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D&D General What do I do with a Player who doesn't care about the actual game?


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Yeah. And be ready for what he wants. Sometimes a person just wants to be around and a part of things but doesn’t like the activity.

D&D really wants participants if the have a character. No shame being just a spectator.

my pal used to watch us play shooters but be hesitant to play himself 🤷‍♂️
Plus, if you chose this route, he could help run some of the NPCs in combat if he really wanted to do something every once in a while.
 

Plus, if you chose this route, he could help run some of the NPCs in combat if he really wanted to do something every once in a while.
My thought is this: friends and D&D don’t always have perfect overlap. And neither does a need to feel included. If the player in question botches his play of 1/4 of the party, it can ruin it for others.

the person participating in some way without disrupting things is not a big deal.

player playing wizard who does not think a turn ahead about spell selection and then makes haphazard choices can be less than fun for the group.

...or someone not paying attention to the situation really hurts any immersion but we can still value their friendship!

I had a buddy that did not like to play but instead listened while we did, painted miniatures and drank margaritas.
 
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Stormonu

Legend
They don't have any socialising issues. They do enjoy D&D, but they would rather do other things. They have tried to convince other players to stop playing D&D and do other things until OotA starts. We have a small One-Shot going while I wait for the book to arrive. I think I will ask if they actually want to play D&D, and if they do I will speak to them about what their goal is. I will also try to show them how to roleplay. Would this be a good idea?
This is the point where that person would be ejected from the table. If they don't want to play, hey, that's fine maybe they're not a great fit for our game.

They start trying to get others at my table to stop playing? No, not acceptable. Hard enough to get together for a game in the first place in this day and age.
 

jgsugden

Legend
I'd have the following conversations with the player before you begin the campaign.
We are starting Out of the Abyss soon & there is a player who always wants to be the best character possible. I would allow it, but I don't think they deserve it as much.
1. They don't respect the DM's decisions.
In the past, you've had trouble accepting DM rulings during a session. During the game, whatever a DM rules needs to be respected. We can have a conversation after the game about the ruling, but during the game, it is too disruptive to stop the game to argue about a ruling.
2. They don't roleplay even after we have sent him videos about roleplaying.
We've also talked about the importance of role playing. We want this to be more than a strategy game. We want to have everyone play the role they decided to play. We've tried to provide some resources to help clarify what we mean. Role playing is an essential element in this campaign, and we want to make sure you're on board to participate.
3. He is on his phone, playing video games or talking while in the middle of a session.
We're instituting a "no non-D&D electronics at the table" rule for this campaign. No web browsing, games or emails. We understand if you get a text and need to send a quick reply, or if you get a call and need to step away from the table to take it. However, beyond that, and using online character sheets, etc... there will be no electronics.
4. He doesn't care about the enjoyment of the game for other players.
We've also notices some trends of you stepping on the toes of other people while they are role playing. This has made the game less fun for other players. We're looking for more respect for other players during the campaign.
5. He doesn't care if something bad happens to people unless it has repercussions for him.
We want everyone at the table to have fun. It should be all of us trying to make sure all of us have fun.

If you're going to participate in the campaign, we need to be on the same page. To recap: There will be no arguing with the DM, we expect each player to be role playing a character, there will be no non-D&D electronics used at the table, and everyone will be working together to make sure everyone has fun. Are these expectations you can meet? If so, we want you at the table. If not, then we're going to have you sit out this campaign.
 

Technoloid

Villager
This is the point where that person would be ejected from the table. If they don't want to play, hey, that's fine maybe they're not a great fit for our game.

They start trying to get others at my table to stop playing? No, not acceptable. Hard enough to get together for a game in the first place in this day and age.

Kind of a damned if you do damned if you dont situation. we have a hell of a time trying to A. get people to commit to playing and B. getting them to actually play instead of screwing off and getting drunk.

In a perfect world i'd say kick the dude out but this guy is obviously a friend and you know how that goes... kinda just gotta live with it.....or wait until hes distracted by his phone to kill him with a falling boulder.....or the classic falling baby grand piano.... "increasingly loud whistling sound" and.... SPLAT!
 

Mort

Legend
...In a perfect world i'd say kick the dude out but this guy is obviously a friend and you know how that goes... kinda just gotta live with it.....
You really don't,

Not everyone likes gaming. You can do different things with different friends.

More importantly, if this person makes the game worse for the other players, you owe it to them to NOT include this person.

No one has the right to have fun at the expense of the other people at the table.


or wait until hes distracted by his phone to kill him with a falling boulder.....or the classic falling baby grand piano.... "increasingly loud whistling sound" and.... SPLAT!

So kill the PLAYER with a rock, well ok then!

If you're advocating killing the character of the player - don't try to solve out of game problems with in game solutions, it doesn't work and will just cause more problems.
 

Technoloid

Villager
You really don't,

Not everyone likes gaming. You can do different things with different friends.

More importantly, if this person makes the game worse for the other players, you owe it to them to NOT include this person.

