Cleric of Gruumsh in a party with an Elf


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Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
From a DM standpoint, I don't want to tell a player how to play their character. But at the same time I can't see a Cleric of Gruumsh doing well with an Elf in the party.

What are some of your thoughts on this situation?
I think you should quit pushing your players into a corner.

I also think you should speak with each of them, separately and then together, about how THEY think an orc and an elf would interact. You might find out that, in your table's world, the animosity between elves and orcs is something that has just sort of petered out over time.

Or/and, instead of setting up a destructive confrontation, encourage a form of one-up-man-ship and rivalry: "Let's see you top this, buddy!" -alpha strike- "OK, sure; watch." -top-end spell-
or something like Gimli and Legolas at Helm's Deep: "One! Two! Three! <snip> Twenty-four!" "Twenty-five; it's been knife-work down here."
 

WarpedAcorn

First Post
I think you should quit pushing your players into a corner.

How have I been pushing my players into a corner?

Also, please note that this is not the rivalry between an Orc and an Elf. This is not Legolas and Gimli. This is a Cleric of Gruumsh, a God who vowed to kill all humans, dwarves, elves, elves, halflings and gnomes.
 

Oofta

Legend
How have I been pushing my players into a corner?

Also, please note that this is not the rivalry between an Orc and an Elf. This is not Legolas and Gimli. This is a Cleric of Gruumsh, a God who vowed to kill all humans, dwarves, elves, elves, halflings and gnomes.

I'm with you. I've never understood the "Don't spoil my fun of running an evil character. I really want to slaughter innocents and if you run a character that would object to my actions, that's your problem."

If the entire group agrees to run a campaign with evil characters (or at least characters that tolerate evil), that's fine. Not my cup of tea, I just won't join that campaign.

In this scenario though there's a major conflict. What if a group of orcs is attacking a group of elves? Logically you have characters that should take different sides of who to help.

The DM can either let it play out and have a PVP session, the player of the elf could just go "meh" and help kill the elves, the player of the cleric of Gruumsh could just say "meh" and help the elves while Gruumsh turns a blind eye for some unknown reason. If this is just a game of tactical warfare with a side of light RP, maybe the latter two options are OK.

To me, this is one character forcing the DM and the other players into a corner not the other way around. A basic assumption of D&D is that your group may have differences, but not to the level where logically they should remove another PC from play (kill, have arrested, etc).
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
To me, this is one character forcing the DM and the other players into a corner not the other way around. A basic assumption of D&D is that your group may have differences, but not to the level where logically they should remove another PC from play (kill, have arrested, etc).
One of us (maybe both of us) missed something in the OP.

I read it as 'The DM has a group with a Cleric of Gruumsh and an Elf in it; the DM cannot imagine those two characters cooperating; the DM is going to force them to fight.'
I do not see anything describing the Cleric as getting up in the Elf's grill.

You seem to think 'The Cleric's player is provoking the DM'.
I saw that the player ignored the DM's statement that 'bad things must happen', but the bad things are coming from the DM.

Did you see something that I didn't?
 

Enkhidu

Explorer
I think you're taking player empowerment one step further than is really fair to the DM, Eltab. Players ignoring a DM's "setting canon" without meta-conversations about what that means is every bit as disrespectful as a DM overriding PC actions "because your PC wouldn't do that". Players dictating setting background without building inter-player and player-DM trust is a mistake.

But we absolutely agree that the best way to start dealing with the situation is by having a direct conversation about it. Then joint decisions can be made.
 

Oofta

Legend
One of us (maybe both of us) missed something in the OP.

I read it as 'The DM has a group with a Cleric of Gruumsh and an Elf in it; the DM cannot imagine those two characters cooperating; the DM is going to force them to fight.'
I do not see anything describing the Cleric as getting up in the Elf's grill.

You seem to think 'The Cleric's player is provoking the DM'.
I saw that the player ignored the DM's statement that 'bad things must happen', but the bad things are coming from the DM.

Did you see something that I didn't?

Under certain circumstances, there should be conflict, such as my example of a group of orcs attacking a group of elves.

IMHO there is no way that a cleric of Gruumsh could help the elves without losing their god's favor. No elf should help kill other elves simply because someone else in the party is killing elves (there may be other reasons).

If this is just a beer and pretzels game (no serious RP or in game consequences to actions) then it may not be a big issue. It just wouldn't fly in my game.

But as it stands, the DM has to be sure not to set up the elf vs orc encounter (or similar) the other characters have to put up with a character who's actions and beliefs proclaim them to be evil. Everybody else has to adjust to accommodate the one player. If the orc is really a goody-two-shoe worshiper of Gruumsh, then it's a different god or take on gods than the standard representation.

Ultimately it's up to the DM to decide how to deal with it. Maybe they ignore alignment. Maybe Gruumsh isn't
really a god that epitomizes CE, which is defined as "act with arbitrary violence, spurred by their greed
hatred or bloodlust". But assuming a standard by the book campaign, I think sooner or later there should be conflict. Your mileage, and your campaign, may vary (YMYCMV?).
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
But as it stands, the DM has to be sure not to set up the elf vs orc encounter (or similar) the other characters have to put up with a character who's actions and beliefs proclaim them to be evil. Everybody else has to adjust to accommodate the one player. If the orc is really a goody-two-shoe worshiper of Gruumsh, then it's a different god or take on gods than the standard representation.

Ultimately it's up to the DM to decide how to deal with it. Maybe they ignore alignment. Maybe Gruumsh isn't
really a god that epitomizes CE, which is defined as "act with arbitrary violence, spurred by their greed, hatred or bloodlust". But assuming a standard by the book campaign, I think sooner or later there should be conflict. Your mileage, and your campaign, may vary (YMYCMV?).

It *is* up to the DM absolutely. And thus the DM has to choose-- do they allow the player to find their own way with his worship of Gruumsh (allowing for the fact that not every single worshipper of a god walks in lockstep with each other and that yes, there are many different paths a faith can take)... or does he force the players into conflict himself because *he* cannot see how another path is possible?

If the DM is truly concerned about wanting to avoid inter-party conflict... it seems to me that going with the former will actually give him the better shot of seeing what he wants coming through.
 

Oofta

Legend
It *is* up to the DM absolutely. And thus the DM has to choose-- do they allow the player to find their own way with his worship of Gruumsh (allowing for the fact that not every single worshipper of a god walks in lockstep with each other and that yes, there are many different paths a faith can take)... or does he force the players into conflict himself because *he* cannot see how another path is possible?

If the DM is truly concerned about wanting to avoid inter-party conflict... it seems to me that going with the former will actually give him the better shot of seeing what he wants coming through.

When I DM it's up to me, not the player, to define how gods work in my world. In addition, while I see your point you are ignoring or at least side-stepping my basic question.

I could see situations where different factions (possibly different races) could clash and the PCs may not know who is in the right, or who they should support (if either side). But my scenario was a pretty cut and dry situation: the orcs are following Gruumsh's commands on expanding territory by invading elvish territory and slaughtering as many of the enemy as possible.

What happens if the group comes across a group of orcs invaders slaughtering innocents, elven or otherwise? If the cleric helps the innocents, they're pretty clearly violating the will of Gruumsh. If they help slaughter the innocents, in my opinion they've crossed into CE territory.
 


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