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Problematic priest./GM needs help


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#1 VarniusEisen

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 01:53 AM

Ok so one of my players is playing a cleric. I've sent him all the links I can think of to give him as much info on the Ecclesiarchy as I can find, but I still don't think he gets it.

Last night we played thro the meeting with Aristarchus and Abbot Skae from the back of the DH rulebook. Everyone expected him to take the lead and ask loads of questions but he just sat their like a zombie. the guardsman had so many questions that he could barely shut up and even the Tech Priest had some questions.

A bit later the groups psyker faints due to a scary psyniscience check. The cleric goes off on one claiming that  "We can't investigate with out psyker" and goes to see Aristarchus to DEMAND some assistance. He is told by Brother Severus that he's in a meeting and the cleric starts threatening the old priest with his Fate-bringer that he's only meant to draw when he's going to execute someone.

Even other members of the group have said to me about this un-cleric like behaviour.

If he's not saying "Do as I say, I'm part of the Ecclesiarchy" he's saying "Do as I say, I'm part of the Inquisition"

The truth is that I don't know what to do with him.

Any input and ideas would be greatfully received.



#2 Nerd King

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 02:17 AM

I've suggested this before to people who have experienced similar issues -

Of course there will always be those members of any occupation or vocation which don't conform - the preist who has lost faith and is in the role for temporal power rather than heavenly glory however it is suitable (particularly in fiction and games) that such people have to face up to their choices and as necessary explain themselves to those who are their superiors. Each Cleric will come from a fellowship/cathedral/brotherhood/monastry etc. and, starting as a novice they will have senior members of their order who will have authority over them.  Have word get back to them of their brother's activities and have them pay him a little visit.

If he doesn't bend to their gentle persuausion have them threaten to recall him.  If he quotes Inquisitional mandate have them go over his head to the Inquisitor.

Plus talk to the player - explain that the character isn't being played like a cleric and that if he carries on like this he will have to face the music.  If he's really unhappy about playing a cleric "properly" but doesn't want to change PC then perhaps suggest that you write it in to the plot that he get's "de-frocked" and from then on run him on another career path i.e. Scum or Adept.

 



#3 Headhanger

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 02:24 AM

  • Interrogator, sitting in a landspeeder, with a hunting rifle/long las - This guy is causing too much of a ruckus... well, it's not like I didn't warn you to be discreet. Bang. Roll up a new character.
  • Interrogator, after the mission, standing behind the problematic character who is tied to a metal chair in the centre of a dark room. I think that you and I need to have a nice little chat about how we go about things in the Inquisition...
  • Someone who speaks High Gothic and refuses to utter the filthy Low Gothic in public except for using its swear words. If the cleric character is the only one with High Gothic as a skill, all the other characters will have to ask him for translations, which you should enforce. That will make him speak.
  • Let the other players' characters police the cleric too. If he pulls a gun on someone they're supposed to be allied with, the cleric should expect to be grabbed from behind by his fellow Acolytes and restrained until he remembers his manners.
  • Have highly visible, armed guards around characters that the cleric might threaten.
  • Introduce a character who meets with the cleric when the other characters are not around (when he's in the privy perhaps?); he speaks in High Gothic and when threatened with any Inquisitional title he can reply Fool! I'm on your side! The master sent me to check up on you! or something. If you don't want this guy to be another acolyte of the Inquisition, then the cleric has just blown his own cover to a spy! When it's time for the big reveal Ha! I knew you were all Inquisitional agents all along! Your idiot priest friend told me everything while he was on the privy! then perhaps your problem player will get the idea.
  • As a last resort (and I really do mean last resort, it should never have to come to this) I would try talking to the player, introducing him to a few new fluff items such as the secrecy and tact linked to the Inquisition. Remind him that being a priest doesn't mean he will always get what he wants. Just because he preaches the Emperor's word and enforces the Emperor's will does not mean he has the Emperor's authority!


#4 VarniusEisen

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 05:43 AM

Some nice ideas there, thanks guys.

I'm a bit loath to just kill the character as this would be the 2nd one the player has lost due to stupidity. Nor do I want to do something that will affect the whole group. After all, everyone else is playing in character and shouldn't be punished for his mistakes.

How do priests end up getting "kicked out" of the church?

What would be the punishments for stepping out of line?

Perhaps I should introduce a rival Inquisition team witha couple of Acro-flagelants. If he thinks he's a bad-ass he'll soon find out other wise.



