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Barbin
2011-01-01, 09:13 PM
Firstly, context: I've run many small campaigns with three of my friends that will play D&D, but one of them always rolls a Chaotic Stupid character, and even when he is LN it won't change. It's horribly annoying !

So, Playground, what is the best In-Game way to punish him ? :smallconfused:


EDIT: sneaky typo

raisethearmy
2011-01-01, 09:20 PM
I would say something like having him in a situation that will punish his chaotic stupid action with extreme prejudice. For example, if the party is trying to win the allegiance of a cleric or something and he insults the clerics deity, then remove access to the ally.

Hope this helps.

LOTRfan
2011-01-01, 09:21 PM
I know that this will not be very fun, but perhaps talk to him first?

Xefas
2011-01-01, 09:23 PM
You're presumably all peers playing a game as a leisure activity. "Punishment" is both unnecessary and woefully condescending. Ask them to act more in accordance with the expectations of the rest of the group, or don't play with them anymore. It's as simple as that.

Barbin
2011-01-01, 09:27 PM
@ raisethearmy: I'll surely use that, but on a level containing retibution

@ LOTRfan: I've talked to him many times, but still makes them.


He's really fun to play with, but his character's antics get so annoying.

Greenish
2011-01-01, 09:32 PM
1. Change his alignment to Chaotic Stupid if he acts like that.
2. Have his actions (and everyone else's) carry appropriate consequences.

That should be enough.

Ytaker
2011-01-01, 09:41 PM
What specifically is the guy doing that's horrible?

I'm trying to get a handle on how chaotic stupid he is.

Claudius Maximus
2011-01-01, 09:44 PM
If this guy is just having trouble playing serious or reasonable characters, but you and your other players are open-minded, you could try to make the game more lighthearted and random, to better suit his playstyle. Make sure the other players are amenable to this idea though.

If he's acting like this and ruining a serious campaign, then he's being a jerk. Tell him his actions are having a negative effect on your and the other players' enjoyment of the game, preferably in a calm manner. If he persists in full knowledge of that fact then he's a double jerk, and you might be better off not including him in your game.

In game punishments, in the form of DM fiat to hurt his character as punitive action for the way the player is conducting things, is a bad idea. A slightly better alternative is to have the NPCs simply react in a realistic way to his shenanigans. So if he tries to kill the good king on sight for no reason he should be executed, because that's seriously what would most likely happen. You're still not getting at the root problem though, which is an out of game issue.

Barbin
2011-01-01, 09:45 PM
@ Xefas: I used punishment a little harshly. What I mean by punishment is basicly giving his character a good kick in the pants.

I hope this clears it up.


@ Greenish

1. Did that once, we all had a good laugh !

2. I do that, but usally It justs wastes a session trying to get Y player out of
X city prison. :/

Ernir
2011-01-01, 09:47 PM
Just... have the NPCs react to his silliness the way real people would. :smallconfused:

Nevermind, been tried. Ninja'd hard. :smallredface:

Oracle_Hunter
2011-01-01, 09:49 PM
Never Use In-Game Punishments for Out-Of-Game Problems

If you have a problem with a Player's play style, then talk to him about it. If he refuses to acknowledge that it is a problem, or you cannot find a mutually acceptable compromise, boot him from the game.

It's that simple. Trying to modulate his personal behavior by abusing your power as DM turns what should be a game into something wrong.

EDIT: And what exactly do you mean when you say "it's fun to play with him but I can't stand how he plays?" :smallconfused:

Salbazier
2011-01-01, 09:57 PM
Never Use In-Game Punishments for Out-Of-Game Problems



Haha, my first thought when I see this thread is to drop by and quote you but you already done that first. :smallbiggrin:

On the topic, umm, I don't I have any input but perhaps you can elaborate more? What kind of behavior or personality your friend have?

Any reason why he is always play Chaotic stupid? Is he a real jerk or he just like to play randomly?

Barbin
2011-01-01, 10:00 PM
Thanks for the enlightenment !

I'll try to respond later, I need some sleep after 36 hours awake.

/sleep

Jack_Simth
2011-01-01, 10:01 PM
2. I do that, but usally It justs wastes a session trying to get Y player out of
X city prison. :/
(emphasis added)

So this has happened repeatedly?

Tell me, what happens in real life after someone repeatedly breaks laws serious enough to merit imprisonment, and then busts out of jail?

They get bounties put on their heads. It's been demonstrated that incarceration is not effective, so it'll be a "Wanted: Dead" bounty, rather than a "Wanted: Dead or Alive" bounty or a "Wanted: Alive" bounty.

He should start seeing wanted posters of himself up every time he goes to a tavern. The town guard should start recognizing him and attempting to arrest / subdue / kill him on sight. Merchants should stop doing business with him. And so on.

Ytaker
2011-01-01, 10:10 PM
(emphasis added)

So this has happened repeatedly?

Tell me, what happens in real life after someone repeatedly breaks laws serious enough to merit imprisonment, and then busts out of jail?

They get bounties put on their heads. It's been demonstrated that incarceration is not effective, so it'll be a "Wanted: Dead" bounty, rather than a "Wanted: Dead or Alive" bounty or a "Wanted: Alive" bounty.

He should start seeing wanted posters of himself up every time he goes to a tavern. The town guard should start recognizing him and attempting to arrest / subdue / kill him on sight. Merchants should stop doing business with him. And so on.

That sounds like a great recipe for killing a campaign.

Do the other plays enjoy him? That's the big thing. If the other players aren't having fun, you can get them to hold him back. If you try to get revenge and they do like him it's more likely that they'll just resent you as a bad dm as they try to save him.

Dr.Epic
2011-01-01, 10:14 PM
If his character is annoying in-game than have the NPCS react negatively to him in game. You could also tell him to stop acting stupid.

Oracle_Hunter
2011-01-01, 10:21 PM
Haha, my first thought when I see this thread is to drop by and quote you but you already done that first. :smallbiggrin:
I really should get a Word Document together with this stuff :smalltongue:

FURTHER COMMENTARY
Unfortunately, there really aren't that many different ways to handle Problem Players. Using in-game actions just makes things worse: it mixes problems you have IRL with what is supposed to be an entertaining fantasy game. It's like playing Diplomacy according to grudges you have IRL; don't be that guy.

This leaves reasoned discourse as the only out. Usually in these sorts of situations someone has already tried "talking to" the Problem Person and "nothing happened." At that point you have to ask yourself some serious questions:

(1) Is this Person's behavior substantially disruptive to the game?
Is it just annoying or unwelcome, or is it actually interfering with everyone else having a good time.

(2) If yes, then are you willing to kick them out?
If someone is making a game less fun, you should kick them out For The Greater Good. Plain and simple.

(3) If you hesitated on #2, why?
It's possible that you've been dithering with the issue for some reason. Perhaps you didn't actually sit down and have a serious conversation with the Problem Player; do that now. Or maybe there is some reason aside from "fun" for them being at the game.

Most Common Reasons
- They are the S.O. of a Player you want to keep
- They provide the space
- They provide transportation for one or more Good Players
- They are your friend

Once you've reached this phase, you can start asking yourself the serious questions. Space and transportation are logistical concerns that can be worked around - chances are if you thought hard enough about it, you can figure out an answer.

If they're your friend, then it could just be a matter of play-style mismatch. This happens more often than you'd think: I, for example, don't want to run the sort of breezy social affairs that one of my good friends enjoys playing in. She used to play my D&D games and become quite disruptive since she had little interest in either Dungeons or Dragons - she was just there to hang out. After having a frank talk, we agreed that while I don't feel comfortable running the sort of games she's interested in, we can still hang out normally - and if she ever gets a breezy social game together, I'd be more than happy to play in it.

Gamer Girl
2011-01-01, 10:24 PM
It kind of depends what he is doing.

Type one-He is just being an idiot. He walks behind the king and gives him a wedgie. He steals things right in front of a guard. He kills people at random. And so forth.

Type two-He is playing a dumb chaotic character. Something like an orc barbarian. That type of character won't act well at the king's dinner table for example.


If it's number two, then he is just being his character and you should not hold that against him. You can take off the pressure a bit though. Instead of the white king's dinner table with six forks and spoons, send them to lord wild bunch's feast.


If he is a type one, talk to him. If he won't(or can't) listen, then you can always try to take off the pressure. Make the game a bit 'less hard on him'. And the ultimate fix is to ignore his stupid stuff and or prevent him from doing it with uber magic. The king has a personal force shield, for example, so he can't have his underwear pulled up.

Fiery Diamond
2011-01-01, 10:31 PM
I get the impression from reading the OP's comments that it's something like this:

1) The guy is a good friend
2) The guy is fun to be around in general
3) The guy is an amusing individual with some of his in-game and at-the-table activities
4) The guy is of a competence level with rules and such that fits the game
5) The guy's presence makes it a 3 player, 1 DM game and there are not (or the other people are not interested in) replacement options
6) The guy consistently screws up the campaign, the roleplaying, and verisimilitude with Chaotic Stupid actions.

Things 1-5 mean that kicking him out is not in consideration. But thing 6 is so incredibly frustrating that the OP decided to come here and ask for some advice on ways to deal with it. Apparently talking to the guy has already been tried multiple times and has not worked, so the OP is trying to come up with an in-game solution.

Cerlis
2011-01-01, 10:32 PM
better yet, have him get a real bounty (dead) on his head, and have the only (powerful) NPC that goes after him (can still have random mooks) a flamboyant Bard who has all non damage dealing spells and ends up cursing him with a spell that makes him smell like rotten fish everytime someone nearby gets mad at him.

He can randomly pop up with rosepetals flying, with annoying /facepalm comments and he will be inclined on only pissing off certian people cus no one likes a fish smelling person

The Glyphstone
2011-01-01, 10:33 PM
Just to mix things up...don't punish him. Reward him - with a personal buddy. The forces of utter, pure Chaos have noticed how random he acts, and sent a Slaad to hang out with him as a 'friend'. No one but him can see the Slaad under any circumstances, and it harasses or bugs him constantly.

Greenish
2011-01-01, 10:36 PM
Just to mix things up...don't punish him. Reward him - with a personal buddy. The forces of utter, pure Chaos have noticed how random he acts, and sent a Slaad to hang out with him as a 'friend'. No one but him can see the Slaad under any circumstances, and it harasses or bugs him constantly.Ah right, good ol' "punishment by the invisible slaad". Always a great favourite. :smallbiggrin:

Tengu_temp
2011-01-01, 10:41 PM
If it's number two, then he is just being his character and you should not hold that against him. You can take off the pressure a bit though. Instead of the white king's dinner table with six forks and spoons, send them to lord wild bunch's feast.

If the player is being disruptive, then "I'm just roleplaying my character!" is not a valid excuse.

Oracle_Hunter
2011-01-01, 10:45 PM
I get the impression from reading the OP's comments that it's something like this:

1) The guy is a good friend
2) The guy is fun to be around in general
3) The guy is an amusing individual with some of his in-game and at-the-table activities
4) The guy is of a competence level with rules and such that fits the game
5) The guy's presence makes it a 3 player, 1 DM game and there are not (or the other people are not interested in) replacement options
6) The guy consistently screws up the campaign, the roleplaying, and verisimilitude with Chaotic Stupid actions.

Things 1-5 mean that kicking him out is not in consideration. But thing 6 is so incredibly frustrating that the OP decided to come here and ask for some advice on ways to deal with it. Apparently talking to the guy has already been tried multiple times and has not worked, so the OP is trying to come up with an in-game solution.
That's fine, but there still isn't a way to solve this in-game.

Nobody "consistently screws up" campaigns accidentally; if he's screwing it up so often he has to know that he's doing it. I'd attribute it to Bored Gamer Syndrome - he likes gaming, but there's something about the way the DM runs campaigns that he doesn't like. Figure it out, and see if you can run a game that he won't feel compelled to explode.

If the DM can't, then he can't run a game with this guy in it. Ask the Problem Player to run the sort of game he'd like to play or find some new Players; he's not going to change the way he plays because you've made the game more annoying for him!

klemdakherzbag
2011-01-01, 10:55 PM
hmm reminds me of a situation i encountered awhile back... guy was playing a chaotic stupid(actually CN or CE character) but seeing as how his characters action were disruptive to the-mostly good- group as a whole i needed to do something. Said player had expressed interest in playing a draconic-esque race so during the course of the game, after a series of failed Will saves while touching an stone orb he recieved a vision. Vision was from Apsu (father of good dragons, Pathfinder) and basically told him that "the power you seek resides within the dragon".

Later on the group met up with a white dragon wyrmling which said player after being in on the kill, promptly sliced open and ate a chunk of dragonflesh. Result? instant transformation from human to draconic template human with the caveat that his alignment must change to within one step of his new LG patron or his draconic template would be forfeit, possibly painfully so...Needless to say said character/player began acting not only smarter, but also better for the group as a whole

Cerlis
2011-01-01, 11:19 PM
hmm reminds me of a situation i encountered awhile back... guy was playing a chaotic stupid(actually CN or CE character) but seeing as how his characters action were disruptive to the-mostly good- group as a whole i needed to do something. Said player had expressed interest in playing a draconic-esque race so during the course of the game, after a series of failed Will saves while touching an stone orb he recieved a vision. Vision was from Apsu (father of good dragons, Pathfinder) and basically told him that "the power you seek resides within the dragon".

Later on the group met up with a white dragon wyrmling which said player after being in on the kill, promptly sliced open and ate a chunk of dragonflesh. Result? instant transformation from human to draconic template human with the caveat that his alignment must change to within one step of his new LG patron or his draconic template would be forfeit, possibly painfully so...Needless to say said character/player began acting not only smarter, but also better for the group as a whole

true. Even Criminals can act like cops and cops like criminals. This person may not be as pliable as yours, but that sounds like a cool experience

Aquillion
2011-01-01, 11:24 PM
That's fine, but there still isn't a way to solve this in-game.Sure there is. If you're in-game, just use Sanctify the Wicked.

On the player. :smallbiggrin:

snoopy13a
2011-01-01, 11:28 PM
That sounds like a great recipe for killing a campaign.

Do the other plays enjoy him? That's the big thing. If the other players aren't having fun, you can get them to hold him back. If you try to get revenge and they do like him it's more likely that they'll just resent you as a bad dm as they try to save him.

First, you would tell the player that commiting serious crimes in public places with many witnesses will lead to authorities using overwhelming force to capture and execute his character. If the player still kills a NPC or something in public view then a posse made up of powerful NPCs (honestly, this is would the authorities would actually do) will confront the party and order the offending player to surrender.

Likely, the party will not risk their necks for the miscreant and the offending player either resists by himself and dies or is captured and hanged. He then has the option to reroll a new character and not act chaotic stupid.

Ytaker
2011-01-01, 11:49 PM
First, you would tell the player that commiting serious crimes in public places with many witnesses will lead to authorities using overwhelming force to capture and execute his character. If the player still kills a NPC or something in public view then a posse made up of powerful NPCs (honestly, this is would the authorities would actually do) will confront the party and order the offending player to surrender.

Likely, the party will not risk their necks for the miscreant and the offending player either resists by himself and dies or is captured and hanged. He then has the option to reroll a new character and not act chaotic stupid.

You're relying on dnd players being cowards and refusing a fight? And if they don't refuse the fight, they all die? I can see some serious problems with that.

Yes, that would be an effective way to end a campaign.

FelixG
2011-01-01, 11:52 PM
If he is acting stupid have NPCs look at him like he is brain damaged and condescend to him "Guess this fool has taken a few too many hammers to the head, I will deal with this character instead."

You could also make sure when he does something Chaotic stupid he is the one to get the fall and just remove the character. "Congrats, you were enough of a pest they pout you in an impenetrable epic level dimensional prison, roll up a character thats not as disruptive."

Oracle_Hunter
2011-01-01, 11:56 PM
Sure there is. If you're in-game, just use Sanctify the Wicked.

On the player. :smallbiggrin:
I believe you meant the mind bondage spell (http://www.theescapist.com/darkdungeons.htm) :smalltongue:

Jack_Simth
2011-01-02, 12:02 AM
You're relying on dnd players being cowards and refusing a fight? And if they don't refuse the fight, they all die? I can see some serious problems with that.

Yes, that would be an effective way to end a campaign.
Hmm... yes, better to send assassins after him, setting up traps and taking by surprise sneak attack.

Barbin
2011-01-02, 12:05 AM
I'm processing the info into my tired brain, ( Hate you insomnia ! I hate you !)
and I realized that what I was thinking of was way too harsh. Next time I see him I'll talk to him, and see what we can do.

Thanks for helping me become a better DM. :smallsmile:

P.S: To the people who are asking what kind of CS he is, he's wayyyyyyy too kleptomaniac rogue.

Gamer Girl
2011-01-02, 12:12 AM
If the player is being disruptive, then "I'm just roleplaying my character!" is not a valid excuse.


While this is true, in general, it's also bad for a DM to force a player to act a certain way all the time.

If you have a character, a half-orc barbarian Torg, that character can simply not be expected to to role-play a 'good dinner party guest' for two hours. If the Dm has some plot where the players must meet a contact at the dinner, but must role-play through a lot of diplomacy to get to that point, then Torg won't be much help. Even worse is when the DM sets things up like 'using the wrong fork is an insult to the king and means death'.

It's just as bad when the character is Joke the gnome who likes to tell jokes...and the DM sends then to the 'Land of where you are put to death, if you tell a joke'.

Fiery Diamond
2011-01-02, 12:26 AM
It's just as bad when the character is Joke the gnome who likes to tell jokes...and the DM sends then to the 'Land of where you are put to death, if you tell a joke'.

