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Greedy Acolyte Problem


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#1 Ninvizible

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 03:39 PM

I've a Guardsman player who is rather new to roleplaying and doesn't quite care about lore and "rules of morality" in an Imperial setting. As he's a personal friend of mine I know he just plays a lot of roleplaying video games and powergames in them, and does the same in my DH campaign.
So the problem is that he plays self-insert characters every time (I let him change his character at one point and it there was really no change but stats), only cares about combat (he doesn't mind roleplaying but he clearly just wants to fight), and the thing I find the most bothersome, is that he plays super greedy and only cares about getting some money is his pocket, something that I dont feel like an acolyte could do.
Last night I gave the characters some psychic dreams in which they could act on what was going on. They were dreams to test their faith. The others did the clearly right thing, however our Guardsman was to choose whether to shoot the heretics fighting his men, or to shoot the mam who took his money. He shot the man dead and took his money back in record speed. Thus I gave him d10+5 corruption points.
Does anyone else have any better ideas on how to try to get him to realize that doing that has consequences? In the long run I'm hoping he will appreciate roleplaying a character rather than roleplaying himself.

#2 darkforce

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 06:36 PM

I think the problem in this case is him not even playing himself, but him also playing with the attitude of a PC-Gamer. Next time he does something stupid, ask him: "assuming YOU would be there, not your character, but yourself - would you do that?"

 

Other then that, simply have a long talk with him, about what you expect from him and what he can expect from you.

 

Be aware though, adapting in that way takes time, but ultimately, should you keep being uncomfortable with him around, simply kick him from the group. A very final solution, but also a very valid one in my opinion. I could rant on, but I have to get going, so I'll have to keep myself short.



#3 Cogniczar

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 07:51 PM

Does anyone else have any better ideas on how to try to get him to realize that doing that has consequences? In the long run I'm hoping he will appreciate roleplaying a character rather than roleplaying himself.

 

Enforce actual consequences. The dream sequence might have been a test of faith, but if he (and by extension his character) is morally corrupt (greedy), his reactions in his dream were sorta justified. Instead of creating an artifical situation, try to develop one where being greedy will be dentrimental to him. 

 

Examples:

 

1. Someone steals his money. It's a small girl, stealing to survive in the underbelly of the hive. He ganks her - and the locals around him, shocked by his audicity in killing a small girl (even in the underhive), results in pitch forks, stubbers, and gang mob reacting violently to him.

 

2. Present him with an opportunity to rob a noble off. Of course, it's not the patriarch, but a scion. The insult cannot be allowed to stand. The patriarch and the family spend no expense in enacting a terrible revenge on him (removing of limbs, or worse, crippling him and allowing him to live. Or by being fed to hungry grox, pig-scene hannibal style). 

 

Cruel meta-game:

 

3. Put him on a world where money has no value, or a place where the monetary is useless (gunmetal city). 

 

4. All the merchents were killed by heretics, or garnered up and imprisoned for some heretical plot. Good luck spending money with no one. 

 

=D Cheers


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#4 darkforce

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 02:05 AM

Another thing just came to mind: for his next character, have him write one page or so of a mock-up. Where has his character lived, what has he been up to, who's his family, some key-events in his character's history... maybe that'll help him to get more into the mindset of being a roleplayer :D

 

I also like Cognizar's Ideas :3


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#5 Fgdsfg

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 03:26 AM

I've a Guardsman player who is rather new to roleplaying and doesn't quite care about lore and "rules of morality" in an Imperial setting. As he's a personal friend of mine I know he just plays a lot of roleplaying video games and powergames in them, and does the same in my DH campaign.
So the problem is that he plays self-insert characters every time (I let him change his character at one point and it there was really no change but stats), only cares about combat (he doesn't mind roleplaying but he clearly just wants to fight), and the thing I find the most bothersome, is that he plays super greedy and only cares about getting some money is his pocket, something that I dont feel like an acolyte could do.
Last night I gave the characters some psychic dreams in which they could act on what was going on. They were dreams to test their faith. The others did the clearly right thing, however our Guardsman was to choose whether to shoot the heretics fighting his men, or to shoot the mam who took his money. He shot the man dead and took his money back in record speed. Thus I gave him d10+5 corruption points.
Does anyone else have any better ideas on how to try to get him to realize that doing that has consequences? In the long run I'm hoping he will appreciate roleplaying a character rather than roleplaying himself.


I do not see the problem, as such. Yes, it's terrible to play a self-insert character and it's terrible when someone in a group doesn't "play well" (not to be confused with "play nice") with the rest of the group.

