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D&D General What's the most problematic D&D player you've ever played with?


There are lots of stories in recent threads about domineering and unreasonable DMs, and about rules that aren't needed because no player would ever be that extreme. And there's apparently an old poll that shows the majority of DMs are bad.

I feel left out, because I've been lucky enough to never run into a really bad DM or legendarily bad player (well, one, but they were 10 and got better in a few sessions). I've read about some of the bad DMs on here (eek!)... but haven't seen the bad player stories. So, any stories out there of players who have their paladin turn into a homicidal maniac on a dime? Anyone wanting to be a class or concept not banned in session 0 that turned into a nightmare later and wouldn't be reined in? Anyone you've had to bring consequences on because you thought their play required it even if it led to the player not having fun? (Town guard on the un-clever thief?) Or are all the players angels (until some become DM and let their badness show).

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We marooned one players character on an island because the player was annoying us.

To this day I don't remember what they did. But I do remember we weren't sad when the player quit instead of making a new character.

And to put it in context ... EVERYONE in that group, myself included, was sort of annoying at that stage in our lives. So they had to be really, REALY annoying.


Shaper of Worlds
Racists, Sexists, Homophobes...

As a young teenager I played D&D at a FLGS/Comic Shop called "The Bookmark". One of the players was openly gay and took SO MUCH FLACK about it. Similarly, Black and Mulatto players got smacked with insults and assumptions and stuff. And dudes would almost always interrupt and talk over female players, even on -their- turn in combat.

This was Georgia in the 90s... so not only was it expected, speaking out against it could get you ridiculed and kicked out of a game. Happened to me a few times.

Also had similar issues trying to get together games outside of the Bookmark. And as the DM I would call out older players and even threaten to remove them from my table if they continued. Often times the victim would pipe up and tell me it was fine because, y'know. The 90s in Georgia.

Eventually I started going to some other FLGS and ran into similar problems there. Finally I started just doing curated home games, mostly with minority players or all-white groups... Anything in between meant white dudes ragging on everyone else.

My parents wouldn't let me go to the gay guy's house to game, even though he was in a loving relationship and considered his partner of 8 years to be his husband. 'Cause even my family wasn't immune to bigotry, much as I wanted to be.

Growing up a bit more I dealt with a lot of Extreme Subjective Morality where a player chafed at the -idea- that there were alignments and would go to ridiculous ends to explain why it was perfectly Lawfully Good from their character's perspective to try and burn down the orphanage. Or attack other party members.

And, of course, the Minmaxers and "We should skin every animal we kill and take any potentially valuable meat/horns/whatever to sell!" encumbrance monkeys.

EDIT: I should not have used an outdated and heavily connotationed word for mixed heritage. However it would also be inappropriate to completely remove evidence of my mistake. Instead I will provide this correction to the post, along with a sincere apology.
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One player in the army kept getting drunk. Like, really drunk. First time he puked mid game and tried to puke back INTO the bottle? Last time I played with him.

Outside of that, there have been a several players with really bad BO and hygiene, usually at cons or at FLGS.


The guy that really wanted to rape the corpse of a fallen enemy. We had a brief discussion ("you can can that naughty word and we'll never speak of it again, or the door's there, your choice") and he opted to get right back in line. It would have been less weird if it wasn't during one of the most feminist games I've played (Tribe 8). Just bewildering...


The Tale of Mittens the Paladin

So it was an online campaign full of random people who didn't know each other. We played three sessions and were starting to gel when the future Mittens joined. Knowing full well that this was a party of Robin Hood style two rogues, sorcerer and a druid, he insists on rolling a Paladin.

That would be fine except this was 3e where Paladins had both a code to make sure they could be interpreted as being unable to work with normal adventurers and also had detect evil at will. None of the party was evil, but we regularly worked with scumbags in order to screw them over ala Leverage.

First ten minutes of the game, we meet our latest mark, Pally detects evil, and then in a room full of goons openly attacked the guy. This guy, who we knew had the local guards in his pocket and were slow-rolling to separate him from his powerbase. We got our butts kicked concave and then were run out of the city. The Pally spends the entire time as we flee for our lives lecturing us about associating with him despite knowing we were trying to take him down.

