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D&D 5E Players Killing Players for stupid reason

RickTheFox

Villager
I have a question from a players perspective...

Background -

I am a young noble wizard, very reasonable, very polite, help if I can but I do not cry when I cant kind of guy. The wizard, being noble but poor, is trying hard to build a reputation among foreign nobility and start business with mead and so on. The one fault this character has is he pays back what he gets, often many-fold. You help him? He helps you. You give him something he needs worth 10 gp? He gives you easily something you need worth 100 gp later. But why is this a fault? Because if you betray him, attack him, or harm him (or his wife, another PC) he can become your worst nightmare, working hard and silently to undo you. In the character sheet, there is literally "polite, patient, VENGEFUL" with all caps.

In the game, this created a few funny scenarios - an accomplished wizard NPC insulted me (deeply and it was uncalled for), so I smiled, bowed my head and left. Planned it. Took my time, so no connection could be made. And I broke into his house, drugged him to sleep and put him in his bed, changed my appearance to look like him and went partying like mad, insulting people wearing his face, damaging his reputation heavily and then disappearing without a trace, leaving empty bottles by his side and locking the house from the inside. It also created a few dark moments - some humanoid monsters attacked me, so I burned their whole village down (I think kids included).

This is still a low level game, around 5 lvl (9 months of gaming or so), and our party is not very well established (no strong bonds between characters, they worked together out of immediate need only).

The problem -
For some reason, our party got mind-shuffled - my mind is in someone elses body and another member of the party has my body (not swapped, shuffled). The PC who has my wizards body is normally a female rogue. Now she wants to go to a noble and important ball in my male noble body (with hard-worked-for reputation) dressed in revealing womens clothes and apples in bra and totally ridicule me. The PCs argued about it, but she would not be stopped, persuaded, or prevented from going.

As a Player, I think it is out of character of her rogue and I do not get it even though she is chaotic, but I agree that it is kinda hilarious. However, as a PC... this is a direct attack at me, aimed to destroy my image, my reputation, my business dealings. It will ridicule me among noble cirlces - no one will take me seriously in that town ever again. It is also a great insult, and worse - coming from a friendly party member without any provocation, it is certainly a hard-felt betrayal.

So, I believe this could only result in my wizard smiling, working hard to get my body back, and then hiring some thugs to kill her after giving her poisoned wine. As a player, I can not think of any reason for my PC not to do it, or of anything else my PC would do. I think she (player) does not expect it, and it would come as a great surprise to her, but my PC is a sneaky noble after all (with hardly any direct damage spell, I play utility mostly) and I do not want to give her a chance to meta-out-of-it. I did give her hints and fore-warnings though (pc-pc). Almost begged her (player-player) not to do it.

I feel my hand is forced and I can only react to what she is doing, in a very consistent and predictable response I have demonstrated in the game many times over. Not reacting with vengeance would not make sense given the PC I have.

So let me ask you guys... What should I do? Do you think player-kill is justified in this case? How should I do it (never done it, suggestions?)

Or... am I the bad guy? (understand a jerk and a bad player). Write soon, next session approaching. Thanks.
 

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Dire Bare

Legend
I have a question from a players perspective...

Background -
I am a young noble wizard, very reasonable, very polite, help if I can but I do not cry when I cant kind of guy. The wizard, being noble but poor, is trying hard to build a reputation among foreign nobility and start business with mead and so on. The one fault this character has is he pays back what he gets, often many-fold. You help him? He helps you. You give him something he needs worth 10 gp? He gives you easily something you need worth 100 gp later. But why is this a fault? Because if you betray him, attack him, or harm him (or his wife, another PC) he can become your worst nightmare, working hard and silently to undo you. In the character sheet, there is literally "polite, patient, VENGEFUL" with all caps.

In the game, this created a few funny scenarios - an accomplished wizard NPC insulted me (deeply and it was uncalled for), so I smiled, bowed my head and left. Planned it. Took my time, so no connection could be made. And I broke into his house, drugged him to sleep and put him in his bed, changed my appearance to look like him and went partying like mad, insulting people wearing his face, damaging his reputation heavily and then disappearing without a trace, leaving empty bottles by his side and locking the house from the inside. It also created a few dark moments - some humanoid monsters attacked me, so I burned their whole village down (I think kids included).

This is still a low level game, around 5 lvl (9 months of gaming or so), and our party is not very well established (no strong bonds between characters, they worked together out of immediate need only).

The problem -
For some reason, our party got mind-shuffled - my mind is in someone elses body and another member of the party has my body (not swapped, shuffled). The PC who has my wizards body is normally a female rogue. Now she wants to go to a noble and important ball in my male noble body (with hard-worked-for reputation) dressed in revealing womens clothes and apples in bra and totally ridicule me. The PCs argued about it, but she would not be stopped, persuaded, or prevented from going.

As a Player, I think it is out of character of her rogue and I do not get it even though she is chaotic, but I agree that it is kinda hilarious. However, as a PC... this is a direct attack at me, aimed to destroy my image, my reputation, my business dealings. It will ridicule me among noble cirlces - no one will take me seriously in that town ever again. It is also a great insult, and worse - coming from a friendly party member without any provocation, it is certainly a hard-felt betrayal.

So, I believe this could only result in my wizard smiling, working hard to get my body back, and then hiring some thugs to kill her after giving her poisoned wine. As a player, I can not think of any reason for my PC not to do it, or of anything else my PC would do. I think she (player) does not expect it, and it would come as a great surprise to her, but my PC is a sneaky noble after all (with hardly any direct damage spell, I play utility mostly) and I do not want to give her a chance to meta-out-of-it. I did give her hints and fore-warnings though (pc-pc). Almost begged her (player-player) not to do it.

