How to punish players insulting powerful NPCs?


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DrDeth wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

One thing that you may want to look out for: If the centaur leader challenges the dwarf to a duel, be SURE that the dwarf is reasonably overmatched by that centaur. The player will learn exactly the wrong lesson if he wins that duel or if he loses it strictly because of GM fiat.

No, the dwarf player will only learn that being rude gets him exactly what he wants- more attention, more time in the spotlight.

then you just have to teach them that getting attention is not always a good idea


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Lady-J wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

One thing that you may want to look out for: If the centaur leader challenges the dwarf to a duel, be SURE that the dwarf is reasonably overmatched by that centaur. The player will learn exactly the wrong lesson if he wins that duel or if he loses it strictly because of GM fiat.

No, the dwarf player will only learn that being rude gets him exactly what he wants- more attention, more time in the spotlight.
then you just have to teach them that getting attention is not always a good idea

That is easier said than done.


Snowblind wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

One thing that you may want to look out for: If the centaur leader challenges the dwarf to a duel, be SURE that the dwarf is reasonably overmatched by that centaur. The player will learn exactly the wrong lesson if he wins that duel or if he loses it strictly because of GM fiat.

No, the dwarf player will only learn that being rude gets him exactly what he wants- more attention, more time in the spotlight.
then you just have to teach them that getting attention is not always a good idea
That is easier said than done.

not really here's one example player does something that gets him a lot of attention then because of all that attention he ends up in a situation were he dies. hopefully they only need it to happen the one time for the lesson to be learned.


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Lady-J wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

One thing that you may want to look out for: If the centaur leader challenges the dwarf to a duel, be SURE that the dwarf is reasonably overmatched by that centaur. The player will learn exactly the wrong lesson if he wins that duel or if he loses it strictly because of GM fiat.

No, the dwarf player will only learn that being rude gets him exactly what he wants- more attention, more time in the spotlight.
then you just have to teach them that getting attention is not always a good idea
That is easier said than done.
not really here's one example player does something that gets him a lot of attention then because of all that attention he ends up in a situation were he dies. hopefully they only need it to happen the one time for the lesson to be learned.

What makes you so certain that dying is a much bigger issue for the dwarf player than it is for everyone else? There is a very real chance that if the dwarf dies, then the the GM has to figure out how to introduce a new PC while the rest of the party has to work out how to integrate a complete stranger into their very insular team of magical commandoes, while the ex-dwarf PC just has to roll up an even more annoying toon that they can disrupt the game with.

There is also the real possibility that the dwarf player will hold a grudge and start trying to be deliberately disruptive out of spite, even if they were just being surly before.

There is also the real possibility that something will go awry and other players will lose their characters in an attempt to save the dwarf PC.

See, this is why you don't solve OoC problems IC. In Game is for having fun, not attempting to therapy away the personality flaws of your fellow gamers through the blatant abuse of GM authority and fiat.


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DrDeth wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

One thing that you may want to look out for: If the centaur leader challenges the dwarf to a duel, be SURE that the dwarf is reasonably overmatched by that centaur. The player will learn exactly the wrong lesson if he wins that duel or if he loses it strictly because of GM fiat.

No, the dwarf player will only learn that being rude gets him exactly what he wants- more attention, more time in the spotlight.

Exactly. Which is why simply exiling the dwarf works SO MUCH better. He gets a punishment fitting his crimes. And either the party goes with him into exile (which should piss them off) or the dwarf is kicked out alone in which case he gets to sit idle while the rest of the party finishes up with what they are doing in the Centaur camp. The very opposite of more attention.


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So no NPC will interact with the dwarf until the party leaves the centaurs' zone of influence. This will take some fun out it for the player. If he decides to pull a tantrum and gets stupider, Suicide by Ineptitude is a long-standing tradition in RPGs. If the rest of the party acts well, the Centaurs can give each of the good ones nice going away presents. The offender can watch them destroy something nice in his image.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

"For you, a nice shield. And for you, an extending rod. You can have this nice wizard's hat... and for your friend the dwarf you can watch us take the massive heirloom dwarven warhammer we were going to give him and melt it into a puddle of metal."


