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Severe harm caused by other PCs

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So, I'm in a bit of a difficult situation

 

Two players in my campaign seem to be on the path to destabilise the campaign. One of them had their character blab to a team of enforcers with us that we were Inquisition, and we were unable to convince them that his character was insane, so we had to order them not to tell anyone. Furthermore, in a combat he fired his flamer at an enemy cultist, who was currently in melee combat with a PC assassin (both were on fire already, a scattered firebomb), and it would cover another PC, a scum, as well. Fortunately no damage was dealt to PCs thanks to successful dodges, but the cultist evaded the flames as well

 

After that, the scum, who had procurred a virus grenade from somewhere, chucked it into the middle of the melee combat. It detonated, and the resulting damage forced four PCs (himself included) to burn fate points to stay alive, and put two others into critical damage

 

The current penalties I have given are corruption points (1d10 for the PC with the flamer, 3d10 for the Scum) and 100 less XP for the session. Otherwise, I'm not sure how to proceed from here. The Inquisitor is going to be informed, and the local Adeptus Arbites is going to investigate why a tiny amount of the Life-Eater virus was unleashed in a mine, but other than that, what should I do?

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Inquisitorial debriefing should be a heck of a time for them to say the least. If the Inquisitor would be upset at these action play it like that. He/She doesn't want their time wasted with idiots who are going to get themselves killed. Not to mention the living hell that is decontamination and examination for corruption. I mean what kind of evil infects an acolyte that might let them attack their fellow team mate. What fool launches a grenade of Life Eater Virus in a small area?

As for destabilizing the campaign then, you may need to talk to the actual players and tell them this kind of thing just can't happen again.

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Personally I don't see this kind of thing as destabilising. Just remind the other players that they don't have to tolerate this psychotic kind of behaviour. It can lead to good roleplaying opportunities as they try to hash out their differences.

The next level would be to nominate a prime (your most 'trusted' player, meaning the one who is most likely to play in the spirit of the game) and give that character authority to met out punishment or report what is happening at the debrief. This could easily lead to an explosive collar or something for the misbehaving player, meaning that the other characters now have a direct control over his punishment. Perhaps an exploding device implanted inside him, that is linked to heart sensors on his comrades. If they die, you die. Choose your next grenade wisely...

A less harsh approach is to enforce WP checks before letting someone fire something with spray or blast into combat. This might emphasise that only a truely debased person would do this to his comrades, after all its not a timed aimed shot that went wrong. Its an AoE attack that is almost certain to hurt your friends.

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The current penalties I have given are corruption points (1d10 for the PC with the flamer, 3d10 for the Scum) and 100 less XP for the session. Otherwise, I'm not sure how to proceed from here. The Inquisitor is going to be informed, and the local Adeptus Arbites is going to investigate why a tiny amount of the Life-Eater virus was unleashed in a mine, but other than that, what should I do?

I think you handled things well: ingame and outgame consequences for the actions of the players. How did they react when they were informed of the xp penalty? Did you explain why you nerfed them?

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Personally I don't see this kind of thing as destabilising. Just remind the other players that they don't have to tolerate this psychotic kind of behaviour. It can lead to good roleplaying opportunities as they try to hash out their differences.

The next level would be to nominate a prime (your most 'trusted' player, meaning the one who is most likely to play in the spirit of the game) and give that character authority to met out punishment or report what is happening at the debrief. This could easily lead to an explosive collar or something for the misbehaving player, meaning that the other characters now have a direct control over his punishment. Perhaps an exploding device implanted inside him, that is linked to heart sensors on his comrades. If they die, you die. Choose your next grenade wisely...

A less harsh approach is to enforce WP checks before letting someone fire something with spray or blast into combat. This might emphasise that only a truely debased person would do this to his comrades, after all its not a timed aimed shot that went wrong. Its an AoE attack that is almost certain to hurt your friends.

 

...or, it's just an asshat player who made/plays a character that is as big an asshat as the person behind it.