I feel my hand is forced and I can only react to what she is doing, in a very consistent and predictable response I have demonstrated in the game many times over. Not reacting with vengeance would not make sense given the PC I have.

So let me ask you guys... What should I do? Do you think player-kill is justified in this case? How should I do it (never done it, suggestions?)

Or... am I the bad guy? (understand a jerk and a bad player). Write soon, next session approaching. Thanks.
This scenario sounds very juvenile. When you create a character with traits that allow you to be a jerk (or worse) . . . you're just being a jerk (or worse). I wouldn't play long in a game with someone behaving like you are. I'm not impressed with the rogue's player either, although they may be acting out of frustration with how you are playing your character.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
So, I believe this could only result in my wizard smiling, working hard to get my body back, and then hiring some thugs to kill her after giving her poisoned wine. As a player, I can not think of any reason for my PC not to do it, or of anything else my PC would do. I think she (player) does not expect it, and it would come as a great surprise to her, but my PC is a sneaky noble after all (with hardly any direct damage spell, I play utility mostly) and I do not want to give her a chance to meta-out-of-it. I did give her hints and fore-warnings though (pc-pc). Almost begged her (player-player) not to do it.

I feel my hand is forced and I can only react to what she is doing, in a very consistent and predictable response I have demonstrated in the game many times over. Not reacting with vengeance would not make sense given the PC I have.

So let me ask you guys... What should I do? Do you think player-kill is justified in this case? How should I do it (never done it, suggestions?)

Or... am I the bad guy? (understand a jerk and a bad player). Write soon, next session approaching. Thanks.
The goals of play for the game are (1) everyone has fun and (2) an exciting, memorable story is created by playing.

While you say you don't see this as being in character for the rogue (which is none of your business in my view, but never mind), you do seem to think it's "hilarious." So, you're having fun by the sounds of it. Will the rogue's player have fun if you hire NPCs to kill the rogue? If the rogue survives the encounter, will you and the rest of the group have fun with whatever tit-for-tat may occur in the aftermath? Will any of this help create an exciting, memorable story by playing?

If the answer is "No" or "I don't know" to any of these questions, then I suggest you don't do it. You are responsible for the group achieving the goals of play. Choose what you do accordingly.
 

I have a question from a players perspective...

Background -
I am a young noble wizard, very reasonable, very polite, help if I can but I do not cry when I cant kind of guy. The wizard, being noble but poor, is trying hard to build a reputation among foreign nobility and start business with mead and so on. The one fault this character has is he pays back what he gets, often many-fold. You help him? He helps you. You give him something he needs worth 10 gp? He gives you easily something you need worth 100 gp later. But why is this a fault? Because if you betray him, attack him, or harm him (or his wife, another PC) he can become your worst nightmare, working hard and silently to undo you. In the character sheet, there is literally "polite, patient, VENGEFUL" with all caps.

In the game, this created a few funny scenarios - an accomplished wizard NPC insulted me (deeply and it was uncalled for), so I smiled, bowed my head and left. Planned it. Took my time, so no connection could be made. And I broke into his house, drugged him to sleep and put him in his bed, changed my appearance to look like him and went partying like mad, insulting people wearing his face, damaging his reputation heavily and then disappearing without a trace, leaving empty bottles by his side and locking the house from the inside. It also created a few dark moments - some humanoid monsters attacked me, so I burned their whole village down (I think kids included).

This is still a low level game, around 5 lvl (9 months of gaming or so), and our party is not very well established (no strong bonds between characters, they worked together out of immediate need only).

The problem -
For some reason, our party got mind-shuffled - my mind is in someone elses body and another member of the party has my body (not swapped, shuffled). The PC who has my wizards body is normally a female rogue. Now she wants to go to a noble and important ball in my male noble body (with hard-worked-for reputation) dressed in revealing womens clothes and apples in bra and totally ridicule me. The PCs argued about it, but she would not be stopped, persuaded, or prevented from going.

As a Player, I think it is out of character of her rogue and I do not get it even though she is chaotic, but I agree that it is kinda hilarious. However, as a PC... this is a direct attack at me, aimed to destroy my image, my reputation, my business dealings. It will ridicule me among noble cirlces - no one will take me seriously in that town ever again. It is also a great insult, and worse - coming from a friendly party member without any provocation, it is certainly a hard-felt betrayal.

So, I believe this could only result in my wizard smiling, working hard to get my body back, and then hiring some thugs to kill her after giving her poisoned wine. As a player, I can not think of any reason for my PC not to do it, or of anything else my PC would do. I think she (player) does not expect it, and it would come as a great surprise to her, but my PC is a sneaky noble after all (with hardly any direct damage spell, I play utility mostly) and I do not want to give her a chance to meta-out-of-it. I did give her hints and fore-warnings though (pc-pc). Almost begged her (player-player) not to do it.

I feel my hand is forced and I can only react to what she is doing, in a very consistent and predictable response I have demonstrated in the game many times over. Not reacting with vengeance would not make sense given the PC I have.

So let me ask you guys... What should I do? Do you think player-kill is justified in this case? How should I do it (never done it, suggestions?)

Or... am I the bad guy? (understand a jerk and a bad player). Write soon, next session approaching. Thanks.

If you kill her for this, you're playing an evil PC.

