[D&D 4E] Basic Understanding Of Roleplaying This Character

Started by Big J Money, December 02, 2008, 02:25:30 AM

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In my high seas Green Isles campaign, I once railroaded my characters inland into a cave system, and then, as one poster said "turned them loose" on a dungeon.  I made train noises after describing their treck inland.  Everyone laughed and let me off the hook, though one player later complained that I had broken the fourth wall.  I totally agree that a bit of railroading is fine with advance warning, because the players generally appreciate the work you've put into providing a good play experience, and the limits of your abilities.

Problem Players

Whether or not they justify it as "in character", I have a method for dealing with problem players.  I force them.  This sounds mean, but let me give a few examples.

a.  One player in my group was rather dominant, and tended to lead the group regardless of what anyone else thought.  He also tended to play his character in a rather haughty and independent manner, knowing full well that for the sake of the game no one would call his bluff.  Now, I'm exagerating somewhat.  His behaviour wasn't causing any real problems.  A few people noticed, but were, at most, only mildly irked.  He wasn't causing anyone not to have a good time.  However, I thought it would be more fun if group leadership were more balanced, and if this character had to integrate into the party.  So I created a challenge for his character that he could not hope to overcome alone.  (I think he was a kobold, which was a minority race, and I used racism or something).  In other words, in order to accomplish his goals as player and as character, he needed to make allies.  When doing this, don't make the consequences too dire, or you might irritate someone.  Just make it clear that it would be in a player's interest to play nice.

b.  Often players create characters with very stringent moral codes, or, as you suggest, very black-and-white character traits.  The trick is to think through these traits and discover a few contradictions or nuances.  If a character fears the undead, have the party get surrounded or cut off by them.  The character either faces his/her fears or dies, simple as that.  Note I do not reccomend this as a real-life means of therapy...