Casual Player, Casual Roleplaying, Sucking the Wonder Away

Isida Kep'Tukari

Community Supporter
Howdy, I've got myself a problem player, and wanted to turn to the experts for some advice.

I play with two other gaming couples, and one of the wives, let's call her "Paula," has some peculiar gaming habits that are not working for the games we're in. I DM her in one campaign, and am a fellow player in one her husband runs.

As a note, she is relatively new to D&D, and is still fuzzy on a lot of the rules. The other guy in our group once played in a one-shot she ran, and said it was "enlightening" to see how she used the rules. If the player didn't fine the trap on the lock, she would say, "Why don't you check... the hinges!" and things of that manner. This explains why she often asks for multiple rolls on what are typically pass/fail skill checks. However, it's not her rules comprehension that's the problem.

She's also a huge reader of fantasy and sci-fi. She and I share similar tastes in books, and she's borrowed several of mine in the past. Also, when asked, she's come up with interesting and engaging character backgrounds. Her immersion in the fantasy world isn't the problem either.

What she has is no sense of wonder. All of her characters, from her epic-level fighter to her first level bard, are blase about everything. Even the most mind-blowing possible descriptions of world-shaking events are met with a "Huh... wow. Ok, that was cool. What did we find for treasure?" Not to toot my own horn, but the other players in the group were suitably awed (or, more fairly, their characters were) by said descriptions.

She also likes to be the best at what she does. I mean, most players like their characters to be effective, and those of us with more D&D experience help her tweak her character to be as bad-ass as is legally allowed (because some of us are powergamers, and she is relatively new to the game), but she seems to focus on these mechanics in-game, and her roleplaying suffers. Or, alternately, she tries to lean too heavily on her roleplaying to the detriment of her mechanics. It's the roleplaying, more than anything else, that concerns me.

The current campaign I am running required everyone to have a reason to run and hide in a big city (Sharn, in the Eberron setting). She's playing a 1st level bard/researcher that ran away from a powerful and abusive husband who's still searching for her. However, whenever we've met an NPC, she always says, "Surely you've heard of me!" because her character sings at a reasonably well-known inn. With any other character, any other player, I could just say her character was just having happy delusions of grandure with naivty of youth.

But no, the player really seems to believe her character should be famous. Granted, we're playing in Eberron, where there aren't a boatload of high-level NPCs, and a relatively low-level character could be famous. And she's had the rolls to start to raise her character to greater venues (and fame) than she's had. However, she's still in hiding. The last thing she should want to do is become famous! Yet she's blase about the whole thing.

Every single character I've seen her run casually approaches everything as something she's seen before. Even when the DM tells her, "Dude, you've never seen this before," she just has her character shrug, say "Huh, ok, so that's what that looks like," and goes on.

I don't know if this is a consequence of all the books she's read. I don't know if she's thinking, perhaps subconsciously, "Well, I've read about dragons/demons/ancient horrors from beyond the pale, so it's no big deal," and then projecting these onto her characters.

She doesn't emote her characters that much, other than for the usual game quips and jokes around the table. There is no wonder, there is no delight, there is no awe, unless she manages to get her hands on some shiny treasure, or take down a monster single-handedly, and even then it's transitory.

When it comes to XP, I do doll out roleplaying XP, and she pretty much always gets the short end of the stick there. However, I do it in private, on separate pieces of paper, because I find that more fair. When she does attempt to emote, I try to praise her for that.

What else can I do to draw this player further into the wonder of the game? Should I focus a few more scenes on her? Do I bite the bullet and have a private conversation or e-mail? What do you people suggest to bring the glory back to the game?
 

phindar

Visitor
It sounds like you have a personal dislike for how this person plays her characters, which is, sad to say, tough noogies. I mean, its unfortunate, but we can't make people play the way we want them to. If they don't enjoy the same things we enjoy, or if they're not interested in the same things we're interested in, you can't change their mind for them. People like what they like.

Sometimes, as a GM, we can stick on things that the players have no interest in. To take an example out of your post, you wanted to run a game where the pc's were hiding out in the big city, and she wanted to play a game where her character was a rock star. You're working at cross purposes. On most of these issues, I think its generally easier to let the players have their way, because it doesn't change the game that noticeably and it makes the players happy and engages them more. Or if you don't let them have their way, you have to work with them. If you boiled that conflict down to two sentences, it might look something like:

"I want to be a rock star."

"Well, you can't."

