Kamikaze Player

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I'm sorry, but the answer "let your players decide everything" is pretty much the equivalent of giving up. Throwing your hands up in the air and saying "well, I can't be a better DM, so why even bother?" It's the most useless and least helpful advice I've ever seen given to a DM. Ever.



I guess it's good then that nobody's ever given that advice and that it has no relevance in this thread whatsoever.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

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I'm sorry, but the answer "let your players decide everything" is pretty much the equivalent of giving up. Throwing your hands up in the air and saying "well, I can't be a better DM, so why even bother?" It's the most useless and least helpful advice I've ever seen given to a DM. Ever.



I guess it's good then that nobody's ever given that advice and that it has no relevance in this thread whatsoever.



No. I'm saying that's pretty much the advice always given by you and centauri. Even if you don't realize it.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
No. I'm saying that's pretty much the advice always given by you and centauri. Even if you don't realize it.



Even if that was what we recommend - and it's not - one wonders how it applies in this thread. A DM of any style should look to himself and his game to see if there's something he can change for the better before blaming the players. He may find something that's causing a problem. Or he might not. The point is, look inward before blaming the other. I don't think even you would argue with that.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Here's my rambling, but awesome response...

OP... Lawful Good? I call bull crap on that; I think you as a player are trying to be civil, which is nice. You can also be civil by explaining to the player that within the rules of the game, the characters you are playing are not likely to aid a psychopathic murderer. This is as civil as if you were playing a game of checkers and jumped your opponents piece. I'm not sure why people fear that it is personal.


... If this barbarian is so 'barbaric' that he can't refrain from a murderous psychotic rage, your Lawful Good group could.. and SHOULD go medieval on him, especially if he's killing innocents. If you think he's demon-possessed or something... primitive societies used to put a hole in a man's skull to cure that.

Look, the guy doesn't care about his character in the least. His role-playing style is trial and error. He may keep attacking until he eventually kills your character, in other words. Well, every time you kill one of his characters, you should get XP... role-playing XP on top of that and maybe a bonus on top of that considering the challenge is greater since you have no way of seeing an attack is coming (One minute he enters the tavern and this guy I never met, without roleplaying saying a word attacks us without provocation). Maybe an XP bonus as a quest completion for keeping the barbarian from slaying innocents as well (since that increases the difficulty of the encounter). The DM should explain to the silly player that if he can actually survive more than an hour past character creation, he might actually gain a level as well but if he doesn't take the hint, it should get easier and easier for the party to survive his oafishness, so long as the DM does his job to make the game go as smoothly as possible. This means, the DM shouldn't give any free character levels to the disruptive player, which only serves to diminish the value of the XP actually earned by the party.

After a time... it's time to metagame. I saw a DM do something really mega-meta-gamey that worked very nicely. Some might disagree as to its effectiveness, to which I say... I too disbelieved... until I saw! One of the players was doing the very thing you described. He wanted to play, but always trying to be the center of attention, regardless of the other players. Deciding the best way to do that was to kill the other players, forcing them to make other characters while he got to play, gain levels, get treasure.. etc... No role-playing reason, just pure disruption. The DM wasn't having it. The player, out of the blue attacked one of the PCs (well, his character attacked for you sticklers out there)... The DM simply responded "He kills you. So quickly he didn't even realize he did it. Warrior instincts. It was awesome. Your last thought was, 'What-just-happened." The player being attacked never blinked, just asked if there was any treasure. The offending player just sat there with his mouth open for a while while the rest of us played D&D. His next character went on to become a useful member of the party. No guarantee that that would work for you. Every ***hole is different, but every ***hole can change if given the opportunity or incentive. Maybe he just needs an attitude adjustment?
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
I would look at my game first and the player second. Is my game pacing too slow? Are the players' choices meaningful? Do non-combat scenes have enough compelling tension to keep everyone engaged? Some players are jerks, but some players are just bored. If I'm made to wander around talking to NPC merchants all night, for example, I'm going to want to start chopping heads off too. (This is D&D, not World of Darkness.) It's not an excuse for him to disrupt everyone else's game of course; it is, however, often an indicator of other issues that are within your control to change. It doesn't hurt to reflect on your game a bit accordingly.

In any event, an out-of-game conversation is required between you and him - face-to-face or over the phone, not in email or text or Facebook or whatever. Before telling him he needs to change, ask for his help in making the game better. Tell him everyone's concerns and listen to what he says. If he falls back on the "I'm just roleplaying a barbarian" meme without offering anything else, suggest to him that since how one roleplays is a choice and his particular choice is turning off the other players, that you'd appreciate it if he could suggest another way of roleplaying that demonstrates another aspect of his character. If he refuses, tell him he may not be a fit for this particular group in which you already have invested your time and effort. Invite him to a future game that may be more his style, and politely part company.

Nah... jerk players don't wait long enough to even see what kind of world the DM runs. They begin being jerks before the DM has a chance to do any of that.

I would assume if the DM already has players who have no problems with how he runs his campaign, then it's not the DM's fault if a single player out of the group acts like a 9 year old.

What you're talking about and what this thread are about seem to be different. The DM here seems to have a group of players that are not acting like jerks and one who is. Not.. the DM was being a jerk or being so horrible as a DM that the player had his character do outrageous things out of frustration. And not a one-time event, but that the player is being a general nuisance. Stray bricks from the gods killing his character isn't enough. It's called social cues, and this type of player won't pick up on it. Be direct.

There's plenty of other ways to handle the situtation, that vary by the personality of the people involved. And some ways might actually encourage the jerk to stop being a jerk. But, yes... kicking him to the curb is always an option as well.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Nah... jerk players don't wait long enough to even see what kind of world the DM runs. They begin being jerks before the DM has a chance to do any of that.

