Content of the article: "Is this a fun and interesting setup, or a recipe for disaster?"
Using a throwaway because I know several of my players frequent Reddit and probably this sub, hope that’s okay.
I’m starting a new campaign in about a week. My players have done an awesome job of keeping character info secret from each other. Two players came to me separately with their backstories. Player A wants to play a muscleman type who makes sure anyone who owes money to the local crime syndicate pays them back. Player B wants part of his backstory to be that he’s in quite a bit of debt and he’s taken up adventuring to pay it off.
I asked Player B if he’d be opposed to owing this debt to the crime syndicate, and he said that would work and incorporated it into his backstory. I’ve already warned him that he’ll have to dodge debt collectors until his debt is paid off. He’s fine with that.
So my current plan is to send Player A a message privately, telling him he has a personal side quest from his boss to track down someone who owes, which will of course be Player B. I would make it explicitly clear to Player A that he is not to kill his target, just scare him enough that he’ll make sure he pays up ASAP.
When I first had the idea, it felt genius. Now I’m worried it’s going to create unnecessary drama and inter-party conflict right off the bat (Player A knows the name of his mark, he’s going to put two and two together as soon as introductions start happening). Both the people involved are phenomenal roleplayers, that’s not really my concern, I’m more worried that one or both of them will be upset with me out of game. My top priority is player fun, and I’m seriously concerned that I’m riding a fine line between genius twist and a big mess that’ll kill the campaign before it’s even begun.
What do you think? Should I go ahead with my original plan, or play it safe and switch it around so each of their personal storylines involve only NPCs? How would you feel as a player on either side of this?
TL;DR- One player is in debt, the other is a debt collector. Should I set up the debt collector to go after the debtor without telling either it’s another member of the party and not an NPC, and if not, how do I save this as gracefully as possible?
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