View Full Version : Need help preparing... against own party member?

2008-03-03, 01:28 AM
So yea, I'm in a bit of a spot here...

In an Eberron game, I'm playing a half-elf Warmage 7/Stormlord 1. (Just got the PrC. Yay!) while another guy is playing a changeling Spellthief 8. Admittedly, both of our characters are a bit unstable. Mine's the typical destruction-happy blaster obsessed with lightning, but he keeps himself in check except in times of extreme stress. The changeling however, likes to either annoy the hell out of everyone as a young pink-haired halfling, take the form of an attractive male/female whatever and seduce party members, etc.

In case you'd like background behind this particular incidence, here it is:

In one particularly memorable instance, we were taking the lightning rail to another job from our employer. Now, apparently one of the waitresses on the rail had a crush on my character. This was known to me, but my character didn't pursue the relationship with too much interest. He would've eventually, but he had other things on his mind at the moment. Anyway, the changeling decides on one particular trip to take my character's form and seduce the waitress, ending up spending an entire day of the trip in the cabin My character gets... understandably upset, especially since the changeling flaunted his mischief afterwards, and lets loose a single spell of his (I believe a Lesser Orb of Electricity) as retribution, mostly mad about taking his form above anyone else, and knowing full well that he'd easily survive the hit. While my character was satisfied, apparently this was an unforgivable offense to the changeling (both the player and the character), so he downs a Potion of Invisibility and goes over to Sneak Attack my character. I'm not too worried at this point, because my warmage has Electric Vengeance (PHB2), Retributive Spell (set to Shocking Grasp), and Veil of Storms to add 4d6 to any one of those. Even after stealing a spell, I fudged my own die rolls so the changeling wouldn't be dropped to -10.
Suffice to say, both the player and the character are looking for an excuse to kill me off.

Now a few problems with this arise. 1) The player of the Spellthief, while under normal circumstances a good roleplayer, when he loses his temper he becomes a horrible powergamer who associates his characters with his ego and personal pride. 2) The DM is the spellthief's player's girlfriend. She's a new DM, but a pretty good one, but she also lets players get away with a bit too much, such as using the changeling's racial ability to get random racial bonuses such as a lizardman's natural armor. I know she knows better as she's played changelings before, and I know her boyfriend knows better because we've discussed the changeling's ability out-of-game and he ADMITS that his random racial bonuses are illegal. 3) If I killed the changeling, the rest of the party (and our NPC employer) would probably retaliate. The player himself has never had a PK before, and even during the incident on the train (see above), was already losing his temper and whining about his first player-kill. 4) The player's obsessive enough that he'll continue to look for ways to easily kill my character and get around his abilities just to boost his own ego.

Admittedly, I'm in a bind. I've tried making a few preparations in case he does try something, but my spell selection is limited to blasting things, my feats have already been selected, and UMD is not available. I bought a Corsair's Eyepatch for the See Invisibility and Blind-Fight effects (and it looked cool and fit my character's fluff anyway), a Potion of Fly and a Potion of Gaseous Form as escape measures (which he claims he can just steal the magical effects anyway,) but he's already mentioned using scrolls/potions/whatever for Silence and a something of Magic Invulnerability or something, I'm not exactly sure what. Oh, and last adventure, he got Gloves of Spell Disruption as well.

Any ideas? My character is not built for PVP, and I don't plan on attacking him if I can help it. I'd just rather be able for my character to sleep at night without worrying about getting knifed in the back.

2008-03-03, 01:34 AM
My advice is to find another group or drop out of this one until she quits DMing. In-fighting, regardless of how in-character it is, always leads to someone's feelings getting hurt. Your best bet is just to step aside and wait for a new DM to set up a campaign or find a different group.

It sounds like there is more pandering to her boyfriend than the actual rules, which can be fun for the sake of being fun, but if it causes other people to miss out on some of the fun, then it's best it's not done at all. Hope that made sense.

In my experience, groups that have in-fighting have not lasted long. People will leave in a huff, but not before throwing dice, miniatures or even a book or two.

