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#1 GM SIlva

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 05:36 AM

Greetings my guru's of table-top. I might be facing an interesting situation within my new group game. 

I had a test run with a new member and he was great. Really got into the game and his role playing was awesome.

Really challenged me. The problem is another player in the team is a rules nut and can be a real pain in the bottom.

So much so that I had to ask her to calm down at one point. After the game I had a chat with the new member who

informed me that his game was kind of spoiled by the rule nuts attitude. He informed me that he's all good to continue

with the future campaign but informed me that his character's story will be focused on her assassination. 

 

How am I meant to deal with this one? It could be very interesting but i can foresee arguments.


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#2 Hal

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 07:06 AM

Ha ha ha!

 

Rules Lawyers play the game for different reasons to the folks who like to get deeply into character. There is often a little conflict and friction initially when people are learning their place in the group and finding their feet with their character. Play styles vary greatly and in the end the group as a whole is often a reflection of the decisions a GM makes early on as well as their own preferences for style of play.

 

My personal preference for dealing with Rules Lawyers is to allow them to help me with the game rules. While I usually have a reasonable handle on the rules of the game I am running I very rare spend time committing every nuance of the rulebook to memory as I prefer to focus more on the story. I have a tendancy to allow a Rules Lawyer (or even a play who just enjoys the rules more than I do) to be my "Go To Guy" with regards the rules. I know that if we encounter a ruling issue that they are already picking up the books so why not let them try to sort it out. Then they can tell me the rule from the book and we move forward.

 

A Thespian player doesn't give a damn about the rules. They want to act and interact with their environment. Depending on your group makeup and the type of game you are playing this kind be all kinds of awesome (particiularly well suited to indie games and things like World of Darkness). Sadly if the whole table is not involved in these improv sessions the other players can start to feel left out or that the Thespian is showboating or hogging the game. My usual method of dealing with this is to engage with them as they need to be wary of the time I commit to them compared to the other players - I also try (as my NPC) to pull the other characters into the conversation. This can easily be done by calling them out if they are in the same room. Not so easy if the Thespian as wandered off for a little one-on-one acting time - but in that case we get back to splitting the party :)

 

The whole thing about assassinating someones character because their roleplaying style offends you is a rather metagaming approach. Also, how often do you dislike someone and then actually start to plot their death? It is not really the actions of a well adjusted individual. Point out that metagame information is not really a good (or acceptable) reason to drive character choices. If the characters come to loggerheads in the game that is a different story - but just having players killing each others characters because of a real life dislike is never a good path to start down.

 

It sounds like you need to try and develop some camaraderie in the group as a whole. I do not know where you play but I often found that eating together before the game helps a great deal. Your players then get to know each other a lot more and their character decision become more understandable to the other players. It also builds respect and friendship. The same is true for meeting up outside of the game for a drink or a social event of some kind (gaming con, bowling, laser tag - whatever) as long as everyone is excited to be going :)

 

Hope that helps - I am sure there will be more advice forthcoming :D

 

Hal :hal:


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#3 Lockhart

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 10:44 AM

Yes, I would consider that the new player wants to make a character based around the assasination of the Rules Lawyer character, as a bit of a red flag.

FIrst of all, do you have any particular Player vs Player rules with the group as far? My experience, unless yours is the rare mature group that can embrace that aspect of role-playing and story telling, it is usually a fairly standard houserule that players must make characters that will not resort to PvP actions. Most people coming to a table for a D&D-esque game won't even be considering facing their party members as opponents and can be quite shocked and hurt when their avatar in the game is suddenly backstabbed by someone else at the table. There is also the flip side, which certainly applies in this case, that PvP aggressive actions are based off meta-game reasons, and turn into full-out warfare. If the Story-heavy player dislikes the Rules Lawyer's play style and makes an assassin for the current player's character as a way to 'get back' at this player, after that character is dead, what next? Is it going to be an endless stream of deaths for the Rules Lawyer's characters because the real dispute is based on Out of Character concerns? An attempt to frustrate them and get them to leave the group?

