127

Your first instinct-- gently talking to the player-- is a very good one. You can easily follow that up with a less gentle discussion laying out the basic idea that tabletop RPGs (unlike computer RPGs) are collaborative efforts where everyone needs to have fun. This includes not only the other players, but also you as the GM. Your second instinct-- ...


72

It’s all about Agency As long as the party is independent to choose their path, and their actions remain relevant, having mighty NPC’s involved won’t detract from the game. NPC’s that are already in conflict have a great excuse for not “doing the thing.” Suppose the mighty NPC heroes need to recover an item from the Chapel of Nice Things, but the evil ...


67

To be clear, he's asking for details on these samples he's collecting? I would say if he's that interested in a detailed list, then have him make it up himself. You would have to approve, of course, but just say something like, "You collect a variety of samples to help with your research. Go ahead and make a list of samples that you think would be ...


66

My response to this, in discussions in DND and beyond (even into work and non-gaming social situations), is simple. If Bob has interrupted Alice: Bob, Alice was speaking. Or, if Bob has interrupted me: Bob, I was speaking. Raise your voice (admittedly, it's easy for me, because I'm a very loud person), and put on your best firm teacher and/or mom ...


63

He doesn't want me to run the NPCs either. There's no basis in the rules to allow this. NPC's cannot be run by the player; that's actually the definition of an NPC. As DM you need to assert control of the NPC's actions; only if the PC dies might you consider letting him run the NPC in lieu of generating a new character. You should absolutely allow the ...


47

You have a few options here... Before I go into these...as always 'talk to your player and let him know what your concerns are' is always the best first step. First, bear in mind that you can deny a Persuade attempt if it is impossible. Dice only hit the table for non-trivial, but possible attempts at using a skill. For example, if a player says they wish ...


41

When a player is hogging the limelight like this, the way to deal with the situation is to stop encouraging them. The player is getting their fun by having everyone's attention focused on them (see this question for a similar situation). (This isn't a bad thing, by the way! It just means you have to make sure that the rest of the group gets their fun, too.) ...


40

Talk to the player You have done this; good - do it again. This time explain the rulesTM. You need to decide what the rulesTM are. My suggestion is that when he: "tells people what to do with their characters" you will interrupt him and ask the other player "X has said he would like you to do Y. What would you like to do?" "never lets anyone get a ...


39

Firstly, you should talk to all your players about the issue outside of a session. You can get some personal impressions first with one-on-one conversations, but ultimately the entire group should sit down to discuss the problems. Make sure the discussion is democratic in nature, though. JohnP points this out in a related question: "The group setting can be ...


35

Actually, the master don't have to be better at everything. For example he may have been targeted by a curse which makes him unable to use magic/less good at combat. Maybe despite all his years of experience he remained very socially awkward and the apprentice will have to do most of the social interactions with NPCs. Maybe the apprentice has a special gift ...


35

The best way I ever dealt with this is by enlisting the player's help. Explain the problem to them and ask them how they (and yourself) could work how to alleviate the perceived problem. Why perceived problem? Do the other players mind? If not, you are trying to solve an imaginary problem. Did you ask them? Is everyone on the same page about the game they ...


31

About Spotlight Hogging and Bullying in an RPG There are two core issues to address: From what you described, this player is someone in the role of Spotlight Hog. Managing Spotlight Time for your players is an art: there is some good advice on it from one of our high rep contributors here. The second issue you address is bullying behavior. This isn't ...


29

When my players ask me for details that I haven't predetermined, which happens constantly during every session, this gets handled a few different ways depending on how many details and how important they are. If it's truly unimportant, and not too complicated Q: "What are the stairs made of?" In a place we'll probably never return to, that's just a ...


29

I want to push on @L.S. Cooper's answer because this is also how I deal with this type of players. But I want to add some things. Mr. E hogs the GM and seems to interrupt people. These behaviors are a) making the game less fun b) pretty impolite. I had a co-player that kept on interrupting to go on his own things at the expense of other players, and ...


28

There is opportunity cost to having NPCs around. If an NPC provides meaningful assitance in a fight, they take a portion of the XP that fight awards. This generally stops most people from having tag-a-longs "help" in a fight. Rarely are other party members willing to give up loot and experience because you have a specific concept in mind for your character. ...