#5 Graver

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 09:03 AM

I would say that there's nothing inherently wrong in the way he's chosen to play his cleric.  After all, the Imperial Cult is a heavily militarized religion, not the Love Your Fellow Brother verity we're used to, more like the blow those bastards over there up verity.  And lets not forget that those wacky so and so Redemptionists are clerics as well and all they seem to want to do is tear things up with chainsaws and burn those that don't get torn up.

There dose seem to be a definite problem with him interfering with mission success however.

I would say just roll with his behavior and respond accordingly if it is reasonable to do such.  Sure, he might get away with being a bit of a bastard here and there and not all that preachy, but, if he goes mouthing off to senior acolytes, he could lose an arm or a life in the process.  Handle it in game with in game consequences.

Heck, I know you didn't want to go here, but I would go Full Metal Jackit on him.  If he botches up a mission due to his over zealous nature, i would have the =I= punish the intire team (possibly even excluding the cleric from the punishment).  After all, how could a cleric be wrong ;).  Even more important and relevant, I'm sure the =I= would like the team to learn to police it's self.  If they let one member botch things up for them, then they effectively botched things up themselves.  Everyone in the cell is answerable to everyone else's actions, fair or not.  They are a team, thus they must act as one and be treated as one.



#6 Ichiban11

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:51 AM

I never liked iinterfering with HOW a person played his/her Charecter and it seems to me the issue is not how HE'S playing it, but how EVERYONE ELSE thinks he should be playing it.

Everyone has an idea on how a certian class should be played, but that doesn't mean that's the only way. If he was playing any other class would you still have an issue with it?

Just because he's playing a non-fighter roll doesn't mean he has to be the investigator of the group. What the PC's do and what role they play, both in a combat fasion and investigative fasion, is something they themselves are going to have to figure out.

As far as flashing the badge and blowing cover remind him and the group of what and who they're enemies are. The things and people that the =][= investigates are not stupid and know full well what will happen to them if they are caught so they'll keep eyes and ears out for them and kill or go to ground if they know the =][= is out for them. This could mean a much longer mission where the PC's have to spend more time digging to re-find the trail then you intended.

When my PC's blew thier cover I started to have the NPC's try and kill them and start cutting thier losses and loose ends. My PC's still couldn't unravel it all and I had to drop hints to just end the mission. Some of the NPC's got away and will huant them later.



#7 Texas_Ben

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 12:04 PM

VarniusEisen said:

Some nice ideas there, thanks guys.

I'm a bit loath to just kill the character as this would be the 2nd one the player has lost due to stupidity. Nor do I want to do something that will affect the whole group. After all, everyone else is playing in character and shouldn't be punished for his mistakes.

You aren't punishing them for his mistakes.  Just follow the consequences for his actions through to their logical conclusion... He's blowing their cover? Assassins come for them in the night.  Don't kill them off at first, just make things really hard for them and make sure they know why... chances are next time he goes to do something stupid, they'll try and reign him in a little.  If he still doesn't learn, well, he put himself in that position, and if he drags the rest of the party down with him, then so be it. 

Although I also agree with a lot of the people here on roleplaying: Is he playing it *wrong* (And blowing their cover most certainly is doing it very wrong, and needs slapping down), or is he playing it just in a way you don't like? If it's the latter, cut him some slack because he's really not doing anything wrong.



#8 VarniusEisen

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 09:06 PM

As far as blowing cover goes, I can deal with that. It's not a problem.

Here is what I consider to be the problem:

Upon character creation he bought a "Fate-Bringer" that he said was only going to be used for executing enemies of the Imperium. I thought it was a nice touch.

So far he has used it to threaten an Arbites Lieutenant who didn't want to go into the underhive without a fully kitted up team.

Pulled his robe aside and flashed it at anyone that has disagreed with him.

Used it to threaten an Escher gang (all warrior women) and promptly to laughed at a thrown out the bar - literally.

Threatened the supply depo manager while hitching a ride from A-B on board a heavy cruiser. The manager told him that they didn't have any of the items he requested and cleric thought he was lying.

As well as numerous other times when he's tried to bully loyal Imperial servants.



#9 Fideru

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 12:04 AM

Well, I'm sure someone will consider this a little harsh, but, I think you should try pushing his buttons with that whole 'Fate-bringer' thing.

Maybe put in a character selectively meant to piss him off, he'll flash the fate-bringer, "Are you trying to threaten me?" and bring a can of pain. It'd be something I'd do to keep him in line.