Actually, depending on the kind of jokes, this is perfectly reasonable. If Joke the Gnome tells profane and crude jokes and the party is sent to a place where such impropriety can get you in major trouble (you don't tell sex jokes about the princess to the king, for example), I wouldn't fault the DM at all. I would, however, not have the entire campaign occur in a setting that goes against the nature of the character. This is a part of why, when I DM, characters have to be approved by me before I allow them (and not just the mechanical aspects of the characters). I don't want conflict between how the player wants to play his/her character and how I want the setting/campaign to be.

woodenbandman
2011-01-02, 12:41 AM
Whatever you do, be as passive-aggressive as possible. Confrontation is unhealthy! Do stuff like ignoring him, having all his actions automatically fail, or have powerful NPCs laugh at him. Don't let him know that you expect him to behave like a person, that will just make him attempt to subvert you.

Fiery Diamond
2011-01-02, 02:12 AM
Whatever you do, be as passive-aggressive as possible. Confrontation is unhealthy! Do stuff like ignoring him, having all his actions automatically fail, or have powerful NPCs laugh at him. Don't let him know that you expect him to behave like a person, that will just make him attempt to subvert you.

I can't tell if this is sarcasm or not.

Claudius Maximus
2011-01-02, 02:22 AM
It is, or I'll eat my hat.

Luckily though, my hat is made of nachos.

Paseo H
2011-01-02, 02:59 AM
"Kick in the pants" is still awfully presumptuous to do towards peers/equals.

Using "disruptive to the game" as an excuse is also suspect, because a DM could decide that perfectly reasonable and harmless things are disruptive. Games are not meant to be a DM's iron fisted dictatorship, so even a DM should be held to objective morals.

In any case, the thing to do is give him enough rope to hang himself with.

Stupidity tends to be its own punishment. Let him experience the results of his stupidity.

Callista
2011-01-02, 03:00 AM
Let the rest of the world react realistically to his actions... the punishment should handle itself.

TheWhisper
2011-01-02, 03:01 AM
First of all, realize that you, the gamemaster, have two roles.

1. You play the role of the laws of physics. You are the Universe.

2. And you play the role of every entity that isn't a character. You are Vox Populi.

In your role as the Universe, you must be absolutely neutral. The laws of physics have no prejudice. A universe where probability or the gods directly intervene to punish anyone who acts like a sphincter... is a world with no conflict. The Universe must be unbiased.

For punishment, you must use your role as Vox Populi.

Remember that the PCs are not the most powerful entities in the universe. Remember that the Universe is unbiased, so any option available to the PCs is also available to others.

What one fool can do, another can. Those who rule society did not get there by being weak, or stupid, or lacking in resourcefulness and ruthlessness.

If PCs use invisibility to play pranks, then they won't be the first to have thought of this... and the wealthy and powerful will have ways to avail themselves of the power of true seeing.

If PCs treat city streets like dungeon corridors, slaying at will, give them an object lesson in why civilization beats barbarism. PC-class mayhem will be met, not with a level-appropriate challenge encounter, but with well-organized resistance from the best PC-class tricks money can buy.

If PCs treat wealthy and influential members of society like crunchy NPCs, show them what money can buy. The best magic items, the most liberal use of professional, specialized PC-class bodyguards, and some most creative use of the contingency spell.

Example:

Chaotic Stupid PC gets an audience with the King, thinks it would be funny to give him a wedgie.

The moment he makes what appears to be a hostile move (to the three ethereal mages watching the party's every move with true seeing, and whatever mind-scrying spells you deem appropriate), the king is whisked away by a contingent teleport without error. Then the miscreant finds himself at ground zero for a barrage of forcecages, antimagic shells, disjunctions, domination spells, baleful polymorph... whatever looks appropriate.

The PC is taken captive and tortured in the attempt to get him to reveal who sponsored the assassination attempt. Since he has no information to give, this will continue until he is dead. If mind reading magic is available, his captors will conclude that his mind has been tampered with to hide his handler and his intentions, even from him.

He will either be mindraped into a drooling vegetable or simply killed out of hand when his captors give up on information gathering attempts.


Time to make a new character. Counter any whining with the observation that kings don't get to be kings by playing fair.

Paseo H
2011-01-02, 03:05 AM
It's not 'whining' to rightly disparage brutal autocratic fiat by self appointed 'rulers.'

If they don't rule fairly, then whoever turns their sword against him in revolt is a hero.

TheWhisper
2011-01-02, 03:18 AM
It's not 'whining' to rightly disparage brutal autocratic fiat by self appointed 'rulers.'

If they don't rule fairly, then whoever turns their sword against him in revolt is a hero.

You're confusing GM-as-universe with GM-as-vox-populi.

The Universe must be fair.

Society, however, does not have to be, and generally isn't. Kings certainly are brutal and autocratic (were they not, they would not be kings), although they wouldn't even have to be so to respond vigourously to a perceived attack in this fashion.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is invited to try testing this scenario by approaching any head of state at a run, and seeing how his security detail reacts.

If, instead of being a king, it were some sort of strictly good entity, there would probably be less torture and more divination, less immediate killing and more public trial.

But freelance mercenaries and fortune hunters who assault heads of state cannot be expected to prosper even in the most of tolerant of climates.

Savannah
2011-01-02, 03:44 AM
For the most part, I agree with Oracle_Hunter, and I'm glad you've decided to try talking with him again. However, if that fails, there is another thing to consider: Behavior is learned. People (well, all organisms, but we're talking about people here) do things because it either a) gets them something they want or b) avoids something they don't want. So if your talk doesn't work, sit down and think "what is he getting from being chaotic stupid?". I'll be anything that the answer is "attention". For a social creature, like humans, even negative attention (groaning, throwing his character in jail, etc) is more rewarding than no attention. I'll bet he's also getting positive attention for some of his antics, too (laughing, retelling stories of that time he did x).

If talking doesn't work, you can try to retrain his behavior to cut down on the chaotic stupid acts. Do NOT tell him that you're doing this, as knowing what you're trying to do will probably make it backfire. You will need to enlist the aid of the other players as well, as they're providing as much or more attention as you are. Now, you can't directly control his behavior. However, you can control the consequences of his behavior, to change what is rewarded. You must remove the rewards for acting stupid and increase the rewards for acting reasonable.

*Removing the reward for acting stupid is simple. When he acts in a chaotic stupid manner, be very matter of fact. Do not laugh, do not groan, do not give him any more attention than you would if he had done something reasonable. Of course, you can and should have the NPCs react appropriately. But you and the other players should not make a big deal out of it.

*Rewards for acting reasonable are more problematic, as you also have to make sure not to be singling him out. Two possible ideas for this include:

-Make sure he succeeds most of the time when he does something not-stupid. Of course, to be fair to the other players, you'll want to gradually fade out any fudging in his favor as his behavior changes, but the idea is to make sure he's feeling like he's capable of doing useful things.

-Start talking about the session after each session. Say you want some feedback or something. Have each player tell you what they liked and didn't like about the session (this has the added benefit of telling you if there's something specific about your sessions that's boring him), and then you tell each player something you thought they did particularly well that session. In his case, you're essentially praising him for not being chaotic stupid, but of course you shouldn't say it that way. Be specific, as he might actually have trouble understanding what is and is not "chaotic stupid" (note that I'm not saying he's dumb, but that I have seen people who genuinely can't tell when they're annoying those around them).


Talking first is the best move, by far. However, if that fails, changing what he's rewarded for may allow you to keep him in the group without him being as disruptive.

Gamer Girl
2011-01-02, 03:45 AM
To the people who are asking what kind of CS he is, he's wayyyyyyy too kleptomaniac rogue.


You can fix this in game. For Example:

1.Make everyone poor. Basically they have nothing to steal. He picks a pocket and he gets wood coins. He robs a store and gets a clay mug with a broken handle and no bottom.

2.Change the money. A twist here is to use paper money IOU's. The idea is that each guild or group will make paper money('trade notes') that are only good to a place that likes said group and/or trades with them. They are not 'modern legal tender' by any means. You can also change the value of money, make gold worthless for example.

3.Change the value of things. Not everyone cares about money, things and such. The most valuable thing in the elven house are the 'life flowers', one planted on the birthday of each child. To the elves they are priceless, to everyone else they have no value. Gnomes might place a high value on jokes, halfling on food and so forth. Even such things as a culture that values stories..so the diamond ring is nice, but it's true value is the story of how you got the ring.

4.Use mundane guards and wards. Guardsmen in the areas. Have the characters strip down and remove weapons and equipment before going into the town. Have each character be given a guide that has to stay with them. Bells and strings on items on display(I've seen this trick in our world). Double and triple locks. And so on.

5.Use magic guards and wards. The most fun. Have a 'thief ward' that covers the city and goes off if anything is stolen. Have invisible guards, maybe pixies or imps. Have magical traps and such. Even good folk are fine with a 'shock trap' on their moneybag..as it's your fault if you pickpocket. The best traps are ones that don't hurt, but 'mark' the character. A blast that colors their hair, put the illusionary words 'thief' on their forehead, shoots them 10 feet in the air, makes them stink, shrinks them, or such. you can even have teleporting items..you grab it and it's teleported back to the shelf. Or intelligent items. Or animated items.

Yukitsu
2011-01-02, 03:55 AM
It's not 'whining' to rightly disparage brutal autocratic fiat by self appointed 'rulers.'

If they don't rule fairly, then whoever turns their sword against him in revolt is a hero.

You must be a terrible house guest.

Oracle_Hunter
2011-01-02, 04:41 AM
Talking first is the best move, by far. However, if that fails, changing what he's rewarded for may allow you to keep him in the group without him being as disruptive.
In general, I find RPGs to be poor tools for self-help; worse when the "helpee" doesn't realize he's being "helped."

If he's a friend, he may not appreciate his so-called friends trying to change him on the sly. At the very least he won't appreciate his recreational activity being turned into therapy.

For risk/reward, the cleanest is the boot. Explain what features of his personality are incompatible with the game and tell him that he should try to find (or better yet, run) a game the way he thinks it should be played. If he really was enjoying the game but - for some reason - didn't take the previous conversations seriously, this may provoke an honest attempt by him to change. Otherwise, he can live with the consequences of his actions until he's willing to change.

N.B. This is not a call for ostracization. Some people simply do not "fit in" with particular social situations. If they will not adapt to the social mores then it is better for everyone if they gravitate to other activities where their behavior is more acceptable. So what if your friend isn't fit for your gaming table? You can still play video games together, or see movies or what not.

Hell, I love watching movies but there are some friends I will not watch them with. For me, the great fun in watching a movie is discussing it after it is over; some of my friends despise such analysis. After learning this, I stopped going to see movies with them; instead I find other ways to socialize with them. The same principle applies here.

Ytaker
2011-01-02, 01:14 PM
The moment he makes what appears to be a hostile move (to the three ethereal mages watching the party's every move with true seeing, and whatever mind-scrying spells you deem appropriate), the king is whisked away by a contingent teleport without error. Then the miscreant finds himself at ground zero for a barrage of forcecages, antimagic shells, disjunctions, domination spells, baleful polymorph... whatever looks appropriate.

And the party tries to defend their companion against the attack, and they too get caught.


The PC is taken captive and tortured in the attempt to get him to reveal who sponsored the assassination attempt. Since he has no information to give, this will continue until he is dead. If mind reading magic is available, his captors will conclude that his mind has been tampered with to hide his handler and his intentions, even from him.

Sounds like a rather boring thing to roleplay.


He will either be mindraped into a drooling vegetable or simply killed out of hand when his captors give up on information gathering attempts.

Time to make a new character. Counter any whining with the observation that kings don't get to be kings by playing fair.

Time for the players to stop using this dungeon master who arbitrarily tortures and kills the entire party.

Just as a player has to obey certain rules at a DM's table, a DM has certain obligations to their players. If they make a campaign which isn't fun and which is "fair" in that all the PCs die and lose all their items they spent ages making, then the players won't play under that DM.

grimbold
2011-01-02, 01:41 PM
do what my DM did when i used to be chaotic stupid, (now im just chaotic evil) he would kill me on the slightest provocation, so i learned, fast.

Ravens_cry
2011-01-02, 02:05 PM
do what my DM did when i used to be chaotic stupid, (now im just chaotic evil) he would kill me on the slightest provocation, so i learned, fast.
Natural consequences are better for verisimilitude, in my opinion. Of course, those things may indeed get a character killed or at least removed from the game. Urinating in the Dukes urn of his honoured ancestors ashes will get you locked up for considerable period of time. Killing random people will get first guards, then soldiers, then bounty hunters of equal, then higher level than the party coming after you for trial and execution.
See if you can get the other players to help. Rational people, and some adventurers, generally don't like being around crazy people.

The Glyphstone
2011-01-02, 02:10 PM
And the party tries to defend their companion against the attack, and they too get caught.



Sounds like a rather boring thing to roleplay.



Time for the players to stop using this dungeon master who arbitrarily tortures and kills the entire party.

Just as a player has to obey certain rules at a DM's table, a DM has certain obligations to their players. If they make a campaign which isn't fun and which is "fair" in that all the PCs die and lose all their items they spent ages making, then the players won't play under that DM.

Ware the exaggerations here...you're the only person who has accused him of 'arbitrarily torturing and killing the entire party' (the Strawman Fallacy, incidentally). The advocated solution was swift, brutal, and incredibly level-inappropriate retribution against the one character who decides to be a jerk and ruin the campaign for everyone to satisfy his own sense of humor. There's no reason any other other party members will even get a scratch on them, especially if they're smart (and don't back up the moron who wedgied the king), and definitely if the beatdown takes place in a single round - which is will, when you'd dealing with multiple high-level wizards.

TheWhisper
2011-01-02, 02:11 PM
And the party tries to defend their companion against the attack, and they too get caught.

Sounds like a rather boring thing to roleplay.

Time for the players to stop using this dungeon master who arbitrarily tortures and kills the entire party.

Just as a player has to obey certain rules at a DM's table, a DM has certain obligations to their players. If they make a campaign which isn't fun and which is "fair" in that all the PCs die and lose all their items they spent ages making, then the players won't play under that DM.

All of this would of course be correct, except for one detail.

There's nothing arbitrary about it. The GM is not obligated to make any choice of actions survivable. He is only obligated not to make players suffer for that which is beyond their control.

Forcing the players into a fight to the death that they cannot win is unfair. Giving one to them when they went out of their way to provoke it is quite another matter.

As a GM, I am obligated to give players a good chance to prosper. I am not obligated to put foam covers over every sharp object, so that they cannot hurt themselves regardless how they fling themselves about the landscape.

A PC who assaults one of most powerful people around and complains when the fight is unwinnable is foolish in much the same way as someone who flings himself from a cliff, and complains that the fall was not survivable.

If you don't have a parachute, don't jump, genius.

Jack_Simth
2011-01-02, 02:21 PM
And the party tries to defend their companion against the attack, and they too get caught.
And, after a few appropriate divinations, the ones who were merely shocked by the guard's perfectly just actions get released with some hefty fines.
Sounds like a rather boring thing to roleplay.You don't bother with it. After the fight the party started is resolved, you simply read off the consequences. After all, once you've been Enervated down to 1d4 effective hit dice, stripped, and chained up, there's very little you can do against most spells.

Time for the players to stop using this dungeon master who arbitrarily tortures and kills the entire party.
Arbitrary? Seriously? What do you *think* would happen to you if you suddenly charged, say, a US state governor while he was giving a public address? You'd be shot (possibly repeatedly), your companions would be arrested and questioned.

For that matter, the DMG has recommendations along these lines. Seriously - page 135, the section is titled "Players Characters out of Control" - read the last full paragraph of that section. I'll quote it here for convenience:
Players should always remember one fact: There's always someone more powerful. You should set up your world with the idea that the PCs, while special, are not unique. Other characters, many of them quite powerful, have come along before the PCs. Institutions of influence have had to deal with individuals of great power long before the PCs. The duke may have some powerful warrior or fighter on retainer as a champion for when someone gets out of line. The city constabulary probably has a rod of negation or a scroll of antimagic field to deal with out-of-control wizards. The point is that NPCs with resources will be prepared for great danger. The sooner the PCs realize this, the less likely they will run amok in your campaign world.


Just as a player has to obey certain rules at a DM's table, a DM has certain obligations to their players. If they make a campaign which isn't fun and which is "fair" in that all the PCs die and lose all their items they spent ages making, then the players won't play under that DM.
So you're saying that you recommend ignoring that section of the DMG, and letting your players be the biggest bad on the block, able to get away with anything with a little effort?

Ytaker
2011-01-02, 02:47 PM
And, after a few appropriate divinations, the ones who were merely shocked by the guard's perfectly just actions get released with some hefty fines.

You're assuming that it's probable that the party is going to comply with the law and surrender. It's very common that parties don't surrender. Assuming the party is going to follow the rails of your story and let one of their own die is a poor assumption. And if they fight back, it's quite probable that they're going to act worse than the person who started it.


You don't bother with it. After the fight the party started is resolved, you simply read off the consequences. After all, once you've been Enervated down to 1d4 effective hit dice, stripped, and chained up, there's very little you can do against most spells.

Well, depressing end then.


Arbitrary? Seriously? What do you *think* would happen to you if you suddenly charged, say, a US state governor while he was giving a public address? You'd be shot (possibly repeatedly), your companions would be arrested and questioned.

No you wouldn't. That's happened lots of times. You can see the results on youtube. Most don't have extensive guard details. You get an argument, or maybe you get some of the governer's thugs beat you up. If you did the same to the president, the likely result would be that his specal forces would very quickly knock you to the ground, unless you had a gun.

I mean, do you really think shooting at a person in the middle of a croud, likely with a submachine gun or something powerful is likely to have a good outcome? The death toll would be horrific. That's why they don't do that.


For that matter, the DMG has recommendations along these lines. Seriously - page 135, the section is titled "Players Characters out of Control" - read the last full paragraph of that section. I'll quote it here for convenience:

Those suggestions seem like modest and good proposals to keep players in line.


