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Thread: Problem Player

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Nero24200's Avatar

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    Default Problem Player

    Help! In my upcomming campaign, one of my players insists on playing a catfolk swashbuckler.

    Now, I can guess what you're thinking "Catfolk swashbuckler? Doesn't sound so bad". It has been creating a few problems though.

    Firstly, it seems to be all he is considering playing. He has played one for my last two campaigns, and has done a catfolk sorceress for one of my friend's campaign, and a catfolk bard for another.

    The personallitys of all are just about the same, and even NPC's in his current campaign are just rippoffs of them.

    Secondly, hes been playing in such a way which will result in his character's death. Hes been doing it more and more. In my last campaign, his character choose to sneak into an orc encampment, start a fire to cause chaos, then jump in to fight them (thats right, a small army). He had fought off a few, though it was obvious they wern't you standard CR 1/2 orcs, most had barberian class levels. He still insisted on fighting, until his character died as a result.
    His friends managed to raise him, fortunatly (or unfortunatly as I'm starting to feel)
    Next game, yet again, decides to sneak into an orc camp, this time, the one he knows is full of their toughest warriors and leaders. I had to -really- stretch some of what he did to make him live. At one point, one of the other players even went on a tirade saying that he was just trying to get his character killed! Might not be true, but if another player thinks so, can he be far wrong?
    He also discovered that while he was sneaking in alone, the main party actually tried somthing productive that day, and ended up fighting more creatures, thus jumping ahead of him by about 2 full levels. Now, I did say to him "Alright, if you want to do this, I won't stop you, I am warning you though, most of what is planned won't be taking place in the camp, since I never actually expected any of you to try and sneak in yourself. You -will- miss out if you do". Coincidently, he didn't complaing until after he saw just how much xp they got.

    The last big problem arised when the group arrived at a large city. In one of the seedier taverns on the bottom teir (the city was built similer to Midgar from FF7, having several levels built on top of each other). Was actually a safe heaven for vampires and other less pleasent creatures like drow. The party go in (looking for a local gang leader) fail to find him, but his character starts a bar brawl anyway. The vampires aren't wanting to bring too much attention to the place, so rather than outright murder them, the party are thrown out (since no watchmen would bat an eyelid at troublemakers being thrown out a tavern.) He then later tries to sneak in himself again, dsepite that
    a. He has no long term plan. I even asked him what his character was hoping to achieve, and the only response he could give was "The character is Chaotic"
    b. He knew both IC and OOC that the folk inside were strong, super-humanly strong in fact (standard vampire straight from the monster manual is Strength 22. The character was only level 8 at the time, and there was a horde inside.)
    c. When he failed opposed grapple checks from the bouncers once again, trying to throw them out, rather than thinking "maybe they're too strong for me" or somthing along those lines, he simply said "Bah, D'n'D game mechanics are too simplified, it doesn't take into account X,Y and Z."

    Does anyone have any advice on what to do with a player like this? Trying to make him come up with an origonal character conceapt? (Prefebly one that isn't chaotic.)

    Normally I would say "Play with someone else" though finding a gaming group is -very- hard here, I'm lucky to have found this one.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Problem Player

    You could just kill him repeatedly. Stop trying to keep his characters alive and let 'em all die.

    Bear in mind that a certain amount of character death is good for a game of D&D; it adds excitement by reminding other players that, yes, they really can die. By having the idiot player die repeatedly, you get a perfect combination; amusing PC deaths, without having to lose any of the more well-thought out and well-played characters! Win-win situation!

    Besides, players like watching other players' PCs get killed, as long as they don't lose anything in the process. So, although I know it's hard to believe, it might not be all that bad to just leave this player to play idiotic characters and repeatedly die. It'll be a source of comic relief to everyone else.

    - Saph

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Silvanos View Post
    Saph, I never saw the evil before now.
    I'm a DM. It's kind of a requirement.

    - Saph

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    Default Re: Problem Player

    I agree, full consequences of his actions should teach him to act little more reasonably.
    I think I know type of player you are talking about: plays some "dashing" guys: rogue, swashbuckler or something. And does stupid things beacuse he thinks that no one shall see him, he's tha best, will do things like movie's hereoes...
    And is very indignant when his stupid actions end in non-surprising way.

    Maybe you should give him few opportunities (little fudged, but you anyway must constantly fudge his rolls, so...) to use his abilities in more reasonable way.
    And as had been said, no more fudging other rolls/events. Let him die/something else when his actions lead him to it.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    If he keeps throwing himself headlong into hostile situations and not caring, then dont try to save him via DM power - let him burn for it

    Plus as Saph said - the others will have fun watching him crash and burn (repeatedly)
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    Default Re: Problem Player

    This is a typical example for a player roleplaying Chaotic as Randomly Stupid. Let me echo Saph's solution - let him die repeatedly.

