269 Team Player or Lone Wolf

PCs Operating as a Team v. as Individuals

Some games seem to promote individual play as much as group play – some players seem to thrive/enjoy doing private adventures in and amongst other groups. What are our experiences with this?


I really feel 5E is all about team play. As a DM I most often set up encounters for the party as a whole. I always try and have, shine time, for 1 to 2 different Players each session. This works pretty well most of the time. When I get a lone wolf player I try very hard to add details that makes him need the other characters. For example " wow no matter how hard you try you can’t smash open that box, it won’t budge, maybe you should see if the rouge can pick the lock" or something like " that item looks pretty odd, you could ask the mage to give it the once over for bad magic" . Sometimes this gets players to team work, but not always.
As a player , the rare times I get too play. I always love the group effort. When a lone wolf shows up then I as a player, which often translates into my PC, always messes with the player or character every chance I can work it in. All in good fun of course. I never let it ruin other players fun. I like a happy table!:hugs:

My DM does an amazing job of encouraging team work in our 5e campaign. Anyone who joins the game has to ask his 3 questions:
Why are you adventuring?
Why do you want to be a part of this team?
Why would the team want you to join them?

And even if the party is just exploring a city or researching information he’ll ask “Ok, is anyone going with Player to the temple?” or “Player, while you go to the inn and preform and gather information, who else is going with you?”


I, as a GM or a player, don’t like things like “well, the wooden box seems unbreakable”. It leads to “but I have a 4,579 Strength, I can kick over tanks” (or whatever). I’ve found a deterrent that I prefer is to have something valuable but readily destroyed. It doesn’t have to be a fragile crystal ball or delicate art piece, but maybe some potions, or an enchanted fruit. Have the thug smash the treasure to the point of no value a few times and having the theif pick the lock starts looking like a better and better idea. And instead of “maybe the mage should look at that”, have some item they swipe being minorly cursed. Nothing world shattering, but requiring a small side quest, and loss of time/ money/ effort with exclamation points around why the party is adventuring in a lost cavern with a lot of danger and no treasure other than the chamomile lotion that will stop the fighter from having that magical rash.

As with all things, I’m absolutely not saying that’s the “right” way to do it, only my preferred way to get players to act together, instead of taking the action from one PC to give them to another.

(I’ve literally rewritten that five times, and I still think I sound like a dick. I am so very sorry. )

(Maybe I’m just a dick. I really am sorry, I’m not trying to dog on anyone’s play style.)

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No sir does not sound dickish at all @LaramieWall. Like you say, there are so many ways to work with some of these issues. That’s what I like about this set of forms is the whole “let’s share what we know and think” . I always think of the positive response first, from myself and from this community.
I’ve listen to Sean and Brett and all the emails and voicemail from all the fans and friends and would have a hard time beleive someone here was trying to be an ass on purpose. It’s always hard to express the smiles and tones of friendliness with only the typed word.
I DM for one group on 9, if everyone shows up and play/dm in another group of 5. So having more tools and ideas always help.

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