What type of player disrupts your game the most?

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I generally dislike people who make characters who are further outside the tone of the game than I can comfortably stretch. Fortunately, I can stretch pretty far. I would appreciate it if people wouldn't play characters inspired by Beastie Boy lyrics, though.

I don't mind argumentative players. They're easy enough to disarm. And witty remarks are what playing a game with friends is all about.
People who make up uncooperative characters.  Specifically the characters that by their actions would seem to have no interest in having a long term relationships with adventuring companions.  
Both as a DM and player, I tend to get bothered by people who aren't focused on what's going on. It doesn't have to be the only thing going on at the table, but you should know what's taking place, espeially as it effects your turn/character.

Nothing is more frustrating than a player asking what happened 5 mins earlier because they were on their phone/laptop/zoned out, etc.
I'll tell you my story guys... I HAD this one friend who called EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER HE MADE as HIMSELF, so when he joined many of my groups, it WAS A MESS to remember some specifi things about his character... this considering roleplayers here are almost unexistant and my groups are always conformed by the same 5-3 guys (and girl). 

What made him EVEN MORE ANNOYING? That he wanted to be the protagonist, he wanted the tory to go as he wanted. He was an "otaku" as well, and even tough many of our stories are anime-like, he went TOO MUCH near the edges of reason.  His characters were always neutral, but he ADORED chaos and wanted to make his characters look like demon gods since level 1... AND THEY USUALLY ALWAYS LOOKED THE SAME AS WELL. 

He was TRULY a mess, he wanted everything to become like Warhammer, even on stories that FOR GELATINOUS CUBE'S SAKE DIDN'T NEEDED ALL OF THAT GORY CHAOS EVERY 5 MINUTES!!! His lines were cheesy, he TRIED TOO HARD to be badass, and made tantrums on the game table everytime somethign wasn't as he expected... In fact, I even plotted some stuff wasn't as he wanted, just eryone on the group go crazyto pester him, because he was making everyone on the group go crazy.

Plus everytime he did something wrong, either in game or outside it, he would blame eberything else. If his character was inside a funny situation EVERYONE was in, he tried to be badass and pretend my idea was dumb, or that others an were dumb. Or, he tried to feel like an invincible character... if a villian hitted him hard enough to push him 40 feet, he got mad at everyone on table and tried to make the char say something like "I'm a god nothing can hurt me"

And all his humor was Warhammer/Chuck Norris related... 
I generally dislike people who make characters who are further outside the tone of the game than I can comfortably stretch. Fortunately, I can stretch pretty far. I would appreciate it if people wouldn't play characters inspired by Beastie Boy lyrics, though.



Gilbert and Sullivan lyrics are okay though, right?

I don't mind non-serious players.  But I'm also the kind of DM who has introduced my players to a group of intelligent owlbears known as the Hoot Tang Clan.

I can't think of any type of players who are particularly disruptive, apart from those with bad table manners.
DM advice: 1. Do a Session Zero. 2. Start With Action. 3. Always say "Yes" to player ideas. 4. Don't build railroads. 5. Make success, failure, and middling rolls interesting. Player advice: 1. Don't be a dick. 2. Build off each other, don't block each other. 3. You're supposed to be a badass. Act like it. Take risks. My poorly updated blog: http://engineeredfun.wordpress.com/
People who make up uncooperative characters.  Specifically the characters that by their actions would seem to have no interest in having a long term relationships with adventuring companions.  



I've found that this kind of thing can be mitigated by doing a couple things.

1. Have one of the premises of your game be that your characters know and are willing to work with their companions, and flesh out how they know each other before saying "So, you're in a tavern..."

