Trust….

Is a Two-Way Street.

Image Courtesy of Brandon Doran

What’s the best part of playing in a Role Playing Game?  Is it the getting together with friends and having fun on a Friday night?  Is it the collaborative story telling?  Is it the ability to be someone else for a while, doing things you could never do? 

For me, it’s all these things.  I look forward to my Friday night games, seeing the rest of my group, laughing, joking, rolling dice and enjoying each other’s company.  I like the fact that we’re building a story and a game together through play.  I like even more that I can become someone (or ones, if I’m GMing the game) and perform feats I’ll never be able to accomplish.

But to do all these things – it requires trust.  Trust in your fellow players and trust in your GM.  It’s trust that your GM won’t screw you over or railroad you down a path you don’t want to go down.  It’s trust in your fellow players that they (and you) will behave in a way that benefits to the fun of all involved.  It’s very hard to have an enjoyable time when one or more players don’t act like they’re a part of a team.

For example, this happened to us recently in our game and it’s really be rubbing me the wrong way.  One of our players is playing a shape-shifter.  A literal man of one thousand faces.  He can be anyone or anything.  Pretty cool, right?  But there’s a catch.  He’s a con and as such, acts like one.  We have yet to see his true face or even get his true name.  In fact, we’ve seen at least two different faces and identities, neither of which are his true identity.  We (the party) have been working a case with this guy based on trust.  We, the other players are trusting in our GM and this last player, that the PC we’ve been dealing with is legit.  But yet, his PC doesn’t trust us, but expects ours to trust his.  How is this supposed to work out?  Trust has to go both ways.

I can’t stand this kind of behavior.  Party members aren’t supposed to be, at least in my mind, openly antagonistic to each other.  For me and I’m sure for others, this is a surefire way to kill someone else’s fun and I refuse to allow my fun to be killed that way.  My time is too valuable to me to put up with that crap.  I have no problems with PCs that don’t get along and have the occasional argument, but when there’s open hostility and antagonism between PCs problems start to arise.  I’ve see it leak out to the players themselves.  And yes, I am guilty of this.  This isn’t good for the game, the players or the GM.

I suppose the question that remains is, “How do I cope with this?”  The easiest way to do this is to start treating the troublesome PC with the same amount of trust that he’s shown my PC – None.  This might get the point across but will cause as many problems, if not more, than it could solve.  At some point, responding to antagonism with more antagonism will cause problems within the play group and the game will die, which is not something I want to happen.

So, tell me Internets – what can I do?

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~ by Xer0 on 26 March, 2011.

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