Tracking Sin (GMs Only)


Rise of the Runelords


Hey everyone,
So I have recently started running the RotRAE with a group of 7 players: 4 completely new to role playing and two new to Pathfinder. I'm having a bit of trouble deciding which sin a PC is taking on strong with a particular situation involving another PC. Let me set up some context so you can help me out.

PC "A" is playing a CG male investigator with ties to the Szcarni. In all fairness, he's trying to "get out." Roughly he has maintained a CG alignment, though the player has done an excellent job at role playing a shifty, shadowy character.

PC "B" is playing a CN male half-elf sorceror with parent issues. This player is new to role playing, and has kind of taken this opportunity to just do whatever he wants to do, within reason. He has maintained CN and not CE yet. He has also started to try wooing Rynshinn in Sandpoint, the most beautiful female in town. It seems like he is trying to do this for no other reason than she is the most beautiful, for which he is attaining a lust point.

What happened between the PCs:

Spoiler:
In the Catacombs of Wrath, the party found the meditation chamber with the six floating items. Paladin and investigator were up front, sorceror was in the back. While the investigator was still checking for traps in the room, the sorceror sees the wand and scroll floating and says "I jump into the room to grab the wand." As a GM, I let my players learn from their mistakes, so when a player says "I do this thing" that's what the character does.

So the sorceror jumps into the chamber, fails his will save, is overcome with thoughts of Wrath and betrayal "from memories from his past", and the player promptly freaks out. Like I said, his character has parent issues, although they are a secret to the rest of the party. He grabs everything but the maggots and bird and floats out of the chamber, all while being berated by the rest of the party for the reckless behavior.

While looking over the loot, the investigator says he's interested in having the bottle of wine. I run that if multiple players are interested in the same item from loot, highest die roll gets it. Instead, the sorceror, who is still freaking out about the wrathful memories, replies "No, I'm keeping the wine," uncorked the bottle right there and starts downing the wine like there's no tomorrow. I laugh, thinking this is a very reasonable reaction to the little bit of emotional trauma his character just experienced. The investigator remains surly about it however.

Later, back up in town, the party splits up a bit to follow up on some leads. The sorceror goes off on his own, but is stealthily followed by the investigator to make sure the sorceror doesn't do anything dumb. Well, the sorceror says he is going to confront an NPC about any sort of connection he may have with the goblin attacks. The table erupts with everyone telling him not to do it, be cautious and patient, etc. I quiet the table, explaining that he is off by himself, but the investigator pops in saying he is pretty close to the sorceror and tries to dissuade the sorceror from his plan. They argue, the investigator fails an opposed diplomacy check and an intimidate check, so I rule that the sorceror can go to the NPC. He NPC is Ven Vinders, so obviously he's not involved at all, and the "confrontation" is more like an interrogation. No harm no foul.

What the investigator wants to do:

Spoiler:
So the investigator player is upset at the sorceror player for being really chaotic and "not playing well with the group." Because I don't allow any fighting to go on between characters in game, the investigator wants to try and hit the sorceror emotionally. So his plan is to try and secretly seduce Rynshinn away from the sorceror just for one moment so the sorceror can see Rynshinn kissing the investigator first. I decided to allow him to do that, as a manipulative act like that is very much in line with the investigator's back story.

I can't decide if the investigator should get hit with a greed, envy, wrath, pride, or lust point, or possibly a combination of two. I'm trying to be fairly conservative with sin points, but this definitely warrants something.
What do you guys think?

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No spoilers below, since this is explicitly a GM's only thread.

First off - PC A is still fighting PC B, just indirectly rather than rolling initiative and tossing d20s. While this could lead to interesting RP, even with experienced players and people able to set aside their personal feelings, this almost assuredly will go wrong. You've also mentioned that PC B is a new player - I have a feeling that the fall out from this set of actions may taint their experiences and lead to them dropping out after a time.

But that's all my personal opinions, and not what you came here for. You want to know which sin this action hits. I don't think it would be greed (this isn't motivated by money, really) or lust (nor is it motivated by sexy times - the sexy times are a means to an end). Envy? Possibly, though I don't see PC A doing this because he wants something that PC B has. Again, this isn't trying to possess Rynshinn, this is PC A wanting to hurt PC B for being "reckless." Wrath? That seems plausible - he's pissed and wants to hurt PC B. Pride's also a good fit - his ego is hurt, and that's really the motivating factor here.

So, I'd wager either wrath or pride, myself. Split the difference - if PC A goes through with this, then award him a point in each. This might be the first step down one of those two roads.

I still think this is a bad idea, though.


I second Misroi's assessment. I was leaning towards Envy, but Misroi correctly points out that it isn't about possessing the bottle of wine or the SO; it's the 'reckless' (see: selfish) behavior. Choosing to punish B is where A is earning the sin point(s). Pride, for judging the other character's behavior to be wrong; Wrath, for choosing to punish rather than correct.

Also, as already pointed out: this will end in IRL tears unless you are doing some extensive ooc communication with both parties so that they're not just ok with events playing out like this, but looking forward to the story they'll both tell over beers later.


For the sin part, my vote is on Envy, as this seems to be the motivation behind the actions from what I understand (you took something I wanted - the wine, I take something you wanted). Wrath would be a close second, as this is definitely vengeance derived from anger. In my game, I'd probably do both.

Not part of the question, but I'd also consider giving the sorcerer either a point for Greed or Gluttony (or both), for their actions. Greed would be a definite, ignoring danger and everyone else to take shinies for themselves, and not at least sharing the wine (much less the fact that they found it floating next to a bird full of maggots) would make me think a Gluttony point is in order.

Further, I'd like to echo the sentiments above, and make sure that this would not cause any hard feelings OoC. These kind of things can make the game more interesting, but could also cause tensions to flare between players and hurt the group overall.


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Oh boy. I'm probably going to stray out of bounds on this one...

First to the question asked: I think you should throw out the sin points liberally. The sorceror gets lust because he's chasing the prettiest girl simply for the trophy of it. He should get a greed and a gluttony point for glomming all the loot and then horking down the wine before anyone else could get some. The investigator should get a wrath point for his aggressiveness in antagonizing the sorceror and a pride point for being haughty enough to believe he knows best and trying to force that view on others. And he should get a lust point for chasing the prettiest girl to hurt someone else - using sex as a tool sounds like lust to me.

Second (and here's where it gets dicey) - I don't know that it's technically in violation of RAW but I would strongly discourage the use of social skills (like Diplomacy and Intimidate) in pc vs. pc dialogues/interactions. That seems a road to perdition. "So wait, because Bob's character has a higher charisma and put more points in <skill X> he can tell my character what to do?" This mechanism may not seem as dangerous at low levels but what happens 10 levels from now when one pc has diplomacy as a class skill, has put ability points into charisma and has thrown skill points into it at every level? Players should always have total control of what their pc's do - except for cases of class defined code or magically induced control.

The OP also states "I don't allow any fighting to go on between characters in game" but then proceeds to describe psychological warfare between players with an attitude of acceptance if not encouragement. I don't see much difference between "I draw my sword and stab him with it because he won't do what I want" and "I seduce his girl because he won't do what I want." Both seem a recipe for player angst. Can I imagine a table where such things are expected? Sure, but they are certainly few and far between. And from the OP's description he doesn't seem to have one (based on the Investigator's "not playing well with the group" response.)


Everyone so far has given great advice and a lot for me to think about. Thank you very much. I will leave this open for anyone else who wants to add their two cents. Our next session is this next Thursday, so I'll need to make a final decision before then, but I think I have made a mistake with my players that I will need to correct.

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