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New GM with problem, need helpful suggestions please.

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#1 Adept Orcadius

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:32 PM

Hey guys so here's my issue:

Im GMing for a group of my friends, 6 players total. And I have this one person who consistanly plays the same type of character: (preferably to him) Night Lords CSM doesnt matter what arch type minus sorceror. In Deathwatch he did this, I changed everything to "hey guys im starting from scratch and this game is only humans" and he made a renegade with a jump pack and the same talents he had on all his other characters. he basically always trys to make his character a Raptor Like Zso' Sahaal from "Lord of the Night".

Now..... as cool as it is to play pretend that you are the indeed perverbial badass...... the way he plays this does not work well with the others in the group. He basically does the superman style "stand back while i drop this tomb stalker in one TURN of combat. I guess my issue isnt necessarily that theres an assault marine build in the group, its his consistant use of playing the same character with a different skin, the same way. With the same talents.

I wanted my game to be challenging at the start, not have someone who built a combat beast start stealing the show for everyone else and become an army of one.(pun intended).

Im at a loss, I dont want to possibly lose a friend over a game of make believe but the way he builds his guys and plays them basically is powergaming, and its broken a few of my attempts to really provide a good storyline/missions for my friends.

Last night when I brought this up to him that Id REALLY like him to try playing a different style of character, the response i recieved was along the lines of: "well this is my character and I enjoy playing the close combat beast. I have the freedom to play my character the way I want to and build him how I please..."

At this point I had to bite my lip and call it quits for the night but after losing a little sleep over this trying to think of some middle ground solution Im to the point that I should feel mad/frustrated everytime I think about my game because there is a repetative issue with someones character being OP compared to the rest of the group, and basically....should I just tell him " well as GM I have the freedom to run my game the way I want to and also have the freedom to NOT allow your character in my game. kick rocks."

Id really rather not start something and possibly lose a friend but hes not listened to the MANY....MAAAAANY times ive tried to get him to stop, and/or try to play something else and expand as a player.


please feel free to throw your 2 cents in on this as long as you got a helpful suggestion for a new GM.  Thanks.

#2 Lockark



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Posted 17 December 2011 - 06:16 PM

I acctully have the exactly same problem. Bassicly he figured out a combination of skills and talents that let's him "superman charge" into close combat and kill most things in a single turn of close combat. I to very much do not like haveing to tell me players "No you can't play that". Luckily I've been DM'ing 4th ed D&D for awhile and learn how you have to deal with a player who is just a combat beast.


1) Consider incorperateing more Investigation and Role playing focuse to your story. Reward the players who concentrated on Non-Combat skills. I've found this lets other characters become bad asses in their own right. Since it will be these characters who move the story foreword and drive the plot. This will other make the player take pride in being "the muscle" of the party, or want to start makeing a character who wants to be part of the action.


2)This ties into the 1st point. When combat happens I make it something realy specil. Bassicly each encounter needs to be a boss fight. Alot of times I bassicly need a Marien Termy with simular stats and number of skills/tallents just to go toe to toe with the player in question. Sometimes even needs MORE then that just to give a decent challenge.


Then have regularly leveled enemies for the rest of the party. Alot of times "the player" likes to pair up agiest the biggest threat, so don't have to worry about the wrong guy going after him. (That jump pack of his makes dubble sure.)

Can cause some awkward situtations story wise saddly. Once had to make up the stats for a war elephant just for something that could give him a challenge. (Witch of course that elephant is now a running gag since I made it too strong and started rampageing threw the whole party.)

#3 coolzyg



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Posted 17 December 2011 - 07:52 PM

Firstly If he is so full of %#@& so he only care about his fun I don't see him ass good friend and player as he spoils fun for 5 people. I also had a guy who played almost the same character every time but with little difference but we talked with him and with time he changed his style of play. Now he plays maybe not different type of characters but they are enough different with exception that they are good at melee.

As for you player - jump pack is not god mode. Firstly use dungeons so he won't fly and jump. If he is CC beast give him proper cc challenge in wh there is always bigger fish. Try stealth missions. If they want to get to secret base of Imperium they cant take their heavy gear, only disguise. Make games where talking is important or they need to think.

If he don't want to cooperate don't hold back at him. It's your time when your preparing game for them and you also won't to have fun they all should consider your feeling and appreciate your hard work.

