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Talakeal
2016-02-24, 09:39 PM
It is quite common, both online and in person, for Game Masters to set limits on the type of characters which will be allowed in the game, for example, core only or no evil characters, as well as guidelines for behavior, for example no abusing WBL or PVP combat.

It is also quite common for people to state that the DM never has any right to tell a player what their character does; a character's actions are for the PC alone and sacrosanct to DM interference.

My question is, what happens when these two principles come into conflict?

For example, I have seen many DMs, both online and in person say, for example, "My PC's can't do X because X is an evil action, and I don't allow evil characters," or "I only allow core races, if you permanently polymorph into a giant you will no longer be a PC."

However, I haven't ever seen the issue actually forced.

So, has anyone ever actually seen a player taken away from a PC for bad behavior?

Philosophically, how do you feel about the issue? Who is in the right here? How should such a situation be resolved?

OldTrees1
2016-02-24, 09:49 PM
Warning: Your phrasing(title and opening post) is a bit charged. Perhaps a quick rephrasing will help stave of the consequences.



You are asking what happens when a Player wants their PC to do something not allowed in the particular game.

Reminder: Many answers may include "talk to the player" but "talk to the player" is an incomplete answer.

Example 1:
In a no evil characters campaign Sir John has started to slip. Based on how the character evolved the character would slowly start to slip from neutral to evil. Does the DM countermand the Player's choice of evil action, allow the action but have the PC become an NPC so the Player will have a non evil PC, have an evil PC, or ???

Example 2:
The DM does not like using polymorph to permanently become a non core race. A Player of a Wizard PC attempts to permanently polymorph into a giant. Does the DM countermand the choice of action, allow the action but turn the PC into an NPC, allow the action, or ???


Personally I see degrees to each of these examples (at least when abstracted) and recognize that some of these judgements will be subjective (causing even more spread on the answer continuum). I countermand any action that I have ruled illegal (ban lists / balance rulings / breaking the social contract) as the role of referee dictates. Violations of conventions (silly things like a "no evil party" convention) would be allowed but render the PC an NPC*. If there is anything lesser to violate, I don't see it and probably would just accept the shift.


*The only such convention I have ever used is "All characters must have at least 1 approved homebrew feature. Features designed by the Player with me are encouraged."


Philosophically: The restrictions are placed prior to character generation (they should also have been communicated at that time). They are part of world building (just like setting the rules of the game and the in game physics). Player action still allowed by the rules (game and social) are under the player's sole control.

JNAProductions
2016-02-24, 10:40 PM
Seconded on that being a charged as hell title. I'd rephrase, and quickly.

As for that... It depends on why the restrictions are in place, really.

Winter_Wolf
2016-02-24, 10:59 PM
I've seen the drama of no evil PCs allowed before. The DM ended up telling the player that his character could feel the stain on his soul as he contemplated the alignment changing act and basically offered the choice of "change your mind and keep your character or do it and he's now an NPC." The player was entirely too graphic in his description of the intended torture of the prisoner. TMI, guy, TMI. I wonder if he was drawing on his military experience in that, but more likely he had some baggage the rest of the group didn't know about.

Vitruviansquid
2016-02-24, 11:05 PM
Philosophically: The GM is like a king, like Agamemnon or Charlemagne. That doesn't necessarily mean the GM shouldn't compromise or listen to the players - good kings compromised and listened to their nobles. But at the end of the day, the king calls the shots, and everybody else falls into line.

Why?

1. MOST games require far more effort to be a GM than a player. I think greater effort put in should equate to greater creative control.

2. MOST games I know of are organized and hosted by the GM, rather than a player.

3. The campaign could survive if a player leaves. The campaign dies if the GM leaves.

I see a lot of really extreme, vocal rule-setting by GMs and players on this board. There are statements like the "NO GM should EVER tell you what your character thinks or how your character acts" you pointed out. But honestly, I have never seen a table that did not have plenty of room for compromise and working things out. Your table would be downright Talakealean if the GM and players are laying ultimatums at each other as commonly as the forums would have me believe.

Slipperychicken
2016-02-24, 11:24 PM
I see your players are still terrible. I don't know how you've put up with it all these years.




Philosophically, how do you feel about the issue? Who is in the right here? How should such a situation be resolved?

It's an OOC problem, and the only times I've seen it resolved properly were OOC. You don't tell the player what his PC does. You put on your serious voice and tell the player (the guy at the table, in real life) that he agreed to play in a certain way, and if he doesn't like that, then he will not play in your game. It's not your job to babysit him; when he goes against the game's rules and etiquette, he is wasting the free time of you and everyone else at the table, and that is not acceptable. If he continues to refuse to play by the rules he agreed to, then you kick him out. It's that simple.

Talakeal
2016-02-24, 11:51 PM
I see your players are still terrible. I don't know how you've put up with it all these years.




It's an OOC problem, and the only times I've seen it resolved properly were OOC. You don't tell the player what his PC does. You put on your serious voice and tell the player (the guy at the table, in real life) that he agreed to play in a certain way, and if he doesn't like that, then he will not play in your game. It's not your job to babysit him; when he goes against the game's rules and etiquette, he is wasting the free time of you and everyone else at the table, and that is not acceptable. If he continues to refuse to play by the rules he agreed to, then you kick him out. It's that simple.

Honestly this is more of a theoretical problem than a real problem. I have seen both DM's and players make threats irl, but I have never seen anyone on either side actually push the issue.

I do see it all the time on the forums though.

A long time ago I mentioned I had a house rule not letting PCs farm one another for loot (basically loot a dead PC, refuse to raise them, and then have their replacement come in with full WBL), I was told almost unanimously by this board that as a DM I had no right to tell players whether or not they could have their characters loot something.

On the other hand I have seen several threads recently about undead in D&D and how if a player character decides to summon or become undead then the DM will quickly take control of their character away from them and convert it to an NPC.


Seconded on that being a charged as hell title. I'd rephrase, and quickly.

I guess its a little click-baitey, but I am not seeing why it is that inappropriate. Any idea what I should change it to or why?

Slipperychicken
2016-02-25, 12:14 AM
Honestly this is more of a theoretical problem than a real problem. I have seen both DM's and players make threats irl, but I have never seen anyone on either side actually push the issue.

I do see it all the time on the forums though.

A long time ago I mentioned I had a house rule not letting PCs farm one another for loot (basically loot a dead PC, refuse to raise them, and then have their replacement come in with full WBL), I was told almost unanimously by this board that as a DM I had no right to tell players whether or not they could have their characters loot something.

Thankfully it doesn't come up much in real life because players usually know better. And also, if you can say with credibility that you'll kick out troublemakers, people understand and respect that. They're not as likely to push the limits then.

As for the looting thing, I used to think that way a while back, but I see the other side of it now. If your players agreed to the houserule, they really have no business trying to go against it. Also, 3rd edition and the culture around it had a huge degree of DM-disempowerment, where DMs were expected to allow players to do anything permitted by RAW, no matter how harmful it was to the game or the OOC social context. I participated in that myself, and I realize now that it was a deeply flawed and unhealthy attitude for the community to take.

Segev
2016-02-25, 12:50 AM
Regarding "no right to tell PCs not to loot each other," I sympathize with that position (and it sounds like something I might have said), but I will point out that nothing requires you to allow the replacement PC to have a fresh stock of items for his level-appropriate wealth. You can declare that the party either leaves the stuff, or he has to get it from the party when he joins up rather than getting his own new set of WBL-provided loot.


Ultimately, there are points where a PC ceases to be a member of the party and has to be retired. This can happen for any number of reasons, and the "Sir John has become the enemy!" scenario is one of them. The party should not abide the evil PC's presence, given their overall goodness.

Of course, if the whole party is slipping that way, and it makes the game unenjoyable for you to run, the whole game gets retired. It's not a punishment; they just don't want to play the game you have planned. (Maybe somebody else will run a game for that party? You could even be a PC in it then, if you wanted.)

lacco36
2016-02-25, 03:00 AM
I usually put two rules in place before the game starts.

First: Each person at the table is responsible for enjoyment of all attendees.
Basically - don't be a jerk to people, and try to have everone enjoy the game. If someone doesn't want to enjoy the game, he can leave.

Second: If you start PvP without prior agreement with the player who is under attack (or you provoke it), congrats, your PC changed into NPC.
I have no problem with two PCs fistfighting or even duking it out if that's what they enjoy. But if one of them directly starts - he is overstepping rule 1 and as such - can leave.

I have yet to use more than "strict voice" and some fatherly advice to the players involved - never had to take away control of PC, but mostly because the rules are in place and respected.

Of course, this is invalidated in case of Toon or Paranoia...

goto124
2016-02-25, 10:25 AM
Breaking rules that were in place before the game starts? That's rather clear-cut. Talakeal, you have my sympathies.

How do GMs deal with rules-lawyers attempting ludicrous things that are technically allowed by RAW?

Vitruviansquid
2016-02-25, 10:27 AM
Breaking rules that were in place before the game starts? That's rather clear-cut. Talakeal, you have my sympathies.

How do GMs deal with rules-lawyers attempting ludicrous things that are technically allowed by RAW?

I tell them it's ludicrous and won't work, then consider changing systems.

Geddy2112
2016-02-25, 11:21 AM
It is totally acceptable for a DM to say "in this game, you cannot be evil" or "in this game, there are no halflings" or in this game" no orcs, goblins, monster races". Just because there are rules for these things, the DM creates a game and setting as they see fit. They can choose to allow these things and the rules that support them, or choose not to.

Players should know clearly, up front, if any of these rules are in effect. They should also know things like "if your character becomes evil, or permanently transmutes into a hippo, they have to be retired as an NPC and you have to bring in something new". This should never be used as a "trap" or to punish "bad behavior". Sometimes, in a character's natural progression, they start to believe things and take actions that make them philosophically and practically incompatible with the party. This is natural, and players should understand that in the scope of this game they have to retire the character. This happens more in longer campaigns, where characters can develop and make major changes over a long time.

Bad behavior would be things that disrupt the game and party fun- it could be the character running a total joke, or acting like a dingus murderhobo. Or the player constantly texting and never paying attention, or constantly cracking unrelated jokes/anecdotes when others are trying to roleplay. None of this is solved by taking away their PC.

