Obnoxious gamers. How do you handle it?

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This is kind of a loaded post, but I can't ignore this. I'd rather express it, and see what others think. I've gamed on and off since 2000, so I'm not new to this hobby. I don't like to be negative, but this is a problem that I've run into ever since I started gaming; Rude, RUDE players. I don't want to get into specific examples, but typical problem behaviors I run into: 

Arguing. People who argue over the most trivial things. It's like they are in love with conflict. It's really irritating and unpleasant. If you call them on it, they either deny it, or it escalates into a full scale fight. These also, I've notived, tend to be people who "dish it out but can't take it." In other words, they'll hold up the game for hours, but rush someone else for taking too long. 

Insulting. This sometimes goes way beyond typical banter. It's like they're being as hurtful as possible, and passing it off as "joke" all the while. The insulting goes on in game, and out of game.

Eliticism. They, for reasons that cannot be articulated, think they're better than you. Or like they have some kind of edge over you, but it's top secret, so you never know what it is that makes them so much greater. Give me a break.

Being too LOUD. Okay, it's cool that you're excited, I want everyone to have a good time, but do you have to scream everything at the top of your lungs? 

Poor hygiene. Fortunately, I'm noticing a lot less of that these days, but it still comes up too much for comfort. I don't understand how these people can have money for $5000 to set aside for minatures, but not soap.

Obscenely dirty homes. This can get so bad it's staggering. We're talking cat crap in the sink bad. Garbage in their front yards. Sometimes horder conditions. 

I love the hobby, but it's a powerful magnet for difficult personalities. I'm not saying the majority of table-top gamers are like this, but it's all too common, and I'm wondering if anyone else is noticing it. If so, do you just ignore it, or do you ever confront the offenders? Some say to just find another group, but chances are, I'm gonna run into the same problems. I'm truly fed up with this crap, to the point of walking away from gaming altogether. 
Play at your house and pick who plays there. You could always try to find an online group also.

I dream of Beer Head Armies.

Autocard is our friend. [c‍]Urborg Mindsucker[/‍c] → Urborg Mindsucker

Step 1: Talk to them about it.
If step 1 doesn't pan out, step 2: Stop playing with them.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Just a few ways I've personally had to handle these issues within my own games.


Arguing. People who argue over the most trivial things. It's like they are in love with conflict. It's really irritating and unpleasant. If you call them on it, they either deny it, or it escalates into a full scale fight. These also, I've notived, tend to be people who "dish it out but can't take it." In other words, they'll hold up the game for hours, but rush someone else for taking too long.

 

Aside from ignoring/agreeing with them, the FASTEST way to get rid of an arguer is generally to kill their character. I DO NOT suggest this, but it depends on the person. The group I am currently in has your typical arguer. Argues over everything, until the ENTIRE group shuts him up. The party let him die, and then told him that he has to agree not to argue anymore, or they won't have him ressurected. Metagame, but it worked. He hasn't argued since. Theres no real way to stop the arguing, because even if you kick them out, they'll argue even more.

Insulting. This sometimes goes way beyond typical banter. It's like they're being as hurtful as possible, and passing it off as "joke" all the while. The insulting goes on in game, and out of game.



Tell them to stop, or atleast tone it down. Tell them to even stop it via their character if they must. If they won't, talk to your DM, or the owner of the establishment you are playing at and have THEM talk to the person.

Eliticism. They, for reasons that cannot be articulated, think they're better than you. Or like they have some kind of edge over you, but it's top secret, so you never know what it is that makes them so much greater. Give me a break.



Being too LOUD. Okay, it's cool that you're excited, I want everyone to have a good time, but do you have to scream everything at the top of your lungs? 



Easy solution: Confront them. I'm one of these people, or was, until my group pointed it out.

Poor hygiene. Fortunately, I'm noticing a lot less of that these days, but it still comes up too much for comfort. I don't understand how these people can have money for $5000 to set aside for minatures, but not soap.


Mean way: Bring a can of Body Spray, and hose them down and tell them you'll do that every game until they start bathing. (This has been done where we game.) Nice Way: Tell them, in a friendly manner. If they get offended, well it's what they get for offending your senses.

Obscenely dirty homes. This can get so bad it's staggering. We're talking cat crap in the sink bad. Garbage in their front yards. Sometimes horder conditions.

 

Ask to change playing location. It's hard to get someone who doesn't want to clean to do it just for DND.

I love the hobby, but it's a powerful magnet for difficult personalities. I'm not saying the majority of table-top gamers are like this, but it's all too common, and I'm wondering if anyone else is noticing it. If so, do you just ignore it, or do you ever confront the offenders? Some say to just find another group, but chances are, I'm gonna run into the same problems. I'm truly fed up with this crap, to the point of walking away from gaming altogether. 



Sometimes it's easy to ignore, sometimes its not. I've played with a few of these people. I consider myself a very timid player. Shy, silent, and very avoiding of confrontation, so its rare I ever really confront someone. But when it's something thats effecting EVERYONE, confront it. Immediatly. With a can of Body spray.

((I do not endorse use of my suggestions, these are just how my local group handles these people))

it can be hard but..dnd seems to be largely played by nerds/geeks with poor social skills so you should expect some odd behaviour as a result

i have other issues to deal with
1 players who don't understand roleplaying
2 players who don't learn the game rules (i have one of each in my group)
3 players who don't get involved in the actual game except to roll dice and hit stuff (typically player 1)
4 player who cannot count his damage dice in a timely manner, or count at all (this is player 2)

i could go on...

