In the campaign where I'm currently playing, a majority of the PCs worship the same deity and knew each other prior to the start of the campaign.
One player, however, is playing a character who was not part of this.

We did give him a chance to though.

Normally, this is not a problem, however, when the party has a conflict of interests, he often still does what he wants to, splitting the party. This usually ends up wasting time. Next time we play, we are going to come across a temple of the deity most of the PCs worship that has been run over by orcs. My fear is that, while we repair the temple like the devout people we are, he will leave and do his own thing, rather than stay and do it later, splitting the party, and using up more of our DM's precious time.

How can I, as a player, encourage him to not split the party whilst still letting him have fun and do the stuff he wants to?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Your question is internally contradictory. Are you sure that is the problem you are trying to solve, or, are you really trying to get this player to be a better team player and Stop wandering off to do his own thing? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 3:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I would like it if he would stop wandering, I just don't know how to approach it \$\endgroup\$
    – Deus
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 3:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK. That's not an uncommon problem. If you could add that clear objective into the question I think that would be a great help. I am a bit late in the day for anything approaching a decent answer, but we have lots of very experienced folks who can help. :) Happy Gaming. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 4:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not understanding "splitting the party" in this context. Do you mean just he leaves, or is he taking other party members with him? If the latter, that's an important distinction because it could mean more than 1 person is wanting something different. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 13:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are the plot elements relating to the PCs with a common religion related to their religion at all? And for the other player, are there any plot elements tying them to that deity or its worldly interests? In short, is this an issue of plot design or an issue of difficult players? \$\endgroup\$
    – Upper_Case
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 17:48

7 Answers 7


I can imagine that player is typing a similar question about why his fellow players want to hang around doing stuff of little importance when there is a world to explore.

In any good and varied campaign the differing characters will have various things they want to accomplish. It's important that they get to do that so everyone feels like they are contributing and also having fun.

A conversation with the player may pay off, it may not. Handled poorly, they will think they're retarding everyone else's fun and are being asked to play in a way they find boring to appease the rest of the table. Handled correctly, a chat might find a middle ground where everyone is happy (at least a bit more).

The solution to this may fall on to the DM. They have the ability to craft situations that cater to player's differing expectations.

  • Does this character have an interest in archaeology or history? Maybe engravings around the temple hint at what happened there in the past.

  • Are they a rogue type? Provide signs of traps having been triggered and let them sniff them out, whether the traps exist or not.

  • Maybe the loot from the Orcs requires a short rest to play around with and identify

You get the idea.

It must also be said that the initial setup of the group's backstory was always going to create exactly this type of problem. A situation was crafted, right from the start, in which one player was immediately placed on the outside.

TTRPG is a group experience. If one player isn't having fun or causing the issues you describe everyone bears some responsibility to working to resolve. It's the RP part of TTRPG.

Lastly, as the Web DM crew have said in the past, split the party. It's then that the really cool stuff happens.


Because there are many different dynamics going on here, it is hard to give any definite tips without knowing further information. However, I was thinking: how antagonistic are the two deities involved – the group's deity and the god/dess the "individualist" follows?

Especially if these two deities are on good terms, they might frown on anyone who refuses to help a temple of the other. If they are members of the same pantheon, even somewhat antagonistic deities might cooperate and expect their followers to help each other. The Greek pantheon is a prime example for this.

Saying "I follow another God, so nyah!" can be a bad idea, especially if you then need divine help, for example to remove a curse or for advanced healing and the only temple available that can help you belongs to the God you just spurned - that god might even withhold the help you desperately need.

Without regarding the rest, I can only suggest what I have done in similar situations: have a serious outtime talk with all players - making sure not to point fingers - regarding subjects like:

Also, I would refer my players to some specific videos from The Great GM, especially those regarding teamwork and difficult players.


This is something the GM handles.

Not players. Methods include;

Playing multiple PCs - Bob, Jane, and Gr'arc are investigating the ruins of Tar'Koh. Mikkel and Swinsen have been hired to ferry Yorbo on his diplomatic mission to the merfolk. In the metropolis city, Yivref the Thief, Ponto, and his pet dog Foskin have uncovered a conspiracy with a particularly fishy scent. There's only 3 players in this campaign - at one point, Yorbo, Bob, and Gr'arc were the only PCs. But as their stories diverged, the GM let people play npcs/new PCs in the new locations - all intertwined, all part of the same story, but happening in different locations.

