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GybeMark
2015-01-23, 11:53 AM
[I'm sure I've seen a similar thread to this, but can't seem to find it. If anyone has a link, please let me know]

So a party member thief has a habit of searching baddies and keeping the good loot for himself. The behaviour is extending to the point where if another character is able to get to the body first at the end of the battle (and distributes the loot properly) then the thief will pickpocket or otherwise steal the "good" loot from other party members.

The other players and GM have spoken with the player ("We realize that you're trying to play in character, but if the rest of the party were in character, they would probably beat you until your gold fillings came out, and toss you in the street. For meta-game purposes, would you mind toning it down a bit so we can 'pretend' that there's a reason for the party to stay together?") to no avail.

The player is actually a really cool person, and damn fun to play with, it's just that the rest of the party is starting to get underpowered because the campaign is supposed to be giving us gold/magic-items and most of our stuff is still at the 'mundane' level (except for thief who has magic weapons, ring of protection, magic armour, a huge stockpile of gold, etc).

Any thoughts? (Other than "talk to the player/GM again"?)

Alberic Strein
2015-01-23, 12:22 PM
If the OOC solution (talking to him about it) doesn't work, then try an IC solution.

Also, as a rule of thumb, NO IDLE THREATS EVAR. You threatened his character with bodily harm if he did that again? DO IT.

If all else fails, cursed items in your pockets help.

Ps: And for HEAVEN'S SAKE, up your spot rating.

Cazero
2015-01-23, 12:22 PM
A classic.
What he is doing is not playing his character. A thief does not steal from his meatshields, it ends up costing more in meatshield maintenance and replacement and adds the opportunity cost of not being strong enough to go loot from bigger dragons. What he is doing is more like a warlock selling other's PC souls for a bonus feat : explicit PvP.

tomandtish
2015-01-23, 12:50 PM
There are in-character and out-of character answers to this, and possibly some overlap.


The other players and GM have spoken with the player ("We realize that you're trying to play in character, but ... )

Is this actually in character? Some more information would be good before we can assess this. What is everyone’s alignment (esp. the thief)? A neutral or evil thief only in it for themselves might steal everything from everyone, but good aligned thieves aren’t usually going to steal from party members. And even neutral and evil thieves won’t usually steal from people they honestly consider friends.

And none of that assumes that you aren’t on some world saving quest where it is in the thief’s interest for everyone to be as strong as possible when the final battle comes.

So there are certainly things you can discuss out of character to point out that they may not be playing in character. Thief doesn’t mean “must steal it all”.

But if they insist they are playing in character, and that they would act this way, then come the choices:

Have legitimate in-game responses to their actions. Would you sit by and willingly accept it if one of your fellow gamers stole something from your home every time they came over? Then why is this party accepting it? Depending on their alignment/beliefs/etc., this could mean banishment, arrest, beatings, or death.

Out of game, if this is substantially cutting into the fun of the other players, then you may have to have a serious discussion. And this doesn’t need to be about characters but about fun. D&D is supposed to be fun. And if 3-4 players aren’t having fun because of the actions of one, then (after a reasonable opportunity to correct the issue) the one may need to go. Their style may not be compatible with the rest of the group.

GybeMark
2015-01-23, 01:19 PM
I'm liking the thought of in-game consequences to actions. At the very least it's a therapeutic thought. Myself and the other PCs (and GM) will definitely be spitballing ideas...


Is this actually in character? Some more information would be good before we can assess this.

The character in question is CN (insert obligatory "Chaotic Goodish" quote), while others are somewhere in the LN-LG-NG-CG spectrum. As pure happenstance, when 3 of the 5 players created their characters, they chose to build their character's personality around a given flaw/handicap/problem. One is a gambling addict trying to stay on the strait-and-narrow, another is a stickler-for-the-rules who is attempting to break out of her comfort zone as it once cost her dearly (my character) and the thief is playing as a compulsive hoarder.

Many thanks for the suggestions, folks!

Honest Tiefling
2015-01-23, 01:49 PM
Wouldn't someone notice that the thief suddenly has better combat ability or has new rings and stuff? And that their stuff keeps going missing? I say...If there are no PvP rules, play it like your characters would.

Hiro Protagonest
2015-01-23, 01:55 PM
The character in question is CN (insert obligatory "Chaotic Goodish" quote), while others are somewhere in the LN-LG-NG-CG spectrum. As pure happenstance, when 3 of the 5 players created their characters, they chose to build their character's personality around a given flaw/handicap/problem. One is a gambling addict trying to stay on the strait-and-narrow, another is a stickler-for-the-rules who is attempting to break out of her comfort zone as it once cost her dearly (my character) and the thief is playing as a compulsive hoarder.

If this is really him just playing his character, then you guys should just play your characters - there's no in-character reason to keep this hoarder around.

Then explain to the guy that he has to build a character that's not so antagonistic. "Just playing my character" is not an excuse when you're the one who made it.

Red Fel
2015-01-23, 01:59 PM
My advice? Start enforcing encumbrance rules. On everyone, naturally, but if the thief has somehow acquired and kept all of the loot, he's going to be the one suffering.

It's evil and brilliant, and here's why: The other PCs are his friends, right? They'll see him struggling, and want to help. Because that's what friends do.

And now our little thief is in a fix. He can attempt to carry his massive sack of loot, and suffer for it. He can let one of the stronger party members carry it, and hope his naughtiness isn't revealed. Or he can come clean.

If he refuses to address the issue out of character, this is one way to handle it in character that isn't sure to explode into PvP. But if it does, it will be completely justified by in character conduct. (Namely, one character spotting something in the bag, and blurting out something like, "... is this my shirt?!" And then the bag is opened further, and there are angry glares. And more shirts.)

And as others have said, once his thievery is exposed ICly, there's no reason the other PCs have to keep him around. They don't necessarily have to kill him, but neither do they have to let him tag along.

Anxe
2015-01-23, 02:17 PM
When I was starting as a player I did this a lot. Then the DM threw a cursed necklace into the loot that I pocketed. Put it on and it choked me to death. One raise dead later and I wasn't hiding loot from the party anymore.

Doesn't have to be that drastic, but cursed items might be the way to go. Or the other PCs can toss that PC on the street/kill him/turn him into the police and tell him he's playing a new character now.

Cazero
2015-01-23, 02:24 PM
The character in question is CN (insert obligatory "Chaotic Goodish" quote), while others are somewhere in the LN-LG-NG-CG spectrum. As pure happenstance, when 3 of the 5 players created their characters, they chose to build their character's personality around a given flaw/handicap/problem. One is a gambling addict trying to stay on the strait-and-narrow, another is a stickler-for-the-rules who is attempting to break out of her comfort zone as it once cost her dearly (my character) and the thief is playing as a compulsive hoarder.

Now, that's interesting. What if the gambling addict just happened to need a butload of cash for a very, very tempting card game tournament? No doubt he would have to "borrow" some money. And, hey, he can pay the hoarder back when he wins !

And if the thief complains when the gambler inevitably loses all of his money, "just playing my character flaws against the party like you do" in the face.

WarKitty
2015-01-23, 02:25 PM
Since the rest of everyone has no protection now, the other PC's hang back from the front lines. And greedy monsters target the guy with all the loot.

Beta Centauri
2015-01-23, 02:28 PM
This is entirely an out-of-game issue. Do not try to counter the PC in-game.

You say talking was "to no avail." Why not? What was the player's response? You say the player is cool, but if he didn't listen to and address your concerns then he's sort of a jerk in at least one way.

If you're not having fun, tell him that. If he's not responsive then I'd have to dispute that he's "fun to play with."