This continues for three sessions. Party reaches a town, tries to do basically anything, Pally detects evil, attacks on sight (which I started calling 'detect -thump'), party has to flee. By the end of this cycle, we were starving hermits in the woods because we never got a chance to buy food and the Paladin insisted on on going with us whenever we went into town to 'make sure we didn't associate with the wrong people'.

Out of character, we try to explain the kind of game it had been before he joined. He says he knows and that his character is there to 'set our characters straight' and that he will not be changing.

The DM finally took mercy on us and decided the next town we came to literally had no one evil in it so we could do some business and pick up some plot hooks in peace. Said plothooks were disappointing to the original crew though as they weren't 'loveable rogue' type quests, for which we'd been built, but Shining Violence Heroes quests to shut the Paladin up.

Enough was enough.

So after nearly dying on the first quest, the original crew pooled their money and I sent a private message to the DM, starting with 'So... have you ever seen Inu Yasha? We want a magic item designed...'

And thus, we fabricated a mission to the Frozen North area of the map. We all bought cold weather gear, including one very special mittens: the Mittens of Subjugation.

We trek up north, only to find that the town was NOT being eaten by Yetis, but instead being run by a mine owner and general scumbag who we wanted to bilk. We finagle a meeting with him.

Paladin ignores the man's pair of awakened polar bear guards and detects evil.

"Easy the big fella," I say.

The command word activates. The mittens lock together, preventing the drawing or use of weapons until I release them. They cannot be removed except by remove curse.

Out of Character, I explain what this is and why. How we didn't like being beholden to him. How we'd begged him not to turn every social encounter with the villains into a combat. How we were okay with him fighting when fighting was a good idea, but not against insurmountable odds inside the place of power of every crime lord on the planet. How we didn't want to be morally babysitted.

He went BALLISTIC. Telling us how not only weren't we playing D&D right, but how we were 'perverting' the game by not fighting evil at every turn. And how he was going to make sure his characters killed all of ours to make sure we couldn't go any further playing the way we wanted. The DM tried to step in, but it was at this moment we learned the Paladin player was his brother-in-law, who proceeded to browbeat him into backing off.

It was at this point, the sorcerer player, who never really argued anything spoke up. She's like 'this is definitely the last session of this campaign, everyone but Paladin is invited to a game she's running, oh and by the way... HEAT METAL.'

As his Paladin roasts in his plate, the player bellows in rage, claiming that we can't kill his character--starts to beg us not to do this because if we do--get this--he'll never be able to play a Paladin again. Because that's his understanding of the rules apparently. We agree that's a good thing as he demands the DM let him pray for his god to save him. DM asks him if he has any spells that let him do that.

Paladin casts augury.

DM, holding back sick joy, announces the answer comes back as Woe.

We played the sorcerer's game for about a year and it becomes a thing for us to refer to that incident as Mitten the Paladin -- and remarking on how he would have lived if he'd thought to cast lay on hands instead.


Mind Mage
I have been very fortunate to have only experienced awesome players, who either are my friends or became my friends.

Also, because I have always rotated the DMing, everyone understands what the DM has to deal with. More empathy.


Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Long ago I had a guy who decided his PC was chaotic insane. As in they intercept a burglary in the process and he decides to help them escape out a window. They had been hired to find the burglars.

Then he was surprised when the burglars attacked him as he ran towards them with arms outstretched. Oh, he also had one of those huge D20s. To "roll", he would pick it up, change it so a specific number on top and then drop it from a couple inches off the table.

Did I mention that he literally thought he was a werewolf? Oh, and his wife agreed?


