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Techsmart
2010-10-28, 10:28 PM
Ok, as the title suggests, I have one. Here's the background
The player had a rogue. He didn't like it, because the other players metagamed on him. He asked for my help, and I addressed the issue, but he still ended up leading his character to die. He rolled a new character, also rogue, but labelled himself a ranger. This part I was willing to slide, as it helped cut down metagame a little more. The issue comes up afterwards. He felt his rogue didn't get enough action. Instead of bringing this to me, especially since a few later dungeons were designed for a rogue, he instead put his character in the line of fire again. I didn't want his character to die, since his character was a motivator for the story, so I pulled some strings in some situations which allowed him to live. He has taken that upon himself to think he is unkillable. I would like to restore the reality of being killable, but I would prefer he not actually be killed. he is also a friend, so I don't exactly want to tell him to go away, and I don't want to punish the rest of the party.
My current thinking is that I will just kill him, but tell him that he loses levels, coming in as a weaker character. I could also force a replacement of regular classes with something less useful. What are some other options that the playground could offer? I appreciate it.

Amphetryon
2010-10-28, 10:41 PM
While it's hard to judge based on only one side of the story, it sounds like your player is a spotlight seeker. You might consider putting in situations where other party members are 'motivators' to the story. If that doesn't help, kidnapping plots are cliche, but a possible method of getting him to take a less primary role. This is especially true if he's the one kidnapped and forced to take a backup character for the short term.

Techsmart
2010-10-28, 10:54 PM
From the way he's explained it to me, he said (after I have gotten to this point), that he feels that my campaign isn't supportive enough of a rogue and that he would be better suited as a healer. As such, he pretty much went straight to killing so he could reroll. I feel like this was an overreaction, since I do try to cater the campaigns to fit all characters. If I had known he wanted more traps, I probably woulda tossed more traps in.

VirOath
2010-10-28, 11:22 PM
We have a player that can, at times, get bored with a character really quickly. This often leads to their gruesome deaths, be it heroic gestures like trying to redirect the few hundred missiles coming at us by flying off and getting them to chase him through the countryside, only to fail the final roll, the dreaded 1 claiming his life. Or unwittingly walking through an active death portal causing him to get sundered and quartered, or his clone from another dimension unwittingly walking through a death portal and getting sundered and ripped to pieces.

Okay, generally speaking, we can expect him to lead by a full digit in terms of characters used for any given campaign compared to the other players.

So if yours wants to try his hand at a healer and isn't trying to subvert the other players by secretly praying to Vecna and plotting to kill them all, then let him change, have his plot pivotal character get kidnapped as suggested above, and he gets to bring in his new one.

bloodtide
2010-10-29, 02:29 AM
I lot of players feel they are not in the spotlight enough. This is very common in role-playing games. And naturally, it can be difficult to make everyone in a group of four or more people happy.

You might want to ask him about the problem first. While I recommend doing so, the chance that he 'won't know' what is wrong is common. That is where you, as the DM, have to step up and figure it out by yourself.

It might be as easy as adding some traps. This should not be so hard. And you can add other rouge based skill challenges.

For example-the orc bandits have a locked and trapped iron box...and none of them have the key. That's a job for the rouge. The same is true for any number of trapped items.

Another easy thing to add is skill challenges. They don't need to be much, even more so if you spice them around. In place ones are fine, such as a wall that needs to be climbed.

But situational ones work great. In the fight the barbarian kills a goblin and drops it off the cliff....but it turns out that goblin is the one with the map...so who gets to climb down to the body that is hanging on a root 20 feet down...

Your a little vague about the metagaming......I hope this guy is not the thief type rouge that gets his kicks by stealing from the other players and then sits back and just says 'I'm just playing my character'.

The Pressman
2010-10-29, 02:43 AM
Your a little vague about the metagaming......I hope this guy is not the thief type rouge that gets his kicks by stealing from the other players and then sits back and just says 'I'm just playing my character'.
I was under the impression that he was the victim, but maybe I misread.

ffone
2010-10-29, 02:48 AM
Your a little vague about the metagaming......I hope this guy is not the thief type rouge that gets his kicks by stealing from the other players and then sits back and just says 'I'm just playing my character'.

If he does, remind the other players they can say 'Our PCs are going to gang up and kill yours, because that's what they do with thieves. Sorry, we're just playing our characters.'

kamikasei
2010-10-29, 02:50 AM
The player had a rogue. He didn't like it, because the other players metagamed on him.
Please expand. I share bloodtide's concern here.

Lev
2010-10-29, 02:53 AM
Have a new player start at the average ECL rounded down -1, and every re-roll -1 from the point buy for stats.

Techsmart
2010-10-29, 11:15 AM
Please expand. I share bloodtide's concern here.

