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Help with a player who "Roleplays" on other party members... Too Much! Graps!


Advice

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I am in a game where we just had a player join the party.
Problem is he seems set on roleplaying against other members of the party.

I can tell he is not really trying to make life miserable for the rest of us, it just that he ROLEPLAYS his character too much...
He does whatever he feels his character WILL DO, even if such actions are harmful to other party members.

For example, he will use bluff, steal from and use spells against other member of his own party. When asked why he does this, his reply is that he is roleplaying his character. As there are no evil party characters in our adventure, care to guess what his alignment is?

To make matters abut worse, I and the other member of the party are NG and due to the nature of our characters, we can't really "take actions" against his character for in-character reasons.

He seems a nice guy out of the game, but goes "in-character" during the game. When told about how some of this actions are not helping the party, he seems offended and insist that the action make logical sense and is "what his character will do". When questioned further, he starts saying that we are nitpicking on his character and goes on to defend his actions.

What can we do to convince him that his roleplaying is getting on the nerves of the other players? AND get him to understand it without going all defensive?

Lantern Lodge

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Can your characters refuse to associate with his character, play up you indignity and offense at his actions, refuse to trust him, coordinate actions with him, or frankly bring him with you into battle. If his character has taken actual hostile actions against the other characters then they very much have in character reason to not associate with him.

The player may object, and you can explain that he may choose to play his character as he likes, but his in game offenses against your characters will have in game consequences. His character may choose to reforms his behaviour, or his player may choose to replace him with a different character, or leave the group.

D&D, or role playing games in general are supposed to be about having fun as a group, if one player is having fun at the expense of the group, then the group is dysfunctional.


Best I can say is that sometimes I have hade to make a ruling I don't really like.

"Any player character must be designed such that his alignment/attitude/backstory will cooperate with the group."

That and making the characters as group all together at the table at the same time.

I don't like to limit their options that much, but sometimes I haven't seen any other choice.


Did your GM discuss the addition of this player before it happened? Did he/she discuss the ramifications of allowing an evil-aligned, or selfish character into a group that was otherwise working well as a team? Perhaps there's some ulterior motive the GM has, and they haven't made you aware of it. Have you approached the GM with your concerns? In situations like this, the best thing to do is have a conversation with the GM first, and then the GM and the player in question, and keep things civil and tolerant. It sounds like the new player has a pretty solid idea of what their character would do in any given situation. That's not a bad thing. What is bad, is if they've brought a character into an already working group and start undermining it.

You said you can't take action against the character? Why not? If a character steals from another character they are certainly justified in seeking some kind of justice. Perhaps the best lesson would be a solid beat-down, letting the character know that continued antagonistic behavior will not be tolerated.

Lantern Lodge

Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

Best I can say is that sometimes I have hade to make a ruling I don't really like.

"Any player character must be designed such that his alignment/attitude/backstory will cooperate with the group."

That and making the characters as group all together at the table at the same time.

I don't like to limit their options that much, but sometimes I haven't seen any other choice.

Sometimes it feels like, you need to make up a set of generic campaign traits that players must pick one from, (similar to the AP) but all of the campaign traits loosely boil down to "Don't be a dick."

Taldor

There are a variety of different play styles when it comes to RPGs, with people aiming for "fun" in different manners.

It sounds like his style is incompatible with the rest of the group, at least in so far as he makes characters that cause intra-party conflict.

Explain to him that the rest of you want a game where there is no drama coming from within the party, instead it's meant to be external conflict. This would be similar to the Star Trek approach to drama, where the crew is basically one big team that don't fight each other, rather than something like Battlestar Galactica or Lost where people are constantly fighting with each other.

You could get the GM to direct him to something like, "you're free to make a character that fits into a team style game, where the drama is external to the party, but you can't play a character that is always causing problems within the party."

If he can't adapt, because what he really wants is a game focused on interpersonal drama, such as a soap opera, then he ought to look for another RPG group that will mesh with his interests.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Leafeater wrote:

I am in a game where we just had a player join the party.

Problem is he seems set on roleplaying against other members of the party.

I can tell he is not really trying to make life miserable for the rest of us, it just that he ROLEPLAYS his character too much...
He does whatever he feels his character WILL DO, even if such actions are harmful to other party members.

People like this tend to have a very selective view of roleplay. Encourage your other players to feed his medicine back to him by roleplaying logical responses to his actions and remind him that rp is a two way street.


Answering some of your questions.

1) We can't take action against him in-character, cos our character don't know his character is the source of the problem. For example he does not really steal from any of us, but say uses Sleight of Hand to pocket one of the loot items, using stealth to prevent us from discovering it.

Or he cast a spell that read our thoughts and force us to stat explicitly what our character is thinking and use that information against us. He uses it in such a way we can't even suspect his character... sigh.

2) Our DM is not taking action against him as he is not disturbing the game to the extent that the game cannot go on. The player does not do anything that kills off the storyline. Also the DM allows us to play/interact as we wish.

3) Finally while making life harder for us, the player does help out the party. He can fight, is kinda of a skill-monkey and can cast a bunch of useful spells in combat.

Over-all he IS roleplaying what his character is like, its just that it often comes at the expense of other players.

Finally, attempts at confronting him has been fruitless as he takes such attempts as us trying to control his character's behavior.

What can we do?


Leafeater wrote:

I am in a game where we just had a player join the party.