Autistic DM (he/him)
This is a mix of a bad DM horror story and a Problem Player horror story. To simplify a long story, I became friends with the DM through them introducing me to M:tG, and we later found out that both of us play D&D 5e, so he invited me, one of my friends, and one of my cousins to come over to his house for him to DM a campaign for. I was extremely excited, because as my table's DM I am only very rarely able to play a character, so I created a Human Illusion Wizard, as I love playing characters that have a diverse amount of options to get out of any given situation, and also wanted to have a secret diabolical plan that my character would hide from the rest of the party (basically, I would use my illusions, given enough downtime at higher levels, to create an elaborate plot of a cult to a powerful demigod that wanted to ascend to true godhood). My character wanted to do this in order to fool the world, and get super well known as "that guy who faked the end of the world". After the party succeeded in "defeating" an elaborate illusion of the Avatar of this fake demigod, my character would come out and reveal that he had been behind the adventure's main plot and that it had all been fake. He wasn't evil, just egotistical and wanted to prove to the world of his intellectual superiority without doing anything that was really evil or damaging in the long term.

I asked the DM about this plan, knowing that if it worked it would make for a really memorable adventure, and he was 100% on board and helped me come up with plans for my character to accomplish his nefarious goal.

We played a few sessions, with the other party members being an Aasimar Paladin and a Half-Elf Rogue, and the DM's world was super in-depth and awesome. I loved it, and my PC's plot was moving along quite well, with him being able to convince the local Thieves' Guild into setting up a fake ambush against them in order for the character to try to prove his loyalty to the party by fending off the thieves with his magic.

Then, the DM decided to add a new player without asking any of us.

The new player was the DM's cousin, a person whom I knew from school for many years (and he had bullied me from every year from 7th grade to 10th grade), whom the DM just added into the campaign without asking the rest of us. I don't know what I would have said if he'd asked, but I would have at least have liked that courtesy as a player. The new player chose to make a Chaotic-Stupid Dwarven Barbarian, that both had a -2 to Stealth and an extremely unhealthy obsession with causing havoc wherever he went. At first it was mostly fine, if not very annoying, small things like deciding to rip a book in half in a library that was owned by an Archmage, urinating openly in public for no reason, breaking every glass bottle and cup in the local tavern, and randomly stealing barrels from wherever they could be found, but it got worse. The player proceeded to derail the entire campaign, and started doing many things that my fellow players and I, and our characters, found disturbing (trigger warning: violence against children and mothers) including stealing an infant from its mother, ripping off the arms of the baby, and then murdering the mother with his handaxes and using her arms as improvised weapons against the city guards. The player was laughing/smiling the whole time, while the rest of the players (including me) were either completely quiet in long stretches of awkward silence, or adamantly telling the player to stop doing stuff like this and let the campaign just progress along peacefully.

The DM saw no problems with the actions of his cousin's character, letting the character get off the hook for murder because, and I quote, "They have clerics and paladins in this city to raise the people he murdered from the dead". I argued that "even if they can negate the deaths, those people are still going to be traumatized", and the rest of the players backed me up, but the DM just shrugged off that point like the whole encounter wasn't a big deal. I then privately shared with the DM that my character wasn't okay with his cousin's character's actions, and that my character, although not good, had standards, and that the Chaotic Stupid Dwarven Barbarian had irreversibly crossed a huge line for the character, and that the character was going to plot on a way to murder the Dwarven Barbarian and make it look like an accident, as he saw him as a huge obstacle to accomplishing his ultimate goal of fooling the world, as the world would not take the character seriously if he associated with the sort of people that did stuff like the Dwarven Barbarian.

The DM decided to choose his cousin over me (somewhat understandably, as they are related, and we were just friends from school). The DM then ghosted me, we never did another session of the campaign, and I have not heard from him or his cousin since.
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Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
You're definitely talking player, rather than character - SPILL!
Yeah, it was the player. I don't remember the exact words but it was something along the lines of " I have to go up to the mountains tonight* because it's a full moon and I'm going to turn into a werewolf tonight like always."

He, and his wife, were dead serious. I'm not sure what was worse, that he thought he turned furry once a month, or that his wife seemed to agree 100%.

We never did invite them back.

* We lived an hour or so away from Tahoe at the time.

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
We had a player in our shadowrun game (I know, not D&D) who we had to kick from the game because he was a spotlight hog and when he didn't get the spotlight, he would pout. And this was a group with 8 players. The GM, and 2 other players including myself all worked at a comic/game store. Kudos to the GM for kicking him out - must have been tough because he was also a customer at store.

