However, there's always been one conflict that's been somewhat taboo at the table--the idea of the Player vs. Player conflict. In a party-based game like Dungeons and Dragons, there's something of an unwritten rule that "the party must work together towards a greater aim". Social contract, perhaps? But, it's definitely unwritten...and not entirely pratical at all times...
When I wrote up the background for Actorios, I should have anticipated that his attitude would make some enemies, but I was unsuspecting that said conflicts would come to a head within the party. However, with our recent sessions, Actorios quickly found that his worst enemy was not the crimson sun or the sorcerer-kings of Athas, but rather his party-mate, M'Raj.
|Another in-party conflict?|
Tasked by a High Praetor of Andropinis, the group was asked to seek out a Veiled Alliance sect that was causing problems for the sorcerer-king. Actorios, wanting to get into Andropinis' good graces, naturally accepted the mission. M'Raj, naturally, had some reservations. However, after the group tracked the Veiled Alliance to a bar nearby, Actorios leapt into action, slaying three of the members before the others could react. M'Raj didn't take kindly to this and broadcast to the other group members to "get him!" Jack--CincinAdam's mul fighter--drew his axe...and promptly planted it in the back of M'Raj's skull. After a short combat, the group was reduced by half, with only Actorios, Velona and Jack surviving.
While things have been resolved, by and large, I can't help but begin to question: how invested do we really become in our characters? I feel like, while I've put a lot of time and effort into my own creations, they're just that...creations. In the end, if they live or die doesn't really matter--they're paper. What matters to me is the experience around the table. While I'm not sure where this leaves us entirely--we're planning on staying in Dark Sun, but with a few new characters--I find it interesting how this type of conflict left so many people disilliusioned.
Could it be that, as a group, we're just not ready for the most dangerous adversaries--each other?