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View Full Version : DM Help One of my players has overbearing dictatorial parents



MonkeySage
2015-06-25, 04:13 PM
Moving out is currently not an option for him, and if he stands up to them in any way, they will kick him out, leaving him homeless.

Though this is definitely a problem in itself, one that will need to be dealt with, I have no power to help him in this.

In the short term, it means that organizing a game is difficult with him. If they tell him to cook, he cooks or he goes homeless. They never tell him until the last minute that they want him to cook, and they never tell him until the last minute what to cook. In short, they treat him like a slave, and he doesn't get to play the game like he would like. They have no respect for the fact that he is an adult, and without a job or a place to stay, he can't do anything about it.

I would let him stay at my place, if there weren't a whole 2 hour timezone difference between us.

Maglubiyet
2015-06-25, 04:40 PM
Sounds like he needs to get a job and get himself out of there asap. Financial independence will lead to freedom.

blacklight101
2015-06-25, 04:42 PM
Sounds like he needs to get a job and get himself out of there asap. Financial independence will lead to freedom.

Yes, this very much. It would probably be the best idea.

Anonymouswizard
2015-06-25, 05:02 PM
Moving out is currently not an option for him, and if he stands up to them in any way, they will kick him out, leaving him homeless.

Though this is definitely a problem in itself, one that will need to be dealt with, I have no power to help him in this.

Yeah, pretty much, unless he specifically asks you to help you have no ability to help, and even if you were asked you probably don't have enough power.


In the short term, it means that organizing a game is difficult with him. If they tell him to cook, he cooks or he goes homeless. They never tell him until the last minute that they want him to cook, and they never tell him until the last minute what to cook. In short, they treat him like a slave, and he doesn't get to play the game like he would like. They have no respect for the fact that he is an adult, and without a job or a place to stay, he can't do anything about it.

This is, really strange. As in I've very occasionally seen controlling parents, but this is borderline abusive* by my definition. It sounds like they are split between wanting him to have no life of his own, and wanting him to be gone. In some ways he'd be better off being thrown out, although this isn't an option unless he has somewhere else to stay. Does he have problems standing up to people otherwise, or is this just the situation?

* at least.


I would let him stay at my place, if there weren't a whole 2 hour timezone difference between us.

Good for you, and remember that if anything happens to him you have no obligation to be as unhelpful as his parents. That's really all you can do. If anything does happen for whatever reason, I can't give practical advice, but be a good friend, and don't judge.

Vitruviansquid
2015-06-25, 05:09 PM
Don't meddle.

Trekkin
2015-06-25, 05:28 PM
Don't meddle.

I'm forced to agree. This is a much larger problem than your game; the best thing you can do is be there for him. Don't even worry about gaming with him until he's not at constant risk of homelessness.

Cealocanth
2015-06-25, 05:29 PM
I'm afraid there isn't really much you can do about his situation, but as far as your game goes, maybe consider having him take a temporary hiatus until he has his situation under control. It's sad when you have to drop a player, but if you can promise him a spot at your table in three or four months, then maybe it would be better for the group if he stepped out until he's in a more stable life position.

Also, as a word of warning to other posters on this thread, giving professional advice telling the OP's player how to live or treat their family, is dangerously close to a violation of the forum rules. At most I can suggest how to run your game.

Maglubiyet
2015-06-25, 06:47 PM
giving professional advice telling the OP's player how to live or treat their family, is dangerously close to a violation of the forum rules.

As far as I can tell, no one's giving advice except to not get involved. The OP isn't the one with the problem so what advice is there to give, anyway? He's missing a player (sometimes?) due to circumstances beyond his control. Not much to say to that except, "wow, that's rough".

Mr Beer
2015-06-25, 08:08 PM
Gaming wise, the most you can do to support him is run the kind of flexible game that can cope with last minute absences. As long as the rest of the group is cool with it, you're gold.

General life advice is tougher, a couple of things that occur to me:

1. Adults make their own decisions in life, there are some battles that one has to fight on one's own. This sounds like the kind of problem that drags people in and it's difficult to draw a line between supporting someone and fighting their fight for them. Try to stick on the right side of this.

2. There are two sides to every story and you're hearing one of them. Also, and this is just a personal opinion, the more horrible a story is, the greater the chance is that there is at least some missing or fabricated information.

I'm pretty sure all Western nations have help lines that at least tangentially relate to this kind of problem and your friend should probably start there. Professional help is likely better than third hand internet help.

KillianHawkeye
2015-06-25, 08:46 PM
Well, I can certainly sympathize with your friend's plight, I must admit that I don't really understand the purpose of this thread if you truly have no power to help him. Was it just to garner sympathy, or did you simply need to vent? Or are you looking for advice in running a game with a player who is frequently and without advance notice unable to attend? :smallconfused:

Jay R
2015-06-25, 09:36 PM
Remember that you've only heard one side. You can't judge the situation based on that.

Stay out of it.

Steampunkette
2015-06-25, 09:48 PM
Gamerunning advice.
Autopilot NPC mode while he isn't there. Write down a recap and give it to him between games. Make sure the rest of your players understand the situation as much as that player is willing to share with them. Bear with it until such time as the situation changes.

Personal advise.
Get involved as much as you are able with him, not his family. Be the best friend you can be and offer the emotional support he needs. If the situation changes in a way that allows you to get more involved, in a manner you find comfortable, decide at that time if you should.

On a personal note, I hope something happens that allows you to help him in a more substantial manner, such as getting him a job and a place to stay near you and away from his abusive family. But it's probably a bad idea.

Mark Hall
2015-06-26, 09:08 AM
A lot comes down to his age; if he's an adult, he needs to consider looking for alternate living situations... someone he can room with, paying rent in cash instead of labor (or in labor, but better delineated and controlled labor). It will suck and he might have to pull a midnight move, but it will be better in the long run.

If he's not an adult? Then we're looking at a legal situation that may involve him getting taken out of the home altogether.

Segev
2015-06-26, 10:23 AM
I have a good friend who literally supported himself for most of the last decade working at a fast food restaurant in a college town as a standard employee. He worked hard, and so got raises that kept him above minimum wage, but it was hardly glamorous or particularly lucrative. For the last 3 years, he's lived on his own in an apartment (prior to that, he had 3 housemates; I was one of them), and done quite well in terms of personal comfort, even paying for a medical procedure out of savings (it hurt, but he managed) and paying off student loan debts.

Very recently, he was promoted to night manager, but that's neither here nor there for the point of this narrative, which is:

If things are truly that untennable, it is possible to get even a low-paying job and arrange for self-sufficient support, even in this economy. Local friends can help a lot, particularly with transportation (to a degree) and being housemates. It may not be as nice as living with one's well-off/middle-class parents, but it's not starvation nor is it homelessness.

That said, I cannot give advice. I can only state that I know somebody who managed to live quite comfortably that way for years. (He's much more frugal than I am; I eat out WAY too much. He never did; even packed his own lunches to go to work until his bosses decided to give him free meals when on the clock.) I cannot know your friend's situation, so cannot know if this would work for him.

Keltest
2015-06-26, 10:28 AM
A lot comes down to his age; if he's an adult, he needs to consider looking for alternate living situations... someone he can room with, paying rent in cash instead of labor (or in labor, but better delineated and controlled labor). It will suck and he might have to pull a midnight move, but it will be better in the long run.

If he's not an adult? Then we're looking at a legal situation that may involve him getting taken out of the home altogether.

Exactly this. If he is a legal adult he is, unfortunately, going to have to deal with this problem on his own. You can be supportive of him, and if he asks for help by all means give it, but don't push him or interfere without an explicit invitation to do so.