Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Have you ever played Player Vs. Player in an RPG?

I'm asking mainly if anyone out there in the blogosphere has experience actually playing player v. player RPG session (or campaign?). I know that there's a few games out there with rules and such, but I'm just conducting a little research...using anecdotal evidence of course. I've peeked in a few forums, but I thought I'd ask my peeps.

So, anyone? Bueller? Comments please!


  1. Back when I was a student, my university had a popular gaming club. With dozens of gamers in our group, we had a lot of opportunity to try unusual things. One time, we ran a campaign using AD&D 2e in which two groups, one good-aligned and one evil-aligned, each with a different DM, played in the same milieu. Any changes to the campaign world caused by one group would be experienced by the other. This went on for about a year and we ended it off with a grand melee at the end. It was great fun, but the final battle turned out to be rather one-sided. The DM of the evil campaign was far more generous in giving out magic items and far more lenient when it came to using unofficial rules. If memory serves, the evil guys wiped out the good guys without losing a single PC. Sadly, I was on the losing side. Still, it stands out as one of the most memorable campaigns I have ever participated in.

  2. In high school, our Champions campaign (run by the Greatest GM of All Time, the unmatched William 'Champions Guru' Corpening) featured PC Heroes and Villains. In some cases it was hard to tell which side a given character represented.

    Case in point, one player had a 'Hero' PC whose prejudice against all alien characters (extraterrestrial non-Humans)was supported by his government connections and Lex Luthor like wealth and technology. He was akin to William Stryker from the X-Men graphic novel 'God Loves, Man Kills.' His anti-Alien rhetoric matched the anti-mutant hysteria of Marvel.

    Prior to my joining the campaign, the only thing keeping this guy in check was my friend's alien character who had, as a teenager, been the side-kick and eventually youngest member of the world's premire superteam and remained a favorite hero of many people. When my own alien hero entered the fray, he and the anti-alien guy became arch-enemies.

    We clashed often both verbally and physically, eventually culminating in a battle on Earth's Moon where I literally put him through it. The Mad Man actually survived (by beaming his mind into an artifical brain and android body). We would continue to fight a few more times until we (the whole hero team) actually managed to defeat him once and for all.

    I must say he was an awesome villain. The key was that the entire time he (the player) was totally convinced he was the hero protecting the world from the evil alien menace that was certain to take over or destroy the Earth.

  3. We played a session of In Nomine where one group of PCs were angels and the other group were demons. The session did not go all that well and I'm convinced that the player-vs-player dynamic was the root of the problem. It was over ten years ago, though, so I really can't recall the details.

  4. The closest I've come to PvP was a Cyberpunk 2020 game I ran a handful of years ago. True to the genre, the players were all looking out for number one.

    The plot went something like this. A professor had developed an AI, initially as a teacher/baby-sitter/play-mate for his orphaned niece. This AI caught the attention of a few MegaCorps, and one of the PCs (the corp) was tasked with hiring a team of independents to make sure the thing ended up with the right party.

    After a few sessions, and many complications, the corp had the AI's main storage unit in hand. He called it in to his superiors, and was told to tell another of the NPCs, "no loose ends." Unknown to anyone, that character was paid to "take care" of the remaining PCs. Shit hit the fan, many people died, and the corp walked away with his prize. Afterwards, his player exclaimed, "I won the roleplaying game!"

    That was a good game.

  5. Its funny Rognar didn't relate a more recent PvP experience. It was two teams - evil PCs vs evil PCs. My team sealed the battle zone and then tried to burn it down. We were all conveniently immune to fire.
    This didn't save us though as the other team kicked our butts in melee combat. Rognar's ghoulish rogue killed my poor half-fey swahbuckler.

  6. Great stories guys! Glad to hear positive experiences out there. The wheels, they are turning....

  7. Heh... like Boot Hill, y'mean, where you actually build the unfolding storyline/campaign surrounding the player characters in your gameworld from a series of player vs. player (or player vs. player, player vs. player vs. player vs. GM, etc.) sessions?

    I thought that style of roleplaying had long since died out, though...

    Good question.

    d. :)

  8. Once, at a con, we ran a skirmish-type scenario of good vs. evil. More of the players chose the evil team, and the DM made the total levels of each side even, which meant the few good characters were all extremely powerful, and wiped the map clean of the hordes of lover-level bad guys.

  9. Yep. In my sadly short-lived Barsoomian D&D game, I introduced a new player/new character to the group.
    "There is a large green man with many arms and tusks walking towards you."
    "We greet him."
    "Keith (the Thark's player) what do you do?"
    "I'm chop off their hands as they wave to greet me."
    "OK. Here's what you roll."
    The Thark ended up killing a PC, then friends were made, hurray! What a great game that was!