player rivals

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so i was just wondering if you guys as players preferred to have individual rivals or archenemies that would reoccur specific to your own character or one big badd boss that you could all unite against?
also if doing indiv. rivals was possible 

Yes, as both a DM and a player I liked elements of reoccurring enemies.


Reoccurrence on evil’s part really adds something to the game for me; I suppose because you gain a semi-relationship with the bad guy; you have your back and forth monologue and might even have to assist each other in extreme conditions.


The alternative is a new bad guy every time, which you get to banter with a few moments before you kill them and go on to the next bad guy, banter a little bit, and kill again. As well for a DM this means you have to have an endless flood of Boss type bad guys; having one that sticks around however means you can have endless plots and an easy hook.


“you see evidence your old foe _____ was here and is trying to reclaim his soul once more!”


Rivals; eh, honestly I haven’t seen them put into the game in a manner which I enjoyed. If they are “true rivals” then that means they are competing against you to finish your quest; as a DM can’t fairly do this usually it gets ugly fast. No party wants to go through hell to get to a treasure room only to find a rival party took it first. The one time something like this began to form in a game I played, the party instantly decided to track and kill the rival party down (much to the DMs dismay)


Alternatively I have seen rivals enter into the game, who are rivals only in name; they are the characters who while you were out questing and defeating the dragon; somehow managed to reclaim an artifact and saved the kingdom.  This doesn’t bother me as much, but I wouldn’t ever use it as a DM.

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yes to both
so i was just wondering if you guys as players preferred to have individual rivals or archenemies that would reoccur specific to your own character or one big badd boss that you could all unite against?
also if doing indiv. rivals was possible 

Having 'individual rivals' is an excellent idea. Players tend to each have different levels of dislike for villians anyways. Having some PC's more personally involved with select villains seems like an excellent way to make each BBEG battle more personalized.

Try to get buy-in from the player though. Not everyone wants personalized attention.

I generally would not want to use individual rivals too much and have one player get too much time in the spotlight vs. the other players, but I did throw in the zombified husk of a previously defeated villain as part of a larger encounter and it went well, he zeroed in on the player that killed him and things went in an enjoyable way for that player without distracting too much from everything else that was going on

I think too much story devoted to the rival of one player would be a mistake, but having them appear as part of a larger evil would work better, then the player gets to fill in most of the story between them on his own without taking time away from everyone else at the table.
In the current campaign I'm doing the PCs have rivals in the form of an adventuring party that has the King's favor as his champions, and they're good guys, but when the PCs come in they start losing favor with the King and so there's a good-natured rivalry.  The PCs so far have managed to beat them down each time there was a (non-lethal) confrontation (brawling, a dual) but they're starting to like these guys so much that toward the end of the campaign I might engineer things so that the rivals actually save the lives of the PCs ... whether they will die heroically or become lifelong friends remains to be seen.

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