For the Good of the Party, or What Would Ari Do

2007 September 10
by Stupid Ranger

There comes a moment when every character is faced with a decision whose outcome will either be for the good of the character or the good of the party. And when that times comes, it is one of the most difficult situations you will ever face.

The Scenario

At the end of a recent campaign, Ari, my elven fighter, found herself in the midst of a situation where she had to question her actions: was she acting in the best interest of the party? The group had acquired several pieces of the star-shaped artifact that would close the many portals opening all over the countryside; they had climbed the tower to the ceremonial site; they had found several of the pieces already in place. All they had to do was join the few pieces they had collected, and the star would be complete. As they were about to complete their mission, their luck ran out; multiple portals opened around them, and demons started entering the room.

The Dilemma

As the guardian of the artifact’s pieces, Ari felt obligated to finish putting together the star; as one of the fighters, she felt obligated to draw her blades and fight off the minions of evil. She was sure, however, that if she could finish reconstructing the star, the gates would be closed and they would all be safe again. But, she still felt as if she were taking the easy route in all of this, standing at the back of the room and furthest away from all the danger. Should she keep up her efforts reconstruct the star, even though she was not suffering in the attacks, or should she abandon her task and fight to save her companions?

The Decision

Ari held true to her convictions and continued to reconstruct the star while all around her demons poured into the world, bent on destruction. Every time it was her turn, and the DM looked over at me to see what Ari would do, I struggled against the metagaming voice that told me someone across the room was about to be officially dead and allowed Ari to hold onto her belief that the only way to end this was to finish piecing together the star.

In the end, it all turned out okay. Ari was right all along, and by reconstructing the star, she caused the portals to close. By allowing my character to follow her convictions (and by staying in character), the evils were defeated and the entire party went on the live happily ever after… until the next chapter starts up in a few weeks.

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