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I am fairly newish to D&D. Our group plays every week and I have been a GM before. My character is fairly chill, chaotic neutral and will often get distracted for a few moments looking at something or talking to someone, as it fits into her character. She will often be the one to push the button in the middle of the room, or lick the wall etc. A real yes character trying not to block anyone else's ideas.

The other players however, one in particular shut her down at every turn, undermining her to NPCs making out like she is annoying and pathetic and often at times it can get hurtful as it seems to be aimed at me personally. We get along great in real life but anything my character says Is shut down, even when my ideas are good, they will chat about it and then either do what I had said or ignore me completely.

When everything is getting a bit too serious during times that are not serious, my character may do something to bring the story back to life. The GM loves it and will always let me go for it, as the story is richer and more enjoyable and I will feed more into some of the story elements he has done. The group however want to follow everything to the book.

The campaign we are playing, I have been tasked with looking after the money etc from our group business, and even though it is my role (we all have our own), I get no say in anything ever. I don't even see the point having the role. As it is always 2 against me. I roll a lot of natural 20s and the GM will allow certain things and the group will straight up say no.

For example tonight we were having a long rest, and my character was having a bit of fun and while they slept, put mud on their hands and woke them with a feather...when they woke they got a muddy face. Nothing major, just a little prank. It's not real. And one of them set their familiar onto me to attack, which I of course batted it away... I am a tabaxi, I have claws... the GM made me roll to hit it and with my roll it died (can be brought back with a spell). This is a great twist to the story!

An ogre then attacked us due to all the noise they were making about it and the ogre ruined their tents, Instead of the characters continuing on, etc, instead they both start getting actual mad at me, blamed me for everything. Started using spells to grovel to them and trying to hurt me on purpose and leave me in the forest and go off and continue the adventure. Their words and behaviors actually made me the person feel so shit. It was not intentional and it was not permanent. I mean, is this not the point of the game, to have moments that you can not control, or you might mess up etc.

The person who had the bird has actually nearly killed my character by accident during the campaign and I didn't freak out and go on some kind or attack mode.

The last few sessions I am not having a lot of fun, as one of the characters in particular takes over the entire story, tells you no if it's not what they want to do and the character is really not nice to play with. So serious and straight.

I try to talk about it but often get shut down.

Do you think I need to find a new group? I was actually nearly in tears tonight, it was embarrassing and it's a game - a game I take seriously but fun is supposed to be the main component. I love my GM and would be gutted but our characters do not seem to mesh well.

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We have only your description of the situation to go by, and therefore we can't fully know the situation. However, what I gather from your description is that your behavior is a very significant part of this problem.

You are enforcing your own tone on the game

For starters, I recommend you to read about My Guy Syndrome, because it sounds like a significant contributing factor to the problem at hand.

You describe your character thus:

My character is fairly chill, chaotic neutral and will often get distracted for a few moments looking at something or talking to someone, as it fits into her character. She will often be the one to push the button in the middle of the room, or lick the wall etc. A real yes character trying not to block anyone else's ideas.

I highlighted the last sentence because it gives me strong MGS vibes. While you take care to point out that your character is very permissive of other peoples' ideas, the way you're playing that character is also enforcing a very particular tone on the game. To draw a comparison: a singer in a barbershop quartet might allow anyone to sing in any key they like, but if they only sing in one key themselves, the others can't produce all the harmonies they'd like!

For instance, suppose your fellow players want to play a serious fantasy story. You don't see people licking walls or pushing nuclear launch buttons in, say, Lord of the Rings or Narnia; certainly not the protagonists, at least! If that is the tone others in your group expect, the way you're playing your character is actively detrimental. Not permissive, but obtrusive.

Other examples point towards the same direction:

When everything is getting a bit too serious during times that are not serious, my character may do something to bring the story back to life.

This sounds to me like you are putting in an effort to keep the game from becoming "serious" – taking into account that other players might want a more serious game than you, you should realize that your actions can be seen as directly counterproductive towards an enjoyable gaming session.

For example tonight we were having a long rest, and my character was having a bit of fun and while they slept, put mud on their hands and woke them with a feather...when they woke they got a muddy face. Nothing major, just a little prank. It's not real.

