View Full Version : Ignorant player

Fiha Sublud
31 May 2002, 03:27 PM
Some people simply don't get it. I've got a player who loves Star Wars, and thinks that RP'ing is fun, but practically refuses to really learn the rules. Even one's that pertain directly to his character and his playing style and tactics. He continually, for the same repeated rules, needs to be told "You can't do that. You have to..." :raised:

It gets old rapidly, especially when the player is indignant over the confusion. He either doesn't grasp the concepts behind the rules, and/or thinks it's okay to not care enough to reseach them. It usually becomes a situation where the player gets frustrated and just says "whatever", while just doing what he's told without actually learning anything. Unfortunately, game time is lost over this sort of thing, and sometimes bad feelings develop.

Not knowing the book from cover to cover is fine, but when it comes to the same issues almost every game, it can be very frustrating. What to do? :?

31 May 2002, 04:19 PM
well, didnt the cardboard say: 12 years and up (9?)

na seriously: if this has any negative effect on the other players then mayby you should shake him around a bit first to show him how his "actions" would be dealt with with the NPC's. if you gave some "scenario" there would be more easier to answer your question.

31 May 2002, 07:51 PM
I've never really had a problem with this sort of thing because my players go over the rules with a fine toothed comb. However, I have a few suggestions on how to get your player interested (based on why my players are).

First, and I hate to say this, you might encourage a little bit of powergaming. Yes, this is a risky approach, and must be used carefully, but my players look through the rules because they like setting up combinations of things that maximize their characters. This keeps them interested in the system, and I counter by giving out experience for roleplay, not enemy bashing. It works fairly well.

The second thing you can do is try to appeal to some other interest the player has. For example, I'm probably the biggest math and physics nerd on the planet, so I enjoy looking at the rules simply to see how designers mimicked the phsical world using numbers and probability. Perhaps your player has a side interest that you can connect to the rules.

Dan Stack
1 June 2002, 04:06 AM
To be honest, the bulk of my players have been like that, at least at first, and I tend to be the only one who owns a copy of the rules. It really depends on the style of the group. I, personally, wouldn't have a problem with that. Such players are often fun for me, as they tend to think outside the scope of the rules.

One thing I don't understand - the player being told "you can't do that". What sort of things do you mean?

evan hansen
1 June 2002, 07:01 AM
I think Dan's right in that some information would be helpful.

Why? Well, Dan raises a good point in that some games tend to be best when the GM finds a way to mold any possible action into the rules. Now, the action might entirely fail and blow up in the PCs face, but at least it was attempted.

Now, if a player has a complete lack of understanding of game mechanics, that's fine -- provided that the rest of the group is willing to play a little slowly until the PC catches up. If he's not willing to learn the game at all, give him a few more games -- maybe he'll pick it up. I picked up Werewolf that way. I'm sure it was annoying to the veteran players at first, but games after I learned were simply great! If he never gets it, pull him aside and lend him a rulebook. Mark off some key pages for him.

GMing is not always the easiest job in the world. Believe me, I understand. :-) But unless your player is entirely belligerent and not understanding, I trust in your skils to bring him back around with a little bit of time on your side.

Best of luck, and if I'm off base, please provide a little more information! Scenarios like this always intrigue me and I like to offer suggestions if I can.

5 June 2002, 08:22 AM
i agree that there is nothing worse than a player who's been 'tagging along' for near 6 scenarios and still has no clue about basics-
2 actions per round, a move/attack or a move/move or full attack
10 minute skill checks are ill advised in combat
No you can't take 20 on attacks!

Then when the group sighs and smacks their head, the offending player whines "Fine, i guess i'm a real contribution to the group!" (Pout!)

I dunno, but bless your stars GMs out there for players who own their own book, read it through and through (if only to give you grief about what the NPCs can and cannot do). At least they have an interest in the game and can be counted on to help find relevant material fast in gameplay. Also, if you have players who do this, have them 'apprentice' newbie gamers to do their experience levels and coach them along. the master/apprentice thing works great for veteran players/newbies. the gm is there as a judge, not as a master. :)

Fiha Sublud
5 June 2002, 08:30 AM
Thanks for all of the good advice.

Sorry I didn't get more specific, but if certain persons are reading this (bad persons), it'd be obvious to them who I'm talking about. I think I'll just let it ride for now. I'm also of the mind that if this stuff starts getting to me too much, then I need to take things less seriously.

Being GM is really fun, but man it can be @$%*# frustrating.


5 June 2002, 08:39 AM
Never let it get you down. Go back to being a player before wearing yourself out on frustrations being a GM. Personally, I love being a GM because I can play and run things at the same time. =-)

As with your player problem, all suggestions are valid ones. If he still is recalcitrant, if he ignores another of the rules, set him up to be arrested. Put him through a trial, in game, and let him roleplay his way out. If he can't do that, then he should make a new character and start again.

Let me guess - the PC is a Jedi or Force Sensitive, right? =-)