"Why won't you tell me your name? We're in the same party!" (my-guy syndrome)


Advice

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I've been a PC in The Curse of the Crimson Throne, one of 6 PCs and my "party" is full of such lone wolfs.

The campaign does a good job of bringing all the PCs together, but they just refuse to do basic party introduction things. NO ONE will tell anyone their names! Or each other their names, even though the GM is referring to them by their character names. I've repeatedly and respectfully asked how I should refer to them but they won't because "My character just isn't the sort to be so friendly".

Apparently giving their name requires an inalienable bond.

As they arrived one-by-one for the first meeting point I introduced myself "Hi, I'm John Smith..." and then of course they laughed like hyenas because I was repeating myself to the group chat with "hurr, Matt Damon" jokes even though in-character each was only hearing my introduction once.

When I refer to them by their character names they break character to say "You don't know what my character is called"

When I refer to them by their real person names they say "keep it role play"

When I refer to them by how they appear or act (non pejoratively like "cloaked fighter") they object to that characterisation, either out of character or directly threatening my character under pretext of "my character would be quick to anger over things like that".

Every time I tried to raise it gently with "I didn't catch your name?" they'd be reply snidely with words to effect of "that's because I didn't give my name". They are brooding in corners, constantly using stealth to hide from the rest of the group even though it's VERY well established we have a common cause. Refuse to share even the basics of their back story. It got weird like when we met the big bad one would cry out "What did you do with my sister!" a complete surprise.

Even though I'd asked earlier what beef that character had with the big bad. This was even after we'd committed to raid his headquarters. We've been through two combats and STILL they won't even tell me their names or any title to refer to them by, I've given then Message spell to communicate over distance, I've given them buffs, I've backed them up and haven't taken anything they claimed.

Still "my character isn't going to be so open with complete strangers" I SAVED YOUR LIFE!

We have a new GM who doesn't know what to do here and mostly wants to be hands off.

How do I get the PC's in my party to open up?


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this is a person problem.
Personally the GM should intervene and help facilitate a discussion where you figure out a compromise to the situation.
But other than talking to them there's nothing you can do.

Liberty's Edge

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No one is forcing you to be in this group. If you are uncomfortable, bid them goodbye and find a group more to your liking.


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Be Batman and plan out what is necessary to kill each and every one of them and then secure in that knowledge proceed. Be the same level of jerks they are and start calling them whatever your little heart desires. Make the names as base and rude as you wish. And when they object tell them if you don't provide a name you will provide one for them. If you have a problem with it step out of your little EMO shell. And, if you have to kill a couple so be it. Then drop the mic and walk out.


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Let me guess.

Your play group is made of up people between the age of 12-15?

The only suggestion I have is to talk to the players out-of-game and try to convince them that they're being absurd. The entire game and, apparently, this campaign are based around a group of people working together. This group has no reason to work together. They need to either figure out a reason for the party to function together, or the entire campaign is going to fall apart rather rapidly.

Your entire playgroup (with yourself as the possible exception) seem to have a very bad case of "special snowflake" syndrome.

Grand Lodge

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It sounds like your character doesn't have a reason to be with people who want no reason to be with them. Say that in person, then get up and leave.


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Stop being so helpful in character? "I'd heal you, but I only do that for people whose names I know."


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Stop being so helpful in character? "I'd heal you, but I only do that for people whose names I know."

I usually don't advocate this kind of escalation of silliness at a gaming table, but if trying to talk to them reasonably player to player doesn't work, then the only recourse might be trying to show them how un-fun it is to have party members acting in such an unfriendly manner to each other.


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Do you know these people or is it the first time you've played, is it at PFS, round a friend's house or a local club?

I'm struggling to see the context? On the face of it, it sounds like a very passive aggressive form of bullying but I'm not sure how to advise you on that without knowing the circumstances of your relationship/friendship.

It is odd that 6 people getting together for the first time would pick on one person, unless they had done something to provoke it/came with baggage/had a reputation that preceded them?

Can you provide more information.