This is another example of you taking the tone of the game into your own hands. As you say, "it's not real", but as you've seen yourself it's still very possible to ruin others' fun through it.

In a nutshell, you frame the problem as the other players being too restrictive while you are just "trying not to block anyone else's ideas". However, to me it seems you're repeatedly taking control of the game to inject your brand of silliness that the others seem not to want. I'd recommend taking a step back and really, really critically analyzing your own behavior and thinking things through before resuming play with the group.

Setting expectations

There is no single right way or wrong way to play RPGs. The only thing that matters is that everyone enjoys themselves, and no one gets hurt. In order to do that, you must reach a consensus on what kind of a game you want to play: silly, serious or downright angsty? Hardcore tactics or freeform MacGyvering? Grievously hard, forgiving or something in between? Et cetera, et cetera.

No consensus is ever perfect and there is no foolproof way to avoid conflicting expectations on what the game is going to be like, but you can reduce the amount and intensity of conflicts as well as ease conflict resolution by working towards establishing a culture of open communication around the table. Do not be afraid to tell the other players what you expect out of the game, but also listen to their expectations. Tell what you would like to happen, listen when they tell their side. Work out agreements instead of pushing your own way until everyone hates each other.

One popular tool we use for this is the Same Page Tool. It looks like a survey, but it's actually intended to be used as a conversation starter among the whole group, not filled out individually. It covers a range of topics that are common points of strife in groups that do not discuss their expectations beforehand. Do not hesitate to fill in the gaps based on your personal experience: you should definitely have a talk with your group about whether the levity you've been injecting in the game is working as intended for your peers.

Finally, I recommend beginning each TRPG campaign with a Session Zero, as well as having smaller discussion sessions before or after each or every other normal session, to continuously gauge the group's feelings and desires for the game. I'll stress that these are not things that only the GM should care about: everyone in the group can contribute to creating and maintaining a culture where you can work together towards the game that makes everyone happy.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I second this answer on so many levels. This whole situation reminds me of a Rappan Athuk campaign I was part of where we had someone playing a character who was constantly impulsive, treating the whole thing like a ridiculous game, and invariably due to some rather ridiculous luck never being the person who dealt with the consequences of this. By the end of the third encounter, most of the players were sufficiently angry with this guy that they were swearing to never play alongside the player again. \$\endgroup\$ – Austin Hemmelgarn Feb 21 at 20:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ “Fool of a Took!" he growled. "This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party. Throw yourself in next time, and then you will be no further nuisance.” \$\endgroup\$ – Mazura Feb 22 at 13:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mazura That is an excellent point. At the same time, Pippin's character arc has an increasingly serious tone as he comes to understand the weight of duty and sacrifice (including Gandalf's death shortly after your quote.) \$\endgroup\$ – raithyn Feb 22 at 14:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would like to say that it's not impossible to have seriousness and silliness mix together - you can have long moments of tension and sorrow in a game, interspersed with moments of levity and even comedy too. But, you still need to be on the same page with the other players. You need to agree that is the kind of game you are playing first, and then need to be able to read the situation and know when it makes sense to be serious, and when it makes sense to have a little lighthearted fun. \$\endgroup\$ – Zibbobz Feb 22 at 15:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 if you intend on having a "character growth arc" clueing in the players (not the characters) that you intend to have them grow out of certain aspects might help mitigate some of the annoyance related to a carefree character in a serious game. \$\endgroup\$ – IT Alex Feb 22 at 15:49
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I am fairly newish to D&D. Our group plays every week and I have been a GM before. My character is fairly chill, chaotic neutral

I very nearly stopped reading right there, literally at that exact point mid-sentence. Chaotic neutral alignment is infamous for being the primary classic excuse some people use for why their character causing problems for the party should be considered ok, to the point where many groups outright ban that alignment entirely.