If you can't do that, and can't talk to the GM, then live with it. Let him take whatever he wants. So you have mundane items; items really shouldn't be necessary to having a fun game. Presumably the GM, even if you don't talk to him, wants everyone to have a fun game and will see what's going on and keep the game fun without having to block anyone's actions. Maybe he should stop giving out treasure altogether, and focus on quests and inherent character abilities. Should be possible without too much effort.

Segev
2015-01-23, 02:38 PM
Having spoken with him, and he refused to listen - I assume up to and including the point where you guys said, as he was OOC announcing his intentions, "Dude, cut it out," and he said "no, it's in character" - then the next OOC step is to simply no-sell it. Tell him, "Nope, you don't actually have the item; it didn't leave the character's pocket." With the DM's cooperation, you can do such things. Ignore his PvP actions entirely; tell him they're unacceptable and that they just don't happen.

The OOC step beyond that is to ask him politely but firmly to stop playing that character.

Beyond that, it's to tell him to leave the game.



The IC response is to have the characters who are being pickpocketed notice the missing loot and start looking for it. Take increasingly paranoid measures to track it and to find it. Increase spot scores.

When you catch the thief, respond in character. Do not hold back. Don't be more aggressive than your character would be, but certainly beat up the thief or otherwise punish him, and don't trust him, IC. If more goes missing, assume it was him. If there isn't as much loot as you think there should be, forcibly search him and his gear.



That about covers your options, I think. Well, there's always metagaming and just killing him IC for your OOC knowledge that he's donig it. But that likely won't solve the problem.

xroads
2015-01-23, 03:18 PM
[I'm sure I've seen a similar thread to this, but can't seem to find it. If anyone has a link, please let me know]

So a party member thief has a habit of searching baddies and keeping the good loot for himself. The behaviour is extending to the point where if another character is able to get to the body first at the end of the battle (and distributes the loot properly) then the thief will pickpocket or otherwise steal the "good" loot from other party members...

It's never really been an issue for my gaming group. But if it did, my policy would be to let the thief/backstabber know that I'm turning a blind eye to the other players using OOC knowledge for such issues.

Beta Centauri
2015-01-23, 04:11 PM
For PvP stuff, what I like to do is put the rules aside and have the target decide what happens.

Player 1: "I pick Player 2's pocket."
GM: "Yes, you do. 2, what is he able to lift from you?"
Player 2: "Just some copper. I keep a close hand on my purse."

or

Player 2: "Ooh, my component pouch. It will be funny when I try to cast something later and can't."

or whatever.

This way, the target is only losing what they're okay with losing.

Also:

Player 2: "When I notice I've been robbed, I attack Player 1."
GM: "Yes, you do. Player 1, what happens?"
Player 1: "He pins me and I learn my lesson... for now."

or

Player 1: "I jump nimbly aside and attack back."
GM: "Yes, you do. Player 1, what happens?"

or

Player 1: "He guts me! That character dies and my new one comes in."

or whatever.

jedipotter
2015-01-23, 04:12 PM
Keep in mind that a ''cool person'' does not steal from his friends or do anything ''bad'' to his friends. That is not how it works.

I never like OOC talks, as what is the point? If the player thinks what they are doing is OK, they won't suddenly change their mind just as someone says they don't like it. It's like saying someone who likes playing D&D would never play the game again if someone else said they did not like the game. Most people would not do that.

Now, do any of the characters, IC, know about the stealing? Even one? The characters do notice the mising stuff, right? Then have them react. At the very least they could take their stuff back. And they could just kill the character. Now sure the thief character would say its ''no fun'' for his character to get caught and killed, but the counter is, of course, that the other characters can say it's ''no fun'' to be robbed and betrayed. And the characters reacting badly to being victims of theft and betrayal is ''in character '' too.

And on that note that both stealing and betrayal are Evil acts. A CN person won't stay CN for long doing evil acts all the time. He will slip to evil.

As DM, that is a good way to handle things. Tell the player their character has shifted alignment. This is a great example of how a DM has to step up and take control sometimes.

Kami2awa
2015-01-23, 04:26 PM
[I'm sure I've seen a similar thread to this, but can't seem to find it. If anyone has a link, please let me know]

So a party member thief has a habit of searching baddies and keeping the good loot for himself. The behaviour is extending to the point where if another character is able to get to the body first at the end of the battle (and distributes the loot properly) then the thief will pickpocket or otherwise steal the "good" loot from other party members.

The other players and GM have spoken with the player ("We realize that you're trying to play in character, but if the rest of the party were in character, they would probably beat you until your gold fillings came out, and toss you in the street. For meta-game purposes, would you mind toning it down a bit so we can 'pretend' that there's a reason for the party to stay together?") to no avail.

The player is actually a really cool person, and damn fun to play with, it's just that the rest of the party is starting to get underpowered because the campaign is supposed to be giving us gold/magic-items and most of our stuff is still at the 'mundane' level (except for thief who has magic weapons, ring of protection, magic armour, a huge stockpile of gold, etc).

Any thoughts? (Other than "talk to the player/GM again"?)

Talking to him didn't work, time to boot him from the group if he's disrupting the game.

Beta Centauri
2015-01-23, 04:34 PM
Keep in mind that a ''cool person'' does not steal from his friends or do anything ''bad'' to his friends. That is not how it works. The person isn't stealing, the character is. The person is "cool." We don't know about the character's coolness.


I never like OOC talks, as what is the point? If the player thinks what they are doing is OK, they won't suddenly change their mind just as someone says they don't like it. It's like saying someone who likes playing D&D would never play the game again if someone else said they did not like the game. Most people would not do that. If you thought what you were doing was okay and not causing problems for anyone, would you keep doing it? A reasonable and "cool" person will look for ways to behave that accommodate others.


And they could just kill the character. Now sure the thief character would say its ''no fun'' for his character to get caught and killed, but the counter is, of course, that the other characters can say it's ''no fun'' to be robbed and betrayed. Ruining another person's enjoyment because you feel they ruined yours just ruins the fun for more people.


And on that note that both stealing and betrayal are Evil acts. A CN person won't stay CN for long doing evil acts all the time. He will slip to evil. Okay. That's not going to change their behavior.


As DM, that is a good way to handle things. Tell the player their character has shifted alignment. This is a great example of how a DM has to step up and take control sometimes. I don't understand how that controls anything. The player will probably be fine with it.

Has anyone ever heard of a GM stepping up and changing a Neutral character's alignment to Good because they just weren't Neutral enough? Or from Chaotic to Lawful, because they just weren't Chaotic enough? I sure haven't, so I'm left with the impression that involuntary alignment shifts due to in-character actions are only ever intended as passive-aggressive punishment. Just talk to the player instead.

WarKitty
2015-01-23, 04:39 PM
Generally I'm in favor of a combined approach here.

Talk to the player OOC. This is essential at the very least to ensure they make the right connections - so if there are any complaints about being ganged up on you can say they were warned.

That said, it's human nature to repeat actions that have desirable consequences for you. And honestly, to most people "well we talked a bunch about it but we never really did anything" comes across as "we're not really serious about this." So figure out how to do this.

Ceiling_Squid
2015-01-23, 04:59 PM
Keep in mind that a ''cool person'' does not steal from his friends or do anything ''bad'' to his friends. That is not how it works.

I never like OOC talks, as what is the point? If the player thinks what they are doing is OK, they won't suddenly change their mind just as someone says they don't like it. It's like saying someone who likes playing D&D would never play the game again if someone else said they did not like the game. Most people would not do that.

Now, do any of the characters, IC, know about the stealing? Even one? The characters do notice the mising stuff, right? Then have them react. At the very least they could take their stuff back. And they could just kill the character. Now sure the thief character would say its ''no fun'' for his character to get caught and killed, but the counter is, of course, that the other characters can say it's ''no fun'' to be robbed and betrayed. And the characters reacting badly to being victims of theft and betrayal is ''in character '' too.