Problem is he seems set on roleplaying against other members of the party.

I can tell he is not really trying to make life miserable for the rest of us, it just that he ROLEPLAYS his character too much...
He does whatever he feels his character WILL DO, even if such actions are harmful to other party members.

For example, he will use bluff, steal from and use spells against other member of his own party. When asked why he does this, his reply is that he is roleplaying his character. As there are no evil party characters in our adventure, care to guess what his alignment is?

To make matters abut worse, I and the other member of the party are NG and due to the nature of our characters, we can't really "take actions" against his character for in-character reasons.

He seems a nice guy out of the game, but goes "in-character" during the game. When told about how some of this actions are not helping the party, he seems offended and insist that the action make logical sense and is "what his character will do". When questioned further, he starts saying that we are nitpicking on his character and goes on to defend his actions.

What can we do to convince him that his roleplaying is getting on the nerves of the other players? AND get him to understand it without going all defensive?

Actually you're wrong, punishing evil is a good thing to do. You're allowed for all intensive purposes to inflict pain on his character for being a ignorant brat.

Cheliax

Right; if he is taking it that far, take it back in his face. If a coworker stole, lied, and generally prevented work, you'd fire his ass. Just tell him the party consensus is he is a liability, then have the GM ask him to make a new character whose alignment and status is more conducive to playing friendly.

Nothing you can do; he violated rule #1.... at the end of the day, party members find a way to work together... the GM's world is enough of a challenge

Shadow Lodge

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Leafeater wrote:

Finally, attempts at confronting him has been fruitless as he takes such attempts as us trying to control his character's behavior.

What can we do?

He's trying to control the other PCs' behavior. That's why he's reading their minds and manipulating them.

Answer this: would your PC want this guy around? If so, live with it, if not, boot him.

And I'll tell you right now, legions upon legions of bad players who want nothing more than to make other people miserable have used the "But it's just my character's personality!" excuse. You're falling for the trap. Stop it now, discuss the issue with the player, and if he won't change, boot him from the group, no matter how cool he may seem.

Life's too short for unfun gaming.

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Leafeater wrote:
Finally, attempts at confronting him has been fruitless as he takes such attempts as us trying to control his character's behavior.

Raise it with thr group as a whole, stating that you do not like this type of play and ask whether others feel the same. If his fun is at the expense of the fun of 2 or 3 other players then it seems right that the fun of the majority should take precedent.

State up front that "I'm just doing what my character would do" is never an excuse for being a dick.

If despite all that he won't stop then look to agreeing with the rest of the group to eject him, or be prepared to leave the group yourself.

I rarely advise in game solutions to what are out of game problems, but you did mention "he cast a spell that read our thoughts and force us to stat explicitly what our character is thinking and use that information against us". That sounds like something your characters would be aware of and could reasonably be a cause for resentment.

So "playing your characters" it wouldn't be unreasonable to have your characters not be happy adventuring with this person and so set off adventuring without him (assuming the other members of the party are in agreement). I am pretty sure the GM won't want to have to run two seperate adventures, one for the group and one for him, and so will likely advise the player to create a new character.

Taldor

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

Don't handle this in-character. It is not an in-character problem.

Handle it by pointing out the problem - he is spoiling the enjoyment of the rest of the group.

Talk to the other players, make it clear what you think, and make sure you have an accurate understanding of what they think.

Then tell him, politely: "I know you're enjoying playing your character but I am no longer enjoying playing this game, and neither are Joe and Lucy. We don't enjoy the changes that have happened with this new character in the party. We would like to make some changes so that we can enjoy the game again."

Then, involve him in finding the solution: "What do you think would be best? We could all make new characters who get along, or your character could just change, or the GM could create a scenario to let your character have a conversion to virtue and team-work... or maybe you've got another idea?"

Generally, the rule to changing behaviour is to criticise the behaviour and make sure that you do not criticise the individual: "I really like you and you make cool character concepts but..."


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps Subscriber
Leafeater wrote:
2) Our DM is not taking action against him as he is not disturbing the game to the extent that the game cannot go on. The player does not do anything that kills off the storyline. Also the DM allows us to play/interact as we wish.

Your DM needs to know that his players aren't happy. Unhappy players usually hang on for a while, then quit playing, because frankly, why would you give up four hours of your Saturday afternoon to go and play something that you're not enjoying? There are many other things you could be doing.

And if your DM won't listen, then just find another group to play with. If all your other players feel the same as you do, then take them with you and go off and form your own group.

This may seem a little harsh, but life's too short to waste playing a game with someone who makes it unfun.


InVinoVeritas wrote:
Life's too short for unfun gaming.

This.

You've mentioned that he is casting mind-reading spells on your characters and using the information against you. Whether or not the spell was subtly cast, when another character uses information against your character they are going to know something is amiss. Even if they just have an inkling of something out of whack, they're going to keep eyes on the person they suspect. Suspicion often leads to paranoia, and paranoia to accusations. Accusations can lead to conflict. Your characters are perfectly within their rights to start throwing out some accusations, and see where it goes. He can deny, deny, deny, but in the end all the suspicion and paranoia are going to lead to a confrontation. Then it's smack-down time.

Andoran

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

"I'm just roleplaying my character." is not an acceptable answer. He CHOSE that character, meaning he has complete control over how much a jerk said character is.

Explain that if he continues to play characters like this, that detract from your fun, you simply cannot game together.


