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Fair or Foul: Restricting Roleplay?
Posted By Walt Ciechanowski On November 18, 2008 @ 10:59 am In GMing Advice | 21 Comments
Here’s a question dug from my GMing archives.
In a previous modern occult campaign, there were two players, Dan and Sarah, that played two characters, Drake and Shayla. Dan was very much into roleplaying and being “in character”, while Sarah found roleplaying awkward and preferred to refer to Shayla’s actions in the third person.
Prior to the campaign, it was established between Dan and Sarah that Drake and Shayla would be madly in love with each other, soulmates as it were. It was also established that Drake was Shayla’s link to the rest of the group.
As the game progressed, the relationship began to fray, which caused problems because it could’ve led to recasting (as Shayla no longer had a strong tie to the group) and Sarah really enjoyed her character.
Sarah’s position was that there was a pre-game premise of undying love. If Sarah was aloof during the sessions, Dan shouldn’t be able to use that as an excuse to chip away at the relationship. In essence, Dan was a bad roleplayer for invalidating the pre-game premise.
Dan’s position was that he shouldn’t be straitjacketed to the premise if events at the table changed it. Maybe Drake really thought he had undying love at the start, but Shayla’s actions over the course of the first few sessions, as well as other things playing out at the table, suggested that maybe they weren’t soulmates after all. Why couldn’t Drake have doubts?
(Okay, so my campaigns do tend to have soap opera-y elements, lol).
As a GM, I had to make the call on which player to rein in. If you were in my shoes, which player would you tend to agree with more?
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