Cowardly player

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Three guards are wailing on our Rogue, and one is bludgeoning our Invoker. The Paladin and the Cleric go to bail the rogue out while I, the Fighter, mark the one on the controller. The Invoker shifts back, away from the marked guard, and with a clear line of sight to launch a party-friendly burst on the three soldiers flanking the rogue...

...he takes uses a single-target at will, saying he doesn't want to use his encounters until the enemy attacking him is dealt with.

Next turn, the enemy shifts (provoking an attack from me) and makes an ineffective attack at the invoker. I re-mark the guard, the Rogue gets beaten down to 7 hit-points (turning on the Invoker powers that have riders when a bloodied ally is in the burst). The Invoker shifts backwards, now with an even BETTER target for his bursts...

...and takes a Total Defense action.

This is a PBP game, and the DM has already taken him (and at least one other player) to task for not using Encounter powers when they are appropriate. Any thoughts for how to slap some sense into this guy? 
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Seems like he might be new to the game?  Only thing I can think of besides "is intentionally not playing his character well."
Salla, on minions: I typically use them as encounter filler. 'I didn't quite fill out the XP budget, not enough room left for a decent near-level monster ... sprinkle in a few minions'. Kind of like monster styrofoam packing peanuts.
You can't slap any sense into him. Some people just don't have any.


Next time, leave him to fight his own guy. Go help the rogue.


When he ask/complains about it. Just simple say that the rogue needs help or he going down. So he can either help the rogue or you will. If he helps the rogue by using his encounter powers great. Tell him if the at-will is not enough help so your still going to have to leave him and go help the rogue.

Placement and movement are a wonderful thing. We used to have a wizard who did not like casting his spells and was always saving them and hiding in the back. (3.5E) We let him. After a few encounters were nobody stayed back to protect him he learned he need to come forward with the group and cast his spells. If he the player only cares about saving his power and himself then you don't need to worry about him. He will take care of his own guy.  

Talking never works with some of players. You have to show them there is value in being part of the group. You show them that I'm going to spend my resources to save you then you better do the same. If I come to your aid then I expect you to do what ever it takes to save me and the rest of the group. Or your on your own. 


So since he did not want to spend his power to help the group the group does not need to spend its powers on him.    
This is one of those situaions that you can handle completely in character.  Your fighter must ask himself... who is more worthy of aid?  The invoker has already proven (twice) that he has no interest in helping any of his own companions, panicking when presented with a singular threat and not doing what most characters would imagine that a good invoker (controller) would do. 

So is the invoker really worth helping?  Or is the rogue?  Maybe the invoker is a friend of the fighter, but is he that good a friend?  Faced with the invoker's behavior, what would your Fighter do? 
;)

It is perfectly okay for a player to make a character like this invoker who is selfish/cowardly/solo-focused.  It is also perfectly okay for that character's fellows to treat him like you would treat a selfish and cowardly companion.
To err is human. To fail a Fear save is unforgivable! IMAGE(http://statcdn.worldoftanks.com/comcom_v2/uploads/signatures/wotuserbar04.jpg)

Yeah, this is one of those times when an in-character solution is completely appropriate.  At some point out of combat the invoker needs to be taken aside, preferably by the fighter who was defending him, and told that everyone needs to be able to depend on him (the invoker) to protect them.  The fighter had his back, so when the invoker stopped doing his own job to do the fighter's job it showed faithlessness in his friend's ability to keep him alive, and created a need for the fighter to do the invoker's job, which he doesn't have the power to do.

Warn him that the next time he neglects his own duties and defends himself at all costs, the defenders are going to read that as a greenlight to go defend other combatants, and then be as good as your words.  Whether he gets the hint and starts doing controller work or the bad guys chase him around, he's keeping some kind of heat off the party, and if he's determined to waste his abilities keeping only himself alive, the rest of the group needs to let him manage that on his own.

If one member of the herd is off to the side, exposed and isolated, the pack descends upon it. That sort of predatory behavior is instinctive for a reason - it's good strategy.  It sounds like you can count on the DM to respond to the invoker focusing on his own immediate survival by focusing on the invoker, and that's also appropriate. 

