Blurbs from the Booth- Multiple Characters to one Player

I’ve seen a problem at my table a few times.  I have one player who ends up playing multiple characters.  This has happened a few way.  One is the most broken feat out there for Pathfinder and DnD3e-Leadership!  With Leadership, a player gets a follower as well as a small army as they level.  Now one character gets two turns while the rest get one. Next is the funnel for Dungeon Crawl Classics.  Players start with five level zero characters and during their first adventure will lose some, but form a bond with one or two.  It’s a great way to build your character’s backstory, but it does have some problems.  Once  I had a player walk out of a funnel with four player characters at level one.  Now they want to play all four.  The final way is when a table is a little light, and the players decide that they can fill up that table for me by just playing more than one character.

 

So the first question you probably have is ‘Why Do I hate this so much?’  Well, it has to do with roleplaying.  Sure, in a hack and slash game playing multiple characters would be easy.  No fuss and no muss.  But in a game that has any amount of roleplaying, multiple characters just kill the game.  Now I have players who either don’t roleplay their multiple characters or roleplay too much and completely dominate the table.  Or I have players who have events happen that they just don’t tell me about!  If I as your GM don’t know it’s a thing, then it’s not a thing!  I need to know what your up to so I can build that into the world I’m running.  Finally, I have players who bilk the system by using multiple characters to just be extra powerful.  I hate that the most!  I hate power gaming for power gaming sake.

 

Well, what’s a GM to do?  Well I’ve made a few compromises and changes.  One, I no longer allow leadership.  I don’t like the feat and no organized play group does either.  It’s ok in some circumstances, but those are exceptions, not general conditions.  Next, I just don’t have games if I miss too many people.  No, you do not get to play Mike’s cleric if Mike is not here!  Mike wants to play, and we’ll play when he’s here.  And finally, in DCCRPG, when a player runs multiple PCs, his/her PCs tend to be the target of the monsters more often.  Monsters go for the biggest threats, and if you’ve got six guys standing in a group, then that is where my fireball goes!  Now admittedly, some of these solutions are mean and may target a player unfairly, but sometimes it’s helpful to remind players that this is more then just a dice rolling contest.  I want a story, and I hope they do too.  Multiple character to a player never end well as some players just won’t have the luck that the person with four characters will have, and that lesser player will not get a moment to shine or even feel like they are useful.  And that is a feeling I’m trying to avoid.

 

What do you think?  Am I over reacting?  Do you want one PC to a player?

Blurbs from the Booth-Do I really love Dungeons and Dragons?

Well it’s Sunday, and that means option time.  And today, I’m going to write about Dungeons and Dragons.  In the comments below, you can start your own edition wars, but today I want to talk about something I’ve been thinking about for a little bit.  I’ve written a ton of RPG reviews, but what’s really strange is most of these I think I like more than DnD.  But, I play more DnD and Pathfinder than any other RPG.  So my question today is-Do I love Dungeons and Dragons?

This seems like a pretty no brainer question, right?  Ya, you play a bunch, so you do.  But at the same time, DnD has pretty much all I hate in an RPG.  It has one time failure.  Roll a dice wrong, and you don’t open the gate or you don’t know the important thing.  Also, I have to say, I hate the D20.  A single die that just has a flat distribution of numbers doesn’t really demonstrate the reality of life.  Sure, it makes for easy math, but most often your average.  Life doesn’t have these massive swings.  Most of the time you will roll a 10 driving to work.  Sure you might need a 5 to do it and have a +3 to the drive skill, but honestly does the 2 really matter?  Does rolling a 20 on the drive check before the mod really reflect you critically pulling into the drive way?  I like when there is a distribution of numbers.  I like the bell curve!  Also, I like my number mattering.  As with my above driving example you roll your d20 and drive to work.  You get a perfect 23.  Does that really matter anymore than the 5?  Heck in DnD rolling a 19 most times won’t even get you more damage.  I like when the numbers matter too.

So those are all things that prove I don’t like DnD/Pathfinder.  But the question remains-If I hate the major parts of it, why am I staying?  All of the above are major flaws in the D20 system, be it 3.P 5e, or even 4e.  How does one rectify that fact?  Well, I have a few ideas.  First, there is some legacy.  I cut my teeth on 3e.  That’s not a misprint-3e.  Sure it’s broken, and the math fails about 3/4 in to the system, but its fun with your friends.  Also, I like the worlds.  Math isn’t everything, and you can role-play with a quarter.  I like Golarion and the Forgotten Realms.  I love these places.  I’m sitting are reading tons of books both on fluff and on mechanics and I know these places.  These places have earned a place in my heart.  Also, these games are big.  McDonald’s might not be the three Michelin Star material, but it’s pretty ubiquitous.  I love getting geeks together to get some games to happen.  These platforms both have some awesome support, and I do love them for that.

What do you think?  Do you love some games despite the game?  Do you hang on to a game that irks you a bit because it gives you something else?  Leave your thoughts below.