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We're playing the Star Wars RPG but this problem isn't system specific.

It's normal for this group to drop character, usually for jokes and chatter, so that isn't something that can be addressed.

It began as a minor joke, referencing a series of cartoons about a shaven Chewbacca (he gets a Mohawk, a Brazilian, etc.). We spent about 20 minutes one session joking about shaven wookiees during a discussion of disguises. Some bleach and hair dye should be enough to disguise a wookiee.

A couple of sessions later, my character was wounded, and as part of a "medical procedure" to get rid of a critical injury, our medic shaved the character's entire back. Then we spent a while joking about shaving wookiees. I wasn't impressed, but I ignored it. The character later admitted that it wasn't a necessary procedure.

The session after that went normally. No wookiee shaving fetishes.

Then, during the most recent session, the player in question spent more than an hour trying to shave my character, making rolls without prompting from the GM to trick me into getting shaved, and insisting that the latest injury required a full body shave. I'm playing a tank, so of course the character gets injured regularly.

How do I stop this obsession / fetish about shaven wookiees?

The player in question regularly drops character and begins trying to shave my character; if this ongoing joke was truly in character, he would have lost his arms by now.

(P.S.: Don't google "shaven wookiee" at work.)

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Every once in a while I have things like this pop up, too, these one-sided running "jokes" at someone else's character's expense. I have never found anything that is effective except for telling the other player, quite bluntly, that their behavior is annoying and disrespectful:

"I am not here as a prop for your jokes. My character is not there as a prop for your character's jokes. And something that was (charitably) funny once becomes much less amusing on every forced repetition. This wasn't fun to begin with, it isn't ever going to be fun, so just knock it off."

You should not need the GM's support in this matter, but it is always quite helpful if you can get it. (On the other hand, if it turns out you do need the GM support because the player won't stop, and you can't get it, that is a major problem.)

I've also generally not found it helpful to turn this into an in-character or rules-based dispute either, unless you are so inclined (and it is clear from the above that you are not.) As you say, in this specific instance, the likely resolution in-character would be violent PVP. But even if it were not, if there were some less violent avenue for your player to take, the fundamental problem is still there: Your character is a prop, the butt of someone else's joke, and now you have to spend your precious time and role-playing energies in constantly fending this off. That's just not fun.

This answer has some important insights, too, which I think are complementary with mine. Not all these running "jokes" are borne out of malice, although they can still be quite annoying. How much the cause is malice, or awkwardness, or misreading the situation, or some other thing is up to you. And this can and should inflect how the blunt response is delivered. Blunt need not mean cruel or embarassing.

But that said, even in the awkward/misread situations, it has been my experience that the player in question needs to be told, clearly and firmly. They're probably not going to figure it out on their own.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yep. While the offending behavior is ostensibly in-character, the problem is that it's annoying the OP out-of-game (not just in-character) - and that is a problem that must be addressed out-of-character. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Aug 28 '18 at 0:00
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Novak’s answer is pretty great, but I'd like to add some thoughts. Because I've kind of seen this type of guy before. Heck, I've been him once or twice, I think.

You said that when the jokes started to get annoying:

I wasn't impressed but I ignored it.

Did you ever directly tell him it's no longer funny? Or do you expect him to read the social cues and realize on his own that the joke has run it's course? Because to me, this doesn't sound like a troll.

This sounds like somebody trying way too hard to be funny, so he really clings to a joke that worked once

We've all probably had/have that awkward phase when you're just starting to discover how to be actually funny. It's weird. Especially when you were always kinda shy and nerdy and prone to social awkwardness. In the beginning, it's just testing the waters and an RPG-group is actually pretty neat for that.

We spent about 20 minutes one session joking about shaven wookies

So when you make/join in on a joke that works perfectly: it is just... the best. You're cool now. This feels great. And you want to keep feeling that way. So you repeat that joke. And repeat it. And always call attention to it. Because it worked once, right? You ignore any social cues that would tell you to stop because you really want to keep that good feeling. You're a cool, funny guy now.

I've seen this a lot, mostly among teenaged guys, but a few girls as well. (It even comes in variations: obsessively spamming the flirt technique that got a good reaction out of a crush that one time. Or constantly bringing up that “one cool thing we did together, you still remember that, right?”)

Now, I don't know the player in question well enough to know for sure. I just could be reading way to much into this. But if you think I might be right:

Privately tell him the joke should stop

Don't embarrass him. Just quietly take him aside, tell him “It's really no longer funny and you are annoying me, too”. He gets to save face. You get your peace back.