I would assume if the DM already has players who have no problems with how he runs his campaign, then it's not the DM's fault if a single player out of the group acts like a 9 year old.

What you're talking about and what this thread are about seem to be different. The DM here seems to have a group of players that are not acting like jerks and one who is. Not.. the DM was being a jerk or being so horrible as a DM that the player had his character do outrageous things out of frustration. And not a one-time event, but that the player is being a general nuisance. Stray bricks from the gods killing his character isn't enough. It's called social cues, and this type of player won't pick up on it. Be direct.

There's plenty of other ways to handle the situtation, that vary by the personality of the people involved. And some ways might actually encourage the jerk to stop being a jerk. But, yes... kicking him to the curb is always an option as well.



I have the opportunity to play in and observe a lot of games. One thing I notice very frequently, even with people that are otherwise good DMs, is that many games have the pace of a snail on downers. So it's never a surprise to me when one or more players just decides to up and attack something in order to get to experience some tension and excitement. This happens commonly and happens to be a fairly common issue reported on these forums as well.

Thus, one of the first things I think is important to look at with regard to the problem is the pacing of the DM's game. Where the "kamikaze character syndrome" may be the symptom, the game's pace could well be the cause. This is something within the DM's control and it's easy to strike a balance by turning up the volume a bit on the tension and action while maintaining the other things he and the other players enjoy about the game. So it's worth taking a good hard look at this before labeling the player as a problem. While it's true that some people are just jerks, it hurts exactly nobody and nothing to first take a look under the hood of your game to see if it doesn't need a tune-up.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

it hurts exactly nobody and nothing to first take a look under the hood of your game to see if it doesn't need a tune-up.



Ironic considering Iserith advice is to completely abandon the basis of the DM role because it "doesn't work". Ironic indeed.

Also, I agree with everything Sir Joseph said.

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.

One thing thing that I am getting tired of in many of these threads is the notion that it is always the DM's fault, and somehow the player is above all reproach.

It is a good thing I learned how to DM long before these forums were up. Given the onus placed upon DMs (no matter the issue) here, I would have been so convinced that DMs are horrible people or have such a stressful job with super sky high expectations of perfection that I never would have tried DMing to begin with.
One thing thing that I am getting tired of in many of these threads is the notion that it is always the DM's fault, and somehow the player is above all reproach.

It is a good thing I learned how to DM long before these forums were up. Given the onus placed upon DMs (no matter the issue) here, I would have been so convinced that DMs are horrible people or have such a stressful job with super sky high expectations of perfection that I never would have tried DMing to begin with.



It's a good thing then that nobody around here says it's always the DM's fault. It certainly can be. And it doesn't hurt to check oneself before blaming somebody else.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

One thing thing that I am getting tired of in many of these threads is the notion that it is always the DM's fault, and somehow the player is above all reproach.

It is a good thing I learned how to DM long before these forums were up. Given the onus placed upon DMs (no matter the issue) here, I would have been so convinced that DMs are horrible people or have such a stressful job with super sky high expectations of perfection that I never would have tried DMing to begin with.



It's a good thing then that nobody around here says it's always the DM's fault. It certainly can be. And it doesn't hurt to check oneself before blaming somebody else.


Could have fooled me.  Ok Ok, maybe not always, but 95%.  It should be noted that my feelings above are dictated not by this thread alone but from the whole of the collected WotC fora over a period of time.

I find it interesting that the advice to check oneself is only for the DM and not the player.  Again, the inference is that the DM is always at fault and never the player.
Could have fooled me.  Ok Ok, maybe not always, but 95%.  It should be noted that my feelings above are dictated not by this thread alone but from the whole of the collected WotC fora over a period of time.



Do you disagree with the advice I gave originally in post #5?

Do you have any advice to offer the OP?

I find it interesting that the advice to check oneself is only for the DM and not the player.  Again, the inference is that the DM is always at fault and never the player.



This is the DM's forum. This is a DM asking for advice. Changing yourself or your approach (if you feel you need to change something) is within your control. Changing someone else's behavior is not guaranteed. Some of us are giving him advice to look at all angles of the problem, both in his approach to the game and in talking directly to the player to resolve the issue. It's comprehensive, not controversial.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

My initial post above was not based solely on this thread or even the DM's Forum.  It was an observation based on a mood I feel that permeates the whole of the WotC Forums (as I stated).  There was no attempt to single anyone out.  It is simply how I feel.

As to the OP, there has been much good advice given here.  Myself, who has gone through this very thing, would ask the player to cease the undesired activity.  Since he has refused, he would not be asked back to play, at least with that group.

As to the DM changing up how he runs the game to accommodate one impatient player or jerk player-- why should he?  The other players like the game the way it is (sans kamikaze barbarian) as does the DM so why should they change?  Should the DM change things to make it better for the "problem" player he runs the risk of alienating all the others as well as possibly creating a game he is unhappy with.

I have seen way too many DMs destroy their games trying to make a single player happy at the expense of the others at the table. 

If the player is so bored as to have no self control, then he should either learn to wait his turn or simply find a group that moves at a pace and style he prefers.
As to the DM changing up how he runs the game to accommodate one impatient player or jerk player-- why should he?  The other players like the game the way it is (sans kamikaze barbarian) as does the DM so why should they change?  Should the DM change things to make it better for the "problem" player he runs the risk of alienating all the others as well as possibly creating a game he is unhappy with.

I have seen way too many DMs destroy their games trying to make a single player happy at the expense of the others at the table.

What about the addage: "You are never too old to learn something new"? Just because everything is going fine, does not mean you could not try something new. It might make the game more fun for all involved.