Is there not a way you can think of getting revenge on a friend that doesn't involve murder?
 

I feel my hand is forced and I can only react to what she is doing, in a very consistent and predictable response I have demonstrated in the game many times over. Not reacting with vengeance would not make sense given the PC I have.

I would flatly remind the player that this course of action will demand revenge, and the revenge won't be playful. You don't need to tell them what form the revenge will take. They player may be too caught up in their own "hilarious" joke to fully think through what the response will be.

So let me ask you guys... What should I do? Do you think player-kill is justified in this case? How should I do it (never done it, suggestions?)

Or... am I the bad guy? (understand a jerk and a bad player). Write soon, next session approaching. Thanks.

If I truly felt that my PC was placed in a position where the ONLY logical course of action was to turn violently on another party member, I would hand my character sheet to the DM and tell them they had a new villain to employ. I would NOT carry out any of the revenge scenario myself as a player. Leads to bad blood.

I strongly agree with Flamestrike that you need to ask yourself if there is a less extreme form of revenge that would satisfy your PC.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
@RickTheFox - what's missing from your summary (which at face value sounds like a game I'd greatly enjoy being in) is how well the players know each other and-or how long you've all been gaming together.

This makes a huge difference. If you're gaming with a long-time crew who have learned to keep character actions and player emotions separate then you're on firm ground all the way here. But if you're gaming with people you don't know all that well, maybe cool the jets a bit, test the waters by trying a lesser degree of revenge first e.g. a dagger into her pillow rather than her head while she's sleeping, and see how that goes over in terms of player reaction.

If the player whines, you have a problem: a player who can give it out but not take it. If the player says something out-of-character like "Right, it's on!", preferably with a smile, then the restraints come off.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
I have a general of no pvp or stealing from other players at my table. Although it hasn’t been an issue in decades. Mainly something I see among teenagers or one jerk parent at a game store.
 

RickTheFox

Villager
This scenario sounds very juvenile. When you create a character with traits that allow you to be a jerk (or worse) . . . you're just being a jerk (or worse). I wouldn't play long in a game with someone behaving like you are. I'm not impressed with the rogue's player either, although they may be acting out of frustration with how you are playing your character.
I do not really think so. I think creating a character with a fault, be it fear of spiders, alcohol addiction, or partial memory loss after long rest can be fun. Other party members need to be aware of the trait and plan for it. We have a PC who is a 0-conscience drug addict that hears god in his head, we play around it by having some drugs on us and trading him, or using Persuassion on him. Moreover, this trait "vengeful" I have created does not allow me to be a jerk at my discretion. It forces me to react in a certain (predictable and consistent) way - and DM often pushes me to react by implementing some rude NPCs that I have to get back at - and it has good results.

As to their frustration as to how I play my character - my wizard is the most reasonable PC of the lot, maybe perhaps on level with a healer druid. I always seek diplomacy, I try to help and I do not steal and murder as my "go to" response. I smooth things over with authority and negotiate with nobility. I also play utility kit and more or less call the strategy. Never has any of other players expressed even the slightest frustration at how I play the wizard. And I asked players and DM as well. Other characters tend to be much more evil-oriented.

The goals of play for the game are (1) everyone has fun and (2) an exciting, memorable story is created by playing.

While you say you don't see this as being in character for the rogue (which is none of your business in my view, but never mind), you do seem to think it's "hilarious." So, you're having fun by the sounds of it. Will the rogue's player have fun if you hire NPCs to kill the rogue? If the rogue survives the encounter, will you and the rest of the group have fun with whatever tit-for-tat may occur in the aftermath? Will any of this help create an exciting, memorable story by playing?

1 - Me thinking something is hilarious is meta-gaming. While I myself think it would be funny, although juvenile, the PC wizard will definitely not think so. He is a serious guy, with no BS policy.
2 - It is not my business how other people play their character, so vice-versa this justifies me playing the character to player-kill. Why I mentioned it was out of character for her? Because it totally was, and other PCs notice that. They should understand it as a sudden change of hearth, a sudden change of behavior. A sudden change between enemy and friend, even.

In a real world, I would compare it to this situation - you, a career man who worked hard to get where he is, is about to strike big deals and getting promotions, and a female friend of yours jokingly accuses you of rape and presses charges, for no reason just the "lulz". Even proven innocent, your reputation in that town and your career there is over. Would you cooperate and stay in close touch with said friend, go on an adventure together? She thought it was fun. In a comedy movie it might have been (that I agree), but in the real world (which D&D role play should simmulate) it is not a happy, nor funny story.

Is there not a way you can think of getting revenge on a friend that doesn't involve murder?
I am not sure, I came here to seek advice. I really do not want to player kill / ruin the campaign, but I feel doing otherwise would be extremely poor roleplay. A mutilation, perhaps? An arm gone with some permanent -dex modifier for the rogue? I will talk about it with the DM, sounds reasonable.


I would flatly remind the player that this course of action will demand revenge, and the revenge won't be playful. You don't need to tell them what form the revenge will take. They player may be too caught up in their own "hilarious" joke to fully think through what the response will be.
Did that. Player feels safe with occupying my body as a hostage, and she knows my wizard has practically no 1v1 spells. So she thinks she will win a fight, she does not know I do not plan there to be one.

@RickTheFox - what's missing from your summary (which at face value sounds like a game I'd greatly enjoy being in) is how well the players know each other and-or how long you've all been gaming together.

