llamaenterhear
Username: Password:

Author Topic: Overly sensitive players  (Read 2061 times)

0 Members and 1 Lonely Barbarian are spying on this topic.

Offline Ancient Gamer

  • Hammer of the Citadel
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3880
  • Enough about you, let's talk about me!
  • Awards 2013 Best Play By Post Game Elite Item Guild Hall of Heroes 10 Golden Creator Elite Plot Guild Elite Systems Guild
    • Coldforged Home
    • Awards
Overly sensitive players
« on: October 20, 2008, 05:21:12 AM »
I have a certain player, he's been with me for decades, who grows increasingly sensitive when he bonds with his PC.

At the moment he is playing a successful thief, the newly appointed Guild Master (Shadow King) of the Guild of Shadows mind you, and, well, problems arise.

When he isn't complaining about what the others do (he is a roleplaying nazi, big time) he is complaining about the burden of leadership, or the difficulty of our campaign, or whether his character should have heard the "Revenant Ghoul" undead approaching.

I have had plenty of such characters before. In fact, this particular player has made me master handling such players in RL (I have found that it takes too long to handle them forum-side). Yes, we all know these drama queens are also our greatest assets, because they truly care, but man I grow tired at times.

So, during a gaming sessions a couple weekends ago the party found their quarry trapped by tribal warriors in the tribal tomb pit. The warriors, decimated and beaten, having lost over a hundred men, had driven their relic-possessed warlord and his personal retinue of "Murderous Hounds" inside. Fear striken they witnessed the warlord and his crew battering the door from the inside, and so the tribesmen courageously prepared to make their final stand.

Well, the PCs grouped up with them and during the fight our dear Shadow King thief takes a sword in the mouth, his teeth crushing and his smile widening several inches. He crumbles down, bleeding profusely, dying, gurgling and soiling his pants.

Up goes the player. Striding upstairs to the mens room. Meanwhile, in his absence, another party member strikes critically at the relic-possessed villains skull, driving his two handed spear straight through his skull.

The PCs manage to rescue the player using magical healing. mere seconds before his soul ventures on to the beyond.

The player, by now properly infuriated, comes down, about to get into his car and drive home, 100 miles, and not participate any further in this game weekend. The atmosphere went from thrilled and enthusiastic to cautious and cold in an instant. Having learned his character survived after all he sits down and resumes playing, flustered but satisfied.

I know how to handle him, but it grows so tiring. All the time these same complaints about other players and their shortcomings. About erronous decisions on my part, about campaign difficulty. But when I confront him he doesn't want me to quit the epic campaigning, it is what he loves best.

Anyone have anything to say about this? Paper bag blowing techniques, yoga lessons or perhaps unique roleplaying nazi handling methods appreciated!
Authentic Strolenite™©®

"Secretly a Squirrel"
Guild Master of the Squirrelati
Scourge of Nutanuns!
Harbinger of Acorns!


Offline Chaosmark

  • Harbringer of Segfaults
  • Strolenati
  • Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 1248
  • Awards Master Questor Item Guild Hall of Heroes 10
    • The Sleepless Hacker
    • Awards
Re: Overly sensitive players
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2008, 11:51:15 AM »
Point him at this post, tell him to knock back a few and relax?
P(A|B) = P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B)

By the power of Bayes!

Acolyte Lithil Darkheart – Level 1 Necromancer
STR: 1 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 3 | CHA: 3 | INT: 3

Current guild quest: --

Offline Hrofgar

  • Demon Lord
  • Adept
  • **
  • Posts: 123
    • Awards
Re: Overly sensitive players
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2008, 06:34:25 PM »
Give him a penalty every time he complains, something like 5-20 XP. Also remind him that you know everything that's going on and he doesn't necessarily know. This way he will be deterred from from frequent complaints. If it does not do so, put higher penalties on. If complaining is just part of the group's normal thing, only penalize him for complaints in excess of the others.
Ph'nglui mglwnafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

(\__/)  This is The Bunny.
(='.'=) Add him to your signature like me
(")_(") to further his world domination.

Offline Ancient Gamer

  • Hammer of the Citadel
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3880
  • Enough about you, let's talk about me!
  • Awards 2013 Best Play By Post Game Elite Item Guild Hall of Heroes 10 Golden Creator Elite Plot Guild Elite Systems Guild
    • Coldforged Home
    • Awards
Re: Overly sensitive players
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2008, 01:59:10 AM »
The rough approach. Never occurred to me actually. I try diplomacy whatever the cost. I'm european, see :)

But I will consider it.

