View Full Version : Problem With a Long Time Player

2013-02-15, 06:58 PM
We have been playing for several years, and have recently started a game where we rotate DM's because no one has time to DM full time. One player has been playing with us since we started. He likes to play dark and mysterious characters, and has been on the lower spectrum of optimization. Recently, he has been opposed to combat altogether, and gets mad at the rest of the party when we kill stuff, even in dungeons where we were specifically told to destroy everything. He says he likes to roleplay, and doesn't want to be a random MurderHobo like the rest of us. He does this by collecting severed heads. His turns take the longest, and he dislikes when we take time on our turns. I really don't want to kick him out, so hopefully that isn't the only solution. Does anyone have any ideas?

2013-02-15, 07:13 PM
Doesn't like killing... collects severed heads.... :smallconfused:

Have you tried discussing this with the player? My guess is he's tired of the same old thing and has chosen to subvert standard gameplay until he's accomodated, or else he has some kind of out-of-game problem that he's bringing into the game with him.

2013-02-15, 07:14 PM
Yup. 90-99% of the advice you'll get in a thread like this is "talk to the player," but it's what you've got to do. A simple "hey, dude, you seem a little frustrated with the game lately, what's up?" will go a long way, especially if you do it in private.

2013-02-15, 07:25 PM
Yeah... I'm kinda worried about his reaction though.

2013-02-15, 08:02 PM
Huh... I mean usually "Dark and Mysterious" figures for PCs instantly put up a red flag in my mind. Saying he's in favor of "Roleplaying" but apparently only Roleplaying when it detracts from the team as a whole? Not that I'm innocent of it, I've had people tell me "Not to Roleplay" in combat when instead of saying something like "I attack ____." but say something like "I smack his sword out of the way with my own and deliver a hard hook to his jaw," as an attack or the like.

I dunno. Seems weird. Obviously something is squiffy, particularly if you've been running a long time with someone. Can't guess what it is. Changing interests? Wants to highlight a particular theme/idea? Gotta go asking questions.

Just make sure that you do it alone, don't make a show of it. Don't make it obvious you are singling the guy out or something. Ask him to show up something like 10 minutes earlier than the rest of the people and hash it out before people arrive. Less likely to blow up in your face if a guy feels like it's just two of you talking instead of being "Called to the Principal's Office" sort of stuff.

2013-02-15, 08:20 PM
Very true. We encourage saying stuff like that in combat, and doing lots of things in fluff, as long as they have no in game effect.

2013-02-15, 08:39 PM
Yeah... I'm kinda worried about his reaction though.

I strongly suspect the reaction you'll get asking him out-of-game will be MUCH less "Dramatic" (in the group-wreckingly bad sense) than the reaction you'll get calling him on in in-game.

2013-02-15, 08:45 PM
I have a tendency to do that in my RPGs. The more flagrant example was in the recent Exalted campaign, where my Nightcast sorcerer developed into this borderline-evil necromancer/sorceror who had a convoluted backstory and was only part of the party because the Lunar who'd summoned him offered a lead on his sister (who he had erased all memories of in order to access sorcerous power). And he had such delightful habits as cutting himself to get rid of pain (any time he thought about his sister he felt extreme agony, such that the pain of cutting himself was comparatively minor) and casually asking another adventurer party if he can borrow their corpses once they get killed by the defenses of the tomb we're breaking into.

2013-02-15, 08:55 PM
Yes, but you can probably roleplay it well. He wrote his backstory in 2.6 minutes, and said he was a fallen god. I sense a problem. Especially because we started at level 1.

The Glyphstone
2013-02-15, 09:05 PM
You say he's a 'long-term player' - has he been this way since he started, or is it recent?

2013-02-15, 09:12 PM
It's pretty recent. He has always used low-op stuff, but so have most of us. He has been with us since we started though, so I don't want to do anything drastic.

2013-02-15, 09:23 PM
Well... at least he told you?

I've had too many Amnesiac Characters who ended up being Lost/Fallen Gods in the campaigns I've DMed. Seriously. So hey, he was up front with you. But yeah, that's another red warning flag. If he wants to be someone Special you might suggest an alternative to him that isn't potentially spotlight stealing and derailing (As Lost/Fallen Gods tend to be). Minor noble? Son of a Guild Leader? Prophecized Person of Destiny? If you can work it in. Doesn't mean he's the star, but he has a part to play and must play it. Had one I hooked by offering them a position as "Prophecized Person of Destiny"... ended up their "Destiny" was to heckle someone at a public rally so they couldn't give a speech that would have destabilized the region, foment rebellion, etc. So it was an important role... just no one knew (Or cared) about the character. Just the fact that someone was heckling the guy.

2013-02-15, 09:30 PM
Good idea. I don't think I'll be able to do much else until I get to talk to him though.

2013-02-17, 05:20 PM
Okay, I didn't get a chance to talk to him this meeting, but I think things will be slightly better. He spent many combat rouns "carving sigils into the ground", and his character died (along with half the party). He was mad at first, but I think he will contribute more.