So you're saying that you recommend ignoring that section of the DMG, and letting your players be the biggest bad on the block, able to get away with anything with a little effort?

I'm saying that sending a large military force against them which can overwhelm the entire party is a poor idea as the party may fight back and die.

"powerful warrior or fighter on retainer"

Can easily be slowed down, delayed, maybe even killed.

"rod of negation or a scroll of antimagic field to deal with out-of-control wizards."

Only effects a wizard.


As a GM, I am obligated to give players a good chance to prosper. I am not obligated to put foam covers over every sharp object, so that they cannot hurt themselves regardless how they fling themselves about the landscape.

A PC who assaults one of most powerful people around and complains when the fight is unwinnable is foolish in much the same way as someone who flings himself from a cliff, and complains that the fall was not survivable.

If you don't have a parachute, don't jump, genius.

Walking aggressively towards a king doesn't predictably have the response that "three ethereal mages" would attack and then torture you slowly to death. People here are proposing that people who assault weaker people should then have large groups of other npcs come murder them horrifically.

Barbin
2011-01-02, 03:10 PM
Thank you everyone for your helpful posts, so here is what I am going to do:

Next time we all group up to play, we'll spend the first 15-30 minutes discussing what we can change so that everyone will have to most fun possible.

Thanks again to everyone who helped me become a better DM !

Savannah
2011-01-02, 03:17 PM
In general, I find RPGs to be poor tools for self-help; worse when the "helpee" doesn't realize he's being "helped."

If he's a friend, he may not appreciate his so-called friends trying to change him on the sly. At the very least he won't appreciate his recreational activity being turned into therapy.

If talking fails, you have three options:
1) Live with his behavior.
2) Change your behavior to change his.
3) Boot him.

It's up to Barbin which of those is preferable. Obviously, based on his initial post, he was attempting to do 2. I'm trying to show an effective way to do so, based on reward rather than punishment (a much more effective way of changing behavior).

The fact is, the behavior of Barbin and the other players is affecting this player's behavior. That's how behavior works. (Yes, the problem player may have internal rewards for doing what he's doing. However, every time I've seen a chaotic-stupid player, I've seen the DM and other players rewarding that behavior with attention.)

It's not "self-help", it's not "therapy", it's changing what you can control (your behavior) to help keep the group together. (And if you're curious whether it works, I'm now good friends with a woman I work with who used to think I was useless. I simply responded in a very matter of fact way when she treated me like an idiot, to give her minimal attention/reward, and enthusiastically when she treated me like I was intelligent, to give her more attention/reward. Problem solved, purely by changing my behavior.)

Edit: Sounds like a good plan, Barbin. Love the new avatar, by the way.

TheWhisper
2011-01-02, 03:19 PM
I'm saying that sending a large military force against them which can overwhelm the entire party is a poor idea as the party may fight back and die.


The nicest thing I can think of to say about that statement is that it is extremely silly.

That fact that a large military force can easily overwhelm things is precisely why kings use them. The fact that the PCs will die if they fight back is what makes it an excellent idea for the king to have.


Walking aggressively towards a king doesn't predictably have the response that "three ethereal mages" would attack and then torture you slowly to death.

Yes, it predictably does. The only reason it might not is that GMs like you have turned NPCs from individuals with their own inner lives, ambitions, fears, and resourceful ideas... into speed bumps for PCs to go over on their road to godhood.

You are the reason people make chaotic stupid characters. Because they think they are playing in a world where nothing bad can happen to them, no matter how much they ask for it.


People here are proposing that people who assault weaker people should then have large groups of other npcs come murder them horrifically.

Have you gone outside lately? That's precisely what does happen. It's called "society". We deal murderously with those who disrupt it. Why should people who have magic and gods, instead of explosives and computers, be any different?

Jack_Simth
2011-01-02, 03:35 PM
You're assuming that it's probable that the party is going to comply with the law and surrender. It's very common that parties don't surrender. Assuming the party is going to follow the rails of your story and let one of their own die is a poor assumption. And if they fight back, it's quite probable that they're going to act worse than the person who started it.
Actually, no. I'm assuming the guards will primarily be using nonlethal takedown methods, be that Merciful weapons, or spells like Deep Slumber (well, in the Good-aligned places, anyway; evil aligned places will react to a possible murder attempt of the big guy on campus with lethal force; neutral could go either way fairly readily, but I'd be more inclined to say they'll kill a probable threat).

Well, depressing end then.Comes after a fight that wasn't scripted, that for whatever reason the party decided to invite. And there's pretty good odds it's only truly an end for the one character.
No you wouldn't. That's happened lots of times. You can see the results on youtube. Most don't have extensive guard details. You get an argument, or maybe you get some of the governer's thugs beat you up. If you did the same to the president, the likely result would be that his specal forces would very quickly knock you to the ground, unless you had a gun.So it's a matter of degree of resources they have to throw at it, then? OK. Do note that in D&D, just because someone doesn't look armed, doesn't mean they don't have immediately lethal methods at their disposal (silly spellcasters). And also note that the probability that a player is going to be walking around truly unarmed is rather low. Anybody could be a Warlock.. and aren't most of them Chaotic?
I mean, do you really think shooting at a person in the middle of a croud, likely with a submachine gun or something powerful is likely to have a good outcome? The death toll would be horrific. That's why they don't do that.Then again, in D&D, there's lots of non-lethal methods available. Merciful bows don't kill - but they're quite effective at disabling. If a player decides to start attacking someone of import from the middle of a crowd, guards loosing a volley of Merciful arrows at them causes a regrettable amount of pain, but everyone can head off to work the next day.

Oh yes, and the behavior of the PC in question wasn't listed in that much detail. The 'crowd ethics' bit is not defined.

Those suggestions seem like modest and good proposals to keep players in line.



I'm saying that sending a large military force against them which can overwhelm the entire party is a poor idea as the party may fight back and die.So ... you never, ever throw anything at them that the party as a whole can't handle, when they're doing things that would specifically make that sort of enemy?

Kings are not all powerful, no. However, they've got a problem with people pulling pranks on them: Their honor is their lifeblood. If they're not taken seriously by the people they give orders to, they're soon not kings anymore. The King cannot afford to be wedgied in public ... although if the person who did it gets a fairly public smack-down, he can survive it (the King, that is). Watch The King and I sometime - the King had to have someone executed because the girl publicly stated that she'd make it not happen. Sort of like the Sword of Damocles - there's a reason it's hanging by a thread. If it's pointed out to the court that some random individual can get to the King to pants him, there's pretty good odds that someone who thinks they'd benefit from the king's demise will realize that knifing him is actually easier... and then they'll set assassins on it. So they *need* to have overwhelming force available, and be willing to use it, or they won't be kings for long - they'll be dead.


"powerful warrior or fighter on retainer"

Can easily be slowed down, delayed, maybe even killed.

"rod of negation or a scroll of antimagic field to deal with out-of-control wizards."

Only effects a wizard.
Actually, antimagic fields affect everyone who ends up inside them. They just affect casters *more*.

But do note that the DMG doesn't say "Fighter of average party level +3" or some such. It just says "powerful" - in a section that's specifically saying "No, the PC's aren't the baddest on the block" and "You do need to arrange to reign them in". So making the resulting encounter overwhelming is quite in line with the intent of the passage.


"
As a GM, I am obligated to give players a good chance to prosper. I am not obligated to put foam covers over every sharp object, so that they cannot hurt themselves regardless how they fling themselves about the landscape.

A PC who assaults one of most powerful people around and complains when the fight is unwinnable is foolish in much the same way as someone who flings himself from a cliff, and complains that the fall was not survivable.

If you don't have a parachute, don't jump, genius. "

Walking aggressively towards a king doesn't predictably have the response that "three ethereal mages" would attack and then torture you slowly to death. People here are proposing that people who assault weaker people should then have large groups of other npcs come murder them horrifically.
That's... pretty much what civilization is about, really. Getting those who don't have large amounts of personal clout to band together and keep those who do have large amounts of personal clout from walking all over everyone else (whether they do that directly [army-style] or indirectly [hire someone with more personal clout than the target]). In general, murderers are either secretive, or they're soon dead. Thieves are either secretive, or they're soon locked up. There's a reason Bonnie and Clyde did not live happily ever after.

TheWhisper
2011-01-02, 03:48 PM
Kings are not all powerful, no. However, they've got a problem with people pulling pranks on them: Their honor is their lifeblood. If they're not taken seriously by the people they give orders to, they're soon not kings anymore. The King cannot afford to be wedgied in public.

In general, murderers are either secretive, or they're soon dead. Thieves are either secretive, or they're soon locked up. There's a reason Bonnie and Clyde did not live happily ever after.

Well put. If a society cannot protect itself mercenary fortune hunters like the PCs, then it is a society on verge of collapse, and it will do so the instant someone figures this out.

The reason players make and play Chaotic Stupid characters is that they haven't thought this through. Show them that it is so, and they will stop.

WarKitty
2011-01-02, 04:02 PM
Of course, the forcecage/other trap idea could simply be used by itself. Stick him in a forcecage with an anti-magic field while the guards calmly explain to the rest of the party that they have to question him. Or just watch them try to get around the forcecage.

Grelna the Blue
2011-01-02, 04:02 PM
Forget the Chaotic part, that's not nearly as much a problem as the Stupid part. In my experience, what is described as Chaotic Stupid behavior is a PC acting in a way that any sane person would know is dangerous, suicidal, or counterproductive, occasionally while attempting to justify said behavior with "the PC is Chaotic" (in reality that's not even close to meaning "I'm crazy") or "because it's funny" (only true if it fits into the game everyone else is playing).

Good GMs don't enjoy killing PCs, but what such a player is doing is breaking the game world by repeatedly trading on that GM reluctance. It destroys verisimilitude if bad things don't generally result from insane behavior. However, don't punish the player. Don't even punish the PC. Just let the bad things happen. If the party is given sound advice and the PC ignores it in favor of doing "teh funny"? Probably a Bad Thing happens. PC decides to wedgie the king. Bad Thing happens.

The GM reluctance to allow the full force of probability to matter to player characters is part of a fairly common unwritten contract between player and GM. The GM promises to provide a fun setting and a plot that will showcase the player's PC heroics. The PC promises to take said setting and plot at least somewhat seriously. If either side abrogates their end of the deal, then the penalty clause kicks in. If the GM makes the setting boring or the player feels railroaded, the player can stop taking the game seriously. If the PC screws up badly enough because the player wanted him to do so, the GM can allow the PC to become irrelevant and/or dead.

P.S.: In long ago games I played in (not ran) I occasionally saw players do really stupid things because they wanted to play another character. Discourage players from suicidal behavior if all they really want is to play a swordsage or whatever. Let them switch out characters freely if that's what they want to do, so long as their previous character is still alive. If they died taking 20 in their Craft: Dumbassery skill, let them come back in a level lower. It's not fair to the other players to have to strain their suspension of disbelief whenever a PC decides to jump off a cliff.

Ytaker
2011-01-02, 04:28 PM
The nicest thing I can think of to say about that statement is that it is extremely silly.

That fact that a large military force can easily overwhelm things is precisely why kings use them. The fact that the PCs will die if they fight back is what makes it an excellent idea for the king to have.

Ok, but then you have a dead party. That is why I am advising against it.

And using your full military force to crush everything has the side effect that people get very very resentful.


Yes, it predictably does. The only reason it might not is that GMs like you have turned NPCs from individuals with their own inner lives, ambitions, fears, and resourceful ideas... into speed bumps for PCs to go over on their road to godhood.

You'll note the example that the dm book gives- a duke might have a powerful fighter. In that example, is the duke just a speedbump for the PC's ambitions? There are lots of ways to have the duke and the king fight short of instant disable wizards.


You are the reason people make chaotic stupid characters. Because they think they are playing in a world where nothing bad can happen to them, no matter how much they ask for it.

No, I'm not. I'm advising against using a large military force against a party because it won't accomplish the goals a DM has- stop one player- as it may kill the entire party. DMs often assume if they do something the response of their players will be utterly predictable.


Have you gone outside lately? That's precisely what does happen. It's called "society". We deal murderously with those who disrupt it. Why should people who have magic and gods, instead of explosives and computers, be any different?

Erm, your society must be interesting. I've not seen any people dealt with murderously for disrupting it. I'm a member of dnd groups, and many of the members love being disruptive to society. Who specifically are you saying is being killed for social humiliation?


Actually, no. I'm assuming the guards will primarily be using nonlethal takedown methods, be that Merciful weapons, or spells like Deep Slumber (well, in the Good-aligned places, anyway; evil aligned places will react to a possible murder attempt of the big guy on campus with lethal force; neutral could go either way fairly readily, but I'd be more inclined to say they'll kill a probable threat).

That doesn't seem to be the concept of most people here. Still hard to work with, and sleep spells tend to be weaker than other higher level spells, so it's not so likely to work if the battle really gets on.


Then again, in D&D, there's lots of non-lethal methods available. Merciful bows don't kill - but they're quite effective at disabling. If a player decides to start attacking someone of import from the middle of a crowd, guards loosing a volley of Merciful arrows at them causes a regrettable amount of pain, but everyone can head off to work the next day.

Which is fair. That's less likely to work well or happen in some of the scenarios people here have dreamed up. Which the guy doesn't seem to be adopting, thankfully. Having some sort of non lethal thing in contrast to what people here are suggesting would help.


So ... you never, ever throw anything at them that the party as a whole can't handle, when they're doing things that would specifically make that sort of enemy?

I wouldn't throw a threat at the entire party if I just wanted to disable a single player for some reason or other. Plus I normally wouldn't design a king with utterly overwhelming power. If they have all that power, why are you out saving the world and not one of their archmages?


Watch The King and I sometime - the King had to have someone executed because the girl publicly stated that she'd make it not happen. Sort of like the Sword of Damocles - there's a reason it's hanging by a thread. If it's pointed out to the court that some random individual can get to the King to pants him, there's pretty good odds that someone who thinks they'd benefit from the king's demise will realize that knifing him is actually easier... and then they'll set assassins on it. So they *need* to have overwhelming force available, and be willing to use it, or they won't be kings for long - they'll be dead.

He didn't bring out a cannon and blast the girl for being disobedient, though. He presumably sent some level 1-3 fighters out to execute whoever. That's not three ethereal wizards watching his every move like the obedient slaves they are.

If the king is paranoid about assassination that's a whole different game. One you should reveal before anything happens. What's more likely is that he'd have some simple magical defences like otiluke's resilient sphere, and unless you made some great diplomacy rolls, you'd then not be able to meet the king any more for quests.

Honestly, attacking adventurers over some minor grievance is a really, really bad idea. You might win. You might not. Good chance you'll die regardless. It's better to use diplomacy and shows of force.


Actually, antimagic fields affect everyone who ends up inside them. They just affect casters *more*.

But do note that the DMG doesn't say "Fighter of average party level +3" or some such. It just says "powerful" - in a section that's specifically saying "No, the PC's aren't the baddest on the block" and "You do need to arrange to reign them in". So making the resulting encounter overwhelming is quite in line with the intent of the passage.

Yeah, and fighters can still fight. They don't destroy your party. Unlike the suggestions given in this thread.

You can still cast spells to entangle or delay them, weaken their attack. With the right lucky rolls, you might win. Magic can do a lot of cool stuff. Even if the enemy is overwhelming. And if they can't beat the person they'll see and they can flee because they can easily delay a single enemy fighter, unlike three ethereal wizards or an army of npcs which is coming to collect a bounty.


In general, murderers are either secretive, or they're soon dead. Thieves are either secretive, or they're soon locked up. There's a reason Bonnie and Clyde did not live happily ever after.

I'm more concerned with over responses than legit responses. Plus, the dm guy noted that locking him up lead to boring sessions, so it's not a very effective response.

The law of the land may say that's what should happen, but the consequence is boredom. Rule of fun>> Law of the land.

WarKitty
2011-01-02, 04:51 PM
I've had more luck with the PC's being chased out of the city, refused trade, etc., than with actual attacks. The king doesn't do anything right away, but he makes it quite clear that he never wants to see the PC's in his realm again, and that he is quite willing to spend the force to ensure that. Or the shopkeepers get word of the thief, and the party is forced to work with the more disreputable merchants instead. Or there's an extra surcharge on their future business.

hamishspence
2011-01-02, 04:54 PM
"putting out the bad word on somebody" can keep on hurting for a while.

Once someone's got a bad reputation, it's hard to lose it.

Ravens_cry
2011-01-02, 05:02 PM
I've had more luck with the PC's being chased out of the city, refused trade, etc., than with actual attacks. The king doesn't do anything right away, but he makes it quite clear that he never wants to see the PC's in his realm again, and that he is quite willing to spend the force to ensure that. Or the shopkeepers get word of the thief, and the party is forced to work with the more disreputable merchants instead. Or there's an extra surcharge on their future business.
Or both, black market stuff might be more expensive for the risk of been seen working with you, a wanted criminal. And there is the possibility, these are criminals after all ,they might do the old 'cast Magic Weapon' con, and other possibilities.
They also might not be welcome at Guilds and Temples, so tough luck getting spell casting and other services, not to mention wands, scrolls and potions. The local gem merchants and other expensive spell components might be less then eager to sell to you. And if you are caught by a duly appointed officer of the crown, you may be in for some jail time or worse.
Natural consequences and, if really, really needed, out of character discussions are better then simply hating on one player in my opinion.

WarKitty
2011-01-02, 05:05 PM
Usually if I go that route I provide a quest after a while for the PC's to "regain their honor." Or simply let them move on to a different area. Once the lesson has sunk in, of course. Preferably make the quest related, like recovering some very valuable items and returning them intact to the temple without dipping their hands in the loot, in order to display their penitence.