Leafeater wrote:
...To make matters abut worse, I and the other member of the party are NG and due to the nature of our characters, we can't really "take actions" against his character for in-character reasons...

As others have also mentioned, neutral good does not mean pacifist abuse target. As an individual, I would think of myself as fairly close to neutral good, if my associates were stealing from me I would warn them at least once. Then I would either stop associating with them or turn them in for it depending upon how serious it was and/or how irritated I was.


Once had an Alchemist start charging for his services. The lil bastard would drop a potion down your gullet while taking from your purse, gave receipts and avoided all combat. After about the second or third combat, the monk simply full attacked him with stunning fist and dropped him. Tied him up and said shape up or ship out.

Currently have a rogue palming things when we loot the enemies (stealing rings and other valuables). We haven't caught him yet, but when we do the party will prolly knock him on his ass and "fine" him for the trouble he's caused.

I hate that kind of gameplay. You do not play against your party members, you do not turn DPR into a pissing contest, you do not use face powers to screw over the tank keeping the enemy from beating your face in. Being a party should promote a sense of camaraderie.

Why can't the party simply turn on him? Just because you're NG doesn't mean you can't seek justice or defend yourself. He casts a spell on you? Put a point in spellcraft, find out what he's doing and punch his face in. Steals? Wait for the one time he gets caught and punch his face in. Bluff? I would ask the GM to add massive penalties to bluff against party members. Hard to bluff someone who has spent so much time with you. And if he fails, call him out on it. And maybe add sleight of hand penalties stacking with how much he steals, each time the party has a better chance of spotting it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Leafeater wrote:

Answering some of your questions.

1) We can't take action against him in-character, cos our character don't know his character is the source of the problem. For example he does not really steal from any of us, but say uses Sleight of Hand to pocket one of the loot items, using stealth to prevent us from discovering it.

Out of curiosity, is he rolling his sleight of hand and stealth versus the rest of the party's perception rolls?

If so, then eventually he will be caught.

If not, why not?

Leafeater wrote:
Or he cast a spell that read our thoughts and force us to stat explicitly what our character is thinking and use that information against us. He uses it in such a way we can't even suspect his character... sigh.

Is his character casting the spell in sight of the rest of the party?

Are you getting spellcraft checks to know what kind of spell he cast?
Are you getting your saving throws?
If the spell is Detect Thoughts, that he would only get the surface thoughts and no other information.
If you are not thinking about the subject that he is interested in, then he will have to direct the converstation to have any chance of getting his answers - which may cause a few problems with spell duration and such.
I know that my thoughts are often all over the place, even during conversations with others (like thinking of what I should make for dinner, that the hair coming of their mole is annoying and I would like to be able to rip it out, I like the way she fills out that outfit, etc.)

Leafeater wrote:
2) Our DM is not taking action against him as he is not disturbing the game to the extent that the game cannot go on. The player does not do anything that kills off the storyline. Also the DM allows us to play/interact as we wish.

Similar question to what was asked earlier, did the GM ask you if you minded if he joined your group?

Also, in character, why did he join your group, why are you still associating with him?

Leafeater wrote:

3) Finally while making life harder for us, the player does help out the party. He can fight, is kinda of a skill-monkey and can cast a bunch of useful spells in combat.

Over-all he IS roleplaying what his character is like, its just that it often comes at the expense of other players.

Did the group need the extra PC? Again, not sure on how or why he joined the group (either player or PC), but what will happen when he get's caught? You may want to think about how "your" character would respond to that.

Leafeater wrote:

Finally, attempts at confronting him has been fruitless as he takes such attempts as us trying to control his character's behavior.

What can we do?

He can play his character as he likes, but if the player is causing strife with the rest of the Players, then he is breaking the fun of the group and at my table, would likely be asked to leave if he did not change his behavior.

Also, I seem to recall that the rules state that skills like Bluff and Diplomacy do not work between PCs, that it is roleplayed between them.


The party will know when loot goes missing that they have a thief among them. Locate Object might be used to find the missing item. NG characters are not above punishing thieves caught red-handed, or turning them over to the authorities.

You can mess with the player by having the other players pass notes to the GM. Initially make the notes blank in case this triggers the player to suddenly cast his mind reading spell.

Adventurers need to be able to have absolute trust with their teammates. They go into life threatening situations on a regular basis. Anyone found to be untrustworthy would get kicked out of the group. For example, a knowlege:arcana roll might let the other players notice the player is casting magic on them.


Leafeater wrote:
...Or he cast a spell that read our thoughts and force us to stat explicitly what our character is thinking and use that information against us. He uses it in such a way we can't even suspect his character... sigh...

It is very difficult to imagine a character so good that no one will ever notice that he is casting spells at party members. No one will ever succeed at a perception check to notice the sleight of hand. No one will ever notice he has items he shouldn't. No one will ever notice that he has more cash than he should.

Unless he is significantly higher level than you. he should not be always able to fool everyone every time.

Even in real life, compulsive liars and compulsive thieves do not get away with it very long. Almost everyone except the extremely cullable can tell the guy at the plant that constantly makes stuff up. If there is a person constantly stealing in the office, everyone has strong suspicions who it is. Those kinds of personalities only get away with it if they keep moving on to new victims. An itelligent thief does not steal from the people he must continue to be around.

Leafeater wrote:
...Finally, attempts at confronting him has been fruitless as he takes such attempts as us trying to control his character's behavior...

