Poor Attendance: Advice Needed


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I have a somewhat unreliable player. Of late, it's been getting problematic.

This player failed to attend the last session, making things highly inconvenient, since I'm trying to introduce two new players--and twice that in new PCs, thanks to a couple recent deaths. * According to the player, he was on a camping trip. Of course, he didn't tell me he was going anywhere until after the fact. I confronted him on it, and the conversation went like this:

Skype Conversation:
[6:59:41 PM] Kobold Cleaver: yo[problem player]
[6:59:45 PM] Kobold Cleaver: where were you yesterday
[7:20:37 PM] Problem Player: At a camp
[7:20:40 PM] Problem Player: Without a computer
[7:20:44 PM] Problem Player: And my phone is broken
[7:20:52 PM] Problem Player: And my computer was evil the day before
[7:20:58 PM] Problem Player: So my world is sad
[7:24:13 PM] Kobold Cleaver: Coulda told us before you left. :P
[7:24:24 PM] Problem Player: True...
[7:24:28 PM] Problem Player: Very true...
[7:24:40 PM] Problem Player: I am sorry for being an awful person

This player has a history of having very good reasons not to attend sessions he happens not to like. For instance, we'd been playing in a high-level Terah campaign up until recently. He was against switching back to my game, saying to my face that he didn't like my game as much because the levels were lower and therefore less fun.

Conveniently, something came up that kept him from attending the first week of the game. I sent him a message basically warning him that my game is the group's main game (the Terah GM asked to go back to playering because she'd found GMing to be rather stressful), and his attendance became a bit more reliable.

This player has a history of cheating when he thinks he won't get caught. I placed some policies on dice-rolling to mostly amend the issue, and I, unlike the Terah GM, have the time to make sure he's not editing his character sheet in subtle but useful ways (like giving himself weapons he didn't have so he can fight his way out of prison?).

To top it off, he almost never roleplays and often pokes friendly fun at people who try to roleplay 'intensely'. He will never roleplay to the detriment of his own character.

This week, I've been trying to get ahold of the player for three days to find out whether he's going to attend. He has yet to go on Skype (which he's usually pretty active on) and has yet to answer my emails. I'm worried he's gonna pull another last-minute (or, more likely, retroactive) cancellation on us.

I'm sure somebody's going to recommend just kicking this guy, and I get that. Unfortunately, he's friends with everyone at the group, including myself. I like the guy. Our gaming group doubles as a social gathering, so kicking him out will trigger a good deal of upset. I don't believe it's worth it.

But it's getting to the point that I wish I could just take away his character and have him attend just for the social aspect. It'd sure be a lot more convenient for me.

Anyways, this was half rant, but I am looking for advice. How do I get this player to normalize? How do I get him to play the 'right' way? If neither is an option, how do I just keep him from making the game harder to run?

* And no, the unreliable player's character was not one of the departed.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Do you have enough players to get the rest of the adventuring done? If so, just cut his character out of any significant plots or plans and expect him to be the occasional guest star who crops up every few episodes or so.

If not, adjust things so you can or recruit another player to do the heavy lifting while he drops in and out.

Silver Crusade

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Dude. This guy's had more than enough chances. At this point, Horse is dead and it's Move On Time.

If his interest in the game you work hard to run is so low, and he's being a disruptive jerk, it's perfectly okay to tell him not to bother showing and recruit someone better to the table. Or VTT, or whatever.

He's obviously either too involved in himself to care about how his actions affect others or too acting like too much of a 'bag to be a responsible player. Which is Not Cool.


Have you talked to the other players? Perhaps they are just as annoyed with his behavior as you are, but figure it's the DM's job to deal with it, so they won't say anything until you do?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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Quote:
I'm sure somebody's going to recommend just kicking this guy, and I get that. Unfortunately, he's friends with everyone at the group, including myself. I like the guy. Our gaming group doubles as a social gathering, so kicking him out will trigger a good deal of upset. I don't believe it's worth it.

I had a friend once, who was constantly late to games and often not showing up at all, often for reasons like "I forgot" or "I overslept." I talked to him about how important to me it was for him to be able to make a solid commitment, that it took a long time for me to prepare for games and that he was wasting my time and the other players' when he failed to show without explanation, and that I needed him to please look at his life and decide whether he really had time for gaming or not, and to answer out of honesty rather than out of hopefulness.

