Characters (both players, both level 9):

  • Me: Life cleric and party healer/support
  • "Barb": Beast barbarian with split personalities (in character)

We have a player (let's say "Barb") who is playing a barbarian who has two personalities, similar to the Winter Soldier, where one side is good, the other is out for blood and doesn't care whose, even other party members. There are even command words for this other personality, some of which the party knows, but they don't stop his rampage completely, so we have to either wait for him to succeed on a Wisdom save, or knock him out.

As a player and from a story perspective, I was fine with us exploring this. But recently, the bad personality seems to be popping up more and more, and has been nothing but trouble. I even told "Barb" in character that we as a party do not have the resources to fight this personality AND whatever we are fighting at the same time, so he needs to get it under control. It also does not help that "Barb" was the main story focus for a month before we started our current dungeon, and I'm feeling like it's time to move on for now.

It reached a bit of a boiling point where we are in a pyramid trying to find a mummy lord to get their wraps for plot reasons. During a combat encounter, the bad personality came out for whatever reason and, lo and behold, started attacking the party again. After he came back to his senses, I simply told "Barb" (as a mix of both player and character, who were both fed up with this) that "I will not heal you until we get out of here. I will keep you alive, but until then, you will not be getting any support from me. No Aid, no Death Ward, no Cure Wounds, nothing." This was my way of trying to say "Now is not the time for this, and this is your punishment."

Am I wrong for telling "Barb" that I am withholding my support from him because he keeps endangering the party, and disregarding what I said about not having the resources to deal with him and whatever we are currently fighting? I feel there is a time and place for exploring RP, but to attack the party during a long dungeon crawl where we have a high-risk fatal encounter at the end really rubbed me the wrong way. Should I express my frustration out of character to the problem player, DM, or both? I sign up to play D&D as a co-operative party, not babysit/worry about PCs constantly attacking other PCs.

There are 4 party members total, myself and "Barb" included. The other 2 players didn't seem as bothered as I am by this situation, but we haven't talked about it further.

I do not remember a session zero about anything honestly, or at least I was not present for it. To be honest, there has been more hostile PvP in this campaign than I would have liked, with 2 betrayals, and the second one forced "Barb" to try and kill me with the aforementioned command words. Both of them also almost resulted in my character dying, so that's another reason why this is not helping my frustration with the campaign. I already spoke with the DM after the second betrayal and he promised no more betrayals, but I don't think that is including "Barb's" personality problem.

TL:DR - "Barb" has a second personality that attacks the party regularly. Both in and out of character and out of frustration, I decide to withhold healing/supporting "Barb" for the rest of a dungeon. If that was wrong, what is a better way of handling this situation? Should I talk to "Barb", the DM, or both?

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Goldmon Thanks for the additional info. I've added it to the question body. This sounds like a very rough situation. It has some similarities with other problem-players questions asked on this site. Hopefully you'll get some useful answers from folks with similar experiences. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeQ
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 16:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Goldmon You should have done that - talk with the other two players - before you asked a bunch of strangers on the internet. (Though to be fair, you are not the first person ever to run into such a problem). 'At the table' dynamics for each group are often unique to that group. But here you are, so I hope that the answers offered are useful to your whole group. If you like them, share them with the other players. I think it will help. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 17:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Voting to close as this needs more details and clarification; current answers are all speculating on Barb's player's motivation and other aspects of the situation. You say the other personality is out for blood and "doesn't care whose, even other party members" - so why does he keep preferentially attacking the party? Would a solution be simply to place him out of range of party members during a combat? Also, "he needs to get it under control" - is it his choice? Both to trigger it, and who he attacks when it is triggered? (1/2) \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 2:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ (2/2) Also Also, "bad personality seems to be popping up more and more" - is this his decision, DM's decision, are there specific, objective triggers? Until we understand this we can't understand the situation you are actually describing, and answers will remain opinion-based. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 2:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm interested in the eventual outcome here, if you don't mind too much, do come back and leave a comment once things shake out. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 20:12

8 Answers 8


You and Barb are not playing the same game.

