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Korris
25 May 2002, 07:25 AM
Well reading Nova Spice's problem Ifigure this might also help other like Nova.
Whats the worst problem you have had with a player, and How did you resolve it?

Now I really can't remember if i have ever had a problem with any player particularly. Though at times I know other players seemed to have a few gripes about one other player, but it all seemed to be there own fault.
A Few of my players felt they really did'nt do what there characters wanted to do. Now to some extent this was a big problem with my Gm style. All i do is let the players discuss with each other to see what they want to do and then set about doing it, and then I would do the rest :)
However This One player always knows what he wants to do, and he willingly goes out and does it, and rivals the other player to get involved. However the other players felt they couldn't say to this player "No I want to do this" And even when this player asked them it was like "Hmm Dunno". It seemed to me that although this one player knew exactly what he wanted and formulate plans to do them. The other players didn't feel as if they could win in an argument with this player to do as they want or against anything the player wanted to do.
Some asked me to solo roleplay (But this was an intention by that particular player to get ahead with more exp, skills etc, rather than working with other players. They didn't seem to want me to include any other player at all). Ok now I see that when running groups every player wants to be the centre of the Story, the Hero. But sometimes they just dont have the assertive personality to take control.
What did I do? Well I did rather little. My role as a gm in my adventures was to let the players decide what to do, and it really was this One 'problem' player so to speak that came up with anything at all.
I needed the players to help themselves and can't expect me to bring a group of characters together for a common purpose. An Adventuring party needs to be Team players otherwise it will end up with backstabbing and character death. All I really could do is flesh out the players (non existant at times) background. Adding villains and adventure seeds of the players. This worked occasionally until this one Player would solve all the other players problems with his ideas...back to square one :)
Noone can really help the ego or strength of personality our friends/players have. And sometimes we can do our best but often its never enough.
And yes I did speak to this player on his own and took a step back from his 'leader' role. But then the other players would just sit on their arses and wondering when lightening was going to strike them :).

Has anyone else had problems with player/s, and how did you resolve it, if you ever did. Give us your experience and help other Gm's tackle any problem that they may share with you :)

Penangallan
25 May 2002, 10:21 AM
I've had the same problem: you've got a group of people, and 4/5ths of them don't have a clue what they want to do. The fifth player spends so much time trying to move the plot along that it sometimes appears as if he or she is in charge of the group.

In my experience, the problem can be caused by several things. Maybe the players don't have a firm enough grip on their own characters. Either that, or they don't have a good idea of how the game universe is supposed to work. Maybe they don't have any goals or motivations. Sometimes, it is your job as a GM to give them these things.

What I've done in the past is write up capsule histories for players who didn't seem to have anything of the sort in mind for their characters. The histories would include a short description of past events, details about a mysterious (or known) enemy, and perhaps even the suggestion of a long-term goal. Sometimes this is enough to breathe life into their characters, but not every player appreciates the GM making his past up like that. The alternative is to sit down with the player individually and work out their pasts, their goals, their relationships.

Sometimes, though, players need to be spoon fed. If they sit around the table, picking their noses or doodling on their character sheets, it's time to liven things up. Drop a battalion of stormtroopers on them, or a pack of hungry, rabid ranats. Anything to get the pace of the game moving. If the players aren't doing anything for themselves, it might just be because they're bored. Give them something to occupy their time, tie it to the current plot thread, and once the event is over KEEP THINGS MOVING. It can be exausting, but sometimes it needs to happen. With luck, you can ease back on the throttle after a bit and see if they've gotten motivated.

One other thing to try is to sit everyone down at the table, out of character, and ask them what they want out of the game. Be blunt about it. Ask them what you can give them to make the game better for them. Ask them what they think you're doing wrong. With luck, you'll get some honest answers. Modify your game accordingly, tailor-make it for your group based on their likes and dislikes.

Gary

StClair
25 May 2002, 07:38 PM
Two possible reasons why players can be wallflowers:

They're just shy and/or intimidated by the more extroverted players. In this case, you have to try to draw out the quiet ones and keep the loud ones on a leash. Better still is if you can enlist one of the loud ones to engage the quiet ones, working together.

Then you have the ones who want to be entertained. They may be new to this whole "role-playing" thing, or are used to console/computer games and TV, or are in the game because their friend or SO brought them. Without a script, they tend to sit back passively and watch. You can try to push them in the direction you would like them to go, or tempt them with familiar and exciting elements, but there may come a point when you simply have to tell them they'd make a better spectator than a player.

Bubbalin
26 May 2002, 07:23 AM
Originally posted by StClair
Two possible reasons why players can be wallflowers:

They're just shy and/or intimidated by the more extroverted players. In this case, you have to try to draw out the quiet ones and keep the loud ones on a leash. Better still is if you can enlist one of the loud ones to engage the quiet ones, working together.