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The one who threw the virus grenade gets kicked from the group if I'm the GM.  The loud-mouth with the flamer gets executed at debrief.

 

Not sure I would agree with this.  I am mean if players got kicked from games for every rediculous decision they made then I think it would all be very vanilla. 

 

I think corruption insanity and potentially xp loss is fine.  Beyond that then I wouldn't worry about it too much.

 

As someone else pointed out if the other PCs get annoyed and wack the scum character that's ok as well.

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I must admit, I don't really see the problem.

 

A mouthed off to the arbites about the acolytes being, well, acolytes. That's a problem for his character and might get him excuted - or it might be completely ignored, depending on the Inquisitor and the orders the acolytes have been given.

...and ofcourse whether the arbites have been infiltrated by the Enemy.

 

The use of a flamer on a melee including a comrade? I'd expect in-party hostility and probably more hesitance around the guy with the flamer. Plausibly even a friendly fire accident for him to enjoy. Why would I need to punish him as a GM?

Something very similar with the virus grenade, except the Arbites would probably be really insistant about him not doing that again, please. After all, if you let Life Eater loose in the hive, soon there'll be no heretics left to judge.

 

If the behaviour persists, I'd probably have a talk with the relevant players - unless some of the players beat me to it. But people being idiots in RPGs? Isn't that half the reason people play?

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Thanks for the advice guys

 

Personally I don't see this kind of thing as destabilising. Just remind the other players that they don't have to tolerate this psychotic kind of behaviour. It can lead to good roleplaying opportunities as they try to hash out their differences.

The next level would be to nominate a prime (your most 'trusted' player, meaning the one who is most likely to play in the spirit of the game) and give that character authority to met out punishment or report what is happening at the debrief. This could easily lead to an explosive collar or something for the misbehaving player, meaning that the other characters now have a direct control over his punishment. Perhaps an exploding device implanted inside him, that is linked to heart sensors on his comrades. If they die, you die. Choose your next grenade wisely...

A less harsh approach is to enforce WP checks before letting someone fire something with spray or blast into combat. This might emphasise that only a truely debased person would do this to his comrades, after all its not a timed aimed shot that went wrong. Its an AoE attack that is almost certain to hurt your friends.

 

I don't think the group is yet experienced enough for Primes, but it is definately something to consider. The explosive collar is an idea I will consider

 

The WP checks I will definately be enforcing in future, with more corruption points for firing AoE where they'll hurt friendly Acolytes

 

 

 
The current penalties I have given are corruption points (1d10 for the PC with the flamer, 3d10 for the Scum) and 100 less XP for the session. Otherwise, I'm not sure how to proceed from here. The Inquisitor is going to be informed, and the local Adeptus Arbites is going to investigate why a tiny amount of the Life-Eater virus was unleashed in a mine, but other than that, what should I do?


I think you handled things well: ingame and outgame consequences for the actions of the players. How did they react when they were informed of the xp penalty? Did you explain why you nerfed them?

 

 

They didn't seem particuarly fussed, and yes I did explain

 

I must admit, I don't really see the problem.

 

A mouthed off to the arbites about the acolytes being, well, acolytes. That's a problem for his character and might get him excuted - or it might be completely ignored, depending on the Inquisitor and the orders the acolytes have been given.

...and ofcourse whether the arbites have been infiltrated by the Enemy.

 

The use of a flamer on a melee including a comrade? I'd expect in-party hostility and probably more hesitance around the guy with the flamer. Plausibly even a friendly fire accident for him to enjoy. Why would I need to punish him as a GM?

Something very similar with the virus grenade, except the Arbites would probably be really insistant about him not doing that again, please. After all, if you let Life Eater loose in the hive, soon there'll be no heretics left to judge.

 

If the behaviour persists, I'd probably have a talk with the relevant players - unless some of the players beat me to it. But people being idiots in RPGs? Isn't that half the reason people play?