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Lady-J wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

One thing that you may want to look out for: If the centaur leader challenges the dwarf to a duel, be SURE that the dwarf is reasonably overmatched by that centaur. The player will learn exactly the wrong lesson if he wins that duel or if he loses it strictly because of GM fiat.

No, the dwarf player will only learn that being rude gets him exactly what he wants- more attention, more time in the spotlight.
then you just have to teach them that getting attention is not always a good idea

You cannot solve a OOC problem IC.


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On the other hand, this isn't really a huge OOC problem. The player hasn't actually done that much wrong, aside from maybe "leaning on extreme attitudes in roleplaying". Plenty of roleplaying goofs can be addressed in-character, preserving immersion and ideally keeping everyone feeling like they're contributing.

And hell, if the dwarf wins? Let him. Let him just be that a%%~~$$ who smack-talks a high-level centaur and get away with it. It's not like it's actually going to happen, but if it does, hey, he's earned a bit of arrogance. Humble him later.

I fall a bit more on the "live and let die" philosophy than DrDeth. ;P


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

On the other hand, this isn't really a huge OOC problem. The player hasn't actually done that much wrong, aside from maybe "leaning on extreme attitudes in roleplaying". Plenty of roleplaying goofs can be addressed in-character, preserving immersion and ideally keeping everyone feeling like they're contributing.

And hell, if the dwarf wins? Let him. Let him just be that a##+$!# who smack-talks a high-level centaur and get away with it. It's not like it's actually going to happen, but if it does, hey, he's earned a bit of arrogance. Humble him later.

I fall a bit more on the "live and let die" philosophy than DrDeth. ;P

I kind of agree with this.

First of all, OOC, some players play just unwind from the day and feel like mouthing off to a superior after a long day at work... Not always my favorite thing... but unless it's common practice I wouldn't have too much problem.

However, a lot of it makes sense IN character too. Adventurers are generally the heroes of the story. They over brim with confidence... and constantly have NPCS begging them for help against threats only THEY can help with.

That can lead to situations like this... Adventurers are frequently fearless smart alecks who always mouth off to people. The 80's was FULL of that kind of action star. Stallone, Arnold, Willis.... everyone had a cool line when they should have blinked...

AND he's playing a dwarf?!? That's a whole other stereotype of people who butt heads with other authorities. Soooo yeah, THIS character in THIS situation??? It really feels more like Roleplaying then disruptive behavior.


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I mean, roleplaying can be disruptive, of course, but this just doesn't seem like a big enough problem to justify having a big serious talk. Let the consequences be realistic, and don't worry about "correcting" this behavior just yet.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Late to the party and I hadn't the time to read all the posts, but I would do something like this:

Centaur leader:
throw an handful of cons to the dwarf "Now you have had your reward, greedy creature, now all of you, depart the land of my people and know that if you return you will be greeted with arrows and spears."
Immediate apologies by the other party members will allow them to stay, but unless the dwarf PC grovel while making his apology he will be banished.

Even if they somewhat appease the centaurs, they will hear some of them muttering "greed mercenaries". If that has happened frequently they will discover that they have a reputation of working only for money.

That way you show that the way in which the characters act have consequences and that those consequences can be bad for the whole group, not only for the one insulting the NPC.


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Agreed. As they did save the cousin from certain death... they have bought some forgiveness even from the leader. However NPCS can hit back, and even rough them up without crossing into the 'kill or be killed' line.

Reputation can be a fun thing to play with too, but there can be a line that the npcs don't tolerate it. What happens in our group is a leader type may speak up when someone gets too mouthy and tries to defuse the situation, making it clear he doesn't speak for the group.


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Rewarding everyone else, banishing the dwarf, giving him trouble through his clan for it, and having a celebration with lots of attention the dwarf doesn't get to share in should get the message across.


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I would caution the OP, though, about punishing "players". That wording is a bit telling here.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I would caution the OP, though, about punishing "players". That wording is a bit telling here.

Yeah, that was the message that I was trying to get through. Having the world react to the PCs in a reasonable manner is fine, but when you start warping the game in an attempt to punish players is the point where it isn't fine.


