How to handle irresolvable player character motives?

2018-06-20 18:58:14

Background

Up until recently, I ran a 5E game for five players: a sorcerer, two wizards, and two warlocks (all level 3 humans). All five are familiar with 5E. This is my first attempt at running an ongoing campaign (I would consider myself as a relatively new and inexperienced GM). In my homebrew setting, all magic had been outlawed due to a coup attempt on the crown about 20 years ago by the different academies and organizations devoted to magic. Everyone elected to play a spellcaster and in some way was working towards reshaping society's view on magic in order to convince them that it could be used for good - not just for evil - and should be made legal once more. This common motive helped to cement the five player characters, who were all strangers to each other (aside from the two wizards who were played by brothers in real life), together into a party with a united goal.

We had no formal session zero, but much of my intent was explained beforehand personally to ea

  • The thing done wrong was not accepting the re-roll offer

    If the offer is still open, take the sorcerer and wizard players up on their offers to reroll characters if you want this game to go forward.

    Why should I do this?

    It appears that you were deliberately trying to create some intra-party friction (similar to how Adventurer's League uses Factions for organized play) and that this one mission was bound to create friction based on how you had set it up. Why you needed to get the friction to come to the surface early is unclear, but that's the side effect of the faction quests that you presented.

    The other thing done wrong was not perceiving an expectations mismatch.

    While I personally like what you were attempting to do insofar as role play is concerned, getting a party to work together with opposed motives is a tricky thing to pull off in this particular game. I've rarely seen it done well (it can be done). I've more often seen it kill off a party and a table.

    One of

    2018-06-20 19:03:08
  • I would question the wizard in what about the mission that they found "something so criminal". Especially considering:

    The wizards were to break a caster from the underground guild out of prison and smuggle him out of the city undetected.

    And they had no issue performing this criminal act.

    To me, it sounds like you set up the caravan scenario incorrectly.

    Perhaps if the guild told the sorcerer that the supplies were "instruments of torture", or "used to weed out spell casters" it would be still seen by the party as a whole that they are all still working toward a common good. Also emphasize that the less bloodshed, the better. This is to look like a natural accident and if it looks like an ambush there would be too many questions and draw attention to the wrong people.

    Now, once you have them hooked on the common goal, you are free to make the supplies whatever you want. It could be weapons, food, clothes, or even potions (why would a king that forbids magic be importing ma

    2018-06-20 19:13:34