Or at least he was until he came into the store with a gun threatening to kill himself. I wasn't there that day; but police came and all the rest etc etc. They guy stood down and of course was banned. He soon moved out of my town and we all thought we were done with him.

He called me about 10 years later when I owned my own comic store and he found me on Facebook or some google search :oops: and called my store. I did talk to him briefly since now he lives in another state. But haven't connected with him since and have sold my store and gotten off Facebook.



Shaper of Worlds
Yeah, it was the player. I don't remember the exact words but it was something along the lines of " I have to go up to the mountains tonight* because it's a full moon and I'm going to turn into a werewolf tonight like always."

He, and his wife, were dead serious. I'm not sure what was worse, that he thought he turned furry once a month, or that his wife seemed to agree 100%.

We never did invite them back.

* We lived an hour or so away from Tahoe at the time.
It's a good thing that you didn't continue playing with him!

He might have bit you and turned you into a werewolf, too.

Greg K

I have had a few bad players vying for the title

I had two players in high school whom were thieves, literally. They were in my lunch time group. I had invited them over with the other players for a 24 hour game at my place for my birthday. The day everyone left, my AD&D 1e DMG (original cover) was missing. One player thought he had seen them leave with it, but was not sure. They denied it. I didn't allow them back in the group and, a year or two later, one of them showed up with the DMG and returned it to me. He said that his friend had taken it and, eventually, left it at his house. Furthermore, at the time he been too ashamed of what his friend did to say anything to me.

Also, in high school, I had another player ( a cousin of an existing player) whom insisted his character from another campaign (Monty Haul) could enter my campaign world, because his character's god was "all powerful" and no other deities were as powerful as his character's deity. I told the player that his character could not enter my world, but I might allow him to have an almost identical character native to my setting. I looked over the character sheet and told the player that he would have to reduce the character's level, give up most of his magic items and money, and have a few items scaled back to be on a power level with the party. The player refused to make the changes and kept insisting that I had to accept his characer, because the character could travel between worlds. Finally,I told the player to leave while his cousin told him to "shut up", stop being an "ass", and make up a character or go home. The guy agreed. He lasted a couple of games before being told not to come back.
The final straw was not a D&D issue, but a Top Secret game he ran for the players in my Top Secret game. Thinking, I might be willing to co-gm with him, I allowed the characters in my campaign to be used in his game. Every player, including mine, ended the mission with 100 million dollars in bearer bonds and a bunch of other Monty Haul stuff. When I told the players to consider the mission as one taking place in an "alternate" universe, but I would allow them to keep a portion of the money, he flew off the handle (embarrasing his cousin).

Another problem player was a butt-kicker and power-gamer whom only wanted combat and would sulk and whine whenever the party did anything else such as explore a town, have an audience with a king or mayor, et.c. When the DM that brought him into the group, while i was on absence for a semester, refused to accomodate his friend's preference after I returned, the player began acting out (and I refused to run for the group if he was present so his friend and my roommate insisted on running since he was their co-worker). When my roommate decided to run, he also caused issues, and was temporarily booted. My roommate offered the player a second chance. At first the player was well-behaved. Then, he reverted (which I knew he would) and nearly resulted in the group splitting up.

The player attacked a lion-man with whom the rest of the group was trying to build a rapport. When a player, whom had been out of the room, returned, the problem player told him that the lion-man attacked the party, so the player attacked over the protests of my character and another. Even when we protected the lion-man and told them to stop attacking and the DM halted the game, the problem player kept attacking. Both DMs understood why I would not allow the player in a game being run by me and dropped him. My roommate was also going to drop the player whom had been out of the room, but after I and the other DM calmed him down, he gave the player a warning and told him to make another characer since my characer and the other PC defending the Lion-Man would no longer adventure with his character (which we had told the GM).