And on that note that both stealing and betrayal are Evil acts. A CN person won't stay CN for long doing evil acts all the time. He will slip to evil.

As DM, that is a good way to handle things. Tell the player their character has shifted alignment. This is a great example of how a DM has to step up and take control sometimes.

"I never like OOC talks, as what is the point?"

The point is that D&D is a cooperative game based on a number of unspoken player agreements, aside from the core rules. Some acceptance must be made for a basic social compact, that being that everyone has come together for a fun social activity, and they need to meet a compromise regarding how they play with one another. It's best to hash things out OOC if the issue becomes inimical to that social compact.

So OOC discussion is ALWAYS the first step. It's the cleanest and most expedient way to handle these sort of problems.

That aside, in this case you are correct regarding the proper ingame consequences. OOC measures have failed, an alignment shift may be in order (with some fair warning from the DM), and probably no small amount of fair suspicion and/or retribution from the other characters.

I believe in being rather open about this OOC at every turn of events, however. It's simply healthier to defuse things with everyone being on the same page.

Tell him "You know, you're making my character very suspicious", or "If you get caught, this isn't going to end well, my character may respond with violence", or from the DM: "Keep this up and you'll be looking at an alignment shift in the near future."

If the problem player keeps at it, they either gracefully accept the obvious consequences like a good player, or they openly rage and reveal that they weren't a good player to begin with, and won't be a good fit for the group.

Acting solely through in-character actions and in-game proxies might make for a fun "he had it coming" revenge fantasy that someone can talk about over at the "problem players" thread in the forum, but it's a passive-agressive behavior. Never cut off OOC discussion completely, or it puts the social compact in jeopardy.

I refuse to play at a table that doesn't abide by basic sportsmanship. That involves clear communication and willingness to deal with playgroup cohesion problems in the open. And I also refuse to run a table where my players conduct proxy conflicts that might damage the group trust.

Tabletop games are a social gathering, not an in-character power struggle or psychological experiment. I expect players to behave maturely, not say "nuh-uh, my pretend hero kills your pretend hero" as the sole means of resolving an interpersonal issue. If it comes to PvP as the only logical result, I still expect my players to give each other fair OOC warning, to try and avoid hard feelings.

Mastikator
2015-01-23, 05:03 PM
The person isn't stealing, the character is. The person is "cool." We don't know about the character's coolness.

The person invented and maintain the character's stealing behavior. The person is antagonizing the other players.

I do not agree though that killing the character is the right thing to do. The right thing to do is to convince the DM to ban PVP.

Beta Centauri
2015-01-23, 05:30 PM
The person invented and maintain the character's stealing behavior. The person is antagonizing the other players. Yes, true. I just wanted to make it clear that the character wasn't referred to as "cool" and that stealing from other characters isn't always "uncool." Antagonizing other players is always uncool.

Seatbelt
2015-01-23, 05:31 PM
I never like OOC talks, as what is the point? If the player thinks what they are doing is OK, they won't suddenly change their mind just as someone says they don't like it. It's like saying someone who likes playing D&D would never play the game again if someone else said they did not like the game. Most people would not do that.


The player might often not understand that what they are doing is problematic. I frequently address balance issues with my players. "Dude, X thing that you do is too strong and in order to deal with it I have to make encounters harder for everyone else" often gets me an "oh I had no idea. I'll do something else."

You assume that people have perfect awareness of the results of their actions on the mental and emotional states of others and this is simply untrue.

Ceiling_Squid
2015-01-23, 05:43 PM
The player might often not understand that what they are doing is problematic. I frequently address balance issues with my players. "Dude, X thing that you do is too strong and in order to deal with it I have to make encounters harder for everyone else" often gets me an "oh I had no idea. I'll do something else."

You assume that people have perfect awareness of the results of their actions on the mental and emotional states of others and this is simply untrue.

Absolutely. A willingness to handle problems openly shows respect for both parties, since nobody is making assumptions about someone's knowledge of the effects their actions may be having. It's how mature adults should play.

Thanks for putting that more succinctly than I did.

Banjoman42
2015-01-23, 06:12 PM
If OOC fails, my solutions are as follows:
1: Cursed items. Normally, I hate them. But sometimes, I use them for solving this. Make sure it's not obvious why you are using it, though, or things can get worse.
2: Other thieves. If I were a random group of thugs in a city, I wouldn't hesitate to beat up the guy covered in jewelry next time he was alone. Again, subtlety is key, but if you are just direct enough the player will regret hoarding all those items.
3: If the player directly steals a magic item, have that item come into important use later, like it's required to open a magic door. If you are afraid the thief won't step forward, then maybe you have a trap that endangers them all. When the confusion ends, the question will be, "Where did you get that?"
I use one and three mostly, but two can work if you need to.

Beta Centauri
2015-01-23, 06:22 PM
Talking will also help make sure that you're all playing the game the same way.

There are people who like to become very immersed in their character, and act exactly as their character would act without consideration of anything happening out-of-game. That's alien to me, but I've met a few of these folks and they're quite serious. They don't mean to cause problems, and often believe that any problems anyone is having stems from that person's inability to separate in-game and out-of-game actions.

So, make sure everyone is on the same page about how "personally" in-game actions should be taken. Maybe this guy would dig it if you countered what he was doing in game, and reacted "realistically" to it. I just wouldn't bet on it.

Vertharrad
2015-01-23, 06:23 PM
I agree with that an OOC discussion needs to be had. Also his character when it becomes appropriate needs to face the consequences of his actions. It is uncool to steal period. That doesn't stop it form happening though. When the party finds out that the thief is their own party member it needs to be dealt with IC as well as having had the OOC discussions and talks. People don't learn from their mistakes if there aren't any consequences for their actions. If it becomes apparent that nothing will change this players playstyle they need to be booted from the game.

jedipotter
2015-01-23, 06:50 PM
The person isn't stealing, the character is. The person is "cool." We don't know about the character's coolness.

Stealing from a friend, even in a game, still counts for me.



If you thought what you were doing was okay and not causing problems for anyone, would you keep doing it? A reasonable and "cool" person will look for ways to behave that accommodate others.

Assuming the person is ''cool''....



Ruining another person's enjoyment because you feel they ruined yours just ruins the fun for more people.

That is not how it works.



Okay. That's not going to change their behavior.

Depends on the player.



I don't understand how that controls anything. The player will probably be fine with it.

Well, in a Classic D&D game, the heros can attack and kill any evil person at will...



Has anyone ever heard of a GM stepping up and changing a Neutral character's alignment to Good because they just weren't Neutral enough? Or from Chaotic to Lawful, because they just weren't Chaotic enough? I sure haven't, so I'm left with the impression that involuntary alignment shifts due to in-character actions are only ever intended as passive-aggressive punishment. Just talk to the player instead.

Yes. I'd hope that many DM do it. You can't say a character is neutral and then do good deeds 24/7....that makes the character good. Same with chaotic and law.

I'm not one of the DM's that think that alignments can only ''fall down towards evil'', I think they can go every way.

Lord Torath
2015-01-23, 07:18 PM
Talk to the group about the kind of game you want to play. Come up with a Manifesto (http://home.earthlink.net/~duanevp/dnd/manifesto.htm) you can all agree with (the one in the link is a good starting place) and MAKE EVERYONE SIGN IT! If he still won't change his ways, give him the boot, first from the party, and then from the game.

But please, let us know how your next session goes. We're always interested in how things like this turn out. And maybe you'll even have an addition to the Worst Player thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?373664-The-Worst-player-you-ve-ever-had-seen-been-heard-of) (which is now in danger of falling off the second page! :smalleek:)

Seatbelt
2015-01-23, 09:03 PM
Stealing from a friend, even in a game, still counts for me.



