Advice and Observations on an Odd Situation


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Hello everyone, long-time lurker, first-time poster. I'm looking for some advice.

A woman in a village yearns to become an adventurer. She's been used by various travelers for the past few years, who promise to "take her away", have their fun, then move on. Our party arrives in town, hears about her, and our CG Bard (with our LG Cleric) goes to speak to her, to recruit her. She tells him she doesn't want to be just a simple hireling, but a full member of the party. If they can promise her some equipment and a full share of loot, she will pledge her loyalty. The bard tosses her his rapier, pulls a dagger, and says "prove yourself." She grabs the rapier, draws her own knife, and the two duel.

Mechanically, the player of the potential recruit scores to hits, doing enough damage to take out the bard -- who although he acted first, missed her. The GM hand waves the damage, saying it was a simple non-lethal duel and we move on with the game.

The bard says "You're hired." The woman jokes to the cleric, "I did so well, maybe I should get HIS share too." Hearing this, the bard casts Sleep on the woman, takes his rapier back, and when she comes to, tells her she'll get a half share and be happy for it. The woman refuses, tells him he lied to her, etc.

The cleric tries to mollify things, tells the woman he can have some of his share, etc. The player of the bard gets irritated, saying "I don't know why I ever try to do anything, it's always wrong -- I'll just stop interacting with any characters we meet (blah blah blah)!" In other words he throws a fit.

The DM just had things move on, slid the NPC into his folder, made a comment as to the motivations of the NPC, then just kept gaming.

The advice I seek and question is: Did the bard player do anything wrong? Should the DM have done something else? What are some repercussions (if any) you feel might logically occur over the incident, in or out of game?

Thanks in advance for any advice or observations you might have.

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The bards reaction to the woman’s joke was clearly a Chaotic Evil action… while he may not have actually caused her physical harm, he acted with malicious intent, performed a deed to benefit himself at the expense of another, that is by definition an evil act. So, in that sense, yes he did something wrong… as a chaotic good character they may perform unlawful acts but strive to always do good, after all right and wrong is not always as black and white as the law.

Alignment issues aside, their behavior is definitely bad… pathfinder is a group game, everyone involved is seeking the same enjoyment, and being rude at the table is not something that should be accepted or swept under the rug… from your description it’s unclear if the woman is being introduced as an NPC companion or a new PC, since your description implies both… that said, the implications of their behavior carry heavy consequences for one scenario over the other. If it is a new PC, then that sort of behavior can and most likely will cause problems at the table between the players if it is not corrected soon… if it is an NPC, then it isn’t as major of a problem, but still shouldn’t be taken too lightly, keep alignment rules in mind and enforce alignment shifts over time.

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so what we have here is a dude that just agreed to hire the lady in a full party share, that mean she's an equal part of the party
-remember in game there is no pc and npc every1 is a person- he then he get flustered by her comment, cast a spell on her (basically an attack, and not one agreed upon like the recruitment one) and then goes back on his deal with her.

for the lady's part: she is well entitled to press charges on him for assault (forcefully putting a person under magical duress\restraint). as for going back on his word, less chance to get that to stand in any court.

for the lawful good cleric: he is also well entitled to tell the bard he is on his own and then going into a party with the lady. as far as he knows one party member attacked the other right after accepting her into the party. then went back on the deal he stroke with said party member all because of a verbal taunt?
how can he trust that person to keep his part of the obligations in the party? why is he even staying with the bard in the party?
how is he sure that tomorrow the bard won't try and take his half of the loot?
also she just proved to be a better melee then the bard so there is also that...

as for the bard: being chaotic, while it doesn't bind the bard to his words. also doesn't bind others to party with him.

would you, in real life, form a tactical life & death combat team with some1 who flips up at a few words and feel he can go back on what you agreed upon as he see fit?
-not to mention attack you for the slightest reasons?

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2 issues
1. for the most part, DM's should not have NPC party members. it's a conflict of interest, and a distraction from the GMs other duties.
2. Party members should never act against each other, it's a cooperative game. I know it's Roleplaying and everything, but for people to trust each other enough to travel months at a time together, the inter party conflict needs to be a non-issue. In this particular instance, IMO the bard player is a jerk and needs to be kicked out of the group. (or at least talked to about appropriate behavior)

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I'm with Chell Raighn on this one and zza ni has good points as well. Sounds like the bard's PLAYER got their feelings hurt and acted in a child-like petulant manner.

Either the Bard PLAYER'S maturity level needs to increase, or there are going to be issues down the road.

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