Almost the entire rest of your post then proceeded to conform exactly to everything chaotic neutral is infamous for. Specifically:

  • Causing nuisances for the party
  • Undermining the seriousness of situations that the other players want to treat seriously
  • Doing obviously bad, or at least risky, things that have consequences for the whole party
  • Doing things to the other party members, serious or not, that are unwelcome

She will often be the one to push the button in the middle of the room, or lick the wall etc.

If there is a button in the middle of the room and the other players are staying well away from pushing it, then most likely they want it to not be pushed. By anyone. And considering the context, they likely have excellent reason for that desire. And there your character goes, doing exactly what the other players - seriously - want no one to do.

When everything is getting a bit too serious during times that are not serious, my character may do something to bring the story back to life. The GM loves it and will always let me go for it, as the story is richer and more enjoyable and I will feed more into some of the story elements he has done. The group however want to follow everything to the book.

For the other players, what you describe as "too serious" may be exactly the level of seriousness they want. So, they're getting the play experience they want, and then your character comes along and breaks it.

For example tonight we were having a long rest, and my character was having a bit of fun and while they slept, put mud on their hands and woke them with a feather...when they woke they got a muddy face. Nothing major, just a little prank. It's not real.

Real or not, you pranked the other party members. That by itself is something many players view as a major negative. Many, maybe even most, campaigns are intended to be the player characters, as a united group, vs assorted NPC groups in the world. Pranking another party member puts your character in conflict with another player's character, even if it's a minor and non-serious conflict, and that breaks the party vs the world paradigm.

In addition, you spent game time on doing this prank. Game time that could have been spent instead on whatever quest or storyline the other players have been getting invested in. You took away from the parts of the game they enjoy most, and used the time you took to instead actively annoy them.

And one of them set their familiar onto me to attack, which I of course batted it away... I am a tabaxi, I have claws... the GM made me roll to hit it and with my roll it died (can be brought back with a spell). This is a great twist to the story!

No. No, it is not. If it happened as part of adventuring against the bad guys, then maybe, but it didn't. It happened as part of one party member bothering the other party members for no reason, and that makes it definitively a Bad Thing that the party member in question caused.

Setting their familiar on you may have been an overreaction if it was in response to just this single prank, but I think it was probably in response to accumulated frustration and annoyance built up over your character's entire play history in the group. And then your character, who's already been getting on their nerves all the time, killed their familiar. If the characters were real people, acting with their own emotions and without the group of players to keep them in a matching group, your character would be exceedingly lucky if she got away with just being expelled from the party.

An ogre then attacked us due to all the noise they were making about it and the ogre ruined their tents, Instead of the characters continuing on, etc, instead they both start getting actual mad at me, blamed me for everything.

This entire sequence of events started with your character doing something pointless and deliberately annoying to the other characters, which then escalated into serious bad things happening. Judging by everything you've described, in their place I would probably be mad at you too. If you had just said "I sleep through the night" instead of doing your prank, the familiar would still be alive, the tents would still be intact, and the party would already be on their way.

I mean, is this not the point of the game, to have moments that you can not control, or you might mess up etc.

Sometimes, maybe, but almost never because of the actions of another party member. It is the GM's role to provide such things, not yours. Your role, as a fellow party member, is to help your party overcome these obstacles.

The person who had the bird has actually nearly killed my character by accident during the campaign and I didn't freak out and go on some kind or attack mode.

The critical key words here are "by accident". You may not have intended the consequences of your prank, but the prank itself was absolutely intentional. I would guess that the accidental near-killing was also a one-off event, while your prank was part of an extended behavior pattern.

our characters do not seem to mesh well.

Indeed. The character you described would mesh poorly with most groups, and if you find a new group and play a similar character in the new group, you will likely end up with the same issue again.

