Friday, January 25, 2019

PvP in Monster of the Week


So we're definitely barreling toward a season closer for MotW. The Spooky has gone full on-traitor, actually attacking the Divine (and getting her ass handed to her...) There's a definite schism in the party as to how to resolve the present season's dilemma: blow up the big evil stone that is probably a portal into the Shadow World, or patch it up with magic. (The Spooky and her sinister patron want to do the first, the rest of the party wants to do the latter.)

PvP is an interesting thing, if it's done right. About 90% of the PvP I've personally experienced in my gaming career has been pedantic bullshit. I don't like paladins, you made a paladin, I attack you. I want to murder the NPC, you don't, I attack the NPC, you end up fighting me. It's been mostly flash-in-the-pan and entirely motivated by player personality and player relations.

This has been quite different. The antagonist player is the best friend, friend, and significant other of the other players in the group. She played her antagonism over a long con. She picked a decisive moment to strike, it just didn't work out. She has complicated relationships with the other characters- she bears no ill will toward them and is even friends with one, but she has a dark power pulling her strings.

The attacked character likewise handled it awesomely. The player has admitted she's uncomfortable with PvP, but she chose to have her character capture, rather than outright kill, the traitorous Spooky... and she could have easily killed her in their fight.

What I think is the most interesting is that the party has decided to let her live, and there is even a plan to help her break away from the dark powers in the works. They've even lost a potential NPC ally over their decision to spare the Spooky.

I realize that I haven't provided a lot of contextual details, but the nature of the PvP has been on my mind the last two days. It's literally the only time I have ever, as a GM, enjoyed PvP in a game I was running. It's the only time PvP hasn't resulted in resentment or the losing party being killed and making either a carbon copy of the slain character, or a "revenge" character.

I'm really lucky to have this group, even if they don't like the same D&D editions that I do.

(I'm also madly in love with one of the players, but that's off topic)

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