There are 3 players in my group. One, who is just beginning with roleplaying games. Second one, who has been playing multiple systems for a few years. Third one, who probably has been playing for more than 12 years. Surprisingly, the most problematic is the second one.

He is constantly overthinking pretty much everything. He plans what to should they, or how to do something in every possible scenario. Sometimes it takes him nearly an hour to decide over options a), b) or c). It really kills the mood. The rest of the players are getting bored and go out of the atmosphere, that I have been creating since the beginning of the session.

For example it took him literally 50 minutes to decide if they should:

  • look for one of the 13 artifacts, which collected together grant UNLIMITED POWER

  • kill one of 9 mages, helping BBEG who wants to get all of the mentioned artifacts (he has already 8 of them) and conquer every piece of land

  • find wife of one player, who had been looking for her for 7 years

  • deal with a powerful Doppelganger who is holding the mentioned player's daughter captive

  • destroy an organisation, which goal is to kill all the players, the BBEG and every single avatar(those who have blood of the deities)

Suggestions from the other players didn't help a lot, because he is always uncertain if his choice is the best one possible.

After deciding on the first option, he spent yet over half an hour coming up with lots of hypothesises, about what should be done in specified, highly unprobable situations. I know, that having no plan isn't a smart, but this is just as bad, or even worse.

I don't want to make the campaign linear, as I dislike such adventures and I want to let my players do whatever they want. Changing the way the game is going on is not what I want to do.

What can I do about it, to make my game more fluent? Of course kicking out the player is not even a thinkable option. I have tried to set time limits. "2 minutes passed in combat and once again you can't decide on what spell you want to cast? You loose your turn." This helped to keep up with the rhythm of combat, but on the other hand caused a lot of pressure. Conclusively he got very nervous and irritable.

He has already changed his character three times, among way differentating ones, like a telepath psionic or chameleon(universal class, that can do a little this and that).


closed as unclear what you're asking by the dark wanderer, KorvinStarmast, Miniman, Oblivious Sage, doppelgreener Apr 26 '17 at 23:42

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    \$\begingroup\$ What sort of character does he play? How long has this been going on, and how much experience does he have with the game? \$\endgroup\$ – Ben S. Apr 27 '17 at 5:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe you can give an example of some situations that make him hesitate? \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Apr 27 '17 at 8:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ sounds like playstyle conflict see related. how much experience does this particular gamer have? \$\endgroup\$ – spade Apr 29 '17 at 4:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why is it that this character gets to make such decisions for the party anyway, if there are two others who already appear done with it? \$\endgroup\$ – Weckar E. May 1 '17 at 11:32

There are several possibilities for example:

  • set a Time limit "You got 2 minutes, then you take Option A" where as Option A should be the most neutrally effective option in your GM opinion. Most often Option A could be 'do nothing'

  • put up a voting. Let the other players suggest and vote on which option they think the indecisive player should make. Do this AFTER it is clear the player in question cannot decide.

  • if it is a character-decision: allow (or force) the player to make an appropriate skill check (or IQ check or whatever you deem suitable) and give them hints based on the result. This bears the risk of failure though.

Whatever you do, keep in mind that the player is not doing it on purpose, putting too much pressure on them is unlikely to be helpful. Try to figure out why they are doing it. Maybe they are very afraid to make mistakes, maybes they are perfectionists and so on.

All in all it might help them if in your game there is an understanding about a 'No desicion is stupid' policy. Be benevolent and make sure your players know that.

I know some GMs are merciless and no matter how big the misunderstanding or how stupid it makes a character look, once a decision is made there is no going back. This GM style doesn't go well with some players and creates lots of insecurites in them.

Other GMs will notify their players "You are pretty sure that is not gonna work out." assuming a certain level of common sense for the characters that I find most people interested in playing a Character do appreciate.


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