TO a certain extent he is correct. It is a group activity not his private fantasy daydream. Social activities are controlled by social peer pressure. In this case, everyone should have fun not just him. If you don't want to use in character peer pressure. Then you are left with out of character peer pressure. "You are playing like a selfish 7 year old and we don't feel like putting up with it any more!"


TriOmegaZero wrote:

"I'm just roleplaying my character." is not an acceptable answer. He CHOSE that character, meaning he has complete control over how much a jerk said character is.

Explain that if he continues to play characters like this, that detract from your fun, you simply cannot game together.

I agree.

In my musings on how to actually play an Evil character in a Good group, one key point is to play with the other Players. While your character can be an a&*~##%, you have to do so in ways that 1) don't conflict with the other player's characters, 2) if there is conflict work with the effected players on a pre determined resolution. This way the other players are "in" on the action and the "targets". For example, the nicking of loot, if you and the other players are working together out of character to be clear on what each needs then it isn't as much of an issue save WBL disparity.

A bad example would be stealing a Monks belt out of the loot that the Monk player really could use better and then wearing or selling it himself. A good example would be stealing a piece of artwork or a lesser gemstone that isn't a spell component.

The key is working with the other players. Using the shield of "I'm just roleplaying" says to me he's not really engaging with group on an OOC constructive level.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules Subscriber

Over the years, I've been in several different groups where a single player, using the "I'm just playing my character" defense, has caused an incredible amount of disruption to the group. I'm talking about disruption that grows to the point that members of the group gripe for hours/days about the disruptions that occurred during the last session, and people get so frustrated with the disruptions that they are no longer having fun - or are even dreading each week's game session.

As DM, I now make it clear to members of my group that those words are not a defense - in fact, that they are the first and clearest sign of someone who is playing the game selfishly. My group understands that it is everyone's responsibility to ensure everyone in the group has a chance to have fun. Everyone deserves their moment in the spotlight, and no one is entitled to make someone else miserable.

The thing is, at least in my experience, people who tend to use the "just playing my character" defense are usually not able to change their play style. They aren't having fun if they can't play this way. They may be overly competitive, they may be taking out their frustrations from outside the game, or this may simply be their way of getting the spotlight - correct them and they get defensive, insist they change to a more cooperative character and they find other ways to act out.

My advice - Your group needs to firmly express to this player that his disruptive behavior isn't appropriate. You can give him a chance to change - but if it continues to be an issue (or seems to get better when you nag him about it, but continually reverts back under stress or when it doesn't get mentioned for a couple of weeks), then you also need to make it clear that you are willing to remove a disruptive player for the sake of the rest of the group. Talk about sharing the spotlight, working as a group, etc. Make sure he understands that he shares the responsibility, as does everyone else in the group, of making the game fun for everyone - and that right now he's failing in this responsibility.

And if your group isn't willing/able to remove a disruptive player for some reason, you need to examine why that is. Because if you don't, then you're basically letting yourselves be held hostage to his bad behavior.


Leafeater wrote:

Answering some of your questions.

1) We can't take action against him in-character, cos our character don't know his character is the source of the problem. For example he does not really steal from any of us, but say uses Sleight of Hand to pocket one of the loot items, using stealth to prevent us from discovering it.

Or he cast a spell that read our thoughts and force us to stat explicitly what our character is thinking and use that information against us. He uses it in such a way we can't even suspect his character... sigh.

2) Our DM is not taking action against him as he is not disturbing the game to the extent that the game cannot go on. The player does not do anything that kills off the storyline. Also the DM allows us to play/interact as we wish.

3) Finally while making life harder for us, the player does help out the party. He can fight, is kinda of a skill-monkey and can cast a bunch of useful spells in combat.

Over-all he IS roleplaying what his character is like, its just that it often comes at the expense of other players.

Finally, attempts at confronting him has been fruitless as he takes such attempts as us trying to control his character's behavior.

What can we do?

How can he cast a spell on you without you noticing it? There is only one bard feat I know of which would make it possible... but its still highly suspiciously when used out of combat...

And how high is his stealth bonus compared to your highest preception bonus?


I played a CN orc character with an INT of 8 and a charisma of 6. This was rolled, not point buy. He always did what the paladin told him to, as "He gave me cookies and beer." Stealing from party members is self serving. Self serving at the expense of others. What is it called to advantage yourself at the cost of others? EVIL! It's the old "I'm not evil I'm CN ." CN is best used by characters who are too 'simple' or too focused to see the world in normal ways. CN is not an excuse to PK or grief other players. This ain't 1st edition, and RPG's are a team effort. Not-a-team-player-guy-dies-alone-with-a-dagger-in-his-face.


I have played in a campaign of evil characters as a gestalt ghost warlock/binder (3.5) for the last 2 years. my character has hated many of his fellow party members and found several of them useless, and as a result he would have killed them in their sleep because 'it's what my character would do'

likewise, if an ally had a magic item i wanted, i would have had no problem with manifesting, taking it from them, then un-manifesting so that they could never take it back, because 'that's what my character would do.

I've never actually DONE any of that though, for the same reason as has been stated several times before. 'that's what my character would do' is never an excuse to play a douche. There are NO exceptions!

