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IronKaiser

1st Time GM Issues With Difficult Players

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Hello, I am still fairly new to GMing and I would like to consult some more seasoned GM's on to handle a certain variety of difficult player. Now I consider myself a nice guy who would like as many people to play as possible, but as I've discovered it can make the entire experience more difficult for everyone involved. Now this player has caused friction in our gaming group before, and while he never said so, I do believe that one of our players left the group because of him. I have mostly dealt with his behavior as a player, in which case I left things to the GM to handle, but now that I am GMing Deathwatch I want to get this problem settled early on. In general, he keeps insisting that his character is the star of all our adventures, writes all of is character backgrounds as him being an unbelievable bad*** who would put the most seasoned of Imperial heroes to shame, even though his is a starting out character, he keeps trying to get his hands on gear that he shouldn't be able to get at such a low rank, even coming up with outlandish stories on why he would have these items, such as a force weapon for his low-level Dark Heresy character, and prefers to create his characters in secret where he can fudge his numbers enough to guarantee that his character is better than everyone else's. In our group you usually roll up your character in front of the GM in order to make sure everyone is playing by the rules. Perhaps the biggest problem is that when we are playing, whenever something that doesn't completely pertain to him happen, he goes off into his own little world and focuses on something else while everyone else is trying to focus on the game, usually constructing minis at a nearby table. It's not that his character is forgotten or not with the group, he is still with us and can contribute, but unless it's combat or us focusing exclusively on him, he doesn't care. This has come to a head in our Deathwatch campaign, now I am still new to GMing and I am bound to mess up. Last Sunday was the Kill-Teams first official mission, and things went fine for the most part, I screwed up with the Horde Rules and essentially allowed the Devastator to wipe four Tau Drones and a squad of fire warriors before I realized my mistake. I admitted my mistake and apologized for my screw up, and the group forgave me, except Andrew, who abandoned the group when his character wasn't being the center of attention (he is playing our assault marine). Someone went to get him but he was throwing a fit and was spending his time in the adjacent gaming store that owned the space we play our games in. Now I was introduced to wargaming and roleplaying by my uncle, and he taught me early on that unless you have a legitimate reason, you never abandon the group you are playing with, he made sure to drill that lesson home with me the first time I did it. It wouldn't have been so bad, except Deathwatch is a squad-based game, and our group was only four people that day, with his exit knocking us down to three. The next encounter involved a pair of stealth suits hidden outside of the target building they were aiming for, naturally it was an ambush, and an assault marine would have come in really handy in quickly closing the ground with the elusive Tau, this was his moment to shine and he was too busy sulking to help out the other players, who came out of it more battered than they should have been. He eventually came back during the mission debriefing, though I decided not to award him an XP since he did not help with the completion of objectives in any way, while everyone else did. He seemed upset at this, but I and the fellow players felt that it was fair. Now that I have ended this long winded explanation, do any of you have any sage advice brought about by years of experience to help handle this situation. Issues aside, he is a nice guy who goes out of his way to make minis for the other players characters, I want to try to fix the problems without driving him off. 

Edited by IronKaiser

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Nuke him. He sounds like a guy I knew called Sam Klein who turned every game he was in into his own private power trip, reduced other players to his NPCs., killed other characters if their players refused to basically just serve him and generally took over the game group he was in because everyone else was too meow meow to stop him. He not only controlled the game and the other characters, he controlled the other players. He was a huge, immature, selfish bully. Humiliate him, do humiliating things to his character, target the big baddies on him,have NPCs tear strips off him, take him so far down he'll need a decompression chamber. Drive him out of your game if you can.  Players like that are worse than no players at all.

Edited by Professor Tanhauser

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Agreed, nuke him. From orbit.

RPG is supposed to be a communal thing, the players (plural) are supposed to be the stars, they are the rock stars. You as the GM are lighting, props, manager, director, make up, groupie and everything else.

The rolling stats in secret, unacceptable. While I trust my players most of the time, I would always insist I get to see the dice rolls for myself and if not then he isn't playing. If he wants his grand backstory then fine you can let him get away with that. The trick to deathwatch is basically:

Player: Oh I'm a veteran of a billion campaigns, fought against the legions on Terra during the heresy and killed a Greater Daemon with a spoon while in my last chapter.

