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160

Reward him. Your player is playing his character smart, not hard. He's being clever and resourceful. He's considering what his character would do in character. I wish I had players like the one playing your Bard. He stops to think about what he can do, instead of just mindlessly deciding you expect him to attack and attacking. You can do so much more with ...


127

"It's what my guy would do!" "My Guy" syndrome is when — often unwittingly — you disclaim decision-making power and responsibility by acting like "what my character would do" is inevitable and inviolable, even if it gets in the way of actually having fun in the game or being able to play the game at all. JD Corley wrote up a story that covers it pretty ...


111

Don't run the campaign It is often important (but not always) for the party to have a preexisting, long term reason to stay a party. It is especially important in situations like this, with non-standard parties. Unless that reason is part of your pitch, it is incumbent upon the players to come up with that reason. Your Options Make it a One-Shot So you ...


89

I wasn't comfortable with some assumptions people are readily making in their comments, so I did some research and a few calculations. I also incorporated some suggestions made in the comments. The crushing weight of the earth He digs a hole big enough for himself (between 3-4 feet deep) Lots of people claim he'd have trouble breathing, which is ...


81

No, it's not fair to punish a player in this way. But it's not okay for this player to take an unfair share of control over the game, either. You are the DM — you are in control. You are in the Big Chair, and the group put you there to be responsible for pacing and mediation. You have that job because players striving for the benefit of their PC is fun but ...


80

Alright, it sounds like you have a lot of problems going on here that I'm going to address individually using the ruleset that you've chosen for your game. First off, you're being taken advantage of. There's no easy way to say this, but your friend is attempting to take advantage of you during the course of this game that you're playing. An item to double ...


78

Bit of an introductory story: I got a discount from my phone company for retention, by threatening to cancel. My neighbour also threatened to cancel after hearing about my discount, but didn't get an offer. Why? He wasn't serious about leaving, and they caught on. I was. If someone knows you won't pull the trigger, they do not have a reason to change what ...


77

I certainly wouldn’t stand for it. Being the odd-man-out in that kind of situation should be an opportunity for interesting roleplay and add characterization to your character, your allies, and the NPCs, based on how they handle it. But it sounds like you were completely side-lined the entire time and prevented from doing that roleplay. If you ...


77

He won't get any sleep, and then he'll die. I get the impression this player hasn't ever tried to sit on the ground for a while in an undeveloped area. There's all manner of creepy crawlies out there. His bedroll will get damp and then it'll get full of bugs--whether they're upset or happy or indifferent about his presence, they'll be omnipresent. Good luck ...


72

"Fine, then we just won't play." "OK." Call their bluff, whether you think it's a bluff or not. If they're bluffing, they do want to play and will buckle down and figure it out if they have to. If they're not bluffing, they don't really want to play anyway and you've dodged a bullet. (GMing for a group that doesn't really want to play is a ...


71

Short answer: You do not. You say that he does not fit in with your plans as a DM. But the thing about being a DM is NOT that you tell a rigid story that your players walk through: instead you put them in a series of situations, see how they react and frantically try to fit your story to it. I understand that your story is your baby and the PCs all try to ...


68

Sometimes, clever and creative players are a pain, because you planned for something very different. Yet, it is the clever and creative play that makes the game so rewarding. Instead of getting the player to adapt to your plans, I suggest you adapt your plans to the player. Make going to the authorities interesting If the authorities are always helpful, or ...


65

Different players get different things out of gaming. Unfortunately, some people's gaming styles mean that their fun comes at the expense of others'. Often in a case like this, the player either wants more attention than the other players or, via their outlier character, wants their character to constrain/implicitly control the rest of the group. This is ...


64

Maybe he's a Watcher In the Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition book "Dungeon Master's Guide" there exists some very useful advice for running the game that is applicable to nearly every RPG out there. One section of advice addresses different player personalities, including the idea of "the Watcher." A watcher is a casual player who comes to the game ...


61

Don't save the character As long as you keep saving Bob's character and he has fun acting this way, he'll keep this behavior. First thing that needs to be done is to make him accountable for the consequences of his decisions. Of course this will cost you some plot that will be ruined when the party dies, but in the long run it will worth the effort. ...


