Devious plans abound in the city.
A fly barrels headlong into the web.
Daggers strike the back they once protected.
I am gearing up for my game this week wherein one character has aligned himself with an organization directly against the interests of the party. Whether his intentions were malicious or merely naive, he is soon to be a significant obstacle of the malicious variety.
The situation in question deals with a fairly powerful thieves guild that has alliances with supernatural entities. The guild uses mental compulsion and mental blocks to protect it’s interests even from those that could be physically or magically compelled to betray them. The party has been battling with the guild directly and indirectly for a few sessions now, so the ramifications of the guild’s ‘insurance policy’ are clearly known by now. So I was surprised when a player decided not just to join them, but to submit himself to their initiation rituals and enchantments.
I took the player aside and we discussed his options. He is bent on challenging the party now, even if he only gets one shot in the dark.
There is still a chance to save the player from this fate, but they are slim and the outcome will see likely end in at least one funeral.
I am well aware that this can go a number of different ways, with disaster being a possible outcome, but betrayal rears its ugly head as often as it does because it is a compelling narrative theme. The question becomes how, not why.
How have you handled betrayal at your table?