These problem manifests while you're playing the game. But these in game issues are just symptoms of an out-of-game problem:

You and Barb are not playing the same game.

You and the barbarian player have a fundamental disagreement about what game you are actually playing. The game you are playing is:

I sign up to play D&D as a co-operative party, not babysit/worry about PCs constantly attacking other PCs.

The game Barb is playing is:

constantly attacking other PCs

These are two entirely different games, even if they are both called "D&D". And since you are both playing totally different games, there is no way to resolve this conflict in-game. You both have different rules and expectations when approaching the game, so this cannot be solved through in-game role playing.

Barb has "my guy syndrome".

It can help to understand the frame of mind that Barb is likely working with. Barb has something called "my guy syndrome". Alex P gives a good definition here:

"My Guy" syndrome is when — often unwittingly — you disclaim decision-making power and responsibility by acting like "what my character would do" is inevitable and inviolable, even if it gets in the way of actually having fun in the game or being able to play the game at all.

Alex goes on to treat MY Guy Syndrome:

Dealing with "My Guy" is pretty easy once you're aware of it, really: don't hide behind "It's what my guy would do," and don't accept it for an answer. Instead, communicate and engage with each other as people at the table.

Just, like, say what's really on your mind. If something makes you uncomfortable, say "This makes me uncomfortable." If something seems out-of-character for the kind of game you're trying to run or play, say that.

As the player making a decision, look beyond "My Guy" to "Our Game." Are you doing something that you, as a player, actually want to see happen in play? Is it fun for you? Is it fun but only at the expense of someone else's fun?

It may simply be the case that Barb has not considered that you may not be having fun playing their game, and so "what my guy would do" doesn't seem like an issue. So you need to tell them that. Make this a part of a larger conversation that you have with the whole table.

It's time for a reset: the whole table needs to have a conversation about expectations, specifically, about player versus player conflict.

You're not having fun. You wanted to play one game, but instead, you're playing a different one that you never wanted to play. So you need to talk about that. You need to communicate with the other people at the table about how the player versus player conflict is not fun, about how you had a totally different set of expectations when approaching the table. But you also need to be prepared to listen: let the other players communicate to you how they feel about the conflict. It is important that everyone understands where everyone else is. Understanding one another is the first step.

Once you have an idea of where everyone is with this, then you have a conversation about working toward a favorable outcome for everyone. Again, I want to emphasize, we want to be working toward maximizing the fun for everyone. What this does not mean is something like this:

I'm not enjoying the PVP. I demand that it stops.

Something like this may satisfy only you at the expense of everyone else's fun. We don't want that, so a better first approach is to work toward favorable compromise:

I'm not enjoying the PVP conflicts. Can we brainstorm some ways to change how we handle them, so that I can have more fun, and we can still preserve this character trait in Barb?

Maybe this looks like putting some limits on when and how Barb's bloodlust triggers, maybe this looks like making it easier to end Barb's rage, or maybe this looks something like "how about Barb just doesn't attack me". This is for you and your table mates to work out together as a group.

Remember, getting exactly your way is not what we're looking for here. We want to find a way to align everyone's expectations so that everyone can have fun. If you demand you own way, and you get it, and now no one else is having fun, you'll be having fun by yourself soon enough. We want everyone to have fun, because that's the whole point of the game.

Know when it's time to give it up.

