Participants in an RPG who, for whatever reason, contribute to difficulty running the game.

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88
votes
3answers
15k views

What is “my guy syndrome” and how do I handle it?

I've been reading forum posts and blogs who mention "my guy" syndrome as a specific type of difficult player, but I can't seem to find a solid definition for the term. Can someone explain this ...
39
votes
20answers
4k views

How to handle a rules-lawyer player?

As a game master, what strategy/strategies seem to work well for handling players that have spent more time reading through the rule books than you have? While it's helpful at times to have the ...
26
votes
10answers
2k views

Strategies for dealing with turtle or roach players?

How should GMs deal with players who turtle or roach? By turtle I am referring to players who obviously wanted to play because they joined the game, but when they're actually at the table they keep ...
28
votes
7answers
2k views

How do I deal with a player who takes things personally?

Been running a great campaign for a few months now with very in-depth story and characters and, generally, everything goes pretty well. Unfortunately, I have a particular problem that, for a long ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

What are possible ways to deal with a player who frequently switches characters?

I have had problems in the past with players who are serial character creators. What I'm referring to are the players who cannot seem to stick with a character more than two sessions at a time without ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I get my players to “do their homework”?

I've noticed a problem with my PC's lacking rich backgrounds, or players lacking knowledge of the mechanics of their own characters. This has lead to me giving the players "homework", which I have ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I deal with a bored or distracted player bringing down the group?

My group have been playing various D&D style games for a few years, I have one player however that often will drift off and start playing on his phone and several times has actually fallen ...
5
votes
5answers
569 views

Bringing the Team together

Here is the Team Concept: All characters are currently mortal but they'll be transitioning soon, so I've noted what they want to change into. How do I get them to work together? My original approach ...
56
votes
13answers
9k views

Players playing weird characters breaking the immersion of my group

I have an issue with two players in my very large gaming group that I would like some advice from people who have perhaps dealt with players like these. In terms of age and experience, we're all ...
46
votes
16answers
7k views

Dealing with “fearless” players

I have some "badass" players in my group who do not fear death, 4 out of 6 to be precise, which causes problems for the rest players as they feel they are always getting dragged into trouble, trying ...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

What do I do with a dissonant player?

We have a gaming group that has been playing the game for about 4 years. One of the players is my old friend, with whom I started gaming about 15 years ago. There is also another player, who has also ...
26
votes
3answers
2k views

A fellow player is uncooperative with the group and gets GM favoritism. How do I handle this?

I actually have two situations but they are interconnected. Our group is currently playing a Dresden game. The GM and one of the players are married. Along with that, he is a new member to the group. ...
26
votes
4answers
1k views

What do I do when some players won't show up consistently?

I am running a campaign in Roll20, and I have some players that will very often miss sessions without any warning, or just show up really late into the campaign. Because of their absences, I have had ...
15
votes
7answers
6k views

How do I deal with Messiah Complex Players?

I have this player, he's a great friend of mine and a psychology student. His goal in life has always been helping others out, and is very enthusiastic when talking about RPG games, however he has ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Dealing with a Diva Player

A friend of mine has started preparing a pbp Mutants & Masterminds campaign, and one of their players is someone I know to be problematic. Already, the player has started to show signs of being ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I deal with a 'bump on a log player' who doesn't really do anything except when told?

I GM a World of Darkness group every other weekend, and I've come across what I like to call a "Bump-on-a-log" player. This player has been with my game since I started it up, and we're now ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

How do I deal with these crazy PCs?

I got some of my friends to play a very small game of D&D, with my being DM to see if they will like to play more often. Our quest consisted of PvP, hiding, going to the tavern to get drunk, and ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I, a novice GM, deal with a PC who is constantly difficult?

I have a good friend playing in my game, but he's done things like: Killing NPCs which direct the story, effectively ruining the rest of the group's chances. Spending all of his money on inane items ...
10
votes
4answers
772 views

How could a highly destructive character contribute to gameplay?

I play small role playing activities and games with some friends of mine, and one of them always has highly destructive and somewhat unpredictable characters. He will consistently attempt to kill ...
105
votes
17answers
9k views

How to deal with players who like to use the local authorities to solve their problems

The problem I have a player in my group which tends to approach local authorities (may it be guards or churches) when facing a threat. He thinks that, given his role (a bard in a medieval world, so, ...
55
votes
19answers
17k views

Why is burying yourself not such a great plan?

So one of my player is a clever guy. At night when the others are putting the camp together he digs a hole big enough for himself (between 3-4 feet deep) and ask someone to cover his body with dirt ...
27
votes
5answers
1k views

Dealing with people who turn up late for sessions

I run sessions every Monday evening at a pub in the centre of London, and most people come to play straight from work. Up until recently we were attempting to start at 7pm, but there were one or two ...
36
votes
8answers
3k views

How do I discourage or work with “nuke it from orbit” solutions?

Here's the issue: some of the players in my group tend to be pragmatic...a little too pragmatic. They are the type who'll figure out the most efficient and cleanest way to take care of any problems, ...
53
votes
7answers
2k views

As an unreliable player, how can I lessen the burden on my group?

I'm often unreliable, in the sense that something always seems to turn up at the last minute that draws me away from our current regular game. (It's happened before as well.) Given that the reasons ...
40
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I politely ask a player to leave my game?