FInally, there was one other player at a LARP. I was one of several assistant Storytellers for a Vampire LARP (my friend asked me to help due to the large crowd he and his main assistants attracted). When, the Storyteller and assistant storytellers saw the player, they groanded. She was known by several tabletop groups and the Storytellers to have issues and freak out if her character did something stupid and get itself killed (even when she got warnings of the consequences and still followed through). Her behavior had brought several past con games to a halt and brought comments from other players. As a result, the Storyteller and his main assistants denied her admittance to the game (I recognized her from a local game store in which antother GM had pointed her out and told us about his experience with her).
She complained to the new con organizers in charge of LARPs about being denied the ability to play.

The organizer told us we had to admit her and, sure enough, she did something that got her character killed (despite several warnings of what would happen if she followed through). She had a tantrum that brought the game to a halt. Several players and an asssistant storyteller brought the con organizer whom witnessed what was happening, removed the player, and apologized to the storytellers for not believing them. He also told them not to allow her to participate in future events
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As a young teenager I played D&D at a FLGS/Comic Shop called "The Bookmark". One of the players was openly gay and took SO MUCH FLACK about it. Similarly, Black and Mulatto players got smacked with insults and assumptions and stuff. And dudes would almost always interrupt and talk over female players, even on -their- turn in combat.
FYI: The word mulatto is generally considered outdated at best with many other people considering it offensive. i.e. I would avoid using it to describe anyone in the modern era. I'm not trying to call you out or anything but wanted you to be aware just in case.


I know I've told this one in another thread. But the first group I ran into here in Arkansas invited me to their place to play some AD&D 1st edition (in 2001). One of the players was black and when he left the room for some reason another one of the players referred to him as an N word. I made my excuses, left, and never looked back.

Most of my problematic player stories are pretty tame. Back in my 3E days, I was running games for a local club and a dude who hadn't played in years showed up to one of our events with his daughter (16-17) in tow. One of the other players (early 20s) was macking on her (unsuccessfully) throughout the entire game. For some odd reason we never saw them at another club event again.

I had another player in the club who would often swear. I'm no prude, but when you're gaming at a public event, especially in mixed crowds of minors and adults, I think people should watch their language. It got bad enough that I started avoiding sitting at tables with that guy. Hell, this is actually two people. I had another guy who was like that but he didn't just swear he made completely inappropriate comments. He toned down his mannerisms when the attractive waitress came to take our order and when I asked why he couldn't be like that more often he loudly said, "I'm not trying to naughty word you." Yeah, that was it for me.


Several contenders.

1. A player who thought that bathing was a foreign concept. I ended up working with her flatmate and he said her room was disgusting with left over takeaway food rotting in it. She stunk of bad BO and rancid something.

2. Latest muppet. Didn't bother obeying the game rules and wouldn't take no as an answer for things I didn't want to include (power gamer, rules lawyer etc). Invented rules on the spot and argued about everything. Paladin always wanted to provoke combat with NPCs if bored and spoke over other players and myself constantly. I said he could use the forge domain for example pick one if the forge gods but wanted it added to ocean type gods. Forges, water hmmmn. There were 3 or 4 gods with forge domain.

Created a new campaign with new rules. Players voted for Drow. I said I don't care what you do the only rule however was all be on the same page.

Players chose Elistraee, 2 clerics and a Paladin. Guess who wants to follow Lolth. Gets told no then spends half an hour coming up with all sorts of stupid reasons to allow it (how about a mercenary).

Basically got yelled at and left game right before he got booted. Word gets around though and all the other DNs said no as well. Think he got booted from the University club game after two session.

Got a message from an old friend. Turns out he got booted out if that towns RPG group as well and the Warhammer shop owner told me he got banned from there as well (after getting fired).

Basically insane player with some sort of extreme personality disorder. Turns out he got kicked out for talking about murder suicide's.

Final contender in the 90's a player who was kind of stupid/annoying got involved with drugs. In a group where everyone else was annoying and stupid (mostly young 18/19). Started to get creepy around female guests and girlfriends and personality shifts due to drugs. This was after dating a friend and friends sister breaking both their hearts/treating them like naughty word.

Sold some of his stuff , took it back because he couldn't remember selling it. Even said he could have it back for purchase price (it was low drug money probably).

Apparently provoked a fight with another player he lived with got punched out and literally thrown out of the house he lived in by two if the others. Said fight destroyed TSR boxed set (Ravenloft or FR it's been 22 years). One if those players was his ex's brother one if those girls he treated like crap.


