Accountability. I just got back from a class here at work we had on accountability. "What else can I do to rise above my circumstances and achieve the results I desire?", was the definition we were given. It sounds like a lame class but I feel I learned alot from it. I've begun to wonder how it can affect one in the role playing world. How should a player be held accountable for his actions.
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I've been an avid AD&D gamer for the past 12 years. I don't DM, (although I could with some brushing up) I'm a player. I'm a firm believer that you're one, and in very rare cases you can do both. Our adventuring group was entering a city that has a no humanoids policy. Mostly meaning, our 2 minotaur (think human with the head of a bull) companions would not be able to enter the city. At the city gates, a warrior told them they could not enter, and spat at them. He also called them cows, and threatened to milk them if they entered the city. In return the minotaur within our group decided to challenge the warrior to singular combat. The warrior denied thr request and said he didn't have to deal with their kind.
Later that night, the 2 minotaurs in our group snuck into the city, bashed down the door of the warriors house, and dragged him out of the city. There they killed the warrior, and sent him back to town on a horse with money to pay for his resurrection.
Was the player right in this? Yes and no. His honor was smudged by the warrior by being called a cow. The player wanting revenge is only normal.
Afterwards, the party's reputation had been affected greatly. Within the city they knew a member Honed (the name of our group), had killed a warrior in cold blood. Remember this is a city with extreme predjudice towards humanoids.
Too many times I've seen in gaming one player decide to do what *HE* wanted to do. I once read an article in Dragon by I believe Tracy Hickman where he said that a player should do whatever he or she wants because he or she is the star. WRONG. The team is the star in this setting. Sure Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. The Wizards however are not a good team. When Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, and John Paxton were behind Jordan, the team was unstoppable.
When you sit down to game, you need to do what you can to better the team overall. It is a common problem within my gaming group. I have 4 characters, all relatively high level.
Most other players have 1, maybe 2. Why do I have 4 characters? Most of the other players have a destructive nature. They think it would be cool to tell the bad guy they're going to wipe the floor with him. Then are surprised when he brings them below a point of resurrection. Then dumbfounded they declare the DM is being unfair. They fail to realize I have to make new characters because my characters are higher level than they are.
In our campaign, there are 3 groups of players. The first, the Hands of Fate, are all levels 17-20, and have been gaming for 12 years. The second, is my group, who right now is around 9-12. The last is a group of evil characters. Right now they are around 7-8. It's interesting to listen to players complain that the game is too hard. If you look at the scale I have presented, it goes in order of destructiveness. The evil group, constantly plays in a chaotic nature. Nobody cares about the rest of the party, it's every man for himself. My group is better now. Most of my teammates are starting to get the hint, if you act in a destructive manner. The Hands of Fate, have had their characters for years. They have fostered time and dedication into their characters and reap the rewards now by having the power they wield.
My whole point about this article is summed up in the first word. If you play in a team oriented game, be accountable for your character, and do your part for the team.