2. If you want to attack, steal from, or do anything dickish to another player, that other player gets to narrate the result. 
DM advice: 1. Do a Session Zero. 2. Start With Action. 3. Always say "Yes" to player ideas. 4. Don't build railroads. 5. Make success, failure, and middling rolls interesting. Player advice: 1. Don't be a dick. 2. Build off each other, don't block each other. 3. You're supposed to be a badass. Act like it. Take risks. My poorly updated blog: http://engineeredfun.wordpress.com/
I have a person in my group that shows up every other week. This isn't a every once in awhile he is gone .... it is every other week. Thankfully he is a monk and I changed his backstory to where he is like Cain in Kung Fu and wanders around. When he sees the party he joins up with them. I fear for when he dies off because he is almost a full level behind everyone else at this point.

The other type of guy I don't like ... well is the guy who tries to force comedy into a game type that doesn't really fit it. This was many years ago and we were playing DC Heroes.  There were four of us and we had a pretty gritty and well balanced team of heroes. We all took turns running each week so it was like a comic series, so many different stories where going on all at once. Well a mutal friend of ours wanted to join, so we let him. He knew what type of heroes we were running ... so he comes in with a narcoleptic stuntman, who was like Jackie Chan. It really threw everything off ... and after a couple week the four of us plotted stories to go after the character and kill him off.


2. If you want to attack, steal from, or do anything dickish to another player, that other player gets to narrate the result. 



Consider this idea stolen. Narrate the results as you see fit!
And witty remarks are what playing a game with friends is all about.



Occasional witty remarks are fine.  But when it's constant, it ruins the immersion.

It's like watching a movie.   If there's one witty remark in the movie at the right time, that's fine and can be funny.  But when people are talking constantly and treating it like Mystery Science Theater, it ruins the movie for me.

Semi-hostile players with selfish/shortsighted characters that do not plan on character development. Pettiness in general, really. Doesn't happen nearly as much as it used to, thank the Lord.

Also, I can't stand evil characters, and borderline evil crawls under my skin.

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

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Oh man I thought I had problems. Some of your posts about your players really crack me up. LOL
Personally the worst players I have had fall into one of the following three categories:

"I want to be evil, but not like evil alignment, but you know evil." and then their actions are defended by people with out-of-game reasons (like... say the other person is married to that player) and it causes a bunch of tension.

Players who don't care about the game/edition enough to learn the basic rules.  We have a player in my current campaign who has been playing for over a year and still couldn't tell me how Twinstrike works on her ranger without spending the time to read the ability first.  Doesn't get shifting or other basic things.  Refuses to build her own character or make a background for her character.  My games are designed to revolve around the player's backstories and build them up into the central issue of everything going on so that is crippling to me as a DM.  The same player then complains that nothing that is going on in the story is relevant to them.

Players who fall into everything that is the worst about the stereotypical "DnD player" as seen on TV.  Doesn't care about personal hygeine, dirty poor, nasty and so socially awkward that it effects the entire table just by their presence. 
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Man, I quit DnD for years because of that one reason... seeing so many players with bad personal hygiene and totally awkward at local game conventions. Guess they still exist. Awkward is fine. Can play half-orc or drow. No need to roleplay. But bad hygiene, stink and nasty... no no.
I agree with matyr .I had one very close friend of me as a player which he was the kind of guy who wanted to be everywhere in every situation and always do something .For example he always opened doors with traps etc without thinking or waiting the others to do somethiung.He always was arguing for rules or screaming and that made other players angry and sad.I mean we are playing this game to forget the personal matters and have fun not to have everyone who has nerves to ruin our game.Some people imagine wouldn't join cause of him.Anyway we had a lot of seasons and years with him since he is our friend .Now we have diffrrent party without him and we are fine and having fun.
mine is the watcher, i have two of those players and it's like pulling teeth to get them to say anything when their turn comes up.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Honestly, the one I find most irritating is what I've come to call the lolstealstab character.  it's disruptive and annoy at best, at worst it's just outright stupid.
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I had one player who the game ground to a halt anytime it came to her turn. She would do things like try to add up bonuses while loudly complaining she couldn't do math, but when you pointed out the bonuses were already figured out for her she would ignore you. She seemed to have no grasp of what her character was able to do even after playing the character for more than a year, and would constantly wail she "couldn't do anything." She also would become argumentative and was a know it all, so any help someone tried to give her she already knew that and she was very condescending with new players who were actually trying to learn the game.