But, provided that you have accepted him and his character, and is determined to let him play with the group, he actually did what he as a selfish character should have done. As long as he plays his character as an actual character, everything should be alright.

For example, I think that his reaction in the dream could be entirely appropriate, depending on his character. From the way you describe it, it would have been very out of place for him to suddenly act like a paladin in his own dreams (but could be justified by saying that he as a person does not match his own aspirations - that he wants to be good, even though he knows that he's not - or that he has a very distorted self-image) if he is constantly a greedy good-for-nothing mercenary-like thug of a guardsman.

And honestly, there's probably a lot of guardsmen that are exactly like that.

But I also think that your reaction, slapping him with 1d10+5 CP was equally appropriate, and you should keep doing it like that. Not to punish him, but to show him consequences of his actions.

Because that's what it comes down to. If you are just a thug, you are sooner or later going to run into someone with a bigger gun. You might offend the wrong man in the wrong place. You might steal the wrong kind of artifact. You may get pulled into a plot you cannot handle.

Consequences. Show them to him.

Don't forget to show your "good" players the same. Helping the wrong person out of the goodness of their hearts can be just as devastating as stealing candy from the wrong child. It all comes down to consequences.

If someone becomes overly disruptive in one way or the other, that disruptiveness should result in very real consequences in some way. If you can't come up with something concrete at the table or on-the-fly, this may even boil down to being subject to "corrective punishment" by the Interrogator of whatever Inquisitor you serve, after said Inquisitor finds out that someone did something questionable.

Consequences.
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#6 ak-73

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 06:30 AM

Assuming your group is more or less starting acolytes.... why doesn't an Interrogator of the Inq assign one or two stealth-based NPC acolytes to tracking the performance of the damn party and report back? Think quality assessment/assurance. Why doesn't the Inquisitor/Interrogator control the Acolytes wealth? This is a fascist system and while the PCs are part of the inquisition, they are certainly subject to control by their even more fascist higher-ups.

 

Acolytes are not free-roaming adventurers. They are tools in the employment of the Inquisition, given a certain amount of freedom and a certain amount of power. The power comes with the price of being subjected to monitoring whenever and wherever the superiors want to, restricting the PCs freedom. They cannot do what they want, they cannot go wherever they want when they feel like. They got a job to do and expectations to meet. And ultimately the higher-ups decide what tools they need when and where; usually, there is a lot of leeway - but there needn't be.

 

Depending on the Inq, any gathered loot could be turned over to the Inquisition and sold on their behalf.

 

Alex

 

tl; dr = let the Interrogator take charge to a certain degree of what the PCs can and cannot do and what to equip themselves with, if necessary. This disincentivizes hoarding.


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#7 doomande

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:58 AM

Greedy characters are a pain in the ass, that are sure, but they are characters and if played well can they actually be rather fun to play with. But corrupt characters that goes against the laws of the Emperor, see that is heresy. I would say find out what kind of character he is by testing him by something small.

 

Describe how there sits a idol of the two headed eagle made out of pure gold in an appropriate setting, but with it still being a bit out of the picture. Like in a small tiny church that are else crumbling, on a road sign that points towards something holy, maybe even Terra (as precisely as such a thing now can be of course). Maybe are there a box of ammo to the weapon that the player have and the shop owner excuses himself since he have to go into another room to get whatever thing they just have brought. Make different tests with different objects to learn his own limits, but make sure that it just are tests, either testing him with a small thing that they just could have brought (ammo, rations other paraphernalia), things that there can´t just be sold (a ring that they "found on the street", it being a stolen item that most juvelers knows about, the mentioned idol from above that would be heavy as hell and limit the character and how much loot he can take with him, and are impossible to sell to any honest man because they all have heard the story about how it is truly holy) or something third that still could end up being both a test, a hook to a consequence and a tiny reward because all players hate it when they play their characters and do something special only to get a slap on the wrist time and time again.

 

Let him be greedy, he acts just like the nobles then and other parts of humanity, and so long as he do his job properly and don´t step over the other characters toes can I personally not see a problem. But never let him become corrupt, because the heretic should be burnt.


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#8 Magellan

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:01 AM

Whoa. I wouldn't give someone 1d10+5 corruption points for sacrificing an orphan to the dark gods, much less for shooting the wrong person in a dream. Honestly, is a healthy bit of greed really going to cause you to mutate? Because in that case, half the nobility of the Imperium ought to have turned into chaos spawn a long time ago.

