Help with player issues

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I am wondering how people feel on a few topics that came up during our last game.

A player wanting to make a new pc that will completely negate another players character.

A player who has to control everything. id est: be the center of attention, tells other players what to do, chides other players when they make a suboptimal decision

A pc coming back from the dead after several months of missing sessions with no level loss. (Didn't happen in my game but bothers more than just myself)

Any advice on these would be appreciated. I just need some direction on how to handle all of this next time we get together. Thanks in advance.
A player wanting to make a new pc that will completely negate another players character.



Could you elaborate?

A player who has to control everything. id est: be the center of attention, tells other players what to do, chides other players when they make a suboptimal decision



It sounds like this player is either a jerk or is not a jerk and is blocking without knowing it. Either behavior is not acceptable and deserving of an out-of-game conversation to resolve it.

A pc coming back from the dead after several months of missing sessions with no level loss. (Didn't happen in my game but bothers more than just myself)



I don't see a problem with this. I'm not in competition with other players for levels.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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Welcome aboard, Nick. I would like the same clarifications iserith requests. I also don't have a problem with a player coming back without level loss. I'm not sure what it is to you.

Bottom line, there need to be some conversations, to get everyone on the same page, and resolve any personal issues. If people are going to persist in being unreasonable, don't play with them.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Could you elaborate?

A rouge who (due to most likely being minmaxed) is going to over shadow another rouge. Doesn't help that the new pc in question is going to be run by a player who frequently "looses" characters and makes new ones.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />It sounds like this player is either a jerk or is not a jerk and is blocking without knowing it. Either behavior is not acceptable and deserving of an out-of-game conversation to resolve it.

No I do believe he knows what he is doing and just doesn't care what everyone else thinks. He also has a habbit of "misremembering" rules and started a new character when the party was about level 4 and is now level 8. the rest of the party is level 7 or 6. I know that isn't a case of "accidental" math.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I don't see a problem with this. I'm not in competition with other players for levels.

Not so much a power level thing. In this game I happen to be playing and am the weakest martial character and I enjoy it. The pc is a barbarian who does a ton of damage ( the dm has told me that he hates the character) and for some reason when he died no level loss. When the rest of us die level loss. Till about level 5 when we couldn't afford to ressurect characters, new characters at level 1. This is more of a peeve of mine and nothing I can do to fix. The other two questions are the ones I can do something about.

I agree with iserith on all counts...

Please give more details about the player who want to make a character to negate another player character.

The controlling player needs a good talking to out-of-game preferably out of session too.

The only issue I see with the player character coming back from the dead is that the DM did not plan for the contingency.  I assume that the DM thought the player would never return and therefore killed the player character when it was not necessary (there are a myriad of reasons why a character chooses not to group with the party anymore).  And now the player has returned and wants to play that character again.

That being said, I agree with iserith in that you are basically nit picking.  So, you saw the character die.  Did you have a funeral pyre and reduce the corpse to dust?  If not then the player character could have been raised or resurrected and could have gone on with his/her life.  And now significant time has passed and he/she is rejoining the party.  There is nothing saying that character could not have continued adventuring and is therefore the same level as the rest of the party.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.

A player wanting to make a new pc that will completely negate another players character.
Are they just making a better version of a class someone is playing? If so I’m not very sure, I feel you can have to players of the same class in a party (I’v played an entire Fighter party before) and it still works; no matter how much “better” they are at playing a party there should always be enough monsters around for everyone to fight



A player who has to control everything. id est: be the center of attention, tells other players what to do, chides other players when they make a suboptimal decision


Inform each member of a party they are fully free to do whatever they want; if the dominating player yells “We all charge into battle” tell your players they can simply say No, and stay behind.

A pc coming back from the dead after several months of missing sessions with no level loss. (Didn't happen in my game but bothers more than just myself)


No biggy; I have shared XP for the entire party; and any new characters or reoccurring characters start at the parties level of XP. Different level parties are the biggest headache ever, and makes combat a royal pain both on the DM side and the Player side in my experience.


IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/1.jpg)

Are they just making a better version of a class someone is playing? If so I’m not very sure, I feel you can have to players of the same class in a party (I’v played an entire Fighter party before) and it still works; no matter how much “better” they are at playing a party there should always be enough monsters around for everyone to fight

Let me try to elaborate. I don't care how many rouges are in the party. I don't care if the entire party wanted to play wizards and fireballed every corner of my dungeon. I do care when I am told that a player is making a new character because (well one they "lost" another character sheet) they don't feel that the current rouge is any good and have decided to make a "proper" rouge. I may want to add that I think this player is being "guided" to a decision by the player in my second question.
All of these are out-of-game issues to be discussed directly with the parties involved prior to the next session. I recommend you approach it calmly and politely, starting off by asking for help in resolving the things that have been causing you trouble. Listen to what the other people say. If you can all compromise in good faith, there should be no further problem. If this is a sticking point for anyone, it may indicate a lack of compatibility and you'll know what to do then.

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

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

All of these are out-of-game issues to be discussed directly with the parties involved prior to the next session. I recommend you approach it calmly and politely, starting off by asking for help in resolving the things that have been causing you trouble. Listen to what the other people say. If you can all compromise in good faith, there should be no further problem. If this is a sticking point for anyone, it may indicate a lack of compatibility and you'll know what to do then.



Yeah thats what I was thinking. Its taken a while to get to this point. Been escalating for probably 3 years and I have had enough of it now. Thanks for the help.
I am wondering how people feel on a few topics that came up during our last game.

A player wanting to make a new pc that will completely negate another players character.

A player who has to control everything. id est: be the center of attention, tells other players what to do, chides other players when they make a suboptimal decision

A pc coming back from the dead after several months of missing sessions with no level loss. (Didn't happen in my game but bothers more than just myself)

Any advice on these would be appreciated. I just need some direction on how to handle all of this next time we get together. Thanks in advance.



Sounds a bit like my current group. It gets old doesn't it?

If a player wants to create a new rogue because he feels the current rogue isn't doing a good enough job, then there's definately something rotten going on with your group. I take it that different people are at different skill levels with the game. Ideally the more experienced players would help the less experienced players along, not try to take over their roles. The whole "the dog ate my character sheet" excuse is frustrating enough. But what can you do? This is similar to the guy who tries to control everything and chides other players. It sucks all the fun out of the game. I wouldn't want to play with people who did things like that. Others have pointed out that communication is needed, but from my experience these kinds of people aren't the easiest people to communicate with. They're usually better off playing WoW in their basement...alone.

Bringing a PC back from the dead with no level loss isn't that big of a deal - the bigger problem here is: is that player going to flake out again? And how disruptive is this going to be to your group?
But what can you do?

Talk to them.

Others have pointed out that communication is needed, but from my experience these kinds of people aren't the easiest people to communicate with.

Talking to them is still easier than any other approach, because treating people like adults, and offering adult results or conditions as possible outcomes, not only has a better chance of achieving the desired outcome, but tends to make the person you're talking to feel well treated even if they are being asked to leave. This reduces hurt feelings and backlash. In the worst case, one at least gets to tell oneself that one took the mature highground and that any bad reaction is less their fault than if they'd tried something underhanded or passive-aggressive.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I am wondering how people feel on a few topics that came up during our last game.

A player wanting to make a new pc that will completely negate another players character.



Talk to one or both players; just because they have the same class doesn't mean they will automatically clash.  They can, for example, pick different skill sets to specialize in.  You said they were rogues, so maybe one could be a 'face' and another do the sneaky-infiltrator skills, for example.  You can make sure neither character really steps on the other's toes.

A player who has to control everything. id est: be the center of attention, tells other players what to do, chides other players when they make a suboptimal decision



Another 'talk to him', though ideally the other players will all, en masse, tell him to STFU as far as his bossiness goes.