D&D is fun. When done right, it can be the time of your life. But playing D&D when it isn't fun? It's worse than going to work and not getting paid for it. If your fellow players are willing to compromise with you, and you are able to playtest some solutions and find something that works for you, that's great; this is the best outcome you could ask for. But if they don't want to compromise, sometimes you just gotta cut bait. It is often said "No D&D is better than bad D&D." You just have to be prepared to look for another group if the current group doesn't want to change their game.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually, there is an in-game way to solve this problem: all three PCs gang up on barb, kill barb, and feed barb's corpse to monsters. But that likely brings with it OOC issues that may be a case of "cure worse than the disease" ... depends on how receptive the barb player is to all three of the others telling him "that's what my guy would do" \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 16:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Ok, you are technically right, but that's likely to create bad feelings for everyone. I may be giving Barb the benefit of the doubt, but I suspect Barb is acting in good faith and doesn't realize this is causing bad feelings out-of-character. My character can be furious and miserable just at the point I'm enjoying the game most after all so in-character hints to out-of-character feelings can very easily be misinterpreted. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 16:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TimothyAWiseman I have seen it work out both ways. Barb Players figures "it's a fair cop" - seen that - and also have seen player pouts and gets all upset that they were given a dose of their own medicine. It really depends on the group, and on the maturity of the individual. Your answer's suggestion to engage OOC is a sound one, as it mitigates some of the risks. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 16:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe that Barbs player is acting in good faith, and is not reading my character's actions as my OOC frustration. Though given everything that has happened to my character over the course of this campaign, my character has acted in character. The barb wants to be a child, so he is going to be treated and punished like one. @Thomas Markov Yeah it seems like none of us are really playing the same game, as a whole unit. I will talk with my DM and see if we can all have a conversation after we deal with the current dungeon. \$\endgroup\$
    – Goldmon
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 17:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast we had this in a session a while back and it worked like a charm to show a player that their actions have consequences. They joked around to kill another character, after a lot of confirmation questions went through with it, the rest of the group saw it, killed him, both made new characters, both were frustrated to not be able to play the rest of the afternoon and the guy learned their lesson: char behaving like a lunatic will be treated as a lunatic and thus is not a good character to play and have fun with; second lesson: messing with the group's fun reduces own fun. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 0:05

Other answers have covered My Guy Syndrome and misaligned game expectations. I would like to address one aspect of your question that I think is common in D&D groups, and that you as players need to address together.

Your Character Can't Walk Away

Your play group are probably friends out-of-game (or at least friends of friends). You all decided to get together to play D&D for various reasons. But, in-game, why did your characters decide to get together and have this adventure? What are the bonds holding them together?

There was one particular part of your question that struck me,

It reached a bit of a boiling point where we are in a pyramid trying to find a mummy lord to get their wraps for plot reasons. During a combat encounter, the bad personality came out for whatever reason and, lo and behold, started attacking the party again. After he came back to his senses, I simply told "Barb" (as a mix of both player and character, who were both fed up with this) that "I will not heal you until we get out of here. I will keep you alive, but until then, you will not be getting any support from me. No Aid, no Death Ward, no Cure Wounds, nothing." This was my way of trying to say "Now is not the time for this, and this is your punishment."

Other answers have explained why responding in-game like this may not be a good solution. But pragmatics aside, this feels like the response of someone feeling very frustrated and very powerless. And I think the reason is that all of your usual tools of social coercion have been taken away!

When you work with a group in real life, you have a whole toolset at your disposal. You have shared goals, personal history, and a place in a social structure that you each need to maintain. It costs social currency to be an asshole (at least an obvious asshole). But the biggest ace-in-the-hole you have in real life is that you can walk away. You can leave the group or quit the job. That's helpful because it gets you out of the situation, but it's also a source of power because, if people need you, they at least need to behave well enough that you want to stay.

So, if your character is in a party with someone who, half the time, turns on them and attacks, why would they keep adventuring with them? Why would they not decide to quit this group and go find a different group who is more aligned with their quest? That would be a very reasonable response in the real world.

The problem is, in this game, your character doesn't actually have the option to walk away. Because you, the players, are friends and decided to play together, you've all implicitly agreed that your characters are going to stick together as well. And so, your character has lost that very important option.

Think about the places in real life where bullies thrive: schools, hard-to-leave jobs, insular communities — places where people don't have (or don't feel like they have) the option to walk away.