He said, "You know what, I really don't have time to play with you right now. You're right, this isn't fair to you, so I'll bow out. I'm sorry."

And here's the amazing thing!

He and I continue to be friends.

I have many friends in my social circles whose company I enjoy and they mine, but some of us, we know we don't work well in certain kinds of groups. I have two friends that know that one can be GM and one can be player, but if they are both players, they will do nothing but bicker endlessly, so when one's about to be involved in a campaign, the other gracefully decides not to join in. They are still friends with each other and with every one else.

Likewise, outside of gaming, there are some friends I may, say, for example, ask to help me go shopping and pick out a new outfit for work, and others who I know would rather swallow glass than go shopping with me (and honestly, I am the "would rather swallow glass" person to other friends in that regard). The people who would rather not go shopping with me still my friends, and we simply do other, different things together.

I have writing friends, music friends, RPG friends, board game friends, foodie friends. Some overlap in those categories. others do not. Some try out other categories, and realize they are not for them--and others do.

If someone is a friend, a real, true, honest to god friend, they will understand their own limitations and your own limitations do not always meet together gracefully. Friends understand that they do not and cannot enjoy every single possible thing together all the time. They are friends because they can respect the limits and enjoy the hell out of the things they do mutually enjoy.

And good friends will listen to advice and criticism if it is handed to them respectfully. Good friends will especially want to know when they've been pissing you off, so they can figure out how to fix it.

So if this guy is really your friend, you and your mutual friends can sit down and have a chat with him about his behavior and what is and isn't acceptable in RPG games. And you can bring it down to, "You can keep playing and try and change your behavior, or we will ask you to stop playing but we will still be friends and do other things with you."

If he is a real friend, he will either agree to work on his behavior, or he will agree to leave. He might be hurt either way, but if he is really your friend, he will accept the loving manner in which you have undoubtedly confronted him, he will deal with it.

If he throws a hissyfit and in the long run just tries to make things harder for you, and expects you to put up with his piss poor behavior and have nothing change...

He is not your friend, and never was.


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Hi Kobold Cleaver,

Hey, can I borrow some money from you, like $500, I'll pay you back next week. This is just a short term thing.

I promise to have good excuses if I can't pay you back however, or ever.

Your the best,
<Problem Player>


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lol does Kobold Cleaver owe JailHouseRock (Problem Player?) 500 bucks? If it is this is the type of thing people always leave out of their stories to make themselves look better. The plot thickens.

@Kobold Cleaver: "He was against switching back to my game, saying to my face that he didn't like my game as much because the levels were lower and therefore less fun." ...he doesn't like your game, and is trying to hard to avoid playing it so why are you trying to force him to play it? Find someone else to play your game because he's affecting how you can run the game and you're approaching stalking status now.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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Also, it might be a good time to review the Geek Social Fallacies


Bill Dunn wrote:

Do you have enough players to get the rest of the adventuring done? If so, just cut his character out of any significant plots or plans and expect him to be the occasional guest star who crops up every few episodes or so.

If not, adjust things so you can or recruit another player to do the heavy lifting while he drops in and out.

This. So much this.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I have a somewhat unreliable player. Of late, it's been getting problematic.

This player failed to attend the last session, making things highly inconvenient, since I'm trying to introduce two new players--and twice that in new PCs, thanks to a couple recent deaths. * According to the player, he was on a camping trip. Of course, he didn't tell me he was going anywhere until after the fact. I confronted him on it, and the conversation went like this:

If you don't want to kick him out then make what I call "flex" encounters.

They are encounters that can be run more than one way.

As an example you might have a fight consisting of 1 CR 6, 2 CR 4's, and 5 CR'1s.

Adding one A CR 4 and 3 CR 1's if he does show up means you are ready either way.

If he is important because he is the party healer then stop looking at him as a primary player. When you try to get new players recruit for his position. That way the party is covered whether he shows up or not. If he complains tell him you will not looking for someone to back up his position when he starts to show up more.


No XP as long as he does the 'no call, no show'. Make sure he knows it. Give him an out. If he gives you a copy of his character sheet AND lets you know that he is going to be away, he gets the XP. If not, he will be treated as a standard NPC.

At least at that point, you will have the character just in case he isn't there. That is what our GM does. I call the GM and tell him I can't show and he has my character sheet so I can at least be in the game.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Do you have enough players to get the rest of the adventuring done? If so, just cut his character out of any significant plots or plans and expect him to be the occasional guest star who crops up every few episodes or so.

