Author Topic: Dealing with THAT player  (Read 8243 times)

Wooberman

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Dealing with THAT player
« on: April 25, 2011, 06:54:57 PM »
I didn't think this qualifies as an anecdote as such so i decided to post this on its own thread.

I've recently started running a Dnd 4e Essentials campaign playing through the available modules. We started with the new Red Box adventure and now we're four sessions into Thunderspire Labyrinth, its not been going too badly. Our current GM (running WHFRP) is experiencing an erratic work schedule and so is forced to cancel sessions at the last notice.
The essentials adjustments makes it much easier to "pick up and play" and coupled with the modules it makes for a simple night's gaming (if there ever was one).
Now the Party Consists of a Good Elven Warpriest, a Unaligned Halfling Mage, a LG Dragonborn Knight, a Unaligned Half elf Hunter and an Unaligned Dwarf Slayer (A Slayer/Fighter who happens to be a Dwarf and not a Slayer of Dwarves). As you may have noticed already there are more Unaligned characters than Good which causes a little friction. Of course friction can be a good thing when it comes to party dynamics etc...
What could possibly go wrong?

Enter the previously mentioned GM, who asked to make a character for when he does manage to turn up but doesn't have his plot available (which is often).
Obligingly I sat with him in front of the Dndi character builder to see what he wants to bring to the table. He sees that Vampire is available as a character class and proceeds to beg me to let him play a Dwarf vampire.

I don't regret telling him no.
This same man once asked for a Dwarf Aasimar rogue with wings...
and he wanted to be a part of a black gangsta rapper duo with another player during a Nocturnum Cthulhu modern campaign...
The horror of those sessions shall never be shared.

So being the nice guy that you all know i am(I hope) I compromised. He also showed interest in the new Blackguard (Paladin) class along with the new race, the Vyrloka (Humans who made a pact with vampires to gain their power, essentially half vampire day walkers like blade but without the thirst). I thought "its okay I can spin this" and since i disallowed his first option this should appease him.
We played with a possible motivation and back story. Nothing heavy for the pick up and play games in mind but enough to give him reason to be in the party. We established that He was a paladin of the Raven Queen who in his battle against the dread forces of Orcus is cursed to become what he hates, A Half-vampire Blackguard, and seeks the Raven Queen's favor to restore him to his former glory.

It was late so we then wrapped up the character with magic items etc (he's level 5), saved the character and went our separate ways...

I get a steam IM from him earlier today asking for a lvl 1 wondrous item. Already my spidey senses were tingling so i ask him what is it and what does it do?
Its the Eternal Chalk. It doesn't break, it doesn't run out and anything written or drawn using it cannot be removed or disturbed for 1 week.
I ask him flat out "You're going to troll the hell out of the other players aren't you"
"...No, I'm going to use it to plan out battles and skirmishes with the other players"
This doesn't sound anything like him, he doesn't plan fights. Hell no one in my player base has ever planned anything outside a game of Shadowrun and those plans mostly consist of Burst/Sneak in, Kill people, take loot and do something deeply offensive to the NPCs and other players alike whilst barely holding to mission parameters.
"Bullshit dude, what are you planning to do?"
"Draw a penis on the Dragonborn Knight's shield"

Yes, the Half-vampire Blackguard is going to draw a penis on the tower shield of his Lawful Good Dragonborn Knight ally.
So there goes the whole penitent anti-hero angle.

In the end, I decided that its better to say "Yes, but" rather than just NO!. His character already had 5 magic items, if he wanted the chalk so badly he can substitute one of his existing ones for it.

Just another campaign that will shave years off my life and my will to live, i'm sure of it.

I have to add the guy has no problems as a model GM, Just as a player he can make the games i run very difficult to steer. I guess its all practice in improvisation.

I've rambled on too long without making a point.
What would you do when faced with that kind of player?

Mckma

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Re: Dealing with THAT player
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2011, 08:48:37 PM »
What do other people think?  It would be pretty easy to deal with if everyone else was "serious roleplay" and he wasn't, just tell him he can't play if he is going to screw around all the time.  Seeing how that's probably not the case, I would maybe think about talking to him and about why he wants to play.  I had a friend who used to want to play just to hang out with the group, but didn't take things as seriously as the others.  Basically everyone realized this (himself included), and we all agreed that it would perhaps be best if he didn't play (as he wasn't really that into it anyway).  He still hangs out and watches games somewhat regularly, and he wasn't quite as bad as you make out your player to be, but it was a similar situation...

Salkovich

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Re: Dealing with THAT player
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2011, 11:32:06 PM »
It sounds like the primary problem is that he's setting out with the goal in mind to screw around.

