My Gaming Pet Peeves


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Scarab Sages

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So, before I go of onto the topic of my discussion, I’d like to provide a little background on myself. I’ve been a gamer now for the past 24 years of my life. Although I have played all sorts of games (tabletop RPGs, card, board, video, LARPs), I will say that I have pretty much always been playing Role-Playing Games with only a few rare times when work/school/life prevented me from doing so. I’ve sat on both sides of the GM screen, but I will state that I do usually end up being on the GM side of the screen more often than not.

In addition to playing games, I also listen to a variety of gaming podcasts. I do this to stay aware of what games are out there, get ideas on how to run/play games better, as well as to listen to the interviews with game designers from various companies. Recently, I listened to episodes of “Fear the Boot” (an excellent RPG Podcast that I would highly recommend to all gamers) where they featured a discussion over several episodes on “How to play your character like a BAUS”. In their episode, BAUS is an abbreviation of the term “Beautiful & Unique Snowflake”, and the discussion really hit me.

Those of you who are old enough to remember earlier editions of D&D (1st and 2nd editions primarily), will recall that the character classes for the game were VERY STATIC. If you had two fighters of the same level (even if they were of different races), the pretty much were the EXACT SAME CHARACTERS with very small differences in regards to attributes and minor racial abilities. At higher levels, these minor differences became even less apparent where your Elven Fighter was almost identical to your Dwarven Fighter.

This always grated to me, as just like people, there are no two persons who are exactly alike. Even twins typically show some differences between the two, and they will often even try to create separate identities that demonstrate they are different than there twin. So, when D&D 3e came out, I was extremely pleased to learn of the customization of characters via multiclassing, feats, skill points, and prestige classes. This was improved even more by Paizo with the release of the Pathfinder RPG where archetypes, character traits, and options within the base classes were introduced to allow for individual customization of characters.

No, we’ve talked about creating the stats of a character so that person detailed on the sheet is unique. However, I have two player pet peeves that always grate on me when I run or play at a table.

The first is a player that makes no attempt to create a unique persona for a character when sitting down to play. It gets to me when I ask, “Tell me about your character” and get told, “Dwarf Fighter.” Every human being on this planet has a life story (even if they don’t share it with everybody they meet). They all have interesting character traits and flaws. They have success stories and personal regrets. They have goals they want to achieve, and inner demons they have to face. When a player doesn’t have an idea of who the character is beyond their stats (even if they just rolled the character up), this really gets to me.

In this regards, I’d just like to encourage players and GMs to take a moment whenever making a character and ask themselves, “What brought my character to this point in their life where they chose to adventure?” When you think about it, adventuring is an incredibly dangerous profession. Yes, there is the lure of plunder, but the amount of danger characters go through to attain this wealth is nothing short of insane. Adding in the fact that some of the dangers they face don’t even stop when they die, this would be the last choice most sane people would take when deciding to take up a sword and go charging into the dragon’s cave.

Recently, when I picked up “The Dresden Files RPG” (which uses the FATE RPG system), I was really impressed with the Character Creation part of the rules. For those of you unfamiliar with the rules, you have to explain your character’s background in stages that has led them up to this point in their life. Each of these stages will help you generate a term that defines that stage in your character’s life. During the game, you or the GM can trigger these character terms for the character’s benefit or detriment. The character stages break down as:

* Background (Where did you come from?)
* Rising Conflict (What shaped you?)
* The Story (What was your first adventure?)
* Guest Star (Whose path have you crossed?)

Now, its understandable that new players coming to a game that know nothing of the setting will not be able to give details like “My elf comes from the forest of Kyonin where he grew up in a wartorn settlement that was constantly under threat by the Demon Lord Treerazer”. However, providing a basic story saying, “My elf grew up an orphan and had no one in his life except for an adopted mercenary father who taught me the way of the sword to provide a living” can actually tell tomes about your character. With that basic sentence, a player can begin to determine how the character looks (“His armor is dented and smudge with mud, but is in excellent function”), how he acts (“He is quite and in the corner, speaking only when needed. He prefers to watch those around him to best evaluate a given situation and act quickly and efficiently when needed.”), and perhaps even ideas as to where he’s been (“As a mercenary, he has done work for the Mendevian Crusade fighting at the Worldwound, guarding trade caravans traveling to Katapesh, as well as hunting down pirates for rewards in The Shackles.”)

I’m not saying you need to know EVERYTHING about your character when you “roll them up”. But take just a minute or so and ask yourself, “How did he/she get to where they are now in their life?” This will really help improve your overall role-playing skills and the enjoyment of those you game with.

My second pet peeve is players who fail to role-play their characters appropriately, and GM’s who let these players get away with it. I was playing a game once where my fellow adventures were investigating a missing tax collector who came to a village to collect their taxes. The village was having a festival at the time, so the party decided to join in the festivities. During the festivities, my Neutral Good Wizard saw the party’s Paladin fail at some festival competition (if I recall, it was the equivalent of using the hammer to hit the pad, ring the bell, and get a prize) and said an appropriately sarcastic remark about the Paladin’s prowess and strength. After hearing this, the player playing the Paladin turned to the GM and says, “I move over to the Wizard and punch him in the face.” This resulted in a 5 minute argument where the entire table argued with the player, and eventually had to explain to him that a character that was “a paragon of everything lawful, just, and good” would not be trying to start a bar room brawl over a sarcastic remark.

This is the sort of thing that absolutely burns me more than anything. When a Lawful Good Paladin is the most bloodthirsty member of the party, the rest of the group should see to it that this player is talked to and discuss what it means to play Lawful Good and the code a Paladin has to live up to. What I’ve found most often is that the bloodthirsty player chose the Paladin based on it’s class abilities, and completely overlooked the underlying character role a Paladin serves in a campaign.

