D&D General How I Avoided the Problem Players.


Over the years I have read stories online about those special players who are disruptive, annoying or are socially maladjusted with members of the opposite gender. I avoided all of that due to two things.

1. Insular group for the most part.
2. Physical violence (we were young see below).

When I started playing D&D I was still at school in late 1993. The players were stereotypical math nerd types except me who was a misfit. I also worked on a farm in the weekends and could lob around 50kg bags of fertilizer. And 6 feet tall.

The jocks liked picking on nerds, I liked hitting jocks it was a mutually beneficial arrangement. After school D&D became a safe space and the nerds got left alone for the most part. One lasted in my group to 2005.

So the players cycled in and out over the next few years and aged 17 a girl from the big city wanted to play. We ended up mates and she dated one of my players. She brought two of her friends with her so our group in 1996 was half female.

Around about now I think people can see where this is going. I didn't hit on any of them although things happened and they all ended up dating my players. Get in good with the girls though they set you up with their friends. My first girlfriend was her friend. Breakups happened and players cycled in and out.

Now we we all aged 16-19 or so and some of these players weren't the best around females or did things like talking over the DM. Said player got hit in the face with a thrown dice box. Insulting the girls would get you a dead leg or arm which is a punch to the muscles on leg or arm to make it go numb. Wasn't me doing it the players would take care of things themselves. As I said young and stupid. Inappropriate comments could get you dragged outside.

Fast forward to 1999. Left small town and in a university city. Played at friends flat. Said flat was a converted prefab school building on blocks. It was in a parking lot and getting torn down at the end of the year so the landlord basically said wreck the joint I don't care.

1999 was an interesting year. Crap music but here we are aged 18-21, tertiary student city with booze and a place we can trash and a parking lot. What else was popular in 1999? Nu Metal and WWF attitude era. And the whole don't try this at home we conveniently overlooked.

So Stone Cold Steve Austin was popular along with Dwayne the Rock Johnson. Student flats have mattresses and D&D sessions involved booze and herbal alternatives if you were so inclined. One player liked harder stuff and got kicked out of the flat and group.

D&D, back yard wrestling and Extreme wrestling being popular- ECW and 1999 Royal Rumble and Hell in the Cell which almost killed Mankind. Student flats also had Sky TV and Sky TV had WWF. I didn't live in that flat but if you wanted to go visiting bat 2am in the morning it was great.

Any player who was a dickhead didn't tend to do well. One if those school friends failed his save vs acid and went off the deep end resulting in an altercation and eviction from the flat and group. He got a bit clingy with the girls and a bit to off his face in general.

By the end of the year that flat ended about as well as you expect. Between us we had most of the TSR boxed sets for the settings. At least the main ones. Several didn't survive the year as they got used as props in Extreme backyard wrestling. They don't really hurt getting hit and you can get a good visual when they disintegrate. 1999 was also the last year I copped a fist to the face. Young and stupid. RIP 1993 FR boxed set. The player who was evicted liked Ravenloft. RIP that boxed set.

We lost around half of the group at the end of the year but you press on with the 2-3 core players and I recruited some of their friends. Met my wife 2000, and she started playing 2002. In 3E era I had my remaining school friends plus a remainder from the 1998-2000 intake. Very stable group the last 90s player left 2012 while the friend of a friend intake lasted to 2010. New players were recruited from MtG friends and/or them plus girlfriend. So couples.

That covers roughly the first 20 years. Less than 1 person per year, most were friends or friends of friends. Several players laster a decade or more, one lasted 14 years. We went through some crazy stupid stuff together and yeah good behavior could (and sometimes did) be physically enforced.

Some of us went to school and later tertiary together. Times were also different the strap and cane were legal for some if us at primary school (until 86) Getting hit hurts less than the cane. In 1999 some interesting characters may have gone through a plasterboard wall, another was thrown off a roof.
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