GM (Deathwatch Captain): Cute. Now shut the f*** up and obey orders. Your past deeds and honours mean nothing here. I don't give a flying hive tyrant if you bested Abbadon in single combat. You are no better than a scrub. Here you are a nothing and will learn to recognise that.

You need to beat him down, he needs to work as a member of the squad or there will be consequences. Failing to cooperate with his battle brothers since he's having a strop will affect cohesion. Further effort to this will lead to disciplinary action by the Watch Captain. There is no place for ego maniacs or arrogant to****s within this organisation. So he either bucks his ideas up or feel free to smash him around the face with the GM adamantium power spiked club of retribution.

He needs to learn he cannot solo or do his own thing because he's in a mood and has to work with his squad. If he does actually work with them then consider recognising that accordingly, subtle little actions to reward that like allowing them to get an epic kill move on an enemy, picking a different target or some quiet gesture to acknowledge. If not though then you are going to have to punish him. Enemies will prioritise a lone player not with his allies, divide and conquer. Levy your blows on him more often. Harsh but realist.

Edited by Calgor Grim

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Every time he leaves the group and throws a fit like that deduct a fate point ( as once again his soul has been summoned into the warp, only through divine grace did he make it back) his character will either die or he will stop. 

 

Normally I would say talk to him about these issues, but it seems like that has been tried and has failed. 

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Yeah, I'm going to side with these fine gentlemen (and/or ladies, it's hard to tell).  A player like that who is disruptive to the extreme, cheats and apparently has no scope as to where they should be in the setting is the tallest nail.  As a GM, your job is to hit the tallest nail with a hammer.  Don't be a (Expletive Removed to Avoid Censorship) about it; that'll just make them get angry at you, which means they're more likely to try and ruin things or continue their behavior rather than fix themselves or quit.  But have it happen nonetheless.  

 

I play things besides Deathwatch/Dark Heresy; one of those is a Pathfinder game.  We've got a guy who got into our group due to familial ties to a better player.  He rolls his characters away from the table (and we know he fudges his numbers), comes up with these third party things that aren't allowed and sneaks them into his sheets to get the benefits, adjusts gold values, etc.  He does these 'rolls' with his dice that's practically dropping them on the side he wants.  

Behavior-wise, he wants to do everything and be better at it than the specialist focused on it.  He was doing some kind of Occult Adventures thing doing as much damage as a fighter with his claws (some kind of absurd mutant special race I don't think the GM signed off on, he doesn't look over our sheets too closely) while spellcasting better than the wizard and tanking everything.  There was the time one of his characters, instead of talking to a PC, just punched them in the face while they were tied up.  Later on, he got tripped for that and everybody laughed, then he decided to pick a fight while at 7hp vs. the fully kitted out and unharmed fighter with a reach weapon and lots of feats.  That was fun, and it is a known factor that the party polices itself when necessary.  We're a band of morally ambiguous murder-hobos, but we're a professional band of morally ambiguous murder-hobos.  Throwing that out of whack brings down the hammer.  

While we as a group will call him out on egregious bull occasionally, we don't force the matter because we know the DM is aware of the situation and is waiting for the chance to drop the hammer, and will call him out on things when its too much.  It's somewhat enjoyable to see the guy get their comeuppance and slowly figure out their behavior isn't acceptable.  I honestly doubt they'll ever change or stop, or even leave; they'll just try to game the system to 'win,' even when the DM is the boss.  Which means more of a show for us and opportunities to succeed while he draws meta-aggro!  And looting his corpse when he dies.  As I said before, morally ambiguous murder-hobos.  

 

I really hope your situation goes well; I've had to deal with problem-players myself, and it's never fun.  

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Roleplaying games should be fun for everyone involved, GM and players. If one person is trashing the game for others, and ignores straight talk on the matter, then you're good to dump them. It's not pleasant but it beats the entire game going downhill because of one selfish person.

^^^FTW^^^

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It's good to deny players such as those attention they desire so much. If they ignore team, wander off and expect you to provide him with a side quest, make it one-roll thing. Don't bother with inventing anything, use related speech when he's talking to NPC's, put walls and just nothing in front of him. Keep main focus on the rest of the group. Oh, and don't provide him with foes to fight while he's on one of his "side quests". His only reward for leaving the group should be loneliness and boredom.

