Spurred on by tension between players in the last couple of sessions, I re-analysed the recent player survey responses and used them to rate each player on the classic four motivations… to recap quickly:
- Achievers like finding loot and leveling up.
- Explorers like finding stuff out about the rules or the setting.
- Killers like killing things, sometimes other players.
- Socialisers like talking to NPCs and other players.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with any of them, but if Player A’s motives differ too much from Player B’s, it’s harder to craft a session that appeals to both of them.
I then plotted the results on a radar chart, which you can see below. (Yeah, I know, I take this stuff way too seriously.)
Some things leapt out at me…
Externally Focussed Parties
These groups should stick together, and the main conflicts should be with monsters or NPCs.
- Peter and Gutz can operate in any party, but work especially well together. Their radar plots are so close they overlay each other perfectly.
- Athienne and Garstrewt work well together, but both prefer to avoid fights.
- The Warforged and Alihulk work well together as long as the party is in combat.
- Nessime’s interests overlap with everyone’s except Athienne and Garstrewt, but never by more than half; so Nessime will usually be slightly at odds with whatever is going on.
Internally Focussed Parties
Here, the main conflicts will be between party members, so I expect the party will split up in play.
- Athienne or Garstrewt with The Warforged, Alihulk or Nessime; these two groups have opposing interests.
- The Warforged and Alihulk, if there are no fights.
In descending order of frequency, I expect the three commonest party makeups to be:
- Group A: The Warforged, Nessime and Gutz. For this group, I should prioritise fights, with loot and puzzles in joint second place.
- Group B: Group A plus Athienne and Garstrewt. This will be the hardest one to manage, as I can literally please Athienne and Garstrewt, or The Warforged and Nessime, but not both pairs at the same time. The best I can do here is time-slice between puzzles, combat, loot and NPC interaction.
- Group C: Group A plus Peter. In terms of scenario focus I can treat this as if it were Group A.
- Group D: Peter, Abishag, Alihulk and Borg. Puzzles are more important than for Group A, but fights are still good.
If I’m not sure who is coming to a session, which I am usually not, I should go with Group A, but need to consider how I can keep Athienne and Garstrewt interested if they turn up.