Multiple Character Problems

Playing the role of a single character in depth is more than enough work for one person. Adding a second character usually means that both become lists of numbers rather than personalities.

Shared Items: One single player/multiple character problem that needs to be nipped in the bud is that of shared equipment. Some players will trade magical items, treasure, maps, and gear back and forth among their characters.

For example, when Phaedre goes adventuring she takes along Bertramm's ring of invisibility. Bertramm, in exchange, gets the use of Phaedre's boots of speed. In short, each character has the accumulated treasure of two adventurers to draw on.

Do not allow this! Even though one player controls both characters, those characters are not clones. Their equipment and treasure is extremely valuable. Would Phaedre loan her boots to a character controlled by another player? How about an NPC? Probably not, on both counts. Unless the character is (foolishly) generous in all aspects of his personality, you have every right (some might call it a duty) to disallow this sort of behavior.

Shared Information: Information is a much more difficult problem. Your players must understand the distinction between what they know as players and what their characters know. Your players have read the rules and shared stories about each other's games. They've torn out their hair as the entire party of adventurers was turned into lawn ornaments by the medusa who lives beyond the black gateway. That is all player information. No other characters know what happened to that group, except this: they went through the black gateway and never returned.

The problem of player knowledge/character knowledge is always present, but it is much worse when players control more than one character in the same region. It takes good players to ignore information their characters have no way of knowing, especially if it concerns something dangerous. The best solution is to avoid the situation. If it comes up and players seem to be taking advantage of knowledge they shouldn't have, you can discourage them by changing things a bit. Still, prevention is the best cure.

And remember, when problems arise (which they will), don't give up or give in. Instead, look for ways to turn the problem into an adventure.

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