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It might not be so this time... but it is extremely common that a player gets his jollies from being disruptive and getting attention for it. That will eventually end where the campaign fails, the player leaves, or the player learns to play well within the game. Punishing the character by holding to established facts of the setting is FINE. Punishing the player by not giving him attention is FINE. Neither is arbitrary. It is the GM's job to hold the game together. Dealing with a problem player is part of that, and pointing out the way for him is a necessary part of doing so.


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I think the operative principle should be less to punish the player for a sin they have committed, and more to make the world of the game react in a realistic fashion to one of the PCs being a jerk. If the game responds to how players react in a sensible and predictable way, that makes the game better. If you're a jerk to someone for no good reason, it's likely that person isn't going to like you very much and might refuse to help you out.

I mean, sometimes you have players who have characters who are jerks, and they know how to play these types in a constructive rather than destructive fashion, and that's great. "Rude to NPCs" is not necessarily a problem, you just have to be judicious in who you're rude to and when.

If you want to make "ritualistic duels over matters of honor" a thing in Centaur culture, then you can. But it's more likely that the Centaurs would just make it clear that the PCs (or at least the dwarf) aren't welcome there anymore, so if they need to camp or resupply they need to look elsewhere.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I would caution the OP, though, about punishing "players". That wording is a bit telling here.

I don't mean punishing the "player", I mean would the centaurs try and punish the player's character. I am referring to the character within the scenario and the NPCs within the scenario. Not the human being playing the dwarf. Would the centaurs, especially the hardcore centaurs (maybe not the leader) who got very angry while the insults were thrown, would they seek to take action later against the character. Basically follow the characters through the wilderness and do something. The issue is really about how" real" do you keep the game. Do you let players get away with insulting NPCs? Or do NPCs react? Or do you just think "it's just the player talking so forget it?"

I mean, in this case they have met a clearly superior foe, and just hurl unnecessary and very rude insults. Should a DM do something about this or not? ALSO, the centaurs are possibly unlikely to be encountered again so whether they take action or not is irrelevant to the adventure path. I just want to keep it real as that's the kind of DM I am. And the insults to me, if ignored, well ... it makes me think the game's not being run properly. My game is about fun, but the fun is in taking the game seriously too. If you all get my drift! I have decided the centaurs will do something (I am not suggesting killing the adventurers). I was wondering if people think I am over-reacting. It seems that most think I am being fair.


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I know that giving that kind of player the attention is not the right thing that's why I always make sure to make any punishment to be quick and unrewarding. Then I try to give personal scenes to the rest of the group as I don't want character who got the attention feel like he is being rewarded instead of punished.
We had a girl in our group who was a real attention whore. She constantly tried to be everywhere, be the center of everything and was always interrupting the game with unrelated things. She was playing a centaur that she roleplayed like he had the intelligence of an orangutan even though he had a score of 8 or 9. He used her character intelligence as an excuse for being disrespectful, disobey all orders because he just had forgotten or just couldn't understand them. She kept complaining each time she had to suffer consequences for her acts (mostly being ignored or treated with disdain) as she felt her character was being punished for being "a bit dumb".
We are talking about a character who almost killed a bunch of low level allies in a training session because he allegedly didn't know that you are not supposed to make a massacre in a training combat or that you can deal something called non lethal damage (the player knew, she had a long experience in D&D).
Finally they were in a hostile settlement where people who weren't nobles were treated as garbage. They were trying not to get too much attention and she went to check a colysseum that I described as having a lot of security and even let her see how guards caught someone who was simply a commoner trying to approach a noble man. And she just went to a private place and started threating nobles and even dare touch one of them! So she was swiftly taken by the guards. No long combat scene. No glory. She was just outnumbered. Then she was taken to prison without any equipment.
The other players were a bit tired of her behaviour so they didn't left everything they were doing to rescue the centaur, just left him there for a while while they finished dealing with more urgent issues.
She sort of learned. She behaved much better for the 2 or 3 seasons she played before deciding she couldn't enjoy a game in which she was not the main star and left the game and the group. Everybody was satisfied.


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Why is it that we feel we must ignore that the decisions of the player are what is causing the problem?


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Mainly because roleplaying itself is not necessarily a "problem"?


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Play Def Leppard.


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How do you punish GMs for insultingly powerful NPCs?


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A disruptive character =/= a disruptive player.

