View Full Version : Another player problem (general RPG)

Capt'n Ironbrow
2007-07-17, 08:02 AM
I'm in a 7-person WFRP-group. We DM in pairs, one comes up with a story-arc and the other is his aide, helps with making stats and dungeons, does additional NPC voices when multiple NPC's are talking and DM's a part of the group when there's a split in the party. Our rule is that when you play as a character in our group, you should also DM the group once in a while (or you don't play at all). However, one of our group is a real slacker when it comes to DMing. He's (up untill now) never been chief-DM and as aide he's lousy, he just isn't helpfull. Ask him to prepare some stats for NPC's before the session and he just doesn't do it untill the session is half underway and the encounter you asked him to prepare takes place (wasting time). A DM-duo including him is prone to excessive miscommunication and he occassionaly forgets appointments to work on the next session or forgets he had another appointment at that time and does not notify the DM he has made an appointment with (rude!). Basically, when this guy is your Co-DM, you have to do everything yourself and you can't really concentrate on your part of the group because it is almost impossible for him not to screw up something important to the adventure.

A few months ago, we SUSPENDED the person from RPGing untill he could come up with a story-arc by himself and be a good Chief-GM because he again "forgot" a DM-preparation appointment.

A few weeks ago, he came up with a story-arc of his own, got our best DM (and his neighbour) to be his aide and a new chapter in our world began... He got a good start by his standards, not many problems or mistakes, but still a bit lacking in preparation...
And then, july 7th he "fumbled" an event that should have been very fast paced and exciting: The orginal plan was that the halfling thief would have to jump on a driving coach to steal something from it (yet there was a bomb in the coach). Instead, he kept the coach stationary and actually gave our halfling player a very boring event with way to few information... He also again had to make stats during the session, which he SHOULD have done beforehand.
This was the start of a new crises.
He then had an appointment with his aide the next tuesday and didn't show up, we didn't see or hear from him the entire week and the RPG session was cancelled because our Chief-DM had dissappeared.
Imagine my surprise when he turned up at his neighbour's/aide-Dm's house last sunday to watch 24 with him and not even mentioning or apologizing for his conduct in the previous week (i was there, heard the doorbell and thought: 'would it be [that guy]? noooo off course not!' but it was!!! :smallmad: ). I feel we really had it with him.
besides his rude conduct in the last week, his aide confessed to be doing all the work in giving the story-arc flesh and bones and that the previously suspended only came up with the basic idea (a special magic potion appears every 100 years and will this time appear near the PC's hometown, many people have been invited by the gods to hunt this potion) and nothing else entirely... His aide now refuses to continue DMing with him because his unreliability, lack of imagination and apathetic behaviour to possibly his favorite past-time: fantasy RPG's (he seems to be doing almost every MMORPG). I can't really understand, why someone so into fantasy as a past-time would screw up in this manner...

I think we will now definately kick him out of the RPGgroup because he always lets us down. One time he even began playing a mobilephone game when preparing for a RPG-session RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS AIDE who was giving him suggestions and idea's.

He CAN'T DM, and no one wants to give him another chance at it because we'll just be dissapointed again. I've done 2 separate chapters with him and it was exhausting, one of us has previously stated to NEVER AGAIN be a DM-pair with him, his current co-DM had amnesia for 2 days because of it and all others are insulted and upset.

Hunter Noventa
2007-07-17, 08:07 AM
I knwo this probabl isn't what you want to hear, but not everyone is suited to DM. In fact, it seems a little rude to me that you force someone to do something they obviously have no desire to do.

That aside, does this person play their own characters well? Do they NOT do the things you describe while playing as opposed to Dming or Co-DMing? If they do, yeah they're a crummy player and ought to be let go, but if not, they obviously just don't want to DM. if it would increase everyone's enjoyment, maybe you ought to skip over them for DM positions. Or take them aside and talkt o them about it in private. Or kick them out. I don't know the entire story, so i can only give suggestions.

2007-07-17, 08:15 AM
I think having 2 dms is a bit over the top. You have a total of 7 people, so you could have 6 characters, giving the option of people playing classes they always wanted to but keeping a balanced party as well. And I have to agree you can not force any one to DM some people enjoy it and some enjoy jsut playing. In my group of 6 and some times 7 (depends if he is in the country) we have 3 DM's each taking it in turn.

And all you can do is talk to him about it as a group and tell him how it makes you all feel that he is letting you down, I know some times it cant be helped but at the end of the day it is only a game and we play it to have.

2007-07-17, 08:19 AM
I knwo this probabl isn't what you want to hear, but not everyone is suited to DM. In fact, it seems a little rude to me that you force someone to do something they obviously have no desire to do.

Yeah. Why force him to DM?

And I personally don't see the point in games where you swap the DM's role between players in a round-robin way instead of keeping one DM. What's the point? The plot becomes chaotic and can never be as deep as it could if there was a set DM, and there's a huge field for abuse.

2007-07-17, 08:22 AM
First of all, sounds like you have a pretty interesting set up with multiple people coming up with story arcs and such.

As Hunter Noventa said, some people are just not cut out to be DMs. If that is a problem for your group as a whole, have the group explain that to this player and let him know that he is no longer invited to play.

2007-07-17, 08:36 AM
So you have someone in your group who does not fit into your group setup.

In the end there are 3 things that would solve your problem
1: Get him to change
2: Change the group setup
3: Get him to leave

You need to find one of these that works for everyone. Talk to him and the rest of the group; then choose the appropriate option.

2007-07-17, 08:37 AM
Was he told the rules when he originally joined the game?

