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I'm a player in a pathfinder campaign on Discord with 3 other friends, 2 players (let's call them A and B) and the GM.

A little background

  • I'm a very close friends with the others players and the GM.
  • We've played IRL and on discord a few times before, but not all together. I played with A and GM on a campaign and with B and GM on an other campaign and A and B played with GM on a third one.
  • We are all very good friends IRL outside of role-playing games.
  • Player A plays a rogue, player B plays a paladin-scaled-fist-monk, and I play a summoner. We are a level 3 party.
  • Player A likes to ask questions and plan things out-of-character only. Player B is the other way around, very discrete out-of-character but speaks in character if needed. I often take initiatives in and out of character (talking with NPCs, proposing strategies, ect.), and I'm aware of that, so I try my best to include other player in those, and I think that's a fact that may be relevant.

The scene

Last night we were at what seemed to be a boss fight, the scene was set up at our last session, 1 day prior, where the GM explicitly told us that if we wanted to plan something big, he would provide us with necessary non-magical items in our surroundings (for example barrels of explosive powder).
I explain my plan (involving said barrels, and a couple of other things going BOOM), player A proposed other plans but their's had problems that my plan didn't. Player B was silent despite my @mentions.

Finally, everybody agreed to try my plan. The fight began... and after the surprise round nothing went as expected as the BBEG won the initiative and throw a big stormy map control spell that wiped out all fire (no BOOM without fire) and throwing B and myself to the ground with no visibility.

As the party caster, I managed to teleport player B out of the spell area, but I was still in the middle of a 40ft radius icy-stormy-hell with no visibility. I was effectively out of the fight, leaving A, B and my eidolon out. I told A and B that they had to make the decisions now, because I was literally no more than a rolling piece of meat inside a fridge at the time.

The Incident

Then 40 minutes of silence of player B, only broken by questions of player A and GM's answers. But with no actions. The GM then made the statement that if they don't play now, the BBEG will go forward. And then player B rage-quit

After that

When our GM informed us that player B had rage-quit, we paused and tried to think about what happened. In fact player A and B were discussing what to do in private. The fact that the GM pushed the game forward upset her. We arrived at the conclusion that maybe the pace of the game was too quick, not letting time for B to give her ideas.

Pace is important in fight, but fun for all at the table is more important.
So how can we handle the situation at our level (player, GM, group), and what tools (on Discord) or tips (social) can we use?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is it normal for your table to use private messages to communicate with each other? Do you know if there was a reason that players A and B were chatting privately rather than openly in front of the rest of the group? \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Jan 13 at 21:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer : I don't know if it is normal, for sure it wasn't forbidden. I personaly try to avoid it because i like to keep everybody aware of what i think, it help sort mistakes out. We do have a private room with the GM only that being said. \$\endgroup\$ – some_random_dude Jan 13 at 21:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Having a set of private rooms with the GM and each individual player is fairly common, as if something happens to you (like getting hit by a Dominate spell, or being replaced by a Doppleganger) the GM can inform you without alerting the other players. Generally, private rooms between players that exclude other players and the GM are only used in games that explicitly have the players working against each other \$\endgroup\$ – RevenantBacon Jan 13 at 21:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RevenantBacon : We are not working against each other, there is no doubt about this. Carcer: I forgot to answer one of you question : I see no reason why player A and B used private messages, the GM stated that we could hear each of us, and we communicated before despite me being inside the storm \$\endgroup\$ – some_random_dude Jan 13 at 21:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 14 at 1:12
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I absolutely understand why the GM pushed the game forward. I might've too.

Consider it from his perspective. He has no knowledge of the private chat going on. From his point of view, Player B has just disappeared. Maybe she's AFK, maybe she's having technical difficulties like spotty internet or microphone problems, maybe she's distracted and just watching videos on Youtube or something. 40 minutes is more than enough time to decide to move on; he doesn't want to make everyone else wait for someone who might not come back.

There's an in-game explanation too. Your character doesn't have 40 minutes to decide what to do next, why should you?

I don't think you need any additional tools, you just need to use the ones you have better. Private messages that exclude the GM are a bad idea. How can he decide things without knowing what everyone is doing? I understand why you may want to keep secrets from other players, but the GM should know everything. In principle, he's supposed to be omniscient, and in practice, he'll be able to come up with better sessions if he has more info to work with. If the GM had heard the private conversation, maybe he would have been more accommodating with the pace. Waiting for 40 minutes isn't so bad if there's a good reason.

Maybe share cellphone numbers so you can text each other, in the event of a Discord or microphone problem. I don't mean to say you should play-by-text, just that you should be able to let everyone know, for example, that your internet is out and that's why you're silent.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The main issue here is not the pace of the game itself, but the fact that the GM wasn't aware of what was going on ? Starting by having all game related discussion take place under the GM eye should be the first step toward improvement ? \$\endgroup\$ – some_random_dude Jan 14 at 2:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @some_random_dude I think that would be a helpful change, yes. Right now, with your communication problems, you can't really tell if you truly have a pacing problem or not. Maybe you do, maybe you don't. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan_L Jan 14 at 2:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for GM perspective. I had to re-read the question carefully to convince myself that it really was a rage-quit and not a connection issue. \$\endgroup\$ – Novak Jan 14 at 5:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @some_random_dude Yes, the first step should absolutely be making sure everyone is communicating in the same channel. If people start having side conversations, and the GM doesn't know that they're having those conversations, it can seem like they just aren't participating. \$\endgroup\$ – RevenantBacon Jan 14 at 14:13

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