Of course, you are right that you should always be willing to return to the old ways if the new ways result in a worse game. Blindly changing stuff is also not a good idea. You need to talk with the group about what they like. You should not just have session 0 at the start of the campaign, but at regular intervals during the campaign.

Still, refusing to change because the old way worked fine is not a reason to never change ;)
As to the DM changing up how he runs the game to accommodate one impatient player or jerk player-- why should he?  The other players like the game the way it is (sans kamikaze barbarian) as does the DM so why should they change?  Should the DM change things to make it better for the "problem" player he runs the risk of alienating all the others as well as possibly creating a game he is unhappy with.

I have seen way too many DMs destroy their games trying to make a single player happy at the expense of the others at the table.

What about the addage: "You are never too old to learn something new"? Just because everything is going fine, does not mean you could not try something new. It might make the game more fun for all involved.

Of course, you are right that you should always be willing to return to the old ways if the new ways result in a worse game. Blindly changing stuff is also not a good idea. You need to talk with the group about what they like. You should not just have session 0 at the start of the campaign, but at regular intervals during the campaign.

Still, refusing to change because the old way worked fine is not a reason to never change ;)


Oh, I agree with you that one should strive to grow, especially over the long term.  And I agree that DMs should listen to and respect the group's input.

What I was talking about is the case where the game is going fine with all but one of the players liking it with the one player that acts like a jerk.  That is the way I took the OP.  In this case, the DM, or the other players, really don't need to change.  It is the problem player that needs to change (or leave).

The fact is, a DM, or a group of players, can't please everyone.  It is my opinion that one of the worst things a largely successful DM can do is change things up to cater to a single player when the DM and the rest of the group is already happy.  This is especially true when the player himself is unwilling to compromise in turn.

The idea that a DM must please all players all the time is pure fallacy.  I have seen it over and over again where a DM panics because one player says, "He's bored (or whatever)" and the DM bends over backwards to keep this player happy.  All the while, he forgets about the other 6 loyal players who were happy with the way things were. 

Many DMs, especially new DMs have a phobia about losing players.  To those DMs I caution:  Over the length of a DMing career, you will lose  players.  Just as George Lucas has sci-fi fans who can't stand Star Wars, you will have those who can't abide your content.  If George Lucas can't please everyone, why do you think you can?  Does it make sense for George Lucas (ok Disney) to change Star Wars to appease some fan because he/she thinks it should be more like Twilight?  No it doesn't, and it makes just as little sense for a DM to change on the whim of every player who voices discontent.

Yes, learn from that discontent.  Value your players' opinions and heed their desires and advice.  Even so, you will find there will be those players who simply will not be pleased no matter what you do.  So don't break your back or your game over it.  It's not like you are being paid to DM (unlike George Lucas).

Also, sometimes a group can fail due to no fault of the DM at all.  I have seen groups self destruct because the introduction of a new player changes the chemistry of the group.  This doesn't have to be the cliche Player vs. Player issues.  It can be far more subtle, yet lethal to the game none the less.
One thing thing that I am getting tired of in many of these threads is the notion that it is always the DM's fault, and somehow the player is above all reproach.

It is a good thing I learned how to DM long before these forums were up. Given the onus placed upon DMs (no matter the issue) here, I would have been so convinced that DMs are horrible people or have such a stressful job with super sky high expectations of perfection that I never would have tried DMing to begin with.



It's a good thing then that nobody around here says it's always the DM's fault. It certainly can be. And it doesn't hurt to check oneself before blaming somebody else.


Could have fooled me.  Ok Ok, maybe not always, but 95%.  It should be noted that my feelings above are dictated not by this thread alone but from the whole of the collected WotC fora over a period of time.

I find it interesting that the advice to check oneself is only for the DM and not the player.  Again, the inference is that the DM is always at fault and never the player.



"Talk to the DM/player/s" is the most often given piece of advice on these boards and the most often ignored by the OPs. So I don't think that is saying it is 95% DMs fault, I just think it is the base advice in any situation.

One thing I would point out, a lot of these threads asking for advice are actually asking for validation. They want people to come and agree with them rather than critiquing what they've done and intend to do. That alone causes a lot of the arguments we see. I know I've bowed out of several threads after it became clear the people weren't here for suggestions, they wanted a pat on the back.

The trick is, and this is a big difference between myself and many of the other posters, I am perfectly willing to leave a discussion instead of staying and arguing every point and counterpoint ad nauseum.
it hurts exactly nobody and nothing to first take a look under the hood of your game to see if it doesn't need a tune-up.



Ironic considering Iserith advice is to completely abandon the basis of the DM role because it "doesn't work". Ironic indeed.

Technically, his advice to change the role of the DM is just for the groups who want make it work so that they can be able to, while groups that want a more traditional DM can certainly play that way; it's just that more people can make the different system work than a lot of people think, they just don't have to.

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Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
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If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

As to the DM changing up how he runs the game to accommodate one impatient player or jerk player-- why should he?  The other players like the game the way it is (sans kamikaze barbarian) as does the DM so why should they change?  Should the DM change things to make it better for the "problem" player he runs the risk of alienating all the others as well as possibly creating a game he is unhappy with.

I have seen way too many DMs destroy their games trying to make a single player happy at the expense of the others at the table.

What about the addage: "You are never too old to learn something new"? Just because everything is going fine, does not mean you could not try something new. It might make the game more fun for all involved.

Of course, you are right that you should always be willing to return to the old ways if the new ways result in a worse game. Blindly changing stuff is also not a good idea. You need to talk with the group about what they like. You should not just have session 0 at the start of the campaign, but at regular intervals during the campaign.

