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2

A couple more extreme solutions explaining how the players come together: Escape from an impregnable fortress scenario. The characters are prisoners languishing in the dungeon of a powerful sorcerer's vast mountain fortress in the polar wastes. Perhaps they were all members of separate adventuring bands of varying alignment who were captured and thrown ...


2

Your players are telling you quite clearly what game they want to play: they want to play an implausible mixed bag of race and character types that make no sense together, but that they think are fun. Apparently they don't want to take the edges off this by changing their individual concepts, or by doing a lot of work to make their mixed bag plausible, or by ...


35

Try talking Talk to him outside the game. Explain how people aren't having fun, then tell him what you want him to do instead of his current behavior. Keep the talk about behavior, not criticism of him personally. When people are criticized they get defensive and unhappy. When they get feedback on how to make positive changes, they are far more likely ...


21

You say you've already tried talking to him about this, and that nothing's changed. If he was genuinely interested in staying with the group and behaving better, you would have seen at least some difference before he slipped back into bad habits. Therefore, since talking didn't work... You should kick him out (politely). Keeping someone in a group solely ...


2

Speak with him. Some time besides game day, sit him down and discuss your concerns. Perhaps there is something he can do or you can do to get him to mesh better with the group and setting. While speaking with him, don't be entirely negative, do note things he does well and adds to the game as a whole, and be sure he understands these points are just being ...


-8

If I may, group cohesion and common cause are only necessary in certain types of campaigns, campaigns which you need to tell your players about before you start playing. For instance: "Oh hey, the universe is dying, Cthulhu is riding a comet towards the earth, cults are burning everything to pieces, you're four characters working together because if you ...


-3

I think you shouldn't cancel the game because of one player not showing up. Just figure it something why the the his character is missing in-world, it can be anything, the PC might just went hiking a mountain. Or the PC might have been kidnapped, quest is to save him.


3

Ask Them Ask them what they want to get out of the game. If it is truly incompatible with the rest of the group, see my next heading. If there is something specific that is bothering them, and ultimately leading them to disrupt the game, then address that. If that problem is intractable, see the next heading. If the only play style that the player finds ...


3

You have a simple situation: the player doesn't want to play the game. Grant their desire. Attendance If he's really busy and can't make it because of life situations, he should let people know: "I'd really want to play, but work/family/whatever makes it very unlikely I can make these times. I'll let you know if my schedule opens up". On the other ...


1

That is a tricky one, in the groups I've played in the GM has told us before the start of the campaign that 'This is a campaign on the high seas', so we know to look at the swashbuckler class, or roll a race that does well with water. Or another example 'this will be an evil campaign', so we know to roll an evil character and in this way there's some group ...


5

There is a dangerous misconception here among this group, and you may want to address it now before participating in any future games with them. It is not the sole responsibility of the GM to keep the game going This is an early roleplaying misconception, and one very easy to fall into. It is true that the GM has a special role in the game that they ...


3

Everyone runs their games differently, and people are very different. With that in mind, When I am DMing, I usually have a starting place or what the movies would call a 'meet-cute' in mind. Something that at least has the characters run into each other with a common goal. Based on your example, it might have to be something extreme, like everybody waking up ...


5

The way I see it there are two separate issues here that need to be discussed and dealt with in different ways. The first is that you have a player who seems to want to play the game just to kill monsters. Here's the thing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this by itself. Different people take part in this hobby for different reasons, and none of ...


16

You should establish a quorum that indicates how many people you will run the game with and make it clear that anyone who doesn't turn up will be run as an NPC. I do this for all my games; with a group of four to six it's normally one less player than the group size to run. I make it known that if a player doesn't turn up they Still get base XP, but may ...


12

Just, you should talk to your player in an assertive way. Ask them what they want out of the game, what they would be willing to compromise on, and if they would be really offended if asked to leave provided no compromise were made. This does not mean that said player would never role play with you, but not this game. Try to put yourself into their shoes ...


6

This is common for players to not put much effort into how they formed a party. Generally its "we meet at a tavern". Players form a character then some time in the game do the party formation story. The players aren't lazy unless they won't do their own roleplay their inter-party dynamics. The problem is the character concepts have so much in conflict. Its ...