A pc coming back from the dead after several months of missing sessions with no level loss. (Didn't happen in my game but bothers more than just myself)



This is not a problem.  The game works best if all PCs are the same level.  A lot of groups don't even track XP anymore, and just level up the group en masse based on the story.
Talking to them is still easier than any other approach, because treating people like adults, and offering adult results or conditions as possible outcomes, not only has a better chance of achieving the desired outcome, but tends to make the person you're talking to feel well treated even if they are being asked to leave. This reduces hurt feelings and backlash. In the worst case, one at least gets to tell oneself that one took the mature highground and that any bad reaction is less their fault than if they'd tried something underhanded or passive-aggressive.



I think it's naive to expect that talking to anti-social and deliberately difficult people is going to have a positive outcome. If this guy is trying to out-do another player, it's safe to say there are already big communication issues here. Talking through things with people like that is usually futile, because they will dominate a conversation and not listen to anyone.

I would pick a firm-hand approach. If one or two people are being arrogant, tell them to get with the program or leave. They don't care that they're ruining the game for the rest of the group, so having a group discussion isn't going to improve matters.

If this were a case of a couple of players who are unknowingly ruining the game, then talking would make sense. But we're talking about deliberate actions here.
I think it's naive to expect that talking to anti-social and deliberately difficult people is going to have a positive outcome.

It's naive to expect that anything else will not work worse.

If this guy is trying to out-do another player, it's safe to say there are already big communication issues here. Talking through things with people like that is usually futile, because they will dominate a conversation and not listen to anyone.

But in talking to them, you learn this about them. You learn that they are unreasonable, and can't be worked with, and you can wash your hands of them.

I would pick a firm-hand approach. If one or two people are being arrogant, tell them to get with the program or leave. They don't care that they're ruining the game for the rest of the group, so having a group discussion isn't going to improve matters.

"Talking" doesn't need to mean a group discussion. Telling them them to "get with the program or leave" is talking to them, though I should hope it is handled with more tact. Moving the game out from under someone, or into a conflict with their work is not talking to them, and carries a much higher chance of a bad reaction.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I think it's naive to expect that talking to anti-social and deliberately difficult people is going to have a positive outcome.



It is.  BUT  ...

If it does happen to work, you took the high road, and you can feel good about yourself.

If it doesn't work, you can tell yourself you tried, then feel no guilt when you throw the jerk out of your game completely afterwards.
I think it's naive to expect that talking to anti-social and deliberately difficult people is going to have a positive outcome. If this guy is trying to out-do another player, it's safe to say there are already big communication issues here. Talking through things with people like that is usually futile, because they will dominate a conversation and not listen to anyone.



so your solution to a communication problem is to avoid communicating? avoiding problems doesn't fix them, people in this thread are advocating direct attempts to solve the problem, even though you think you're being "firm" its just an idirect approach at the symptoms

a lot of times people don't realize they're being creeps, the first solution should always be to try and talk about it, rather than issuing ultimatums off the bat, try the adult solution instead

This is the only advice for player problems that will work. Follow the steps in order. 



  1. Talk to the player in question and come to a mutually agreeable comprimise. (If this resolves the issue, stop here)

  2. Ask the player not to attend games anymore. It helps to be the DM but you don't need to be. Do this in person.

  3. Do not attend the games anymore. Find a new group. 


On to your actual questions. 


