What's your attitude towards PVP?

What do you think of PVP happening in your TTRPG?

  • Fun way to bring some drama and excitement.

    Votes: 6 9.1%
  • Yeah no... my players can't handle that.

    Votes: 11 16.7%
  • I've never seen that work.

    Votes: 29 43.9%
  • What's a campaign without a little PVP sometimes?

    Votes: 6 9.1%
  • All I can say is... it depends?

    Votes: 22 33.3%
  • PVP is only okay when a PC is under some kind of influence.

    Votes: 10 15.2%
  • It's just not something I'm interested in or have enjoyed.

    Votes: 8 12.1%

Scruffy nerf herder

Toaster Loving AdMech Boi
PVP. Maybe the scariest acronym in tabletop roleplay. Is it too much hassle and stress to try? Will it, without fail, compromise the party?

I enjoy PVP, but only in its time and place. And many campaigns and RPGs just aren't made for it.

So what do you think about PVP in the main TTRPG, Dungeons-N-Hamsters? Ever try an RPG like Paranoia that's super PVP focused? And let's say you were playing Masquerade, a game that is loose about whether or not PVP is a thing: do you stoke those flames occasionally and see what happens?
 

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Retreater

Legend
None of the responses really matched for me.

If a character is charmed/dominated, that can work temporarily as an added level of challenge akin to a summoned creature.

If it's a player being a jerk, you're banned from my group in a ceremony including burning your character sheet, tossing the ashes with salt, burying it in the corner of the backyard, all taking turns relieving ourselves on the patch so nothing will ever grow there.
 

Scruffy nerf herder

Toaster Loving AdMech Boi
None of the responses really matched for me.

If a character is charmed/dominated, that can work temporarily as an added level of challenge akin to a summoned creature.

If it's a player being a jerk, you're banned from my group in a ceremony including burning your character sheet, tossing the ashes with salt, burying it in the corner of the backyard, all taking turns relieving ourselves on the patch so nothing will ever grow there.

Please let me know how you might word your response to the poll, then, if you don't mind. Having just made the poll I am of course seeking to give people options that feel right.
 

I think it can be great fun. I have run a number of crime campaigns where PvP was on the table. It definitely requires having a mix of players who are on board with the concept and enjoy it. But can be a ton of fun.
 



Jer

Legend
Supporter
IME I need to have mature players at the table to run a game where they're operating at odds with each other. It can work, but it can't be because one player decides they don't like another player and uses PVP to bully them.

So for my group full of old college friends and people of similar ages it would be fine if one of them was interested in having their character secretly turn against the group and start plotting against them or something. Of course they're not interested in doing that, but if they were it would be fine.

But for the table of my pre-teen/teen nieces and nephews that option is off the table. If it were on, they'd start in on bullying each other in game. They already do enough of that to each other in the video games they play, I don't need to be the referee for their various sibling rivalries.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
"under the influence" - This is just part and parcel with a game with domination, possession, and the like. Hard to avoid in a magical fantasy world, unless that sort of thing is explicitly banned by the table contract.

"never seen it work" - IME, I've never seen voluntary pvp go especially well. Pranks are generally okay, though even that can go overboard among certain players. I imagine groups who are into that sort of thing and who are comfortable with each other can make it work, but I haven't seen it personally.

And honestly, it's just not really my thing, either. As a GM i don't explicitly ban it (unless the group wanted to explicitly ban it), but it's rarely come up anyway. Overall, I like heroic games, and imo it's hard to keep a group viable when they're plotting against each other. I also prefer shorter campaigns, so with limited time available to play out a campaign arc, I'd rather not waste that time on party in-fighting.
 

Lord Mhoram

Adventurer
I would have voted "I look upon it with the loathing that amounts to absolute detestation"

I have lots of interpersonal conflict in real life - I like to play my games and enjoy getting to put that behind me and group up with a bunch of friends to co-operatively beat up demons, devils or supervillains.

I've not had to in my group, but as a GM I would absolutely forbid it, and repeated occurrences by a single player would get that player kicked from my game.

Edit - I have had this happen twice (a long time ago), I'd ask the players to play as a group, no PVP (as that was part of the description of the game when I set it up and recruited players). Both times, it kept going, so I cancelled both games. No gaming is better than bad gaming.
 

Scruffy nerf herder

Toaster Loving AdMech Boi
I would have voted "I look upon it with the loathing that amounts to absolute detestation"

I have lots of interpersonal conflict in real life - I like to play my games and enjoy getting to put that behind me and group up with a bunch of friends to co-operatively beat up demons, devils or supervillains.

I've not had to in my group, but as a GM I would absolutely forbid it, and repeated occurrences by a single player would get that player kicked from my game.