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Come on complete TPK! You can do it! Then I can add you to my group!!!


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I agree with Chess Pwn, on that one.

That something the GM would have to address as it seems to be making the game less enjoyable to you and you probably have close to 0 party cohesion if everyone is doing "Their Thing" rather than working together.

Grand Lodge

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To be completely honest? Sounds like you're gaming with some jerks.

I've been in plenty of games with characters who are the sort of lone wolf type character, but they've always given something to call them by even if it's not their characters actual name.

Also, the whole secretive lone wolf thing works fine when it's done by one member of the party, or temporarily until shared experience has bonded you together as a group, but it generally doesn't work well for an entire adventuring party to keep every detail about themselves away from eachother. It's simply counterintuitive to roleplay.

I'm curious, is it just you they're hiding this information from? Or do the other party members not know anything about each other's characters either?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Do try not to be passive-aggressive about it. And since I'm hugely passive-aggressive, here's how not to do it:

"Ah, yes, well, I think that Broody McBroodface *points at player* should go and do it"
"What did you call me?"
"Broody McBroodface. *shrug* Since you won't tell me your name, I've chosen one for you."
"You dare to insult me?"
"Nope, I'm simply giving you a name, since you seem to lack one you're prepared to share. Don't like it? Suck it up, or bring it on, but don't be a whiny child when someone who is trying to keep you alive wants to call you something other than 'Oi, you with the flatulence and bad stubble'. You're either working with the group, or you're not. If you are, work with us and at least give us a name to call you. Otherwise it's Broody McBroodface. Your call, time is a-wasting."

Sovereign Court

It sounds pretty insane. It would be neat though, if you can turn this on them.

I'm assuming they're as paranoid towards each other as they are against you. As in, they also don't know each others' names.

So start inventing nicknames that really stick. Pick a nickname for player A that he maybe hates, but that players B-E will also start using because it's just that catchy.

---

Alternatively, the less playful, more mature variant: pick cool nicknames that they like. Name them after cool stunts they pulled for example, or their signature weapon.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Stop being so helpful in character? "I'd heal you, but I only do that for people whose names I know."

They don't even want my help.

I tried to give one player "Dazzling Blade" as well known buff and they didn't even say thanks or the merest acknowledgement.

The number of times one of the players has just announced that they are "done with this" and left. It's not that the players left the table, their character would just dramatically leave and their character was no longer on the board. It had to talk them into letting me cast Message on them so they wouldn't end up completely out of the loop.

If one character decides to search the dead as predictable another would pipe up that "stealing from the dead is the lowest of the low". Another 20 minute argument over that, turns out they had plot critical item on their persons and we'd already searched the environments.


How do the other players refer to each other in character?

Also, you might want to explain the concepts of "nickname", "code name", and "alias" to them, possibly very slowly like you think they are stupid.

If they won't help you with code names, then you get to pick them! Name everyone (including yourself) as Santa's reindeer or Snow White's dwarves. If they claim those are not in-character, then name them after whichever female iconic best matches their class.

Grand Lodge

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Alex Trebek's Stunt Double wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Stop being so helpful in character? "I'd heal you, but I only do that for people whose names I know."

They don't even want my help.

I tried to give one player "Dazzling Blade" as well known buff and they didn't even say thanks or the merest acknowledgement.

The number of times one of the players has just announced that they are "done with this" and left. It's not that the players left the table, their character would just dramatically leave and their character was no longer on the board. It had to talk them into letting me cast Message on them so they wouldn't end up completely out of the loop.

If one character decides to search the dead as predictable another would pipe up that "stealing from the dead is the lowest of the low". Another 20 minute argument over that, turns out they had plot critical item on their persons and we'd already searched the environments.

You seem to have confirmed my earlier guess. Sounds like they're all jerks. Pathfinder, especially the APs, is about group cooperation. If all they do is bicker with eachother and hide every detail about their character then I'd start looking for another group. If you can't find one near you then I'd suggest looking online. Some of my best experiences have been from online games.