Still, refusing to change because the old way worked fine is not a reason to never change ;)


Oh, I agree with you that one should strive to grow, especially over the long term.  And I agree that DMs should listen to and respect the group's input.

What I was talking about is the case where the game is going fine with all but one of the players liking it with the one player that acts like a jerk.  That is the way I took the OP.  In this case, the DM, or the other players, really don't need to change.  It is the problem player that needs to change (or leave).

The fact is, a DM, or a group of players, can't please everyone.  It is my opinion that one of the worst things a largely successful DM can do is change things up to cater to a single player when the DM and the rest of the group is already happy.  This is especially true when the player himself is unwilling to compromise in turn.

The idea that a DM must please all players all the time is pure fallacy.  I have seen it over and over again where a DM panics because one player says, "He's bored (or whatever)" and the DM bends over backwards to keep this player happy.  All the while, he forgets about the other 6 loyal players who were happy with the way things were. 

Many DMs, especially new DMs have a phobia about losing players.  To those DMs I caution:  Over the length of a DMing career, you will lose  players.  Just as George Lucas has sci-fi fans who can't stand Star Wars, you will have those who can't abide your content.  If George Lucas can't please everyone, why do you think you can?  Does it make sense for George Lucas (ok Disney) to change Star Wars to appease some fan because he/she thinks it should be more like Twilight?  No it doesn't, and it makes just as little sense for a DM to change on the whim of every player who voices discontent.

Yes, learn from that discontent.  Value your players' opinions and heed their desires and advice.  Even so, you will find there will be those players who simply will not be pleased no matter what you do.  So don't break your back or your game over it.  It's not like you are being paid to DM (unlike George Lucas).

Also, sometimes a group can fail due to no fault of the DM at all.  I have seen groups self destruct because the introduction of a new player changes the chemistry of the group.  This doesn't have to be the cliche Player vs. Player issues.  It can be far more subtle, yet lethal to the game none the less.



Kishri I could not have said it any better.

 

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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.
One thing thing that I am getting tired of in many of these threads is the notion that it is always the DM's fault, and somehow the player is above all reproach.

It's not so much the DM's fault as it is the DM's RESPONSIBILITY.  If you have a problem player it's not the DM's fault that the player is a problem - but it is the DM's responsibility to address the problem.  If the DM fails to take steps then that is the DM's fault for letting the player continue to disrupt the game.

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Could have fooled me.  Ok Ok, maybe not always, but 95%.  It should be noted that my feelings above are dictated not by this thread alone but from the whole of the collected WotC fora over a period of time.

I find it interesting that the advice to check oneself is only for the DM and not the player.  Again, the inference is that the DM is always at fault and never the player.



Kishri, you are definitely right.

More importantly, right or wrong, this IS the perception you are experiencing and I am willing to wager many feel that same way.

The irony of course is that many people that are feeding into this perception also bemoan the fact that there are "Not enough DMs" and go on to blame that on the DM role itself instead of on, oh I dunno, a bunch of people feeding a perception that the DM is always wrong. I mean, it certainly comes off many times as a totally thankless job, don't it? At least if you read a lot of stuff around these parts...

What you are really seeing is a pendulum effect where some people that have played under bad DMs or even been bad DMs themselves cannot accept responsibility for their own enjoyment of the game or their won failure to play it. So, now they have to try and make the player (that they themselves were) totally blameless in, pretty much, every situation as a means of vindicating their unresolved issues regarding the DM/player dynamic. So the player is canonized and the DM is repeatedly villified...so much so that quite a few of them love to parrot that the role fo the DM is one often taken up by wicked, power-hungry people that want to emotionally & socially dominate others. Now, of course, they insulate themselves from this criticism by forsaking the actual role of the DM and twisting it into somethign else entirely (the game as well) while absolving themselves of much of the responsibility the role demands. In this way, they actually abdicate game responsibility, foist it onto the players and attempt to make themselves inviolable in their role under the pretenses of using an "enlightened" methodology that can do no wrong because, after all, the players are the ones doing the work. Simultaneously, you'll see that they blame any players for anything that goes wrong under that methodology as "jerks".

Then, of course, they come here and shift all blame to DMs while simultaneously giving advice that basically boils down to "Everything you're doing in the game is wrong if you're trying to fulfill the typical roles of the game. You probably want a lot of control because you're a bad person and you are not doing as good a job as you could unless you do what we do." Naturally it is more prettied up than that, wrapped nicely like a present and with a bow on it...but the sentiment is there and creates the very impression you're experiencing. The irony of that is that since they've redefined the DM role for themselves, their advice is necessarily less valid to DMs because they aren't really DMing in the first place. So there advice HAS to be to change everything the person is doing because, otherwise, they wouldn't have anything overly valid to say because, since they aren't DMing, they don't really have valid advice to give...especially since a few openly admit to having failed at doing the typical DM role (though they will, naturally, blame this on some innate failings of the role itself).

All in all, I can't tell if it's funny or unfortunate...however, seeing that more people are expressing that they feel the tone I've been mentioning since I got here, I am leaning towards "unfortunate".

EDIT: Also you'll notice the profound irony that there will be NO VALIDATION of your perception and no taking of ownership for the sort of things said that might have caused that perception. Instead, it will simply be parroted that "No one was saying that!" while they ignore that the tonal perception created is, just like at a table of D&D, as important or more than what is said. So, basically, it will be more "Do as I say, not as I do"

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.

One thing thing that I am getting tired of in many of these threads is the notion that it is always the DM's fault, and somehow the player is above all reproach.

It's not so much the DM's fault as it is the DM's RESPONSIBILITY.  If you have a problem player it's not the DM's fault that the player is a problem - but it is the DM's responsibility to address the problem.  If the DM fails to take steps then that is the DM's fault for letting the player continue to disrupt the game.



