[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%


In my prior post, none of the intra-party conflict was due to personal player issues with each other, and the lethal character attacks were all based on in character reaction but the player chosing an innapropriate method due to relying on the metagame of the player knowing damage outputs of weapons versus the known hit point total of the character that had irked his character.

But when it's been "conflict" between characters due to role-playing, barring the one player's poor choice methodology, no other time did intra-party conflict go beyond in character arguments.

Though the best one ever, near the end of the 13 year old campaign, had a massive, multi-character heated discussion going on, and one player character dropped a Calm Emotions on the entire rest of the party. Before I could ever really comprehend it, everybody was playing the ongoing conversation like they'd been tagged with magical Lithium. It was amazing.

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First Post
If you play with characters like I often create, it's all but inevitable.

If my power hungry wizard runs across the artifact the BBEG has been hunting... well, it's his now, unless the party meddles and ruins my plans.

If my Jedi stumbles across an ancient Sith temple brimming with Dark Side energy, he's going to go in unless the party restrains him -- and even then, he'll often find a way to escape at the first opportunity and return to the temple.

Sometimes this results in the character getting removed from the campaign (turned into a villain, forces his party to slaughter him, etc), and sometimes not. The thing is to just take it in stride. I loved some of those characters, but whatever happens is the natural result of who the character was, so it's all good. I may not be able to play Mavros the fallen Jedi any longer, but damned if it wasn't a fitting end to the character anyway.

Heroic characters deserve heroic deaths. Villainous (or corrupted) characters deserve villainous deaths. Why nurture hard feelings for reaping what you've sown?

Nine Hands

I answered TRUE but my opinion of "comes to blows" is a much broader than just physical violence. I see every group go through the pain of establishing a pecking order, especially in character.

In one campaign, we went through several "leaders" until we settled on the right person, each time the "leader" changed, there was lots of character interaction and in character bickering. It was pretty hilarious.

In the current campaign I play in, my character (who is a scientist and is too smart for his own good) squares off against the former Soviet tank commander (who is also too smart for his own good). The in character conversations are pretty hilarious and are really good overall for the game.

The most important thing is to not allow any of this "fighting" to cause damage to anyones real world relationships. Its just a game, sometimes the characters argue but most of the time they get along wonderfully.

I also see the chances for arguements decrease as the campaign progresses and the characters get to know each other.

Good poll question BTW :)

The Eternal GM

First Post
I call false, a campaign CAN be all about players competing/conflicting but that's not something I've seen much outside of oWoD chronicles and the odd 'evil' campaign in more traditional ones.

I always wanted to run A Game of Thrones precisely to see how much infighting it would breed. Never got around to it.

Game/Players/GM/Intent all factor too much for it to be a truism for me.


Not An Evil Twin
It's been my experience that expectations, motivations and goals differ from PC to PC and player to player; these sometimes come into conflict, resulting in humorous and/or near-deadly confrontations.


Voice Over Artist & Author
The only time PCs have come to blows in any of my campaigns was when a botched Disable Device roll set off an Insanity trap, afflicting 3/4 of the party.

It was an unfortunate circumstance because it led to an intra-party TPK, but it wasn't because of any moral stance any of the PCs had, so I voted "False."



First Post
I answered "false" because I've been in games where that didn't happen. However, in *most* of the games I've played/DMed, there was some type of in-party fighting. My most recent campaign had an Elder Evil being reborn within a PC, so the goal was for the other(s) to get that PC killed. I once replaced a PC with a doppelganger, so the player attacked his party for a session. However, I've also had alignment conflicts, personality conflicts, and other reasons for *players* to fight each other.

It happens.


First Post
A big TRUE here.

Recently a one-shot game even involved a little PC-on-PC violence.

I have never seen PCs kill each other or even use their weapons on each other. As a player you see how powerful the characters are and know that the fighter or wizard could easily kill your character if they didn't hold back. Therefore, there is a kind of mutually assured destruction truce between players. Also, after killing tribes of goblins, blasting dragons, and wading through pools of monster blood, there is something dramatic about a fistfight. It is much closer to a real-world conflict and almost always has cool RP results.

In my experience, these conflicts are the result of two things: alignment conflicts and player personalities.

There will inevitably be a conflict between the lawful good and chaotic neutral members of a group. This is unavoidable and is desirable, I think. It is cool to give your character some principles and make him/her stand up for them.

However, some people will always behave a certain way regardless of their alignment. Some people will defend the innocent with their chaotic neutral rogue because they are morally opposed to acting any other way. Some people, however, will rape and kill wantonly with their chaotic good character.

For me, there are certain lines that I don't like to see crossed. I am personally opposed to sex and sexual violence in a game. Maybe this is because I'm married and don't need to roleplay my sexual fantasies, maybe it's because these things cross a kind of decency line or take me into a space in other players' minds that I am not interested in. Regardless, no character of mine, no matter their alignment, will sit by and watch an NPC be raped or sexually assaulted. I'll happily address these issues with the players, but if they insist on going there, I will insist on kicking their asses in-game.


First Post
I have fought with other characters a few times. The first time was the first session of a campaign. The characters were traveling on a flying airship and it crashed. After the survivors got away from the ship we got in fight with a invisible fungus. I was playing a Weretiger (with sand in his fur from the crash). It had a nauseating smell (sort of like a sewer) and after biting it (it tasted disgusting) another character had the bright idea of trying to toss a vile of ink at it. He missed and hit my character in the face and he lashed out instinctively (throwing his greathammer at him). Unfortunately for him it did enough damage to take him from full hit points to past -10.

