"How could That Guy do this?"
By - RojinShiro
"Well my character would kill your character for betraying us and has now sworn off recruiting new party members because he's distrustful."
*proceeds to one shot the backstabbing cunt*
Great. As a DM, I'll run your solo campaign every other February 29th in odd numbered years. Everyone else, we'll continue at the normal time. You all had a horrible dream where you were killed in your sleep by a murder-hobo asshole, but awake the next morning to realize it was all just a bad dream.
If a player plays a character who is flighty and unfocused, the DM will assume it’s with the understanding that the description won’t ruin the game by splitting off the party and going in the opposite direction to investigate something far away from the area the DM prepared. Derailing the game isn’t what your character would do. It’s what you’re deciding to do, and it’s a literal nightmare for DMs like me. I actually woke up scared one night having derailment dreams after a long prep session.
As a DM, I'll break everybody out of character and bring it back to a Session Zero moment.
"Is this what we're doing now guys? We're going to leave the duke to his own devices and open a pie shop under the dungeons of the mad mage? 'cause tbh I don't have all that much dungeon pie shop content prepared. I do have X Y and Z prepared right now, which can help you tangentially with the pie shop... \*crafty grin\* I've got a few ideas, would you like me to develop those for next session?" And I absolutely will reflavor a random encounter table as a customer table and develop price tables for pastry flour and spell components and courier services and available hired help.
...my political shenanigans with the duke are still going to play out, but he's going to have to deal with the fact that his agents just disappeared, and things probably don't end well for him. You'd better believe that the consequences of this are going to interfere(hopefully in an interesting way) with pie-town.
Wait what? Being honest and transparent with your table about how their decisions may impact the game while still leaving them with the freedom to choose? Heresy! Your players are your enemy! You must punish them for being creative and/or not reading your mind!
This would be a whole lot funnier if there weren't so many DMs who act like this.
Well, it did take several months to plan out sequential plot points hinging on player actions that are guaranteed to fulfill a prophecy, though you will only realize the role you played afterwards. I did set up a world map, fleshed out cities with shops, crafted legendary figures, home brewed new magic items and weapons to fit my world and your play styles, and hand-drew multiple large battle maps in ink. But if you really think your characters, a shunned priestess, a rogue princess, her bodyguard, a hermit wizard, and a doctor monk, would rather steal the secrets of “goodberry pie” from the bartender in the giant plot-relevant tree and try to run him out of business, then I guess I can throw all of my campaign away. I’m sure whatever the hell this is will be vastly more entertaining than my epic quest. Thanks, guys. I’ll get to work turning D&D into a pie shop simulator, give me a couple weeks.
Dang, you do way more prep than me. I won't do campaign prep more than one sess in advance.
Worldbuilding, on the other hand... I tend to go off the rails. It's just a random walk of prep that has very little to do with the PCs. I do this because I enjoy worldbuilding for it's own sake - I do it for myself, not the players.
If you're going to prep a long-running plot(or run a module), it makes sense to discuss that in session zero. Players going into the weeds and trying to break my game is completely fine in a sandbox, because I enjoy the challenge and ensuing shenanigans. Players trying to break a more fragile, long-running plot(esp with a prophecy) can really suck. Usually I like to frame it as a character creation restriction/inspiration.
>Hey guys I'm planning a campaign around the political intrigues of this one duchy. I'd like you guys to create **loyal** retainers of the duke. Your backstory should include a reason for him to keep you around, even if that's just "I kick ass". It would be nice if you all are friends, but events will bring you together if not. The duke is pretty open-minded about his employees, so any race/class is fine, except for gnomes, for a reason which will become clear. Start at level 3.
Why not let them?
"Ok, Hank. You wander off after the 'funny looking squirrel'.
The rest of you hear footsteps approaching from ahead." And just continue with the adventure.
If the people who keep on the rails get more play time, loot, story, etc, I'll bet that one rando will come running back. FOMO can be a real motivator.
Not sure how that works when the whole party acts that way though...
In practice splitting the party just ruins the flow of the game. It makes everything take forever and makes it go from "everyone acting and interacting together" to "everyone sitting around and waiting for ten minutes for their turn, which will also be ten minutes until they're waiting again.
The only way I can see it being fun is if you split the party at the very end of a session, and then have different sessions at different times with each group, so it doesn't slow the dynamic.
This isn’t splitting the party, this is “you go chase squirrels for the next 4 hours. Anyway, back to the adventure.”
Oh that's cool
We had a new player and character getting brought into the group and they decided to have their character hide and follow, then the op character who shouldnt have been allowed in the party by the dm decided to try to see them. Well in a group of 6 players 2 of them role played essentially hide and seek for 40 minutes while everyone else just sat there.
