Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Being the Difficult One in the Party or Oh Yeah, I'm That Guy

I find myself in an unusual place in +Rob Conley's current 5E Majestic Wilderlands campaign.  I'm the difficult one in the party.  I'm usually the one who plays a peacekeeper or the go along with whatever guy.

This campaign I started with Sidwin the Sharp, a charismatic rogue whose initial idea was to build criminal network, but to the benefit of the community he adopted on Phandelver.  There would always be criminal activity so he figured if he could control it, he could make sure the people benefited from it and he could keep out the toxic riff raff.  While a thief, smuggler and criminal, much of what he earned would be reinvested into the local business and into people who were looking out for the welfare of the folks.

All was going well, very well.  It looked like Sidwin had a foothold established early on, had a lot of good intel and a place to begin.  Then the civil war happened and the party took a side.  Sidwin knew then he couldn't travel down the road they were going and left the party.  I wrote a post called, When It's Time for a Character to Leave the Party that goes into more detail about it.

So I built my current character, a lizardman gladiator.  I know it sounds like it is one of those weird to be weird characters, but it is very plausible option in Rob's world.  His loyalty is on the same side as the party's.  However, he has a different view on how our common goal should be accomplished.  Which puts him at odds with the party once again.

I believe +Douglas Cole referred to Goldylocks and said one was too soft, one was too hard, so the next character I make should be just right.  Now before anyone wants to put Doug in a headlock he was joking, and a little funny because he is correct on the analogy.

However, Leshar isn't going anywhere until he goes to grass.

I'm playing a lizardman who is ruled by his passions and thinking is a secondary action.  The party is led by a paladin and priest who like to plan.  So there are moments when Leshar's actions are no in line with the party's set plan of actions.

Here's what I enjoy about this, and not just being the character that goes against the grain, but the roleplaying options.  While I am not a full blown role-playing dude, I like to take on the personality of my character and follow their own motives.  That's what makes it so much fun.  +Chris C. sent me an IM that I get scary when I play mean Leshar.

What makes it fun is the guys understand that I'm just RPing and not just being difficult or taking it personal.  Some folks take it as a personal insult.  I don't play Leshar as a dick at all.  He's loyal to his party members, would never hold out any loot or sell them out to another.  However, if there is a situation at hand that has a few options of being resolved and violence is one of them, Leshar is always going to favor that one.  The part that gets him into trouble is he doesn't care about the odds.  His gladiator mentality accepts a glorious death as much as a glorious victory.

The last thing I would ever want to do is spoil someone else's playing experience.  And because of the group we have, it allows all of us to explore characters that might not be perfect fit with a party.  But I think those jagged edges are what makes the adventuring experience memorable.


  1. It is about having the right group. Not every group likes the guy who plays out of sync characters (not evil or backstabbing, or intentionally, just likes being a little out of step.) I have been on every side of this and it is just about group chemistry.

  2. This is just like in the B-Team games. Rul and Mirado are basically friendly, well-adjusted people and Minister is "that guy."

  3. Yeah, Tim, Peter's right. I'd say you may play "that guy" a more than you think, lol (yeah Adzeer Mattui, I'm lookin' at you). I think Vognur's just going to stick next to Leshar all the time because (a) Leshar's the guy you want to be next to in most fights and (b) because Leshar occasionally will need Vognur to tackle him when he's about to pick an unwise fight. :)

  4. I love the dynamic we have in Rob's game, and I fully suspect it'll get us all killed sooner rather than later. We've got the Paladin that gets really annoyingly fuzzy visions, the arrow-happy ranger, the priestess that really IS a religious crusader, the always hungry lizard-man, and Vognur, Ken's character whose name I'm blanking on, and the Hobbit Monk are the least odd of the bunch.

    Good times.

  5. I'm all for the role player who knows how to role play. Sadly, it has been my expereince to have encountered several players for whom the entire rp process is a personal challenge about their ego vs the DM (me), to the point where one player verbally blew up as he could not separate himself from his character and took everything as a personal insult.

    Then I've had those players who just like to disrupt the flow of a game because they feel they are not getting their own way. Gah!

    I've really, REALLY appreciated players who can rp their characters to the fullest - it not only adds a rich flavour to the game, but encourages others to do likewise, and creates a fantastic atmosphere where everyone forgets the game mechanics and rules and allows it to flow. And before you know it time has brought the session to a close, leaving everyone desperately eager to get to the next week's session.

    Kudos to you and your group, sir. May long your dice tumble and the numbers smile upon you. :)