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D&D General I need a D&D counseling session! Help! (Re: Update ("Argument-Stopping Protocols" -- please advise!))


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prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
(says he, who ten years ago DMed a party selling - well, actually, donating - two of their own members into slavery in response to those two (quite legitimately) reporting the party to the authorities as slavers! The players, through all this, I don't think stopped laughing once; and neither did I - it was just one of those absurd sessions where one thing led to the next until nobody was quite sure how things got to where they ended up. Yet if I-as-DM had stopped the game when I realized the party were actually intent on selling their captives as slaves I'd have denied us all what turned out to be one of the best and most hilarious sessions I've ever seen, along with the memories and stories of that night that are still told to this day.)

From what I think I understand about your table/s (been together a long time, play really long campaigns) and the expectations y'all have, this seems distinctly possible--and possibly as much fun as it seems in your telling--but those of us who are at tables that haven't gamed as long might not be confident everyone would still be having fun (though I'm sure your table would have played things out differently had someone clearly not been having fun) and might be inclined to just have a table rule along the lines of "no PVP" or otherwise interfere with something like this.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
I'm going to need more time to digest this. I recommend you find a non-D&D friend - somebody who is not involved in the argument - to read it and discuss it with you, and edit it for tone.

On one point, I am even stricter than you: I do not want my spellcaster-players to cut and paste their spells; I want them to type every spell they know from the rulebook onto a Word doc, or hand-write each spell onto paper, and bring the resulting "spellbook" to play sessions. This is an aid to memory for them which has worked for me-as-player. (This means that at each level-up they have to pick copy and add only two or three spells at a time. It is a memory refresher.)
 


Dungeonosophy

Adventurer
I'm changing the title of this thread: "I need D&D counselling! Help!"

I'm gonna let it all out.
***
Some more difficult/crazening episodes:

A few days ago when I read off the ENWorlder's advice to my player, he said that I'm a selfish DM because I don't want to make him happy by maximizing his fun. He said when he DMs, he tries to make me happy as a player.

Which sounds nice. But I basically told him:

"Look, the difference is, I am EASY TO PLEASE as a player. You know I don't care how many magic items I get -- I enjoy whatever comes along. You know I don't care if my characters die - I'll happily roll up a new one. It doesn't mean I'm careless or apathetic. I'm just happy for the story. If I roll a sub-par character, you know I try to make the most of it."

"You on the other hand, ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO PLEASE. You push and push to change the RAW to make your characters the most powerful. You gripe about every bit and bobble. You flip out if you make even the slightest tactical mistake, and will not accept the possibilty of any of your characters dying, or suffering any loss whatsoever. You forget whatever agreements you make. You criticize much of what I bring to the table. And you repeatedly challenge and prick at whatever rulings and parameters I try to establish."

That got through to him. He agreed.

(But by our next conversation, he'd reverted to his usual difficult, wrangling self.)

***
I'm the only player in our group who has lost characters. Three of my characters have died under his DMship. And I didn't sweat it.
But when one of his characters dies, he flips out.
***
This player used to actually blame me for him not remembering to use his class powers. He would get angry and say: "You should've reminded me to use this power!"

I would have to tell him: "Man, I have a lot going on my side of the table, with fifty monsters and NPCs and entire world to run. Imagine a line running down the middle of the table. You are totally responsible for your side of the table, namely, your PCs. And I am totally responsible for this side of the table, namely the monsters and setting."

My friend may have difficulty with perceiving and honoring boundaries.

***
Another anecdote:

I once tried to run a B/X adventure, using B/X Moldvay rules. I was interested in trying that - and had even pre-ordered the B/X-based Old School Essentials boxed set, in anticipation.

But when we played B/X, he would gripe and snipe at me about this and that.

He kept griping that the party's Magic-User only had Read Languages.

He griped about the B/X Combat Sequence, with its Declaration Phase, etc. When I had explicitly said that part of the goal for the evening was to understand and experience how it was done back in those days.

He griped that his Elf set off a trap. And blamed me: "I only rushed in without checking for traps because it took so long for you to guide the newcomers to roll up characters." (Remember, he is sure that there should be no traps in D&D at all.)

