I'd like to ask for some advice/solution to the problem that I have as a DM with one of the players. We're bunch of friends for years, but our first (ever) role-play campaign has started some months ago. One of the group has some experience with role-play, but it was only via chats and other PC games, so he doesn't really know how to behave when it comes to real-life roleplaying.

His character is young princess, only child, very stubborn and imperious (or just tsundere, if you know the term). His contribution to his character's personality is so high, it makes the whole game really SLOW. All the players seem to cooperate while he is doing his own game, developing his character to maximum and beyond e.g. the party is struggling to find tiny murloc village in the dense forest while he insist to stay at camp and roll the dice to "plaid her braids". And until it's 15+ he won't move forward (got it? they have to be on fleek), because Ivy (the princess) wouldn't do it aswell. Everyone becomes annoyed and the mood is awkward. Also, when the whole team decides to head west, she gets stubborn and insists to head east. Fun fact: his class is a Warlord.

We tried to talk it through multiple times, but it always ends up with his words: "That's what my character would do. I'm playing roleplay in order to roleplay, not do metagaming with quests only". Then he says that we will shup up and stay quiet for the entire meeting. For me, as a DM, it's really hard to find a compromise. They are all my close friends and I don't want to let anyone be hurt, but also it's my campaign, so I can't let them spends real-time months in the tavern doing The Sims instead of D&D.

Do you have any similar experience or solutions that I can imply so everything becomes more smooth and friendly? It's really frustrating and I don't want my team to be disappointed :(


2 Answers 2


You're not playing the same game

And when people in the same group try to play different games at the same time, there's a problem.

You did good by talking to your player - that's usually the first and also often the last step needed to resolve such problems. However, your player seems to be adamant that their style of roleplaying is the only way to play even if it's to the detriment of the other players' fun. That's a behavior you need to address.

First of all, you're playing Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, whose rules you can rely on in some cases to reduce the impact of individual incidents. For instance, you say:

the party is struggling to find tiny murloc village in the dense forest while he insist to stay at camp and roll the dice to "plaid her braids". And until it's 15+ he won't move forward (got it? they have to be on fleek), because Ivy (the princess) wouldn't do it as well.

We had a similar problem in one of our games - a player who wanted to avoid combat by calling skill checks to negotiate, bluff and then escape. That hurt the tension and was a bother to everyone in the group who wanted to fight. However, the rules state that the problem player has no business calling the rolls - that's your job as the GM. That's one of the very first rules in the book:

All these actions depend on very basic, simple rules. Decide what you want your character to do and tell the Dungeon Master. The DM tells you to make a check and figures out your chance of success (a target number for the check).

As the GM, it's up to you to decide whether something needs a check or not. So, the next time the problem player tries to invoke rolls to kill time doing something menial, you can simply declare these actions to succeed without a roll and get on with whatever you were doing. Do not feed the problem player with more table time or attention. If the player protests, keep your calm and say

"I'm sorry, but these are the rules and I agree with them."

Be honest and open about the kind of game you want

While applying the rules right will make some situations less sticky, the core issue remains: you're playing DnD 4e as heroic fantasy, the problem player isn't. You need to be open to the players as a group what the game is like and what you expect of the characters. Making certain requirements of one's player characters is a common way to avoid some basic problems in RPGs: eg. many groups rule out Evil characters or ones disinterested in adventuring, and the very rules of 4e rule out "average" characters in favor of clearly superior heroes.

When doing this, you may receive criticism from the problem player: some players have very strong opinions about certain playstyles being somehow wrong or a worse kind of roleplaying (eg. the heroic fantasy questing style that's common with DnD, especially in 4e). This is not true, but it's something you might have to address. If the problem player complains, do your best to remain calm and explain that you are having fun playing in your way and aren't changing the entire game to conform to their character.

If they persist, kick them out

Sadly, sometimes even our closest friends make for awful RPG company. If the problem player persists in their resistance, there's no point in you putting more energy in trying to minimize the damage they're doing to your game. Tell them they're no longer welcome to the table because they want to play a different game than the rest of you.

However, you can soften the blow using the following:

Run (or ask the problem player to run) something else

Dungeon and Dragons 4e is tailored for a very specific style of gameplay and doesn't work very well when other styles (like simulationism or acting) are shoehorned in. Playing something else between your 4e sessions can help your problem player better grasp the idea that there are different games that are well-suited for different kinds of things, and let them engage in playstyles they find rewarding. Try introducing them to games like Apocalypse World, Fate or 7th Sea and see how they respond to these, or something simpler like a game of Roll for Shoes (full rules in tag wiki!).


Change his PC

You can be upfront

I'm sorry princess, we are going somewhere very dangerous and we can't have you slowing us down.

She gos back to the castle and its all good. Maybe cut to her once in a while, like every 6 sessions or so to see what shes up to. Or just have her come back as and NPC. He needs to play someone who would be out there for a reason, why would the character be there. Why would the party stay with her?


You are sitting at camp alone, you are working with your braids.

Roll a spot check. You see a wolf, it lets out a howl and attacks.

You killed it, well done. But now its pack is here. You are now fighting a 8 wolfs

Roll with it

So we had this guy play a cat in our tmnt game, he was like "no my pc wouldnt do that. He is going home and watching t.v" So he sat there for the session while everyone else played You can also fade to black "with all princesses problems sorted you leave the area".

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you experienced any of this working well in actual play? \$\endgroup\$ May 12, 2018 at 14:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure why the downvotes. This answer is valid (not sure about the "Sneaky" part though) - there is no reason for the rest of the party to hang around with someone like this, and they would probably just leave her behind while they head onto the Murloc village themselves. They head west while she heads east? But the game is to the west, that's where the interesting stuff happens. Scott is right that the player needs to re-evaluate why this character would hang around with a group of adventurers, (and the others, why would they tolerate her) and maybe come up with a character who would. \$\endgroup\$
    – komodosp
    May 15, 2018 at 9:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Killing his pc was a way to get him to change without him being felt forced to change it. Because the pc was dead, he was free to play something else. Its kind of hard to explain. Asking him to change was "wrong" because he was roleplaying. "Killing" him off was fine because of roleplaying.@doppelgreener So yes. Most people you can be upfront, others need extra help \$\endgroup\$ May 16, 2018 at 10:26

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