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It's good to deny players such as those attention they desire so much. If they ignore team, wander off and expect you to provide him with a side quest, make it one-roll thing. Don't bother with inventing anything, use related speech when he's talking to NPC's, put walls and just nothing in front of him. Keep main focus on the rest of the group. Oh, and don't provide him with foes to fight while he's on one of his "side quests". His only reward for leaving the group should be loneliness and boredom.

 

 

If you DO provide a foe for him to fight....make it one he has no possible hope of defeating alone. One of the first rules to RPGs is...don't split the party! The 40k universe is very deadly - even for an Astartes

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Every time he gets selfish, give him corruption points for putting his ego ahead of service to the emperor. Eventually have him get corrupt enough to have some real consequences.

Or just have a carnifex eat him. lots quicker that way..

if you really want to XXXX him royally, have  that necron lord interested in returning to the time of flesh steal him body and incarnate a necron into it. Then make his character a super nightmare NPC the team must track down and destroy... Yeah, that's really evil, but maybe deserved in this case.

 

BTW, his name couldn't be sam klein, could it? This sounds like him. If it is, you should just kick him out.

Edited by Professor Tanhauser

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Every time he gets selfish, give him corruption points for putting his ego ahead of service to the emperor. Eventually have him get corrupt enough to have some real consequences.

Or just have a carnifex eat him. lots quicker that way..

if you really want to XXXX him royally, have  that necron lord interested in returning to the time of flesh steal him body and incarnate a necron into it. Then make his character a super nightmare NPC the team must track down and destroy... Yeah, that's really evil, but maybe deserved in this case.

 

BTW, his name couldn't be sam klein, could it? This sounds like him. If it is, you should just kick him out.

His name is not Sam Klein. I am working on a way to screw him over, and the best part is he did it to himself. 

 

He's playing a Dark Angel who wants to become a Chaplain, and in his mind, the primary function of a chaplain is to torture people. So while on the introductory mission I did, basically a prologue before they got to Watch Fortress Erioch, they were traveling on a ship and I let them explore it and to interact with various NPC's and such. His character decided to head down to the prison block to work on his torturing techniques, putting his attention on a very creepy twelve-year-old girl (I'm running with the idea that she is a legion daemon host, as in their are several warp-entities residing in her, yet they fight with each other so much that she is still, mostly, in charge) who had been discovered on a derelict Blackship where she had broken free and slaughtered everyone, which is how the Deathwatch got their hands on her, they had investigated the ship believing it had been the work of Dark Eldar raiders, eerily enough, she went with them without putting up a fight. His character then decided to torture her for four hours, not for information, just to practice his torture skills. This naturally brought his character to her attention, and now she has an obsession with him and is screwing with him even though she is supposed to be locked away in the Watch Fortresses holding cells designed to hold entities like her, speaking to him when he's alone and leaving creepy crayon drawings for him. It doesn't help that she's part of a larger Tzeentchian cult, who are going to be the ultimate big bads of this campaign. Right now, I'm torn between having little Agatha's big sisters and brothers kill him horribly, or break him and forcibly turn him to chaos. Meanwhile, his continued contact with Agatha will force him to get corruption points. 

 

I am working on making sure the other players get their own rivals/arch enemies, but it really worked out way too well how he just walked into his current dire predicament against a group of opponents who will definitely outmatch and crush him, especially if he tries to take them on by himself. 

 

Also, I do like your Necron Lord possession idea. You do get evil genius points for that. 

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As for how things are progressing with him, our is moving to an order of 2nd Ed. Dark Heresy, Deathwatch, 2nd Ed. Dark Heresy, Dungeons and Dragon, repeat, yesterday was the 2nd Dark Heresy Games so I still have a few weeks to go before I GM Deathwatch again. I did bring up an issue with him, without consulting me and without doing it in front of me, he decided to reroll his armor history, and apparently he used a rule that allowed him to get three histories for his power armor, rolling on the history tables for the Rites of Battle alternate power armor. I straight up told him he couldn't do that even though he insisted that he "rolled" for it without consulting me and getting my approval. Heck, in Rites of Battle it outright states that you have to consult your GM before doing what he did, and I certainly want to be present when he rolls up the new histories to make sure that he's doing it correctly and not just picking what he wants. Point being, I told him no, or at least he shouldn't do it without consulting me and the other players, who may very well want multiple histories on their armor as well if he's going to do it. He got sullen and pretended that the conversation didn't happen as we got into Dark Heresy for the day, we'll see if he changes it back to normal when we back around to Deathwatch. He may be hoping that I forget but that little stunt of his by our next Deathwatch session, though the anger in the group at it is making sure that I check back up with him when we get back to Deathwatch. 

