Need some opinions on players wanting to use characters that don't fit well with others.

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We have had one person that insisted on playing odd characters that seemed to have a central theme of a girl that was as a teenager abused in some way or part of experiments (and the player is male). They or their character would constantly be fighting and clashing with the rest of the group. I found them to be a little too unstable in character and personality and suggested to the group to remove that person from the group.  I would like to know if others have had to deal with people like this and what they did. thanks
Talk to the offending player away from the others, tell him that his character is being too disruptive (be specific with your examples), and that he needs to either tone it down or change characters.  If he does neither, disinvite (aka eject) him.
Did you have a Session Zero in which you discussed the expectations of the game with the players? If you did not, perhaps now is the time. This player may believe he's acting completely within bounds based on past gaming experience or what he otherwise believes the gaming experience should be. 

It sounds like this player is blocking - either not abiding by the tone and theme as agreed during Session Zero and/or conflicting with the ideas of others. Blocking is bad for the game, but not a lot of people know what blocking is (it seems). So, explain what's going on, why it's disruptive, and ask for the player's help to rectify the situation. If the player does not agree, then it's time to part ways.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools

I'm Recruiting Players for a D&D 5e Game: Interested?  |  Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

We have had one person that insisted on playing odd characters that seemed to have a central theme of a girl that was as a teenager abused in some way or part of experiments (and the player is male). They or their character would constantly be fighting and clashing with the rest of the group. I found them to be a little too unstable in character and personality and suggested to the group to remove that person from the group.  I would like to know if others have had to deal with people like this and what they did. thanks

That's distasteful. Fortunately I've only had anything remotely similar happen once. The players were wanting to play 'bad guys' and all they did was the most crass, offensive things possible. None of the PCs had any redeemable traits whatsoever.

I had to have a sit down with everybody and told them that the characters weren't my cup of tea.... too one dimensional for starters. I wasn't at all interested in the characters and was pretty bored by the whole mess. I certainly didn't want to put any effort into it. And graphic descriptions of the carnage and violence weren't my cup of tea, either. I don't like slasher films, no.. I generally despise them and find them disturbing, but not particularly scary (except to know that someone paid money to produce what is almost invariably cinematic drivel)... which is the most disturbing and scary part. They weren't particularly enjoying playing the characters, it turns out. They somehow had strayed from their original idea... The cult of Mal'gor the Rat God. So we agreed to have their efforts to start a cult on the edge of civilization to succeed and they all became the were-rat leaders of the cult... as NPCs. I tied the cult in with a larger idea and it became a semi-important aspect of the following campaign.

If it were just one character with this sick theme, it wouldn't be so bad unless he's trying over and again until he makes the character 'feel right'. I had a character that I was trying to base roughly on the Viking of New York meets Odin meets Merlin meets Gandalf. It took me 3 tries to get him quirky enough, but still solemn, quiet, but still clever, cunning, but still benevolent. I somehow doubt a struggle for artistic vision as at the heart of the matter, though - call me cynical. The player may simply be a disturbed individual, in which case it's probably best to break ties anyway. He may have a perfectly interesting reason for wanting to explore that. Maybe because the character model is just so unlike the player, it is his vision of what an evil character must be.

And on a serious note... if the person making these characters is adolescent-aged and obsessed with this awful theme, you might want to find someone he can talk to that knows how to handle troubled youth.

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.
Talk to them. The game grants players the freedom to play what they want, but the game assumes one is playing and cooperating with one's friends. Unpleasant behavior is not an issue the game considers, so set the game aside and talk to them.

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

I would like to know if others have had to deal with people like this and what they did.

Cancel the campaign. Start a new (similar) one. Invite everyone but the problem player(s).

While talking to a player is always your first recourse, ultimately you can't expect someone to change their personality. D&D attracts some different people, and not everyone's personality will sync up. Looking for like-minded players (and moving on when there isn't a fit) is a *good* thing that ultimately benefits everyone involved.

I would like to know if others have had to deal with people like this and what they did.

Cancel the campaign. Start a new (similar) one. Invite everyone but the problem player(s).

While talking to a player is always your first recourse, ultimately you can't expect someone to change their personality. D&D attracts some different people, and not everyone's personality will sync up. Looking for like-minded players (and moving on when there isn't a fit) is a *good* thing that ultimately benefits everyone involved.