He actually shows up quite frequently. He just sometimes forgets to tell me when he can't come.

Jail House Rock wrote:
I promise to have good excuses if I can't pay you back however, or ever.

Well, gee, I don't want to be a jerk...

kmal2t wrote:
...he doesn't like your game, and is trying to hard to avoid playing it so why are you trying to force him to play it? Find someone else to play your game because he's affecting how you can run the game and you're approaching stalking status now.

Our group began with my game, and he enjoyed it then. He just wants to stick to the high-level game now that he's "had a taste of it". He said as much.

As for the stalker bit...am I stalking? What did I do that was stalking?


Quote:
lol does Kobold Cleaver owe JailHouseRock (Problem Player?) 500 bucks? If it is this is the type of thing people always leave out of their stories to make themselves look better. The plot thickens.

Also, I missed this. In order, since no-one else has clarified:

1. I do not know JHR.
2. He is joking.
3. Even if he was serious and I did know him, he's asking me for a loan, not the other way around.
4. Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt.


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Fire him.

The cheating and the poor attendance? Each one by itself is almost enough to kick a player out with good cause. Then you also say he discourages rp and generally hassles others trying to get into the game. It is time to ditch this self confessed "awful person".

Then irl when you next meet him, call him the man with a thousand excuses (as if you are announcing a famous magician). It could catch on.


ngc7293 wrote:

No XP as long as he does the 'no call, no show'. Make sure he knows it. Give him an out. If he gives you a copy of his character sheet AND lets you know that he is going to be away, he gets the XP. If not, he will be treated as a standard NPC.

At least at that point, you will have the character just in case he isn't there. That is what our GM does. I call the GM and tell him I can't show and he has my character sheet so I can at least be in the game.

Ha ha, I remember I did this to a player, who was nigh notorious for their poor attendance. He went ape s#*$, tried to argue he should get everything when he wasn't there to play the character. The old dnd players (the type that got me into gaming) would have laughed long and hard at that I think.

Then he tried to haggle, to give his sheet and get xp without attending (when the sheet isn't the issue, he just needed to rock up more and not come terribly late when he does arrive). Lastly he threatened to keep is sheet unless I folded. Which was funny, because he doesn't have property rights in the setting. I knew his class, ability scores, half his feats and his spell list. Alas, poor sand druid became an npc, and the player left after his childish tanty.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Quote:
lol does Kobold Cleaver owe JailHouseRock (Problem Player?) 500 bucks? If it is this is the type of thing people always leave out of their stories to make themselves look better. The plot thickens.

Also, I missed this. In order, since no-one else has clarified:

1. I do not know JHR.
2. He is joking.
3. Even if he was serious and I did know him, he's asking me for a loan, not the other way around.
4. Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt.

I read what JHR wrote as though this was a situation that had already happened and he was mocking you and how you asked for money and didn't repay it. And I never accused you of anything. I said if this was true it would typify people only giving their side.


Then I'd appreciate it being left at "is this true" instead of trying to come up with a whole "the plot thickens" sketch. But maybe I'm being oversensitive. I just don't like being implied to be a stalker and a liar.

DeathQuaker, I'll probably go with your advice. I'm considering confronting the player next time he shows up and asking for a phone number, but would that be too "stalkerish"?


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
Do you have enough players to get the rest of the adventuring done? If so, just cut his character out of any significant plots or plans and expect him to be the occasional guest star who crops up every few episodes or so.

He actually shows up quite frequently. He just sometimes forgets to tell me when he can't come.

Jail House Rock wrote:
I promise to have good excuses if I can't pay you back however, or ever.

Well, gee, I don't want to be a jerk...

kmal2t wrote:
...he doesn't like your game, and is trying to hard to avoid playing it so why are you trying to force him to play it? Find someone else to play your game because he's affecting how you can run the game and you're approaching stalking status now.

Our group began with my game, and he enjoyed it then. He just wants to stick to the high-level game now that he's "had a taste of it". He said as much.

As for the stalker bit...am I stalking? What did I do that was stalking?

