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Gallade
2016-02-15, 07:52 AM
I know this is the kind of narration people on a certain type of message boards use, but I feel it's much better to show my position quickly.

Pathfinder.

Be me. A Master playing his first "serious" campaign with three friends over MapTools. They pick an Evil party:
:smalltongue:Ethernum the Anti-Paladin
:smallamused:Etshiael the bard
:smallsmile:Arn the Warrior

But are pretty good sports. They're creative, deceitful, and make the most of every enemy they kill. And like that, they go through the first part of the campaign, which has them fight their way out of a prison island picking up an unexpected ally (a priestess of Sarenrae which they accidentally infest with a Succubus. Comedy ensued.)

And then, a fourth friend, a colleague of mine, joins in. With a private session he makes his character (A sorcerer he names Arima Kousei...yep, way to get the spotlight), gets his starting equipment, and the first thing he says is
:smallcool:"Keep the knife".
:mitd: "What? You want to start with no weapon?"
:smallcool:"Yeah, I'll wait until I get a real good weapon, like a demon staff or demon sword".

Great start, huh.

He spends the first (relatively safe) dungeon I put him in frantically looting the place. And by frantic I mean "Move all over the place asking if he can take stuff from every object even if it's just drawn on the map". With some rolls and a trap avoided by beginner's luck, he takes out the enemies inside, also with the help of a NPC (Local gang leader :smallannoyed:).

By now he has his pack stuffed with goodies. Scrolls, gems, commodities, coins, even added a couple spells to his book on virtue of stopping in front of a library and demanding to read each single book (made him stop at the fourth, it was getting ridiculous)

The gang leader takes him to her camp,where the other PCs were idle. He asked where he could buy supplies, and she directed him to their fence(:smalleek:). He asks for armor. I briefly snap into OOC to tell him casters like him are hindered by armor, he says he just wants more protection. I mentally facepalm at a caster with a d6 HD (who can summon creatures, mind you) entertaining the idea of going into melee regularly with just a knife. The fence takes out a suit of banded leather. I secretly hope that after a couple of failed spells, he'll learn the lesson. Take it from me, NEVER assume players will learn the lesson.

:smalleek:"That will be 50 gold pieces"
By now, Arima has about 20 gold pieces and a couple gems. I can hear gears grinding.
:smallcool:"I'll give you 10 silver coins for this"
The fence is briefly stunned, then repeats the price as if he was talking to a slow child.
:smalleek:"This armor is worth 50 gold pieces. You give me 50 GOLD pieces, and you get the armor."
:smallcool:"Oh, okay, I got it. Here, 20 gold pieces. It's all I have, can I have the armor now?"
:smalleek:"NO! Don't you have any other valuables to trade?"
:smallcool:"Uh...no?"
:mitd:"You still have two onyxes from the treasure.2
:smallcool:"But I want to keep my gems!"
:smalleek:"Then we're done here."
:smallcool:"But I need the armor!"
("Dammit Player, I'm a vendor not a haggler" face)
:smalleek:"If you want the armor, pay 50 Gold Pieces. Period!"

Then he stops for a few seconds.
:smallcool:"I stab him."
Reminder: they're in the middle of the bandit camp. bandits with bows and swords and their cleric leader and three PCs just sitting within earshot.
He makes the attack. Hit, damage.
:smalleek:"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
:smallcool:"Sorry, I get angry sometimes. Can I get my armor now?"
:smalleek:"NO!"
Bandit leader storms in, I resist my urge to pit him against her and the rest of the gang, and she gives him a warning to stay away from the fence, puts a guard in front of his tent and sends Arima to his own.

:smallcool:"I cast Summon Monster to summon a viper"
:mitd:(Oh no.)
:smallcool:"I tell the viper..."
:mitd:(You can't possibly be that stupid)
:smallcool:"...to attack the fence in his tent".

In the next few minutes, the fence is bitten, makes his Fort save against the poison and stabilizes. The viper is killed and poofs off. Detect Magic pinpoints him, as if there were any doubts. The bandit leader, a few of her men, and the PCs enter his tent with weapons drawn.

