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The annoying player round up


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#1 Murine_Archmage

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 11:55 AM

Ok, perhaps I'm more masochistic than I thought, but my regular (non-recorded) gaming group has been at it again. Using my preferred tactic of running a module as a springboard into a home-brew campaign, I got them started on another Ironclaw adventure. While many laughs were had (especially when we tried to put the atavist wolf huntress in formal attire (including a proper corset) for a meeting with the Bisclavret Regent), I find I have 2 glitches in the otherwise happy system.

1) We have a languisher. You know the type. Shows up for the game, but is quiet, doesn't do much, and just kinda follows the party around. Sure, occasionally they do something interesting, but not often enough

Character: Ferret Elementalist (water specialty)/Green&Purple mage (mind magic) with Ill-Favored (ugly), Paroxysm (epilepsy), and Failing Health (earned from a near death experience at the end of the module)

2) One of my players is a combat monkey. This isn't a problem in and of itself, but ... well, in a random encounter I did off the cuff, they ran afoul of a highwayman. Said opponent was roughly their equal, and our combat monkey ended up wagering the whole mess on single combat (winner keeps the party's valuables).

Well, Stabby McSworderson there loses initiative, and gets skewered hard in the first round (gotta love fencing weapons), and moreover his big sword of compensation gets parried. He immediately gets loud and frustrated out of character.

Ok, I can understand getting frustrated after several rounds of combat with no clear winner in sight, or when your dice have been screwing you all night. He'd been rolling well till that point, and it'd been ONE FRICKIN' ROUND of combat!

How do you deal with a combat monkey that can't take the sort of beatings he dishes out? The sort that, one moment, is whining about how they don't get any battle scars from their conquests and the next is enraged that someone actually hit them as hard as they his others.

Any help would be appreciated. And no, we haven't tried head trauma yet. Saving that for a last resort.
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#2 Balgin

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 12:13 PM

Ok, I can understand getting frustrated after several rounds of combat with no clear winner in sight, or when your dice have been screwing you all night. He'd been rolling well till that point, and it'd been ONE FRICKIN' ROUND of combat!

How do you deal with a combat monkey that can't take the sort of beatings he dishes out? The sort that, one moment, is whining about how they don't get any battle scars from their conquests and the next is enraged that someone actually hit them as hard as they his others.

Any help would be appreciated. And no, we haven't tried head trauma yet. Saving that for a last resort.


Tell them to stop being stupid. Seriously, they're probably doing anything short of cheating to tweak the numbers in their favour and anyone who gets into a lot of fights is bound to get hurt eventualy. And one combat round is not something to loose your temper over. Now a string of 3 or 4 bad rounds in arow, that'd be something worth complaining about.

And since the player's really into stupidly broken overpowered stuff anyway then they shouldn't complain when it hits them back in the face. In fact, from astupiud mindless braindead pwoergamer point of view they should praise you for "coming up with something half decent for once". Yeah, it's the mental way these retards think.

But complaining like that just makes them a sore loser (especialy when they haven't even lost yet).

On a mores erious note, if you treat it right you might get the player to look back on this event and start making more rounded characters (I've seen way too many imbeciles claiming their strength 18/constitution 10 character is not unbelievable and it all comes down to the initiative and hitting really hard the first time round).

If he's gone all attack heavy then this experience might be used to ster him towards being more defensive. If he's already got a balanced combat character who just had abad combat round then hey, the others weren't all bad so it's probably more of a one off than a recurring theme that's going to come back and haunt him for years to come. Although you guys might not want to let him forget it everytime he gets all puffed up and self important :).
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#3 Murine_Archmage

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 01:00 PM

If he's gone all attack heavy then this experience might be used to steer him towards being more defensive. If he's already got a balanced combat character who just had a bad combat round then hey, the others weren't all bad so it's probably more of a one off than a recurring theme that's going to come back and haunt him for years to come. Although you guys might not want to let him forget it every time he gets all puffed up and self important :).


Funny you should mention that. The other fighter sort (the aforementioned atavist) made fun of it the first chance she got (when they passed a wandering cleric offering healing to the faithful).

