View Full Version : DM Help Help my players are taking over ...

2014-07-23, 05:44 AM
... and they do it even before the first session.

One player has created a NPC - namely a barkeep - and his character is a prostitute who wants to work for him. Another NPC wants him to rewrite his NPC to be against prostitution or else his noble woman and the prostitute can't meet there. Then I've tried to rewrite the NPC to fit both wishes.

Long story short. They're currently fighting in our group's forum about how the NPC should be. And I'm just sitting here, being a new DM and feeling like a referee in a boxing match. How would you react? How do you deal with player created content? Do you like compromises or does the one guy and you as the DM have all the power of it?

This is seriously discouraging for me because my players tend to bicker a lot in the forums. I HATE bickering and normally I would let things like this slide. But now as I am DMing I can't and I have to decide something. And honestly the players have their PCs and can interact with the world as they please. But the general world is still mine to create, isn't it?

Prince Raven
2014-07-23, 05:59 AM
"I decide how the NPC acts, end of discussion."

Mr Beer
2014-07-23, 06:05 AM
"I decide how the NPC acts, end of discussion."


Or do it business style: "I appreciate all your feedback, it has been very helpful in the development process. This is the final product we are rolling out and I would like to take this moment to thank you for your participation."

2014-07-23, 06:25 AM
I would like to take this moment to thank you for your participation."

The subtle sarcasm is what I like about it. Sadly I do not use sarcasm at the table anymore. People just ... take it the wrong way.

2014-07-23, 08:08 AM

"First of all, you guys don't actually get to make decisions about who NPCs are. Second of all, even if this were something that we were doing in this game, you're not demonstrating that you can do so like responsible adults. This discussion is closed."

Firest Kathon
2014-07-23, 08:27 AM
In contrary to the general consesus so far, I would not "take away" the NPC from the player with a "Lol, I'm da master" comment. It's part of the backstory the player created, and in my opinion you should happily welcome such contributions and try to work them into your world as much as possible. It shows that the player is invested in the game. Only change (or completely disallow) the NPC if it is absolutely necessary, so as not to discurage further input.

Regarding the issue of your second player, if the only complaint is that they cannot meet at the NPC's place, just have them meet somewhere else. I have no idea why they see it as such a big problem (or maybe they don't, it could be just friendly bickering).

2014-07-23, 08:57 AM
Yeah, I suggest creating a rival NPC who is anti-prostitution for the player to have the noble-people meetings at this rival NPC's establishment. If you need reason for the prostitute PC to show up, have her be a spy sent by her boss. Or have her be a hired "date" for the evening by one of the NPC nobles. Just because the host is anti-prostitution doesn't mean the noble guests have to be. And even if they are, a certain amount of hypocrisy is almost expected out of the ruling class.

2014-07-23, 10:44 AM
When I GM all NPCs are mine to create and run.

In my current campaign One of my players has a more complex back story, but has created it, and works with me to flesh out some of the NPC characters. I have specified though, that if a character will exist in-game/in-session I have complete control of the character and their actions. Additionally, if she would like complete creative control of the character that's fine, but any interaction with that character would be limited at most, and via remote means. (She can send letters and the like, dude wouldn't show up "on-screen.")

As a player, I do joke with the DM about possible NPCs or their names or the like, but ultimately all control in that regard is in the DM's hands.

2014-07-23, 11:12 AM
The world, and the people within it, are yours to create and destroy at a whim, with the exception of the PCs. One of your players created an NPC to run a bar their prostitute wants to work at? Great, use it, with the personality either YOU, or the Player who came up with the NPC wish, that's for you to decide as well. This OTHER Player who wants to change the first player's NPC, for the simple reason of "We'd have no reason to meet, otherwise,"? That's the equivalent of a Player Saying "My Character has no reason to do that." to every plot hook your dangle in front of their noses, just because they are a Career Pickpocket or some such. Leave the NPC as is, and come up with another reason why the PCs would meet, then bop them both in the nose with a rolled up news paper whenever they start to bickering, even if it's just a Digital News Paper. :smallbiggrin:

2014-07-23, 11:31 AM
I think a heavy-handed approach may be the wrong tack to take. They're going to see that as taking sides against one of the players, and probably both players will feel hurt and react bitterly. I'd recommend telling them to cool off and then being fair, meaning give a positive response, or a negative response to both of them.

Also it's worth noting that the other PC (the one who wants the anti-prostitution character) is probably reacting to what he/she feels is an undue influence on the story by the other character. Which could be a reoccurring thing.

Lastly, you could do both, have him be publicly anti-prostitution but work as a pimp on the side, that's a fairly common occurrence.

2014-07-23, 01:39 PM
They've settled to split both ideas into different NPCs, one being a exquisite restaurant and the other a run-down brothel. Good lord that was awful to read. Thanks for the insight.