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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default How to tame your power gamer?

    My group has been having trouble with our fighter/battlemaster in 5e. I started by letting him be a weretiger and things just snowballed from there.

    He constantly hounds me to give him extra damage in some way even though hes currently a 10th level fighter. Hes conviced I should let him have multiattack on top of extra attack due to the weretiger feats, and he refuses to acknowledge theyre both the same feat. Other examples include dual wielding 2h heavy crossbows and loading both of them twice on the same turn, letting him use d20s as a damage die, etc.

    It would be fine if it was just me because all I have to do is say No, but hes annoying everyone else with his constant reasons why he should have things nobody else has. Its like hes trying to powergame/rule heckle, but hes not smart enough to do it properly so he has to bug everyone else for ideas. Its getting to the point where they want to kick him from the group. Ideas? Maybe a compromise?

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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    You tell him "No."

    You tell him, with consent and support from the other players, that his attitude is detrimental to everyone else's fun.

    You point out that he's already gotten a lot of leeway from you and special treatment that he didn't need to get.

    You tell him that if he continues to act in a way that takes away from the fun of your other players that you'll ask him to leave the game. Tell him you'll be sorry to see him go, but you're not going to sacrifice everything you've worked for by letting his attitude ruin the game and drive everyone else out. And you give him one last change to reign it in, or he's out.

    And, to note, I don't think he's a power gamer. I consider myself a power gamer, I like to take it to the hilt and go nuts but I do it within the confines of the rules of the game. He's just asking you to break the rules for him over and over and since you gave him an inch already, he's taking you for a mile. That's not a power gamer, that's just a bad player.

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    It sounds like your best bet would be to either ask him to follow the same rules as everyone else or point him toward a game where his playstyle might fit better. Is there a reason why you want to keep him in the current game? It sounds like he is ruining the entire group's fun.
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    Honest Tiefling's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Talk to him out of character. Tell him that his behavior isn't really making everyone have fun, and others want time to be effective in combat as well. A challenge for an over-powered character would steamroll them, so mention that you can't make him more powerful than the rest of the party and have everyone have fun. Be polite, but firm. You might want to talk to him one on one at first, so he doesn't feel overwhelmed.

    Stress that you don't think he's bad at the game (unless you do, in which case ignore this bit) but that the game you are running and the one others enjoy is not the same as what he wants and you can't find a way to make the two types have fun in the same game.

    I don't think you can compromise. His behavior seems to be getting to an unacceptable degree, and weretiger alone would be pretty powerful in many editions/games, so unless you had a very balanced ruling for that he already got a favor.

    If he doesn't respond to the idea that others want to play the game as-is with how the rules work and that others want to contribute to combat, indicate that you don't think your group is a good fit. Normally, I would say to let a power gamer try to power game a less than optimal build, but something tells me he's after super duper easy combat rather than finding the character building aspect enjoyable.

    If you do end up removing him from the game, I suggest playing some action video games with him. Something tells me he might be enjoying that aspect more than the roleplaying...
    Last edited by Honest Tiefling; 2018-07-09 at 01:09 PM.
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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Every time he uses up an unreasonable amount of time trying to wring out extra mechanical advantages, inform him that he has used up his turn in combat mired in indecision; skip him and move on to the next creature on the turn order.

    If this continues, next encounter have the party face an enemy that cures his lycanthropy, making him a stock PHB race.

    If he persists, open a 1-man, 1-way portal to the Abyss underneath his character and neatly suck him through it, where several balors proceed pulling him apart like meat from a rotisserie chicken.

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    "Dude. I already let you pick Weretiger as your race, with all the benefits that gives you. That's already more than I've given everyone else. If you keep pestering me, I'm going to start taking things away."

