What level do you tell your party your secret identity as a Vigilante?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Even the all Vigilante party The Justice League didn’t do so until they absolutely had to.

So around what level should you tell your teammates your secret identity?


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When to tell them varies wildly depending on the campaign and it's not about level. If you intend to get any use out of your social identity obviously the players need to know, so the impact of such a revelation is muted.

I'd just wait for a good opportunity to present itself, if it's taking too long prompt the DM and they can try to create one.

It's also completely fine for your allies to just know from the start. If you're starting at low level you can make creating your identity part of your interaction with them. It's very common for superheroes (which is not exactly what vigilantes are but it is a valid comparison) to have a close group that knows their secret.


I was going to say, not based on level but based on when it's necessary. Travelling to a new town for example is one.

In my group, I actually played my secret identity with the party with lines along the lines of "Rovagurl wanted me to handle the shopping" "She saved my life" and other such made up excuses. Trips with extended travel she's say Rovagurl was staying behind, and used the Loyal Aid social talent to make sure rumors of her activities continued to circle. Then when Rovagurl was needed, the social identity would spend a day "contacting her" and then opt to stay behind to continue negotiations or whatever the case was.

But yeah. If the situation comes up the party needs to know, then tell them. I was an Arachnid Wildsoul, so if the situation arose I was stuck in social identity in a situation the only escape for the party was webslinging out, then I'd probably have done it then explained after the fact. Or we tossed the idea of her gaining a corruption to do with her powers (hive or lycanthropy (entothropy B6)), at which point the symptoms and needing to cure it would have been a good time to reveal it.

Grand Lodge

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1st Level.

This is a cooperative game, a team effort. The other PCs have to be like Alfred to Bruce Wayne or something.

Maybe you can have fun and play a few sessions at the start where there's some in-game mystery, but those can be tricky.

It should be 1st Level, and in most cases, the very start of the very first session.


I don't.


When do I volunteer my secret identity as Matches Malone? Once I've sussed out who in the party I can trust, who I can't, and all of their weaknesses.

When do I volunteer my secret identity as The Blue Morpho Batman? Never.


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I would (and plan to) run my Vigilante's identity as a secret for as long as I possibly can. If I hit twentieth level and they haven't figured out that I'm "not really a rogue," then kudos to me, I will be proud.


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Depends on the vigilante. I've had one whose social identity was often used to case enemy organizations, and the other PCs knew about it (and helped cover for him) right from day one.

I've run a game for another whose social identity was their quest-giver/noble sponsor. They never actually learned that the private mercenary he always sent with them was just him in disguise.


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In all of the playing that I've done what I found is that.... Nobody likes your secret backstory or your big reveal like you do.

That doesn't mean that your writing or idea is bad, but when you make the reveal... it almost always falls flat and is lackluster.

Instead, talk to your DM, trust him and let him insert it into the story as it seems fit.

It will most likely be revealed in a light that is detrimental to you and your party which will then create a reason for them to sympathize and find a way to reclaim your anonymity and protect the identity of their super friend.


When you trust the party with that level of information about you. What level your identity is on may vary depending on the character, ranging from Batman (you won't get anything out of him) to Tony Stark (how were you not aware of this earlier?)


I would always tell the other players before I even made the character as part of making sure that my character and theirs were all going to work together well.

In most cases I would expect that my character would tell the other characters as part of the process of them forming a party (which would either be before the game proper even started or shortly into it).

A party is a pretty close relationship. They are generally going to be spending a ton of time together and have theoretically chosen each other for their common pursuit of a goal and their individual abilities to contribute to a team.

I could imagine some campaigns where this would be different, but the default would be that my PC is going to let his friends and companions know about his abilities and resources and he would expect them to do the same so we could all work together.

And I certainly agree with Archimedes that the whole super special secrets and backstories mostly don't interest other players. The more you focus your character on the campaign, rather than stuff that happened before the more interesting it is.


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Dave Justus wrote:
A party is a pretty close relationship. They are generally going to be spending a ton of time together and have theoretically chosen each other for their common pursuit of a goal and their individual abilities to contribute to a team.

Tell that to my wizard in Iron Gods. Joined up on the first mission because they were getting paid. Did the first book of adventure and all was good.

Second book starts a few in-game weeks later. She hears about the chance to get paid for a new job since she has run out of money. Sees the same group and is like. "Oh great, you guys again."

As a note, this was a true neutral character with a Charisma of 6 (I thought Tieflings had a +2 Cha from my time in D&D and was aiming for a neutral 10. I rolled with my mistake). So it was in character that there was something other than facial scars why she was a bit unlikeable.

What I'm getting at is each group is different. So long as it isn't disruptive to play, I wouldn't really say anything. Being a Vigilante isn't a "super special secret" or "backstory" any more than another character.


Isaac Zephyr wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:
A party is a pretty close relationship. They are generally going to be spending a ton of time together and have theoretically chosen each other for their common pursuit of a goal and their individual abilities to contribute to a team.
Tell that to my wizard in Iron Gods.

Sure there can be exceptions.

To an extent though, I think you are taking advantage of the fact that the other characters are automatically going to accept your character because you are a player. Regardless of what you bring to the table, the other players are probably going to go along with it even if their characters wouldn't.

Your CHR of 6 doesn't at all effect whether the other characters will agree to let you be part of the party. The fact that your character is just in for the money and doesn't feel any loyalty to the others doesn't effect whether the other characters will want to adventure with you. Your character is going to be part of the party because it is a player character, and that is that.

My argument is that even though the other characters will accept your character no matter how unrealistic that is, it is better actually make a character that the other characters would want to be part of a team with.

Silver Crusade

Tell the other players, or tell the other characters?

Other players: before the game starts. (No, I do not permit nonsense with hiding things from other players.)

Other characters: end of first gaming session. (or end of first gaming session after you take your first vigilante level, if it's a class you add later)

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