:smallcool:"Hey, sup."

The first attack against him misses.

:smallcool:"Hey, what the hell are you doing? I did nothing!"
:smallannoyed:"Kill him."
:smallcool:"Hey, you can't kill me! I run away."
:mitd:"It's not your turn!"
(Somehow he survives until his turn)
:smallcool:"I teleport out."
:mitd:"You don't have that spell"
:smallcool:"Okay, then I hide."
:mitd:"You are in a tent and everyone is charging at you. Hiding is pretty impossible."
:smallcool:"I run out of the tent."
:mitd:"You'll take two attacks of opportunity if you do"
:smallcool:"Great, then I attack the bard and the leader"
:mitd:"No, it means THEY attack YOU"
:smallcool:"But it's MY turn! What can I do?"
:mitd:"You can...stand there and get killed."
:smallcool:"Can I beg them not to kill me?"
:mitd:"Roll Diplomacy."

The d20 rolls, and so does his head on the ground soon after.

:smallcool:"So, I died?"
:mitd:"Yep."
:smallcool:"Where do I respawn?"
:mitd:(Screaming internally)"You don't respawn, you are dead."
:smallcool:"What do I do now?"
:mitd:"You are bleeding out your last."
:smallcool:"I come back as a ghost and kill them."
:mitd:"..."

And that's the end of part one, AKA how to die before you even meet the other players.
The star of part two is his second character, a Ninja. Makes Charisma his dump stat. Figure. I put him in a lab in a cemetery, assisting an alchemist in fending off zombies. The other players are in this time, and they come to help him. They mop up the undead, and the first thing Roncinante do Corazon (yeah, forget the name) does? Try to hijack the plot, of course!

:smallamused:"What's your deal?"
:smallcool:"Elf."
:smallamused:"What? And don't call me 'elf'."
:smallcool:"I have a message."
:smallamused:"What message?"
:smallcool:"From your brother Puapua."

:mitd: (Halts the game and tries to drill in his head that he can make his own background, but he has no say in that of the other PCs and the campaign in general, ESPECIALLY if he pulls that out of his rear without even discussing it)

:smallcool:"Ah. Sorry. Wrong elf."

So, he is pretty well set. He misses most sessions, but he still does contribute with his shuriken and tachi. Only thing is, his to-hit rolls are often poor, and he rarely takes advantage of his Sneak Attack, preferring to stand back and throw Shuriken for low damage.

Near the end of this part of the campaign (read: the last major enemy is defeated and they're pretty much on the way out), he sends me a private message. By now he's level 2, the others being level 2-3.

:smallcool:"Listen, I think I'm lagging behind. The others are leveling up and getting stuff, and I am stuck with a weak sword.(Said "weak sword" being a +1 Tachi with 19-20 critical threat. Which as I said he rarely uses.)
:smallcool:"Can you give me a private session to level up and get me a better weapon?"

Take in consideration that the party had just won a gang feud which had at stake the key to some ruins filled with goodies. I had halted the session at that part so that he also had the chance to get some loot, and specifically told him there would be some good stuff to get the next time. He declined to come.

The first part of the campaign is over, I'm drawing the maps for the second, and I just can't tell what he's going to do next. Is having a player who is constantly, either subtly or directly, begging the DM for his own personal Monty Haul, worth the hope he eventually comes to learn the gist of the game?

hymer
2016-02-15, 08:03 AM
Is having a player who is constantly, either subtly or directly, begging the DM for his own personal Monty Haul, worth the hope he eventually comes to learn the gist of the game?

Obviously I can't answer that question for your group better than you can. My personal yard stick on annoying players is whether they take too much of my precious positive, creative energy. Players who annoy me make me less interested in prep work, and enough of that and the campaign will suffer. If this happens, then something has to be done beyond talking, like not inviting them to come any more.
You may want to bring this up with the other players, as they may have views too.

Edit: That said, clear communication is likely to help.

"No, I will not make a special session just for you so you can get more gear. If you want more gear, you have to show up at the regular sessions like the other players."