However, it might make sense that the party druid finds a place they feel they are needed, and tells the rest of the party they must stay behind and defend the sacred dryad grove or what have you. Maybe the cleric decided they need to go back and serve the clergy, or get into politics. Maybe the barbarian finally lost it for good and is unable to feel morality, slaughtering everything in sight. These characters won't continue on the adventure, but they did not do anything wrong-they went on an adventure and developed accordingly. There were not "gotcha" traps where a character commits one off hand evil act and gets the NPC stick. These should be conscious choices by the player, and by the character in game.

WarKitty
2016-02-25, 11:43 AM
Are we including temporary "no, your pc didn't do what you just said they did" situations?

OldTrees1
2016-02-25, 12:04 PM
Are we including temporary "no, your pc didn't do what you just said they did" situations?

That is the DM countermanding the Player's choice of action. So yes, that DM decision is relevant.

Red Fel
2016-02-25, 01:25 PM
It is quite common, both online and in person, for Game Masters to set limits on the type of characters which will be allowed in the game, for example, core only or no evil characters, as well as guidelines for behavior, for example no abusing WBL or PVP combat.

It is also quite common for people to state that the DM never has any right to tell a player what their character does; a character's actions are for the PC alone and sacrosanct to DM interference.

My question is, what happens when these two principles come into conflict?

Here's the thing.

If a GM sets up expectations in advance of the game, those rules are part of the rules of the game world. "No Evil PCs" or "No Dragon PCs" or what-have-you become rules.

A player's expectations that his character remains within his control are subject to the rules of the game world. If one of these rules is "No X," the player is assuming the risk of consequence if he attempts to play an X. Thus, if the rule is "No Evil PCs" and one player makes his character Evil, he has knowingly forfeited the character. A warning is appropriate; after that, the character has broken the rule and gets NPC'd, much like a number of other contexts in which a character becomes unplayable.

That's not "bad behavior." Others have mentioned it, but it really, really bears repeating.

"Bad behavior" is a player problem. When the player is disruptive or unpleasant, or deliberately plays his character in a disruptive way, that's "bad behavior" and an OOC problem; it merits an OOC response. Taking away a character is not an OOC response; it is an IC response.

Alignment actions, however, are an IC action that merits an IC response.


For example, I have seen many DMs, both online and in person say, for example, "My PC's can't do X because X is an evil action, and I don't allow evil characters,"

This isn't okay. A DM doesn't get to retcon a PC's actions without the consent of the table, or at least of the player. The more appropriate action is a warning to the player - "That action was Evil. This is a non-Evil game. If your character continues to act in an Evil fashion, he'll have an alignment shift and become an NPC."


or "I only allow core races, if you permanently polymorph into a giant you will no longer be a PC."

This is trickier. On the one hand, Polymorph is an acceptable core option for casters. On the other, if they're using it to deliberately and permanently turn into something on the banned list, that's an exploit. It's certainly acceptable to warn them that a character who permanently becomes a banned race will be NPC'd.

The bottom line is this: Rules that are established at the outset of play are part and parcel with the game rules. If a character reaches -10 HP, he dies and becomes unplayable unless raised. That's a game rule, and people don't complain about that. (They complain about dying, but who doesn't?) Similarly, creatures with Int of 2 or less are not playable; if a character's Int is permanently reduced to that level, they become an NPC. Again, non-issue. So if you make a similar rule that certain alignments or races are banned, it is understood that a character who violates those bans becomes an NPC. It is not okay to retcon the PC's action without the player's permission. It is, however, appropriate to NPC the character.

OldTrees1
2016-02-25, 01:44 PM
Here's the thing.

If a GM sets up expectations in advance of the game, those rules are part of the rules of the game world. It is not okay to retcon the PC's action without the player's permission. It is, however, appropriate to NPC the character.

That this is true in the general case is self evident.

What about when the Player tries to do some thing more like this: "Spell XYZ is banned in this campaign" "My Wizard researches spell XYZ and then casts spell XYZ". Is this a case where the action should be retconned/countermanded/otherwise not happen?

If the answer is yes, then how does one identify the divide between "retcon/countermand" and "now they are an NPC"?

Douche
2016-02-25, 02:04 PM
I was discussing the spell Geas with my party the other day... Someone said it was basically put in there for DMs to use against unruly players.

The fact that a 3rd level Remove Curse can take it off when it's cast at 9th level kind of sucks though

Red Fel
2016-02-25, 02:24 PM
That this is true in the general case is self evident.

What about when the Player tries to do some thing more like this: "Spell XYZ is banned in this campaign" "My Wizard researches spell XYZ and then casts spell XYZ". Is this a case where the action should be retconned/countermanded/otherwise not happen?

If the answer is yes, then how does one identify the divide between "retcon/countermand" and "now they are an NPC"?

Think about it this way. A player has to tell you what his character is doing. It's not like, if the camp is raided in the middle of the night, a player can say, "Nope, didn't happen, because I cast Alarm last night," despite the fact that he told nobody. The player doesn't get to backtrack and claim he did something if he failed to tell everyone (unless you give him a pass).

So he has to tell you he's doing it, before he does it. And you can remind him that it's impossible. Much like if a Fighter says, "I punch the moon," you can point out that he's not even next to the moon, like not even close, and how does that even work seriously you guys. This is a context in which something is impossible to do. It's not a case of it not being allowed, it's not possible.

This is the distinction. If a PC decides to go murder orphans and puppies, it is possible. In fact, it's remarkably easy. It's also the player's choice, and not an action you should countermand as DM. It's also Evil, and grounds for getting NPC'd. If, on the other hand, a PC decides to breathe fire - despite having no apparatus or means whatsoever to do so - it is impossible. As DM, you simply point that out - "This is an impossible thing. You fail."

When you have banned certain abilities or features, as opposed to courses of action or the consequences thereof - those abilities become impossibilities. It is not inappropriate to inform the player that their character is attempting to do the impossible, and will fail.

Pyrous
2016-02-25, 02:27 PM
That this is true in the general case is self evident.

What about when the Player tries to do some thing more like this: "Spell XYZ is banned in this campaign" "My Wizard researches spell XYZ and then casts spell XYZ". Is this a case where the action should be retconned/countermanded/otherwise not happen?

Yes.

"Oh, your wizard researched spell XYZ, that I told you was banned. I guess that's my wizard now."

"Spell XYZ fizzles."

"Please don't do this. We agreed that this spell was banned."



If the answer is yes, then how does one identify the divide between "retcon/countermand" and "now they are an NPC"?

If the group agreed to a houserule, and one player breaks it, they are giving up the PC, trying to be disruptive, or simply forgot/weren't paying atention. The first results in NPCing the character, the last in retcon/countermand, and the second needs to be dealt OOC.

Of course, the GM should always remember the player that there is an agreement to not take the action. If the player says "My character would do this and if he gets NPC'd, that's OK.", then you should NPC the character. If the player says "Oops sorry, I forgot.", you retcon it.

And if the player says "It's my character and the rules says I can do it and you can't take my character.", then the player is being deliberately disruptive. You should stop the session and discuss this with the group.

Segev
2016-02-25, 02:50 PM
"Spell XYZ is banned, and you know it. It doesn't exist in this game. Pick a different one."

Talakeal
2016-02-25, 03:04 PM
The bottom line is this: Rules that are established at the outset of play are part and parcel with the game rules. If a character reaches -10 HP, he dies and becomes unplayable unless raised. That's a game rule, and people don't complain about that. (They complain about dying, but who doesn't?) Similarly, creatures with Int of 2 or less are not playable; if a character's Int is permanently reduced to that level, they become an NPC. Again, non-issue. So if you make a similar rule that certain alignments or races are banned, it is understood that a character who violates those bans becomes an NPC. It is not okay to retcon the PC's action without the player's permission. It is, however, appropriate to NPC the character.

Ok, here is a gaming story:

In my last group, which was run by a terrible DM, we had a DMPC thrust on the party. We complained, and the DM said "She is joining the party and won't take no for an answer. There is nothing you can do about it, and she is going to follow you around and help no matter what you say or do" I said, "Technically, we could just let her follow us into the wilderness, wait until she makes camp, and then murder her in her sleep,"

At which point the DM said "Oh no you can't. As soon as you declare the intention to attack her, that turns you evil. And since I don't allow evil PCs you become an NPC. And as soon you are an NPC you are under my control, and I decide not to go through with the murder. At that point the PC becomes good again and you can have control back, but keep in mind if you become evil again the same situation will occur."

I just laughed it off as another example of my terrible DM being terrible. But since that I have noticed an alarming number of threads on this forum (most involving the creation of undead) that echo that sentiment almost exactly and make me feel that it is actually a common line of thought for DMs rather than one off craziness.


Second: If you start PvP without prior agreement with the player who is under attack (or you provoke it), congrats, your PC changed into NPC. I have no problem with two PCs fistfighting or even duking it out if that's what they enjoy. But if one of them directly starts - he is overstepping rule 1 and as such - can leave.

Can you elaborate on what you mean by provoking it? I am not sure if I really like this rule or hate it, depending on what you mean by provoke.

For example, in my current game I am playing a "big dumb fighter with a low charisma," and I commonly find myself in a situation where I say something mean and blunt to another player (RPing my low Cha) or do something they don't approve of, so they retaliate by attacking my resources (either stealing from me or trying to turn one of my allies against me through manipulation) as I lack the cleverness or social skills to respond in kind my only recourse is to attack them physically, but the DM has a no PVP rule so I am left at an impasse.

How would your rule on this situation?

Segev
2016-02-25, 03:15 PM
Can you elaborate on what you mean by provoking it? I am not sure if I really like this rule or hate it, depending on what you mean by provoke.

For example, in my current game I am playing a "big dumb fighter with a low charisma," and I commonly find myself in a situation where I say something mean and blunt to another player (RPing my low Cha) or do something they don't approve of, so they retaliate by attacking my resources (either stealing from me or trying to turn one of my allies against me through manipulation) as I lack the cleverness or social skills to respond in kind my only recourse is to attack them physically, but the DM has a no PVP rule so I am left at an impasse.