I wish players could see this! I try to explain but there’s a bit of a disconnect. I get it I’ve been a DM for a while. Whenever the party wants to split up and accomplish multiple things at once, it’s because they as characters are trying to save time. That’s smart. Unfortunately, in the real world it doesn’t save any time, and in fact makes any task you’re trying to accomplish actually take longer then if you hadn’t split up, even if in the real world dividing and conquering is a great idea. It just doesn’t apply to D&D super well.
Well... Depends on what they want to do.
We once were on a quest to retrieve some golden relic, led by a pc priest of the God that relic belonged to, as part of a huge campaign.
When we finally had it.... One of our PCs decided "hey, I've got the character flaw greedy, i'm going to melt that thing down during night watch and sell the gold" several stealth, perception and intelligence rolls as well as some outgame discussions later, he did exactly that.
Led to an in game fight. Let to several pc death. Led to outgame fights. Led to several people being asked to leave the group and never come back.
Hindsight is 20/20, but going back, I would have advised the dm to tell him "you try, but it doesn't melt. Must be protected by a powerful rital."
Anyway, the rest of the group is still having fun, 8 years later.
Oof in my group we would have a laugh, kill his character, have a laugh with him then he would make a new character and we would shift the quest to trying to repair it. I'm glad our group is never in danger of out game fights. Sorry that happened to you.
Remember that the primary goal of TTRPGs is for everyone to have fun. I get that most memes in this sub are just for lulz, just want to make sure those new to DnD don’t actually do this.
We have a player in my group who would abuse that phrase so fucking much. And when the dm said "no you can't do that." He would have a hissy fit and ruin the whole campaign thankfully in the past two years we cracked down on it but for a while it was his way of saying I feel like doing this so my character is this now
Rogue: I rob the party while they sleep. "That's what my character would do" (again)
Oath of vengeance Paladin who finds out two sessions later: "No Mercy for the Wicked" as he proceeds to decapitate the rogue and dump his headless body in the river.
Rogue: (surprised Pikachu face)
Paladin: "That's what my character would do"
If I was the rogue there I'd just go fair enough and go make another character
The townsfolk chase the Rogue with pitchforks and torches upon seeing them. Apparently a Doppelganger has taken their form and has been mercilessly slaughtering innocents.
Party: We sure it's a Doppelganger?
Rogue: I didn't do it!
Party: It's what your character would do.
The last time I killed a PC it was because they went out of their way to screw me over. They used their last action to rip up the book that they couldn’t use. I was a wizard, they were a greedy rogue. Their reason “it’s what my character would do.” Since then I’ve usually taken mending as a cantrip.
“Oh no. Anyway.”
- order of scribes wizard
Unless you are playing a campaign where the DM and the players expect that sort of shenanigans, this is just being a dick. If you can't play a character with certain traits without immediately making it impossible to continue in any way, play a different character.
Because really, what is going to happen next here? If he fails and gets killed he has to bring in a new character, but both the party and the players will never trust that character. If the assasssin succeeds, that character has to try and recruit new people who will somehow trust him? No way that works out, or that the new characters won't be equally willing to murder other PCs, and then it's just going to be a game entirely about pvp.
Adversarial reactions towards your party are sometimes fine, but always think about where it will go. If it goes to a dead end, don't do it.
Exactly, couple years ago I was in a microcampaign where the DM and I conspired together to make me the BBEG from the start, I would work within the party furthering the plot leading up to an ultimate betrayal or until the rest of the party caught me
We've since run 3 of these "dinner theater whodunit" campaigns with a new secret badguy every time, in this case being "that guy" is encouraged at the table, but *only* this case
Yeah that's perfectly fine. I've played a character that turned into an enemy once too, can be great fun. But you have to accept that you're effectively not just a player at that point, you're kind of supposed to ultimately fail at defeating all the others.
Slashing another player's throat in their sleep just leaves everyone bitter.
Actually, there was the possibility I'd "win" if I completed my endgoal of convincing the rest of the party to kill the Raven Queen (who'd "gone rogue") then death would've stopped working and fate would've unravelled, total pandemonium, universe destroyed (we play in a multiverse), the end, but everyone knew the stakes from the start, that there was a chance of total failure and apocalypse
And I would've gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling adventurers and their wereshark
>And I would've gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling adventurers and their wereshark
Um, excuse you?
It's a big multiverse, we use some homebrew... There's also weregators, weresloths, and a weredentist
I can’t think of a single DM who would approve this as a flaw unless they were also a absolute nightmare who may or may not get off on PvP.
It can be done right, but I would only ever do this with a mature group of players, and only after discussing with the player on how the betrayal is going to be balanced in favor of the party. Given the right context and intentionally making the PC temporary, it can be a blast, but just making a murderhobo that will kill the party in there sleep isn't fun.
You should only do this kind of thing if it will heighten the experience of the entire group, not just a single player.
