General D&D Topics* DM playing with PC?





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    DM playing with PC?

    Would it be a faux pas for a DM to also play a PC in the same game? I suppose it could garner the DMs PC an advantage.

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    Ignore Crothian
    DMs should not have a PC of their own. They can have an NPC that is part of the group though.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Crothian View Post
    DMs should not have a PC of their own. They can have an NPC that is part of the group though.
    What is the difference? Would the NPC be limited to that storyline, whereas the DM's PC could move on to another story?

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    Ignore Crothian
    Quote Originally Posted by AwesomeOpossum74 View Post
    What is the difference? Would the NPC be limited to that storyline, whereas the DM's PC could move on to another story?
    The difference is the difference between a PC and an NPC. A PC is a character that is the way a player views the world, through his eyes. An NPC is just one of many characters that a DM is in charge of. The game is about the PCs, an NPC even a permanent party member should never be equal to the PCs in game time and events.

    Are you asking because you are the DM and want to have your own character in a game? Or are you a player who's DM wants to?

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    The problem is one of definitions and degrees.

    Sure you're allowed to be in charge of an extra body in the group. There have been times, as a DM , where I was in charge of an easy dozen or so extra bodies in the party. But the inherent dangers are in playing those characters as lead roles, instead of bit parts.
    Life's a die and then you bitch.

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    In D&D, it is literally impossible for you to run a game and experience it as a player at the same time. You should not even try to do so. Your players will not appreciate it, and you will not get anywhere near the same experience as you would as an actual player.

    The dynamic between DM and players is one of the central features of RPGs. If you're running a PC, you're trying to be on both sides of the fence and throwing that dynamic out of whack.

    NPCs are fine, as are henchmen, companions, etc, though I'd largely keep them as "guest stars" so to speak rather than permanent features of the party. The key is that they are not YOUR character. They are a character in the game. The players are still in the driver's seat.

    -O

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Crothian View Post
    Are you asking because you are the DM and want to have your own character in a game? Or are you a player who's DM wants to?
    We're very new, with a very limited group size. A total of 4 of us, including 2 adults, and 2 children. This means that only 2 of us really can DM. We're planning to alternate the responsibility. But we both want to also be able to continue the storyline from week to week with our characters if we can. It would also serve to make the group larger by 1.

    I would also be interested when I DM my own adventures, just to be able to "participate". But I may very well also be happy just being the DM and controlling the normal NPCs, and creating havoc for my other player's PCs.

    I'm taking what everyone her has written into consideration, and think I may limit myself to just DMing without my PC, or even my own NPC for now, and try to get my PCing in when not DMing.

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    I've been running a DMPC in our groups campaign for over 10 years now and it's worked fine for us. Main reason being myself and another player trade off GM'ing the group. We each run an adventure and then swap places. In all the years we've been doing it I don't ever recall hearing one of the other players complain about it. Our entire group has pretty much been playing since the 70's (although not together for that long) and perhaps having that experience helps us separate our GM role from the player role.

    So, at least for our group of 5 it's worked really well. I say if you think you can keep the two roles separate go for it.

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    Ignore Crothian
    Quote Originally Posted by AwesomeOpossum74 View Post
    We're very new, with a very limited group size. A total of 4 of us, including 2 adults, and 2 children. This means that only 2 of us really can DM. We're planning to alternate the responsibility. But we both want to also be able to continue the storyline from week to week with our characters if we can. It would also serve to make the group larger by 1.
    That is a completely different situation then what I was thinking and deserves a different answer. In this case I say each of the DMs should have a PC to use when not DMing and when you are DMing just have your character fade a little to the background. Playing with kids I imagine the gaming focus will be more on them anyway so DMPC is less likely to cause issues.

    There are some great threads and blogs about gaming with children that you might want to try to find. One that is a great story filled with good inspiration is the Adventures of Samatha the Red by Rel. It is more adventure around the house and play then an RPG but a great set of adventures non the less.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by AwesomeOpossum74 View Post
    We're very new, with a very limited group size. A total of 4 of us, including 2 adults, and 2 children. This means that only 2 of us really can DM. We're planning to alternate the responsibility. But we both want to also be able to continue the storyline from week to week with our characters if we can. It would also serve to make the group larger by 1.

    I would also be interested when I DM my own adventures, just to be able to "participate". But I may very well also be happy just being the DM and controlling the normal NPCs, and creating havoc for my other player's PCs.

    I'm taking what everyone her has written into consideration, and think I may limit myself to just DMing without my PC, or even my own NPC for now, and try to get my PCing in when not DMing.
    I think you are in a "could DMPC" situation here.

    But have you considered adding a "pet" or loyal servant as a long-running NPC? I'd suggest loyal to whole group, and maybe something that gets discovered/rescued in the first or second session . . .

    Non-human allies or pets can fill useful team roles, can be used to set the tone (they can anything from cutesy through willful/playful to downright vicious), and are fun to play as NPCs whilst not needing huge amounts of time from you. Pick something level-appropriate, don't be tempted to make a powerful "exotic" pet. Most importantly, it should fill a team role that the other players haven't chosen for their PCs. With 3 players, this should be an easy decision - whatever out of cleric, fighter, rogue or wizard isn't taken.

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