How would your rule on this situation?

Personally, the reading I give to "or provoke it" is to make sure that the jerks who are stealing from you can't point fingers and say you're to blame for retaliating IC with violence. That you PvP'd and that they did not. Their PvP was the provocation of your PvP. i.e. "they started it."

Red Fel
2016-02-25, 03:18 PM
Ok, here is a gaming story:

In my last group, which was run by a terrible DM,

Say no more.

Seriously, though. No more.


we had a DMPC thrust on the party. We complained, and the DM said "She is joining the party and won't take no for an answer. There is nothing you can do about it, and she is going to follow you around and help no matter what you say or do" I said, "Technically, we could just let her follow us into the wilderness, wait until she makes camp, and then murder her in her sleep,"

At which point the DM said "Oh no you can't. As soon as you declare the intention to attack her, that turns you evil. And since I don't allow evil PCs you become an NPC. And as soon you are an NPC you are under my control, and I decide not to go through with the murder. At that point the PC becomes good again and you can have control back, but keep in mind if you become evil again the same situation will occur."

I just laughed it off as another example of my terrible DM being terrible. But since that I have noticed an alarming number of threads on this forum (most involving the creation of undead) that echo that sentiment almost exactly and make me feel that it is actually a common line of thought for DMs rather than one off craziness.

I... must not have been reading the same threads.

I've seen plenty of threads that might say something along the lines of, "You attempt to murder a sleeping, helpless target, you go Evil." I've seen threads that say, for instance, "You create an Undead army, you go Evil." And I've seen threads that say, "Okay, your character went Evil. Time to roll up a new character."

But I haven't seen threads that say, "You declared an Evil action, roll up a new character."

It's a very faint distinction, but one that makes a difference. In one case, your character is being booted because you - the player - pondered a course of action with which the DM disagreed. In the other case, your character is being booted because of something the character did.

Have you ever read or watched Minority Report? The spoiler-free premise is that it deals with a society in which crime can be predicted, and therefore people are charged with "future crimes." In the context of a game, that's bad. Banning the character because the player intended to do something is an out-of-character issue and a problem. Banning the character because the character's actions directly resulted in it becoming unplayable is a reasonable result. The key distinction is that the actions had to happen in order for the consequence to properly result.

daremetoidareyo
2016-02-25, 04:03 PM
Ok, here is a gaming story:

In my last group, which was run by a terrible DM, we had a DMPC thrust on the party. We complained, and the DM said "She is joining the party and won't take no for an answer. There is nothing you can do about it, and she is going to follow you around and help no matter what you say or do" I said, "Technically, we could just let her follow us into the wilderness, wait until she makes camp, and then murder her in her sleep,"

At which point the DM said "Oh no you can't. As soon as you declare the intention to attack her, that turns you evil. And since I don't allow evil PCs you become an NPC. And as soon you are an NPC you are under my control, and I decide not to go through with the murder. At that point the PC becomes good again and you can have control back, but keep in mind if you become evil again the same situation will occur."

I just laughed it off as another example of my terrible DM being terrible. But since that I have noticed an alarming number of threads on this forum (most involving the creation of undead) that echo that sentiment almost exactly and make me feel that it is actually a common line of thought for DMs rather than one off craziness.



Can you elaborate on what you mean by provoking it? I am not sure if I really like this rule or hate it, depending on what you mean by provoke.

For example, in my current game I am playing a "big dumb fighter with a low charisma," and I commonly find myself in a situation where I say something mean and blunt to another player (RPing my low Cha) or do something they don't approve of, so they retaliate by attacking my resources (either stealing from me or trying to turn one of my allies against me through manipulation) as I lack the cleverness or social skills to respond in kind my only recourse is to attack them physically, but the DM has a no PVP rule so I am left at an impasse.

How would your rule on this situation?

You pondered killing a DMPC? Out loud?


Little secret: Use high damage area effects where the DMPC is fighting. They always survive. Never fail a save...because if they did fail the save, well then the DMPC might not survive to feed you the next plot point.

You can't kill a DMPC because that is the framework by which the DM gets to enjoy their gameworld. It's like sundering the PC paladin's holy avenger. You'll never ever ever ever hear the end of it. And the holy avenger always returns.

Warning: The following is bad advice. But it is fun to kick around, and perhaps implement, but only because you enjoy someone else's frustration.

You can use the plot armor as a hickup. Flask throwing fire and acid with irresponsible splash control is highly suggested. Or just being an "absent minded" blaster mage. Just heap the area affects on the DMPC whenever they are surrounded by more than one enemy.

Also make battle plans that put the DMPC in the highest amount of direct damage fire, and then tactically retreat with your team. Once your a good movement distance away, disguised as tactical movement for ranged shots, then shout, "Retreat!!!" and see if the DMPC makes it through. They do. And they might even defeat the rest of the bad guys for you. If this is the case, really chew them out as "not being a team player. They could have died." (yeah right) Tell them that the whole team was planning on drawing the enemies out and kiting them, and that the their lonewolf showboating is dangerous for the team. Then demand that they leave. The DMPC won't, but absent minded stuff like the stuff above, becomes far more plausible when you have constructed the DMPC as an unwelcome and meddlesome combatant who happens to be on their side.

DMPCs really hate being off camera. So splitting up, changing focus to different quests after starting to investigate one, or anchoring a number of PCs to one location through "family" "business" "mentors" and mechanical advantages derived from them is a good way to frustrate the adventuring desires of a DMPC. They will go off screen and finish the quests that you don't want to do. I've seen it happen. I've seen players trapped listening to the tale of the adventures of the great and fabulous Dee'em Piecy, aasimar PC with a Unicorn Mount. Because the players drug their heels on one plot line and pushed the boundaries of another until it bore fruit.

Another option, one which I have never tried, but I think would be an absolute blast is to roll up a character, dump charisma. And take every flaw and feat pertaining physical ugliness there is. And constantly hit on the DMPC. Aberrant spawn deformity half orc. Really push the bounds of it, in a classy way, of course. Like legit Mad Martigan fall in love: recite good and bad poetry to them. Be visually disgusting and revolting and sweet as a little cupid on a cloud. Just enough to grow revulsion and disgust playing your character. If you die, promise to wait for the DMPC in heaven. Force the beauty and beast narrative constantly. And eventually...

...

...

You will get talked to out of character. Which is your chance to express how cool the DMPC is. Or complain about having the group space being taken up by a character that cannot possibly have the same solidarity as PCs constantly spying on them. For all the PCs know, the DMPC is a doppleganger. Or maybe it's uncomfortable to share the spotlight with the DMPC, or whatever it is that makes having a mandatory little brother around stink. Explain that being the affectionate PC allows you to be in the spotlight too. You orginally wanted to be an ugly monster working for redemption, but it was difficult to play that character ark when it felt like there was a distractingly out of place character thrust upon you after discussing with the other players what the team composition was going to be.

Darth Ultron
2016-02-25, 04:24 PM
So, has anyone ever actually seen a player taken away from a PC for bad behavior?

I do it all the time. If a player is a jerk and disrupts the game I will take control of the character in a second.

Though this also counts for things like the player agreed to not be evil and 10 minutes later he wants to burn down a home for lost children just to get some XP. Then yes, I'll take control and say ''your character does not do that''.

I'll even go the route of when the player is just being silly and they want to ''pull on the beard of the kings dwarf guard..hehe'', that I will just say ''you don't do that''......or just stop them in the game..or have the action not matter...or just out right punish the player.





Philosophically, how do you feel about the issue? Who is in the right here? How should such a situation be resolved?

The DM is always right.

One of the DM's main jobs is to keep control of the game. So this is just part of that. The DM has too keep the game fun and exciting and interesting for everyone. The group is more important then an individual.

Talakeal
2016-02-25, 04:29 PM
The DM is always right.

One of the DM's main jobs is to keep control of the game. So this is just part of that. The DM has too keep the game fun and exciting and interesting for everyone. The group is more important then an individual.

Ah, but what if the individual in question IS the DM?

Darth Ultron
2016-02-25, 04:50 PM
Ah, but what if the individual in question IS the DM?

What is the DM is the one disrupting the game? Well, there is no ''in game'' cure for that. The players can't ''out vote'' the DM or take control of the game world The players can only ''talk'' to the DM or leave the game.

valadil
2016-02-25, 04:55 PM
There are two versions of each character. The one in the player's head and the one in the GM's head. When they get out of sync, someone has a bad time.

What I do when a player attempts something that seems out of character to me isn't to tell them "so-and-so wouldn't do that, so you can't do that." Instead I use something like "That action doesn't jive with my understanding of so-and-so. Could you tell explain why it's in character so I can fix my understanding of who the character is?" It's totally non-confrontational. The player can back out (they usually do), but it doesn't look like I took their choices away. I'm sure an antogonistic player could abuse me, but I try to avoid inviting them to games.

nedz
2016-02-25, 05:29 PM
For example, in my current game I am playing a "big dumb fighter with a low charisma," and I commonly find myself in a situation where I say something mean and blunt to another player (RPing my low Cha) or do something they don't approve of, so they retaliate by attacking my resources (either stealing from me or trying to turn one of my allies against me through manipulation) as I lack the cleverness or social skills to respond in kind my only recourse is to attack them physically, but the DM has a no PVP rule so I am left at an impasse.

this is PvP - complain to your DM
Either they can't do this, or you can attack them.

I don't ban PvP BTW - it just never happens; OK except for IC reasons, but they are very rare.

Talakeal
2016-02-25, 06:07 PM
What is the DM is the one disrupting the game? Well, there is no ''in game'' cure for that. The players can't ''out vote'' the DM or take control of the game world The players can only ''talk'' to the DM or leave the game.

I more meant that the philosophies of "the group is more important than the individual" and "The DM is always right" are often at odds. There are many times when what is fun for the DM is miserable for the rest of the group or vice versa, and when that happens you have to choose between the two.


But yes, the DM can easily be disruptive. For example, my bad DM would often ban things or change the rules mid encounter*, and even my good DM oftentimes throws a plot hook at us to force us along when we are working on project or having an IC dialogue.