Excellent stuff, Man. (can I call you "Man"? I feel like I can call you "Man")

And, naturally, if everyone else is enjoying the game and the DM is running a sound ship, it is entirely possible the person is just being a disruptive jerk...they do exist. Feel free to boot them after it's been addressed and the booting has been addressed with the other players. I've done it at least twice and both times the results were spectacular and the game much improved.

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.

My initial post above was not based solely on this thread or even the DM's Forum.  It was an observation based on a mood I feel that permeates the whole of the WotC Forums (as I stated).  There was no attempt to single anyone out.  It is simply how I feel.

As to the OP, there has been much good advice given here.  Myself, who has gone through this very thing, would ask the player to cease the undesired activity.  Since he has refused, he would not be asked back to play, at least with that group.

As to the DM changing up how he runs the game to accommodate one impatient player or jerk player-- why should he?  The other players like the game the way it is (sans kamikaze barbarian) as does the DM so why should they change?  Should the DM change things to make it better for the "problem" player he runs the risk of alienating all the others as well as possibly creating a game he is unhappy with.

I have seen way too many DMs destroy their games trying to make a single player happy at the expense of the others at the table. 

If the player is so bored as to have no self control, then he should either learn to wait his turn or simply find a group that moves at a pace and style he prefers.



Some players are jerks certainly, but it's also true that DMs aren't infallible. I know some like to think that they are, or believe that all that "hard work" for their "thankless job" gives them a pass or sets them above the players somehow. That if there's a problem at the table, it's the player's fault, always. Uh huh.

So this was my suggestion to the OP: Before labeling someone a problem player or tossing them out on their ear, stop for a moment and look to your approach. Does it need improvement? Reflect on what you're doing and if anything you're doing exacerbates the issue. If the honest answer is "No," then the answer is to directly talk to the player and, if he doesn't conform, ask him to leave.

Yet somehow, that very reasonable answer (in my view, anyway) gets me labeled as an apostate for daring to suggest - in a forum for DM advice - that the DM might benefit from taking this moment to reflect on his process. If it is the DM's responsibility to deal with the problem player, is it not also his responsibility to take a critical look at his own game from time to time for the benefit of all, and is this not a good opportunity to do so?

Or is the DM infallible?

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

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Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

As to the OP, there has been much good advice given here.  Myself, who has gone through this very thing, would ask the player to cease the undesired activity.  Since he has refused, he would not be asked back to play, at least with that group.

Yes, a conversation with the player is the single most common (and useful) piece of advice given to DMs on this forum. I don't know if it always has been.

"Ask the player to leave," is the second most common piece of advice given.

As to the DM changing up how he runs the game to accommodate one impatient player or jerk player-- why should he?  The other players like the game the way it is (sans kamikaze barbarian) as does the DM so why should they change?

Because "ask the player to leave" tends not to be an option. Many DMs who have issues with the player state in their initial post that asking the player to leave is not an option for a number of reasons, most of which come down to a very understandable desire not to be confrontational.

All that's left for the DM who has tried talking to the player (or won't try talking to the player), and won't ask the player to leave, is to change their game.

Should the DM change things to make it better for the "problem" player he runs the risk of alienating all the others as well as possibly creating a game he is unhappy with.

Very true, but the advice is offered when players are already being alienated and the risk of the game being destroyed is already high.

I have seen way too many DMs destroy their games trying to make a single player happy at the expense of the others at the table.

One might ask why it is always the DM's fault when changing their game causes problems.

If the player is so bored as to have no self control, then he should either learn to wait his turn or simply find a group that moves at a pace and style he prefers.

Unless the game really is boring, and the other players have just been too polite to express their displeasure.

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

If the player is so bored as to have no self control, then he should either learn to wait his turn or simply find a group that moves at a pace and style he prefers.

Unless the game really is boring, and the other players have just been too polite to express their displeasure.



I actually asked my players about this and they reassured me that they are having fun and do not believe the game to be boring.

So the issue has been resolved.  Another friend of mine is starting more of a roll playing combat oriented campaign that I will be a player in and in which Mr. Kamikaze Barbarian has been invited to play.  I arranged it as an option and then talked to him about it.  He disclosed to me that he is more into combat than roleplaying.  When I mentioned the other game he agreed that he would probably enjoy that game more. 

Thanks to everyone for their advice it was very invaluable for this situation as well as other possible situations in the future.
If the player is so bored as to have no self control, then he should either learn to wait his turn or simply find a group that moves at a pace and style he prefers.

Unless the game really is boring, and the other players have just been too polite to express their displeasure.

I actually asked my players about this and they reassured me that they are having fun and do not believe the game to be boring.

I'm sure this is true. I meant my comment generally.

So the issue has been resolved.  Another friend of mine is starting more of a roll playing combat oriented campaign that I will be a player in and in which Mr. Kamikaze Barbarian has been invited to play.  I arranged it as an option and then talked to him about it.  He disclosed to me that he is more into combat than roleplaying.  When I mentioned the other game he agreed that he would probably enjoy that game more.

Yes, it will probably offer him more opportunities to roleplay his character the way he wants.

Thanks to everyone for their advice it was very invaluable for this situation as well as other possible situations in the future.

Good luck.

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

I actually asked my players about this and they reassured me that they are having fun and do not believe the game to be boring.



Excellent, it's always a sign of a good DM in my opinion to reflect and get feedback before making decisions like this.

So the issue has been resolved.  Another friend of mine is starting more of a roll playing combat oriented campaign that I will be a player in and in which Mr. Kamikaze Barbarian has been invited to play.  I arranged it as an option and then talked to him about it.  He disclosed to me that he is more into combat than roleplaying.  When I mentioned the other game he agreed that he would probably enjoy that game more.



