Choosing to make your PC a coward to the point where they don't want to engage with the adventure is possibly the worst thing you can do in this game.

Choosing to make your PC a coward to the point where they don't want to engage with the adventure is possibly the worst thing you can do in this game.


As a dm, it's my job to create a adventure. As a player it's my job to engage with it and make a suitable character to do so.


Yes! Always create a character with a reason to adventure! Doesn’t have to be complex. Needs gold for retirement, wishes to learn things, loves exploring, thirst for power, etc. It’s checkers before it becomes chess. NOTE: You can certainly play a cowardly character, but the key is to not be a burden on your table or your DM.


>Needs gold for retirement Needs gold ~~for retirement~~


>Needs gold For hoarding! …No, YOU’RE a dragon!


True story: World of Warcraft, middle of Orgrimmar ... someone /yells FOR THE HORDE I /yell back, "no, no, no ... FOR THE HOARD" :D :D


This is very funny if you are a dragon.


Or just any sort of mercenary-minded Adventurer. IOW, "I ain't in this for Thrall, or any of you lot. I'm in it for the drops and the gold." :D


Needs gold to pay off scholarly training debt


New wizard PC background story


In my homebrew setting, anyone with sufficient aptitude can apply to the Acadamy Arcane and get an incredible magical education. As well as a magical curse that will slowly petrify them unless they make regular payments until their debt is cleared. But, hey, they have a *flying school!* Don't you wanna go to a flying school?


I see your magical academy flies through US airspace regularly.


I wish I'd come up with this instead of my wizard's lame backstory...


Whats your lame backstory?


Something about being taught magic in Candlekeep by a librarian that turned out to be the ghost of an evil necromancer. Typical, you know?


You could always throw in something about owning money to the ghost for tuition. Then the ghost can pop up at awkward moments to remind you about the debt!


That's actually kinda cool


Gold is for drink and food and frivolous investment into foolish ventures. Things that keep the lure of the wild down, that keep you alive. When it runs out, the lure returns. This is why we enter dungeons.


I don’t know if this is a reference to something but it’s great.


Matt Colville's subreddit has a video from a Twitch stream where he talks about meeting a real-life mercenary as part of Turtle Rock's work on Mercenaries 2. The merc said a lot of interesting things, but by far the most impactful (IMO) was talking about how many kills he'd had. His calf was covered in markings, one for each kill. He said he put them there because "I want them to know how many I'm worth when they get me." Not *if.* *When.* The mercenary knew he was going to die. He was never going to stop going out there and taking contracts and shooting at people for a living. He lived for the adrenaline. That's why we have most adventurers, in my opinion - or at least, "adventurers" as a kind of person you can be. Heroic games are different, of course, but your average adventurer is just a mercenary hacking away at a different kind of enemy. The gold you acquire *does* have a purpose - paying for your characters' lifestyle so they don't have to go back into the dungeon! The way you "win" D&D is having a character die of old age in their bed. Edit: But the original comment was something I came up with myself, I should mention.


I have a character who retired from adventuring. I have not yet decided how I will have him die though. He has some danger still ahead of him. He is currently working to integrate a hobgoblin tribe into civilized society while balancing responsibilities as the leader of his nomadic tribe and a representative of the new regional alliance governmentish thing based in the major city of the region. I'd still say I have won woth that character regardless of what I decide for him in the future.


My current PC is a Dwarf Scribe wizard who was so successful as a merc fighter he lived to see all his companions die. In a effort to stay relevant became a wizard. he was happy with his retirement tavern and telling tales of battle but when fate called ( IE old comrade sent him his spellbook) he reluctantly took back up the mantle. Now i basically go around telling meta tales about how brought the Twin rings to Nordor, was freedom fight with Chickadee's men stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, and was proud to know Lonan the barbarian king. We're doing strahd now so its great he wouldn't be recognized as a great hero or have any contacts that PC's could try and exploit. The great thing about him though is he can curb bad habits of PC's easily and with authority. Coward character " If you don't go in there your friends will die, you family will die, you kingdom will perish.. now get off yer lazy arse and do something about it!" over eager fighters who only want to rush into battle " Aye lad you could do that, but if you do who will protect our fresh cleric who's never seen a day of battle, Will you sacrifice her to sate your lust of battle? i was there once it didn't end well " \*heartfelt touch of a locket he always wears\*. Most PC's are looking for prompting and growth from other PC's they want validation and story beat to get over themselves and this often comes with experience in playing DnD. Most early groups want dnd to play like a video game with the illusion of control but very few groups go full murder hobo and strike off in a random direction completely different then the DM's plan. Going back to the Coward character they usually want reminding and prompting of all the things they did " I know you don't want to go into the Dungeon henry..but you've killed a tribe of goblins man! you saved karen with that firebolt yer just as brave as the rest of us you just don't know it!" and if they want to roll say a wisdom check to see IF they buck up then the party should get a group Persuasion check to try and counter that. If they are a let the dice decide type.


>Needs gold ~~Needs~~ gold


This right here. I was running Forge of Fury, and one of my players was playing a halfling who was absolutely terrified. Buuuuut, he needed serious money to pay off his wife's debt so loan sharks didn't break his kneecaps. So he fought the orcs, troglodytes, and dragon, just while screaming like a schoolgirl the whole time.


That’s a fun way to make a scaredy-cat PC.


That's so funny. Especially because at the point where you're killing dragons, you should be able to handle a few loan sharks on your own hahaha


All loan sharks are level 20 barbarians


All loan sharks are a mafia ruled by dragons. Every member is a dragon. They have tuxedos, fancy hats and thompson rifles. Oh, and they all smoke the finest cigarettes on Faerun.


yes exactly! For me it is a very simple thought process, if a character has no motivation to adventure then why would they leave their home and put their life on the line on a more or less daily basis? Its the very same simple principle with the protagonists of stories about adventure (Star Wars and Harry Potter and damn near every super hero for example), they either dont have any living relatives, so little or nothing of a home, or the relatives they do have fucking hate them. and if that kind of pushing force isnt acting on the character, then they are being pulled by something else.


Like Ron Weasley! Yeah! D&D is about the journey to me. Guy just wants to help out that aunt at the edge of town with a rat problem. Gets together some friends, clear out some rats. Then goblins, then hobgoblins, then... before ya know if they are defending the town from a dragon or something.


I'm a fan of my 72yo human knight. He's deathly afraid that he'll die in his bed, so he turned to magic to try and extend his life enough to die a noble death in righteous battle. He plays like a Str Eldritch Knight, but I have the freedom to grab necromancy and earth related spells while protesting that his "interest in necromancy is purely academic". His whole personal arc seems to be straddling the line of noble knight and ruthless necromancer. Best thing is, that if he dies then that's literally the end he was looking for.