Rachel Lorelei
2008-03-03, 01:38 AM
Your only good option is to try and settle this out of character. Talk to the guy and talk to the DM. Tell them you don't want party infighting, because it's bad for the game, and no fun for the loser.

If it comes to it, retire the character and bring in a new one. You'll also get the chance to, y'know, not be a Warmage.

2008-03-03, 01:48 AM
Here's the thing with that...

The rest of the group isn't that bad. Only a handful of us really like each other in-game, and we do work well together in combat. I simply have the problem with the one player...

Technically, we've "settled" it out-of-game. I've talked with the player, and theoretically, everything's cool and everyone has a good time. It's towards the end of the night when people are feeling weary and tired and short of temper that has me worried, specifically the last session when the player offered to kill me so he could get to level 8, jokingly of course, but the way he said it wasn't exactly reassuring.

I also REALLY like the character. He's not "ideally built", but with that Veil of Storms he can pretty much toast anything with one or two blasts. Last time I rolled a crit and killed an advanced HD Displacer Beast in one hit. Say what you like about the Warmage, but the DM let me pick and choose my spell list out of the Spell Compendium, and the character is turning out really well (if a bit emo since a lot of things turn out bad for him in the end.)

The game really is a lot of fun, and the group is part of the overall circle of D&D friends who run multiple games with each other. I myself run a different Eberron game where the one tempermental player plays a Blood of Vol necromancer and his girlfriend plays a changeling fighter from Sarlona.

My only real concern is preparation against the worst, namely the player finally breaking and outright attacking me. Especially since if it does come down to PVP, he'll most likely have the advantage of surprise and preparedness.

2008-03-03, 02:09 AM
My opinion? Kill the character. The group will kill yours, and then you can offer the guy a chance to drop it there. Both of you have lost your characters, and have a chance to start fresh.

Very few things in gaming irk me more than a player who designs characters for the express purpose of annoying and harassing the other players, and then hides behind the shield, "It's what my character would do". It's also the character he chose, and that gives him some culpability.

Real advice? You shouldn't have fudged your rolls. If he dies attacking you, tough luck, them's the breaks, movin on.

If you're attached to your character, arrange for your character and his to be alone at some time. Then tell his that either y'all can get over your differences, and make things right, or you can have it out, here and now.

At least that way, you see it coming. And if other party members are around, hey, you tried to do the right thing, you gave him the chance to make it right. (better if the other party members are hidden, and the other player doesn't know about it).

2008-03-03, 02:17 AM
I think that the protective measures you mentioned are good enough to shield you from a random attack in public. Private, not so much. I would recommend investing in a Stone of Alarm and a Ring of Sustenance, and always taking watch with him. The best way to prevent this is to never give him an opportunity to strike.

Alternately, you can flaunt your vulnerability and hope he looks like the bad guy. Get wounded in combat and burn most of your spells. Expend your magic items. Then, turn your back on him in full view of the party, as if you trust him absolutely. If he knifes you then, then you may go down, but the rest of the party should take appropriate punitive measures against him that should range from his character having to pay to have yours returned to life to his character being booted from the party to his character getting killed.

One last thing you can try for is revenge from the Grave. This could include anything from your Will demanding that someone cast speak with Dead and get details of your death, contacting your spirit in the afterlife, or talking to the DM and coming back as a ghost or necropolitan.

2008-03-03, 11:34 AM
Retibutive Spell something deadly, and when he attacks you, fry him. As he's a Changeling, there was no way for you to know that was him, was there? You just thought you were frying some random bandit. Oh well, too bad...:smallbiggrin:

2008-03-03, 03:58 PM
I'd propose a different approach.

If he attacks, put your character sheet on the table. say "I'm sorry, but I won't do this. You've ruined my enjoyment of this game enough already." Stand up and walk out.

If this doesn't slap the GM into wakefulness, then as much as you are enjoying the game, you're better off out of it. There is no win here to be found. You need to do something to change the fundamentals.

2008-03-03, 04:09 PM
As a DM, I made it clear that I would allow PvP.

