player vs player (pvp)

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I am requesting the experienced advice from my fellow gamers on this forum.

Here is the scenario: playing D&D Encounters with 1 DM and 6 players. One of the players announces he is going to cast a fireburst (or whatever) into the group of enemies when his turn comes up. The player whose turn is now decides to ignore this, and charges into the enemies. When the first player's turn comes up, he says "Well I told you I was going to do it, so I am casting my fireburst spell" which targets creatures and thus is going to hit the second player who charged in.

This degenerated quickly into an argument over whether you should be allowed to cast a spell that damages another player. And then ultimately the second player deciding that it was "roleplaying" that since he was hit by the fireburst, he was now going to all out attack the offending first player.

How do you handle PvP rules in an Encounters group, where the players don't really know each other well, and tempers can sometimes flare more easily than when playing with friends? Are there special rules for D&D Encounters?
While there are no official rules, my favorite unnofficial rule is that the target's player decides what happens. PVP can make the game more interesting if both players are cooperating to make good character conflict, but it makes the game stressful and/or boring to players who thought that that wouldn't be part of what they wanted to be a more cooperative campaign, so it's a good idea to put the second player in control so that it only happens when he's definitely on board with the first player.

The charger's player should've respected the fact that the spellcaster's player already had a plan, and the spellcaster's player could've respected the fact that the charger's player might not have heard him and instead adapted to the new "plan."

A better way for that to have happened would've been for the spellcaster's player to save the area spell for the next turn. One of the best things that could've happened would've been for them both to come up with a way for the charger's player to have been drawing the enemies closer together so that the spellcaster could launch the area attack with the charger jumping out of the way at the last minute.

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Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
A game is a fictional construct created for the sake of the players, not the other way around. If you have a question "How do I keep X from happening at my table," and you feel that the out-of-game answer "Talk the the other people at your table" won't help, then the in-game answers "Remove mechanics A, B, and/or C, add mechanics L, M, and/or N" will not help either.
Beldak's advice is spot on. Ultimately though, the guy who ignored the plan and charged in was blocking and this can create discord at the table as you've seen. It wasn't much better for the wizard to escalate the situation by including the fighter in the AOE. So the source of the problem is blocking and it got worse from there.

Perhaps in an Encounters group you might ask for the sake of smooth, harmonius gameplay, they buy-in on the notion that they should not negate each other's stated actions, even if it's not the most optimal choice in the world. Check out the links in my signature for players and consider sharing that with them as well.

Good luck.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

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As a DM you can only ask the players to follow the reasons stated above or make a rule saying players cannot harm other players.
Mage in party announces fireball. Tank in party ignores and run in = sort of dic thing to do. Mage ignores this team mate action blasts him with other enemies anyway = was dic think to do in return. Then both have a hissy fit about it.
Hm..I dont see any issues here. Roleplay it through I suppose.
What if you allowed the friendly not to be hit by the power? What would that cost? What would it gain?

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

It would make AoE powers more useful than (presumably) originally intended; that might or might not be something that worried you.
It would break the rules and potentially disrupt the balance of the game. My understanding and experience is that the tank is going to get hit with the occasional AOE, but fireball is a pretty big one to be hit with. My first impulse is to blame the tank since he disregarded a teammate and was the first one toget angry but there's something to be said about being nice in a cooperative game. Your team want to take a sub-optimal course of action? That's fine. The tank gets in the way if your cool spell? Let it slide, make sure he or she knows what you were going to do an cant do now and if the situation pops up again you can probably call it fair warning and nuke the tank. 