Good, everyone gets what they want. I'd add that combat is roleplaying, but that's a discussion for another thread.

Thanks to everyone for their advice it was very invaluable for this situation as well as other possible situations in the future.



Best of luck.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Let's not forget that if you the DM aren't having fun then it is -NOT- your obligation to continue the game. If juggling player happiness is killing you then just stop doing it to yourself. Either have a long think about why and how it got to that point or talk to your players to see if they even care that much. I feel as though many of the DMs here are so worried about their player that they hardly even enjoy the role. If you are one of those DMs then do yourself a favor and ask a player to DM for a little bit; this becoems especially easy if you are using the collaberation method.
Let's not forget that if you the DM aren't having fun then it is -NOT- your obligation to continue the game. If juggling player happiness is killing you then just stop doing it to yourself. Either have a long think about why and how it got to that point or talk to your players to see if they even care that much. I feel as though many of the DMs here are so worried about their player that they hardly even enjoy the role. If you are one of those DMs then do yourself a favor and ask a player to DM for a little bit; this becoems especially easy if you are using the collaberation method.




This dosen't happen often, in my experience.. Most DMs that I've talked with this about, myself included (interpret that how you will), have much more fun using the collaborative method.
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
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141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
I know this is completely off topic... But Corran Horn IS Awesome. Carry on.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/8.jpg)

I know this is completely off topic... But Corran Horn IS Awesome. Carry on.




"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
As to the DM changing up how he runs the game to accommodate one impatient player or jerk player-- why should he?  The other players like the game the way it is (sans kamikaze barbarian) as does the DM so why should they change?  Should the DM change things to make it better for the "problem" player he runs the risk of alienating all the others as well as possibly creating a game he is unhappy with.

I have seen way too many DMs destroy their games trying to make a single player happy at the expense of the others at the table.

What about the addage: "You are never too old to learn something new"? Just because everything is going fine, does not mean you could not try something new. It might make the game more fun for all involved.

Of course, you are right that you should always be willing to return to the old ways if the new ways result in a worse game. Blindly changing stuff is also not a good idea. You need to talk with the group about what they like. You should not just have session 0 at the start of the campaign, but at regular intervals during the campaign.

Still, refusing to change because the old way worked fine is not a reason to never change ;)



If it's not broke, don't fix it.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
it hurts exactly nobody and nothing to first take a look under the hood of your game to see if it doesn't need a tune-up.



Ironic considering Iserith advice is to completely abandon the basis of the DM role because it "doesn't work". Ironic indeed.

Technically, his advice to change the role of the DM is just for the groups who want make it work so that they can be able to, while groups that want a more traditional DM can certainly play that way; it's just that more people can make the different system work than a lot of people think, they just don't have to.



Every time I stated I play in a more traditional manner and do not want to change, these guys bashed me over the damn head with their rhetoric about "bad DM, bad DM! Players rule! Players rule!". He has tried to shove it down the throats of so many, it's not even funny. And often neither of the two major champions of that style on this board care if you've already told them no. If you don't play their way, they're going to continue prescribing the same old bull to you. It's quite counter productive to making this board useful.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/

Could have fooled me.  Ok Ok, maybe not always, but 95%.  It should be noted that my feelings above are dictated not by this thread alone but from the whole of the collected WotC fora over a period of time.

I find it interesting that the advice to check oneself is only for the DM and not the player.  Again, the inference is that the DM is always at fault and never the player.



Kishri, you are definitely right.

More importantly, right or wrong, this IS the perception you are experiencing and I am willing to wager many feel that same way.

The irony of course is that many people that are feeding into this perception also bemoan the fact that there are "Not enough DMs" and go on to blame that on the DM role itself instead of on, oh I dunno, a bunch of people feeding a perception that the DM is always wrong. I mean, it certainly comes off many times as a totally thankless job, don't it? At least if you read a lot of stuff around these parts...

What you are really seeing is a pendulum effect where some people that have played under bad DMs or even been bad DMs themselves cannot accept responsibility for their own enjoyment of the game or their won failure to play it. So, now they have to try and make the player (that they themselves were) totally blameless in, pretty much, every situation as a means of vindicating their unresolved issues regarding the DM/player dynamic. So the player is canonized and the DM is repeatedly villified...so much so that quite a few of them love to parrot that the role fo the DM is one often taken up by wicked, power-hungry people that want to emotionally & socially dominate others. Now, of course, they insulate themselves from this criticism by forsaking the actual role of the DM and twisting it into somethign else entirely (the game as well) while absolving themselves of much of the responsibility the role demands. In this way, they actually abdicate game responsibility, foist it onto the players and attempt to make themselves inviolable in their role under the pretenses of using an "enlightened" methodology that can do no wrong because, after all, the players are the ones doing the work. Simultaneously, you'll see that they blame any players for anything that goes wrong under that methodology as "jerks".

Then, of course, they come here and shift all blame to DMs while simultaneously giving advice that basically boils down to "Everything you're doing in the game is wrong if you're trying to fulfill the typical roles of the game. You probably want a lot of control because you're a bad person and you are not doing as good a job as you could unless you do what we do." Naturally it is more prettied up than that, wrapped nicely like a present and with a bow on it...but the sentiment is there and creates the very impression you're experiencing. The irony of that is that since they've redefined the DM role for themselves, their advice is necessarily less valid to DMs because they aren't really DMing in the first place. So there advice HAS to be to change everything the person is doing because, otherwise, they wouldn't have anything overly valid to say because, since they aren't DMing, they don't really have valid advice to give...especially since a few openly admit to having failed at doing the typical DM role (though they will, naturally, blame this on some innate failings of the role itself).

