Recruitment- PLANESCAPE: Intrigue. Reopened


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DammitVictor

Trust the Fungus
Supporter
Confederates:

In some quests, a character or multiple characters in the party will be briefed by me prior to the adventure, but unlike the rest of the group, they possess their own motives and goals for the particular arc. Alongside the main objective, this character will actively pursue their unique agenda, sometimes leading to unforeseen outcomes and extra opportunities for role-play.
This is how I run my games, and how I prefer to play in games, and why I normally prefer being the Token Evil in a standard goodly campaign. Ask me about Terminator some time.

With some caveats. The advice you've been given about competing interests versus conflicting interests is very solid. Making sure the PCs (and the players) have a strong vested interest in trying to thread the needle between their personal and party objectives is critical. Making sure you've got players who enjoy losing as much (or more) than they enjoy winning, and that you can run a game where losing fuels growth and complexity rather than stagnation, is a huge part in making something like this work.

Ways I think it might not work: If the character's unique objectives directly interfere with the group's objective. Example: Group is hired as bounty hunters to capture Joe alive and bring him to Bob. Character's unique objective is to kill Joe, and will make it seem like an accident so the group doesn't get suspicious. Even with subterfuge - if everyone eventually finds out, then the character is in trouble with the group, and the types I'm recruiting for this campaign aren't exactly forgiving. Also, the original employer - Bob - is not one to mess around with and may seek retribution for not carrying out his instructions.
Make it Dead or Alive, which usually implies the client prefers to take them alive, for reasons, and is offering more rewards-- direct and indirect-- for doing so. Tie this into the other players' motivations, as well. The maverick player, well, they're getting a bigger reward for making sure the mark doesn't make it... but they're also earning a different set of faction rewards, from the other client, for the whole party. The conflict isn't they're screwing the party to push their own agenda, it's that their making the choice for the party without consulting them.

If Joe makes it to Bob mostly intact, the whole party is in good with Bob and Charlie is pissed at the maverick.
If Joe winds up in the deadbook "by accident", the whole party is still mostly good with Bob, and Charlie is happy with the maverick and the party.

If Bob finds out the maverick deaded Joe on purpose, he's angry at the whole party.
If the party finds out the maverick got Joe dead on purpose, that's magic.

But yeah... this is my preferred mode of play.
 
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Li Shenron

Legend
Currently brainstorming a bit on the following player character:

Grim
race: Half-Orc OR Orc (I have Volo's Guide to Monsters, so I could use that version)
class: Rogue (Arcane Trickster) OR Wizard (Enchantment)
alignment: Chaotic Evil (not the extreme sociopath/psychopath type, she is Chaotic because she has a strong disdain and resentment against any authority, and she is Evil because she believes that the ends justify the means)
faction: none (clueless)

Short background: Grim has been in conflict with orcish culture, rules and authority since she can remember, until she was finally banished by her tribe after a serious act* of sedition and defiance, and is now on her own lonely path to leave the whole life on the material plane behind her back

*to discuss with the DM about how much of said act will be public and how much will part of the 'dark secret'

may range from humorous to full-on IC conflict - again which may be a pro in certain circumstances)
-Tough choices - the toughest one being - can this character remain in the party? Maybe a shorter way to frame this entire question is: how critical is in-character group cohesiveness in a PbP campaign?

I am not at all opposed to the PCs being given secret and possibly conflicting purposes but the DM must guarantee that this cannot and will not cause PvP conflict to the extent of mechanically-resolved physical confrontation or betraying the party to their doom.

Some examples to clarify:

Say that PC1 and PC2 have conflicting personal goals, and PC1 ruins PC2's personal goal. An argument starts, and PC1 and PC2 beat the sh*t out of each other in a fight, that the DM resolves through narrative with the consent of both, and ends up effectively without mechanical consequences for either, and a resolution agreed together. So far this is OK for me, just part of the narrative.

It is not ok, if the DM has PC1 and PC2 actually resolve the argument by rolling dice against each other or even a full combat by the rules, or if the DM allows either character to take some hostile action such as casting an offensive spell or stealing equipment from the other, whether this is resolved by the rules or DM's fiat.

As to betraying the party as a whole, that's a bit more complex... I think it's best avoided, but I can see some possible appeal in the event that the player of such character has actually decided to leave the game, and the DM has come up with a plot that effectively turns the PC into an NPC. In such case, the betraying character "loses the game" (in the sense that he won't be playing anymore), and the rest of the party continues to play. What shouldn't happen, is that the betrayal results in a TPK or such other extreme outcome that causes the other players to quit the game as well.
 

Most evil aligned campaigns I’ve been in, the party has been pretty much aligned in their goals. In any game I’ve played, each pc has private goals which the party may or may not know or even help to resolve. Generally, I don’t really understand why an evil aligned party would work any less cohesively than a good aligned party. But if the goal of the game is to have secret agendas and see how those conflicting agendas play out, then that’s fine. I’m with the other opinions that, having side goals that COMPLICATE the main objective is much more preferable to side goals that work AGAINST the main objective.
 