My first character in my current campaign was a scholarly warlock seeking knowledge. My Gm gave the party a book containing basically all magical knowledge, though it was really hard to get anything actually relevant to an adventurer out of it. I think it was just intended to be a McGuffin for an early plotline that he'd created long before our session 0 and never really reconcidered. Anyways the rest of the party where not especially interested in the book or the attention it would bring so she immediately took it to a royal library of good repute and gave it to them on the condition that she would get to help study it. shortest lasting character I've ever played at a grand total of six sessions of adventuring before retirement. I think she lasted just over a month in game


One of my characters was an aasimar sorcadin and his reason was that his mom (who was a solar) just told him to do all this stuff or else she would cut him off xd. Worked extremely well, get creative people!


some that my characters use as well: off to have fun (child to a djinn, and with some powerful stuff) off to slay all the gnolls, and get strong enough to slay more (like goblin slayer but replace goblins with gnolls) enemies are food. needs to live the full life of a man


They don't even need to be that good. I have a character built and ready that is pure commoner, loves helping people and cares about his friends. Not very helpful in combat but will pull out that scroll or potion you need for your turn and place it in your hands.


Okay... but now I figured out a great way to have a cowardly character (Even though I never really play cowards). Hear me out: Coward with a huge debt owed to a company of loan sharks that has very wide reach and lots of power. Maxbe a Lich will want to suck your life out inside this specific tomb, but are you ready to be tossed in front of Shark#43 and get his interrogation methods started and then be sold into slavery as a broken husk of a man? I sure hope that Lich likes tea and biscuits!


One of my current characters adventures because they spend gold as soon as they get it. They live every day like it’s their last. And they’re not afraid of dying. They’re a monster hunter, but in order to become better at bunting monsters they turned themselves into a monster (blood hunter)


> but in order to become better at bunting monsters they turned themselves into a monster That's some serious dedication to hanging up decorations.


About 80% of my characters (that’s totally accurate data, no need to look it up) just want to learn more magic or about magic. Done and done!


That is a really well put way of looking at it I think.


This should be Rule 1. Hate antisocial rogues who don't trust anybody and wont leave the city. What the fuck are you thinking making that character in a party based game? And why are you stealing from the people who are literally watching your back?


It's because some players just want to create a cool edgy character that could be good for a book/movie with a single protagonist, and don't think that the protagonist is the party, not their character


These people don’t understand what makes a character cool. Being a standoffish, difficult asshole isn’t cool


The funny thing about this character archetype is that, while they're hardened and cynical and constantly insisting that they don't care about anyone else, they ALWAYS very obviously do care and get involved despite their better judgement. See: Wolverine, Geralt, etc. Players take the characters' superficial insistence that they don't care at face value, and then they fail to add the part that actually makes the character work.


I think the idea is to play hard to get. Book/movie characters are usually "the only one who can stop the evil guy", so this kind of player is asking for a whole lot of extra attention before the party even properly assembles whether they realize it or not.


The very first rule that I tell players (*because I charitably assume that they know how to exist in a social setting without being offensive*) is that they have to make a character that WILL go on an adventure WITH other people. This principle can be reinforced by making new characters be almost penniless, without a proper job, and ideally with debts to pay as well.


I have this in my starting email, so players are primed. > You will be expected to build a character that MUST have a reason to be a contributing member to a group of adventuring heroes. We will have a one-on-one session 0 where I help you build your character if you're new, or just to review it if you're experienced, and introduce you to the world.


I was in a group of very close friends but one of my best bros fiance was EXTREMELY controlling and refused to attack anything, because of this all the group did was argue.


sounds like somebody needs to go.


BuT iT's WhAt My ChArAcTeR wOuLd Do!


It's not fun to play the game as a character that does their best NOT to play the effing game. That includes: * playing a coward that runs from dungeons, dragons, and literally anything you can encounter * playing an asshole that nobody at the table would ever include in their party * playing an omnipotent, fourth-wall breaking god in mortal shell that knows the past, present and future of the module ... or memes from another layer of existence for that matter Don't.


I'd like to add: * A character who'd rather take their haul from the first dungeon to settle down and start a business. It's a reasonable thing for a character to do... but sidebarring the whole campaign into "capitalism simulator" is a huge drag for the rest of the table. If you do it, you'd best have a replacement character immediately available to take over.


>A character who'd rather take their haul from the first dungeon to settle down and start a business. Do that and reroll. You can have that first character send letters or something.


You can have that first character buy an Inn & Tavern .... that then becomes the home base for the party, including your **new** character. :)


You could even help the DM out by adding more flavour to the world, and to the NPCs. Retire your first PC somewhere after their big haul, roll up a new character, and now the DM has someone the PCs know that they can use to pass along plot hooks.


I had one character who's goal was to make money, but like boatloads (50,000 gp then retire). To bad the reward for our level 1 dungeon was a deck of many things, and boy did I get lucky.


I mean... That one is entirely on the DM.


What? Giving a game breaking item to a level 1 party? Why would that be the DM's fault, clearly the children are wrong.


Well, it's a good way to get some damn good plot hooks. The players sorting bad cards out, claiming their companions/treasures/castles... A lot of potential. Plus, you can remove certain cards from the deck! Do a whole quest about discovering previous owners, what they did with the used cards, etc. Edit: THIS IS FOR LEVELS OVER 5, DO NOT GIVE LEVEL 1 PLAYERS A DECK


I’m going to disagree with you there, because low level characters have NO way of dealing with a lot of the negative cards in the deck. Donjon and Void are just “roll a new character” territory and Flames is hopeless. On the flip side, giving a low level character access to Wish will mean that a major problem or problems is going to be solved immediately by way of a Wish spell. These are NOT interesting plot twists. These are just campaign-breakers. The Deck has absolutely earned its place as an artifact that can utterly derail a plot or campaign. Stick it in there for high-level characters as a catalyst for chaos, sure. Dropping it into the hands of sub-11th level characters is like redecorating your kitchen with TNT. It’ll definitely change things…


Add to it that it can cause extreme unbalance in a campaign. I played in a campaign where someone drew the money card and now they had virtually infinite gold where my character for a couple sessions straight only had 3 copper.


Yeah, that's a good point. My only experience with it was after my party got it at level 6-ish, it did shake up things. One got the flames, one beat the death avatar he got and earned the castle, another got 22 strength and a follower (that was awesomely worked into the story). My character hated the person who gave it to us so he didn't draw. I agree it doesn't work at low levels.


Hey level one fight an Avatar of Death. There’s not much of a hook there.


