Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Play a character that will work with the other characters!

In the article A role-playing game player’s obligation David Hartlage of DM David says:

As a player, your first role-playing obligation is to imagine a character who can cooperate with rest of the party to achieve the common goals of the game.

He also quotes Gary Gygax:

“Always seek to contribute the most to the team’s success. From the players’ and the PCs’ standpoint any role-playing game is a group endeavor. Individual success is secondary to the success of the group, for only through group achievements can the quality of the campaign be measured.” – Gary Gygax, Role-Playing Mastery

I think that in general this is a good idea.

Of course, if you are specifically intending to run a game to explore infighting or where the player characters explicitly have goals that seriously in conflict, I think that you should make this clear at the beginning and make sure that everyone is on board. Moreover, it may make sense to use an RPG that is specifically designed for that, like Fiasco or The Mountain Witch rather than introduce those elements into a traditional RPG. Even in a game built for that, make sure everybody is on the same page. It turns out badly if one person in the group playing Paranoia is playing in Zap mode where troubleshooters open fire on each other with little to no provocation and another person in is playing in Straight mode which discourages random firefights and horseplay.

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