If he is trying hard to avoid you and the game and you keep pursuing him, its a little off and you should stop. I'll answer this with the information provided since I don't know if this guy is a pothead flake or just a douche..or something else. Take him aside and ask him if he honestly wants to be in your campaign. If he says yes then tell him he should show enough respect for you and the group to let you guys know he can't make it ahead of time and it throws off the game. If he does it again (assuming hes done this like 3 times already) then you're going to have to remove him from the campaign and he can just show up as a cameo PC on a case by case basis that he clears with you.


He is not trying to avoid me. Here's the timeline:
1. We're playing in my game, having fun.
2. We decide to let another player GM for a while. We have fun.
3. Other GM asks to go back to my game. Player protests, saying he enjoys the high levels.

At no point is there an opportunity to avoid me, because I never left the gaming group. He agreed to go back to the original game and there's been no talk of higher levels since. It's a relatively independent incident that's only related because it shows he makes excuses when he "doesn't feel like" attending. This is not a matter of him avoiding anything, it's a matter of him being lazy.

For someone who wants to answer things with the information provided, you sure have been eager to jump to conclusions. I've been marked as a stalker, a liar and a thief by no more than a request for advice and a joke post.


Given the information in your first post I think I responded pretty accurately and gave a good solution above. I never labelled you a stalker, liar, or a thief. What you put looks like he's avoiding you and if you repeatedly send him messages, emails, sit waiting for him on skype etc., then its approaching "stalkerish" behavior in that you're pursuing him when he doesn't want to be pursued. I never called you a stalker, nor do I think you're sitting in the bushes waiting for him. I simply said if he doesn't want to be bothered, let him be. I don't know where the liar bit came from..and the thief thing only related to the conditionality of whether JHR's post was accurate or not.

anyway, I would also ask your group (minus problem player) as a whole what they think

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Then I'd appreciate it being left at "is this true" instead of trying to come up with a whole "the plot thickens" sketch. But maybe I'm being oversensitive. I just don't like being implied to be a stalker and a liar.

DeathQuaker, I'll probably go with your advice. I'm considering confronting the player next time he shows up and asking for a phone number, but would that be too "stalkerish"?

I haven't gotten any sense from your posts that you are being a stalker, KC. Now, if you keep trying to talk to the guy and HE says to back off, then that's maybe a sign you're coming on too strong; none of us here can probably get a fully accurate picture of situation, however. :)

If you have a chat with him at your next session and say, "If you don't show up on time to the next session, can I have your contact info so I can find out what's going on?" I think that's quite reasonable.

Sovereign Court

Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Then I'd appreciate it being left at "is this true" instead of trying to come up with a whole "the plot thickens" sketch. But maybe I'm being oversensitive. I just don't like being implied to be a stalker and a liar.

DeathQuaker, I'll probably go with your advice. I'm considering confronting the player next time he shows up and asking for a phone number, but would that be too "stalkerish"?

Nooo, don't deny your nature to yourself! You must be true to that nature. STALK THE BASTARD.

Btw, i haven't read anything remotely stalkerish in his posts, so i really don't see how anyone could have read that...


kmal2t wrote:
Given the information in your first post I think I responded pretty accurately and gave a good solution above. I never labelled you a stalker, liar, or a thief. What you put looks like he's avoiding you and if you repeatedly send him messages, emails, sit waiting for him on skype etc., then its approaching "stalkerish" behavior in that you're pursuing him when he doesn't want to be pursued. I never called you a stalker, nor do I think you're sitting in the bushes waiting for him. I simply said if he doesn't want to be bothered, let him be. I don't know where the liar bit came from..and the thief thing only related to the conditionality of whether JHR's post was accurate or not.

Then I apologize for misunderstanding you. Sorry, I'm in a bad mood--these rose bushes are awful prickly, and a skunk came by last night.


Being a 2nd ed Thief is pretty good though.


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Because traps actually mattered and there werent 100 snowball classes.


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Run the character as a cohort. Don't roll the combats for him, just deal w/his activities as a narrative if he's not there. If it's vital to the group that his character do something, then roll etc and quickly remove him from being the star. Focus on the players who are attending.

Don't award XP if he doesn't give ample warning that he won't attend.

When he doesn't attend, any chance you get to move the character to the background do so. Examples:
1 - say you're in a forest exploring for the session and he's a Ranger, he's off solo exploring.
2 - if you are in a city and need to talk to the head of the wizards guild, he's going to be in the bar waiting for the group
etc. etc.

Don't bring anything up to the other players until it's obviously something the group is concerned about. Drama is no bueno.