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This is right up there with everyone playing chaotic neutral (evil) characters and the calling it 'roleplay' when they act like jerks.

There is a basic premise at the gaming table. For whatever reason a party is going to be assembled comprising of the player's PCs.

If a PLAYER is unable to make a character concept that will fit into that then he should be playing a solo adventure (ie, not with a gaming group).

It sounds like you have a whole group of players that do not understand that the game is co-operative. The GM and the group as a whole needs to resolve this.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Start calling everyone Twinkle Toes, or Lazy Britches, or Bob Todd.

They'll tell you their names soon enough... :-D

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yeah, I'd dump this group super quick.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I played CotCT in a party of six lone wolves. It was glorious RP, but we've been friends and RPing for over a decade, and we went into knowing exactly what we were doing. It requires OOC cooperation.

It sounds like you don't even have that.

If you want to stay with the game and talking to them doesn't work, then assign them names, ignore their threats and be a hero. Don't stress about their behavior. If they really do attack your character... it probably isn't a good group.


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I like the idea of handing out nicknames, but let's try for some respectful ones.

After all, a Rose that Shoots Fireballs by any other name...:

  • Generic Titles: Sir Knight, Warlock, Holy Man, Ranger. If you've got some Campaign relevant titles, use those (Rider [of Rohan], Dunedain)

  • Cloak/Hood/Cowl/Cape/Gauntlet... name them after some distinctive piece of gear they own.

  • Ask for descriptions of their character. Pick a non-racial trait that stands out. Like calling the blonde elf cleric Flax, the half-orc barbarian Scar, and the human wizard with a long nose Hawk.

  • Take note of their obvious strengths. Call the tank Steel, the sharpshooter Eagle Eye and the diviner Stargazer.
  • Best case scenario, these effectively become their names, and you can save their real names for a good tie-in later on. Worst case scenario, they don't like them, and you can just ask for something to call them by.


    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    Walk away from the group... At least 'til the other players reach their 16th birthday. :P

    Alternatively, if you really, really don't want to leave... Do the suggested advice of calling them silly/embarassing nicknames and kill anyone who has a problem with it. Not a very mature solution, but when in Rome...


    The Sword wrote:

    Do you know these people or is it the first time you've played, is it at PFS, round a friend's house or a local club?

    I'm struggling to see the context? On the face of it, it sounds like a very passive aggressive form of bullying but I'm not sure how to advise you on that without knowing the circumstances of your relationship/friendship.

    It is odd that 6 people getting together for the first time would pick on one person, unless they had done something to provoke it/came with baggage/had a reputation that preceded them?

    Can you provide more information.

    Mixture of close friends and less well known associates.

    Believe it or not, we are all well into our 20's, we all have jobs and pay bills. Not junior-high.

    We are playing on roll 20 using webcams, which I think may be part of the problem. Also, our GM is trying lots of fancy stuff in Roll-20 like line-of-sight fog so it becomes really confusing what is going on. I can't see what other characters are doing.

    I don't know who started the "Matt Daaaaamon" jibe but it really shut down any attempt to break the ice. As I said, they arrived one by one and each individual address was treated as if I was loudly repeating it to everyone. This is the bloody problem with web-cams YOU CAN'T TELL WHO YOU ARE LOOKING AT! Add on to that how GM wanted us to have all communication in-character so it's really hard to have an ordinary conversation, people wouldn't acknowledge if they could hear you or were paying attention. I couldn't remember even their characters' gender.

    I wouldn't say it's bullying, it was just a lame joke at my expense that got out of hand.

    Except one guy I can tell hates my guts, I really wish he'd say what it is that annoys him so I can stop it but I think he just wants me to piss off. I was hoping this game could break the ice, I want to get on well with him and I can help him by showing I can be a team player. You know, be the Medic to his Heavy, last time I'd played with him as a fellow fighter he got annoyed at me for taking his kill and yet on the other hand failing to take out an enemy who later attacked him.

    Okay, lets not talk so much about how I think I am being treated, there's inherent bias there.

