In my last Star Wars: Edge of Empire session, a PC attacked another PC. To add a bit of context, the group was new; they’d only had one adventure together and one of the PCs insulted the droid PC. The player of the droid PC turned to me and said “I shoot him.”
This isn’t the first time I’d dealt with intra-party physical conflict. In my early gaming days it was almost expected that a new party would have a tavern scuffle before licking wounds and going off on an adventure. At the time, we laughed about it and noted that it was something that just wouldn’t happen in real life, especially if blades had drawn blood.
As time went on, the intra-party fights became less common and usually only happened when frustration set in. These fights often resulted in one or more players creating new characters. The players involved usually ended up coming to blows again in the modified party, usually whenever a previously-offended player could contrive an excuse.
For this particular fight, I shut it down and tossed a destiny point into the PC pool for their trouble. I told them that I didn’t want to see this get out of hand (likely resulting in PC deaths) and, although I gave them a reward for playing along this time, they shouldn’t expect it next time around. My rationalization is that if they trust each other enough to be in a group, they wouldn’t use weapons on each other.
This does create some grey areas, though. I’m not sure I would have stopped the fight if it was simply one PC punching another in frustration. I’d probably be uncomfortable with a PC using a stun-set blaster though, since it’s one PC drawing a weapon on another.
So fair or foul? Was it better to stop the fight or should I have let it play out? Under what circumstances would you allow PCs to physically fight each other? Do you have a “code” or “social contract” that covers this instance in your group?