As a player, you have the responsibility to play your character in a way that is appropriate to the setting and does not distract the group from the role-playing experience. If you want to play a Lawful Good character, then you should be the morale center of the group, encouraging them to follow the law at every turn and trying to help those in need whenever possible. If you want to be the bloodthirsty character ready to drop everything and pick a fight against the bad guy, playing a Lawful Good character is probably not the class for you (probably a Chaotic Good or Chaotic Neutral character would be more your speed).

If you’re a GM and you have a player that is doing this, and continues to do this after you have counseled him or her, you are just as bad as the player if you do not take any appropriate role-play reaction to the players.

If a paladin slaughters an orc village of women and children after fighting all the male warriors, then you need to have the character’s god withdraw all vested powers until they atone for their actions (and, no, just having a cleric cast an atonement spell should not be sufficient). Losing all the powers he worked so hard to gain and then having to work to restore himself in the eyes of his god without the benefit of these powers should drive the point home that he needs to shape up or start rolling up a new character that better suits the player.

If a chaotic neutral fighter has been going into the woods and making a point to kill one bear once a day just “to get XP to help me level up faster”, then have the local druids and rangers come to him and explain the delicate balance of nature that he is upsetting by trying to kill all the bears in the woods. If the fighter ignores these warnings (and, worse, perhaps kills the druids/rangers), have more powerful and larger groups of rangers/druids show up with various animal companions to help explain this fact more forcibly (and perhaps even make an example of the character).

In conclusion, I’m not writing this to harp on other players’ gaming styles. Rather, I’d like to encourage players to take a serious look at the way they create and play their characters, as well as encourage GM’s to be fair in their games and have the world react appropriately when a character steps out of line and does something that would result in a negative consequence. By doing this, you improve the overall gaming experience of everyone at the table and encourage a positive role-playing environment.

Grand Lodge

I know what you mean, I'm a looooong time GM with a pretty stable crew who mostly understand how to role-play. But since playing 3.5 and pathfinder i have one newer player who mocks character builds and constantly power games. I hate it! He prefers to build identity as he levels, which often makes his characters flat well into the mid levels.

I like the idea of the paladin hitting you though. Some people have short fuses, maybe the character wouldn't have stayed lawful good for long. I like the idea of a morally flawed paladin who is always atoneing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I am not sure why this year old thread, which isn't even actual asking for advice, but just a rant, is being necro'd.

Grand Lodge

Wow should i not have responded?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

No, just curious.

Grand Lodge

Are we shunning or does the thread need to be moved?

Liberty's Edge

Necro, why not necro?

I think in some ways it's an advice thread, it's just of the "giving" kind instead of the "receiving" kind.

I'm glad it came back, I was happy to read the story/rant and the thoughts about characters. I personally have a really hard time making a character more than just some stats I put together so there were a few bits in here which kind of helped.


Popupjoe wrote:
Are we shunning or does the thread need to be moved?

I really don't care one way or the other that you responded, but what BBT was referring to was that you did what's called on lots of BBS's (not just those about a game that has Necromancy in it) "thread Necromancy" to respond to a thread that hasn't has a post in many months. Some think that to do that you need a really good reason.

I don't care either way. The only reason I'm posting about it is that you and BBT didn't seem to understand each other. Nobody wants to shun the OP or the thread due to anything personal or anything about the subject matter. BBT apparently dislikes "thread necromancy" and (probably) thinks if you wanted to discuss how people role play that's fine but you should have made a new thread.


Glad you brought it up. Nice read! And yes, my day job is a necromancer.


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Yeah, necro. But I feel like responding to part of it since I never saw this first time around.

Tarrintino wrote:

...

The first is a player that makes no attempt to create a unique persona for a character when sitting down to play. It gets to me when I ask, “Tell me about your character” and get told, “Dwarf Fighter.” Every human being on this planet has a life story (even if they don’t share it with everybody they meet). They all have interesting character traits and flaws. They have success stories and personal regrets. They have goals they want to achieve, and inner demons they have to face. When a player doesn’t have an idea of who the character is beyond their stats (even if they just rolled the character up), this really gets to me.
...

I understand what you are saying, but it doesn’t work like that for me. When I first start a character I personally have no history with or for him. I don’t know what his personality is like so I don’t know what shaped his personality.

If I try to come up with something before I’ve played a PC at all it is almost always very generic, boring and cliché. “He’s an orphan that came into his magical power late and feels like he should be helping others.” This seems to upset GM’s more than having nothing

But when I start to play him…
You know, I’m only using my summon and buff spells not my attack spells. I guess this guy finds it amusing to let other do all the fighting for him while he stays safely invisible. He’ll say he is helping them to reach their potential, but really he’s just kinda lazy and a bit cowardly. He’s a younger son from a moderately wealthy family and never really had to work hard. But he wished it was an even wealthier family so he didn’t have to work at all.
Hmm… I’m being a real jack-hole to all the nobles we meet, I wonder why that is. Ok, a group of nobles scapegoated me so they wouldn’t get thrown out of the academe. So I hate them all for getting me thrown out.
Yeah those first couple of fights against the supposedly ‘scary’ undead were dirt easy. He even took them out himself without bothering to summon or buff anyone. So he’s had a few more easy encounters with undead. He doesn’t understand how they got such a towering reputation or why people are so afraid of them. It’s not like they’re really dangerous. He’s is vastly arrogant and overconfident about his capability to deal with undead.