I mean, she'd probably be happy if every third or fourth NPC said something like, "Oh yeah, I've heard you sing. You're good," and then went right back to whatever that NPC is there for. It takes about 10 seconds for the GM to do it, but it can be a huge part of the buy-in for the player, especially if it highlights something that is intergral to how they see their character. Players have an idea of their character in their heads, and they're thrilled when that comes across in play. This is all the more true in players who are new or unfamiliar with the rules, because they have no idea how to make the character match up mechanically with the idea in their head.

I did notice that she apparently wants people to be impressed with her character and it seems like your resistant to that, and that you want her to be impressed with things in the game and she seems resistant to that. I think its possible you guys can find some middle ground there.
The last thing she should want to do is become famous!
But it isn't, you know? I don't think the GM should be in a position to refuse character goals; if that's something that grabs the player's imagination, its going to grab it whether you allow it or not. Plus, it seems like it could lead to some interesting plot developments, particularly if she becomes famous and her husband hears of her. I mean, the whole point of having a villain in the background is to bring them to the foreground. If its in a different way that you had originally imagined... well, that's the difference between gaming and writing short stories.
 

Spell

Visitor
talking to her might not bear the fruits you want, depending on the type of person she is. from what you say, i don't think it would help much.

maybe she's the type of player that is less interested by role playing and more about the tactical side of the game. if that's the case, you simply have to live with it: things are not going to change.

she might be hold back by the fact that she's relatively new. "acting" and playing in character is a bigger thing for adults that have never done it than it is for children, or young adults, or people that have played RPGs for years. if this is the case, she will eventually ease her shyness and play a bit more in character.

i think you should do two things:
1. make the XP rewards public. if she like to succeed so much, knowing that she is being given less XPs for roleplaying might be helpful to make her be so blase.

2. talk about the other players, too. even if this is something that concerns you only, because your pride as DM is shaken, it is a problem at the game table, and it would be useful to think what your players think. do they feel the same as you? do they have some advice that you can all implement?

best of luck.
 

Spell

Visitor
oh, another thing: do force logic into game. if character X is in hiding and talks about herself to any other NPC, then X's husband should be quickly find out where she is, and decide to pay her a visit.

until it seems that whatever she does is cool and has very few consequences, she won't pay attention to her actions
 

kensanata

Visitor
Isida Kep'Tukari said:
But no, the player really seems to believe her character should be famous.
Looks like a clash of imagination to me. You imagine this, she imagines that. Maybe you need to provide experience that confirms one point of view or the other. Meet a bard that is in fact famous, or meet people that do recognize her. If there's more fun to be had by granting her the wish, then that's what I'd do. Or if I'd think that the player actually wants to earn it, then I'd suggest goals: "Nah, these people have never heard of you. You'd have to play at The Cauldron, first!"

Isida Kep'Tukari said:
There is no wonder, there is no delight, there is no awe, unless she manages to get her hands on some shiny treasure, or take down a monster single-handedly, and even then it's transitory.
It's hard to interpret this. From my personal experience, I don't like DMs who spend a lot of time on descriptions because I like to read books and my DMs are not published authors. Their prose will never be good enough. I'm sitting at the table to do, not to "read." That's why I get excited when we get to do this or that, and other people do this or that. But when the DM spends more than a few sentences on the amazing sights, and there's nothing we can do about it, then... "Let's move!"

That would explain her reaction, and it would suggest a course of action: Channel your prose into writing short stories, or session summaries, or novel writing month, and try to keep it as short as possible at the gaming table. Make every single word count. Focus on "What do you do?" instead of "And this is what you see..."

Isida Kep'Tukari said:
When it comes to XP, I do doll out roleplaying XP, and she pretty much always gets the short end of the stick there. However, I do it in private, on separate pieces of paper, because I find that more fair.
I'm not sure how this is going to work. If you do it in secret, there's no way to learn, right? I write short session reports and there I just write things like "I liked that scene very much." Provide some feedback on what I loved about the night. You could write "I loved it when most of the party just stood there, awed." In other words, make it personal: You felt good about the session because of X and Y.
 

phindar

Visitor
Spell said:
oh, another thing: do force logic into game. if character X is in hiding and talks about herself to any other NPC, then X's husband should be quickly find out where she is, and decide to pay her a visit.
I think this is short-sighted for two reasons. 1) It naive to expect players to enjoy the game for very long if you punish them for doing the things they enjoy, and 2) Its not really a consequence if it was something that was going to happen anyway. I'm assuming that this powerful, abusive husband wasn't put into the game merely as background filler, and that its a part of the plot. Which means he's going to turn up, even the characters are being as quiet as a church mouse peeing on cotton.

