I have this friend. I'm willing to bet a lot of you have a friend like this. He is convinced that "making a good character" consists of the following steps:
*Give the character a detailed backstory.
*Give the character unoptimized ability scores, justifying them with said backstory.
*Have the character make decisions based on the personality he gave them.
Now some might say this is a great way to go about things, and I used to agree, but lately, I've grown tired of it.
His idea of a great character is making a Rogue with 16 Strength, 12 Dexterity, and playing them like a Fighter in D&D. Or playing a Fighter and giving that character a 16 Intelligence and Charisma. Then, rather than take actions that directly help the party, he'll fiddle with torches and oil for a few turns to hit enemies for 1d6 fire damage, running the risk of lighting himself or his allies on fire as well.
In a recent battle, the party Wizard cast Web to give the group some breathing room while fighting some zombies. At which point my friend goes "great, now that the zombies can't move, I'll light them on fire!", which of course, destroyed sections of the Web. When pressed on this, he stated "it's what his character would do".
Further, he seems to have a terrible attitude towards players who don't make characters the way he does, even when he struggles in combats to hit enemies because he's decided a 12 Dexterity makes him a perfectly acceptable archer, or he'd rather use a sling than select an attack cantrip. And when he talks about his characters, he brings up all of these things as evidence for how "superior" his characters are.
It came to a head last session where we had a TPK because he got it into his head to attack a Hill Giant that was in the area. The DM had told everyone they spotted the Giant, and could easily avoid it; it was simply a warning that there was a Giant in the area, not an encounter. My friend fired a crossbow at it to get it's attention, and said he would run from it and then the party could attack it from behind. So they all hid, and he led it on a chase into the woods.
Well, he thought it would be a chase, but the Giant has a speed of 40, and his Dwarf has a speed of 25. He tried to hide in the underbrush, in heavy armor, with his Dexterity of 9, and failed to get anywhere near the Giant's passive perception. Now, remember, this wasn't intended to be an encounter at all, and I don't think the DM was trying to kill anyone. Instead of attacking, the Giant taunted the "silly little man".
"I don't take insults at all!", says the Dwarf. "He has offended my honor! I jump out and attack him!"
The result was one splattered Dwarf, and the rest of the party decided not to engage the Giant. Afterwards, my friend had nothing but scorn for us for not following his "foolproof" plan, and complained that the DM was a "killer DM" for using a Hill Giant as an encounter. When the DM said that's not what was intended, the response was, "I'm a Dwarf! We hate Giants! If I see a Giant, I'm going to try and kill it! So yes, that's an encounter!"
I haven't heard anything but complaints from him since, about how it's the DM's fault, it's the system's fault for not rewarding his "good play", and then he backhandedly insulted me, because I'm playing a "min/maxxed character". I'm playing a Kobold Wizard with more Dexterity than Intelligence, who took the Healer Feat to help the Cleric keep the party healed! What in the...
I've known this guy for awhile and I consider him a friend, but what can I say to him to get him to realize that "good roleplaying" doesn't necessarily mean "sabotage your character, then try to blame everything else for your bad decisions"?