If the GM insists on something before play starts, it will almost always be boring and generic. Then my mind is kinda stuck on that and it doesn’t change much. If the GM will let me work on it over the first couple of levels or at least several sessions, it will be much better. Sorry, it is just the way my mind works.

Every once in a while I create a PC that has a full blown personality and history by the time I’m done creating him. For some reason, everything just clicked and I know how I want to run him and what made him the way he is. But for me, that is very rare.


Ditto, ElterAgo.

Backstory is what happened to your character. Who they are, what their personality is like... that happens during the game and gels with actual experience.

Or that's my experience. When I try to figure a personality beforehand, sometimes the character still changes dramatically on me. I'd rather it be an organic process now rather than forcing it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Oly wrote:
Popupjoe wrote:
Are we shunning or does the thread need to be moved?

I really don't care one way or the other that you responded, but what BBT was referring to was that you did what's called on lots of BBS's (not just those about a game that has Necromancy in it) "thread Necromancy" to respond to a thread that hasn't has a post in many months. Some think that to do that you need a really good reason.

I don't care either way. The only reason I'm posting about it is that you and BBT didn't seem to understand each other. Nobody wants to shun the OP or the thread due to anything personal or anything about the subject matter. BBT apparently dislikes "thread necromancy" and (probably) thinks if you wanted to discuss how people role play that's fine but you should have made a new thread.

Dude, chill out.

I was just curious. Nobody is shunning anybody.

Grand Lodge

ElterAgo wrote:

Yeah, necro. But I feel like responding to part of it since I never saw this first time around.

Tarrintino wrote:

...

The first is a player that makes no attempt to create a unique persona for a character when sitting down to play. It gets to me when I ask, “Tell me about your character” and get told, “Dwarf Fighter.” Every human being on this planet has a life story (even if they don’t share it with everybody they meet). They all have interesting character traits and flaws. They have success stories and personal regrets. They have goals they want to achieve, and inner demons they have to face. When a player doesn’t have an idea of who the character is beyond their stats (even if they just rolled the character up), this really gets to me.
...

I understand what you are saying, but it doesn’t work like that for me. When I first start a character I personally have no history with or for him. I don’t know what his personality is like so I don’t know what shaped his personality.

If I try to come up with something before I’ve played a PC at all it is almost always very generic, boring and cliché. “He’s an orphan that came into his magical power late and feels like he should be helping others.” This seems to upset GM’s more than having nothing

But when I start to play him…
You know, I’m only using my summon and buff spells not my attack spells. I guess this guy finds it amusing to let other do all the fighting for him while he stays safely invisible. He’ll say he is helping them to reach their potential, but really he’s just kinda lazy and a bit cowardly. He’s a younger son from a moderately wealthy family and never really had to work hard. But he wished it was an even wealthier family so he didn’t have to work at all.
Hmm… I’m being a real jack-hole to all the nobles we meet, I wonder why that is. Ok, a group of nobles scapegoated me so they wouldn’t get thrown out of the academe. So I hate them all for getting me thrown out.
Yeah those first couple of fights against the supposedly ‘scary’...

nicely stated i think that's how one of my players does it. I end up loving most of his characters but only at later levels as their personalities blossom. I think I'm gonna have to go easier on my player.

Grand Lodge

Oly wrote:
Popupjoe wrote:
Are we shunning or does the thread need to be moved?

I really don't care one way or the other that you responded, but what BBT was referring to was that you did what's called on lots of BBS's (not just those about a game that has Necromancy in it) "thread Necromancy" to respond to a thread that hasn't has a post in many months. Some think that to do that you need a really good reason.

I don't care either way. The only reason I'm posting about it is that you and BBT didn't seem to understand each other. Nobody wants to shun the OP or the thread due to anything personal or anything about the subject matter. BBT apparently dislikes "thread necromancy" and (probably) thinks if you wanted to discuss how people role play that's fine but you should have made a new thread.

I honestly didn't know this. I'm kind of new to message boards. This looked like s good discussion so i responded. It was only later that i noticed the date.


As a dm I find asking a few open ended questions helps those that don't have back stories


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Pet peeves: People who tell me how I should roleplay my character.


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Popupjoe wrote:
Oly wrote:
Popupjoe wrote:
Are we shunning or does the thread need to be moved?

I really don't care one way or the other that you responded, but what BBT was referring to was that you did what's called on lots of BBS's (not just those about a game that has Necromancy in it) "thread Necromancy" to respond to a thread that hasn't has a post in many months. Some think that to do that you need a really good reason.

I don't care either way. The only reason I'm posting about it is that you and BBT didn't seem to understand each other. Nobody wants to shun the OP or the thread due to anything personal or anything about the subject matter. BBT apparently dislikes "thread necromancy" and (probably) thinks if you wanted to discuss how people role play that's fine but you should have made a new thread.

I honestly didn't know this. I'm kind of new to message boards. This looked like s good discussion so i responded. It was only later that i noticed the date.

Yeah, after a month or so the thread is thoroughly dead and buried. Some may argue a week, but a year is right out.

However, since the skeletal abomination is up and undulating again I'll offer my peeves since everyone has jumped on the band wagon.

1. People bringing in pointedly gimped characters. I had a player bring in a character who was old with his physical statistics dumped. He did try to make it at least somewhat interesting by taking a 1 level dip in Synthesist, Oracle (cha to AC instead of dex) and Monk (wis to AC) which gave him some perks. However creative the reality is that he was a human so he had to sleep. He died in the most pathetic way possible since the cleric was out of healing and he decided "screw it" and went to sleep at 3hp. Due to his reversion of his physical attributes to 1/1/1 from 16/12/13 his health dropped by 6 points rendering him to -2 (he never actually got past level 1, but he had the build) which was just enough to do the job. He did the recalc of his HP, not me, and was quite exasperated when he realized he just committed suicide.
Genralt Stremesa never woke up again.

