D&D 5E Dealing with a trouble player and a major blow up

Majoru Oakheart

"...he ruled that darkvision could see through the darkness created by a spell because the spell didn't specify that the darkness was magical."

It shouldn't have to, because it's clear from the concept of "what words mean". If someone had used a dispel magic on the area, and the spell was broken, would he have ruled that while the spell was undone, the darkness remained because it wasn't magical? Then what would be the point of dispelling it in the first place? Why does the darkness go away when the duration of the spell ends? If magic brings about darkness, and the darkness persists for as long as the magic does, then the darkness is magical.
Oh...I agree. So does the player involved. But my roommate was DMing and whenever the rules are "unclear" then the DM can make a ruling. He felt the rules didn't specify. He agrees that the Darkness spell creates magical darkness because it says so. I don't actually know what spell they were arguing about since I was running a game at a nearby table(the one that started this thread where the player blew up and left) and couldn't pay 100% attention to their argument. But he ruled that since that spell didn't say Darkvision couldn't see through it while Darkness specified that it was obviously intended to just magically lower the light levels but not create "magical darkness". Which allowed the enemies to see fine in it and not have disadvantage.

I think my roommate was...in a mood. He seemed to be actively hostile to everything the PCs did that session. He was mad at them for hiding in the darkness, showing up at the table with 4 warlocks, for pushing enemies when it was "obvious" that pushing them would kill an ally, "cheating" by having too many invocations, for using their cell phones at the table instead of paying attention, leaving in the middle of a battle to answer phone calls from their girlfriends, and probably some other things I didn't hear.

All I know is that I was glad I wasn't at that table when I heard him yell out "Drop your darkness now or I kill your friend. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...Ok, she dies" And he counted at about 5 times normal speed. Then during the ride home he was ranting about how he didn't want to kill that PC but they gave him no choice. They were hiding in darkness and wouldn't drop it when the enemy demanded it. So, the other players killed her.

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Having read the entire thread I'm hoping that Majoru has pulled a fast one on all of us and is secretely laughing about all the outrage.

If not......Majoru you need to get away from these so called friends as fast and permanently as possible. What you are describing does not sound fun, healthy or even remotely like friendship.

Good luck and take care of yourself, it sounds like you need to :-(


First Post
Yeah. Technically, I am the event coordinator. Someone at the store places the order for the adventures but they know absolutely nothing about organized play. They accidentally ordered Encounters rather than Expeditions the first month because they didn't know the difference. They don't even sell Dnd books there. They are purely a CCG store. We begged them to use their space since no other stores in the city had room on Tuesdays.

I'm the one who asked them to order the adventures for us and I'm the one who decides which ones to run every week. I'm also the one begging other people to be my second or third DM to make sure we can accommodate all the people showing up.

I'm not sure the store cares what goes on at the dnd sessions. They just know that we show up and take up some tables once a week.

Really, I'm the closest thing we have to the person who would make the decision to get rid of him. It's precisely because I'm likely within my rights to kick him out that I made this post to begin with. I didn't want to abuse my power and kick him out if he didn't deserve it. I felt that I might be too close to the situation and wanted the opinions of some more neutral people.

There are coordinators for given regions: http://dndadventurersleague.org/regional-pages/regional-coordinators/

They are your resources for issues such as this as needed. Alternatively, PM me and I can aid you if necessary (if you're in the PNW, definitely drop me a line). I get players being asshats (I also DM PFS, so I'm used to it to a large extent); but outright disruptive is a large line that is not to be crossed.

The short version is this: He's going to always assume the worst, especially with you. He's going to assume that you're jealous because he's dating this woman and you're not, and that he's better than you for it. Add in that he has an anger issue (which he's at least aware of, seeing as he tends to come back the next time not angry) and an ego issue - it's a bad combination. Since you seem determined to try to salvage the relationship - the simple answer is to not DM his games. He has issues with you. Any time he feels he is not getting what he has "earned"; he doesn't handle it well, and adding in his issues with you, just amplifies it dramatically.

IF you end up in a situation where you have to DM him, and he does something stupid-smart (where he thinks it is smart but he's being stupid); let the dice fall where they may, and when he loses his :):):):), call for a five minute break, and be firm and calm, and just tell him in straight up meta-game talk why it didn't work. Let him rage all he wants - just do not back down and go along for the sake of going along.

If she has to go through someone else to tell you that, then there is no possible way you can have a game without drama. At the very least a ton of awkward tension in the air, and that's not fair to the other players there who have nothing to do with your guys' issues.

"I don't feel comfortable talking to you, but let's game later on." Bwuh?

*Edit* As a guy who has DM'd AL games in the past, if I were a player and I had to experience seeing you guys and all your drama? One time I'd be forgiving. If I saw it again, I'd report to someone to have you removed as a coordinator, because your personal issues are making it a bad gaming experience. The last thing D&D needs to be giving new players as their impression of the game is your drama.

Gonna say that the DM here is not the person I am worried about as a coordinator, to say the least (honestly, if a player reported a DM for a player blowing up...I'd just make alternate arrangements for the player reporting). Based on the resulting posts, it sounds like there is interpersonal drama between Temper Boy and Majoru, but more along the lines of Temper Boy is going to always assume the worst from Majoru because of his past relationship with his girlfriend. Add in it that everyone just puts up with because his anger isn't worth it, and no one's ever stood up to him...it is a bad combination.

That's... pretty much a completely dysfunctional group of players, in my eyes. If your roommate runs like that in organized play, I'd never come back. I've never encountered a GM like that in OP with Living Greyhawk or Pathfinder Society. He's like anti-marketing for the hobby.