I just checked its wiki article, and while the chance to hit isn't great, it seems that a 2nd level paladin can basically always oneshot their own avatar of death with a smite, dealing 3d8+Weapon die+STR/DEX. If they have +2 CON, their HP on average is 20, meaning the avatar has 10


Giving the deck of many to a level 1 party IS the campaign. Like giving it to players that have already established characters can be game breaking, but at level 1 it is the campaign.


The other one I see a lot is similar but for the first adventure: a character that is not adventurous and does not want to get caught up in the events of the story, instead avoiding all risk by skipping over the adventure entirely. It makes sense for the average person to do this, we would probably all avoid such life threatening adventures in real life, but this is meant to be the story of adventurers, of people who took that risk. Makes me want to pull my hair out. XD


In general the players can pretty much always safely assume that the first session of the game is going to involve the PCs being presented with a plot hook and working together to pursue it (possibly by choice). As a result, one of the basic requirements for a character is that they will choose team with up with the other PCs and follow the plot hook. They can do so reluctantly, they can have a reason to do it but not be happy with it, but if your character just straight up rejects the session 1 plot hook or refuses to work together with the other PCs then you have basically just failed to actually create a character.


Holy shit, I had this player one time who didn’t just reject the call to adventure, he angrily rebuked efforts to involve his character in any game play. “I just want to be a blacksmith!” was his response to literally anything interesting happening. As the DM I had clearly expressed that the party members were supposed to be heroes and ADVENTURERS, but, no, “I just want to be a blacksmith!” I had the bad guys burn down his smithy. That worked.


I feel like this situation requires an out of session conversation with the player along the lines of, "wtf are you doing? If he wants to be a blacksmith, fine. Then roll a new character who wants to play the game. We'll go visit the smithy every now and then."


Clearly, all it required was burning down his smithy.


>“I just want to be a blacksmith!” This has to have just been a bit right?!


Was the PCs name Perrin? Maybe I've been spending too much time in WoT subs...


If they treated it like a catchphrase it could work. Dante: I'm not even supposed to be here today! or Monthy Python, I never wanted to be an adventurer, I wanted to be a Blacksmith! But then they, y'know, actually have to go along with the adventure.


I kinda get it. But, this is something you can do in D&D. This concept needs to be setup clearly in session 0. 1. The party makes their first haul from a dungeon 2. The party invests this in a lucrative business, like owl bear taming 3. Now the party must search and wrangle up owl bears 4. They encounter a rival gang of owl bear poachers 5. They get a contract from a dragon who has a hunger for owl bear flesh I mean...the adventure practically writes itself at this point.


If you’re playing Acquisitions Incorporated, this is a great idea though!


But in AI, you start the business, and **then** go into the dungeon (because there's no other way to balance the books, and the home office is NOT gonna be happy you blew your annual budget on cheap booze and cheaper prostitutes ... all in the first three nights!! Plus, you've got 362 more days of booze-and-hookers to pay for somehow!!) :D


new character idea: a traveling snake oil salesman who uses his status as an adventurer to boost his business


As a DM, I've always made it clear that doing that is a possibility. I've also always made it clear that if they do, their character is essentially retiring, and the player should present a new character to replace it. A DM's narration is a camera. It can only point at one thing at a time. And, just like a TV show can cross-cut between two different places, a DM can narrate events from Scene A, then cut from Scene B, then back to Scene A, but, just like in a show, both scenes have to be relevant to the plot as a whole. If one of them is not, it gets cut to make more room for the relevant one.


We currently have a player that is playing a fallen Asimir. She is a pain in the ass - combative, runs into situations.s without planning, etc. She's lightened up throughout the adventure but still does things on her own a lot. I've started hanging back and read to run when she gets us into situations where we could be overwhelmed. It's challenging but we are handling it.


>playing \[a\] fourth-wall breaking \[guy\] that knows \[...\] memes from another layer of existence \[...\] But ... but ... *Deadpool*™ ...!! :D :D :D


Also * Meme characters who are deliberately designed to be useless, so they aren't able to pull their weight and just end up being a burden I know it's made out to be way more common than it is, but I've occasionally seen people on here saying that it's *best* to play characters with trash stats because it makes for better roleplay (end-stage Stormwind fallacy, anyone?). And I don't mean characters who are useful but unoptimised, or who suck in one area but pull their weight in others (which is generally the "good" way to do an incompetent character), but characters who are plain bad at everything that matters. There are a few niche types of games where it could work (e.g. escort mission sim, or a joke one-shot where everyone is incompetent), but it would need to be a deliberate thing that everyone agrees on.


A friend once played a character whose backstory was an assassin who uses musician as a cover. The sensible thing to do would’ve been to make a Rogue with some kind of performer background. He made… a Bard. A College of Swords Bard, that refused to ever heal or support the rest of the party in any way, and wasn’t particularly good at killing anyways. That, combined with various other issues made the campaign fall apart. To this day, he insists that character was hilarious, and doesn’t understand that all it did was made us wanna not play the game.


My husband LOVES these characters. A brief list of my husband's PCs: * A pacifist paladin who refused to hit things * The traumatised survivor of a kidnapping by vampires who HATED the rest of the party for only being able to save 75% of the victims * A mute bard He's a LOT better now but even these days he hates to play a character who just shows up and does stuff the way you'd expect.


I could see the second one being alright, if it's not done disruptively and ends up being something they work on over time, but the others... honestly, as a DM, I'd be inclined to put my fingers in my ears, assume every PC is at least somewhat competent while designing encounters, and let natural selection sort things out. Meme characters like that might be fun for the person playing them (at least until the joke gets stale, or if they start getting annoyed at how the the other PCs are making them feel useless), but if everyone else is taking the game seriously, it's probably not nearly as entertaining for them.


Honestly, I love the idea of a mute bard who learned how to use their instrument to compensate. I think it’d only work if the DM let you replace some of your verbal components with music, within reason. (So you couldn’t cast Message - or at least couldn’t send a message that contains words - but you could use your flute to cast Charm Person, for example.)


>playing a coward that runs from dungeons, dragons, and literally anything you can encounter Runs from DUNGEONS and DRAGONS. Literally runs from the game


* the guy with no goals or motivation. Why is your character here? "I dunno." The DM is responsible for creating a scenario for you to engage with, not to create a specific reason for YOU. A social recluse at a festival? Maybe they still want to observe from the sidelines or up high, maybe there is something worth stealing, or a person they want to meet. An illiterate barbarian in a Library? Perhaps he wants to check if these "picture books" he has been told about are real. A paladin traveling with an evil character and not murdering them instantly? Have him think the person can still be turned to good, or look for ways their goals will benefit your own, a "for the greater good" kind of deal. Too many times do I see a "My character has no motivation to be there." in r/rpghorrorstories, when it takes me seconds to come up with something.