Ytaker
2011-01-02, 05:09 PM
That seems like an excellent way to discipline them. Giving them something to do, rather than have something happen to them. They can proactively try and clear their repuation.

FelixG
2011-01-02, 05:27 PM
t using a large military force against a party because it won't accomplish the goals a DM has- stop one player- as it may kill the entire party. DMs often assume if they do something the response of their players will be utterly predictable.

I'm more concerned with over responses than legit responses. Plus, the dm guy noted that locking him up lead to boring sessions, so it's not a very effective response.

The law of the land may say that's what should happen, but the consequence is boredom. Rule of fun>> Law of the land.

the recommendation was to use overwhelming force on ONE player,they could do all that in one round, then get him away in a single round while the other players are standing there dumbfounded, you dont have to lay the smack on the whole party with one scripted event.

and the "locking him up" is really saying "Your stupid behavior got your character killed, he is not coming back, ever. Go sit over there and make a character who isnt disruptive and is an asset instead of a pain."

and yes the rule of fun is important, but one should use the rule of the land to enforce the fun of the many while punishing the one annoying person if he is ruining it for everyone.

Ytaker
2011-01-02, 05:44 PM
the recommendation was to use overwhelming force on ONE player,they could do all that in one round, then get him away in a single round while the other players are standing there dumbfounded, you dont have to lay the smack on the whole party with one scripted event.

"I cast finger of death at the wizard."

Assuming the party is going to sit there dumbfounded is a big assumption. If you're just going to ignore all the logistics of it and make sure the party doesn't interfere you might as well just have a lightning bolt fall from the sky and smite him. It will have the same effect on your player's disbelief.

Obviously as the DM you can do whatever you want. Your players won't necessarily like it though.


and the "locking him up" is really saying "Your stupid behavior got your character killed, he is not coming back, ever. Go sit over there and make a character who isnt disruptive and is an asset instead of a pain."

So, what, you steal something you get killed? This DM has noted he doesn't actually want to go that far yet so that's not a possibility. Also arbitrarily killing off a character, which is what the above is, destroys immersion. It's problematic. If there's another solution, and there are many, they are preferable.


and yes the rule of fun is important, but one should use the rule of the land to enforce the fun of the many while punishing the one annoying person if he is ruining it for everyone.

The other people rescued him from imprisonment. It's quite possible they enjoy his behaviour.

denthor
2011-01-02, 05:49 PM
He is running a thief that likes to steal. Start setting up thievies guilds in a city have it well known that almost all of the shops are paying some type of protection money to said guilds.

This is a simple gather information check dc 10 this means any character can get the information/ or have a drunk guild member spill it in a tavern.

When the player goes to pick a pocket or rob a store trouble happens the guild fines him and tries to make him a member.

You now have three things a plot hook device and a real threat that the player is going to be punished (magic items taken, (as punishment) controls on the players habits) The third is a constraint on the player not to do things since someone is always watching to make sure he does not get out of hand.

FelixG
2011-01-02, 05:54 PM
"I cast finger of death at the wizard."

Assuming the party is going to sit there dumbfounded is a big assumption. If you're just going to ignore all the logistics of it and make sure the party doesn't interfere you might as well just have a lightning bolt fall from the sky and smite him. It will have the same effect on your player's disbelief.

Obviously as the DM you can do whatever you want. Your players won't necessarily like it though.



Its a safe assumption that they will be dumbfounded when it all happens before they can act. and having the kings defenders lay the smack down on a person acting aggressive is as immersion breaking for you as a lightning bolt just randomly striking some? To each their own I guess.




So, what, you steal something you get killed? This DM has noted he doesn't actually want to go that far yet so that's not a possibility. Also arbitrarily killing off a character, which is what the above is, destroys immersion. It's problematic. If there's another solution, and there are many, they are preferable.



Now we are changing what was being talked about? the example was attempting to wedgie the king. Its perfectly reasonable to get stomped for being a potential assassin, especially in a magical world.

Now if you want to have immersion, using your example about stealing, sure the players break him out of jail, he was caught as a thief, they chopped his hands off and stripped him of his expensive toys, they went to the kingdom to pay for his crimes.




The other people rescued him from imprisonment. It's quite possible they enjoy his behaviour.


I wouldn't mistake comradarie for enjoyment. They might have just been not wanting to listen to him complain that no one came to help him, that he has always helped them ect. I have had one of these players IRL, I know some people will rescue players they dont like just so they dont break character.

"Well I really hate his character but he has been loyal and useful from time to time in game and my character wouldn't just leave him to rot..." You know, that immersion thing you are worried about being broken?

Ravens_cry
2011-01-02, 05:58 PM
That seems like an excellent way to discipline them. Giving them something to do, rather than have something happen to them. They can proactively try and clear their repuation.
That only works, in my opinion, if they are already sorry and is used as an aftermath. A quest you don't want to do is really annoying and just punishes the entire group for one persons actions.

WarKitty
2011-01-02, 06:01 PM
That only works, in my opinion, if they are already sorry and is used as an aftermath. A quest you don't want to do is really annoying and just punishes the entire group for one persons actions.

The other option is usually to ditch the offending character. I was trying to come up with a way for them to retain the offender provided he mends his ways. Better ideas are welcome.

Ytaker
2011-01-02, 06:07 PM
Its a safe assumption that they will be dumbfounded when it all happens before they can act. and having the kings defenders lay the smack down on a person acting aggressive is as immersion breaking for you as a lightning bolt just randomly striking some? To each their own I guess.

Why is it a safe assumption that they will be dumbfounded? Ambushes are hardly unknown.

Having the king's defenders laying the smackdown isn't. Having them unable to stop the king's defenders or even act whilst it's happening is.


Now we are changing what was being talked about? the example was attempting to wedgie the king. Its perfectly reasonable to get stomped for being a potential assassin, especially in a magical world.

I'm offering advice to the person in this thread with a problem character, whose character didn't offer a wedgie to the king but stole stuff. This is what we are talking about.

To get stomped on, yes.


"Your stupid behavior got your character killed, he is not coming back, ever. Go sit over there and make a character who isnt disruptive and is an asset instead of a pain."

That is a more, arbitrary killing. Unless your players are used to being killed as a way of adjusting their behaviour it comes with problems.


Now if you want to have immersion, using your example about stealing, sure the players break him out of jail, he was caught as a thief, they chopped his hands off and stripped him of his expensive toys, they went to the kingdom to pay for his crimes.

Immersive, not so fun. Another session wasted tracking down the magical items, regenerating his hands. Any solution which relies on causing problems for the other players is not a good solution.


I wouldn't mistake comradarie for enjoyment. They might have just been not wanting to listen to him complain that no one came to help him, that he has always helped them ect. I have had one of these players IRL, I know some people will rescue players they dont like just so they dont break character.

"Well I really hate his character but he has been loyal and useful from time to time in game and my character wouldn't just leave him to rot..." You know, that immersion thing you are worried about being broken?

It's worth him checking on that.

Ravens_cry
2011-01-02, 06:13 PM
The other option is usually to ditch the offending character. I was trying to come up with a way for them to retain the offender provided he mends his ways. Better ideas are welcome.
I've said it before and I will say it again, natural consequences for actions, how things would work if you did such and such and thing in such and such a setting, for real.
Being a raging jerk has consequences as does being a homicidal maniac. Use them.

WarKitty
2011-01-02, 06:15 PM
I've said it before and I will say it again, natural consequences for actions, how things would work if you did such and such and thing in such and such a setting, for real.
Being a raging jerk has consequences as does being a homicidal maniac. Use them.

Usually that ends up being "Guard comes to arrest the guy, the party doesn't give him up, either he gets away or you get a TPK."

Jack_Simth
2011-01-02, 06:21 PM
I'm more concerned with over responses than legit responses. Plus, the dm guy noted that locking him up lead to boring sessions, so it's not a very effective response.Well, when I suggested:
They get bounties put on their heads. It's been demonstrated that incarceration is not effective, so it'll be a "Wanted: Dead" bounty, rather than a "Wanted: Dead or Alive" bounty or a "Wanted: Alive" bounty.

He should start seeing wanted posters of himself up every time he goes to a tavern. The town guard should start recognizing him and attempting to arrest / subdue / kill him on sight. Merchants should stop doing business with him. And so on.You replied with
That sounds like a great recipe for killing a campaign. (plus some other stuff).

So from what I can gather from what you've said...

You can't cause him to be socially inconvenienced (merchants can't stop dealing with him, he can't be denied entry to cities, and so on) because that would 'kill the campaign' (although the why and how of that actually ending the campaign wasn't specified...).

You can't send people strong enough to actually take him down, because the party will back him up and it either won't work (the party overwhelms the opposition), or it'll cause a TPK (because they don't). The first means that yes, the party can walk all over anyone, and need to be the biggest bad on the block. The second ends the campaign.

The OP has mentioned that he's tried talking to the guy, and that did not function.

Something needs be done, and so far you've basically just been shooting down ideas. Do you have any concrete suggestions?


Usually that ends up being "Guard comes to arrest the guy, the party doesn't give him up, either he gets away or you get a TPK."
So let him get away. What do the police do when someone gets away? Wanted posters. The news. His face becomes known. Reputable merchants stop dealing with him. And so on. You still have natural consequences, even if the party slaughters the law enforcement agents who went after him. Something that seriously inconveniences them, and makes it clear that nobody wants to deal with someone who behaves in such a manner.

FelixG
2011-01-02, 06:23 PM
Usually that ends up being "Guard comes to arrest the guy, the party doesn't give him up, either he gets away or you get a TPK."

Then you just have scaling attackers like they did in Baulders Gate 2. Eventually you got the scary casters after you if you resisted arrest. The TPK could be eased by doing lethal damage to the guilty party and non lethal to the rest.

Also: Assassins :D party camps, assassin slips in, kills the offender and uses a 1 off teleport to take the body and posessions, just looks like the person wondered off or left in the night :smallbiggrin:

Ravens_cry
2011-01-02, 06:23 PM
Usually that ends up being "Guard comes to arrest the guy, the party doesn't give him up, either he gets away or you get a TPK."
There is also social stigma, denial of service by good and service vendors of good repute, the possibility of being bilked or conned by those willing to do business with you, the list goes on.

WarKitty
2011-01-02, 06:25 PM
There is also social stigma, denial of service by good and service vendors of good repute, the possibility of being bilked or conned by those willing to do business with you, the list goes on.

That's what you were complaining about in the first place as punishing the whole party?

FelixG
2011-01-02, 06:27 PM
There is also social stigma, denial of service by good and service vendors of good repute, the possibility of being bilked or conned by those willing to do business with you, the list goes on.

yes but by Ytaker that would "not be fun" or "kill the campaign"

and annoying player will likely whine. "Why do IIIII have to pay 1.5 the cost for my magic items. I wasnt thaaaat bad!"

or he will try to steal everything all the more and become an even bigger annoyance but with no force used to stop him (ala Ytaker) the problem will go unsolved.

Ravens_cry
2011-01-02, 06:34 PM
yes but by Ytaker that would "not be fun" or "kill the campaign"

and annoying player will likely whine. "Why do IIIII have to pay 1.5 the cost for my magic items. I wasnt thaaaat bad!"

or he will try to steal everything all the more and become an even bigger annoyance but with no force used to stop him (ala Ytaker) the problem will go unsolved.
In that case it's time for a good ,heart to heart, out of character discussion. Explain why these things are happening. If they bring up the old horse apples "I am just playing my alignment!" one can respond "and I am just making a world that responds to those actions." Do this after the sessions or even away from the game entirely in private so as not to humiliate the player. And if they are still doing it, they may well be griefing. Not much you can do about that except evict the player.

TheWhisper
2011-01-02, 06:46 PM
Okay, let's explain this differently, since there's one person here who still doesn't seem to quite understand.


GMs should not metagame.

So the king having high level wizard bodyguards might be considered unfair to players... but the king doesn't know the PCs are PCs. He thinks they are just ordinary NPCs.

He doesn't realize that they are special privileged entities who are entitled to kidglove treatment from everyone they pick a fight with.

He doesn't know that they have a right to expect everyone they fight to play softball.

He thinks he exists to rule his kingdom. He doesn't know his real reason for existence is to be a paper target for a bunch of mercenary thugs.

So he makes the mistake of having bodyguards with lots of PC class levels, because he thinks that will preserve his life against whatever powerful enemies he may have. He doesn't realize his life isn't supposed to be protected, because that would spoil the "fun" of a bunch of man-children who aren't responsible for thinking about the consequences before they act.

If he had access to this privileged information ("I am living in a game, and the universe exists for this peasant's entertainment."), he might act differently, but that would be metagaming.

Frenchy147
2011-01-02, 06:54 PM
Has no one considered a mark of justice?

Jack_Simth
2011-01-02, 07:13 PM
Has no one considered a mark of justice?
1) Explicitly requires the target be successfully restrained. And
2) Relatively easily removed.

Dsurion
2011-01-02, 07:28 PM
I've actually got a little experience trying something else: Let the problem person be the DM for a game. This tends to work in one of three ways, mainly...

A. They realize how much of an annoyance they've been after possibly dealing with the players doing the same thing (not recommended to go out of your way to do the same as the problem player, but it happens), and most likely change.

B. You see the style of game they want to play, which may be helpful in adjusting your style to suit.

C. Nothing changes, and you realize it's a personal problem to be dealt with privately and/or by booting.

I had two problem players before, one was chaotic stupid, and the other read newspapers when it wasn't his turn in combat. Both problems were eventually able to be resolved this way, although one had to be booted temporarily, until he realized he REALLY wanted to play D&D with us again.

Ytaker
2011-01-02, 07:36 PM
You can't cause him to be socially inconvenienced (merchants can't stop dealing with him, he can't be denied entry to cities, and so on) because that would 'kill the campaign' (although the why and how of that actually ending the campaign wasn't specified...).

Mostly the guards attacking him at will, denied entry to cities. That means that all the quests in that area are now denied. Whatever plot you have in that area is now off limits. If you can find a solution that doesn't involve the party being denied access to the major plot zone it's good. Like social stigma, or being betrayed. Plus there's a big risk of evil incidents like the party mass slaughtering guards. It's a problematic road to go down.


You can't send people strong enough to actually take him down, because the party will back him up and it either won't work (the party overwhelms the opposition), or it'll cause a TPK (because they don't). The first means that yes, the party can walk all over anyone, and need to be the biggest bad on the block. The second ends the campaign.


It's fairly usual in campaigns to not put enemies in there that can easily defeat the party. You have enemies which are roughly equal to them, or slightly superior. That way your party doesn't die. This seems to be assuming you can violate that guideline because you are right and they have violated the law, and because the party will stand down and let their companion be taken.

You have a host of lower level responses, rather than kill the guy. Say, you could teleport him out. Or you could beat him up. Or you could transform him into a pig temporarily.


The OP has mentioned that he's tried talking to the guy, and that did not function.

Something needs be done, and so far you've basically just been shooting down ideas. Do you have any concrete suggestions?

Yeah, I mentioned that he should talk to the other players and get them to restrain him if they dislike it.[/QUOTE]




He thinks he exists to rule his kingdom. He doesn't know his real reason for existence is to be a paper target for a bunch of mercenary thugs.

So he makes the mistake of having bodyguards with lots of PC class levels, because he thinks that will preserve his life against whatever powerful enemies he may have. He doesn't realize his life isn't supposed to be protected, because that would spoil the "fun" of a bunch of man-children who aren't responsible for thinking about the consequences before they act.

If he had access to this privileged information ("I am living in a game, and the universe exists for this peasant's entertainment."), he might act differently, but that would be metagaming.

Oh no, the reason for his existence is to punish uppity players who are being naughty.

The problem is, he is over responding to provocation to prove a point. So, rather than beating the crap out of someone who has tried to pull his pants up he is killing them because the DM wants to prove a point, and hypothetically the person could be attempting to assassinate the king. This serves the DM's purpose of punishing that player for poor behaviour in the past.

The result of this is that the other players will have to defend him because of the risk of death.

Xiander
2011-01-02, 08:03 PM
Simple fact: In a believeable campaign actions have consequenses.

This should be true no matter what sort of campaign you are running, and nomatter how the players are acting. If an NPC catches a character stealing he should alarm the watch or try to aprehend the offender himself. If the players fight back thats fine and even natural, but that to will have consequenses.
Keep such a chain going long enough and the players should end up on wanted posteres and merchants should report them to the authorities rather than deal with them.

All this is part of the game.

If a player consistently acts in a way that is anoying to other players (no matter if he is picking his nose or taking stupid ingame actions for the heck of it) this has nothing to do with that part of the game.
Therefore that part of the game should not be used as a tool to sort it out. If a person is anoying you you sort it outside of the game, not by twisting the works of the game.

The important thing is to enshure that all parties involved in the game are having fun. If this is not so find out why, and fix it. Donīt try to fix it by making the game less fun for a player who anoys you.
Thats just stupid.

TheWhisper
2011-01-02, 10:06 PM
Simple fact: In a believeable campaign actions have consequenses.

Indeed.

NPCs will act in their own best interest to the best of their knowledge and ability, and they will certainly attempt to punish any PCs who get obnoxious.

PCs do not have exclusive access to spell lists, magic items, class features, poisons, traps, dirty tricks, or anything else. If you imagine the paranoid care with which savvy PCs advance through trap-filled tombs, or stalk evil magicians, then you can easily picture what steps merchants will take to safeguard their goods, or what precautions kings will have against would-be assassins.

The universe may be absolutely impartial, but every NPC in that universe is partial to himself, and will fight, as unfairly as he is able, to avoid being victimized.