 

If his greed compromises his missions of pisses off the wrong person, then by all means, have his superiors/enemies stab him in the balls a couple of times. Put him in a situation where he has to decide whether his greed or his fear of the Inquisition is stronger - and if he chooses greed, teach him why he chose poorly. There are a lot of good suggestions in this thread, but in my (admittedly less than) humble opinion, if the universe literally went out of its way to punish those who behaved "immorally", there would be no need for enforcers or arbites. I also really think 1d10+5 corruption points is a huge amount, test of faith or not.


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#9 Fgdsfg

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:24 AM

Whoa. I wouldn't give someone 1d10+5 corruption points for sacrificing an orphan to the dark gods, much less for shooting the wrong person in a dream. Honestly, is a healthy bit of greed really going to cause you to mutate? Because in that case, half the nobility of the Imperium ought to have turned into chaos spawn a long time ago.
 
[...]

Wait, what? 1d10+5 Corruption would be inappropriate for sacrificing an orphan to the dark gods?

Also, take note that the dreams were influenced by warpfuckery. If it was just a regular dream, then of course he shouldn't be getting corruption, but in the scenario presented, I was imagining the dream as extremely vivid and realistic, and when he shot the other man, I can just imagine the far-away voice of someone going "Good.. gooood..".

In a nutshell, Corruption isn't for immoral acts as such, but because you draw the attention of the powers of the immaterium.

1d10+5 is anywhere from 6 to 15, on a scale of 1-100. If you go about drawing the attention of the forces of chaos, I don't see how that's inappropriate at all. 3d10 is huge. 1d10+5 is nothing when actively pulling the warp in and pleasing the dark gods.

[...]

[...]
This is a fascist system [...]

[...]

Hahaha, what? The overall system of the Imperium is feudal at best, republican at a stretch, but best described as despotic on average. How you manage to get "fascist" in there is just... what? Have language lost all meaning, boiling entire ideologies down to pejoratives?

Edited by Fgdsfg, 11 June 2014 - 02:29 AM.

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#10 Magellan

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:38 AM

I was speaking hyperbolically about the orphan thing, but I seriously do not believe that four Chaos rituals should be enough to turn you into a spawn. Heck, the summoning thingy in the Radical's Handbook only gives you 2d5+3 or something.

 

Hahaha, what? The overall system of the Imperium is feudal at best, republican at a stretch, but best described as despotic on average. How you manage to get "fascist" in there is just... what? Have language lost all meaning, boiling entire ideologies down to pejoratives?

Pretty much. However, in my uneducated and Wikipedia-spawned opinion on the matter, the Imperium has at least as much in common with fascism as it does with republicanism. I guess it's one of the problems of trying to define the political structure of a galaxy-spanning empire with terms normally applied to singular nations of a single planet.


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#11 Spacebatsy

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 07:57 AM

How can greed actually work for an acolyte? The way I’ve been GM:ed and the way I GM my players money and possessions holds a very limited personal meaning to acolytes. He gain a lot of money, what does he do with them? There is a limit to how much can be spent on gambling, drinking, company etc. before it affects the agents performance.

He can buy gear sure, but why? If it’s cooler than anything the inquisition is willing to equip him with then they’re just going to confiscate it, and if it’s not then there is no reason to buy it. The same with spending money for missions, you know, for bribes, accommodation, cover etc. The inquisition will provide the means they consider reasonable and reclaim any surplus.    

And, let’s face it, it’s not like he’s going to retire one day and buy a little house at the golden shores of Reth so there is no point in hoarding. Unless he plans to make a run for it…

Acolytes are the property of the Holy Ordos (to add to the fascism-discussion), it’s not like they have a life of their own  ;)

 

Bottom-line. What does he do with the money?


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#12 Magellan

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:40 AM

He can buy gear sure, but why? If it’s cooler than anything the inquisition is willing to equip him with then they’re just going to confiscate it, and if it’s not then there is no reason to buy it. The same with spending money for missions, you know, for bribes, accommodation, cover etc. The inquisition will provide the means they consider reasonable and reclaim any surplus.   

You seem to assume that everyone else GMs the way you do, and that nobody thinks there's any difference between individual inquisitors. I can't speak for everyone who runs these games, but I can say that I have never encountered a GM who runs it like you do.


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#13 Spacebatsy

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 12:21 PM

You seem to assume that everyone else GMs the way you do, and that nobody thinks there's any difference between individual inquisitors. I can't speak for everyone who runs these games, but I can say that I have never encountered a GM who runs it like you do.

 

Of course not, there are as many ways to GM as there are GMs :) 

Sorry if I sounded a bit full of myself, I do that sometimes. Let me rephrase:

 

It would be easy for any inquisitor or interrogator, especially if run in a more of a fascist manner, to control most parts of an acolytes life, including his or hers possession and spending habits. Considering that they actually work for the inquisition it would be hard to hide cool (and by extension inappropriate) stuff.