    Again, this is a conversation to have with him before the next session, and away from the gaming table.
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elricaltovilla View Post
    And, to note, I don't think he's a power gamer. I consider myself a power gamer, I like to take it to the hilt and go nuts but I do it within the confines of the rules of the game. He's just asking you to break the rules for him over and over and since you gave him an inch already, he's taking you for a mile. That's not a power gamer, that's just a bad player.
    I'll +1 this, though I don't consider that just a "bad player", I consider that a "bratty player".

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    I concur with the sentiments above. This is not powergaming, this is just being a brat and constantly demanding more and more just because the player wants it.

    Powergamers push their builds to the limit of the rules(with loose interperations of vague ones) but outright breaking them or simply demanding the DM increase their damage dice or negate mechanics on the fly is crap. This is not even a player asking for a favorable ruling in an ambigious situation-this is asking you to line item change cut and dry mechanics whenever the brat wants.

    You don't even attempt to compromise with them, as giving them anything only makes them want more. They get a d20 for damage dice this turn? They will want 2d20 next turn. In addition to saying no, you inform them that further disruptions to the game will get them booted. Also, that the game has set rules for a reason and if they don't want to play by the rules, they don't get to play.

    There is a proper way to do this of course. Something like "Hey table, we leveled up and I am looking for a feat that increases my damage output in combat. Any ideas?" vs "I wanna do more damage let me break the rules so I always win."
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geddy2112 View Post
    You don't even attempt to compromise with them, as giving them anything only makes them want more. They get a d20 for damage dice this turn? They will want 2d20 next turn.
    Yep - it's a pretty blatant example of "If you give a mouse a cookie..."

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    The followers of whatever god he favors in your game appear and say the material plane is unworthy of him. Time to go to the Seven Heavens or some other place. Don't worry about packing; we have everything you need upstairs. (or reverse it if he is evil.) Then say congratulations you have the first player character to ever be ascended into the heavens. Time to roll another character.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    Yep - it's a pretty blatant example of "If you give a mouse a cookie..."
    Give them an inch, and they take a foot. Much more than that and you won't have a leg to stand on. What does happen if you give a mouse a cookie? Then he wants insulin?

    Other than that I'll just join the chorus. Here's something you could do (with full consent from the rest of your group, of course):
    Start a session where you allow him everything. Have it be that everything he does works. He makes all skill checks, no matter what he attempts or rolls. He always hits, and he always kills what he hits. Everyone else in the party cannot hit anything or deal any damage, or land a spell effect. All attacks against the player miss, whereas they hit everyone else in the party. Once his friends are reduced to unconsciousness, the BBEG shows up and challenges him to a duel, and then goes down like a chump as per the rules about always-hits-always-kills. Then every NPC grovels to him and makes him the emperor of the universe.
    Then you tell him to get out and never come back. Or alternatively you tell him he's now had it his way, it's the end. You're taking away his special character, he can now make a real character with no frills, and according to the rules everyone else is playing by. If he bothers people he needs to go for a walk around the block, especially if it's cold and rainy. Or, you know, go sit in the corner. And then resume the campaign from the point just before you instituted these measures.

    Just a thought.

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    Last edited by hymer; 2018-07-09 at 02:39 PM.
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    What does happen if you give a mouse a cookie? Then he wants insulin?
    "and he's going to want a glass of milk."

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Just have the 'final authority' discussion with him.

    Once doesn't usually cut it. But have it every bit as often as it takes: The game master makes the decisions. The game master interprets the rules. We do not discuss any further, once the game master has made a rules decision.

    And when he persists, remind him. The game master makes the decisions. The game master interprets the rules. We do not discuss any further, once the game master has made a rules decision.

    Yes, you think you should have access to attacks and damage of so and so. But the rules disagree - as interpreted by the game master. And ... The game master makes the decisions. The game master interprets the rules. We do not discuss any further, once the game master has made a rules decision.

    Eventually it sinks in, or he leaves. And personally, I've never had a player actually leave. Not anyone I'd know long enough to care about anyways.

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Simple: "No. And stop pestering me about this. You already got x, y, z."