Also: * Playing the pacifist who pontificates about the need to not kill the bloodthirsty monsters / ravenous undead / invading army. "We should just hug it out, instead."


I played a pacifist in a Scion game, it was hard. She had the spirit of a flower child, but the brains of a hard headed rationalist. She could never quite come to terms with the fact that there are some battles you can't win without violence. She was an impressive healbot, and she'd binge drink her guilt away any time she directly hurt someone.


Yeah, the guy in my group just seems unwilling to accept that one of the conceits of the game is "fighting will happen".


I played an Oath of Redemption Paladin who always tried to talk things out with those he could before anything. Usually, it didn't work out super well, but it was fun. He would never kill anything that lived, but that doesn't mean he didn't fight. He had bothba longsword and a quarterstaff. The staff would be used for most combat encounters, where he'd just bonk things on the head to knock then out. The longsword was there for undead, who he believed were souls trapped, unable to move on to the afterlife where they belonged. All around, I think I did the idea of a pacifist without hindering the party at all


some not awful versions of these 'tropes' * a coward with 1 distinct fear, like orcs or drow, and wants to overcome that fear, and so forces themselves to adventure * playing a character that is a jerk to those who deserve it, and not the party. * playing an omnipotent, fourth-wall breaking god in mortal shell that knows the past, present and future of the module ... but doesnt have access to it in mortal form... or any of the power.


I like the last one. I played a kobold in a one shot who was adamant that he was a dragon, who had been turned into a kobold by jealous enemies. It was bags of fun.


Hahaha I had a Kobold character that too was convinced they were in fact a dragon. Lot's of fun and silliness,


My favourite character I've played recently is a coward who tells tall tales of his amazing achievements which are all false since he's literally never adventured before. He low-key tries to convince the party to take the safe course of action, but can't push too far without breaking his unfaltering outward bravado that's at odds with the fact his internal monologue has been one perpetual scream for the past 6 sessions. Thankfully the one person who accidentally read his mind kept it a secret, but if anyone outs him soon or if someone from his past comes up he's liable to break without a bit more personal growth.


>a coward with 1 distinct fear Mehhhh. I once had a game, we were in our second dungeon- just starting out and the said player wasn't new to D&D or anything so they lose that excuse. Their character was in lore terribly afraid of water because their parents drowned yadda yadda Only problem? We were fighting in a room that had like shin length water on the ground. So We're just some weak level 1-3's (we use XP so it was kinda spotty idk) trying to fight our first monsters and their stupid fucking character spent literally every turn just trying to jump on chairs in order to not touch the water. It wouldn't have pissed me off *as* much as I'll accept RP...but here's the kicker. **They were a fucking caster class** and decided to just be an annoying unhelpful asshole for the entirety of our first big fight. We literally did a fight designed for 3 people with 2 because their character straight up did *zero*. Not even heals or chucking a rock or something. My character straight up asked theirs why they decided to be useless and took their share of the loot as punishment. Later on it evolved to them being a class that has like 98 fucking spells for a person that pics like 2 spells to prepare and acts like the rest of their list doesn't exist. Holy fuck why not just be a fucking fighter if you only want to spam 2 abilities? Why pick something with a spellbook that weighs more than a suv?? Why do people have such a lack of self awareness? Yeah Jessie? We just faced that Vampire Viscount and for the entire fight you just spammed 1 ability and just happened to forget that you have spells that literally **use the sun**. Like it's 2021 you can look up your entire spell list online in the span of 10 seconds. Ugh.


i mean, that play did ignore the rest of it, which is a desire to OVERCOME the fear. but yeah, dont be picky when it comes to spells. there's a reason there are so many.


Now I want to do a one-shot where each character fits that last one but thinks they're the only one and has to hide it until the end


I don't know if you'd consider this an asshole move, but I'm playing a forest gnome necromancer, just hit level 3. First encounter in the town is an ambush by bandits that took the town prisoner. Me and the fighter are in the stables, the artificer and paladin are at another house across the street. Bandits roll pretty good and go first, and one slashed me pretty good. He gets a shocking grasp and then I dip behind the fighter. Fighter knocked the guy out, and we kill the other bandits. Take the one dude prisoner to lead us to his boss..... My gnome is furious. This guy cut the hell out of her,, and the party kept him alive. Riding in the cart with the tied up bandit, she keeps casting minor illusion, depicting ways of killing the bandit. One he was on a gallows hanged, one he was tied to a burning stake.....meanwhile telling the guy "You're lucky the big ones ( the fighter and paladin) felt you were useful....but your usefulness will run out..." I should have taken a proficiency in intimidation...


Shout out to the creative use of Minor Illusion!


I actually did the third one once. Its not as bad as you make it sound Its called being a DM and its surprisingly fun.


But bringing a coward character that overcomes the cowardice and stays it's awesome


Yeah. Don't make other players drag your character on the adventure you signed up to play or beg you to be part of the team. It's not fun for anyone.


You want a good cowardly adventure look at Bilbo Baggins from the Hobbit. Dude was terrified of adventure but also secretly loved it and let the group convince him to go on the quest with minimal difficulty. Also you want to play a coward. Be a rogue. They spend most of combat hiding or running away and they still contribute to the battle.


Another great example of a cowardly character is Usopp from One Piece. A coward, through and through, especially early on in the series. He often proclained not wanting to go to dangerous places, saying he'd get some disease that wouldn't let him onto the island, or trying to convince the others to not go. And yet, every time, he's there. He's fighting. He's pulling his weight. Because 1) he needs to for his friends, and 2) he explicity wants to become a brave warrior.


> also secretly loved it and let the group convince him to go on the quest with minimal difficulty. I've played a character who sometimes says "I dunno, I don't want to..." and sorta adopts the Asian etiquette thing of having to be asked 3 times, but the other players know, and it doesn't need to be an in depth persuasion, it's literally the [scene from Crazy Rich Asian](https://youtu.be/Iegc-mPjp98?t=131). And it's always funny for the group.


Its a common trope of lots of fiction. Cowards forced into situations where their cowardice is challenged, possibly overcome. Scooby Doo comes to mind. The trick is the player needs to meta-game the cowardice, push the character forward. Other systems handle this better too. DnD is a bit too much of a combat simulator to handle this kind of storytelling well.


I've seen this handled well in a situation where two players coordinated their backstories. One was cowardly but they were siblings, and no matter how scared he was he wouldn't let his sister head into danger without him. Meant that he got to RP advocating for caution, play up the feeling of being a character in way over their head, but at the end of the day, the group always had a way to pull the trigger. And he always answered the shot.


Please tell me he was a goliath barbarian.


