We have a gaming group that has been playing the game for about 4 years. One of the players is my old friend, with whom I started gaming about 15 years ago. There is also another player, who has also been my friend for a long time. We are in our mid-twenties to mid-thirties.
We prefer long-term games, which characters will evolve and earn their own reputation and treasure by time. Also we like RP-based games, except the second player o told above. He likes power-play and get bored of long role-plays.
This player causes some problems like:
Changed too many characters according to other group members, that cause other group members became close friends in-game and get better equipment (like artifacts) by long-time playing, and this player could not find any place for his character to fit in this group friendship since he change character too often and do not have as good equipment as others since I prefer to give those by role-play and by time. That become a problem in time for him.
In the last game, we decided to apply -1 level penalty (and lower starting money as defined starting money beyond 1st level in DMG). This decision taken by the whole group. He change his character after a while. He expected to get most of his old characters equipment to his new one (to discard the effect of level and starting gold lost) but got nothing. During a combat with a villain, he made a wrong action (based on power-play a wizard) and cause the quest fail and had argument with other group member about his actions. Knowing he will start a level lower with his new character, he loot the villains corpse while the rest was arguing and his character left the game.
Since second situation ends with a big metagame argument, group members also got angry. But since it is our friend, the arguments come to an end and he starts with a new character.
- Like the be the possible strongest character in all aspects. Seeing a character do something better than him (attacks, damages, saves, armor class etc)cause him to dislike his character
- If a character have something greatly better than him (like a paladin with high CHA and high saves or an exalted character with special items) then he starts to argue about game balance and items are not equal.
- See characters like numerical values, have problems role playing difficult alignments (like Lawful Good) but wish to play them because of their physical strength (attack, damage, save vs) in the game.
- See races like bonuses and benefits, do not try to rple play them and sometimes surprises me and my group by committing actions neither his race nor his alignment is suitable for.
- When he starts to think that his character becomes weaker than the others, he take power-play based actions to prove his character's physical strength in combat. That sometimes causes battles to start before some role-play is available or required, or caused a fight where the group can solve the problem with role-play and speak with NPCs.
- When entering with a new character, he tires to speed-up the process of becoming a trusted member in the group, like saying I will trust you and give my life for you like things when he just met with the group. Other characters (in game) found this strange to trust a person you just met.
Saying this character is hard to role play or that is not a right action for your character (based on alignment and race and class) is useless because he insists to take the character or do a similar action again soon.
He also states that he really does want to play in the campaign, so we feel like kicking him out of the game is not an option. He is not a very social person and these games are the only possible fun for him.
I guess now it starts to become a kind of experiment for me and my group. And I am open to every opinion. Friendship comes first, but if all of those do not let me find a solution, then... well...
How can I deal with a player like this - can I accommodate him and his play style without reducing the rest of the group's enjoyment?