Yeah right... didn't exactly work...
They just imploded... trying to weed out problem...
Unfortunately she's going out with my friend... whom I do want to RP with... :(

[/QUOTE]
there may come a point when you simply have to tell them they'd make a better spectator than a player. [/QUOTE]

Never thought about this before... gonna have to think about it... You're brilliant. :)

Darth Steve
26 May 2002, 07:59 AM
Korris, I think you are correct, it seems the problem with this player was more a problem to do with your other players not having the drive or imagination to do somthing than it is with a player who seems to be trying to get the group moving. Granted he should not have been solving everyones problems, but if he finds himself as the only one doing it session after session he is going to get into the habit of doing it.
As for your GM style, its the kind of style that works great stories and roleplay from imaginative players, but it chokes the players who have to be lead through adventures by hand. Just 'winging' adventures tends to end up in bigger and nastier bad guys as a challenge instead of indeapth and well thought out plots.
I think StClair is right aswell, some players do make good spectators because they miss the whole idea of roleplaying. Seems to be pointed out quite well by the one that wanted solo sessions to get ahead of the other players.
In SW there is anough room for many hero's, look at the hero's from the films to see just how many there are. Its a case of making other players able to do heroic things, split up the group if you have to, but remember that players who havn't yet found their feet at playing need to be helped as much as somone totaly new to any RP games.

wolverine
26 May 2002, 11:20 AM
The worst player i have ever had was in a white wolf game i ran while i was stationed in Bahrain. His father works for the NSA, and his mother in law the FBI.
I didn't know this at the time, and ran them as mortals who were hunting supernaturals. HE kept on correcting me on what they could not do, and all sorts of other things. (like an fbi/nsa/cia agent can walk right through airport security withpout having to have their gun checked, when itried to get them dis-armed)... I kept on trying to remind him that i was Gm and that is how i handle it in my realm, but he kept on badgering me with his real life knowledge, even going as far as handing me a book listing the benifits that an agent gets......

Lord Diggori
28 May 2002, 07:03 AM
I think that Penangallan has an excellant point: when things are crawling speed them up.

It seems from you're description that you're players have a lack of ambition. I have seen the same thing in my campaigns too as I tend to let the players write their own stories. It's important though to give them something to start with. Some hook big enough to last a whole campaign not just an adventure and that links them together.

In short: if the PC's dont want anything in particular then threaten what they have in general. If they dont seek glory make them evade destruction until they decide to take it to they're aggressors.

This is not mean spirited GMing, it's how great stories are told. Luke didnt ask for the tough breaks he got but his overall reaction to them is what made him a hero. So must it be with the stars of your story.

Here's an interesting hook: the PC of the player that always kick starts things is arrested on false (or valid depending on past action) charges. He will be executed in a week unless his friends do something. If they fail to carry out a clever plan kill the PC (you got to show them you mean business). I'd discuss this with the player about to loose his PC so there's no hard feelings. Make sure he understands your ultimate goal and the importance you palce on it.

JediAbston
28 May 2002, 01:06 PM
Lord Diggori, you have some great ideas..I would love to play in one of your campaigns sometime

I myself have a problem player. My problem is that this player is also our GM for d20 D&D and tries to incorporate things from D&D into SW, things like epic level characters(not that they are high enough level yet), her own custom made prestige classes, D&D psionic feats as Force feats.plus she is also something of a Power gamer. Now I kow d20 can lend itself very easily to various forms of power gaming, everyone wants their character to excel at something..I don't mind this..but this player seems to HAVE to be the best at everything..or have something NO ONE else has...and if she doesn't get her way...she cries..literally. I can't kick her out of the game since we play where she lives(her fiance's house) so I'm not sure what I can do. I have already stated that when the characters get to 20th level they are retired and go no further and she gave me a look from hell...I'm sure I'll hear more in the future

Lord Diggori
29 May 2002, 11:06 AM
Thanx Abston. However given Coruscant's distance from Michigan, PCing in my games may be problematic B)

...but this player seems to HAVE to be the best at everything..or have something NO ONE else has...and if she doesn't get her way...she cries..literally.

I have a tough time responding to this as I am a bit of a power gamer myself. Not quite that far gone but I can sympathize. As long as it's within the rules it should be fine since it's her choice to put all of her eggs into one basket.

The tough thing about power gamers is we may forget that a lot of our fun comes from challenge. Advantages are often short lived as either some NPC gets a comparable nifty device we have or other challenges arise that the device cant handle. The PC's have to win sometimes though, and ofcourse they must also suffer sometimes. As GM you must gauge when those times come.

As far as new rules go that's much harder as so much depends on taste. A good gudeline I use is to imagine what the campaign would be like with the new feat, rule, PrC. If you like the potential use it, if not dont but expalin why. This will at least give her some direction with future suggestions.

evan hansen
29 May 2002, 05:31 PM
I have a tough time responding to this as I am a bit of a power gamer myself. Not quite that far gone but I can sympathize. As long as it's within the rules it should be fine since it's her choice to put all of her eggs into one basket.

Very much so. The more I gamed, the more I got away from this. Or, if I did give myself a big advantage in one area, I would really cut myself short elsewhere so I had an obvious weakness I could build through "hard work" throughout the campaign.

But, more to the point, it *is* within the rules. And there's a reason for that. Many real people will spend all their time focusing on becoming trained in one skill. A military man will get a basic set of skills and might become a demolitions expert down the line; he still has all the basic military skills, but his demolitions and repair skills will likely go through the roof. Or a basketball player isn't likely to spend time upgrading his bantha riding or his blaster pistol firing -- but he will upgrade his jump shot.

Now, if a player becomes a *problem* because of such things, then the GM may have to step in. But, IMHO, a GM can subtly manipulate the game so that all things are pretty much even.

It's an uncommon perspective to see putting all your eggs in one basket as a good way of handling things, but Diggori definately has a point with that claim. It's something to think about for every GM -- in good ways and bad.