We have a player in our group - very good, cooperative, fun - who enjoys playing troublemakers. Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering would label him a "Specialist" - it's just how he gets enjoyment from the game. He also enjoys getting in character and playing up his character, flaws and all. This is the kind of thing he might do. The thing is, part of the fun for him is in the setting and characters (PCs included) reacting in believable ways.

Stories develop through conflict. That's just how storytelling works. He enjoys adding his own little bubbles of conflict now and again.

Is this a problem? Is it problematic that this is the way he enjoys his character spending his spotlight time? Again, the player is not disruptive in our group. He's extremely content to share the spotlight, it's just how he wants to spend his share.

I do not understand the ire being sent this player's way when the OP made zero mention or inference of there being a player problem; it was framed as character-driven conflict introduced into his story.


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DrDeth wrote:
andygal wrote:

If this is a reoccurring issue that is annoying you (rather than just the NPCs) it might be an idea to talk to the player(s) outside the game and ask them to dial it back a bit.

Yeah, sit them down and talk to them like adults. Tell them that this makes the game less fun for us, as the DM.

Alternately, sit down with the players and come to an agreement on what tone you'd all like the game to take on.

Rereading this thread, all input seems to be Destroy Character with Massive NPC!!! without asking the question, Who isn't having fun? (and trying to change things up a bit until the answer is No one). Honestly, I've never seen fun be the destination of a DM power trip.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:


Rereading this thread, all input seems to be Destroy Character with Massive NPC!!! without asking the question, Who isn't having fun? (and trying to change things up a bit until the answer is No one). Honestly, I've never seen fun be the destination of a DM power trip.

Who's not having fun? Quite possibly the GM since fun for the GM isn't always the destination of a PC power trip...


Bill Dunn wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:


Rereading this thread, all input seems to be Destroy Character with Massive NPC!!! without asking the question, Who isn't having fun? (and trying to change things up a bit until the answer is No one). Honestly, I've never seen fun be the destination of a DM power trip.
Who's not having fun? Quite possibly the GM since fun for the GM isn't always the destination of a PC power trip...

You, as the GM, will have a lot more fun if you change the tone of the campaign slightly than you will if you're constantly butting heads with your players. Actually, if you're the only person not having fun, that's probably the easiest problem to solve.

Silver Crusade

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Gulthor wrote:
A disruptive character =/= a disruptive player.

Except for when it does.

I agree, just because a character is disruptive does not mean that a player is. However sometimes a character is disruptive because the player is disruptive. There are plenty of examples where this holds true. I don't know whether or not this particular player falls the former category or the latter, but if the player is the problem the issue is pretty cut and dry: fix it OOC. If they refuse to adjust, cut them loose.


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You're in centaur territory, and not a centaur, and you insult the leader of the centaur tribe, repeatedly. In game actions have in game consequences. What those consequences are depend largely on the situation, the action, and the people (NPCs) affected by those actions.

If the leader is warlike, then he just might challenge the offending PC to combat. If the PC declines, he becomes a laughingstock among the centaurs, and is considered a blowhard and a coward who should be ignored and shunned at best, openly ridiculed and taunted, or perhaps even assaulted by the centaurs and driven out of their lands, in a worst case scenario.

If the leader is more level-headed and wise, he could banish the PC.

The choice is up to the GM, but NPCs are supposed to be living, breathing characters. The major ones should have as much depth and dimension as the PCs. The universe is moved by more than just the actions of the PCs.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
Actually, if you're the only person not having fun, that's probably the easiest problem to solve.

As a GM who frequently had issues with players making the game unfun, I agree. I couldn't find the urge to spend several hours a week planning it anymore, so... now I write and play video games instead. Problem solved.

Of course, my players no longer have a GM. But I'm enjoying myself more. (And I'm now getting paid for it, which is lovely.)


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Kalindlara wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
Actually, if you're the only person not having fun, that's probably the easiest problem to solve.

As a GM who frequently had issues with players making the game unfun, I agree. I couldn't find the urge to spend several hours a week planning it anymore, so... now I write and play video games instead. Problem solved.

Of course, my players no longer have a GM. But I'm enjoying myself more. (And I'm now getting paid for it, which is lovely.)

