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Dear Mad Elf,
I am writing to you concerning interparty disclosure of information. Being a relatively talkative person who can make friends easily I have in the past been told various things of some importance, some of which I have been told in confidence. Also by investigation on my part, careful searching and listening at doorways, I have discovered many things. My party is made up of remarkably stupid people who, on the discovery of the first piece of seemingly useful information which could result in conflict, charge into battle. Myself being the only one of them who can competently use a sword (bow, sling, axe, dagger or garrotte) am none to happy about this situation. Therefore I do not tell them things. The other members of the party continually whine about this even though they also withhold pertinent information. When I try to explain the situation they insist that they can fight well and when I tell them that they do not employ me they try offering sums of cash, which I think is a little dishonourable. I would like some advice as to how to better explain my point of view to the rest of the party.
Thirf the Adventurer of Elwher,
Master swordsman, herbalist, bard, and riding and listening instructor (negotiable rates for individual and group tuition).
P.S. The other members of my party also keep insisting that I am a sorcerer. Is this just race stereotyping?
Mad Elf replies...
One of the fundamental pillars of a successful party is trust. And co-operation. Two of the... look, I'm not going down that road; but among the few fundamental things a party has to get right are trust and co-operation, if they're going to survive and flourish as an operational unit. On the one hand, this means that they should be prepared to listen to and consider any advice that you have to offer. On the other, it means that you have to explain why you're giving that particular advice, and share any information you may have, regardless of its source: you must consider the rest of your party to be an extension of yourself in such instances. Of course, this applies to them as much as to you. (An upshot of this is that considerations of who is employing who become irrelevant.)
As for advice on how to explain this... I'm sure that an eloquent person such as yourself will already have done so, several times, and I'm sure that your party appreciate your point of view. Are you sure that they are as incompetent and belligerent as you say? Being a master of arms, it's not surprising that they have inferior skill to you; and perhaps they would be less likely to fly off the handle if they were in possession of all the facts, rather than the few dribbles you deign to release. They are probably nowhere as stupid as you so arrogantly assume - a little naive, perhaps, but compared to an extensively-travelled person like you this is only to be expected.
As for sorcery: it may be race stereotyping, I suppose, but perhaps they have some circumstantial evidence to support their claims. Have you been seen to associate with unusual or supernatural beings? Maybe it's your excessive range of abilities that has led them to believe this...
P.S. If you can make friends so easily, how is it that your party dislike you so much?