3.5 Character in conflict with DM - RP question

Imaculata

Adventurer
I have in the past left a game where the DM was too railroady and negated all of our characters and choices completely. But I would only consider it after talking with the DM in question first, and the rest of the group.

So I would advise the latter. Discuss it openly and in a constructive manner with your whole group. In the end, you should all be able to agree on one thing: That having fun is the ultimate goal.
 

dave2008

Legend
So I would advise the latter. Discuss it openly and in a constructive manner with your whole group. In the end, you should all be able to agree on one thing: That having fun is the ultimate goal.
@Greenfield I would stress the bold part above. You mentioned that you talked to the DM, but did you do it privately or with the whole group. Normally, I would speak with a DM privately, but this seems like a case were you need to talk it out as a group. It might help convince your DM that the way they are doing things is not the best.
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
Small confession: I suffer from recurring depression. That makes me think that playing an extremely bitter and unhappy character is a really bad idea. I mean, I play for the RP, the excapeism of being someone else.

If that "someone else" is as screwed up as I am...

So I'm thinking I have to change PCs, regardless of what comes from my DM dispute.
 
Small confession: I suffer from recurring depression. That makes me think that playing an extremely bitter and unhappy character is a really bad idea. I mean, I play for the RP, the excapeism of being someone else.

If that "someone else" is as screwed up as I am...

So I'm thinking I have to change PCs, regardless of what comes from my DM dispute.
That makes sense. This character could just be hitting too close to home for you, especially if you tend to immerse yourself in your role.
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
Yeah, I guess "immersion" is a thing for me.

I've had times in games, particularly new systems, where I'll spend 90% of the character creation time coming up with the "person". Numbers and rules are a detail.

For example, we played Alternity, a SCI-Fi game. In that system you're critically short on skill points all the time (the average person has less than a 50% chance of surviving the drive to work, if you use the rules as written.)

You can get extra points, in 2, 4, or 6 point bites, if you take disadvantages. (Note that every PC, and over half of the NPCs I've encountered in that game had mental problems.)

So I'll list the character's limitations, and you tell me if you know this guy:

6 point mental limitation: Obsessed with explosives.
4 point professional limitation: Infamous in Military Intelligence circles.
2 point social limitation - Poor looks, defined as crazy eyes and a tendency to giggle hysterically.

With nothing other than the limitations, I have the person I'll be playing The rest is just numbers. (Oh, and he was fun!!)

That's how I like to create my characters.
 

Eltab

Adventurer
Small confession: I suffer from recurring depression. That makes me think that playing an extremely bitter and unhappy character is a really bad idea. I mean, I play for the RP, the escapism of being someone else.

If that "someone else" is as screwed up as I am...

So I'm thinking I have to change PCs, regardless of what comes from my DM dispute.
I agree. Playing a character with a "River of Pain" background is exacerbating your IRL weakness, not helping you build up a strength. How about a character with a positive goal in life - such as: someday I want to have the wherewithal to build my own home, almost a palace? (Druid wants a grove overflowing with fruits, supporting megafauna.)

I think the "You're welcome" slaying of your current character's ex-tormentor was a positive plot hook, unfortunately becoming wrapped in the bigger dispute. It might be something your future character hears about and eventually follows up on.
 

Imaculata

Adventurer
As a DM I would never change the backstory of my player's characters. I might involve their background in some way, but I would never make really big changes to who they are. If I do want to throw in some dramatic twist, I would always check with my players if they are okay with this.
 

Nagol

Unimportant
I agree. Playing a character with a "River of Pain" background is exacerbating your IRL weakness, not helping you build up a strength. How about a character with a positive goal in life - such as: someday I want to have the wherewithal to build my own home, almost a palace? (Druid wants a grove overflowing with fruits, supporting megafauna.)

I think the "You're welcome" slaying of your current character's ex-tormentor was a positive plot hook, unfortunately becoming wrapped in the bigger dispute. It might be something your future character hears about and eventually follows up on.
I would view the "You're welcome" slaying as a strong frame up and would probably immediately try to leave. Since the PCs can't leave because of plot and the frame up is based on using what was supposed to be background colour, I would be tempted, depending on the group dynamic and other campaign events, to retire the character.

From the description we've been given, the DM is taking a heavy-handed approach to try to get the players/PCs interested in some super-powerful NPC intrigue. That can have upsides if the players need a slap-against-the-head to notice anything. It can have downsides if the players are more observant or skittish.
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
I'm taking my turn as DM, and by chance the overcontrolling DM was out not feeling well.
Each DM in our way of running things gets to design, define and run their part of the world. The overcontroller tried to do that for everyone else, so I made it a point to reach outside his world view. The rest of the table liked.

He had described his territory as Venezuela, and was trying to limit others to South American geography. I turned the body of water he thought of as the Gulf of Mexico into "The Inland Sea"

I'm also reviewing my PC. Changing a PC is hard for me, but I'm working on it. This one has some grit and depth, and I hate to give that up. So I'm looking t her mindset to see what cn change without changing who she is.

Since it's been two or three years, in the life of a fourteen year old, since her life got turned upside down. She could have acclimated and adjusted to her new life at least somewhat.

So maybe she can stop being so sad or angry. We'll see.
 

Imaculata

Adventurer
Yesterday I used an important piece of backstory of one of the player characters in the plot (who plays a pirate captain), but before I did so, I checked with the player to make sure I got everything correct. He hadn't worked out every last detail of his youth, so I wanted to make sure that he was okay with what I was writing to flush it out a bit more. He really liked what I did with it, and especially how the rest of the players responded to it all.

Basically his character came from a poor family. His father was a weaver, and sold him to the captain of a whaling vessel when he was very young. Something the character has felt bitter about for a very long time.

What I added were the reasons he was sold away as a child: During the war his village was flooded by the crown to stop the approaching enemy army. This left everyone in his village homeless, and being barely able to take care of himself, his father decided that he'd have a better future with someone who could provide him with work, food and a place to eat. I also provided a bit of backstory regarding how he might have decided to become a pirate, although never confirming it explicitly.

We picked up the campaign right after this player had performed a great heroic deed that had him heralded as a great hero. As he helt his speech to a huge crowd of onlookers, his father was quietly among them watching his son, before returning back to the harbor without speaking a word to him. One of his party members knew that his father was there, but had to make a difficult choice. Should he leave this be, or intervene? How would his friend react to seeing his father after all these years?

It was an excellent bit of roleplaying, and I could tell that the player loved how I integrated a bit of his backstory into the plot. But this just shows how important it is to involve your players in this process.
 

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