Im curious if anyone has any opinion on initiative order in this kind if circumstance. Should the wizard count on being able to dictate the actions of those who act before? Should the tank just have delayed his or her turn whom make it a non-issue?
This is one of reasons why I prefer to let all range attack go 1st, then melee. One who shoots will always be faster when distance is involved then one who has to cover distance and then melee... MERP system does it that way. Only time it wouldnt apply is when no distance is involved, but thats not dnd system.
Regardless system this can still happen.  "Im throwing a grenade at those bunch." Pulls the pin out and tosses grenade.  "I dont care im running to them and clobbering them."   Kaboom.  "Ouch why did I get hit by the grenade?"
Cause you were a dumass and ran in.  
If I had to take side, it be the mage.  He was burning a daily for crying out loud at best moment, before melee's all mingle.The tank was the dumass.
If everyone is paying attention, the mage player should have reitterated that he was going to do a fireball including the area the melee just charged into, directly to the player charging.  This would have allowed the player charging to have either changed his mind or made clear whether he was ok being a target of the upcoming daily spell.  He won initiative the mage shouldn't be able to tell him what to do on his turn, but he should have told the mage whether it was ok to target him before being targetted.  They could have ironed out the problem before anyone got butthurt with a little communication.
Mage, "I'm gonna cast fireball on my turn"
Fighter, "I charge here"
Mage, "That is right in the middle of where I'm planning to cast fireball"
Fighter, "Please don't cast fireball on me, cast it here instead"
or "Oh I didn't here you my bad let me move here"
or "Charging here is my best course of action if I hit I might kill this target and you rolled a 3 for initiative so he is going to have a turn before you.  I'm attacking this target please figure something else out, I don't want hit by a fireball and they may not even be clumped by the time you go."
or "I'm charging here, but feel free to include me in the fireball if you need to to include the most enemies.  Healer you will make sure I stay alive right?"

If it all happens ahead of time no pvp worries remain.
It would make AoE powers more useful than (presumably) originally intended; that might or might not be something that worried you.

Compared to immediate strife at the table, it seems like a pretty reasonable risk. It's not like the wizard deliberately held his action to be able to hit the melee guy. It's very easily and harmlessly handwaved. It doesn't even need to be a permanent ruling. It's just Encounters.

It would break the rules

People get rules wrong all the time.

 and potentially disrupt the balance of the game.

Pretty unlikely. Balance in 4e is pretty robust. Besides, this is just Encounters. This group might not even play together again, and this circumstance probably won't arise again.

Im curious if anyone has any opinion on initiative order in this kind if circumstance. Should the wizard count on being able to dictate the actions of those who act before?

Absolutely not.

Should the tank just have delayed his or her turn whom make it a non-issue?

That would be a way not to block another player's stated intentions for their character, but there's no "should" about it. The wizard didn't have to hit the fighter, regardless of previous declaration, but there's no "should" about that, either. If it's a problem, work it out as players going forward, not in reference to who is in the wrong, then play out the compromise. Better that than playing with two players who are angry with each other.

Also, even at Encounters there's enough time for a quick Session 0. Next time, cover how you're going to handle PVP actions like this. I recommend letting the target decide the outcome of the attack.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I believe that Encounters has the same rule as LFR, namely that you cannot attack a fellow PC without their permission.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
I don't think the character has been attacked - this is an area of effect spell that the guy doing the charging knew was going to go off.  Let's just be clear here the guy charging into combat knew this was going to happen - the player knew as the actions had been declared, and the characters will have discussed tactics for fights even if they're newly joined together.

The guy doing the charging-in not only knew this was happening, but could have delayed his action, or moved to a blocking position rather than into the middle of the enemy.  Or even, as others suggested above, to ask the wizard not to cast it right on his location although, there may have been little option.

The only person the injured character has to blame about being hurt here is themselves.  To try and blame another player for their own stupidity is even more stupid than the original action.

Players and their characters must be given the chance to suffer the consequences of their own stupidity, no matter what the rules say about pvp (which, I belive, this isn't as the character wasn't the target and there was no original intent to hurt him).
I believe that Encounters has the same rule as LFR, namely that you cannot attack a fellow PC without their permission.

Was just going to point out that there were actually official rules about this ;) Havind said that, simply forbidding the mage to cast his spell is not going to solve the problem. After all, in this particular case the player of the fighter was potentially acting a bit like a jerk. Quoting the rules would not resolve the hurt feelings here.

Centauri, talking about ignoring the RAW in an organized campaign game is not going to help much. A DM is certainly free to modify the rules in organized play, but only with consent of all the players and I would advice against it unless you know all at the table pretty well (it is suprisingly easy to unknowningly bully strangers into accepting things they don't like). Some players have no issue with changing the rules, others hate it with a passion and others only dislike it because they took feats and powers to avoid the situation you just handwaved away. The rules should never be changed lightly in a public game. 