A player wanting to make a new pc that will completely negate another players character.
A player who has to control everything. id est: be the center of attention, tells other players what to do, chides other players when they make a suboptimal decision

A pc coming back from the dead after several months of missing sessions with no level loss. (Didn't happen in my game but bothers more than just myself



  1. That seems like a jerk move. I'd be upset. See my above advice.

  2. That seems annoying. I'd be upset. See above.

  3. Who cares? If no one get over it. If someone, see above. 

"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"

1: As a DM I will usually have a copy of everyone's character sheet (incase I need to make secret rolls for them) so if someone loses there character its not a big deal I just hand them a blank one and tell them to start copying it over before the rolling starts. It may take some time but it is a s**t load faster that waiting for them to make a new character. It does also sound like a jerk move IF he is just going to make the same character except "better". Though I remeber one game where we had a full party (I was playing a rouge) and after my DM continually Nerfed me any time I actually started doing something I decided to reroll and made a gnome wizard/claric hybrid even though we already had a wizard and a claric but a focused on different aspects of the two classes and it created some really cool synergy between the 3 of us. (like me using a "Create Water" spell while the Wizard used "Ice Storm" and the Claric used "Call Lighting" my water acted as a conducter for the Lighting increasing its damage and then froze over trapping and immobalizing anything that wasn't strong enough to break the ice.)

2: Tell the player there is a difference between working out tactics with the other players and simply imposing his ideas of how the situation should play out on the other players. If he still keeps doing it after you have talked to him get everyone else to talk to him as well. If he still keeps doing it talk to the DM (unless you are the DM) and work something out with him were maybe his character falls down a pit and for what ever reason the party can't help him and he has to fend for himself without the aid of the other players "help" or have the monsters target him every time he tells the other players what to do I mean honestly it is the logical thing to do is it not? Take out the commander and the rest will faulter. if that still isn't getting the message work with the other players as well to openly defy him. If after all of that the message of "Quit being a controling ass hole!" still isn't getting to him them tell him he isn't welcome to game with you any more or if the other member of the group think that is too extreme tell the group that you aren't going to play with them any more and you are going to go find or make a new group to game with.

3: I like to use a homebrew rule called the DM tells you when you level up, lose levels, or do anything else that is normally controlled by how much XP you have. This makes everything nice and easy and nobody gets fussy saying they are being jipped when so and so gets more XP than them. My biggest peice of advice here is make sure it is consitant. If the DM would normally make a player lose a level or 2 upon being raised from the dead then he better not be playing favorites and saying that this character isn't losing those levels that everyone else in the group lost when they died. Though if the character was never actually killed and really just dissappeared from the game simply because the player didn't show up for a month or two then I would ask why he needed to be dead in the first place? In that situation if the DM did for what ever reason kill off that character it would be acceptable to make an exception assuming the character didn't die while under control of the origanal player that made it.  
1. wanting to make a new pc that will completely negate another players character:
Don't dictate what players can/can't play. Still, after suggesting that the role is already filled (and the player still wants it), suggest that (since the player is good at optimizing) he could make a PC that is a level lower that the current PC. Just to be fair and balanced. i.e. newly created PC's are much easier to optimize than ones that have been played for many levels (and I'm sure you optimizer is up for the challenge).

2. has to control everything... chides other players when they make a suboptimal decision:
Give equal attention to all (i.e. don't give him the extra 'spotlight' time). Remind him that suboptimal decisions usually make for a more enjoyable session, and thus should probably even be encouraged.

3. pc coming back from the dead after several months of missing sessions with no level loss:
That's fine. The other other PC's are likely far ahead by this point, so no need to cripple the PC further. The player could've just as easily made a new PC that is as powerful as the rest of the party. At least this way the PC has some campaign history.

If I may offer a technique for if a group does go with the DM deciding when the players level up, instead of deciding how much XP they get and leveling based on that: let them level up towards the end of the session, but not right at the end.

That way they can tell within minutes, rather than days, that their next battle is either easier against similar enemies, survivable against harder enemies, and/or just plain cooler than the one before.

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
Best defense that I've read in favor of having alignment systems as an option
Show
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

Do a bit of round-robin DMing and have the "unreasonable" player take the DM reigns next. It will likely open his eyes to clean  up his act. If not, you will have the rest of the player group with you to stage an "intervention." This works suprisingly well and spreads out the fun/responsibilities of all the players since they will be a DM.

This should avoid uncomfortable confrontation and revitalize everybody's interest at the table.