If he knew that he'd be required to GM once in awhile, then it's his own fault for accepting a deal he isn't capable of living up to. I say your group gave him more than enough chances.

If it was something you dropped on him after he joined, then yeah, your group does have their own share of blame in this. This does not excuse him from blowing his obligations off, however. The proper response would have been "I can't/don't want to/am not interested in being a GM." This is pretty much what he has been telling you all the time, only without actually saying it. If that is the case, I say you sit down with him and talk. Be polite and non-aggressive, but do ask for a straight answer. Afterwards, either decide to allow him to be the exception from the rule, or part ways on good terms.

2007-07-17, 08:55 AM
Why is it necessary to force one of the players to do something they are evidently no good at and don't enjoy? Furthermore no one else enjoys what he runs, so how is making them do so of any use whatsoever?

2007-07-17, 09:03 AM
I'm going to come down on the "did he know beforehand?" side about this rule for sharing DMing duties. If so, then you may well have to kick him out. One player, who knew what he was getting into, is ruining the fun for 6 others. You don't need to be Immanuel Kant to see that this isn't going to work, and he should be booted.

That said, if he didn't know the rule, then maybe you need to bend a bit here. He's obviously unsuited to the role of DM. Is he a good player? If so, then maybe he gets a bye on the DMing duties. If however he's pulling the same sort of things as a player, why let one player ruin the fun for the other 6? Ciao!

Capt'n Ironbrow
2007-07-17, 09:20 AM
well, we feel that everyone should once in a while take up the role of DM or his aide and there are a few among us who do wrap-ups or give more depth to the world. I'd say it works pretty well in our group and is sometimes even required because we rarely have the party all start in the same location, we don't usually skip in time between chapters. The next chapter starts where the previous ended, and by switching DM's we also switch the characters for 2 players... For us, it works a charm when done well (anyone but the guy mentioned). We all agreed on this, and no one resents being DM and we do not force people to be DM's. At the end of a story-arc, the current DM asks around, and then fortunately there's always 1 person who says: "i'll do it" and another who says "I'll help you". Yeah, it's kind of a duty for each member, but we do not have a schedule or something and we all (except for the screwupguy) have plenty of experience and imagination to come up with something good that keeps the overall world coherent and ourselves entertained... the screw-up just does not ever learn from experience. also, as we have this rule, we find exceptions unfair, as everyone in the group wants to play once in a while and we ain't all fanatic rpg gamers. It's the only fantasy-related thing half of the group has ever done or will do, so why should a fantasy-buff be excluded from DM-duty while the beer and pretzel guys do their duty as if they had the same interests as him? And he would then be in fact, the ONLY ONE to never DM. we find that unfair.

The thing with this guy is that he DOES want to DM, but when it comes to it, he flunks. We never forced him to DM, neither did we have a timetable for when this guy should have his redeeming adventure ready. He voulunteered for every DM-job he's done, and the condition for his return to the group seemed in accord with the reason why we suspended him: screwing up as co-DM by being rude, sellfish and generally unhelpfull to his partner. And it's not as if he has no spare time to prepare his quests or stats, he actually has plenty but rarely uses that time to do something for his story.
Fantasy novels are the only thing he reads and still he lacks imagination. He looks forward to play the game AND to DMing, but does neither like we expected from him by virtue of his personal interests (fantasy). You know, he SHOULD be a great DM for all his love of the genre, but he just isn't.

As player he isn't the greatest either, more concerned with game mechanics than Roleplay and never really listens to what you say. If you tell him something he will answer by saying the same you did in slightly different words as if it's a new piece of information (You: "I'm going to pick the lock" he: "hey man you should pick the lock INSTEAD!") and if you say something relevant about a skill or stat of yourself and NPC or another player, he immediately answers/interupts with a statement about any stat or skill of ANY of his characters whether deceased, irrelevant, from a totally different game or yet to be obtained. you know, this guy started out acceptable, but he became more and more apathetic and downright stupid over time and we just can't trust him anymore to do his duty as member of a DM-pair.

Everyone deserves a chance, or even a second chance. He is really fanatic about the game, he loves (loved) it, was practically the first to join and the 3d person to voulunteer for Dming 3 years ago, which he did acceptably THEN. as years passed it just got increasingly frustrating to DM with him because he never seems to pay attention, does not keep appointments and never does what he said he would despite his love for the genre/game. He's rude and ignorant... we are through with this guy really.

Yes, I might add, it's true that not everyone is suited to be a DM, but he has enough knowledge of the game mechanics to be a potentially good co-DM and I must say he made a promising start with his chapter... which he just wasted again by his rudeness, ignorance and sellfishness.

2007-07-17, 09:22 AM
I don't see why you'd want everyone to suffer a game under a GM who doesn't even want to run a game. That's an exercise in frustration for everyone. Either accept he won't run games, or if it's really a big deal, stop playing with him.

2007-07-17, 09:55 AM
Sounds like the decision has already been reached. Sometimes being a huge fan of a genre doesn't translate well into ones' own projects (keeps searching for that perfect idea and just can't seem to bring it to life). The rotating DM thing sounds interesting but I think it would cause continuity problems for the overall story (just my opinion though). If he's a mediocre (or worse) player give him the boot and don't even worry about the DM duties part of the problem. It's fine if you need to make it an airtight case for dumping the dead weight without upsetting his friend (who sounds about as fed up with him as the others at this point) but not really needed otherwise.

Tell him thanks but no thanks and to stick to his MMORPGs (which sounds like the problem more than anything else).

2007-07-17, 11:54 PM
Yeah, although we're only getting one side of the story, it does rather sound like a lost cause. Try to part on friendly terms if possible.