Admins, instead of joking in your secret forum about just desserts (or thinking about it =P): Throw in some good tips. ;) I know you sit on a couple good ones Moon.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 02:07:35 AM by Ancient Gamer »
Authentic Strolenite™©®

"Secretly a Squirrel"
Guild Master of the Squirrelati
Scourge of Nutanuns!
Harbinger of Acorns!


Offline Scrasamax

  • The Rogue Scholar
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3472
  • 20% Cooler
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Gold Creator 10 Elite Systems Guild Hall of Heroes 10 Elite Questor
    • Scras' Blog
    • Awards
Re: Overly sensitive players
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2008, 07:19:05 AM »
I had a similar player at one point. Anything done to the character was a slight to the player, and certainly not any aspect of the game. If a trap went of, it was because I was out to get that one player and punish them.

The mentality never changed, so I simply stopped playing with this person. This was in an online PBeM game, so it was no major deal, not quite like a face to face game.


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

Tentacle Tentacle Sanity Schmanity

Offline Chaosmark

  • Harbringer of Segfaults
  • Strolenati
  • Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 1248
  • Awards Master Questor Item Guild Hall of Heroes 10
    • The Sleepless Hacker
    • Awards
Re: Overly sensitive players
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2008, 10:41:36 AM »
The rough approach. Never occurred to me actually. I try diplomacy whatever the cost. I'm european, see :)

The xp penalty, or the tossing back a few?
P(A|B) = P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B)

By the power of Bayes!

Acolyte Lithil Darkheart – Level 1 Necromancer
STR: 1 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 3 | CHA: 3 | INT: 3

Current guild quest: --

Offline Ancient Gamer

  • Hammer of the Citadel
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3880
  • Enough about you, let's talk about me!
  • Awards 2013 Best Play By Post Game Elite Item Guild Hall of Heroes 10 Golden Creator Elite Plot Guild Elite Systems Guild
    • Coldforged Home
    • Awards
Re: Overly sensitive players
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2008, 04:52:04 AM »
Ah, Scrasamax, you hit the nail right on. This is the same player personality. And, indeed, the mentality has never changed.

He is excellent when good, horrible when bad. He is the optimal gamer, but having him is a horrible toll. My best and worst player, all in one package. He cares, yet then, all of a sudden, he doesn't give a @!#$ (or he does, but not in a good way).

He has squeezed out more players than I have fingers on my hands. I have been weak for letting him do so. Judgmental, caring, harsh, gives genuine feedback. If an evening is lackluster, he stands up and gives an instant criticism: "Fuuuck, AG, this SUUUUCKS. I give you a 2 out of 10. One of the worst evenings ever. Fuu-uuuck."

Whenever he opens up his mouth at the end of the evening, something goes cold inside me. Dread creeps in. I hate him. I love him.

Whenever I do something he is there, and when I do it good his praise is unending.

Help. This became a little more honest than I inteded it to be.

Re: Chaosmark:
Both.

But I want him reigned in. I want to end his rule of terror. I want him to shut the @!#$ up and sit down and enjoy the game. He has too much power.
Authentic Strolenite™©®

"Secretly a Squirrel"
Guild Master of the Squirrelati
Scourge of Nutanuns!
Harbinger of Acorns!


Offline valadaar

  • Lord Ascendant of Typos
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3094
  • Awards Golden Creator Locations Guild Elite Lifeforms Guild Elite Elite NPC Guild Master Questor Hall of Heroes 10
    • Awards
Re: Overly sensitive players
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2008, 01:02:33 PM »
Er, he sounds like a drug to you AG. His lows make the highs seem more high. Sounds like the average is less then 0 though.

   
         Human Strolenati
         Strolenati Guild
         DwarvenGuild - Dorak Stonehammer
         Weavers Guild
         Level 3
         STR: 4| END: 4| CON: 4| DEX: 4 | CHA: 3 | INT: 7
         Authentic Strolenite™©®
      
   
            
         
                
         

Offline Strolen

  • Ignorance Incarnate
  • Guild Leader
  • Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 7988
  • All your base are belong to us.
  • Awards Locations Guild Questor Locations Guild Elite Item Guild Plot Guild Hall of Heroes 10
    • Strolen's Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Overly sensitive players
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2008, 05:53:12 PM »
Has he ever ran a campaign? Maybe a day break from the monster campaign with a sidetrek that he has to control. Does he really understand the difficulties of balanced play?

