Hey new guy hre. I have been Roleplaying for about 9 years now, and have experience with mostly AD&D 2nd Edition. Though I do have slight experience with third edition and currently learning a homebrew system (Final Fantasy Role Playing game by returnergames.com). Anyways I am in the middle of trying to get a campaign going with my friends but am stuck on trying to get a plot hook going that could work.
The basic plot of the campaing is the PC's are in a country in turmoil, the country being ruled by an evil king who has accended tot he throne.Anyways the PCs are basically supposed to choose early on wether to stay with the king or join a "resistance" group that wants to overthrow the current king and put another king on the throne. The main problem is getting a proper hook going that will allow them to hear both sides of the story while at the same time allow them to make that decision. Any suggestions would be of help here.
Argh, argh, argh.
So I'm running this conspiracy/action game, and the characters aren't getting along. That's fine, I expected it, there are a lot of in-game factors pushing them together anyway, and I expected some character conflict, hopefully leading to interesting role-play.
But I just got e-mail from the second player in two days to tell me that his character is "subconsciously" reacting negatively to the behavior of other party members, and is therefore planning on doing some things that strike me as passive-aggressive and obstreperous. Which really annoys me.
I'm all for deep role-playing, and realistic-as-possible character development, and complex-as-possible characters, but I think ascribing subconscious motivations to characters is going too far. If characters have problems with each other over things that have happened in-game, that's reasonable enough, and can lead to interesting developments as they (hopefully) try to come to terms. But "subconscious motivations" seem much less likely to develop into conversations, and much more likely to linger in the back of one player's brain and cause problems – particularly "I don't know why I'm doing this, it just feels right" annoying behavior which the characters can't really discuss.
And if there's no basis for player-to-player interaction over the actual source of a conflict, that conflict is not likely to get resolved, in my opinion. And in the end, I think role-playing should be about interaction, or it's just mental masturbation.
And in addition to everything else, I resent the "subconscious" angle, because it seems to me that "my character has subconscious motivations for doing this" is a weaselly player way of saying "my character is about to be annoying, but I don't want to be blamed for it, so I'm going to claim it's not really his fault, because he doesn't consciously know why he's doing it." At best, it seems like the player himself is the "subconscious" in question, and he's letting his own feelings about the game leak into his character under the guise of the character's unconscious mind.
Am I overgeneralizing here? Have other people had to deal with this situation? Anyone have any advice? I pretty much told both players all of the above (well, I left out the "weaselly" part), and asked them to try to keep their motivations on a level where they might lead to role-play instead of internal monologues. But I'm wondering if there's a better way to have handled it, or to deal with it if it crops up again. Obviously, I can't play Motivation Police on them.