Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

Help with a player type please.


Advice

Grand Lodge

I've been reading the Gamemastery guide and just finished the section on the different types of players but in our group their is a play style that isn't covered and if truly frustrating. This guy loves detail! Down to the texture of every figging wall and tapestry. And if their isn't enough detail given to every room he complains about it, for hours on end if you let him. (learned that one the hard way *shudders*) I've never run into a player that can actually ruin a game session by needing so much detail (and then arguing/disagreeing/dismissing with what is said). Trying to talk to him about this hasn't worked so far (this guy could teach an addict about deflection). Any suggestions on how to deal with this player type? Have any of you run into this before? And if so how did you deal with it? Thanks!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Let them DM an adventure. Either they will learn what a jerk they've been or they'll do a good job. Either way you win!

Grand Lodge

Trust me when every room is a 5 minute lecture no one wins =(


I just woke up and am having my afternoon coffee so my answer may not be as coherent as it should. Sometimes the direct approach is the best, and sometimes only way, to deal with some players. Since he tries to deflect the issue you may have to be quite blunt, maybe confrontational. Just tell him that his excessive need for detail is cutting in on everyone's fun. It may not work work but in the end, you can say you tried what you could.
The group I'm in recently had an issue with a player whose play style clashed with our own. Unfortunately, we tried the indirect/ be polite and let things sort themselves out and the whole campaign really suffered for it.
It's sad that something that's supposed to be fun can cause so much drama because of one person's issues. Everybody has their quirks and it's hard to determine exactly when that quirk turns into a detrimental annoyance until it's too late.


Now, totally independet of the social aspect (I personally tend to kick disruptive players really fast, when I DM), you could make a paper of attributes and descriptions for different enviroments (eg dungeon, city, forest, plains).

Then simply adjust the level of detail free-handed and without any preparation. Won't be that much of an issue, and if it satisfies him - so be it ;-)


Fumihasa wrote:
I've been reading the Gamemastery guide and just finished the section on the different types of players but in our group their is a play style that isn't covered and if truly frustrating. This guy loves detail! Down to the texture of every figging wall and tapestry. And if their isn't enough detail given to every room he complains about it, for hours on end if you let him. (learned that one the hard way *shudders*) I've never run into a player that can actually ruin a game session by needing so much detail (and then arguing/disagreeing/dismissing with what is said). Trying to talk to him about this hasn't worked so far (this guy could teach an addict about deflection). Any suggestions on how to deal with this player type? Have any of you run into this before? And if so how did you deal with it? Thanks!

It is tedious and I would tell him that unless he show how that much detail can matter there is no reason to do so, and it takes DM's a lot of time to design things. If he needs information for a specific reason you can give it to him, other than that he will just have to accept things the way they are. This gives him the option of accepting or walking.

Plan B:Invite him here, and we can deal with him or help you send him on his way.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fumihasa wrote:
Trust me when every room is a 5 minute lecture no one wins =(

I'm hoping that after writing up every room's info for several sessions, he'll appreciate the work involved and be more polite. GMing is hard sometimes, and people who have only played don't know this.

Grand Lodge

Sweet thanks all for the info!


Ask them why the level of detail is important.
Another suggestion tell them that they should add there own detail.
Beyond that I have no idea mainly cause I am not sure how bad/the detail of the problem I know that's a little ironic but still.

The only reason I can think they want this level of detail is because of a sense of escapism.
You know this world they visit is real, really real.
For instance they want to feel as if they could be there smelling the dank and musty smell of the dungeon as the they stroke there fingers along the wall, cold moss to rough sand paper like rock where the moss does not take hold and setting your footing with each step against the wetness.
To open your eyes to a lethal heart beat as your chest cages a beast within so that you may meet the one in front of you.

It's a seductive notion of having a second heroic life.
And if you felt you had one.
Would you not want to breath in every detail?
I would think so...

But this just guess work on my part.
Take of it what you will.


Some suggestions off the top of my head:

Whenever he asks something like this, say something like "You walk over to the wall hanging and examine it. It's silk." Then the NPCs can react to him just walking away from them to go examine things, or the monsters get to surprise him, or something.

Answer everything with "blue" (or "Yes" or something else short). "What color are the walls?" "Blue" "Are they rough?" "Blue"

Similar to that, answer with "Does it matter?"

Cast blindness/deafness on him so his character is blind. The party can just opt to not remove it. "What color are the walls?" "You can't see, you're blind"

Have the other players shut him up.

Kick him out of the game.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I know you've talked to him, Fumihasa, but have you asked him WHY he wants all the detail?

It's one thing to point out he's slowing the game down, but obviously he thinks he's going to get something out of getting all this description, and maybe you can resolve some of his curiosity by talking to him about it.