He can complain all he wants that the DM is picking on his character, but the DM is totally justified in doing so, because the invoker gave the villains an opportunity and clear incentive to pick on him.  When you get right down to it, it's the invoker's responsibility to keep the villains from being able to focus fire in the first place.  That's what a controller does, so if the controller isn't doing it, the DM is sort of obliged to exploit that opening.

"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
Three guards are wailing on our Rogue, and one is bludgeoning our Invoker. The Paladin and the Cleric go to bail the rogue out while I, the Fighter, mark the one on the controller. The Invoker shifts back, away from the marked guard, and with a clear line of sight to launch a party-friendly burst on the three soldiers flanking the rogue...

...he takes uses a single-target at will, saying he doesn't want to use his encounters until the enemy attacking him is dealt with.

Next turn, the enemy shifts (provoking an attack from me) and makes an ineffective attack at the invoker. I re-mark the guard, the Rogue gets beaten down to 7 hit-points (turning on the Invoker powers that have riders when a bloodied ally is in the burst). The Invoker shifts backwards, now with an even BETTER target for his bursts...

...and takes a Total Defense action.

This is a PBP game, and the DM has already taken him (and at least one other player) to task for not using Encounter powers when they are appropriate. Any thoughts for how to slap some sense into this guy? 



Oh, so this is a game not worth playing in in the 1st place.
IE; where YOU aren't allowed to control your own character.

Hopefully the player in question realizes that he's better off not playing with you.....

There's a fine line between playing your character on your own terms and hijacking gameplay.  This doesn't read all that differently to me than the player who rolled up a cleric making the other players beg him for healing spells or their characters convert to his god, or the rogue picking his teammates' pockets and telling them they have to put up with it because he's roleplaying a kleptomaniac.  There's a metagame reason these people are expected not to abandon this person's character, so he's got a metagame responsibility to meet some sort of performance threshhold, to earn his keep, so to speak.  If he wants to play a cowardly character, there are character builds that will let him do that narratively while meeting the performance expectations of the group mechanically.

A controller's area of expertise, an invoker's reason for existing is to interfere with the villains' mobility, accuracy and target availability.  If he's not doing that, why should anyone be expected to fight alongside him?  Yes, it's his prerogative to use his standard actions to bonk people with his staff if he so chooses; it's also his burden to deal with everyone responding to that with frustration and disappointment because it's the least helpful thing he could do in a (make believe) life-or-death situation.  The other characters in this story are laying their lives on the line to defend him, and he's refusing to stick his neck out for them at all.  It's narratively appropriate for them to abandon him, or at least to be really angry about it.

Yes, the DM has the right to expect him to break out his encounter powers too.  Building and running good, challenging encounters becomes a lot harder when there's a character in the equation whose level of performance can't be predicted.  Again, there's a balance between letting players do whatever they want with no limits and letting them do whatever they want with no repercussions.  We don't have the whole story, so of course the DM could've been out of line in the way he addressed the problem, but it is a problem that he should be able to talk about with his players.

"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider

There's a fine line between playing your character on your own terms and hijacking gameplay.  This doesn't read all that differently to me than the player who rolled up a cleric making the other players beg him for healing spells or their characters convert to his god, or the rogue picking his teammates' pockets and telling them they have to put up with it because he's roleplaying a kleptomaniac.  There's a metagame reason these people are expected not to abandon this person's character, so he's got a metagame responsibility to meet some sort of performance threshhold, to earn his keep, so to speak.  If he wants to play a cowardly character, there are character builds that will let him do that narratively while meeting the performance expectations of the group mechanically.

A controller's area of expertise, an invoker's reason for existing is to interfere with the villains' mobility, accuracy and target availability.  If he's not doing that, why should anyone be expected to fight alongside him?  Yes, it's his prerogative to use his standard actions to bonk people with his staff if he so chooses; it's also his burden to deal with everyone responding to that with frustration and disappointment because it's the least helpful thing he could do in a (make believe) life-or-death situation.  The other characters in this story are laying their lives on the line to defend him, and he's refusing to stick his neck out for them at all.  It's narratively appropriate for them to abandon him, or at least to be really angry about it.