Also, I am kind of curious by what you mean "punish the player", it is probably just an XP dock, but I wouldn't be surprised based on the stories of your table if you made the players sit in the corner for a time out or even pulled out a switch and started lashing them :smallbiggrin:


*For example, one time we were fighting a mixed group of werewolves and dire wolves. I didn't have a silver weapon, so I focused on the dire wolves while those with silver focused on the weres. My DM felt this was metagaming, and mid fight came up with a new house rule that creatures with DR get an attack of opportunity anytime their opponent attacks and ally without DR.

nedz
2016-02-25, 06:35 PM
*For example, one time we were fighting a mixed group of werewolves and dire wolves. I didn't have a silver weapon, so I focused on the dire wolves while those with silver focused on the weres. My DM felt this was metagaming, and mid fight came up with a new house rule that creatures with DR get an attack of opportunity anytime their opponent attacks and ally without DR.

This sounds like good tactics, but it may have been metagaming depending upon how you worked this out. I don't care for the houserule though. Mind you it's easy to exploit - just get yourself some DR :smallamused:

Ed: Also, Barbarians are now tanks - Hmm, maybe this houserule has some merit ?

ComaVision
2016-02-25, 06:37 PM
Ed: Also, Barbarians are now tanks - Hmm, maybe this houserule has some merit ?

Somehow I doubt that benefit would extend to the PCs.

Talakeal
2016-02-25, 07:06 PM
This sounds like good tactics, but it may have been metagaming depending upon how you worked this out.

I didn't see it as meta-gaming. Everyone knows a werewolf can only be killed by silver, why would I waste my time attacking something I couldn't hurt when there were plenty of vulnerable targets nearby?

Also, keep in mind that my character was a knight who won't attack women, people who are unarmed, or those who have their back turned to me. The DM was constantly mocking me for my "foolish tactics," yet he still felt the need to change the rules to punish my meta-gaming.


Somehow I doubt that benefit would extend to the PCs.

You can say that again.

I know, I game in crazy land and terrible DM is terrible, but his policy on AoOs is that they were only in the game to punish meta-gaming.

Players were not allowed to take AoOs, period. Why would they, after all the DM can't metagame?

He changed his rules on what did or didn't provoke an AoO on the spot fairly often, and even things like five foot steps, casting defensively, or the withdraw actions which only exist to negate AoOs would still provoke them if he felt that your tactic was "metagamey" on that day.

WarKitty
2016-02-25, 08:32 PM
There are two versions of each character. The one in the player's head and the one in the GM's head. When they get out of sync, someone has a bad time.

What I do when a player attempts something that seems out of character to me isn't to tell them "so-and-so wouldn't do that, so you can't do that." Instead I use something like "That action doesn't jive with my understanding of so-and-so. Could you tell explain why it's in character so I can fix my understanding of who the character is?" It's totally non-confrontational. The player can back out (they usually do), but it doesn't look like I took their choices away. I'm sure an antogonistic player could abuse me, but I try to avoid inviting them to games.

Depends on how out of character it is, and what the action is. For example, I had a case where two players were having an OOC dispute. One player had her PC, unprovoked, push the other PC's player into what was effectively a deathtrap.

This was followed by "no that didn't happen," along with a healthy dose of "you're a big girl, act like one."

Segev
2016-02-26, 12:51 PM
I didn't see it as meta-gaming. Everyone knows a werewolf can only be killed by silver, why would I waste my time attacking something I couldn't hurt when there were plenty of vulnerable targets nearby?

Also, keep in mind that my character was a knight who won't attack women, people who are unarmed, or those who have their back turned to me. The DM was constantly mocking me for my "foolish tactics," yet he still felt the need to change the rules to punish my meta-gaming.



You can say that again.

I know, I game in crazy land and terrible DM is terrible, but his policy on AoOs is that they were only in the game to punish meta-gaming.

Players were not allowed to take AoOs, period. Why would they, after all the DM can't metagame?

He changed his rules on what did or didn't provoke an AoO on the spot fairly often, and even things like five foot steps, casting defensively, or the withdraw actions which only exist to negate AoOs would still provoke them if he felt that your tactic was "metagamey" on that day.
Yeesh. So, does his definition of "metagaming" amount to anything other than "not playing the way I, the DM, want you to?"

Airk
2016-02-26, 04:19 PM
Yeesh. So, does his definition of "metagaming" amount to anything other than "not playing the way I, the DM, want you to?"

I don't even know why we bother discussing Talakeal's game experiences with That GM. Every single one of them basically boils down to "You should have left that game months ago." It's like watching a train wreck, but nothing about it is useful from the perspective of "how to run a game" other than as being humorous examples of what not to do ever.

I'm actually a little bit mystified as to why Talakeal would bring it up in a thread like this. It's like "I am looking for an answer to this question...?" and then later "But what about this bat45^$%% insane GM? What happens then?!" and the answer is always "That GM is bat#$%$%^ insane and you should not game with them, ever."

Talakeal
2016-02-26, 04:24 PM
I don't even know why we bother discussing Talakeal's game experiences with That GM. Every single one of them basically boils down to "You should have left that game months ago." It's like watching a train wreck, but nothing about it is useful from the perspective of "how to run a game" other than as being humorous examples of what not to do ever.

I'm actually a little bit mystified as to why Talakeal would bring it up in a thread like this. It's like "I am looking for an answer to this question...?" and then later "But what about this bat45^$%% insane GM? What happens then?!" and the answer is always "That GM is bat#$%$%^ insane and you should not game with them, ever."

I did leave the game months ago. I only brought it up as an example when Darth Ultron seemed mystified as to how a DM could disrupt their own game; I even put it in a footnote rather than the actual post so people who didn't want to hear another gaming story could skip over it.

goto124
2016-02-27, 03:00 AM
Yeesh. So, does his definition of "metagaming" amount to anything other than "not playing the way I, the DM, want you to?"

But if a player plays the way the DM wants, isn't that metagaming? :smalltongue:

Cluedrew
2016-02-27, 09:06 AM
I do it all the time. If a player is a jerk and disrupts the game I will take control of the character in a second.Really? This kind of goes against some of your views I've seen expressed elsewhere. Why don't you try to convince them not to be disruptive first?


Also, keep in mind that my character was a knight who won't attack women, people who are unarmed, or those who have their back turned to me. The DM was constantly mocking me for my "foolish tactics,"...An oad to all the fools, because is what makes them heroes.

Gallade
2016-02-27, 10:08 AM
Well, just putting in here my two cents... the rule of thumb should be that as long as nobody is particularly bothered by it, it should be let slide.

Two characters of my players got killed in a relatively simple battle against a dire bear and a troop of Pooka, because the Evil cleric kept channeling energy to damage everyone at once but in doing so kept whittling down the Monk's HP (putting him at 24/54 HP) before he could even get close to the bear, and adding in damage from the Pooka and one hit from the bear, he died shortly. The bear then chased after the cleric and killed him as well. The only one left alive was an Archivist with 14 max HP who had several heal spells prepared but just kept shooting and missing from a safe distance the entire fight. I pointed out their lack of cooperation and outright harming of each other, but neither of them was too bothered with having lost their PC. So it's just take out a new sheet and start anew. I got pretty shaken by it because I really got involved in the campaign, and that Monk was just 16 years old and never complained or backed down, and even died to protect the same Cleric who put him in that situation to begin with.

The only drawback as DM is that, because that Monk had gotten so involved in the plot he had become a key point in it and the other PC aren't interested in funding a resurrection, I have to pretty much give that role to a NPC to continue. I explained that to them and asked to at least TRY not to kill each other.

Darth Ultron
2016-02-27, 10:29 AM
I more meant that the philosophies of "the group is more important than the individual" and "The DM is always right" are often at odds. There are many times when what is fun for the DM is miserable for the rest of the group or vice versa, and when that happens you have to choose between the two.


Well, the DM is always right, as it is the DM that decides what the group is...


But yes, the DM can easily be disruptive. For example, my bad DM would often ban things or change the rules mid encounter*, and even my good DM oftentimes throws a plot hook at us to force us along when we are working on project or having an IC dialogue.


But is "disruptive " also taking control of a character?


Also, I am kind of curious by what you mean "punish the player", it is probably just an XP dock, but I wouldn't be surprised based on the stories of your table if you made the players sit in the corner for a time out or even pulled out a switch and started lashing them :smallbiggrin:
[/QUOTE]

There are all sorts of ways to punish a player. The simple fact of the game is that a players "fun" is 100% in the DMs hands.

Pyrous
2016-02-27, 02:29 PM
But if a player plays the way the DM wants, isn't that metagaming? :smalltongue:

Of course not. That is good roleplaying. :smalltongue:

Talakeal
2016-02-27, 04:19 PM
But is "disruptive " also taking control of a character?

Probably? I mean, the game was more than likely going off the rails in the first place if you felt the need to take control of the player character, but actually doing so is certain to provoke a lot of bitching or even grind the game to a halt with an out and out revolt from the PCs.

Darth Ultron
2016-02-28, 02:56 PM
Probably? I mean, the game was more than likely going off the rails in the first place if you felt the need to take control of the player character, but actually doing so is certain to provoke a lot of bitching or even grind the game to a halt with an out and out revolt from the PCs.

I guess this would go back to if you had a good DM or not. A good DM only takes control of a character if it is really needed. After all a DM has control over the whole game world and can make anything they want to happen.

I know a lot of modern day DM's don't get that; you can find plenty of them asking for help on any message board. And a lot have a crazy part where they say something like ''the PC insulted the king and now the whole royal guard is out to kill them''. And this is where I stop and ask why? To the DM asking the question it's automatic...the PC did this so event X must happen. But that is not true. Anything can happen.

A lot of game I run have player plots. That is where all the players get together and say ''lets do this plot''. So all the players want to do the plot...at least in theory. So then you have player X, and lets just say it's not the poor players fault and then are just a hapless victim of something or the other. So player X wants to have his neutral elven druid kill some trents so he can pave paradise and put up a parking lot, and then still walk over to the elven/trent druid circle and be accepted. Now the DM has plenty of ways to stop this crazy action. And easy one is Mother Nature comes down and says ''no''. But there are dozens of other ways. And most are as quick and easy as the DM saying ''your character does not do that, he goes home and rethinks his life''.