Assuming the person is ''cool''....



That is not how it works.



Depends on the player.



Well, in a Classic D&D game, the heros can attack and kill any evil person at will...



Yes. I'd hope that many DM do it. You can't say a character is neutral and then do good deeds 24/7....that makes the character good. Same with chaotic and law.

I'm not one of the DM's that think that alignments can only ''fall down towards evil'', I think they can go every way.

I have friends I like to hang out with who are complete and utter jerks while they're actually playing. So... ya. It's possible. It happens. I just don't play D&D with them.

Red Fel
2015-01-24, 01:06 AM
I'm going to agree with JP on this. Yes, the player may be "cool," but the character is a jerk. More importantly, the player chose to play a jerk, and decided to continue to do so when informed of this.

As a rule, if a player makes the conscious choice to play a disruptive character, even if the player is otherwise a nice person, it is the player I blame, not the character, for the disruption. I love a good organic character that takes on a life of its own, but at the end of the day, there is a player calling the shots. There has to be, barring some truly alarming circumstances. And that player has the ability to say, at any time, "Yes, it's what my character would do, but it would upset the other players at the table, so maybe my character will find a perfectly valid reason to do something else that my character would do."

The player can make this decision. This player is choosing not do. That's an out of character action, requiring an out of character response. (My earlier tongue-in-cheek suggestion notwithstanding.)

goto124
2015-01-24, 01:18 AM
Assuming the DM and players have asked the thief many times over to stop his disruptive behaviour, or even leave the table, but he refuses...

Would it be best to go extremely harsh on him? Give details on how, if his character steals again, he will just instantly die, forcing the player to play a new character you made for him, and make sure to really stick to it? He's already not cooperating with the rest of the group.

mephnick
2015-01-24, 01:50 AM
Me and fellow PC'S have killed party members for a lot less. Tell your other players to sack up and kill/boot the thief. If he gets mad tell him to reinvent himself as a team player or you can hang out with other hobbies.

The guy has been informed ooc and has basically told you all to go kick rocks. Kill his character.

Beta Centauri
2015-01-24, 04:57 AM
Stealing from a friend, even in a game, still counts for me. Fine. Just make sure everyone has the same understanding of what out-of-game actions mean.



Assuming the person is ''cool''.... The original poster said they were.


That is not how it works. A is ruining B's fun. B decides to ruin A's fun. This goes back and forth, and neither of them is actually having any fun, because all they can think to do is retaliate against the other person for ruining their fun.


Depends on the player. What it depends on is how willing the other players are to make that player's game boring so that they'll comply.


Well, in a Classic D&D game, the heros can attack and kill any evil person at will... If you say so. Fortunately, the person who doesn't care about their alignment can also attack anyone at will, and if they're smart then before they become evil they'll neutralize as many people as possible who would plan to attack and kill them when they turn evil.


Yes. I'd hope that many DM do it. You can't say a character is neutral and then do good deeds 24/7....that makes the character good. Same with chaotic and law. Right, but I've never heard of anyone doing this. Alignment change is used almost exclusively to "punish" people who are acting out. It's an in-game mechanic being used to fix an out-of-game issue. Never a good idea.


I'm not one of the DM's that think that alignments can only ''fall down towards evil'', I think they can go every way. When I see someone saying "Hey, that blackguard isn't acting evil enough. He should lose all his powers" then I'll believe that alignments go "every way." In point of fact, there are no hard and fast rules and if no one is being disruptive to the game, the GM has no incentive to keep close track of or to change anyone's alignment.

Beta Centauri
2015-01-24, 04:59 AM
Me and fellow PC'S have killed party members for a lot less. Tell your other players to sack up and kill/boot the thief. If he gets mad tell him to reinvent himself as a team player or you can hang out with other hobbies.

The guy has been informed ooc and has basically told you all to go kick rocks. Kill his character. Why not just do the part I bolded, instead of trying to use the game rules to teach someone a lesson?

Beta Centauri
2015-01-24, 05:02 AM
I'm going to agree with JP on this. Yes, the player may be "cool," but the character is a jerk. More importantly, the player chose to play a jerk, and decided to continue to do so when informed of this. That's what I'm saying.


As a rule, if a player makes the conscious choice to play a disruptive character, even if the player is otherwise a nice person, it is the player I blame, not the character, for the disruption. I love a good organic character that takes on a life of its own, but at the end of the day, there is a player calling the shots. There has to be, barring some truly alarming circumstances. And that player has the ability to say, at any time, "Yes, it's what my character would do, but it would upset the other players at the table, so maybe my character will find a perfectly valid reason to do something else that my character would do."

The player can make this decision. This player is choosing not do. That's an out of character action, requiring an out of character response. (My earlier tongue-in-cheek suggestion notwithstanding.) I agree, but there really are people who don't believe they are responsible for their character's behavior. Obviously that's going to cause problems if they game with anyone who believes otherwise, but the idea itself is not necessarily a problem. I don't know if the player here is one of those, so it would be good to find out.

mephnick
2015-01-24, 05:15 AM
Why not just do the part I bolded, instead of trying to use the game rules to teach someone a lesson?

Eh, better to kill him than pretend he never existed. It's more fun!

Mastikator
2015-01-24, 06:32 AM
A is ruining B's fun. B decides to ruin A's fun. This goes back and forth, and neither of them is actually having any fun, because all they can think to do is retaliate against the other person for ruining their fun.


TBH neither having fun is better than one having fun at the expense of another. Devaluing yourself for the benefit of someone who is basically exploiting you is the last thing you should do.

Obviously, that's a false dichotomy, bring the other players and the DM in on it. If the disruptive player doesn't understand that he's basically a social vampire and change his ways willingly then the least you can do is force him to stop. Or to leave the group that willingly and knowingly throws you under the buss for the sake of a "cool" social vampire.

Mark Hall
2015-01-24, 09:06 AM
Yeah, I'm of the opinion that you gave him an OOC warning, he chose to not heed it, and so an IC response is appropriate.

Beta Centauri
2015-01-24, 12:32 PM
TBH neither having fun is better than one having fun at the expense of another. Devaluing yourself for the benefit of someone who is basically exploiting you is the last thing you should do. What's "devaluing" to oneself is to sink to the level of a kindergartener on the playground and just hitting back.


If the disruptive player doesn't understand that he's basically a social vampire and change his ways willingly then the least you can do is force him to stop. Or to leave the group that willingly and knowingly throws you under the buss for the sake of a "cool" social vampire. Yes. I still don't think we've heard exactly why talking to him didn't work.

Beta Centauri
2015-01-24, 12:33 PM
Yeah, I'm of the opinion that you gave him an OOC warning, he chose to not heed it, and so an IC response is appropriate. If a mature, civil out-of-character approach didn't work, why is a petty, vengeful in-character approach going to work?

Mark Hall
2015-01-24, 12:57 PM
If a mature, civil out-of-character approach didn't work, why is a petty, vengeful in-character approach going to work?

Because he's proven that the character is a problem. Right now, his character is surviving because he's wearing a PC halo. So, remove the character. Take back what has been stolen, and kick him out of the group.

It's not petty or vengeful to say "Hey, you've been consistently stealing from me, and I don't want to hang around you." It's not even terribly vengeful to say "Give me back my stuff", and if he weren't a PC, they likely wouldn't think twice about administering a punitive beating to the character in order to get back what was stolen.

The player built the character around a flaw that is annoying. He could've made it a character quirk by keeping his hands off other player's stuff. But he made it an annoyance by actively stealing from people who generally don't brook being stolen from. If the character is a problem, remove the character.

WarKitty
2015-01-24, 01:17 PM
If a mature, civil out-of-character approach didn't work, why is a petty, vengeful in-character approach going to work?