Nah, though that sounds like a fun subversion. He was an elf wizard who really, *really* would have preferred to just stay home reading books instead of field-testing cantrips on angry skeletons.


sounds like most wizards "god i hope i never actually have to test some of these spells out"


“Hey Tizard the Wizard, you remember that spell you were telling us about the other day? All excited that you learned it? Now might be the time to use it.” “Use it?! I never wanted to use it! I just liked having it in my spell book because it’s cool!”


"yall ever touched batshit before? its not worth a fireball for the endless hand washing after"


“Ohhhhh, this is **never** coming out of my rooooobes!”


Better then a psychopath wizard willing to test their spells on anything just to see how they work out.


That was exactly what I had in mind when I read this. But the thing is is that Scooby and shaggy are absolutely afraid of every dungeon they encounter, but still manage to make their way through it. Players need to realize that the only way you get through the story is by experiencing it. If you are too afraid to enter the dungeon, then you join the crowd city for that never entered the dungeon as well. The story is not about them, it’s about the adventurers that braved it.


I mean shaggy is more or less a bard. Constantly cheering from the sideline, quipping at the bad guys as he narrowly escapes capture. Amazing at disguise, stealth, and actually most things. That's a bard. My one friend played a "sploodge" wizard who used grease, web, and other non-damaging spells because he didn't like violence. It worked out pretty well actually. DnD does a really good job at allowing some pretty flexible builds. You can absolutely do passive characters.


That's what I do! My character is a healing bard. He won't hit unless necessary because he is a pacifist. Since he is lawful good, his friends safety is super important to him. So he will hype them up and heal as needed. But if he's attacked, he can use vicious mockery or another spell to defend himself. I've also established that he is more good than lawful, so he will choose his friends and follow their lead even if he doesn't agree.


Realistically you should always have an in game and out of game answer to “Why do we keep this character around?” In character it can be as simple as “We’re working toward the same goal” or “We like him”. But if you’re constantly complaining and moaning about the character in and out of character, spending significant chunks of time getting both the character and player trying to keep the campaign moving then it’s an issue to address. I do feel there is a way to play cautious characters or even cowardly ones but it has to be conducive to actual play. It can be in character loyalty tempering cowardice (“I would never dream of facing down a basilisk but I’m not leaving my friends to deal with it alone.”) or pragmatism (“Look it’s a stupid idea but If we’re doing this I insist on certain preparations”). Hell there’s nothing inherently wrong with a character acknowledging they are not in a good position. Nobody expects the wizard to duke it out with a Death Knight and really it’s better to GTFO. However at a certain point you have to meet the party and DM halfway. “It’s what my character would do” doesn’t trump “Your character is unfun to deal with.”


>“It’s what my character would do” This phrase is such a scapegoat for most people that say it. It has good RP intentions 10% of the time. "Sorry guys, my barbarian is super spiritual and they will not destroy the totem of worship for this evil cult, that will bring bad juju." But the other 90% is "Guys of course my rogue is going to steal from every store we go into. I know it gets us in trouble every single time and derails the game but, it's just what my character would do." And those people just don't want to take responsibility for their actions.


"It's what my character would do" cuts both ways. If your character is an asshole, then everyone else's characters would abandon them, turn them into the police, or kill them. You can't blame the rest of the players if that happens, it's just "what *their* characters would do." And now that your disruptive character is out of the game, you have the choice of building one the rest of the party will work with, or no longer playing with those people.


I wanna play a he blade coward. When he refuses to go in. The blade drags him in screaming. That would be funny.


"The Blackthorn Sword swings itself towards the knight, with your fingers locked around the hilt, flinging your body around like a fleshy tassle as it deftly fences with the armoured warrior. The knight calls you 'a massive pussy'; the sword loudly agrees with him."


Recently started a game with a few online friends, one of the players I didn‘t know built one of these ‚I‘m thinking only about myself‘ characters. The DM was/is pretty fresh so I made sure we have a session zero and I made sure everyone has the basics (as in: know roughly who your character is, what they can do and remember that you can do a lot of things, but you will only have fun if you and your character actually cooperate with the table). Said player still decided to make a selfish character, the extreme way. Proceed to have said player stay back in a keep sleeping when the group does things, ignore team planning, steal shit from a friendly npc, run away from combat when the whole group is fighting and when we enter a huge camp of cultists to scout it out and free a monk npc guy there, he actually decides that his character would take a nap in the camp before/while shit hits the fan. So we free the guy, escape with a scheme and he… sleeps in the camp. Noone knows where he is, our characters in a fresh group honestly wouldn‘t give a shit about the baggage that he presents and so they leave him there - safe to say that they could hardly save him anyway after just escaping with a prisoner from a camp of a few hundred cultists. So he got murdered and then was pissed that noone tried to save him…


Just as it was in character for him to take a nap in the camp and do all the other shit, so was it in character for your party to leave the idiot to his fate


If the point of your character is to be a coward, you really should make it a point that their arc is all about overcoming that.


I mean hey, even Shaggy and Scooby would join Fred, Daphne and Velma on their adventures. Even though they were easily spooked. Right?


They didn't have to fight enemies to make the show enjoyable. It works as a cartoon character but not as a cooperative game character that should be contributing towards a battle.


>They didn't have to fight enemies to make the show enjoyable. I've seen almost every Scooby-Doo thing ever released. They have, on occasion, stood up to the terrifying monsters to get the job done. They've only rarely abandoned their friends and it was always regretted and redeemed.


Very well said. This completes what I was trying to say!


As an experienced DM I have a keen eye that can easily spot the newbie edgelord character and am quick to stop it. "Never say no!" trumpet a lot of people in this community. Bullshit - "no" is one of the most important tools in your TM toolbox. If a player wants to make a gloomy edgelord who actually just doesn't want to adventure, veto that backstory. Just say "no, you can't just make any character, you must make an *adventurer*."


This is part of our table contract. My session 0 document: "Your character needs to say yes. Normal people stayed at home and made sensible choices. Your characters aren’t normal people. You’re out for trouble. Find reasons to say yes when it shakes your hand."


This. I tell my players that their character chose a life of adventure, danger, and risk. They could’ve chosen the safer life of a farmer, a tradesman, or something else mundane, but they didn’t.


I think that the base line a character needs to be is an adventurer. That is a broad term that encompasses an enormous expanse of different character concepts, from good to evil, commoner to noble, etc. However, all of them at least want to adventure - to go to dangerous places, to do dangerous things, and to do *something*.