Flying Squirrel – Strolenati Guild
Grothar Rockfury - Dwarvish Guild
Minor Minion - Cartographer's Guild
Level 3
STR: 5 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 6
Authentic Strolenite™©® | Llama is as Llama does.


Offline Hrofgar

  • Demon Lord
  • Adept
  • **
  • Posts: 123
    • Awards
Re: Overly sensitive players
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2008, 06:06:38 PM »
I agree with Strolen. Let him run a campaign or if he doesn't want to then just a stand alone dungeon. If your feeling rather frustrated or angry at him, be a player and mimic his game play.
Ph'nglui mglwnafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

(\__/)  This is The Bunny.
(='.'=) Add him to your signature like me
(")_(") to further his world domination.

Offline Wulfhere

  • Intimidator of Insolent Upstarts
  • Strolenati
  • Grand Master
  • *
  • Posts: 706
  • Awards Locations Guild Item Guild Lifeforms Guild Golden Creator Hall of Heroes 10 Lifeforms Guild Elite
    • Awards
Re: Overly sensitive players
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2008, 06:33:27 PM »
He sounds like an asset to your game, but he needs to let go a bit. 

In your shoes, I would consider running some sort of special one-shot game, perhaps for Halloween.  Ask him to make two characters, an "expendable" character intended to die in the first act, and one to be his "real" character.  Emphasize that this game is a one-shot because you don't expect all the PCs to make it through. 

I'd also ask him to run a game ("I'd like to play for a change"), then I'd run the sort of character who gets himself killed.  Your example may remind him that dying isn't such a big deal.
"Nothing real can defeat us:  Nothing unreal exists."
- Buckaroo Banzai

Offline Ancient Gamer

  • Hammer of the Citadel
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3880
  • Enough about you, let's talk about me!
  • Awards 2013 Best Play By Post Game Elite Item Guild Hall of Heroes 10 Golden Creator Elite Plot Guild Elite Systems Guild
    • Coldforged Home
    • Awards
Re: Overly sensitive players
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2008, 06:30:34 AM »
Er, he sounds like a drug to you AG. His lows make the highs seem more high. Sounds like the average is less then 0 though.
Hehe, this one made me laugh. Well, I love to have him along on a good day. On a bad day, well, I'd rather shoot him.

Has he ever ran a campaign? Maybe a day break from the monster campaign with a sidetrek that he has to control. Does he really understand the difficulties of balanced play?
He has tried. He is the archetypical geek, so he got lots of complaints about dry, technical descriptions and one-liner descriptions like "huge, muscular Kobold". I think it went just fine though, but he threw in the towel and claimed no one could match me 0_o.
I agree with Strolen. Let him run a campaign or if he doesn't want to then just a stand alone dungeon. If your feeling rather frustrated or angry at him, be a player and mimic his game play.
At the moment I am repeating what he said in a low, calm tone. I am asking him, respectfully, to think things through and it usually works. Also he pulls me aside where he confides his lack of confidence in the other players. I try to tell him we all have different perspectives, we all have different things that appeal to us in a roleplaying game. Then I discreetly talk with the players in question, posing questions while not giving away the reason for my inquiery. I then come back to him and try to explain to him why they do as they do (they are veterans and have good reasons most of the time).

But it takes soooo looong. He has to stop doing this. I can't spend all my time explaining all my actions just because he is second guessing me. Nor can I spend all my time explaining the actions of my other players.
He sounds like an asset to your game, but he needs to let go a bit. 

In your shoes, I would consider running some sort of special one-shot game, perhaps for Halloween.  Ask him to make two characters, an "expendable" character intended to die in the first act, and one to be his "real" character.  Emphasize that this game is a one-shot because you don't expect all the PCs to make it through. 

I'd also ask him to run a game ("I'd like to play for a change"), then I'd run the sort of character who gets himself killed.  Your example may remind him that dying isn't such a big deal.
Good tips, Wulfie! I will try them!
Authentic Strolenite™©®

"Secretly a Squirrel"
Guild Master of the Squirrelati
Scourge of Nutanuns!
Harbinger of Acorns!