Difficult group member
From D&D Wiki
So me and my friends are all new to DND and were playing so that the DM is a member of the group and switching back and forth between members. Since only two of us are taking DM its been pretty easy to keep the story good but we are having an issue with another player. Basicly we have someone who wants every item possible and kills everyone we meet for the sake of killing them. A recent issue came up where I inserted a Weaponised (homebrew class) character into the game and trying to teach him a lesson i made the character refuse to be wielded by him because of his evil ways. Now he intends to do his best to kill the character and anyone who gets in his way even other members of the group. Hes a good friend and we want to include him but if he keeps doing stuff like this it wont be any fun. Any suggestions?
Marasmusine (talk) 04:23, 12 August 2012 (MDT)
Hi SketchE, I think I have some advice for you. Firstly, let's see what's happening here. Your problem player (I'll call him "Bob") has a particular fantasy: he wants to feel powerful by indiscriminately killing and amassing possessions. I'm guessing Bob is a teenager, it's not unusual to want to explore such amorality at this time. But by punishing him - denying the fantasy - he resists and this causes conflict. I think there are three possible solutions:
- The Good: Be firm. Say "Look, Bob, I know that playing a power-hungry sociopath is how you are getting your enjoyment from the game, but we are trying to tell the story about a group of heroes. The way you are playing your character is ruining the game for the rest of us. If you can't find a way of playing a Good, or even an Unaligned, character, then you can't play." If Bob is having problems finding inspiration for a Good character, have him watch a Jason Statham film and tell him to play that character. That way he can be a hero but still be a badass.
- The Bad: Allow him to indulge his fantasy of playing an Evil character throughout the campaign. This necessarily means running an Evil campaign, and the other players will need to be on board with this. Give Bob what he wants. Give him a chainsaw +5 and let him loose in a peaceful village. However, running an evil campaign is difficult and requires a certain level of maturity. The party needs some incentive for working as a team. I don't recommend this for first-time players.
- The Ugly: Carry on with the heroic campaign, but let Bob have his toys and his evil behaviour. Punish the character, not the player. Don't let the other player's lower themselves to his level. If he kills an important NPC - murder - this will have clear consequences. If the town guard rush in to arrest him the other player's shouldn't feel compelled to aid him. If the crime is particularly heinous, the PCs should join in in subduing Bob's character. Imprison or execute as desired, either way the character is out of the campaign. If Bob's behaviour continues with his next character, repeat as desired. He'll get the message. Marasmusine (talk) 04:23, 12 August 2012 (MDT)
Thanks for the advice. Just an update we had a session recently where the other DM threw him in a dungeon for half the adventure because he killed a noble earlier in the campaign reanimated him and sent him to the town he lived in. He justified it by saying there was a wizard that extracted his last living memories as proof. Afterwords we had a long discussion where we realized it was more of a percieved issue then a serious one. He does kill innocents but it is far more structured than i originally realized, hes evil and kills the priest in every new town we find. I also realized that we thought he had a take everything attitude because of us giving him everything and him constantly thinking of what to do next as opposed to the two who had the issue being the DM at the time and having to avoid biasing himself too much and just not having a plan. There is still a bit of an issue with what we think lawful evil is. The definition i have always heard is evil but has a code. the way he learned was if theres an option between good and evil he must take it. In some cases he takes it as I can get away with killing this person so I must. Not as big of an issue as we thought it was though.