This. An antagonistic or clashing backstory shouldn't be a shackle on the character. It should be a creative obstacle for the player to work around. The player _knows_ that D&D is a Team Game. They know that their character needs to be part of a team. It is a part of their responsibility to make a character that can do that. So if they can't play their backstory in a way that still works within the party, then they _should not_ play that backstory. Everybody at the table knows what the game is. Playing "angry guy who wants to kill the party" is like playing "farmer who just wants to stay home and grow cabbages". Unless you can find a way for them to _not_ do the thing they want, they don't have a place as a party member.
DM: "Your attempt to attack the rest of the party has left you unaware of the assassins sneaking up behind you, hired by the families of your previous victims. Caught unaware, they gag you and drag you off into the woods, leaving your party blissfully unaware of your predicament. Oh that seems unfair? Sorry, I was just being true to your character."
If I get a player who wants a secret motivation to kill other PCs, I'll "think about it" and secretly convince all the PCs to also have secret murder motives.
Get everybody on the same page without knowing they're all on the same page. Get some real paranoia going.
I like you, Satan.
I would probably roll up a warforged, elf, or tomelock w aspect of the moon, take alert feat asap and never be surprised during long rest.
Had a player wait until they were about to beat bbeg then announce that he was killing the party. I wish he had asked me but no.
**BBEG:** "I have no place for traitors in my Empire." _-proceeds to nuke the offending player with the super powerful spell that they were totally just holding back until now, honest-_
Imagine implying that "that guy" players are the DM's fault.
And this is why as a dm I don’t let infighting happen amongst the party. Be evil as you want to anything or anyone else, just not your party members. Don’t steal, don’t kill, and don’t betray.
>And this is why as a dm I don’t let infighting happen amongst the party.
I'd only allow it if everyone at the table knows it's possible, and can keep arguments between characters as just that, *between characters*. If it ever boils over out of the game, I'll put a stop to it.
Inter-party fighting can be very entertaining if done well, and it can even provide an excellent look into a character's backstory if the fighting is caused by a clash in belief systems.
It's a collaborative storytelling game, if that's the kind of story you have all agreed to play. Go for it, if not, think about who's really being the dick.
*laughs in celestial tomelock who hasn't slept since level 3*
Can we please no blame the dm for the players shitty decisions ?
Seriously every character acceptation… scartch that, every *player* accepted at a table is accepted under condition they don’t sabotage the fun. Even if a character has motivations to betray their friends it’s expected of the player that they not act on them in a toxic way.
I mean, I understand where you’re coming from, but I haven’t heard an instance where a “that guy” just openly admits to being that guy on session 0. They seem to just spring it on people most of the time.
Yeah, no. Fucking bullshit. I don't give even half a crap what "motivations" you have in your backstory. You are playing a member of a team in a team-based game. It is on you to tell the story of how they _move past_ those motivations, put on their Big Girl panties, and help the group anyway. You decide to play the Team Killing Fucktard, that's on _you_ for not understanding what game you were playing.
This is something that scares me, I wanna play a warlock fighter multiclass that's basically cursed to do whatever their patron wants them to and I'm scared that the dm will abuse that to turn me against the party either very early on and think that my character can just resist it without any actual help or just do it for the sake of killing me/a party member off
Oh god. I’m kind of guilty of this
Roll stealth, roll to hit, roll damage. Even a great rogue won't one shot the entire party without making a noise, and revivifies are possible. I'd let them and let the dice gods decide their fate.
No it’s not, it’s mindless role playing.
Good role playing requires you to make the game better for everyone, not just yourself. If you can’t handle the game being a multiplayer experience, you are a shit role player.
And when an unexpected situation comes up that would cause a serious party issue appears you don’t get to wreck the party while saying ‘That’s what my character would do’. Any moron can just mindlessly play a character, this is a skill small children master with ease.
‘All the player can do is play their character’? Are you serious? You, as a player, are expected to remember that the character has no will or agency of it’s own. It doesn’t actually exist. If you are unable to comprehend that the character is just a character then you are suffering from either a serious mental health issue or don’t want to put in the effort to make the game better for EVERYONE. Hopefully the latter.
It’s a imaginary persona you invented. Weakening your character concept rather than damaging the game is the bare minimum a responsible player does.
Also: In reality people are expected to make exceptions and sacrifices when dealing with other people. If your idea of proper personality is having a stick shoved so far up your ass that there is no compromise or wiggle room, you might be a massive douchebag who nobody likes.
Plus if you build a character with absolutely no potential for serious conflict or game disruption means you made the most boring character possible. And that’s not something to be proud of.
Because my brain is basically mush, since a giant tentacle diety went ecchi on my soul, and I’m convinced that everyone I meet is a Wolf of the Maelstrom.
Sometimes i really wonder what dumbass players you guys have at your table?
Stuff like this has never been a problem in any group i play with.
That’s the point where as the DM, I would just say “No. Either play nice or leave.”
Nobody ever tells the GM that.
Tone deaf DM...
Well too bad characters can’t do anything because characters are dead. Crit sneak attack you are all unconscious