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

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95
votes
17answers
7k 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, ...
58
votes
3answers
8k views

What is “my guy syndrome”?

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 ...
53
votes
14answers
8k 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 ...
49
votes
18answers
16k 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 ...
47
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
43
votes
5answers
4k views

Abuse: Is it fair if it's in-game?

I play a half-orc barbarian, while everyone else in our group is dwarven or elven. So in a town heavily-populated by dwarves, my character received a fair share of abuse, which is to be expected. ...
39
votes
14answers
6k 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 ...
38
votes
7answers
2k views

Problems Regarding a Mary-Sue type Player Character

In my game, one of the player's characters is a bit... too much. It's not easy to describe, but I think she's a somewhat more subtle example of the Mary Sue archetype: a character who is perfect, and ...
34
votes
20answers
3k 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 ...
34
votes
14answers
3k views

How to Handle a Powergamer / Munchkin

What are some strategies that I can employ to handle a power gamer that constantly outshines the rest of the party? This is a friend of us all and we don't want to boot him, but combat simply isn't ...
34
votes
8answers
2k 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, ...
33
votes
9answers
2k views

Dealing with a player dedicated to enforcing fanatical setting authenticity

I'm running a Dresden Files Fate game, and one of my players has read all of the books. Usually I would have no issue with this, but he believes it gives him the right to boss everyone about. To go ...
32
votes
14answers
2k 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) ?
29
votes
12answers
2k 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 ...
29
votes
12answers
1k 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 ...
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 ...
27
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 ...
26
votes
5answers
963 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
1k 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
10answers
5k views

A player leaving without warning and dealing with the mess?

I had a player that was very very angry and took stuff way too seriously. After the end of the last campaign, we (the party as a whole) were hesitant to re-invite him but decided to give him a chance ...
24
votes
10answers
1k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
830 views

What do I do when some players can'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 ...
23
votes
4answers
3k 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, ...
22
votes
6answers
765 views

Any advice on how to politely approach a friend on problems with her character(s)?

I've been playing with a good friend of mine for a couple of games now (Exalted and Pathfinder) with another friend as GM. In a few weeks, I'm going to be running a new game because the GM is getting ...
21
votes
14answers
2k views

What is a sci-fi system that would feel familiar to reluctant Pathfinder players?

For the last few months I've been running a Pathfinder campaign, and recently I told my players that I needed a break and they agreed on switching games for a few months. I'm a fan of the works of ...
20
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 ...
19
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

How to avoid arguments with a player about what “should” happen?

I recently GMed my first real role-playing game with a few friends who are also new to tabletop RPGs, and it went quite well except for a few parts. Here's an example; the basic scenario was (a few ...
17
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 ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Can PCs hide motivations from the DM?

So, one of my PCs is a Lawful Neutral Knight, coming from a small landless noble family. From the beginning of the campaign he told me that he wanted a lord to serve under, and to enhance the ...
15
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
778 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
981 views

Should players be allowed to act outside their characters' boundaries when it suits them?

Some of my players tend to forget that they're not their character when we play, which sometimes results in characters doing things they usually would never do. As the DM, I've been pretty lenient ...
14
votes
3answers
868 views

Dealing with a disgruntled player leaving my campaign

So I've been running a game of Shadowrun over the internet for the past few weeks online, and I've had a hectic personal schedule, so I haven't been able to do lengthy sessions. I've got a player who ...
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 ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

How do you encourage group decisions over individual actions?

In my campaign (4th edition Dungeons & Dragons, but I've encountered the same problem in other systems) we sometimes arrive at a point where the group should make a decision, for example "should ...
13
votes
6answers
957 views

How to help a player to roleplay the character he created?

When we first met to create my players' characters, the first thing I asked was to create normal characters (e.g. no freaks/depression/obsession/psychologically disturbed, etc). Normal people with ...
12
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
714 views

How to handle players who take a long time to take their turn?

Problem There is a player in my current group who takes a long time to take their turns. A painfully long time! Typical exchange Me: Okay John*, it's now your turn to act. The serpent is coiled ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Dealing with a problem player not playing to their character aspects

A player in my Dresden Files game joined the group with a kick-in-the-door, "shoot-first-ask-questions-later"-style cop. The character had some fairly "meh" & a couple of potentially OK aspects. ...
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 ...
11
votes
7answers
434 views

What should the GM do when players constantly argue?

I've got a group that it seems no matter what I do, they always end up arguing about every single situation I put in front of them. This includes the more simplistic situations like, "Where do you ...
11
votes
3answers
348 views

Stopping rule questions from overrunning encounters

A common problem I observe is that the players start flooding the GM with questions regarding rules during an encounter (within and outside their respective turns). From the perspective of a GM, how ...
10
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

How to tackle heavy sphere redundancy?

Spheres in Mage: Ascension overlap each other and even the core rulebook mentions that sufficiently creative player can solve every problem using nearly any sphere (except some specific situation, ...
10
votes
4answers
820 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

My party doesn't want to get rid of an unbalanced house rule

I've posted about this house rule before wherein my DM decided that upon levelling up we would add our Constitution modifier to the hitpoints gained. This was due to our first session where we ...
8
votes
3answers
890 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
584 views

How can I as GM handle situations where players bicker about tactics?

I'm current running 13th Age, and there are two players who are quite tactical. The issue is both of them thinks differently and one is pushy, and the other is stubborn. Every now and then the both of ...