 

The Arbites are most definately going to get involved. Releasing a tiny fragment of the Life Eater in a mine (a mine dedicated to the production of the single most important export of the planet at that) would result in a quarantine and decontamination. Furthermore, the destabilisation of the mines is going to get the local Mechanicus involved (since they are VERY interested in the mineral being mined), AND their Inquisitior is going to poke his nose in for a full debrief. Not sure what penalties the Inquisitor would mett out, perhaps confiscating the flamer?

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The Arbites are most definately going to get involved. Releasing a tiny fragment of the Life Eater in a mine (a mine dedicated to the production of the single most important export of the planet at that) would result in a quarantine and decontamination. Furthermore, the destabilisation of the mines is going to get the local Mechanicus involved (since they are VERY interested in the mineral being mined), AND their Inquisitior is going to poke his nose in for a full debrief. Not sure what penalties the Inquisitor would mett out, perhaps confiscating the flamer?

Could be positively anything, depending on the individual Inquisitor in question.

Confiscation. Floggings. Aboandonment. Extreme oversight.

Demands for written raports documenting and explaining every shot fired.

 

I remember an (NPC) Inquisitor who explained that her whole career had been a move toward less paperwork.

From local enforcer who had to file a rapport for every shot fired.

To Arbites/Acolyte who had to document how shots fired were relevant for the defence of the Imperium.

To Interrogator who had to explain why shots had to be fired at all and document the crimes of whatever cult she was targetting.

To Inquisitor (Finally!) who didn't really have to file rapports for anything less than an Exterminatus.

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What would bother me more than anything else is that this comletely breaks immersion. Because no real, noninsane, person would fo these kind of thungs. And if the character is clearly insane he will not be with a call of acolytes.

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What would bother me more than anything else is that this comletely breaks immersion. Because no real, noninsane, person would fo these kind of thungs.

Absolutely agreed.

And if the character is clearly insane he will not be with a call of acolytes.

Absolutely disagreed.

In an Insane World, Only the Insane Shall Prosper.

I agree that it would be better if there were no insane acolytes, but that there aren't? That I don't buy.

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. But people being idiots in RPGs? Isn't that half the reason people play?

This is what I was trying to say.

 

 

So there's actually two people that think playing RPGs is about acting like an idiot?  Good lord, I'm glad I never recruit off this forum.

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So there's actually two people that think playing RPGs is about acting like an idiot?  Good lord, I'm glad I never recruit off this forum.

That not what I said, nor what I tried to communicate.

If you like your strawman, you can keep it - I suspect I can't change your mind - but part of the reason people play RPGs is to do something different. Explore mind sets different from what they'd normally do or think.

 

This could be doing things despite knowing they are stupid. This could be taking a chance if you're normally overly cautious (like I tend to be) or it could be acting our heroism despite being a lawyer in your everyday life.

 

From what you've posted, I doubt I'd enjoy playing in your group, but then, from what you've posted I think you'd be happier as a writier than as a GM. No offence intended, but you come across very strongly as "My Way Or The High Way." which to me is anti-thesis to the group dynamics I consider necessary for good roleplaying. It seems ike you're essentially playing with yourself really.

 

I hope I'm wrong on this, I really do. But that is the impression I get from your posts in (mostly) this thread.

 

 

 

I must admit, I don't really see the problem.

Of course, you don't.

I'm not sure what the intention of this post was - it felt like a clumsy attempt at a personal attack, but I decided to ignore it.

With that next post, it feels even more like an attempt at a personal attack. Was this intentional? Because it really doesn't serve much purpose but to make yourself look bad as far as I can tell. Or am I just being thin skinned here?

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. But people being idiots in RPGs? Isn't that half the reason people play?

This is what I was trying to say.

 

 

I don't know, brosephs... hate me for subscribing to the "plain meaning" philosophy of interpretation... but it seems like you both think RPGs are at least half about being an idiot.