Also, another minor point i would make is that PCs cannot actually use bluff (or any social skill in fact) against other PCs (because you control the character, YOU choose to beleive him or not, and some lies are simply too much even for the bluff skill on NPCs too)


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Buy a powerful airhorn and blast it right next to his ear. When (and if) he recovers his hearing, explain to him that you were just roleplaying your character -- an airhorn aficianado.


Cintra Bristol wrote:
...The thing is, at least in my experience, people who tend to use the "just playing my character" defense are usually not able to change their play style. They aren't having fun if they can't play this way. They may be overly competitive, they may be taking out their frustrations from outside the game, or this may simply be their way of getting the spotlight...

DING ! DING !! DING !!! and the prize goes to Cintra.

Exactly my experience as well.


Leafeater wrote:

Answering some of your questions.

1) We can't take action against him in-character, cos our character don't know his character is the source of the problem. For example he does not really steal from any of us, but say uses Sleight of Hand to pocket one of the loot items, using stealth to prevent us from discovering it.

Or he cast a spell that read our thoughts and force us to stat explicitly what our character is thinking and use that information against us. He uses it in such a way we can't even suspect his character... sigh.

Have you been allowed the appropriate Will saves and Perception checks to notice these actions?

Quote:


2) Our DM is not taking action against him as he is not disturbing the game to the extent that the game cannot go on. The player does not do anything that kills off the storyline. Also the DM allows us to play/interact as we wish.

Does the GM know you are upset? Have you talked to him about this?

Further--you said this guy joined an existing group. Is he a longtime friend of the GM? Do you think there might be some kind of personal relationship the GM is afraid to breach by talking to the player?

Because really--the GM's absolute foremost job is to make sure everyone--and that means EVERYONE--is having fun. If the majority are you are not, you have been unable to resolve the issue on your own, and he is aware of this and doing nothing about it--this is a serious problem. Not only do you have a problem player, but a crap GM.

Quote:


3) Finally while making life harder for us, the player does help out the party. He can fight, is kinda of a skill-monkey and can cast a bunch of useful spells in combat.

Over-all he IS roleplaying what his character is like, its just that it often comes at the expense of other players.

As TOZ noted, he chose to play a Chaotic Neutral (I am assuming that is the alignment you are referring to in your OP) confrontational jerkass. He CHOSE to play a mean character who defies the point of playing what is meant to be a cooperative game. "I'm just roleplaying" does not justify these choices.

Gonna also tell you something: the guy who plays the Chaotic Neutral a+~!~#& who constantly betrays the party and backs it up with "I'm just roleplaying"? Is never just roleplaying. He's being a competitive jerk in his own way, trying to "win D&D" by making his character the "most powerful" by undermining the rest of you in little niggling ways that are not easily to call him out on. This does not lend to a healthy roleplaying environment. This is a very, very common problem player type and it's not going to go away easily--especially without a good GM to back you up.

Now, it's possible he's mistaken Pathfinder for Paranoia and just doesn't get cooperative play, but that's probably unlikely.

Quote:


Finally, attempts at confronting him has been fruitless as he takes such attempts as us trying to control his character's behavior.

What can we do?

First, this is very much a personality problem and needs to be addressed primarily out of game.

That said--understanding this will NOT solve the problem--while you are playing: do whatever you can to bolster your characters' Wisdom scores to boost Perception and Will saves (since that seems to be the weakness he's preying upon). Think of ways your characters WOULD respond to the things that are happening to them even if they don't know the PC is doing it---for example, items are going missing. They don't know who is taking them, but they could start hiding personal possessions more carefully and investing in Perception to defend themselves from this unknown threat.

Read up on your class skills AND HIS to know what kind of things he's trying to exploit so you know how to defend your PCs from his actions. Learn the rules so you are a better rules lawyer than he is. This disempowers his ability to use the rules against you to make you miserable. But AGAIN-THIS WILL NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM. What this will do, will help you feel a little more empowered while you find a way to resolve the bigger issue at hand.

If you cannot find a way to talk him down and/or get the GM involved--give him the boot. If the GM backs him up--give the GM the boot. Start running your own games and find new players that suit your style--advertise in your Friendly Local Gaming Store (and play games there if they have the space) and/or here at "Gamer Connection." Even if you're a small group, you'll be much happier without these jerks.


Dorje Sylas wrote:
..In my musings on how to actually play an Evil character in a Good group, one key point is to play with the other Players. While your character can be an a$+!*%&, you have to do so in ways that 1) don't conflict with the other player's characters...

I have played as a competely evil b@$t@rd that loved killing and humiliating people. However, since he was and INTELLIGENT evil b@$t@rd he decided that he would work for the good guys (not for any weak mushy reasons, but) so the authorities would never have cause to come after him.

I could easily do the same thing with a sneaky dispicable thief. He is just smart enough to not pull tricks on the guys he can not avoid. AKA not carping in your own breakfast cereal.

This lets you play a nasty character every so often without ruining everyone elses' fun.


hogarth wrote:
Buy a powerful airhorn and blast it right next to his ear. When (and if) he recovers his hearing, explain to him that you were just roleplaying your character -- an airhorn aficianado.

rofl

Or use the Southpark approach (episode where they train Cartman to behave) and pinch/ignore him into submissiveness. J/K of course. But it is funny to visualize. *grin*


Thanks for all the insight into this. I guess this problem is quite common among play groups.

I'm going to try to answer some of the questions posted,

The player is really quite a good role-player. We have played with him before in other games and he really embodies the character he rps. Its just his current character is stated as a "trickster/stealth/spy" type character... so he often does things that makes life REALLY INTERESTING for the other players.