Don't invite them back if at your house. Even if not DM, you have final say as to who is in your house. 


If at their house, don't go back. 


If mid session and it is terrible. Take a minute and say "Dude, you need to pack up and just go. This isn't working." If at their place, simply leave. "Hey I'm gonna go, this isn't for me." 


This all assumes you have had rational discussions about the situation and an agreement couldn't be reached. 


How do you deal with people who are awful outside of DND? Do the same in DND.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

Thanks for the replies everyone. I've been thinking, and I might just walk away from the hobby. I've had a good run, 11 years or so, but I'm seeing this kind of idiotic behavior too often. I asked a veteran gamer, and he puts it, "a lot of gamers are socially challenged." I don't know if that's it though. I'm not talking about awkward behavior, I'm talking about nasty behavior. I'm currently in a few groups, but these might just be my last. But thanks everyone! You guys all sound like the gamers that have kept me coming back for a decade.

Hate to have one of the good ones leave. 


If you've been gaming for 11 years it sounds like you're a little "older" not teen at least. Have you considered playing only with friends? I generally never play with people at game shops, and rarely with people I meet through the hobby. More often its people I am friends with, they hear I play, and ask to join. Running a game with all friends usually works way better than with strangers.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

The best solution is to be open and upfront about your hobby and introduce it to non-gamer friends.

No one in my current group ever played DnD before I introduced it to them. (I am 26 and my friends in thecurrent group range from 24-30 and we are all having a blast).

I know exactly the behavior you are talking about it, and the only thing you can do to get away from it. . .it to not be around it (back when I used to host games for 3.5 I had a whole list of house rules to improve game balance, but #1 on the list was 1) Showering is NOT optional) .  As my buddy said, love my hobby, hate most of the people who play it.

As long as you are open and up front about it, you would be surprised how many people where always intrigued by Pen and Paper RPG's but where scared off by some of the stereotypes (rightfully) attached to many of the people who play it.

I usually describe it to my friends as a game of Coopertive story-telling with rules set in place to enfore the realism of the setting and characters.  Also, on the day of the game when introducing them to the books for the first time it never hurts to open with a little self-effacing humor (something along the lines of " So, what do you know about DnD besides the fact its played by social deviants and satan worshipers?").

Things I have discovered though; people who arent well read and/or spend 10-12 hours a day playing video games/watching T.V. tend to be unable to play this game to its fullest potential, often lacking the needed comprehension and imagination to effectivly visualize scenes from the game.

People who keep reasonably fit are usually a blast to play with, as an active body results in an active mind.

And this may just be me being shallow but I just find it more pleasurable to hang out with attractive people who know how to take care of themselves both physically and mentally.
Thanks for the replies everyone. I've been thinking, and I might just walk away from the hobby. I've had a good run, 11 years or so, but I'm seeing this kind of idiotic behavior too often. I asked a veteran gamer, and he puts it, "a lot of gamers are socially challenged." I don't know if that's it though. I'm not talking about awkward behavior, I'm talking about nasty behavior. I'm currently in a few groups, but these might just be my last. But thanks everyone! You guys all sound like the gamers that have kept me coming back for a decade.



I think a lot of gamers are socially challenged because other socially challenged players tolerate it, which creates more socially challenged players.  It's a vicious cycle, so to speak.  Most often it's because they're too shy to stand up to it but sometimes it's for the sake of keeping the game together and of course there are all sorts of other reasons.  After 30 years of playing I have a pretty low threshold for antisocial/sociopathic BS at my gaming table so in the last few years I've left more games and kicked more people out from games than I have had in the years previous to that.  Maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy.  Maybe I'm just mature and have come to believe that no game is better than bad game.

But you don't have to move straight from being annoyed to ragequit or kicking people out of your house.  Being honest about what bothers you and only leaving/kicking after trying a few other things is the way to go.  You gotta learn to say no - a problem I've seen with many players.

Also, don't let other people with issues deny you the fun you have playing.  Just set a standard that you will only play with people who are are reasonably well adjusted and are not jerks.  It's easier than it sounds if you either play only with good friends or else check the FLGS or other social outlets for new players. 

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

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"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Thanks for the replies everyone. I've been thinking, and I might just walk away from the hobby. I've had a good run, 11 years or so, but I'm seeing this kind of idiotic behavior too often. I asked a veteran gamer, and he puts it, "a lot of gamers are socially challenged." I don't know if that's it though. I'm not talking about awkward behavior, I'm talking about nasty behavior. I'm currently in a few groups, but these might just be my last. But thanks everyone! You guys all sound like the gamers that have kept me coming back for a decade.




I've played in 3-4 groups in the general area around me over the last 18-24 months. I have been very specific in who I will play with again and am now in a group with the best and most enjoyable players from all of the other groups. It's quite a nice change of pace. Good players tend to stick together. Maybe find a few you enjoy and invite them over for a one shot and see where things go. Finding a good gaming group is a lot like dating.


I've also played a game at someone's house which was absolutely atrocious. At the end of the game I bid them a good evening and have never been back.
The way I met my group was pretty funny. Heard one of my friends say he plays DnD, I asked where, and he told me and I laughed after realizing the store was literally a 5 minute walk away from where I am. When I pointed this out, he said their Cleric was kicked out recently and they needed another player. Didn't regret my decision to join.