Tableflip hears ya. Tableflip approves.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

It wasn't a ragequit, not really. I just... found myself cancelling sessions, more and more. "I haven't done the prep." "I'm not feeling it today." "Something came up."

Once a week became once a fortnight, then once a month, then... we'll play when I'm ready.

Maybe one day I'll be able to get things moving again. We'll see.


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Kalindlara wrote:

It wasn't a ragequit, not really. I just... found myself cancelling sessions, more and more. "I haven't done the prep." "I'm not feeling it today." "Something came up."

Once a week became once a fortnight, then once a month, then... we'll play when I'm ready.

Maybe one day I'll be able to get things moving again. We'll see.

Don't knock table flipping. Done right, it's a fantastic core workout.


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Kitty Catoblepas wrote:


You, as the GM, will have a lot more fun if you change the tone of the campaign slightly than you will if you're constantly butting heads with your players. Actually, if you're the only person not having fun, that's probably the easiest problem to solve.

I couldn't disagree more with that statement.

Of course everybody has to have fun, but when you start being so permissive with your players and letting them do anything they want without facing consequences you're entering a dangerous game. Coherence is lost, control is lost, and if you let them do anything that's exactly what they will
do. There will be the kind of players that will take advantage and the ones who'll feel frustrated because of the players taking advantage of GM's permisivity and of the story losing coherence.
I'm not talking about railroading players so they only do what you want of them. I hate that. I'm talking about increasing the realism of the game and the feeling of dealing with real people by the simple principle of action/reaction. Everything has consequences. You treat others nicely: you are treated nicely. You behave like an idiot: very few people are going to like you. If you are OK with that, it's OK to me. Some people might actually enjoy their characters to be punished for they acts, why not? My only issue is with players who love to play total idiots but don't want to deal with consequences.

Silver Crusade

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Kalindlara wrote:

It wasn't a ragequit, not really. I just... found myself cancelling sessions, more and more. "I haven't done the prep." "I'm not feeling it today." "Something came up."

Once a week became once a fortnight, then once a month, then... we'll play when I'm ready.

Maybe one day I'll be able to get things moving again. We'll see.

This. A whooooole lotta this.


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Kileanna wrote:


I couldn't disagree more with that statement.

We're talking about different things. If you're dealing with a player (or players) who is acting like an idiot for the sake of idiocy, you just shouldn't play with them (or run them through a pun dungeon if that's your thing).

If you've got players who want to butt heads with all of your heroic NPCs, you might want to consider a change in narrative. You've stumbled upon the secret to making villains that your party actually cares about. Congratulations.

So your party has pissed off the Centaur. Maybe impressing the local Orcish horde is more their style. Turns out the Orcs are being oppressed by the Centaur? You can have a three in one liberation, ally gathering, and revenge plot. Is the Prince angry that you've scattered the Centaur to the winds and brought a bunch of rambunctious Orcs around to save him from some warlord? Maybe he's the next major antagonist, then.

In short, I'm not saying that you should let your players run wild; I'm saying that you shouldn't work against them, trying to shoehorn them into the wrong story for them.


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Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
Kileanna wrote:


I couldn't disagree more with that statement.

We're talking about different things. If you're dealing with a player (or players) who is acting like an idiot for the sake of idiocy, you just shouldn't play with them (or run them through a pun dungeon if that's your thing).

If you've got players who want to butt heads with all of your heroic NPCs, you might want to consider a change in narrative. You've stumbled upon the secret to making villains that your party actually cares about. Congratulations.

So your party has pissed off the Centaur. Maybe impressing the local Orcish horde is more their style. Turns out the Orcs are being oppressed by the Centaur? You can have a three in one liberation, ally gathering, and revenge plot. Is the Prince angry that you've scattered the Centaur to the winds and brought a bunch of rambunctious Orcs around to save him from some warlord? Maybe he's the next major antagonist, then.

In short, I'm not saying that you should let your players run wild; I'm saying that you shouldn't work against them, trying to shoehorn them into the wrong story for them.

Your making the wild assumption that the whole party wants this. Here is news; That is really rare. What typically happens is one or two of the stronger egos in the group decide to act out (or create problematic characters) in order to force the GM to cave to their demands often doing so against the wishes of the rest of the party. If the GM isn't strong then the behavior actually gets worse because they see that they can get away with bullying the GM. If you instead have them pay for their misdeeds in game in a real way and present a believable world with real consequences the rest of the party (and often the bad players themselves) will thank you down the line with excitement and investment into this world you're presenting.


