Help me with my Adventuring COmpany Charter




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  1. #1
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    Help me with my Adventuring COmpany Charter

    So I am playing in a 4E game and one of the players is very, very unreliable in the use of his abilities. He is a paladin who insists on hiding behind wizards and throwing daggers. He deliberately chose daggers because they are the least damaging weapon. He can heal people, for instance, but will just walk right past their unconscious bodies (it is not like it would waste his turn to heal them). He insists on throwing daggers, even though nearly all his class abilities are melee based and his role in the party is supposed to be that of a meat shield, but he hides behind wizards expecting the Warlord to be the front-line. Did I mention he wears plate-mail and has the highest HP in the group?

    Since the campaign is that we are a company of mercenary adventurers, I figured the best way to reign him in would be to take his share of treasure away when he does this kind of thing (I refer to this style of gameplay-- intentionally frustrating the other players like that-- as Griefing). I simply don't give XP to griefers in games when I am the GM, but this is something I thought we as fellow players could do to reign him in:

    This is a charter for our entire adventure company. Let me know if I should add to it, or take anything out:

    Feywild, Fire, & Death Company Charter

    We, the undersigned, in the spirit of adventure and fellowship through battle, do hereby affirm the creation of the company Feywild, Fire, and Death, and enter into covenant with our fellows members. The purpose of this company shall be to hire out our wands & swords to defend the weak, aid the just, and bring light to the dark places of this world.

    In accordance with these aims of this endeavor, the Company doth hereby adopt the following by-laws for membership:

    I. All members of the Company are to be accorded equal treatment regardless of race, occupation, prior rank, or condition of servitude.
    II. Just and equal compensation shall be awarded to all members who prove their worth and hath earned reward. One accused of dereliction must be so judged by a majority of his fellows. One so judged shall forfeit all monies and treasures from said mission to the other companions.
    III. Enchanted arms, armor, & implements, etc. shall be awarded to the member who hath the greatest use for it, as decided by a majority decision. Accepting such reward forfeits monetary compensation up to the itemĺs value. If the majority can reach no consensus, let those who want said item cast lots for it.
    IV. No item shall be destroyed, or sold to market without first being offered for sale to another member of the company for a fair cost of half its value, or in trade for another item.
    V. The Company shall not accept any contract without the approval of a majority of the fellows. Those who wish no part in a contracted mission may elect to take no part in any responsibility nor any reward.
    VI. Any member of the Company may propose a mission of conscience to the fellowship, so long as it does not violate a contract. Said mission must be approved by the majority of fellows, and may also be terminated by a majority. All treasures gained in said mission shall be shared as per normal.
    VII. Once the Company hath been contracted by an employer, it shall fulfill its obligation before it accepts a new contract. A member who accepted a contract and falters in this obligation shall earn no reward from it, & shall pay damages to the Company in compensation.
    VIII. A Company member shall give his or her best effort in all tasks for the company, above all, defending the lives and property of fellow members. A member ill-suited to a task shall nevertheless aid those who are. One found by majority to be willfully harming, or allowing the Company or its members to come to harm, shall be expelled from the Company, forfeit all reward, & possibly be surrendered to authorities if applicable.
    IX. A fellow who falls in the line of duty shall be accorded the following consideration: Immediate aid to injuries if possible, a proper burial & treasure distributed to the memberĺs kin if not. If Fate allows, the company shall put forth the coin for a ritual of resurrection.
    X. These by-laws are subject to change pending the approval of the majority of the Companyĺs Fellows.
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  • #2
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    This is not a character problem. This is a player problem. It needs to be solved outside the game, not within it.

    That said, I think adventuring company charters are a fine idea, and I like yours.
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/213067-unified-theory-gnomes.html

  • #3
    You have the patience of a Saint. That said, I have to ask: Why do you put up with his idiotic behavior? A player who did that in my group would be risking physical injury (and I don't mean to his character.)

    Looking through the Charter (which is well written), I can't think of anything you missed. Depending on how prone to arguing this troublesome Paladin player is, you might want to stress-test some of the codes aimed towards him by placing them up against some of his potential objections to make sure they'll hold up.

