Pacifists OK? - Myth-Weavers


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Pacifists OK?

Not necessarily, but it can strain credibility. If the party is murder-hobo style and a moral pacifist travels with them, they must have very strange and probably internally inconsistent ethics.

The default assumption in tabletop is you are out to murder your opponents, but this forgets that in fiction fighting doesn't necessarily mean you are trying to kill each (allowing exceptions like killing magical monstrosities or murderers on a rampage). In many books, television shows, etc. the protagonists regularly clash with the antagonists without death, after all, and it would actually conflict with the feel and tone of the work if they did kill eachother.

But of course, that's a specific stylistic choice, generally in the more light-hearted adventures.

Depends on how they're played.

Is your pacifist turning the party over to the authorities? If they are, probably a pretty selfish (not to mention annoying) thing to do in a cooperative game.

Is your pacifist assisting the group by making sure they're not making stupid decisions, helping get jobs, and acting as the voice of reason in social situations? Then no, not selfish at all. That's called being a team player.

The context of how you're playing the character matters a lot.

At their core adventurers are problem solvers. Usually the problems are raiders, monsters and the supernatural, which can be solved with sword and spells. As a pacifist how do you solve problems? A pacifist may not believe in violence but if you take a job to solve problems then you have to have a way to deal with them.

If you don't solve problems with a sword you still have to contribute to the group. Do you charm the bad guys? Use sleep spells and cart them off to jail? Stay back at town and train the villagers to protest the orc raiders? Have a sit in at the front of Sauron's gates? Chain yourself to the hill giant's leg? That will be your biggest hurdle. If you don't contribute to dealing with the enemies the group faces you won't even get into the game.

When I look at apps if I see a pacifist and they don't have any way of dealing with enemies I won't even consider them. They'll get bored and leave if they can't contribute.

So take that into consideration when making your pacifist.

+1 to Chaiboy. A pacifist is not necessarily a problem in a group as long as you still have some way to contribute to the group. If your pacifist is a cleric who will specialize in healing or buffing, or a rogue who can disable traps and set up flanking opportunities, or simply just a warrior who focuses on tripping and disarming enemies instead of beatsticking them, you're still a valuable member of the group.

Is it selfish? Yes, I'd say it is. Wanting to play a certain character concept is almost always selfish. If there's some collaboration between players and GM to create a pacifist character for a particular reason, then it's less selfish. But on it's own, yeah, it's definitely selfish.

Is it disruptive? That's the actual question and it depends, obviously enough, on how you do it. Most people who want to play a pacifist do it terribly poorly: why would a pacifist even join a group of murder-hobos? Often the answer is to preach, which nobody likes. Sometimes the answer is to heal, which is appreciated but often boring for the player.

Which, I suppose, begs an even more relevant question: Why do you want to create a pacifist into a group of murder hobos? What's your reasoning and how will you go about playing that character?

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