Not bad advice, though. (his character's heavy on offense, relying on armor for defense [he could always parry, but that's only once per round. And his big-ass sword [half-stone calender sword, if memory serves {the weight may be 3/4 stone}] is a two handed weapon, so no shield. And his dodge.... well, yeah. Straight offense...) I'll keep it in mind.

(bad enough I had to threaten his xp spending when he was attempting to torture a prisoner despite having the flaw "Honorable". Not a cheap flaw to get rid of, and blowing your biggest XP blocks on it would've really slowed him down. Honestly, some people .... )

Character: Wolverine Mercenary/Militiaman, flaws Envious, Proud, and Honorable (as I recall)
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#4 Balgin

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 02:21 PM

I still don't know what rules you're suing so I kept my reply as generic as possible. The attack heavy fighter was abit obvious (I've sene too many powergamers try to geta way with it then break like twigs when something actualy lives long enough to hit back).
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#5 Ieqo

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 02:40 PM

1) We have a languisher. You know the type. Shows up for the game, but is quiet, doesn't do much, and just kinda follows the party around. Sure, occasionally they do something interesting, but not often enough.


Does he/she pay attention to the game? Lot of times when you have someone who isn't a "type-A" in a group with one or more folks who are you might see this result. For my own opinion, you need to ask this person privately, "Are you having fun?" If the answer is yes (and it might be since they are showing up), then there isn't anything broken so there's nothing to fix. When you say 'occasionally they do something interesting, but not often enough', it implies that you feel that it is the players' job to perform on command and keep you entertained. That's not entirely untrue, but remember: games are composed of people, and the one thing all people have in common is that we're all different.

How do you deal with a combat monkey that can't take the sort of beatings he dishes out? The sort that, one moment, is whining about how they don't get any battle scars from their conquests and the next is enraged that someone actually hit them as hard as they his others.


Is he always like this, or is it an isolated incident? If he's always this way, then he's a munchkin and why the hell are you surprised he acts like one? If it is an isolated incident then there was possibly an external stressor somewhere out in real life that bubbled over at the table. It happens sometimes. Shake it off and game on.

In either case, there's no need for hate or the use of offensive perjoratives describing developmentally-challenged persons (no matter how badly you spell them they're still hateful and offensive).

Congratulations on reading my very last post on this forum. Peace.
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#6 Lindsay

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 04:04 PM

Congratulations on reading my very last post on this forum



Im confused, why is this your last post?Is something wrong? Or did you just mean on this specific topic?
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#7 Balgin

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 05:07 PM

Oh great. Now I've upset someone by being honest again. Please don't leave.

This keyboard hates me. I corrected words 2 or 3 times and it still posts them wrong :(.
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#8 Lindsay

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 05:12 PM

I'm not sure whats going on here, I get the impression that Ieqo is upset about something but as I dont know what, there isnt anything I can do.

I have been informed it may have stemmed from how a previous thread (started by Ieqo) ended up as something else. If its that, then you were not at fault for the way that went, and I apologise for my part in making you feel like that.

Im sorry you think this forum isn't a good place to be. Honestly, something has changed here recently, and sometimes I find myself incredulous at certain comments, and attitudes, but I wont leave, becasue there are too many of my friends on here and I dont want to lose that.

I hope you reconsider Ieqo...I think I have found and added you on FB, if you want to chat about this.
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#9 BillionSix

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 01:46 AM

Character: Wolverine Mercenary/Militiaman, flaws Envious, Proud, and Honorable (as I recall)


A wolverine? I thought you said he was a "combat monkey."

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#10 Conn

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 03:18 AM

Well, being a bit of a languisher myself, I agree with Ieqo's comments on that subject, if they are having fun, there is nothing to worry about.

Also, if they are new to roleplaying or the setting in general, that could explain it away.

This advice comes from a fellow who's character doesnt do to much, but the player very much enjoys watching and listening to what happens, while using his character to nudge things one way of the other...or just make stuff with his insane survival skills >.>
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#11 Murine_Archmage

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:50 PM

Duly noted about the languisher, y'all. Since they have fun, and since they have no complaints, may as well live with it. After all, could be worse.