    How they treat each other: For example, one player (lets call him Tony) got the idea of throwing the dead bad guy into a crocodile pit (he's definitely dead, GM was explicit). Another player (lets call him Sean) didn't want that so Tony and Sean began doing opposed strength checks as they were trying to throw his body into the crocodile pit...

    THIS WAS WHILE WE WERE STILL IN INITIATIVE!

    While they were doing this, one player had their character almost killed and was bleeding out.

    Another player was in the crocodile pit trying to escape. Everyone around the pit was at risk of the crocodiles reaching out and attacking.

    They refused to come to a common understanding, Tony was monologuing, whispering in the dead guy's ear (GM repeated that the bad guy was definitely dead) that this was what he deserved and Sean wanted his manacles back.

    Previously, Tony had tried to use diplomacy to get into the bad guy's lair and wouldn't tell anyone what the actual plan was.

    Remember, it's not that they hadn't told their name to me:

    No one had shared their character name with anyone else in the group!

    And they still don't want to, two sessions in.

    They don't tell anyone when they find something or do something or plan something.

    When they succeed on perception checks they don't share it with others so everyone is standing around confused unable to act on what the GM just described.


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    Nature abhors a vacuum!

    In the absence of information, I'm always more than happy to make up info!

    So ya, make up names for them.

    They can object all they want, but you're doing so in character... and its their own damn fault.

    Hell, some of the nicknames might even catch on! I love a good nickname backstory!

    Liberty's Edge

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    Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

    Its interesting, I had a group of players that would go out of their way to argue with me, saying that evil is "part of their real life personalities, and if I didn't let them play evil characters, I was a bad GM." Quickly told them off, that if they don't like it, I'll find new people to replace them. That changed their tune real quick, sometimes the player or the GM need to take a heavy step to settle down the group. For your problem, I would talk to the GM, explain that you're not having fun and formulate a solution with him.

    If the GM doesnt step up, I would take everyone else's advice and find a new group.


    11 people marked this as a favorite.

    Seriously... Walk away from this group. And don't put too much effort into trying to befriend someone who doesnt want to be your friend. It's not worth it.


    Chemlak wrote:

    Do try not to be passive-aggressive about it. And since I'm hugely passive-aggressive, here's how not to do it:

    "Ah, yes, well, I think that Broody McBroodface *points at player* should go and do it"
    "What did you call me?"
    "Broody McBroodface. *shrug* Since you won't tell me your name, I've chosen one for you."
    "You dare to insult me?"
    "Nope, I'm simply giving you a name, since you seem to lack one you're prepared to share. Don't like it? Suck it up, or bring it on, but don't be a whiny child when someone who is trying to keep you alive wants to call you something other than 'Oi, you with the flatulence and bad stubble'. You're either working with the group, or you're not. If you are, work with us and at least give us a name to call you. Otherwise it's Broody McBroodface. Your call, time is a-wasting."

    That's perfect except... I'm on Roll 20 using webcams.

    I can point at the camera and I point at EVERYONE!

    I have tried saying "who am I standing next to" and they ignore me or even say "you don't know".

    Also, I know if I do that with the player I refer to as Sean he WILL call my bluff and kill my character. If I can tell anything I can tell that and I can bet with good odds that no one else in the party will do a damn thing. We're a 6 man party, I've somehow ended up being the THIRD Wizard in the party, they don't need me.

    Well, I think I'm the third wizard. We have at LEAST three wizards.

    As I said, all the players are so cagey they won't even clearly indicate what their class is.

    I wish the GM had told me this otherwise I wouldn't have gone with a Wizard though I've wanted to play a wizard for a while now.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Bad GM, bad group.

    Okay, firstly you need to set some clear guidelines AS A GROUP on what constitutes IC and OOC. Since you're using Roll 20, try "Voice chat is generally for OOC, Roll 20 chat interface for IC". You can even come up with a way to use /me looks at Tony's character and says... [and then you actually speak the words in voice chat].