So, after a few sessions, the new player I'd invited has been a bit of a disaster. He doesn't get on well with any of the other players, laughed when someone's character died (in our campaign that's ...
22
votes
9answers
4k views

Player refuses to show up regularly, and when he does, never wants to roleplay

I have a player in the group who either never shows up — which leads to the game being cancelled for that week — or when he does show, only wants to fight monsters. For example, I tried having a long ...
33
votes
14answers
3k views

How to deal effectively with a player unable to lose?

How do you effectively handle a player that overreacts to any loss of his character (level drain, death) ?
21
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I deal with players who don't consider the narrative?

I am currently GMing a D&D Next game and, so far, we're having a blast. However, I noticed that I have a group of players who hope to have everything served to them, require several explanations ...
31
votes
12answers
2k views

How do you get your players to realise roleplaying isn't a videogame?

One curse I've had while playing and in particular while GMing, is that one group of players I have is stuck in the mindset that things are laid out, one after another, in linear fashion for them to ...
19
votes
10answers
4k views

What can I do to prevent a player from breaking the game?

Several of my friends are starting a game pretty soon, and one of the players is a great guy, and fun to play with EXCEPT, he plays with the objective of optimization, while everyone else plays much ...
16
votes
7answers
5k views

Rules lawyers and how to deal with them

I've been running a Pathfinder campaign set in my own world for close to three years now. We play using a VTT system (d20pro) since all of my players aren't in the same state. Since the beginning I'd ...
30
votes
12answers
3k views

“Punishing” characters for stupid actions

I'm currently running a 6 person World of Darkness campaign, which is heavily social based. 5 of the players I am happy with, but one of them keeps doing stupid things, such as pushing himself to the ...
27
votes
5answers
2k views

Dealing with players who try to run from everything?

I DM for a group with a guy who always suggests leaving the dungeon, area, or wherever the party is. It seems like no matter what I try or do to the setting he just won't relax and play the game – he ...
24
votes
4answers
4k views

How to deal with a player who doesn't understand party roles?

In our group (specifically Pathfinder), we have a player who's playing a master summoner (a very squishy class), and doesn't understand that his character can't solve every problem like the rest, ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

My player has too much custom stuff and it's making things difficult for me

So I'm a new GM, we're playing Savage Worlds. Admittedly, I've probably allowed too much customization in my game. We have a player that really wants to be able make a very specific character. To give ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

As a player, how can I help the GM when the game goes out of control?

I've seen numerous games go down the pan when certain players derail the plot, either making it PC vs GM, or making the game more about their ludicrous choices. It might seem overly harsh turn of ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

How should a GM deal with players that want to be “too cool”?

In my time as a GM, I've always hated stuff such as magic items, artifacts, etc; even as a player, I dislike the feeling of becoming "too cool" for the game world in question. However, I have a ...
6
votes
3answers
488 views

How do I retrain myself to see characters as people and not systems?

Background Some of my previous questions (see What should I do when other players refuse to engage with my character's flaw? and Excessively clever characters vs. narrativist RP?) have alluded to ...
6
votes
3answers
783 views

Should I give players post play insights to assist them in future playing?

Is it ever advisable to tell players about "content" they missed out on because of their actions or inactions? For example, in the game the other night, one of the players has been making nice (while ...
2
votes
8answers
692 views

Excessively clever characters vs. narrativist RP?

What should one do with a character that is so clever at wielding whatever hand they are dealt that they simply become stronger and stronger the more attempts are made to cripple, or otherwise inflict ...
16
votes
9answers
2k views

How do I deal with an experienced player who doesn't interact well with my group?

My group and I just migrated from a DM whose very incongruent storytelling and deliberate punishment of non-hack & slay-solutions scared us off. We (mostly) kept our characters (since they are our ...
13
votes
9answers
1k views

Out-Of-Control Characters [closed]

As I review the suggestions in the D&D 4E DMG (pg32), I wonder what other suggestions that are realistic. I know that if a player is out of control (ie: killing masses for no reason) a DM would ...
10
votes
5answers
605 views

How do I deal with aggressive/disrespectful criticism?

This problem hit me as both a Storyteller and as player. I joined a "Survival Horror" game of Vampire: the Masquerade; a minor encounter spiraled out of control in the second session. The GM gave us a ...
5
votes
2answers
503 views

How to deal with lazy players?

I recently had my first D&D 3.5 session and, according to the reactions, it was a great success. During the preparations, however, I have stumbled upon a problem. I have four players. For the ...
4
votes
8answers
3k views

Is one of the characters in my group overpowered?

I'm starting my first stint as a DM, in DnD 4E, and one of my players insisted on rolling dice for his stats. I was ok, provided, as I said, "that the character was balanced with the rest of the ...
3
votes
0answers
184 views

What to do with a player who undermines the DM? [duplicate]

This is not actually about me, but for a friend and the group we play with together. My friend, who GM/DMs that particular campaign, is suffering a lot at the moment because of one particular player. ...
1
vote
2answers
494 views

What should I do when other players refuse to engage with my character's flaw?

I have a character (it's the same overly clever character from my first question, even) whose primary flaw can be summed up as "Bull in a Social China Shop". In other words, the character is ...