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In D&D I play a ranger who lost an eye in battle therefore having a disadvantage.

Me and my party of 6 friends went inside a tavern to rest just before we went on our main quest together. In the tavern we decided to have a few drinks - my character blacked out. Most players in the party decided to steal from me, taking a valuable egg (which I earned), and all of my gold.

I understand this is part of the game but when there are 4 dice rolls against my 1 then what can I do!? It just isn't fun: What is the point of playing?
I tried to ask what happened in the following morning but the other players just tipped off the bartender.

It is complete Meta-gaming.

I could try and get revenge by killing the players in a stealth manner but if this is just going to keep happening I may as-well just leave in game. What could I do if most people are just going to keep on stealing what I earn and making the game not fun to play?

Thanks for all the messages guys, didn’t expect this much of a response. It’s been a while since the last I updated this scenario. I took the advice and after the game I decided to address these points and how I felt about it to the party. Everyone was pretty chill and they essentially said that it was just a one off thing and that it was just a spur of the moment sort of thing. The following game they all decided to use tolls and tell me who took my stuff leading me to getting it back. In the end it all worked out they are still good Friends mine and always will it’s just the game at the end of the day and that’s how some people want to play sometimes, it just happens.

after all it is just a game, but a ranger never forgets ;)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Not that it's vital, but the 5th edition of D&D presumably? (Nice if you can confirm, for our tags if nothing else.) \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Feb 3 at 22:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: Handling a character who frequently pickpockets teammates \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Feb 3 at 22:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Has something like this happened before? Also what is your relationship with the other players? I'm pretty sure people will suggest out of character ways to deal with this, so knowing whether those are your friends or just people you met a week ago at the local gaming store may benefit people answering the question. \$\endgroup\$ – fabian Feb 3 at 23:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you talked with your group about this (GM, players)? \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Feb 4 at 0:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ FWIW this isn't meta-gaming (You knowing they stole the stuff OOC while your character doesn't know but acting on that info would be). This is bullying. \$\endgroup\$ – aslum Feb 5 at 16:24

10 Answers 10

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Short answer: stop playing with people who abuse you

What could I do if most people are just going to keep on stealing what I earn and making the game not fun to play?

You are being picked on. Sometimes, when something bad happens to us, we go into denial. We don't want to believe that bad things are happening to us. We don't want to believe that we are the butt of the joke.

RPGs can bring out the best in people, and, sadly, can also bring out the worst (been there, done that, etc). Since RPGs are a form of escapism, built into some of them are strands of a plausible deniability premise that goes like this:

  1. "It's just a game, don't take it so seriously."

  2. "My character would do that, what's the problem?"

But here's the reality of it: no character can perform an action unless the Player (the person) attempts it or tells the GM that this is what they are doing. Sometimes, the above quoted defenses are used by bullies to avoid culpability for being a jerk.

Your "friends" are bullying you.

You can either keep hanging around with them, and keep getting bullied, or you can find different and better people to hang out with.

Or ... the answer with a bit more risk ...

... before the next play session, you can call them all out on it before play starts. Begin the conversation, in your own words, with something like this: Why are you all doing this rude crap to me?

Some of them may not realize that they are being jerks, and some may be doing it because they are jerks. You won't find out the truth by asking on an internet site. You'll only find out when you ask the people with whom you are playing why they are treating you this way. Once you ask, the answers may surprise you. Sometimes, clearing the air improves the breathing. Sometimes, it reminds you of why we leave a room when someone farted.

To quote Cherlindria as she speaks to Willow Ufgood:

The choice is yours.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks guys I understand, they are all good friends of mine it’s just that I think some want to play more than others. I understand that it’s funny at times but it just turns the game not fun to play which is expected. I think I’ll just leave the toxic game rather than just trying to kill one of the characters. There is a certain point when it just turns game breaking, I’ve already had it out with them but they said ‘it’s just the luck of the rolls’. I’ll see how it goes anyways. Much appreciated \$\endgroup\$ – Minibridd Feb 4 at 7:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Minibridd it is easy to ignore some people just don't treat you as a friend, or as a person, if you are desperate for a friend. Been there, done that. Please, at least consider they may not be your friends at all. Or not as good friends as you think. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Feb 4 at 9:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 13 at 7:09
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Communicate and then find a better group or activity.

tl;dr You can communicate how you feel and what you would like in a non-accusatory way, but it sounds like it's best to plan to leave that group.