And so, because your most powerful (and natural) tool for enforcing social norms has been taken away from you, you're left feeling frustrated and powerless. You of course have the option as a player to walk away from this game, but that's a very different response. (I won't say whether you should or shouldn't.) Assuming you all want to continue this game, I suggest that you all take a step back and really look at why this party still exists.

Why Are We Even a Party?

Parties of adventurers form for all sorts of reasons. You may be old friends, fellow knights, chosen by the gods, or all in the right tavern at the right time. The question isn't why your party formed, but why your party works. Because 99% of groups that form in the real world break up. Companies fail. Friends lose contact. Couples divorce. People that meet in taverns go home and forget each other.

A lot of D&D groups just “make characters” and then start playing together. Each character may have a detailed and complex backstory, but if those backstories don't actually overlap then, from the other players' perspectives, that character is nobody — just some rando they have no particular reason to care about.

If you want to have a long-running game, you've decided out-of-game that this is one of the groups that lasts — that becomes one of the premises of your game. And it means that, out-of-game, you all need to figure out why. Some of this may come naturally from characters' backstories. And there may be practical things like, “we don't attack each other,” but they may also be things like, “we all share a strong allegiance to the king,” or, “we've put aside our differences for the good of the party.” Some pairs of characters or small groups may share their own bonds, e.g., two characters who say, “we are cousins from a tightly-knit family.” As long as each character feels bound to the rest.

And then you all agree to play within these bounds. You're essentially giving each other social leverage to make up for the leverage missing from real life. Or, to look at it another way, you're fleshing out the complicated lives of real characters that naturally lead to social leverage. Each player must choose for their character to care about these things and to interact as real people.

You Can Pick Your Friends

One caveat to this is that some combinations of characters strain credulity more than others. A standard spread of lawful and/or good characters may take little-to-no effort to make stick. A party with a lawful good paladin and a chaotic evil warlock will take a lot more creativity and effort. A party with a barbarian that randomly turns on them may be toward the higher-effort end of that spectrum.

This is reflected in the real world. Groups tend to be like-minded in some way. It's much less common to find a healthy group of polar opposites — and when you do, there's often a very interesting and unlikely story behind why they stuck together.

One thing players love about D&D is the freedom they have with character creation. But when a DM gives players a lot of latitude in character creation, they're giving them a lot of power over the story, and with great power comes great responsibility. If someone decides to play a character that is difficult to get along with, you all, and they especially, need to commit to making it work. Or else they or the rest of the group need to change their character concepts enough to make it work — because again the fact that the group sticks together is a premise of your game.

So for the lawful good white knight of a paladin and a chaotic evil devil-worshiping warlock, maybe the paladin's player decides that they bend over backwards to see the good in everyone, or the warlock's player agrees that they keep the devil-worshiping on the down-low. Or maybe the paladin is turned into a neutral good fighter with the knight background, or the warlock changes alignment to chaotic good.

It will take creativity and probably some meta-gaming — which in this context is not a dirty word, but just reflects that the rules you've agreed to at the game level (the “meta level”) must affect the choices your characters make. Remember that real people are really complicated, and they make lots of choices that are non-obvious because of decades of hidden experiences, fears, loves, and desires. That gives you all a lot of room to work in to stay “true to the characters” while at the same time making concessions to the game and to realistic social relationships.

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    \$\begingroup\$ standing ovation \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 20:51

Talking to the group out of character is probably a better approach for what you want.

As I understand it, you, out of character, are getting annoyed by something that the other player is doing in character. You are trying to take an in character approach to solving it.

But the problem is that the other player may reasonably think you are just taking a role playing stance. That this is part of exploring the reactions and implications to his character's condition. If so, he may find it a reasonable reaction, simply react in character, probably with some statement of "I can't control it, I wish I could." And the thing is that this is probably a valid in character reaction. But it doesn't solve your problem of being annoyed by the behavior.

