Ethics in Playing D&D and PF - Myth-Weavers

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Ethics in Playing D&D and PF

Ethics in Playing D&D and PF

Let's imagine a scenario where there's a hallway and there's a trap there.
Let's say player Y spots the trap but elects to not share the info with the rest of the party since they think it'd be hilarious to see his teammate trigger it. (And it'd fit with their character's personality. As they'd want to get their new friend hurt so they can swoop in to heal them and help them out and build a closer friendship with them.)

And player X's character walks into the trap and gets angry out of character at player Y for what happened to them.
And player X begins refusing to cooperate with player Y even after player Y helps them out and fixes them up and apologizes after the game.

Is player Y the bad guy here for wanting to enjoy the game and to have fun?
Is player X the bad guy for wanting to hold grudges?
Both are dicks? Both are in the right? Right and wrong are not real and existence is meaningless?

What do you think?

It's a bit of a jerk move on Y's part, but if it's in character, and assuming Y was mature about it, I think X overreacted a bit. Being a bit upset in the moment is understandable, but holding a grudge like that seems a bit much. Again though, this hinges on Y's attitude and handling of it, both in-character and out.

A lot of it also comes down to the nature of X and Ys' relationship - if they're close friends it's more acceptable to me than if they don't know each other well or have a past of antagonism with each other.

Both are being douches, but the fault begins with Y for creating a character like that in the first place.

The sort of jackass character who gets off on being a dick to other characters is not, and has never been, welcome in any of my games. If I were the GM, well, I'd never have allowed that personality archetype in the game in the first place. And if a player slips it through... then they get an ultimatum that the next time they pull such a stunt, they're no longer welcome at my table.

I'd rather two players confront each other out of character directly- the way people of integrity do- rather than passive-aggressive crap ruining the game for everyone else because they can't be mature adults.

Now- there can be exceptions where in-character drama is intended and welcome, but those exceptions are few, far between, and agreed upon by all players before the game even begins. Or at least before the situation is taken that direction. Because in-character personality conflicts can be fun. But they need to be handled by mature people, which neither X nor Y in this situation strike me as.

Yep. If not sharing info about the trap was fair play they should have made that clear at the beginning.

The only reason I give info to one player is to give them a chance to share the info with everyone.

Intentionally injuring someone so you can befriend them and further manipulate them is pretty much evil. If the character hadn't been created with an evil alignment he would have one after that.

There's a basic premise in the adventuring group, "we're all in this thing together". When you choose to violate that for your own benefit and without the consent of the others beforehand, you can claim "I'm just playing my character!", but I would encourage the others to play their characters just as realistically. After they beat the tar out of you and leave for dead in the dungeon there would be a very short discussion about whether or not to let you back at the table.

But then again, I'm a big meanie.

This kind of RP often leads to this kind of trouble, which is why I generally ban it from my games, unless we all come to the agreement to allow that kind of play to begin with.

However, I think it's important to keep your RP separate from IRL... you're OOC separate from your IC, and it's a rookie mistake to get upset about what happens in content.

If I were the DM, I'd call a timeout in the session, pull out some snacks and alcohol, and start talking about what happened and how to adjudicate it.

I'd want to know why Player Y thought it would be funny to risk Player X's HP in a life-threatening scenario. Even evil aligned characters can have common sense, and nothing about that act makes sense. From an evil perspective, it might make sense to let Player X get injured or even killed after clearing the dungeon... or even slipping a dagger between the ribs himself, to claim a bigger share of the loot or glory.

If Player Y can defend his character's actions, then I would need to adjudicate whether or not Player X's character would know whether or not Player Y's character set him up.

If so, Player X's character may be inclined to retaliate, which opens that old PvP can of worms that has killed many a campaign, which is another reason I don't allow these shenanigans at my game table or on my game threads.

If not, then we hug it out IRL, and play it straight in game, and we discuss whether or not this style of gameplay should happen throughout the game or if we need to strictly ban all forms of party self-destruction, under the presumption that the adventurers are all professionals here, and they wouldn't have gone on a mission with a sociopathic sadist in the first place, so the party would likely never have formed.

How does the player of the hurt PC even know that another has spotted it?

But yeah, the players need to have an OOC talk, because it's by now an OOC issue. If one of them can't take them when another is playing a mean character, and the other wants to play that, they can't play on the same table.
If they can compromise, all should be solved.

It also helps to have players that are mature enough not to invest too much into their virtual alter egos. Alas, it's not always an option.

Player Y is likely chaotic (favors own satisfaction over group's interest, especially when own interests are not threatened by what's good for the group) and evil (delights in seeing others suffer)... there's a good reason why many DM's forbid Evil characters in general and Chaotic Evil ones in particular... I've seen too many evil games end up after one scenario by a general game of cat and mouse between characters trying to kill each other once the story that united them is finished and to try and get more loot (granted, it was the time when loot meant earning XP)


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