State what bothers you using I statements.

Use a variation of the structure "When X happened, I felt Y". Avoid the word "you" or calling anyone else out. The point here is to be assertive without making accusations. E.g. "When the characters in my own party stole from my character, I felt betrayed and it was not fun."

State an alternative or the outcome you would like.

Perhaps offering a ground rule of no intra-party theft nor violence would be a decent place to start. Similar to the I statement format, but you start with how you expect to feel. E.g. "This would be more fun to me if there was agreement not to steal from nor harm other party members."

Sounds like the group could benefit from running a session 0 to get expectations set.

No D&D is Better Than Bad D&D

Do not participate in a situation where you're not seeing any benefit from, and worse yet... being ganged up upon.

There are some glaring red flags in the situation you describe.

The other players engage in the behavior, and the DM permits and facilitates the behavior. Either of those alone would be a clue that it's time to find something else to play or other people to engage with. Both together make for a truly lamentable situation.

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This situation Emphasize the need for a session 0.

A session were no one plays but everyone explains their expectations from the game. At the end of session 0 you should all agree on what is allowed or not in your game. What happened to you is a major point and should have been answered at this session 0.

Example of questions I like to ask in session 0:

  • Is it possible from a player to steal from other players?
  • Is there something (or several things) you want to avoid?
  • Are players 'comfortable' with descriptions of torture, rape, innocent and child murderer ok with everyone? If no is short evocation ok?
  • Could a player attack another player (PvP)?

Depending on the game other issue may arise and you should always talk. During the events but also after when every one have their feet on the ground.

Maybe the people you are playing with are hurting you on purpose but maybe not, maybe they thought that was allowed and thus fun... It is clearly not fun for you so you should discuss that and if they don't want to change you should not play with them because everyone plays to have fun!

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    \$\begingroup\$ Exactly. Although this does not help OP's current problem it's important advice on how to avoid similar situations in the future. Session 0 solves 80% of the problems a campaign may have. \$\endgroup\$ – Aventinus Feb 4 at 12:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I prefer this answer because it doesn't presume the players are bad actors. However, it would be better if you discussed how you can push for fixing the lack of discussing this stuff at Session 0, like asking that you essentially have a Session 0.5 to work this out--and leave if you can't work it out. \$\endgroup\$ – trlkly Feb 5 at 17:55
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You could roleplay your character. Start with honestly not knowing who robbed you, trying to figure out, telling your comrades about it and seeing what their reactions are.

If they manage to keep your PC in the dark that they robbed him, roleplay your PCs limited knowledge until he figures it out. The longer that goes on, the more those with a waking conscience will feel what they did to you.

If/when your PC figures out his companions robbed him, consider your character's background and personality and what he would do about it, and roleplay that out.

Though, if and when you as a player aren't enjoying the game, you can and should take that up with the GM out of character, and/or excuse yourself from the game.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I support this approach -- IF you reasonably believe the PCs are being jerks and the players are not, AND IF you can separate what happened to your ranger from whether this happened to you. But should you reasonably believe the players acted rude -- KorvinStarmast's answer would get my vote. \$\endgroup\$ – Codes with Hammer Feb 6 at 17:16
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To me it depends.

The feeling of playing alone against all others is not a very fun experience. And if this happens more than once, I agree with the other answers. You should talk to them about it or find a different group. I will not go deeper into this point there are enough answers about this.

However if this is the only instance where this happened, then I do think you might overreact a bit. In those times of dnd it was probably not uncommon to be stolen your money if you black out. If my whole party would be drunk and black out I wouldn't be surprised to wake up with all our valuables gone. That is just the result of drinking too much and blacking out. In real life it is not uncommon to wake up with some dicks drawn on your face if you blacked out on a party.

This is just my opinion but this story sounds a lot like you drank too much, blacked out and your friends played a joke to you. Maybe they are even gonna give back the egg to you once you learn not to drink over your limit.

Or if your characters don't know each other so well then they just saw an opportunity to gain some wealth. This may go towards the "my guy syndrom", where they reason it because their guys would do it, but it is not fun for you. Again, as the other answers state, it can help to speak with them about it.