    My group has never actually sat down and made something like that for our game. You've inspired me to try it out the next time my group gets together. Thanks, and good luck getting the unruly player in line.
    Last edited by Eyada; Friday, 11th July, 2008 at 09:48 AM. Reason: Removed some minor grammar errors...

  • #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Whizbang Dustyboots View Post
    This is not a character problem. This is a player problem. It needs to be solved outside the game, not within it.

    That said, I think adventuring company charters are a fine idea, and I like yours.
    Yeah - I heartily agree on both points. It really sounds more like this player either just wants to screw with everybody else for his own twisted glee, or his idea of "Character Concept" is incredibly far distant to anyone in your group.

    Are your other players happy with his behavior? I would suggest that you talk to him outside of game - TELL him that his behavior is detrimental to the enjoyment of you and the other players, and WHY. ASK him just what it is that he is trying to do with this "Concept" - what IS it that he wants to get out of playing this character. Is there some great, tragic story of a miserable wretch that he is trying to tell - or is he just messing with you all? If he can honestly convince you that he has a valid and reasonable reason behind it - then see if you can work together to find a way to make the game fun for him AND the other players and you.

    If he's just in it to jerk you all around - tell him in no uncertain terms that you and the other players do NOT appreciate it - and that he is not welcome to continue playing with you.

    I don't know what your relation to this person is - is he a close personal friend, or just a random pick-up player? That can make things harder or easier for this. If the other players are as unhappy with him as you appear to be - perhaps you should include them in the discussion with the guy - BUT that can run the risk of seeming like you're all "ganging up" on him.

    But by all means - don't continue to try and treat this "in game/in character" - this is a PLAYER issue and should be confronted outside of game before it ruins any more of your sessions.
    "Roleplaying is no excuse for being a jerk." - Stephen Radney-MacFarland

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    Ye gods. What does the Griefer bring to the table that makes him worth putting up with? I mean that seriously, no sarcasm or snark intended.

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    This has got to be one of the funniest threads that I have ever seen.

    Seriously, if this guy was a Rogue, would you all complain about him not using his Lay on Hands on his buddies? The fact that his character likes to use thrown daggers and the Paladin class powers are pigeonholed into melee is irrelevant.

    Do you all know what my Paladin is like? He uses Divine Challenge, throws a javelin, and then hides behind his buddy. His entire strategy is to make it hard for enemies to get to him, and when his enemies attack his friend they get a -2 to attack and take 3+Cha Damage because they attacked the friend.

    Did the designers plan for the type of Paladin that I like to play? Nope. Is there anything wrong with it? Not at all.

    You seriously need to separate how you think a CLASS is supposed to be played from how the player wants to play it. Sticking in the back and throwing ranged attacks at the enemy is a valid strategy, Rangers do it all the time and if a Paladin wants to do it, more power to him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Bisco View Post
    This has got to be one of the funniest threads that I have ever seen.

    Seriously, if this guy was a Rogue, would you all complain about him not using his Lay on Hands on his buddies? The fact that his character likes to use thrown daggers and the Paladin class powers are pigeonholed into melee is irrelevant.
    I can't speak for the OP, but Rogues are good at that sort of thing, so who would complain? Rogues who MC into Paladin are also good at that sort of thing.

    I think we need to know the context here. It sounds like the OP's group has no defender characters. Let's say the DM asks, "What classes are you guys going to pick?" and people reply, "Warlord," "Paladin for me," "I'll try a Rogue," "Wizard here," and, "I'll be a Ranger." Shouldn't the Paladin's player let everyone know that he will be playing the class in an unusual way that might impact the group's survival in combat? His choice of class is likely to influence other people's choices- maybe that Ranger would be a Fighter if it was clear that there would be no other Defender.

    Do you all know what my Paladin is like? He uses Divine Challenge, throws a javelin, and then hides behind his buddy. His entire strategy is to make it hard for enemies to get to him, and when his enemies attack his friend they get a -2 to attack and take 3+Cha Damage because they attacked the friend.