This makes a huge difference. If you're gaming with a long-time crew who have learned to keep character actions and player emotions separate then you're on firm ground all the way here. But if you're gaming with people you don't know all that well, maybe cool the jets a bit, test the waters by trying a lesser degree of revenge first e.g. a dagger into her pillow rather than her head while she's sleeping, and see how that goes over in terms of player reaction.

If the player whines, you have a problem: a player who can give it out but not take it. If the player says something out-of-character like "Right, it's on!", preferably with a smile, then the restraints come off.
I am glad to hear that someone thinks this game with these characters sounds good! And to your question, well players are more or less strangers and new at D&D, only gathering for the game, around 2-3 times a month for around 9 months now, level 5. It is very clear that the wizard has a strong "no bs" policy and builds around his image of noble, while working on revenge against his family full-time and on revenge against those that slight him part-time. See? No wonder he has no time for BS.

Problem is that the harm is done, or will be done, to my PC. A total loss of face, for a young noble who has worked hard to establish himself at the city. A PC with all his background built around revenge. A dagger in the pillow would be about as good a roleplay for this character and for that transgression as writing lines would be a punishment for for war-crimes.

Also, I can not win a direct encounter. I really play comfortable noble wizard with mostly utility spells. There can not be a fair and square fight. And all that revenge stuff I have pulled so far were never traced back to me. That is how my wizard operates.

I have a general of no pvp or stealing from other players at my table. Although it hasn’t been an issue in decades. Mainly something I see among teenagers or one jerk parent at a game store.
Yeah, and what about destroying reputation of another player character? Is that PvP ?
 

I am not sure, I came here to seek advice. I really do not want to player kill / ruin the campaign, but I feel doing otherwise would be extremely poor roleplay. A mutilation, perhaps?

Unless your character has a big fat Evil on his Alignment section, murdering or maiming a friend because they humiliated you is extremely poor roleplaying.

What alignment is your PC?
 

RickTheFox

Villager
We do not play by pre-determined alignments. Alignments are based on our choices. Under medieval law, mind you, insulting a noble aristocrat would result in hanging no problem. One could call that justice, given the circumstances.

Also, there is a difference between made fun of, insulted, humiliated, and totally and deliberately destroyed your reputation by impersonating you. Especially since it could be easily prevented (there is really no reason to go the ball, and it is easy to change clothes if you really want to go).

My question stands - am I the bad player here? What should I do?
 
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We do not play by pre-determined alignments. Alignments are based on our choices.

And what 'alignment' would you call someone who murders a bunch of kids in a village by callously burning it down, or who brutally murders a close friend on account of them humiliating you?

Would you call them a morally good person? A morally neutral person? Or....

Under medieval law, mind you, insulting a noble aristocrat would result in hanging no problem.
I think you and I can both agree that such an act is morally evil.

Or if we cant agree that it is, one of us has much deeper problems here.

One could call that justice, given the circumstances.
No, capital punishment by hanging for the 'crime' of simply insulting someone of a higher social class than you can not be called 'justice'.
Also, there is a difference between made fun of, insulted, humiliated, and totally and deliberately destroyed your reputation by impersonating you.
No there damn well is not is not a difference. What worries me here is this is your reasoning, not your PCs. It seems like you genuinely think murder is an appropriate response to having your reputation 'destroyed' by a close friend.

Lets pause for a second, and imagine a good friend of yours IRL publicly ruins your reputation by emailing compromising pictures of you to your work friends, partner and family.

What would be your response?

Is murder or 'maiming' an option? If not (and I sincerely hope its not an option) what would you do in response?
 

We do not play by pre-determined alignments. Alignments are based on our choices. Under medieval law, mind you, insulting a noble aristocrat would result in hanging no problem. One could call that justice, given the circumstances.

Also, there is a difference between made fun of, insulted, humiliated, and totally and deliberately destroyed your reputation by impersonating you.

Medieval law is one thing, game-world law is another. D&D world very rarely operate by real-world medieval law. There's much less serfdom, for one thing. The 'one could call it justice' line, yeeeaah ... one could also call it cold-blooded murder, and I'd probably be inclined to side with the latter group. Premeditated killing of an acquaintance in vengeance for a non-violent act IS murder, by almost any definition you care to name. Justice is something that's done by courts and legal processes, not by poisoned wine.

But I get where you're coming from. The wizard is a character who might commit that particular kind of cold-blooded premeditated murder, given the right situation.

Questions for the wizard: is killing the only vengeance you ever enact? What about proportionality? Humiliation for humiliation, for example? (If killing and violence and similar over-the-top massive retaliation ARE the only ways of satisfying this PCs vengeful streak then that's a horrifying control-freak sociopath, and is an evil character by almost any definition, but again, if that's what the wizard wants to play and the group is ok with it, go for your life...)

Second, if the wizard is really really set on killing, then i'd strongly encourage his player to go to the GM and the player of the rogue PC and discuss this out of character. Say that, if this goes ahead, then at the very least there's no way the wizard and rogue can continue in the same party. Make sure all the cards are unambiguously on the table ahead of time. Don't just hint, make the stakes 100% clear out of character.

I'm not sure what the rogue's in-character motivation for doing all this is, maybe the player just thinks it'd be a laugh and is unaware of how seriously it would be taken by the wizard's player. If that's the case, then expectations on all sides need to be make clear pronto.

