Content of the article: "Help! The Artificer broke the party!"
During our last session my party came across a town that was enslaved by an Aboleth and after some searching they went to its lair. The Aboleth offered knowledge on the BBEG in exchange for the party turning a blind eye to the enslavement of this town and, after a fairly quick deliberation, 3 of the 4 party members wanted to turn down the offer. Combat was initiated by the Aboleth when it realized they weren't going to take the deal.
Here's where I made a bit of a miscalculation that lead to the events of the artificer breaking the party (which are the players words not mine lol). My players are only level 7 and, although I'm aware the CR system isn't perfect, I thought this fight would be a little harder for them. My initial plan was once someone from the party dropped to zero the Aboleth would offer the deal again; however, they dropped the aboleth to zero fairly quickly and I ended up giving it extra health to extend the battle.
Once they dropped it below it's original health, the aboleth offered to make another deal. The original 3 who had been against a deal initially continued to be against making a deal with it but, the fourth person, the artificer, wanted to hear what knowledge the aboleth had to offer. Since the majority was against it though, they ended up killing the aboleth. After the fight was over the artificer was upset with the rest of the party for throwing away the opportunity to gain the aboleth's knowledge while the rest of the party was upset with the artificer for being uncaring when it came to the townspeople's enslavement.
The artificer's argument was that the knowledge to defeat/stop the BBEG was worth more than a single town while the others argued that nobody should be enslaved and they wouldn't be able to turn a blind eye. This argument nearly lead to pvp. I then asked them if they thought their characters would be able to forgive/change their minds and all of them said "no."
So now I have a split party and I am unsure how to go about mending this rift, if it can be mended at all. The artificer's player (i'll call him Doug) admits the the character is a dick and will basically need to grow as a character before he will be willing to make amends with the party. However, when I asked Doug how we should go about inciting development in their character they said that it was my job to figure that out and they would just go along with it. While I didn't necessarily agree with that, I said I'd think it over. We also agreed that, as a last resort, Doug might have to play a different character for awhile.
I'm really just looking for advice on how more experienced DMs deal with these kinds of problems. I've gotten a few suggestions from friends but they haven't felt quite right for my party. Thank you for reading and any advice you have to give!
- I had an honest talk with my problem player, with a positive resolution
- Player seems to enjoy being a contrarian
- 5e Lost Mines of Phandelver Venomfang ideas
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