Player Versus Player: Who really wants this?


Product Discussion


This is the question: Do you want to "play in a game" that focuses on Player Versus Player combat and interaction? Please discuss.

Liberty's Edge

For years we ran an event at KublaCon that was 24-32 players and had a PvP angle. The most popular format was to have the players be drow, and have a "scavenger hunt". We'd set up elaborate Dwarven Forge setups, and there would be 3-4 parts. The 1st part generally involved heavy role-playing and live NPC interaction. The 2nd part would involve a typical dungeon crawl to acquire items. We once had a third part that involved "tests". We had archery tests, trap tests, jousting, even a jeopardy style trivia game. The last part would then usually end up pitting the survivors against each other. It was always well received.


If the game is planned to be that with all the players interested in such angle. Personally I don't like it, and most of people I play with dislike PvP angle as well. Intrigues and occasional excluding goals for different characters are much more acceptable.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

possibly

though I wish it was intermingled with PvGM. I like dark souls and how it handles PvP, but that would require 2 groups occasionally squaring off.


I could be wrong, but I think THESE guys think we should…

I'm ok with it - this alias played in a short-lived drow PbP slave-arena that promised much PvP that I very much looked forward to, and had very interesting between combat adventure...


I find that as long as the players are in agreement with the mindset of PVP (that is, they come to a table and PVP is explicitly stated as a standard set in the game), players are a lot more open about it and the concept of PVP becomes less prone to causing unfun.

A lot of the frustration in Pathfinder PVP comes from the unexpectedness of it. Since Pathfinder is generally a cooperative game, PVP would go against the concept and playstyle that is expected from Pathfinder. So when a random player says "I'm going to start killing you guys now because I'm Evil," everybody goes "WTF? What's the point of you even doing that?"

But when every player at the table is told "Hey, the point of this game is to kill each other," the players can expect that exampled random player from basically every person at the table, and probably be that random player too. At the end of the day though, the type of game that is ran at a table needs to come to an agreement across all involved, and when players decide to arbitrarily break that agreement is where the unfun comes from. Since the assumed paradigm is the players are working together, PVP becomes the straw that breaks the camel's back, 9 times out of 10.


PvP can be very fun in 1-shots or in build tournaments...

In campaigns with PvP, I'm out...


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Not a fan of PvP.


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Not a fan. Can get too heated no matter how up front about things being PvP from the get go. Too easily to be taken personal.

Shadow Lodge

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I'll take a big pass. I play RPGs to cooperate and explore with fellow gamers, not to take out angst on them. I've no desire to compare my "build" against another player, as that is not Roleplaying, that is Rollplaying.


Chad Newman wrote:
I'll take a big pass. I play RPGs to cooperate and explore with fellow gamers, not to take out angst on them. I've no desire to compare my "build" against another player, as that is not Roleplaying, that is Rollplaying.

PvP in the arena "Compare my build" sense has no appeal to me.

Larger scale campaigns in which are allowed, but not required to turn on each other because of their goals, personalities or other roleplay reasons are more interesting, though not my usual preference.


The idea of a competitive module intrigues me (and such a thing produced the famous Head of Vecna story), but in most long-term games I prefer PvP to happen as a natural outgrowth of characterization and I'm not bothered if it doesn't appear.


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NO, just NO.....

Why would I play in a game where the other players fun comes at the expense of mine?


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Meh... I'm with Chad Newman on that one... Not my thing at all! =p

Silver Crusade

Two or more PC groups competing in a race to snatch the magical MacGuffin from the BBEG's lair first? Fine.
PCs coup de gracing each other and mutilating the corpses so they can't be raised/using Animate Dead to make them into zombie slaves, you might as well be running Bumfights. Have you ever known nerds *not* to take something relating to their pet fandom personally?

Edit: now I think on it, a game similar to Assassin/Mafia with an evil player or two per group (but nobody knows who they might be so everyone is a suspect) could be fun, I suppose, if handled properly.


Did a Drow campaign with 2 parties that was PVP//Party vs party..and classic...was fun but so much paranoia..and when the violence happened it always escalated to the stratosphere.
but everyone knew what the premise was and got on board..and made personal alliances and such..but.

In any normal campaign ..I avoid PVP like the plague..never works out, always causes butthurt and revenge characters...or players quiting, unless you have a tightknit and PVP friendly bunch of players...its just a idea that is best left to computer games.

Myself I hate having to get combative with a fellow PC..never feels good, and can put everyone on edge and the GM uncomfortable, that being said, unfortunately due to the nature of Roll20 (which I love btw) you will encounter many players there that slip in under the GM's radar and go PVP at inopportune moments..or that just try to cause campaign sabotage.
In those situations it falls to the GM to deal with them and prevent damage to the game..and again because of the mindset, that usually means kicking them to the curb.

so..NO to PVP..unless that the entire focus of the game, and everyone knows.


I would love to run a campaign with two opposing kingdoms sending mercenaries and adventuring parties against each other. The antagonists kidnap some noble. The protagonists attempt to rescue them, while the antagonists are spying on troop movement, or capturing an outpost. It would take a lot of setup.

