Content of the article: "A traitor amongst the players – should I have said no?"
Tl;DR: Oneshot about a group of scummy criminals on an assassination mission. One of the players asks to play a traitor. I say sure. 3/4ths into the session he backstabs another player and basically kills him. That player gets really upset. Should I have done something differently?
More details: Did a Oneshot on short notice when one of my players cancelled for the regular campaign. Told everyone to make crooked greedy assholes who would do anything for money, and players delivered.
One of them (A) asks me if he can play as a spy for the assassination target (without the other players knowing this). I like the idea.
Session goes really well for 3 hours, when they get very close to the target. A is not being suspected of anything yet. None of the other players have any idea there's a traitor among them. A and another player (B) sneak up directly to the sleeping target, who A needs to protect and B needs to kill.
B is literally about to stab the target when A makes his move and backstabs him. Rogue assassin. Automatic crit on a surprised target. With sneak attack dice doubled, B is instantly at 0 HP and rolling death saves. A raises the alarm and the entire party gets embroiled in a huge epic fight that everyone loves, and which takes up the last hour of the oneshot. Except B, who nobody can reach and who quietly fails his death saves. B remains muted on discord for the rest of the session, but I can barely spare a second to think about that while I run this complicated encounter.
After the session ends, everyone talks about how much fun it was when B unmutes and is really bitter about being betrayed out of nowhere by another player character. Like, seriously disappointed. He leaves and the other players tell me that it was fine. They say I told them to make scumbags and they delivered.
But I'm unsure if I handled the whole thing appropriately.
Is it bad in principle to allow traitorous players?
Was this bad luck and a devastating surprise attack or was it always doomed to fail in some fashion?
Was it over after B gets downed or could I have done something even after that point to keep everyone happy?
- Questions about hypnotic gaze…
- Death in the early game (TPK)?
- Three players got killed after two left the session early.
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