EvilestWeevil
2016-02-29, 03:43 PM
To be honest the way I have dealt with the evil pc thing. Is to split the character out and let the player roll up a new good guy, and let the other players roll up some new bad guys his character can recruit. And then maybe those group go down a similar path, or diverge completely. That it what I have always done, I have never been at a loss for story and the players help drive it along. Split the time between both groups, now everyone is involved and they get to come up with two different characters. It has never been a bad decision, and has made for more than a few memorable games.

Bad behavior is different, you handle with an out of game discussion, if the issue can't be resolved, then look at parting ways. Its not hard to avoid people you don't like them. If you have to, which I have sadly needed to do in the past, you can just say "I'm sorry, but I don't like you".

Talakeal
2016-02-29, 05:46 PM
So you actually split one game into two when this comes up? How often has / does it happen?

That shows a ton of work and willingness to compromise, my hat is off to you.

Fatty Tosscoble
2016-02-29, 06:24 PM
Really the best way to keep players in line, is not to stomp on them yourself, but to punish them using the games NPC's or some sort of fate/natural law.

What I mean is you should have the players choices (that are way out of line get them hurt or killed). For example, when the wizard in question turns himself into a giant permanently don't make a fuss about it out of character to the player, just have the group then run into a group of paladins who immediately attack the giant PC.

You get what I mean?

If a character is acting in a completely evil manner, a trip to the dungeons with the city guards might help straighten him out, or punish him for stealing by having an item he takes put a curse on him. Or maybe have NPC shun him, and disallow him from doing business with them sitting in their taverns, or collect bounty rewards.

This may have given you some ideas, but the overarching point is to not get upset at the player, but make it so that the player comes to his realization that he is disrupting the game for the rest of the table.


P.S many others on this tread are telling you to have an open chat with the player. I really don't recommend this since it can make the table a bit awkward, because you had to have "the talk", and it makes it feel like your now controlling what he does in game.

WarKitty
2016-02-29, 07:05 PM
Really the best way to keep players in line, is not to stomp on them yourself, but to punish them using the games NPC's or some sort of fate/natural law.

What I mean is you should have the players choices (that are way out of line get them hurt or killed). For example, when the wizard in question turns himself into a giant permanently don't make a fuss about it out of character to the player, just have the group then run into a group of paladins who immediately attack the giant PC.

You get what I mean?

If a character is acting in a completely evil manner, a trip to the dungeons with the city guards might help straighten him out, or punish him for stealing by having an item he takes put a curse on him. Or maybe have NPC shun him, and disallow him from doing business with them sitting in their taverns, or collect bounty rewards.

This may have given you some ideas, but the overarching point is to not get upset at the player, but make it so that the player comes to his realization that he is disrupting the game for the rest of the table.


P.S many others on this tread are telling you to have an open chat with the player. I really don't recommend this since it can make the table a bit awkward, because you had to have "the talk", and it makes it feel like your now controlling what he does in game.

The main difficulty here comes when the disruptive actions affect other players' enjoyment of the game (and this can include the DM). I think that's when the DM needs to step in and say "no, this isn't how this is going to go."

Amphetryon
2016-02-29, 07:28 PM
Really the best way to keep players in line, is not to stomp on them yourself, but to punish them using the games NPC's or some sort of fate/natural law.

If you're running the NPCs, how is this different? If you AREN'T running the NPCs, how do you accomplish this?

GnomishPride
2016-02-29, 07:56 PM
It is quite common, both online and in person, for Game Masters to set limits on the type of characters which will be allowed in the game, for example, core only or no evil characters, as well as guidelines for behavior, for example no abusing WBL or PVP combat.

It is also quite common for people to state that the DM never has any right to tell a player what their character does; a character's actions are for the PC alone and sacrosanct to DM interference.

My question is, what happens when these two principles come into conflict?

For example, I have seen many DMs, both online and in person say, for example, "My PC's can't do X because X is an evil action, and I don't allow evil characters," or "I only allow core races, if you permanently polymorph into a giant you will no longer be a PC."

However, I haven't ever seen the issue actually forced.

So, has anyone ever actually seen a player taken away from a PC for bad behavior?

Philosophically, how do you feel about the issue? Who is in the right here? How should such a situation be resolved?

I guess I better stop lurking and actually post now.
In my group, we usually set specific parameters for the type of game we want. Like no evil or all evil; stuff like that. We're all cool with that as it helps us determine what to do for a build and some idea what other people are going to do, and overall improves party coordination and compatibility.
But as for taking control of character, we never do that. Ever. The character is under the player's control, and theirs alone. The DM never takes away the player's control in our games.
But when the player does something against the parameters, the DM will tell the player 'Are you sure? Would your character really do that?' or 'Hey friend, that kind of behavior is discouraged. I'd advise against doing that'; stuff along those lines. Things that remind the player to revise those poor decisions. Never does the DM take control.
Welp, that's my 2cp. Back to lurking.

goto124
2016-02-29, 09:25 PM
P.S many others on this tread are telling you to have an open chat with the player. I really don't recommend this since it can make the table a bit awkward, because you had to have "the talk", and it makes it feel like your now controlling what he does in game.

Without an OOC talk, how would disruptive players know they're actually doing something that's detrimental to the fun of the rest of the group? The disruptive player may actually expect IC consequences and run along with it, completely clueless to how no one else is enjoying the game anymore. This is likely to end up in a situation where That One Player is performing all the disruptive actions at the expense of everyone else and yet nobody speaks up.

Slipperychicken
2016-02-29, 10:06 PM
P.S many others on this tread are telling you to have an open chat with the player. I really don't recommend this since it can make the table a bit awkward, because you had to have "the talk", and it makes it feel like your now controlling what he does in game.

I've had some success by simply explaining OOC to the player the root problem of why his behavior can be problematic, and what can be done instead. The trick is to keep this advice clear, casual, and to be understanding, as if you're reminding the player of a rule like how to calculate a bonus. Because in a way that's exactly what it is: passing on the unwritten rules of etiquette that surround tabletop games.

For instance, if a new player wants to go attack another player or steal his stuff, I might say something like "Hang on, before you do that. That's player-versus-player. We try not to play like that. DnD is a team game, where players are supposed to work together. There are some games where PvP is okay, like Paranoia, but this isn't one of those games. PvP in the wrong place can create a lot of bad feelings in real life, and we want to avoid that. What are you trying to accomplish? Maybe there's a better way we can achieve it." Obviously there would be some dialogue and pauses IRL, but I glossed over it for simplicity's sake.


I can attest at least an anecdote to the success of this approach. A few years ago, I started with some new players who started to display problem behaviors (the usual stuff; debasing NPCs, PvP, brazen shoplifting, killing guards), but they've almost entirely abandoned them, and I'm still having a great time playing with them all. I think that they grew out of it because the GM and I were consistent in teaching them two things: exactly how and under what conditions their problem-behaviors are detrimental to the experience, and what behaviors are beneficial and why. But then, I'm not a GM myself, so I may benefit from not having as much pressure on me to avoid lecturing players. It may sound different coming from a GM, so just be cognizant of that.


So there you have it. After many years, I have finally begun to articulate what "just talk to your player" means.

goto124
2016-02-29, 10:31 PM
started with some new players who started to display problem behaviors (the usual stuff; debasing NPCs, PvP, brazen shoplifting, killing guards), but they've almost entirely abandoned them

Those stuff are typical of computer games such as Elder Scrolls and GTA. That's where they picked up their behaviors from.

It takes a while to adjust behavior to suit the new medium, but as shown above it works.

Cluedrew
2016-02-29, 10:37 PM
When I see these games I always have moments like: "But you are playing a heroic character, that present is going to starve to death because you just stole half of his worldly possessions! Plus people are going to figure it out if things keep disappearing near... Oh right the computer doesn't care."

EvilestWeevil
2016-02-29, 10:44 PM
So you actually split one game into two when this comes up? How often has / does it happen?

That shows a ton of work and willingness to compromise, my hat is off to you.

I would say 4 to 5 games have gone that route, its been a lot of work, but its paid off in plenty of fun. Currently I am running a Star Wars Saga game that seems to be going that way, and I will pull the tried and true method I have found of splitting things up. Sometimes its fun to be evil, especially force powers.

goto124
2016-02-29, 11:59 PM
There is an element of Rule of Fun in such games. Not to mention a completely different set of expectations.

Also, the medium changes a lot of things. In a tabletop game, there's limited time in one session, so the players go straight to solve the overarching problem. If those players have trouble figuring out a clue, the GM can throw in more clues, or just force them into some clear-cut action ("out of nowhere the bandits attack you").

In a computer game, if the sole player takes a while to figure out what's going on and what to do, remember than computers aren't as smart as human GMs? Computers can't really react to the player. And making the game unbeatable by the world going kaboom (or somesuch) isn't fun. It just makes the player frustrated over having to restart over and over.

Speaking of restarting, the GM can just continue with the setting by making something up on the fly, or start a new game. Computers can't make up stuff out of nowhere, and game developers do not want to make their players stop playing their game to move to another game.

