View Full Version : DM Help Need Help With My Players

2018-12-23, 02:54 PM
I'm GMing a group of four (or maybe five) people and I've been having objections to their behavior for some time now. It causes all of us to have a worse experience while palying and I've been wondering what to do about it. As such, I've taken the responsibility for their actions onto my inaction, rather than blaming them directly.

We've been playing in the Stars Without Number system, but we've recently wrapped up our campaign and have decided to move systems and setting to GURPS. We have not begun any GURPS sessions.

Here are our issues, but let's first anonymize our four players, Max, David, Millian, James.

Max is almost a participant only in name. He arrives to the game, gives advice to other players and his character avoids interaction with any NPCs or doing very much of anything. He barely participates in the game. I am certain that I have provided opportunities for his character to act, but he has not taken them.

David gets unreasonably angry whenever the party fails to accomplish something or loses to the enemy. He calls his class completely useless. He's a psychic who dishes out most of the healing, I can think of several TPKs that would have occurred without his presence.

Millian is one of my friends in real life, and it seems he has trouble sleeping. He's an insomniac, so his solution to his inability to sleep at night was to sleep in the middle of the day, missing out on any and all events that happen in the day. His character, while incredibly powerful and occasionally acting like a meme, was an excellent catalyst for bringing about actual roleplay, and people eventually complained that he was receiving too much attention, to which I later protested that "He was actually doing things, you were just loitering."

James seems to be the best person in the party, with only minor issues. He frequently adds a lighthearted "memery" touch to serious situations, like sneaking a bomb into a military encampment, or using his ridiculously overleveled persuasion skill and high charisma to trick guards into watching entire movies with him(his character was a robot AI with a television for a head). Although, he frequently participated in "rules lawyering" and questioned my decisions endlessly, he did in fact help to provide a better experience for other players with this quality, on occasion.

How do I get my players to co-operate with me? Please send help, they're breaking down the door right now.

2018-12-23, 03:37 PM
Well, it depends. For the rules lawyer, if he's like me, the answer is "follow the rules, dagnabbit!". ;)

Pippa the Pixie
2018-12-23, 04:20 PM
Well....what exactly do you want them to co-operate with you?

Max does not care...he seems unlike to ever co-operate, as he does not care.

David might co-operate. An easy way to fix David: always have his character win. Then he will be happy.

Millian does co-operate with you, right? As your friends?

James should co-operate as long as you stick to the rules.

Koo Rehtorb
2018-12-23, 06:36 PM
This isn't an RPG issue. This is a people issue.

I suggest playing games with better people.

2018-12-23, 06:59 PM
For your disengaged player, you either have to accept this or boot them. If they are content to be disengaged let them, so long as they are not causing problems. If they cause problems, one of you had to go.

The rage player is an attitude problem-some players have difficulty understanding or seeing the impacts of their class. Some people just donít care to play certain classes. I would offer to let them bring in a new character. If they continue being a rage monster, that is a separate problem.

I donít see how the insomnia player is an issue unless they are asleep during the game.

The rules lawyer is difficult from a GM perspective, but I donít think it is the worst issue in the world. If they know the system better than you leverage their experience. Remind them you have final say as the dm and that arguing for more than a minute or two or constantly challenging the game derails it. If you are blatantly wrong on fundamental rules thatís on you, but if they are pushing every exploit possible, then talk with them on dialing it back or finding a mutual solution where you are both happy.

Most importantly, talk to your group. Explain that being dm for them is difficult and explain why. You can always not run the game, and if they want you to run a game they have to give you respect as a dm.

2018-12-23, 11:51 PM
If your player(s) aren't engaging with NPC's or the world, make the world and it's NPC's engage with them.
The NPC isn't being asked things by the player? Then let the NPC ask the player a lot of stuff.
He's either going to enjoy talking to the NPC's, or he's going to be so uncomfortable with the interactions that he doesn't want to play anymore.
That's a win-win scenario.

Your healer feels like he's not doing much for the encounters? Consider complimenting the things he does do. Point out the difference he's making.
"I heal for X amount on Max..."
"Great! I was worried Max was going to bite it next round. You probably saved his life!"
*Baddy attacks Max next turn*
"Holy-! The baddy did exactly the amount of damage that Max would have died on, if you hadn't healed him!"
And maybe look at other things he could be doing besides healing. Because being the enabler for others so they can have fun, is kinda boring.

Insomniacs don't just sleep during the day and stay up all night. That's what depressed folks do.
At night, no one's calling you, knocking on your door, demanding your attention from you. And if you were up all night and sleeping in the middle of the day, that's another 8 hours where you get to ignore the folks "bothering" you.
Maybe try to look at what's troubling your buddy.
I'm sure a therapist would be able to give you better advice on how to handle that situation that the folks on this forum.

If you're bending the rules so often your group's "rules lawyer" is becoming a nuisance, you may want to consider if this is really the game you want to be playing. Clearly you're not a fan of the way it's mechanics are supposed to work. Or you're not versed enough in the rules to apply them appropriately and need to read the documentation again.
For things that happen that don't have explicit rules, you'll be the one who decides what the rule will be.
When that happens write down the ruling. This way, in the future, both you and the players can point to the rules you made to find out how things work.
This does mean you have to weigh the rulings a little more carefully. If you take something easy now, they'll abuse it later.

2018-12-23, 11:53 PM
Thank you all for your insight. I will see what will happen with this new GURPS game.

2018-12-24, 09:23 AM
For not wanting to engage in interacting with NPCs, has it occurred to you they players aren't interested that kind of game?