A pretty good explanation for this is that he's viewing these games as relaxation/goof off time, especially
if he's the regular GM and has a crappy work schedule. Keeping this in mind at all times and consistently going
with your "Yes, but" COMBINED with a reminder that the rest of the group would like a serious game will probably
sort out the situation.
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Mckma

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Re: Dealing with THAT player
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2011, 11:40:34 PM »
It sounds like the primary problem is that he's setting out with the goal in mind to screw around.

A pretty good explanation for this is that he's viewing these games as relaxation/goof off time, especially
if he's the regular GM and has a crappy work schedule. Keeping this in mind at all times and consistently going
with your "Yes, but" COMBINED with a reminder that the rest of the group would like a serious game will probably
sort out the situation.

In addition to this, if this is the "issue" (i.e. using it for goof off time), have a game every once and a while for this.  Ideas that come to mind are "Badass Presidents," and things in Wushu (such as the Dodgeball game or MLoEG)...

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Dealing with THAT player
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 02:07:12 PM »
Well, first of all, did he draw a human penis or a dragonborn penis on the shield because that might make all the difference.

I'm a fan of fight fire with fire. When a player behaves in a childish manner, I tend to have NPCs treat them like a child or introduce NPCs who are just as childish and meanspirited to the offending character. He draws things on people's equipment? Cool. While he's asleep some Kenku sneak into the camp and draw boobs on his breast plate, or "incubus receiving line forms here" with an arrow pointing downwards on the lower back of his armor.

Or, if their messing with other PCs, have the PCs met out their own brand of revenge. In the case of the Paladin, it's a level 1 magic item, I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult for a level 5 character to learn a ritual that undoes its effects.

Moondog

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Re: Dealing with THAT player
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 02:08:22 PM »
Ah, the good 'ol 'draw a week long penis on the the Paladin's shield' trick. Fun times.
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doctorscraps

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Re: Dealing with THAT player
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 02:07:30 PM »
Hell, I think I am by all accounts "THAT Player". When events pull me from behind the GM screen, I usually wind up being the one who constantly questions the usually morally bankrupt actions of the other players, or, as is the case in a friends Star Wars game, causing complications in the campaign as a whole by refusing to join forces with a faction that earlier in the campaign had imprisoned us for something we didn't do.
"but they're the good guys." She reasons. And in truth, they are. Just assholes. And I don't work with assholes.
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Re: Dealing with THAT player
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 05:04:07 PM »
Anytime I would have a player that messes with the other players and it starts to anger the others players. I would start setting up chances for the other players to get revenage or do it for them (If the players haven't started with the pitchforks and torchs). It could range from small pranks to mess with him to traps to really bring the pain. If you want some crazy/silly/overkill traps look into the old Grimtooth trap books.

If no one minds me going slightly off topic. My wife owns a comic book store and we have a few rpg games running. One of them is the Doctor Who game. In that game the GM is still new at GMing, he's a bit timid and unsure of his GMing skills. The problem is that one of the players is a "rule lawyer" and kinda killing for the other players. I've given him some advice but if it keeps up he'll quit GMing. The players enjoy his game and like his storyline. Another problem is that the "rule laywer" is a very good customer of the store, so we can't be rude to him. Any advice to pass on to my Doctor Who GM would be great, since fixing the problem within group would be better than getting my wife involved would be the best I think.
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Mckma

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Re: Dealing with THAT player
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2011, 05:40:08 PM »
Anytime I would have a player that messes with the other players and it starts to anger the others players. I would start setting up chances for the other players to get revenage or do it for them (If the players haven't started with the pitchforks and torchs). It could range from small pranks to mess with him to traps to really bring the pain. If you want some crazy/silly/overkill traps look into the old Grimtooth trap books.

If no one minds me going slightly off topic. My wife owns a comic book store and we have a few rpg games running. One of them is the Doctor Who game. In that game the GM is still new at GMing, he's a bit timid and unsure of his GMing skills. The problem is that one of the players is a "rule lawyer" and kinda killing for the other players. I've given him some advice but if it keeps up he'll quit GMing. The players enjoy his game and like his storyline. Another problem is that the "rule laywer" is a very good customer of the store, so we can't be rude to him. Any advice to pass on to my Doctor Who GM would be great, since fixing the problem within group would be better than getting my wife involved would be the best I think.

If you are looking to give him advice, I would tell him to evaluate his group and why they want the "rules lawyer" to play.  If there is a good reason (i.e. friend or what not), then they could talk to him about cooling off.  Otherwise they could just issue an ultimatum to him (stop or you aren't welcome).  Presumably this doesn't cause a problem for you since it would be from the group?  Basically the way I see it (much like the RPPRs have said numerous times in different ways), there is a social contract determined by the group and if you can't agree with it, you shouldn't be playing.

Now if everyone was rules lawyering but the GM, I would suggest not running games for that group if you don't enjoy it, but that doesn't sound to be the case...