Thursday, August 12, 2010

Unjustified Player Grinching

JB's had an interesting post up recently about how every campaign has a "Robilar." One player who's a lot more into the game, plays more, makes every session, even goes off on solo adventures if the DM is up for it. Apparently this has been a feature of long-running campaigns since the earliest days of gaming, and came up back in his own early gaming as well.

It's certainly been the case in Doom & Tea Parties, though explicitly by design. The game that became the solo game came first, and when we added more players to the campaign we decided to split that off into its own game. The party in the group game picked up a rumor that turned out to be about something that happened in the solo game, but otherwise there hasn't been any contact between them. Which is a good thing, as far as I'm concerned. Does an end run around the messy issues of diva-ism that JB talks about in his post.

Still, the Robilar comparison isn't perfect. One of the things that tends to happen, it seems, in a game that where one character gets a lot more running time than they others, is that character gains a lot more power and wealth just through the extra attention.

But that solo game? The one that's been running for over ninety sessions now? More than twice the number that the group game's had? Guess what level that character is. Just GUESS.

I asked Trollsmyth this question a couple of days ago. He got it wrong!


  1. You can certainly have solo "adventures" (or rather, game sessions) that don't involve the accumulation of power and treasure. The original game is fairly strict on what actions net you XP...certainly much of my "solo action" was simple role-playing, and not dungeon delving/ass kicking.

    On the other hand, there are ways of accumulating "power" that is NOT tied collecting kills and gold. Forming alliances, playing off powers against each other (or, at least, against one's enemies), building contacts and relationships...not to mention hiring competent folks to run your keep and train your army. Your "level" might not go up, but there's still a way to get a leg up on the competition.

  2. 4th level?

  3. Not even close, GSV. Not even close. >.<

  4. Oh, yeah, that character absolutely has way too much social power compared to the other game. At the moment that's limited in various ways, but she has access to extra-planar resources and relationships that would make the group game's currently problems fairly easily fixable. Luckily, the way the two games are set up, even if she did end up interacting with the other one (unlikely, since the calendars are waaay out of whack) it would probably be as an antagonist or potential antagonist rather than a reliable ally.

    And no, not 4th. 2nd. I am *told* she will likely level up within the next day or two in-game, which in real time could be up to six months. :P

  5. I've had games where player/NPC interaction was the focus of the entire campaign and progress was especially slow (at first). Because it was what the group was looking for in a game, I quickly began to fit the game to the players; which included a modified experience point system based on goals rather than strict conquest. I still have players who comment on that game though and how much they loved it.

  6. Yeah, I've had to completely ditch the EXP for gold model that game started with.

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