Jack_Simth
2011-01-02, 10:28 PM
Mostly the guards attacking him at will, denied entry to cities. That means that all the quests in that area are now denied. Whatever plot you have in that area is now off limits. If you can find a solution that doesn't involve the party being denied access to the major plot zone it's good. Like social stigma, or being betrayed.Do the parties you work with have no creativity at all? It's not that hard to bypass guards if there's only one person in the party whom they attack on sight. Buy a horse, wagon, a tarp, and a bunch of potatoes, hay, or some such - bury him in the wagon whenever you're going to civilized areas. At higher levels, stick him in a Portable Hole with a Bottle of Air. Really, just because he's not allowed to do anything in cities doesn't mean the rest of the party can't.

He's just stuck in a bag while they do.
Plus there's a big risk of evil incidents like the party mass slaughtering guards. It's a problematic road to go down.As opposed to simply letting there be no consequences of note?

But seriously: It strains credulity if a thief is repeatedly caught, repeatedly busted out of jail, and doesn't have this sort of thing happen.
It's fairly usual in campaigns to not put enemies in there that can easily defeat the party. You have enemies which are roughly equal to them, or slightly superior. That way your party doesn't die. This seems to be assuming you can violate that guideline because you are right and they have violated the law, and because the party will stand down and let their companion be taken.You're not putting them in as enemies. You're putting them in as fairly neutral NPC's. The guy who keeps wantonly breaking laws is making enemies of them.

To stretch the point, consider a Mystic Theurge of Gruumsh (5th level spell access, Cleric and Wizard) who decides to Plane Shift to Corellon Larethian's domain, then teleport up to him and start blasting away with spells. Suicidal? Should be.

Of course, if you never put people in the campaign who can easily make mincemeat of the players, then such things aren't strictly suicidal. And, of course, you've then got the nutty problem of 1st level characters being able to take over the multiverse if they can get there.

Is it an absurd example? Yes. But it's there to make a point:
Completely unreasonable actions should be met with realistic consequences.

If you go to Corellon's home and attempt to murder him on his throne, he's going to either wipe you from existence himself, or let his pet Solars do it, as it's a reasonable response.

If you rob from a merchant, they'll take reasonable action. Guard their goods better, post bounties, call the city guards, attempt to stop the crook, take note of the guy and spread his description around to other merchants, and so on.

If you kill the guards sent to arrest you, you're a direct threat to the guard. What happens to cop-killers in real life who are known of? They get killed. Anyone who sees them reports them. If it's clear he's 'really bad', they'll call for backup. If they continue to be gunned down, they'll call out the swat team... or the military, if things go that far. If you're just in a little old Thorpe, you can probably get away with it for a time as a 9th level character - as you pretty much can wipe the place out. So they're probably going to cave after a point, and then simply spread your description after you're no longer in earshot.

In a Metropolis where you go to sell the good loot, however, chances are there's a few 15th and 16th level characters running around, at a minimum - and that's just random generation. Will all of them be in the military? No. But most of them benefit from the status quo, and will take steps against anything that threatens it that's not in their interests. And hey, if they can get a bounty on some random upstart whom nobody will miss? Bonus.

Do heroes get sent out to handle the orcish hordes? Sure. But they're handled differently. See, the city needs to keep it's forces in the city (if nothing else, to deal with upstarts who don't get it). The orcish hordes are mostly threatening the farmland that supports the place. And even then, the heroes aren't usually taking on the hordes directly - they're going behind the lines and targeting the leaders, who can't just call for reinforcements, as that takes them away from the front where they're doing battle... which could collapse the lines. Likewise, even if you can beat up the orcish hordes... they're not going to be spreading your face around (except among orcs).

It's realistic, really.

You have a host of lower level responses, rather than kill the guy. Say, you could teleport him out. Or you could beat him up. Or you could transform him into a pig temporarily.
Beat him up? No, that's not going to work; you yourself said:

And the party tries to defend their companion against the attack, and they too get caught.So per your words, if tThey go to beat him up, the rest of the party is likely to come to his aid. So either the guards get killed (and there's no real consequences to the guy who's wantonly doing stuff that would reasonably get things thrown at him), or it's a TPK. Ditto with turning him into a pig - the only way to do that in a non-fiat manner is with spells like Baelful Polymorph - which start combat. Again, that's just a variation on 'guards attack him', which per your words is a colossally bad idea. Teleport him out? Again - while there are spells that move people against their will, they're combat effects - you've got a guard of some form attacking the dude to make it work. He's using spells, rather than melee weapons, but it's the same thing.

Which isn't going to work, as it's just more XP and loot for him ... unless you make things rapidly escalating.
Yeah, I mentioned that he should talk to the other players and get them to restrain him if they dislike it.Ah.

Oh no, the reason for his existence is to punish uppity players who are being naughty.

The problem is, he is over responding to provocation to prove a point. So, rather than beating the crap out of someone who has tried to pull his pants up he is killing them because the DM wants to prove a point, and hypothetically the person could be attempting to assassinate the king. This serves the DM's purpose of punishing that player for poor behaviour in the past.Ah, no. Seriously: You don't just let people who pull that sort of behavior on powerful people go. Torture/execution/deliberately overwhelming force for such things is a realism response. It also happens to serve the metagame to an extent, but it is a realism response.
The result of this is that the other players will have to defend him because of the risk of death.Have to? I actually DM'd a party where at one point the guy who charged in to kill the person (Roc) they were talking to to try and get something from was left to fend for himself... until the party rogue came in and started sneak attacking the impetuous player character for nonlethal damage.

Doug Lampert
2011-01-02, 10:48 PM
I actually DM'd a party where at one point the guy who charged in to kill the person (Roc) they were talking to to try and get something from was left to fend for himself... until the party rogue came in and started sneak attacking the impetuous player character for nonlethal damage.
Agreed. There's NOTHING forcing the other PCs to treat a known menace to society as someone they'll die to protect. I find the idea that PCs SHOULD act this way bizarre.

The trouble maker isn't showing THEM anything like that degree of loyalty when he attracts the negative attention of the authorities! Why do they need to show it for him?

To paraphrase two things from one DM I once played with:

(1) Try to make up a PC who could plausibly have survived past the age of five.

(2) There is no glowing rune that says PC on your character's forehead. It isn't in character for anyone else to treat you as special or as automatically an ally regardless of how you act.

jseah
2011-01-02, 11:13 PM
^Doug: Add a few more.

3) You are not the biggest kid on the block. NPCs have level ranges from X to Y. (varies by setting)
The average NPC in these relevant occupations are around Z level.

4) PCs are not special. NPCs follow the same rules without special treatment either for or against them.

5) Plot armour does not exist. If you do something that gets you killed, directly or indirectly, you die. Similarly, if NPCs do something that gets them killed, they die.

FelixG
2011-01-03, 04:33 AM
^Doug: Add a few more.

3) You are not the biggest kid on the block. NPCs have level ranges from X to Y. (varies by setting)
The average NPC in these relevant occupations are around Z level.

4) PCs are not special Unique. NPCs follow the same rules without special treatment either for or against them.

5) Plot armour does not exist. If you do something that gets you killed, directly or indirectly, you die. Similarly, if NPCs do something that gets them killed, they die.

Fixed number 4 :D The DMG itself says players should be special but never unique :smallbiggrin:

But yes, if you dont use overwhelming response or ever include something that could curb stomp the p,layers if they get out of line then you are creating an unrealistic world more so than by including people who could snap their fingers and annihilate a character from existence.

Another fun option: Have the BBEG come to some acclaim in the game world when he offers to take care of the menace to society! Whoop[s because of that one PC the whole party is now considered the bad ones, role reversal for the win :P

Doug Lampert
2011-01-03, 12:45 PM
^Doug: Add a few more.

3) You are not the biggest kid on the block. NPCs have level ranges from X to Y. (varies by setting)
The average NPC in these relevant occupations are around Z level.

4) PCs are not special. NPCs follow the same rules without special treatment either for or against them.

5) Plot armour does not exist. If you do something that gets you killed, directly or indirectly, you die. Similarly, if NPCs do something that gets them killed, they die.

Ah, but I don't neccessarily follow those. You can, but if so you need to discuss it with your players first, and D&D may not be the most appropriate system choice.

If playing anything like standard D&D then your point 3 does apply, but I've played in other games where it really didn't. And in D&D points 4 and 5 are both wrong.

(4) You are special. You are one of the handful of elite humanoids with a PC class. There are others, and there are monsters with special rules and powers (mostly the monsters with - in their LA entry), so there may be other special things.

But you are EXTRA SPECIAL even among that small minority of special things!

You get to wander into high risk situations, and yet somehow, as long as you don't do anything spectacularly stupid, almost all your foes will be outgunned by roughly 4 to 1! (Closer to 2 to 1 if playing 4th ed).

You can easily go your career of 250+ combat encounters and NEVER face something that's actually stronger than your group! What's more, level appropriate loot and challenges just drop into your lap. Other adventurers WISH they could be so lucky.

(5) And you DO have plot armor. It's VERY VERY POWERFUL plot armor. Not only do you have to screw up bad to meet an overwhelming foe (doing something as spectacularly stupid as trying to protect the Chaotic Stupid character is notably one way to throw away this peice of plot armor). But foes will also tend to go for captures rather than a TPK. They'll be at least one or two convienent coincidences to avoid a TPK if that seems likely to not break versimilitude completely.

We may even ret-con a really bad mistake.

It's just that even the most powerful of plot armor is no match for the most powerful force in the multiverse, which is of course stupidity.

Ytaker
2011-01-03, 02:15 PM
Do the parties you work with have no creativity at all? It's not that hard to bypass guards if there's only one person in the party whom they attack on sight. Buy a horse, wagon, a tarp, and a bunch of potatoes, hay, or some such - bury him in the wagon whenever you're going to civilized areas. At higher levels, stick him in a Portable Hole with a Bottle of Air. Really, just because he's not allowed to do anything in cities doesn't mean the rest of the party can't.

Ok, so the player is away from the rest of the party, can't do much, useless. And he's probably going to want to do stuff, so he's going out.


But seriously: It strains credulity if a thief is repeatedly caught, repeatedly busted out of jail, and doesn't have this sort of thing happen.

Not really. Thieves are common in these cities. They can just have non lethal beating up damage done to them, or they can be chased. More powerful ones wouldn't necessarily face the guards, as he'd probably be above their paygrade.

If he's stealing expensive enough stuff, assassins and private armies can come after him. People can lay traps. Lots of stuff that doesn't involve giving the party a good reason to slaughter innocents.


You're not putting them in as enemies. You're putting them in as fairly neutral NPC's. The guy who keeps wantonly breaking laws is making enemies of them.

Result, dead party. And he's wantonly breaking minor laws.


To stretch the point, consider a Mystic Theurge of Gruumsh (5th level spell access, Cleric and Wizard) who decides to Plane Shift to Corellon Larethian's domain, then teleport up to him and start blasting away with spells. Suicidal? Should be.

Who suggested doing that? If they're actively suicidal punish them. We're talking about people who do minor crimes which disrupt the game, not people who decide to kill the gods themselves.


Beat him up? No, that's not going to work; you yourself said:

The party has far less need to kill guards or save him if the guards are only dealing non lethal damage.


Ditto with turning him into a pig - the only way to do that in a non-fiat manner is with spells like Baelful Polymorph - which start combat.

We're assuming a mostly good party that won't attack unless there's some serious need. Like a king yelling how you will be tortured and executed.


Ah. Ah, no. Seriously: You don't just let people who pull that sort of behavior on powerful people go. Torture/execution/deliberately overwhelming force for such things is a realism response. It also happens to serve the metagame to an extent, but it is a realism response.

It's a realistic response if you chose it to be so for your leaders. They can be merciful, or not blatantly murderous, and most people are. In fact, it's good if they are. They can then give you quests to work off your badness. Everything can be a quest hook. And merciful leaders tend to live longer as they make less enemies.


Have to? I actually DM'd a party where at one point the guy who charged in to kill the person (Roc) they were talking to to try and get something from was left to fend for himself... until the party rogue came in and started sneak attacking the impetuous player character for nonlethal damage.

In this game they are evidently defending him.

Jay R
2011-01-03, 04:41 PM
For punishment, you must use your role as Vox Populi.

Remember that the PCs are not the most powerful entities in the universe. Remember that the Universe is unbiased, so any option available to the PCs is also available to others.

What one fool can do, another can. Those who rule society did not get there by being weak, or stupid, or lacking in resourcefulness and ruthlessness.

Exactly. The original D&D had the following rule:


ANGRY VILLAGER RULE:
Anyone who has viewed a horror movie is aware of how dangerous angry villagers are. Whenever the referee finds that some player has committed an unforgiveable outrage this rule can be invoked to harass the offender into line. Within the realm of angry villagers are thieves from the "thieves' quarter", city watches and militia, etc. Also possible is the insertion of some character like Conan to bring matters into line.


P.S: To the people who are asking what kind of CS he is, he's wayyyyyyy too kleptomaniac rogue.

If I understand you, the problem is not that he's too kleptomaniac; it's that he's stupidly careless. So why is he that careless? Because it works. But he's not the first kleptomaniac in this city. What aren't all the NPCs doing the same thing? Whatever would happen to them should happen to him.

In short, the problem is that the player is reacting rationally to the situation the DM is creating, by continuing to play a winning move. As long as it wins, he will keep doing it, just as a basketball team will always run to the basket until the defense can stop them. I recommend that the party hear that there's been a wave of crimes, and that the king/baron/Slitherlord has hired a few undercover assassins. Then each theft in public has a 2-10% chance of being seen -- leading to an immediate hue and cry. Yes, he will get away, but the City Guard will have his description from then on.

TheWhisper
2011-01-03, 05:09 PM
In short, the problem is that the player is reacting rationally to the situation the DM is creating, by continuing to play a winning move. As long as it wins, he will keep doing it

Well put.

Chaotic Stupid characters are almost always a sign that someone is used to or expects a pushover GM.

The trick, then, is to realize that being a "fair" GM means that players have chance to prosper and succeed if they make wise choices... not that they have the chance to prosper and succeed even if they are idiots.

I call the latter "Suicide by GM".

Examples of "Suicide by GM" include:

1. Rushing into battle against formidable foes without planning or tactics.

2. Assuming you have plot armor.

3. Antagonizing other PCs to the point of violence. (Yes, I will let them PK you.)

4. Assuming that everyone in the civilized world is a first level NPC class who must passively accept ill-treatment by the Glorious PC Master Race.

5. Doing something suicidal which you think is safe, based on knowledge that your character shouldn't have. (Sure the dragon is blue, and you're immune to lightning, but does your character know anything about dragons? Maybe in my game world, blue dragons breathe fire, or all dragons are blue... and your character doesn't know that because he has no special knowledge of dragons.)

6. Failing to pack your common sense along with your coil of rope and your wand of magic missiles.

NichG
2011-01-03, 06:15 PM
I generally agree that the issue with the player should be handled via out of game conversation and considerations.

That said, this has become an interesting discussion on how campaigns should be structured in terms of realistic responses to PC actions. A lot of consideration has gone into 'how would a king/authority figure deal with this' and 'if the king has the power to stomp the PCs, then why are the PCs necessary?', so lets break it down into a few cases.

1. The PCs are not particularly powerful (yet) compared to the high-end of NPCs available in their local area. They are important because they have heroic destinies and will eventually be in a pivotal position, not because they are walking gods more powerful than any other force the kingdom has access to right now. Thus, the king sends them on quests much like he would send his higher-level NPCs on quests - this is something that needs doing, and the PCs are the ones who are of the appropriate level of power to do so.

In a broader sense, it may not even be that their interactions with the kingdom are why they are important (not every game is about saving the world), but that they are important because it is their story that is being explored, rather than the story of how that random level 20 NPC is saving the world right now.

In these circumstances, it is reasonable for the king to have access to high level people who can stomp a misbehaving PC, and better yet who can do it with precision. It may simply be that the 20 guardsmen in the throne room are all 3 levels higher than the party, and they use nonlethal force to restrain the misbehaving PC.

If the misbehaving PC is captured, all of their possessions are stripped from them and they are sentenced to a year in jail or something else reasonable, but by which time the rest of the adventure will probably be over unless they are broken out first. Continue clauses for that character after such an event would be making a deal (unpaid dangerous service for the crown to pay for misdeeds), the party using politics to barter for the character's release, or a large bail to buy off the jail time. Escape and breakouts are possible, but depending on the party may (in a fixed world) mean going up against very high level threats. Such things would result in the character being a wanted criminal - if it were particularly public, they would no longer be able to safely enter cities, and merchants/etc would have a chance to recognize them and refuse service.

Additionally, if the character or the party as a whole pulls out lethal force, it is reasonable for the guards to respond in kind.

2. The PCs are among the most powerful figures in the land. E.g. they are equal in level with the highest level warriors in the king's army, etc, etc. At this point, the king probably would not use throne-room guards to settle it since it'd likely end badly, but might declare that his honor has been besmirched and that this will stand on the record poorly, and so the matter must be resolved by a duel/etc. At which point the king gets an equal-level warrior to represent him, and the offending character must either agree to fight the duel or have his cowardice known far and wide. The king can't really directly attack him without putting himself and his kingdom at risk, but he can attack his legend and his ego, and will use all his knowledge of diplomacy, personal manipulation, etc to try to come out ahead. He would treat it like he would deal with foreign heads of state - he can't really order them executed, but he can insist on reparations to salvage good relations, and things of that nature.

3. The PCs are clearly more powerful than anyone else in the land, and might as well be gods come to earth to the king's presence. A smart ruler would realize this, and basically treat the PCs with deference and respect no matter what they do. The king is in a lose-lose situation here - they either try to punish the lese-majeste and get killed, or they lose face in front of their people.

The smartest rulers would never actually meet with the PCs in public. They would attempt to hush up the details of the meeting and for the first meeting would use a representative to meet the PCs in private. Once they determined that the PCs were well behaved they might try to use them for publicity (emphasize them as national heroes, etc), but they wouldn't risk it initially without knowing the sort of people they were showcasing.

