Problematic player.


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First, welcome to the hobby! Sorry to hear of your frustration. Stick with it, try playing with some other groups. It is worth the effort, once you find the right group.

I started DMing again when 5e came out after not having role played for 25 years. I had the advantage of having once played in the past, but was nervous about sitting in the DM seat. Luckily age and some management experience helped me avoid many of the issues that your DM seams to have allowed to creep into his game.

I would recommend that all NEW DM's do the following:

1. Stick to RAW and, for your first campaign or first few adventures, stick to what's in the PHB. Ignore rule variants and perhaps even feats, until you are comfortable with the basics.

2. Do not allow evil or chaotic characters when you have inexperienced players.

3. Set the ground rules for your game. Make sure everyone understands and agrees to them.

That advice doesn't help you now that you are in the situation you are in.

First, talk to the DM. Also, grow a pair and talk to your "friend."

If neither the DM or the player are willing to make changes, then you are in the wrong group. Find another group to play with. This isn't your job, this is a past time. If it isn't fun, why waste your time? Do you have Adventurer's League where you live? Try playing that for a while. Use to find a new group.

If the other players feel the same way you do, go start your own game together without the problem player.

Maybe, as a last ditch effort, force the issue. Have the players kill the evil one in his sleep and make the player roll up a new character using only PHB options. Either you have a more balanced group or the player gets pissed of and leaves game. Win-win either way. If the other players don't join you in this...then, again, you are in the wrong group.

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How much of a friend IRL is this player to you and the other players?

If the answer is 'not all that much' - throw the player out/don't invite back. [edit I just reread your post, and he's a good friend, so you can't do that I guess!]

If the person is a valued friend to you, you'll need to be more subtle (or you might lose a friend) and some of the approaches above should hopefully work.


As my previous posters already pointed out, there are a lot of alarm bells ringing when I read your story.

I guess your friend doesn't understand that playing D&D is a cooperative effort where, especially when everyone is pretty new, competition or dominance is the last thing one should strive for. My advice would be that you provide your friend a list with the kind of behaviours you and your group find problematic and then explain to him why you think it is troublesome. For example:

1) I have a problem with your character being the sole evil character in our group. Maybe we should all play good/neutral characters. Why? Because one evil character in a group of nice people can and will exploit the good will and friendship of others and many players use evil as a trump card to simply play selfish. And since we all want to have fun and don't have that much experience, playing nice and friendly will help us all to focus on learning the rules and playing to our strengths and weaknesses.

2) I have a problem with your homebrew class which none of us can thoroughly understand. Maybe we should all stick to the PHB races and classes for a start. Why? Because we are all new to the game and we are easily overwhelmed with too much additional stuff, especially when we have no easy way to check up on your homebrew class. We're no gaming experts yet and we cannot reliably decide whether or not your class is balanced and by the way, the PHB classes offer a lot of different options.

3) I have a problem with the way we share loot and I don't think our current system is fair. Maybe we should share our equipment and money more evenly. Why? Because we are a group of equals and we all worked hard for our reward. And even if your character is more efficient and stronger when he gets all the shinies, it still doesn't feel fair to the rest of us.

4) I have a problem with the way you take all action into your hand. Maybe we should discuss our strategies to solve problems and encounters together and not let the one who acts fastest decide what to do. Why? Because not every player makes his decisions as quickly as you do. We are all new to this game and we want to have a chance to learn it. And some of us like to think of more complicated, but less risky plans and those need time. Plus we want to approach things diplomatically as well. Problem solving is a cooperative effort after all.

Now if the player in question is a friend of yours, he should care about you having your share of fun. If he doesn't care, then maybe he is not as "friendly" as he seems and you should keep your distance from him.


First Post
A group of my friends and I have started d&d campaign, None of us are experienced in d&d, so this is mostly our first time playing it. It started out pretty fun, but one of the players has become a bit of a problem. During character creation, he chose an incredibly overpowered homebrew class, making him about as effective as the rest of us combined. Because of this, he's started acting like the groups leader, by making sure to be the first to act in almost all scenarios, even cutting other players off to do so, and since his character is evil, his first action tends to be attacking whatever we encounter, regardless of whether or not the DM wants us to handle the situation diplomatically. He's also hoarded over half the teams magic items, which has only lead him to become even more powerful. The DM's been trying to fix this, by suggesting a class change, but the player mostly refuses to admit the character is too strong, and will often argue with the DM about how some of his abilities work. Lately, the DM's tried to put more pressure on his character by having enemies focus him more, or putting him in more difficult out of combat situations, but this has only made him argue with the DM more. I'm sorry if I'm whining too much, but this is seriously taking the fun out of the game, and I don't know what to do. The player is a good friend of mine, but I know that he doesn't take direct criticism very well, so I don't want to flat out tell him that he's playing annoyingly, but I can't think of anything else. If you could suggest anything, it would be greatly appreciated.