I have a very short list of people who are not welcome at my table and in whose games I will not play. And by short list, I mean one person.

That guy was an incredibly antagonistic GM. Most of his games fizzled out because people would just stop showing up. One Mage game sticks out because of the way it ended. As people would drop out, he’d have their PCs turn heel, and we’d end up fighting them. Eventually, it was down to just two of us. Other mages were going to attack our manse, so what do we do? The other remaining player had the perfect answer: we would get on a plane, fly across the country, and start new lives.

In his 4e games, he would use absurd tactics. Everything would fight optimally. Kobolds would shift around all over the place to make sure every single one had the optimal number of allies and got to take an attack. Stuff like that. He would also lecture us on our tactics, but he didn’t like it when we actually tried to fight tactically.

For those who didn’t play 4e, the shaman class has a spirit companion. You can pick a different type depending on how you want to specialize (defender, striker, leader). You could summon it as a minor action and dismiss it as a minor action. In one of his games, I played a bear (protector) shaman. After getting lectured on tactics, I started using my spirit more tactically. I would dismiss and resummon it to block attack lanes, so things couldn’t just charge us. I was playing a quasi-defender, so that seemed pretty appropriate to me. He did not like that.

At first, he’d just have enemies focus on killing my bear. You have to do a fair amount of damage in one hit, so it’s not easy to kill. Of course, he switched to GM fiat to make sure the bear got killed when he needed it. You take damage when that happens, so that was lame (on top of everything else). The first time I did that, I tried to look up how that was supposed to work, and he tried to forbid me from looking it up. I was the host and intimated something about finding other places to run, and looked it up anyway but said nothing since I didn’t want to escalate things further. I don’t really like rules arguments during the game.

Of course, that game fizzled out when people stopped coming. However, that was after he had transported everyone to ancient Rome. The kicker was he wanted us to all write backgrounds for our characters. I wrote a nice one too, but it was all worthless. There was no point because not only did he incorporate nothing, but he moved us to a completely different setting, so it would have been moot anyway.

As a player, he wasn’t much better. He tended to be a spotlight hog. He was also very patronizing about how I played my monsters, continuing his lectures on tactics and occasionally praising how I might do something well in an encounter. In one game, he played a character with a low int who followed Bahamut. He would do stuff like try to keep NPCs as pets/slaves and claim that he thought it was okay because he was too stupid to know that wasn’t okay according to Bahamut.

It was the lectures and tactical crap that pushed me over the edge. I was running The Lost Mines of Karak in the Scales of War adventure path. The last encounter of the session was the harpy encounter. They have a power that can be used to pull PCs towards them. At one point, the harpies were positioned around the room, and they would pull PCs away who got too close to them. As soon as we finished, the player starting complaining about the encounter.

Admittedly, it wasn’t a great encounter. However, he’d given us so much crap about our tactics that I’d finally reached my limit. That was on top of all the other crap (and there was more in the other nWoD games he ran). That was our last session. I told them I was done running and ended the campaign right there.

After that, I tried running some Pathfinder 1e for a couple of the players. That group fizzled due to attendance, but we were able to get most of the old group back together plus some new people they knew to do Kingmaker on the weekends. There have been some additions, and some people have left (due to life stuff, also one of the players rage quit*), but we’re still playing together a decade later.

* I feel bad about that one. There was a style mismatch, and I could have handled things better. What happened is his character died during the Stag Lord fight. Knowing it was a nasty fight, I had informed the group of my policy for new characters (come in equal to the lowest level in the group). When he died, he wanted to make a new character. Everything thing went downhill from there.

He claimed he was being punished for another player’s attendance (who couldn’t always attend and was a level behind). We said he could raise his character, but that was acceptable because it would be punishing the party by spending their treasure to bring him back. He then demanded a new character identical to his old one, and I said no. After he stormed out, the other players were like: characters die sometimes. 🤷🏻‍♂️

I think we ended up having 18 deaths total over the course of that campaign. After the party got back to town, they raised his character and made him their kingdom’s magister.

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