53

Because it's so much easier to bury yourself and your party properly. This does require some resources, but they can basically be gathered from the surrounding forest. Kearny's Nuclear War Survival Skills is an astonishingly good reference. For this purpose, your player will be interested in the pole covered trench shelter (Chapter 5). It provides plans ...


50

Deputize Him If the character is breaking the game context by going to the authorities, make him into the authority. Have the duke/mayor/whatever declare the party to be an "elite troubleshooting squad," give them fancy badges and the authority to do things. Now they can recruit people into militias and buy better swords out of the petty cash, but they ...


50

Have a discussion with the player, privately and not during game time. Acknowledge you invited him without discussing what the groups expectations of him were. Try to have the missing discussion with him. In the discussion point out how his current play style does not fit the groups desired play style. At the end of the discussion ask him to conform to ...


47

The best advice I've heard comes from the D&D 3.5 DM guide. Basically, if the players taking fun away from the game, talk to the player out of game, and away from the other players. Just be polite and open. If the player is reasonable they will understand.


47

This isn't a rules problem, it's a diva problem. A player who wants the attention of the game focused on him and his awesomeness - by using attacks that let him dominate the battlefield and prevent other players from participating, or by getting upset and hogging your attention (via arguing about the rules) when he can't do so - is a diva, and needs to be ...


46

It mostly comes down to communication. Both for practical matters (to allow for planning around your absence), and for social ones (letting the other people in the group know you aren't a flake). Tell the GM ahead of time that you will likely be unreliable, and why. Details aren't necessary, but a cursory explanation is polite. When a specific instance of ...


46

Hell no! What you describe is bullying or harassment and you should not stand for it. I would first talk to the GM about it. But approach it like a grown up in a calm manner. If the GM does nothing or mocks you, you should just leave and find better friends. You could escalate this to parents/club president/whoever is in charge of your social group if ...


46

Short answer: Tell this player that he can either play the game with the party, or go home and turn the cheats on Skyrim and play that if he feels like being a god character that doesn't need to bother following rules. Long answer: First: Frenzy and Rage can stack. The wording in Complete Warrior leaves no room for misinterpretation (CW pg. 34). Note ...


44

"My Guy Syndrome" is the tendency of gamers to justify anything they do in game, as "what my guy would do", even when that means the actions undertaken are contrary to genre, to game agreements, or other things the group may value. For example - if you're playing a Golden Age Superheroes game, but someone decides their "hero" is going to start killing ...


44

1. Get a cheatsheet into each player's hands. You know that godsend player, the one who always has the notecards? Key thing there: the notecards. You've spoken to the group, and they got upset, but you know they cared enough to get the books in the first place. It's entirely possible that they do just forget, or maybe they're having a difficult time with ...


44

"OK, you're refusing to accept the rules of the universe. What are the rest of you doing while he is arguing with the universe?" It really is that simple. You do not have to justify your rulings to him, and every time you argue with him you strengthen the impression (for him and the rest of the group) that his way is the only way to play, which would be ...


43

Does he know there's a problem? There are plenty of mechanical ways to limit his character, but bear in mind that you may wind up moving the frustration from yourselves over to him. And if he's at all smart, he's going to recognize what's going on. My generic answer for problem behavior is "talk to the guy," which is harder but often more effective. I ...


42

Lying to people about brigands is not pragmatic in the long run. Neighboring lords will have their soldiers killed and injured, and for what? Not for vast piles of loot, and the captives paint a much less barbaric picture than the PCs and have evidence on their side. Thus, the PCs will end up as the boy who cried wolf: next time they face a major threat, ...


42

"We're here to play a game of heroic fantasy. Tell me what part of this is heroic, or fantasy? It's really kind of weird." There's a subset of players who do weird things out of a sense of paranoia, they never want their characters to be in danger. The problem is, if you're playing a game called "Dungeons & Dragons" it's basically a game called ...


41

Your player loves the setting, but this is blinding them to what the books actually are: casefiles. They're not true, they're what the writer believes is true. The Dresdenverse is much more complicated than even Harry Dresden knows. If your player truly loves the setting, they should embrace that fact. On page 26 of Our World, at the end of the chapter ...



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