I think maybe Wizard has been spending too much time around Thief.

Speaking of thieves, I think it’s fair to say that rogues have a bad reputation for “fiscal PVP.” We’ve all met that stereotypically selfish rogue player who skims off the top “because it’s what my character would do.” This kind of PC relies on the sleight of hand skills to do their dirty work, but rogues are far from the only character archetype guilty of intraparty thievery.

At low levels you sometimes run into “I’m the toughest fighter” guy. This is the barbarian meat tank who thinks that “If you’ve got a problem with it, fight me for it” is an acceptable means of loot distribution. Same deal with the magic detecting guy (looking at you, Wizard) who neglects to mention that the “worthless junk” in the hoard is actually worth a king’s ransom. Same deal with the cleric who demands a copay for healing duties.

Trust is a big part of gaming, especially when you’re palling around with a bunch of armed murder hobos. If everyone is out for themselves, then it becomes that much harder to overcome the group challenges of the game world. After all, it’s awfully tough to fight monsters when you’re already fighting among yourselves.

Important caveat though: characters with opposing goals can create some amazing moments. If you’re trying to find and kill the villain who murdered your horse and rode off on your wife, but some other PC is trying to redeem that villain, you’ve got some interesting points of character conflict. This can be a lot of fun to resolve at the table, and in my humble opinion it should be encouraged. It raises a troubling question though: how do you distinguish between “good conflict” and “obnoxious conflict?”

I’m turning it over to you guys for the answer. How do you personally draw the line between “interesting intraparty conflict” and “dickish behavior?” Sound off in the comments!


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