The evening was un-enjoyable.

After that, I canceled my OSE order.

Later he asked: "When is your OSE kickstarter arriving?" I was like: "I canceled my order. We hated that game, don't you remember? (Him: "Oh yeah.") "Why would I buy a game that we hated. We could've liked it, but we didn't."

When I say "we", I mean "he." And I hated the experience because it was trampled on.

(Now, I admit that as DM, I was in large part responsible for various snags during the evening (e.g. I got THAC0 backwards), but he sure as heck wasn't very helpful in facilitating a good experience for all.)

***
BTW, when I next played, with him DMing, I intentionally rolled up a Magic-User whose one spell is Read Languages.

And you know what? My 3-hit-point-MU-with-Read-Languages fought a 70 hp fire elemental hand-to-hand with a dagger, for many rounds (along with the rest of the party), and slew it.

I was like: "That's how you play a MU with only Read Languages."

***

Another time, I bought the whole Black Hack package (hardcover + player's booklet + GM's screen) and had it shipped from the UK. I was so looking forward to GMing it, with some intention of it becoming my favored ruleset. (I was desparately seeking a way out of the brain-frazzling complexities of 5E, and the argumentative wrangling which came with it.) But when I joyfully pulled out The Black Hack to show-and-tell, he trampled on it. He wouldn't even consider playing, because the artwork was too edgy -- for example, it has a pentacle on the cover. (He went to some art school in Switzerland, and is apparently allergic to anything which isn't ultra-refined, high spiritual art.)

Since then, he shudders and makes a critical comment whenever The Black Hack is even mentioned.

I shelved my aspiration. TBH is gathering dust on my shelf.

***
Sometimes he can be kind of like the 'church lady' from SNL. I told him that a local player had responded to our D&D promotional poster, and that the enquirer said he was familiar with Savage Worlds and FATE. He shuddered and interrupted: "Oh, those are dark games aren't they?"

I'm like: "FATE is about as non-dark as you can get. It's a totally generic, setting-free, mechanics-light ruleset."

He's like: "Yeah, but the other, it has word 'savage' in it - it must be violent and dark. Surely it's not referring to dinosaurs."

I'm like (in exasperation): "Yes, as a matter of fact, it is referring to dinosaurs. The name is inspired by pulp fiction titles from the 1920s, which featured 'savage' themes, such as Tarzan and lost worlds of dinosaurs. 1920s fiction was not so dark."

He was like: "You're kind of jacked up, aren't you?"

I was like: "Jay-zus, man! I'm just relaying some basic information here, about a player enquiry. Can't we just skip the moral inquisition?"
***
And here's more of our group history:

At first was just him and I. We learned the basics of 5E together over the course of several months.

I served as DM, and he as player. The emotional difficulties and wrangling I mentioned earlier, built up, and I felt chafed. So I asked him to please try DMing.

Honestly, 90% of the reason I asked him to DM was in hopes that the experience of sitting on the other side of the screen would somehow sand off his constant criticism.

Then a younger friend joined us, which helped the dynamic.

Around that time, I'd gotten burnt out on the complexities and fiddly bits of 5E (which fueled arguments), and so we tried some OSR games: White Box, Heroes & Monsters, and the aforementioned B/X / OSE.

As warm weather came, I decided to switch to a homemade LARP D&D system. And the three of us played outside all last summer. It was fun.

But then as cold weather arrived, we settled back into table play. At first we used the LARP rules while sitting at the table, but 5E creeped back in. Because LARP of course lacked almost any sort of tactical / mechanical aspect.

But we had a huge roster of characters - probably 50 characters between us, built using several different systems, but existing in the same world. I dreaded converting them.

And I dreaded going back to the brain-friction-inducing 5E.

I was also working on my own home-made RPG, and we playested it a couple times, but it wasn't really coming together.

I considered quitting again.

All this, from a year+ of play, had built up over time. The sore spots had not really resolved themselves. My "problem-player" had changed in some ways, but in other ways, kept doing the same difficult things over and over again. I was considering quitting.