Further, I think if you go back through fiction (which aren't the greatest of gaming guides, but bear with me), you'll find very few stories about people who always do the most advantageous thing. Heroes are supposed to live dangerously. Characters are supposed to take chances. Personally, I find the bard who is determined to be famous even if it draws the ire of her abusive, powerful ex-husband to be far more dramatic and interesting that the bard who moves to another town is tries not to draw attention to herself. (Eberron is heavily pulp-influences and pulp is the American Tragedy.)

The trick is to give the character a chance to accomplish her immediate goal (be famous in this case) and to make the consequences interesting (the nemesis showing up), and not have it play like, "You were foolish and now your character is being punished," but rather as something that drives the plot forward. Conflict drives the action.

But I think those are two seperate issues. What she is doing specifically isn't as big a deal as you guys having different, somewhat incompatible playing styles.
 

shilsen

Visitor
Isida Kep'Tukari said:
Do I bite the bullet and have a private conversation or e-mail?
Why is this biting the bullet? I recommend talking to all of your players on a regular basis about what they want in the game, what works for them, what doesn't work for them, etc. And making it clear what you want in the game too and finding some sort of common meeting ground that works for the entire group. If you have issues with some of the assumptions she's making with her PC(s), you need to sit down and talk with her (I recommend face to face over email) and find out what her assumptions actually are. And then explain what your assumptions are (and don't assume they automatically make sense) and discuss how you can both function together as DM and player.

Communication is always key. And I mean communication with the player, not with random strangers like us on a messageboard ;)

What do you people suggest to bring the glory back to the game?
Realise that what you define as glorious in the game is not what everyone else defines as glorious in the game. And work out if your definition and the player's definition can find some sort of meeting ground that functions for both of you.
 

Isida Kep'Tukari

Community Supporter
I don't know y'all, maybe my post is just my equivalent of whining, "She doesn't Understand my Deathless Prose!" All of your points are pretty much relevant, all of you. Her roleplaying style is just so radically different from the rest of the group that she seems like the lead boot of the game in terms of roleplaying sometimes.

She's a nice person and friend; I enjoy seeing her and her husband socially. This thing with the roleplaying is just one thing that really bugs, and I'm trying to find a way to work around it before it goes from just bugging to seriously irking me. I probably should just suck it up though. :(

A lot of it is probably me. I've been writing a lot recently, and I guess that puts me in the mindset of having total control over all the other characters.

shilsen, going with the direct confrontation route is biting the bullet with me because the last thing I like to do is call someone out like this. I'm using the anonymity of the internet to get just some other gamers' opinions about how to handle this subtly before I have to get down and personal.

It could be with some compromise on plot on my part (as suggested) might lead to some better roleplaying on hers and a better gaming experience all around. And then the whole problem ceases to exist without me having to say to her, "Paula, I think some of your roleplaying is dragging down the game and I'd like you to kick it up a few notches in terms of drama." Because I hate having to do things like that. I like my player manipulation non-detectable, if at all possible. ;)
 

shilsen

Visitor
Isida Kep'Tukari said:
I don't know y'all, maybe my post is just my equivalent of whining, "She doesn't Understand my Deathless Prose!"
Hey, as long as you know what you're doing ... :D

A lot of it is probably me. I've been writing a lot recently, and I guess that puts me in the mindset of having total control over all the other characters.
I believe that if you hit your head against a wall long enough, that desire goes away.

shilsen, going with the direct confrontation route is biting the bullet with me because the last thing I like to do is call someone out like this. I'm using the anonymity of the internet to get just some other gamers' opinions about how to handle this subtly before I have to get down and personal.
There lies the difference between us, I guess. For you, this would apparently count as "direct confrontation" and getting "down and personal". Whereas for me, it would count as having a casual and friendly chat with a player (and, according to your post, a friend) about the game and what she thinks of it and what I think of it. There's absolutely no reason why it should be such a grim matter. Seriously, you're talking to someone about how her imaginary friend acts. Getting worried about that and taking it really seriously is making it out to be a way bigger issue than it is. And, ironically, the more worried and serious you get about it the worse it probably will be.

Because, face it, you don't have a problem. A problem is standing on a beach in Thailand and being hit in the face by a tsunami. You have, at worst, a minor inconvenience. Just treat it as such, have a casual chat with the player without getting all excited, and chances are it'll all be fine.
 
