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Nova Spice
17 October 2002, 07:55 PM
I'm not sure exactly how to go about this, but here I go anyway. Tonight I was talking with one of my PCs on AIM and found out, to my behest, that he doesn't like his character. Kind of a shock considering I had already created the next couple of adventure sessions ahead of time. The timing couldn't have been worse since we're already at least twenty sessions into the campaign and hitting the meat of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion (Dark Tide I: Onslaught).

To be honest, I was blown away and really thrown for a loop. All the work I had put into those sessions went out the roof...:( And to make matters worse I found out that in one of the previous adventures in which he had a combat encounter, he didn't even know where he was! That's right.....he had no clue where he was and he didn't even let me know. He didn't listen to the narrative where I explained where he was going....in other words he threw me for a double loop.

This is the first sort of trouble I've had with this PC. I'm not angry per se, more frustrated and irritated. I have to start from scratch again and re-create a large portion of the campaign plot.

He gave me three reasons for wanting to change characters:

1. He felt isolated from the rest of the group since he was a starfighter pilot and the others were not.

2. He was upset that he couldn't interact with NPCs since he was a Wookiee and couldn't speak Basic.

3. He felt like it was hard to pretend not knowing what a coralskipper was.

Now the character he played was a Wookiee B-wing pilot in our NJO campaign. The first reason I suppose I can see since he was in space combat with his squadron NPCs and not the other PCs. The second reason I find ridiculous; I told him that Wookiee characters are hard to play so basically I believe he made his bed on that one. And the third one is out right crazy since everyone has to pretend they dont know what a coralskipper is, or a Chazrach, or a dovin basal; that's part of role-playing.

So, it looks like my campaign just fell in a pit. I'm not sure how to pull myself out of this one. Perhaps some of you have some suggestions or some advice or some comments.

Anyway, just hearing from other folks will be helpful. Thanks ahead of time. :(

BrianDavion
17 October 2002, 08:23 PM
I know what he means about isolation. my advice. this is a war.. let his wookie pilot go out in a blaze of glory.. not part of the master plan? no problem, minor details happen

Haradim
17 October 2002, 08:32 PM
Is he so intertwined into future plot that something like his death would throw it right out?

Perhaps let him take BrianDavion's advice: allow him to go out heroically. Depending on how difficult it is for you to change future adventures, you might have him sit out a session or so (perhaps putting the finishing touches on his character) while the rest of the party works out the current phase of the planned plot, allowing you to write the new character in easier. It may be a little more challenging for the others, but something like this shouldn't spell doom for the entire plot and party.

Reverend Strone
17 October 2002, 08:34 PM
Ye gads Nova, that is a bombshell!

I reckon it might be time for the old heroic death scene. I'd talk to him about what kind of character he really does want to play, and how he might feel he could better fit in to the Character group. Then see if he'd be willing to play the Wookiee one last time for a dramatic (and hopefully surprising for the rest of the players) death scene in which he dies to save the team. Then he can begin next session with a whole new character, tailored to suit the campaign from here on in, and more to his liking.

If you can spring this whole thing as a surprise on the other players, so much the better.

Something like this need not be a campaign derailler. I don't know if you are familiar with the Babylon 5 tv show, but it flowed in many ways very much like an rpg campaign. They lost their main character at the close of the first season. You would think something like that would kill the show, but quite the opposite, his replacement was written in with an even more involving and applicable backstory, and turned out to be a more dynamic and interesting lead. Even the X-files survived the loss of Mulder (and in my opinion recieved a much needed revamp in the form of Doggit).

I'd look on this not as a set back (though of course it's sad to loose all that material you had written for him), but as a chance to reinvent your campaign and add a new character focus that might even better suit the way the story has evolved. You might find you surprise yourself and come up with something that you and your player like even better.

Good luck man. It's certainly a curve ball that's been hurled at you, but sometimes the best results can come from having to really think on your feet.

Late edit- yeesh. That's what you get for typing a long post. When I started, no one had replied. By the time I had finished I was third!

hisham
17 October 2002, 08:42 PM
He felt isolated from the rest of the group since he was a starfighter pilot and the others were not.

