Dealing with a Problem Player

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Hello! I'm PieterTheCleric and I could use some help.


 First off, we (My Group) don't really play by the book. We use classes and racial bonuses etc. But we don't use a lot of the mechanics from the book, it's just how we've always played. 

Anyway, on to the problem player. I just DMed for my first time ever this past week. I barely prepared because halfway through the night, our DM decided he was bored with DMing, and I was nominated. My three PCs were a Githzerai Monk, a half-elf rogue, and a human ranger.  Anyway, we just did a couple of random encounters for a while, nothing very serious. By the end of the session, it was obvious that the Monk was the best of the group, he had the highest AC and somewhere around 24 Dexterity, but he was rolling terribly all night. (Keep in mind my group does not do mechanics like stats very well) On to the problem, It was the end of the session and the group decided to do a little shopping before the end of the session, so the Monk asks where he can buy magic items, so I tell him that there is a black market dealer that the party rogue was in contact with. At this time I had not thought of what the dealer could sell because it was my first time DMing so my mind kind of blanked. I racked my mind and eventually just told him he could buy a Headband of +2 strength for 100 gold. At this point he started angrily yelling at me about how I had made his character terrible and he couldn't do anything because I gave him shoddy loot. These PCs were level one and in the last dungeon he obtained a kama that did d10 damage. How do I deal with the problem of him not doing well with low level loot? Do I throw great items at him or do I just tell him that I can't help his rolling and he can deal with it?



                                                                                                                                                     PieterTheCleric



EDIT: I would also like to add that in the middle of our argument, both of the other players tried to talk him down, to which he replied "Shut the **** up"
Wow. Kinda a jerk player for yelling at you a.) when you barely had the oppurtunity to prepare, and b.) for "ruining" his character by not giving out loot after....most of a session.

Well, have you tried doing the wishlist thing? Its a way to ensure that the players get the stuff that they want, more or less. 

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
Wow. Kinda a jerk player for yelling at you a.) when you barely had the oppurtunity to prepare, and b.) for "ruining" his character by not giving out loot after....most of a session.

Well, have you tried doing the wishlist thing? Its a way to ensure that the players get the stuff that they want, more or less. 

What is the Wishlist? 
Right. The whole system works like this.

On page 126 of the DMG is the list of treasure parcels (Page 125 is how you modify it for various sized groups). Each level has a certain amount of monetary gold and magic items that you, as the DM, are supposed to award over the course of the level. These may or may not help you, since you mentioned that your group is loose on the mechanics.

Now, what you do with these magic items parcels (for your party of three, a level 5 and level 3 magic item) is to tell your players to give you a list of stuff they would like to get. Then, you as the DM figure out a.) what items they get, and b.) where they get them.

To tell a story of why letting players submit lists of things they'd like to get: I once ran a Human Paladin of Pelor. I asked my DM for either the Dawnstar or a Shard of the Sun. Both of those were Pelor artifacts or divine thingies or whatever.

Instead, he gave me a holy symbol that I, quite literally, cared absolutely nothing about. I wouldn't have used it as anything more special than a normal magical holy symbol.

So, if you ask your jerk player, "Hey, what items of between levels 2 and 8 would you want your guy to have?", he gives you a list of stuff he actually wants. You just stay by the treasure parcel guidelines (or don't, your call), and you're golden. The player gets what he wants, the DM has to do less work, and the DM can figure out where he wants to put that stuff from a narrative standpoint. The problem is if you have players who don't have the inclination to look, well, then you have a problem, but then you can tell them, "Hey, you didn't give me a wishlist, so I went with what I felt was best. If you're mad at me for giving you bad loot, then work with me and give me a wishlist." 

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
You have the PC's make lists of treasure they want to get in game so you can be sur that when you give them things they really want them.  It's usually done by item level so if you know the encounter level you can pick an item from the list to have "drop" for them at the end of the encounter.  It's easier to make sure they get what they want and keeps complaints down, if they are willing to do the work.
Ah that makes sense. Our usual DM would literally just put a chest at the end of every boss battle with a magic item for each of us, or a lump sum of gold. But this is the same group that doesn't really have a system for leveling up.
Ah that makes sense. Our usual DM would literally just put a chest at the end of every boss battle with a magic item for each of us, or a lump sum of gold. But this is the same group that doesn't really have a system for leveling up.



Oof. The chest thing sounds.....bland. As for not having a system to level up, well, I'll admit that my players prolly think their leveling is haphazard, but....I can at least show my justification using the DMG.

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
Ah that makes sense. Our usual DM would literally just put a chest at the end of every boss battle with a magic item for each of us, or a lump sum of gold. But this is the same group that doesn't really have a system for leveling up.



Oof. The chest thing sounds.....bland. As for not having a system to level up, well, I'll admit that my players prolly think their leveling is haphazard, but....I can at least show my justification using the DMG.

The chest thing isn't terrible. You get used to it haha
Wow. Kinda a jerk player for yelling at you a.) when you barely had the oppurtunity to prepare, and b.) for "ruining" his character by not giving out loot after....most of a session.

Well, have you tried doing the wishlist thing? Its a way to ensure that the players get the stuff that they want, more or less. 



Pretty sure he's playing 3e, with the reference to an item that increases Strength and a PC having a 24 DEX at first level.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
throw him great items

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We play using mainly 3.5 with 4 mixed in. Like I said we play with really weird mechanics. We roll 3d6 for stat and him, being githzerai had +6 to dex.
Whoops.

Um.

Well you have fun with that. 

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
So basically, your group (I'm assuming as a whole?) completely mangled the already not so reliable 3e mechanics, then using this botched abomination your player generated his character, then you give him basically good loot, and somehow it's your fault that he sucks?

That's... impressive.
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He sounds like a jerk.


Yeaah our mechanics are waaaaay messed up. But no point in changing them. We're used to it by now.
Given the house-ruled mechanics, it's not possible to assess in the forum whether any piece of loot is good or an insult to a PC.

The player is being obnoxious though - seems he is unhappy with the game, for whatever reason, and simply feels like throwing his weight around to get better treasure. Perhaps he feels he can pressure you into being more generous by being shouty? You should make it clear that he cannot.

You should also figure out for yourself what you want to achieve now you have the DM role. Doesn't have to be anything ambitious - simply "have fun running the game" and "try to tell a good story" might be your goals. Focus on that. If players ask (rather than shout at) you to change things, if it conflicts with your goals then say "no". Otherwise, find a way to do it.

For instance if you don't care how powerful the PCs get (given the houseruled and probably broken mechanics, I don't see that it matters much), then sure why not give them plentiful super-loot - equally to all PCs if you can - then get back to your focus on what you want to achieve as DM. On the other hand, if you do care about the dice game and combat game being fair and workable, you'll probably need to take a good long look at throwing out the group's house rules.
Yeaah our mechanics are waaaaay messed up. But no point in changing them. We're used to it by now.



I can't disagree with this more.  If you have a problem that can be fixed, you don't suffer through it.  You fix it.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
So basically, your group (I'm assuming as a whole?) completely mangled the already not so reliable 3e mechanics, then using this botched abomination your player generated his character, then you give him basically good loot, and somehow it's your fault that he sucks?

That's... impressive.



^^ This

He sounds like a jerk.




^^ And this.
"Can a boat make a hide check?"
Hey! It may be an abomination, but its our abomination. Haha
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