If he cheats (and you know it for certain) to excel and be the big man on campus, talk to him after the game one on one and deal with it factually and without emotions flaring.
During a session where he cheats, allow other players to get the spotlight. Nothing quite stinks more than a cheater always doing critical damage and ruling combat when you're honest and eating those 1's.

Silver Crusade

My GM has my number--so that if plans change, I will know.
An email might not be quick enough. I as a player might be on my way to game when the plan changes.

Things happen.

Why wouldn't at least the GM have the mobile phone numbers of the players? If I went back to running games, I would ask for the numbers of my players so I could at least send out a text if I'm ill or suddenly get called into work or something.

Sorry, back to the topic at hand:
What do you do with a no-show player? >:)


kmal2t wrote:
Because traps actually mattered and there werent 100 snowball classes.

Could you define snowball classes? I think I get what you mean, I'd just like more info on what you mean.

On traps, trapfinding is in my games, still a serious ability, and while you will be mostly fine without a trapfinder, you are playing russian roulette, because a trap dungeon will come along, and you will die without a rogue. A lot of my traps are from non dnd systems or old school.


Cubic Prism wrote:

Run the character as a cohort. Don't roll the combats for him, just deal w/his activities as a narrative if he's not there. If it's vital to the group that his character do something, then roll etc and quickly remove him from being the star. Focus on the players who are attending.

Don't award XP if he doesn't give ample warning that he won't attend.

When he doesn't attend, any chance you get to move the character to the background do so. Examples:
1 - say you're in a forest exploring for the session and he's a Ranger, he's off solo exploring.
2 - if you are in a city and need to talk to the head of the wizards guild, he's going to be in the bar waiting for the group
etc. etc.

Don't bring anything up to the other players until it's obviously something the group is concerned about. Drama is no bueno.

If he cheats (and you know it for certain) to excel and be the big man on campus, talk to him after the game one on one and deal with it factually and without emotions flaring.
During a session where he cheats, allow other players to get the spotlight. Nothing quite stinks more than a cheater always doing critical damage and ruling combat when you're honest and eating those 1's.

He cheats, he scores! What do you know, the dm is halving all his damage.

This can be a good trap, such as when to do better they cheat more, and they pull out numbers over their maximum damage (they do 14, but their max is 13). I recall I got a cheater like this a few times, and for to hit: "your attack is a 29? That is funny, you didn't crit and on a max non 20, you can only do a 27. Got you cheater".


I was talking to another dm about this, and he said: "honestly, they think we were born yesterday. They think they are smarter than everyone else."

Old equalizer pointed out a cheater to me, through the power of mathematics. He was rolling max damage and 17s, 80% of the time. The chances of that after a while, well, it becomes impossible.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I have a somewhat unreliable player. Of late, it's been getting problematic.

This player failed to attend the last session, making things highly inconvenient, since I'm trying to introduce two new players--and twice that in new PCs, thanks to a couple recent deaths. * According to the player, he was on a camping trip. Of course, he didn't tell me he was going anywhere until after the fact. I confronted him on it, and the conversation went like this:

** spoiler omitted **

This player has a history of having very good reasons not to attend sessions he happens not to like. For instance, we'd been playing in a high-level Terah campaign up until recently. He was against switching back to my game, saying to my face that he didn't like my game as much because the levels were lower and therefore less fun.

Conveniently, something came up that kept him from attending the first week of the game. I sent him a message basically warning him that my game is the group's main game (the Terah GM asked to go back to playering because she'd found GMing to be rather stressful), and his attendance became a bit more reliable.

This player has a history of cheating when he thinks he won't get caught. I placed some policies on dice-rolling to mostly amend the issue, and I, unlike the Terah GM, have the time to make sure he's not editing his character sheet in subtle but useful ways (like giving himself weapons he didn't have so he...

Heck, for the reasons you gave beyond attendance, I'd uninvite this person, flat out. Cheating? Not only refusing to role-play, but making fun of others who do? Yeah, this person would NOT be welcome at my table for these reasons alone.

Add in poor attendance/communication? No thanks. Wash your hands of this player; you're better off.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:


I'm sure somebody's going to recommend just kicking this guy, and I get that. Unfortunately, he's friends with everyone at the group, including myself. I like the guy. Our gaming group doubles as a social gathering, so kicking him out will trigger a good deal of upset. I don't believe it's worth it.