 

Being brought up in that sort of mindset when playing dark heresy, I, myself, have difficulty imagining what the acolytes could spend their money on that the inquisition could not heavily restrict if they felt it to be necessary (or if the GM wanted to limit acolyte buying-frenzy).

 

I feel it would be a reasonably excuse that the inquisition equip their agents with the tools they need for their trade, and take away what they think would affect said agents in a negative manner  :P

Like someone mentioned above (but with a different meaning): if they have nothing to spend their money on, the money become useless. 



#14 ColArana

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 01:42 PM

 

You seem to assume that everyone else GMs the way you do, and that nobody thinks there's any difference between individual inquisitors. I can't speak for everyone who runs these games, but I can say that I have never encountered a GM who runs it like you do.

 

 

I feel it would be a reasonably excuse that the inquisition equip their agents with the tools they need for their trade, and take away what they think would affect said agents in a negative manner  :P

Like someone mentioned above (but with a different meaning): if they have nothing to spend their money on, the money become useless. 

 

 

I have to say I see that as a good way to really piss a player off. Spent the last three campaigns saving up enough gelt to buy that Power Sword? Nope, I'm taking it away from you because I don't want you to have it.

 

Has a way of making a player feel like their efforts in that regard are totally useless, and would just be plain frustrating.

 

I can only assume that the creators of Dark Heresy gave players a paycheck and then made tables of equipment you can buy, for the purposes of Acolytes buying and using the equipment in those tables, when they earned enough gelt to do so.


Edited by ColArana, 11 June 2014 - 01:44 PM.


#15 Spacebatsy

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:28 PM

 

 

I feel it would be a reasonably excuse that the inquisition equip their agents with the tools they need for their trade, and take away what they think would affect said agents in a negative manner  :P

Like someone mentioned above (but with a different meaning): if they have nothing to spend their money on, the money become useless. 

 

 

I have to say I see that as a good way to really piss a player off. Spent the last three campaigns saving up enough gelt to buy that Power Sword? Nope, I'm taking it away from you because I don't want you to have it.

 

Has a way of making a player feel like their efforts in that regard are totally useless, and would just be plain frustrating.

 

I can only assume that the creators of Dark Heresy gave players a paycheck and then made tables of equipment you can buy, for the purposes of Acolytes buying and using the equipment in those tables, when they earned enough gelt to do so.

 

 

I would never take away something that the players had worked hard to get out of petty spite, or anything but an extremely good reason. When I say that it is possible to come up with an excuse for removing things from PCs, through the inquisition, I do not mean the GM should do this. Rather that the PCs should be aware that it’s within the inquisitions power to do so.  :)

 

 However, if you had a player who, like in this case, seems to overplay the greed characteristic, you could counter this by making money having less value by playing up the inquisition controlling their resources, and thus taking away the purpose of greed. Maybe as an active response from the inquisitor, seeing the obsession of worldly possessions as a flaw and trying to induce a more ascetic lifestyle in his/her servant. Or as a passive modus operandi on the organizations part of not allowing scavenging and unauthorized equipment.

 

Proven acolytes would, in my opinion, surely enjoy more freedom and benefits, and their judgment being trusted. They would probably be allowed to customize their own gear, but (still in my opinion) it would be odd if this would rely on how much money they’ve saved up.

Unless some very strange politics are at play, or they simply want the acolytes dead, I believe the inquisition would not send their agents into, say, the fray of an ork-invasion carrying nothing but a stub revolver, a mono knife and a “well you should have saved up for a power sword”. They would provide them with what’s deemed necessary for the task at hand.

Of course it would make for a boring play to not get to keep any cool stuff, but that, in my opinion, is what petition is for. If the PCs prove themselves valuable then the inquisitor would want to invest in them, granting them cool stuff, trusting them to keep cool stuff that they have claimed during missions etc.

 

I find it difficult to imagine that most cool stuff would even be for sale, unless they have very good contacts. For example, where would you even buy a power sword? Just because there is a price tag doesn’t mean it’s available.  

Coincidently one of my players wanted a power sword badly and had only been allowed to borrow one during very special circumstances. At one point however he manage to claim one during a mission and grudgingly handed it in afterwards. A few days later he got it back with the message “Declared free of taint. Keep it”. He consider that one of his best moments. Not because he got an awesome weapon he had wanted, but because “now I know [the inquisitor] trusts me”. And he has never whipped it out for anything less than absolute necessity.

