View Full Version : Potential PvP immenint, what do I do?!

Stake A Vamp
2013-07-29, 01:09 AM
so my party consists of:
a lawful good paladin
a lawful good cleric
a neutral fighter
a chaotic neutral rouge
a lawful neutral sorcerer

so the sorcerer and rouge have been contacted by a dark-brotherhood knock-off (yes I am shameless) and have taken to contract-killing. the sorcerer (who is level 7) has taken to casting invisibility and fly on the rouge, then using illusions of shadows and wraiths to distract the pally and the cleric while the rouge dispatches the targets, and returns dist as the cleric and paladin are able to drive back the wraith/shadow. they have killed two targets in this manner, and are contemplating a third murder. I have declared to them that three strikes and you're evil, hey are still intent upon this. how do I prevent the PvP that will ensue once the pally uses his detect evil with them near (witch he does liberally)?

2013-07-29, 01:22 AM
Well, on the one hand, offering the sorcerer and the makeup the chance to take up contract killing by the dark-brotherhood knock-off was probably a mistake. I would say the best bet you have right now is for the dark-brotherhood folks to double-cross those two in some way so that they'd have an incentive to work with the paladin et al against these folks.

You're probably going to keep running into this problem if you have characters that want to be assassins and characters that want to be paragons of good in the same group.

Averis Vol
2013-07-29, 01:39 AM
If the paladin has done it before he already sees them as neutral, you could always advise the rogue and sorcerer to pick up rings of mind shielding to keep up that image.

2013-07-29, 02:55 AM
If I were in your shoes right now...I'd let it happen. Let the dice fall where they may, that's my style.

But if you really want to avoid having the sorcerer and rogue get what's probably justifiably coming to them, then go with Almaseti's plan of a double-cross. Of course, their next target should be the Paladin and Cleric, if I had my way, but then you have this bizarre need to stop your players from hashing out their issues properly*.

*Given a certain bloody spin on the word "properly" :smalltongue:

2013-07-29, 03:01 AM
unless the rogue and sorcerer are smart enough to hide their alignment I'd let them fight it out

2013-07-29, 03:10 AM
I would have had them become evil when they committed their first murder, but I guess that's just me. I always think that if players want to mess up my campaign, it's not my place to stop them. In my groups we don't PvP, but there are other ways to make the game go kablooie.
So I guess I'd just let them do it, and sort out any mess for themselves. Afterwards, have an adult conversation about what PvP does to the game, and get a consensus on whether or not it should be allowed in future games. Also a consensus on whether players should make PCs that don't fit together at all.

2013-07-29, 03:17 AM
Here is some advise, tell your rogue and sorcerer to start killing in different ways and not always around the other party members.

If they want to, they can get the paladin to kill some of their targets and sense motive is not a big skill for them.

2013-07-29, 03:44 AM
Are your players mature enough to handle role playing such a conflict, and rolling up new characters if old ones need to be retired or get killed? If so, and as long as everyone remembers its just a game and story, and the whole thing does make a decent story, then let it play out. The best thing that could happen is the two newly evil party members getting booted from the party to become NPCs that you can use elsewhere.

2013-07-29, 04:34 AM
I would advise:

If you want them to get good again:
Let the "dark Brotherhood" doublecross them. Maybe let them kill their loved ones next and then each other to "show that hey are worth it".

Or if you want a meta-approach: Talk to the players. Tell them that you didn't really wanted them to spring that far into evil territory (as far as the guys they killed aren't evil and so on). Maybe introduce a Bortherhood of light that tries to stop them and other "evil" men.

2013-07-29, 07:38 AM
What is your intended outcome from the offer you had the Brotherhood make them in the first place?

There are options in a number of ways, but what you WANT to happen will determine some of what you do with it.

If the two are this willing to go along with your NPCs' machinations, that is something you might be able to use. If you're comfortable with them continuing to work with the paladin and cleric and they play smart enough to hold their new alignments as secrets, this can provide more motive to head into adventures.