For the fame seeking hide out (which I think is kinda strange) I would definitly bite the bullet and ask out of character "Do you actually want your character to stay hidden, or are you trying to accelerate the confrontation with your PC's ex so you can move past that part of the story?" I'd also check the character background to make sure that she is trying to become famous under her actual name and not building a "hiding in plain sight" sort of character - if she's not doing that on purpose, but had some minimal disguise ranks, maybe you could propose a way that her goals could actually not be counter to the campaign goals?

I would find the lack of wonder annoying too. Not that the player is unimpressed, but actively expressing that in character is bad rp in most circumstances. One solution, is if the PC simply hasn't heard of something, but she is saying in character that she has, just ask for a bluff check. If she makes it, tell the other players "She has obviously encountered this before, though she doesn't seem to be offering any info on how to deal with the situation, maybe she doesn't know none of you have ever dealt with anything like this before." and if she fails "She's trying to act casual, but is as flumoxed as the rest of you."

While reducing overlong descriptions can be good, you have to set the scene and let the players know what they are responding to before you ask "what do you do?" and part of what they do should be responding in character. Though if you use too many things that the PCs have never heard of, that gets old.

I disagree with those who say you should just let her have the game she wants, because that's not roleplaying, that's her writing a story with no concern for everyone, as much as some have accused you. What I would suggest is looking at what she wants to be able to do and suggesting character builds that make it realistic. A bard is a good start for someone who has heard at least something about just about everything, but she needs to put the knowledge ranks in. A good bluff will both make her facade in the other cases more reasonable, and help her pull off an alternate identity in which she is famous. Max ranks in disguise and a constant supply of hair dye plus padded bra can allow the raven haired gypsy childe to become a famous singer without giving a hint to the location of the flaxen frightened wife on the run. Help her play the character she wants to realisticly, but don't just give it to her for free.
 
shilsen said:
Because, face it, you don't have a problem. A problem is standing on a beach in Thailand and being hit in the face by a tsunami. You have, at worst, a minor inconvenience. Just treat it as such, have a casual chat with the player without getting all excited, and chances are it'll all be fine.
Please. This is a roleplaying website and he has a problem within the context of his roleplaying game. The fact that he doesn't have a life threatening disaster is pretty much irrelevant except for demeaning a poster instead of helping him.
 

shilsen

Visitor
Kahuna Burger said:
Please. This is a roleplaying website and he has a problem within the context of his roleplaying game. The fact that he doesn't have a life threatening disaster is pretty much irrelevant except for demeaning a poster instead of helping him.
You're free to take it that way, but it wasn't intended to be demeaning. It was simply meant to be an illustration of the point I was making in that post, namely that the situation is not a big enough problem to warrant getting stressed out over. IMNSHO, keeping a sense of perspective about the relative innocuousness of gaming problems helps one deal with (or prevent) them more effectively. YMMV.
 
control over the story

One thing I've noticed on these boards is that there is a lack of consensus over how much control the DM should have over the story.

My own opinion is that the game is most fun when the DM sets an initial scene, then lets the player's actions determine the story, rather than expecting their actions to conform to his predetermined story.

It seems to me that you have decided to run one story, and she wants to run another.

Put it this way: will she be upset if her character becomes famous at the cost of drawing her ex-husband's attention? If she won't then in my opinion you should plan for this and allow it to happen. Maybe give him a difficult gather information check each week to find her, then give him a bonus to his check on weeks when she makes an especially good performance.

You can foreshadow his emergence by making it clear through actions of NPCs that she is becoming well known.

Another thing you could do is give her some rules mechanics regarding perform checks:

For example, you could tell her that the really famous musicians can reliably hit a DC25 perform check. IE, their skill is +15, and they are taking 10. If she is first level she won't be able to achieve this, but you've given her a goal to shoot for.

good luck! It seems to me that you can resolve this successfully.

Ken
 

Stormtower

Visitor
shilsen said:
I recommend talking to all of your players on a regular basis about what they want in the game, what works for them, what doesn't work for them, etc. And making it clear what you want in the game too and finding some sort of common meeting ground that works for the entire group. If you have issues with some of the assumptions she's making with her PC(s), you need to sit down and talk with her (I recommend face to face over email) and find out what her assumptions actually are. And then explain what your assumptions are (and don't assume they automatically make sense) and discuss how you can both function together as DM and player.

Communication is always key. And I mean communication with the player, not with random strangers like us on a messageboard ;)
This is golden advice and I've found that nothing improves and RPG group's long- and short-term success and enjoyment more than regular, open talks about player & DM expectations and playstyle/table culture.

