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113

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 ...


65

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 ...


54

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 ...


51

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 ...


44

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 ...


41

Option 1: Retcon It Given the situation of a player basically going off the rails and sabotaging the campaign, the simplest solution would be to use a retcon. Wipe out the events of the last session entirely. They didn't happen. Write out the now missing player, and life goes on. Retcons are often lousy answers in themselves, but in a case like this you'd ...


39

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 ...


36

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 ...


35

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, ...


35

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 the groups expectations or not come back for the current game. In the ...


34

As with any motivational approaches, there's the carrot and the stick. You have to be careful to not simply be permissive of the late behavior, or else you won't incentivize the people who are showing up on time to do so. Start at a known time and allow a buffer. On our group we have a "doors open" time and a "game" time, to allow for people to show up ...


34

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 ...


32

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 ...


32

Kick him out. No, really, kick him out. Just because he says he wants to play doesn't mean he wants to play the same game you all want to. You are being too kind to him. He is doing to three people exactly what you are trying to avoid doing to one person. He is: Preventing your group from enjoying the game. Being selfish and wrecking a game when he ...


31

It's currently fashionable to play role-playing games as if the goal is to accumulate stats and loot. This is an awful, awful, awful way to look at it. You framed the question of taking away the sword as "punishing the player by taking away his loot for doing something obviously stupid". You should instead frame it as "rewarding the player for ...


31

These are not players in your group. They are casual inconveniences that are making you regularly not play. They're not even apologetic inconveniences – they don't have even the consideration to answer your messages, let alone the consideration to show up so the group can play. Kick them from the group. You are dedicated to this game, as evidenced by ...


28

Talk to the player about why they are playing this character this way Does the player have a larger purpose? What's the point? Is there a story they are trying to tell. Try to understand what's going on in her head about why she's approaching this character in this way. She knows a lot about Victorian Europe, perhaps this is a typical archtype for this ...


27

If talking through the problem with him - usually the go-to answer for this type of question - doesn't work, then you have to move on to the next step: impose consequences for his behavior. The best way to do this is to kick him out politely. Sit him down privately and say that games are meant to be fun for everyone, but he is clearly not having fun. ...


27

I've talked to him about his behaviour, but it hasn't helped. "Hi, I've spoken to you about XYZ before. After (number of sessions) it seems like there really hasn't been a change. I don't think what we want from our game is the same thing you're looking for. We gave it a shot and I think the last session we had was a good sign this isn't going to ...


26

These are all interpersonal problems rather than gaming ones. Here's how I'd handle each of them. Same Character I'd tolerate it. Not a big fan of this kind of behavior, but it happens. I think it's a roleplaying maturity thing. One thing I used last game might help you. I like the list of 100 questions about your character, but didn't want to ...


25

If the player is doing really dumb things, then he should face the consequences of his actions. If he wants to push himself to make a point, then great! That's certainly a valid roleplay choice that he can make. However, if doing that leaves him in a bad position, then he should pay the cost of making that point. Certainly don't be vindictive about it, ...


25

Why not introduce some major incident that lets your PCs go unwatched, thus with the ability to free themselves and then help fight the incident? Considering the fact that this is an historical campaign, you could start something big that didn't make it to the history books, and it could be thanks to your PC. This way, your PC redeem themselves, AND write ...


24

When I run into this situation it is usually from a lack of context. The player doesn't feel his character has any reason to be in the situation they are in. The issue is more subtle than not liking the adventure's premise. The issue is that the player as his character doesn't feel any connection to the premise. The way to overcome this is to give the ...


24

The other answers thus far have suggested that this is "abusive" behavior by your GM and that you should abandon your friends (assuming they are your friends). I just wanted to provide a different point of view. I've played in many games, and often these kinds of things (automatic hits, magic items with irresistible powers) are the sign of an extremely ...


24

As Marshall said, you need to find out why John takes so long to choose an action. There are several possible reasons, and each calls for slightly different handling. 1. John is nervous, shy, or otherwise has trouble speaking unless prompted. In this case, the best thing you can do is to have a set of verbal prompts to help him convey his actions quickly. ...


23

Surely you mean punishing the character not the player? The character should have a whole lot of horrible things happen to them. Wake up in a gimp suit? Be kept as "blood on tape"? Raped(1)? At least wake up naked covered in marker pen with inappropriate (and bad) drawing on his face. Certainly, the character should have been robbed of all they had on ...


23

Erik Schmidt's answer is probably the better one to go with (as it'll help you find the root cause), but I'll contribute a bit based on what I see from your description. From your description, you have a player who enjoys: Building and optimizing new characters. Participating in combat. And who doesn't enjoy: Long-winded intrigue. And yet, this ...


23

Talk to your players, and you don't need to trick your players into playing a game they don't like. My advice is to actually sit down and talk to your players about running a sci-fi style game and for your entire group to actually sit down and pick out a game that suits everyone's needs. "My problem is my players" is the wrong atitude to have in this ...


22

To me it sounds like your player is a mix of being impulsive and a newbie to roleplaying. The newbie elements (needing stuff explicitly explained and such) should work themselves out with time. The impulsiveness usually needs a little bit of work. Here's what I did once to rebuff the impulsive players in my campaign: Set up a wonderful campaign arc that ...


22

This player seems to not particularly care about the moral side of his character. But don't punish him for it. Even if he plays the character inconsistently, you should treat that as a creative challenge to you as a DM. You need to be the "straight guy" for their acting up. Roll with the characters actions as is, do not prevent them either in or out of ...



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