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The crux of the problem is that to remain true to my character and the situation he is in I feel he wouldn't bring the rest of the party along to something he needs to do. Me the player, however, is aware that this breaks up the flow of play and other players would have to sit around for a while waiting.

I've spoken to my DM and without giving anything away they said I should feel free to stick to my character. We're all fairly new to D&D though so I don't want to put too much strain on us at this point.

There are plenty of people here with more experience than us: what is the best way to proceed?
Split up?
Keep together?
What about at different levels of experience?

How do you know when its best to split up and stick to your character?


Specifics:

In the backstory I mentioned a bandit group my character used to belong to but has moved away from. When searching a different bandit we had encountered and defeated I uncovered a note about me. There was another NPC who sent us out to face those bandits. In character this makes me suspicious of that particular NPC and wants to confront him alone (so as not to give away to the rest of the party that he was once a bandit).

As a player, however, I'm aware there is a larger quest we're set up to investigate in town and the other character would be focusing on that.


Follow up
The session ran smoothly, I followed the DM's advice and it turns out that (given the discussion I'd had with them) they had planned for the split and worked an interesting join in - it ended up showing how the problems we were facing tied together.

In this instance the split worked but the advice in the answer below works well for general guidelines. My only add on would be to discuss it with the DM first, it might be that it plays into something they've got planned - if it doesn't then don't split the group.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Read - related: What is “my guy syndrome” and how do I handle it? \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Mar 9 at 10:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ How long (roughly) would you be splitting the party for? 5 minutes, half a session, more than one session? What is the scope of the thing your character needs to do? \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Mar 9 at 11:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu I've read that and I get it - I want to do what works well for everyone and the story, the question is more about where the line is. I want it to be fun for everyone but also leave my character with an element of depth that they started off with and I don't want to lose. I feel DnD regularly has this sort of balancing act - perhaps there is some advice here on how to deal with it. \$\endgroup\$ – Lio Elbammalf Mar 9 at 12:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Then it would make it much easier to answer your question the more specific you get about the amount of time this takes, how people at the table react, how you feel etc \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Mar 9 at 12:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil and Jrodge01 - I've added more information. I didn't want to go too deep because I want the question to the point. As far as how long these thing could take I'm not sure, its really up to the DM in terms of what they set out, do I have an unenlightening conversation and leave? Am I ambushed in this meeting? I can't really say what will happen only that the DM said it was fine to go ahead. \$\endgroup\$ – Lio Elbammalf Mar 9 at 12:31
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Splitting the party during the group session should be only be done when it is the best option.

It isn't fun for the other members to sit idly around while you run your scenario, and likewise you aren't doing anything while they decide what they do while your character is doing stuff.

There are various ways to solve this:

  1. Coordinate with your DM to narrate and resolve any solo stuff prior to the group session. Talking over text or email is a great way to accomplish this without having to take up table-time. Anything of significant length would be more appropriate for a solo session, and anything with significant danger is more appropriate to do with other PCs present.

  2. Reevaluate your character's motivations. You decide your character's personality. It isn't set in stone, and you aren't a slave to "it is what my character would do". Your character is a made up, fictitious being. Make them more of a team player and less of a loner by sharing your character's motivation to do whatever it is you'd be doing solo with the group.

  3. Communicate with your group to see if they care. They may like having a little intermission during the session where they can talk amongst themselves and plan out what to do next. If they like that your character has a level of depth and desire some of their own, you could help flesh out their characters more.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1, and I would add that point 1 is great if you are hiding backstory from the party (dangerous territory), and point 2 is great if you aren't. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Mar 9 at 12:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri It is a great moment if the rest of the party goes out to do something and reunites with the solo PC to find they've been stabbed and are in a rough way. There's a good roleplaying moment when the PC has to explain what happened while the rest of the group was away. \$\endgroup\$ – JRodge01 Mar 9 at 12:37

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