Lord Torath
2016-03-01, 05:38 PM
These are the rules I use for Disruptive Behavior:
22. Players are obliged to be fair and reasonable to other players, as well as for their characters to act likewise towards other PC's. There is no excuse for either you or your character to be an ass. NONE. The only exception being if the ALL the players are mature enough for their characters to be openly antagonistic of each other, and that the DM has made it clear from the start that such behavior is to be allowed, as well as how it will be kept in line. This is NOT an unreasonable restriction upon roleplaying but is, in fact, a very basic supposition of the game: the PC's, an often radically diverse party of individuals, nonetheless DO adventure together for money, glory, and other mutually agreeable ends. This means that right from the start, as a player you are largely obliged to find reasons for your character to LIKE the other PC's, not openly antagonize them. It means that no player gets to dictate to the other players the circumstances of their participation in the game in general; no character gets to dictate to another character how they are to be treated in the adventuring party, nor may an exclusive collection of two or more players/characters exert such control over one or more others. The DM is obliged to maintain this atmosphere of civility and cooperation, or, if it has been agreed by all beforehand to allow crossing that line, he is obliged to keep in and out-of-character attitudes and behavior from becoming disruptive.
23. The DM is not required to allow a character to actually play out in the game anything that the player wants. What that means is that particularly if the player is about to do something the DM feels is either really stupid or openly disruptive he should stop the game and get clarification or correction before proceeding. For example, if a character is about to kill an NPC for no reason, then rather than allow it to happen the DM should stop the player and find out what's going on. Determine the player's/character's motive. If the players response is unsatisfactory he should DISALLOW the action from taking place at all and let play proceed from THAT point instead of proceeding from the point AFTER the disruptive act has been allowed to occur and trying to pick up the pieces. Communication flows both ways and the DM does not need to act as if players should be forbidden to ever knows what goes on in a DM's mind or behind the DM shield. When a DM makes rulings there is no reason not to freely explain why he rules as he does unless there is in-game information involved that PC's should not be privy to. DM's should be capable of providing explanations for their rulings beyond, "because I said so."
24. The players run their characters - the DM does NOT. Unless players are being disruptive just for the sake of being disruptive the DM should keep his stinking paws off controlling the PC's. The DM does not dictate what the PC's do except if some form of in-game magical control has removed it from the player (such as charm, or lycanthropy) - and then the DM needs to be VERY judicious about what he does with the character. The ONE THING players get to control in the game is the attempted actions of their characters. DM's should interfere with that control only in extremis and with great care and caution even then. This extends to not interfering with treasure distribution. Although the DM determines what treasure is found it must generally be left up to the players and their characters to determine how it is distributed - unless it is done so badly as to be disruptive or patently unfair to other players.If someone wants to kick the king in the nuts in the middle of the Royal Recruiting Speech, before I let him do it, he (the player) has to explain why he wants to do it, what he expects to happen, and why his character thinks it is a reasonable course of action. If he has good enough reasons (i.e. he can convince me this is a reasonable action), I'll let him do it.

GnomishPride
2016-03-01, 05:50 PM
These are the rules I use for Disruptive Behavior:If someone wants to kick the king in the nuts in the middle of the Royal Recruiting Speech, before I let him do it, he (the player) has to explain why he wants to do it, what he expects to happen, and why his character thinks it is a reasonable course of action. If he has good enough reasons (i.e. he can convince me this is a reasonable action), I'll let him do it.

Seconded. I wholeheartedly agree.

Darth Ultron
2016-03-01, 07:39 PM
P.S many others on this tread are telling you to have an open chat with the player. I really don't recommend this since it can make the table a bit awkward, because you had to have "the talk", and it makes it feel like your now controlling what he does in game.

Well, this is exactly what the DM is doing. And this is part of the DM's job.

Now sure some players think they are special snowflakes and think they can do whatever they want just because. They are wrong. When your in a social group doing a shared activity, there must be limits.


Without an OOC talk, how would disruptive players know they're actually doing something that's detrimental to the fun of the rest of the group?

Some times you just gotta put baby in a corner, and not tell them they are even in a corner...

Though I'm still a big user/fan of just making bad behavior not matter in the game.

Cluedrew
2016-03-01, 10:07 PM
When your in a social group doing a shared activity, there must be limits.This makes me think about goto124's pervious post and the expectations people have from computer games. There are a lot of single-player computer RPGs that just drop you off in the middle of a sandbox and let you goof off. Which is fine in that context, but that doesn't translate very well into a table full of people playing the same game. Especially when the other n-1 people are in it for a more serious game.

Thoughts?

Talakeal
2016-03-01, 10:27 PM
When your in a social group doing a shared activity, there must be limits.

Haven't you spent the last several months arguing that there should be no limits on DM authority?


Some times you just gotta put baby in a corner, and not tell them they are even in a corner...

If they doesn't know why they are being punished they can't really modify their behavior accordingly, which means you aren't punishing them for any constructive reason, only mindless retribution.

goto124
2016-03-02, 12:42 AM
This makes me think about goto124's pervious post and the expectations people have from computer games. There are a lot of single-player computer RPGs that just drop you off in the middle of a sandbox and let you goof off. Which is fine in that context, but that doesn't translate very well into a table full of people playing the same game. Especially when the other n-1 people are in it for a more serious game.


So that's another reason for the big difference between CRPGs and TRPGs - one is a solitary activity, the other is social! Even in solo campaigns, the GM is a living human who can't wait forever for the player to get on with the main plot.

It does explain why, for example, "talk to everyone" and "try everything" is viable in CRPGs but not TRPGs. Fixed solutions and railroading are part and parcel of a CRPG, but absolutely horrible ideas in a TRPG. And so on.

lacco36
2016-03-02, 03:12 AM
This makes me think about goto124's pervious post and the expectations people have from computer games. There are a lot of single-player computer RPGs that just drop you off in the middle of a sandbox and let you goof off. Which is fine in that context, but that doesn't translate very well into a table full of people playing the same game. Especially when the other n-1 people are in it for a more serious game.

Thoughts?

Been there, saw that. At one time my usual players had no time/possibility to game, so I tried to branch out - usually having 1 or 2 players I knew and 2-3 newbies.

I always inquire about various things before I invite anyone to my table in RL, so I have managed to observe several behaviour archetypes. All of these have been broken by someone every time, so it doesn't work 100%, but it helps me prepare for the possible issues that await me with the new player.

If we specifically focus on computer games they most play (or similar games):

WoW-addicted players usually await questgivers, don't care about the story and tend to do the usual stuff (thinking NPCs are only set pieces, talking about killing them in front of them, looting everything).

Baldur's gate-admiring players usually want stronger story and can get lost in the sandbox easily. They are however more inclined to NPC interaction.

Fallout-loving players tend to choose strong archetypes and play it to the boot, however they usually think they can get away with anything.

There are more games and more observations, but these are the strongest archetypes I have met. There are also experienced players playing other RPGs - there the 3.5 crowd and pink mohawk shadowrun are most complicated for me - the former because they tend to want things from the game that are not there (e.g. low-magic setting? I wanna play elf archmage!) and have trouble adjusting to realistic combat (wanting to do the crazy stuff they usually get away with), the latter because I tend to play Shadowrun for roleplaying possibilities, not for the power-fantasy of being able to demolish the city. However, players who played also other games together with these are usually the best stuff there is - they adjust quite well.

The most positive surprises there were for me were two players:
One girl, who played WoW a lot. She came to my table (and I was already prepared having to deal with the usual "I wear my armour under my clothes so nobody sees it") and after first game, she told me she was really glad that I didn't allow her to wear the armour the bandit she killed had, stating "I was always surprised when armour fell of a killed wolf, this is just perfect!" The girl was glad she didn't get loot, because it would break her immersion...

Second - an experienced shadowrun-player. He played with several GMs and I was the first who told him that walking around Downtown with a sword will get him arrested quickly - and if he wants to continue, he should get a new charsheet - he'll see what happened to his PC on TV in game... He loved it.



If you doesn't know why they are being punished they can't really modify their behavior accordingly, which means you aren't punishing them for any constructive reason, only mindless retribution.

I don't like using term "punished". How about "conditioned"? :smallsmile:

goto124
2016-03-02, 03:16 AM
(and I was already prepared having to deal with the usual "I wear my armour under my clothes so nobody sees it")

I haven't heard much about this one, to be honest. Then again I don't hear much about the whole "wearing armor in the city" thing. Seems to be something glossed over for the sake of running a game.


I don't like using term "punished". How about "conditioned"? :smallsmile:

I read that as "you're punishing them for no constructive reason".

In my humble opinion, "conditioning" sounds like "conditioning guinea pigs in a science experiment to be afraid of stripes". Would "teaching" be better?

Lorsa
2016-03-02, 08:21 AM
I just laughed it off as another example of my terrible DM being terrible. But since that I have noticed an alarming number of threads on this forum (most involving the creation of undead) that echo that sentiment almost exactly and make me feel that it is actually a common line of thought for DMs rather than one off craziness.

It's one [line of thought] of craziness. Your DM is terrible.


For example, in my current game I am playing a "big dumb fighter with a low charisma," and I commonly find myself in a situation where I say something mean and blunt to another player (RPing my low Cha) or do something they don't approve of, so they retaliate by attacking my resources (either stealing from me or trying to turn one of my allies against me through manipulation) as I lack the cleverness or social skills to respond in kind my only recourse is to attack them physically, but the DM has a no PVP rule so I am left at an impasse.

How would your rule on this situation?

Of the DM has a no PvP rule, why would attacking someone's resources or allies be allowed? That's clearly PvP, so physical recourse should also be allowed.


I do it all the time. If a player is a jerk and disrupts the game I will take control of the character in a second.

Though this also counts for things like the player agreed to not be evil and 10 minutes later he wants to burn down a home for lost children just to get some XP. Then yes, I'll take control and say ''your character does not do that''.

I'll even go the route of when the player is just being silly and they want to ''pull on the beard of the kings dwarf guard..hehe'', that I will just say ''you don't do that''......or just stop them in the game..or have the action not matter...or just out right punish the player.

I would never take control of someone's character.

In the first case, I would explain that burning down a home for lost children is evil, so if the player insists on continuing with these kind of actions, (s)he would have to leave the group.

The second case of the beard pulling is something I would simply have the guard (and the king) respond to in an in-game appropriate way. If players wants to go pull the beard of guards, who am I to stop them? The guard himself might though...

lacco36
2016-03-02, 08:40 AM
I haven't heard much about this one, to be honest. Then again I don't hear much about the whole "wearing armor in the city" thing. Seems to be something glossed over for the sake of running a game.

I read that as "you're punishing them for no constructive reason".

In my humble opinion, "conditioning" sounds like "conditioning guinea pigs in a science experiment to be afraid of stripes". Would "teaching" be better?

Had a player who thought she could hide her shield under her dress (which, according to the picture she provided, was quite tight...). Had a player who thought that brandishing a weapon at the presence of king was normal thing and was surprised the Royal Guard didn't think it funny. And had a player who decided to hide a dagger in his underpants...unsheathed...and was surprised when he started getting damage while running. It's a matter of playstyle, immersion and idea of fun. I don't have fun when players pull these things in games where they don't belong, and have lots of fun when they do in less-serious games. So yes, somewhere it's glossed upon, somewhere it's not.

