So, in the spirit of continuing with shorter posts this week, I figured I'd revitalize the 'Discussion' tag and get going with that. Today's topic, how do you handle the lone wolf?
Now, odds are most of us have been there. You're running the game, you got all your PCs together, the plot is moving forward, and then something happens. Now, it isn't a group issue, but someone - and let's be honest, it is usually the same person, or character, most of the time - suddenly decides that this "acting as a team" thing is for chumps, or that they're safer not with the rest of the group. Then, they run off on their own.
So, how do you handle it when that happens? Sure, there are some standards like giving less screen time, or trying to lead them back to the group, but sometimes even those don't work. I want to be careful and not go into the 'destructive' lone wolf - where they just start smashing things to get it to work - and keep this focused on just a lone wolf. Maybe they're still trying to go with the plot, maybe they are actually being in character and not trying to be disruptive. So how do you handle it?
In one game I was in, one character kept running or leaving when he thought the group's plan was just going to get us into danger. Each time he went off on his own, things got even worse for him, and it ended with the group having to save him while enacting their plan. Eventually he stopped leaving because, sure what we were going to do was stupid, but he'd just end up in the middle of it anyhow. At least with us, he wouldn't be starting off bound and naked in the dark.
In a game I ran, when the player put in the effort they would get pieces of the puzzle, only they were pieces that they'd need specific people in the group to solve/figure out/use, and that would lead them back tot he group. The group took it from there, providing help on the condition that the person stopped lone wolfing.
So, how do you do it? How have you done it? Do you just let it go? Or try to discourage it from the start?