Having trouble with rules lawyer and can't keep player trust


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Liberty's Edge

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aboniks wrote:
As a fellow aspie, I agree with Deadman. On the other hand, I don't act much like the player described. We're all different though...the general similarities among those with the condition will manifest themselves in different ways, and in different contexts. At the table, my (occasionally obsessive) attention to detail comes out in my players actions, rather than my own...I know how and when to close my mouth and let rest of the group play with the ball too, even though my brain is busy telling me the ball is fun to hold and I should touch it.

I, too, don't act much like this individual, not mostly anyway. Just for the record. :)

Silver Crusade

Balgin wrote:
Kazaan wrote:
@Touc: What if I told you... some people have more fun playing games with complex, involved rules and find simple, rule-less games to be boring and useless.
His point wasn't about simplicity against complexity. It was that when an insistance on complexity obscures fun then it hardly feels like a game anymore (in fact, you could almost call it work). Arguments about rules are not fun. I'm sure a few people enjoy arguing about rules. In fact I know a problem player who'll argue about rules he doesn't know well not because he thinks he's right but because he thinks he can browbeat the opposition into letting get away with whatever it is he's trying to do at the time. He's rapidly running out of people to play with.

I don't mind complex rules, only when they get in the way of the spirit of the game.

Sovereign Court

(the site defaulted to my other username here)

Yeah, I have it too and the behaviors I listed are very common in most sources describing it. I am not in this for an argument. The simple fact is that knowing where someone is coming from makes it much easier to understand and deal with them. The diagnosis alone has been known to quickly change relationships.

And yes, there are multiple strategies in a dozen books that can work, but that dissertation doesn't belong here. We don't even know if the guy is on the spectrum. It was merely a suggestion.

aboniks wrote:


As a fellow aspie, I agree with Deadman. On the other hand, I don't act much like the player described. We're all different though...the general similarities among those with the condition will manifest themselves in different ways, and in different contexts. At the table, my (occasionally obsessive) attention to detail comes out in my players actions, rather than my own...I know how and when to close my mouth and let rest of the group play with the ball too, even though my brain is busy telling me the ball is fun to hold and I should touch it.


Gwen Smith wrote:
aximiliguru wrote:

They really aren't if you think about it. You don't have to RP to spotlight hog. He basically continually takes actions, references rules/numbers out loud while doing so and simply won't stop. He doesn't speak in character most of the time - he rarely interacts with NPCs other than to kill them. Example:

PP: I cast plant growth.
Me: Okay. Jim, what do yo---
PP: Oh, and I cast spike stones. (begins reading its effect).
Me: Neato, but I'm helping (Jim).
PP: Cool. I cast Beast shape, and turn into a bat. (Begins reading stat changes out loud). DM, I've got blindsight!
Me: Nice. But (Jim) hasn't had a turn yet.
Jim: I'm going to put some food on the campfire.
Me: Make a roll for Profession: Cooking for the quality of the stew.
Jim: (Begins to roll, is interrupted as he calls out the result)
PP: Hey DM, I'm crafting a pearl of power. DM, you know what that does?

etc. He's basically just not waiting for his turn and tends to always interrupt.

I've dealt with players like this, typically younger players or players who suffer from some social-behavioral disorders. The last time I had a player who was really, really bad, I got very strict about focus. So the interaction would be more like:

PP: I cast plant growth.
Me: Okay. Jim, what do yo---
PP: Oh, and--
Me: It's not your turn. It's Jim's turn. Jim?
PP: I cast Beast shape--
Me: PP! Wait your turn. Jim?
Jim: I'm going to put some food on the campfire.
Me: Make a roll for Profession: Cooking for the quality of the stew.
Jim: (Begins to roll, is interrupted as he calls out the result)
PP: Hey DM--
Me: (Hold up hand in a "stop" signal) Jim, you were saying?
(After Jim and others go)
Me: (Deliberately, clearly turn my attention to PP) Now, PP: it's your turn. What were you saying?

By the end of the session, I had the PP "trained" so that when he started talking out of turn, I just had to hold up my hand once, and he backed off and waited. I also had him raise his hand if he wanted...

Very much. You might also work on shining the spotlight/rewarding behavior that you like to see. For example, you could give out some sort of award for general team helpfulness. I'm a little fuzzy on the concept here, but the idea is to get him to sit up and go: wait! I want that, too! How do I earn it?


Sheriff Bart wrote:


Yeah, I have it too and the behaviors I listed are very common in most sources describing it. I am not in this for an argument.

Understood. I wasn't interested in starting one. Apologies if my comment came across as abrasive. The irony of three aspies potentially getting into an argument about other people being aspies because they missed each others cues is not lost on me.

Next we'll be screwing in light bulbs. :)


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Funny thing. Earlier today I was watching this video: "Five Ways to Be a Better Player". Sounds to me like your problem player could learn a bit from watching it. :-)


In situations like this my group has come up with a fool-proof way to defuse the situation.

Everyone but other player: "Chiiiiiiiiiiiillllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll..."


I just wouldn't invite him back to the table. Just end it now as nicely as you can, because the longer it drags on, the less nice it will end up being.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
aboniks wrote:
Next we'll be screwing in light bulbs. :)

Little crowded in there for that, isn't it? :-)


Ed Reppert wrote:
aboniks wrote:
Next we'll be screwing in light bulbs. :)
Little crowded in there for that, isn't it? :-)

Fiddlesticks! /Enlarge Lightbulb


I would handle this player in just one way...

next time he disrupts the game
Say to him...
"you are disrupting the game and ruining the fun of the game for the rest of us...
You have two choices.
Stop your disruptive behavior or leave the table."

When (not if but when) he again disrupts the game...
Point to the door and say...
"Leave."
Then pointedly ignore him and continue gaming with the rest of the group.

All of this would be done at the table.
I do not believe in taking the offender "aside" for such a talk.
Their challenge to the GM was not private so neither should their censure be so.

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