    And be blunt with them. Don't be defensive or whiny about it, but ask, up-front and individually, why they chose to bring antisocial characters to a social game, because all it's doing is leeching the fun out of it. Listen to their answers, and try to understand them, and try to work with the GM and the players to figure out how you AS A GROUP can become a party, rather than a group of individuals who all happen to be heading in the same direction right now. It is each player's responsibility to come up with the reason his character is with the party, not yours, and not the GM's.

    Edit: and if that doesn't work... walk away. Be blunt and honest: I roleplay to have fun. This group isn't fun, if I wanted brooding teenaged angst, I'd hang out at the mall. This is currently less fun than that.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    I'm sorry, but I can't get over the picture of two people having a tug of war argument with a dead body, with someone else bleeding out a mere few feet away.

    Maybe you should be playing Hell's Vengeance instead. :-)


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    TOXIC, run, run far away, find reasonable people, we exist, there are lots of us, hell, if you are even in Rochester, NY, there is always another fold up chain open for a new player.

    Main thing, no gaming is better than bad gaming, if it starts to ruin your love of the hobby, it is not worth it, and it is split city man!


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    Bad advice:
    Blood Biography
    Detect Thoughts
    Discern Next of Kin on relatives

    Real advice:
    Kick back and enjoy the game if you can. The premise of the game is now "five loners and me". See if you can serve as the distraction while they're skulking about, come up with suitable names (or just refer to them as Primus, Secundus, etc.), and generally play a character who, for the good of the region, is working with five people who won't tell him their names. If it's not enjoyable (or if it's annoying the other players), then yeah, drop it.

    Never mind, I just read a bit more. Consider using the bad advice and then finding another group.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Seriously, how many bodies will they fight over do you suppose. :-)


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    Leave the group. Find a group with some better adjusted players.


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    You taking bets on that one Cap?

    Put be down for $20 for 5 corpse tug a wars before games end!

    Grand Lodge

    Really only 5? If we're starting a betting pool put me down for $30 on at least 10 bodies being fought over.

    Heck, even my CG characters will have a nice tug o war over a body when there's enough loot involved ;)

    Edit: Though that's usually after the fightings over.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Yeah, we once had three people trying to pull a body a robot had wedged into a hole in the wall. While the fighter fought off the robot.

    Of course, the fighter pulled it out by herself after finishing off the robot with an epic series of critical hits.


    My advice in these circumstances are to isolate the trouble makers. Tell your close friends you are struggling with the atmosphere. Get their feed back on your interactions with the problem player who hates you. Then if you get a positive response from your close friends ask for their support in cooling tempers.

    In all seriousness it sounds like the greatest problem these players have is their lack of interest or drive towards party success. They actually sound like bored payers who just want to "watch the world burn." I suspect asking if they really want to player this game will be inflammatory but maybe get the GMs feeling on the matter.

    If all else fails - If you can't beat em, join em!

    Liberty's Edge

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    Leave the group.

    Seriously, no good can come of this...


    Chemlak wrote:

    Do try not to be passive-aggressive about it. And since I'm hugely passive-aggressive, here's how not to do it:

    "Ah, yes, well, I think that Broody McBroodface *points at player* should go and do it"
    "What did you call me?"
    "Broody McBroodface. *shrug* Since you won't tell me your name, I've chosen one for you."
    "You dare to insult me?"
    "Nope, I'm simply giving you a name, since you seem to lack one you're prepared to share. Don't like it? Suck it up, or bring it on, but don't be a whiny child when someone who is trying to keep you alive wants to call you something other than 'Oi, you with the flatulence and bad stubble'. You're either working with the group, or you're not. If you are, work with us and at least give us a name to call you. Otherwise it's Broody McBroodface. Your call, time is a-wasting."

    This is very much hoe I WOULD handle it.


    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

    I think you should (relatively bad advice to follow):

    1) Give them each a nickname like Turd Blossom or something else moderately annoying until they actually tell you their names.

    2) Start acting like them and piddle about on non-productive stuff while they're carrying the load.