As to the other, that one does have a bit of a short fuse. Especially when their epic/l33t/really cool character doesn't come off as such. This was a bit of an extreme case for him, but he is prone to getting frustrated quickly. Since for varied reasons I can't get rid of the player (and really don't want to, cause other than the temper, he's fun to have at the table), guess I'll have to work with the advice provided above.

Thanks, y'all. And Iego? Sorry to hear you're headed out. Wherever ya go (or if ya stay) have fun, kay?
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#12 dyreno

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 05:12 PM

Have we learned nothing from our friend Belkar from The Order of the Stick

let us review
605, 606, 610, and 611
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#13 Phneri

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 04:22 PM

For the languisher (and I have a couple), I give them something to play off of in a way that matches the character they've built.

Last game I introduced a player to the reason I allow "discounted" magic items. One of her magic items turned out to be both cursed and intelligent.

Bit of background, this character had made a solid but fairly "me, too" style archery-based ranger for our last game, and while she did amazing in combat, never seemed to get a chance to step in to her own on the RP side of things. This time I sat everyone down for character gen, and saw the "me, too" coming. I headed it off by helping her develop a completely separate personality for her character, and thus make an entirely different character in terms of development and feat/skill choices.

Not only did I get her much more involved in the game, but I got more character-to-character RP among the party last time as they tried to figure out the notes passing around the table and bizarre occurrences than I ever did with a trail of evidence for a crime or something similar.

My solution for the all offense/no staying power would be to give his character a flaw that fits with the build. Maybe a heart condition means if he keeps fighting at full strength in a prolonged battle he'll simply drop dead.

I had to do something similar with a player who wanted to make an anthropomorphic bat druid for the sole purpose of min-maxing the bloody bajeezus out of his character. Once we had a conversation about a real background and motivation behind his character he wound up with a character that he enjoyed and that had a chance of being cohesive with the party.

Everyone wants to build something horrifying and broken at some point. I'm very up front with my players about that. If they want to break out the cheese, I have my legion of level 1 kobolds with AC 30 to respond with, and we can enjoy playing with very large numbers. But I'd rather make a game, and they're generally happy with that.
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#14 Telemergion

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 02:08 PM

I am having very similar experiences with my group, but to a slightly lesser degree.

I have one player who is just a quiet person and is usually reluctant to jump into conversations or situations. In the first couple games he was so quiet I was honestly unsure if he was enjoying himself or not. So we sat down and had a chat. He was having fun but just didn't feel very confident with the system (first time playing it) and roleplaying in general (first time playing anything). He was also slightly unhappy with the way his character had been built. I fixed the latter by working with him over the course of the next few weeks and sessions, allowing him rebuild his guy until he was satisfied. The time spent really delving into how his guy works and functions also helped him get confident with the system. Lastly I just make sure to give the guy playtime. If he's not involved in the conversation I wait until there's a break and then ask what he's doing, thinking, or if he has anything to add. Sometimes I'll even interrupt the flow just to make sure he gets some time in the spotlight. No one minds if we take a little break to see what he's up to because, while he's quiet, he's extremely imaginative and always has something entertaining or downright fantastic to add. I have a small group, though, so i can afford these kinds of luxuries such as one-on-one time.

I was going to have a very linear-minded player who tends to prefer the combat monkey mentality. I was incredibly leery as we chatted about him joining the game because my players are all very relaxed guys with similar personalities that mesh really nicely. The new guy's... not so much. But he was a friend and a decent roleplayer and I was looking to expand so I decided to hear his pitch. It was entirely cheese. So. Much. Cheese. I mean, one of my players is currently playing a technically worse min-maxed build, but he's accepted my imposed limitations and even invented his own for roleplaying purposes and I have no issue with it. This new guy, however, didn't want limitations and when I informed him that one of the things he wanted to do - which was be entirely immortal - wasn't going to happen because A) there's no point in playing on Godmode and B) the rules he was trying to use specifically say they don't work like that, he basically logged off and hasn't spoken to me in 3 months. I do not miss him. Maybe your combat monkey can be reasoned with, sometimes they can't. Mine apparently was the latter. If you want to keep him, I'd try to be as diplomatic as possible when discussing comments or concerns, but remain firm and don't cave to his demands. That's about the only advice I can give.
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