    Escalate real world feedback from that point as required.

    Passively-aggressively weakening his character or killing him in game is the lamest possible way to deal with this kind of problem. The fact that these shenanigans exist in the community are one reason that roleplayers are perceived as autistic weirdos by some members of the general public...go one time to try an RPG, unwittingly offend the DM and rocks fall while everyone else laughs.
    Last edited by Mr Beer; 2018-07-09 at 08:15 PM.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    "You are special."

    "So that means I can--"

    "No. All of the PCs are special. You're all so much better than the NPCs that you save, but you're not better than each other. Everyone wants to feel awesome, so everyone plays by the rules, and the rules shall set you free. And make you all feel awesome by winning together."

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    "But I don't feel awesome unless I can be better than my friends, rub that fact in their faces, and put them down."

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Put him behind the DM screen, just for a one- or two-shot. In my experience, that tends to be a real growth experience for a "power gamer."

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Praise_Helm View Post
    hes not smart enough to do it properly so he has to bug everyone else for ideas. Its getting to the point where they want to kick him from the group. Ideas? Maybe a compromise?
    I missed the part where your group wants to kick him. Unless the player is a blood relative or a really good friend, this is what needs to happen:

    Relentlessly Fireball his character to death and then kick him from the gaming group. Follow him to ensure he does not steal on his way out the door.

    Trust me, this guy is an as**ole. Lycanthropic characters, who plays 'em?

    As**oles, that's who. As**oles who would steal on their way out the door.

    In this case, the gaping nature of this butthole -so wide you could comfortably park a bus inside- is attested to by his terrible behaviors:
    1. shamelessly munchkins at the table
    2. in pursuit of #1 probably wastes time quibbling with you &/or the other players
    3. has things no one else has yet demands more things that no one else has...another as**hole trait
    4. i'd wager when he is argued with, whether by you or the other players, he turns into a sullen little fudge goblin for the next several minutes.
    5. is unaware of or does not care that #'s 1-4 suck.

    do yourself a favor, fireball and kick. It's deserved. It's not passive aggressive. You will feel damned good while explosion after explosion tears apart his as**ole catman body. You and your group will have something to laugh about at other sessions.
    Last edited by Hooligan; 2018-07-09 at 10:19 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    "and he's going to want a glass of milk."
    Thanks! The cookie + milk thing isn't so common where I'm from.
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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    Yep - it's a pretty blatant example of "If you give a mouse a cookie..."
    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    Give them an inch, and they take a foot. Much more than that and you won't have a leg to stand on. What does happen if you give a mouse a cookie? Then he wants insulin?
    Then he takes the cookie into the wall cavity, brings in his girlfriend, breeds a dozen other mice in record time and next thing you know they are chewing off bits of your curtains for bedding material.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Make an announcement - you are following and enforcing the rules from now on. No special exceptions or extra abilities, everyone gets what the rules say their character gets. No 2 handed weapons in one hand, no reloading without a free hand, no extra attacks, no special feats, everything does the amount of damage it says in the book. There will be no debate about it. If anything exists that doesn't have rules for it yet (the weretiger as a PC race maybe), write some rules down and that's the final word. Don't ask for anything- the answer is written in the book.

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooligan View Post
    Relentlessly Fireball his character to death and then kick him from the gaming group. Follow him to ensure he does not steal on his way out the door.
    I advise against this. It's terribly bad form to punish out of game behavior with in game consequences. By doing that, you're only stooping to their level and then you're both in the wrong.

    Just tell him that the munchkining isn't going to continue. He can play the character as is if he can stop pestering other players, but if he continues pestering anyone at the table about it, he will be asked to leave the group. One way or another, the behavior will stop and it's up to him how that happens.

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Well, this is a different question than I was expecting to address. This is an issue of a clueless or toxic player, not of a proper power gamer. So, what to do? Hmmm...

