Problems at the Table


Soooo.... where to begin.
I'm involved in what is the second iteration of my friends (GM) homebrew campaign, where another mutual friend (F1), friend of said mutual friend (F2), and frequent store-goer (SG) form a party in said campaign.

We were given the ability to build our own races (max 20 RP no Monstrous Traits) as long as they fit in line with the lore of the world. We were also given a ludicrously high point-buy of 30 points.

F1 is not 'new' as much as he is... unfamiliar with general gameplay, and is reluctant to RP (RP heavy campaign). He is however, open to try new things that are well out of his comfort zone.

F2 is 100% new to Pathfinder, having dabbled in earlier editions of D&D. She is extremely into RP and will use it to circumvent combats or dreadful situations; this sometimes leads to problems where the 'right choice' isn't necessarily the characters 'actual choice'. I personally have no issues with this as if things can be rationalized in game, things go without a hitch.

SG on the other hand is an issue. New enough to the game to warrant unfamiliarity to the rules, but experienced enough to know better to take advantage of rules known, they build characters for the purpose of 'winning' without any regard to the party as a whole or the players behind the characters.

It is important to note that we needed 4 players to start this campaign, so I invited them to the group, and to the reluctance of DM, they joined.

Now that that is out of the way; this campaign was explained to us as being 'extremely difficult', to the point where custom Campaign Traits could give Regeneration = level at 1st level. F2 and I chose traits that best fit with the 'theme' of our characters and wrote backstories for our characters; F1 came up with a basic backstory detailing how he received his trait and decided to let the character write itself; SG made a character with its trait and proceeded to rewrite a referenced LG NPC into something they were not, a self-centered narcissist who belittled and tortured his character, stating it was 'their backstory' and it should be fine.

Skipping any bumps along the way, character deaths were to be expected; revives were available at certain points, but we went with it. F1 and F2 each lost 2-3 characters in about 4 sessions and myself 1. SG lost none due to hoarding of party wealth ('looting' fallen party members as they fell instead of healing -they were the cleric-), and abuse of the ability to build our own race by making their AC beyond comprehensible levels of stupid (think around 35 AC at level 1... no I don't want to go over how he got it, explaining this 'rationale' to DM was a headache enough, so please don't make me go through the math).

Their character 'left' the party after the DM put his foot down and said no. Their new character, a carbon-copy of the original, joined... with all of their previous characters loot... and new character starting gold (which was denied, but was promptly ignored). RP for this character was non-existent (was a CG Cleric in a party with a necromancer, a 3/4 blooded demon and a sentient skeleton), and they would 'refuse' to help heal or assist in combat with 'abominations'... recently we had a party wipe that has left the group in tatters irl, where the lone survivor was SG, who ran from battle (granted chances of winning were 0%) before anyone else had a chance to flee with him (even abandoning a child NPC we were protecting).

As I've stated before this is almost entirely my fault, as I invited them... but is there anywhere this can really go on without people going for the throat? Dissolving the group and reforming without SG seems to be the most non-confrontational way to go... asking them to leave is pointless as they don't seem to acknowledge anything is wrong... and as I was the one who invited them I feel as if I tore a rift between myself and GM...

Any suggestions to this problem would be appreciated. And I apologize for the 'rant' if it comes across that way.

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Talk to them.

Rub-Eta wrote:
Talk to them.

...They have been talked to. They ignored criticisms saying 'then make your necromancer/skeleton/demon out of the party as my character can't work with that'... the issue is escalated beyond 'talking', as when I said " in tatters irl..." a player has left the group (mostly in part due to this frequent behavior).

Talking is practically off the table unless there's something specific that can be brought up.

Well, if you can’t talk them then you have a choice. You can start playing they way they’re playing or throw in your cards and find a new table.

Speaker for the Dead wrote:
Well, if you can’t talk them then you have a choice. You can start playing they way they’re playing or throw in your cards and find a new table.

And thus is a new issue... the only other options are move to D&D 5th, or PFS, of which I'm not a fan of some of the people in it in my neck of the woods (complete opposite of this situation, as I personally am chastised at about 'optimization' and 'the correct interpretations of rules' by certain individuals). After what I believe was 2 sessions (one with prebuilt, one with personal character) I quit that.

God... now I sound like a whiny child...

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Seems to me when you have a player denied something by the GM and they ignore the denial and do it anyways...
Kick them out and move on.

What Cavall said ... and smaller than size 4 parties can work fine, particularly homebrew with a GM that'll take things into account. You can always add another player(s) later as well.

Cavall wrote:

Seems to me when you have a player denied something by the GM and they ignore the denial and do it anyways...

Kick them out and move on.

Kinda what I'm thinking. Unfortunately my DM has too much on his plate with their personal life to do much with this; the task of finding a solution with this player is left to me as the person who invited SG (I've been told this problem should be solved by the one who caused it.) I would rather do it quietly though, as, like I've said, we have already have had a person (F2) leave the group, so 'restarting' the group (even putting the whole thing on hiatus) seems like an appropriate action... something though, that I have to discuss the idea of with DM (who is having troubles in other campaigns they are dealing with).

Not a ton of people want to deal with SG's patronizing speeches on why you're wrong and they're not. Myself included.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm shooting down ideas; I'm trying to find a measured response to this problem without dealing with potential 'blowback' from a hasty solution.

Also I should add. I'm fine if we need to disband for now. My issue with that is my DM feels as if he can't properly run a game and I know he doesn't want to see another of his games fall apart. I've told him I'd take responsibility but in reality my decision to invite SG makes me out to be a terrible friend for even suggesting the acceptance of this toxicity.

Over the years, I’ve had a uninvite a small handful of people from our game. It’s not fun but you just have to put your foot down. Be honest. Based on your description of the situation, I’d go with something like: “I’m sorry dude but no one in this game wants to play with you. Your playstyle is too different. It doesn’t matter whether you think we are right or wrong, you don’t mesh with this group. There are plenty of games out there. Best of luck and no hard feelings.”

There’s prolly gonna be hard feelings but oh well. Life’s too short to spend leisure time doing things you don’t want to with people you don’t want to—that’s what your job is for.

Boot the player and move on. Pathfinder can be balanced for a 3 player group.

Also, it sounds like your DM may just need to be firmer with the rules in general when dealing with new players to the group.

You can always find a game online. Leaving a game is never easy, but once you've reached the point where everything is an issue, sometimes moving on is the best option. It won't be long before you find another group and you might be surprised at how well it goes.

Conversely, this campaign sounds a bit like a pain in the buttocks and the type that powergamers and non-roleplayers would love to get into and do exactly what they're doing. I'd suggest scrapping it and starting over at LEVEL ONE with a nice 15 point build and playing through a proper Pazio module or adventure path.

Or just roll with it and make the best of it.

MeetUp groups are your friend.

One person is creating a problem, ignoring what the GM says, wants to "win" versus the group, only looks out for their own character and (essentially) back-stabs the rest of the group, and refuses to talk about it...

It sounds like the rest of the group doesn't like playing with this person.
So why would allowing them to continue to play with you all be an option?

Not playing a game is better than playing in a bad one.

After talking with DM and others, it has been decided to 'shut it down' at the very least temporarily, to officially kick out SG and show them that actions will be taken against the behavior.

DM and I believe at some point the campaign will be restarted (albeit wo/ SG) at a later date once everyone involved in it has been talked to on the matter.

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