(Also, consider the fact that you don't know why the rogues is doing this. Consider the possibility that there is a GOOD reason that you don't know yet. Is she being blackmailed to do it by one of your enemies? Mind controlled? )

If all else fails, a good GM who's aware of the player's attitudes could possibly split the difference and resolve the situation in-character. Maybe the rogue PC could have a bit of fun prancing about in the wizard's body, before being caught out when someone at the ball asks her something the 'wizard' would know, or asks the 'wizard' to cast a spell for some reason, and the imposter is revealed and the real wizard suffers no reputational damage. Or hell, how is a PC dressed that silly going to get past the door guards at the ball anyway? And remember this is a fantasy world where magic is an accepted part of life - when a dignified, polite person starts acting wacky, it's quite reasonable that people might immediately assume that magic is somehow involved rather than just taking it all at face value.

But these are really last resort measures. This needs to be addressed in person between real people like grown ups. The idea of an rpg is to have fun with one's friends and sometimes that means compromising a bit, on both sides. In this game, it sounds like the rogue wants to have fun at the expense of the wizard's player, and then the wizard's player will get back at them by ruining the rogue player's fun. And then I assume the party paladin or whatever will vigorously investigate the murder of their friend the rogue (because, in-character, it's what they'd do!) and the wizard will end up on the gallows? The wizard isn't the only one who gets to play their character to the hilt, and if you sow the wind...

When I've GMed, i've been lucky enough that this situation has never come up. I do have a house rule that if there's intra-character issues, then the evil PC leaves, and that was applied once (a bad-tempered dwarf killed a gnome navigator whose incompetence led to a shipwreck) and the dwarf PC became an NPC at the earliest opportunity. And the player was ok with this because the consequences had been made clear beforehand. If it was my game and i was the GM, I'd talk to both players, and make it clear to both that they need to sort it out between themselves or the likely consequences is both characters leaving the game permanently (the rogue through being poisoned, the wizard for being an evil poisoner). Also, the implied gendered nature of the humiliation the rogue intends to inflict bothers me and I'd make that really clear to the rogue's player. If it's something that makes the wizard's player uncomfortable out of character, I'd be pulling out the big DM stick and saying 'rule zero, don't make people uncomfortable in real life' and just flat-out disallowing it.

This all sounds like a whole lot of not fun to me, frankly. Obsessive vengeance-seekers don't play well in a cooperative game, any better than PCs who like to humiliate other PCs for giggles. But to each their own, some people like to play Punisher: The Waterdeep Years. ..
 
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RickTheFox

Villager
And what 'alignment' would you call someone who murders a bunch of kids in a village by callously burning it down, or who brutally murders a close friend on account of them humiliating you?

Would you call them a morally good person? A morally neutral person? Or....


I think you and I can both agree that such an act is morally evil.

Or if we cant agree that it is, one of us has much deeper problems here.


No, capital punishment by hanging for the 'crime' of simply insulting someone of a higher social class than you can not be called 'justice'.

No there damn well is not is not a difference. What worries me here is this is your reasoning, not your PCs. It seems like you genuinely think murder is an appropriate response to having your reputation 'destroyed' by a close friend.

Lets pause for a second, and imagine a good friend of yours IRL publicly ruins your reputation by emailing compromising pictures of you to your work friends, partner and family.

What would be your response?

Is murder or 'maiming' an option? If not (and I sincerely hope its not an option) what would you do in response?

- I would call a person that never starts a fight but always finishes them neutral. A person that chooses diplomacy and avoids killing or stealing if possible. A person that help when they can, is polite and respectful, is hardly evil in my opinion. But even if my PC is evil in your book based on the choices I make, so what? If you know someone in your party is potentially evil, you do not spit in his face just to piss them off, assuming they are minding their business and harming the party or their goals in any way.

- I think murder today is a different thing, morally, than in D&D or in medieval time, where life had morally speaking much smaller value. In a world where monsters attack and bandits are behind every corner, and nobles kill each other over titles and estates, where thief loses hand for stealing a purse, morality is much darker. Is murder a good deed? No. Is it reasonable response in such a world under such circumstances ? Well that is what I am asking.

- So you are saying that my PC was building his business, was working hard to get to high circles of aristocracy for months and my roleplay is based on reputation and charisma (with motive being vengeance), and there is no difference between calling him a goat-lover publicly and stealing his identity and impersonating him at the highest public event, wearing transparent women clothes and apples in bra? You see no difference between an insult and a destroyed reputation? Seriously?

- IRL situation would be a female acquaintance (not a close friend, the PCs are not very bonded) accusing you of rape and faking some evidence and pressing charges and going public with it. Just for the lolz. What would be your response, even if you were found innocent? People quite often move away from that town, or commit a suicide because their reputation is ruined. These things have consequences. In D&D my wizard is not one to commit a suicide but rather a murder, and moving away from the town would not solve the problem as the wizard is a high-profile person whose repuation carries over. Either way, I doubt my wizard in D&D or you IRL would continue to cooperate with said acquaintance in either case.


Medieval law is one thing, game-world law is another. D&D world very rarely operate by real-world medieval law. There's much less serfdom, for one thing. The 'one could call it justice' line, yeeeaah ... one could also call it cold-blooded murder, and I'd probably be inclined to side with the latter group. Premeditated killing of an acquaintance in vengeance for a non-violent act IS murder, by almost any definition you care to name. Justice is something that's done by courts and legal processes, not by poisoned wine.

But I get where you're coming from. The wizard is a character who might commit that particular kind of cold-blooded premeditated murder, given the right situation.