Instead of taking in character actions and expecting the other player to take that as subtle signals of your out-of-character feelings, talk with the group about your feelings and how to make the game more enjoyable for you, in a non-confrontational way. Assuming the group is reasonable, this will result in one of two things. Either they will come to some sort of agreement as a group about how to pause this behavior for now such as finding a reliable way to suppress or you as a group will decide that this is still a central part of the game for the group. Either way, you will at least have an open and frank resolution out-of-character rather than trying to solve a largely out-of-character problem by in-character hints.

Incidentally, as part of the discussion, it may be helpful to respectfully bring up "my guy syndrome". To over-summarize the contents of the link, Players should not use "its what my guy would do" as a justification for doing something that is harming the fun of others at the table.


The Instigator

Barb is an instigator, a player who likes to cause chaos.

Instigators can be useful if they have a sense of proportion. Instigators are the players who push the shiny red candy-like button or kick in the next door when the party starts dithering. They can help move the story along and prevent stagnation. Good instigation is often self-sacrificial, being the one to go ahead and pull that mysterious lever or grab the shiny artifact and take whatever consequences come of that. (90% of the time it'll push the story forward; once in a while it's just setting off a trap that didn't need to get set off, but them's the breaks.)

However, some instigators don't have a sense of when enough is enough. They'll "Leeroy Jenkins" into a fight when the party was just about ready to go, but did want to have a basic plan in place. Or they're having fun being a pain and either think everyone else is enjoying it too, or take further amusement in your (the player's) annoyance. This often comes along with making other people the butt of the joke: hurling another player into a pit to find out what's down there instead of just jumping in yourself, and so on.

It doesn't mean Barb is a bad person, but there needs to be a limit, and Barb needs to be cognizant that these actions are affecting the people at the table, not just the fictional characters in the game-world.

What to do?

Do not try to use in-character pressure to manipulate out-of-character behavior.

Using in-character pressure means you're playing Barb's game. Barb can always argue that "The character can't help it; it's a real problem for him!" But of course that's "My Guy syndrome" -- Barb is fully in charge of the character's actions. The problem is up here at the table, not down there in the game world; it's between you and Barb, not between a PC Cleric and a PC Barbarian.

So, Barb is making the game harder for the party by acting like an enemy some of the time, and using this character trait to steal the spotlight from other players who would like to be the center of attention sometimes. Barb appears to be able to simply decide when to go nuts, which makes it feel like you're not dealing with an occasional problem but rather in competition with Barb.

The first thing to do is to have a discussion at the table, but out of game. Try to keep it focused on your feelings and not Barb's behavior; this isn't accusation, it's a request for understanding. "When you do X, it makes me feel Y" is the traditional format.

I would ask to have some kind of mechanics wrapped around the barbarian's issue -- figure out a few specific trigger conditions, and a die roll that decides when one of the triggers makes Barb's character flip out. If the player seems to be using their character's issues too often, see if you can make it more random.

But ultimately "please stop disrupting the game so often with your personal issue" is really not an outlandish request, and if the DM or the rest of the group won't back you up on it, you may need to consider whether this is so bad that it's worth leaving the game over. As they say, no gaming is better than bad gaming.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Added links to Leroy and My Guy, like the answer. :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 17:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've often played characters that are instigators, and often highly destructive ones. But, the key is to realise how close to not fun these characters can become for the rest of the table, if you're not managing it properly- you have to share the spotlight, the wacky antics need regular check ins to see if they've crossed a line, and they need to not happen too often. That said, most of the horrible little chaos goblins I play would have shot Barb while he was down, and left him to be eaten by monsters. There is the odd advantage to playing terrible characters \$\endgroup\$
    – lupe
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 11:40

No, your character is not out of bounds when they are fed up with a party member that's a liability. For in-character viewpoint: consider why does the party adventure together? There must be a reason for all the characters to form a team - and to keep the team together.

OOC it's a simple thing: RPGs are co-op games and there is no game without a party, but that's lazy thinking. Let's look at the real life for a moment.

