Thursday, April 8, 2010

Player Versus Player In Old School D&D

Considering that Dungeons and Dragons was a product of wargamers, it should come as little surprise that there was a great deal of player versus player conflict in the early days of the game. Reading through the campaign accounts (certainly the ones being recounted by Gygax and his players) you will find numerous stories of players betraying each other.

The above cartoon from the pages of Dragon Magazine (yet another Will McLean original) shows a couple of adventurers playing poker, with one of the adventurers exclaiming of the winning adventurer, "Don't look now, Wiz, but isn't that a medallion of ESP he's wearing?"


christian said...

The only PvP I ever engaged in was trying to nuke the the party Bard with a Fireball. My Wizard hated the way that punk gravy trained on all the xp and treasure. I dropped the Fireball just close enough so as to engulf the Bard. Got him down to just a few hit points. Bummer. Almost had him!

David Larkins said...

If I recall correctly, the origin of the cleric is owed to PvP conflict--a PC had turned evil and become a vampire (renamed Sir Fang--best name ever) and the other players wanted a class that could go all Van Helsing on his ass.

Lord Kilgore said...

Interestingly, a couple of days back I added this sentence to our homebrew game rulebook: "In rare instances, combat may be between two or more player characters."

Also interestingly, the new DRAGONS AT DAWN game which tries to represent Dave Arneson's original take on fantasy RPGing and was just released discusses player vs. player.

Amanda said...

We never managed to get to the character we really wanted to kill but in one game a few years ago we were playing the Egg of the Phoenix module and after moooonths of gaming and attaining high levels we finally get the damn Egg and are on our way to return it when major backstabbery happens. The mage of the group stole the egg and traded it for the Hand of Vecna in the middle of the night and escaped. It pretty much went down as the biggest player betrayal ever experienced in my gaming group and we still speak of it today.