I disagree. That is a passive aggressive way to avoid finding a real solution. The OP didn't say s/he didn't like the player. S/he doesn't like the character. You don't know that the player is the same as the character. This could simply be someone's idea of roleplaying. This is an especially bad piece of advice if the player is your friend, OP. (Since you didn't mention)

Talk to the player, and talk to the group. It could be as simple as miscommunication and different understandings of roleplaying. One of my personal rules is that I don't like players to play a gender other than their own. It brings some bad prejudices and misconceptions to the table that are hard to deal with as a DM. So maybe ask the player who you indicated as male, to not play female characters. I don't know the details of your player, or your stance on gender identity, but it's just a general rule for me. It just doesn't work imo.

Tragic backstories are a staple of most hero stories in comic books, video games, novels, etc. Not everyone had a great childhood in these stories, and lots of players tend to fall back on the trope. It makes their character feel special - which they are in d&d, because not everyone in the d&d world is awesome enough to be an adventurer. The book even says so. It's up to the DM and the group as a whole to decide how tragic, though. You just need to talk to the player/group about where to draw the line. If the rest of the group can man up and tell this guy that he's making it less fun for everyone, then you might be able to change his mind about how he plays.

If not, all you can do is politely ask him not to attend your games anymore if he refuses to allow everyone else to have fun. 
I disagree. That is a passive aggressive way to avoid finding a real solution.

The solution assumes that one has already tried the normal methods (like talking to the person).

This is an especially bad piece of advice if the player is your friend 

You can end a friendship by asking someone to leave a group. But you can destroy the game if you permit them to stay in a bad fit (which can be unfair to the cooperative players).

I completely understand that the way I phrased this method is shocking/blunt to many new players, but rotating through games is actually one of the better ways to achieve a harmonious group (of course, many games implode on their own when there is a bad fit). Starting new games is part of the hobby.

 You can end a friendship by asking someone to leave a group. But you can destroy the game if you permit them to stay in a bad fit (which can be unfair to the cooperative players).



Wow, guess it depends what you feel is more important - your friendship, or the game. I've seen people on these boards say they put up with troublesome players for years before doing something about it because they're friends. It's a tricky situation for some people. Some would think it's not worth it to lose a friend over a game. Others, it seems, are perfectly fine with ditching a friend over a bit of roleplaying. 

If OP and this guy are friends, and not just acquaintances or people who met at a store or con, there will be a way of finding compromise and middle ground. Since the OP didn't specify how well they know each other, all we can do here on the boards is conjecture.

I play with a group of my best friends. I could never imagine just passive aggressively kicking one of my friends out of the group. I'd rather not play at all than end a friendship with any of them. And I can't imagine that any of them would do that to me, or that it would even come to that. We would be able to talk about it and make compromises to find a solution before we'd ever think of just booting someone.
I have friends I play D&D with. I have friends I don't play D&D with, even if they like D&D. It can happen and mature adults shouldn't have a problem with this. Do something else fun with your friend.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools

I'm Recruiting Players for a D&D 5e Game: Interested?  |  Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Thanks for all of the great answers and opinions, I appreciate it.
Wow, guess it depends what you feel is more important - your friendship, or the game.

Exactly:
- By cancelling the game, you are putting your friendship before the game.
- By asking a friend to leave, you are putting the game before your friendship.

I oppose the latter method. Not that the OP appears to be friends with the problem player though, since he stated "I found them to be a little too unstable in character and personality and suggested to the group to remove that person from the group". Still, someone in the group is bound to be friends with the problem player, so cancelling the game is still likely better than removing the person from the group.

If OP and this guy are friends, and not just acquaintances or people who met at a store or con, there will be a way of finding compromise and middle ground.

As I mentioned earlier: this is already assumed as your first recourse. I had felt they were already covered, but I can elaborate on those preliminary measures, if desired:
1) Talk to the player. Tell them simply "I don't feel comfortable running that sort of thing" (few players persist with something that another person has stated they are uncomfortable with).
2) Adopt the RPGA rule of "You can’t intentionally damage or hinder other PCs without the player’s permission".
3) Adopt a house rule of "debates can be replaced with a quick die roll (low=bad for player, high=good for player) until it can be researched later".
Fortunately he was not a friend, so no loss. Plus he wasn't very good at bringing food and drink or paying for it. Also, he was a drama queen.
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