#4 Reverend mort

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 01:49 AM

Talk to your player. Be honest, tell him that he is ruining the game for you, and possibly the other players. You're the GM, you have the right to dictate what kind of characters you allow, tell him that his character is excessively more powerful than the rest of the group and is making your job harder and less fun.

Be reasonable, be willing to try to find compromises, but don't let yourself be bludgeoned or bullied into submission. Do your best to keep your calm and be friendly, And if push comes to shove, be ready to tell him that this game is not for him.

#5 K0balt



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Posted 18 December 2011 - 07:42 AM

My advice? Basically, screw him in-game. Since he is exclusively melee and wants to use his jump abilities, trap him and the other pcs in claustrophobic, but well-lit environments patrolled by enemies, basically requiring stealth or carefully-set diversions to progress (A Mechanicum base will do quite well). No bull vents (too narrow, at least), no grates in the floor, just narrow corridors. If he tries to charge through a well-lit corridor at armed gunmen, punish the hell out of him. Let's see, 4 skitarii, with thermal vision, plasma guns, point blank, on overcharge: I don't like your chances, son.

Or make him simply encounter the real thing: Night Lords. You can even use his old character's name if appropriate. Proceed to the beating. Mock him: "Look at this brothers, a mortal wannabe! I might keep him as a pet, he amuses me so..."

I had a guy that only ever played combat psykers. He eventually encountered a simple mercenary, that sadly happened to be an absolute grade blank. Alone. Too bad you never upgraded anything but your psyker powers, and every punch he threw at you left a burning mark in your skin that basically made you a pariah in your own right (just not the same kind). The only way to settle down a munchkinning player is to make him encounter something he cannot possibly defeat, goad him into fighting it (don't force it on him, so you can say it's his own fault), and then making him understand there will always be something in the W40k universe he cannot defeat.

Otherwise, let him have his fun, but every once in a while, if he doesn't get it, give him a lesson, kick him down, and humiliate his character (the loss of Infamy in BC hurts a lot). Most players wise up real quick. If that irritates him, well, he's just not good PC material. In that case, do as you wish, but a straight up talk with him is probably your best bet.

#6 Reverend mort

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 09:21 AM

@K0balt Yes, because nothing says "I'm an adult" quite like passive-aggressively tormenting your player and ruining their fun because you don't want to just raise the issues you have in actual conversation.

Playing the whole gm versus player thing does not settle down min-maxing players. It nurtures an antagonistic relationship that will lead to your player(s) growing increasingly annoyed and turning their attentions from having fun to ruining your game by intentionally doing everything they can to break it. All while any remaining players left out of this little passive-aggressive game of one-upmanship either grow bored enough to leave or sit there growing frustrated and resentful. It will inevitable lead to the frayed emotions and OOC anger issues the original poster wanted to avoid, and at best the targeted player either stops with his behavior or leaves.

A result which is not only more likely, but also faster and easier to achieve by actually confronting them with the issues like a grown up. A worse case scenario, which is rather likely, ends with more players leaving due either annoyance with the fact that the game is being derailed or the fact that the GM is being a ****.

Also a player getting frustrated by the fact that the GM occasionally singles out his character for some excessive punishment for no apparent reason is not "just not good PC material", it's a person getting annoyed by the fact that the GM is basically trying to bully him into submission without actually saying what the problem is. Especially since you don't actually stop him from doing the thing that annoys you. On the contrary, you advocate "letting him have his fun" yet you punish him for it. Mixed message much?

#7 K0balt



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Posted 18 December 2011 - 10:39 AM

I think you misunderstand my point, or the aim of what I proposed.

Have you ever had this kind of player? Where, no matter what, they do the same thing over and over again? I'm not talking about ruining his game, I'm talking about teaching him through the game that his behaviour is annoying. Not even killing his character. Just proving to him it isn't invincible in any sense of the term, any more than the others. I never killed or maimed or whatever a PC that hadn't somehow deserved it through his idiotic behavior. The examples I gave are basically a one-trick-pony PC trying to solve every problem the exact same way. Well, the very simple solution is to present them with a problem they absolutely cannot solve that way.