"The sword you have is markedly better than anything you should expect to have at this level. What you need to do is find ways to apply your Sneak Attack, which would seriously increase your damage."

After all, when you halted the game and explained that he couldn't write other PCs' backstory without their consent, he actually did better after. So there may be hope in communication.

lacco36
2016-02-15, 09:00 AM
A question - do you give him XP/anything when he misses a session?

I agree with hymer's advice - communicate. Ask him what are his expectations. Explain what are yours. Ask the other players for feedback (ideally ask also how they like the group). Maybe he'll be happy if you provide him with a different character, better suited for his style of play (black-clad ninjafighter?).


My personal yard stick on annoying players is whether they take too much of my precious positive, creative energy. Players who annoy me make me less interested in prep work, and enough of that and the campaign will suffer. If this happens, then something has to be done beyond talking, like not inviting them to come any more.

I know this one. And yes, it can break the whole thing apart - and usually the player doesn't even know he does that. So, communicate in advance.

And for players: if your GM tells you he wants to play game A, don't make him play game B. He won't like it :smallsmile:


You may want to bring this up with the other players, as they may have views too.

Again, complete agreement. Gently probe them for inputs - maybe they like him, maybe they don't. And if they don't, you should talk to him even sooner.

Gallade
2016-02-15, 09:46 AM
A question - do you give him XP/anything when he misses a session?

I agree with hymer's advice - communicate. Ask him what are his expectations. Explain what are yours. Ask the other players for feedback (ideally ask also how they like the group). Maybe he'll be happy if you provide him with a different character, better suited for his style of play (black-clad ninjafighter?).



I know this one. And yes, it can break the whole thing apart - and usually the player doesn't even know he does that. So, communicate in advance.

And for players: if your GM tells you he wants to play game A, don't make him play game B. He won't like it :smallsmile:



Again, complete agreement. Gently probe them for inputs - maybe they like him, maybe they don't. And if they don't, you should talk to him even sooner.

No, the table rule is that players that miss a session stay as NPCs, and if they fight they don't get loot or experience (but they don't expend their items or spells either). But yeah, I guess talking it over is the best option.

Âmesang
2016-02-15, 10:50 AM
So if you keep the dagger, who takes the cannoli? :smalltongue:

Half of me hopes there can be some way to talk to this guy and get it through his head that (A) it's not a videogame, there's no respawn (until you can pull of a contingent heal, anyway) and (B) if you don't put some actual effort into what you're doing, if you don't sit down and think and simply plow through mindlessly, don't expect to get everything you think you deserve.

I wouldn't want to just drop the guy, but I'm also trying not to sound too harsh regarding something like this since I'm the type who likes the risk/reward aspect of D&D and enjoys trying to be clever about how I do things.

…and if I do something wholly unoptimized I expect not to have it easy 'less I do something else to make up for it. I'm not much of a people person overall, though, so I'm probably not the best to give advice. :smallconfused:

Geddy2112
2016-02-15, 10:53 AM
It sounds like this player is just making a bunch of classic newbie mistakes. I think they saw the "evil" sticker and got it in their head they were playing Elder Scrolls/Fallout/Grand Theft Auto.

A sorcerer not accepting a weapon is...passable. I mean, if they have a damage cantrip they are okay. But really I think the player has poor/no system mastery, and that is hurting their enjoyment. I doubt they would accept help, but maybe they need help building a character or having you do the mechanics to fit their concept. Normally I don't let new players play anything but KISS martial types, unless I know they are really going to commit to learning the system.

The real problem is again, they think this is GTA/Fallout and that they can go around sandbox murderhoboing their way across a campaign. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being sandbox murderhobos if they are in that style of campaign, but it seems you and the other three players are interested in a different style of game.