Grand Lodge

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I could care less for PvP... that's not what I play table top RPGs for. If I want PvP I'm going to go play some Call of Duty or a racing game. Games that were built from the ground up around a PvP concept. Not a game that was built as a cooperative experience, with PvP thrown in as an afterthought. that's just a recipe for failure.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Q: "Player Versus Player: Who really wants this?"
A: Sociopaths.

Actually, that's not fair. Every time two sweaty middle-aged men lock themselves in a squash court, it's PvP. Every time two teams of head-injury-prone meatballs gather together to play football, it's PvP. PvP isn't inherently wrong, bad, or evil. It's just not HEROIC. And being heroic is a massive part of this hobby, which is why PvP feels so weird. The key is that in sports, PvP is agreed-upon. In an RPG it better be agreed-upon as well, or else, well, sociopaths.


Could be fun if PvP means Party Vs. Party.

I enjoy the party dynamics of the game and am uninterested in inter-party conflict unless it is solely roleplay.

Silver Crusade

Anguish wrote:

Q: "Player Versus Player: Who really wants this?"

A: Sociopaths.

Actually, that's not fair. Every time two sweaty middle-aged men lock themselves in a squash court, it's PvP. Every time two teams of head-injury-prone meatballs gather together to play football, it's PvP. PvP isn't inherently wrong, bad, or evil. It's just not HEROIC. And being heroic is a massive part of this hobby, which is why PvP feels so weird. The key is that in sports, PvP is agreed-upon. In an RPG it better be agreed-upon as well, or else, well, sociopaths.

It could serve a story purpose if there was some OOC agreement on where it was going (think Batman vs. Superman at the end of Dark Knight Returns) but a game that "focuses" on it is asking for trouble for so many reasons. Not least among which, you're explicitly encouraging rules-lawyering and munchkinry.


Scavion wrote:

Could be fun if PvP means Party Vs. Party.

I enjoy the party dynamics of the game and am uninterested in inter-party conflict unless it is solely roleplay.

While I'm not usually that fond of inter-party conflict, I find hard limits like "You can roleplay conflict, but you can't actually take it to anything that calls for mechanics" very frustrating. I've had players abuse that before, driving the conflict to the point where action really was needed then falling back on the "No PvP" rule.

Of course, the obvious solution is not to play with such people, but still. It was long ago, but I had other good experiences with the same people in different circumstances.


A friend of mine ran a campaign that has an indirect 'pvp' angle.

Character creation restrictions:
-You all were part of the same disbanded mercenary company
-You all were friends/acquaintances and would prefer not to see each other killed or badly harmed.

There is a wealthy and unwed noble lady with several suitors and you have been hired by said suitors/interest groups backing suitors to help them win her hand. They used their connections to put you into positions close to the lady such as staff chef, body guard, tutor, dance instructor, ect.

It was a very fun campaign while I was still in it, but life got in the way.


thejeff wrote:
Scavion wrote:

Could be fun if PvP means Party Vs. Party.

I enjoy the party dynamics of the game and am uninterested in inter-party conflict unless it is solely roleplay.

While I'm not usually that fond of inter-party conflict, I find hard limits like "You can roleplay conflict, but you can't actually take it to anything that calls for mechanics" very frustrating. I've had players abuse that before, driving the conflict to the point where action really was needed then falling back on the "No PvP" rule.

Of course, the obvious solution is not to play with such people, but still. It was long ago, but I had other good experiences with the same people in different circumstances.

Oh believe me. There are consequences for escalating up to the point of raising arms.

Ill roll a die and someone loses. The winner can decide whether they want to finish it or be merciful.

What I wont allow it to come to is an initiative roll and the proverbial e-peen equivalent of DnD. The "fight" is handwaved.


I had a buddy who, when we played together always ran siblings...and when things would set slow..we would beat the hell out of each others characters..in a bar fight or field tussle, while others were rping or such (that we were not privy to) we would be happily rolling dice and duking it out..with descriptions of course. was alot of fun.


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I did it once.

A local college game society had an "orcs vs humans" battle to celebrate the release of 3.0. It probably wouldn't have been so bad except the people running it had little to no experience with the system, and made inconsistent rulings. The last two survivors of one team were killed when the other team loaded ten or twelve alchemist fires onto a camel, and pushed it off a hill at them. The "referees" ruled that it worked like a fireball, and therefore instead of requiring an attack roll to hit (these last two survivors were optimized for AC), it instead required a reflex save for half. Even half of the damage they assigned it would be likely to kill 3rd level characters.

So, I was a bit soured on the idea of PvP from that. A recent game I was running looked like it was moving towards PvP, and I let the players know. They preferred to change games instead, so PvP isn't popular by any measure here.


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Not interested. PvP is not a game style that I like.


I have played in a couple. The first was a one nighter defined PvP rogue vs rogue survival of the sneakiest. I cut the rope holding three party members on the cliff face after I faked my own death and "won".

One of the others was a miniatures space marines rpg where after you killed X aliens you became an alien and vice versa. Also planning a similar setup in Aces & Eights for a train fight, train robbers and natives versus cowboys and passengers, if you die you join the other side, basically it boils down to a draw.