Telling someone what the consequences of their actions are going to be, and then having those consequences happen, is not petty or vengeful, especially if those consequences are a reasoned response to those actions. So having the other characters beat up the thief, take his stuff, and eject him from the group is a natural consequence of how he's been acting. A petty, vengeful response would be to do that and then not allow any future character of his to have access to any nice stuff out of revenge.

I said this before but it bears repeating - humans tends to repeat things that have desirable consequences for them. And for many people, on a psychological level, if someone keeps complaining about something but never does anything about it, that means they're not really serious. Even the best of us do this sometimes - if we're having fun doing something, and the other person complains about it but doesn't seem to care enough to ever stop it and keeps coming back, why not keep doing it? (There's a fair chance this isn't consciously thought out, mind, but still.)

It's called boundaries and it's a really useful thing to learn. You say, if you do X we'll do Y, and then when X happens do Y. That's how you get someone else to do non-X. It's just like if you have a friend you like, but they're always teasing you about something you really hate, you get up and excuse yourself every time it starts. I've actually had to do that and the response was a shocked "oh you were serious?!!?" People just sometimes don't get it if all you do is talk about something.

BeerMug Paladin
2015-01-24, 01:18 PM
Speaking as an anonymous jerk who loves reading bad gaming stories, I want to encourage IC fighting, because that's pretty fun to read about.

So beat him up, separate him from the party, give him cursed items, make a spirit of vengeance come after him after the players concoct a curse to get the mysterious thief. It would be amusing, whatever approach is ultimately taken.

But if I were to give real advice, I'd suggest the OOC suggestions other people have given. Especially if you don't want this to be a point of contention or frustration among everyone involved.

It strikes me as somewhat ironic that someone with a problem between players in the game classically known for the socially inept is largely recieving advice for conflict resolution in terms of the game world's internal rules. Because real-world conflict resolution doesn't work or isn't optimal. But the pretend social game where I'm a viking is the place to address it.

Only do the former strategem if you're willing for everyone to walk away angry. And for the enrichment of the forum, of course. But don't expect it to be an optimal solution for any other goal than those.

Mark Hall
2015-01-24, 01:34 PM
The other players and GM have spoken with the player ("We realize that you're trying to play in character, but if the rest of the party were in character, they would probably beat you until your gold fillings came out, and toss you in the street. For meta-game purposes, would you mind toning it down a bit so we can 'pretend' that there's a reason for the party to stay together?") to no avail.




But if I were to give real advice, I'd suggest the OOC suggestions other people have given. Especially if you don't want this to be a point of contention or frustration among everyone involved.

It strikes me as somewhat ironic that someone with a problem between players in the game classically known for the socially inept is largely recieving advice for conflict resolution in terms of the game world's internal rules. Because real-world conflict resolution doesn't work or isn't optimal. But the pretend social game where I'm a viking is the place to address it.

Only do the former strategem if you're willing for everyone to walk away angry. And for the enrichment of the forum, of course. But don't expect it to be an optimal solution for any other goal than those.

Emphasis added. They've had a conversation with him about it. They've tried the OOC things that would encourage the other player to stop making the game less fun for others. That conversation apparently went nowhere, because the behavior continues. Once the OOC options are exhausted, you can either take IC steps OR more drastic OOC steps. The IC steps consist of "We were serious about you not taking our stuff, and will now respond to your IC actions with our IC actions." The more drastic OOC steps involve removing the problem player from the game.

LooseCannoneer
2015-01-24, 01:54 PM
I don't see any problem here. Causing the game to be slightly unfun for one person is better than causing the game to be unfun for the rest. You, the players, need to solve the problem. How would your characters react if it was an NPC picking your pockets and taking everything? Then act on that.

BeerMug Paladin
2015-01-24, 03:16 PM
Emphasis added. They've had a conversation with him about it. They've tried the OOC things that would encourage the other player to stop making the game less fun for others. That conversation apparently went nowhere, because the behavior continues. Once the OOC options are exhausted, you can either take IC steps OR more drastic OOC steps. The IC steps consist of "We were serious about you not taking our stuff, and will now respond to your IC actions with our IC actions." The more drastic OOC steps involve removing the problem player from the game.
Yeah, I get this. The thing is, I suspect the IC solution(s) are still more likely to backfire than the alternatives. When I've seen solutions like this tried, people who do this sort of thing seem to always think that other people are ganging up on them for no reason. Or that the reason they do so is for OOC personal issues or that they're not playing IC correctly just for the sake of OOC spite based on actions their characters shouldn't know about.

Especially if they're really enthusiastic about the rules saying they should be able to steal and sneak and generally get away with such behavior without any consequences whatsoever. "Nah-uh! Your character couldn't possibly know that! And even if they believed it, they don't have proof so you're just being mean for no reason!" Something like that.

I would probably suggest the DM just simply not allow thievery to happen being the best next-step solution. But it's also hard to know for sure because I just don't know why the person has chosen to have his character do these things. The IC approach could work, if it's made very clear beforehand that it's a possible consequence. And if the player is really okay with that as an outcome.

But in general, giving advice to a stranger is always kind of difficult. There's just so many factors of personalities and group dynamics that are unknowns, it's hard to know what is good advice.

Hmmm, now that I look at it, that viking paragraph was probably a bit too confrontational and dismissive. I meant it to be only mildly snarky and humorous.

Mr Beer
2015-01-24, 03:57 PM
If this was me, and I'd asked him not to do this out of game, then I would simply kill his character in game and split the loot with the party. I would talk to others first to try to get them in on the murder but if not *shrug*. No way I'd let this BS slide.

WarKitty
2015-01-24, 04:12 PM
Yeah, I get this. The thing is, I suspect the IC solution(s) are still more likely to backfire than the alternatives. When I've seen solutions like this tried, people who do this sort of thing seem to always think that other people are ganging up on them for no reason. Or that the reason they do so is for OOC personal issues or that they're not playing IC correctly just for the sake of OOC spite based on actions their characters shouldn't know about.

Especially if they're really enthusiastic about the rules saying they should be able to steal and sneak and generally get away with such behavior without any consequences whatsoever. "Nah-uh! Your character couldn't possibly know that! And even if they believed it, they don't have proof so you're just being mean for no reason!" Something like that.

I would probably suggest the DM just simply not allow thievery to happen being the best next-step solution. But it's also hard to know for sure because I just don't know why the person has chosen to have his character do these things. The IC approach could work, if it's made very clear beforehand that it's a possible consequence. And if the player is really okay with that as an outcome.

One thing that might help as well is giving the character an IC out, so to speak. Instead of doing a jump on them and beat them up type deal, arrange things in game so the thief sees gradually more and more consequences from the rest of the party being underequipped. Of course, there's other options if the thief doesn't straighten up.

Vertharrad
2015-01-24, 05:26 PM
I never said jump his character before they actually know it's him. they should first start taking action to use every resource at their disposal to find the malicious thief. Every thieved character though is probably going to suspect by now that it is a fellow PC though since they don't get loot and now they've been thieved from too. they need to start having double guard sessions and paranoid measures to find their problem child. And when they find out then they decide what to do.

You say physical action never solves problems...your wrong. Have you noticed the areas with less crime is where the people are allowed to arm themselves? you know why? the criminals know that their actions couls get them hurt, maimed, or killed. I was bullied when I was younger and I'll tell you until I stood up to them and showed them I was wailling, ready, and able to defend myself they didn't back down. This player is bullying the others and using the "I'm playing my character" excuse to continue to do so. They've already had a talk about it. And since the DM came on here I'm assuming other measures or talks have been tried. The time to put into effect preventative measures is now.

