[Word of the Week]
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
or at any other address you happen to know I'm at. Thankyou.
- 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.
[Word of the Week]
- Note on terminology:
- GM: Games Master (or DM, Dungeon Master), the person controlling
- 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.