And if my insight is off – well, in that case, Novak has it covered.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is an interesting perspective and wholly reasonable after reading it. I've definitely have been around a few people like this in my life. \$\endgroup\$ – blurry Aug 28 '18 at 14:51
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The moment he rolls for success, he can no longer claim it’s out of character.

You’re a Wookie. Rip. His. Arms. Off.

To be fair, give him one warning, that the next time he makes the joke you’re treating it as in-character

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    \$\begingroup\$ I fail to see how responding with in-game violence is going to help solve this out-of-character harassment. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Aug 28 '18 at 13:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ You don’t see how negative consequences might makes somebody reconsider their actions? Wookiee are famously vengeful \$\endgroup\$ – Stephen R Aug 28 '18 at 13:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ That is correct. In-game consequences are usually not enough to address out-of-character issues. The player is intent on making these jokes at the table regardless of consequences. Doing this would likely just escalate the situation instead of resolving it. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Aug 28 '18 at 13:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Editorial note: We don't signify edits here. So, when you make a change to your answer, just blend it in naturally. Make every version of your answer the best version. We have edit history to see what was changed if it is needed. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Aug 28 '18 at 13:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you used this technique in a game to resolve a similar situation, or seen it used? How did it work? Can you cite and describe how it worked in practice? \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Aug 29 '18 at 17:55
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You've answered your own question, I think.

The player in question regularly drops character and begins trying to shave my character; if this ongoing joke was truly in character he would have lost his arms by now.

Tell the GM ahead of time that you're going to play it in character. So next time Bozo suggests shaving your Wookie, the GM immediately starts rolling for Bozo's PC actually trying to shave your Wookie PC. Your Wookie tank PC reacts in character and beats the everloving crap out of his PC. If you're feeling generous, maybe at 1HP your Wookie PC lets up, and simply strips everything of any value from his bleeding body. Your Wookie PC naturally will not cooperate with him from then on, or return his stuff, so the rest of the mission will need the rest of the party to keep his PC alive. (If they can, and if they want to.) If not, he's just dead and out for the rest of the mission. Learning experience.

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Jumping off of HideAndSeek's answer, I think that it would behoove you especially to seek help from the GM; from what it sounds like, the other player is well meaning and simply wants to be included on the in-joke, but is being annoying unintentionally. It can be difficult for someone to understand when they are annoying others if not explicitly told.

If you wish to remain in good spirits with your fellow player, I think it would help if you get the message to them in a more polite way than being directly blunt with them. From what it sounds like, they enjoy the interaction between your characters and want to be included.

It's great when players have a dynamic between each other, so what I would suggest is to have the GM establish "you can't shave the wookie if he won't let you" if they are comfortable with that. This will help them get the message that the joke has run it's course and doesn't have a place in the game, but allow them to save face and continue having a dynamic with your character that might be more appropriate.

If your GM isn't comfortable with establishing a rule like this, then I would go along with the others and suggest being direct with the player in order to end the conflict early so that the game can go on. My answer is driven by the desire to keep relationships and special dynamics between characters alive, because they often keep the game interesting.

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If he keeps with the hair shaving and no amount of talk stops him it is only right you keep with the pulling arms out of sockets. Every roll to shave your wookee should be met with a roll to pull his character's arm out of the socket. talk or reattaching his arm should eventually stop them

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As canonical as arm-pulling is for "Star Wars", grievous bodily assault will never come across as anything other than massive IC over-reaction to a "joke" about shaving hair that will grow back. In any similar confrontations in my experience, this is will only end in tears (figuratively or literally).

If the superb direct player-to-player request advice given in the other answers a) doesn't work or b) you don't believe it will work, I'd suggest thinking on prank-for-prank exchange. This "shave the wookiee" thing is based on embarrassing the wookiee. Making him look ridiculous.

So, flip it back.

If it were me, I'd discuss the following plot with the GM, starting with what super adhesive exists for purchase. Then, when Mr. Shaver Guy finally succeeds in getting fur off you, calmly rip his clothes off, empty a bucket of the adhesive over him and roll him around in the freshly removed wookiee fur. Jokes about baby wookiees, rolls vs itching and endless sneezing will occupy IC and OOC comments. And will continue to do so until the GM reckons the adhesive finally removed.

Puerile? Certainly. As I say, this is only if the mature adult approach fails to change the situation.

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