But again, a vision arose: of really devoting ourselves to learning how to play straight 5E RAW. So that we'd have a stable ruleset. We'd take one month off from playing. And we'd put up posters to grow our group, and get fresh blood flowing -- a new dynamic. During that month, we'd all buy a copy of the PHB (we played for over a year with only the Starter Set and online rule references). And the two DMs would buy a copy of the DMG. And read it. And we'd refrain from houserules, so that we could more easily plug into the existing player network.

We'd convert all our key characters to 5E. And we'd play 5E RAW for 6 months straight. I would go back to serving as primary DM. I laid out the titles of a bunch of cool 5E adventures I plan to run.

After 6 months, we'd re-assess. At that time, we could adopt house rules, or even switch to a different system. But just give me 6 months of 5E RAW.

Thus I decided to humble myself and go back to 5E. I DON'T EVEN LIKE 5E. But I could get enthusiastic about doing it if we would essentially do RAW, so that I could finally properly learn it, instead of mixing in a bunch of exceptions and house-rules from the start, like we used to do.

My friend agreed to the vision.

We put up posters, and a fourth player joined us.

But as things got rolling, my friend reneged on the agreement. He said: "I agreed to something I didn't understand. I don't want to play RAW." And he went into making the usual requests for rules changes, bennies, etc. like he used to do.

I felt betrayed. And crazed.

In retrospect, it would've been better to sit down together and jointly decide what system we would adopt, if any. BUT I WAS SO THROUGH WITH NEGOTIATING WITH HIM! The thought of negotiation blacked out whatever fire I had left to play.

And I myself could not picture how any other system would really work for us. For two reasons:

1) 13th Age was at the top of the list, but to buy its complete array of sourcebooks (and thus serve as a complete platform for converting our existing world) would cost $200+.
2) Converting our characters to another system (whether it be 13th Age, The Black Hack, OSE, or White Hack) would involve even more home-brewing (in order to model our motley crew of monstrous PC races) -- and I dreaded haggling with him over the creative details that such a home-brewing would entail.

So my vision basically mandated 5E RAW. But that is why.

We took a month off - which was March. We are slated to begin play again in April. But as you see from my recent posts, there are some big wrenches in the works.

***
In my next post, I'll list positive qualities of this player, so you can see why we're friends.
 
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Dungeonosophy

Adventurer
I want them to type every spell they know from the rulebook onto a Word doc, or hand-write each spell onto paper, and bring the resulting "spellbook" to play sessions. This is an aid to memory for them which has worked for me-as-player. (This means that at each level-up they have to pick copy and add only two or three spells at a time. It is a memory refresher.)

Huh! I like that idea - it's intuitive, practical, and artistic. Must have hand-typed or hand-written spellbook. Very cool.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
I admit that the language is hard and confrontational and wounded (non-secure) in places, because I have felt repeatedly chafed and crazed by certain experiences.
Time to find a new group.

I felt I was living in a crazening co-dependent DM's nightmare. :)
Time to find a new group.

we repeatedly fall back into difficult dynamics.
Time to find a new group.

I'm sorry to say: there's a reason why each point is there.
Time to find a new group.

for the past year, the player has expected me to bend and sway to entertain his wishes.
Time to find a new group!

So, a day or two later, the player calls me and says he saw a cool Youtube video where the DMs recommend giving out bonus feats as story rewards. At the end, he's like: "So, are you up for that?" I was like: "That's cool, but no, I'm playing RAW". And he got angry. He can't take "No" for an answer.
Time to find a new group!

As for emotional serenity. He gets disturbed and has nightmares afterward. He grits his teeth and yells loudly in anger when he rolls low or makes a mistake. Which is a bummer.
Time to find a new group!

In regard to the Cragmaw TPL, he even admitted later that "I was testing you to see how far I could go."
Time to find a new group!

Result? As I read the list off, the player's face drooped more and more, and he became emotionally distressed. He was totally unhappy. Afterward he said he "hated that", and said I was being "vindictive". I was like: "Vindictive is a strong word. My jest was no more intense than your repeated griping."
Time to find a new group!

more stuff
Time to find a new group!!!

Seriously, why are you still playing with this person?
 



Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I'm changing the title of this thread: "I need D&D counselling! Help!"