2. People who bring impossible to read dice. If you have to pick up your dice in order to read them then you cannot use them at my table. Sorry, but no. It isn't that I don't trust you, but I kind of like people being able to look at their dice or rotate them while they're on the mat and know what it is without 30 seconds of contemplation.

3. Lack of specialization. I have had parties with ultra-specialists and they are awesome. The old arcanist who has +10 to all knowledge skills from the start is a great asset. Add in his ultra-stealthy arcane trickster friend, the life oracle who convinces everyone that they are friends, and the Barbarian who is just good at everything strength wise and the party auto balances itself. This peeve comes in when I am GMing for a party where everyone wants to be Luke Skywalker who is mediocre at everything. Everyone has general stats that are not great, their skills are too spread out, they want to do it all and thereby ensure that wont do any of it. They get killed by monsters a CR lower than their level because it takes their characters too long to actually succeed at killing anything, and if they ever need to actually make a check it is "Good luck" instead of "tell me what you get."

4. Lack of personality. I absolutely love heroic (and villainous) speeches. They do bring an element to the table that us usually missing. Many players just play the class they are playing, which is why Shadowrun is great since there are no "classes" per se. Join the cult of personality, decide on a quirk—maybe you're like Silastrix the Werewolf who believe that he is a dragon, and demands what business others have with dragonkind every time he is obstructed, sure it is kind of stupid and he is the laughing stock of dragons everywhere but he doesn't care about that HE'S A DRAGON!

5. Not helping the team. So many times I've seen character death result in the player demanding what in the hell the rest of the party is doing. Sometimes the party is not fighting their hardest to save their companion who is obviously in dire need of help, while other times the party just decides to leave him to his fate—while not being evil I might add—with similar results. This is not "heroic sacrifice" territory as the player in question has always demanded his allies help him. It is rare, but it does happen.


Taku Ooka Nin wrote:

1. People bringing in pointedly gimped characters. ...

2. People who bring impossible to read dice. ...

3. Lack of specialization. I have had parties with ultra-specialists and they are awesome. ... Everyone has general stats that are not great, their skills are too spread out, they want to do it all and thereby ensure that wont do any of it. ...

4. Lack of personality. I absolutely love heroic (and villainous) speeches. ...

5. Not helping the team. ...

1. I don't mind PC's with a weakness, but not to the point they are an anchor to the team.

2. Yeah, I know w few people that spend a lot of money on special dice then can't read them. I painted the numbers a bright color on mine to be sure they are legible.

3. Oh yes, this is annoying. We have a guy that always wants a little of everything then complains when everyone outshines him. I think characters have to be pretty good at a few things in particular. It is most obviously a problem when they aren't all at the same level. If 2 guys are DPR machines the other 2 are about the level of the PFS pregens there will probably be issues at the table.
I also don't like super ultra specialized PC's. A guy that only trips. He has a +5347 on his CMD to trip. But can't talk, can't hit, can't do damage, doesn't know anything, can't make a save, can't make a skill check, can't survive a hit, etc... You get a group that is world class at only 4 particular abilities. If a situation comes up that isn't one of those 4 abilities they are completely at a loss.

4. Almost all my PC's have a significant personality. But I don't make speeches. Just not my thing.

5. Yeah, our home group is still working on learning to operate as a team rather than a collection of individuals. They are getting better though.

Liberty's Edge

It's interesting how the OP gets angry that the Paladin punched his character in the face. Let's ignore the fact that Paladin or no no one likes sarcastic players at the table. I don't care if that's part of roleplaying a character. Make sarcastic and dumb comments and characters and maybe even the players will take issue. It's one of the few times I would not make the Paladin fall. I had a player like that at a table I was playing at and it's not fun at all.

My pet peeves:

Know your character espcially if one is playing a caster. Nothing slows the game down more then when the wizard and cleric players flip through the books to figure out all their bonuses. At my table one loses a turn. I'm playing a Bard and pretty soon I need to write up a cheat sheet for his spells. Further not helped with different bonuses not stacking.

Players who fall asleep at the table. Either it's a carbo coma. Or playing MMOs late. Or work related. I'm understanding when it happens because of work. Too often and I'm going to ask you to leave. Or not show up unless a player has had at least a solid five hours of sleep. Nothing ruins the game more than a player snoring at the table.

Players who build gimped characters on purpose. It's great I get that one does not want to optimize. At the same expect everyone else to simply be better at the table imo. A fighter with low Str and Con while viable at the table. Simply won't hit hard enough nor able to take too many blows. I also warn such players ahead of time that I don't do any favors for gimped characters.

Players who optimize too much. I don't dislike optimizing I do it myself. It's the ones who take a low int and cha while boosting str and con. Or vice versa. Then refuse to roleplay the stats. I'm not saying one has to talk like "me stupid and ugly Fighter me not know nothing". Of course not. Chances are good the npcs will go to the characters with better charisma. It's also going to take a decent amount of skill points to get a good chance if success.

My houserule for such characters is a max of 16 in any stat that is being boosted. Meaning that a character can take a low cha and int. Make up the low stats with roleplaying and skill points. The trade off is that the character has less time to develop his physical attributes. As he goes around developing his social skills off panel.


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memorax wrote:
...no one likes sarcastic players at the table. I don't care if that's part of roleplaying a character. Make sarcastic and dumb comments and characters and maybe even the players will take issue. It's one of the few times I would not make the Paladin fall. I had a player like that at a table I was playing at and it's not fun at all.