Do I have to say it? Do I???

Kill them and take their stuff,

If he thinks it's fair to play an overpowered homebrew then stick an overpowered homebrew on him,
......I'm thinking a cross between a tarrasque and's only fair, right? RIGHT?

Moral of the story, don't go tweaking the system balance if you don't know what your doing,

AND...and it's always okay to kill an evil character....

This. It’s okay to experiment, but you have to follow through and adjust things as needed. And yes, if you're going to tweak the rules, you can’t build quality on an unstable base.

As someone who plays an evil character, I wouldn’t say it’s always okay to kill an evil PC. Now, an evil PC that can’t figure out how to work with the rest of the group…they’re fair game.

Moral of the story, don't go tweaking the system balance if you don't know what your doing,


First Post
This. It’s okay to experiment, but you have to follow through and adjust things as needed. And yes, if you're going to tweak the rules, you can’t build quality on an unstable base.

As someone who plays an evil character, I wouldn’t say it’s always okay to kill an evil PC. Now, an evil PC that can’t figure out how to work with the rest of the group…they’re fair game.

Evil is always fair game, yes tweakage can be a bad experience that burns players with the dread of repertion,

You need some degree of in depth knowledge with the system before changing,
It not that its not doable, it's just done wrong by those that don't understand what's involved,
And instead of learning from their falls, they run away screaming at the thought of changing anything

Well unless sanctioned by the publisher..


Victoria Rules
A question for the OP:

What edition of D&D are you playing? It makes a difference; it's way easier to come up with a broken character in, say, 3e (3rd edition) or Pathfinder than it is in 1e (1st edition).

After that, I agree wholeheartedly on a few points raised above:

- regarding treasury division. During an adventure anyone can use anything, usually, but once you're back in town there needs to be an agreed-upon and fair method of division, and it has to be done after each adventure. This means also that the DM has to allow for some downtime to do this and not just rush you from one adventure to the next; and some new DMs don't always realize this. A simple way to enforce some downtime is for the DM to implement some sort of training system for level-up, which results in the party having to take time off adventuring in order to train...during which they can also divide treasury. :)
- regarding character balance. The DM has to smack down hard on anything not in the core Players' Handbook of whatever D&D version you're playing. If it's not there, ban it. End of story. BUT - this must be done before the campaign starts and before people roll up their characters. It's too late for that now, meaning your only real recourse is to shut 'er down and start over because chances are even if the currently-offending character dies or is forced to retire the player will probably come right back with something just as overpowered if the campaign allows it...sadly, some people just play that way.
- regarding "what the DM wants". Your DM will learn soon enough (if not already) that no DM plan survives contact with the players or their characters. Regardless of whether the DM wants you to handle a situation diplomatically rather than violently, it's down to you players to do what you like with said situation and the DM just has to learn to hit the curveballs you throw at him/her.

And - depending on your particular group dynamics, which obviously I don't know - I largely disagree with another point raised above, regarding evil characters. I've always maintained they're fair game to play; but then I've also got no problem with internal party fights as long as they remain in character...and here's where the group dynamics come in as I've no idea how well you lot get along outside the game. Also, the problem above doesn't seem to stem at all from the character being evil ("kill 'em all and let the gods sort 'em out" has been a perfectly valid approach to the game since time immemorial, nothing wrong there) but instead from the character being flat-out overpowered for the party.

One in-character option you might try (if you don't mind potentially lighting a powderkeg) is to have your party's thief/rogue nick a few of the hoarded magic items while this guy's asleep, and redistribute them among the party based on who can best use what... :)

Lan-"if 'kill 'em all' isn't a valid option then I've been doing it wrong for 35 years"-efan


First Post
A DM needs to be in control of the table and it sounds like yours is not. Most experienced DMs will announce, at the start of the campaign, a few house rules about metagaming, PvP attacks, etc. Likewise, if a certain character is clearly outpacing his compatriots, most DMs will nerf it.

Your DM may have become accustomed to arguing with the troublesome player and allowing that player to push him around. But, the DM must step up and take control. Gygax used to suggest to DMs that if a troublesome player won't follow the DM's rules then the player should lose his action that round.

You might consider sitting in on a game with experienced players to get a better feel for finding the balance in the game.

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