All in all, I can't tell if it's funny or unfortunate...however, seeing that more people are expressing that they feel the tone I've been mentioning since I got here, I am leaning towards "unfortunate".

EDIT: Also you'll notice the profound irony that there will be NO VALIDATION of your perception and no taking of ownership for the sort of things said that might have caused that perception. Instead, it will simply be parroted that "No one was saying that!" while they ignore that the tonal perception created is, just like at a table of D&D, as important or more than what is said. So, basically, it will be more "Do as I say, not as I do"



Nail on the head.

My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Every time I stated I play in a more traditional manner and do not want to change, these guys bashed me over the damn head with their rhetoric about "bad DM, bad DM! Players rule! Players rule!". He has tried to shove it down the throats of so many, it's not even funny. And often neither of the two major champions of that style on this board care if you've already told them no. If you don't play their way, they're going to continue prescribing the same old bull to you. It's quite counter productive to making this board useful.



I didn't even suggest that the OP should change. I didn't suggest he use the collaborative methods I espouse. I simply suggested he look at his game critically before making any decision.


No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

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Could have fooled me.  Ok Ok, maybe not always, but 95%.  It should be noted that my feelings above are dictated not by this thread alone but from the whole of the collected WotC fora over a period of time.

I find it interesting that the advice to check oneself is only for the DM and not the player.  Again, the inference is that the DM is always at fault and never the player.



Kishri, you are definitely right.

More importantly, right or wrong, this IS the perception you are experiencing and I am willing to wager many feel that same way.

The irony of course is that many people that are feeding into this perception also bemoan the fact that there are "Not enough DMs" and go on to blame that on the DM role itself instead of on, oh I dunno, a bunch of people feeding a perception that the DM is always wrong. I mean, it certainly comes off many times as a totally thankless job, don't it? At least if you read a lot of stuff around these parts...

What you are really seeing is a pendulum effect where some people that have played under bad DMs or even been bad DMs themselves cannot accept responsibility for their own enjoyment of the game or their won failure to play it. So, now they have to try and make the player (that they themselves were) totally blameless in, pretty much, every situation as a means of vindicating their unresolved issues regarding the DM/player dynamic. So the player is canonized and the DM is repeatedly villified...so much so that quite a few of them love to parrot that the role fo the DM is one often taken up by wicked, power-hungry people that want to emotionally & socially dominate others. Now, of course, they insulate themselves from this criticism by forsaking the actual role of the DM and twisting it into somethign else entirely (the game as well) while absolving themselves of much of the responsibility the role demands. In this way, they actually abdicate game responsibility, foist it onto the players and attempt to make themselves inviolable in their role under the pretenses of using an "enlightened" methodology that can do no wrong because, after all, the players are the ones doing the work. Simultaneously, you'll see that they blame any players for anything that goes wrong under that methodology as "jerks".

Then, of course, they come here and shift all blame to DMs while simultaneously giving advice that basically boils down to "Everything you're doing in the game is wrong if you're trying to fulfill the typical roles of the game. You probably want a lot of control because you're a bad person and you are not doing as good a job as you could unless you do what we do." Naturally it is more prettied up than that, wrapped nicely like a present and with a bow on it...but the sentiment is there and creates the very impression you're experiencing. The irony of that is that since they've redefined the DM role for themselves, their advice is necessarily less valid to DMs because they aren't really DMing in the first place. So there advice HAS to be to change everything the person is doing because, otherwise, they wouldn't have anything overly valid to say because, since they aren't DMing, they don't really have valid advice to give...especially since a few openly admit to having failed at doing the typical DM role (though they will, naturally, blame this on some innate failings of the role itself).

All in all, I can't tell if it's funny or unfortunate...however, seeing that more people are expressing that they feel the tone I've been mentioning since I got here, I am leaning towards "unfortunate".

EDIT: Also you'll notice the profound irony that there will be NO VALIDATION of your perception and no taking of ownership for the sort of things said that might have caused that perception. Instead, it will simply be parroted that "No one was saying that!" while they ignore that the tonal perception created is, just like at a table of D&D, as important or more than what is said. So, basically, it will be more "Do as I say, not as I do"



Nail on the head.


Hammered it.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Boy the orc hammers the thread for trolling and yet you decide to keep on trolling.




He also posted a hammer remark, which I thought was kind of ironic. Not saying that he's trolling, but still.
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
Nah... jerk players don't wait long enough to even see what kind of world the DM runs. They begin being jerks before the DM has a chance to do any of that.

I would assume if the DM already has players who have no problems with how he runs his campaign, then it's not the DM's fault if a single player out of the group acts like a 9 year old.

What you're talking about and what this thread are about seem to be different. The DM here seems to have a group of players that are not acting like jerks and one who is. Not.. the DM was being a jerk or being so horrible as a DM that the player had his character do outrageous things out of frustration. And not a one-time event, but that the player is being a general nuisance. Stray bricks from the gods killing his character isn't enough. It's called social cues, and this type of player won't pick up on it. Be direct.

There's plenty of other ways to handle the situtation, that vary by the personality of the people involved. And some ways might actually encourage the jerk to stop being a jerk. But, yes... kicking him to the curb is always an option as well.



I have the opportunity to play in and observe a lot of games. One thing I notice very frequently, even with people that are otherwise good DMs, is that many games have the pace of a snail on downers. So it's never a surprise to me when one or more players just decides to up and attack something in order to get to experience some tension and excitement. This happens commonly and happens to be a fairly common issue reported on these forums as well.

