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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default I'm worried about one of my players/friends in our D&D group...

    I'm a DM, and lately I've noticed that one of my players has been very short tempered, with very little patience for our group's usual shenanigans. It's a fairly large group , 7 people including myself, and can get pretty chaotic. The rest of us are used to this- even look forward to it every week.

    I very strongly get the impression that his short temper and lack of patience- and his recent tendency to let bad dice rolls get to him (i've on multiple occasions ended up saying "calm down, bad dice rolls are a part of it" during sessions)- that none of this has much of anything to do with D&D or even our group. I get the impression that he's dealing with some real life problems that I'm not qualified to help him with. I'm getting extremely worried, since we live on opposite sides of the country(I run this game online over discord) and I can't actually be there in person for him.

    How should I, as both a friend and a DM, handle this? Should I advise him to take a break from roleplaying for the time being? Not kick him out or anything, just, maybe he needs hiatus?
    Last edited by MonkeySage; 2021-02-28 at 03:22 AM.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: I'm worried about one of my players/friends in our D&D group...

    I wouldn't suggest he takes a break - it may well be one of the few times he gets to "relax" or let off steam.

    What you might do is ask if he wants someone to talk to completely seperate to whatever is happening (other side of country and all that) - sometimes what people need is just somone to listen while they vent and your distance makes you potentially excellent for that. You wouldn't have to do anything as "just a friend listening" but you might be able to be a real help.

    Note: In the UK professional therpists are required to notify some things they hear to the police, and that might be true for ordinary people in other counties ('accessories before/after the fact' laws etc.) but I don't know the law on this and could not give advice on that on this forum even if I did.
    I think the sort of circumstance where you might hear something that carries a legal obligation is remote but it could happen.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: I'm worried about one of my players/friends in our D&D group...

    Seconding "just ask him if everything is all right." If theyre upset about something not game related, then trying to modify the game for them without knowing what is going runs the risk of A: upsetting everybody else who was having fun and B: ticking them off even more because they liked the game as it was and dont appreciate you making changes for them without understanding the problem.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Aedilred's Avatar

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    Default Re: I'm worried about one of my players/friends in our D&D group...

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeySage View Post
    I'm a DM, and lately I've noticed that one of my players has been very short tempered, with very little patience for our group's usual shenanigans. It's a fairly large group , 7 people including myself, and can get pretty chaotic. The rest of us are used to this- even look forward to it every week.

    I very strongly get the impression that his short temper and lack of patience- and his recent tendency to let bad dice rolls get to him (i've on multiple occasions ended up saying "calm down, bad dice rolls are a part of it" during sessions)- that none of this has much of anything to do with D&D or even our group. I get the impression that he's dealing with some real life problems that I'm not qualified to help him with. I'm getting extremely worried, since we live on opposite sides of the country(I run this game online over discord) and I can't actually be there in person for him.

    How should I, as both a friend and a DM, handle this? Should I advise him to take a break from roleplaying for the time being? Not kick him out or anything, just, maybe he needs hiatus?
    I think everyone is under more stress than usual at the moment and I'd be surprised if that weren't spilling across into situations like this. As I'm sure everyone knows, Zoom or the like has its limitations and what can be great fun in person can be extremely patience-testing when done via Zoom or group voice calls etc, especially when it comes to informal conversations where people are more likely to talk over each other, try to play off each other, etc. which it sounds like your sessions are, and while this might be something he usually enjoys, fatigue may well have set in after a year or so of it.

    As a friend, if you think it's a real life issue, all you can do is ask. If it's causing a problem with the group, then you probably owe it to the other players to do so anyway. His response will hopefully inform what if any steps you take next.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: I'm worried about one of my players/friends in our D&D group...

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    I think everyone is under more stress than usual at the moment and I'd be surprised if that weren't spilling across into situations like this.

    As a friend, if you think it's a real life issue, all you can do is ask. If it's causing a problem with the group, then you probably owe it to the other players to do so anyway. His response will hopefully inform what if any steps you take next.
    Absolutely agree. I will add, ask him privately, not during a session. If it's a RL problem, he is likely--though not certain--to be more comfortable opening up to one person than to the group.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: I'm worried about one of my players/friends in our D&D group...

    Just because you're not qualified to give professional mental health advice doesn't mean you're not qualified to be a friend. I empathize with your short fuse player and I think taking a break from the game might be right for him. Ask him if he's enjoying the game, it may get the cogwheels rotating in his head.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    GeekGirl's Avatar

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    Default Re: I'm worried about one of my players/friends in our D&D group...

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeySage View Post
    I'm not qualified to help him with. I'm getting extremely worried, since we live on opposite sides of the country(I run this game online over discord) and I can't actually be there in person for him.
    I'm also in the group that you should talk to him separate and just ask. You can't be there in person, but sometimes that's not a bad thing. I have a few friends I met online and will likely never meet in person, but it can still be a little easier to talk about things (for me at least) with them. Between the distance and we don't have friends in common, I feel comfortable telling them thing I may not want to say to people here.

    The other thing to remember is, you may not be able to do much, but that doesn't mean trying won't help.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: I'm worried about one of my players/friends in our D&D group...

    Quote Originally Posted by GeekGirl View Post
    I'm also in the group that you should talk to him separate and just ask. You can't be there in person, but sometimes that's not a bad thing. I have a few friends I met online and will likely never meet in person, but it can still be a little easier to talk about things (for me at least) with them. Between the distance and we don't have friends in common, I feel comfortable telling them thing I may not want to say to people here.

    The other thing to remember is, you may not be able to do much, but that doesn't mean trying won't help.
    Totally agree, I think this needs to be a separate conversation where you directly ask what's up, and then just listen.

    I also agree that suggesting a hiatus from gaming is not a great idea--like others have said, it might be the player's only outlet... but also, suggesting a break from gaming with the group adds this sort of subtext that's like "the reason I'm talking to you about this is because it's interfering deeply with our gaming group" instead of "the reason for this conversation is because I/we care about you and want to help".
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