I would roleplay the character as having learned his lesson and not drinking over his limits in the future.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thing is, drawing on people's faces is not the same as stealing. And the tipping off the bartender shows it was not just pretending to steal and then give it back. Actual stealing isn't a prank. \$\endgroup\$ – trlkly Feb 5 at 17:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @trlkly Tipping of the bartender is just some small coins. Adventurers tend to make quite a furtune in comparison to a bartender so for a joke this is probably not a big investment. Still could be a prank. I'd make it one. Of course this does depend on the campaign. As I said at the top of my answer, it depends. And as I also mentioned it could be stealing. I'd expect my stuff gone if I'd black out with some half strangers in a bar. \$\endgroup\$ – findusl Feb 6 at 7:51
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Is your character in the right party?

One of the questions I would ask the OP is: how out of alignment is the OP's character compared to the rest of the party? If OP is playing a Good Ranger, and everyone else is playing as Neutral or Evil, the party make up is ... hinky. (And maybe a sign that the expectations are out of alignment, too.)

Are you in the right group?

I like the idea of having a conversation with your group (players and GM). You may want to ask it before the next session, though; it may help smooth out any ruffled feathers to have a break between the convo and the next game. (Or people may decide that they don't want to be part of the next game.)

Is this game PvP?

If I were in your shoes, I think I would ask the other players and the GM: how PvP is this game? One thing the players might have thought is that there would be no consequences for their characters (especially if the GM was - consciously or subconsciously - egging them on). If they realize that there could be a tit-for-tat (or worse), they may think otherwise. E.g. that egg that was stolen? Would your character, say, go to the local authorities over it? If there is now a risk of derailing the campaign (in a logical manner), the GM might think again about allowing such behavior. If the players thought their character might now be stuck in the local jail for theft (and they now have to roll a new character b/c this one can't go on the quest), they might think otherwise.

Why "but my guy would" is a Really Bad Idea. (note the Capital Letters)

As for the other players using the "my guy would" excuse... Your guy is a defender of nature and 'good'? And you're all playing murder hobos... If the players are using the excuse of 'my guy would', the game could descend into total PvP. In a town with no (or laughable) local law enforcement, a wandering do-good-ing Ranger might think that killing thieves is not just appropriate, but required by their code of conduct.. Hence my initial question about 'How PvP is this game?' If you (the players) don't all agree on boundaries, it could be a pretty slippery slope (for the characters).

(For the record, I am not saying that you should go down the all-or-nothing PvP route; I am saying that all characters are likely doing something that doesn't fit with what they 'would' do. I am giving examples of how going down the "my guy would" route can get everyone into an unpleasant situation, and I think that a lot of the people who use the 'my guy would' excuse fail are choosing to ignore the notion of 'the other guy would'.)

What RPG games are to me.

The thing that I like the most about RPG's is that it is communal story-telling with friends, and when there is a conflict of story, you use dice to resolve the conflict. (I've even played games where there were no dice; just story-telling.) For me, as soon as a session stopped being communal, it stops being fun.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Feb 5 at 21:16
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First, I think talking this out with them is the best way. But if you don't want to, here is an alternative:

Accept what happened but play it out such that they feel ashamed in the end and recognize that this was a bad move, maybe even apologize in character. For example, I would ask, that before going on the main quest, you really first need to find your stuff and take revenge on the thief and if they can help you, because you would do the same for them. You could go to a harrower or witch and pay to curse the thief, giving the DM an opportunity to let bad things happen to the thief. Don't overdo it though, try to play your character in a believable way and try to create opportunities for them to apologize.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPGSE. The tour and the help center provide guidance on how SE sites work. Have you done this during play in one of your games? How did that work out? When recommending a course of action, discussing how effective it has been in your own at table play experience is the kind of "back it up" that a supported answer calls for. How to Answer has a few more points on this. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 4 at 15:28
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As an alternative to all the conflict-resolution advice being given, how would you feel if, the next time, it was a different player being robbed by their "teammates"? What would happen if, in the next session, you propose to 3 players that you gang up and rob the 4th?

If this kind of thing happens in almost every session, it would lead to a very different kind of campaign, of course, but it would pretty well cancel out the bullying aspect if everyone gets their turns to be robbed.

And maybe teach a lesson about getting drunk around people you don't completely trust ;-) )

Note that this kind of thing fits very well with something like Paranoia, but may not be the kind of campaign your DM wants to run. In that case, be prepared for some nasty campaigning as you keep running into situations where the supplies the robbed character couldn't afford to buy would have helped the party...