I think you need to retire the character, and make a new one to replace her in the party. Choose an alignment that is not chaotic, craft a personality for the character that takes things more seriously, and accept that the game is more about engaging in imaginary heroics and less about pranks, jokes, and randomness. The game is supposed to be fun, yes, but the other players want that fun to come from achievements, overcoming challenges, and the story. Re-orient yourself to focus on that, and both you and the other players will likely start enjoying it more.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Excellent breakdown of OP’s argumentation, and equally spot-on conclusions. Well done (and welcome !) @Douglas ! :-) \$\endgroup\$ – breversa Feb 22 at 10:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ The answer deserved the +1 already, but I particularly appreciate the mention of real-life game time used up. \$\endgroup\$ – Rad80 Feb 22 at 11:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ I disagree with the conclusion to roll a new character, which sounds like "don't have fun". I would recommend talking to the DM/players about that you enjoy playing a silly character, but this has caused problems that you are very sorry for. In the future, you, the party, and the GM should play the game such that you can be silly and impulsive, but never to the detriment of the party. You should not push buttons without party agreement, and the GM shouldn't have your swat hurt the familiar nor summon an ogre. Taking one second to lick a wall with no major consequence should be accepted. \$\endgroup\$ – Mooing Duck Feb 22 at 19:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was with you until the final paragraph. If the Player likes the Character then it does not need to be retired. Rather the antics need to be toned down and limited to appropriate times. The best dramas are improved by a little comedy, but the timing and amount of the comedy is very important. \$\endgroup\$ – TimothyAWiseman Feb 22 at 21:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MooingDuck For a player who needed to have these problems pointed out, I wouldn't be confident of their ability to carry out such a nuanced change. Even if they are able to do it well, the existing character is already tied to the problematic history, and feelings from that would linger and be hard to clear. A sharp break and new core focus for character personality with a new character is much clearer and easier to judge, and creates a natural endpoint for the old bad feelings. \$\endgroup\$ – Douglas Feb 23 at 17:57
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The problem isn't the group, nor your character ...

... but rather your choice to have your fun at the expense of their fun.

Your character can only make decisions and choices because you, the player, make decisions and choices. You are not required to make a choice because of the dodge that goes along the line of 'that's what my player would do.' That assertion is actually false. What your character will choose to do - in the absence of magical compulsions from spells where you fail a saving roll, or, in some RPGs various actions that are dictated by a die roll or something explicit that the game mechanics call for - is whatever you the player choose for your character to do.

Rich Burlew has a fine article about this called Making the Tough Decisions.

Read it. Heed it. It's sound advice for role playing games of many kinds.

The key to resolving this problem is to decide to react differently. You are not your character, and your character is not a separate entity with reactions that you cannot control. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a player state that their character's actions are not under their control. Every decision your character makes is your decision first. It is possible and even preferable for you to craft a personality that is consistent but also accommodating of the characters the other players wish to play.

When you think about a situation, ask yourself, "Is this the only way my character can react to this?" Chances are, the answer is, "No." Try to refine your character so that you can deal with situations that conflict with your alignment/ethos without resorting to ultimatums, > threats, etc. This will often mean thinking in terms of compromise and concession to your fellow players, or at the very least an agreement to disagree. (Emphasis mine in this excerpt)

There is a good article from the AngryGM about the myth of player and character separation, but as that writer's style can be a bit off-putting I'd go with Burlew first, and the reference that @kviiri makes to My Guy Syndrome.

How do you solve your actual problem? First, identify it and own it.

You have a play style incompatiblity problem with the rest of the other players, so you need to resolve that. When you do, the problem that you now perceive goes away.

How do I do that, Korvin?

Ask your fellow players what they do and don't like about how your character has fit into the group so far. Make sure to Actively Listen to their responses.

Adapt your play style to fit into the style of the table so that your fun is not at the expense of their fun. As you discuss with them how you as a group can go forward and have fun playing together, see if they'll meet you half way as well.

Do you think I need to find a new group?

While I hope not, quite possibly, the answer to that is yes.

If you can't do what I recommend above successfully, then either work with the GM to create a different character, or, politely bow out of the game since (1) how you have fun and how they want to have fun don't seem to mix and (2) you may have poisoned your own well with your choices to date.

This is the short answer to the question you posed. Many of the other ones hold excellent advice, which take this same general point, and elaborate in detail, by using the My Guy Syndrom problem as the point of departure.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for AngryGM being off-putting \$\endgroup\$ – Destruktor Apr 7 at 15:12
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Your group is suffering from a blurring of the lines between in-game strife and real-world strife.