17

Honestly... it seems like the Player (not the PC) is clashing with the group. From your question it seems like most of your group would mind if the game descended into the hack-and-slash fest he seems to be angling for. You might want to have a discussion with him, either in person, over skype or the phone, about what he wants out of the game, and if he ...


7

There are already a lot of answers aiming at the human problem and I think this is the way to go. However, assuming those people are friends or that simply dropping the game is not an easy solution, I'll try to tackle the problem from the other side and figure out a generic way to make such a group work. If your party can't work in the standart setting, ...


-7

That sounds like a pack of munchkins. Warn them if that if they don't want to take the RP part of RPG seriously, then that's the game they get -- brutal, nasty and short. My suggestion is that you play it somewhat like Paranoia, that great old game where you should be done in a few hours, everyone gets six clones because the DM will try to kill them off ...


5

Other answers are correct that you left out telling them what kind of characters they needed to choose. "Anything from D&D" is way too broad, and will cause this problem. Now they have characters they like, which won't be compatible without creativity, cooperation, and/or several of them dying off or going their own way. That said, here's an idea for ...


10

There are two important social aspects of GMing (or really any form of managing people). One is setting expectations, the other is understanding what is expected of you. The first role in this situation appears to have been fumbled a bit. The PC's were to have been given the freedom to make whatever characters they wanted, without any guidelines or ...


61

"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 ...


5

Option 1: Be Honest: Tell them that 1: it's not the DM's job to come up with how the party meets, and 2: their party is so stretched to ridiculous levels that they need to have a legitimate excuse. Option 2: Give them a reason to be together: Now, I don't want to say let them be right, but You can give them some recommendations or tell them why there are ...


12

There are already some great answers here, but I wanted to touch on something that has not yet been addressed. The 'it's all the GM's responsibility' attitude that you are encountering is not that uncommon, and can cause a real problem as it tends to significantly increase the amount of work you have to do. For the sake of argument, lets say that you decide ...


32

If you don't give your players guidelines, then they will do whatever. That said, you did give a guideline ("At least give a me a reason, any reason, you know each other"), a pretty low, low bar to meet, and the players aren't interested in meeting it. Your options are: Play the gonzo game with no expectations I'm not a huge fan of this, just because ...


21

What am I supposed to do exactly whenever players want to all be something so different? The way I solve this problem is by not having it... Yeah, kinda circular but bear with me. First, all my game start with a set of requirements. Some are non-optionals, some are. Always, the first non-optional one is related to how I want the game to start. For ...


95

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 ...


2

Ok, there are lots of problems at this table. First of all, a DM should never blame a player for anything in game. DM is a referee, not a punisher. Giving away magical items whenever a player desires a certain item is just as problematic. Magical items should be treated with care because they tend to break the game if usage and access is abused. One level ...


13

The usual advice is talk to the player in the first instance, or to the DM if you are uncomfortable with approaching the player directly. At the end of the day it is the DM's responsibility to ensure everyone is having fun, but they often need a prompt from the players to recognize that something has crossed the line from "slightly annoying" to ...


0

I think that the way to stop him is to basically do things to prevent him from breaking the story, for example While the rest of the party was still in combat, he entered a room which I had intended for the entire party to enter at once. The person in this room had valuable information about the quest, but after learning that information, he promptly ...


6

Talk to him. Make sure you are civil-- polite and non-accusatorial-- when having this conversation. If he's been RPGing for 10 years he should be used to having conversation about the metagame, and this will be easily resolved. If you talk with him and he becomes immediately hostile, try to have a conversation with the group (including him) about it. If ...


-6

A suggestion to help combat rules lawyering and power gaming, is that you are allowed to restrict the game-material that you allow in your games. But in case you don't want to 'hard limit' which sources are legal and which ones are not, you might want to consider the following rule: Source material is only allowed if you own the physical copy of that ...


0

D&D is usually a game of optimization for mission completion with a special emphasis on combat. Within typical D&D games, then, his behavior would be termed 'playing well' rather than powergaming, the difference being that he actually understands the rules sufficiently to make optimum use of them (instead of just pretending to do so) and he respects ...


