If you are nowhere near the rogue to know they were pickpocketing people then you might want to consider dropping party.
I was playing from the rogue's point of view with this...in Suzail with a party rp'ing at the blackjack tables...I had lost all but my shirt and was about to excuse myself to 'get some air' (i.e...go break into the nearest noble house to see if I couldn't find enough coin to try and get myself another stake at the table)
Two reasons I was hesitant to do this while in party was that it would:
a) alert the rest of the group OOC that I had lied and was now off in the process of committing a crime of some kind and...
b) they would be punished with OOC alignment shifts.
It would make sense to shift the alignments of the entire party if the party 'knew' what I was planning and sat back and allowed it, but it makes no sense that the rest of the party's alignment should shift as a result of those actions when they had no reason to suspect my motives, and no knowledge of the actions committed...
I knew there was a DM on at the moment so I explained the situation and asked if it would be acceptable for me to break party on these grounds. I was told that would be metagaming and a big no...so I gave the party an alignment shift and alerted them ooc to the fact that I was committing crimes because to alter my intended plan based on ooc concerns such as these would also be construed as metagaming (at least to me heh)
Just asking for some solid clarification on whether it is now acceptable to break party in these types of situations.
My interpretation is that the party only exists as a social system when the party is together. If the party is apart then breaking party is the best choice because the party ceases to be a party when the party is part. For the "party" that is apart, the engine-level party construct is only a metagaming tool to see where the party members are and serves no good purpose. The engine-level party does not exist in-character. Ideally, in character, characters who consent to your actions should receive an alignment shift whether they are partied with you or not, and those unaware of your actions should not be shifted whether they are partied with you or not.
However, if one of the other DMs has another interpretation, I'd also like to hear it.
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So....I am assuming that, yes it's ok to break party for this situational instance?
(one dm's interpretation wasn't quite the solid clarification I was hoping for, tho thank you for replying Munroe.)
You should probably break party when your adventure is over. After you're back in civilization, there's no real need to remain in party, unless you're going to talk to someone and get a party reward. After that is done, just break party as a matter of course.
I recommend forming a party only when you're all traveling somewhere together or all focusing on a common goal.
In the case you cited, breaking party would be the right thing to do, since you were obviously going off to do something on your own.
Hope that helps.
Implosions don't kill people, failed fort saves kill people.