Questions for the wizard: is killing the only vengeance you ever enact? What about proportionality? Humiliation for humiliation, for example? (If killing and violence and similar over-the-top massive retaliation ARE the only ways of satisfying this PCs vengeful streak then that's a horrifying control-freak sociopath, and is an evil character by almost any definition, but again, if that's what the wizard wants to play and the group is ok with it, go for your life...)

Second, if the wizard is really really set on killing, then i'd strongly encourage his player to go to the GM and the player of the rogue PC and discuss this out of character. Say that, if this goes ahead, then at the very least there's no way the wizard and rogue can continue in the same party. Make sure all the cards are unambiguously on the table ahead of time. Don't just hint, make the stakes 100% clear out of character.

I'm not sure what the rogue's in-character motivation for doing all this is, maybe the player just thinks it'd be a laugh and is unaware of how seriously it would be taken by the wizard's player. If that's the case, then expectations on all sides need to be make clear pronto.

(Also, consider the fact that you don't know why the rogues is doing this. Consider the possibility that there is a GOOD reason that you don't know yet. Is she being blackmailed to do it by one of your enemies? Mind controlled? )

If all else fails, a good GM who's aware of the player's attitudes could possibly split the difference and resolve the situation in-character. Maybe the rogue PC could have a bit of fun prancing about in the wizard's body, before being caught out when someone at the ball asks her something the 'wizard' would know, or asks the 'wizard' to cast a spell for some reason, and the imposter is revealed and the real wizard suffers no reputational damage. Or hell, how is a PC dressed that silly going to get past the door guards at the ball anyway?

But these are really last resort measures. This needs to be addressed in person between real people like grown ups. The idea of an rpg is to have fun with one's friends and sometimes that means compromising a bit, on both sides. In this game, it sounds like the rogue wants to have fun at the expense of the wizard's player, and then the wizard's player will get back at them by ruining the rogue player's fun. And then I assume the party paladin or whatever will vigorously investigate the murder of their friend the rogue (because, in-character, it's what they'd do!) and the wizard will end up on the gallows? The wizard isn't the only one who gets to play their character to the hilt, and if you sow the wind...

When I've GMed, i've been lucky enough that this situation has never come up. I do have a house rule that if there's intra-character issues, then the evil PC leaves, and that was applied once (a bad-tempered dwarf killed a gnome navigator whose incompetence led to a shipwreck) and the dwarf PC became an NPC at the earliest opportunity. And the player was ok with this because the consequences had been made clear beforehand. If it was my game and i was the GM, I'd talk to both players, and make it clear to both that they need to sort it out between themselves or the likely consequences is both characters leaving the game permanently (the rogue through being poisoned, the wizard for being an evil poisoner)

This sounds like a whole lot of not fun to me. Obsessive vengeance-seekers don't play well in a cooperative game, any better than PCs who like to humiliate other PCs for giggles. But to each their own, some people like to play Punisher: The Waterdeep Years. ..

- Thank you for understanding where I am coming from. Murder today is different matter than murder in D&D world, justice-wise and morally-wise. Never good, but different.

- As to the proportionality, my wizard has been working hard to establish himself as an aristocrat and builds business. The rogue, meanwhile, has a reputation of a common thug. Owns nothing, wants nothing, has no reputation to protect. There is nothing I can do, proportionally, that I can think of. That is why I am here - to ask what I should do. Any ideas are welcome. My wizard is not evil, I think. He does good where he can and tries to help, but his goal and story is vengeance against his family. He tries to get that through political and economical means - that is why he has been trying to establish himself and gain power in another town. And all that ruined by a "supposed" friend for no reason at all.

- I am going to talk it over with my DM for sure, but first I wanted some input from you guys here. So far I get feedback that my PC and his reputation are inconsequential and do not matter and other PCs can stamp over months of effort as they please. And if he wants to fight back as is in his well-known character, he is the evil guy and I am the bad player for following through. Mind that if my wizard does not feel he got "justice" done, he would never -ever- cooperate with said rogue again. I see absolutely no way of why and how he would want to be in a party with her. Even if they catch her in time, she still attempted it. Now, attempt does not warrant kill in my wizards books, but it was still a betrayal and he would not cooperate without seeing some hard justice.

- I checked with detect magic, insight and perception, nothing wrong with her. Just a player decision. I explained it would be a hard, unreasonable and uncalled-for hit at my wizard. Does not care.

- The wizard there is the least shady character, we do not have a righteous paladin. The wizard is actually the closes thing to that we have... And I doubt other characters would be able to investigate and to link my wizard to the murder. Or have enough influence and evidence so it would stand in court. The problem is, either way it is probably game over. I need to react - I can leave her be and never cooperate again, move to a different city and start again. Party broken with me out. I can kill her or mutilate her - party broken with her out, possibly with others grouping on me and disposing of me with court of sword, so with me out as well. What can I do to prevent it, without Deus ex Machina?

And you mentioned the PC who is evil should be out. Well, is my wizard really the evil character here? Or did she start the pvp? True, she did not steal from me, or hurt me directly. But the loss of face and business opportunity will amount to huge loses of gold. And huge amounts of wasted time and resources put into building it. Who is really the bad guy here? The way I see it, there are two somewhat bad guys at a clash, but it is not my wizard who started it and should not be to blame.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
You are finding lots of ways to justify your character's actions... all in the name of "playing your character". It seems to me that your mind is made up. You did come here looking for advice, but seem unwilling to take what looks to be the predominant advice advising against this action.

You obviously don't need to take people's recommendations here... you can do whatever you want after all. But if you want to do it, then just do it and accept whatever consequences come about. But it is a waste of everyone's time to try and convince the rest of the people here on the board that you are "right". It doesn't matter if you are right or wrong with your actions, and it doesn't matter if everybody else agrees with you.