2

So, it seems like you have two issues; that the player can generally out-damage the others, and that he also likes throwing a monkey wrench into your plot. I'll talk about the second first; specifically that if you expect your players to follow a "Script" you're in for a world of trouble. Improvising is part and parcel of DMing and you will never be able ...


1

(So many awesome answers here! I love you all, people!) I just want to add two things: 1) regarding the issue, I think you got to the point when you wrote, [...] everyone else was expecting him to be support, healing, etc. Instead he built a tank [...] Classes can vary, but the choice of roles should be on many degrees cooperative, don't you agree? ...


4

First of all, if everyone is having fun with this player always playing a powerhouse character, including yourself, then there's no problem and you can continue to play the game as normal. I assume by the fact that you're asking this question that it's not the case, but it should be said that if power-gaming from this player is expected and wanted, then ...


15

There are already some good advices here, but whatever you ultimately do, first check this simple solution: offer the player to choose a lower starting point and cite all the reasons. If he wants to play an optimization game, as opposed to going to win an optimization game, he will most likely agree. A lower starting point might be a tier 3 or tier 4 class ...


35

Here're the basics: Have the player sandbag. Explain to the player that his optimized PC makes DMing too difficult. The problem isn't that the player's winning—the DM, after all, has infinite monsters—but that the player's character is overshadowing the other players' characters. Strongly urge the player to pick a character class 1 to 2 tiers lower than ...


21

You need your friend to agree to play the same game that you want to run. It sounds like this player is working hard at character optimization and rules mastery. That's a legitimate style of play, but it often creates problems if only one or some of the players are doing it, such that people are engaging the system in vastly uneven ways. It's even tougher ...


0

In the next session, make the following announcement: If you enter this cave, one of you will die. For good.


-3

It sounds like you have a player that is all about the combat aspect. While D&D is focused around how to fight with what, the fact is, what is making this character worth being around for the party or the NPCs at large? Yes mechanically his characters are all kinds of powerful in given situations but what is happening that he's ignoring? What does ...


1

I'll definitely come back to this one as I sift through my library, but the first thing that truly comes to mind is to have her more or less co-GM the world she likes best. It sounds like she would do best playing a host of characters, and instead of giving her a small entourage to play (which can easily be done with a well-connected character) it might be ...


11

There is a very low overhead game for collaborative storytelling, but it is not a RPG as many classically define it. Once Upon a Time by Atlas Games "One player is the Storyteller, and begins telling a story using the fairytale elements on her Story cards, guiding the plot toward her Ending Card. The other players use their own cards to interrupt her ...


9

Thank you for reframing the question this way. I have been hoping to have an opportunity to suggest that you try: Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple with this player. The game ...is a collaborative storytelling game where each player helps create a story, makes trouble for their character and tries to get a happy ending. It is aimed at younger ...


7

Why in the world would you want to subject someone who is very clearly defined as someone who does not want form emotional attachments to characters or anything else in the game fiction and hates making decisions to any type of social game? Yes, I am aware that "they want to play" is specified by the end. But the you are not the only person who has been ...


1

My short answer is no. The conflict on the game is often indirect, but it is always there. Would your player get upset if someone changed a story element they had created? It is a part of the game. Also, the game requires players to make their own decisions without assistance from other players when it is their turn. From your above description, this ...


4

Clear Narration Rules What are your rules for narrating? What are your rules for initiative? RPGs are structured conversations - when people know the rules of how the conversation is supposed to flow - who can say what kinds of things, at what times, it flows smoothly. When they don't, you get problems like you're describing. Are players expected to ...


3

If it is the table rules, and everybody know it at the beginning, and all players know and agree to the consequences, then in a sense it's all good. However, is it a good rule? What's the purpose of ruling against "instant actions"? What is your concern that you decide to penalize players about it? As it is a meta-game mechanic, what good does it to for ...


71

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 ...


10

I don't think it is a good idea to punish your players for anything meta gaming related. I think you should ask yourself why the player is trying to perform these instant actions: Does he feel this is the only way he can escape the impeding danger, i.e. a wall about to collapse on/near his character? (Possibly some experience in the past made him very wary ...



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