For many groups of large amount of people in, say, school or sports teams, there often is someone who's not really a nice person to have around. They are not always acting as class A nimrods, but a dark side of personality pops out when they are drunk or high. There's soon a chip on their shoulder and it really doesn't matter if it's friends or by-standers who are targets to their ire. Reasonable people try to avoid hanging with them or inviting them to a party (pun intended), unless there's a good reason to.

As an anecdote, I used to go to a wine-tasting club back in my days in the university. There was this dude who often got pretty drunk, and after being drunk enough, he started harassing women both verbally and by making unwelcome advances and ranting why no-one wanted to be his friend. This was many moons ago, so unlike today and #meetoo, it wasn't considered as a hanging offence, but certainly bad behaviour. After suffering quite too many episodes, the club decided to expel him. Why did we tolerate him for a long time? He was okay when sober, had good knowledge about wines, and pulled his weight on organising club events. All in all, he was not a total deadbeat. He certainly had more than his share of second chances to get his act straight. In the end, it was his antics combined to inability / unwillingness to repent that got him expelled.

Let's go back to the party. Now, it might be the land of make-believe elves, but the situation is pretty much the same. Like my wine-tasting acquaintance who couldn't hold his liquor, the barbarian is going to outlive their usefulness sooner or later by hitting friends as soon as foes. You need to think in-character why you like to adventure with a known trouble-maker? If you (or your character, barring MGS) can't find a solid reason, the logical approach is to either change the behaviour or go on separate ways. Heck, why does the barbarian hang in the group? Is the barb sorry for lost control, or enjoying the chaos? If former, what's the barb's good side's reason to team up with people they are going to hurt every now and then? If later, that's a very bad sign, either if in-character (bad) or out-character (worse).

This could lead into interesting role-playing scenarios, if you cleric and the rest of the party puts pressure to stop the behaviour. Finding a rare healer, getting magic help (for a high price), retrieving an artifact and whatnot are prime quest material. Do not forget: it is possible to get barb's head fixed. It's a game. The GM has final call on everything. The GM can fix the split-personality issue whenever, at will. There's nothing wrong (save lazy writing) with a deus-ex machina solution such as "The mummy lord strikes Barb's temple with a mighty blow of it's scepter. Your eyes are rolling like disks in a slot machine. There's a terrible headache rising, as your consciousness is filling a void in your head. You realise that your side-personality just died by absorbing the full force of a skull-crushing impact. Saving you." Or (even lazier version), "Well, you wake up one morning and feel funny. Something's lacking, like a piece of furniture you really never noticed, but you can't quite put your finger on it." GM to barb's player: "The split-personality thing isn't a thing anymore. Go figure, it's a magical world."

There are in-game ways to force people around, for example the Geas spell charms the target, and charmed target won't attack its charmer. While this offers a short-term solution, it tends to decrease player agency which is often frowned upon. Also, if the GM tries to force the party together by putting a geas-like effect on you, it's a tell that the GM is abusive - and it's quite likely quitting time.


I'm not a RPG player, so this answer might be off the mark; on the other hand, based on my experiences in cRPGs, the following remedies seem like reasonable countermeasures:

  1. Why bring them along? When a player can randomly attack his/her teammates, it seems reasonable for the teammates to say "in that case, we chain you in the inn while we go kill the mummy lord". Now the Barb player can reasonably roll another character to join the raid, before returning to Barb after the event. On the other hand, if the party decides to bring Barb with them on the raid, then you clearly should keep supporting Barb even if the other personality shows up.
  2. (This honestly seems rather obvious) Barb should not control when his other personality shows up. The GM should. There should be obvious triggers, with saves involved. For example, maybe you roll a Wisdom check after the first kill in any combat encounter, and Barb only appears if that check is failed. This would let your group decide how often Barb shows up, and you can adjust the frequency. You mention that there are command words for the other personality, which suggests that he can be intentionally summoned if desired; if so, the above applies only to involuntary transformations.
  3. Similarly, if Barb does show up, then either he behaves in a well-defined manner ("I attack the nearest character" is an example), or he becomes a NPC for the duration and is controlled by the GM. In the former scenario, you could have the player still make some combat decisions like which attacks to use (handwave that as the good personality is attempting to reassert control), but he must attack, and the target is fixed. In the latter scenario, the player only rolls for Wisdom checks.
  4. Give Barb all your +Wisdom items (the player should presumably already be looking for these items). Also cast all your +Wisdom spells on him, if any exist. The obvious one I'm familiar with is Owl's Wisdom, which appears to exist in P&P.