If the PCs were insistent and a constant threat to the king's rule and public appearance, the king would likely still be respectful and would claim a dire need, that the nation must be saved from X, where X is something that is very likely to kill even the PCs. The king would provide incomplete information, flawed tools, etc, to try to get the PCs killed or to get the PCs and some other threat to effectively neutralize each-other. In the case that the PCs return triumphant, the king will have likely spent the intervening time preparing for them, and might be able to spring a trap on them using specific knowledge of their abilities (perhaps appealing to a better-behaved set of heroes if available, or creating the appearance that the city was deserted by commanding the populace to hide or other extreme reactions).

If the PCs are truly godlike compared to the power available to the kingdom, in the sense that the total military might of the kingdom would fail to kill them (e.g. E6 kingdom versus a level 20 party) then either the king will get himself and his kingdom killed in his hubris, or he will play up the PCs as true deities and debase himself before them (and play doing so up as virtuous faith and humility, rather than a show of weakness). Basically with this sort of power gap, the situation is no different than if Pelor himself (or some other divinity in the pantheon) showed up in person and declared that he would have a chat with the king. Depending on the nature of the king in question, he'd be likely to try to marry off his family to the PCs to make them care about the kingdom and protect it, abdicate and try to place a PC on the throne, or if the king's goals and PCs goals are diametrically opposed flee the kingdom for a far away land or make a valourous and doomed final stand against the PCs.

Jack_Simth
2011-01-03, 09:39 PM
Ok, so the player is away from the rest of the party, can't do much, useless. And he's probably going to want to do stuff, so he's going out.Yes... to be attacked by the guards, reviled by the merchants, and having everyone turn the entire party away when he's around.

Gee, you'd think this thread was about how society punishes people who break it's rules, making things a bit less fun for that person. Hmm....
Not really. Thieves are common in these cities. They can just have non lethal beating up damage done to them, or they can be chased. More powerful ones wouldn't necessarily face the guards, as he'd probably be above their paygrade.Ah, but very few societies tolerate repeating offenders. This guy has been caught, multiple times. He has been busted out of jail, multiple times. IRL, a single jailbreak is newsworthy, and is liable to cause a face to be plastered basically everywhere for a while. With rewards for information leading to the arrest of the person. Which basically translates to everyone he sees calling the guard. The bartender slips him a mickey to render him unconscious so the guard can pick him up with little-to-no fuss. Merchants haggle much longer than normal as they quietly hit a panic button to summon the guard. They quietly offload their cursed items his way, rather than their proper goods, as ... who's he gonna tell? He'll be arrested if he tries to report anyone. And he's not exactly good for the merchants. Random peasants on the street will see dollar signs and go get the guard.

This is one way a coherent society deals with criminals. Which this guy is.
If he's stealing expensive enough stuff, assassins and private armies can come after him. People can lay traps. Lots of stuff that doesn't involve giving the party a good reason to slaughter innocents.???
You're now suggesting something you recently said shouldn't be done:

Plus there's a big risk of evil incidents like the party mass slaughtering guards. It's a problematic road to go down.
You've pretty much reached the point of contradicting yourself, now.

Result, dead party. And he's wantonly breaking minor laws.Which he compounds by getting busted out of prison. repeatedly. Which is *not* a minor law, anywhere.

Besides: What makes you think theft is a minor law? In a lot of times & places, it was punished with slavery, hard labor and/or loss of body parts (in societies that do *not* have access to regeneration, I might add). If you're stealing from a merchant, the merchant might not be able to make enough to feed his children this year. In singular thefts, it's pretty rare, but if it's not stopped, well... not everyone treats potentially sentencing children to slow death by starvation as 'minor'.
Who suggested doing that? If they're actively suicidal punish them. We're talking about people who do minor crimes which disrupt the game, not people who decide to kill the gods themselves.I did mention I was stretching things to make a point. See, you had just said:

It's fairly usual in campaigns to not put enemies in there that can easily defeat the party. You have enemies which are roughly equal to them, or slightly superior. That way your party doesn't die.When I was suggesting that the law of the land would gather overwhelming force to bring to bear. Thus, I was putting forth an example of an NPC that's not put in as an enemy, but is made an enemy by direct player action. Like the example guy is doing with the law of the land.

If you walk up to Corellion and start trying to blast him, you should get smote.

If you repeatedly break laws sufficient to get put in prison, and repeatedly get broken out of prison, there will be steps taken against you. But basically all realistic IC steps that have been proposed you've been trying to shoot down as ways to kill the campaign. Regardless of whether or not they're fatal to the player character.

The party has far less need to kill guards or save him if the guards are only dealing non lethal damage.No... they just want to lock him up forever... which the party can't allow... so the exact same thing will happen, in that the party will take down the guards anyway. It's just that in this scenario, the guards are hampered.

We're assuming a mostly good party that won't attack unless there's some serious need. Like a king yelling how you will be tortured and executed.He doesn't yell about it. He just calls the guards, and arranges for the stuff to happen after.

It's a realistic response if you chose it to be so for your leaders. They can be merciful, or not blatantly murderous, and most people are. In fact, it's good if they are. They can then give you quests to work off your badness. Everything can be a quest hook. And merciful leaders tend to live longer as they make less enemies.Up to a point, this is true. But with a king, his honor is his life's blood. He can't be seen as 'weak' if there's not-nice people with a reasonable amount of power about. If he doesn't come down like a ton of bricks on people that are flagrant to his face, he won't long be king.

There's a very large difference between merciful 'you committed murder, but are repentant; you are to be sentenced to a labor camp for ten years, rather than hanged' and 'Ah, you're right! The tomato stains go great with my ruby rings!'

Kings have practical limitations on what mercy they can dispense.
In this game they are evidently defending him.For now, yes. Of course, they've also apparently not dealt with targeted overwhelming odds.

Ytaker
2011-01-03, 10:21 PM
Yes... to be attacked by the guards, reviled by the merchants, and having everyone turn the entire party away when he's around.

Gee, you'd think this thread was about how society punishes people who break it's rules, making things a bit less fun for that person.

Attacked by the guards is the main problem. If they do attack him with the aim of killing him, they'll probably die. The merchant thing is ok, but giving players a reason to be incredibly immoral is likely to lead to exponentially worse problems than a guy stealing stuff. This thread is about avoiding chaotic stupid not encouraging it.


Hmm....Ah, but very few societies tolerate repeating offenders.

Questionable. Lots of societies tolerate repeat offenders. Many criminals have a string of arrests before they're actually put in prison, and continue to commit many more offenses after.


Which basically translates to everyone he sees calling the guard.

And them dying horribly.


The bartender slips him a mickey to render him unconscious so the guard can pick him up with little-to-no fuss.

Making people that cooperative to the guards is a bit excessive, but sure. And his party is likely to walk him out.



This is one way a coherent society deals with criminals. Which this guy is.???
You're now suggesting something you recently said shouldn't be done:

That's one excessive way. Since he hasn't caused severe harm to anyone they don't have to have a reward and a wanted poster. Not all societies even have wanted posters. And deliberately trying to set up a conflict between guards and the party, again, is a good way to cause chaotic evil behaviour.


You've pretty much reached the point of contradicting yourself, now.
Which he compounds by getting busted out of prison. repeatedly. Which is *not* a minor law, anywhere.

I'm not saying he shouldn't face consequences. I'm saying those consequences shouldn't be a chance to kill lawful good NPCs, if possible. And, they shouldn't be overwhelming to the party.

Medieval societies rarely put much importance on jails. They sometimes even let criminals out to beg.


Besides: What makes you think theft is a minor law? In a lot of times & places, it was punished with slavery, hard labor and/or loss of body parts (in societies that do *not* have access to regeneration, I might add). If you're stealing from a merchant, the merchant might not be able to make enough to feed his children this year. In singular thefts, it's pretty rare, but if it's not stopped, well... not everyone treats potentially sentencing children to slow death by starvation as 'minor'.I did mention I was stretching things to make a point. See, you had just said:

Actually, research indicates that the normal punishment was social humiliation. Like being put in the stocks. Punishments like amputation were rarely used.

http://www.livescience.com/history/060803_medieval_torture.html

Which suggests a way to bring the PC into line. Humiliate his character.


When I was suggesting that the law of the land would gather overwhelming force to bring to bear. Thus, I was putting forth an example of an NPC that's not put in as an enemy, but is made an enemy by direct player action. Like the example guy is doing with the law of the land.

You were giving the example of attacking a person directly.


If you repeatedly break laws sufficient to get put in prison, and repeatedly get broken out of prison, there will be steps taken against you. But basically all realistic IC steps that have been proposed you've been trying to shoot down as ways to kill the campaign. Regardless of whether or not they're fatal to the player character.

I've shot down having hyper aggressive guards. Not mercenaries for merchants who he stole from though. Or many other things. It's hardly as obvious as attacking a god that stealing things would lead to incredibly powerful npcs attacking you. There are indeed thieving guilds which dedicate their lives to thievery without any such problems.


No... they just want to lock him up forever... which the party can't allow... so the exact same thing will happen, in that the party will take down the guards anyway. It's just that in this scenario, the guards are hampered.
He doesn't yell about it. He just calls the guards, and arranges for the stuff to happen after.

You want them to lock him up forever. I was suggesting they beat the crap out of him. As a way of making him pay for his crime in blood.


Up to a point, this is true. But with a king, his honor is his life's blood. He can't be seen as 'weak' if there's not-nice people with a reasonable amount of power about. If he doesn't come down like a ton of bricks on people that are flagrant to his face, he won't long be king.

Do you have evidence for this claim? That say, causing non lethal damage to that one character, or banning him from his court would lead to him being over thrown?

There are many censures other than death.


There's a very large difference between merciful 'you committed murder, but are repentant; you are to be sentenced to a labor camp for ten years, rather than hanged' and 'Ah, you're right! The tomato stains go great with my ruby rings!'

So, he's murdered someone now? I thought we were talking about the hypothetical situation where he did something rude to the king, a very common action for PCs who don't respect fictional characters.


Kings have practical limitations on what mercy they can dispense.For now, yes. Of course, they've also apparently not dealt with targeted overwhelming odds.

Do you have proof for this claim, that kings have practical limits to what mercy they can give, and this limit is at not executing an adventurer on the spot for being disrespectful?

So, hope you're lucky as DM. Otherwise the party might die.

jseah
2011-01-03, 11:33 PM
Ah, but I don't neccessarily follow those. You can, but if so you need to discuss it with your players first, and D&D may not be the most appropriate system choice.
?

I ran a game where *all* NPCs had PC class levels and average level 4-7.

Of course, that game I wanted the players to take over the world so I made them level 15.
Got my wish too.

Usually, when I run campaigns, NPCs average level 4-7 and PCs are about the same.

There was a PvP battle in there (you get those when many players are trying to be the BBEG) and I just ran with it and let them die. NPCs would have killed them too if not for formation tactics being useless when your opponents have Flame Strike.

Oh, but then I did have a rule that people with dead characters get to make a new one back at level 15. So perhaps that didn't hurt too bad.

Doug Lampert
2011-01-04, 12:01 PM
?

I ran a game where *all* NPCs had PC class levels and average level 4-7.


All NPC's Every Dragon? Every Zombie? Every Animal? Every Archon? There's no special group called "NPC" as opposed to monster. Note that if you read their description most of the humanoids in the MM have class levels, not racial HD.

But your game as described where NPCs are level 4-7 and PCs are level 15 is actively in agreement that PCs are special. Far MORE so than a standard game. Your PCs are very special with plot armor.

TheArsenal
2011-01-04, 12:43 PM
I just use Reverse Psychology if all else fails:

Me: The God of Light Approaches you telling you that he will grant you one wish

Dude: Give Me BOOZE! :smallamused:

Me: The God gives you the holy sword as requested.

Dude: I asked for booze! :smallconfused:

Me: The god thanks you for being mature and polite with him.

Dude: I stab him with the sword! :smallmad:

Me: The god tells you that you where very smart for recognizing that the sword needed to be powered by light, plus it didn't hurt him at all since its holy.

Dude: F*** YOU!..:smallfurious:..I ask him how he managed to defeat the demon in the first place..Ect

Ashiel
2011-01-04, 05:39 PM
Not having kid gloves is a good method to make players consider their actions before they do things. Triply so if that action is something stupid. Knowing that your character can and WILL be killed - not by the GM but - by the NPCs and the world around them as appropriate quickly causes this sort of thing to go the way of the dodo.

Choosing to make sure there is no threat of law that the PCs cannot handle is intentionally creating a lawless world without order. It is not the PC that is causing the problem, but the GM. While many of us are good, honest people, who don't want to cause harm, would any of us ever suggest that having no policing force or judicial punishments be a good thing? Could we honestly say that it is at all sensible to challenge evil and disorder only with "fairness" and mild punishments? People used to crucify and behead people for less than some PCs get away with for sake of "fun". And the thing is, rarely do I hear people heralding these situations as fun.

Ytaker complains that actually dealing with these situations in-game is not fun, and destroys the campaign. Well that player is the one responsible for it being un-fun, and is in the process of destroying the game. Do not teach them a lesson, merely let them learn it. For example.

Player A, B, C, and D are an adventuring party.
Player A, B, and C aren't acting like nominees for the Darwin Award.
Player D does something amazingly stupid and socially unacceptable, such as punching random people 'cause he thinks it's funny.
Authority figures attempt to arrest Player D for the civil unrest.

1) Player A, B, and C note they want no part of him for being socially retarded. They continue the game, and player D rolls a new character or sits out. Player D continues to find himself constantly either out of the action, or constantly rolling new characters.
2) Player A, B, and C, either lose their minds as well (or metagame to the high-heavens) and decide to defend player D with violence, resulting in what could be the end of the campaign (having made enemies of society, most likely), or are killed. Allow them to roll new characters.

If option 1 was taken, the player will either take the hint after sitting out constantly or rolling more and more characters, or he will complain or try to be spiteful for his stupidity not being catered to.

If option 2 was taken, then the rest of the players will take the hint, and they will default to action 1 much more often.

In both cases, the end result is the deviant being told to sit down and shut up unless he wants to do something that isn't stupid by the rest of the players. In the end, you gain more respect for being neither biased nor a pushover, and people have more fun because they can enjoy the game instead of "Player D's wacky nonsensical land of stupid".

Ytaker
2011-01-04, 06:33 PM
Choosing to make sure there is no threat of law that the PCs cannot handle is intentionally creating a lawless world without order.

You can have a different threat of law for wanton murder than you do for thievery and jail breaking. You can also have a host of punishments short of killing for players who do it, as discussed in the thread. It's not an either order or chaos situation.


Ytaker complains that actually dealing with these situations in-game is not fun, and destroys the campaign. Well that player is the one responsible for it being un-fun, and is in the process of destroying the game. Do not teach them a lesson, merely let them learn it. For example.

Let's see your example.


Player A, B, C, and D are an adventuring party.
Player A, B, and C aren't acting like nominees for the Darwin Award.
Player D does something amazingly stupid and socially unacceptable, such as punching random people 'cause he thinks it's funny.
Authority figures attempt to arrest Player D for the civil unrest.

1) Player A, B, and C note they want no part of him for being socially retarded. They continue the game, and player D rolls a new character or sits out. Player D continues to find himself constantly either out of the action, or constantly rolling new characters.
2) Player A, B, and C, either lose their minds as well (or metagame to the high-heavens) and decide to defend player D with violence, resulting in what could be the end of the campaign (having made enemies of society, most likely), or are killed. Allow them to roll new characters.

Scenario 3. 2, but after they don't want any more of your campaign because you just killed their favourite characters. They start playing wod with some slightly strange vampire dudes. You can't just assume everything is going to go your way to prove your point. TPKs are harsh. And, TPK for one character stealing stuff.

The guy who's running this seems pretty mild. Introducing rocks fall everyone dies is not likely to encourage his players. Having players die is a painful experience.

FelixG
2011-01-04, 06:57 PM
You can have a different threat of law for wanton murder than you do for thievery and jail breaking. You can also have a host of punishments short of killing for players who do it, as discussed in the thread. It's not an either order or chaos situation.


He has broken out of jail multiple times, he has stolen more than his fair share of things, they really should just execute the offending player, slip an assassin in kill him take the body ect. Make sure he CANT come back.

There is nothing wrong with killing players if they are being annoyances. Itis particularly beautiful when players themselves take this into their own hands but it cant be relied on in a face to face game because the offending player will whine.



Scenario 3. 2, but after they don't want any more of your campaign because you just killed their favourite characters. They start playing wod with some slightly strange vampire dudes. You can't just assume everything is going to go your way to prove your point. TPKs are harsh. And, TPK for one character stealing stuff.

The guy who's running this seems pretty mild. Introducing rocks fall everyone dies is not likely to encourage his players. Having players die is a painful experience.


If they get pissy then you just calmly explain. "You were defending a known thief and criminal, a pest against society, if you do that you do face consequences, you are adults and I am not going to coddle you by making this game farmville."

After that if they want to go play WoD or other random game system encourage them to do so, then you can let that new GM realize how stupid the annoying player is.

He could just introduce rock falls, annoying player dies, but some people really cant go for the simple solution.

Ashiel
2011-01-04, 06:59 PM
You can have a different threat of law for wanton murder than you do for thievery and jail breaking. You can also have a host of punishments short of killing for players who do it, as discussed in the thread. It's not an either order or chaos situation.

Nope. But cutting people's limbs off is a penalty for stealing. Killing horse thieves is a famous one too. Cutting off the genitalia of rapists is a known archaic punishment. In the Forgotten Realms, criminals within that one city (the one ruled by the arcane brotherhood, I think Luskan) will be tied down, and a fiendish rat made to gnaw its way through you to get out of its prison.