And let me ask you what would you do should you find out the reason you didn't have necessities was because someone you thought a friend was stealing from you? I know if it was me they'd at least get a thrashing, and if it was a considerable betrayal I'd mark them off as no friend of mine anymore. If you do nothing the behavoir will continue and may even get worse without needing a escalation trigger...we humans tend to like pushing our boundaries to see how far we can go.

Mastikator
2015-01-24, 08:08 PM
What's "devaluing" to oneself is to sink to the level of a kindergartener on the playground and just hitting back.

Yes. I still don't think we've heard exactly why talking to him didn't work.

1. Allowing someone to exploit you to their benefit and your detriment, someone who wouldn't do the same for you, is to devalue yourself and enable this vampire to continue their antisocial behavior.

2. If you can't figure out before creating the character that backstabbing PVP (stealing from a fellow PC) isn't a good idea on your own then being told to not might not work. I'm not saying not to do it. I am saying don't rely on the better nature of the vampire, rely on the better nature of the DM. Get the DM to enforce a "NO PVP" policy.
The DM is complicit simply by being the referee of the game, and it's entirely reasonable to demand of the DM that the players can't antagonize each other. Consistently attacking other players is bordering on harassment, I don't know why the DM or even the other players should or would stand for that kind of behavior.

Tragak
2015-01-24, 09:10 PM
Because he's proven that the character is a problem. Right now, his character is surviving because he's wearing a PC halo. So, remove the character. Take back what has been stolen, and kick him out of the group.

It's not petty or vengeful to say "Hey, you've been consistently stealing from me, and I don't want to hang around you." It's not even terribly vengeful to say "Give me back my stuff", and if he weren't a PC, they likely wouldn't think twice about administering a punitive beating to the character in order to get back what was stolen.

The player built the character around a flaw that is annoying. He could've made it a character quirk by keeping his hands off other player's stuff. But he made it an annoyance by actively stealing from people who generally don't brook being stolen from. If the character is a problem, remove the character. Again, the player chose to use his character in a way that would cause those problems (even when called out on it in real life).

I wouldn't recommend playing out the PCs getting their stuff back in-game (with the bully) and THEN kicking the bully out, I would recommend kicking him out first and then starting the game up with the PCs having their stuff back.

aspekt
2015-01-24, 10:42 PM
The player is actually a really cool person, and damn fun to play with, it's just that the rest of the party is starting to get underpowered because the campaign is supposed to be giving us gold/magic-items and most of our stuff is still at the 'mundane' level (except for thief who has magic weapons, ring of protection, magic armour, a huge stockpile of gold, etc).


Actually he kinda sounds like a jerk and here's why: he has been specifically asked to abstain from a behavior that is interfering with everyone else's enjoyment of the game. Which tells me he's only interested in his own enjoyment even to the detriment of others. I can promise you he does this in other areas of his life.

You have options, here are two:

1. Find out what his motivation is. Is he just bored? If so what are some ways the group can find to engage him more.

2. The GM needs to issue an ultimatum and remove him if necessary for the health of the group.

WarKitty
2015-01-24, 11:12 PM
Actually he kinda sounds like a jerk and here's why: he has been specifically asked to abstain from a behavior that is interfering with everyone else's enjoyment of the game. Which tells me he's only interested in his own enjoyment even to the detriment of others. I can promise you he does this in other areas of his life.

I will say I have met people who just don't get it when they're told to knock something off. Like they seem to think that people say "knock it off" when they don't really mean that, or that they're being cute or funny.

goto124
2015-01-25, 02:17 AM
The problem player has already been warned OOCly, that he will suffer IC consequences if he doesn't improve. That's why IC solutions work in this case. The IC result could be him getting killed and his body disintegrated, effectively making him unable to play the game. Wait, is that actually an OOC result, since it's pretty much the same as 'kicked out of the game'?

And yes, if he repeats his behaviour, you can go 'time warps upon itself, retconning the thief out of the world, and all stolen stuff goes back to the PCs as if no stealing had ever taken place'.

WarKitty
2015-01-25, 02:21 AM
The problem player has already been warned OOCly, that he will suffer IC consequences if he doesn't improve. That's why IC solutions work in this case. The IC result could be him getting killed and his body disintegrated, effectively making him unable to play the game. Wait, is that actually an OOC result, since it's pretty much the same as 'kicked out of the game'?


Presumably in that case he would still be free to create a new character, on the condition that the new character doesn't repeat the old behavior.

aspekt
2015-01-25, 03:14 AM
I will say I have met people who just don't get it when they're told to knock something off. Like they seem to think that people say "knock it off" when they don't really mean that, or that they're being cute or funny.

Point taken. I socially faux pas all the time.

Which is why I considered the boredom option. They may just be bored.

Tragak
2015-01-25, 11:16 AM
Wait, is that actually an OOC result, since it's pretty much the same as 'kicked out of the game'? That's why it's not a problem to skip the middle step.

veti
2015-01-25, 05:41 PM
There's no need to kill him, if you like the guy. Just beat him up and take the stuff back. Job done.

If he re-offends, rinse and repeat as required. Eventually he'll get tired of being beaten up.

Honestly, haven't we seen this in dozens of less-than-serious fantasies whose precise names escape me right now? Thief can't keep fingers to himself, burly barbarian spends all his time glaring at him, he's too scared to act on it and they all live happily ever after? There may optionally be a moment of redemption in which the thief gets to prove his commitment to the team and overcomes his kleptomania and all is forgiven, but honestly that's optional. What matters is the behaviour, not the motivation.

Jay R
2015-01-25, 07:09 PM
You have to be friendly, completely honest, 100% united, and adamant.

Get the entire group together - all players and the DM. Make sure that the interaction is not during the game, so he cannot use "staying in character" as an excuse.

Tell him that PvP, which includes not sharing totally and openly, is not part of the game. Tell him that as of right now, all magic items in the party will be shared fairly. Each other player then shows a list of every item they own. Make it clear that the DM with not let him hide one single item from the party, ever again.

Either he agrees to play that way, showing all his items and re-dividing, or he doesn't. If he does, you can continue to play. If he doesn't, that game is over. Either continue without him, or stop playing. You must be ready to stop the game.

The only alternative is to give in to him, and let your characters continue to be his character's henchmen and followers.

Kami2awa
2015-01-26, 03:23 AM
Tell him again, out-of-game that the other players don't like it.

When he does it again, immediately say "I told you not to do that because the other players don't like it. Don't do that. Your character fails." Immediate rebuke is much more effective than after-the-event rebuke. Do this every time he tries.

If he keeps doing it, well, he's not the "cool guy" you thought. Boot him.

Segev
2015-01-26, 09:55 AM
I never like OOC talks, as what is the point? If the player thinks what they are doing is OK, they won't suddenly change their mind just as someone says they don't like it.I just felt this really merits attention.

The reason OOC discussion is important is because it could be that the player does not realize people have issue with his actions.

If I were playing a dirty rotten thief who steals even from his "friends," I would, personally, talk to the other players first to make sure they're okay with this and to work out a rough expectation for how the other PCs will handle it so that the game can continue amicably on an OOC level. If somebody said they just weren't comfortable with it, I'd either change characters (if I wasn't too wedded to it) or try to find a way to tone it down.

Others, who have not had the experience of diverse groups with diverse expectations, might have played only with a group or with groups that are okay with any level of IC behavior, and respond in kind. He may be expecting that, if he gets caught IC, he'll be dealt with IC, and is prepared to accept the consequences. He may not even be aware that other players would restrain their characters' actions when it comes to taking vengence on a badly-behaved individual just because it happens to be another PC, rather than an NPC.

Talking to such people OOC can make them aware that their behavior is Not Cool in this group, and that the others feel constrained by a social contract not to engage in PvP. That his actions thus are unfairly abusing this social contract. By making him aware of it, they make it possible for him to discuss how to handle it in a way that would make everybody comfortable.