You would hate my group then. Hate hate hate us. Sarcastic comments are the order of the day among my circle of friends. We all make them, we all enjoy them, and we know when someone's not feeling well or is upset or otherwise out of sorts because they're the one not making sarcastic commentary or who snaps when such is used against them, because that's the norm for us. We've had our fair share of them in-character too, but that's inevitable when it's so common out-of-character; one of my players (Scintillae here on the forums) is known for saying "How do you know when I'm being sarcastic? When my mouth is open."

Either that or this entire paragraph was one well-timed, well-placed, and well-hidden sarcastic response and I completely missed it, in which case... well played. =)


Heh, Memorax would hate that one player in my group, who is my former DM.

Then again, I hated him for being a really bad DM. The snark isn't as bad in comparison.


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Heh. It isn't just one guy in my group/s, it's all of us. There's about ten of us, in various groupings as games come and go and our availabilities shift, and every one of us has a fair frequency of sarcastic witticism to us.

The only wordplay more common than sarcasm among us is terrible puns.


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Orthos wrote:

Heh. It isn't just one guy in my group/s, it's all of us. There's about ten of us, in various groupings as games come and go and our availabilities shift, and every one of us has a fair frequency of sarcastic witticism to us.

The only wordplay more common than sarcasm among us is terrible puns.

Where are you guys, and how can I join you? :)

Liberty's Edge

If the entire table is okay with then I would not be bothered. As they say when in Rome does as he Romans do. I have been occasionally sarcastic at the table myself. At the same time one needs to be careful as well. Some days I'm just not in the mood. I don't hate sarcasm. I rather have it in small doses.

The OP to me comes across as the guy who hit on some guys girlfriend in front of him. Then can't understand why he just was punched in the face by the boyfriend imo.

Liberty's Edge

DMs who pull the guilt trip card on how hard it is to be a DM. Having been on both sides of the screen I'm not at all impressed. When one takes up the mantle of a DM. One also takes on the workload of the position. Nothing shuts me down at a game table more than " woe is me I'm the DM feel pity and sorrow for me. My response "been there done that get over it". Almost as bad as being guilt tripped because a DM bought all the books.

Edition warriors. They serve no good purpose. Do not help or enhance the hobby in anyway. Followed by the edition warrior apologists. The " eh what are you going to do. Thst behavior is simply unavoidable. With all due respect humans are not animals that do things on instincts. Unless one has a gun at one head neither type of behavior is unavoidable imo.

The constant cries of bloat. Followed by complaints about the number of releases usually both. Again no one is forced to by or use any and all material from Paizo. Chances are good that I will not buy the upcoming strategy guide. I'm not going to tell Paixo not yo release it. Or feel forced to buy it.

The "Rpg company xyz is greedy and out for profit. Rpg company abc which I happen to like is not in it for the money". Most if not all rpg companies are not non-profits. Second does anyone seriously think that the staff working at Paizo loses any sleep because they are a profitable and successful company. Goodwill of the fans is all well and good. Last time I checked its not a acceptable form of currency at any bank. As well it makes members of the hobby come across as naive. No one starts s business without one of the goals if it being profitable.

Players who don't listen to advice at the table. A few months ago a player chRacter died because he had lost half his hit points and decided not to get healing. Even after everyone else at the table made s point of telling him. Predictably his character died. Began to pull a fit at the table. Which I the other players and DM promptly stopped. He was not happy but it's not like we just stood by and let his character die on purpose. Another player played a Alchemist so badly it was criminal. Never used his Mutagen or Extracts. All he wanted to do was toss his bombs. Fair enough. He refused to even take the Grenadier Archtype as well. End up being booted out of the game after he was talking behind my back to a good friend of mine.


My biggest pet peeve? two words: LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS!!


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I have trouble with character concepts like this

Me – “okay everybody lets create first level characters for a new sandbox adventure”

Player - “Okay, so my character is an orphan who grew up, on the streets of the biggest city in the setting, where I scavenged for a living and made contacts with several underworld figures, then I joined a pirate crew and sailed with them for a few years where I learned to fight, then I was able to infiltrate the nobles court as a spy for the underground network of wizards keeping a watch on the political machinations of the empire.”

Me – “Um, okay, so how is that you are just first level?”


Small sized races. I have yet to find something that gets me grumpier.

Shadow Lodge

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thorin001 wrote:
Orthos wrote:

Heh. It isn't just one guy in my group/s, it's all of us. There's about ten of us, in various groupings as games come and go and our availabilities shift, and every one of us has a fair frequency of sarcastic witticism to us.

The only wordplay more common than sarcasm among us is terrible puns.

Where are you guys, and how can I join you? :)

Me too.


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One of my pet peeves is "justification" personalities. What I mean by that is personalities or backgrounds that are obviously just there to justify mechanics. For lack of example, I'm going to steal one I saw recently; the player/character shall remain nameless. This character was a barbarian/mutagenic mauler with the amateur swashbuckler feat and eastern weapons. The concept was a noble samurai-type character that drank an ancient potion recipe made by his ancestors while channeling their rage. Or something similar. Point is, it feels too jumbled, and it feels fairly obvious that the fluff is just there to attempt to explain away some disjointed character choices that don't fit thematically.

This isn't to say there's a wrong way to play the game, but when people try to put min-maxed characters into heavy RP games by using justification personalities, it irks me.

Scarab Sages

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memorax wrote:


Players who fall asleep at the table. Either it's a carbo coma. Or playing MMOs late. Or work related. I'm understanding when it happens because of work. Too often and I'm going to ask you to leave. Or not show up unless a player has had at least a solid five hours of sleep. Nothing ruins the game more than a player snoring at the table.