It's just that if anyone ever died, a Greater Curse (permanent; cannot be dispelled or removed) would be levelled against the victor.

We had a lot of debates, discussions, and sleight of hand as a result.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-03-03, 04:17 PM
I second Severus here. While the other measures suggested might be more definitive, just walking out like that is so magnificent that the players WILL have to agree with you, and the DM WILL notice it. It's the kind of thing that makes people think "There goes a great man/woman. We are making a mistake in letting him go."

2008-03-03, 04:19 PM
Ok seriously I have no idea how he thinks a changeling is balanced if you get all the benifits of becoming pretty much any race at will. I certainly hope he doesn't think he gets a bonus feat from changing human. Why bother choosing any humanoid race at all if you can get speak languages as a class skill at all times and get all the bonuses to being a changeling. I'd suggest investing in a hat of disguise in case he does try to attack you. You could appear as a child female with pigtails and no matter where you are any good character wouldn't think twice to attack the changeling if it looks like he's killing an innocent little girl.

Kol Korran
2008-03-03, 06:04 PM
sometimes i jsut don't get thse post. i don't realy understand why a player wil lresort to that, but i guess it's and age (or more correctly- meturity) difference.

the player you describe sounds like some of the playersi played with when i was younger- paranoid, doesn't trusts anyone, must have the last word/ be the victor/ and so on. this player vents some of his own issues through the character, and thus becomes ovely possesive about it. this is not a healthy situation, at all. but to the matter at hand-

how you deal with this situation depends also on what relationship you have with this guy, and with the other players. you must deal with this out of play, entirely. i hope that was made clear. all the discussion on PvP strategies is childish and would only lead to one bad result or another. (PvP should only be done with mature players who want this, in a campaign designed as such. i find it por taste anyway...)

as i see it, you have a few options:
1- do what Severis said. (the grandstanding exit). this might sound cool, and it will sway everyone on your side... however: the other player will interpert this as an attack on him, personally (in a way your pointing all arrows at him). he will either quit, or wil lcontinue to play but entirley subdued- in effect, you'll lose a player. (and there might be a lingering cloud around the table). since the girl is his girlfriend, then in time this might affect her, and the game (she'll lose enthusiasm since he does, or she might become a bit bitter herself).
choose this option if you don't care for him. it is vengance under the guise of righteoussnes (and Azerion, many "great people" done that in history as well)

2- (this one mostly work if you know him reasonably well out of play) arrange a talk with the player, alone. (without the DM, especially when she is his girlfriend. he will feel ganged upon, and thus refuse to realy listen). if you can, try and not have the conversation as the main part of your meeting, but as something you do while doing something else (movie, buggie racing, i don't know). preferably this should be at some fairly relaxed or cheerfull place. talk with him. the way to approach this is not directly (he will become defensive again). start withtalking about the game, about fun encounters, kick ass moments and so on. if possible, try to focus on things his character did (but try not to be to obvious or "ego stroking") this is importent, both so as
then start talking about "the incident", and that apologize it ever happened. try to convey how you think it might have gone different, that you feel it bogged down your cooperation, and so on. don't blame him at any point. blame "the circumstances", and so on. your aim here is not to have him commit not to get you, or to say you were right, but to disarm his hostility, and paranoid fear that he is being had. you need him to feel that he was not bested (he won't rest otherwise. his types can't), and perhaps feel even slightly superior to you (as he does with everyone anyway. preemptive mechanism).
once you feel he is fairly placeted, talk with him about future encounters, combats and stuff, talk about some strategies and so on, with the emphasis on how you two can work together. (i'd suggest to let him take the lead for this conversation, let him feel you acknowledge his thinking. you don't need to do anything he said in actual play). then return to whatever activity you were doing.
hopefully, this will dissolve the situation.
many would think this is a whimpy attitude, and whyshould you make these "concetions"? well, for one reason- to save the game without losing any players. any player that gets caught up on revenging against his fellow players has in some aspects a child mentality. you don't pick fight with children, now do you? you work with them... this is the case

