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I am getting ready to host my first game of Dread and the question that is really bugging me is what happens if a player (and I have one in mind) absolutely refuses to pull every single time?

Dread is pretty clear that you can only kill a character if the tower falls, how do you handle a player who refuses to pull a block every single time?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Not familiar with Dread, but the rule+player description made me immediately think of Newt from Aliens. Perhaps someone will turn this example into a proper answer. \$\endgroup\$ – vicky_molokh Oct 12 at 7:51
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It tends not to happen. Even conservative players will probably pull, if only because Jenga is fun. However, if you do run into someone who won't, try not to force them early on. As is mentioned by @SevenSidedDie in a now-deleted comment on the question, they will become cowardly and pitiful, and that is an interesting story.

Think about the story of the guy who watches while his friends die, and is to afraid to help. It is terrible, and extremely dark.

Push come to shove, you can require it: "Monster jumps out at you, pull", but really I recommend you just roll will it.

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Choosing not to act is a choice, just as choosing to act is. There are always characters who always choose the safe path, the coward's path, or the path of least resistance.

You generally find them cowering in a cupboard somewhere, alone and surrounded by monsters before being eventually discovered and devoured. Every time they choose not to act it informs their character. Eventually, they're going to be backed into a corner and then the choice is act or die.

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Remember that not pulling is failing. Cast them as inept and/or a coward. Usually people don't take action because they fear losing, just make not pulling losing. At some point, if they really don't want to make any pulls, they are going to get mad because they can't do anything. At that time, just tell them that all they need to do is make a pull and they can do whatever they want.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to this site. Can you back this up with any rules citations for this game? \$\endgroup\$ – nick012000 Oct 12 at 6:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Have you tried this suggested solution in your own games, or seen it tried? How has it worked for you? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Oct 12 at 7:20
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I would add that if this seems to be the way the character is presented early on, you could also call for pulls for them to not succumb to their fear and anxiety and run screaming into the night or cowering in a corner doing literally nothing when the bad-wrong finally goes after them. Refusing to pull comes across, typically, as a character that is petrified to the point of inaction. This is dangerous, but interesting in horror/suspense.

Don't force them to take action, but show them that sometimes it is still necessary to do SOMETHING to fight against their desire to just hide from danger. It is a horror/suspense story. Let it be one. Just ask what someone like Wes Craven would add to the story.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Remember that nobody knows what you're adding to, so you have to just say everything in your answer that your answer needs to say. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Dec 23 '16 at 20:10

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