Talk with this player about what kind of pathfinder campaign you are running. Let them know it has some "kick the door kill the monster loot the room" elements but that there are other aspects. If he wants monty haul, you can have some monty haul aspects for him, without making the game that kind of game. Meet him halfway, and try and grind into his brain as much system mastery as humanly possible, including telling him that a Level 2 character with a +1 weapon is pretty amazing. He is a ninja-tell him he needs to be sneaky and backstabby, and pickpockety too. Show him how to play the strengths of his character, and that a sneaky stabby rougelike can work with his preferred method of play.

My group has "this player". He is always the Big Stupid Fighter melee brute chaotic stupid murderhobo loot and kill type. As a DM, we give this player healthy outlets to express these desires, and as a party we convince him when and what to kill. He gets to save the day when we get attacked by bad nasties, and keep all the cool +1 greataxes of homicide and the like. Teach them only the rules they need to know, don't let him touch anything magic(unless it is weapons and armor), and have very obvious combat/loot events to satisfy their bloodlust.

D+1
2016-02-15, 12:19 PM
"Yeah, I'll wait until I get a real good weapon, like a demon staff or demon sword".
You should have explained things to him at that point. That not having a weapon means... not having a weapon. And that waiting for a "demon staff", or "demon sword" (whatever that means... but I assume it means he's expecting quick access to Phat Lootz) might be a LONG wait. That a new, low-level character needs to make do with what he actually has, AS he acquires it.


He spends the first (relatively safe) dungeon I put him in frantically looting the place.
Why are you running his character solo through a dungeon/adventure at this point?

And by frantic I mean "Move all over the place asking if he can take stuff from every object even if it's just drawn on the map". With some rolls and a trap avoided by beginner's luck, he takes out the enemies inside, also with the help of a NPC (Local gang leader :smallannoyed:).
YOU are the DM. You are the one who decides what loot is available, how much it's worth, and who will help his PC AND WHY they will help his PC.

By now he has his pack stuffed with goodies. Scrolls, gems, commodities, coins, even added a couple spells to his book on virtue of stopping in front of a library and demanding to read each single book (made him stop at the fourth, it was getting ridiculous)
Again - YOU gave his character that. Just because he was industrious enough to grub for every possible scrap doesn't mean you had ANY obligation to let him load up with scrolls, gems, commodities, coins, and spells.


He asks for armor. I briefly snap into OOC to tell him casters like him are hindered by armor, he says he just wants more protection. I mentally facepalm at a caster with a d6 HD (who can summon creatures, mind you) entertaining the idea of going into melee regularly with just a knife.
You needed to explain to the player AGAIN that casters have issues with armor and lack of protection due to being unable to make proper use of armor is something he just has to learn to deal with in ways OTHER than wearing more armor.

Then he stops for a few seconds.
:smallcool:"I stab him."
Reminder: they're in the middle of the bandit camp. bandits with bows and swords and their cleric leader and three PCs just sitting within earshot.
He makes the attack. Hit, damage.
Why did you LET the player have his character stab the NPC? Why not stop the game BEFORE you assume the attack takes place and explain things. YOU understood that he was NOT getting it. Why did you allow the game to fall apart FIRST instead of taking steps to save it BEFORE you allowed the damage to be done?


:smallcool:"I cast Summon Monster to summon a viper"
:mitd:(Oh no.)
:smallcool:"I tell the viper..."
:mitd:(You can't possibly be that stupid)
:smallcool:"...to attack the fence in his tent".
Again, your move as DM was not to silently despair to yourself that the player didn't get it, but to STOP the game and bring the player up to speed. "Player X, if you do that they will know it's you, or very quickly find out. They will kill your character, who will not get his armor, will not get more loot, will not get anything but dead. Please explain what it is YOU think is going to happen and WHY. If you can get me to understand what the hell it is you're trying to do you MIGHT be able to accomplish something useful."