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As for how things are progressing with him, our is moving to an order of 2nd Ed. Dark Heresy, Deathwatch, 2nd Ed. Dark Heresy, Dungeons and Dragon, repeat, yesterday was the 2nd Dark Heresy Games so I still have a few weeks to go before I GM Deathwatch again. I did bring up an issue with him, without consulting me and without doing it in front of me, he decided to reroll his armor history, and apparently he used a rule that allowed him to get three histories for his power armor, rolling on the history tables for the Rites of Battle alternate power armor. I straight up told him he couldn't do that even though he insisted that he "rolled" for it without consulting me and getting my approval. Heck, in Rites of Battle it outright states that you have to consult your GM before doing what he did, and I certainly want to be present when he rolls up the new histories to make sure that he's doing it correctly and not just picking what he wants. Point being, I told him no, or at least he shouldn't do it without consulting me and the other players, who may very well want multiple histories on their armor as well if he's going to do it. He got sullen and pretended that the conversation didn't happen as we got into Dark Heresy for the day, we'll see if he changes it back to normal when we back around to Deathwatch. He may be hoping that I forget but that little stunt of his by our next Deathwatch session, though the anger in the group at it is making sure that I check back up with him when we get back to Deathwatch.

Unacceptable. Bring the hammer down. Hard. He just seems a cheat of the lowest caliber so if they want to go down that route, fight fire with fire. Reroll it again and negate the results of his armour, put a flaw on his gene seed and genetics, force some blows at him or at this point tell him to stop taking the piss and stop him pratting around or they can f*** off.

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As for how things are progressing with him, our is moving to an order of 2nd Ed. Dark Heresy, Deathwatch, 2nd Ed. Dark Heresy, Dungeons and Dragon, repeat, yesterday was the 2nd Dark Heresy Games so I still have a few weeks to go before I GM Deathwatch again. I did bring up an issue with him, without consulting me and without doing it in front of me, he decided to reroll his armor history, and apparently he used a rule that allowed him to get three histories for his power armor, rolling on the history tables for the Rites of Battle alternate power armor. I straight up told him he couldn't do that even though he insisted that he "rolled" for it without consulting me and getting my approval. Heck, in Rites of Battle it outright states that you have to consult your GM before doing what he did, and I certainly want to be present when he rolls up the new histories to make sure that he's doing it correctly and not just picking what he wants. Point being, I told him no, or at least he shouldn't do it without consulting me and the other players, who may very well want multiple histories on their armor as well if he's going to do it. He got sullen and pretended that the conversation didn't happen as we got into Dark Heresy for the day, we'll see if he changes it back to normal when we back around to Deathwatch. He may be hoping that I forget but that little stunt of his by our next Deathwatch session, though the anger in the group at it is making sure that I check back up with him when we get back to Deathwatch. 

 

That's blatant cheating. I'm surprised the other players are tolerating him in the game if that's the standard he goes for.

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Actually I've had more time to think and formulate strategies. If they want to hide dice rolls from you, you can hide dice rolls from him. Not all GMs hide their dice rolls behind a screen and some keep it open. When rolling to attack him, fluff your dice rolls.

 

GM: "Oh is that a natural 1 on my hit roll with the Tyranid Hive Tyrant? Nice. And now for the damage. Oh heck that's a righteous fury."

Victim: "Wait, no fair that's cheating."

GM: "You did the same with your armour rolls. You fudge your dice, I will fudge mine and believe me I can do a lot more damage with these than you can with yours."

Edited by Calgor Grim

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This guy reminds me of a bad player a friend if mine had in a VTM gamed called "Crazy Man". I think the same plaher tried to play a MTG card in a DnD game.....

Thankfully he hasn't tried that yet. 

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