Make a decision and go with it and stop worrying if the other folks here disagree.
 

RickTheFox

Villager
I came here for advice, and I am explaining the background and circumstances that let to my conclussion. The conlussion has not been carried out, I can and am willing to change it if I see a reasonable way out... I was actually hoping for some... loophole solution. I do not want to Player Kill. That is why I am here. To find a way, or to make a decision... and of course, whatever decision I make, I accept the consequences.

Problem with what I read here is most guys here do not seem to think a huge reputation damage matters, or that it is a damage at all. And the advice I am getting is - your wizard is the bad guy, do not do it, what the rogue did is fine, PK is wrong no matter what. So if I am not to PK, then I would like to see alternatives.

And I am also very curious as to how many people here would consider me a bad player and would not want to play with me if I go with it. I could really use some feedback there. I try to be a good player, but the way I do it is by taking RP aspect seriously.
 

I am going to talk it over with my DM for sure, but first I wanted some input from you guys here. So far I get feedback that my PC and his reputation are inconsequential and do not matter and other PCs can stamp over months of effort as they please.

No, you haven't gotten that feedback. You've gotten the feedback that premeditated poisoning of someone for a non-violent act is evil, and that intra-party killing breaks games, breaks friendships, and ruins fun. You haven't liked that feedback, but that's been the majority opinion.

The thing about PC death is that it's permanent (especially at level 5!) Reputations are salvageable, fortunes come and go, but a dead PC is gone for good. Before you need to decide what to do, you need to answer yourself a couple of questions.

Is it going to ruin your fun, out of character, if the rogue goes ahead? Is it going to ruin the rogue player's fun if your PC murders the rogue after the rogue goes ahead? If either or both of these go ahead, what effect will it have on the campaign, the gaming group, or the friendships within it?

Real life friendships trump in-character stuff, always. Games aren't worth losing friends over. Playing faithfully in-character is not worth ruining other people's fun. We're not method actors.

If, however, the real-life people (including you) in your group are 100% ok with this vendetta escalating and can laugh about the PC oneupmanship and over-the-top in-character conflict, then you certainly do have options for getting back at the rogue PC nonlethally. Even if they have no reputation, no friends and family etc. Your PC in the rogue's body at the moment, right? Presumably, at some point you'll revert back. Perhaps a huge embarrassing facial tattoo might be in order, in the meantime? Or borrowing a huge amount of money in their name, and then skipping out on the loan. You've got money - bribe all the other PCs to steal all the rogue's stuff while the rogue is asleep, dump him/her in the worst part of town naked and weaponless and painted purple, and then leave the city. There's ways to recover your reputation too - find a random corpse who somewhat resembles you, dress it up in the rogue's silly outfit, then cut off all its appendages, tie it to a stake and set fire to it in the town square, as public as you can. "This is what happens when people cross me"

And you mentioned the PC who is evil should be out. Well, is my wizard really the evil character here? Or did she start the pvp? True, she did not steal from me, or hurt me directly. But the loss of face and business opportunity will amount to huge loses of gold. And huge amounts of wasted time and resources put into building it. Who is really the bad guy here? The way I see it, there are two somewhat bad guys at a clash, but it is not my wizard who started it and should not be to blame.

You can't simply absolve yourself or your PC of blame here by saying 'they started it'. As you say, there are two bad guys, the rogue PC sounds like they're acting like a complete jerk, but you're the one who's hugely escalating the situation to the point of intraparty killing - especially when the rogue, to some, might just appear to be pranking. And given what you've said about the NPC wizard in your original post, it sounds like your PC makes a habit of wildly over-the-top and out of proportion retaliation. Is it in character? Maybe. Does it matter if it's in character? Probably not very much. And even if it is in character, it's only in-character because you chose for it to be when you made that character. Maniacal vengefulness is a very double-edged PC personality trait. Reputation is only hyper-important to your character because you made it so. These are not matters that are outside your control.

Special pleading about medieval moral standards and the historic value of reputation etc doesn't cut any ice with me, frankly. We're not medieval, and D&D isn't medieval in any recognisably historic way other than 'swords are a thing!' And also, consider whether you'd accept this from another party member? You say the rogue is a brutal thug and your PC is wealthy - how would you react if the rogue asked you for a huge amount of your cash for a new magic item or something, you said no, then the rogue decided to cave in your wizard's skull in the middle of the night because 'my PC is a brutal thug and the wizard has lots of gold, it only makes sense for the character that i'd kill him and steal it, and he started it by being tight-fisted!' Because there's not a lot of difference. You came here asking for input, and you're getting it, even if it's unwelcome. I understand where you're coming from, and I understand the situation isn't entirely of your own making, but that's how it is.

In the end, i'm not your DM and I'm not the boss of you, I'm just telling you how I'd adjudicate something like this in my game - but as a DM, I'd 100% warn all parties involved ahead of time in very clear language. And if they both persisted, to be honest I'd probably start looking for another group because that's not the sort of thing that I personally enjoy in my games. If you're playing in a game, or under a DM, where lethal PVP is considered fun or intraparty murder is not considered evil or jerkish, then that's a very very distinct rarity. If you go ahead, be warned that it may well get you kicked out of the group, and pleading medieval justice standards is unlikely to help your cause.

