Immoral player characters in RPGs

Argyle King

Legend
Question:

The focus seems to be on whether or not there should be a veto against the grenade toss because it harmed another PC.

If I am understanding the situation correctly, the (now dead) PC had joined with a NPC in wanting to apprehend Grenade Girl as a criminal. (I feel as though I remember reading something about psionic characters being treated poorly in the setting, but I think I am mixing up two different conversations.) I am inclined to believe that incarceration and a criminal trial would have been harmful. As there was no veto of that (attempted) action, I am currently of the opinion that no veto of what actually happened should have occurred. Is it fair to say that being incarcerated would have negative consequences for Grenade Gal?

It is my understanding that the gaming group consists of mature adults who have known each other long enough to be able to separate in-character disputes from real-life social interactions. I may be in the minority, but I am rather intrigued by the cast of characters and want to know more about the dynamics which lead to such a scenario. To me, the game sounds interesting and fun, rather than abhorrent or foul play.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

pemerton

Legend
It is my understanding that the gaming group consists of mature adults who have known each other long enough to be able to separate in-character disputes from real-life social interactions.
That sounds right, provided you don't ask mature to bear too much weight!

The focus seems to be on whether or not there should be a veto against the grenade toss because it harmed another PC.
I hadn't thought of that aspect when I posted. It was the wanton killing of the NPCs that I was thinking of (prompted by another thread). But both have turned into topics of discussion, which is fine from my point of view.

If I am understanding the situation correctly, the (now dead) PC had joined with a NPC in wanting to apprehend Grenade Girl as a criminal. (I feel as though I remember reading something about psionic characters being treated poorly in the setting, but I think I am mixing up two different conversations.) I am inclined to believe that incarceration and a criminal trial would have been harmful. As there was no veto of that (attempted) action, I am currently of the opinion that no veto of what actually happened should have occurred. Is it fair to say that being incarcerated would have negative consequences for Grenade Gal?
When you look at it through the PvP lens, I think your analysis is right - ie its the other character who turned first!

The way that happened, at the table, was that the player of that other character - and I should say that other character was very much a secondary PC for that player - considered (i) the established personality of the character, which is that he was easily swayed by others and not a good judge of his own best interests, and (ii) the fact that the NPC whose pinnace they were infiltrating has Leader-1, which (per the rules) is enough to establish command over others if everything else is equal. The player decided that this meant the other character would go over to her side. Which left the grenade-throwing PC - who is a primary PC for her player - on her own.

This didn't cause any particular rancour or bitterness, though there may have been a snide remark or two. But it probably didn't increase the player of the grenade thrower's sympathy for that other character!

I may be in the minority, but I am rather intrigued by the cast of characters and want to know more about the dynamics which lead to such a scenario. To me, the game sounds interesting and fun, rather than abhorrent or foul play.
It's kind of you to say so. The quote in the OP will take you to a fuller actual play report if you're interested, and that has links that will take you back to reports of earlier sessions.
 
Last edited:

TheSword

Legend
It sounds like a hot mess, and the reason I don’t do PVP.

It is extremely hard not to want retribution when a player (not character) makes choices that lead to your significant detriment. The replacement PC ends up one-upping or confounding the offender which leads to more one-upmanship. Back and forth until the campaign collapses or players fall out.

Yes theoretically a player could be Ramsey Bolton at the Red Wedding but is that really going to end well?

A DM shouldn’t prevent actions sure, but can remind players of likely outcomes based on character knowledge that the player doesn’t have or has forgotten about in heat of the moment. (You know there is a chance that a grenade detonation could rupture the hull and you’re orbiting an ice world... are you sure?)

When one of my employees hands their notice in, I can either say I’m sorry about that, are you sure it’s something you want to do. Or I can yank the letter out of their hand and write out an acceptance there and then in front of them.

As a DM you don’t have to yank a foolish decision out of players hands just to have malicious fun with it.

As a DM, it is acceptable to say. Are you sure this is something you want to do. You know this could affect XYZ’s characters.

If they go ahead anyway then fair enough. But that’s why I play no PVP. At that point I would resolve the choice and then retire the PC as an NPC.
 

Mallus

Legend
Some RPGers seem to think it is the referee's job to stop or police this sort of action declaration. Are they correct?
I think it's the GM's job to police action declarations only when they threaten to sabotage the campaign. When the actions amount to gross violations of the social contract currently in force.

That said, I just want to say that session of Traveller sounded delightful! My reaction to pem's original post about it was: "this is the way Traveller is meant to be played!". Stabbing people in the back with a grenade, so to speak, is exactly the sort of situation old-school RPGs were created to produce.

As for the amorality of it, I'd say the caper fiction rules apply. So the... ahem... original sin was committed by the player who switched sides after agreeing to participate in the heist. Grenading them was an appropriate response. As for detonating the supporting cast to cover their tracks, well, when you allow space pirate PCs, you really aught to expect it. Someone's fictional morality will have to bend. Or break. Or explosively decompress.

I suspect my group would handle things a bit differently. The side-switch would be a ruse. Both PCs would in on the escape attempt. Or failing that, we'd keep the disloyal robber around after a stern talking to conducted with them on the wrong side of an airlock, Mal Reynolds-style. Our social compact really discourages PvP murder (but not a little light treachery, from time to time).
 
Last edited:

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top