After several years of gaming with this person and grinding my teeth at her antics, I convinced the rest of the group to let me ask her to bow out. She told me off but left, and we've had much better games since then.

One other problem player simply didn't pay attention during the game. Whenever his turn came up it was like explaining the whole situation to him again. And then he would do something completely inappropriate to the situation. For example, he continued attacking a villain who had surrendered even though the other players were trying to negotiate with her and they were begging this player to stop. He got angry when another player said his character was moving between the PC and villain. That was the last game he played with us.
I will also be stealing the "Have the player who's getting stolen from/attacked narrate it"

I don't have a problem with watchers, as long as there's not more than 1 per group. Some people like to feel part of a game whilst not being comfortable talking in the group, and that's fine. Of course, you can't have more than 1 or two, or the game won't progress. 


My main dislike is people who don't learn the basic rules of the game, or their special abilities.

The only semi-problem player in my current campaign is also the only player with any dnd experience.  The trouble comes in when other player's turns are up and he feels the need to tell them what power they should use, how their strategy won't work, etc.  He would also figure out the bonuses, and rolls so that my other players were having a harder time learning the rules.  We've adjusted our "seating chart" and that's pretty much fixed it.  Now the two players who are having the hardest time remembering the rules sit close to me and will kind of block him out with their shoulders and turn to me when they have a question.  
For me, Non-serious, Parody oriented player who gets his kick in the game from making witty remarks all the time and not serious about the story line or anything else.  I got someone like that in group.  Can never get a serious story going.


So I guess you are saying that my native american shaman who is actually a reflavoured sorcerer would be struck right out.


Also player who argues about DM decision because it's not written in the analogs of "can" and "can't".  RAI or good sense out the window.


When I feel players rules lawyer too much, I tell them to talk with me about it after the game.

Maybe it's because I'm more on the "serious" side, wanting players to get on with the plot, plan & solve the challenge, and not screw around too much.


Choo choo goes the railroad.  Some people like open ended games.  Just look how popular any of the morrowind games are.  It will push you to become a better dm.
In my current game, the party is on a dragon huntin' module.  I just happen to put something in that aludes to a future invasion and...well...Ever heard of the Nerra?  The party has some how managed to trap themselves in the plane of mirrors*.  You know how much has been written up that I could find about the Nerra?  Almost nothing.  So I have this separate plane I have to think about constantly.  What are the rules?  What changes?  How do doors work?
Anyways, what I'm trying to get at is that because I'm outside my comfort zone, the players are getting an experience they have never gotten.  They enjoy this so much.

I donno.  Maybe I'm being too anal.  


Eh...A little.  Sounds like you are just so frustrated that you want to strike out at players in general.  Why not make a real thread that asks for help about the problems you are facing as a gm?


* I swear I had nothing to do with it.  The Nerra were scouts setting up a point to scout from.  The party just stumbled across the doorway to their dimension.  And instead of threats or violence, they decided to give up and be taken to the scout's leader.  The party decided to fight before meet the leader of course.  Not only that, but instead of going after the leader, the party left the building. 

To me the most annoying players are the confrontational players who seek out conflict, and then can't let it go when they are shot down. This can include DMs. The guy who argues rules, argues fluff, argues plans with the other players, or really argues anything. This is especially bad if they get heated. Nothing ruins a session like having someone at the table who sits and huffs for the rest of the night because everyone finally told him off. (The alternative being that the game was sidetracked to deal with their arguements).


Various subsets of the confrontational player. 



  • Rules lawyers - As in we are debating every rule, and I won't accept a house rule (or I don't actually know the rules and refuse to be corrected)

  • Fluff lawyers - As in the guy who read every aspect of the setting and won't let the DM or a player deviate from it. "No your dwarf has to be terrified of horses, he wouldn't be ok riding on. Lets blindfold you, and let you ride in the wagon."