Yes, the DM has the right to expect him to break out his encounter powers too.  Building and running good, challenging encounters becomes a lot harder when there's a character in the equation whose level of performance can't be predicted.  Again, there's a balance between letting players do whatever they want with no limits and letting them do whatever they want with no repercussions.  We don't have the whole story, so of course the DM could've been out of line in the way he addressed the problem, but it is a problem that he should be able to talk about with his players.



I support this statement, and there are fish skittering in my basement.
I support your support of that statement.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
This player is definitely non-typical, and I saw some good advice further up about dealing with it.

The DM can take some other steps, though. If the monsters have a goal other than killing the characters, or if the players have a goal other than killing the monsters - in short, if failure in the encounter means something other than death - then a character's combat effectiveness might not be as important. In this case, if the DM wanted, he could try to arrange for in-combat skill challenges or traps ideal for the invoker. The skill challenges could lead directly to better effectiveness for the party in that encounter, or be part of a larger quest, or whatever.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Re: encounter powers, the issue with the DM came up specifically when players were complaining that the last encounter very hard; he pointed out that four of six party memebers had unexpended encounter powers at the end of the fight, and if we'd used them the fight might not have been so hard. (Full disclosure--I was one of those four, although the Deft Hurler feat means that my at-will was at least situationally better than my level 1 encounter). The invoker, in particular, not only had an encounter left but hadn't uses either of his daily powers five encounters into the day.

Re: solution: I left him alone after the total defense action to bail out the rogue. He politely sent me a private mesasge asking why I left him along with two enemies. I explained that there was ONE enemy that threatened him (the warlock had immobilized the other), and that because he could use Armor of Wrath to avoid being pinned down by that enemy, defending him was low priority--especially because he was defending himself at the cost of opportunities to wreck the enemy. We'll see if he gets the message. 
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I love topics where the OP responds with how the story continues.

Sounds like you handled this pretty well, especially since Invokers are pretty capable of defending themselves anyway.
Heroic Dungeon Master
I actually had a similar event occur for me at a public game I was DMing for. It wasn't cowardice, but the Brawler Fighter, in the first combat encounter of the adventure, used all of his daily powers, and none of his encounter powers. The encounter ended up taking a very long time, even for public play. In the second encounter, all he did was use his at-wills, claiming he didn't feel like he'd had a good opportunity to use any of his encounter powers.

The third encounter...oh wait, they didn't make it. They didn't finish the second encounter because we ran out of time. The whole party was bloodied, out of heals, and everybody had been dropped at least once, while less than half of Team Monster was bloodied or worse (with only one mob dead). I ruled they fled back to town.

After the game when the Brawler's player confessed that he hadn't used a single encounter power, and dropped all his dailies in the first one, my basic response was, "Look I don't like to tell people how to play their character, but if you didn't use a single encounter power...at best you need to retrain because they clearly aren't useful to you, and at worst you're Doing It Wrong™." 

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac


...and takes a Total Defense action. 



I have played a lot of 4E, averaging about once a week since it first came out, and I am pretty sure I have never taken a total defense action.  I can only remember second winding once as a standard action and my PC was bloodied and flanked with a bunch of conditions on him in a party with no leader. 

The invoker, in particular, not only had an encounter left but hadn't uses either of his daily powers five encounters into the day. 



It seems like offense is not this guys strong point.  He might be better off playing a 2nd defender warden who focuses on second winding, but even then you have to be willing to get hit sometimes.  Or else maybe a sneaky mobile sniper build or something.  A close blast controller may not be right for him.  4E may not even be the right game for him.

...and takes a Total Defense action. 



I have played a lot of 4E, averaging about once a week since it first came out, and I am pretty sure I have never taken a total defense action.  I can only remember second winding once as a standard action and my PC was bloodied and flanked with a bunch of conditions on him in a party with no leader. 

The invoker, in particular, not only had an encounter left but hadn't uses either of his daily powers five encounters into the day. 