It is also only a temporary sollution, since it deals with a symptom and not the actually problem. Good perhaps in a convention game where the group only comes together once ever, but not in Encounters were the players likely run a session once a week for the next few months. Even then I would argue against it, because both players likely are going to join other games and why shift the problem to the next problem?

TheBozz's advice is best. The moment you note this happening, preferably before the fighter actually charges, remind the fighter about what the player of the mage said and try to let them come to a sollution together. If they don't come to a sollution, propose your own compromise and if that does not work you have to stick to the basic RPGA rules and the RAW. If you know they will be playing with you for some time, you might want to talk about the event after the game. For all we know, the player of the fighter might have been rather frustrated because he feels the mage is always in the spotlights or with something you did - especially possible since Encounters only involves one fight. Only if that does not work, you might go towards Centauri's advice and setup the situation so that both players are happy ignoring rules were possible preferably through tactics of the monsters instead of downright changing the rules.
I don't think the character has been attacked - this is an area of effect spell that the guy doing the charging knew was going to go off. 

The mage needs to roll an attack roll against the PC, so even by the RAW it is an attack. Even if it were not (e.g. rogue purposely triggering a trap which now targets PCs), a reasoning like this is not going to endear you to anybody at a game table or with the management of the campaign. They are not lawyers writing laws and the intent of the rule is pretty clear.
I don't think the character has been attacked - this is an area of effect spell that the guy doing the charging knew was going to go off. 

The mage needs to roll an attack roll against the PC, so even by the RAW it is an attack. Even if it were not (e.g. rogue purposely triggering a trap which now targets PCs), a reasoning like this is not going to endear you to anybody at a game table or with the management of the campaign. They are not lawyers writing laws and the intent of the rule is pretty clear.



I've refereed several times where some kind of fighter has rushed in with this kind of condition.  Wherethe guy charging in has continued, they've done so knowing that the magic is about to arrive - either they have enough defence to deal with it themselves, or enough hit points for them to survive it easy.  When this isn't the case, I've (more frequently I suppose) seen the fighter change his action, hold back or whatever and avoid the damage.

The wizard has to assume that the fighter can take what's coming as he knows it's coming.  To start throwing 'no pvp' rules around as a reason to not hurt someone denies the fighter/guy charging in the option to make his own mind up about what he wants to do.  The bottom line here is that it's the fighter's choice to be in there when the spell they knew was coming in arrives.  Consequences follow.

Am I lucky that the group I play with, if their fighter killed themselves because the did something stupid the rest of the group would rib him mercilesslly in the name of fun?
I don't think the character has been attacked - this is an area of effect spell that the guy doing the charging knew was going to go off. 

The mage needs to roll an attack roll against the PC, so even by the RAW it is an attack. Even if it were not (e.g. rogue purposely triggering a trap which now targets PCs), a reasoning like this is not going to endear you to anybody at a game table or with the management of the campaign. They are not lawyers writing laws and the intent of the rule is pretty clear.



I've refereed several times where some kind of fighter has rushed in with this kind of condition.  Wherethe guy charging in has continued, they've done so knowing that the magic is about to arrive - either they have enough defence to deal with it themselves, or enough hit points for them to survive it easy.  When this isn't the case, I've (more frequently I suppose) seen the fighter change his action, hold back or whatever and avoid the damage.

The wizard has to assume that the fighter can take what's coming as he knows it's coming.  To start throwing 'no pvp' rules around as a reason to not hurt someone denies the fighter/guy charging in the option to make his own mind up about what he wants to do.  The bottom line here is that it's the fighter's choice to be in there when the spell they knew was coming in arrives.  Consequences follow.

Am I lucky that the group I play with, if their fighter killed themselves because the did something stupid the rest of the group would rib him mercilesslly in the name of fun?

The rule is: "You have to ask permission, and when given, you can proceed". PvP is not forbidden by definition. Obviously, in a perfect world the rule would not be necessary, and indeed the downside of the rule is that the fighter can steal the show from the wizard. We don't live in a perfect world though, and there are some pretty good reasons why the rule is at it is. Which is also why people in this thread advices the DM to talk with the players *before* resolving the action of the fighter and not at the moment the mage wants to cast the spell.