Off-Screen - if Bongo the Bugbear is heading off to his tribe to do his manhood ritual, that's cool and all but it gets exactly as much screen time as the rest of the party's downtime activities. He doesn't get 8 combat scenes and 20 hours of dialogue or whatever. If he wants to hammer out some details of what his ritual entails, he can do so via messages with the GM between sessions.

And Then The Samurai Rode Off Into The Sunset - if Jim the Druid is going to the Woods to do Druid Things for the forseeable future, that's cool, but like that means he's not really in the game. The game focuses largely on one group/location. Unless that player is cool just sitting out and occasionally getting a cameo or something, sounds like Jim becomes an npc, and that player needs to roll up a new character. Maybe later, once Jim is done with his Stuff he can come back - with a few levels to reflect his new druidic insights (coincidentally the same number the party gained!) and maybe a few stories to tell while Harry the Thief suddenly remembers some unfinished business he has to go deal with or retires to start an inn or whatever.

A very bad way to handle this however, is to take away agency from the player. 'Forcing' people to stay together, telling someone how to play their character, that they have to change who their character is, or what actions they can take (outside of things like 'no you can't fly by flapping your arms') is one of the fastest ways to kill their interest in a game.

Unless your goal is to drive someone away from the table, it is better to jump through almost any amount of hoops rather than restrict their ability to make the choices they want to make in a game. Sure, trying to attack the King with your longsword may make your character's life nasty, brutish, and short, but if someone tells you you simply can't do that, then it's likely to make the campaign's life nasty, brutish, and short.

This question seems to assume that a player not worshiping the same god the other players all decided to worship is bad, or wrong. This is only the case if an explicit agreement was made that everyone was rolling up 'characters faithful to X god', like it's part of the campaign premise that the GM states along with 'what setting the game is in' and 'what rule system the game is using'. This sounds perilously close to the above - taking away someone's agency, or at least judging them heavily for using it. That will tend to create bad feelings and steal all fun from the game where letting someone go off and do their own thing or whatever will not.

Finally, there is an assumption in ttrpgs that I call the multi-headed PC hydra. The PCs always go everywhere in a group. Whoever is best at any check with a chance of failure rolls it. In the opening microseconds of combat the PCs somehow all decide on a multi-pronged combat strategy by pure collective intuition and execute it with perfect precision. Courses of action are decided purely as a group, and often without anyone actually speaking in character. Etc etc. Beloved of dungeoncrawlers, this style of gaming is very boring and one-dimensional compared to playing characters that have their own goals, roll checks they are not perfect at, make mistakes, and fail. It's not mandatory at all, and it's not the 'best' way to play dnd. I have seen before and will see again people assuming that it's the best and only way to play though, so i'll mention here - it isn't. People can split up, fail, and do their own thing. A hivemind is not required for people to play pretend fantasy heroes with math rocks.


if I'm reading right, the situation right now is that one of the player characters has a personal agenda that deviates from what the rest of group is doing, and that is creating a divide in the group.

Given the other player is alone in their side of the divide, they're going to sound and act as a loner, and being the rest of you a group united around a theme, they don't have much space to fit their character into it.

Let's face it, they're not going to change what they're doing. You can't forcefully convince the other player to stop pursuing their own goals for the sake of time allocation. But I see your group has another problem, and that's something you can actually fix by changing what you do.

If you can't beat them, join them

Next time the group is separated because you have different goals, side with the loner, make their objectives your own. Send them the message that they're a important part of your team and you are willing to set aside your agenda for them.

A player that feels like their goals and story are important for the group is going to be more willing to collaborate and be a part of that group. Instead of ruling them with reason, thus making them feel more of an outcast, seduce them into being part of the group.


Repairing a temple seems like something just as trivial.

Maybe trying to convince him in a narrative way that doing such a thing is part of the plot, or is somehow important and more than just some weird character trait.


Combine Everyone's Goals for the Story

If you're worried that there's going to be a conflict of interest, instead of the temple being important to the characters only because it's dedicated to a god they worship, find a way for it to be important to the character who doesn't worship the god. Maybe their love interest, friend, or family member is a member of the temple.

To me, it sounds like the character doesn't feel included enough in the story. If I was in a party where everyone was worshipping one god and going on missions based around that one god, I would wander off too. Make sure this character is included more often in the missions, and the problem should go away.


You could ask your DM to include plotlines with mutual interest to everyone, beyond religion. For example, if they want wealth then you could be paid well for this mission, or if they want a fight, the temple could be due to be attacked.

If they refuse to comply after you make missions designed to appeal to their normal desires then you have an issue, but many players don't want to serve a particular deity. That is a common issue.


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