 

 

 

With that next post, it feels even more like an attempt at a personal attack. Was this intentional? Because it really doesn't serve much purpose but to make yourself look bad as far as I can tell. Or am I just being thin skinned here?

 

 

Nope, not a personal attack... more an observation.  It seems we disagree on **** near everything.  Even when I think I'm making the most common sense statement ever made... you find a way to disagree.

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. But people being idiots in RPGs? Isn't that half the reason people play?

This is what I was trying to say.

 

 

I don't know, brosephs... hate me for subscribing to the "plain meaning" philosophy of interpretation... but it seems like you both think RPGs are at least half about being an idiot.

 

If we can keep the thread on topic please, I have no intention of playing host to an argument

 

Well to refocus the point of the thread while perhaps expanding on my point.  I think RPGs are about having fun.  If the game isn't fun then whoever is GMing has failed. 

 

RPG is not literature.  It is not primarily a tool to make a political or philisophical point about the nature of humanity it is a tool to get a few friends together, chat and spin a yarn in a shared universe.

 

If you are able as a GM to say something political or philisophical in your scenarios then I salute you.  I sometimes, indeed often, will do a similar thing.  However if this is at the detriment of any of your players having fun then you have failed as a GM.  Full stop.  Similarly if any of your players ingame or out of game actions stop other players having fun then they have failed in their part as players.

 

Now with regard to the original post the question was should the players in the situation be penalised for taking daft in game actions.

 

bogi_khaosa probably said the most relevant thing which was;

 

What would bother me more than anything else is that this comletely breaks immersion.

 

If the players actions broke an illusion that caused the game to degenerate in quality or fun or enjoyment then yes I think those actions should be addressed out of game.  In game effects such as insanity corruption and xp lost can also be applied.

 

However in my experience the rediculous, the farcical and yes the idiotic actions are the ones that people laugh about and, crucially, remember.  They are the stories that get retold.  That is because they are the stories that remind people when they were enjoying themselves.

 

The other half of RPing of course is telling a good story.

 

I'll leave you with this to ponder:-

 

'There is a thin line that seperates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humour and hurt.'

Erma Bombeck. (1927-1996)

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They didn't seem particuarly fussed

In that case, I think you have a problem (unless they thought it was good sport from your side).

Players not caring about the xp they receive (or the corruption level they attain) seem a bit desinterested. Are they having fun? Do they feel challenged?

I'd wait till the next session and see if the problem is reproduced. If this is the case, I'd take them apart after the game and try to figure out where this behaviour is coming from.

Edited by Librarian Astelan

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As a player I find myself acting up like this when my character feels detached from the story at hand.  If the world is poorly defined, the mission structure is nonexistant or if it really feels as though the GM is making things up as he goes along (which is fine if it can be done seemlessly) I often find myself making my own fun. My assassin will murder random NPCs, my adept characters will begin researching along bizarre tangents unrelated to the investigation, sometimes I'll begin following random leads just to make something happen.  I don't mean to derail the game but I get restless and bored sometimes so I act out to make something happen.

 

Maybe this is what's happening.  If your players feel disconnected from the narrative they are disconnected from the ramifications of their actions.  The trick, I think, is to make them feel the repercussions of their actions within the game while also finding a way to engage and challenge the PC and bring them back on the rails. 

 

Alternately, they could just be amateur gamers who lack self-control in a game that allows for freedom of personal narrative.  It's sort of the same thing that happens when I play Grand Theft Auto and get distracted destroying random scenery when I should be following the story.  I dunno, every player is different. We all want something different out of our gaming sessions. 

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Khimaera why don't you just talk with your GM if you're bored?

 

When players act like that out of being unentertained with what's going on then they need to just ask. It may be rude, and it may jar the GM, but it'll get the preverbial sh*t in gear and get you somewhere. If players just do whatever it makes the GM have to play damage control or might make him/her react in a retalitory manner.

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I do talk with my GM. My reaction is usually in the middle of the game when such a conversation would be unconstructive. 

