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When I GM, I usually establish the following rules to my players:
A)You may make a character of -any- alignment, but I do not want any disruptive characters.
B)You can add as much flavour and ideas to your characters as you will, but I expect you to make compromises with your character, for the benefit of the group and the story, if necessary.
C)[if playing an AP] If guys still make the story, you push it along. But as we've agreed to play <AP name>, I expect you to help progress the story in the AP, although you are free to make what extra adventure you will on the way. If I feel we're getting too far from the established plot and it's about time we get back, I'll tell you.
And since I started doing so, I've had minimal problems of the kind you describe.