Thus, one of the first things I think is important to look at with regard to the problem is the pacing of the DM's game. Where the "kamikaze character syndrome" may be the symptom, the game's pace could well be the cause. This is something within the DM's control and it's easy to strike a balance by turning up the volume a bit on the tension and action while maintaining the other things he and the other players enjoy about the game. So it's worth taking a good hard look at this before labeling the player as a problem. While it's true that some people are just jerks, it hurts exactly nobody and nothing to first take a look under the hood of your game to see if it doesn't need a tune-up.

I see what you're saying now and have witnessed (played in) snail-pace sessions and see that it sometimes applies. As a player I've been tempted to kamikaze just to make something happen in a slow game, but I usually just try to ask the DM straight up to pick up the pace, unless the other players are as ready as I am to 'kamikaze'.

As DMs, sometimes we get caught up in the minutiae. A player should speak up if the DM can't notice player's social cues such as:
1. Picking up dice... wants to roll 'em!
2. Moving his hands in a circular motion... roll the camera! Action!
3. Sleeping... may be too late, if they're asleep!
4. Zombified stare... mouth turned down, glassy look to the eyes.
5. Loud exasperated sighs... precursor to a yawn... caused by boredom.
6. Offering to go on a pizza/drinks/chip run.
7. Rapidly telling you OK, OK I got it" ... means you're over-explaining or being redundant.
8. Saying... "C'mon, pick up the pace, please"... not so subtle..
9. Leaving the game all of a sudden... remembering vague 'other' things to be done.
10. I don't know... every DM has a less than great day.. but if any of the above happen, give them something worth going kamikaze over. Heed the clues, eh?


Side Note:
The 'I'm a barbarian, so I must kill everything regardless of my allies' bit, is, in my awesome opinion trite. Even the most savage caveman might look to his fellow Neanderthals and grunt "Ungg! Who want Og to break pretty faces? Who with Og?"

This assumes that at least some of the players at the table have at least a marginal interest in roleplaying and it is therefore part of their enjoyment of the game, possibly ruined if the DM allows Og's player to drag the party down with him because the NPCs assume guilt by association or because the rest of the players, trying to be accommodating to Og's player, bend over backwards to help him destroy their own fun.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
I see what you're saying now and have witnessed (played in) snail-pace sessions and see that it sometimes applies. As a player I've been tempted to kamikaze just to make something happen in a slow game, but I usually just try to ask the DM straight up to pick up the pace, unless the other players are as ready as I am to 'kamikaze'.



It's rampant based on what I'm seeing and hearing. Since the beginning of this year, I've gotten to play or observe 11 different games. Each and every one was terribly slow. Want to know what most of those DMs espoused? "We're roleplayers, not 'rollplayers.'" Uh huh. Why is your roleplaying so damn boring then if you're such good roleplayers? Where's the tension? Where's the stakes, the compelling question to be answered? Where's the opportunity and catalyst for change?

A lot of players that I find in pick-up groups or the like play through our games and go, "Whoa, this had a lot more going on in it then other games I've played!" Yeah, no kidding. Or Pathfinder players go, "Whoa, this was 4e? Why does it have such a bad rap?" Indeed. That's because pacing is important and we pay attention to it.

So when someone says, "I have a kamikaze player," the first thing I think of is "pacing problems." But suggest here on the forums that the DM should take a hard look at his game before rendering judgment on someone else and you're a player apologist. Or something.

As DMs, sometimes we get caught up in the minutiae. A player should speak up



Agreed. Don't suffer in silence and don't act out. Address the problem directly.

Side Note:
The 'I'm a barbarian, so I must kill everything regardless of my allies' bit, is, in my awesome opinion trite. Even the most savage caveman might look to his fellow Neanderthals and grunt "Ungg! Who want Og to break pretty faces? Who with Og?"

This assumes that at least some of the players at the table have at least a marginal interest in roleplaying and it is therefore part of their enjoyment of the game, possibly ruined if the DM allows Og's player to drag the party down with him because the NPCs assume guilt by association or because the rest of the players, trying to be accommodating to Og's player, bend over backwards to help him destroy their own fun.



It's not just trite, it's a form of blocking, and thus unacceptable (to me, anyway). It comes from somewhere though and that somewhere is usually utter boredom. I sympathize with the player even if I think it's a jerk move to act out.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

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Not sure what edition is being played has that much bearing on it, unless the players are getting bogged down in something rules-related (which can happen in any edition if the DM doesn't feel free to simply make a ruling and move on).
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Not sure what edition is being played has that much bearing on it, unless the players are getting bogged down in something rules-related (which can happen in any edition if the DM doesn't feel free to simply make a ruling and move on).



In my experience, edition has very little to do with it, but some players believe that the faster pacing in our games is an artifact of 4e. I don't think it matters relative to other editions of D&D. That quote I referenced goes to show how people are thinking that good pacing comes about solely from mechanics or the stork brings it wrapped in swaddling or something. I don't think many DMs and players give it much thought until the barbarian charges.

What I'm typically seeing are DMs and players not thinking about what a given scene is supposed to accomplish. Everything gets screentime. Scenes frequently have no framing, no goal, no compelling question to be answered, nothing's on the line, nothing has the real opportunity of changing in an engaging way. It's either an info-dump or aimless in-character interaction or failure mitigation discussions or defensive players that are blocking each other. (This is apparently what many people consider "roleplaying.") Or it could be that the DM has a plot and they can't move to the next scene unless the players get the clue they've hidden too well or that the players misinterpreted. And let's say, fine, your group enjoys that sort of content. The thing is even then, nobody seems to know when a given scene is done already. They just go on and on, one scene after another like this... until the barbarian charges.

"The barbarian charges..." a lot. And it doesn't always boil down to something so simple as it being a "problem player."

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith