When I sit down at a gaming table, I want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women… err I mean, I just watched Conan the Barbarian and felt tingles in my wingles. What a great movie, right? And the music, inspiring.
Anyway, as I was saying, when I sit down at the gaming table, I want to have a good time. I want to play a character that is independent, charismatic, strong, fun, and allllll mine. I want to pick up those pretty polyhedrals, toss them on the table, and hope they obliterate whatever challenge the GM throws at me.
…whatever challenge the GM throws at me…
In my old (first) group, player characters would occasionally try to force other player characters into taking certain actions (or inactions). They’d try to use Diplomacy-type skills sometimes, but more often than not, they’d try to use Intimidate. Then there were those times that one player character would physically try to stop another player character from doing something, or even outright attack another player character. This is all called PVP, or Player vs. Player.
- Player 1: “I take the +1 sword.”
- Player 2: “No, I said that I wanted the sword. I take it from his hand.”
- GM: “Ok, roll to hit.”
- Player 1: “My character has a 20 Charisma. You can’t help but be attracted to me.”
- Player 2: “Just because I play a female character and your character has a Charisma of 20, doesn’t mean shit.”
- GM: “Make a Diplomacy/Seduction roll.”
- Player 1: “We need to handle this diplomatically. I ask the Baron for his h…”
- Player 2: “No you don’t! We need to keep our mouths shut. I make an Intimidate roll against Mike’s character to keep him from speaking.”
- Player 1: “You almost got us killed. I slap your character across the face.”
- GM: “Ok, give me an attack roll.”
And on, and on, and on…
Anyone been there? This was a staple in my first gaming group. I didn’t know any better, so I didn’t say anything. I didn’t like it (of course), but I was the new girl in the group. So I had no real say in the matter.
Well, I guess I do have a say in the matter, because I got up and left the group.
Fast forward to my current group. I’ve learned a lot from this group, and then learned a lot more. They play more my style, and I feel more at home. So, I’m no longer the new girl in the group. I can shout out my opinions and expect for them to carry at least some weight.
“No, you can’t make an attack roll against another player character. We’re fighting monsters; not players. The moment we start rolling against each other, the fun ends and the unfun competition begins. There is no PVP at this table.”
Because here’s the thing: I want to play a character that is all mine. I want to face challenges brought on by the GM, not my fellow players. Because if someone wants to try to take my control of my character away (other than the GM), I might as well simply hand over my character sheet to them and say, “Here you go. Have fun playing my character.”
I am woman, hear me roar, if you try to bully me, I’m out the door.
What about you? Show me a time when PVP is a good thing. Perhaps it can be (I just haven’t seen it).