Oh, and for exposing cover, I'd say make their lives difficult (Someone said Assassins, good idea), and be sure to tell them why.



#10 segara82

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 02:05 AM

Ah yes, the Lawfull-Evil-approach, as i like to call it.

Might does not always make right, and although they work for the Inquisition they are still low-level footsluggers. Give them a run-in with an Interrogator or other direct helper of their Inquisitor. I let Sand give them quite a speech after they nearly blew their investigation in 'edge of darkness'. why they did that, blew up this, shot those ...

Always threatening people will anger several of them, flashing the rosetta will get the cultists/hereteks/aliens attention, thus they will hide or strike at them first. So, the number of people (wanting to) shooting at them increases from alone by a tenfold. Hiding and laying false clues/infos for the acolytes is also more appropriate if the bad guys are clever. Disappearing acolytes mean there is something, them running in circles only means they're dumb.

Well, my group misunderstood the concept of subtlety so often and far, that now they are en route on an IG cruiser to Kulth (see new.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp ). a few sneak missions for the military, a little investigation in the growing black market and drug-problem in a war-zone, where they are mostly permanent outnumbered and outgunned should make them more careful. I will give them some chances to get back to real investigation. After reading 'Maggots in the Meat' i consider it a good opportunity, although they will investigate because there are not enough ressources coming from that planet, and those strange rumours about disappearing people ...


Courage is the mastery of fear - not the absence of fear


#11 Headhanger

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 02:15 AM

Give someone in the group a big ol' firearm and have a Crocodile Dundee moment.

Priest: Give us a detachment of Guard soldiers or you'll feel the sting of my Fate Bringer!

Opponent: You think that is a handgun? This is a handgun!

Acolyte B: No. Draws boltpistol. This, is a handgun.



#12 Rashid ad Din Sinan

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 03:16 AM

Fideru said:

Well, I'm sure someone will consider this a little harsh, but, I think you should try pushing his buttons with that whole 'Fate-bringer' thing.

Maybe put in a character selectively meant to piss him off, he'll flash the fate-bringer, "Are you trying to threaten me?" and bring a can of pain. It'd be something I'd do to keep him in line.

Oh, and for exposing cover, I'd say make their lives difficult (Someone said Assassins, good idea), and be sure to tell them why.

Vision of  'Cleric Cornholio' there...

Upon further review it seems that perhaps there is a method to the player's madness.   As such let him go with it.  When he gets too out of line a quick slap back to reality that indeed he really is a small fish in a big pond might tone him down.  While such actions might work for an Inquisitor, not so much as a grunt.  He has delusions of grandeur with a superiority complex.  Let him keep talking smack and then let him talk to a superior in the Eccleseasticy or Inquisition - someone with a 'bigger hammer' - and see if he grovels accordingly.  If so, I am sure the other players will never let him forget it.



#13 VarniusEisen

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 06:02 AM

ok so I like the idea off assassins. BUT who sends them? how many are there? How powerful are they? Do I have him chased by a 10 man squad of Eversor Assassins?



#14 John Do''h

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 06:51 AM

Had many similar issues over the years, I agree with others, let him run with it but also let him deal with the "Concequences" and be as Evil as you like about them!

Have a similar issue with a player who does not get the whole "Its a better life in the Inquisition looking out then outside fearing those looking out" He keeps saying he is forced to work for the inquisition.... but the boss has turned up now and he has gone a little quiter for a while .

Enjoy it, but watchout that its remembered that its a game for fun and not personal, I've had player take "punishment" the wrong way and get all huffy over things, not a major deal but just watch for it before it ruins friendships.... been on the recieving side of that more then once!



#15 Ira

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 03:51 PM

In my opinion, its all based on the severity of how you wana punish him into shape (the skinner theory).

If you want to keep him alive, present him with the opertunity to insult/threaten an appearingly dainty noble. Have the noble challange him to a duel for a later date, to flee would be an insult on his character. Say close combat weapons. Have the noble show up in full carapace weilding a power sword. Then have a moment where the noble will accept a formal apology or show the cleric a noteable death. If he refuses to apologise get him to a critical wounded stage where he may lose a limb or just becomes horrably scarred.

Or if your just sick of his crap, and the rest of the team is too. Have him offed by an assassin (as was previously mentioned) hired by afformentioned noble. Time to roll up a new character, and get this one right.



