D&D General Character Description Discrepancy

bloodtide

Legend
So right be fore the start of the Sunday game, one player handed out the character drawings she had made for each player character. Everything was fine, until she got to Edward. She drew Edwards character, Eldon the Elf, with glasses. Ed complained about this and started to make a scene. As it was before the game I took no action. Edward was mostly settled down by the time the game started. But it's not the first time Edward has complained about his characters glasses, and I don't want this to be a problem.

So Edwards character, Eldron the Elf, is an elven fighter/wizard. He likes to detect magic a lot. So a couple weeks ago, his character found a pair of Spectacles of Magic Detecting. So, now while wearing the glasses his character can detect magic at will.

Except Edward hates glasses. Specifically he will complain that his elven fighter/wizard "looks dumb" wearing glasses.

So this is not a mechanical problem. My house rules are harsh about characters having items get knocked off, grabbed, lost, stolen, or destroyed. So Edward is very careful to not adventure or get in combat with the glasses. It does come up in role play though. He will keep the glasses on his character, so he can use them, but then gets upset if another player or myself mentions the glasses in-character. Then Edward can be upset for hours, disrupting the game play.

So Edward is an early 20 something, and I don't know him at all. His group came to me and asked for me to DM for them. I don't know him outside of the game, and don't have much of a way to "talk" to him. We are generations apart, so we don't hang out. And he does not wear glasses.

My standard solution for this type of thing would just to take away the glasses in-game and, maybe, give him a replacement Headband of Magic Detecting...and not say anything about it. Though I wonder if others have had a problem like this? What else could be done? Anyone have any idea why the glasses on his fictional character bothers him so much?
 

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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Only Edward knows why he hates glasses so much, so ask him next time you see him, if you need to know. But really, he can just not use the item if he thinks they make his character look dumb. This doesn't seem to me me to be a problem that you need to take steps to resolve in game.

He also seems rather ungrateful for the time the artist spent on creating art for his character. That doesn't strike me as someone I'd want to be around.
 


Clint_L

Legend
Only Edward knows why he hates glasses so much, so ask him next time you see him, if you need to know. But really, he can just not use the item if he thinks they make his character look dumb. This doesn't seem to me me to be a problem that you need to take steps to resolve in game.

He also seems rather ungrateful for the time the artist spent on creating art for his character. That doesn't strike me as someone I'd want to be around.
I dunno about that last part. Given that he had previously been vocal about it, this read to me like the artist was either intentionally trying to provoke him or else pretty oblivious. If the former then they are the problem and you should confront them about their bullying behaviour. If the latter, then they will probably feel bad and want to change the drawing.

Definitely talk to Edward and try to figure out the story. I have quite a few players on the autism spectrum, and this is exactly the kind of thing that could really bother them, and they might well react in the way you describe. What is really harmed by making it so the glasses are invisible, or just acknowledging that he puts them on when the situation calls for it and otherwise is assumed to have taken them off?

That’s assuming that Edward is generally cool to play with. Are there other issues? If not, then who cares about his glasses thing. It’s not hurting anyone.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Edward needs to lighten up. The person who drew Edward with the glasses actually on his face probably should have known better. You, as DM, should have intervened waaaay earlier, if Edward has been making a scene and disrupting the game every time other players even mention the glasses.

ESH.
 


Scribe

Legend
glasses no GIF


I wonder often, how some people get through the day.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Not necessarily. There might be good reasons why this particular thing bothers him. If he has ASD he can’t just lighten up.
ASD is not an excuse to regularly and frequently disrupt the gaming group at the mere mention of something that one finds bothersome or frustrating. It is a reason why alternate means of addressing the issue might be warranted, sure. But it is not an excuse for the bad behavior described here.
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
It's hard to really make a judgment call about the situation based on what you've described of your perspective of the situation -- I think there are a lot of unknowns here, not the least of which is the nature of Edward's relationship with the other players outside of the game, which you acknowledge you'd have no way of knowing.

Reading between the lines, it sounds to me like there is some degree of bullying going on; if Edward's reactions are really as dramatic as you claim, why would anyone continue to bait him other than for the purposes of getting a rise?

In light of that, I think the easiest solution would just be to retcon the spectacles into an item with identical function that doesn't set Edward off. Why beg the consequence?

We've all got hangups about one thing or another. I remember being not much younger than Edward and feeling forced to play in a group that insisted on characterizing my character in a certain way that I found distasteful, if I wanted to get in any play time at all. To a greater or lesser extent, we're all at the table to pretend we are someone else, and having that projection undermined isn't fun.

I may not understand why Edward hates glasses so much, but it isn't challenging for me to extrapolate his dissatisfaction to any number of characterizations that we might better understand as negative, and it doesn't require him to be neurodivergent or even unreasonable.
glasses no GIF


I wonder often, how some people get through the day.
I wonder often what has happened to some people to make them so devoid of empathy.
 

Oofta

Legend
So someone spends time and effort drawing portraits. Something they didn't need to do, something they thought would be cool and fun for the group. She accurately depicts one of the characters with a magic item the character constantly uses. The player then freaks out.

You need to sit down with the person that is complaining and explain to them that they are being a monumental jerk. The gal did this special thing for the group that required time and talent. He should apologize to the gal and grow up.
 

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