I couldn't help noticing this comment and feeling the need to respond. My husband often falls asleep at the table. But he suffers from a sleep disorder and just can't help it. No amount of going to bed early is going to prevent him from sometimes nodding off during the game.

So if you are experiencing a player who falls asleep at the table, please be kind and don't assume that they've just been sitting up too late partying or playing MMOs. Anyone can have sleep issues sometimes.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Dire Elf wrote:
memorax wrote:


Players who fall asleep at the table. Either it's a carbo coma. Or playing MMOs late. Or work related. I'm understanding when it happens because of work. Too often and I'm going to ask you to leave. Or not show up unless a player has had at least a solid five hours of sleep. Nothing ruins the game more than a player snoring at the table.

I couldn't help noticing this comment and feeling the need to respond. My husband often falls asleep at the table. But he suffers from a sleep disorder and just can't help it. No amount of going to bed early is going to prevent him from sometimes nodding off during the game.

As long as he's not the one running the game...

My wife sometimes falls asleep at my Saturday night games, too. That's because we get up at ungodly in the morning, and the only time we can play is later in the evening. I don't mind. She works hard.

Silver Crusade

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One of my pet peeves is when a player with a lap top is playing games on it, games like World of Warcraft during the game I am running, or I am playing in.
That sort of behavior is just rude.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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ElyasRavenwood wrote:

One of my pet peeves is when a player with a lap top is playing games on it, games like World of Warcraft during the game I am running, or I am playing in.

That sort of behavior is just rude.

I would mind if they were playing WoW or something on it. I wouldn't mind if they were playing something like Minesweeper between turns. Or if they're on Facebook or something, I'm OK with that. As long as they're ready to go when it comes to their turn.

Liberty's Edge

Dire Elf wrote:


I couldn't help noticing this comment and feeling the need to respond. My husband often falls asleep at the table. But he suffers from a sleep disorder and just can't help it. No amount of going to bed early is going to prevent him from sometimes nodding off during the game.

If it's a sleep disorder then it's different. It's not as if he plays MMOs to 4-5 am in the morning then passes out within a hour or aso of the game starting. That being said and I don't mean to offend and I'm being honest and maybe even a little unfair. I'm not sure I would allow someone with a sleep disorder to game at my table. Constantly having to nudge a player awake kind of ruins the game flow and overall atmosphere at the table. I also have to take the rest of the tables into account as well. If they tell me something bothers them at the table for better or worse I need to act on it.

Dire Elf wrote:


So if you are experiencing a player who falls asleep at the table, please be kind and don't assume that they've just been sitting up too late partying or playing MMOs. Anyone can have sleep issues sometimes.

I don't assume anything.

When I player keeps falling asleep. Or shows up puffy and red eyed because of a obvious lack of sleep I ask why. I don't simply ask a player to not show up for no good reason. In the case of two players I had to ask to leave it was because of playing MMOs. To show how bad it was I ran a session on a Friday night. I called one of the two players about it. He could not show. Then he calls me on the Saturday to ask if my game was still on. When we spoke he could not pull himself away from playing a MMO. I spoke to him 48 hours before the game. In the span of that time he forgot that we had a game. Both players are brothers who live in the same house. They don't do much else.

Liberty's Edge

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The Murderhobo style of play.

I dislike the word yet was a victim of this as a player last week. The group and myself had finished defeating the BBEG. We were on our way out and came across a npc. The DM realizing that we outclassed the character had her surrender. The PC who I will nickname KillCrRazy refused to accept it. The rest of the pcs had accepted her surrender. He insisted and insisted that he kill the npc. All to get her loot and xp. One player who was Lawful Good attempted to stop him. Another as well. My character one also one of the ones who accepted the surrender as well. Yet at the same time if KillCrazy wanted to slaughter a helpless opponent I would neither help nor stop.

Eventually KillCrazy got the hint when the DM told him to make a new character on the spot. As even for CN alignment it was out of character. The player very grudingly backed down. Then complained about it out of game. I forgot to mention he also plays a Aasimar. One of the few "evil" ones or amoral ones anyway.

When it's all said and done a player is not forced to accept any decision by the group. They can do what they want. Don't surprised or offended when it angers the group.

Shadow Lodge

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I hate the Murder Hobo concept. If I played a murder hobo I would have missed out on the cool character concept the GM came up with for my cohort. We started out as opponents and have become in game friends. Awesome RP op. But then I tend to play NG or CG characters. I can play any alignment when needed, and as a GM have; but it takes me effort to play a truly evil character.

So if there is a pet peeve I have it is the ,"CN means I can do anything I want" style of play. No, being CN does not mean you can do anything you want without consequences. If you murder hobo somebody in game, be it an NPC or a PC, you should suffer the consequences. NPCs are not XP tokens to be picked up after you lop their heads off. NPCs do not exist solely to serve your selfish desires or to fuel your god complex that you are living out through your PC. Properly run, NPCs are fully formed characters with goals and dreams of their own; not just an extension of the PCs story.

Liberty's Edge

Usual Suspect wrote:

I hate the Murder Hobo concept. If I played a murder hobo I would have missed out on the cool character concept the GM came up with for my cohort. We started out as opponents and have become in game friends. Awesome RP op. But then I tend to play NG or CG characters. I can play any alignment when needed, and as a GM have; but it takes me effort to play a truly evil character.