It seems like offense is not this guys strong point.  He might be better off playing a 2nd defender warden who focuses on second winding, but even then you have to be willing to get hit sometimes.  Or else maybe a sneaky mobile sniper build or something.  A close blast controller may not be right for him.  4E may not even be the right game for him.



I've never seen anyone in my party take total defense either, and I agree, should be a defender.
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
That would annoy me. If the entire party isn't doing their part the encounter becomes that much harder; Especially if your DM is building encounters to challenge optimized characters and your party is, well, definitely not. I mean, parties need to be a cohesive unit; I can see why this wouldn't be the case during the first few levels (exceptions notwithstanding) but later on it would become an issue.

It could be worse though. He could be your leader, and he could be hiding in a corner while you're fighting and dropping all of his heals on himself whenever he gets scratched and not being at all productive.
That would annoy me. If the entire party isn't doing their part the encounter becomes that much harder; Especially if your DM is building encounters to challenge optimized characters and your party is, well, definitely not. I mean, parties need to be a cohesive unit; I can see why this wouldn't be the case during the first few levels (exceptions notwithstanding) but later on it would become an issue.

It could be worse though. He could be your leader, and he could be hiding in a corner while you're fighting and dropping all of his heals on himself whenever he gets scratched and not being at all productive.



On the other hand, a Lazy Warlord might be right up this guy's alley. He never has to do anything himself, just tells other people.  "Oh god it touched me!  KILL IT KILL IT SOMEBODY KILL IT!"
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I have a Hengeyokai pacifist cleric build in my cleric build thread called the Flying Nun that would be perfect for him, unless you are fighting flying enemies.  The first round of every combat it can use a sustainable daily attack power and can spend the rest of the fight in crane form flying around using standard action utilities.

I've never seen anyone in my party take total defense either, and I agree, should be a defender.


I disagree. Defender is the most selfless class in my experience. If he can't even be bothered to optimize his murder-tactics because there's a mean ole nasty guard BEING MARKED BY A [Debutantes avert your eyes]ING FIGHTER threatening him, I can hardly see him being any good at a class that's best played by voluntarily inserting yourself into the rogue's position (Hell I once used Persisitent Harrier to teleport into flanking, mostly for the lulz, but I think it actually ended up being tactically viable for some reason).

Zammm = Batman.

It's my sig in a box
58280208 wrote:
Everything is better when you read it in Bane's voice.
192334281 wrote:
Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
57092228 wrote:
Copy effects work like a photocopy machine: you get a copy of the 'naked' card, NOT of what's on it.
56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
My DM on Battleminds:
no, see i can kill defenders, but 8 consecutive crits on a battlemind, eh walk it off.
144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
A turn two Tibalt win?! Wicked... Betcha don't see that everyday.

The Pony Co. 

Is this my new ego sig? Yes it is, other Barry
57461258 wrote:
And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
92481331 wrote:
I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
92481331 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
[quote=ArtVenn You're still one of my favorite people... just sayin'.[/quote]
56756068 wrote:
56786788 wrote:
.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
56287226 wrote:
98088088 wrote:
Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
56965458 wrote:
Show
57461258 wrote:
116498949 wrote:
I’ve removed content from this thread because off-topic discussions are a violation of the Code of Conduct. You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_... Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks. You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively. If you wish to report a post for Code of Conduct violation, click on the “Report Post” button above the post and this will submit your report to the moderators on duty.
...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
I condone the use of the word Kafkaesque. However, I'm presentely ambivalent. I mean, that can't be serious, right? We're April 1st, right? They didn't mod RPJesus for off-topic discussion when the WHOLE THREAD IS OFF-TOPIC, right? Right.
57545908 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
57471038 wrote:
57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
71235715 wrote:
+10
100176878 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
57078538 wrote:
heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
56906968 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
You are my favorite. Yes you. And moments like this make it so. Thank you RPJesus for just being you.
On what flavor text fits me:
57307308 wrote:
Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
121689989 wrote:
I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
56267956 wrote:
I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
"AINT NO LAWS IN THE SKY MOTHER****." - Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
10/10. Amazing.
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