group back?

    If you have a character that 'doesn't play well with others' and is needlessly difficult and slows down the party to a crawl... It's time to roll a new character. Yes. You can choose to be anyone you want. But why choose that!?

    Does the DM intend for the party to kill Orcs like they're being paid to? The Barbarian is on board. But the Paladin is being a ***** about it.
    The party has to rescue some hostages, but the Barbarian says they're only slowing them down, and it's easier to just kill them and keep moving.
    ...What does the rest of the party want to do?

    Any player who has rolled a character who can't interact cooperatively with the rest of the group - and/or the DM's rails (however well hidden) - has rolled...Poorly.

    We had a game like that, it was resolved in ten seconds.

    DM: Okay, the caravan starts moving and the wagon train begins moving down the forest path.
    Pouty Poutpants: I don't want to do the dumb caravan. I'm not going.
    DM: Cool. You get left behind and I'm not interested in making a solo adventure right now. Roll a new character who wants to be part of the group.

    Should all the characters be forced to adventure together just because they are played by players at the same table?
    Characters should rarely be forced to adventure together.
    They should want to adventure together.

    If it hasn't been made clear; If you have a character who can't play as part of a team, roll a new character.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaGuru View Post
    Should all the characters be forced to adventure together just because they are played by players at the same table?
    I mean, yes? PCs are just imaginary beings, reduced to abstractions on a piece of paper.

    The players, on the other hand, can't be forced to do anything. But, if a player isn't willing to create a character who fits into a party (the guy who creates a CE necromancer where everyone else is a classic good guy, or the chick who makes a Lawful-stupid paladin for a group of amoral mercenaries), that player should probably find something else to do with their time.

    D&D is a cooperative game. There's a basic expectation that every player comes to the table with a character that will contribute to the party's goals, and not be a disruptive jackass.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Why characters adventure together can have many different explanations. My group is currently playing though Tomb of Annihilation, and we all had characters that shared the same end goal, and so work together because that is smarter than working alone.

    A different campaign I once played started out similar, but the characters were more forced into it, needing each other to survive. But unlike ToA which is a single plotline (as far as I know thus far), this campaign just had that common goal defining the beginning of the campaign. After that, we suck together because, with all we'd been though, we were now friends. It didn't matter that I was Neutral Good and my two party mates were Chaotic Natural and Lawful Evil. We were friends, and that was enough (ok, ok, I don't know if the evil guy actually considered us friend, but he stuck around, so if like to think he did).

    In yet another campaign, we had predetermined that our group was a mercenary company. Thre campaign wad not our first adventure together, but we had not necessarily all been together the same amount of time. There was no belief that we would necessarily always work together, but we were co workers for this adventure, ans world see it to the end. Which was a TPK.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaGuru View Post
    So, role-playing-wise, why would characters decide to adventure together? With all the racial and class options added over the years, lots of players want to play a wide variety of options.

    I understand diversity, but if player A is playing the stereotypical LG human paladin, and player B is playing a bloodthirsty CN lizardfolk barbarian, why would these 2 characters ever decide to adventure together? My bias aside, how would the NPCs/townsfolk, in a mostly human setting, react when they see said lizardfolk (or any other monstrous race)? How would social encounters play out? Would the paladin (or any other character) shun the lizardfolk (and therefore the player) because of the social difficulties that character has forced upon the rest of the party? Should all the characters be forced to adventure together just because they are played by players at the same table?
    They would adventure together because doing so would accomplish their goal(s) that might not otherwise be possible, and they are willing to overlook their differences to get it done.

    As DM, I give the party a reason to adventure together and build trust early on, otherwise they would not go out and put their lives in each others hands. But I wouldn't force anyone to play a character that would not adventure together with the rest of the group.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    An easy one is because there is something they all agree needs to be done and looking around, each sees the others as the ones most likely to be able to help them succeed and survive to brag about it. Necessity can make for strange bedfellows.
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    False God's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    I got tired of asking this question. I got tired of asking my players why they'd get together. I got tired of new PCs or new players being seemingly "judged" on if they were good enough for the party.

    The local government has a "Unemployment Office", the party members share one thing in common: they're broke and in need of a little cash. So they're all in line. They are assigned to be a party by the Office and given a quest that some local needs done.

    Ta-da! Instant party!
    Knowledge brings the sting of disillusionment, but the pain teaches perspective.
    It looks like freedom but it smells like death, it's closing time.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    There's the old, if you want to play, give your character a reason he is going along with the others. Also, dont be jerks and make it hard for the other players to join yours.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by False God View Post
    I got tired of asking this question. I got tired of asking my players why they'd get together. I got tired of new PCs or new players being seemingly "judged" on if they were good enough for the party.

    The local government has a "Unemployment Office", the party members share one thing in common: they're broke and in need of a little cash. So they're all in line. They are assigned to be a party by the Office and given a quest that some local needs done.

    Ta-da! Instant party!
    I'm in a campaign where we're all independent contractor adventurers for the 1099th.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Orc in the Playground
     
    False God's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Wyoming
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by TriciaOso View Post
    I'm in a campaign where we're all independent contractor adventurers for the 1099th.
    Yeah, I've generally found "someone wants to hire you to do a job (not always criminal)" seems to be a pretty good way to get characters together who may not normally mesh up.
    Knowledge brings the sting of disillusionment, but the pain teaches perspective.
    It looks like freedom but it smells like death, it's closing time.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Pandemonium
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by False God View Post
    Yeah, I've generally found "someone wants to hire you to do a job (not always criminal)" seems to be a pretty good way to get characters together who may not normally mesh up.
    As long as I don't have to be Mr. Pink...

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Laserlight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Virginia Beach VA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why would characters adventure together?

    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaGuru View Post
    Should all the characters be forced to adventure together just because they are played by players at the same table?
    Yes, they absolutely should. If they respond "That's not what my character would do", the answer is "Bring a character who will."
    Junior, half orc paladin of the Order of St Dale the Intimidator: "Ah cain't abide no murderin' scoundrel."

    Tactical Precepts: 1) Cause chaos, then exploit it; 2) No plan survives contact with...(sigh)...my subordinates.

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