    Cluelessness is much easier to fix. Inform the player straight up about exactly what kind of **** they are being. Ask them to explain exactly why they're being that way. Hopefully, you'll get an answer involving them not knowing that the purpose of the game wasn't to be as powerful as possible - perhaps even including them being confused why the other players were so "bad" at the game.

    (EDIT: do actually listen to their reply, though, because you never know when you're the one in for an eye opener. "dude, the Wizard has rewritten history, the Cleric had resurrected his dead god, the Thief is impersonating the emperor, and you're concerned about me doing a little more damage in combat?")

    As a fun variant, to appease the other players, you could offer to give them each X "coolness" points to spend on being able to do something outside of RAW, too. Perhaps even tie it to an in-game event - the party encounters a pool of pure Chaos, the concentrated stuff of creation, from which all realities are formed. Turns out, the lycanthrope's powers are from previous exposure to such. Now everybody else gets to play at his level. Maybe the Cleric chooses to be able to cast and attack, the Wizard chooses to see through everything (walls, time, minds), and the rogue chooses to grow money (lay golden eggs?). Now everyone has memorable characters with unique powers, all thanks to the **** who hopefully didn't know better.

    Or the player could just be a toxic ****. And nobody needs advice on what to do then, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Put him behind the DM screen, just for a one- or two-shot. In my experience, that tends to be a real growth experience for a "power gamer."
    That's an interesting idea. I think it's effectiveness depends greatly on the source of the issue - but, at the very least, it sounds like a highly nonconfrontational gamble / way to investigate the cause of the problem.

    In other words, I recommend this technique, as either a less direct (and less effective) substitute for, or additional therapy added onto, a more direct approach.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2018-07-10 at 08:17 AM.

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Talk to him. Explain Gently but firmly that you can't juggle dealing with giving him all this stuff, running a game that is worth running for everyone, and not TPKing the whole party every fight.

    Then, after you've gotten him to dial it back some in this manner, you throw him a bone with out telling him. Behind the screen, lower the numbers on power of monsters your throwing at him. Lower AC, Lower Damage, ext. But throw more of them at the party.

    Maybe drop some Magic items for the other players that are tailored too them.

    It evens it out, he get's to feel crazy awesome, you don't have too do as much labor to get things were they need to be, and everyone's happier.
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Simple solution will be Give and take.

    if he wants something, take something. soon enough he'll wise up and realize he's getting quite a lot,

    or he'll moan and groan about how unfair you are and you can kindly point out that none of the other players are acting like this. let him realize his childishness and he'll either move on or throw a tantrum. and take it from a father, when they tantrum, you need to meet that with strong will and if needed, force. otherwise i agree completely with what has been said.

    you gave him an inch. he wants a mile.


    i can also relate to this in a LOT of ways. as i happen to be in a campaign where i'm playing a werebear paladin (he's INCREDIBLY OP!) and how does my seasoned DM handle it? well he has people in his world be VERY aware of the fact that lycanthropes are vulnerable to silver, so they carry silver, also I CAN'T TOUCH SILVER! or my powers start to grow immobile and i get terribly sick.

    yes even silver pieces of currency.

    if i get hit by a silvered weapon my hit point maximum decreases too, until i have time to rest and recoup after a long rest. makes death a very real.

    when i shift, my armor gets crunched, when i do so it also takes a full action + bonus action to do so as i'm morphing into a completely different thing.

    that makes me vulnerable to attacks.

    so there's give and take.

    perhaps give that a try.

    but yeah. at the end of the day, some people just want to play their way, and don't care what you want. you can explain to him that you are putting a lot of effort into preparing these games for him and more importantly the others to ENJOY and that his attitude of greed is ruining it. so tell him to stop, or you'll ask him to leave.

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Praise_Helm View Post
    My group has been having trouble with our fighter/battlemaster in 5e. I started by letting him be a weretiger and things just snowballed from there.