  • Controllers - We are using my tactic. Its obviously the best, and yours were dumb to even suggest. (And if my tactic fails or doesn't work in the slightest I will erupt on the DM)

  • Optimization Coaches - I will pick feats and stuff for you, because you are doing it wrong. And actually, I will tell you what to do in combat because you are wrong there too. 

"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 Rules Lawyer.  I know it's cliche, but being a reformed rules lawyer I dislike them in my groups.  They slow everything down because they have to be right.

- the one upper.  This is the type of player who always has to one-up everyone else. one player says, "when I leveled up I got feat X."  The one-upper replies, "Well I had that feat last level," or ,"I have feat Y." (with the inflection that feat Y is somehow better than feat X).

 

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Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
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The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
The most disruptive player I ever introduced into my group was an ex-boyfriend of one of the female players in my group (I did not know that at the time and really wish I did.) who proceeded to stalk and try to seduce one of the other female players in my group. He then talked about the things he wanted to do to the girl he was stalking, and he made these remarks to his ex, with the intent of infuriating her, as the girl being stalked was one of her friends. Really, I should have known it was a bad idea to let him in when he wanted to play a troll, yes, a troll, wizard.

So, I guess, creepy sociopathic munchkins are the ones that I have found to be the most disruptive.
The Stereotyper.  Will play his character to every stereotype as if it's ironclad, expects you to do the same.  Gets irate if your PC doesn't behave like he thinks it should.

Bad as a player, really sucks as a GM.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
The kind of player that won't be welcome in my games for long.

There have been three such players in all the campaigns I've run:
The first was an obsessive 'rules lawyer' who would hold up the game for an hour at a time just to argue with me. Oddly enough, he seemed to have a problem actually citing pages for his arguments. I kicked him out for being overly obnoxious and ruining everyone's enjoyment of the game. (Not just mine.)

The second was a self centered ass who would argue and whine to get his way. He hosted game table (online game, all my games are online) due to my finicky firewall and would threaten to essentially take his toys and go home if he didn't get what he wanted. I suffered his attitude through the entire campaign, until near the end, including tolerating his whining about grappling rules. I pointed out the exact section and paragraph that contradicted him, but he refused to accept it. He seriously didn't read the ENTIRE grappling rules section before setting his mind on the fact he was right. (The paragraph I was citing was about half a page past the section HE was citing. "Specific beats general", you know.)

However, I didn't kick him out for that. I didn't even kick him out for making the entire game about his character, to the point that no one else would roleplay their characters because he'd get angry about it. (Though I wish I had kicked him out much, much earlier.) The final straw was when, the previous week, he had tried to do something stupid and flat out against the rules (arguing about 'blast shadow' protecting an ally from his attack, when the game made it clear that enemies don't provide that sort of benefit from AoE attacks) and another player called him out on it. Rather than deal with the player that called him out on it through the ENTIRE week (or just mention it to me so I could deal with it), he waited until the next game session, mid session, to start a fight with the guy. Then once again threatened to stop hosting and leave if he didn't get his way. I told him to get out.

...Huh. Now I've forgotten the third. Oh well, I've ranted enough as is.
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In general?
Players who show up late.  We only have so many hours of play time.... 

Specifically:
One person in my Thur. evening game.  It's not a secret, or an ever changing schedule, of what night/time the games on.  The games been set at 6:30/7pm for years.
And EVERY *&$@ week this one guys late (based on 7pm).  Sometimes a little, sometimes alot.  Now & then?  He'll even call & let us know.

Then there's the one guy I play with who always has the secretive/odd character who won't share his backstory in or out of character.  When pressed?  "There's a reason!"  Even the DMs have trouble getting details out of him....  
I don't have rules arguments with anyone anymore. I just run it the way they think it runs. This probably ends up making them more powerful, but it's worth it if it means not having any arguments. And, after a while, most rules lawyers realize that having everything go their way every time is not that much fun.