Another time a diferent character of mine put on a helm of alignment change.

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
The Midwood campaign had an unwieldy cast of 11 player characters, about half lined up behind the forces of the baron and dedicated to defending the barony against the monstrous threats of Green Mountain, and about half who chafed under the yoke of the Tarsisian Empire. Quite without any of us expecting it to happen when it did, suddenly one half of the group was in trouble with the law, and the other half was trying to bring them to justice.

The campaign forked quite nicely, and each are pursuing their own agendas, hundreds of miles apart. (The Good Guy Gang has gone back to defending the barony, while the Fugitives are settling in at Freeport, presumably beyond the reach of imperial bounty hunters, just in time to find themselves in a Ptolus-flavored version of the Freeport Trilogy.)

Although the actual moment of the fork was a little trying, it came about very organically and has made the campaign a lot better. You can read about it in, I think, the third chapter of my Story Hour.


First Post
I said false because you said "in every campaign". I have had it happen, but far from every campaign, and maturity definitely played a big role in every instance. Meaning lack of maturity.


Victoria Rules
I can*not* believe the falses are beating the trues by about a 12-4 ratio!

I'd be disappointed if there wasn't in-party brawling in my games and those I play in. Sometimes I initiate it, sometimes I respond to it, sometimes I just sit back and watch...and laugh. :) But it always livens things up, and sometimes the party brawls are the best-remembered sessions years later.

In my new campaign there's already been two characters intentionally killed by the party, and they're not halfway through the first adventure yet. (both were highly evil and, truth be told, had a limited life expectancy in any case...)



First Post
The answer's yes and no. :)

Yes, in that there have been moments of infighting in every campaign I've played in; no, in that they have always been triggered by something external (such as getting possessed, being replaced by a doppelganger, being tricked into thinking a party member has been replaced by a doppelganger...).


First Post
I would not be interested in playing in a game with lots, or honestly any , player-killing going on. Just not my style.

Frankly, I like escapist fantasy, inter-personal conflict is way to RL for me.


First Post
As of this moment in time, the ONLY damage my wizard has taken in the whole campaign has been caused by the fighter in the party

1 - Dominated by a vampire and threw me off a walkway
2 - Umber hulk confusion attack
3 - landed on me when falling
this has caused a lot of in character sarcasm more than anything else

at university while i was DM'ing i had a comfort break and came back to the table to find the party roling initiative after the anti-magical priest had thrown the wizards spell-books into the river during an argument.....

I think that in party tensions add to the role-playing experience, but that too many actual conflicts can tend to kill campaigns very quickly

(I went for true btw - but based on restraints, arguments and duels rather than attempted murder...)


I voted 'true' because this happens in most of my games (though not all of them). Character conflict, whether verbal or occasionally physical, has always been something that happens in our games. We have some strong roleplayers who enjoy playing characters who don't necessarily mesh right away, so there can often be an excellent tension in the party.

If we include mind control and think only about campaigns which actually last a decent time, I'd say "true", but I know it's a lie because technically even one campaign where that never happened would invalidate it.

If we only include actual in-fighting, I'd say that I've never seen a long-duration campaign where a PC didn't at least grab another PC in annoyance, but then I've run and played in a lot of very old-skool treasure-hunting-type campaigns and generally eschewed this "Band of really nice guys out to save the world from the goodness of their slightly emo hearts"-type of play that seems popular with people I've never met and only know exist due to the internet.

I don't think maturity has anything to do with it, unless we're talking about penis-size-contest-type stuff, because, er, yes, guilty as charged officer, that is a product of immaturity and usually involves intra-party conflict.


Moderator Emeritus
Writing up the most recent intra-party brawl for my story hour is what inspired me to start this thread, but here are two examples from the same campaign that I have already written up and posted (I am usually one or two sessions ahead of what I am posting in terms of what I have written up).

Here is the fight between the wizard (an evoker) Markos and the Militant of Anhur, Victoria (it is a homebrew specialty priest class). You have to scroll down to get to the fight, but you might enjoy reading what a jerk Markos is to understand why everyone wanted to knock him down a peg. It is also important to note that Victoria is still recovering from Intelligence damage from a yellow musk creeper (Fiend Folio Rocks!).

In this one Markos and Telemahkos (rogue/aristocrat) purposefully decide to bunk together so they can fight without the rest of the party interfereing. As you can see from the previous excerpt, there is no love lost between the two. You can start reading just after the Teflem, the 20th of Sek – 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.) date listing.

These are both from early in the campaign and some 25 sessions have passed since them, the most recent brawl had less to do with people not liking each other or insulting each other, but over the use of a holy relic in the case of an emergency.

I've run a 10 years superhero game, and a 7 year fantasy game where the PCs never came to blows at all. I didn't need to do anything, it just worked that way.

When such things happen, I stop the game, tell the players to figure out a way that their characters can get along. If they can't, one of the character is magically erased from the game, and the player gets to build a new character. Which side of the fight gets removed is random. Usually the players can come up with something.

I make that clear when I start a new game these days. I don't stand for inter-party conflict (heck in 3.x I didn't allow non-good alignments). I also never passed notes - if I got a note, I'd read it out load and answer the player. I'd make that clear up front as well.

Bascially it boils down to "if you play at my table you play as a group or you don't play"

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