3) talk with the DM, alone (again, without her boyfriend). this should be more direct. the meeting should be kept in secret from the offending player. explain to her (again), your concerns, and the tension that is caused. if you can bring another discreet player to the meeting to voice this concern then she might be more ready to listen.
there are two crucial points- one is that the entire group suffers from this (so it moves the responsebility to her), and that you care for the offending player as well- you wish him toenjoy as well and not feel slighted. (this will make her less worried she is betraying him or working without his knowledge).
from here there are two options: either you coach her to talk with the offending player in the same manner i explained on (2). or, youcould devise amongst yourself a situation in which he can vent some of his "revenge" against you, but that the situation can be controlled enough (with her assistance), as to not to get out of hand. this is risky, not because it can get out of hand (prepare with her so it doesn't. you should have enough DM experince between you so it doesn't), but because he might realise that this was arranged. if this happens- he (and probably the DM as well) are out. so be carefull about this.

4) talk to some of the other players, as well as the DM, in orderto do this: when the next session starts, each one voice his concerns from the tension that was built, and you arrange some actual rules preventing PvP... these should be absolute, they don't have to follow the game's logic ("everyonme that initiate PvP while not under a charm/ compulsion/ similar, dies instantly"), and the "but that's my character's character" excuse does not apply.
this is simple, but is childish. but then again, it seems you have a childish mentality abroad. this is actually quite similar to the idea suggested by Severus, but you don't point your finger at the offending player (it's all, or most of the party), and doesn't seem like grandstanding. the disadvantages are that he might still resent you, and perhaps try to hurt your play in other ways. but most likely you can deal with that (have an annoying Belkar around).

hope this helps. i personally just try to make sure the group of people i play with are of compatible mentalities. (oh, and that they realise it's jsut a game).

side notes:
- you haven't detailed much about the DM, but she doesn't sound like she is playing favorites too much. advise her how to improve things, don't just critic her on what doesn't.
- the Changling issue: if you feel it is unbalancing, then have different members ask her for some perks and so on. either she'l laccept, or you could point to the changling thing as an example. if enouh people do it, it wil leither be fixed, or you'll get nice upgrades and the balance shall be restored.
- entirely not related: how is the aberation Mordain concept going?

2008-03-03, 06:45 PM
He's bending the rules? Bend them yourself, and have a messenger ride up in the middle of the night. He hands you a letter informing you that you have to return to Place X for Reason Y. Sick parent/sibling/cat desperately needs you.

Then your character can ride off into the sunset (metaphorically), and you can have a new character meet them shortly afterwards.

2008-03-03, 06:58 PM
You're a warmage, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't your job to blow up people who mess with you?

That nasty little bugger mad you angry, so you 'sploded his face off!


A variant on the get up and walk out approach, if an issue comes up in the game, call him out on it.

"Dude, I'm not trying to hurt you. I'm ignoring the fact that you're walking all over the rules, why are you being such a ****head?"

Everyone on the table, if they're the mature gamers you say they are, are going to stop conflict right there and try and hash the thing out. He's going to see that you are asking for reasonable things and that everyone is going to support you and will have to grow the hell up.

Lizardfolk Lich
2008-03-03, 08:32 PM
Need to prepare? Get a Lyre of Building. The only thing you will ever need ever.

2008-03-03, 11:25 PM
Trust no one

2008-03-04, 10:17 AM
You could go the Lex Luthor route. Have a useful magic item prepared that is cursed with a codeword to do something 'fun'. i might say use the effect from the ring of shielding but forced (damage taken by you is forced onto the wearer of the item, activated by a trigger word and doesn't act as cursed until then). Something like that...i'm sure you can get creative if you put your mind to it. I would recommend putting down all the effects on an index card as well as the costs and running them by the DM (might just list costs and effects you want separately and not mention how you are combining them since they pretty much just add for miscilaneous magic items). Spend the required gold and have the items fully detailed in one place and only the beneficial part revealed to the player unless they themselves get a good detect magic going and analyze it.