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    Saph said it perfectly. As an addendum: don't let him enter the game with a new character mid-session. If he gets himself killed in the first hour of your game, then let him either go home or sit and watch for the next five hours. Make a couple of dungeon and wilderness crawls, or give the party a covert mission where they can't just let a random adventurer who comes their way enroll.

    If he persists in being stupidly suicidal, get a clue from old-school gaming. If your character dies, the next one either (more hardcore) starts at 1st level, even if the rest of the party is Lvl 8, or (softer) starts at half the average level of the party.
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    Default Re: Problem Player

    I must agree with the concensus. Let the bugger die of his own stupidity.

    After the next catfolk dies (I am sensing these catfolk deaths are related to logic disputes on these forums) simply tell him that he has gone through the local catfolk adventurer population (unless there are a lot more catfolk in your campaign world) and he has to pick another race unless he wants to wait for a later adventuring session to have a chance for those poor catfolk to get to repopulating and levelling up.

    If he REALLY insists on playing a catfolk, point out that the only adventuring ones available would be lower level and let him start out a few levels down. If those start dying from Player Stupidity then the levels keep going down.
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    Default Re: Problem Player

    He plays a furry. Kill him. Over and over and over again.

    Beat the intelligence into him with the orc-stick. Or tarrasque-stick. Whatever floats your boat.
    Last edited by Ranis; 2007-06-20 at 07:02 AM.
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    Majority rules, but instead of letting him die over and over, just let him die, end of story: no replacement character, no resurrections, just death. I dont think any God would put up with this crap: why should you?
    Last edited by Dean Fellithor; 2007-06-20 at 07:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Problem Player

    Discuss physics with him in-game. Everytime you do, god kills a catgirl his character.

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    Default Re: Problem Player

    Making him low-level has the potentially drawback that being stupid in an amazing way is the ONLY thing he can do, even if he decided to change his style.
    I am for neutral DMing here, if ha wants to do it, let him die as many times as he wants. If he thinks that the rules should let him go with it... well, hiding is already powerful enough if used properly! Remember him that he still has things accounted for in his dex bonus to AC and the such and that you're not playing GURPS, so realism is just not to be asked.

    However beware if this turns into an OOG problem. Those are always better dealt with telking about it among real people rather than pushed around in game.

    Hope this helps
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    AssassinGuy

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    I'm all for letting him die but there should be some penalty for being raised from the dead *especially if it has to be done repeatedly because the guy's a bipedal mine detector*. As the other PCs increase in power, he decreases because we have to keep bringing him back *sometimes recycling is a bad idea*. Should he finally wise up and do something different, houserule the catpeople as having an aversion to being raised from the dead so that the next time he does it, he's starting from scratch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulCatcher78 View Post
    I'm all for letting him die but there should be some penalty for being raised from the dead *especially if it has to be done repeatedly because the guy's a bipedal mine detector*. As the other PCs increase in power, he decreases because we have to keep bringing him back *sometimes recycling is a bad idea*. Should he finally wise up and do something different, houserule the catpeople as having an aversion to being raised from the dead so that the next time he does it, he's starting from scratch.
    Well, at the most, he's only able to be raised nine times anyway.

    That said, yeah the majority here is pretty much bang on. I'm all for keepign the characters alive when they are trying their darnedest to stay alive, but when someone is suicidal (character that is) well... death is the result. Maybe after a few new characters, he'll get the point.

    On that note though, would the game be so bad without him? You said that its tough to find a group, but it sounds like the other players are getting disgusted with him too. Maybe its time for him to find a new group.
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    Or have the party priest raise him as undead. Hey, there's no rule that says he can't play a zombie catgirl if his catgirl dies - and a skeletal catgirl if his zombie catgirl gets toasted.

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    Default Re: Problem Player

    Talk to him. Find out what he feels you should be doing. Ask him what he'd do if he were DM. That's a good question, in fact - what would he do in your place? Don't lead him with the question, implying there's only one logical answer, but honestly ask him how'd he'd DM the situation. You might be surprised by his answer. He might be thinking that he's playing heroic, and fully expects to be the victor.

    Or, he might be looking for some cheap video-game fun. Ever play a combat vidio game where you use no tactics, just dive in and start killing things? You almost always die, but the action sure was fun? Maybe that's what he's looking for.

    Another possibility is that he's wanting to play smart, but does not know what you define as smart. Find out if he's expecting to survive these little follies of his, and then ask him if he wants tips for surviving them. You know, like 'not doing that', but also maybe you can give him tips on what he could do. Sneak attacks, hit and run, archery from range to soften them up, diversions, baiting them out, whatever. And of course, having the whole party there to help him would also be good.

    One common problem DM's can face with some players, is that the players assume the DM put monsters there for the players to defeat. Therefore, if you describe a bunch of tough Orc barbarians around a campfire, he's going to assume you want him to attack, and he'll happily play along. I get the impression you weren't wanting him to do that. Make sure you and he are both viewing the situation the same way.