Edit - I have had this happen twice (a long time ago), I'd ask the players to play as a group, no PVP (as that was part of the description of the game when I set it up and recruited players). Both times, it kept going, so I cancelled both games. No gaming is better than bad gaming.

So is it a totally foreign idea to you that for some players it doesn't compromise fun time at all and is literally in no way "interpersonal conflict" (this is a friendly and honest, not rhetorical, question)? It's a game. We're making cooperative fiction.
 

MGibster

Legend
I hate to be that guy, but it depends. I ran a Legend of the Five Rings campaign making the PCs all Emerald Magistrates in the Ryoko Owari, the City of Lies. One PC was determined to stamp out the opium trade even though her clan was involved with it and the other was interested in letting the trade flourish because his clan was involved in it. Through various machinations from the pro-opium player and some bad decisions by the anti-opium player, I ended up giving the anti-opium player a choice: Either your character can commit seppuku or she can head for the hills and live the life or a ronin bandit. She shows a life of banditry. But the game was set up to have those sorts of conflicts so it was fine.
 

Lord Mhoram

Adventurer
So is it a totally foreign idea to you that for some players it doesn't compromise fun time at all and is literally in no way "interpersonal conflict" (this is a friendly and honest, not rhetorical, question)? It's a game. We're making cooperative fiction.
It's not foreign so much as something I don't find entertaining. And my group are all pretty like minded. Other people enjoy it, I don't, so I don't take part in that. I don't mind a little personality clash (at worst Superman/Batman or Wolverine/Cyclops, but prefer it less that that) - but I see the phrase "PVP" and to me, that means things have come to blows.

Some people like cliff diving or parachuting. I have no interest - it's sorta like that.

The way we come up with a game is that someone has an idea for a campaign (everyone in the group GMs and we rotate), pitch it to the rest of the group, and for the next month or so the first hour the new game is discussed and basic theme/tone is worked out. Then characters start getting tossed about - during that time, we all work to make characters that world well together both in skills/abilities and personalities. They may not know each other at start of play, be we know they will be able to work together.

Edit to add - our group is fairly traditional in player / GM roles. The GM runs the world, plot hooks, plots and NPCs - the players run the character and the primary way to affect the world is by in character actions. If there is influence outside of that, it is usually handled between session and not on the fly at the table. Our favorite genre, by far, is Superheroes which is often a very re-active kind of game - bad guys do something, we react, investigate something else happens we react then do something else. Works with the GM driven approach we all like (but it isn't really a railroad - how we react and what we do doesn't follow a planned path, but we don't usually initiate the plot).
 
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Lord Mhoram

Adventurer
One other thing on the subject - for the last couple years all my gaming has been 1 on 1 - 1 GM and 1 Player - not a good place for PVP - the GM always wins.
 


Hex08

Adventurer
Like most other things the answer is, it depends since it does seem to have a place in some games (although I voted PVP is only okay when a PC is under some kind of influence). In 99% of the games I run I generally find it acceptable if some outside force, like a spell, is forcing a character to do it. The rare exception, and I am probably stretching the definition of PvP here, was when I was running Vampire: The Masquerade a lot. Players would rarely, if ever, engage in actual combat with one another but it wasn't uncommon for them to have differing political agendas and actively be working against each other. Years ago my gaming group got involved in a local Vampire LARP group and PVP was common there. It worked for the game although I realized LARPing wasn't my thing.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It's very rare in my games, but if it happens, it happens and my players are able to handle it just fine. What happens in game, stays in game.
 

Scruffy nerf herder

Toaster Loving AdMech Boi
In the interest of being candid: I have two players who are plotting against each other and they've rolled initiative a couple of times. They're married so there's always that to consider 😄

It's been fun we've mixed all kinds of insight and deception checks into it.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member

Okay, so, before we start we should remember that PvP is still very broad. So, I'm goig to use broad generalizations, noting there may be exxceptions.

Maybe the scariest acronym in tabletop roleplay. Is it too much hassle and stress to try? Will it, without fail, compromise the party?

Broadly, in typical tabletop play, I have found that PvP is not an asset unless the game is limited in scope - one-shots and short arcs. In long-running campaigns, I find it usually detracts more than it adds, one way or another.

My general tabletop table rule is that if characters get to the point of rolling dice against each other in some way, we are going to pause and have a discussion about whether we actually want to do this, as players.

Ever try an RPG like Paranoia that's super PVP focused?

Fits under the "one shot or short arc" category above, for me. I've run weekend-long, nigh-larp Paranoia games. Fun, but only in limited doses.

And let's say you were playing Masquerade, a game that is loose about whether or not PVP is a thing: do you stoke those flames occasionally and see what happens?

V:tM tabletop - my above generalizations hold.

Large, live action games, like Mind's Eye Theater, are not tabletop, and so do not fit under my generalization above.
 

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