One of my GMs also ran a game where he was hosting two games a day. He had each group run across the other group periodically with some conflict. Lots easier to hate Those Guys.

Better to have a short duration on the Pvp as some people get mad when favorites die.

Shadow Lodge

I keep thinking it would be fun to do a King Maker version of Romance of the Three Kingdoms with two different groups under the impression at the first that there was only one group being run for it.


Conman the Bardbarian wrote:
I keep thinking it would be fun to do a King Maker version of Romance of the Three Kingdoms with two different groups under the impression at the first that there was only one group being run for it.

The current Campaign i am in started kinda that way (well once we got to the kingdom building portion...but the other parties kingdom just collapsed due to stupidity).

Now its just us..and those players get to play in one shots we generate, like lately I commissioned a party to bring back a pair of aurumvorax pups ( we call them dragon badgers)


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I don't personally like PvP at all. Regardless of what some players might say, there's always going to be some modicum of resentment towards the player that killed / humiliated their character and there will be a good chance that if the player that had their character killed is allowed to make a new character, that they'll attempt to make one just to off the character that killed theirs. This isn't to say that it will happen all the time. There are groups that can handle it. More so if they're warned ahead of time that PvP is a thing.

Still, if I was invited to a game where I knew PvP would happen, I'd definitely think numerous times before accepting.

I mean, there's one player in the group I play with often that likes to say things like, "My character can do X, and could deal X damage to your character." To which I reply, "Why is your guy that can do X and deal X amount of damage targeting my guy?" and his response would be more, "I don't mean your character, just in general. That's what I can do." Regardless of the last part, I'm now suspicious that he'll try to kill me over some little in-character disagreement from that point. Luckily it hasn't happened, cause I don't think either of us would enjoy any outcome.


Yup Third Mind..the butthurt revenge character is very common in any PVP situation, equally so the rage quits..or mutual rage quits, all damaging to a harmonious gaming experience.

And unfortunately...due to situations and players like you described..( the over competitive on the border PVPer that is seeing who he can kill), I have found myself observing other new players closely for several game sessions before trusting the Actual player..and coming up with contingencies.
Only takes a few run-ins with these types before it colors your gaming habits forever ...lol

Dark Archive

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Starfinder Superscriber

NO. Not a fan of PvP. I don't even do that when I play in Evil Campaigns. It tends to rip the party, and gaming groups, apart.

We have done PvP arena events before and they are never as fun as taking on the enemies the GM made. Immature players tend to take out their frustrations on other party members in those situations too. Immature GMs can exacerbate those situations.


Quiet Crocus "The Forest Jade" wrote:

I could be wrong, but I think THESE guys think we should…

I'm ok with it - this alias played in a short-lived drow PbP slave-arena that promised much PvP that I very much looked forward to, and had very interesting between combat adventure...

Yeah, I think that running it as opposing teams in a competitive gaming environment is what PvP is best suited for in Pathfinder. The format lends itself poorly to standard adventuring teams, where you need to rely on the party's various strengths to get through the dungeon and/or defeat the bad guys.


Woah. Much investment in characters here...

No one need get upset over the death, injury, incapacitation or otherwise of their imaginary character. But they can I guess.

Personally I don't play RPGs as a co-operative or team exercise - now almost all of my characters are good allies and or support classes, but this isn't a sport - I play to tell stories, engage with other humans meaningfully, play the luck dice and enjoy myself. Roleplaying by its definition involves personalities. That sometimes grate or even resort to violence.

And having said all that if people don't want PcP they shouldn't have to bear it. Ever. I wouldn't bring it on if the other players aren't comfortable with it.

To all the naysayers: Consensual PvP does not have to mean anger, butthurt nor must it ruin the game. Unsolicited PvP is to be avoided, as are those who serially engage in it.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Do you mean Rules Lawyer Arena? Every single rules is going to be read and inspected during every combat.


Eltacolibre wrote:
Do you mean Rules Lawyer Arena? Every single rules is going to be read and inspected during every combat.

Does that mean your games aren't usually played by the rules?

I could run a PVP Arena and my players wouldn't need to consult a rulebook for anything other than the most brief of reminders. We're all well acquainted with the rules.

I think you meant when people's character's lives are on the line they tend to look for SOMETHING to bail them out. This is true regardless of a PVP scenario.


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Mandatory YouTube Link


It seem to me that most people will agree that they would not want this to be a regular thing doing PvP? I would assume this would be a once and while kind of thing maybe 3 to 4 times a year kind of thing.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

honestly, might be fun in a dark souls escque setting, where death is merely a setback and not an end to a character.

In Demon Souls, PvP is in Lore someone being possessed, so might be fun if occasionally during an encounter someone gets the hotseat and has to try to defeat the party (which would merely set them back) and he gets a small reward, or else gets defeated and the rest of the party gets a small reward. (probably some way to mitigate death penalties later)

it would/should happen often enough so that even people who don't fair particularly well in PvP will win as part of the party.

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