Be prepared is my motto...I once just tried to ignore inter party squabbling only to find that it just leads to getting rolled...so I let them know, if they cross my character...then my character will respond as the character would...and damn the party dynamic. They messed with my assasin...well, they didn't manage to kill him, but he hunted them all down and murdered them all later on. After that, we had to start a new party...but they ever decided to just spontaneously start a party fight since they knew every one of the group would retaliate by killing the others if threatened or take other appropriate measures. Not to say that we don't do things to screw each other over a bit...even when we are 'good'...but we know to keep it IC and to 'know' that if our characters cross each other, the others will respond 'appropriately' and that likely includes a TPK at our own hands...

While maybe not the best policy, the MAD mindset of the coldwar works supprisingly well in a RPG group. noone wants the quest to end, and if sparks start to fly, it is the end of the group and the chronical probably...so...with that at stake, people are less likely to blatently screw the others. It might take one knockdown dragout fight to get it out of your system...but after that people should get the idea and things will be much more civil.

Walking out is another option...but honestly...it could just as well happen again in another group you find, would you walk out again? Might be best to lay down the 'challenge' as it were and then know that MAD will keep the party together.

2008-03-04, 10:49 AM
I say you settle it in a fight of fisticuffs! hell yeah, instead of blowing the crap out of each other, why don't you settle this like grown-up men. AKA, beating the crap out each other using your own god given fists!

Alternatively, wrestling match! Your characters should be pretty even when it comes to wrestling, so no one will have to feel cheated afterwards.

Anyway, I've never understood the urge of non-evil characters to murder their non-evil compatriots. Does all PC's have the emotional stability and mature reasoning of a three year old:smallamused: ?

2008-03-04, 01:04 PM
I say you settle it in a fight of fisticuffs! hell yeah, instead of blowing the crap out of each other, why don't you settle this like grown-up men. AKA, beating the crap out each other using your own god given fists!

The changeling can use anybody's god-given fists, though. Have you considered the noble sport of Chessboxing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chessboxing)?

2008-03-04, 01:21 PM
Come to think of it, you're likely better off just putting your Warlock into Boomstick mode. Let him attack, then knock him down to -9 HP. Ask him if he's going to let it go, and if his character wants to count it settled. If he says yes, fine, let him heal and move on. If not, overkill him. Maximum possible damage. If you have to calculate 36d6+4d20, do it. Make a point.

2008-03-04, 01:55 PM
I liked the "Speak with Dead" in will thing, at least then I can make sure he doesn't try to just bluff the others into saying he didn't do it. Heck, I'm good friends with the party cleric, so I could just tell him about it.

I also like Severus's idea, but like I said, the only time I'm really worried about being PVP'd is later in the session when we're both tired and stressed and no one can really be blamed for their actions. If it comes down to it though, I'll do just that and take him down with me.

Kol Korran: Like I said, I've already talked with the player out-of-game, and we're cool, just IC we both think each other to be unsufferable pricks. As for the changeling issue: in the long run, I believe I already have justification in that the DM allowed me to pick-and-switch my spell list around so I'm not stuck with the static warmage list. As for the Mordain stuff, I'll post in that particular thread, but thank you for your interest. :smallsmile:

Tempus: I like that situation, not so much the "blowing him up" thing, as that would quickly get my character ousted as well, but the reaction is probably one that I'll use.

Lizardfolk Lich: Lyre of Building... what exactly does that do? Is it in the MIC? My character isn't exactly the musical type, but depending on what it is he might just take up the instrument.

Fuzzy Juan: Well, preparation is what I'm asking for in this thread. As far as I know, the DM probably won't let me get away with too customized items, simply because of the fact that she doesn't know what they do. MIC, however, is fair game.

Learnedguy: Um... probably not a good idea, since STR was my dump stat at 10. And if allowed magic, either he steals all my spells and uses them against me, or I just use all my counter stuff and kill him the first time he hits me.

I've already decided that my character won't make the first move, as I don't see it ending very well if the changeling has deniability.