I'm gonna let it all out.
***
Some more difficult/crazening episodes:

A few days ago when I read off the ENWorlder's advice to my player, he said that I'm a selfish DM because I don't want to make him happy by maximizing his fun. He said when he DMs, he tries to make me happy as a player.

Which sounds nice. But I basically told him:

"Look, the difference is, I am EASY TO PLEASE as a player. You know I don't care how many magic items I get -- I enjoy whatever comes along. You know I don't care if my characters die - I'll happily roll up a new one. It doesn't mean I'm careless or apathetic. I'm just happy for the story. If I roll a sub-par character, you know I try to make the most of it."

"You on the other hand, ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO PLEASE. You push and push to change the RAW to make your characters the most powerful. You gripe about every bit and bobble. You flip out if you make even the slightest tactical mistake, and will not accept the possibilty of any of your characters dying, or suffering any loss whatsoever. You forget whatever agreements you make. You criticize much of what I bring to the table. And you repeatedly challenge and prick at whatever rulings and parameters I try to establish."

That got through to him. He agreed.

(But by our next conversation, he'd reverted to his usual difficult, wrangling self.)

***
I'm the only player in our group who has lost characters. Three of my characters have died under his DMship. And I didn't sweat it.
But when one of his characters dies, he flips out.
***
This player used to actually blame me for him not remembering to use his class powers. He would get angry and say: "You should've reminded me to use this power!"

I would have to tell him: "Man, I have a lot going on my side of the table, with fifty monsters and NPCs and entire world to run. Imagine a line running down the middle of the table. You are totally responsible for your side of the table, namely, your PCs. And I am totally responsible for this side of the table, namely the monsters and setting."

My friend may have difficulty with perceiving and honoring boundaries.

***
Another anecdote:

I once tried to run a B/X adventure, using B/X Moldvay rules. I was interested in trying that - and had even pre-ordered the B/X-based Old School Essentials boxed set, in anticipation.

But when we played B/X, he would gripe and snipe at me about this and that.

He kept griping that the party's Magic-User only had Read Languages.

He griped about the B/X Combat Sequence, with its Declaration Phase, etc. When I had explicitly said that part of the goal for the evening was to understand and experience how it was done back in those days.

He griped that his Elf set off a trap. And blamed me: "I only rushed in without checking for traps because it took so long for you to guide the newcomers to roll up characters." (Remember, he is sure that there should be no traps in D&D at all.)

The evening was un-enjoyable.

After that, I canceled my OSE order.

Later he asked: "When is your OSE kickstarter arriving?" I was like: "I canceled my order. We hated that game, don't you remember? Why would I buy a game that we hated. We could've liked it, but we didn't."

When I say "we", I mean "he." And I hated the experience because it was trampled on.

(Now, I admit that as DM, I was in large part responsible for various snags during the evening (e.g. I got THAC0 backwards), but he sure as heck wasn't very helpful in facilitating a good experience for all.)

***
BTW, when I next played, with him DMing, I intentionally rolled up a Magic-User whose one spell is Read Languages.

And you know what? My 3-hit-point-MU-with-Read-Languages fought a 70 hp fire elemental hand-to-hand with a dagger, for many rounds (along with the rest of the party), and slew it.

I was like: "That's how you play a MU with only Read Languages."

***

Another time, I bought the whole Black Hack package (hardcover + player's booklet + GM's screen) and had it shipped from the UK. I was so looking forward to GMing it, with some intention of it becoming my favored ruleset. (I was desparately seeking a way out of the brain-frying complexities of 5E, and the argumentative wrangling which came with it.) But when I joyfully pulled out The Black Hack to show-and-tell, he trampled on it. He wouldn't even consider playing, because the artwork was too edgy -- for example, it has a pentacle on the cover. (He went to some art school in Switzerland, and is apparently allergic to anything which isn't ultra-refined, high spiritual art.)

Since then, he shudders and makes a critical comment whenever The Black Hack is even mentioned.

I shelved my aspiration. TBH is gathering dust on my shelf.

***
Sometimes he's kind of like the 'church lady' from SNL. I told him that a local player had responded to our D&D promotional poster, and that the player said he was familiar with Savage Worlds and FATE. He shuddered and interrupted: "Oh, those are dark games aren't they?"