I am an extremely fair GM, do not play against my players, but encourage them by usually entertaining the possibility of success of pretty much every reasonable plan they make, even when it represents a shitload more work for me. When a player is being an unsufferable ****, won't acknowledge it, and is immune to any kind of logic, talk, or whatever, then yeah, I do enjoy being the fairest **** in the world by goading them in a fight they cannot win, and thus lose. I never forbade any kind of character, as long as it had more psychological depth than a berserker of khorne. And yet, some players seem to be there to roll dice only. Fine, I say. Let them have their fun. But when it is THE only way they solve their problems, making everyone else's game annoying, even when it doesn't make the remotest sense, and despite my not so subtle warnings of "You are SURE you want to do that?" then for the interest of the game, I can't tell them: "fine, do go on". RPG cannot be about always winning, otherwise it's dull.

They either recognize that and stop behaving that way on their own, or they keep doing it, and I'm sorry, I'm not going to give them a pass if they keep going on that way. This is not singling out (because every player character takes a beating once in a while, or you're not playing a 40k game) nor can they even pretend it is: "my invincible PC can be defeated because i made a stupid decision? Surely the only way is to be munchkiner." It's not about singling out a player, it's about bringing him back to the level of the others through the use of storytelling. And if he keeps being an idiot, he will have only himself to blame (and if you do it right, every other PC generally agrees with you). I find this generally preferable to telling a guy "You can't play this or that". I prefer: "You CAN play this, but it won't make you into the ultimate badass".

Btw, I had thought he had already done the talking thing. Must have misread that. EDIT: He actually did, but was basically told to sod off. He did do the adult thing (MANY MAAANYYY times, to quote him), and his player's response was childish at best.

#8 Reverend mort

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 11:01 AM

While your rewrite is significantly less offensive than the original, I still feel like I must disagree with you.

As Gm's, it's not our jobs to be teachers. If a player doesn't work within your game, you tell them. You tell them why they don't work, you point out how to make it work and you give them a chance to improve. If they don't, you tell them, politely, that this is not the game for them.

Sidetracking the game to intentionally and possibly repeatedly punish them "back in line" is annoying. It disrupts the flow of the game, but more importantly, it puts actual productive players on the sideline while you focus all the spotlight on ******* over a player who's already ruining their fun.

I agree that failure should be a risk, that victory should not always occur and that goading characters into fights against overwhelming odds make for either dramatic losses or amazing victories. These are all great, wonderful things with a place in almost any game. But all of them should occur as it fits into the narrative of the game and the storyline. It shouldn't happen because the GM thinks a player needs to learn a lesson, a lesson which most likely not be absorbed.

Disruptive players are disruptive. Attempting to "fix" this through IC punishments merely creates further disruptions. Kick them to the curb instead, and let the players who fit your game continue without them.
As for the original poster, I do read that he'd attempted to talk to the player. My suggestion was to try again, firmly, making it clear that the player's current attitude and behavior doesn't fit the game, and at the end of the day, it's a "my game or the highway" situation. While this might still fray the nerves of the overly sensitive players, it's far less likely to do so than passive-aggressive acts of dickery. Especially if you tell them that you're more than happy to have them return if they're willing to play by your rules.

#9 K0balt



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Posted 18 December 2011 - 11:11 AM

Let's agree to disagree then: I don't think we play with exactly the same kind of players. Still, I only proposed the only solution I could think of (when the op has apparently already talked his player to death), short of giving him the boot.

#10 Adept Orcadius

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 01:58 PM

This just made my day : "it's far less likely to do so than passive-aggressive acts of dickery". I dont think ive ever heard someone say "dickery" before in that context. awsome ^_^.

#11 Adept Orcadius

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 02:14 PM

Hey guys thanks for the input, and thanks for not getting aggressive with eachother over my problem, since sometimes ppl who agree to disagree tend to keep an abrazive edge sometimes (this would be you two fine posters Kobalt n Rev). YOU BOTH have good points for me to consider and think of how I am going to handle this player in my group. Yes between myself and other players bringing his repetative CC monster of flying doom as an issue I do believe that I will have a talk with him, and basically lay it all out on the line.Cant recall if I mentioned this part but currently everyones playing a human, I asked the other players if they would be ok with one or two CSM;s since he did seem to have his balloon popped, but with the stipulation of "hey if you go on ahead and play a marine, you are going to have to basically make him a commander role (think the basic tac marine from DW) since you would be the npc warlords babysitter for this group to ensure things get done.

