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Bear with me this situation is a mess.

I'm relatively new to D&D and recently found a group to play with. The group meets one a week but plays two different games, one game one week and another game the next. In one game one of the players (lets say J) likes to steal at any point he can be it from markets, dungeons, or the party. In general he tends to act like a dick, with rather abusive behavior toward NPCs and even tried to get the party to attack helpful NPC because he thought he could get more money. When we have discussed with him that his alignment is Neutral and he's acting more in the way of a CE character he says that "Evil" is a relative term and that he's acting like his character would.

I've done a bit of reading and thinking on the subject and I think it would be a good idea to discuss this with the DM, this is where I run into a rather sticky wicket: J also DMs our second games. J tends to manipulate the party, likes to with-hold information so the party gets lost, makes almost all dice rolls difficult, and even puts the party in near constant combat. I've asked the other players about this but they don't really seem to notice.

I'm at a loss at what to do here, is there a good way to deal with J's behavior in the first game that wouldn't incur his wrath in the second? I know it's a hard question to answer as there is no way to know the outcome, but at this point I need all the advice I can get.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related question here, though this dual pronged problem adds considerably to the complexity of this social dynamics issue. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 4 '18 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ How do the other players feel about the situation with J? \$\endgroup\$ – Luris Feb 4 '18 at 14:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you already have tried something? \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Feb 4 '18 at 14:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you offer (edit into question) any more detail on the social dynamics at play here? Are you the new guy in a group of good friends? Are you all strangers meeting at a game shop? Friends in other parts of life? Some friends, some recently met? Etc? Details like these help inform a properly nuanced answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Longspeak Feb 4 '18 at 18:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you concerned that if you "solve" the problem player, he will make the other game worse? Also, what does a solution for the player look like to you? Its fine if you don't have an idea, but if you do it might help us be more specific \$\endgroup\$ – Premier Bromanov Feb 5 '18 at 15:49
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Here is how conflicts usually get resolved in D&D:

  • The DM has the power to narrate reality. They can issue house rules if the existing rules are not to their liking. They can make up whatever they want if they think it will make the game more fun. If necessary, they can ask players to leave their game.
  • The Players can choose to stay in the game, or to leave the game.

If you're not having fun in a game, the first line of recourse is to have a conversation and make sure people understand how you feel.

If that doesn't help, the only thing you can do is to stay in the game or leave the game.


In your particular group, it sounds like there are two games happening in parallel. If you're enjoying one of the games but not the other, it sounds like your solution should be to show up only for the one game you're enjoying.

Of course, a lot depends on your group: do they decide who will be the DM in advance? Is there a set schedule where everyone is expected to show up every week, or is it more informal? You might be able to avoid confrontation by only showing up when you know it will be the DM you like, or you might need to have a conversation with the group and see if they'll let you play in only the one game.


Even in the game you like, it sounds like you're not enjoying playing with one of the other players. It sounds like you've already had a conversation about it, so again, your choice is to stay in the game or to leave the game.

Unfortunately, if "asking politely" doesn't work, there's no magic wand that will make people play by the rules you prefer. Leaving is the only thing that works.

Good luck with it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ " one game one week and another game the next." I agree I would find another fortnightly (every 2 weeks) appointment. Unless j behaviour makes the other game unfun as well. You could actually turn your game into a game of foiling J, "bumping into" him when he is about to pickpocket etc, as it is "what your guy" would do, being LG, and all that. \$\endgroup\$ – WendyG Feb 5 '18 at 10:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WendyLisaGibbons Escalation of my guy syndrome rarely works out, and more often increases acrimony and friction. (IME) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 5 '18 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast ok, a pyric kind of fun. \$\endgroup\$ – WendyG Feb 5 '18 at 14:26
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DM has the final say, so as far as the other game is concerned, as long as the other players don't have a problem, then you really don't have recourse to change things.

What's happening in your game is a separate issue, and the player/DM can choose to retaliate against you as a result of whatever you do to combat his "my guy" syndrome. You can't prevent that from happening. Just come to peace with it. If you aren't having fun when he runs, then, just don't be there, or just know that it's a fact of being a player when he DMs.

My advice would be that you, as the DM of your game, should take control. Don't worry about the other game. You know the old saying: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Basically, do what you need to do in your game, with the knowledge that you pretty much have no say as to what he does in his game.

Consequences.

If he's a dick, then give him consequences for it. These will affect the whole party, most likely, so others will want to police him. If he steals, then have the guards come for him. I don't know what aliganment your other players are, but if any of them are lawful, they won't help him.

Have NPCs refuse to deal with the party unless he is not there, or not part of social interactions. His behavior will lead to a bad reputation. Even NPCs that haven't dealt with him might know people who know him, or have a friend of a friend that has. They may not say why they won't allow his character in their shop or space, but that can be the reason why. And if he decides to steal from that shop after they are closed, maybe make it easy--but makers marks are on a lot of things in Medieval times, so there will be records. If he tries to sell any of those items (and is a known thief) even two towns over, he might find that a) shop keepers won't deal with him and b) he's going to get arrested.

Even an evil character stops doing bad things when they aren't beneficial. A neutral character even moreso.

If he kills guards, which will be lower level than he is, start sending bounty hunters. Basically, if he's more trouble than he's worth, the players and their characters will start to reassess how they deal with him.

Warning

But do make sure that you warn him as the DM. Don't be exact about it, but simply say "Actions have consequences." Then smile and say "If that's really what you want to do..."

Also, have a talk with him about My Guy Syndrome...This is linked in the comments, but the answers here are going to be really helpful to you.

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