Step 1: play game about going on adventures Step 2: be character who doesn't go on adventures Step 3: credits roll


Agree with this. I'll add - if you do really want to play a full blown coward (i.e. not a character that makes a few cowardly comments, but literally do not want to adventure), it's something you and your table should talk through at session zero. The most likely way to make it work is to run a full party of cowards (or just really cautious, non-adventuring people). It'll take some adjustments, but the DM can set up a campaign/plot that works with it - i.e. the entire campaign will revolve around trouble coming to your party (who just want to be left alone) as opposed to you looking for it. The problematic version of coward characters is when they constantly pull at the exact opposite direction of the narrative and party, to the degree where you force time and attention to talk you out of your cowardice each time the party wants to do anything. That can be annoying and selfish, and kind of a weird form of meta-gaming where you're holding the party hostage via the meta-knowledge that the group needs to be together for the story to proceed. Realistically, the cowardly character would likely leave the group since it's a win-win scenario for all.


Yes, be a Bilbo! He just wanted to be at home drinking tea and smoking pipeweed, and said so repeatedly. But when it was time to sneak into a Dragon's Lair, he fucking did it!


In other words: don't make it the jobs of the rest of the players (or the DM) to motivate your character to do his job. That's just being an asshole regardless of whether you meant it. Maybe the party actually *does* want to work with that and thinks that's fun. But chances are they don't. Come up with your own reason why your coward is braving the dungeon, and RP that out.


When you make a character the question : why there are adventuring? is pretty fundamental.


Most of my 5e experiences so far featured big problems with tempo, and much of that had to do with one player who would give up just about anything to get another long rest whenever there was any substantial depletion of spell slots or hit dice. He just didn't think adventurers should take risks. Eventually I just stopped trying to fight it, but for the first year or so with that group I was extremely creative in trying to drive them forward even after completing two or three proper fights in the same day.


> Most of my 5e experiences so far featured big problems with tempo, and much of that had to do with one player who would give up just about anything to get another long rest whenever there was any substantial depletion of spell slots or hit dice. That's when you remind everyone that according to the rules, they can only benefit from one long rest per 24 hours.


That's when I up difficulty on them. If they only want to fight at full strength then they get harder less forgiving fights.


>give up just about anything to get another long rest whenever there was any substantial depletion of spell slots or hit dice Sounds like someone played too many videogames where time doesn't mattered. Preparing for the first assault is fine but going in and out of the dungeon or camping in the dungeon means attacks, completed rituals, killed hostages, escaped leader or whatever.


While that one player is absolutely making the problem worse, this is a 5E problem in general. It is a game of attrition, but the players need short rests, but short rests are damn near impossible to fit in narratively if you think about them for more than a moment. An hour is a long time in a dungeon. Long rests are a similar problem. If your dungeon is particularly difficult they players might not be able to clear it in a single long rest. Especially if a fight goes bad. Then with travel, putting enough encounters in a travel to actually tax resources would bog your game down to a crawl. Faster or longer recovery systems seem to work better.


Back in the day we used to play Marvel Super Heroes a lot and everyone had well-established characters. One player was notorious for being stubborn. Once at the beginning of a session the GM asked everyone where they were. Most came up with something reasonable but she insisted she was alone at the Moon base. Asleep. With the alarms off and with earplugs and knocked out with a sleeping aid. Then she sat there and sulked when the GM said "fine" and proceeded to leave her out of the adventure entirely. I think with some people it's a power trip.


I have a half-drow fathomless warlock who absolutely does not like adventuring ("I never should have left the underdark... 😫") And is terrified of all the danger it brings, but his patron, Umberlee, forces him to do it anyway.


I assume this is meant to play off the irony that the average adventurer lives a safer lifestyle than the average Underdark inhabitant.


Not really. Left home with his human dad after a custody dispute, then immediately regretted it because they got into a shipwreck. Now the only reason he doesn't go back home is because Umberlee plucked him out of the sea and said, "You work for me now," and she won't let him go back. I lean into the tentacle theme of the subclass, but they're controlled by Umberlee, not him. He hates everything about it but has no say in the matter, so he begrudgingly goes along with it and apologizes profusely for the death and destruction caused by the tentacles.


To anyone wanting to play a coward may I suggest: the adventurer who would gladly slay a dragon any day over asking their waiter for extra ketchup. “Evil mage dungeon that has killed every adventurer who has attempted to infiltrate? Sure, I’m free this weekend! I just have to get home for dinner on Sunday. Ask the local cleric to remove the curse I got from the last dungeon? Haha no, that’s ok, it’s not that bad.” Make them a paladin too with relatively good CHA (as long as this isn’t too detrimental to the party)


“Good character, I will use it as a NPC. Now please, make an adventurer.”


Cowards can be fun if played correctly. My current campaign has a simple farmer turned Druid who is in way over his head. He is often reluctant to enter scary places and reacts poorly to combat (vomiting, shaking, etc.) However, when the chips are down, he rises above his cowardice to join the party and contribute as expected. His motivation is that he has a family that nearly starved and he wants to provide for them so they never come close to that again. So, in short, the cowardice is a role-playing tool for the character to grow from, but the player does not let it get in the way of the mechanics of the game. He's one of my favorite players precisely because he doesn't ALWAYS do the optimal thing, but not to the point where it becomes a problem. He is often the player who comes up with something a little off the wall that ends up going either really well or somewhat haywire and these are the encounters that the party as a whole remembers as defining events.


The player is playing an NPC. 😂😂😂 You can have a talk with the player and explain they created a character that can't interact with the campaign or just let them sit off to the side for a few hours until the danger had passed. (How much screen time does a scared bystander have an action/adventure movie? None.) It's like making a character that's a farmer, who just stays on the farm. It's a believable character but it can't exist on any meaningful way in your campaign.


I have a player in my current campaign who plays a coward who still participated in adventure well; she’s never an active part of combat in the sense that she hides and only casts buff/debuff spells and role plays during combat. It’s also helped the rest of the party look at combat as more than “run in and murderhobo” and find more interesting ways to progress.


As a DM I tell my party these are their only rules for character creation. 1. The character has to be willing to answer the call to adventure 2. They must be willing to join and build a strong party relationship (I allow for formative time as part of role play) 3. They must be good/neutral in their intentions (unless we specifically decide on an neutral/evil campaign) I'm lucky though, my players rock and we've been consistent for years.


I played a tabaxi arcane trickster that was a coward (scaredy cat). Alert feat (always on edge), and would regularly discuss the dangers of walking down dark hallways. Preparing for combat he'd declare to the tank, "You got this! I believe in you! I got your back! Like I'll literally be behind you using you as cover." During combat he'd run around, shooting and stabbing, exclaiming how this is so very dangerous. Yikes! Look out! Oh no! Sorry! Worrying his party would die and leave him alone. When opening a trap he'd lament that these things should probably be done by someone more qualified (he was the most be qualified). In all cases he supported party decisions, went with the plan, did as much damage as possible in combat, was helpful, and never turned down a request.