Within the game, your character is acting annoying (playing pranks on the other PCs, sometimes doing things that could endanger their lives). Their characters are getting annoyed at your character as a result, which is realistic.

This could be OK, but it can also be bad:

If it is no longer plausible that these people would travel together, that's bad. Would a group of soldiers willingly travel with an ally who might give away their location to the enemy for laughs? In RPGs, PCs often have to tolerate companions they wouldn't tolerate in real life, because it is the expectation that players let other players play their own character the way they want. But if it goes too far, it breaks the narrative.

If the group can't keep an emotional distance from their characters, that's worse.

“Fool of a Took!" growled Gandalf. "This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party. Throw yourself in next time, and then you will be no further nuisance.”

That kind of tension makes for a good story. But if it's a game, and it feels like the player playing Gandalf is genuinely angry at the other player, then we will end up with real-life hurt feelings.

Role-playing games can be very immersive. If you dislike it when their PCs get annoyed at your PC, then you need a reset.

Option one is to leave, but it's probably worth trying other things first.

Option two is to have a long talk about it, and have everyone agree not to take it so seriously. Your character will continue to do idiotic things, their characters will continue to punish your character excessively, and the GM will try to make sure the difficulty of the game isn't so harsh that this will cause the party to die.

Option three is to make a new character that will get along better with the rest of the party. Your current character does idiotic things. It's not surprising the rest of the group doesn't listen to ideas coming from an idiot, even if the ideas are good. So make a new PC who is cunning and helpful.

Option four is to play the same character, but differently. Tone down the antics. For example, instead of pressing the mysterious button, you could say, "My eyes alight on the shiny button. I start to reach for it..." They will grab you and pull you away, and no real harm is done.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "If it is no longer plausible that these people would travel together, that's bad." So much this. OP, if you were in that world, would you willingly continue to travel with your character? Would you be willing to trust your character in a life or death situation? If not...then why do you expect the other characters to do so? \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Feb 22 at 18:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 best answer, mainly because you do not dismiss CN characters and give good options. Also, CN can add fun and excitement to a party, as long as the PC does not cause a wipe-out. Also, you are not dismissing the players experience either. The other answers seem quite "judgy" to me. \$\endgroup\$ – Senmurv Feb 22 at 18:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Conveniently, this is a point when it would make perfect IC sense for the tabaxi to pull xirself together a bit. (And, following option 4 above, for the other adventurers to start keeping a closer eye on xir.) Xe probably didn't mean xir midnight prank to result in ogres, but xe's now seen that when someone plays midnight pranks in a monster-frequented area things can get more serious than the prankster ever intended. If that doesn't make xir start thinking things through a bit more, nothing will. \$\endgroup\$ – A. B. Feb 24 at 7:08
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I have seen that most answers seems to be charging all the responsibility on the OP. And while it's true that we only see one part of the story, and while there are some hints that she may actually be doing something annoying, it cannot rest all on her side. So I'm going to take a more neutral stance.

It seems clear that you three have different expectations about the game. It doesn't mean that yours are bad and theirs is good, or the opposite. The problem here is that each one of you is sending signals about what you want and do not want in the game, but not really being explicit about it. I would approach this problem in two steps.

  1. Speak with your GM. Be sure that he loves everything you are doing and that he doesn't see anything bad on it. Get his view. Ask him to explain why he thinks the other two are behaving like this.

  2. Have a group talk. Explain what is fun for you and what not. Let them explain what is fun for them and what not. Find out what can you do to make their game more fun, and what can they do to make more fun yours. Establish limits about what everyone of you don't want the other to do.

That aside, be clever. If they are not appreciating your humor, don't prank them. It's forcing your style into them. That's clearly their limit, so respect that. For me it would be fine that you like to interact with NPCs even for things that does not adjust to mission, up to some limit, but respect their wishes as they should respect yours.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice and concise, much good advice (yeah, a rhyming couplet). I missed seeing this before today. +Many. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 7 at 16:57
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Chaotic character alignments can be a lot of fun to play with. I've played a bunch over the years and had tons of fun with it. They can throw a ton of interesting things into the mix and really spice up the play. Or they can end up stabbed in the back by their team and left lying in a ditch.

