View Full Version : DM Help Problematic player help (?)

2016-03-05, 06:50 PM
Hi,a friend of mine is DMing a 3.5 game (i'm one of the players) and we kind of need some help here, i´ll let him talk:

Hi, I am DMing a hombrew 3.5 campaign and I have a problem with a CE character that doesn’t accept (as a player) the consequences of her actions. She is playing a hostile character that systematically insults and offends NPC way stronger than her and when they act accordingly, gets mad and disrupts the session to the point of ending it.

I rather not kick her out of the party because the problem lies on the PC/player combination. She is unreasonable to arguments like: “actions must have consequences”, “The world needs coherence” and such. She is also slightly volatile and it’s hard to talk outside of the table.

If the diplomatic route turns ineffective, killing the character is a good option. Not only the party agrees, but some are willing to let themselves die in order for it to look like an accident, in order for her not to get offended. Any idea will help.

She is a homebrew red dragon ECL 13:
– weakness to cold
– low Will saves
– Large size
– Bad maneuverability fly
– High HP
– disgusted by water and incredibly greedy

Thanks for the advice, and ask if you need any other info on the party/campaign!

2016-03-05, 06:57 PM
Right. Talk to her OOC. If she doesn't listen? Don't invite her next time. People who refuse to listen to OOC talk are not good players.

DO NOT try IC solutions. This is very much an OOC problem.

And if it really is an IC problem, just make her reroll a new character. But again, I stress this very much-TALK TO HER IN REAL LIFE. That is always the best answer.

2016-03-05, 07:14 PM
I agree with JNA. This is an OOC problem.

2016-03-05, 08:09 PM
Like JNA said communication.


1) The source of a problem will not change if they are not alerted to a problem's existence.
You will need to communicate what you see as a problem while looking for people communicating back to you.

2) People get defensive when attacked && Your goal is not to attack.
You and them are on the same side. Make this literal in your word choice. Describe the problem as if you two are on the same side look at the problem "over there". Take special note that, like the blind men and the elephant, you both might see different sides of the problem. However you are on the same team and have each other's best interests in mind.

When you can talk with people about problems you see rather than talk about problems you see with people, then you are 50% ready.

3) While malice exists, one should not attribute to malice that which can equally be explained by ignorance (theirs, or yours).
The hardest skill to improve but the most important one is the ability to understand others as they understand themselves. There are no easy shortcuts here. You will improve by asking questions, meeting people, and being wrong time and time and time again.

4) People get defensive when attacked && Your brain stops working when you get defensive.
Once you improve your ability to listen with the intent to receive communication/read with the intent to understand, then you can start to notice when your brain is trying not to do so. Practice not listening to your brain's desires to cease listening.

Darth Ultron
2016-03-05, 10:05 PM
You might have a bit of a game problem. This is a high level game, right? So you shouldn't be "interacting" with NPC's that are anything like normal people. The average 13+ level NPC won't care about the childish actions of a person. Does an adult care what a two year old says or does?

So the DM might need to up the level of the game.

2016-03-05, 10:09 PM
Fourthed. OOC problems should be handled OOC and you need to sit down with her and talk like adults.

2016-03-05, 10:23 PM
The best advice has already been said.
Put on the grown-up pants and talk it out like grownups. Have the conversation with the whole group present, but make sure beforehand that everyone knows this isn't an attack on the player's personal character (the kind each person has, not the kind on their sheet.) It is a moment to express concerns about behavior. But at the same time, that behavior absolutely doesn't mesh with the rest of the group. So the behavior can change, or the player can look for a better group for their playstyle. There is no option C.

But again, everyone present must act like grownups and treat eachother with respect and dignity. Otherwise you have a screaming match. Make sure to call people out on being disrespectful.
"Excuse me, that was blatantly disrespectful and we all agreed to be respectful."

2016-03-06, 04:04 AM
OOC communication. Make sure everyone is on the same page regarding what the game is about and how it should progress. Anything else is likely to make things worse.

2016-03-06, 04:18 AM
One more for the dog-pile.

Talk to the player out of the game and if she's unwilling to compromise then give her the boot, show her the door, tell her to kick rocks, and not to get butt prints on your doorknob when it hits her on the way out.

Chaotic stupid jerkwads are -not- good players. If they're reasonable people that are willing to compromise they can -become- good players. They're not worth your time if they're not willing to compromise, possibly in life and certainly in such a highly structured, social activity as TT gaming.

2016-03-06, 08:23 AM
I must ask: what ARE the consequences of her actions?

In general though, all players must accept that their actions have consequences, that is a basic premise of a roleplaying game (and life in general). So if she can't, and refuse to change after several conversations, the only thing you can do is drop her from the game.

Sometimes, not playing with a person is the best choice you can make.

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-03-06, 04:30 PM
If the diplomatic route turns ineffective, killing the character is a good option.

This can be a good option, but generally only if you talked to the player OOC and they agreed that the problem is partly in their character, and they could be a better player when using a new character. Then you can organize a spectacular send-off.

But as the rest said, from the way you're describing it it sounds like a player problem, first sit down and talk about it.

Mrs Kat
2016-03-06, 06:09 PM
There might be some dissonance between how you see the behaviour and how the player sees the behaviour. You might see "abrasive" where she sees "cocky but charming".

A way of approaching this might be to rewind a scene and give her the part of the NPC to play while you reprise her character's words and actions (verbatim, if you can).

It will let her see the character's behaviour from an outside perspective and might temper future interactions.

2016-03-06, 09:38 PM
But what if the player still thinks her actions are "cocky but charming"? She's already taken a turn on her own side, she'll see herself in a better light.