So if there is a pet peeve I have it is the ,"CN means I can do anything I want" style of play. No, being CN does not mean you can do anything you want without consequences. If you murder hobo somebody in game, be it an NPC or a PC, you should suffer the consequences. NPCs are not XP tokens to be picked up after you lop their heads off. NPCs do not exist solely to serve your selfish desires or to fuel your god complex that you are living out through your PC. Properly run, NPCs are fully formed characters with goals and dreams of their own; not just an extension of the PCs story.

Agreed and seconded.

Up until recently I was willing to let bygones be bygones when it came to murderhobo pcs. No longer. The fact that Kilcrazy was just not getting why the rest of the group was unhappy with his actions truly bothered me and everyone else. It's not like we were murderhobos as a group or in style of play. Then suddenly we had a ephihany at the table. He knew from the start. As I said it has it's place. When 90-95% of the group is firmly then yelling "no you can't kill the npc who surrendered" well it's time to get a clue. It was made worse when he metagamed as well. We were attacked by a certain creature that the npc was tending to. He tried to use that as a excuse. Even worst then that was his trying to compare soldiers attacking enemies in combat. Actual combat is one thing. Were playing a rpg very far away from it. I'm not sure if I join in anymore games with the player. I had invited him to join in a upcoming game as well. I think I will pass on both.


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I'm not a fan of the bean counter player. The one who stacks up all their bonuses and doesn't add them ahead of time preferring to do the math every single time and slowing down play. We get it, you dealt a good amount of damage, just add everything up ahead of time and we won't be frustrated.

One of the other things I do not like is pc killers. Not people who like pvp, although I dislike that as well. The ones who play new characters or try and force the gm to let them build new characters every session because they don't like their old one.

Most recent example of this is that I'm running a Necessary Evil game because the group wanted to try something new and our usual gm is kind of burnt out. The players didn't know the system very well so to avoid confusion and miscalculation I built the characters ahead of time. My problem is a player I called the shadow boxer. Used powers of shadow, super speed, and dual wielding brass knuckles to land solid blows and super speeds. It does everything he likes, be just about wherever he needs to be whenever he needs to be, hits hard, hits fast, and does a good job at not getting hit or hit too hard. But he has a problem, he likes building something new. I spent a good few hours on this character and you want to change one session in? The answer is no, I don't care if you don't like it, I can alter the character, I gave you an incredibly vague back story (serves the shadowking, for reasons, kind of like certain pfs scenarios I give him one task the shadowking wants performed that the party doesn't need to know about) and you think it's okay to just kill the character? Come on man. I'm trying to build a story here, and you are trying to muscle mechanics over a really cool story that is unraveling around you and you can't even see it.

Liberty's Edge

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Having played 3.0 then 3.5. and then went to Pathfinder. Players show up at the table knowing all their bonuses or their turns get skipped in game. It's one of the few things that is not optional in my game. It's one of the reasons why combat at high levels slows down. Same with spells know them or be prepared to lose a turn. I know it may seem unfair. If I don't implement such a policy combat slows down. As players flip through books to find what a spell can do. Or what bonus can or can't add up. It's also not helped by similar bonuses not stacking as well.


I think that if I played with other people things like the above might bother me. But we've played so long together (nearly 30 years) that we just overlook them. We play a pretty laid back game, I guess. It's more about the fellowship than the dice for us.

Having said that, when I'm a player (I'm the GM 90% of the time and always have been) I do know my bonuses and I have a spell cheat sheet with all the pertinent info handy because I know how other GMs, players, and groups as a whole can differ from mine.

Grand Lodge

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Pet peeves? What the h@ll...

1. Dumping constitution: I've walked you over the course of five hours for you to finally understand the rules to building a character, and you virtually guarantee their death, guaranteeing that I will have to learn that you in fact remember nothing about how to build a new character, forcing me to sit you down through the rules for another 5 hours? Meanwhile I've got to make plans for the next session for everyone who has an ounce of understanding that HP is important to have? No. That constitution score is staying above ten, even if you're an elf, sylph or changeling.

2. "I flirt with them, and roll..." If you're going to engage in conversation, be ready to roleplay it. Because it's just boring for everyone otherwise.

3. What memorax described has become an extreme issue with some of my players. They've got a switch-hitter character, and refuse to learn the rules on drawing, sheathing, or dropping weapons in conjunction with move actions, weapon reach and feats. They've also got spells. If they start looking up a rule as their turn starts, the turn is getting delayed. When they're ready to do something, they get their turn put in at that point. It's a crying shame for them too because they have Improved Initiative. Rolling 25 when combat starts won't help you if you end up needing a ten minute training session on what the action economy of your character is in the first round.

4. Attacking PCs to delay the story. This has happened a few times, and it's wearing thin. I tried to be nice and allow evil characters, but if it means that you're going to hog up game time with an attempt to murder a fellow character for literally no reason, requiring another player to use a sleep spell to get them all to stop long enough for them to continue travelling, I'm going to have to just not bother with it. You had a nice thing and you ruined it. You made your bed, now lie in it. Next time you try killing the cavalier's horse before he wakes up, your character is getting ignored.

5. Mechanics not matching the player's wants for the character. This comes from the same players that loved dumping constitution. They give me a character concept, and then give me builds that do not do what they want. One player wanted a femme fatale/black widow sort, cozy up to a target, get them alone, and then kill them. At first level they had the second worst diplomacy (and refused to actually give anything specific beyond "they flirt"), and were literally too weak to kill an enemy with a coup de grace if the enemy made their fortitude save. In combat half the time they try to convince enemies to change sides, every time, despite having been repeatedly told that those rolls are literally impossible to make, RAW, for a character of such low skill in diplomacy.