    He constantly hounds me to give him extra damage in some way even though hes currently a 10th level fighter. Hes conviced I should let him have multiattack on top of extra attack due to the weretiger feats, and he refuses to acknowledge theyre both the same feat. Other examples include dual wielding 2h heavy crossbows and loading both of them twice on the same turn, letting him use d20s as a damage die, etc.

    It would be fine if it was just me because all I have to do is say No, but hes annoying everyone else with his constant reasons why he should have things nobody else has. Its like hes trying to powergame/rule heckle, but hes not smart enough to do it properly so he has to bug everyone else for ideas. Its getting to the point where they want to kick him from the group. Ideas? Maybe a compromise?

    also curious, how did he become a weretiger? is there an order of them? do people oppose it? does he HAVE opposition to hunt him down? might help too. otherwise you just have some strange were-tiger guy hanging out... which is strange.

    opposition introduces ways for you as the DM to weave in limitations to the game for him that make sense in a story, and if he complains and is like "well you just did this because you don't want to give me these awesome powers cuz my guys awesome!"

    you just remind him that he took on this curse, he is not fully aware of the ramifications of that curse, or who else is aware of this curse, and their feelings. and you can always say you've had this planned for a long time.

    heck even take some notes in a notebook and let it age for a while so i looks like you HAD planned it all along and show him.

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    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elricaltovilla View Post
    And, to note, I don't think he's a power gamer. I consider myself a power gamer, I like to take it to the hilt and go nuts but I do it within the confines of the rules of the game. He's just asking you to break the rules for him over and over and since you gave him an inch already, he's taking you for a mile. That's not a power gamer, that's just a bad player.
    Agreeing here.

    Dealing with a nice power gamer is easy, just ask them to play a weird suboptimal concept. If you're lucky they'll do that, power game, and come back with a character ideally roughly as strong as the rest of the party. Alternatively ask them to tone it down, for some power gamers/optimisers the fun is building to a specific power level, and while this is generally the highest power level it doesn't have to be.

    For example, building a mid power melee fighter. I put my highest score in Strength, take the halfling race, go sword+board Fighter, and pick up the Shield Master feat. Maybe multiclass into Barbarian for Rages and Reckless Attack. Now I think that build might be a bit overly strong as a tank for some groups, the point is that it's built to a specific power level, not just to the maximum.


    But this isn't the situation OP is in. OP has a fairly typical problem player, a player who hasn't learnt to use the toolset they've been given effectively and so has tried to get the rules stopping him removed. He's not even a Munchkin, he's not trying to bend rules in his favour as much as trying to get them outright ignored or get houserules implemented in his favour.

    The simplest ways to deal with this is to have a discussion with them, and then if it continues ask for the group to chime in with their feelings. If that fails to work then the only real option is to call a group vote, do people want to still play with PP or not.

    The worst, worst thing to do is to solve and out of game problem with an in-game solution. Because it doesn't affect the underlying causes at all, and those are going to cause another problem to arise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    "Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking)"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Agreeing here.

    Dealing with a nice power gamer is easy, just ask them to play a weird suboptimal concept. If you're lucky they'll do that, power game, and come back with a character ideally roughly as strong as the rest of the party.
    This.

    I love to power-game, but I hate to be "that guy" that dominates the table. So I come up with sub-par and/or support builds and power-game the crap out of them. No one gets mad if the bard is a great buffer while being able to half-ass it in melee, or if there is a blind guy with a tower shield in the party who is actually a viable build without having hassled the GM for any extra bonuses.
    Last edited by CharonsHelper; 2018-07-10 at 12:16 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Swamplandia

    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    How to tame your power gamer? Same way you train your dragon.

    Repeated applications of fish.


  30. - Top - End - #30
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: How to tame your power gamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andor13 View Post
    How to tame your power gamer? Same way you train your dragon.

    Repeated applications of fish.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBcT2rcYlWA
    "Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking)"

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