    Did the designers plan for the type of Paladin that I like to play? Nope. Is there anything wrong with it? Not at all.
    Right- because you're making it work for your group. It sounds like the OP's group is struggling. The player who isn't using his class abilities well is a big part of that. There isn't anything funny here. It's not cool to have someone griefing your game.

    You seriously need to separate how you think a CLASS is supposed to be played from how the player wants to play it. Sticking in the back and throwing ranged attacks at the enemy is a valid strategy, Rangers do it all the time and if a Paladin wants to do it, more power to him.
    In the right context, it's great. Does it sound like this paladin is effective? If he is walking past unconscious bodies, my guess is no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Bisco View Post
    This has got to be one of the funniest threads that I have ever seen.

    Seriously, if this guy was a Rogue, would you all complain about him not using his Lay on Hands on his buddies? The fact that his character likes to use thrown daggers and the Paladin class powers are pigeonholed into melee is irrelevant.

    Do you all know what my Paladin is like? He uses Divine Challenge, throws a javelin, and then hides behind his buddy. His entire strategy is to make it hard for enemies to get to him, and when his enemies attack his friend they get a -2 to attack and take 3+Cha Damage because they attacked the friend.

    Did the designers plan for the type of Paladin that I like to play? Nope. Is there anything wrong with it? Not at all.

    You seriously need to separate how you think a CLASS is supposed to be played from how the player wants to play it. Sticking in the back and throwing ranged attacks at the enemy is a valid strategy, Rangers do it all the time and if a Paladin wants to do it, more power to him.
    Because if you become a Paladin, you are not a Rogue. You gain all these class abilities because of the things you do as a Paladin. If you are the CLASS Paladin, that'S what you do. If you just want to play a Rogueish character following the Raven Queen, play a Rogue and say you pray to the Raven Queen and follow her commandments.

    Playing a character "suboptimal" is not automatically good role-playing. In fact, in a class based game, it is often the opposite! If you don't want to play a character that heals, or that fights in melee, you shouldn't play a character that has has abilities to do this best! I mean, how did you even get these abilities if you never used them? Or how do you get better without using them?

    ---

    But for the real topic. Your adventuring company charter sounds nice! It remeinds me of one of my first D&D games, where we had to get a kind of "adventuring license" to go around adventuring, and needed to have an adventuring company... Nice touch...
    Mustrum "Gummibńrchen helfen auch" Ridcully

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Bisco View Post
    Sticking in the back and throwing ranged attacks at the enemy is a valid strategy
    Whether or not it's a valid strategy (and what exactly 'valid' means), is rather beside the point.

    The problem is that it's an ineffective strategy. A rogue can stay in the back and throw daggers because he's got powers and class features that make it an effective tactic. Your paladin can stay in the back and throw javelins because your DM ignores the fine print on divine challenge that specifically forbids that.

    OP's dagger-weilding paladin isn't like that. His job, in game, is "be a productive member of the adventuring company". And he's not doing that. That's something that frustrates the OP's group, both in character and out-of-character.

    As for the charter itself, I only have a few minor suggestions:
    The presence of "his or her" in section VIII suggests that Gender wouldn't be out of place among the protected categories in section I. You might want to include Sexual Orientation and Faith as well, though the latter might make it more difficult to deal with the paladin.
    Grammar note: The 'hath' in section II should be 'have'. Hath is the singular form, and is inappropriate when used with the plural noun 'members'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arscott View Post

    As for the charter itself, I only have a few minor suggestions:
    The presence of "his or her" in section VIII suggests that Gender wouldn't be out of place among the protected categories in section I. You might want to include Sexual Orientation and Faith as well, though the latter might make it more difficult to deal with the paladin.
    Also, if Warforged exist in your campaign setting, you might phrase it "His, her, or its" and include "gender or lack thereof." Same with lack of orientation.

    One thing I really like in that context is the "condition of servitude" clause, which is particularly well-fitting for Warforged, given their default "former government property military hardware" backstory.

    I'm playing a specifically non-gendered Warforged here in a PbP game, if anyone's wondering why I thought of those issues. I can't recall if changelings/dopplegangers have a real gender, so the above might apply to them too if they exist in your campaign.
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