Simply being good friends with someone else at the table, does not an ideal player make. I have lots of friends, who are either terrible RPG players, or just not interested in gaming at all. Doesn't make them any less of a friend. They know "game night" isn't really the ideal time to just hang out.

This might sound crazy, but the fact that your group doubles gaming time as social gathering time, already sounds like a bad combo. I've personally never had the two events work in tandem; sure, those of us playing the game are socializing, and enjoying each other's company, but non-gamers only drag the game down, distract players, destroy atmosphere, etc. It really sounds like you need a clear separation of the two activities.


Incidentally, I was planning on talking to him last Sunday and he didn't show up. Still ain't heard from him since last Thursday. XD

EDIT: Oh, he sent a message last night, actually. I hadn't checked my email yet.

"Uggh, well, as you probably figured by now I didn't make it to the group. I sent an email but apparently outlook decided to delete, not send, so... Yeah. Three cheers for double checking way too late! Anyway, i'm really sorry if that messed up anyone's game, I know I haven't come much and that's primarily thanks to overwhelming schoolwork which is now thankfully all finished. By the by, the reason I didn't come this time is 'cause i'm in LA... Yeah. My bad if my writing is incomprensible but I need a nap... And icecream. I'm coming Mint Chip!"

This isn't the first time his email's lost an email sent to or by him, so I'm skeptical. Should I send an email asking for his number or wait until the next session?


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Incidentally, I was planning on talking to him last Sunday and he didn't show up. Still ain't heard from him since last Thursday. XD

EDIT: Oh, he sent a message last night, actually. I hadn't checked my email yet.

"Uggh, well, as you probably figured by now I didn't make it to the group. I sent an email but apparently outlook decided to delete, not send, so... Yeah. Three cheers for double checking way too late! Anyway, i'm really sorry if that messed up anyone's game, I know I haven't come much and that's primarily thanks to overwhelming schoolwork which is now thankfully all finished. By the by, the reason I didn't come this time is 'cause i'm in LA... Yeah. My bad if my writing is incomprensible but I need a nap... And icecream. I'm coming Mint Chip!"

This isn't the first time his email's lost an email sent to or by him, so I'm skeptical. Should I send an email asking for his number or wait until the next session?

Sounds like a string of BS to me. Talk to the guy; it sounds like he's making a joke out of it at this point.


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Too many "oopsies" to be a coincidence. At this point my impression is that this guy is a complete and utter flake. There are many people like this out there that just don't show up to things when they're supposed to and forget because they're too occupied in their own world and then make up bad excuses later instead of saying they forgot. Him being a (college?) student doesn't help his case in the flake department either.

He clearly doesn't respect you or the group enough to get his s@~! together enough to know when to show up to things. I would email him and tell him something along the lines of "Sorry bro, but we had to replace you in the group to keep the game going consistently. It's way too hard for me to DM when I don't know if the CR is going to match up that week with who shows up or not. I hope you understand. We should have lunch or something this week though just to hang out (if you're friends). Hit me up."

I'm sure he'll be fine with this and will forget about lunch anyway so you won't have to do it.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

"By the way I'm in LA," is a sign he does not have his s#&% together about making any sort of regular, reliable commitment. Normally any of us in ANY of my gaming groups when planning next sessions would know whether we were going to be traveling well in advance. If he's got a job that causes him to travel then that's also a matter of stuff you know anyway.

Liberty's Edge

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I dont understand what the problem is. He cheats, he no call no shows he makes your other players uncomfortable. This is no friend that I would want.


lol I didn't even see the L.A. thing. That doesn't help his case either.


Best case scenario, this guy's a well-intentioned flake. If you want to believe the best case scenario, be the Buddha. Expect him to never show up, so that when he does it's a pleasant surprise.

Keep his character sheet between sessions so someone else can run it when he doesn't show up. (Rewrite it yourself if you don't have it already; it's not like he'll know the difference.) Alternately, his character disappears on those sessions when he doesn't show, and then reappears when he does. (Possibly a literal disappearance -- his character must be cursed!)

If you're losing patience with him regardless of possible good intentions -- and I would be in your place -- boot him.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Incidentally, I was planning on talking to him last Sunday and he didn't show up. Still ain't heard from him since last Thursday. XD

EDIT: Oh, he sent a message last night, actually. I hadn't checked my email yet.

