Misc. Tale from the Gaming Table: the Mismatched Party

17 Mar

Misc. Tale from the Gaming Table: the Mismatched Party

The Gamemaster that was over a campaign I played in during the late-80’s to the mid-90’s was very liberal about what kind of characters he allowed. He was a versatile GM and the players were experienced, so everyone was very adaptable.

However, there was this one time…

As players, some of us liked to experiment with concepts we hadn’t played before. The campaign really was good for that, because it was rather large and low-level characters were able to mix with higher level ones easily because of some aspects of the homebrew rules we were using. After a particularly major episode in the campaign was finished, another player and I created some new characters. All characters had to be approved by the Gamemaster before they were introduced into the campaign.. We both did this, so the GM was aware of them beforehand.

The group gathered and play began. I was playing a character loosely based on the movie Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter. It was not long before I suspected that an unfortunate coincidence was occurring: the other player with a new character had taken a Half-Vampire! In our game, we tended to keep these details secret and the other players would figure things out through actual play. I was unaware until telltale signs led me to the inevitable conclusion that my own party contained the dreaded enemy… a mismatched party, indeed. Certainly one of us had to go!

It was not long before my character used his fledgling skills to kill the other character when an opportune and secretive moment was available. It was not an epic battle, but more of a “vampire assassination”. In the dark of night, loading a wooden bolt into his specialized crossbow, my character snuck up upon the pseudo-vampire.He placed a called shot to the heart unerringly to its target. Before the undead dude even knew what hit him, he was “cured” of his condition. It was a clean dispatching of an undead foe.

Afterwards, I felt really bad that my in-character actions were inevitably guided to removing a fellow player’s creation from the RPG. I said so, apologized and immediately retired the Vampire Hunter from the game. Sadly, the player and I spent the gaming session creating new characters while everyone else finished playing.

It is funny in hindsight, because it was the only event of its kind so far in my gaming experience. It was not so funny at the time, but it does show that in some games, depending on the way things are handled, such incidents are possible! A GM has to either control the composition of the party or be prepared to allow intra-party character conflict. This can be seen as a hindrance to play or, depending upon the players, can also add to the fun. Looking back, however, I think the Gamemaster derived more pleasure from this conflict than either of us players did! You never know what evil lurks in the heart of a GM!
*loads crossbow*

-Jeff
“DM Retro”

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2 Responses to “Misc. Tale from the Gaming Table: the Mismatched Party”

  1. dldzioba March 18, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    My group(s) tends to like inter-party conflicts. Not always on a large scale but they tend to be there. In my 3.5 game we’ve only got three PCs, A Dwarf Fighter(me), a Gnome Cleric, and a Teifling Ninja. Nobody likes the gnome that much, so in our game Wednesday we punted him into the big scary building we were to clear of monsters. He was nearly killed by Minotaurs. In the end we saved him because he’s our heal monkey.

    Once in another 3.5 game our entire party hated our Wizard because he was compulsively honest and would do things like fix out wanted posters to make them more accurate. In the last game (we went to epic level) before he could become a god our Rogue killed him.
    Turns out he really was a Chosen One and became a Lich in service of his God.

    • Retro RPG March 19, 2011 at 11:52 am #

      I love it when character traits, like the wizard’s compulsive honesty, make for good game play!
      Once, I had a pacifist Cleric that made for fun and frustration amongst the other characters 😉

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