Necropolitan

Adventurer
I used this character generator and then edited the end result a bit, it's great: Character Builder » Dungeons & Dragons - D&D 5

Is there anything I should add or take off or should I send you the backstory/secrets/etc. now?

Class: Warlock (The Fiend) 5
Gender: Male
Race: Human (Variant)
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Background: Faction Agent

[ABILITY SCORES]
Strength
8 (-1)
Dexterity 14 (+2)
Constitution 12 (+1)
Intelligence 14 (+2)
Wisdom 10 (+0)
Charisma 19 (+4)

[PROFICIENCIES]
Proficiency Bonus
+3
Saves Wis +3, Cha +7
Skills Arcana +5, Deception +7, Insight +3, Intimidation +7, Persuasion +7 (Passive Perception 10)
Weapons simple weapons
Armors light armor,
Tools:
Languages Common, Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal

[COMBAT]
HP
33; HD 5d8
Init +1; Speed 30 ft.
AC 14 (Studded Leather 12, Dexterity +2)
Dagger. Melee: +4 (1d4+1 piercing; finesse, light, thrown (range 20/60))

[SPELLS]
Spellcasting Ability
Charisma; Spells Save DC 15 ; Spells Attack Bonus +7
Slots - / - / 2
Known Spells (3) / 3 / 2 / 1
- Level 0:
Eldritch Blast
Mage Hand
Message
Mind Sliver
Prestidigitation,
Toll the Dead
Vicious Mockery

- Level 1:
Burning Hands
Command
Hex

- Level 2:
Darkness
Misty Step

- Level 3:
Enemies Abound

[FEATURES & TRAITS]​

Expanded Spell List
Dark One's Blessing
Pact Magic
Eldritch Invocations (Agonizing Blast, Devil's Sight, Mask of Many Faces)
Pact Boon (Pact of the Tome : mind sliver, message, vicious mockery)
Telekinetic (mage hand at will)
Safe Haven

[EQUIPMENT]​

Dagger, Studded Leather, arcane focus/rod, backpack, crowbar, hammer, piton (10), torch (10), tinderbox, rations/1 day (10), waterskin, rope/silk 50 feet, clothes/common, emblem of your faction, copy of a seminal faction text, Book of Shadows, 2 Uncommon Potions of Healing.

674 GP
 
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Nordom

Explorer
Making sure you've got players who enjoy losing as much (or more) than they enjoy winning, and that you can run a game where losing fuels growth and complexity rather than stagnation, is a huge part in making something like this work.

This line is the key to fostering inter party conflicts while still having an enjoyable experience for all. I'm glad someone brought this up without me having to.
 




Nordom

Explorer
I used this character generator and then edited the end result a bit, it's great: Character Builder » Dungeons & Dragons - D&D 5

Is there anything I should add or take off or should I send you the backstory/secrets/etc. now?

Class: Warlock (The Fiend) 5
Gender: Male
Race: Human (Variant)
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Background: Faction Agent

[ABILITY SCORES]
Strength
8 (-1)
Dexterity 13 (+1)
Constitution 12 (+1)
Intelligence 14 (+2)
Wisdom 10 (+0)
Charisma 18 (+4)

[PROFICIENCIES]
Proficiency Bonus
+3
Saves Wis +3, Cha +7
Skills Arcana +5, Deception +7, Insight +3, Intimidation +7, Persuasion +7 (Passive Perception 10)
Weapons simple weapons
Armors light armor,
Tools:
Languages Common, Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal

[COMBAT]
HP
33; HD 5d8
Init +1; Speed 30 ft.
AC 13 (Studded Leather 12, Dexterity +1)
Dagger. Melee: +4 (1d4+1 piercing; finesse, light, thrown (range 20/60))

[SPELLS]
Spellcasting Ability
Charisma; Spells Save DC 15 ; Spells Attack Bonus +7
Slots - / - / 2
Known Spells (3) / 3 / 2 / 1
- Level 0:
Eldritch Blast
Mage Hand
Message
Mind Sliver
Prestidigitation,
Toll the Dead
Vicious Mockery

- Level 1:
Burning Hands
Command
Hex

- Level 2:
Darkness
Misty Step

- Level 3:
Enemies Abound

[FEATURES & TRAITS]​

Expanded Spell List
Dark One's Blessing
Pact Magic
Eldritch Invocations (Agonizing Blast, Devil's Sight, Mask of Many Faces)
Pact Boon (Pact of the Tome : mind sliver, message, vicious mockery)
Telekinetic (mage hand at will)
Safe Haven

[EQUIPMENT]​

Dagger, Studded Leather, arcane focus/rod, backpack, crowbar, hammer, piton (10), torch (10), tinderbox, rations/1 day (10), waterskin, rope/silk 50 feet, clothes/common, emblem of your faction, copy of a seminal faction text, Book of Shadows, 2 Uncommon Potions of Healing.

674 GP
Looks good at first glance. When you're able, please go ahead and send me some backstory and history, including the 5 questions.

Full disclosure, I'm quite new to 5e (have done most of my playing in 3.5e but it's not too different and I'm catching up).

With that in mind, could you explain to a 5e newbie how you went from a base score max of 15 to 18 by level 5? Was it the variant human that boosted charisma to 17 at level 1?
 

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