As for saves, catching his character in the act and other such things, the thing is most of us switch over from 4e. (Yap, we dumped 4e. :) )
And as such we are still not 100% when in comes to the rules. This is especially so for the details in spells and use of skills.
So often, for the sake of the game, we just move things along and only look it up after the game. Of course by then, its usually too late to rewind time to change things. Examples would be him casting a spell and only after the game do we realize that the spell was more limited then we thought.

Our DM is quite fair on things and is quite kind to our parties overall mistakes since we are still kinda new, but his stand is that we all have freewill and we are responsible for our actions.
The DM has talk the player out of certain actions and give him bad outcomes in others, but I guess he is just too kind and as the player is RPing and can be kinda defensive, the DM don't want to make an issue out of it.

Overall he is not killing the game. The party can still and most likely will complete the adventure. Its the pain that comes with his "actions" that makes the game feel kinda bad at the moment.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps Subscriber
Leafeater wrote:

Overall he is not killing the game. The party can still and most likely will complete the adventure. Its the pain that comes with his "actions" that makes the game feel kinda bad at the moment.

I stand by my initial comment. It may feel mildly irritating at this point, but if history is any judge, that irritation will grow to frustration, which will make things unfun eventually. I've seen it happen way too many times.

Andoran

Having read only the first post, that is all I'm responding to.

Talk to him outside the game and suggest his character might decide to be more helpful. If he decides not to take the advice, kill his character outright. After you do so, suggest the next character might decide to be more helpful.

Its possible to roleplay a character who is not a jerk and who doesn't screw over the party.

Qadira

Make an assassin/evil character and then kill his PC, when he complains, say it was "IN CHARACTER" for you to do it.

You mentioned you had no Evil alignments in the party, this is untrue. Stealing from your friends, reading their minds, etc are all acts that would eventually shift his alignment to Evil. Bring this up to your DM and demand that his alignment reflect his behavior. Then use Detect Evil to find him out and kick his ass.

Really, though? Just as others have said, tell him in person that though he may be playing his character as he feels is appropriate, he is ruining the rest of the groups enjoyment of the game and then refuse to continue that game until he either changes his character's behavior or makes a new character who is more cooperative with the group.

Qadira

Leafeater wrote:
the DM don't want to make an issue out of it.

But the problem is that it IS AN ISSUE. There is no excuse, not even "roleplaying in character" for ruining the enjoyment of your fellow players. Tell him that he's a great roleplayer, but is being a bad friend.


Leafeater wrote:
The player is really quite a good role-player. We have played with him before in other games and he really embodies the character he rps. Its just his current character is stated as a "trickster/stealth/spy" type character... so he often does things that makes life REALLY INTERESTING for the other players.

You seem to have moved to defending someone who you have previously stated is often making gameplay frustrating. Why is this?

Please don't read this as an accusation. But I'm genuinely confused. One one hand, you're describing a person, by your own description, who is
1. Exploiting your newness to the game (see what you said below) and using spells in the way they weren't intended to screw your characters over.
2. Stealing things from fellow PCs.
3. Using combative mind-affecting spells on allies.
4. Getting defensive when being called on his actions and refusing to meet halfway.

But then you say, no really, he's an okay guy and a really good roleplayer?

What am I missing here?

Not to mention--the problems you yourself are describing have, really, honest to goodness, nothing to do with actual roleplaying. And remember--you felt bad enough about what was going on to ask a message board full of anonymous, contentious gamer-types for advice. Have you changed your mind? It's okay if you have! Just please clarify for the easily confused (me). :)

Quote:


As for saves, catching his character in the act and other such things, the thing is most of us switch over from 4e. (Yap, we dumped 4e. :) )
And as such we are still not 100% when in comes to the rules. This is especially so for the details in spells and use of skills.
So often, for the sake of the game, we just move things along and only look it up after the game. Of course by then, its usually too late to rewind time to change things. Examples would be him casting a spell and only after the game do we realize that the spell was more limited then we thought.

Then that's all the more reason you need to learn the rules of the game you are playing. And I would NEVER let someone use a spell on me without understanding myself what it does. It's not that disruptive to look up a spell.

If any of you play with a laptop, there is a program by Kyle Olson called Combat Manager which has a very easy to use, accessible rules lookup feature, which will allow you to quickly reference spells, feats, and other rules.

Quote:


Our DM is quite fair on things and is quite kind to our parties overall mistakes since we are still kinda new, but his stand is that we all have freewill and we are responsible for our actions.

But the player is not being held responsible for his?

Quote:
The DM has talk the player out of certain actions and give him bad outcomes in others, but I guess he is just too kind and as the player is RPing and can be kinda defensive, the DM don't want to make an issue out of it.

If it gets worse, I just hope you feel comfortable with your and the GM's ability to come to a reasonable solution.

Quote:


Overall he is not killing the game. The party can still and most likely will complete the adventure. Its the pain that comes with his "actions" that makes the game feel kinda bad at the moment.

Are you playing this game to have fun?

Or are you playing this game to "complete the adventure"?

Because "pain" and "the game feels kinda bad" does not sound like you're having fun.

So I hope "completing the adventure" provides you the satisfaction for the time and energy you have put into this game--and this discussion you have brought up at this message board. Otherwise, you need to stop making excuses for the player and solve the problem. Good luck.