A few have mentioned specific rules for Encounters, or the rules possibly being the same as LFR. Can someone point me to those rules? I can't find anything specific to PvP-type actions being allowed or disallowed.
www.livingforgottenrealms.com/#documents

"You can’t intentionally attack, damage, or hinder other PCs without the player’s permission. If you are in control of your character and want to use a power that could include other PCs in its area of effect, always ask the players controlling the affected characters if it’s OK to damage or otherwise hinder their character before you make the attack. If they agree, you may proceed, but if any of the affected players does not want you to attack or otherwise hinder his or her PC, you must respect their wishes. This could mean retargeting the power so that it doesn't include the other PC in the area of effect, or choosing a different power altogether, depending on the situation. This also means that you can’t steal items from other PCs, even if the item is unattended (perhaps because the other character dropped it during a battle)."
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
Awesome Fardiz thanks so much!!!!!

Anyone know if D&D Encounters follows the same rule? 
I'm of the mindset that PvP should never happen.

If a player is picking up a d20 to do something to another player in PvP, something is wrong.

In your case, you can say "Your character saw that coming and knew the risks when he charged in, even if you didn't. And he/she isn't so stupid as to think that the wizard is now suddenly his enemy." And you move on. No more discussion.

Out of game, you state again "PvP is not cool" and find out exactly what the issue is. I don't know why some players get so b***hurt over taking collateral damage, but some do.

I've had one of those recently who held a stupid grudge on my character for having been hit by a similar fire explosion.
Granted, I was expecting that to happen and planned on using it to advance the story and grow of my character (who later took War Wizard Expertise, learning to control his fire to avoid harming his allies), but it was really uncomfortable for a few sessions until it blew over.

And don't accept the BS answer of "But that's what my character would do". Ask them "For real, are you that mad that your character got caught in a fireball? You know we weren't about to let your character get killed in there, even if what he did was monumentally stupid."
Turn off friendly fire, problem solved.

Sticking to the simulationist approach for the purpose of realism sounds like it would be more trouble than its worth here. 

Or if your players are really cool, (and the fighter a glutton for punishment) this could become a unique strategy.  The fighter chugs a fire resistance potion, charges in, gathers all the foes nearby to him and soaks up the fire damage from the mage.

As for the players...all I heard from both of them was WAAAAAA! WAAAA!...this doesn't qualify as PvP in my book. 
...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"
@centauri, I agree with your assessment of the questions I posed above.  Thanks for taking the time to answer them.

I still can't get on board with making the tank immune to the fireball in this instance.  It seems too much like the squeeky wheel getting the greae to me.   
@centauri, I agree with your assessment of the questions I posed above.  Thanks for taking the time to answer them.

I still can't get on board with making the tank immune to the fireball in this instance.  It seems too much like the squeeky wheel getting the greae to me.   

I understand, and I tend to agree that he's being a jerk, and that the wizard is being a jerk in return. I just don't think following through with the rules would do anything but escalate the situation.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I think both players could have been a little more accomodating.  Calling out your actions before your turn and expecting others to abide by it or suffer the consequences isn't any more reasonable than stubbornly charging in to spite the other player.  There was plenty of middle ground whether it was the tank holding his action, attacking periphery opponents or the mage simply targeting fewer enemies.
 
When I play range striker especially aoe minion thinning blaster, I pump my initiative high so I act 1st most of time. No dumb tank or barb gonna beat my initiative. Dont mind if rogue or ranger does though...they fight sly & tactical anyway. Just dumb brutes get in my way.
In the Encounters group, you pretty much HAVE to default to the "you cannot actively harm an ally" rule, and have the Wizard move his attack to accomodate.

Does it suck for the Wizard's player? Yeah. Should the Fighter's player have taken that into account? Yeah. 

In the end, though, he didn't, and the Wizard is stuck changing. Since it's Encounters, it's highly likely those two won't have to play together again, and the Wizard player can just gripe about it in his NEXT  Encounters group.

edit: In the groups I tend to play in, though, the Defender role might as well be called the Target role, because you are ground zero for any minion busting AoE that needs to clear the anchor of the battleline... just comes with the territory!
So many PCs, so little time...
I don't see why people would find it interesting to create a character that is a complete idiot. Of course in this case it is the player's idiocy trickling down to his character and then his idiotic behavior being disguised as "roleplaying". I don't know why people think they can treat eachother terribly under the guise of "roleplaying" its just a ridiculous stance to take and everybody should see right through it. Any die roll in opposition from one player against another is a bad idea, especially with strangers, the lack of maturity is staggering.