OK to be fair I was prepared for that one. We'd already had The Talk and decided that as fun as he was, my character was just too disruptive. I traded up to something that fit the group better and we rolled on.

It all comes down to group dynamics. We've probably all been in situations like this, where one of the characters just doesn't fit the group's style. The Paladin that just won't stop charging into stupid situations. The rogue that keeps sabotaging everything you do because "it's what he'd do." The chaotic character who just can't keep stop themselves from bringing down pain and failure on the rest of the group. That one player that just won't stop trying to overpower everyone else because they have to win at everything. All toxic, group-breaking behaviors if left to fester.

The solution? Talk to your group. Figure out where the problem is and what you can all do to fix it. Tell them what you think is going wrong and negotiate with the other players on a mutually satisfactory solution. Mutually satisfactory. Don't go in expecting to bring them around to your position, this is about making things better for everyone.

And if it means you end up rolling up a brand new character when your current one gets kicked out of the group, then that's what you do. Hopefully your old character doesn't end up in a ditch like mine did. Maybe one last shiny button will bring some satisfaction to the survivors.

At the end of the day your group is there to have fun. If you're not having fun and they're not having fun... you might be doing it wrong.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It is not fair to equate ay alignment to 'pain in the ass character', that isn't the alignment fault, it is the players fault and a pet peeve of mine seeing people blame the alignment system. But the advice after is useful. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Feb 22 at 10:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri When players read the archetypes and decide that they want to really play chaotic "the way it's supposed to be played" then you get problems. Read the descriptions for the chaotic alignments, they're all about individuality rather than group-centered play. That's why I'm not a big fan of alignment systems in general. Trait-based systems offer a bit more guidance and a lot more definition to a character IMO. \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 22 at 10:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Forget alignment, that's meta. Your character doesn't, and can't, know what their alignment is. Is the character disruptive to her party's goals? Has the character caused a loss.. of coin, of prestige, of cohesion? Then why would my character continue to adventure with them? Caused me mud on the face, ok, I laugh it off. Cause the entire party to lose their tents and potentially their lives if the fight went poorly? See you later. I'm going to head to the pub to find a new partner. \$\endgroup\$ – CGCampbell Feb 22 at 15:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CGCampbell Yes, but this isn't a problem between characters so much as it's a problem between players. That makes the "meta" question irrelevant. \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 23 at 7:10
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For a lot of people (myself included) Chaotic Neutral characters (or as a Dragon Magazine article once called them "Chaotic Everywhere") can be a huge pain in the butt, especially for people who enjoy a more serious or in-character game without constantly being pulled out of character or having immersion breaking things happen to them. (I wrote a piece related to this (Point #5) you can find here if you like.

It sounds to me like your party don't trust you or take you seriously, because you (from the limited info we have) don't give them a reason to.

No, we don't trust the button-pushing wall-licker to come up with reasonable and sound solutions, because no reasonable or sound evidence exists to support this!

You may love your GM, but it sounds like you might want or need to find a new group of players with an attitude more in line with your own, as it seems like you're both just going to end up causing each other grief to me :/

Alternatively, it sounds like you have 3 players in your party? Could you possibly get a 4th and/or 5th to join, perhaps people more in line with your way of thinking and playing?

Lastly, have you talked to your fellow players about how their behaviour makes you feel? I know this can be uncomfortable for many people, but they might just surprise you?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Adding new people that share the OP's behavior will most likely just break the group since it will be about equally split between seriousness and "lul so randum". \$\endgroup\$ – JS Lavertu Feb 22 at 13:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ In support of @JSLavertu: adding more grief players? That's not a good recommended solution to the problem, it's an amplification of it. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 22 at 15:22
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Don’t ...

  • play pranks on player characters.
  • steal from player characters.
  • attack player characters.
  • sabotage the mission.

It’s very rarely fun for anyone.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You’re on the right track here, but there is a context of prearranged consent that makes these actions permissible. If out of game I discuss doing these things with the other players at my table, and everyone’s on board with this kind of play style, then that is okay. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Feb 23 at 15:38

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