Is the rogue also being a jerk? Hell yes. If they're doing this for some sort of out-of-character reason to get a rise out of you the player, especially with the juvenile cross-dressing stuff, then they're being a HUGE jerk and as a DM i'd be telling them so. Is there any reason why the rogue and wizard would adventure together after that? Hell no, and that's a mess both players and the DM will have to sort out, which is why i encourage you to have this conversation before things become irreversible. DMs in my experience HATE having carefully-planned campaigns derailed by this sort of thing. But killing a fellow PC is the nuclear weapon of D&D. Even if they started it. No matter the provocation. Be aware that it'll likely be treated as such.

This is why @Lanefan asked you about the group dynamics I think. How well do you know the other players? Do you play with a group of long-time friends who socialise outside D&D? Have the other group members been playing together for a long time and you only joined recently? Are you a group of strangers who met recently on the internet and started a game? Every group has an implied social contract, standards, lines that are not stepped over etc, and they all vary from group to group. If you're new to a group, you may not know those standards, or perhaps a brand new group has never really talked about this stuff or settled on standards at all. Maybe you're in a game with people who do PVP stuff or nasty pranks or gaybaiting/gender based humiliation all the time. Frankly, all this should have been sorted out at a session zero before the game even got started, but that's water under the bridge now.

In most high-functioning groups I've been in, the solution to this sort of thing is that both players bend a bit, out of character. Here's some advice - don't be the one who refuses to bend. Genuinely offer a compromise that gives the rogue's player part of what they want, and do it in conjunction with the GM. Be aware it'll mean that you won't get all you want. D&D is a cooperative game. If you're at each others throats in or especially out of character, it won't work for very long. They may absolutely refuse to compromise, but at least you tried, and that'll maybe give you a tiny bit of moral highground for dealing with what comes next.
 

Zubatcarteira

Explorer
In a world with mind control, shapeshifters and illusion magic, someone acting in a way they clearly never would is a big red flag. If you can prepare to it, go to the ball's organizers and explain the situation to them if you can prove it, at least to get them worried enough to check. If it's not you it shouldn't be too hard to prove it if you can get them under a zone of truth or something similar.

If you can't stop it in-game, really, just explain to the Rogue that they'll absolutely be killed and do your thing if they continue.
 

RickTheFox

Villager
- It is body shuffle, not body swap. I am in body of someone else. Otherwise that is precisely what I would have tried to do, tattoos and loans... As it stands, I can not do anything of the sort. Reputation is important because I made it so - so yeah, it is important. That is the premise of RPG

- yes, vendetta is in my wizards character, he is built all around it. You seriously do not see a difference between a rogue killing you in your sleep because you said no to a loan vs a wizard killing you because you went out of your way to destroy his carefully laid out plans and reputation just because?

- the group are all new players between 18 a 28, with little or no previous experience. We played together from the start, some 9 months ago. My wizard usually makes the calls in the group, there are no significant group dynamics apart from that.

Your feedback is welcome. Even if I do not agree with all of it, I do need to hear and consider it.

If they're doing this for some sort of out-of-character reason to get a rise out of you the player, especially with the juvenile cross-dressing stuff, then they're being a HUGE jerk and as a DM i'd be telling them so. Is there any reason why the rogue and wizard would adventure together after that? Hell no,
killing a fellow PC is the nuclear weapon of D&D. Even if they started it. No matter the provocation.
If you're at each others throats in or especially out of character, it won't work for very long.
to be honest I'd probably start looking for another group because that's not the sort of thing that I personally enjoy in my games.

This might have, actually, been the best advice so far. Practically, no matter what I do, in game they would hardly remain working together. I might kill her and come on top, or die trying. Anyway, as you say, player kills are the nuclear solution and they carry over outside of the game, unlike other stuff. At the same time, I absolutely can not see a way out without either doing something radical to that PC or turning my wizard by 180 ° and ignore his traits, history, personality...

I think the only compromise I see here, that would keep some social friendship between us, and allow me to stay true to the character while bending slightly but not too much out of character is for my wizard to go insane, drink the poisoned wine and I can find party with people that have more sense, or roll another character that is a troll and fits better... Or maybe our DM will think of something.

Because honestly, I do not like all this PC kill / PC interest harm at all :(
Anyway, thank you guys.
 

Nefermandias

Explorer
I'm risking sounding like a jerk here, so I'll apologize in advance, but...
If you really need to ask that question in a public board, maybe you should focus on learning the very basics about being a DM?
Allowing the group to kill a bb player character is already bad enough, even more so if the player isn't there to defend himself.
Just don't
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
1 - Me thinking something is hilarious is meta-gaming. While I myself think it would be funny, although juvenile, the PC wizard will definitely not think so. He is a serious guy, with no BS policy.
2 - It is not my business how other people play their character, so vice-versa this justifies me playing the character to player-kill. Why I mentioned it was out of character for her? Because it totally was, and other PCs notice that. They should understand it as a sudden change of hearth, a sudden change of behavior. A sudden change between enemy and friend, even.

In a real world, I would compare it to this situation - you, a career man who worked hard to get where he is, is about to strike big deals and getting promotions, and a female friend of yours jokingly accuses you of rape and presses charges, for no reason just the "lulz". Even proven innocent, your reputation in that town and your career there is over. Would you cooperate and stay in close touch with said friend, go on an adventure together? She thought it was fun. In a comedy movie it might have been (that I agree), but in the real world (which D&D role play should simmulate) it is not a happy, nor funny story.
You're playing a game with real people in the real world. What matters is everyone's fun. Start there and govern yourself accordingly.
 

Awfully Cheerful Engine!

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