    3) Wait for the inevitable TPK

    Yeah, that's all fairly passive aggressive, but it seems to be the kind of game they want. And, as the odd man, it's up to you to conform to their style of play.

    If you want good advice, I'd say to link up and ask them what they hell they think they're doing, is this what they really want, how do they think they'll get anything accomplished, and at least get it out in the open air before you follow my 3 points above and let the campaign crash and burn.


    I'll be honest and say... they don't seem like a fun group to play with... I've promised myself to never play in a bad group again. I really like playing (and DMing). But it's all just ruined with a bad group, it makes me depressed knowing that playing can be so much more fun.
    I have a lot of patience and I'm not easily bored, I can sit around doing nothing for an hour alone and away from my computor without any problems. But when I sit at the table (it also happens at really dull and stupid parties as well) thinking "I could probably have more fun grinding in an MMO right now while also feeling more productive, why did I even bother comming?", I know that I shouldn't be there (this is the measurement of being bored and wasting time for me).


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    Okay, so given that you have close friends in the group, tell them whats up, then see what they say, and if no paths open up, leave it.

    Roll20 is pretty low commitment anyway.


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    Put a wizard mark on each of them. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
    Call them "thing 1", "thing2", and so on...


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    Some good advice in the above posts. Personally, I would just leave the group.

    Reminds me of the old group I played with back in the day. I left and to my surprise so did a few of the others.

    Turns out they weren't really having any fun either.


    How many of them have you played RPGs with before?


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

    Some people play RPGs to channel their inner sociopath.

    Other people play in games you aren't involved with.

    But honestly, I'm guessing these folks haven't seen a functional game to recognize that here they're just wasting time. Maybe if they saw a "real" game they'd get it and have an epiphany. Maybe not. Dunno. But what you're up against isn't just a single-symptom issue. It's a fundamental failure to grasp that this is a (usually cooperative) game where the goal is to have fun creating a sensible narrative.

    "I don't tell people my name" sounds awesome and broody on paper. But it's just counter-productive if you're trying to tell a story together.

    I have no advice for you. I think this can only be fixed by experience of a good game.


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    Alex Trebek's Stunt Double wrote:
    The number of times one of the players has just announced that they are "done with this" and left. It's not that the players left the table, their character would just dramatically leave and their character was no longer on the board.

    Ah, the US teen drama school of dialogue.

    I can't decide whether that would be funny or not, to me. I think it probably would, if everyone were doing it deliberately as a joke. But it isn't to you, or you wouldn't be asking this. So really I think you have three options:

    1) Have a serious chat about how silly this is and get it to stop, or at least cease being dysfunctional.
    2) Learn to love a totally dysfunctional party. This will require a particular mindset from you, and a specific style of character. I think Neutral Evil would be best.

    3) Get a different game. This one is no good.

    (Strikethrough edited in after reading about the roll20 thing. That just sounds totally unworkable)


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    Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

    I agree with those who have said that this group is toxic. You are obviously interested in a higher caliber game of this.

    I'm not surprised to hear that these folks are in the 20s. My group has been together since we were all 13--we're in our 40s now--and it was until we were nearly 30 that we all agreed that the idea of being the guy in the dark cloak brooding in the dark corner with the dark secret got stale.

    But, each of us got to that point separately. And some of our players quit for a time and came back when the rest of us matured to reach them.

    There's "different" gaming, and there's "mature" gaming. This sort of "lone wolf" stuff with, "keep it role-play" mixed with "Matt Damon" jokes, is not a relaxed and fun gaming style--it's a socially abusive game where you're the target of the abuse. Maybe you can game with them in the future, but what you're doing right now is going to soil your friendships with the ones you like and constantly reinforce that at least one of the players has decided he doesn't like you for pretty much no reason.


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    That's quite an...interesting group of people you have there. I highly doubt they actually want to play the game at all. Direct them to the nearest forum so that they may vent their frustration or whatever through being obnoxious forum trolls instead of...whatever it is they're currently doing. I doubt much can be done to solve this problem given the sheer ridiculousness of it. It would probably be in your best interest to hit the eject button.

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