Wizard tried to coordinate with the party, his attempts were ignored, somebody caught on fire, thats what happens when you ignore the wizard. As far as the no attacking without permission argument, I figure the charging player gave permission when he knowingly ran into the line of fire. He could hardly make the argument that permission was needed, and then decide to smash the wizard to a pulp, just purely incosiderate nerdraging and abuse of his fellow players.
What if you allowed the friendly not to be hit by the power? What would that cost? What would it gain?



I think that's probably what I would have done these days:  prepare to hand-wave it for that one time, and taken an opportunity to stop the game and work out the communication issues, or sort out whether the party really wants to explore a PvP argument or narrate out for themselves the entertaining consequences of being accidentally hit by friendly fire, and if nobody really wants to go there, I'd just say that the fireball doesn't hurt the PC this time, but in the future they'll want to work on the teamwork and communication.

I would have no problem sacrificing the rule in that instance in the name of keeping the story moving in a direction that entertains everyone. 

I'd hope the group might choose to take the fireball and narrate some sort of cool story out of the friendly fire incident, though.  (If I were the PC who absent-mindedly walked into the Wizard's line of fire, that's probably what I'd choose to do:  take the hit, and then find a way to tell a story about it, without resorting to out-of-character anger and revenge.  Why let a good accident go to waste?)


In any case, your group's mileage may vary, but I've heard from those who've tried it that PvP D&D isn't as fun as it sounds, for mechanical reasons:  the combats are even more of a long-lasting slog and grind than normal PvNPC.  If that's the road the players really, really want to go down, and that they'd enjoy an extended dice-fest, and they're sure they don't mind losing their PC in a PvP fight to the death, and they agree that the feud doesn't extend to the replacement PC, then you might find it better to schedule a formal duel to occur between game sessions so that it doesn't interfere with anyone else's game spotlight, and then at the next regular game session briefly narrate out for the benefit of the rest of the group the results of the duel and resulting PC funeral, before introducing the replacement PC and moving on.  Some players REALLY like rolling dice, and some players REALLY like competing for the coveted spot of making the most powerful character in the game and can't wait to bet their reputations and their character on their optimization skill, so if that describes your players, it's probably best to just let them get it out of their system
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
What if you allowed the friendly not to be hit by the power? What would that cost? What would it gain?



I think that's probably what I would have done these days:  prepare to hand-wave it for that one time, and taken an opportunity to stop the game and work out the communication issues, or sort out whether the party really wants to explore a PvP argument or narrate out for themselves the entertaining consequences of being accidentally hit by friendly fire, and if nobody really wants to go there, I'd just say that the fireball doesn't hurt the PC this time, but in the future they'll want to work on the teamwork and communication.

I would have no problem sacrificing the rule in that instance in the name of keeping the story moving in a direction that entertains everyone. 

I'd hope the group might choose to take the fireball and narrate some sort of cool story out of the friendly fire incident, though.  (If I were the PC who absent-mindedly walked into the Wizard's line of fire, that's probably what I'd choose to do:  take the hit, and then find a way to tell a story about it, without resorting to out-of-character anger and revenge.  Why let a good accident go to waste?)


In any case, your group's mileage may vary, but I've heard from those who've tried it that PvP D&D isn't as fun as it sounds, for mechanical reasons:  the combats are even more of a long-lasting slog and grind than normal PvNPC.  If that's the road the players really, really want to go down, and that they'd enjoy an extended dice-fest, and they're sure they don't mind losing their PC in a PvP fight to the death, and they agree that the feud doesn't extend to the replacement PC, then you might find it better to schedule a formal duel to occur between game sessions so that it doesn't interfere with anyone else's game spotlight, and then at the next regular game session briefly narrate out for the benefit of the rest of the group the results of the duel and resulting PC funeral, before introducing the replacement PC and moving on.  Some players REALLY like rolling dice, and some players REALLY like competing for the coveted spot of making the most powerful character in the game and can't wait to bet their reputations and their character on their optimization skill, so if that describes your players, it's probably best to just let them get it out of their system



I think the issue is mainly that it was an Encounters group, and therefore you have to default to the rules of the 'Encounters' game set up; one of which is that you can't hurt another character without that players consent. In a home game, this would be a non-issue, I think. 