He could think if he notes an important detail, he might find some hidden "treasure." I've had one player want a lot of detail because a lot of times if I casually mentioned some random feature of terrain, he thought it was significant when I was just generally being descriptive. After several times taking 15-20 minutes trying to convince the guy the rug on the floor was just a plain old rug, I talked to him AND I talked to the players as a whole about the fact that, if I say, "You examine it and find nothing significant," it's not significant, and I am not depriving the party of something. Exploration is good, guys, and I encourage it, but if it's time to move on, we need to move on." Ultimately, all players, including "the guy" were appreciative of the discussion because it sped up gameplay dramatically.

He could think he could apply practical knowledge to a situation. I got into an argument once with a player who was a construction worker IRL, who was trying to break down a door (never mind that there was a perfectly open window 20 feet away). He got obsessed with the mechanics of the door's hinges--which as a secretary with a Master's degree in English, I was completely unaware of just how complex hinge mechanisms could get. He was trying to be creative--but was getting overzealous about it--and I had no idea how to handle what he wanted to do when he was talking about something I barely understood. I think I did finally come up with a few die rolls and otherwise shut the conversation down: "this is taking too much time, and we need to move on." Now, this is a dear friend of mine, that in rare moments I am not worried about being firm with. I know he was still hurt---I think because he wanted to be rewarded for thinking outside the box, and I just wasn't capable of awarding him in a satisfying way. (On the other hand, all doors in my campaign are now sliding doors.;) )

If the situation is something like this, maybe rewarding good behaviors he has will cut back on the poor behavior. He could, for that matter, just want attention from the GM and that's all he knows how to get it.

And whatever it is--sit down and, in as neutral tone as possible, discuss the situation with the whole group. Maybe start it as, "Hey, I'm really concerned with how long it's taking to get through this area, and I want to hear suggestions on how we can speed things up." And let it come from the players--and hear out the problem player as well.


Not to beat a dead horse here *cough cough*, but I completely agree with Mr. MinstrelintheGallery, up above. I have a friend who home brews his own adventures and he has a complete love affair for details. The length at which it takes to describe the sweat dripping off an NPC's brow seemed like it could be summed up in one sentence. Well, he proved me wrong there haha.

Let your friend DM and see how the players quickly lose interest in what is going on since they are participating in a novel rather than a game. It is absolutely tedious and dreadful.

The point of D&D is to harness your imagination. If he describes EVERYTHING than you can seriously limit that power and ability. I find it fascinating to see the different images evoked in other player's minds when only given a sentence or two.

If he still doesn't listen, drug his next drink. After he is completely knocked out drag him to your basement. This is the part where duct tape comes in handy securing him to any piping you may have beneath your house. Something that is secured in the foundations of the building so that way there is no way he can move. When he groggily comes to, he will see you standing there with a copy of some Romanticism literature, preferably The Count of Monte Cristo or even some Dickens, and then read him the entire book. Force him to see how the over-usage of details can kill a man's mind.


DeathQuaker wrote:

I know you've talked to him, Fumihasa, but have you asked him WHY he wants all the detail?

It's one thing to point out he's slowing the game down, but obviously he thinks he's going to get something out of getting all this description, and maybe you can resolve some of his curiosity by talking to him about it.

He could think if he notes an important detail, he might find some hidden "treasure." . . .

He could think he could apply practical knowledge to a situation. . .

+1

I've found that players who want more detail want it for one of two reasons.
A) They think it can be turned to their advantage.
B) They're very sensory thinkers, and without details, the room/npc/item is meaningless to them.

DeathQuaker very accurately described two common varieties of type A. This player thinks that, somehow, knowing if the walls are wood or stone might get them ad advantage, and they want that information up front. This player can frequently be satisfied by groups of descriptions like, "All of the walls in this castle are worked stone, more than a foot thick. Most of the floors and half the walls are covered with tattered old rugs and tapestries, mostly in abstract patterns. Where images are visible, they're vague and uninterpretable. Most of the furniture you would expect is missing, presumably burned for fuel long ago." There! You've covered key points for the whole castle, the next 30 rooms you'll go through, and the player knows not to memorize Warp Wood or to watch out for terrain impeded by furniture.

Type B is entirely different, and if you (and the rest of your players) are very intuitive thinkers, rather than sensory thinkers, you might never fully understand what this player wants. Well, you could know what he wants, but never understand [i]why[i/].

Try taking this test, or another one like it, and having everyone else do the same. It's a fun group exercise that can help people understand each other better.

Grand Lodge

I prefer less detail and let my imagination fill it in =). What you've all posted since my last post really gives me some food for thought. I've never actually asked the simple question of Why though. From my observations he is more of the first type of person you mention DeathQuaker then the second, but I could be wrong I know he has multiple degrees but I've never asked in what.

Although... Funshines idea is tempting too lol.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

To be fair here...I don't know if you give enough description...so I won't say anything about the player should be kicked out or such. Is it possible to get his side of this?

Do remeber the GM controls what the PCs see....and alot of issues are caused by the DM leavinbg out details. Not saying you do this...I don't know as I am not at your games.

So the only advice I can give is talk to the player.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / Help with a player type please. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.