Pretty much most of the metagaming you can think of that affected him. When the party first met him, they almost immediately identified him as the rogue, and never trusted him. Whenever he said anything, the other players kept saying "Sense motive." He was always kept at arms length, and everything he did was followed by the players saying "spot check?" When I tried to step in and discourage this, I told players that if I thought there would be a necessary social skill used on another player, I would roll it. If they pushed the bill, they would autofail. I also gave out pieces of paper each session so people could tell me in private things they wanted to do if they didnt want other players to know. This, in fact, did help a good bit, but the player was already identified as "the rogue." Restarting him as a rogue labeled as "the ranger" helped make an impact on the group, and things went ok for a while, until he started trying to kill his character again, since he felt his character was unappreciated.The frustrating point is that he went straight to trying to kill his character instead of bringing the issue up with me first. Even if he wasn't sure what was wrong, I would have tried to change things, hoping it would mediate the problem.

riddles
2010-10-29, 11:26 AM
Pretty much most of the metagaming you can think of that affected him. When the party first met him, they almost immediately identified him as the rogue, and never trusted him. Whenever he said anything, the other players kept saying "Sense motive." He was always kept at arms length, and everything he did was followed by the players saying "spot check?" When I tried to step in and discourage this, I told players that if I thought there would be a necessary social skill used on another player, I would roll it. If they pushed the bill, they would autofail..

There are a number of problems here.
1. Does this player have a history of playing characters who will betray/cheat/steal without regard to the other players? My group took 2 new characters of mine to get over the fact that I'd played an unscrupulous mercenary. In which case, let him play a good aligned character with immense loyalty to the party.
2. Do your other players simply dislike this player?
3. Are your other players caught up in stereotypes? You can help to break this by introducing a lawful npc paladin type who will end up betraying the party. For added lols, let the rogue find out.

Psyx
2010-10-29, 11:35 AM
Is the PC actively doing things to deserve it, such as stealing from the party? Or is it all paranoia?

One doesn't have to be a rogue in order to fleece the party. In the player's shoes, I'd start demanding Sense Motive checks for everything everyone else did, too until they realised how ludicrous the situation was.

The guy does realise that he doesn't have to die to re-stat, right?
Personally - given the reception he's had - I'd consider retiring by way of robbing the party blind while on watch and disappearing into the night!

Putting my psychologist's hat on for a moment: Preferring death to retirement shows a level of emotional distance to the character. Players who love the character prefer them to be preserved in some way, rather than disposed of, regardless of exterior stimuli. Does the player display a low attention span?

jiriku
2010-10-29, 12:12 PM
In general, if you have an uninvolved player who isn't interested in the character he's playing, let him play another one. He's in the game to have fun -- so long as his fun is not disruptive to others, let him do what's fun for him.

elpollo
2010-10-29, 01:43 PM
Before everything - if the rogue player does in fact steal from the group then a lot of what I say isn't applicable, and should be translated to "Tell the rogue to cut it out". With that in mind:



I didn't want his character to die, since his character was a motivator for the story, so I pulled some strings in some situations which allowed him to live. He has taken that upon himself to think he is unkillable.

You've gone out of your way to keep him alive - it's a fairly good assumption. This is what happens when one player is the centre of the plot - why/how is he a motivator to the story?



I would like to restore the reality of being killable, but I would prefer he not actually be killed. he is also a friend, so I don't exactly want to tell him to go away, and I don't want to punish the rest of the party.

You could just say "If you keep running in blindly you'll probably get killed", then let the dice fall naturally.



My current thinking is that I will just kill him, but tell him that he loses levels, coming in as a weaker character. I could also force a replacement of regular classes with something less useful. What are some other options that the playground could offer? I appreciate it.

He's already feeling that rogues aren't viable - how is making him weaker going to change that (or stop him from trying to kill himself to get back on a level playing field with the other characters)?



From the way he's explained it to me, he said (after I have gotten to this point), that he feels that my campaign isn't supportive enough of a rogue and that he would be better suited as a healer. As such, he pretty much went straight to killing so he could reroll. I feel like this was an overreaction, since I do try to cater the campaigns to fit all characters. If I had known he wanted more traps, I probably woulda tossed more traps in.

Let him reroll, then. The game is about having fun, and if he's not having fun with the rogue let him change. It should take the pressure off the other players as well.

Also, has he specifically said that no stuff for rogues = no traps? Not everyone who picks the rogue class wants to steal everything nailed down. (Of course, he might want more traps and stuff, but if you don't know don't assume)



I lot of players feel they are not in the spotlight enough. This is very common in role-playing games. And naturally, it can be difficult to make everyone in a group of four or more people happy.

You might want to ask him about the problem first.

I could not agree more. Talk to him.