The reconciliation of this will depend largely on you, the play-style you want to have, and how close you are to players as friends. However, I highly reccomend that you use Out of Game conversation to reconcile this, and would definately try to get it resolved so PvP is not a thing. Some things to keep in mind.

-Are you already friends with the Rules Laywer player? Will the rest of the group see you as a dick if you bring in this new player that is annoyed and disagrees with the current playstyle of one of the established players? How much of a factor is Loyalty to the old group and current way the game is being played? If everyone is currently having fun, is it worth changing or allowing something you wouldn't normally (PvP) to bring in a new player, or should they look for a different game that better fits their playstyle?
-Is there a particular playstyle you wish to cultivate in your games? Can you sit down with one player to discuss how they might change their playstyle to be more friendly to a larger group (either regarding toning down the Rules Lawyering, or toning down/removing PvP motivations). Could you remove players of an undesirable play style from the group without repercusions (hurt feelings, lost friendships, etc)?

Really, hate to say it, but unless I was in your shoes, I don't know exactly how to handle it persay. In general though, my personal thoughts:
-The group that you are having fun playing with deserves loyalty and preservation before trying to change it up to accomodate a new player, especially if that new player is asking for a change that could very easily tamper with the fun currently being had by the original group.
-PvP rarely ends well unless you have a group dedicated to the overall story, and in general, I do try to heavily discourage it. A player who has outright stated that their characters goal will be the murder of a PC from the outset, red flag, I would not be inviting them back.
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#4 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:34 AM

He informed me that he's all good to continue
with the future campaign but informed me that his character's story will be focused on her assassination.


Just to clarify: When you say that the new player will be focused on efforts toward "her" assassination, he's referring to the rules lawyer's character, and not the player, right? ;)
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#5 Hal

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 09:35 AM

Monkey,

 

Glad you are back. And with an important catch there... We might have to get the real world police involved :)

 

Hal :hal:


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#6 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 09:53 AM

Monkey,
 
Oh god... I mean: Oh good, you're back. :( And with an important catch there... We might have to get the real world police involved :)


Bow-chicka-wow-wow!

real_police_19xx12.jpg
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#7 Hal

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 01:37 PM

Thats right... the Sexy Police...

 

police.gif?w=500&h=260

 

Hal :hal:


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#8 Skyth

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 01:49 PM

In my games, I ban PvP.  If a player wants to come in and kill someone else's player due to playstyle differences...That's a problem.  I wouldn't want to run for a player like that.  If they have a holier-than-thou attitde like this player seems to demonstrate, then likely they'll cause all sorts of friction. 


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#9 GM SIlva

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 05:17 AM

In my games, I ban PvP.  If a player wants to come in and kill someone else's player due to playstyle differences...That's a problem.  I wouldn't want to run for a player like that.  If they have a holier-than-thou attitde like this player seems to demonstrate, then likely they'll cause all sorts of friction. 

She does indeed but she can also be very nice. Its a difficult situation but i plan to simply put my foot down and make it clear that such behaviour is unacceptable at my table.


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#10 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 01:55 AM

If you've got more than one player who really want some PvP action, you could consider running a one-off game of, say, Paranoia or Classroom Deathmatch. (Hal did a great Christmas special a couple of years back using that system, that was pretty much entirely PvP bloodshed from start to finish.)
 


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#11 Telemergion

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 12:42 PM

We're nearly a couple months along now. I'm curious if the situation got resolved.

 

It's not an enviable position, to be sure. I have to agree with the others, though, that a newcomer, regardless of his interesting roleplay ability, coming in and deciding after a single session that because of out of character conflicting playstyles that gives him any right to purposefully ruin another player's fun would quite possibly be his last session with my group. We've had a bit of PvP in my groups before but it requires everybody to be on board and everybody to be having fun doing it. Even then it's dangerous ground. 

 

Everyone enjoys the game a different way. Maybe the rules lawyer needs a talking to to get her to scale it back, but in my experience those types are one of the least likely to be doing it on purpose. It's just how they're wired. Unless she's actively trying to ruin things for others as well your new player needs to seriously grow up.


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