On the other hand, if you're not comfortable with evil characters in the party, you need to discuss that with them. Because at that point, it's a matter of meta-preference and the kind of story you want to tell.

2013-07-29, 10:45 AM
I say let the dice fall where they may.

Honestly, anything else could potentially backfire on you as it could force you to take sides.

the best thing you can do, I believe, is to prep the players on what might transpire and let them be mentally ready to deal with what is to come. It all just comes down to expectations.

I play games where there's PvP all the time. (Some of the systems I've played were designed with it in mind, but that's a different story) The key element here is that the PvP cannot be senseless and cannot be completely a one-sided interaction. It's also about how far people are willing to separate themselves from their character too.

D&D has a tendency to make this a bit worse, since character creation in and of itself can be an investment.

However, I would say that in the case of PvP, it would be helpful to loosen the rules a bit and let the players decide how they want this to ultimately resolve.

In other games I've played, we resolve these problems "bidding" style, where both parties will put a stake on the table as to the cost of losing, and the price of winning. We negotiate these terms even before dice is rolled, and basically, we set it up so that regardless of how it turns out, the outcome will always be interesting.

Not every outcome needs to be life or death, it could be something like,

"if I can catch this character AND exact bloody justice on him, and he is willing change his alignment (or at least start working towards some kind of atonement), I will make sure that he is spared."

the rogue or sorc might respond with:

"no good, that is not in keeping with my character. I'd rather my character die then do something like that."


"okay, that sounds fair. Your character might put the fear of god in him that he'll at least confess to his previous sins and work towards one alignment shift."

The actual outcome itself can also be negotiated based on the final results. i.e, say the rogue took the first option, where he would rather die than repent and the paladin manages to beat him combat, only by a small, small margin. The paladin, as per the deal made by the players, kills the rogue. However, because of how close it is, and perhaps even because of the paladin's relationship with the rogue, one player might suggest that the paladin actually feels incredibly guilty about all of this, even though he was entirely just in his execution. And maybe, if the paladin player is amenable, this can be his own spiritual struggle that involves falling from grace, and then regaining paladinhood. It would make for a good story, at least.

As a GM, I highly recommend that you incentivize this kind of discussion between the players because it helps them work through narrative ramifications of their decisions. Obviously, you can't have them dictate the outcome TOO much, (what with the randomness being what it is) but at least you can help shape expectations properly and let the players know what they are getting into.

Grim Portent
2013-07-29, 11:05 AM
If you want to avoid PvP then I'd advise giving the sorcerer and the rogue some nudges towards buying items that stop them from pinging on detect evil, if the evil alignment itself is the problem then a) you shouldn't have made the assassins guild an option and b) you should talk to them OOC and ask them to betray the assassins.

Stake A Vamp
2013-07-29, 11:38 AM
so, they got a note asking them to prove their skill with the death of dorn, the blacksmith, then apear at headquarters to recieve their reward, they were meant to tell the paladin and cleric about them, and they were meant to arrive at the headquarters and beat up the gaurds, and have the head offer information on the BBEG (who they are trying to locate at the moment) in exchange for his life.
rule #11: no plan survives the PC's

2013-07-29, 05:56 PM
so, they got a note asking them to prove their skill with the death of dorn, the blacksmith, then apear at headquarters to recieve their reward, they were meant to tell the paladin and cleric about them, and they were meant to arrive at the headquarters and beat up the gaurds, and have the head offer information on the BBEG (who they are trying to locate at the moment) in exchange for his life.
rule #11: no plan survives the PC's

Protip: The first "they're meant to" is too many.

Mr Beer
2013-07-29, 10:27 PM
Alignment hiding isn't going to fix the problem if these PCs are going to be in the business of contract killing and general evilness for the long haul.

Prep for PvP if you don't think it will split the group - as usual, some communication with the players is probably a good plan.

2013-07-30, 08:00 AM
Also, I feel like I've seen this exact thread before from about a month ago, right down to most of the replies.

2013-07-30, 02:45 PM
As a side note, unless contract killing is a legal and well-regimented activity, your LN sorc may be slipping to neutral on the Law-Chaos axis here, too.