 

I have not played many games where loot have played major part, and that has affected how I GM as well. I do not claim this way of playing as the right or best way. What I want to communicate is that problems with players regarding loot and money could be addressed by using the fact that the PCs serves an extremely controlling organization.  


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#16 ak-73

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 12:29 AM


[...]

[...]
This is a fascist system [...]

[...]

Hahaha, what? The overall system of the Imperium is feudal at best, republican at a stretch, but best described as despotic on average. How you manage to get "fascist" in there is just... what? Have language lost all meaning, boiling entire ideologies down to pejoratives?

 

 

Well, it's certainly fascist in methodology -  indoctrination, hatred, violence against those who are different, monitoring of the own population and harsh punishment of dissidents. Also, as a German, let me add to your political education and define the core philosophy of national-socialism regarding society to you: the needs of the nation (Imperium) supersede the needs and wants of the individual. This markedly different from liberalism (the individual comes first) and socialism (the general greater good comes first).

 

It's only feudal in the sense that a distinction between the Imperium and its ruler is often not made. The God-Emperor is the Imperium personified. That's not too different from the standing of the "Führer" though, minus the religious aspect.

 

Feudal would imply a trade of freedom for security (which is at the heart of the formation of feudalism and ironically what we're doing these days with the NSA). This is not the basis of the Imperium. There can be no "yeoman" planets, no? Everyone and everything must succumb to the will of Terra.

 

 

So, yeah, either language has lost all meaning or it is not generally well-understood what national-socialism is.

 

Alex


Edited by ak-73, 12 June 2014 - 12:34 AM.

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#17 darkforce

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:53 AM

The reality in the Imperium, however, look a tad bit different in my opinion. After all, on most planet there's a case of "as long as the tithe is paid and the basic laws of the Emperor are obeyed, whatever happens on the planet is fine." 

 

See, for example, Iocanthos: Warlords waging a war, which is quite tolerated without much intervention by the Imperium itself ('cept for the weapon-shipments ofc).

Or Malfi, a quite literal vipers-pit of Intrigues and somesuch. 

Or Fenksworld with Hive Volg, which can be counted as a Mutant-Ghetto

Or the Adeptus Mechanicus as a whole being officially an "Ally" of the Imperium, not an actual part of it (as far as I know)

 

I think all of these exceptions are numerous enough to call the whole system "feudal", although it is heavily inspired by fascism and national socialism. And theocratic and despotic thoughts as well. In short, a political fustercluck.

 

And the whole system is feudal, isn't it? "As long as you pay your tithe, we will probably send troops to help you. Might take a lot of time for them to reach you, they might get lost due to Warp-Travel/Clerical Error, but we'll still send them." 



#18 Magellan

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:50 AM

Well, this argument continued in a more civil fashion than expected. The quality of these forums has really improved over the years.

 

I think the status of the Mechanicus in relation to the Imperium is subject to interpretation. The Mechanicus itself doesn't seem like a particularly unified group to me, what with forge worlds withholding information, individual tech-priests vying for power, and so on and so on. This kind of variation is part of what I love about the Imperium.

 

As for what gear should and should not be available, I leave that up to each person's flavour and circumstances. I like hive campaigns that run the gamut from seedy underhive bars to posh noble spires, that include missions where carrying expensive gear would be suicidal (underhive) to those where the opposite is true. I do have enemies loot the unconscious bodies of my players if they burn fate points without managing to escape, and I do have the Inquisition hand out equipment as needed, depending on the personality of the inquisitor and how well they get along with the party.

 

Regardless, take care to preserve everyone's fun, including your own. There's always the option of simply talking to your player, or to remove him if he causes too much of a disturbance.


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#19 Ninvizible

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:03 AM

Thanks for the help and ideas. After the first few posts and talking with a fellow GM I made some changes to the campaign and thing just got crazy and everyone was frustrated. We decided to restart the campaign (we were only like 3 short sessions in). We actually got through to said greedy acolyte, explaining to him that because he's new and still learning roleplaying games, he should try something new and he will likely still have a lot of fun with it. He agreed, and is now playing the polar opposite of his previous bloodthirsty, greedy, and powerhungry guardsman; an interesting medical and biological based Adept with schizophrenia (which I think will be a great roleplay mechanic).
Well my problem has been pretty much fixed, however this post shall remain for future frustrated GMs to learn about everyones good ideas. Thanks everyone.
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#20 Covered in Weasels

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 01:29 PM

I'm glad to hear things ended well. I find the best solution is often to speak with the offending player and explain how his/her actions are making the game less fun for everyone. After this, most reasonable people will at least make an effort to change their behavior.

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