I'm like: "FATE is about as non-dark as you can get. It's a totally generic, setting-free, mechanics-light ruleset."

He's like: "Yeah, but the other, it has word 'savage' in it - it must be violent and dark. Surely it's not referring to dinosaurs."

I'm like (in exasperation): "Yes, as a matter of fact, it is referring to dinosaurs. The name is inspired by pulp fiction titles from the 1920s, which featured 'savage' themes, such as Tarzan and lost worlds of dinosaurs. 1920s fiction was not so dark."

He was like: "You're kind of jacked up, aren't you?"

I was like: "Jay-zus man, I'm just relaying some basic information here, about a player enquiry. Can't we just skip the moral inquisition?"
***
And here's more of our group history:

At first was just him and I. We learned the basics of 5E together over the course of several months.

I served as DM, and he as player. The emotional difficulties and wrangling I mentioned earlier, built up, andI felt chafed. So I asked him to please try DMing.

Honestly, 90% of the reason I asked him to DM was in hopes that the experience of sitting on the other side of the screen would somehow sand off his constant criticism.

Then a younger friend joined us, which helped the dynamic.

Around that time, I'd gotten burnt out on the complexities and fiddly bits of 5E (which fueled arguments), and so we tried some OSR games: White Box, Heroes & Monsters, and the aforementioned B/X / OSE.

As warm weather came, I decided to switch to a homemade LARP D&D system. And the three of us played outside all last summer. It was fun.

But then as cold weather arrived, we settled back into table play. At first we used the LARP rules while sitting at the table, but 5E creeped back in. Because LARP of course lacked almost any sort of tactical / mechanical aspect.

But we had a huge roster of characters - probably 50 characters between us, built using several different systems, but existing in the same world. I dreaded converting them.

And I dreaded going back to the brain-friction-inducing 5E.

I was also working on my own home-made RPG, and we playested it a couple times, but it wasn't really coming together.

I considered quitting again.

All this, from a year+ of play, had built up over time. The sore spots had not really resolved themselves. My "problem-player" had changed in some ways, but in other ways, kept doing the same difficult things over and over again. I was considering quitting.

But again, a vision arose: of really devoting ourselves to learning how to play straight 5E RAW. So that we'd have a stable ruleset. We'd take one month off from playing. And we'd put up posters to grow our group, and get fresh blood flowing -- a new dynamic. During that month, we'd all buy a copy of the PHB (we played for over a year with only the Starter Set and online rule references). And the two DMs would buy a copy of the DMG. And read it. And we'd refrain from houserules, so that we could more easily plug into the existing player network.

We'd convert all our key characters to 5E. And we'd play 5E RAW for 6 months straight. I would go back to serving as primary DM. I laid out the titles of a bunch of cool 5E adventures I plan to run.

After 6 months, we'd re-assess. At that time, we could adopt house rules, or even switch to a different system. But just give me 6 months of 5E RAW.

Thus I decided to humble myself and go back to 5E. I DON'T EVEN LIKE 5E. But I could get enthusiastic about doing it if we would essentially do RAW, so that I could finally properly learn it, instead of mixing in a bunch of exceptions and house-rules from the start, like we used to do.

My friend agreed to the vision.

We put up posters, and a fourth player joined us.

But as things got rolling, my friend reneged on the agreement. He said: "I agreed to something I didn't understand. I don't want to play RAW." And he went into making the usual requests for rules changes, bennies, etc. like he used to do.

I felt betrayed. And crazed.

In retrospect, it would've been better to sit down together and jointly decide what system we would adopt, if any. BUT I WAS SO THROUGH WITH NEGOTIATING WITH HIM! The thought of negotiation blacked out whatever fire I had left to play.

And I myself could not picture how any other system would really work for us. For two reasons:

1) 13th Age was at the top of the list, but to buy its complete array of sourcebooks (and thus serve as a complete platform for converting our existing world) would cost $200+.
2) Converting our characters to another system (whether it be 13th Age, The Black Hack, OSE, or White Hack) would involve even more home-brewing (in order to model our motley crew of monstrous PC races) -- and I dreaded haggling with him over the creative details that such a home-brewing would entail.