26

Assuming you have spoken with the other players without fruit, I would suggest exercising some player agency. Announce to your GM, while he is talking to this person, I would like to do X". It's helpful if "X" is something more intriguing than conversation, like "explore the dungeon", "see the king", "fight some kobolds". From how you have reacted the story,...


26

First, ask if it is really a problem. Are the rest of the players bored watching a one-man show, or are they amused and having fun watching this part? If it really is a problem.... Call for a Roll Shopping shouldn't take all session, and if the player has had a bit of the spotlight already that session, then there is no problem with saying, DM: ...


25

This is hard to do well, and requires a lot of practice. Some things to think about that I've learned... Switch between the two groups often. Don't spend long periods of time with one of the groups. For longer encounters have both groups running concurrently and switch between them as rapidly as makes sense and you can keep track of. When you do switch, ...


25

That group might be a loss It's unfortunate, but it sounds like that group's dynamics were less than ideal, both for you and possibly for some of the other players. There's still a chance you could turn it around, but it sounds like beyond just the game itself you also found the location unideal. I had a similar problem at my table where a player came to ...


24

The assumption that the master is better in everything because he is the master is false. The master is better in the relevant aspects of his craft. There is no need to weaken him, simply make the pair face challenges a bit outside the craft. A master witcher will be better with the sword and will know more about monsters and magic, but being feared and ...


23

Have you tried non-violent communication? Try empathizing with the One Player. Find out why he's acting the way he is. Assume good intentions. Listen. Does he think the other players want or need his advice? Is he trying to teach? Does he want to achieve the best outcome of the game, even if it means playing it all himself? After listening, thank him, ...


22

I have actually played a character like this. Admittedly, this character wasn't an AI or owned by another character, but he was accustomed to being a servant/slave, and he carried that mentality after his master's death. As a result, he didn't really have any goals of his own beyond assisting those around him in whatever endeavors they pursued. ...


21

Such things can evolve in Dungeon World, but pre-planning big plot points like that doesn't end up working very well. It's awkward, the game will fight it, and the result won't be that much fun for either you or the Cleric's player. What Dungeon World wants is moments of spotlight. Short moments, consistently and often, are how Dungeon World expects you to ...


18

It’s really the DM …and you might need to find a new table You are asking about a problem player who talks too much, but your bigger problem is the DM is holding just as long a conversation. It’s the DM’s game to run, and to set the pace of the game. It’s simple enough for an NPC to stop talking to a loquacious PC — if the GM wants to. The two of them, ...


17

This is a difficult one, as we don't know the reason that the pilot isn't going on the "away missions". Answering the main question: Pirates/local big bad/aliens/space whales/asteroids attacking If you don't mind it being a bit dangerous, have the pilot fight off or defend against lots of small enemies whilst the party are planetside. Telepresence I'm ...


17

Ritualize going "Around the Horn" One important tool I've picked up in small group discussions is to go around to each person and directly ask (by name) for their input. If you make this a regular way of getting player input, then everyone has a chance to give their input. In the example you mention, right after The Hog launched into their negotiation for ...


15

Talk to your DM This is really the only viable solution other than leaving the table (which I'll get to next.) I wouldn't 'gang up' on the DM about this, but broach the subject with regard to wanting to better understand how they (the DM) is generating story and how much impact the PCs have on the world and how much impact the world has on the PCs. ...


14

Player-to-player Communication How much meta-gaming is acceptable at your table, generally? If "little-to-no" is the basic agreement among the group, you have grounds to object to his breaking the group agreement. If "we do it quite a bit" then it's hard to object on that basis. From your description: Furthermore, he often tries to RP things as ...


14

For my game, I had a rule called "Downtime actions". Basically anything that was heavily one-on-one or didn't affect immediate gameplay got lumped into that category. For example, the players are flying around, they find a sweet new pieces of tech. The tech-guy wants to turn this item into a new weapon using Engineering and other such skills. I tell tech-...


14

A powerful NPC is more than just a pinboard for quests I have already added a comment on a really good book series that deals with badass mortals and their interactions with powerful NPCs: The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. However, I wanted to expand on that. I have read all of the books released so far, and it really fits the situation: A small group of ...


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