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Kline, also known as Prince Arutha of Karameikos, was a roleplay character in the campaign that Enjr was in. In fact, he was an NPC paladin of Valerais (goddess of love). Many many times he got the party out of difficult scrapes, took daggers in the back from them and even, a few times, nearly died for them. He was a lot harder than any of the characters themselves (Str 18/91, Dex 17, Con 17 etc etc) and this meant that he was not only their leader, but also their rescuer and idol.
Kline Syndrome
Kline Syndrome is that state of affairs whereby the major party NPC, as provided or rolled by the GM, is far harder than any of the characters. Kline was created fairly (apparently) but due to a remarkable dollop of GM favouritism, became far harder than anyone else in the party. He rarely failed a check (we once managed to get him to break down a magically sealed stone door) and he never took much damage. As first level adventurers we were forever throwing daggers into his back in narrow dungeon corridors and not once did he die, or pass out, while we passed out all around him. He was the leader so we all followed him, and he was the hardest so we all always stood in his shadow, like a Kline adoration troupe. The problem with this, and why it's dubbed 'Kline Syndrome', is the fact that it takes all the fun away from the players; they are the ones who are meant to shine, who are meant to be doing stuff; the NPCs, while important, should not be the structure of the party. It's demoralising enough when one of the characters seems to be getting all the magical items and going up levels quicker, without the NPCs, over which the GM has complete and utter control, receiving a magical sword +5 Holy Avenger and plate mail +10, and Kline recieved both these things. He was consistently a higher level than any of the PCs and although he kept us out of trouble, he also found less challenge in the smaller opponents we faced.
In short, Kline Syndrome is GM favouritism towards their own NPCs, to the detriment of the other characters in the game. This is surprisingly common as GMs often have far-reaching and glorious plans; a possible example is my own NPC, Kaer, leaving the party to become a leader of the Elven nation in Amir'Shaan. However, I made sure that Kaer did not receive any of the magical items the party picked up unless no on else could use them (which never happened) and he kept quiet and in the background, so as to avoid any accusations of leadership.
I'm interested in hearing other people's views on this matter; if you have anything you would like to say about it, whether you agree or disagree, are a roleplayer or not, and I will probably post your comments on this page. You can get me at: dracoliche@hotmail.com or at any other address you happen to know I'm at. Thankyou.
[Banana Zone] [Star Wars] [Episode I] [Word of the Week] [The Dungeon] [Enjr] [Me] [Favourites] [Skavengers]

Note on terminology:
GM: Games Master (or DM, Dungeon Master), the person controlling the game.
PCs: Player Characters; the characters played by the players (as opposed to the GM).
NPCs: Non-Player Characters; characters played by the GM.
This is just in case you didn't know, as I realised I used the jargon without thought for those people who don't roleplay and those people who do not use the terms in their games.