Author Topic: Fixing a player  (Read 1370 times)

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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Fixing a player
« on: November 16, 2017, 11:36:04 AM »
I run a D&D game for my fiance, two friends, and a mutual acquaintance. One if the players is destructive, to be blunt. Rather than mutual cooperation, they take independent action. When someone else tries to shine, they get in the way. When the party is trying to solve a puzzle or RP, they try to attack. If this was a basketball game, this player is stealing from the team and trying to turn good shots into layups. If this is gridiron, this player is refusing to pass. If this is a competitive FPS, this player is sniping to boost their own K/D while ignoring the team and the objective.

The options I see are as follows:

Direct Confrontation. I explain the issue and ask for some changes in behavior. Maybe I offer to let the player rebuild or build a different character to suit.

Indirect confrontation. If one person in a party is hostile, have a powerful enemy target that one person. Perhaps a knight feels slighted and challenges them to a duel.

Indirect confrontation #2: I do less thumb-on-the-scale (all DMs do this. All of them. What you thought you barely squeaked by because the monster kept rolling that bad naturally?) work and let the negative consequences of being a dickbag come down on the whole party, and let the party RP some corrective action.

Option 4: ???

I'm open to suggestions.
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Offline lobsterbash

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Re: Fixing a player
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2017, 11:48:32 AM »
Rig the game to quickly target and destroy that one player every time, with a built in mechanism to convey the reason why.

Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: Fixing a player
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2017, 01:26:30 PM »
Rig the game to quickly target and destroy that one player every time, with a built in mechanism to convey the reason why.
I'm concerned that will have the effect of just driving away the player without giving them a chance to grow.
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Offline lobsterbash

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Re: Fixing a player
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 01:28:22 PM »
Rig the game to quickly target and destroy that one player every time, with a built in mechanism to convey the reason why.
I'm concerned that will have the effect of just driving away the player without giving them a chance to grow.

Maybe design a game that funnels the player into a quest for redemption?

Offline John Albert

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Re: Fixing a player
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2017, 03:09:54 PM »
If the character is constantly making themselves so conspicuous, maybe they attract too much unwanted attention. Indirect confrontation #1 looks good in that regard. If he's the primary aggressor, showboating and whatnot, have the monsters concentrate all their attacks against him. Makes perfect sense to me.

Or if you don't mind being a little heavyhanded, you could design an encounter with some extremely powerful, intelligent monster or NPC. It could be a creature with mind control like an illithid, or maybe a powerful spell caster, or even a boss surrounded by enough minions to easily overpower the entire party. Have the boss/creature refrain from attacking the party outright, but instead just talk to them in a menacing tone. Maybe it orders them to carry out a quest or something. Then, when your loose cannon player predictably goes in for the attack (as you know he will), have the creature blithely assume control and put the character in a corner. Make the character sit there silently, unable to move or talk while the rest of the party deals with the situation. 
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 03:12:22 PM by John Albert »

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Fixing a player
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 04:51:38 PM »
I'd try to find a way to address the bad behaviour in-game if possible. There are two approaches, and both should be used. First, reward cooperative play with treasure, experience, NPC favours or boons. Second, make them realise that their actions have consequences. If they go off on their own, have them encounter overwhelming opponents. Have them encounter multi-part puzzles and traps that require them to cooperate. Attract the attention of the city guards.

It's the old carrot-and-stick approach, which is a bit of a cliche, but that's because it works. Pavlovian conditioning.

If that just doesn't work, it's time to approach the player out of game and explain that their play style is not fitting in with the rest of the party.
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Offline John Albert

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Re: Fixing a player
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2017, 05:39:33 PM »

Offline John Albert

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Re: Fixing a player
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2017, 12:47:23 AM »

Offline Beleth

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Re: Fixing a player
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2019, 10:17:11 PM »
At the risk of necroposting -

I have a character like this in my current D&D game too. It's all come to a head since the last session.

He claims that the insults he was throwing at one of the other players were "in character" and weren't supposed to be really insulting. So I talked to him about being careful to not talk across the two different "domains" (if you will) that exist in D&D. He was saying that his character was picking on this other person's character about something the other player was doing wrong. I told him that that simply wasn't going to fly any more, and that it shouldn't really have flown to begin with.

I talked to both players out of game, found out what the other player's grievances were, and confronted him about them. He appeared to understand and that he was going to change at the next game.

Next game's in two days. We'll see...
I expect to pass through this world but once;
any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now;
let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
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