Silver Crusade

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Pet Peeve number 1: GMs that hate it that I dumped Con. I'm a sorcerer; and I stay out of the way and out of combat. I have an AC of 26, ER for all 4 major energy types, I buff and support the fighters, scout the enemy, make optimal use of all my skills and spells, and in an emergency bring on the summons to help out. If somebody slips through the ranks and takes a stab at me, I fall down and bluff the s@$# out of them (No really, I'm dead. Just ignore me.). Having 40 plus hitpoints at 7th level for a complete non-com is a waste of resources when you're not going to get hit.

Now stop telling me I have to have a +2 Con mod to survive! I'm 7th level now and 23 HP is more than enough for me!


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Pet Peeve number 1: DM that doesn't listen to his / her players, and expects them to play his / her way. No compromises, no objections, no debates.


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My gaming pet peeves?

Chaotic Neutral characters. I groan when I see a character sheet with those words or CN written in the alignment section. Every single character that has had that alignment that I have had the unfortunate "pleasure" of playing with has played it as Chaotic Evil. Every single one. Oh, an NPC says you aren't allowed to go into some area? Better kill him. The law enforcement is coming to arrest you for murdering an innocent person? Better kill them because there shouldn't be any consequences to my actions. What do you mean my character's alignment is now evil? This has a higher occurrance in games where the DM says "No evil alignments"

Murderhobo-ing. While usually the forte of CN characters, it isn't relegated to any one alignment. I was in a game with a paladin who was played as a murderhobo. I wanted to capture an NPC to question him, and possibly redeem him (I was a worshipper of Sarenrae). Paladin player said "No, I am going to kill him!" Why? Because he brought his level 3 paladin down to 5 hp, which made him mad. I managed to knock the NPC out, and the paladin comes over and CDGs him. I really should have left that game at that point, but foolishly stayed. There were a couple more instances in that game that made me feel I should leave, but I never listened. That game turned me off of Pathfinder possibly for good.

Those are the only 2 that spring to mind at the moment.

Sczarni

Something that bothers me that hasn't been covered yet is a player who takes too much time trying to figure out what to do.

This can be understandable with a group of 3 players when it can quickly be your turn again. But when there are 5 other players beyond yourself and at least 5 or 6 bad guys between your turn and your next turn, you have time to have a notion of what you are going to do. I have seen players in pfs literally wait for their turn to start pondering what to and after 5 minutes, they delay or some stupid crap like that.


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One of my biggest peeves is players that do something extreme with their build then get upset at the consequences for the build they choose.

I have no problem if you want a sorc with a con of 8. It is a challenge I have considered trying myself. But don't complain at the rest of us when you keep getting knocked unconscious if you get in risky situations.

I have no problem if you devote all resources to hitting as hard as possible with lucern hammer. But why are you surprised when you continually fail and get beat up trying to grapple?

Ok, so you made a drow noble yaun-ti initiate. Yes, you have all these amazing spooky powers. No, you will probably not be able to convince the church of Sarenrae to trust your promises. Again. After you failed to keep you word the first 2 times. Sheesh!

Shadow Lodge

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Adjule wrote:

My gaming pet peeves?

Chaotic Neutral characters. I groan when I see a character sheet with those words or CN written in the alignment section. Every single character that has had that alignment that I have had the unfortunate "pleasure" of playing with has played it as Chaotic Evil. Every single one. Oh, an NPC says you aren't allowed to go into some area? Better kill him. The law enforcement is coming to arrest you for murdering an innocent person? Better kill them because there shouldn't be any consequences to my actions. What do you mean my character's alignment is now evil? This has a higher occurrance in games where the DM says "No evil alignments"

Murderhobo-ing. While usually the forte of CN characters, it isn't relegated to any one alignment. I was in a game with a paladin who was played as a murderhobo. I wanted to capture an NPC to question him, and possibly redeem him (I was a worshipper of Sarenrae). Paladin player said "No, I am going to kill him!" Why? Because he brought his level 3 paladin down to 5 hp, which made him mad. I managed to knock the NPC out, and the paladin comes over and CDGs him. I really should have left that game at that point, but foolishly stayed. There were a couple more instances in that game that made me feel I should leave, but I never listened. That game turned me off of Pathfinder possibly for good.

Those are the only 2 that spring to mind at the moment.

This is why I am more inclined to ban CN, CE, and NE from games yet allow LE characters. Too many people think being CN means they have a get out of the abyss free card for any horrible jack-assery they want to pull.

And that paladin in your example should have taken the short trip to falling from grace. Killing a helpless person is almost always an evil act. Doing it out of anger and spite is way past any reasonable limits though.


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I agree. The judge dredd paladin is probably at the top of my pet peeves list. I immediately replace all of their paladin levels with inquisitor and call it a day.

Shadow Lodge

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ElterAgo wrote:


Ok, so you made a drow noble yaun-ti initiate. Yes, you have all these amazing spooky powers. No, you will probably not be able to convince the church of Sarenrae to trust your promises. Again. After you failed to keep you word the first 2 times. Sheesh!

Let me just add anybody that wants to play a non-evil drow. Look, we all know that the drow have some seriously cool abilities; and that Drizzt is this awesome 'not evil' drow character from the Forgotten Realms. You are still asking to play the equivalent of a nice Nazi managing a holocaust museum. Do not be surprised when any player with in game knowledge of who and what the drow are treat you like Joseph Mengele crashing a bar mitzvah. And do not expect every NPC to magically know that you are the one nice drow in all of existence.

Do expect to get shot at a lot in game.

Yeah, I just Godwin'd. This has to be one of the few places making a Nazi comparison is appropriate.

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