EDIT: html follies
 

Jedi_Solo

Visitor
I will answer this as a player. I have DMed in the past but for the vast, vast majority I have been a player.

My first move in this situation would be to ask everyone what they liked bast about the last X sessions and what they liked worst. This could be public at the start/end of a session or you ask them to write it down.

Maybe she's like me. I like the tactile aspect and I love the story aspect but it would be hard for me to care less about the setting.

Her tendancy to ask NPCs if they have heard about her character tells me that she cares a little about her character. There are some in my current gaming group that would care if their PC didn't have a name or a background.

Ask my DM about our last campaign. I was very into the overall story. I made Journal entries for (almost) every session and turned them in (no extra XP that I am aware of). This helped the DM know what I cared about in game. Sometimes I worked very hard for my character to avoid situations and sometime I, as a player, ran my character headfirst into brickwalls because I thought that situation would be fun.

On the other hand, the campaign took place in a little known setting called the Forgotten Realms (with a lot of Eberron thown in - but still). I've read one FR book. I know only a handful of the gods and know that The Sword Coast is by water. That may be an exaggeration - but that about covers it.

I don't know how much historical data you give out in descriptions or the level of detail you tend to give. For purposes of example I will go into the extreme. Maybe you aren't this bad, maybe you're at the level I like... I don't know. That said:

I constantly joke about how The Lord of the Rings spends three pages describing a chair or a square inch of Aragorn's beard.

Fair warning to anyone that gets me as a player... I don't care. If you want to describe a chair saying "the chair is beautifully crafted with incredably intricate gold inlay depicting dragons and lions" that is fine. Anything more than that and I begin to tune out. If a DM wants to give me a sense of awe and wonder fancy words aren't going to cut it.

What's the point of incredable vistas and the deep background of a setting if 98% of it won't actually come up in the story? What's the point of spending three pages on a chair if the scene the chair appears in takes one page. What's the point of giving me the last 1000 years of histoy of a forest if five minutes after we're told about it we never come across the forest again?

Give me something to do. Give me an incredable visual in an action set piece where I can Bull Rush an enemy into the lava pit. A wargorged factory? Set up something like the droid factory in Star Wars Episode 2.

On the other hand, give me an intricate political plot deisgned to take over the kingdom that will span a half-dozen sessions - I eat that stuff up. I'm a part of that, I'm not a part a distant mountain or a chair. I want to interact with my environment - either by stopping/solving an assassination or riding a convayer belt - not watch it pass me by with only seeing the mountain or the chair.

Hmmm.... I wrote a lot for basically saying "keep it short".
 

Faraer

Explorer
Trying to run a cooperative endeavour without talking to each other about what you like and what you want is hoping to get lucky. You can't even manipulate people, and I don't think it often works, without finding out what they want.

Since the player is an active reader, I'd focus on how her shift from reading mode to roleplaying mode brings these attitudes not present in her reading -- perhaps foremost the stance of indifference -- which clash with your campaign.
 
Last edited:

phindar

Visitor
Kahuna Burger said:
I disagree with those who say you should just let her have the game she wants, because that's not roleplaying, that's her writing a story with no concern for everyone, as much as some have accused you.
Personally, I draw a distinction between giving someone the game they want, and the character they want. If a player were ignoring the other players and the plot and working on something completely isolated from the other people at table, that would be a player hijacking a game. But if the player simply wants to define something about her character, well that's just a player playing their character, and of course you should give them that.

No one player gets the game they want, if for no other reason than there are five players at the table and they all want different things. But what we're talking about here is something that will generally take about 10 seconds of the game (GM: The nobleman says, "Why yes, I have heard of you, but the reason I have called you here is that orcs have stolen my pies..."), doesn't really distract from the action, and will thrill the player because apparently, for some reason, having a character be a good singer is important to her. As a GM, that costs you nothing, and its something the player enjoys and ten seconds later you can get right back to what this game is supposed to be about, killing orcs and taking their pies (or you know, whatever).
 