I'm not asking for advice on gaming table politics, I'm offering my two cents to the OP.

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tl;dr at the bottom for those in a hurry.

 

OP, I think your players might be, as other stated, disconnected to the game.  They might see it as a game only, and they simply don't get 'sucked in' the setting/mission/in-game mindset. 

 

I play rarely, GM mostly, but in the current DH game I'm in, in a mine that suddenly got infested by zombies, our 3 men non-acolyte gang ran into a dying acolyte, bleeding and surrounded by freshly killed men with the 8 pointed star of Chaos on them, who then intrusted us to carry on his mission.  Moments later, we heard foot steps; non-zombie footsteps.

I hide!

The Psyker hides!

The guardsmen begins to hit a pipe with his 2x4 'to scare them away with sound".

Moments later 2 cultists shows up shot up the guardsman then he whines about how the GM got crazy ideas and why he's always being targeted by the NPC villains. 

Actions gets consequences in RPGs. 

Granted, he only started playing RPGs about a year ago, but still, he doesn't seems to grasp the mindset that his character is a person living in it's own world, not some random line of statistics with a randomly rolled name attached to it.  For him, it is just a game, no different than a computer game, with no solid, explained reason why he should care, act as such, or feel a connection with his char that's an eraser away to fade away forever.

 

Perhaps that is what happening with your players.  Or they simply go at it..well, simply; my char is crazy, therefore, he'll do crazy things, especially if they're the completely opposite of being helpful to the situation.  The flamer situation..I could maybe see his logic; they are on fire already, so more fire won't/can't be much worse. (granted, that would mostly be with OOC mechanical knowledge backing that up than in-game character knowledge). 

I mean, one of my player once threw a grenade down into a hall from a closing airlock toward a few charging Orks, rolled a 100 and it bounced back in, shredding everyone's void suit; they patched them hasty and made an escape, but following that, the Tech-Priest character was never allowed by the other acolytes to possess, loot or even requisition grenades until much later in the campaign (the cell also never used them after this incident- and that was mission #1- only started using them with one of the new player hauling photon-flash). 

 

It's dice, it happens. 

 

But willingly doing such an action is both counter-productive and simply showing a disrespect/disregard to the other players.

I one played a D&D game where we were fighting some evil druid. my char was fighting his bear animal companion while the thief was going solo on him.  Then the Satyr player, with his trusty wand of fireball we got from..somewhere or another, either out of boredom or something, decided to just fire off a few toward the druid and thief, killing both of them. 

 

The Thief player was pissed, we were about to get to level 7 (and he'll finally would have gotten into his assassin prestige class), and also his char with mine were the only 'original' ones from the campaign's beginning (the satyr player's former char, some elf, committed "stupid suicide" by trying to trip a dozen charging horse by charging them with a rope; don't ask me why or how, he just suddenly wanted to play a satyr when the GM allowed fantastic races and he saw the Satyr and basically killed his char off for no real reason)

I was also pissed since it was a bastard move, much so when my char made a religious service in honour of his fallen comrade and the satyr player wanted to just loot the body and dump it in a ditch.

The best was his answer "It's ok, I'm Chaotic Neutral, I can be evil once in a while."

That Campaign maybe lasted 3-4 sessions more and it died, it was simply a pain and not fun with that satyr running around, getting us into combat and running away when things got too heated for him.  It stopped because me and the ex-thief player told our GM about it and demanded change.  They did not come so we left.

 

Talk to your players; ask them why they acted as such, and that it is counter productive to act like idiots with dangerous moves that targets the other players.  Like I said I could understand the flamer in melee thing, since they were on fire, and let it slide; but a virus bomb in melee and forcing everyone to burn a fate point just to keep going is a ridiculously stupid and I would tell the player to drop it, play it smart or find another game.

 

tl:dr-Dicky moves demand direct intervention from you toward your players; if they don't change their beat, they reap what they sow and they ought to take a hike to another game.

Edited by Braddoc

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