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Of course in a group game everybody should try to get along, and the GM is no exception. I always plan my stories having in mind what my players enjoy the most and if I am running a pre-made story I always work hard to personalize it for my players and the characters they are playing. If they are not enjoying something I always try to make some arrangements and think how I can make them have more fun. If I put a roleplaying encounter to please more diplomatic players and I know it will last too long I always try to give something that more action oriented players can do. And in the other way I try to flavor up combat scenes so more interpretative players get some roleplaying and/or decissions to take aside from just kill the evil monster.
But if I have a player who just wants to confront everything, that's not for me. In my games, there will always be things that you should confront and things that wouldn't be wise to confront. If hoy are that kind of player I'm probably not the right GM for you. I can understand that other people might enjoy playing like that, I respect that. But it's not my style and I wouldn't feel confortable running a game like that.


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I had a group Offend a tribe of barbarian warriors repeatedly and I ended up killing half their group. They took it well they kept saying you took it worse then we did. I guess i'm saying they were mature enough to understand the consequences. One would hope your group takes the consequences well and understands its in character and nothing personal.

You could probably also hint to the rest of the party that maybe someone should shut up the dwarf before things get ugly. I've personally knocked out another persons character before because he was running his mouth off and gonna get himself killed. Had to explain to him afterwards that I was saving his life. As long as its IC I feel like it should be taken reasonably.

I guess you should have to know your group and how they will react.


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What a player does when his character insults a powerful NPC is really saying something like "Now you as GM has to either spend time dealing with this situation and nobody gets to do anything while I am in the spotlight (and I will do this every time), or you can ignore it and give up your ambition to keep up a realistic setting which will make it less enjoyable for everyone but me, either way I win."

The ONLY way to deal sensibly with it is to punish them quickly by not playing his game, denying him the spotlight, and put some sort of bad consequence on his character. Disruption needs to be slapped down... but you must be certain that it actually is disruption.


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Sissyl wrote:

What a player does when his character insults a powerful NPC is really saying something like "Now you as GM has to either spend time dealing with this situation and nobody gets to do anything while I am in the spotlight (and I will do this every time), or you can ignore it and give up your ambition to keep up a realistic setting which will make it less enjoyable for everyone but me, either way I win."

The ONLY way to deal sensibly with it is to punish them quickly by not playing his game, denying him the spotlight, and put some sort of bad consequence on his character. Disruption needs to be slapped down... but you must be certain that it actually is disruption.

I was going to argue with you about personality types but then I saw the if it is actually disruption part and realized I agreed with you.


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Sissyl wrote:


The ONLY way to deal sensibly with it is to punish them quickly by not playing his game, denying him the spotlight, and put some sort of bad consequence on his character.

I totally aggree. You have to make sure that you're not giving the player more spotlight as a reward for doing something disruptive. You have to deal with it in a quick unrewarding way. And then give some focus to the other players to compensate for the time you have spent with the disruptive one.


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Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:


Rereading this thread, all input seems to be Destroy Character with Massive NPC!!! without asking the question, Who isn't having fun? (and trying to change things up a bit until the answer is No one). Honestly, I've never seen fun be the destination of a DM power trip.
Who's not having fun? Quite possibly the GM since fun for the GM isn't always the destination of a PC power trip...
You, as the GM, will have a lot more fun if you change the tone of the campaign slightly than you will if you're constantly butting heads with your players. Actually, if you're the only person not having fun, that's probably the easiest problem to solve.

To be honest we are having a lot of fun ... both me and the players in my campaign ... just wondering about the players' characters insulting NPCs and about when do you draw the line ... this is the interesting topic.


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Kileanna wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:


You, as the GM, will have a lot more fun if you change the tone of the campaign slightly than you will if you're constantly butting heads with your players. Actually, if you're the only person not having fun, that's probably the easiest problem to solve.

I couldn't disagree more with that statement.