This doesn't mean he won't be a jerk, but it's possible he wouldn't be, so talking to him OOC ensures he's aware of the social and cultural conventions of that particular gaming table. It gives him the chance to not be a jerk, rather than immediately escalating into behavior that will drive one or more players away from the game. (It may still turn out he has to be asked to leave. But that's not the FIRST step.)

gom jabbarwocky
2015-01-26, 11:14 AM
The only alternative is to give in to him, and let your characters continue to be his character's henchmen and followers.

Oy vey. This happened to me once. Basically, I was a player in a game where we dealt with the same problem as the OP, only way, way worse. The rogue was just robbing everyone blind and getting away with murder, and there was, infuriatingly, nothing we could do about it OOC or IC. The rogue's player was also a 'pretty cool guy,' by which I mean was a smooth operator who had the GM in his pocket like some kind of extremely petty Svengali, so the protestations of the other players consistently amounted to worse than nothing. You see, because he kept stealing all the loot, the GM felt the need to hand out ever more powerful loot to keep the party balanced, but this, naturally, had the reverse effect as the rogue just stole from us even more. By the time the game was half over, his character was essentially a god swaggering around with mountains of gold, mastercraft weapons, and magic items up the wazoo (including several artifacts!) while the rest of us were busting our asses just trying to get by with a handful of silver coins and whatever crappy leftover equipment the rogue couldn't be bothered with.

It got to the point where I was just keeping caltrops in my own coin purse on the off chance that this jackhole would stoop to trying to pickpocket my poor ass - and he did! There isn't a time I haven't recalled this game and regretted that I wasn't more petty and didn't take a more hard-line approach to shutting this bastard down with everything my PC had - from hell's heart, I stab at thee! style.

So Jay R was probably joking, but I was literally in a game where this kind of problem player hijacked the entire game and relegated the rest of the PCs to being no more than glorified cohorts*. It sucked a great deal. So, understandably, I'm insanely biased when it comes to cases like these, and would rather cut off the nose to spite the face.

I'll also readily admit this is terrible advice. I just had to vent.


*Actually, the biggest difference was that, according to the rules, you have to at least give your cohorts lip service. So, in that respect, our PCs were more like his slaves.

Storm_Of_Snow
2015-01-26, 11:26 AM
Frankly, I think the player enjoys having his character rob the rest of the group, and even if they gang up on him, he won't stop, he'll come back even worse.

Deophaun
2015-01-26, 11:28 AM
I recall when my group had a jerk character that the player refused to change and we couldn't handle anymore. At the end of an adventure, the DM basically said "You have a month to do whatever," and we all agreed that we would go our separate ways and meet up at X at the end of that time. Of course, we told the jerk character we were meeting up at Y instead.

At least we got a new antagonist out of the deal.

GybeMark
2015-01-26, 01:01 PM
Wow, a lot of discussion, much more than I expected! Many thanks for the awesome advice and potential solutions! I have a couple points of clarification, and a followup on what our party ended up doing.

When I posted that the player-in-question is a "cool" guy, what I meant is he is (with the exception of the loot-hording) a fun person to hang out to play with. In terms of playing the game, he'll make jokes that are genuinely funny, but not so much that it detracts from play; he is always ready with his action when his turn in the order of initiative comes up; his character contributes to the plot and flow etc. I'd take him as-he-is rather than one of those players who are never ready with their actions, who shows up 10 minutes late, forgets their character sheet and mini and needs to borrow a printer, nonstop texting/browsing during play, etc...

As a second clarification, after the initial OOC talk where we asked him to tone down the loot hoarding, he did for a while, but the rate of hording slowly increased again.

And now for the promised followup... The GM and myself had a talk with the person OOC again. He agreed to stop the loot hoarding and will use the opportunity to play his character as really battling his hoarding tendencies (eg, after finishing bad guys, he'll give up the loot to party for division, hesitate, then with a pained look on his face throw in the extra ruby he pocketed...) He explicitly stated that his character still plans on looking for opportunities to engage in solo-or-side encounters where he can justify "I earned this on my own" to himself, but understands on a meta-level that one magic-item-heavy character is less fun for everyone. Hopefully, it works out. Otherwise, cursed necklaces in everyone's pocket :smallsmile:

[edit -- changed "cured necklaces" to "cursed"]
[edit2 -- grammar my is ungood]

jedipotter
2015-01-26, 03:36 PM
The reason OOC discussion is important is because it could be that the player does not realize people have issue with his actions.

If I were playing a dirty rotten thief who steals even from his "friends," I would, personally, talk to the other players first

This is exactly my point. If the person is so clueless that they don't get ''acting like a jerk'' is wrong, it's pointless to talk to them. Same way if the person can't think ''humm, I would not like it if another player had his character steal stuff from my character'', then it's pointless to speak to them.



Talking to such people OOC can make them aware that their behavior is Not Cool in this group, and that the others feel constrained by a social contract not to engage in PvP.

I have never had a problem player, who was simply told a couple words OOC and then fell down to their knees crawling on the floor and crying and sobbing ''i had no idea! That you good and true friends for saving me! I shall be good from now on!''. More often the player who is a jerk, just acts like a jerk when you say anything to them.

draken50
2015-01-26, 03:43 PM
He agreed to stop the loot hoarding and will use the opportunity to play his character as really battling his hoarding tendencies (eg, after finishing bad guys, he'll give up the loot to party for division, hesitate, then with a pained look on his face throw in the extra ruby he pocketed...)]

This is the kind of solution I tend to like as a player and a GM. An In-Character conversation with the party of "guys...l have a problem" also eliminates some of the tension of this kind of situation because the other players have IC reasons to be more suspicious, and even as a kind of: "Hey man, you asked us to do this" search ect.

Admittedly I don't know how that kind of thing would shake out in real life but ... it is just a game.

McBars
2015-01-26, 03:44 PM
This is exactly my point. If the person is so clueless that they don't get ''acting like a jerk'' is wrong, it's pointless to talk to them. Same way if the person can't think ''humm, I would not like it if another player had his character steal stuff from my character'', then it's pointless to speak to them.



I have never had a problem player, who was simply told a couple words OOC and then fell down to their knees crawling on the floor and crying and sobbing ''i had no idea! That you good and true friends for saving me! I shall be good from now on!''. More often the player who is a jerk, just acts like a jerk when you say anything to them.

Got to strongly agree with jedi on this one (Never thought I'd ever type that.) If the player's social awareness/development is that screwed up, a couple stern ooc words will have no effect.

If it were me, I'd figure out who the culprit is IC, knife the dung, and throw him in a dumpster. "Just playing my character" indeed. :smalltongue:

Red Fel
2015-01-26, 03:45 PM
I have never had a problem player, who was simply told a couple words OOC and then fell down to their knees crawling on the floor and crying and sobbing ''i had no idea! That you good and true friends for saving me! I shall be good from now on!''. More often the player who is a jerk, just acts like a jerk when you say anything to them.

I've also never seen someone fall to their knees with the sudden revelation of their iniquities. But you know what I have seen? Socially awkward people learning what things are and aren't appropriate. People who get too "into" their characters, being brought back and reminded that there are people behind those character sheets. Newcomers who don't quite grasp the careful dichotomy of the game as "gaming experience" and "social experience," and need to have explained to them the line between the two.

Yeah, there are some people who are jerks. Telling them they're being jerks probably won't change things. But I don't think anyone was suggesting that an OOC chat would have magical revelatory impact; rather, I think people are suggesting that an OOC chat can explain to people who might not otherwise realize what they're doing that they're upsetting people. And since I make an effort to play with nice, friendly people, instead of jerks, I have reason to believe that - at least in my experience - they'll be receptive to such a message.