While I recommend doing so, the chance that he 'won't know' what is wrong is common. That is where you, as the DM, have to step up and figure it out by yourself.

It might be as easy as adding some traps. This should not be so hard. And you can add other rouge based skill challenges.

For example-the orc bandits have a locked and trapped iron box...and none of them have the key. That's a job for the rouge. The same is true for any number of trapped items.

As I've said above not every rogue is a thief. He's even specifically called himself a ranger. That kinda indicates that he doesn't want to be the typical lockpicker/trapfinder.



Another easy thing to add is skill challenges. They don't need to be much, even more so if you spice them around. In place ones are fine, such as a wall that needs to be climbed.

But situational ones work great. In the fight the barbarian kills a goblin and drops it off the cliff....but it turns out that goblin is the one with the map...so who gets to climb down to the body that is hanging on a root 20 feet down...

... the barbarian with all his ranks in climb/jump and a higher strength score?



Your a little vague about the metagaming......I hope this guy is not the thief type rouge that gets his kicks by stealing from the other players and then sits back and just says 'I'm just playing my character'.

It's rogue, damnit. Rogue!



Have a new player start at the average ECL rounded down -1, and every re-roll -1 from the point buy for stats.

Because newbies need to earn their place in the group? Come on, guys, it's a team game. Everyone should be on relatively even footing (classes not included, obviously).



Pretty much most of the metagaming you can think of that affected him. When the party first met him, they almost immediately identified him as the rogue, and never trusted him.

Talk to your players. All of them. Say outright "It's a team game and nobody's stealing nothing from each other without prior consent from both parties. He's a rogue system-wise - as far as you're aware he's just a woodsman/ranger person a la Aragorn".



Whenever he said anything, the other players kept saying "Sense motive." He was always kept at arms length, and everything he did was followed by the players saying "spot check?" When I tried to step in and discourage this, I told players that if I thought there would be a necessary social skill used on another player, I would roll it. If they pushed the bill, they would autofail. I also gave out pieces of paper each session so people could tell me in private things they wanted to do if they didnt want other players to know.

See above. Tell them to stop. They're adults (maybe, but even so) - grow up.

Also, secret notes builds paranoia/group tension/etc. It's probably not a great way to go about solving this issue.



This, in fact, did help a good bit, but the player was already identified as "the rogue." Restarting him as a rogue labeled as "the ranger" helped make an impact on the group, and things went ok for a while, until he started trying to kill his character again, since he felt his character was unappreciated.The frustrating point is that he went straight to trying to kill his character instead of bringing the issue up with me first. Even if he wasn't sure what was wrong, I would have tried to change things, hoping it would mediate the problem.

Yeah, talk to him. Something's gotta be wrong, and it sounds more like it's the group than the individual. If he's given no trust/respect then it's hardly surprising that he doesn't enjoy himself (prior agreements non-withstanding - as always talking things over is a great way to solve things).



In general, if you have an uninvolved player who isn't interested in the character he's playing, let him play another one. He's in the game to have fun -- so long as his fun is not disruptive to others, let him do what's fun for him.

This. Don't make him play a character he doesn't want to. Let him play a healer (or first stop the group acting like children and see if he enjoys the rogue).

Crow
2010-10-29, 01:55 PM
I our games, if you die, you start back at level 1. Level 2 if you come up with a detailed backstory for the character.

This keeps people from throwing away their characters, but if you do end up having to start a new one, you catch up pretty quick. If the group is higher level, we allow a higher-leveled character (but still 4-6 below the party) on a case-by-case basis (usually depending on the previous character's manner of death).

If the player approaches the siuation in a mature way and explains why they would like to play a different character, we also allow it on a case-by-case basis, at group's average level -1.

elpollo
2010-10-29, 02:03 PM
I our games, if you die, you start back at level 1. Level 2 if you come up with a detailed backstory for the character.

This keeps people from throwing away their characters, but if you do end up having to start a new one, you catch up pretty quick. If the group is higher level, we allow a higher-leveled character (but still 4-6 below the party) on a case-by-case basis (usually depending on the previous character's manner of death).

If the player approaches the siuation in a mature way and explains why they would like to play a different character, we also allow it on a case-by-case basis, at group's average level -1.

So depending on exactly how quickly "pretty quick" is you get a combat or two of being useless (in which case what's the point of making them level two?) or a session or nine of being useless (and god help you if you stand anywhere near a party appropriate opponent - all the way back to level 2).

Is a mature way to approach the group to play a different character to say "Hey guys, I don't want to spend X hours of my life sitting and watching other people play D&D whilst I hide in a corner - can I play another character at the same level as the party?"?

bloodtide
2010-10-29, 02:05 PM
Is there a reason that your other players think Rogue=thief? And worse, the 'every thief will steal you blind if you blink' type of thief.