This player is my friend Kobalt, but with this whole 40k rpg introduction and trying to game in FFG's thats the only area where I have issues with him. Though I will agree with you that it's pretty dahm selfish to not care when the GM and the other players do not like what you are doing...dickery as was said before.

this I felt would give him the chance to grow, and learn a bit more other than filling in dots on paper and rolling dice till hes blue in the face. but also, since he IS the only CSM he can still be He-Man when things arise.

His arguement to this was : i can still do all that with my guy being a raptor.

I begged the differ and said while some leaders feel its good to lead from the front......they dont leave their army in the dust and try to win the war alone.

I think i will bring this point up again to him, and if he persists then well......find another game. the amount of time I have already invested into simply writing up descriptions for places and missions, NPC's the group encounters......I have a spiral notbook with a 7 full page intro of how they all come to meet eachother and the intro to their first mission. the other following missions were simply there to help get the group some resources, things repaired and allow them the chance to gain some infamy and possibly Req a cool item or two. I do not want to see that work go to waste. 


Thanks guys again for the input. and mebbe if i get a bug up my a$$ sometime ill throw my "story intro" up fer critiques, if its something you fancy feel free to ****** it up.

#12 Hygric



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Posted 18 December 2011 - 07:59 PM

I don't think I have come across this problem for years (my group are pushing 40 now...) but back in the day, I found it to be a usefull medicine to give such a player his thirty minutes of fame, and spend the rest of an 8 hour session highlighting the strengths of the rest of the party.

Actually, I have come across this phenomena recently.  My step-son, who is now 13, is now gaming with us.  His characters all tended towards the single facet of heavy weapon uber pownage.  Then I got him to try an explorator in RT.  Still really good at guns, but with a good skill set to back it up outside combat.  He is finding the character to be a lot more fun.  He is even spending xp on Trade: Archeologist now, because he wants to go explore ruins.

#13 crisaron



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Posted 22 December 2011 - 03:50 AM


You said it, this is also your game you have the freedom too...

You say you try to build a meeningful encounter and he just destroys them? Well np use :

- a puzzle type boss... It does 99999 dmg a round but can;t move and the switch is in it's back.

- create traps, I often have a trap for the up close and personnal player, a donkey with a bomb! No self respecting villan will try to go toe to toe with your main dps, why not lure him into a hugging a bomb? I do this one very often. Explosvie are your friend... I usually try to make my villain more dangerous then your tipical saterday cartoon villain. They are set deadly traps not annoying traps....

- There is only a limited amoutn of good quality jet pack, jet packs get damaged, peoeple want is jet pack...

After two or three strait deaths he'll get the point and start complaining. Just stick to it, keep creating traps, REAL traps. Each campaign (1 per session) I have a trap to kill at least one player, One monster way too strong to try to fight it (vent it, poison it, etc okay, but hth is suicide) but it does not always appear so until it's too late or the obvious Micmic trap for the power hungry items hoarder.

See this way you both get to make your freedom come true, is just last short burst like a falling star...

Usually in a war there is tons of dead goons and a few intelligent survivor (plus a few plain lucky), so it's okay if the campaing ifs littered with dead goons.

The last trick is to only allow penal soldiers from now on, under the care of one of your other players, with a glitchy kill switch (oh no you killed Keny, again... you motha...)

#14 SomVone



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Posted 22 December 2011 - 11:23 AM

 Why not just have a break in the fighting?

Go for a more non-combat focused time, or to keep the CSM happy add a lot more fighting.

Start a war. Set the scale so large that even the talents of an elite CSM cannot turn the tide. Throw in troops, and huge battles. Strategic objectives, all that.

Give your player some enforced space to grow. It's not all that hard for games to get bogged down in small fights. If the GM has some small fights, and the players respond by getting better at fighting, than you can have a murderhobo loop.

Just have them do something new, and having  looked at your intro a bit, I think you can pretty easily.