No one has the right to have fun at the expense of the other people at the table.

doesnt sound like the guy doesnt wanna play, just sounds like hes not fully invested. and besides, the least he can do is give everyone a laugh at his expense.
If you're advocating killing the character of the player - don't try to solve out of game problems with in game solutions, it doesn't work and will just cause more problems.

scenario 1: the guy gets ticked off and leaves and then a few days later youre all back at it shootin the naughty word on a friday night with some drinks laughing about the whole thing (thats how my friends work, if friends cant take shots at each other then wtf are you friends for?)

scenario 2: the guy realizes that the DM is upset enough to kill his character off for not paying attention and taking the game seriously enough and decides to see the error of his ways. if the player cant appreciate how much time and effort goes into DM'ing then they have no right to get upset when they get killed off because they missed something because they were on tik-tok....
 

Mort

Legend
doesnt sound like the guy doesnt wanna play, just sounds like hes not fully invested. and besides, the least he can do is give everyone a laugh at his expense.
If the guy is willing to invest, awesome. If not you can't force it and expect that to work.
scenario 1: the guy gets ticked off and leaves and then a few days later youre all back at it shootin the naughty word on a friday night with some drinks laughing about the whole thing (thats how my friends work, if friends cant take shots at each other then wtf are you friends for?)
Except instead of having a mature talk you've :
1) hurt the guys feelings and possibly soured the friendship over a game;
2) Shown the other players - when irritated characters start dying

This person doesn't sound like the type to take a vindictive character death well. Also, I've NEVER seen this end well.

scenario 2: the guy realizes that the DM is upset enough to kill his character off for not paying attention and taking the game seriously enough and decides to see the error of his ways. if the player cant appreciate how much time and effort goes into DM'ing then they have no right to get upset when they get killed off because they missed something because they were on tik-tok....

But they didn't "miss something" the DM deliberately killed them off. Your passive-aggressively addressing the problem in game as opposed to having a real discussion.

More importantly than the above - those scenarios are artificial - I've seen what a DM arbitrarily stating the character is dead -People stop behaving rationally and get emotional - this doesn't go well.
 

Technoloid

Villager
If the guy is willing to invest, awesome. If not you can't force it and expect that to work.

Except instead of having a mature talk you've :
1) hurt the guys feelings and possibly soured the friendship over a game;
2) Shown the other players - when irritated characters start dying

This person doesn't sound like the type to take a vindictive character death well. Also, I've NEVER seen this end well.



But they didn't "miss something" the DM deliberately killed them off. Your passive-aggressively addressing the problem in game as opposed to having a real discussion.

More importantly than the above - those scenarios are artificial - I've seen what a DM arbitrarily stating the character is dead -People stop behaving rationally and get emotional - this doesn't go well.
To each thier own I suppose. What works for one group of friends doesnt always work for another. Just wanted to offer a different perspective than I've seen on here before.

Basically I guess the advice that should be given is:
You should know your friends and what they can handle and what they cant. What they are interested in and what they arent. If your problem players arent the type of people that can take a few jabs then dont throw any.

I suppose the other side of the coin here is just talk to them and tell them how you feel. Tell them thier play is coming off as very selfish and not conducive to a team environment. You need to see a more cooperative style of play from them. If they arent capable of that then maybe this game just isnt for them. No hard feelings or anything but sometimes you have to make a hard decision for the greater good.
 

If they arent capable of that then maybe this game just isnt for them. No hard feelings or anything but sometimes you have to make a hard decision for the greater good.
I've seen people get bent out of shape, throw hissy fits, actually throw dice at another DM. walk out of my game, I been asked to leave games, sometimes certain people and personalities just dont mix. Address it and move on even if that means speaking the truth. Personally I find it hilarious when people get that mad over a game that they need to act out. Those type of people, whether its D&D or anything else I dont need around me. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, nope, the squeaky wheel gets replaced.
 



Let me rephrase. He will steal people's backstories just so his character is the best. He will attempt to kill a character just because they have an evil alignment, even though they haven't done anything. We allow him to be a character he wants, but he tries to persuade the DM to have events go the way he wants. This is for all our campaigns.
Why is this even a thread? How has this person lasted this long in your game let alone life in general acting like this?
 


Zardnaar

Legend
LOL how do you get banned from the Warhammer shop? We need to hear that story, Zard!

I'm not sure but this player was very arguementative. What got him kicked was he kept insisting on playing a Ranger of Lolth in party of Elistraee.

Same one got told he couldn't use the hexblade, suspicious dice rolls and then invented rules was wrong almost 100% of the time and double down on said arguement.

Also tried picking fights with NPCs whenever bored.

Store owner told me he got barred from the Warhammer shop.

After I booted him (well he left right before I was going to) I was contacted by someone I've known for 17 years who filled in the rest.

Really toxic player with no regard for any other players who made up rulings in Warhammer as well and would berate the other players. Really dark comments as well about suicide/murders etc.

Apparently he's even worse with others because I'm kinda of a big guy who lays down the law to prevent this type of stuff and can't really be intimidated. I've seen physical fights break out over geek type games lol.

I'm not sure what exactly he did as I haven't had a chance to speak with store owner due to Covid alert levels and tonight's D&D is cancelled. He did go up to a previous employer of store owner and berate them as well for something that's not his business.

Thing is I live in a student city and used to train younger magic players and help then out etc. That's how I found out about his behavior in a different city. Hell one of them runs the bar over the street from gamestore.

Hell one of the guys running one if the larger facebook groups grew up over the road from me as kids. Word gets around. Hell he might get blacklisted from every major population center in the country.
 
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