"Uggh, well, as you probably figured by now I didn't make it to the group. I sent an email but apparently outlook decided to delete, not send, so... Yeah. Three cheers for double checking way too late! Anyway, i'm really sorry if that messed up anyone's game, I know I haven't come much and that's primarily thanks to overwhelming schoolwork which is now thankfully all finished. By the by, the reason I didn't come this time is 'cause i'm in LA... Yeah. My bad if my writing is incomprensible but I need a nap... And icecream. I'm coming Mint Chip!"

This isn't the first time his email's lost an email sent to or by him, so I'm skeptical. Should I send an email asking for his number or wait until the next session?

Okay, now it's just getting weird.

At this point, it seems to be: if he shows up, he shows up. If he doesn't, *shrug*, don't worry about it. And for the love of pete, don't plan anything around his character. At all.


kmal2t wrote:

Too many "oopsies" to be a coincidence. At this point my impression is that this guy is a complete and utter flake. There are many people like this out there that just don't show up to things when they're supposed to and forget because they're too occupied in their own world and then make up bad excuses later instead of saying they forgot. Him being a (college?) student doesn't help his case in the flake department either.

He clearly doesn't respect you or the group enough to get his s%@% together enough to know when to show up to things. I would email him and tell him something along the lines of "Sorry bro, but we had to replace you in the group to keep the game going consistently. It's way too hard for me to DM when I don't know if the CR is going to match up that week with who shows up or not. I hope you understand. We should have lunch or something this week though just to hang out (if you're friends). Hit me up."

I'm sure he'll be fine with this and will forget about lunch anyway so you won't have to do it.

In Melbourne, we call those that flake "pikers".


The best people to 'police' a groups are its members, but that takes maturity. If you can talk to the group about how they want this to go in a fair and sensitive fashion (they probably hold similar views to yourself) and not let things degenerate into name calling, then have that conversation. There may be another player you could invite to replace him (and then when he returns the group may, or may not be, full).

If he has issues (life!) that get in the way of gaming - let him resolve them but you tell him what the group has decided - so it might be that 'we felt you probably needed some time to sort stuff out so we've invited X to play for a while but let us know when things have eased off'.

This leaves the door open, but the game goes on.


At this point, my only real points of hesitation on kicking him are a) we're having trouble getting new players of late, and b) we've already kicked two players out for different reasons.

One of the players was kicked after consulting everyone. No big there. But the other ("Joe") was kicked without consulting half the group because the player he was bullying out-of-game didn't want everyone know about it.

This has kind of led to some issues of slight mistrust, particularly from one player who was a friend of Joe. She was initially very upset--not least because Joe decided to give her his version of events--but did come around eventually.

Point is, I'm worried if I kick out a third player that I'll get a reputation for just wanting to be the only male member of the group or something. The Problem Player is a good friend of the same player there who was friends with Joe.

I'm gonna send him an email asking for his phone number instead of just waiting for him to show up next session to ask him then. Odds are he won't show up, after all. After the next session, I'll try to work out what to do.

Incidentally (man my posts here are long), the last session was an absolute disaster. I wasn't counting on PP's attendance, but another player also had a last-minute cancellation. The only player who did show up is a pretty new player, and given the last few weeks, I'm concerned she's starting to have doubts that this group is at all functional. :/

Silver Crusade

Anything we can do to help, KC?


Eh, I just sent a basic apology (and notice of the next game, which I've learned I need to give) email out. Hopefully we'll bounce back this week and show her how our games usually go. Sadly, my group is one of those groups that's not very reliable--we have two players who show up almost every week, one who can be a bit uncertain, the new player I mentioned, and the Problem Player. Oh, and a "new player" who's been meaning to join for a few months now but has never actually shown up. XD

Thanks for asking, though. I sent the guy the email and I'll see how he responds. My apology email was also a biit passive aggressive, so maybe it'll convince people to prioritize the game a bit. If I run into trouble, I'll let y'all know.

Sovereign Court

BAH, now i want to come to your game every time you game to help you with that new player. But i think i live too far away for that unfortunately.

Silver Crusade

Heh, I don't know. I might be able to show to help 'convince' folks to play; as long as it's on the Left Coast and no more than six hours from here, that is!


A journey of adventure begins.

Silver Crusade

Woohoo! Highly caffeinated road trip!
Alright, who's coming along? LOL

Sovereign Court

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Good luck with that. I would have to cross 6281 miles to get to San Francisco.


Organ trail?

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