Of course everybody has to have fun, but when you start being so permissive with your players and letting them do anything they want without facing consequences you're entering a dangerous game. Coherence is lost, control is lost, and if you let them do anything that's exactly what they will
do. There will be the kind of players that will take advantage and the ones who'll feel frustrated because of the players taking advantage of GM's permisivity and of the story losing coherence.
I'm not talking about railroading players so they only do what you want of them. I hate that. I'm talking about increasing the realism of the game and the feeling of dealing with real people by the simple principle of action/reaction. Everything has consequences. You treat others nicely: you are treated nicely. You behave like an idiot: very few people are going to like you. If you are OK with that, it's OK to me. Some people might actually enjoy their characters to be punished for they acts, why not? My only issue is with players who love to play total idiots but don't want to deal with consequences.

Kilenna ... you hit the spot there. I agree totally, hence my post in the first place


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How to punish players? Two words, Onerous Contracts. Lots and lots of contracts.


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Um, why are the other players not policing this character? My response as DM would be a long silence and let the other players police the party's actions. If they don't do something to fix it after having been given a chance, then they've all consented to accepting the consequences of those actions, either for the party as a whole or just to that character.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Sissyl wrote:

What a player does when his character insults a powerful NPC is really saying something like "Now you as GM has to either spend time dealing with this situation and nobody gets to do anything while I am in the spotlight (and I will do this every time), or you can ignore it and give up your ambition to keep up a realistic setting which will make it less enjoyable for everyone but me, either way I win."

The ONLY way to deal sensibly with it is to punish them quickly by not playing his game, denying him the spotlight, and put some sort of bad consequence on his character. Disruption needs to be slapped down... but you must be certain that it actually is disruption.

I was going to argue with you about personality types but then I saw the if it is actually disruption part and realized I agreed with you.

If someone has been insulted themselves by the NPC, the situation becomes another. There may be other reasons the player does this that fits perfectly into the campaign.

However, when this happens, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, it's the player being an ass. What you do as a GM is collect some data. Make a number of quick scenes to see if the same thing happens. Vary some particulars. If the player insists on keeping this up, deal with it, fast and effectively. If the player still doesn't learn, kick them. You will be doing everyone involved a favour.


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bearinjapan wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
Rereading this thread, all input seems to be Destroy Character with Massive NPC!!! without asking the question, Who isn't having fun? (and trying to change things up a bit until the answer is No one). Honestly, I've never seen fun be the destination of a DM power trip.
Who's not having fun? Quite possibly the GM since fun for the GM isn't always the destination of a PC power trip...
You, as the GM, will have a lot more fun if you change the tone of the campaign slightly than you will if you're constantly butting heads with your players. Actually, if you're the only person not having fun, that's probably the easiest problem to solve.
To be honest we are having a lot of fun ... both me and the players in my campaign ... just wondering about the players' characters insulting NPCs and about when do you draw the line ... this is the interesting topic.

^ That's the OP. Can everyone stop projecting their own experiences with bad players, accusing this group of having BadWrongFun, and insisting this GM needs to kick this player for committing the sin of role-playing at the table now?


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Aranna wrote:


Your making the wild assumption that the whole party wants this. Here is news; That is really rare. What typically happens is one or two of the stronger egos in the group decide to act out (or create problematic characters) in order to force the GM to cave to their demands often doing so against the wishes of the rest of the party. If the GM isn't strong then the behavior actually gets worse because they see that they can get away with bullying the GM. If you instead have them pay for their misdeeds in game in a real way and present a believable world with real consequences the rest of the party (and often the bad players themselves) will thank you down the line with excitement and investment into this world you're presenting.

By having them "pay for their misdeeds," you're really saying, "There's the rails or there's the door!" The wold isn't malleable. You're just bullying them into behaving by threatening them with timeout. Your players' immersion tells them that they shouldn't antagonize the NPCs. If they behave right, they'll get to advance the plot.

If they're free to break things, fall from the king's graces, or piss off a group of centaur, then they'll enjoy the possibilities of what they can do instead of wondering what the story will do next time. Maybe they'll end up ruling a kingdom and maybe they'll end up in prison. They'll be a lot more invested when they're playing through as the main characters of a story opposed to just being supporting cast.

Don't make the world punish your players, have the world react to your players.

Or maybe you have a problem player lashing out for attention. If he's being disruptive, tell him to stop.

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