Spell

Visitor
phindar said:
I think this is short-sighted for two reasons. 1) It naive to expect players to enjoy the game for very long if you punish them for doing the things they enjoy
in general i'd agree with you. on the other hand, if i had to hide, i'd keep a low profile, or at least change name and style, rather than asking people in the street if they recognise me.
i might enjoy being the centre of the attention, but it's only logical that then i suffer the consequences, in this particular case.

it would be different if there was another campaign hook and the DM would be simply annoyed at the player's behavious and decide to punish her in some way.

phindar said:
2) Its not really a consequence if it was something that was going to happen anyway. I'm assuming that this powerful, abusive husband wasn't put into the game merely as background filler, and that its a part of the plot. Which means he's going to turn up, even the characters are being as quiet as a church mouse peeing on cotton.
well, even if he was put there for a reason (as opposed to just be part of the character's background and a possible advance for the campaign) i don't see how is not consequential to the player's action to bring him forth sooner rather than ever.

in fact, the more i think about it, the more it looks like the player might be asking subtely for this confrontation. maybe she wants to face this husband and see what happens anyway. maybe she wants to explore that part of her character history, and instead of telling flat out to the DM, she's acting "in character" to make this... ehm... family reunion happen.


phindar said:
Heroes are supposed to live dangerously. Characters are supposed to take chances.
i agree wholeheartedly. only, they should pay for the consequences of the risks they're taking, be them good or bad. :)


phindar said:
The trick is to give the character a chance to accomplish her immediate goal (be famous in this case) and to make the consequences interesting (the nemesis showing up), and not have it play like, "You were foolish and now your character is being punished,"
you might have misunderstood me. i wasn't suggesting for the DM to go: "ok, i don't like the way you're playing your character and so the husband shows off".
given her actions and her background, the husband should show up regardless.
 

Spell

Visitor
Isida Kep'Tukari said:
A lot of it is probably me. I've been writing a lot recently, and I guess that puts me in the mindset of having total control over all the other characters.
BAD DM! BAD DM! :D

sorry, just kidding. but you see, you realise it yourself: for whatever reason, you want to have control... and that's never going to reduce the enjoyment at the table regardless of the style of the players. if you have a great game while being rather... ehm... "controlling", you could have a really memorable game that your players should never forget.

when i had my group, i tended to be really controlling during character creation. i HATED obscure kit and rule specific characters, i hated ubercharacters, and i hated half gnoll half demon characters (we're talking AD&D 2nd edition here, so that wasn't even really in the rules... and yet i had one player constantly asking me to play something that made no sense, in the game world... bless his heart! :)).

if you wanted to play at my table, you had to create a credible character that could work with the rest of the party... basically a normal human being (or elf, or whatnot).

after that, after the actual game started, i would have let the players do what they wanted. joe the wizard is DYING to become a lich? cool! henry the fighter wants the hackmaster sword +12? mmmh... i guess i could manage to fit it into the plot.... and so on.

in other words, once you start the game, it's everyone's game. don't take your player inputs as limit to your vision, but rather as an opportunity to expand the plot and enrich the game world in ways you had not imagined at first.

just my 2 pence's worth. :)
 

Mallus

Hero
Isida Kep'Tukari said:
What she has is no sense of wonder. All of her characters, from her epic-level fighter to her first level bard, are blase about everything.
Each person enjoys the game in their own way.

Even the most mind-blowing possible descriptions of world-shaking events...
Mind-blowing according to who?

Not to toot my own horn, but the other players in the group were suitably awed (or, more fairly, their characters were) by said descriptions.
If you're getting the positive feedback you're looking for from the rest of your group, why is it so important you get it from her? What's wrong with simply letter her experience/enjoy the game in the manner of her choosing?

But no, the player really seems to believe her character should be famous. Granted, we're playing in Eberron, where there aren't a boatload of high-level NPCs, and a relatively low-level character could be famous.
So let her be famous. So long as she doesn't want to parlay that fame into game-breaking mechanical advantages, I'd say it's your job as DM to help her play the character she envisions, and the easiest way is to simply have some NPC's react to the character in the manner the player wants/expects.

Let me say it again, because I think it's important (as important as shilsen's advice re: open lines of communication). A good DM helps his or her players develop the characters they envision at same time he challenges them. Like everything else in a good RPG campaign, it's a team effort.

re: the "hiding out badly in Sharn" thing. Where you see her character's actions as problematic, I see the next few adventures writing themselves. If she keeps asking to be recognized, by all means have people recognize her, and then sick their pursuers on the party. A vain bard and her series of hair-breadth escapes --if she's lucky-- sounds like a blast, not to mention a good way to build a little intra-party tension (if you're players go in for that sort of thing). Mind you, I'm not suggesting you punish the bard for her actions, I'm saying you should use the players actions as a springboard into some exciting, level-appropriate encounters.

Do I bite the bullet and have a private conversation or e-mail?
Talking is good, but adjusting your expectations with the regard to this women is better...
 
Last edited:

Advertisement

Top