You might want to talk to your players about this misconception. Not all Rogue's are Thieves. Take examples from popular culture: Han Solo is a rogue('scoundrel') yet he is not exactly a theif, and he sure would not steal from his friends(Even the old Han before SW:IV would never steal from Chewy).

It does sound more like the rest of the group just hates this player....is there a reason? Or is it just random hate?

Crow
2010-10-29, 02:17 PM
Is a mature way to approach the group to play a different character to say "Hey guys, I don't want to spend X hours of my life sitting and watching other people play D&D whilst I hide in a corner - can I play another character at the same level as the party?"?

Yes, yes it is.

But you make the new one at average level -1. If you're little jerk about it and obviously suicide your character, then I assume you must want to start over with a brand new character. =)

DLPWNLRY

Valameer
2010-10-29, 02:17 PM
Just to echo: Talk to him away from the game. Listen to his concerns, and let him know that his character has a definite place in the campaign. If he knows that he'll be viable, it should settle him down some.

Also: have a wizard steal from or betray the party, and set the rogue up to stop them, and rescue the party's stuff. Spot checks, listen checks, him just getting a bad vibe off the guy to begin with (send the player a note: "You can't put your finger on it, but this guy reminds you of someone you hate." :smallsmile:)

elpollo
2010-10-29, 02:30 PM
Yes, yes it is.

But you make the new one at average level -1. If you're little jerk about it and obviously suicide your character, then I assume you must want to start over with a brand new character. =)

DLPWNLRY

What about if you want to retire a character and play a new one (sans death)?

I'm unfamiliar with that acronym, and google returned nothing. Mind explaining?

Jornophelanthas
2010-10-29, 04:00 PM
I am getting the idea that something else is going on with your "difficult player". In fact, I believe that your other players are actually the problem here.

1. The "metagaming against the rogue" is poor roleplaying at best, and bullying at worst. If "metagaming against the rogue" transfers from a player's first character to his second, then it is extremely poor roleplaying at best, and active dislike (of the "we-don't-want-you-in-our-game-when-will-you-take-the-hint" kind) at worst. Ask them (each separately) if they have a reason for acting in this way.

2. You assume you addressed the issue of "metagaming against the rogue". However, if the player's second character gets the same treatment, because "the player was already labeled as 'the rogue'," (after the issue was addressed) I am not so sure the issue has been addressed properly. Are you sure that he feels it has been addressed properly enough?

3. You assume the rogue player wants more rogue-specific dungeons (i.e. traps and skill-checks) when he says he "feels your campaigns aren't supportive enough for rogues". But maybe he doesn't mean your dungeons, but the other players' treatment of (his) rogue characters. Ask him.

4. He said he would "be better suited as a healer" and tried to get his second rogue killed. Is this because he likes to play a healer, or is it because he expects that healer characters are typically well-liked, whereas rogue characters are typically distrusted? Again, ask him.

And while you're asking things, you could ask the "difficult player" whether he feels welcome at the table, or ask the rest of the group whether they have a problem with the "difficult player".

Has this player done something that causes the other players to bear a grudge against him personally? Is he the newcomer at a table of long-time friends, and therefore perceived as an intruder? Do the other players feel like you favor him too much by keeping his character alive against all odds? Have the other players complained about him to you, and if so, are these complaints you agree with?

kyoryu
2010-10-29, 04:26 PM
So depending on exactly how quickly "pretty quick" is you get a combat or two of being useless (in which case what's the point of making them level two?) or a session or nine of being useless (and god help you if you stand anywhere near a party appropriate opponent - all the way back to level 2).


It's actually not that bad if handled properly. Just have a mixed group of bad guys, some mooks at a relatively lower level, and some lieutenant types for the heavy hitters to pound on. It only doesn't work if the enemies are all universally more powerful. It doesn't even make sense for the big bad guys to concentrate on the little guy, as they'll concentrate on the bigger threats anyway.

137ben
2010-10-29, 04:32 PM
Have an NPC paladin steal the party's stuff (helps break down the rogue-stereo-types), and lock them somewhere that requires a rogue to retrieve.

More importantly, talk to the other players individually and see why they keep picking on this one player.

kyoryu
2010-10-29, 04:40 PM
By the way, it's probably worth noting that there's definitely some disruptive behavior going on. If the rogue player actually *was* ripping the other players off, the rogue needs to be talked to.

If the other players were just pouncing on the rogue, however, they were being disruptive to the game. You need to explain to them that they're actually the ones out of line. If you need to set some rules down about intra-party conflict (especially to the point of actually stealing from other characters), then do so.

And then of course there's the possibility that they just don't like the rogue's player, which needs to be addressed separately.