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The PCs in my campaign are level 5. We are in a major town and a festival is happening.

I have a player whose character will spend 20-30 mins trying to convince random female NPCs to sleep with them, but they don't always succeed. He then gets angry about it and continually pursues said NPC, until I just give up and let it happen in order to continue the story.

He also loses small competitions and get angry because he didn't roll well. He takes it out on the NPC that did win in public, then gets arrested and gets angry about that too.

He blames all of his bad decisions on his low intelligence, but it's not low enough to not understand that common sense is a thing.

Other players have said that he is a blight on the game, endangering their characters. He is a close friend and I work with him. I want him to play but it's so draining I want to stop DMing.

How do I handle this bad player without kicking him out of the game?

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    \$\begingroup\$ This reads more like a rant than a question. What is the question you are trying to answer? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 21 '18 at 8:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ "How to handle a bad player without kick him out?" \$\endgroup\$ – aloisdg says Reinstate Monica Jul 21 '18 at 8:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Take the tour! It's a good idea to include an actual question in a question even if you think that question's obvious (like How can I get this player to change his behavior?). Also, what steps have you already taken to correct this behavior, and what has been his response to these steps? Please edit any responses into the question itself. Thank you for participating and have fun! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 21 '18 at 9:51
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Good Old Session Zero

It seems pretty clear that you need to talk about what's going on with your players, and be a fair and understanding arbitrator so that everyone can enjoy the session, you especially. Proposing this can be as easy as saying, "Hey guys, I want to organize a little chat between all of us so we can all the most out of each session."

A few key points for facilitating a productive, exploratory talk between all parties involved, and also how to go about this talk when expulsion is the last possible option:

Don't be Accusatory, and Bring Balance to Each Opinion

In-game, there is a discrepancy between what your coworker wants out of his role-playing experience versus your other players. Out of game, he's a close friend of yours and works with you. Therefore, it's in your best interest to approach this in a manner that is compassionate and interested in all perspectives of the situation. Don't let your other players bully him, nor he bully anyone else.

It can be easy to gang up on a problem player, and usually, it's best to simply eject them from your party. In your situation, since this is not the optimal solution, you need to be able to facilitate an honest, open discussion between all of your players regarding his behavior.

How to Talk About His Behavior:

1) Keep the discussion exploratory, and figure out exactly what the other players want.

Your player sounds like he's interested in roleplaying but seems to be getting bored, and thus is creating situations that have dramatic resolutions. When they don't resolve in his way, he gets mad, and may think you're simply punishing him for moving the session forward. I have no idea, which is why it is imperative for you to find out why he acts out. He may act the way he does for a variety of reasons: it's up to you to see if you can reconcile the differences between your players to pull this group together.

2) Once you figure out what your players want, brainstorm ways to make those game interests meet, preferably with the players.

Ultimately, your party wants to have fun on an epic adventure. Once each player's desires are out in the open, become the arbitrator and focus on how each players' desires overlap and how everyone can get what they want. Your player may be reacting to a lack of dramatic conflict in your campaign, and thus it is your responsibility to create more interesting conflict should you want a better group dynamic.

3) Emphasize how other players feel when someone is making the gameplay experience unpleasant for others.

In my experience, very few players actually get enjoyment from making others feel bad. Most people are either unaware of their behavior (shocking), or feel bad themselves and act up to be heard. Talking about their behavior without condemnation but in frank terms helps bring reality to these players. This negative social frown should be enough to wizen up your coworker to his own habits, coupled with the feedback on how each player is going to get more of what they want out of the game.

Final Take-Aways:

We're all here to roll dice and have fun.

We're all friends (ideally).

There's no need to double-down or get serious, we're playing dice games.

Try not to piss off your co-worker/close friend, but do give him a healthy dosage of reality regarding his behavior and how it makes others feel. The more empathy you can bring to your group, the better.

Ultimately, You Cannot Control How Other People Feel, and It's Your Table

Should none of this work and your party still has irreconcilable differences with said problem player, it may be time for him to go. You're not a therapist that can work on his interpersonal issues or desires, and having an open ended discussion with your party may help him realize that whatever he's looking for at your group, he will not find.

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The optimal solution to this problem would probably be to kick him from the group altogether. The other players don’t want him there, and it’s even affecting your ability to enjoy the game as GM. What’s more, he’s clearly not enjoying the style of game you’re putting out for him. The party dynamic is likely to turn toxic soon if it hasn’t already. It would be best for everyone if you just parted ways. He can go off and find another group that better suits his interests (or maybe not; he sounds kind of misanthropic), and you and the rest of the party can carry on without having to deal with him grousing at the table and spoiling your fun.

If you want to keep him in the group, the only thing for it is to convince him that 1) His behaviour is disruptive and 2) He needs to change it, rather than having the group change to accommodate him. I don’t know him or what his relationship with you is like, so I can only give general advice on that subject. The rest is up to you.

  1. Whatever conversation you wind up having about this, have it in private.

    Your other players clearly have frustrations regarding your problem player. From the sounds of things, fair enough. But if you have the conversation in front of them, it could easily turn into a dogpile as they vent those frustrations right at him, and that can only possibly end in hurt feelings. Furthermore, even if your players don’t do that, you want to avoid making him feel singled out and humiliated, as that will immediately escalate the conversation.

  2. Maybe don’t lead with ‘you’re a troublemaker and nobody likes you’.

    Again, we don’t want to put him on the defensive if we can avoid it. Instead, you may want to ease into the conversation by asking him what HE’S dissatisfied with in the game. It’s possible (but unlikely) that here’s something you can do to actually accommodate him, but either way, it should be a much more palatable conversation than if you open with a list of grievances. Give him a chance to vent, and then turn the conversation around to his behaviour.

  3. Be polite, but firm.

    Don’t respond to any provocation, and don’t get defensive or insulting, even if he does. At the same time, though, remember: what he’s doing right now isn’t fair to you or to the party. Make it clear that if his behaviour doesn’t change, you’ll have to ask him to leave.

  4. If he won’t change, do what you have to.

    There’s nothing you can do to solve this problem if he’s not willing to meet you halfway. At that point, you may not have any choice but to cut him loose.

Good luck. These kind of conversations are incredibly tough to have, and it’s not fair that you’ve been put into this position.

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