#15 Polaria



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Posted 23 December 2011 - 06:11 AM

As others have pointed out if you have 6 characters and only 1 is built as a combat beast, then 5/6ths of the game should be about things that can't be solved in combat and only 1/6th should be hard fighting. Every character should be allowed to have a purpose and his or her own share of time in the lime-light. If the guy playing the close-combat monster likes to play it then let him also have his share, but no more. Its also worth noting that not all fights should occur so that it is easy to get into close-combat. I regularly run Deathwatch and while one of the assault marines is able to kill just about anything in melee when wielding dual power swords he really needs the help of all the team to GET to close combat alive when the Tau rebels start shooting at the group from 200 meters...

#16 Morangias



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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:14 AM

I agree with others - focus more on non-combat stuff.

It wouldn't also hurt to sometimes create a combat encounter that's extremely hard to win by charging in on a jetpack. Really big Master-level enemies with 100+ wounds are ideal for this, as are fast, mobile flyers with decent ranged offense who can kite him. It's not dickery, it's creating a challenge and narrating a story where the protagonist has to overcome his weaknesses. How he reacts to such a challenge is a good litmus test for if it's worth it at all to keep inviting him.

There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

There is no strenght in flesh, only weakness.
There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.

#17 Adept Orcadius

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 07:50 AM

Hey thanks again to everyone that added to this discussion. Part of my problem was that yes, I did feel sorta swamped with the "holy **** a PC an DO that??!!"...and trying to think of a way to handle it like i said had driven me almost to ebay to sell my books... its over now. That player basically decided before I could actually approach him for some sort of resolution to just not play in BC. but since I dont want to lose someone who is a friend outside this quabble in the rpg world.

I plan to set up a small DW game for him n 2 other ppl, I think 6 is my cap for trying to keep players involved and trying to balance giving them each a chance to interact with npc's n whatnot.

#18 SartekBlackenheart



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Posted 11 January 2012 - 11:28 PM

Another thing you could do though, is to sort of super-buff a Pysker class person (Sorc would probably work best due to CSM reqs). And teach him that not everything revolves around melee. There's a power, (I don't remember which one it is) in the Core book that allows you to telekentically push, pull or even lift objects. If he attempts his "Blood for the Blood God Charge O' Doom" just have the Pysker have readied an action and lift him off of the ground to the point where he can't move. And then have the Sorc monologue about how he's going to destroy him and so on and so forth. Maybe not so much humiliate him, but give him a good verbal thrashing for instance:

He-Man charges Sorc of Badassery.

Sorc without helmet lifts He-Man into air via Psyker power. Now he sustains it as a free action.
"Ah.. Now, I see what I'm dealing with... A child in power armour." The Sorc chuckles slightly to himself before looking over at the remainder of the party and winking slightly, before turning his attention to the raging barbarian. "Its people like you that give Chaos a bad name. Only thinking of the spoils of War and Glory. Do you think of the Glory for Chaos and the victories you can bring to your favoured God? Or do you merely wish to slate your own blood thirst? Think these questions over... We will meet again..." Sorc uses another Psyker power and vanishes to the final boss room.

Let him stew over things for awhile. That would be my suggestion. It's neither offensive to the player (though maybe the actual character). And it is allowed, though you'd have to revamp the power a bit as I remember it only being 10 kg per psy rating. Perhaps you could have had him make his own "personalized" version of the spell. It requires some hand wavium, but what the players don't know, won't hurt them. And that's my philosophy on a lot of things. Because I feel story-line and lessons trump rules.

#19 Ghaundan



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Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:11 AM

 I chime in with the rest, yes the raptor/assault marine should have his time to shine, but so should the rest. When me and some friends tried chains of carrion I was the Heretek, two space marines (chosen and berserker) and a renegade. I was REALLY struggling with the combat and wasn't pulling my weight, despite space marines being alot heavier then me. What happened? We found a group we couldn't hope to face head on, guess who saved the day? ME! 

From hitting once in an entire battle, and dealing 0 damage, to getting my 15 seconds of fame and saving the day really made the difference to me. Try to look over each and every character and tailor encounters to their abilities. Give the group places they can't fight their way through but have to use skill, guile and intelligence to get past. Not just character stats, but players being smart and thinking outside the imperial box. Maybe the jet pack guy will save the day by using his jet pack to something other then hurling him into melee,  like lifting a sniper up to a high vantage point so he has a clear shot at the target, using the exhaust to heat something or jerryrig a small genererator turbine. 

Give your party their momements when they feel their abilities were really useful, and other times when they have to rely on the others to help out. 

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