So my vision basically mandated 5E RAW. But that is why.

We took a month off - which was March. We are slated to begin play again in April. But as you see from my recent posts, there are some big wrenches in the works.

***
In my next post, I'll list positive qualities of this player, so you can see why we're friends.
I’m sorry you’ve had so much trouble gaming with this friend of yours. Unfortunately, it sounds like the two of you really shouldn’t game together. Your preferences clash far too much, it’s only going to be a miserable experience for both of you. You need to tell your friend, in no uncertain terms, that playing RPGs together is not working. You can still be friends, you can still do other things together - maybe LARPing, since it sounds like you did both enjoy that a fair bit. But playing tabletop RPGs together is not fun for either of you, and it seems like it’s straining your friendship.

It also sounds like 5e is probably not the system for you. As you said, you don’t like it and you find it too fiddly. Don’t waste your own time trying to learn to enjoy a system you don’t like. Maybe give that Black Hack thing a try, without this friend of yours trash talking it, you might like it a lot more.

Side-note, between your preferences for very non-explicit language (defeat vs. kill, etc.) and your friend’s reaction to the Black Hack having a pentacle in the art and assumption that FATE and Savage Worlds are some kind of “dark game,” I get the impression that you might be from a strongly religious community or something? Not judging, just curious. I also find it pretty funny that your friend would have such a reaction to FATE and Savage Worlds but have no problem with D&D, given the reputation it had in the 80s.
 

Nebulous

Legend
I would not sign this. I understand there is history in your group, but so much of it seems angry and confrontational, it taints even several of the valid points. If I was a new player and presented with this to sign, I would nope out before finishing reading all the rules.


Also, threads like this and the one which spawned this make me ever so thankful. I've had some problem players, GMs and co-players in my day. But... man... I see that I could have had it a lot worse.
I would not sign such a thing or play in a group where verbiage like this was even deemed necessary. Your problem player sounds like a big issue though, and removing that person from your game seems like the fix. Yeah, I know, best friends and all that, but he doesn't sound like an enjoyable person to play Dungeons & Dragons with. Arguing with the DM about random things you read online without even knowing the actual rules themselves is a terrible way to game.
 
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Nebulous

Legend
Side-note, between your preferences for very non-explicit language (defeat vs. kill, etc.) and your friend’s reaction to the Black Hack having a pentacle in the art and assumption that FATE and Savage Worlds are some kind of “dark game,” I get the impression that you might be from a strongly religious community or something? Not judging, just curious. I also find it pretty funny that your friend would have such a reaction to FATE and Savage Worlds but have no problem with D&D, given the reputation it had in the 80s.

I admit I would like to be a fly on a wall during some of their sessions just to see what the hell is going on here.
 


gnarlygninja

Explorer
I read the above, and the very first paragraph in the rules just screamed "no", as if the DM wanted to remain immune to criticism.
Ditto, except I kept reading and kept saying no. I can't imagine myself ever agreeing to sign something like this, and it seems like a convoluted way of solving the problem it addresses
 

jasper

Rotten DM
4. Unless a dead pc is on the floor, all rules flubs, extra damage, etc, stand. I will correct off board the dead pc. Could you unpack this one more? What do you mean by correcting off board?

BTW, that's a great and helpful condensing you did - thanks!
Okay If I kill a pc during the game and it was due to a bad rule call, way too much damage etc,; then the pc is not dead. I contact the player to tell them so, and tell the group before the next In game, I don't give a reason of why dead pc was not active.
If I or gamer roll 12d6 instead 10d6 for a spell during the game and it is not caught. Too bad, the damage stands. If the monster/game should rolled will advantage and failed the spell save, the effect stands.
If your "Jay-zus man," was rolling 2d6 instead of 1d12 for weapon damage all night and not caught. The damage stands and remind "Jay-zus man," next session it is 1d12.
***
It sounds like you and "Jay-zus man," don't get along at the game table. This happens. You can still be friends and do other stuff.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
True story about gamer friends. Back in 1E some of the former high schools gamers got back together to play. We had Gary former Army, me former Army, and everyone else had finish college and working in their fields. Gary brought his friend Big nose (his nick name was not PG. ) After a few weeks we noticed these best buddies for life, Gary and Big Nose dragged the game to halt if both were at the table together. This was a combination for them trying to top each other on the put downs, or screw with each other pcs.
We did an experiment and took notes. If only one would show we would clear 8 to 10 rooms. If they both show up we cleared 4 rooms. max. The home owner ask Gary not to bring Big Nose. We lost Gary for a few months but he finally started playing with us with out Big Nose.
 