I've GM'd entirely too many players like that in PFS. Enough that I stopped DM'ing PFS for a while (just do PaizoCon and conventions for the most part now).

Kael Trask

First Post
Ugh, it sounds like an untenable situation. He needs to go; just be sure not to be a chicken-sh*t about kicking him out, talk to him before you do anything, then give him one more time. Try not to do things behind his back, otherwise you'll look like a backstabber.


First Post
In my experience, you'll have grownups at the table that never matured beyond 12 years old. I've actually been guilty of the "I can't believe that didn't work!" but worked up the fortitude to apologize and laugh at myself. Not everyone will. But that's the game table environment. You never know whom you will have at the table with you.

I didn't read the entire thread here, but I'll put my .03 here in hopes of helping (consider this the terms of keeping the player at the table)...

1) Outcome cards. This is strictly non-combat related. You prepare, in advance (and you tell your players this) that you have predetermined the outcome of the scenario based on their rolls. You write the outcome of a complete failure on a card, and moderate failure on another, a partial success on another, and a critical success on yet another. This way, based on the scenario, the card will succinctly give you the outcome of the players' roll and all you need to do is embelish as the narrator while sticking to the outcome.

2) All rolls MUST be in front of each other...including the GM. This builds trust. I've played with DMs that don't roll in front of other players and i've been a DM and have done this myself. It's truly the GM's preroggative and it's not a hard and fast rule, but it will lend credibility to you and your play.

3) Player adjudicating: Think of this as the NFL version of the instant replay. A player gets to throw a 'red' flag ONCE per session on a DM or player call that they don't agree with. You then let the player explain why the flag was thrown. Everyone gets to agree or disagree with the player. Simple majority wins. If you want the player to think hard about throwing the flag, if they lose the call, you apply a 10% experience penalty (based on the player's current experience total) to the player. A success can have different outcomes such as extra experience or extra gold. You don't have to make the win scenario evident, just fair. This makes the difficult decision a group decision and you have mitigated an otherwise singularly difficult call.

The one thing that has always worked for me is this: Humility. Someone fighting a humble DM will be shown for the fool he is. Being humble isn't about backing down on a rule or a call, but showing that you intended no ill will. Appealing to the other players helps. If you don't fight back, he'll lose his steam and will either sit or leave.

To note: I may get some flack from the other side of the DM screen from all those that don't agree with the intended democracy of these solutions but, in keeping with the heart of this thread, I hope it will serve to help the situation.

I hope this helps.
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First Post
Then repeat that rant for each combat for the whole session. The rant also goes up in volume and intensity if you ever let him come up with a plan and it doesn't succeed. If you say "So, there's a castle guarded by 50 men. You know the princess is inside. What do you do?" and he says "I walk up to the gates and I pretend to be the janitor and tell them I'm here to unclog their plumbing" you better answer with "They totally believe you and let you inside." If you don't, he'll complain that his plan never had any chance of success and that you are being biased against him and made his plan fail simply because you didn't like him or you don't like the idea of "out of the box" thinking. If you say "Look, they don't HAVE plumbing. Plumbing doesn't exist. The plan had a 0 percent chance to succeed because they have no idea what you are talking about. If you had come up with a legitimately GOOD plan, it would have had a chance of success. But that plan was horrible." he just gets angry that it's impossible to guess what the "correct" thing to do is and he isn't even sure he wants to play D&D anymore.

I will admit right off the bat I did not read all 27 pages of replies, or even anything after the highlighted paragraph of your OP. If anyone else has already pointed this out, I apologize, but...

He is offering to solve your problem for you. The only thing you need is the Fortitude to say "You know what? You probably shouldn't play D&D anymore. GTFO."


First Post
There are many good suggestions on this thread. I think talking and setting expectations are always the first steps to ensuring everyone is having fun and enjoying themselves. You'll have the occasional knucklehead and in cases where i've had them, talking has always worked. But i also understand there are even more extreme exceptions. Unfortunately, this guy is one of those it sounds like and talking isnt going to do anything. Maybe it's time you suggest you both take a walk out back. (Have a one on one, one way or the other, set your expectations and tell him in no uncertain terms, "after this moment, it stops" and back that up)
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First Post
I really appreciate Majoru being so open in this thread (I read the whole thing). That said, it makes me very sad. Majoru is going to take just about any abuse, no matter what. I don't mean in D&D, I mean in life.

The thing that is most striking to me is the fact that if Majoru told the player that his behavior was unacceptable and that they wouldn't be playing together any more, he'd feel so much better. The he could turn to the girlfriend and tell her she probably shouldn't play with him either due to her association with the boyfriend and the way she talked to Majoru. It is very likely that after initial shock and anger, the girlfriend would respect Majoru and might become interested in him because after all these years he suddenly showed that he had a spine. She's trying to change that guy and will fail, and here Majoru is changing on his own without her help.

As far as the Adventurer's League, it's full of players like this. Running public play games, I've run into many grown men with anger issues (their mantra boils down to: "It's not fair") who can't handle adversity or low dice rolls. They are usually accompanied by a significant other who coddles them like a mommy.

There are many good suggestions on this thread. I think talking and setting expectations are always the first steps to ensuring everyone is having fun and enjoying themselves. You'll have the occasional knucklehead and in cases where i've had them, talking has always worked. But i also understand there are even more extreme exceptions. Unfortunately, this guy is one of those it sounds like and talking isnt going to do anything. Maybe it's time you suggest you both take a walk out back. (Have a one on one, one way or the other, set your expectations and tell him in no uncertain terms, "after this moment, it stops" and back that up)

The expectation that someone (or everyone) at the table will refrain from being a dick should not require a lengthy discussion.

Or any discussion at all, really.

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