One nice thing about the above is that it'll show you if the player is actively attempting to grief the group. #2 would remove the player's ability to suddenly start PvP, unless they explicitly trigger it with a command word, and you should be able to assess if using the command word was necessary. A cooperative player in #3 would only use their strongest attacks against hostile targets, while a griefer would only do it against friendly targets. A cooperative player would be actively seeking +Wisdom items in #4 and use them over more-effective items, but a griefer would not.

#3 above has a consequence - it becomes less fun to play as Barb. It makes thematic sense, however (I definitely would not want to be such a character in real life). Your problem player could reasonably decide they'd rather not be Barb after all - in which case, there's no more problem.


Make your problem the other PC's problem. Basically, withhold healing them, and just focus on healing "Barb". Tell them "I need to save resources in case Barb goes off again, and we accidentally hurt him/her too bad." If the two other PC's find themselves not getting healed, they'll start to do whatever it takes to free you up.

That's the jerk way of doing this.

The better way is to just have a big discussion out-of-character with all players and GM, and just politely state that this issue is becoming an issue for you.

The goal of gaming is to have fun.

You are no longer having fun, because when this "Barb" goes off, they suck up the limelight. They may be having fun, or they may be getting frustrated by it. Who knows.

But, you are not having fun. Tell the GM that. Tell the other players that.

Depending on their response/ answer, you'll know if you need to hang up your character sheet or stick around.

If the GM is too dense to realize this is becoming a major issue, then that's also indicative of a poor GM.


It sounds as if the GM and the other players are in a non-traditional D&D game. They're not doing a little bit of role-playing before getting down to the adventure (the part where you talk out-of-character about what spells and abilities to use before and during each encounter); instead betrayals, berserk barbarians and other whacky stuff is the game. My suggestion is you try it -- that type of game is fun when you understand it.

Why I think it's that game type is you write that the Barbarian has command words for their berserking, and rules for making a Will save to stop it, and was a main focus for the previous month. It seems the GM is involved with that -- it's not just the player being weird. And the other players would have quit by now if they weren't in on it. Berserking is also a thing: the old superhero RPG Champions had it as a common character trait.

As to how that type of game works, you have to throw away the idea that D&D has to be everyone mini-maxing tactical use of abilities to optimize ... gah. That's fine, but we've got MMO's where you can do that. A tabletop RPG can do so much more. If you get them, the mummy wrappings may not work (they may even have been a trick); you may learn a clue as you fail to get them; you may learn a new anti-berserking trick while you fail; you may find the treasure room and decide to take that and leave instead. You may fail miserably but it was hilarious how much bad luck you had, and everyone had a good time.

One way to play that type of game is as an in-character straight man. Sure, those 3 inseparable adventurers have drawbacks, but you're up-to-the-job. You'll need more healing potions for your barbarian-inflicted wounds, and maybe a Hold Person as a last berserk-stopping resort, but you can come out ahead. Maybe you try getting her a therapy dog. When all that fails and you're running in terror from her, uselessly screaming command words, try to play it up. Maybe begging for mercy will give her advantage on that Will save? When you recover consciousness, tell the party it was your fault (you're the responsible one), and despite it all you think she's doing much better, and you have some ideas for next time. Or, another way is to have your character crack -- start drinking during the adventure, flinch a lot, and stay as far away from the Barbarian as possible.


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