GeraintElberion wrote:

Don't handle this in-character. It is not an in-character problem.

Handle it by pointing out the problem - he is spoiling the enjoyment of the rest of the group.

Talk to the other players, make it clear what you think, and make sure you have an accurate understanding of what they think.

This. It is NOT an in-character problem so don't try to out smart him. Don't look at the rules, because you shouldn't fix this in game.

Talk to him, the other playes and to the GM.

InVinoVeritas wrote:


And I'll tell you right now, legions upon legions of bad players who want nothing more than to make other people miserable have used the "But it's just my character's personality!" excuse. You're falling for the trap. Stop it now, discuss the issue with the player, and if he won't change, boot him from the group, no matter how cool he may seem.

Life's too short for unfun gaming.

and this

Shadow Lodge

I endorse many if not all of the tactics above, but offer one of my own:

A) The next time it happens, stop play and point it out. Explain to the player, the GM, and the other players at the table that this simply isn't the kind of game you want to play. Ask that it stop. Explain that he's had his fun being selfish, but that this really isn't any different than him going off exploring by himself. He's the only one enjoying it, and everyone else is just there to watch.

B) If/when it happens again, go in the other room. Tell the GM to call you when it's time for the rest of the group to play. "You can play my character if you need to, but this is just stupid, so I'm going to go get a snack."

C) Should it continue to happen, look the player squarely in the eye and ask "are you DONE yet, the rest of us are here to play, too".

And so on.

Use social pressure to bring his behavior back into alignment with the group...

Osirion Reaper Miniatures

Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

Best I can say is that sometimes I have hade to make a ruling I don't really like.

"Any player character must be designed such that his alignment/attitude/backstory will cooperate with the group."

That and making the characters as group all together at the table at the same time.

I don't like to limit their options that much, but sometimes I haven't seen any other choice.

I have had this rule at my table for years.

I also will not allow a player to attack, steal from, or harm another player, UNLESS that character is under a compulsion, command, or mind-affecting effect.

When he first tried to steal or use a spell on another PC, I would have stopped it, and when he does it next, you should stop it. Explain that inter-party conflict is a very sharp role-playing tool, and like all sharp tools, should be supervised by the GM.

I know my group handles RP inter-party conflict with GM involvement to ensure that inter-PC conflicts don't become Inter-Player conflicts.

"It's what my character would do" means my response becomes "then roll up a character that knows how to get along with his companions".


6 people marked this as a favorite.

BARBARIAN SEE THIS KIND PLAYER MANY TIME IN MANY GAME DURING RUN FROM 1 TO 20. AM ALWAYS BEING JERK TO BARBARIAN PARTY. THEN SQUISHY JERK AM BEING JERK TO BARBARIAN.

BARBARIAN AM NEVER CLAIM TO HAVE BEST TEMPER, BUT AM PARTY MEMBER. AM SHOWING MUCH RESTRAINT. BARBARIAN FULL ATTACK PARTY JERK WHEN AM NOT LOOKING, AM SUNDER EVERYTHING JERK OWN TO 1 HP. GUY AM SAYING THAT BE OUT OF CHARACTER FOR BARBARIAN.

BARBARIAN AGREE. EVERYONE KNOW IN CHARACTER ACTION BE TO BREAK FACE OUTRIGHT. WHEN POINTED OUT THAT IN CHARACTER ACTION FOR CHARACTER BEING JERK AM OUTRIGHT MURDER, PLAYER APPEAR TO GET MESSAGE.

SOMETIMES BARBARIAN BREAKS CHARACTER TO AVOID SCREWING OVER PARTY.

USUALLY PARTY JERK GETTING POINT AFTER THAT. MENDINGS, AND PARTY MOVES ON AS FAMILY. SOMETIMES PLAYER AM NOT GET BARBARIAN POINT.

THEN AM SMASH SQUISHY JERK. AM PROBABLY CASTY ANYWAYS.

BARBARIAN PROBLEM SOLVING AM BEST PROBLEM SOLVING.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber
AM BARBARIAN wrote:

BARBARIAN SEE THIS KIND PLAYER MANY TIME IN MANY GAME DURING RUN FROM 1 TO 20. AM ALWAYS BEING JERK TO BARBARIAN PARTY. THEN SQUISHY JERK AM BEING JERK TO BARBARIAN.

BARBARIAN AM NEVER CLAIM TO HAVE BEST TEMPER, BUT AM PARTY MEMBER. AM SHOWING MUCH RESTRAINT. BARBARIAN FULL ATTACK PARTY JERK WHEN AM NOT LOOKING, AM SUNDER EVERYTHING JERK OWN TO 1 HP. GUY AM SAYING THAT BE OUT OF CHARACTER FOR BARBARIAN.

BARBARIAN AGREE. EVERYONE KNOW IN CHARACTER ACTION BE TO BREAK FACE OUTRIGHT. WHEN POINTED OUT THAT IN CHARACTER ACTION FOR CHARACTER BEING JERK AM OUTRIGHT MURDER, PLAYER APPEAR TO GET MESSAGE.

SOMETIMES BARBARIAN BREAKS CHARACTER TO AVOID SCREWING OVER PARTY.

USUALLY PARTY JERK GETTING POINT AFTER THAT. MENDINGS, AND PARTY MOVES ON AS FAMILY. SOMETIMES PLAYER AM NOT GET BARBARIAN POINT.