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

I don't have rules arguments with anyone anymore. I just run it the way they think it runs. This probably ends up making them more powerful, but it's worth it if it means not having any arguments. And, after a while, most rules lawyers realize that having everything go their way every time is not that much fun.



YMMV, but I generally find, on both sides of the screen, that allowing a rules lawyer to "win" rarely fixes the problem, and detracts from the other players' fun as well. At MOST, if I don't know a specific answer I might go with a reasonable middle ground for that fight, and then enlist the rules lawyer to find the specific rule after the combat in the RC.

For what it's worth, most rules fights involve partial reading as suggested above. I have a good friend that consistently stops reading after he finds what he WANTS to find, and rarely continues through to the end. Good guy, excited to play.... ambivalent towards rules that may hinder his awesome.
So many PCs, so little time...
I don't have rules arguments with anyone anymore. I just run it the way they think it runs. This probably ends up making them more powerful, but it's worth it if it means not having any arguments. And, after a while, most rules lawyers realize that having everything go their way every time is not that much fun.



YMMV, but I generally find, on both sides of the screen, that allowing a rules lawyer to "win" rarely fixes the problem, and detracts from the other players' fun as well. At MOST, if I don't know a specific answer I might go with a reasonable middle ground for that fight, and then enlist the rules lawyer to find the specific rule after the combat in the RC.

For what it's worth, most rules fights involve partial reading as suggested above. I have a good friend that consistently stops reading after he finds what he WANTS to find, and rarely continues through to the end. Good guy, excited to play.... ambivalent towards rules that may hinder his awesome.



I tend to find the same thing in my games.  I have no problems shutting down someone who is arguing with me about how something goes at table, but at the same time the players know I will always judge in favor of their awesome should I be unclear.

I've had a single instance of a problematic rules lawyer at my table.  It was at a con and I didn't have the strength of conviction yet to just boot the player and carry on.  Now, thankfully, I do. 
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YMMV, but I generally find, on both sides of the screen, that allowing a rules lawyer to "win" rarely fixes the problem

Over a little bit of time, it will.

, and detracts from the other players' fun as well.

Not nearly as much as an argument would. The game continues. If the other players want to do cool, rulebending stuff, then clearly they can. If they'd rather not, they don't have to, but I hope their enjoyment doesn't hinge on holding others back.

Good guy, excited to play.... ambivalent towards rules that may hinder his awesome.

So should we all be.

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

Wow.

This is why I have a "C'Ya" policy. Disrupt the game purposefully? See you later. Become argumentative and bossy? See you later. Act like you have somewhere better to be and ignore what is going on? See you later. Can't be bothered to actually learn the game you claim you want to play? See you later.

C'Ya solves a lot of problems. Got none of these players in this thread at my table.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

The only person my group has ever kicked out was someone who would completely derail the game constantly to start random off-topic conversations about themselves to the point of being disruptive. One time I had one turn take 45 minutes because everytime I tried to start an action they would cut me off and start on about something completely unrelated. I only finally got my turn when I told them to STFU and let me do my turn. I would have acted while they were talking, but they were the type of person who yells when they talk and was sitting next to the DM, so they were drowning out everything I was trying to say.
In reply to Ghost007 and your dislike of players who crack jokes, ruining the emersion of the game. I see that as a non issue. If you're playing with a bunch of friends, I feel the game would be considerable dull if it was nothing but serious. My friends (even myself at times) make cracks, jokes and remarks during sessions all the time regarding situations or characters, sparking laughter amongst the entire group. Sure sometimes it can halt the game for a couple minutes, but we all have a laugh, and a good time, and everyone still plays their character accordingly when it's required. I think it's a good balance, and would be too dull if it was nothing but seriousness.

on the subject of disrupting players;
before my current campaign started I had someone who was going to be in my group getting on my case about how he wanted to have all of these specific items to start with (higher level items)  and was giving me a hard time that we were starting at level one and not level 11 or something. When I said if I was going to make those items available earlier I'd give opportunities for the entire group to get them as well, and he complained saying he did all of this pre game research so he could purposely have the best character because he enjoys breaking the game and wanted to be superiour to the rest of the players.