(Any yes, I've only seen this kind of "party" in Paranoia.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you recommending this? I mean, I've played paranoia and I'm not sure I'd want to port this aspect over to D&D. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 6 at 20:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not sure the "I'm being bullied so lets bully everyone in turn" is a great course of action... \$\endgroup\$ – JohnP Feb 6 at 20:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not bullying if everyone is robbed from an equal amount of the time. It may or may not be a fun game to play. \$\endgroup\$ – arp Feb 13 at 14:37
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An eye for an eye! ...aye?!

The previous answers are great and I think all their votes are well-deserved. As an alternative though, I might propose this... If you still want to play in that group, you could think of turning what has been happening into something fun and fantastic (with the help of your DM).

Since you are a one-eyed Ranger, ask your DM to consider that the next PC that takes your bounty also loses an eye. The DM can set this up in advance. If you both have a missing eye, you are on an even keel! It might serve as a "poetic justice" or "divine intervention", and discourage others from engaging in the behaviour. The DM wouldn't even have to explain it.

DM: "You wake up to find that half the world has vanished! What, you say?! You touch your face and lo and behold -well more of the lo and less of the behold- your left eye is missing! The eye socket appears empty. No, wait... There is a gold piece in there instead."

Later on in the story, your DM could create a process by which the PC recovers their sight. Or, not.

If the DM is willing for that behaviour to go unchecked even after you have had a chat about it, I'd think it's high time you bid them all: "Good b-eye!"

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    \$\begingroup\$ I disagree with this approach. Petty revenge doesn't solve OP's problem. On the contrary, this road will probably lead to an escalation of events. The only path to solve this is communication. \$\endgroup\$ – Aventinus Feb 4 at 12:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree @Adventius Hence, why I credit the previous answers. It depends on the group dynamic in the end - sometimes humour along with an emotionally-intelligent DM can help dissipate these sort of hard feelings. \$\endgroup\$ – Orc's Plunder Feb 4 at 13:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Aventinus I don't see this recommendation as petty revenge, more like "karma" at work. Whether or not it works is very group-dependent. I have seen DMs do stuff like this and it works, and I've seen attempt like this create an uproar and acrimony. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 4 at 13:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this just free-form brainstorming? \$\endgroup\$ – Novak Feb 6 at 21:12
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It is just a game - you need to relax, and enjoy. There is no need to lose friends over this small incident.

Once I played Star Wars, as a Jedi. My friend played a wookie. After some quarrel, he said that he hit me in a face. He made maximum high hit, and my Jedi fumbled, and died. The DM killed the party very shortly - they couldn't handle the challenge with one less. It wasn't very fun session. My friends probably realized that we have to play together, because next session was completely different.

It may also depend on alignments. If your DM allows it, if your friends play neutral or evil, then it may be ok to steal from you. It may be fun, because if you play a good alignment, you have to bring the evil-doers to justice.

If your friends refuse to change, and continue to do stuff that annoy you, then I would follow other answers, and just stop playing with them.

Other option would be to throw in Paranoia session in between, and kill each other until you had enough.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "It wasn't very fun session." So why are you recommending this approach then? \$\endgroup\$ – John Montgomery Feb 4 at 19:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BЈовић The player makes the choices then pushes them through the lens of the character. In this way, it can be challenging to figure out how to play the choice that helps the party through the role of an evil character, or the hard choice through the role of a good character. That can be great fun too. The point is the player makes the choices and then portrays them through the character. Using the "my character would do this" is a smoke screen for a player making a choice that is harmful to the fun or game, and is not an excuse. Alignment is a red herring in making better choices. \$\endgroup\$ – GcL Feb 4 at 20:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ITAlex No, I do not recommend it. It was GM's decision to teach them a lesson - a good one if you ask me. The point is that GM should react to such things and punish players going against the group. \$\endgroup\$ – BЈовић Feb 5 at 9:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you don't recommend this action, then it's not a good Answer. Furthermore, you seem to ignore that D&D is designed and balanced around the idea of a party of adventurers working together. The game breaks pretty badly if players are encouraged to destroy the party. You can play other alignments, but that doesn't mean they are stupid and will harm their own chances of success by killing the people they were able to get to work with them. \$\endgroup\$ – trlkly Feb 5 at 18:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 13 at 7:17

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