Well, a healthy RP group should have a mix of everything from Jedi, Scout, Pilot, Tech, Politician... etc. My groups always had a bunch of characters plus one guy who wants to be a starfighter pilot. Never bothered us. If we went traipsing in the galaxy, he either:

1) piloted the freighter we use as our transport.

2) piloted a starfighter that escorted out transport, although these are harder to come by in the Rebellion Era.

If they're all on the ground (and they are most of the time), everyone has equal dibs in the adventure, it doesn't matter what you played.

If the squadron pilot is alone in the group, you'd ask yourself where is his squadron? Ping! A plot point for your game right there. Your PCs might meet hiis old squadmates, and intrigue (and hilarity) ensues! Or maybe his old astromech is trying to get back to him with important news.

Of course you must give equal background game time to the rest of the players.


He was upset that he couldn't interact with NPCs since he was a Wookiee and couldn't speak Basic.

Tell your player, Hello! It's a...

role
playing
game

This is what it's all about :D

Good Luck, Nova

BrianDavion
17 October 2002, 09:11 PM
as for not being able to react. the Emteedee droid would work.. and could make for an amusing NPC

farr0095
18 October 2002, 09:47 AM
Nova,

I can sympathize with your player. I got into a game and was heavily into my character. It was an advanced game, and our PCs started out well leveled. (Actually, it was a d6, but the same idea applies.) At first this worked well, but eventually I just started getting bored. For one, the skills didn't mean much to me, since I didn't care too much about the outcomes of die rolls. For one, I could easily make any rolls necessary, but more importantly, my PC had moved up in the game to making more command decisions than combat rolls.

Anyway, if the character fits into the game, I wouldn't go with the idea to send him out in a blaze of glory. Talk to the player about turning the PC into a NPC. And then perhaps the player can turn a NPC into a PC or write up a new character. That way you keep things going along the storyline yet help the player feel better.

I hope you two come to an agreeable solution.

Shannon

Paul Klein
18 October 2002, 12:34 PM
That's the reason why I do not allow Wookiees (or any species that can't speak Basic) in my campaign.

Perhaps you should impose the same restriction?

BrianDavion
18 October 2002, 12:53 PM
reason why I suggested blaze of glory is becuase then it helps remind the PCs that PCs CAN die.. it also will make folks likely remember that char well... and of course this IS a war. fatalities happen

AxiustheDark
18 October 2002, 01:11 PM
I am just posting to second a few things: 1) I also do not allow Wookies to play as PCs. The players just get frustrated. And even though roleplaying with a protocol/translator droid is fun at first, eventually the delay becomes annoying to ALL of the players.

2) I agree with Reverend Strone 100%. Let him go out in a blaze of glory. Get him to keep it a secret that it was planned, and it will be all the more powerful for your in-game dynamic. His idea for a new character will nearly be instantly accepted by the group all becuase of the actions his last character tool.

Remember to make sure that he is happy with his new character as he is designing it. Sit down and talk to him about what both you and he think will and will not fit into the campaign. I do this before starting every campaign, although I won't limit my players with restrictions. Any players that have played with me before usually take my advice when I say, "I don't know about that midget Wookie JC, he might not work out." or something.

As the great Reverend said, don't look on this as a bad thing. Turn it around into something that will make the PC in question always think back to that in-game moment with wonder. He will always remember his PC like that, and it just makes for a great show. I think all of us long time players have a few moments like that.

Once, I had a player turn another PC to the dark side without the other players knowledge. Of course, the evil character(player) and I both knew what was happening, but the other player still talks about that moment as the best one in his long, long, long roleplaying experience. That was also born out of a situation where I, as a GM, had no idea what to do before that night. But, it was the best session in our entire lengthy campaign.

NovaSpice, I hope this helps you out a little. And don't rewrite the plot just yet.....just modify it to fit your new PC. :)

Evik_Blastrider
18 October 2002, 02:20 PM
Here is an idea that may get your player interested in playing the character again (if briefly). The Wookie is a Sleeper Agent! He was captured by the Empire/Vong/whatever years ago (Wookie's long life spans helps out with this idea). The enemy "reprogrammed" the Wookie and sent him back to his friends. He doesn't remember anything about being captured. The enemy has choosen this time to activate their agent.