I feel like this is a good way of both acknowledging the game and role. I feel like too many people get caught up in the RP or the G of RPG and make characters that don't really have a place.


I 100% agree. It feels like this trend comes from a combo of some anime series that have done this and then people trying to say "it's what my character would do" and struggling for motivation.


The reluctant hero trope is a vibe across media for sure, but what some players miss is that a character who makes an interesting protagonist in a novel or show doesn't necessarily make a good D&D character.


Also a big part of the reluctant hero is the last word. They still are heroic. Have a cowardly merchant that does not want to go fight some goblins that stole from the party in the middle of the night. But end of the day, if they don't fight those goblins they aren't getting their supplies back. They are reluctant to be put into danger, but something motivates them to to do it.


I mean they could but they need that thing that pushes them. They need the Ringwraiths to come looking for the heirloom their uncle left them, or the Empire to have their family killed and childhood home burned down at the same Time an old hermet shows up to tell them about their true heritage - they need the push that the reluctant heroes of fantasy fiction get from the plot. So either your backstory needs to provide that oush of, "the agents of the dark God will never rest while I live, and their efforts make me a danger to anyone I settle near so I must find a way to defeat him and surround myself with others who are capable enough to defend myself." or the GM has to do that for you, which can often come off as railroading to the point abusive if they're constantly having your lovers killed and the tavern you tried to start burned down and telling you about a destiny in your background that you never wrote for yourself to try and force you back onto the rails. Ideally you would Ned to negotiate With the GM to have your background be relevant to the campaign - they might already have an orphan killing evil God of their own already mind for their antagonist after all. It doesn't always have to bad things happening to those you love. Some classes (paladins clerics sorcerers and warlocks in particular) come with built in calls to adventure - you were content with farming life but then Tyr Himself called you to be the instrument of His justice and you figured "who am I to say no?". But you got to come up with something that has at least the potential to let the DM *overcome* your reluctance if you want to play that trope.


I still remember the cowardly pc that never did anything other than throw Spice and cower from enemies whilst the other pces fought an died in tomb of annihilation. But it was okey he was the best friend of the dm so it was just good role playing. Not mad at all.


As a DM I reserve the right to quickly and unsympathetically kill a character that is alone because they were cowering away from danger and the rest of the party. Or otherwise avoiding engagement with the adventure. Emulating Dan Harmon of Harmonquest isn't a valid justification to bog down the rest of the group's play time.


I think there's this misconception that you can play any character in D&D. You have a lot of freedom, but if there is one absolute requirement it's that your character must be an *adventurer* at heart.


The opposite player to this is the one who keeps moving forward at all costs. So the level 1 party I'm in has just beaten 2 orcs and 5 kobolds and we're really low on everything; so we make a plan to use a hidden room to take a long rest in. We haven't even finished the conversation when a hyper active player has gone into the next section and started combat with another 5 kobolds - who chase after him as he runs back to us so we can't even leave him to his fate.


Bar the door. And let him die then give them shines to fuck off


I did this as a barbarian who only went adventuring because his therapist told him he needs to get out more. He went bear totem so it hurts less. He also yells Placebo! when he goes into a rage.


That last bit is hilarious


Make your PC want to be an adventurer in the adventure. Ask your DM for some specific hooks and bite on them.


I have a player in my current campaign who plays a coward who still participated in adventure well; she’s never an active part of combat in the sense that she hides and only casts buff/debuff spells and role plays during combat. It’s also helped the rest of the party look at combat as more than “fun in and murderhobo” and find more interesting ways to progress.


Plot twist, a lot of these players played with brutal DMs who punish every build and drive home every weakness.


So. Much. This. Been playing with/DM’ing for someone who consistently plays these characters and it’s driving me up the wall! Yesterday she spent an entire tavern battle under a table shapeshifted as a mouse. WHY COME TO THE GAME???


This is roughly what I tell my players before we start the game: "I recommend playing a character who wants to be an adventurer, wants to be part of a team, and is trustworthy. In narrative media characters who reject the call to adventure, dont want to work with others, or arent trustworthy usually have events conspire to make sure they follow the right path, bond with the other characters, and dont step over the line. I will not have the spare bandwidth to do this for your character. If you want to play a coward or a thief or a liar or whatever, then you need to come up with justifications and scenarios that will motivate your character and moderate their behavior, and then communicate with me about them. As players we will put up with a lot of behaviors that our characters never would, because we're all trying to make it work and have a good time. If your character takes actions that would reasonably get them kicked out of an adventuring party who rely on each other in life or death situations, I will ask you to make a new character or have them go through a personal epiphany real quick." The dynamic of the table really lets some stupid shit happen that doesnt make sense. Players want to stay together even when their characters would have skipped out ages ago. No one going into a lair of literal undead is going to be ok with having someone untrustworthy or cowardly at their back.


I agree. If I am the GM, and you tell me you don't want your character to be an adventurer? What I hear is "*I don't want to play D&D.*" And I will **oblige** you, by not including you in my D&D game.


I had a “scaredy cat” tabaxi in one of my sessions and their reluctance to explore and fight caused the party to get TPK’d TWICE. The first time the tabaxi survived by hiding under a pile of hay while the rest of the group was slowly massacred in front of it. The second time, however, the cat was caught in the slaughter, and everyone in the group let out a sigh of relief. I’ve never seen a group so readily accept a TPK just to be free of one problem character.


Some people want to sit and watch. Just award the people who do stuff with XP and loot and the coward gets nothing. Though you could also have it that when the party goes in, and the coward sits out, you could switch to them in combat at like initiative 10 and ask what they're doing outside... give them like 30 to 60 seconds... then move to the next person in the initiative. That'd be funny. And the second time you do that in a combat when you ask everyone to roll initiative, chuckle and say that the coward should roll too! Everyone laughs. And when the coward starts describing what he's doing outside either you ask them to roll Perception to see the party of (insert humanoids) who were about to spring an ambush on him. Then while the party fights whatever is inside, he can solo whatever outside. Try and make it the same kind of humanoids (like let's say an orc hunting party returning to their lair and finding an easy target at their door). You don't have to kill the coward when they hit 0HP. Orcs may have taken him for a slave. Have the rest of the party rescue him afterwards (if they want). Either way, your coward will see the foolishness of staying outside alone and choose otherwise.


Yup. Even for a coward, the advisable thing would be to stick to the party of well trained adventurers.


Made my PC value his own self preservation in battle more than the usual adventurer. Swashbuckler who used hit and run tactics. Sacrificed himself to beat the BBEG in the last session. The DM was not expecting it and felt it was a great end to his story.