:smallcool:"I teleport out."
:mitd:"You don't have that spell"
:smallcool:"Okay, then I hide."
:mitd:"You are in a tent and everyone is charging at you. Hiding is pretty impossible."
:smallcool:"I run out of the tent."
:mitd:"You'll take two attacks of opportunity if you do"
:smallcool:"Great, then I attack the bard and the leader"
:mitd:"No, it means THEY attack YOU"
:smallcool:"But it's MY turn! What can I do?"
CLEARLY this player just does not understand how the game works. He doesn't grasp (or maybe doesn't care?) that his character has limited and well-defined abilities. That as a player, he must have his character use THOSE abilities to accomplish things. This isn't everyone-makes-EVERYTHING-up-as-they-go. The player doesn't grasp the basic premise of how the game is played. You should have explained it to him then and there. If you'd already explained it you should have explained it again.


:smallcool:"So, I died?"
:mitd:"Yep."
:smallcool:"Where do I respawn?"
:mitd:(Screaming internally)"You don't respawn, you are dead."
And again - you're clearly dealing with a player who thinks this works just like a computer game, but instead of explaining to him that it isn't - and HOW it isn't - you just scream internally. That does the player no good. It does you no good. You're LETTING the player continue to play the game he THINKS it is. You know he's outrageously misunderstanding things - but you're not correcting him. You're just letting the game continue to go to hell. Were you expecting the player to suddenly be smacked by divine inspiration?


:mitd: (Halts the game and tries to drill in his head that he can make his own background, but he has no say in that of the other PCs and the campaign in general, ESPECIALLY if he pulls that out of his rear without even discussing it)
Should have been done earlier it seems.


Only thing is, his to-hit rolls are often poor, and he rarely takes advantage of his Sneak Attack, preferring to stand back and throw Shuriken for low damage.
Don't blame a player for bad dice rolls. You may as well blame him if it rains. And again, you're continuing to see that the player JUST DOESN'T GET IT, but I don't hear you trying to teach him how to play. You seem to expect him to have ESP, to read your mind and not have to be told when you can SEE he has to be told how the game works.


:smallcool:"Listen, I think I'm lagging behind. The others are leveling up and getting stuff, and I am stuck with a weak sword.(Said "weak sword" being a +1 Tachi with 19-20 critical threat. Which as I said he rarely uses.)
:smallcool:"Can you give me a private session to level up and get me a better weapon?"
Give him a private session to explain the game. IN DETAIL. And include the fact that NOBODY gets free solo time with the DM just to uber-up their characters.


The first part of the campaign is over, I'm drawing the maps for the second, and I just can't tell what he's going to do next. Is having a player who is constantly, either subtly or directly, begging the DM for his own personal Monty Haul, worth the hope he eventually comes to learn the gist of the game?
Well, since nobody seems to be bothering to take time in TEACHING him the gist of the game, least of all yourself, I can't see how you expect him to just suddenly get it all on his own. If you don't care to start teaching him then, no, it's NOT worth it. And if neither you nor any of your players honestly don't have the time, the inclination, or the ability to teach him that's actually OK - but don't blame HIM for that. Tell him that you can't help him and he needs to find a group that CAN take the time to teach him how to actually play. Otherwise start TALKING TO HIM about how the game works and warning him that since he obviously doesn't yet grasp it, that his continued participation means that he has to accept that there are going to be a lot of things that you will NOT let him do until YOU are confident he truly understands how the game is played.

Gallade
2016-02-15, 02:51 PM
Uh, the problem was already solved some posts ago. Can I get a close here already?

Lord Torath
2016-02-15, 04:05 PM
Uh, the problem was already solved some posts ago. Can I get a close here already?You can report the thread to the mods by clicking on the little triangle with the exclamation point in it, located just below "join date" under your avatar. Give them a reason, and they'll close it.

Hope things turn out well for you!

Talakeal
2016-02-15, 06:33 PM
No, the table rule is that players that miss a session stay as NPCs, and if they fight they don't get loot or experience (but they don't expend their items or spells either). But yeah, I guess talking it over is the best option.

What is the rationale for this?

If their character is there why wouldnt they get loot or xp im character?

The game should be its own reward, you shouldnt have to bribe players into showing up, and leaving players who arent motivated to show up with weaker characters is only going to make the problem worse.

If the player does want to show up but cant I really dont think it is appropriate for the GM to try and punish people for prioritizing real life coomitments over a game.