It really feels like two players chasing those points you get in Encounters (you know, "deal 30+ points of damage in one hit", or whatever... I've played ONCE, during the first encounters season, so I don't remember any of it beyond the fact that you DO get some points) and neither being willing to pass up the opportunity.

I would have laughed at them both, personally, and then just disallowed the conflict in the interest of continuing the session. Again, it's Encounters- not only are THEY unlikely to have to play together again, but I would be unlikely to run either of them again.

So many PCs, so little time...
I'm probably the last person on the internet to have seen the LEEROY JENKINS! viral video:  I just saw it for the first time a couple minutes ago, and it seems to fit this situation perfectly :D
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
I think the issue is mainly that it was an Encounters group, and therefore you have to default to the rules of the 'Encounters' game set up; one of which is that you can't hurt another character without that players consent. In a home game, this would be a non-issue, I think. 

It really feels like two players chasing those points you get in Encounters (you know, "deal 30+ points of damage in one hit", or whatever... I've played ONCE, during the first encounters season, so I don't remember any of it beyond the fact that you DO get some points) and neither being willing to pass up the opportunity.

I would have laughed at them both, personally, and then just disallowed the conflict in the interest of continuing the session. Again, it's Encounters- not only are THEY unlikely to have to play together again, but I would be unlikely to run either of them again.

The main issue is exactly what you surmised. This was an official D&D Encounters game. The players will actually be playing together for another 5 weeks to complete the Encounters adventure.

Someone already posted the official rules for Living Forgotten Realms. I am hoping someone knows of something official that says that the same PvP rules apply to D&D Encounters?

Someone already posted the official rules for Living Forgotten Realms. I am hoping someone knows of something official that says that the same PvP rules apply to D&D Encounters?

I doubt there is anything. But can you see a downside to instituting such a rule for any Encounters game you run? It's not like you have some kind of official standing that can be revoked. If people don't want to play under that rule, you're better off not playing with them.

Edit: Anyway, I predict that those who don't like it will just get their revenge in other ways. Maybe you can't attack someone, but not healing them or otherwise helping them is not attacking them. Rules aren't really going to resolve player aggravation issues. Only talking can resolve them.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I think the issue is mainly that it was an Encounters group, and therefore you have to default to the rules of the 'Encounters' game set up; one of which is that you can't hurt another character without that players consent. In a home game, this would be a non-issue, I think. 

It really feels like two players chasing those points you get in Encounters (you know, "deal 30+ points of damage in one hit", or whatever... I've played ONCE, during the first encounters season, so I don't remember any of it beyond the fact that you DO get some points) and neither being willing to pass up the opportunity.

I would have laughed at them both, personally, and then just disallowed the conflict in the interest of continuing the session. Again, it's Encounters- not only are THEY unlikely to have to play together again, but I would be unlikely to run either of them again.

The main issue is exactly what you surmised. This was an official D&D Encounters game. The players will actually be playing together for another 5 weeks to complete the Encounters adventure.

Someone already posted the official rules for Living Forgotten Realms. I am hoping someone knows of something official that says that the same PvP rules apply to D&D Encounters?




Hm. Google isn't turning anything up; I am doubtful there are any rules beyond the norm for Encounters. Its possible the designers wouldn't think about characters attacking each other DURING another encounter, since it's pretty ludicrous.

I think before the next session, if I expect both folks to be there again, I would pull them off to the side together, rewind the scenario for them and say something like "I don't DM PvP. If you guys want to do this, I suggest you get together after the session, duke it out, and then the loser roll up a new character. But I'm not wasting the group's time on anything like this again. Play nice, children.. remember, your feelings can only be hurt if you let them be hurt."

 
So many PCs, so little time...
Hm. Google isn't turning anything up; I am doubtful there are any rules beyond the norm for Encounters. Its possible the designers wouldn't think about characters attacking each other DURING another encounter, since it's pretty ludicrous.

