There is a fellow player who is in the group of Pathfinder players I find myself playing with. I only play with him because we have a mutual friend (the DM). He is always trying to attack people for no reason.

Once, there were two NPCs who knew where our main opponent was. We were questioning them when for no reason at all he began attacking them. This made it much harder to find the bad guy in the story, and they were part of a tribe, so anyone we encountered along the way who was also part of this clan would attack us.

Later in the day's journey, I would have my character physically force him not to attack NPCs. A problem with that was that the chances of my character one-shotting said character was high.

I know that some time in the future I will play with him again, and want to know how to deal with him. If anyone would like further details just comment, and I will answer your questions.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is killing his character for his crimes an option? \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Jan 8 '18 at 18:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you spoken to this player at all about this behavior? If so, has he said it's how "his character would act"? This question might be worth a read, if so: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/37103/… \$\endgroup\$ – Bagahnoodles Jan 8 '18 at 18:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: How do I get my PCs to not be a bunch of murderous cretins? (Mostly would be for your DM's benefit.) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jan 8 '18 at 18:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ It made it harder to find the bad guy? It sounds like it helpfully made it a lot easier, and gave you an angry tribe to help kill him with! \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Jan 8 '18 at 19:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ The correct answer to this question depends on the player's motivation to act in that way. I don't think any answer will help you unless you ask him for his motivation and tell us. \$\endgroup\$ – Philipp Jan 8 '18 at 19:42

Running around and slaughtering the innocent should have consequences

If you were the DM you should try to come up with consequences. How will the people in the town see this player and the group he is running around with see when he slaughters the innocent and the others don't do anything? Or try to do something, but still fail?

Surely at some point someone will investigate. And if you kill a lot of people it will be someone mighty, someone with connections so that you will have nowhere to stay, can't buy stuff. Have a look at my answer to the question With some exceptions, what makes the most powerful mage on the planet, not kill a merchant and steal his goods? on WorldBuilding - that might give you some ideas.

If you are not the DM - talk to the DM. He might take inspiration from the above.

But the main thing to do, as you mentioned that you already talked to the player, as a group, is to talk to him and the DM. Explain how the game is not fun for you when you have to put up with someone who willingly makes everything more difficult. Have a late Session 0 and talk about what everyone expects from the game - with a focus on How do the characters act?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I guess I have to just talk to the DM. If that doesn't work maybe a quick potion of fire will put him in his place (that way I know he won't die). \$\endgroup\$ – Stephen Jan 8 '18 at 19:59

Sounds like the player might be bored and has an extremely strong combat focus. To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Well typical character sheets are pretty much all weapons, their idea of a good time is not a few minutes of "combat" in a several hour long session. It can be pretty macabre entertainment being "random" and attacking innocents and watching everyone else in the party fret over this.

This is borderline trolling (being outrageous just for the enjoyment of seeing others get outraged) and you need to consider that this behaviour should not be encouraged. I suggest you talk with the player in question as well as the GM at the same time and discuss exactly what you all expect, bring up subject like what it means by player choice, does that mean just doing the one thing you really shouldn't do... just to prove you can do it?

Talk about things such as consequences for actions, that it isn't going to be as interesting a game if they are just a group who murdered people for no reason except a selfish exercise in free-will and now can't really go on an adventure as no one wants anything to do with them. Of course they wouldn't, it's been established that at least one of PCs will kill them for no reason at all other than to prove that they can, and others won't immediately bring them to justice. That means no quest, no meaningful interactions, no significant choices, nothing of any value. No one will want anything to do with you and all accomplishments in improving the lives of these people has been totally undermined by how you snuff out their lives just to prove you can.

If you've all made clear you're not interested in such a boring story then ask them if they are going to continue doing this. If they say they will then suggest maybe they'd be better off playing a game of GTA or something where you can slay people en mass without any meaning or consequence. Either they engage with the game which is based on character motivations or they stop wasting everyone's time.


You can attempt to react in story. When they attack some NPC, protect it. Or just attack the offending player and risk one-shotting him - the NPC is more important to your PC at the moment.

If he goes "Dude, WTF ?", explain him that to your character, there is no fundamental difference between the NPC's and his PC. If he can attack anyone he likes, why can't you ?

As DM, I had a situation where the PC's cleared a goblin cave. Nothing big, couple wounded, you know how it goes. At the end, there was a young goblin girl crying and asking about her mother (who they just killed). Since the party had good as well as evil persona's, it gave a nice contrast in their reactions. Then one evil character just killed her out of nowhere (no advantage keeping her alive, costs food). Why couldn't a good character jump in to try to save her life ? It's the most realistic option.

(In this case, none of them did, and since I considered them surprised, I didn't prompt them about it for a reflex roll to save her.)

In general, I would encourage addressing in-character problems with in-character reactions. He acts like a mad dog, you put a mad dog down.


I often have the same problem with my group, the simple solution is to make killing them an issue or a solution, weather it be known or not.

The first way to do this it to make him important to the story, make it so if they tried, they will fail their quest completely.

Another way is to "beef them up". Make it so they can't kill then unless they are willing to sacrifice all.

Another, more fun and often better way is to turn them into a mini boss who was actually evil, and was posing as who they said they were. So once they kill them they find the real person, and they have their blood lust satisfied.

Just give them a reason to or not to kill them.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not the DM. Also he has a reason everyone is telling him not to. \$\endgroup\$ – Stephen Jan 8 '18 at 18:44

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