100% agree. My first ever character had that trait, and I scrapped that immediately after the 1st session cus it made things so boring for me


A fellow player in my group plays the "coward genius" trope really well, I'm the charismatic barbarian that's always willing to fight and encourages the rest of the party. He (artificer) stayed in the back to do damage from afar. We had an arch where I talked him into joining a tournament with me and his character became more confident in himself and multiclassed into rogue. Now he's the confident genius that uses his smarts in battle.


Yep. At the bare minimum, the players should make character that want to go on the adventure. If they make a character that doesn't, then they can play their identical twin who has the same character sheet but wants to go on the adventure.


I had a PC talk about playing a cowardly character, but he wasn't sure the best way to go about it as he didn't want to run away from every encounter regardless of challenge. You can play a cowardly character and still have motivations to engage in combat. Could be you are cowardly but hate that about yourself so you mentally have to fight through that barrier, maybe roll play that your sword is shaking in your hand. Or that you are cowardly but don't want to feel responsible if your friends get hurt so you go to try and protect them best you can. Lots of ways you can do this.


You lose control of your character the moment the last one can no longer adventure with the party. If you want to enjoy yourself, make a character who wants to adventure with the other player’s characters. That is the player’s job, not the DM’s.


Literally had a ROGUE once run from combat, with the rest of us trapped in the fight, and he refused to come back until the combat was over because "he didn't do fights." That campaign ended right after that session.


Had a player character who would, "refuse to cast spells or do damage in combat", because it was "wrong to hurt others". It got to the point that he would purposely heal enemies in combat so we would "make a compromise". It led to a beheading of a child and a village set to flames. He destroyed my spellbook because "You had too many damaging spells. You need to go on the path of love". I'm an enchanter.


Dungeons and Dragons, at its roots and core, is a roleplaying game about being adventurous, slaying monsters, finding treasure, and becoming legendary. It isn't inherently bad for a character to have some reservations about leaving town, but if your PC sticks to his guns on this issue and doesn't budge when the hook is dropped, then your PC is not going to be going on the adventure, plain and simple. A character choosing to face their fears is awesome; fantastic, classic character design. A character being stubborn out of fear is awful; it slows the game down, puts the DM in a bind, and frustrates everyone at the table. Play a different system if you want to be a cowardly character.


I played a "coward bard" who's actually a magic talisman warlock (think power ranger or magical girl). He hides, transforms, fights, and leaves, then comes out of hiding. Also he's the face and a great liar and actor.


I blame Dan Harmon


Yeah, this character would be left at the next tavern. Re-roll, my friend.


One of the worst semi-common things to do. you can do so much worse of course.


I had this happen once. Had a guy in my party, I’ll call them S, who’d just left a group at his school that included a bunch of far younger kids, all of which were murderhobos, and my friend wasn’t really used to making a normal character. So, he brought into my campaign a multiclassed mess that was supposed to be a guy from modern times who didn’t want an adventure. I saw tons of red flags at the suggestion, but I wanted to play with my friend, so I let them into the party. First session he plays he breaks the forth wall in basically every conversation, making role play awkward. Then, when the team begins to fight a shadow demon, S runs the other way as fast as he can. One of my other friends, a Paladin in game and in real life personality, who ill call C, is thoroughly pissed he isn’t helping, and runs after him, attacking him. At this point, I try to shut it down, but I’ve let too much happen it’s going down hill. Session ends without much issue, but next session, there’s obvious tension between the two, and S is mad at C for trying to kill them. S tries to make it up that session, but again avoids every combat. I make it thoroughly clear to them: if you want to be in the group, either participate in fights or at the very least don’t hurt roleplay and combat. It didn’t really work; they joined some battles, but they stay alienated. Long story short, C and S, who were long time friends, screwed up their friendship with it. I should have shut it down way earlier, but it ruined a campaign’s continuation because I allowed it. Don’t be afraid to turn down ideas, even if you are friends with the person. Some characters just don’t work well in the game, and you need to step your foot down early.


@ashly burch as Keg in Critical Role


One of my players in my current campaign decided to play a Pirate Bard… he went Chaotic Neutral… he refuses to follow the party and engage in the campaign. “I just feel my character wouldn’t do that.” “My character wouldn’t go that way.” Just keeps pushing the wrong way… so he’s about to get arrested for burning down a tavern and will be sent to be executed. I’m gonna leave it to the party to decide if they want him to be saved… if not I’m going to make him roll a new character that actually engages the campaign… and leave his pirate bard hanging in the gallows.


You're a party of *adventurers*, go *adventure* At the very least go explore because "sure why not" You know that moment when you first started college, you don't know anyone, and your roommate suggests heading to the dining hall together? You say yes because what the fuck else are you going to do. Go adventure with your new tavern roomie because you've got nothing better to do


They are no longer a PC but a NPC. Or this is an elaborate escort mission.


I think the Matt Colville quote about how your character shouldn't be Frodo at the shire needing to be persuaded by the story to join the trip is bang on. You should be frodo at Rivendale shouting "ill take it".


Yeah I had this with the rogue in my group I’m DMing through CoS - it’s massively annoying and crap for the rest of the party


I have never seen a player do this. Is it even a thing?


it's not for nothing that "I'm just roleplaying my character" is often described as the Nuremburg defence of rpgs.


Honestly this. Its worse in Call of Cthulhu. Any player that knows the setting purposefully avoid all relics, books, strange behaviour or anything resembling a plot hook until literal monsters or cultists take over the city.


I ran a low level Twilight Cleric as a DMPC who had never seen combat. He had only ever sparred with other clerics during training and was shaking in his boots. He was hiring the party to help him clear an orc camp who kept raiding his town. I let the dice flavor his reactions. First combat roll, rolled a 10 to hit with an AC of 12. He took aim with his crossbow but he was trembling so much he missed. Missed another one next roll so he faltered, backed up, and tripped on a rock. A little later he finally hit one and I played it like a burst of Thunder came out of nowhere(his patron was basically Thor) and he smacked the orc upside the head with his mace. Later on, at the end of the arc he used Spiritual Weapon and got the final blow on the orc boss. I had been trying to save the final blow for the party's rogue who had taken a beating in the opening rounds of the fight due to a bad stealth roll but the whole party apparently found it satisfying that the cleric won the day and overcame his fears. Point is, he was in over his head and was terrified but had a job to do. I was really lucky with the dice and got to tell a satisfying story through him, but you hit it on the head. You're here to play. Please interact with the rest of the group. Edit: Grammar


The way I played a coward character was I also made him a doctor, so, while he was terrified of fighting and dungeons, he still went in because he couldn't bear to see his friends get hurt too badly and not be able to help them. This kinda attitude eventually helped him get over his fears later on in the story too