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

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140
votes
4answers
30k 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 ...
116
votes
18answers
12k 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, ...
71
votes
15answers
4k views

How should a GM deal with “standing orders?”

I have a player who always tells me whenever he goes into a dungeon or other hazardous location, I am always checking for traps wherever I go. Assume that I am always looking around, wary and ...
67
votes
19answers
18k 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 ...
62
votes
13answers
14k views

How do I handle my players killing things by catapulting a folding boat?

So, I'm not sure where to begin... I planned some epic battle and "that guy" showed up and ruined it. He took a magical item I (stupidly) gave him (folding boat, DMG 170), cast Catapult (EE, p.15) on ...
57
votes
13answers
10k 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 ...
56
votes
7answers
13k views

A player was bucking my style and I lost my temper. What can I do from here?

New DM here. Under a year of experience, but I have learned alot from my friend who has helped guide me through the basics of DMing. Basically the only games that I have run have been with my close ...
54
votes
19answers
9k views

Problems with Party Formation: “You're the DM, you can figure it out.”

Sort of related to Is it wrong to ask a player to justify their character's actions? Scenario Player 1 wants to be a male drow necromancer that reveres Kiaransalee. Player 2 wants to be a male ...
54
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 ...
52
votes
17answers
8k 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 ...
49
votes
19answers
8k views

How to deal with anti-authoritarian player characters?

One player I infrequently role play with (let's call him Bob) seems to have a bit of an issue with authority - or at the very least he likes playing characters who do. It's not that he does not ...
48
votes
6answers
5k 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. ...
45
votes
20answers
6k views

Problems with minecraft happy druids

We have a highly creative player that plays a druid. This PC tries to make "big digs" from the surface to any underground complex (crypts, strongholds, etc). He uses a combination of conjure animals ...
43
votes
8answers
4k views

How do you handle greedy shadowrunners?

So, my players want to keep everything. They love the money they earn, but having something unique is even better. We had a long discussion that they couldn't keep an awakened rhino with wings (the ...
43
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
42
votes
20answers
6k 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 ...
40
votes
16answers
8k views

Is it appropriate to punish a PC who snatches things from under the other PCs?

My players and I often have a bit of conflict or frustration in our games because one player in particular is quite controlling, and feels that they can have their character just snatch up what they ...
40
votes
10answers
8k views

A player constantly uses his mobile phone during our game session

One of my players in my D&D campaign is almost always on his mobilephone, replying to messages etc. I've asked him if he could refrain from using his phone as I find it very distracting and it ...
40
votes
7answers
6k views

As a GM, how to react to players challenging contradictions in your narration?

As with any position of power, responsibility is bestowed onto a GM when running a game. Because good GMing has a lot of impact on overall enjoyment, the GM carries a certain amount of weight behind ...
38
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
37
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, ...
36
votes
9answers
10k views

Power player is a problem. Any fix?

Context I'm a new DM because the old DM wanted to play for once. No big deal right? Man was I wrong in accepting. Let me explain. This "DM" knows everything. He is always right. Even if he is ...
35
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 ...
34
votes
14answers
4k 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) ?
34
votes
8answers
6k views

How should I respond to a player who roleplays too selfishly?

In our last session, a player of mine spent the last 30 min blowing up on me for "restricting" her character's story, and the story of the campaign, when I would not allow her to bring back another ...
33
votes
5answers
5k views

Punishing a player for instant-actioning

I GM a home-made D&D-style game which my friends and I play, and we had a scenario go as follows: After a player-character threw something at the wall, the players rolled a one and I was ...
32
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
32
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
31
votes
12answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
30
votes
6answers
5k views

How to deal with a player who “jumps the gun” with premature rules-lawyering?

My question is somewhat similar to this question, however I feel I have a different situation in which my question is not covered by the answers stated. I have a player in my campaign group of 5 ...
29
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
29
votes
9answers
4k views

As a group unfamiliar with RPGs, how do I encourage my players to read the rulebook?

A little bit of background: We are a new DnD group, living in a country where DnD is obscure, at best (the Philippines). We have no prior background to any kind of RPGs except in video games and MMOs. ...
28
votes
5answers
3k views

How to deal with overzealous questioning from one player?

So I'm playing a home brew scifi game where one of the players is playing a scientific character who collects a bunch of samples. That's all fine and good, but the problem is that he want really ...
28
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
3answers
3k 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. ...
27
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 ...
27
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 ...
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 ...
25
votes
10answers
8k views

Best way to kill a problematic fellow player character?

In my D&D game I play with some friends, I appear to have come across a problem. Every time we pass by a tavern our Dragonborn who is a chaotic evil Druid keeps burning them down, is wanted, and ...
24
votes
12answers
6k views

As a GM is it unfair to secretly protect one player's character to keep the peace?

I have recently started playing (as GM) tabletop RPGs after a several year hiatus because I was no longer finding it fun. My current game, which uses Hackmaster 5E, has been running for about 6 months ...
24
votes
11answers
5k 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 ...
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, ...
24
votes
6answers
3k views

Dealing with Argumentative Players

I am currently a GM running a four person campaign that has been going for a couple months. I have one player in particular that is fairly inexperienced and has this habit of skimming technical ...
23
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
23
votes
5answers
1k views

How to GM for a player who knows none of the tropes Dungeon World relies on?

I have a very occasional player who gives me a disproportional amount of difficulty as a Dungeon World GM. DW is normally really easy to teach to new players because it has almost everything a player ...
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 ...
22
votes
14answers
4k 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 ...
22
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 ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

Whose job is it to make the game interesting?

My Dungeon Master has made his own story and he asked how it was. I criticized him about his story only being interesting for one character (that has a massive amount of backstory and was made with ...