5
\$\begingroup\$

A problem with my character is that the party doesn't trust him at all.

Background

My character, a Cavalier, was hired by the Council (made up of noble men and women from across the kingdom) to find the heir to the throne. After 7 years of looking at the Western part of the kingdom he found nothing.

He reported this to the council. The Council charged him with retrieving 10 pieces of the heart. While on this quest he stumbled upon the PC's, who were also looking for the heart -- for the reward and glory.

While with the party I sent messages to the Council about how many pieces of the heart we had and where we were going next. (These messages were sent without the party's knowledge.)

After two weeks of traveling, a group of masked men (who were to protect the King, but vanished after his death) found the party and told us that they were sent by the Council to retrieve the heart from us. Conflict ensued. While a party member was searching one of their bodies he found a letter which contained my name, and was just thanking me about telling them the information.

The masked men were actually a rebel group.

After finding the letter the party immediately started to question and doubt me (I told them the truth about what my mission was and my goals).

After doing so the rest of the party began to suspect me, never letting me out of their sight. A few days later we were approached by a group of assassins -- supposedly sent by the Council to kill us. My character later found out in a town from an agent of the Council that this was not so. I told him what had happened.

I might be in a conflict with the party, or with the Council. The Council can have me put to death.

I'm not sure if i should continue to spy on the party for the Council, which would make the party my enemy, and if I should deliver the heart to the Council.

The party does not trust the Council, considering them to be evil, while I believe that they are not as I have been with them for a number of years.

I'm worried that I might ruin the game for everyone else if I don't play my part right, or that I would end up digging a grave for the party.

\$\endgroup\$
15
\$\begingroup\$

Congrats on getting started with your first game. It sounds like have an excellent story going. I'll ignore the story-specific elements of your post, and focus on the question, "How can I handle being in a party where my character is at odds with everyone else?"

First of all, you should determine whether this is purely a conflict between characters, or if it is having a negative effect on the table. Think about the other players - are they having fun? Do they enjoy this kind of play?

If Your Group is Enjoying It

If the other players are enjoying this, then you are in good shape! Keep it up, have fun with your character and their backstory. You can expert a certain amount of conflict between the characters, but if you ever suspect that the other players aren't enjoying the conflict - see the next options.

If the Group isn't Enjoying It

On the other hand, the rest of your group may not be having a good time. Maybe they don't enjoy this kind of game, or maybe something about your approach is too aggressive. But for whatever reason, it's dragging down the game.

At this point, think about whether the other players have a problem with your character or you.

It's a Problem With My Character
Congrats, you have succumbed to My Guy Syndrome - a seldom fatal condition where a character is a huge downer, and the player justifies it because that's "what my guy would do".

Maybe your character can be rehabilitated. He takes a new oath, has a revelation, is psychically possessed by a new mind, has a new soul implanted - whatever. Maybe you talk to the other players and change, with no in-story reason. In any case, you decide to keep the character, but try to make him more acceptable to the other players.

If your character is beyond redemption (or if the situation is dire enough that the other players don't buy it), consider killing off the character and starting fresh. With the next character, setup a backstory that is less adversarial.

It's a Problem with Me
This isn't described in the question, but it is possible that the other players don't like you. In-character conflict is sometimes a proxy for conflict between people. If you suspect that is happening, talk to the other players and see if it can be resolved. If it can't, it's probably best to leave the game.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ My gm is loving what I'm doing as I'm basically adding new things to the story, and making it more adventures for everyone else. The players also love this but can't show it in their pcs as they don't trust me at all (thats the part I'm worried about, as well as the council). \$\endgroup\$ – pop009876 Feb 27 '16 at 1:31
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Do YOU enjoy the slightly adversarial role you play? If you do, then what is the actual problem? \$\endgroup\$ – xanderh Feb 27 '16 at 9:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @pop009876: this is why it is important (particularly, but not only on a site like this) to distinguish between players and characters. If the players are all enjoying the conflict, then you can and should carry on. If it goes too far, either your and somebody else's character will leave the campaign (dead, arrested, whatever) - which creates lots of plot-hooks and allows the player to create a new character, either similar in concept to the old one or entirely different. \$\endgroup\$ – Tim Lymington supports Monica Feb 28 '16 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ This doesn't sound like My Guy syndrome at all. Reading the question, it sounds more like the GM keeps orchestrating situations where NPCs turn up, do the equivalent of shouting "We are evil and will destroy you! Also we're allies with that guy in your party," and then die, forcing the other players to mistrust the OP despite the OP's attempts to be honest and clear and not a backstabber. This conflict originates with the GM and not the OP, is what I'm saying. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Feb 29 '16 at 0:46
1
\$\begingroup\$

Conflict between player-characters is a double-edged sword. Depending on how the players deal with it and how well the campaign supports it, it can either add a very interesting aspect to the game or ruin it completely.

Which level of conflict you want between the player-characters is something the group should ideally agree on before the campaign. Now that your campaign is under way and you have a conflict-situation between player-characters, you need to come to an agreement. Possible variants are:

  • Player-characters must be nice to each other at all times and act as a team as well as they can. That means the party would discuss together if they fulfill the goal of your character or that of theirs and then everyone will stick to that consensus. No reason to distrust anyone.
  • Player-characters can have verbal conflicts and ideological disagreements for show, but still need to act in the interest of the party. That means your character might protest in-game, but will not act against the consensus of the party. So you role-play conflict but don't roll-play conflict.
  • Player-characters follow their own agendas and may put them over those of the party (just make sure you don't let them get in the way of a good story). PC-on-PC violence might happen, but should be very well-justified in-character and out-of-character and rather the exception than the norm. You might betray the party, but you wait until dramatically appropriate, which will likely be at the end of the campaign. If you plan to do this, you might want to conspire with the DM about when would be a good moment, so you don't completely screw up the campaign.
  • Player-characters are direct opponents. Defeating each other is the goal of the game and whoever fulfills their goal is "the winner" of the campaign. You can betray them whenever you see fit. But expect them to murder your character in his sleep as soon as they have an opportunity.

Your group should have an out-of-character discussion about this before your next session and come to an agreement.

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

As other already said, this depends much on what kind of play your group (and you!) actually like. In my experience, conflicts like yours among the party don't end well in the long run. Your DM seems to encourage this kind of play, but make sure it's not only him leading you into a type of game you do not want to play.

For a time (!), player vs. player conflict can lead to very interesting role-play situations and in-game discussions about good and evil, law and order, and so on. But ultimately, it hinders progress for everyone and that feels bad. First a little, then more and more.

My suggestion is this: Play with that conflict for a while, then resolve it, once and for all! I'd even go so far as to ask the DM for helping with a definitive resolution if that Council is to be trusted or not. That way, you can finally all end up on the same side and continue playing with a great backstory.

However, since your DM seems to like this kind of play, he might refuse to help or say: "It's not all black and white." In that case, your character can have a change of mind and simply lets himself be persuaded by the party.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.