ardoughter

Hero
Supporter
My take on this: Do not DM for the problem player. If you need a written contract of does and don'ts for a game of D&D then things have gone too far.
If you are willing to play with this person as DM that is on you but stop DM'ing for them. Be honest and say you cannot stand the aggravation. DM for a group that does not include them.
 

Dungeonosophy

Adventurer
jasper said:
It sounds like you and "Jay-zus man," don't get along at the game table. This happens.

Thanks for your counsel jasper. Point of clarity - my "Jay-zus, man!' was an exclamation, not a moniker. My problem-player doesn't talk about Jay-zus. That's just one of my most exasperated oaths!

Side-note, between your preferences for very non-explicit language (defeat vs. kill, etc.) and your friend’s reaction to the Black Hack having a pentacle in the art and assumption that FATE and Savage Worlds are some kind of “dark game,” I get the impression that you might be from a strongly religious community or something? Not judging, just curious. I also find it pretty funny that your friend would have such a reaction to FATE and Savage Worlds but have no problem with D&D, given the reputation it had in the 80s.

We are occultists. Not religionists. We live in and around Hawthorne Valley, which is something like a real-world Rivendell.

We come from the same occult stream which inspired Michael Moorcock -- an Austrian Rosicrucian tradition called Anthroposophy.* Moorcock attended an Anthroposophic school as a youth, which is where he got the Multiverse concept and the concept of a threefold alignment: Law, Balance, and Chaos. Gygax in turn got the threefold OD&D alignment system from Moorcock, though later expanded (by maybe J. Ward or R. Kuntz, IIRC) into the nine alignments of AD&D. Anyway, the D&D Alignment System and the D&D Multiverse (as a concept) ultimately come from Anthroposophy. (There's an article on that here.)

*(Well, I am steeped in that tradition, but have moved on into my own stream.)

Beyond that, I don't want to broach the occultism topic - anyone is welcome to PM me if there are specific questions about this aspect.

Life is beauteous and good here in the Valley. Now, if only I could solve my DMing afflictions! Y'all are helping me. I'm feeling better.
 
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Dungeonosophy

Adventurer
Okay If I kill a pc during the game and it was due to a bad rule call, way too much damage etc,; then the pc is not dead. I contact the player to tell them so, and tell the group before the next In game, I don't give a reason of why dead pc was not active.
If I or gamer roll 12d6 instead 10d6 for a spell during the game and it is not caught. Too bad, the damage stands. If the monster/game should rolled will advantage and failed the spell save, the effect stands.
If your "Jay-zus man," was rolling 2d6 instead of 1d12 for weapon damage all night and not caught. The damage stands and remind "Jay-zus man," next session it is 1d12.

Okay, now I'm following you. Yes, this sounds good.
 

Longspeak

Explorer
Yeah...

Don't game with problem people. And... this might not translate 100%, but in my work I have written a lot of policy and procedure documents. A good P&P is written with the expectation of good faith on the part of the people who will implement the procedure. It's "here is how to do the thing you're here to do." It's not written with the assumption of bad faith, that the people will seek ways around every rule.

An old boss advised me once... when you're writing a procedure to address problems with a specific person, the issue is almost never with the existing procedure.

Write your table rules as if you expect everyone to make good faith efforts to enjoy the evening and help others to do so. If I were to codify my own table rules...
Rule 0 would be "I assume you're all here in good faith, and these rules are meant as guideposts to help us all have fun."
Corollary 0 would be "If you're not here in good faith, then you're not invited to be here."
Rule 1 would be "Every player is in part responsible for the enjoyment of every other player. No player's enjoyment is more important than the enjoyment of the group as a whole."
Corollary 1 would be "The GM is also a Player, with the same responsibilities and expectations."
 

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