Over on his blog, Coyote relates a story from his early gaming days with D&D. Specifically, it was a player vs. player situation, where some members of the party had the idea the game was about players duking it out with each other.

Obviously, those guys had the wrong idea. RPGs are typically designed around player cooperation. Everyone pulls together and later shares in the treasure. It’s about trust and realizing that a full party works better than one alone.

Of course, there are those who enjoy playing evil, although I can’t see much trust happening among an evil group. That’s one reason why I don’t run evil characters. The main one, however, is that I just don’t want to be evil in the first place.

Even non-evil can be a problem. In one group, I started a Chaotic Neutral fighter. Everyone was terrified that one night I’d cut their throats and ride off with their stuff. Eventually, the DM and I worked out a change to Chaotic Good and matters were much better after that.

In my gaming, I’ve been lucky not to run into the situation Coyote did, with some members turning on others (outside of evil magical influence). There’s no fun for me in PvP encounters. I have no need to show off or prove “I’m the toughest”.

Though there was that one time in an open Diablo Battlenet game where some, uh, person came in as a sorcerer and blew me away with a fireball, saying “Haha, I win”. But that wasn’t actually a party game. On the other hand, I haven’t been back to Battlenet since, either.

This is one reason I avoid online games (there are others I’ve mentioned in the past, in MP Games – Why I Don’t Play). It’s more fun for me when everyone works towards a common goal and helps each other.

That doesn’t mean it’s all sweetness and light. The characters can have some rough edges and a few disagreements now and then. But it doesn’t (usually) get in the way of playing the game.

The one exception to online play is, of course, Neverwinter Nights. I’m still glad Bruce dragged me (kicking and screaming ;) into his game and got me started. While I still prefer live play, this is a good substitute.

So what about you? Have you run into PvP online or off? What did you think of that? ANd what did you do about it?

PvP On Coyote’s Blog