I think before the next session, if I expect both folks to be there again, I would pull them off to the side together, rewind the scenario for them and say something like "I don't DM PvP. If you guys want to do this, I suggest you get together after the session, duke it out, and then the loser roll up a new character. But I'm not wasting the group's time on anything like this again. Play nice, children.. remember, your feelings can only be hurt if you let them be hurt."

 



+1
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
I agree with the consensus sentiment here - both players were jerks.

As a DM usually running 3.5e, this type of situation comes up a lot.  A player who goes before another messes up the second's well laid plans.  And 99 times out of 100, the second player chides the first and does something else, or the first says something to the effect of, "go for it, I'll be OK."

It is that one time in a hundred, where intra-party conflict results in PvP combat.  And you know what?  Honestly, I let it happen because obviously there is some sort of tension between those players and that tension needs to be released.  If it is not, then there is more likely to be more blocking tactics in the future.

Yes, I know that this is an in-game solution to an out-of-game problem, but in my experience, once the PvP combat is over, the tension between those players goes away.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
Yes, I know that this is an in-game solution to an out-of-game problem, but in my experience, once the PvP combat is over, the tension between those players goes away.

In my experience, it just continues and escalates. Oh, the fighter's just going to block the fireball? How about grease instead? What, it's not directly harmful! Oh, the wizard is going to fireball/grease the fighter? Well, the fighter can stay up all night and still be pretty effective the next morning. The wizard can sleep and get his casting hand cut off, or stay awake and not be able to prepare his spells tomorrow. And on and on. If one character is killed, the next one will be designed to foil the surviving one.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Yes, I know that this is an in-game solution to an out-of-game problem, but in my experience, once the PvP combat is over, the tension between those players goes away.

In my experience, it just continues and escalates. Oh, the fighter's just going to block the fireball? How about grease instead? What, it's not directly harmful! Oh, the wizard is going to fireball/grease the fighter? Well, the fighter can stay up all night and still be pretty effective the next morning. The wizard can sleep and get his casting hand cut off, or stay awake and not be able to prepare his spells tomorrow. And on and on. If one character is killed, the next one will be designed to foil the surviving one.




I guess, like everything else, reactions to these types of situations fall on a bell curve .  You've expressed one extreme and I the other.  The overwhelming majority falls somewhere in between.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
Yes, I know that this is an in-game solution to an out-of-game problem, but in my experience, once the PvP combat is over, the tension between those players goes away.

In my experience, it just continues and escalates. Oh, the fighter's just going to block the fireball? How about grease instead? What, it's not directly harmful! Oh, the wizard is going to fireball/grease the fighter? Well, the fighter can stay up all night and still be pretty effective the next morning. The wizard can sleep and get his casting hand cut off, or stay awake and not be able to prepare his spells tomorrow. And on and on. If one character is killed, the next one will be designed to foil the surviving one.

I guess, like everything else, reactions to these types of situations fall on a bell curve .  You've expressed one extreme and I the other.  The overwhelming majority falls somewhere in between.

I suppose. Naturally, I don't feel like mine is that extreme.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Yes, I know that this is an in-game solution to an out-of-game problem, but in my experience, once the PvP combat is over, the tension between those players goes away.

In my experience, it just continues and escalates. Oh, the fighter's just going to block the fireball? How about grease instead? What, it's not directly harmful! Oh, the wizard is going to fireball/grease the fighter? Well, the fighter can stay up all night and still be pretty effective the next morning. The wizard can sleep and get his casting hand cut off, or stay awake and not be able to prepare his spells tomorrow. And on and on. If one character is killed, the next one will be designed to foil the surviving one.

I guess, like everything else, reactions to these types of situations fall on a bell curve .  You've expressed one extreme and I the other.  The overwhelming majority falls somewhere in between.

I suppose. Naturally, I don't feel like mine is that extreme.


Do you really see that type of behavior often; where two players are consistently and persistently attempting to outdo each other?  I hope not.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
Do you really see that type of behavior often; where two players are consistently and persistently attempting to outdo each other?  I hope not.

I used to, but I go out of my way to game with people who don't do that.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

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