And OP: Grats on the resolution. The player seems like good people; it sounds like he was just overdoing a character flaw. Glad to see it's going to work out, and I'm impressed with how he managed to turn it into character development.

WarKitty
2015-01-26, 04:25 PM
Sounds good - let us know how it goes!



As a second clarification, after the initial OOC talk where we asked him to tone down the loot hoarding, he did for a while, but the rate of hording slowly increased again.

I was suspecting something like this might be the case. It's pretty easy for someone who's having fun, especially if they message they get is "tone it down", to end up thinking they've toned it down when it's still out of bounds.

Arbane
2015-01-26, 05:24 PM
I have never had a problem player, who was simply told a couple words OOC and then fell down to their knees crawling on the floor and crying and sobbing ''i had no idea! That you good and true friends for saving me! I shall be good from now on!''. More often the player who is a jerk, just acts like a jerk when you say anything to them.

Well it's a good thing THAT'S NOT WHAT ANYONE'S SAYING, then. :smallfrown: It MIGHT be considered a ridiculous caricature of some of the things some people have been saying here, if I squint really hard.

Mr Beer
2015-01-26, 05:29 PM
OOC is a generally better approach to people issues, assuming you're an adult and assume the people you play with are adults. If you're playing with people who are unable to respond maturely to OOC discussion, the problem is more likely the people you game with, rather than OOC.

beamersrq
2015-01-26, 06:52 PM
Wow, a lot of discussion, much more than I expected! Many thanks for the awesome advice and potential solutions! I have a couple points of clarification, and a followup on what our party ended up doing.

When I posted that the player-in-question is a "cool" guy, what I meant is he is (with the exception of the loot-hording) a fun person to hang out to play with. In terms of playing the game, he'll make jokes that are genuinely funny, but not so much that it detracts from play; he is always ready with his action when his turn in the order of initiative comes up; his character contributes to the plot and flow etc. I'd take him as-he-is rather than one of those players who are never ready with their actions, who shows up 10 minutes late, forgets their character sheet and mini and needs to borrow a printer, nonstop texting/browsing during play, etc...

As a second clarification, after the initial OOC talk where we asked him to tone down the loot hoarding, he did for a while, but the rate of hording slowly increased again.

And now for the promised followup... The GM and myself had a talk with the person OOC again. He agreed to stop the loot hoarding and will use the opportunity to play his character as really battling his hoarding tendencies (eg, after finishing bad guys, he'll give up the loot to party for division, hesitate, then with a pained look on his face throw in the extra ruby he pocketed...) He explicitly stated that his character still plans on looking for opportunities to engage in solo-or-side encounters where he can justify "I earned this on my own" to himself, but understands on a meta-level that one magic-item-heavy character is less fun for everyone. Hopefully, it works out. Otherwise, cursed necklaces in everyone's pocket :smallsmile:

[edit -- changed "cured necklaces" to "cursed"]
[edit2 -- grammar my is ungood]

A bit late to the party, but my suggestion would be to see if he's willing to focus on one thing to hoard, preferably mundane or at least something that doesn't affect the rest of the party's WBL and fun, while satisfying his flaw. A very specific hoarding compulsion lends itself to having a motivation in his backstory, would be fun to try to hide / keep others from noticing, with small slip-ups. Turn the problem into something that contributes to the game.

Seatbelt
2015-01-26, 07:16 PM
Wow, a lot of discussion, much more than I expected! Many thanks for the awesome advice and potential solutions! I have a couple points of clarification, and a followup on what our party ended up doing.

When I posted that the player-in-question is a "cool" guy, what I meant is he is (with the exception of the loot-hording) a fun person to hang out to play with. In terms of playing the game, he'll make jokes that are genuinely funny, but not so much that it detracts from play; he is always ready with his action when his turn in the order of initiative comes up; his character contributes to the plot and flow etc. I'd take him as-he-is rather than one of those players who are never ready with their actions, who shows up 10 minutes late, forgets their character sheet and mini and needs to borrow a printer, nonstop texting/browsing during play, etc...

As a second clarification, after the initial OOC talk where we asked him to tone down the loot hoarding, he did for a while, but the rate of hording slowly increased again.

And now for the promised followup... The GM and myself had a talk with the person OOC again. He agreed to stop the loot hoarding and will use the opportunity to play his character as really battling his hoarding tendencies (eg, after finishing bad guys, he'll give up the loot to party for division, hesitate, then with a pained look on his face throw in the extra ruby he pocketed...) He explicitly stated that his character still plans on looking for opportunities to engage in solo-or-side encounters where he can justify "I earned this on my own" to himself, but understands on a meta-level that one magic-item-heavy character is less fun for everyone. Hopefully, it works out. Otherwise, cursed necklaces in everyone's pocket :smallsmile:

[edit -- changed "cured necklaces" to "cursed"]
[edit2 -- grammar my is ungood]

Another option might be for him to pocket the loot and then at the appropriate moment say "Oh hey I found this +2 Sword of Butt Kicking and you look like you could really use it." or you have the OOC conversation "Hey Thief-Player, I need 5K for this cool amulet" and then IC Thief-Player says "Hey Hodor, I can't help but notice you staring longingly at this amulet. It's comical how broke you are all the time. Me? I never throw anything away so I can afford to be generous. Here is 5K"

This way the player can still RP his hoarding tendencies in character, but there is a meta understanding that when it matters for the party to have the loot, they get the loot. It might even add dramatic tension as the Thief races across the battlefield to give the Wand Of Solving Problems to the wizard, who then solves the problem.

Jay R
2015-01-26, 09:44 PM
If it's coming back in, then it may be time to try the gentle, subtle approach:

"Look, we get it. We're adventurers. We are all in the business of killing the enemy and taking their stuff, or sometimes just taking their stuff without bothering to kill them. That's what we do - all of us.

"We take the enemy's stuff. All the time.

"But we're all working together to do it. We're the party, and they are the enemy. The party goes out and kills everybody who works against the party. Everybody.

"Stealing from our enemies is what we do. If you EVER steal from us again, or hide some of the treasure we found, or pocket something, or any other version of treating us like your enemy, we will agree - you are our enemy. If you do it again, we will kill your character, for the same reason we killed those ogres who attacked us last time.

"We don't like to play that way. We think D&D is a co-operative venture, where we are all partners. But we know how to play player vs. player. We don't enjoy it, but we can do it.

"Join us and be our friend. Or be our enemy. One hint, though. You will never survive being our enemy again."

Segev
2015-01-27, 11:33 AM
This is exactly my point. If the person is so clueless that they don't get ''acting like a jerk'' is wrong, it's pointless to talk to them. Same way if the person can't think ''humm, I would not like it if another player had his character steal stuff from my character'', then it's pointless to speak to them.Except he isn't, if the social contract is what he thought it was. That is, if the other players are free, in character, to act appropriately in response to his in-character misbehavior, the way that real people bring in line miscreant coworkers (particularly in medieval environments where violence is part of the job) would be sufficient to rein him in.

But because the social contract is not what he expected - because their idea of it is, "we are all going to work together even if we have to alter our normal character behavior, and that means no actions against other PCs at all" - his violation of it renders him a jerk.




I have never had a problem player, who was simply told a couple words OOC and then fell down to their knees crawling on the floor and crying and sobbing ''i had no idea! That you good and true friends for saving me! I shall be good from now on!''.Nor have I. I have, however, both witnessed and been the player who, upon being told, "what you're doing is making things less fun for others," responded, "Oh, I'm sorry. What's causing the issue? Would my doing this instead make it more workable? What if you guys reacted this way in character, making it feasible that my character would behave differently in response?"


More often the player who is a jerk, just acts like a jerk when you say anything to them.Then you move on to either treating him IC the way he treats you IC, or you remove him from the game. You've lost nothing by attempting to talk to him before moving to those steps.