As for "conditioning" vs. "teaching" vs. "punishing" - the idea is the same. You have fun playing games certain way. If the player knows it and accepts it, it's fine. If not, one one of you or both need to change their behaviour (ideally a compromise is presented) or leave the table. Usually it's up to player since most players are not willing to GM (I would love to get to play at least once per 5 years) - but the idea is the same. You try by any means to keep the game fun for the others, while not making it an ordeal for you - a fine example what happens when it does can be seen in the gaming part of this forum...

goto124
2016-03-02, 09:04 AM
If players wants to go pull the beard of guards, who am I to stop them? The guard himself might though...

In your setting, do the dwarf women have beards? Not sure why the thought passed through my mind...


Had a player who thought she could hide her shield under her dress (which, according to the picture she provided, was quite tight...). [snip] And had a player who decided to hide a dagger in his underpants...unsheathed...and was surprised when he started getting damage while running. [snip] So yes, somewhere it's glossed upon, somewhere it's not.


(I've got nothing for brandishing a weapon in front of a king, if the player had choose to deliberately wave it about.)

This got me thinking. Illustrations are often just that - illustrations, to help GMs and players form mental images of the character. Okay, even a loose dress can't hide a shield unless a crinoline is involved. But let's pretend she was trying to hide an object that can be hidden under a loose dress, but not a tight one. Tight outfits convey different aesthetics from loose ones, and the player might've choose (or drawn) an image of an woman in a tight dress because it conveys her character better. Should the player be beholden to it, any more than a player providing an image of a warrior with an impressive cape and oversized spiked shoulder pads be penalized for such "impractical clothing"? Am I overthinking this?

I hope that for the dagger underpants player, you reminded him of the danger of wearing sharp metal next to bare skin before you made him bleed for it.

Lorsa
2016-03-02, 09:24 AM
In your setting, do the dwarf women have beards? Not sure why the thought passed through my mind...

It passed through my mind also, when I chose to refer to the dwarf guard as [he], while consciously avoiding (or at least attempting to avoid) any gender pronouns (unless known) in the other parts of the text.

In my mind, dwarf women do not usually have beards in the same manner as male dwarves do. Not sure why this is so, but looking at the forgotten realms dwarf description, it clearly states that most (dwarf) women shave off their beards. Reading between the lines, you also get the idea that they perhaps do not have quite as ample facial hair as the males, even though they certainly have more than human females.

Segev
2016-03-02, 01:23 PM
In my mind, dwarf women do not usually have beards in the same manner as male dwarves do. Not sure why this is so, but looking at the forgotten realms dwarf description, it clearly states that most (dwarf) women shave off their beards. Reading between the lines, you also get the idea that they perhaps do not have quite as ample facial hair as the males, even though they certainly have more than human females.

In Discworld, dwarven women are indistinguishable from dwarven men by anything except the primary sexual characteristics (i.e. genetalia). In fact, being a humorous setting, the dwarven courting practice goes up through marriage, where, on the wedding night, the penultimate step is "hope you guessed correctly."


I've posited a take on dwarves wherein their word for "beard" and their word for "hair" is the same. Dwarf kids are born bald, and when they go through puberty, males grow beards on their faces, and females grow them on their heads. Dwarves thus tend to think that most other races, with hair on their heads, are rather effeminate. And that ones with both hair on the head and on the face are...disturbing.

lacco36
2016-03-03, 07:11 AM
(I've got nothing for brandishing a weapon in front of a king, if the player had choose to deliberately wave it about.)

This got me thinking. Illustrations are often just that - illustrations, to help GMs and players form mental images of the character. Okay, even a loose dress can't hide a shield unless a crinoline is involved. But let's pretend she was trying to hide an object that can be hidden under a loose dress, but not a tight one. Tight outfits convey different aesthetics from loose ones, and the player might've choose (or drawn) an image of an woman in a tight dress because it conveys her character better. Should the player be beholden to it, any more than a player providing an image of a warrior with an impressive cape and oversized spiked shoulder pads be penalized for such "impractical clothing"? Am I overthinking this?

I hope that for the dagger underpants player, you reminded him of the danger of wearing sharp metal next to bare skin before you made him bleed for it.

It's still the same issue - playstyle, table rules. I usually don't require drawings/pictures for characters - we discuss the visage and if the player provides something, I will use it. It also boils down to the game you want to play - in my games, if a player says his character is wearing very impractical/oversized piked shoulders and cloud's sword, he will be immediately considered encumbered. Because my players like the more realistic approach and for some, cloud's sword would lead to complete break of immersion (if it was handled without huge penalties). It all depends on what playstyle you have - for D&D, the magical chainmail bikini make sense. For RoS not, because armour protects only parts that are covered. You can still wear it - nobody stops you, but once you get shot into belly, it won't do a thing.

So yes, if the player tells me that the character's wearing a tight dress just like the one on the picture, I assume that a full set of chain mail armour will not fit under it...nor will the shield or helmet, and if she wanted to bring a sword, she would have it on her hip - and if hidden under the dress, it would take her some time to get it out. If the players accept this, and even enforce/require, it's not a problem. Now if she wore monk robes, I wouldn't say much to the idea of hiding full armour, shield and sword under it.

And no, I don't take the illustrations as "this is what my character is wearing" automatically. I ask what the PC is wearing.

...aaaand yes, I take special precaution: I ask "Are you sure?", then "Are you really sure?" and then explain the possible damage/fallout of the specific choice. Players who know me better usually stop at "Are you sure?" and either ask "Why?" or immediately recognize the issue - and we usually find a good way how to continue (e.g. hide the dagger elsewhere, ideally in a sheath).

goto124
2016-03-03, 07:22 AM
And no, I don't take the illustrations as "this is what my character is wearing" automatically. I ask what the PC is wearing.

Ah, that clears things up. Thanks!


It all depends on what playstyle you have - for D&D, the magical chainmail bikini make sense.

"She is wearing complete armor, it's just painted skin-color at some parts to make her look nearly nude!" :smalltongue:

Segev
2016-03-03, 09:34 AM
"She is wearing complete armor, it's just painted skin-color at some parts to make her look nearly nude!" :smalltongue:

I figure chainmail bikinis and guys with only pauldrons and a tunic and greaves are all working on the same principle as Wonder Woman's bracers: for whatever reason (magic enhancement bonuses, perhaps), the enemy aims at the armor. Or their attacks are drawn to it rather than the exposed flesh. Or something.

Darth Ultron
2016-03-03, 05:00 PM
Haven't you spent the last several months arguing that there should be no limits on DM authority?


No?

In the game, yes the DM is the All Powerful Everything. Ouside the game, they are just a person.



If they doesn't know why they are being punished they can't really modify their behavior accordingly, which means you aren't punishing them for any constructive reason, only mindless retribution.

It is unfortunate that you can't be honest with bad players, this is true and very sad.

But, very often, the bad player does catch the hint anyway. After several hours of punishment, they quite often decide to stop being bad, and act normal...




In the first case, I would explain that burning down a home for lost children is evil, so if the player insists on continuing with these kind of actions, (s)he would have to leave the group.

The second case of the beard pulling is something I would simply have the guard (and the king) respond to in an in-game appropriate way. If players wants to go pull the beard of guards, who am I to stop them? The guard himself might though...

I'm all for punishing the bad player in the game. This is one of the reasons I love an Ultra High Magic Setting. Then when the player is bad it can be like ''Zap! Your character is now immaterial and can't touch anything or do any stupid things to disrupt the game and everyone's fun''.

Cluedrew
2016-03-04, 08:20 AM
It is unfortunate that you can't be honest with bad players, this is true and very sad.I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. If you are not honest with bad players, they will just stay bad players. OK some will stay bad players and those people can go play computer games or something.

But still, punishing them whenever the step out of line is going to get information across slower than just telling them what is wrong. And even if you are getting motivation across (I believe it is called operant conditioning) it hard to direct that motivation without the proper information.

goto124
2016-03-04, 08:28 AM
At the very least, a GM should be honest with bad players about
"please leave the table".

hifidelity2
2016-03-04, 08:56 AM
Using the examples at the start of the thread


No Evil
Core Only
and
Canít use Spell XYZ (I often ban the higher mind control spells)

While you tell the PCís up front (so they know the game style) there are many ways you can control these more subtly

No Evil
The PC says they will do the ďEvil ActĒ . First of all I will warn them OOC. If the group know IC then its up to them to stop them. IF itís done in secret then naturally there will be an investigation by the authorities. Assuming the rest of the party are good then they should when presented wiuth evidence hand over the PC. If they donít then the whole party is evil and will be hunted down and killed

Core Only
OK use Polymorph to permanently change into something Ė said Giant. Can giants cast majic Ė maybe the wizard will slowly start losing the ability. Maybe there is a Giant Bounty, maybe itís a right of passage to kill a giant for a knight to earn his spurs. Naturally going down into that dungeon with 6 ft ceilings will become rather difficult. You can end up making the PC;ís life so difficult that they will undertake a quest to change back

Cant use Spell XYZ
1st of all you can have it that all research fails, no matter what he rolls. Or maybe it is not used because the 1st time its use it gets the attention of something big and nasty. If they part survive the next time its cast something bigger and nastier turns up

Or Maybe the spell has a (really) nasty side effect or need special components - this could be discovered during research and that should put them off

Darth Ultron
2016-03-05, 04:09 PM
I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. If you are not honest with bad players, they will just stay bad players. OK some will stay bad players and those people can go play computer games or something.

Most, if not all, bad players are bad people. There is no fix from them. Sure, a very small number are the clueless bad type, but they are rare.



But still, punishing them whenever the step out of line is going to get information across slower than just telling them what is wrong. And even if you are getting motivation across (I believe it is called operant conditioning) it hard to direct that motivation without the proper information.

My point is that it is often pointless to try. All it does is waste your time. Sure you could sit the player down, have some tea, and tell them what they are doing bad. And chances are they will just get all offended at being attacked, hop up on their high horse and say they can ''play the game however they want to''.

