One of my PCs has a tendency to get annoyed if the party don't follow her plan or tactics.

For example, the party were about to attack a kobold lair. The majority of the party agreed to surprise the guards and attack them.

This PC wasn't happy, because she wanted to interrogate the guards. This in itself wasn't a problem, but the session vibe got a bit strained because the player kept complaining, for instance saying 'I use my bonus action to sarcastically say: no, go ahead, be my guest, carry on with your terrible plan'.

It began to feel like the player was annoyed at the other players, and not just role playing.

Is there anything you can do to stop character vs character tension turning into player vs. player tension?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I still don't quite understand what the actual problem here. I see three different potential problems: 1) The player is annoyed by the other players and it dampens the mood OOC. 2) The player character is annoyed at the other player characters, but the player's portrayal of this annoyance dampens the mood OOC because it's not clear to the other players that the annoyance is purely IC. 3) You don't actually know whether the annoyance is IC or OOC yourself, but you'd like to intercept and prevent OOC problems early. \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Nov 3, 2015 at 13:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Please tell us how many players are in this group? Group size versus personality differences can make a difference in proposing solutions. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 3, 2015 at 13:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you talking about the Player Character being annoyed or about the Player? \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Nov 3, 2015 at 15:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ If it only feels like maybe the player was annoyed, on top of the PC being annoyed, then are you sure you actually have a problem? I mean, do others feel annoyed? Have you asked them? Have you asked the player if they're annoyed? Confirm the problem through discussion before trying to solve it. \$\endgroup\$
    – DCShannon
    Nov 3, 2015 at 19:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding sentence number 1: Is she usually right, usually wrong, or does it vary? I am not sure if you are dealing with a bossy player, or a group with one operating brain and a few murder hoboes .... \$\endgroup\$ Nov 3, 2015 at 22:07

4 Answers 4


Talk to your players

That is solution #1 to any and every problematic player in any game.

Start calling him or her in private and say that the comportment he or she is expressing is bad for the health of the game, because you fear it will end up slipping to real life flames instead of only PC flames.

If he or she thinks this will not be a problem and he or she can differentiate PC's actions from player's actions, then you escalate this to the next step: Talk to the whole group at once. Ask if everyone agree with the off-hand comments in game, and if anyone think it is inappropriate. If the whole group agree that this is ok, then you don't have a problem anymore.

However, if anyone, even if it just a single player, don't like those kind of comments during the game, go back to step 1. Repeat until you enter in an agreement.

Worst case scenario, if no one wants to concede, you might be forced to stop inviting one of the players to your table to avoid long-term self-destructive group behavior. But in my experience, if everyone are friends in real life, they'll reach an agreement eventually.


Clarify the difference with your player

If the player is role playing, then do absolutely nothing. PC's need to react and deal with other PC's in their own way.

If it's the player being a control freak, then you can approach this two ways:

1) Talk to them and highlight that it's a group game, which means if the group says they do something one way, the player can follow along; OR

2) They can do whatever they want with their PC.

I'm going to expand on 2 a bit more. I played a wizard like this once who warned the group not to run head long into combat before I had a chance to get crowd control up and some area of effect spells down range. They didn't listen. I sarcastically told them that next time they would be eating a fireball if they ran in. Some vague threats later and a short argument, the group laughed at me and three of them sprinted into combat as soon as we engaged the enemy.

So I tossed the fireball in, and then told them (after the cleric had revived them), that if they wanted that to happen every time, they should totally stick with plan stupid.

Now, this makes for an interesting group dynamic, because while tensions can run high, it also comes down to a conversation. Worst case scenario, somebody has to reroll a character. After wiping out the entire group with a fireball, I knew who that would be.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your second point seems like it would just lead to an even worse group dynamic than what the OP posted. You are basically saying "If you don't like the group plan, just take unilateral action and ignore everyone else." I don't see how that can "stop character vs character tension turning into player vs. player tension" which is what the OP was asking after \$\endgroup\$
    – D.Spetz
    Nov 3, 2015 at 21:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @D.Sptez sometimes the majority are wrong, and that one voice shouting in the wilderness is right. How one gets that point across does boil down to style, no question, and that style will tend to generate or reduce friction at the table. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 3, 2015 at 22:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not to mention it's roleplaying. One of my current players had a split personality for 4 games. One side acted lawful good, the other was psychotic and reckless. He believed his weapon was talking to him. Other player's didn't LIKE that, but they had to figure out how to deal with his madness (Restoration spells). 5 levels later one of the other characters had his weapon when a wild magic surge went off and the weapon took on the wielder's personality. The guy who was holding it is chaotic evil. Sometimes it's not about being liked. Sometimes it's about the story possibilities. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 3, 2015 at 22:13

As a player in a similar situation, I was advised by another player after the session to say something like the following.

(In character) No worries, be my guest, don't let my objections get in the way of your stupid plan.

Immediately followed by

(Out of character, in my normal voice) Right, now my character has finished being a sarcastic jerk to all of your characters, anyone want a cookie? grab the plate of cookies and offer it around

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is something only the player being annoyed can do, and it is something said player will not do if his character's annoyance IC is really just a reflection of the player's annoyance OOC. \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Nov 3, 2015 at 13:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I concur with @MrLemon. This is a good way for a player to clarify that they are role playing, and not making the GM deal with a question like Roseoliver has. Bonus credit for immediately offering the tastiest snack at hand around. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 3, 2015 at 14:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MrLemon - How do you know this? Are you in this game? \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Nov 9, 2015 at 7:05

Tell them:

  1. You are free to do what ever your character wishes to do. If you want to go alone instead of doing what the others voted for, you can do so. If you want to argue more, you can do so. If you want to kill one of them in order to make a point, you can at least try to do so. They can do whatever they want as well, i.e. make you silent or whatever.


  1. Remember that this is a game and we want to have fun together, so in my opinion, each character should be set out to be compatible enough to be playable at all. Characters may have conflicts and they are part of the game; players may have conflicts but this may kill the game so please stay kind.

In general: As in every group there are sometimes complicated people in your rpg round or your adventurer party. There is nothing you can do against it ;-)


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