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I'm a player in an RPG group that's organised by my school. Another player is playing the party wizard, but I'm fairly sure he was just told to join the group by his parents or something, because he never. Does. Anything.

He is a dead weight on our party, taking gold and XP that the rest of us could have used and just sits there texting. Every single session, all he does is text, grunt and occasionally mutter about the rest of us being too loud. The only useful thing he's done in this campaign, which has been going six months, is melt a door with Fireball in the first session.

We have talked to him. Or tried to, anyway. He basically ignored us. And the GM is a teacher, and is not allowed to kick someone out unless they legitimately break the school rules or damages the game. He's still okay, technically- he hasn't done anything that has actually hurt anyone, it's just incredibly annoying.

It's driving me insane. Does anyone have advice on what I can do, that you have done or heard about being done in this kind of situation?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Have you talked to him about why he does this? If so, have you thereafter talked to your GM about this? What were their responses? If you have a moment please take the tour to learn more about the site. Have fun! \$\endgroup\$ – Secespitus May 22 '17 at 8:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ You wrote "taking gold and XP that the rest of us could have used": are you sure that this actually happens and the GM doesn't already take into account that one of the players is idling? If he was already doing this would you actually be having a problem? \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme May 22 '17 at 11:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is distribution of the gold & items up to the players, the GM, something/someone else? \$\endgroup\$ – WeirdFrog May 22 '17 at 14:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you mean by "We have talked to him. Or tried to, anyway. He basically ignored us." ? Did you directly ask "if you don't like the game, why are you here ?" ? The only real problem I see here is a problem for him : he is forced to be here. So maybe the question you should ask yourself is "How can I help him to not be forced to play ?". But of course, in that case, RPG.SE can't help you. \$\endgroup\$ – Aracthor May 24 '17 at 12:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Answerers, please remember you should be answering with documentation or experience per Back It Up! - random opinions on "what you should do" will be downvoted if they don't indicate why your thoughts on the subject aren't just a subjective whim. Have they worked, in your game or in someone else's? \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk May 28 '17 at 23:37
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From a "game difficulty" perspective, I recommend not worrying about it. Unless the DM is sticking very closely to a module, the xp and gp you get are basically going to be whatever the DM wants you to have. If you somehow got rid of your deadweight player, the DM would start giving the group that much less xp and gp to compensate.

From a problem-players perspective, the good news is that your problem player is easy to ignore. :) Frequently when we get questions about problem players, it's somebody that is acting out -- attacking NPCs for no reason, stealing from the other party members, taking up the DM's time with pointless roleplaying. Your player isn't doing any of that -- he's just sitting there. I recommend getting him a seat at the back of the table so he's not between you and the DM, and then just ignoring him.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with Dan, it could be much, much worse. Also, try having a discussion with the GM and see if they are taking into account the hole in the party. A good GM will have already done so. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadoCat May 22 '17 at 21:11
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Have a chat about the rules. RPGs, like most social gathering, involves a social contract where everyone agrees to some basic rules. Pick one thing that is most annoying to you and take that issue on. Have the teacher serve as a mediator and facilitator.

This is a real-life situation you are preparing yourself for (surprise!) and this is a great opportunity to decide how to solve this issue among yourself. Don't gang up on him, but tell him that his behavior is unacceptable. This is something that does happen between co-workers, where we get together and hash out some issues. While talking to him 1 on 1 may not have worked, talking through it as a group may yield result.

Now, be prepared that he may point out a few thing you do that annoy him, keep an open mind and be willing to adapt your own behavior.

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Maybe he's being forced to be there, in which case I don't know of anything you can do except give him his space (and maybe have some sympathy for the poor guy. Don't you think it would suck to be forced to play some game you're not even interested in for weeks on end?)

Maybe he's shy! It can be hard to speak up in roleplaying games, especially when you're used to not speaking up. Even as a veteran roleplayer, I still have moments in games when I'm timid and have a hard time getting a word in edgewise. What generally helps me get back into the flow of things is when the GM or the other players prompt me by asking me directly for my input. For instance, when the party's trying to decide what to do: "Hey, what do you think? Should we stay on the forest path, or go check out that noise we heard?"

I've had success helping fellow players find their voice as well by inviting them to come along with me to scout ahead or investigate something without the rest of the party - I did this a couple times recently in a one-shot D&D game where I was one of the few experienced roleplayers amidst a group of newbies. I wanted to help give spotlight time to some of the players who weren't speaking up as much, so I suggested that the party ranger help me investigate around town while everyone else was busy at the tavern. Once the focus was on us, I made some suggestions but let him call the shots and take the lead. He took to it quickly! I also recruited the party rogue for some late-night breaking and entering, which led to some encounters where she played an important role and got to make some tactical decisions for the whole party. (If you offer something like this and he doesn't bite, I wouldn't force it. The point is to play a supporting role to the other player's character and throw them opportunities to contribute in interesting ways, not to pressure them into an uncomfortable situation.)

Other than that, maybe you can find an opportunity to ask him what his favorite part of the game so far was, or what sorts of things he's looking forward to or hopes will happen. You can pass that information along to the DM, so they can use it to make the game more fun for him. When I run games, I try to get feedback from my players about how things are going, and I usually find that people are more comfortable talking concretely about scenes that they thought were cool, or plans they have for dealing with the in-game situation, than talking abstractly about general game qualities.

Having said that, just asking "hey man, what's up? You don't seem like you're having fun" seems to me like it's worth a shot. Maybe he'll just tell you directly what's wrong.

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