Are these punishments that occur for minor things? No. But after fines, jail-time, repeated offenses, and violence against law enforcement, you'd best have a damn good advocate on your side; lest you be rat-patties.


Scenario 3. 2, but after they don't want any more of your campaign because you just killed their favourite characters. They start playing wod with some slightly strange vampire dudes. You can't just assume everything is going to go your way to prove your point. TPKs are harsh. And, TPK for one character stealing stuff.

The guy who's running this seems pretty mild. Introducing rocks fall everyone dies is not likely to encourage his players. Having players die is a painful experience.

Oh boo hoo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfLDf5hiNqI) (lol, I love this movie). Players dying is pretty painful. One of my beast friends and players nearly died, and it pained me to see him suffer so. His PCs on the other hand, well he doesn't bat an eyelash over them. If someone is so tied to their characters as to feel deep emotional pain when they die for being stupid, then you should really see a therapist or something.

Sorry, but I've experienced my share of these sorts of players - before and after. The first time my players tried out the Red Hand of Doom, they wiped in the first encounter. They re-rolled and went back, thirsty for more.

If acting stupid means going to play WoD, then let them play WoD, because it sounds like that's what they're more interested in if they're not really enjoying your D&D game. Maybe it's 'cause they're bored and wanna try something different, and making one-dimensional lunatics is their way of acting out in that boredom.

Likewise, sorry, but even in my examples the TPKs were their fault. That's the point. If one player makes a mess and the rest decide to dive into it when he was obviously asking for it, then they'll learn the lesson too. If they care about their characters, they'll act like they have some sense - like real people might act, instead of diving into combat against authorities trying to stop a player from constantly being criminals.

If the cops busted in on my uncle because he was suspected of being involved with drugs, do you think I'm going to jump up and try to physically engage the police in mortal combat? Do you think those police should spare my life if I pull a gun on them when they try to arrest my uncle? At that point, I just signed the dotted line of the "I won't die unless I'm stupid" clause that some were talking about earlier. I just voluntarily did something stupid and reckless, and only have myself and (maybe) player D to blame.

Making the world bend over for them is rarely a real option, and the kind of people who like disrupting things will only continue to get worse. Like a child who screams and throws tantrums because he knows his parents will cave. Let 'em scream and pout, send them to their room or give them something to cry about. Showing them that acting stupid, reckless, lawless, and being a menace to society does not get them that shiny +3 XBOX, but a time-outsville.

PS: The link in the "boo hoo" is to a clip from the film Mean Girls, and to clarify before someone gets insulted, it's not directed as an insult to anyone in this thread (and is PG). It's one of the most humorous one-liners in the movie, and I thought of it when I said "Oh boo". :P

Ytaker
2011-01-04, 07:35 PM
Nope. But cutting people's limbs off is a penalty for stealing. Killing horse thieves is a famous one too. Cutting off the genitalia of rapists is a known archaic punishment. In the Forgotten Realms, criminals within that one city (the one ruled by the arcane brotherhood, I think Luskan) will be tied down, and a fiendish rat made to gnaw its way through you to get out of its prison.

Those are some punishments. If you want to use them on your players, I guess you can. There's no particular reason you have to. As I noted, they also had things like the stocks. The mere existence of harsh punishments does not mean you have to have them in your city.


Are these punishments that occur for minor things? No. But after fines, jail-time, repeated offenses, and violence against law enforcement, you'd best have a damn good advocate on your side; lest you be rat-patties.

Who commited violence against law enforcement officers? If they did commit major crimes whatever big guns the law enforcement have should be brought out. The DMG suggests maybe a powerful fighter on retainer or an anti magic scroll.


If someone is so tied to their characters as to feel deep emotional pain when they die for being stupid, then you should really see a therapist or something.

Lots of players get really into their characters. They outfit them with stuff and plan out their levels. It doesn't mean they are insane.



If acting stupid means going to play WoD, then let them play WoD, because it sounds like that's what they're more interested in if they're not really enjoying your D&D game. Maybe it's 'cause they're bored and wanna try something different, and making one-dimensional lunatics is their way of acting out in that boredom.

Or maybe, as in this situation, one of the players is a thief, and facing consequences for it, and still being a thief, a perfectly realistic situation, and the DM wants to change that without risking a TPK which would probably annoy the players a lot?

Even the DM said he was having a lot of fun.


If the cops busted in on my uncle because he was suspected of being involved with drugs, do you think I'm going to jump up and try to physically engage the police in mortal combat? Do you think those police should spare my life if I pull a gun on them when they try to arrest my uncle?

If you were a highly effective fighter with 7+ who loved his uncle and had been saved by said uncle more than once, and you could do so, you might.

Yes, because the police wouldn't spare your life it's not a great plan if whoever is controlling this situation wants to make your uncle a better person. There are lots of realistic ways for people to act. You don't have to engage in a quite impractical one just because that way could be realistic.



Making the world bend over for them is rarely a real option, and the kind of people who like disrupting things will only continue to get worse. Like a child who screams and throws tantrums because he knows his parents will cave.

But instead, you should bend the world and make them send out a large and powerful army of npcs who can easily overwhelm the party for a petty thief, aka a huge huge over reaction? That was one of the suggestions earlier I was saying would be a poor idea.

So, you can do other things. The mere existence of a problem doesn't mean that your particular solution, sending guards to kill that problem, is going to be effective. Killing people has unintended consequences. You could try other solutions.

HerrTenko
2011-01-04, 08:55 PM
"So, hope you're lucky as DM. Otherwise the party might die. "

I think this is what you're not getting.

If a player character acts utterly stupidly, (s)he may die.
If the WHOLE party commits the utterly stupid action that is fighting to death to protect one stupid PC against an overwhelming threat, when said PC is fully responsible for bringing this threat's wrath upon himself, then the whole party shall die.
If they complain about that, just remind them there's no Multiversal Force binding the party together up to the point of following a (stupid) dead member in the grave.

TheWhisper
2011-01-04, 09:08 PM
I'm puzzled by this attitude some people have that a TPK is the worst of all possible outcomes, not just in the game, but for the game.

Without the possibility of failure and disaster, success means little.

If your choices can't harm you, whether by getting you killed or in some lesser way, then they don't matter. What satisfaction is there, then, in making good ones?

Perhaps others like RPGs as nothing more than an idealized power fantasy. But I must say I prefer to overcome real obstacles that present a real threat.

Ashiel
2011-01-04, 10:17 PM
Those are some punishments. If you want to use them on your players, I guess you can. There's no particular reason you have to. As I noted, they also had things like the stocks. The mere existence of harsh punishments does not mean you have to have them in your city.

Stocks first. Hands next. Death next. Burn your ashes last.


Who commited violence against law enforcement officers? If they did commit major crimes whatever big guns the law enforcement have should be brought out. The DMG suggests maybe a powerful fighter on retainer or an anti magic scroll.

The moment the party decides to fight law enforcement, they have entered into committing violence against law-enforcement. A powerful fighter fights. A scroll of antimagic field can be used by a low-level character with a low CL check. Even in places without high level NPCs, society can defend itself at least modestly.


Lots of players get really into their characters. They outfit them with stuff and plan out their levels. It doesn't mean they are insane.
Yes and no. I plan all my characters when I start them at 1st level. I usually think of background, motivations, cover a bit of their family information; why they're adventuring (I had an elven fighter who was searching for her lost daughter, for example). If said character gets killed by going on life-threatening adventures, I don't get bummed, pissed at the GM, or go into some form of depression or suffer pain for my fictional character dying.

Roll a new character, breath life into another creation. The only person I know in that actually sounds like what you're describing actually breaks down when a character of his dies, and he gets depressed, and he inflicts physical pain on himself for it, and y'know what? That's ****ing insane. I've suggested he calm down and perhaps seek some help on multiple occasions, and I tell him to either keep his act together or don't ask to play; because I'm not going to be his enabler.


Or maybe, as in this situation, one of the players is a thief, and facing consequences for it, and still being a thief, a perfectly realistic situation, and the DM wants to change that without risking a TPK which would probably annoy the players a lot?

Even the DM said he was having a lot of fun.
Then the DM wouldn't be asking for help with punishing/rectifying the situation. His very request reveals that on some level the problem player is disrupting the game and his fun. It seems more like he's saying "I like this game, I like my friends, I don't like this. How do I fix it?"

Likewise, if the thief repeatedly is caught and doesn't repent, then the criminal punishments would get more severe; and it would affect his party members. The only way that it'll turn into a TPK is in fact if the PCs make it, in which case they asked for it. As noted in my earlier example: Either the player gets used to sitting the adventure out in jail, or he gets used to rolling characters. If the whole party decides to martially defend him, then they become outcasts or dead.

It's not rocket science.


If you were a highly effective fighter with 7+ who loved his uncle and had been saved by said uncle more than once, and you could do so, you might.
No, I wouldn't. It would solve nothing. Even if I killed the police, it would only earn greater ire from the world. Life would have to change, and I would be putting myself at risk, my family at risk, and so forth. I have no doubt that I actually could kill several police officers; particularly if I caught them by surprise, but that would be a criminal, immoral, and very stupid act.

The fact is, I wouldn't. Period. Why? Because it's stupid. He's family, and I've seen him carted off to a jail cell before because he was suspected of being tied up with some drug dealers whom he associated with.


Yes, because the police wouldn't spare your life it's not a great plan if whoever is controlling this situation wants to make your uncle a better person. There are lots of realistic ways for people to act. You don't have to engage in a quite impractical one just because that way could be realistic.
If my uncle was guilty, then he deserved to rot in jail, 'cause he knows better. He's a grown man. He's made some bad choices with who he's hung out around, and he's too much like a little kid. Sound's familiar, right? Well, he's not half as disrupting to society as trying to manhandle some ruler or openly assaulting an officer.


But instead, you should bend the world and make them send out a large and powerful army of npcs who can easily overwhelm the party for a petty thief, aka a huge huge over reaction? That was one of the suggestions earlier I was saying would be a poor idea.

I recall hearing bounty hunters, as well as other adventurers and/or lawkeepers of strength, if the crimes were serious enough. I also recall magically subduing. I don't recall the army bit, but that's 100% irrelevant to anything I've said, and has nothing to do with my posts; so it doesn't belong in your rebuttals towards my posts.


So, you can do other things. The mere existence of a problem doesn't mean that your particular solution, sending guards to kill that problem, is going to be effective. Killing people has unintended consequences. You could try other solutions.

You don't seem to be following my posts at all.

Chilingsworth
2011-01-05, 07:56 AM
While reading this thread, I'm reminded of Fable, when you start getting gaurds going after you. They keep coming and coming until you're dead or fled. Anyone else remember that?

Ytaker
2011-01-05, 08:03 AM
I'm puzzled by this attitude some people have that a TPK is the worst of all possible outcomes, not just in the game, but for the game.

Without the possibility of failure and disaster, success means little.

That's the problem. The suggestions were for overwhelming forces that the players had no chance of stopping. Like multiple high level ethereal wizards.


Stocks first. Hands next. Death next. Burn your ashes last.

That's one way to do it, if you want.


The moment the party decides to fight law enforcement, they have entered into committing violence against law-enforcement. A powerful fighter fights. A scroll of antimagic field can be used by a low-level character with a low CL check. Even in places without high level NPCs, society can defend itself at least modestly.

Yes, I agree.


Yes and no. I plan all my characters when I start them at 1st level. I usually think of background, motivations, cover a bit of their family information; why they're adventuring (I had an elven fighter who was searching for her lost daughter, for example). If said character gets killed by going on life-threatening adventures, I don't get bummed, pissed at the GM, or go into some form of depression or suffer pain for my fictional character dying.

You don't get at all bummed if your character dies? I'm not sure why you're suggesting the person goes into depression. I'm just saying that a TPK is an unpleasant experience for a party, and that people generally want to keep their party alive.


Likewise, if the thief repeatedly is caught and doesn't repent, then the criminal punishments would get more severe; and it would affect his party members. The only way that it'll turn into a TPK is in fact if the PCs make it, in which case they asked for it. As noted in my earlier example: Either the player gets used to sitting the adventure out in jail, or he gets used to rolling characters. If the whole party decides to martially defend him, then they become outcasts or dead.

You don't have to put the PCs in a situation where they can 'ask for it'. You control the society, and you can reasonably control it so that just one person faces punishment. If you do chose to attack the entire party it may have unintended consequences.


No, I wouldn't. It would solve nothing. Even if I killed the police, it would only earn greater ire from the world. Life would have to change, and I would be putting myself at risk, my family at risk, and so forth. I have no doubt that I actually could kill several police officers; particularly if I caught them by surprise, but that would be a criminal, immoral, and very stupid act.

You can, as trog suggested, simply move cities, and you have no family in this scenario as you are an adventurer. And the party may act different from you. He's useful to you so it's not too stupid an act.


Sound's familiar, right?

He sounds like he's in a radically different situation to our thief here, to be honest.


I recall hearing bounty hunters, as well as other adventurers and/or lawkeepers of strength, if the crimes were serious enough. I also recall magically subduing. I don't recall the army bit, but that's 100% irrelevant to anything I've said, and has nothing to do with my posts; so it doesn't belong in your rebuttals towards my posts.

You joined late in our conversation. There was an argument about whether it was fair to use utterly overwheling forces against the players as society felt a desperate need to stop criminals.


When I was suggesting that the law of the land would gather overwhelming force to bring to bear. Thus, I was putting forth an example of an NPC that's not put in as an enemy, but is made an enemy by direct player action. Like the example guy is doing with the law of the land.

If you walk up to Corellion and start trying to blast him, you should get smote.

So, busting out of jail is sorta like directly attacking a god.

Plus, sending low level guards to attack them is likely to not work so well. If the players decide to fight then you'll be making them kill lawful good characters, which doesn't serve your purpose of punishing chaotic stupid. Better to send neutral and evil assassins, like mercanaries as you said.



While reading this thread, I'm reminded of Fable, when you start getting gaurds going after you. They keep coming and coming until you're dead or fled. Anyone else remember that?

Yes. It made killing people so much more fun since they kept respawning. It was a great way for me to blow off steam, mass murdering those guards who were so easy to kill.

hamishspence
2011-01-05, 08:05 AM
If the players decide to fight then you'll be making them kill lawful good characters, which doesn't serve your purpose of punishing chaotic stupid. Better to send neutral and evil assassins, like mercanaries as you said.

Killing good characters- especially good characters that are in the right- will have them gravitate to evil-aligned pretty fast. So if the players actually care about not being Evil- sending good characters after them will encourage them to show restraint.

And if not- then they end up as "enemies of society" with everybody turned against them.

Ytaker
2011-01-05, 08:12 AM
Er, yeah, option 2 is the problem. You want the person to face reasonable consequences from their actions without destroying the fun of your game. And without trying to convert other players to chaotic stupid.

Chilingsworth
2011-01-05, 08:25 AM
Just curious, but who ever said guards are nessicarily Lawful Good? hey could at least as easily be Lawful Neutral or even Lawful Evil, or maybe just plain Neutral, depending on the setting.

Ashiel
2011-01-05, 01:11 PM
That's the problem. The suggestions were for overwhelming forces that the players had no chance of stopping. Like multiple high level ethereal wizards.
To a degree, I would agree. I'd expect it to fit the crime and/or situation. If it involved a ruling caste individual such as a king, I would indeed expect him to have as much royal protection as possible; even if it were only in the form of higher level adepts with wands and staffs of useful spells.

Unless This is What You Expect... (http://bitey.com/2010/09/redbox-ninjas/)



That's one way to do it, if you want.
If by want, you mean expect harsher punishments for repeat offenders and jailbreakers, it's more of an expectation. It seems common sense that if Plan A isn't working, you move up to plan B.


You don't get at all bummed if your character dies? I'm not sure why you're suggesting the person goes into depression. I'm just saying that a TPK is an unpleasant experience for a party, and that people generally want to keep their party alive.
To put it bluntly, no. Of course, I may be misinterpreting your term "bummed". It's always kind of like losing D&D, which is "unpleasant", but life goes on of course. Making it out to be something it's not (a tragic event) serves no one and just makes us (the gaming community) look psychotic.

I'll give you an example right here. Night before last I was running a game. A player in that game ended up making a bad decision that chased off a potential ally, and ended up putting himself in the middle of an Ettin (which was an entirely optional encounter, much higher CR than they were expected to do battle with) and ended up getting turned into monk-jelly pretty much instantly. He then watches the game while rollin' up a new character, which he brought over last night (a telepath psion), ready to go again. If he had any other characters on hand, we could have brought one of them in, or possibly let him use an NPC for the night (but he wanted to roll a new character). Hardly the tragedy that it is made out to be (even though the PCs mourned his loss IC).

On a side note: In one of the old Darksun books, it was actually recommended that players roll multiple characters so they could have some in que when they died - because it expected it from time to time.

Back on Topic: You're right. Players generally do want to keep their party alive; hence if Player D is being a moron, and authority figures try to apprehend him or otherwise remove him from the adventure/campaign for a while, they probably shouldn't meet said authority with martial resistance. Which is entirely my point. See, check this, I'll quote it again just so you can double check:


1) Player A, B, and C note they want no part of him for being socially retarded. They continue the game, and player D rolls a new character or sits out. Player D continues to find himself constantly either out of the action, or constantly rolling new characters.
2) Player A, B, and C, either lose their minds as well (or metagame to the high-heavens) and decide to defend player D with violence, resulting in what could be the end of the campaign (having made enemies of society, most likely), or are killed. Allow them to roll new characters.

If option 1 was taken, the player will either take the hint after sitting out constantly or rolling more and more characters, or he will complain or try to be spiteful for his stupidity not being catered to.

If option 2 was taken, then the rest of the players will take the hint, and they will default to action 1 much more often.

See? The only way it threatens a total party kill for an attempt to apprehend the guy causing a problem is if the rest of the party members jump in to decide to fight the authority figure.