Suffice to say, he didn't make it past session zero and our campaign has proceeded wonderfully.
Wow, looks like Aldath has a serious problem in the group.

If everyone laughs, it is funny. If only the person who made the comment laughs, s/he is probably being a #$^&.

Disruptive players... Well, I've had a few.

"You're wrong. Well, I'll play it your way, but you're wrong." This guy needs a few lessons in diplomacy.

Munchkins. Seriously, I've had a couple that spend days building the right super-mulching battle beast, but don't want to actually play the game, and are never in character.

Die fudgers. They roll the die over and over again when it isn't their turn. And then they just happen to have a 16-20 on the die when it is their turn.

The guy who is getting text messages every 5 minutes about the ___ game score. He doesn't even want them. So turn it off. Turn the whole phone off if you have to.

The over-thinkers. The people who spend 5-10 minutes each and every turn. And "helpfully" make suggestions for everyone else on their turn, thus slowing down game play to a crawl.

The placeholder SO. The girlfriend or whatever who is there to chaperone or chauffeur the actual gamer, but doesn't really want to play, so has to have the rules explained every single time. Really fun when they are having some personal soap-opera fight and bring it to the game.

Anyone who wants to discuss a movie. Such a bad idea when I am in the room...
For me it's the ADD'ers (no offense to anyone who truly has this).

These are players (I have one) who can't prevent themselves from starting an non game-related conversation while I am describing a room the party just entered.   And then, that player inevitably asks me to redescribe it whenever he has finished his gabbing.

Of course I expect players to talk to each other, but honestly, you just opened a door, or a chest or something; you can't wait 30 freakin' seconds while I describe what's on the other side?   I just want to yell at them STFU.   I never do, but I get the urge.


Both as a DM and player, I tend to get bothered by people who aren't focused on what's going on. It doesn't have to be the only thing going on at the table, but you should know what's taking place, espeially as it effects your turn/character.

Nothing is more frustrating than a player asking what happened 5 mins earlier because they were on their phone/laptop/zoned out, etc.



This.

Both as a DM and player, I tend to get bothered by people who aren't focused on what's going on. It doesn't have to be the only thing going on at the table, but you should know what's taking place, espeially as it effects your turn/character.

Nothing is more frustrating than a player asking what happened 5 mins earlier because they were on their phone/laptop/zoned out, etc.



This.




Instant fix - "Keep in mind, at some point I'm going to ask 'what do you do?' and if you don't know I won't recap what's happening and the answer you give could kill you. K? K."

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Yeah, no, that's just being a jerk.  Treat the cause, not the symptom; ask the player not to use his devices at the table, and find the cause of the 'zoning out' and see if it can be fixed or alleviated somehow.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Yeah, no, that's just being a jerk.  Treat the cause, not the symptom; ask the player not to use his devices at the table, and find the cause of the 'zoning out' and see if it can be fixed or alleviated somehow.



If they don't want to pay attention to the battlefield, they can always die?


Yeah, no, that's just being a jerk.  Treat the cause, not the symptom; ask the player not to use his devices at the table, and find the cause of the 'zoning out' and see if it can be fixed or alleviated somehow.



If they don't want to pay attention to the battlefield, they can always die?





There's no point in punishing the character for the actions of the player.  It's a terrible way to deal with the issue; you never take out-of-game issues in-character.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Yeah, no, that's just being a jerk.  Treat the cause, not the symptom; ask the player not to use his devices at the table, and find the cause of the 'zoning out' and see if it can be fixed or alleviated somehow.



If they don't want to pay attention to the battlefield, they can always die?





There's no point in punishing the character for the actions of the player.  It's a terrible way to deal with the issue; you never take out-of-game issues in-character.



Who said it was out of game issue? If you don't pay attention what happens in the game, you will die. Traps, ambushers, on going effects, and your ally's status. Things that could get somebody
killed if you don't pay attention.