Well it’s been a while since I talked about embarking on, what was chalking up to be, an “evil” flavor for Horde of the Dragon Queen published campaign. Since then, we’ve picked up a few new players. It’s an infusion of diverse personalities that adds a new dynamic. Certainly the inter-character relations have gotten spicier with a few pvp attack rolls taking place. While this sort of thing can be OK, given an understanding among the participants, things can quickly migrate into Bruised Ego Town quickly.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s the Neutral Good elven ranger that’s been counting all the coup on the Chaotic Evil tiefling assassin. To be fair, the ranger’s actions (generally) have some sort of narrative justification, and there’s a ready Cure Wounds spell by way of apology, but by that point the real damage is done.
We play for diverse reasons. Some come for the story, others get to try out personalities not their own within the realm of the safe and the hypothetical. Well, at least I’d hope Chaotic Evil would be a novel perspective. Anyway, hero, anti hero or villain, everybody wants to play a paragon of awesomeness. Otherwise, why bother?
I had to have a heart to heart with the tiefling assassin’s player, whose bizarre and self destructive behavior belied a willingness to end his character’s story in an ignominious way simply because he didn’t seem to fit in, or jive with some of the other stronger, and diametrically opposed personalities in the party.
I gave his character an easy way out of his predicament, and I told him to not to worry about party friction. Frankly, it would be more interesting if his character had some changes of heart, or at least some misgivings about his behavior, than to exit the stage in a less than spectacular way. Ultimately, it’s his call. Yet I don’t feel like I would be doing my job if everyone, especially a new player, wasn’t having a good time.
This is a campaign that’s gone far off the scripted path, back again, then off road again, which I think most out there would agree isn’t such a bad thing. It makes things interesting, and adds replay value to the original materials anyway. The challenge to move forward in some manner at least parallel to the adventure as written is coupled with balancing over powered characters with under powered characters, and strong personalities with quiet ones, and with uncooperative players with team players.