This question is about an online community campaign: we are around 20 players who play on a persistent universe where anyone can run a game as a GM. The system is Pathfinder 2e and players can have multiple character so that they can play on quests designed for different levels.
Among the 20 players the degree of participation is heterogeneous and usually only a handful of players are available for a specific session.
Recently I learnt other players didn’t want to play with my main character (the one of the highest level). I don’t know exactly how many of them nor exactly why, but the effect is that I basically can’t play this character: each time there is a session where I could play her, a player cancels their participation, which yields to the session being cancelled or delayed to oblivion.
After talking with one player specifically I understood he considered my character was too immature and getting on his character’s nerves for lacking respect.
My character is actually a 25 years old gnome: so basically a child but who still has more life experience than many adventurers. She gets serious when she thinks it is needed, but keeps a playful face (for example when casting a spell she would add silly incantations to make it sound like a lullaby). She often disagrees with other characters but I am extra careful not to make it disrupt the game’s flow (I think I am doing well, even if that’s hard to tell).
She is about as respectful as one could expect a 10 yo human child with magic powers to be: not especially mean but not extra polite either.
She also has a secret identity, as a vigilante, who is way more serious than her. I use this as an excuse to justify playing this character in scenarios that wouldn’t look fun enough for the child gnome to engage in.
The player I talked to seems to consider it as impossible that his character ever ends up getting along with mine. Personally I don’t think he tried it at all since all the examples he presented to me were in my opinion very minor points of disagreement. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that he wants to play darker games but somehow retrains himself from playing "dark" when my character is around. As you can’t imagine bringing that up is not easy without being a douche, so I haven’t yet.
About the other players I only have suspicions. I think some simply don’t like that my character is not very powerful compared to their. They would be right: I haven’t optimized her build and on top of that some are simply more accustomed to the system and make a better use of their actions each turn.
As a side note none of those players seem to have any issue with my other characters (who are both more optimized and not annoying in the same way). Also my character is not the youngest nor the least mature of all the PCs, but she is the only one like that in her level range.
As of now I see two solutions, but none is very satisfying:
- I could drop this character and make a new one. Pro: I am pretty sure I could make one nobody will hate. Con: I like this character, I don’t want to drop her.
- I could focus on her vigilante alter ego. Pro: I still would be able to play her. Con: I suspect it might not be enough and other players won’t even try to play with the alter ego by association with the character they know.
There are probably more solutions yet to be found.