He receives a coded message that activates his programming and now he is all bad. The Wookie leads the group into a trap and possibly try to kill them! When the rest of the PCs have an opportunity, they can either kill the traitor or try to bring him back.

If you play it right, you will have a wonderful moment of shock when the other players realize they have been betrayed.

Now, this only works if the player (and the rest of the group) is mature and into the idea. And it must be kept completely secret. And you should never pul this stunt again witht the same group!

You should let the player decide if it is possible for his Wookie to overcome the programming and return to the group (with a few new quirks). If he doesn't regenerate interest in the character, the Wookie can be killed off or become a recurring NPC villian.

Another thought I just came up with - the Vong (you are playing with the Vong, right?) like to alter things. When the Wookie rejoins the enemy, they could make some "modifications". Annoyed with having to use translation devices, they alter the Wookie's volcal cords (they already programmmed him with the Vong language). He can now speak Vong and basic - but can no longer speak Shri'iwook! The could also give him other Vong implants that alter his combat abilities and skills, making him a more useful member of the team on the ground.

Just some thoughts for you!

One bit of philosophy, you should throw out the rules to help a good player stay in the game and stay interested in his character. Allow him to swap skill points and feats around to make the requirments for a PrC if that's what he wants. Remember, it is their game too and they need to have input, especially into what they want their characters to be.

Please let us know what the final solutions are for this Player and his PC. Thanks!

Dr_Worm
18 October 2002, 07:12 PM
Some of these are great ideas, the only problem being that many, if not all, of Nova's players use this board, so surpriseing them might be difficult.

Nova, I sympathisize with your problem. We had a campaign that had been going for about 20 advtentures and one of the players decided he wanted to drop his character. It was really tough fo us, as the rest of us were really in to long term chracters. Also we were loath to let him start with out too much more than begining Character Points/Skill Points (D6), as we had all paid our dues and did not think it fair that he could dump. At the same time we knew that a begining character would not last long at the level that we were at. In the end I sent him on a solo adventure so he could start to love his character or make some changes in his path. This worked out quite well and we played the same characters for years after that.

Also one thing you might consider is giving his character some sort of out with the language barrier. Give him some sort of translater mask or let the players learn some Shrywook. If this little thing will make him be able to play in your game better and have more fun I think it is a small bone to throw him.

Nova Spice
18 October 2002, 09:41 PM
Is he so intertwined into future plot that something like his death would throw it right out?

I suppose not, but in a way he is Haradim. Most of the future scenarios (at the least the near-future) involved the space battles at Dantooine, Ithor, etc.) I guess an overhaul is going to be required.


I reckon it might be time for the old heroic death scene. I'd talk to him about what kind of character he really does want to play, and how he might feel he could better fit in to the Character group. Then see if he'd be willing to play the Wookiee one last time for a dramatic (and hopefully surprising for the rest of the players) death scene in which he dies to save the team. Then he can begin next session with a whole new character, tailored to suit the campaign from here on in, and more to his liking.

Thanks for this idea Rev, I had been thinking along these lines myself but couldn't find a suitable way to bring it about. I had planned for this particular character to go head to head with his father's killers somewhere down the line, and if he died there then so be it. Now, those plans are down the drain. :(


Good Luck, Nova

Thanks hisham and I did mention to my PC that choosing a Wookiee meant difficulties in communication. Although it seems at times that some of the folks in my group forget the role-playing aspect and only remember the "roll-playing" part of the game.


NovaSpice, I hope this helps you out a little. And don't rewrite the plot just yet.....just modify it to fit your new PC.

Thanks Axius, I appreciate your input and thoughts. I plan on setting a few more guidelines for the class/species restrictions. I actually enacted some before we even began the campaign. Apparently I'll have to make it clear that one needs to actually enjoy his character for the game to be any fun. ;)


Please let us know what the final solutions are for this Player and his PC. Thanks!