You don't have to put the PCs in a situation where they can 'ask for it'. You control the society, and you can reasonably control it so that just one person faces punishment. If you do chose to attack the entire party it may have unintended consequences.

Ok. You're putting words in my mouth. I never suggested attacking the entire party. I said if the party decides to defend the deviant with martial strength. If they instigate the violence towards them, then that's their problem. There's no reason at all to assume that the guards would be CR-appropriate (technically, they're probably all between CR 1/3 and CR 3) and in likely equal or greater numbers when dealing with potentially dangerous suspects (such as adventurers covered in weapons).

Likewise, if you're bending the campaign over to ensure there's no situation where the players can "ask for it", then you're giving in. Maybe you could keep them in the wilderness for the entire campaign, or never come into contact with humanoids they could easily dispatch if Player D makes trouble; but you're sacrificing a lot to make sure the problem player can't "ask for trouble". Unless you simply mean never putting them in a situation where their choices could result in fighting an enemy they cannot simply beat into the ground; in which case even the best designers in the business don't agree.


You can, as trog suggested, simply move cities, and you have no family in this scenario as you are an adventurer. And the party may act different from you. He's useful to you so it's not too stupid an act.

Ok, so what happens if the adventure was set to take place in Korvosa (such as with the Curse of the Crimson Throne adventure path), or perhaps the city of Sharn (as is the case in the introductory Eberron adventure), or perhaps the city of Waterdeep (in the Forgotten Realms) was the location of the adventure and the stories that will unfold.

It is you that is now assuming, my friend. You're assuming the PCs have no motivations beyond staying together to help their moronic cohort. You're assuming they have no friends, family, or ties to the story in-game. You say "he's useful to you" but how far will that go? How much trouble must he get into - or get you into - before he is a loose cannon that needs to be dumped? Be serious now, and then answer.

See, what I said (and I can re-quote it) was that having the world simply interact with the problem player realistically. Not bending over backwards to make sure they're having a good time of ruining everyone else's good time. I never even suggested half the things you're strawmanning me about. I never suggested that the party should be met with swift and lethal force, and never suggested that the problem player was doing anything specific. Merely having people react to social lunacy with realism, and react to crimes with punishment. Nothing more.


He sounds like he's in a radically different situation to our thief here, to be honest.
Your thief, not mine. I was giving advice for problem players of all kinds. General advice. Not "how to discourage a thief". In fact, I don't discourage thievery specifically (I mean, slight of hand!) but people can be arrested for doing it, which generally will mean sitting out for a while as they're being questioned and perhaps fined. Thus players weigh the benefits and try to make sure they're not caught (because it'll mean at least a short time-out while they're questioned and such backstage).

As a house rule, I also allow PCs to use Slight of Hand in place of a profession (thievery) check, to represent going after random marks who are trivially easy to steal from and thus don't risk getting caught. Keeps it from dominating the game with "I wanna steal from commoner #237 now".


You joined late in our conversation. There was an argument about whether it was fair to use utterly overwheling forces against the players as society felt a desperate need to stop criminals.
One would think that since I didn't suggest that, nor speak of that, I might not be a part of that; hmm?


So, busting out of jail is sorta like directly attacking a god.
Immediately, no. Might get you in a tighter lockdown, increase your sentence, or get a dead or alive bounty on your head. What you were locked up for would probably be a large factor as well.


Plus, sending low level guards to attack them is likely to not work so well. If the players decide to fight then you'll be making them kill lawful good characters, which doesn't serve your purpose of punishing chaotic stupid. Better to send neutral and evil assassins, like mercanaries as you said.

If the players kill guards trying to keep peace in their cities, then yeah the players are probably on the way to evilsville, population them. Ensuring that the NPCs have arbitrarily been giving a specific alignment doesn't mean much. Even if the NPCs are evil but trying to keep the peace, the PCs killing them doesn't make it any less evil (it's not like the PCs know they're evil without the aid of magic), and the majority of people are neutral anyway, so you might get a mixture of "not-evil" in a group that also contained "evil". Either way it's still murder or resisting arrest.


Yes. It made killing people so much more fun since they kept respawning. It was a great way for me to blow off steam, mass murdering those guards who were so easy to kill.

Great game.

Keinnicht
2011-01-05, 02:18 PM
Although I would never suggest the use of overwhelming force against him, the use of annoying force is definitely something. Send equally leveled people after him. They might or might not kill him, but never knowing when some random guy is going to attack you would get old.

Now, I have two suggestions that I think are very good:

1. Mark of Justice preventing him from stealing within city limits. Sure, the players could remove it. But they might not WANT to.

2. Inevitable. Send some Zelekhuts after he breaks out of jail. Or perhaps make the PCs go to some city that requires them to swear an oath to obey the laws except in extreme circumstances, and then send some Kolyaruts after him if he steals.

The Glyphstone
2011-01-05, 02:21 PM
Dude, I hate to say it, but it seems like you're going to have to work this out on your own. You seem like you're shooting down all the suggestions people have made, and you've shot down just about any suggestion that COULD be made.

I think you're either going to have to deal with him in one of the ways suggested here, or you're going to have to put up with his behavior. Killing off his characters shows him that you're willing to make him suffer the consequences for his actions. He'll learn eventually. Or at least learn to get away with it.

Um, you're confusing Ytaker and the OP, I think.

Keinnicht
2011-01-05, 02:23 PM
Um, you're confusing Ytaker and the OP, I think.

My bad. I just edited my post to include helpful suggestions for the OP.

Ooo! Another suggestion: Constant petty theft could be considered evil depending on who you steal from. If you're just stealing from commoners and other poor people, it's probably evil. Is there a paladin or good-aligned cleric in the party? If so, have their god give them a dream warning them to try and sway the PC from being evil. If they are unable to, start moving Chaotic Stupid Boy's alignment closer to evil.

It may seem nasty to manipulate the player of a Paladin to cease association with another PC for fear of losing his powers, but it just seems like a logical consequence of the other player's actions.

Aquillion
2011-01-05, 02:25 PM
It's an OOC problem. If the player is acting like this, chances are they're bored and not very invested in the game. Showing them the "consequences" of their actions isn't going to fix anything -- a player who cared about the game world wouldn't be acting this way anyhow. If they die, they'll roll up a new character and keep doing the same stuff.

But you could easily ruin the game for everyone else by turning the game into something entirely about Crazypants McBoredplayer's antics. Why would you want that? Don't do it.

Talk to them. Try to figure out what they want you to change about the game. If you can't do that, ignore them and focus on responding to the actions of the players who are actually invested in your game's world.

WarKitty
2011-01-05, 02:26 PM
I presume the other PC's are tired of him too? Maybe enlist their cooperation beforehand, so he gets left to his own devices for whatever punishment he earns, rather than rescued because he's a PC.

Ytaker
2011-01-05, 02:46 PM
To a degree, I would agree. I'd expect it to fit the crime and/or situation. If it involved a ruling caste individual such as a king, I would indeed expect him to have as much royal protection as possible; even if it were only in the form of higher level adepts with wands and staffs of useful spells.

Yeah, he probably would have some defences. I doubt he would be as aggressive as some are suggesting though. Lots of people play practical jokes on others, and other kings and diplomats ocassionally say humiliating things. I'd expect things below death to be the first response.

He could go all, this is sparta on them. Depends on the nature of the king and how insulting they are.


If by want, you mean expect harsher punishments for repeat offenders and jailbreakers, it's more of an expectation. It seems common sense that if Plan A isn't working, you move up to plan B.

Your harsher punishment doesn't have to include execution. There are many degrees of punishment before that. It could even just be forcing the person to pay back their victim. It's all very well hurting them, but hurting someone will not bring back the bread they stole and eat.

From later- I think we are actually in agreement on this and other points. I was assuming you were commenting on the things I was saying as you said my name, not offering general advice. For instance, the advice for a thief PC was to cut off his hands and scatter his magical items around the kingdom. That was the, not so fun thing I was criticizing. It was an overly harsh response to thievery which probably wouldn't have lead to him being less chaotic stupid or making your players like you.


To put it bluntly, no. Of course, I may be misinterpreting your term "bummed". It's always kind of like losing D&D, which is "unpleasant", but life goes on of course. Making it out to be something it's not (a tragic event) serves no one and just makes us (the gaming community) look psychotic.

I didn't make it out as a tragic event. It's an annoying event. It's especially annoying dying because the DM sent a too high CR encounter against you, that he knew you had no chance of defeating.


Hardly the tragedy that it is made out to be (even though the PCs mourned his loss IC).

Ok, sure.


Back on Topic: You're right. Players generally do want to keep their party alive; hence if Player D is being a moron, and authority figures try to apprehend him or otherwise remove him from the adventure/campaign for a while, they probably shouldn't meet said authority with martial resistance. Which is entirely my point. See, check this, I'll quote it again just so you can double check:

Yes, but assuming they won't meet that authority with martial resistance isn't a great assumption. They may just assume it's another encounter you're throwing at them.


Ok. You're putting words in my mouth. I never suggested attacking the entire party. I said if the party decides to defend the deviant with martial strength. If they instigate the violence towards them, then that's their problem. There's no reason at all to assume that the guards would be CR-appropriate (technically, they're probably all between CR 1/3 and CR 3) and in likely equal or greater numbers when dealing with potentially dangerous suspects (such as adventurers covered in weapons).

That was what I was suggesting. If you do that, and the party decides to defend their own you're going to have a problematic situation, your own fault, on your party.

Encouraging players to kill the guards by throwing them at the party is also a bad idea as you are trying to make the party want to kill random civilians less, not more. Pouring petrol on flames is a poor way to put it out. The forces of law and goodness aren't the only tool in your arsenal, though.



you're sacrificing a lot to make sure the problem player can't "ask for trouble". Unless you simply mean never putting them in a situation where their choices could result in fighting an enemy they cannot simply beat into the ground; in which case even the best designers in the business don't agree.

Er, yes, I totally agree.

But you should avoid sending encounters against them, which they can't avoid, which are able to kill the entire party, to get one player. Because then there's a good chance they'll all die.

Which designer suggests that you send an enemy which is able to defeat the entire party? That may not be what you are suggesting. If not we're in total agreement.


Ok, so what happens if the adventure was set to take place in Korvosa (such as with the Curse of the Crimson Throne adventure path), or perhaps the city of Sharn (as is the case in the introductory Eberron adventure), or perhaps the city of Waterdeep (in the Forgotten Realms) was the location of the adventure and the stories that will unfold.

Then your campaign is down the hole and they can spend the rest of their time crawling through dungeons.

That's why I suggested that banning them from the city would often be an impractical suggestion earlier. That's more for the DM though, not the player. The player doesn't know that the DM didn't actually write anything for the region outside.


Be serious now, and then answer.

Testing how far they can go, when there are other solutions, is a poor idea? It might work or it might not.


See, what I said (and I can re-quote it) was that having the world simply interact with the problem player realistically. Not bending over backwards to make sure they're having a good time of ruining everyone else's good time. I never even suggested half the things you're strawmanning me about. I never suggested that the party should be met with swift and lethal force, and never suggested that the problem player was doing anything specific. Merely having people react to social lunacy with realism, and react to crimes with punishment. Nothing more.

Oh, I assumed you were commenting on the things in this thread.


Your thief, not mine. I was giving advice for problem players of all kinds. General advice. Not "how to discourage a thief". In fact, I don't discourage thievery specifically (I mean, slight of hand!) but people can be arrested for doing it, which generally will mean sitting out for a while as they're being questioned and perhaps fined. Thus players weigh the benefits and try to make sure they're not caught (because it'll mean at least a short time-out while they're questioned and such backstage).

I agree completely. I think our point of disagreement was over me assuming you were commenting on the situation in this thread when you said my name.


As a house rule, I also allow PCs to use Slight of Hand in place of a profession (thievery) check, to represent going after random marks who are trivially easy to steal from and thus don't risk getting caught. Keeps it from dominating the game with "I wanna steal from commoner #237 now".

One would think that since I didn't suggest that, nor speak of that, I might not be a part of that; hmm?

Excellent Dming tool.

I dunno, it's still pretty random.


Immediately, no. Might get you in a tighter lockdown, increase your sentence, or get a dead or alive bounty on your head. What you were locked up for would probably be a large factor as well.

I agree.


If the players kill guards trying to keep peace in their cities, then yeah the players are probably on the way to evilsville, population them. Ensuring that the NPCs have arbitrarily been giving a specific alignment doesn't mean much. Even if the NPCs are evil but trying to keep the peace, the PCs killing them doesn't make it any less evil (it's not like the PCs know they're evil without the aid of magic), and the majority of people are neutral anyway, so you might get a mixture of "not-evil" in a group that also contained "evil". Either way it's still murder or resisting arrest.

So, the law is a problematic solution to stopping players be chaotic evil in a good game.


Great game.

It was.

The Glyphstone
2011-01-05, 02:55 PM
Your harsher punishment doesn't have to include execution. There are many degrees of punishment before that. It could even just be forcing the person to pay back their victim. It's all very well hurting them, but hurting someone will not bring back the bread they stole and eat.


Now I'm picturing a harsh society where the punishment for stealing bread is being multi-Polymorph Any Object-d into a loaf of bread. Soylent Green Bread is people, indeed.:smalltongue:

Ytaker
2011-01-05, 03:20 PM
Now I'm picturing a harsh society where the punishment for stealing bread is being multi-Polymorph Any Object-d into a loaf of bread. Soylent Green Bread is people, indeed.:smalltongue:

An excellent idea. The only problem is that the offender is not conscious of being eaten as their intelligence is lowered to that of the base type. For a loaf of bread, I presume it would have 0 intelligence.

How about, you true mind swap into the person (while restrained of course) true mind swap into a nearby creature such as a spider, have the body transformed with the spell (reducing the spider to the mental state of a loaf of bread) then true mind swap back into the now rather stupid spider bread, and then back into your own body?

It's a rather complex route, but it's the only way I can see for justice to truly be achieved. You just need a level 17 psion and the before mentioned wizard.

Grelna the Blue
2011-01-05, 03:21 PM
It wouldn't be an appropriate punishment for minor crimes or something used in every nation, but something like an updated 2nd Ed Mirror of Simple Order (http://www.thievesguild.cc/items/index.php?itemid=128) might work to put the fear of Law into a CS character.

In a very long-ago campaign, I had an extremely lawful and theocratic empire that used the Mirror as a punishment for serious or repeated crimes. Generally, for a first offense it was permissible for felons to avoid the Mirror by willingly choosing the alternative of a years long period of service as galley slaves in the navy or as laborers in the state-owned salt mines in the desert.

The Glyphstone
2011-01-05, 03:28 PM
An excellent idea. The only problem is that the offender is not conscious of being eaten as their intelligence is lowered to that of the base type. For a loaf of bread, I presume it would have 0 intelligence.

How about, you true mind swap into the person (while restrained of course) true mind swap into a nearby creature such as a spider, have the body transformed with the spell (reducing the spider to the mental state of a loaf of bread) then true mind swap back into the now rather stupid spider bread, and then back into your own body?

It's a rather complex route, but it's the only way I can see for justice to truly be achieved. You just need a level 17 psion and the before mentioned wizard.

Well, in this case the justice wasn't that the offender suffers horribly, but that they literally make up the theft by being transformed into the thing they stole as a replacement. It's not necessary for them to be conscious of being eaten, though for an Evil society it might be an added bonus (though as bread lacks nerves, there wouldn't be any pain even if they were self-aware bread).

TheWhisper
2011-01-05, 03:54 PM
Er, yeah, option 2 is the problem. You want the person to face reasonable consequences from their actions without destroying the fun of your game. And without trying to convert other players to chaotic stupid.

Yeah, see, that's the thing.

There is a certain metagaming tendency for party members to defend each other without taking a moment to say "Hold on, if I were really faced with this situation, what would I do?".

But defending a Chaotic Stupid character from the consequences of his actions is, in itself, a Chaotic Stupid act.

As a GM, I would certainly take a moment to say: "Hey dude, he just {charged at the King with a weapon/kicked a gold dragon/murdered a child in full view of the crowd/stepped through the gate into Hell/whatever}. Are you really sure you want to gamble your lives with him, or do you want to step back and watch the fireworks?

Now, you keep saying that death as a consequence for being Chaotic Stupid is too harsh a "penalty". But you don't seem to understand that I'm not, as a GM, punishing the Chaotic part.

Instead, I am playing the role of the Universe, which punishes the Stupid part.

I don't feel slightest guilt, as a GM, for not making Stupid survivable. Because the players always have a choice not to do Stupid, and it's always pretty obvious what Stupid is. The way to survive jumping headfirst into a giant blender is... to not jump headfirst into a giant blender.

It's fairly straightforward.

hamishspence
2011-01-05, 03:56 PM
Instead, I am playing the role of the Universe, which punishes the Stupid part.

I don't feel slightest guilt, as a GM, for not making Stupid survivable. Because the players always have a choice not to do Stupid, and it's always pretty obvious what Stupid is. The way to survive jumping headfirst into a giant blender is... to not jump headfirst into a giant blender.

It's fairly straightforward.

Yup- if the character is trying for a Darwin Award, sometimes it'll get awarded to them.

Tyndmyr
2011-01-05, 04:22 PM
Firstly, context: I've run many small campaigns with three of my friends that will play D&D, but one of them always rolls a Chaotic Stupid character, and even when he is LN it won't change. It's horribly annoying !

So, Playground, what is the best In-Game way to punish him ? :smallconfused:


EDIT: sneaky typo

Have people treat him as they would if this character existed in real life.

It will very quickly devolve into open conflict with figures of authority, who outnumber him ridiculously. He will die horribly, most likely. Learning comes slowly.

Suggest he consider a character that doesn't openly conflict with society. Rinse and repeat as necessary.