    And if he really does want to attack the Orc camps, consider humoring him, letting him do it. I wouldn't want to completely change the way I run my game, or completely rewrite my storyline, but if all I needed to do to satisfy my players is to let them slaughter an occasional camp of Orcs, I'd sacrifice a few Orcs to them.
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    What's that, Mr. DM? The continent of Argonnessen is home to the majority of the world's dragon population? Clearly you intend for me to singlehandedly take on every monster on the entire continent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Besides, players like watching other players' PCs get killed, as long as they don't lose anything in the process. So, although I know it's hard to believe, it might not be all that bad to just leave this player to play idiotic characters and repeatedly die. It'll be a source of comic relief to everyone else.
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    Just let the orcs throw him in a pit and let him starve, giving him water but not food.

    While this is happening to him, the other characters could be exploring dungeons and generally having great adventures. What would be even funnier is if they found a magical rapier and decided to throw it down a pit-trap instead of keeping it for the Catfolk Swashbuckler.

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    A player in our old campaign played a catfolk swashbuckler. It worked out in the end but there is definately something about catfolk that piss people off. Just tell him that of he doesn't play soemthing different then you will ban catfolk.
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    Default Re: Problem Player

    See what his deal is, why he chooses to play this way. Seems like he's doing video game style action with infinite lives. You could rule that playing the same kind of character isnt really letting his original character die. Disallow that.

    If he plays new character concepts the same way, kill him ad nauseum, literally until he's sick of it. Dont encourage behavior you dislike by saving him.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Problem Player

    I used to play wizards and psions exclusively, because of all the neat tactical things you can do with their various powers.

    About the 14th time I made a character like that (we kept restarting low level games, as he found it more enjoyable), the DM (my friend), said he was hoping I'd try something else.

    He explained that he just couldn't keep up with all the different spells and forms for polymorph the way I could, (what with me having more free time back then), and so, was asking me to play something either restricted to core, or a different class.

    So I made something different.

    It was such a chore. ;)
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    AssassinGuy

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    Sounds to me like another dumb player.

    One caveat though; it sounds to me like he's made a character that is intended to be stealthy etc. make sure he's actually getting a chance to do that kind of stuff. Sometimes people play rogues going nuts because they foresaw themselves getting to actually... you know... sneak and stuff, but they aren't getting to do it often enough that they try and force it into situations where it isn't appropriate.

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    HalfOrcPirate

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarawara View Post
    Talk to him.
    Finally, somebody here might have realized that you can never solve such problems ingame... no, honestly, ask him what the hell he is up to, tell him that he is just plain embarassing the other players with his behaviour and that he should do something about it or leave the group.

    If this does not work, you should be honest enough to tell him that your approaches to gaming are completely incompatible and that he should find another group- might not be nice, but i could deal much better with this than with what has been suggested in this thread.

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Make sure he understands the risks he is taking, then, if he still chooses to take those risks, let him die. Make sure you are enforcing the level loss that comes with most ressurrection type spells. Also make sure he is paying for them.
    I also suggest talking to him though. See what he wants out of the game. If he has a hard time answering that talk to him about his favorite movies, books, comics, TV shows; get him thinking about what he likes. Try to work similar themes into your storylines.
    It honestly sounds like he may just not be very creative. He may keep doing the same thing over and over because he can't think of anything else and is too stubborn, or embarrassed to ask for advice. Try throwing some alternative ideas out in conversation, see if he picks up on any of them. Suggest playing as a character similar to the ones in the movies he likes, or a combination of characters to make it more original. Suggest twists he could give the character to "make it his own". This has worked very well for me in the past when I've had uncreative players, sometimes they just need some help to get their imagination going.
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    Never, ever reward stupidity. Kill his cat-person, then kill it eight more times... you know, just to be sure.
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    Write Catfolk out of your campaign. Epic Baddy makes a spell like Epic Quantum Mechanics Seminar or Summon Steven Hawking, and *poof* Catfolk genocide.

    He has to play something else eventually.
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    Let him die. Then, when the party goes to raise him, find that there are no clerics of sufficent level willing to raise him, but there's a druid circle nearby who might be able to help.

    Druids use Reincarnation on him rather than Raise Dead or it's more powerful cousins. Congratulations, you're no longer a catboi, you're whatever you rolled up (and catfolk are NOT in that list of things to turn into). Oh, and don't forget loosing a level from the death.
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    Default Re: Problem Player

    Well, would your group have problems if he stopped playing? Would there be too few? Because it usually isn't horribly difficult to tweak a campaign into working with one less character.

    If you can be fine without him, instead of just asking him to leave, let him die until it stops being funny. If he whines, tell him it's his fault. Eventually he'll get tired of dying, and either stop throwing himself into suicidal situations, or stop coming.

    Least that's what should happen. That worked on one of my players who was very bothersome...

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