#16 Cat that Walked by Himself

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 11:02 PM

Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest? :)

Maybe you should talk with him about his background? Who is this guy? Where does he come from? Why is he part of the big I? I mean, why he was selected to be part of the big I? Does he have any family, close friends or loved ones? Inquisition should be about War of Ideas, so what are his ideas on Emperor, Universe and everything else - he is cleric and by definition he should have some ideas? 

 

Maybe then you will have clearer idea how to deal with him in your game...

 

Often, and I fear this is encouraged by the DH, players do not think about these issues and just wallow in the gun-bunny aspect of the whole thing*. It all ends up in a pretty Freudian who's got bigger gun competition.

 

Also, don't blame it only on him. We all need more input on how to play our characters in DH**

 

* And as an aside note: We NEED more non-combat talents and options. I mean more input on how to play the game besides blowing things up.

 

** Does anyone remember that nice A Day in the Life feature in old Fading Suns Player's Handbook? Well, something like that should have been in Inquisitor's Handbook.



#17 Locque

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 02:00 PM

I'd say that there's nothign inherently wrong about the way that he's playing... but if someone's as much fo a **** as his character, they can expect a beatdown. if it's really getting to you, just include characters that won't be intimidated.

Have him try and draw on bex begundi, only to end up staring down the barrells of two Hecutors, or, my favourite,  have him threaten a disguised inquisitor, who punishes him for his temerity, and complains to his master.



#18 Ira

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 03:23 PM

In my first dark heresy group we had similer problems with two characters out of a group of seven (not including myself, the GM). These two (a cleric and a guardsmen) made it impossable for the other five to enjoy the roll playing expirance, they never talked in character, and were more concerned about combat then anything else. It got annoying having them blow the cover every time to bring about a combat. We talked, both roll playing and O.O.G. about their behavior and how they need to become more in-tune with their characters insted of just creating powerhouse characters. They never listened. So I took the advice of one of our older PC's in his days of D&D and brought back an old custom. Weeding. I put in an NPC who took the roll of a rogue trader. In honest he was a rogue inquisitor who commanded two daemon hosts. The two guys (wont say names) tried bullying him out of the ship, spouting how they worked for the inquisition and they deserve it more. He smiled and said so did he, then spoke the words of command and the daemonhosts appeared. I set it up so the players interested in the actual roll playing of the game would be next to the escape pods, and there were only five of them. Needless to say the power house wana-bes got torn apart like they were nothing. They both got annoyed, threw a mini tantrum, and refused to roll up new characters, or to get the idea of Roll Playing right. So the group became a group of five who had alot of fun investigating insted of picking fights with no reason.

So the essential question you need to ask yourself is this. Is the cleric the person whos blood thirsty? Or the dude who rolled him up? If its the player, not the character, then organise a chance to off the cleric. Then after the blood has been shed, pull him aside and tell him WHY he got offed. If he wants to start over more maturely give the guy a chance. But if he cant grow up, as sad as it is, kick him out of the group in a nice way. He cant spoil the fun for everyone. Maturity is everything when it comes to playing the game.

If its truely the cleric's character, then teach the player that every action has a reaction... the hard way... Inquisition style..



#19 cappadocius

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 03:29 AM

So, I'm going to sound like some sort of filthy hippie here, but rather than killing off the character or "punishing" him with assassins, maybe you could pull the player aside and ask him why he's playing his character this way, and if he realizes that some of the other players are having less fun with the game because of his behavior. Maybe the player *is* looking for a beatdown on his character, and wants to play the whole tragic flaw/downfall story with him. Maybe the player is just enjoying being a badass like in an action movie. Maybe the player is working out his frustrations about not having much power at work or school through his character by abusing his character's power. Who knows without talking to him? Don't throw any ultimatums at him or say hyperbolic things like "ruining the game" and "doing it wrong" - that'll put him on the defensive.

A good player who is committed to the group will say, "Oh, crap. I'm ruining the others' fun? I'll dial back the cleric a little. Do you think you could give me an in-game humbling experience to give a reason for my change in behavior? If not, it's cool. I'll still dial him back." Don't let him get away with "But that's what My Guy would do!" - sometimes you have to compromise for the better fun of everyone. And if he says "tough. That's my character, I like him that way, and the other guys will have to deal with him", do not hesitate to ask him to sit this campaign out. If he's actually your friend, he'll get over it and be ready for the next game. If he's not a friend, but just a gaming buddy, then I really don't think you'll miss him too much.

Just some thoughts.



#20 Ira

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 05:16 AM

Out of curiousity? Have you done anything diplomatic since you started this thred Varnasus?






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