And even if they do listen, and even agree to not do bad things....it will be a never ending uphill fight as they will always think what they do is ''not bad''. And you will end up having the talk again and again and again....forever.


At the very least, a GM should be honest with bad players about
"please leave the table".

It's not always an option.

OldTrees1
2016-03-05, 08:42 PM
Most, if not all, bad players are bad people. There is no fix from them. Sure, a very small number are the clueless bad type, but they are rare.

I disagree. Hanlon's Razor "never assume bad intentions when assuming stupidity is enough", "never assume malice when stupidity will suffice", or "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity" is quite accurate in general. Anyone paying attention to your posts will notice that your view of your players is shaded by your "I am always right" attitude towards your players. So they will tend to discount your own estimations of your players.

Darth Ultron
2016-03-05, 10:09 PM
I disagree. Hanlon's Razor "never assume bad intentions when assuming stupidity is enough", "never assume malice when stupidity will suffice", or "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity" is quite accurate in general. Anyone paying attention to your posts will notice that your view of your players is shaded by your "I am always right" attitude towards your players. So they will tend to discount your own estimations of your players.

So your saying bad players are not bad, just stupid?

ImNotTrevor
2016-03-05, 10:34 PM
Most, if not all, bad players are bad people. There is no fix from them. Sure, a very small number are the clueless bad type, but they are rare.



My point is that it is often pointless to try. All it does is waste your time. Sure you could sit the player down, have some tea, and tell them what they are doing bad. And chances are they will just get all offended at being attacked, hop up on their high horse and say they can ''play the game however they want to''.

And even if they do listen, and even agree to not do bad things....it will be a never ending uphill fight as they will always think what they do is ''not bad''. And you will end up having the talk again and again and again....forever.



It's not always an option.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that Darth Ultron is part of a WotC conspiracy to create the saltiest GM who ever lived. All of his players are trained actors who are just trying to troll him.

Seriously, I could noticeably change the flavor of the ocean with all the salt coming off your posts, dude.

Red Fel
2016-03-05, 10:56 PM
So your saying bad players are not bad, just stupid?

I think it's better to say that there's the set of stupid people, and the set of bad players, and a substantial (but not total) overlap area.

Venn diagrams if you got 'em.

daremetoidareyo
2016-03-06, 01:03 AM
Most, if not all, bad players are bad people. There is no fix from them. Sure, a very small number are the clueless bad type, but they are rare.



My point is that it is often pointless to try. All it does is waste your time. Sure you could sit the player down, have some tea, and tell them what they are doing bad. And chances are they will just get all offended at being attacked, hop up on their high horse and say they can ''play the game however they want to''.

And even if they do listen, and even agree to not do bad things....it will be a never ending uphill fight as they will always think what they do is ''not bad''. And you will end up having the talk again and again and again....forever.



It's not always an option.

I just read this after hanging out with some friends of mine from way way back. And I remember feeling this way about the people I was surrounded by again. What is it that you get from hanging out with these folks?

Don't read that in a "I'm picking a fight with you on a forum" sort of way. Read it like a concerned coach from a 1970's afterschool special is asking, no, IMPLORING you to answer this question for yourself. Like he asks that because he kinda has an idea of what the answer is.

It sounds like you need a vacation. And not just from your rpg friends. It sounds like you've lost hope in people to move towards higher ideals than their simple self satisfaction, and not only that, but that text reads like you're biding your time till something better comes along. Maybe shaking up your own pattern can allow you to invest more or less in them, because your current approach yields no discernable benefits to someone reading your recounts. Unless the recounting of these stories somehow serves you better than actually having real fun connecting to people in your immediate environment.

OldTrees1
2016-03-06, 01:16 AM
So your saying bad players are not bad, just stupid?

I am saying generally the perception of malice is usually caused by ignorance on the party of the perceiver and/or the perceived rather than actually being malice. How you, Darth Ultron, view your players (malicious piles of **** that need conditioning rather than communication) is atypical and probably erroneous. That is your prerogative but I advise others to not follow your example.

Frozen_Feet
2016-03-06, 02:05 AM
The title question is a bit vague. I see there being three distinct scenarios to consider:

1) Punishing a character for bad character behaviour.

2) Punishing a player for bad character behaviour.

3) Punishing a player for bad player behaviour.

1) is par for the course in my opinion and there are a lot of in-universe methods to do it. F.ex. if a character robs a bank, they risk being thrown to jail.

2) shouldn't be done as long as there is an appropriate in-universe way to punish the character.

A lot of games have rules lying in the intersection of 1) and 2). Corruption points are an old favorite. Commit enough evil or out-of-genre actions, and your character is gone. In a sense, some courses of actions are soft-banned for players. After two yellow cards you get a red card, and can't play unless you return to form.

3) Is a different beast. Here, the character is fine and might be crucial to the game, but the player isn't. Either they always show up late, don't show up at all, are annoyingly argumentative or emotional or are harassing another player. Here, it's the duty of the game host (usually but not always the GM) to act as a bouncer and get the player to cool down or boot them out if necessary.

The problem with a lot of discussiona like this is that they purport to be about 3) but are actually 2). I see "this is OOC problem, not IC problem" invoked all the time about things which are IC and solvable IC. The unwilligness to solve these problems IC strikes me as worrying lack of thought or, more often, leaning on a certain sort of metagame more than is necessary.

Another way to think of it is this: there's a difference between denying a choice because:

a) it is contradiction of the rules,
b) it's in contradiction with the setting,
c) other people didn't expect it,
d) you didn't expect it,
e) other players don't like it,
f) you don't like it
g) it's neither a) nor b), but is c) through f) due to violating an unspoken metagame.

A) and b) are always rights of a GM. C) through f) are cases where a GM should practice caution and judgement. One of GM's duties is being fair. Sometimes,.it means taking one for the team; other times it means the whole team takes one. Bad character behaviour needs to be tolerated so that a number of roles can be played.

G) is a special case where the GM and other players should give themselves a slap and look into a mirror. It's their failure of communication which caused this to happen, and before prohibiting the action they should think hard why they are playing it that way to begin with.

Darth Ultron
2016-03-06, 03:56 PM
I am saying generally the perception of malice is usually caused by ignorance on the party of the perceiver and/or the perceived rather than actually being malice. How you, Darth Ultron, view your players (malicious piles of **** that need conditioning rather than communication) is atypical and probably erroneous. That is your prerogative but I advise others to not follow your example.

Sure, except I disagree with your whole philosophy. But moving on..

And, well, I game to have fun. Sadly lots of bad players/people want to do nothing more then ruin my, and everyone else's fun. And as DM I stand up and stop them. Simple enough.

JNAProductions
2016-03-06, 04:00 PM
Sure, except I disagree with your whole philosophy. But moving on..

And, well, I game to have fun. Sadly lots of bad players/people want to do nothing more then ruin my, and everyone else's fun. And as DM I stand up and stop them. Simple enough.

Right. Most of us game with friends, and friends aren't out to ruin other people's fun. But apparently, you don't game with friends (or just have terrible friends), since that's by far not friendly behavior.

I've had someone disrupt a game and make it less fun for others. Guess what? He was doing it on total accident. It was just a mismatch in gaming style between him and the other players. We talked about, agreed that there wasn't really a way to reconcile the differences, so I ran two games-one for him (which was a lot of fun) and one of the other players (which was also fun).

No malice there. Just a bit of ignorance and ill-matching gameplay styles.

Darth Ultron
2016-03-06, 04:08 PM
The big difference is I don't always game with friends. I often just game with "people I know"".

JNAProductions
2016-03-06, 04:26 PM
The big difference is I don't always game with friends. I often just game with "people I know"".

Then, if they're big ol' bags of jerk, STOP GAMING WITH THEM. If they are trying to ruin your fun, don't game with them.

No gaming is better than bad gaming.

Darth Ultron
2016-03-06, 09:04 PM
Then, if they're big ol' bags of jerk, STOP GAMING WITH THEM. If they are trying to ruin your fun, don't game with them.

No gaming is better than bad gaming.

It's not always possible. Bad player x might be the brother of good player a, and you can't get rid of one without the other, for example.

JNAProductions
2016-03-06, 09:07 PM
Darth, say it with me: No gaming is better than bad gaming. Even if it's just one player causing the issue, if it's ruining your fun, it's still better not to play.

Also? Try talking to the good brother. Chances are, he realizes his brother is a bad player and will either 1) try to help him be a better player, 2) agree that he shouldn't play anymore, or, if worst comes to worst, 3) understand why you want to stop playing.

Darth Ultron
2016-03-08, 06:38 PM
Darth, say it with me: No gaming is better than bad gaming. Even if it's just one player causing the issue, if it's ruining your fun, it's still better not to play.

Also? Try talking to the good brother. Chances are, he realizes his brother is a bad player and will either 1) try to help him be a better player, 2) agree that he shouldn't play anymore, or, if worst comes to worst, 3) understand why you want to stop playing.

Um, any gaming is better then no gaming...as long as your the DM.

As DM you can control the problem player..often without them even knowing, and keep it fun for all.

I don't waste my time talking to bad people.

Knaight
2016-03-08, 06:57 PM
Um, any gaming is better then no gaming...as long as your the DM.


I suspect you're not getting much traction with this one. As a near permanent GM, I don't buy it at all.

Darth Ultron
2016-03-08, 07:07 PM
I suspect you're not getting much traction with this one. As a near permanent GM, I don't buy it at all.

What do you mean?

That any game is not better then no game?

Or that the DM does not have the power to control the game?

JNAProductions
2016-03-08, 07:11 PM
What do you mean?

That any game is not better then no game?

Or that the DM does not have the power to control the game?

That DMing with a problem player is better than no game.

Even if you're able to manage the problem player, which is no guarantee, it's a hell of a lot of extra effort on top of the effort already required to DM. Even if it's fun (not likely) you're going to burn out fast.

But, if that's your opinion, I guess you like all the extra work. Do understand, you are very much in the minority though.

Knaight
2016-03-08, 07:31 PM
What do you mean?

That any game is not better then no game?

Or that the DM does not have the power to control the game?

That as as a GM, any game is not better than no game. No game is still better than a bad game, and given the extra level of work and commitment that GMing takes, that becomes even more noticeable.