I plan on it Evik, that's part of the reason I created this thread in the first place; to get some comments, advice, and suggestions as well as to present a possible method of dealing with problems such as this. I'll let everyone know how this turns out. ;)


Some of these are great ideas, the only problem being that many, if not all, of Nova's players use this board, so surpriseing them might be difficult.

Ah another good point Doc, my PCs do frequent these boards so I can't exactly reveal too much in the way of information. However, I want everyone to know that I greatly appreciated their thoughts and advice. This really is a great place and I'm glad to know that I can come here anytime when a problem arises. Everyone take care and I'll see if I can use some of your suggestions and turn this mess into a miracle! :D

Rouge8
19 October 2002, 02:50 PM
My ideas:

1. Heroic Death
2. Captured
3. Traitor
4. Non-heroic death
5. Turn him into an NPC


PM for additional info. I don't want to post to much.

Ardent
20 October 2002, 10:15 AM
First of all, not allowing a player to be a Wookiee is silly. Our group has had four Wookiees during its prestigious history, and two have made huge impacts on the group dynamic as a whole (Snarf and Slam). There's something comical about the huge Wookiee yelling at the beleaguered freighter captain who's asking the scoundrel what the heck the furball is talking about. It's even funnier when (in Slam's case), the Wookiee is the captain and the crew is going "What did he say?" over the intercomm. The disjointed communication is part of what makes Wookiees such an interesting part of the group dynamic. We've had the whole menagerie come through our campaigns, and to be honest, we had the least fun playing the all-Human Imperial campaign. There were no wild gesticulations and angry roars or anything remotely inhuman to lighten up the tense moments.

As far as the starfighter pilot to the groundpounders...that's a pretty insurmountable one. The Wook might want to consider reassignment to SpecOps or SpecForce as a Dropzone Pilot (which would mean burning a feat on Starship Ops (transports) but might save the character). The Dropzone Pilot is just as crazy as any groundpounder, maybe more so, and once the transport is down, who's to say he can't join in on the organized chaos? Ours always did.

If you're sticking heavily to the idea that the non-com support characters shouldn't be involved in front line actions, you're missing all the potential amusement. We've thrown every kind of non-combat character you can think of into the fray and let me tell you, sometimes it's fatal, but other times it's disabling in how much it makes you laugh.

"What do you mean I have to shoot the stormtrooper?! I'm a diplomat, not a killer! No I don't know how to shoot a gun! I told you!" The erstwhile diplomat accidentally discharges his blaster pistol, blowing a hole through the stormtrooper in question's chestplate.

I suppose we're a bit more brazen than most, and our "thinker" type characters tend to die off at an accelerated rate, but the couple that have survived have adapted pretty well to the high-action, high-danger, high-humor storytelling style my co-GM and I favor (and somehow manage to pull off even at high levels).

If your player thinks the character has absolutely nothing to offer the group, though, you need to listen to his arguments very carefully. You can do plenty to make that square character fit in the round hole, but you can't do much for the round character trying to break through the square hole. If the player genuinely believes Dewie has nothing to offer the group aside from a heroic death to motivate them, let him die.

BrianDavion
20 October 2002, 10:38 AM
I recall the first game I ever GMed.. our noble tried to REASON with the Stormie

LiquidSaber
20 October 2002, 12:40 PM
*chuckle* me too Ardent lol, in one of my first few games I had a Jedi player once try to walk up and REASON with a squad of stormies and an imperial officer! He tried telling the officer what to do! Oiy, players...:p

Ardent
20 October 2002, 07:41 PM
Originally posted by LiquidSaber
*chuckle* me too Ardent lol, in one of my first few games I had a Jedi player once try to walk up and REASON with a squad of stormies and an imperial officer! He tried telling the officer what to do! Oiy, players...:p

<chuckle> My Jedi to one of the students at the Academy when the student commented that my Jedi was a Consular, and how did he manage to apply his skills to the work he did in the field...goes, totally serious-like: "I'll let you in on my secret. I call it aggressive diplomacy. It's just like regular diplomacy...but with a lightsaber."

We're incorrigible. ;) We haven't had a character who doesn't shoot first and then work out arguments like gentlemen later for...hm...a few months now.