THEN AM SMASH SQUISHY JERK. AM PROBABLY CASTY ANYWAYS.

BARBARIAN PROBLEM SOLVING AM BEST PROBLEM SOLVING.

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.


@OP

Get a stick and hit a b+$!*! Then say it is what your character would do. Mr. Fishy isn't evil but he still spanks his guppies. Some people will do what ever they can get away with. Show him that your character has had enough. Flank his ass see how he likes it.

This guy sounds like a munchkin. He plays with the intent of annoying the rest of the group. Using magic to turn another character hair pink or his cloak lime green is a joke and should be laughed off but if the spell is an attack, daze and sleep count. Do subdual damage it's the fighter version of sleep.

He's stealing from the party? Beating. Casting spells on party members targeted or AoE casualty? If targeted. Beating. If his a wizard steal his spell book and use it for TP.


This is not an IC problem. Since your characters have no idea what he's doing, they have no reason to act against him.

It's a purely OOC problem. You, as players, don't like the way he's playing his character. If all the players feel this way, tell him he has to change his ways or leave. He's detracting from the fun of the other players, plain and simple.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There was player in our games who was like that. Our solution was to roleplay the situations out often leading to the party deciding to part ways with the offending character. Then as GM I'd hand that player new character sheet to make a new Character. Had on game night where that player ended up making 5 characters before he got it through his head.

He's tried to complain but the party used his argument against him, saying they were roleplaying and it's what thier characters would do.


DeathQuaker wrote:
A lot of good stuff.

What Mr. Fishy said ain't half bad too.

It seems to me there's a wealth of information on here about how to deal with this particular problem. Which, btw, this is not the first time a gaming table has had a problem like this. Most of the advice boils down to two ways to handle it. Tell him as a player you don't like his play-style, or beat his a$$/kill him in character. Either way you've addressed the problem. This is going to sound a bit harsh, but I've had similar conversations with players over the years. At some point you need to sack up, and handle an aggressive problem with an aggressive response. Talking to him about his play-style might be frightening because you fear his reaction, but so what? If you fear having zero fun more than you fear his reaction you've got your answer. Accusing him in character, and the ensuing conflict might be frightening because you fear his response, but so what? If you fear having zero fun more than you fear his reaction you've got your answer.


At somepoint your character will have to know what is going on. Mr. Incharacter may very well be "in character," but you can only fail so many perception and/or spell craft check before you get the idea someone close to you is messing with you. "Wow my pocket is light x gp... Mr. Incharacter was just here... Come to think of it he was around the last few times that happened." Do your other casers ever see him cast and roll spell craft checks for the spells Mr. Incharacter casts? This should allow you all to figure out the cause.

Point being, just by the numbers alone your party will figure it out sooner or later (the DM knowing this is pissing you all off should help out with this). When they do catch him punish him, severly. Either kill him directly, indirectly, make him have a come to jesus moment, or boot the character from the group after recouping you stuff. Evil is as evil does, he should be expecting a bad end to the character.


It really all depends on what the GM thinks about it. If he wants to, the GM can keep your characters from knowing what's happening for a long time.

Talking to the player and to the GM is definitely the best way to go. If they both remain adamant that it's an in-character issue, then you have to try to find a way to discover it in character and respond to it then. Assuming you want to keep the group going, that is.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

I agree with the vast majority of what's been said so far.

To build on it, you're unhappy and this guy's PC is the cause of it. Beyond and regardless of motivation, I would have a sit down with the DM and group. (Make sure the other players are in agreement first, by the way.)

While the player is roleplaying, the result is unpleasant to both your characters and to you players.

That's the key. Your PCs are experiencing strife and loss they shouldn't. Unless you're playing a bunch of idiots, eventually someone's going to in-character start trying to figure out why bad things keep happening. locate object has been mentioned. There are other divination spells that can be used to investigate where lost/stolen items have got to. Klepto-boy is going to get caught, and it's going to happen as soon as you decide your characters want to find out what's happening.

So. Given your characters are on the brink of investigating and finding him out and given the likely result: banishment or worse, what would the annoying player like to do about the circumstance?

He's built a background where it's inevitable your party is going to kick his PC out. He has two choices: let that happen or stop being a thorn in the PCs' sides. Let the player decide. If he insists on adhering to his roleplay vision that's fine but he's going to lose the opportunity to play that character and is going to have to roll up a new one, and soon. If he wants to play the obnoxious back-stabbing traitor, the consequences are coming.

There is no reason for you to tolerate this.

Taldor

DeathQuaker wrote:

What am I missing here?

Not to mention--the problems you yourself are describing have, really, honest to goodness, nothing to do with actual roleplaying. And remember--you felt bad enough about what was going on to ask a message board full of anonymous, contentious gamer-types for advice. Have you changed your mind? It's okay if you have! Just please clarify for the easily confused (me). :)

While I'm not going to put words in the OPs mouth, one thing I've seen as a consistent pattern over 16 years of being on RPG forums is the implied question of:

"Is there some passive aggressive way of resolving a conflict in our group? I don't want to have a direct confrontation with the person I have a problem with, instead I would like advice on some approach were I could 'school' the perpetrator and make them change their behavior while avoiding any awkward conversations or overt negative social consequences with said individual."

Then there is an ocean of responses that involve "be a mature and communicate your issues and find a solution" or "punch the guy in the face and toss him out the door."

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