[True/False] There is a point in every campaign when the PCs come to blows.

[True/False] There is a point in every campaign when the PCs come to blows.

  • True.

    Votes: 64 22.5%
  • False.

    Votes: 220 77.5%


Moderator Emeritus
This is a very simple poll. True or False: There is a point in every campaign when the PCs come to blows.

I am not asking if this is true for every campaign played by everyone everywhere (we could never know and I am sure there are folks out there where this is not true for them), but rather your own games.

In my own games there is always at least one time (but often a handful) where the PCs end up in conflict with each other and it comes to blows - typically it is non-lethal blows/ restraining magic - but it does happen - typically over moral disagreements regarding the handling of some issue, occasionally as a result of noble motives (like the time the dwarf in the party decided he did not want to risk the lives of his friends and tried to leave the group with an artifact that needed to be destroyed and everyone thinking his will had been taken over by the object wrestled him to the ground to take it away). On other occasions, PCs have ended up competing against each other in footlists, jousts and archery tournaments, and of course there is always the case of people being charmed/dominated.

In my own experience, these fights have not led to out-of-game bitterness or PvP murder because they have always had a good in-game reason/motivation for happening - and many times they have actually led to group bonding. In fact, I often look forward to these (as long as they don't happen too often) as typically they arise from cool character-motivated RP moments.

In one game I played in the party bard never gave the party wizard any respect and they ended up in a drunken brawl in the street and the rest of the part fought over whether or not to let them hash it out - the cool part was even though the wizard got his ass handed to him in the fist fight, the bard began to show him respect afterwards for standing up for himself.

In my current "Second Son of a Second Son" campaign, there have been two fistfights with the party wizard (he lost both fights) because he is such a mouthy insulting jerk, and then another big scrum when there was a disagreement over the use of holy relic to heal the party.

Is this something that happens in your games? How has it worked out for you? Is it something you look forward to? Poll to follow.

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I've found it tends to decrease over time the longer a particular group is together (and then, for some groups, increases once 'familiarity breeds contempt :D ). As a group ages, it tends to weed out the purely anti-social players who thrive on aspects of intra-party conflict. There's an incentive to avoid in-game actions that cause out-of-game problems for groups where people are often friends outside of the game. And at a certain point, when everyone is really comfortable with each other, some of the faux-aggressive behavior common in social relationships (especially among guys) may start to manifest in game.

Doug McCrae

Happens often in our games. One of our DMs in particular loved the charmed/dominated bit. And my last campaign ended in a TPK caused by an umber hulk's confusion.

In our group the intra-party fights always seem to increase tension rather than defuse it. The powergaming war between the PCs which was previously fought indirectly - who can do the most damage or otherwise contribute the most to victory - now becomes a direct and thus nastier contest.
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I can't think of any time characters in one of my campaigns intentionally came to blows. There were certainly some heated arguments, but the only times one PC struck another PC that I remember either involved critical fumbles or charm spells.

I think the closest I've ever come in one of my campaigns to an PC brawl was when the Thri-Kreen started to eat a dead foe of an intelligent race and the Lawful Good human fighter in the group flipped his lid over it. The arguing really got out of hand to the point where it was no longer PCs arguing with PCs, but players arguing with players and I had to intervene.

In one campaign I was running, though, there was a situation forming where one of the PCs was plotting to sacrifice one of the party members to an evil artifact that he'd accidentally been bonded to but unfortunately that campaign was derailed by real life scheduling issues.


First Post
I encourage internal conflicts and reward them. But conflict must be relevant and limited to the story and the PC classes' backgrounds. Everyone gets a reward out of such internal conflicts and the "loser" gets even more than the "winner". It is strange but it works :)

Kid Charlemagne

I am the Very Model of a Modern Moderator
If you include moments where PC's are charmed/confused, then absolutely, in pretty much every long-running campaign it happens. Not in most other case, however; we've generally tried to avoid inter-party strife.


First Post
In my experience, it doesn't happen most of the time - but it crops up often enough.

In fact (like Batman ;)) I almost always end up having contingency plans for how best to take down all the other party members. You never know when they'll get mind-controlled, after all. (that, and it's a fun mental exercise)

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