Help! I got a problem player



Jan 22, 2004 17:48:48
I need some help and suggestions. There is a woman in my group who is an absolute pain. Here's the situation. She doesn't really like roleplaying but, does it because she wants to keep her boyfriend company (or keep an eye on him, depending on who you speak to). He is an excellent roleplayer, she isn't. She is okay if all the attention is focused on her and no game mechanics become involved but, otherwise makes a nuisance of herself. I have tried to tell her politely that if she doesn't really like roleplaying she shouldn't be doing it but, the nice approach doesn't seem to be working. I don't want to be rude because I value this guy as a player. SHE WANTS TO BE WILLOW (FROM BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) IN DRAGONLANCE!!! How do I go about trying to make her happy so she stops dragging the game through hell?


Jan 22, 2004 17:52:55
You have my sincerest condolences... I've seen this tear gaming groups apart... at least once it almost came to blows.

All I can say is deal with is directly and as soon as possible... letting it fester will only make it worse.


Jan 22, 2004 20:28:34
Id talk to the boyfriend first myself and work over from there.


Jan 22, 2004 20:59:28
well you could have her make a mystic pc..then multiclass into a sorcerer


Jan 22, 2004 22:36:35
Hmm, does she read any fantasy, have much of an imagination? Perhaps you can convince her it would be more fun to make up her own character....perhaps by combining elements from various heroines she is familiar with. Hopefully you can convince her to make up her own character rather than copying it directly from a TV show....hopefully.

Also, what is her reaction when you talk to her about it? Does she get arguementative and angry? What does she say?

Additionally, if there is this much of a trust issue in her relationship with her boyfriend, they need to work it out....otherwise the relationship is doomed. She and her boyfriend need to talk things over. Perhaps she is insecure (or perhaps he has cheated on her in the past)....either way they need to work through things find a way to be able to trust each other.



Jan 22, 2004 23:04:41
What's the problem with her playing Willow in Dragonlance? She should fit right in, as a sorcerer or a wizard. Her boyfriend can help her with the spells if that's a problem, she doesn't have to reach that hard to roleplay the character (given that she's had the TV show to base her on) and you can bring in all kinds of magical elements and let her deal with them.

Work with the players, don't just label them as problematic. Decide what it is she's there for, accept it, and develop your campaign with that in mind.



Jan 23, 2004 7:54:36
You could also simply let her play the witch class in the DMG (at least in the 3.0 DMG).

Is she a bad role-player? Is she making the game hard on you or the other players.

If it is the other players, then let them (or rather their characters) deal with it. I am sure they will have no problem with it (depending on your players of course).

If the problem lies with you and her then talk to her again and tell that if she simply does not like to role-play then she can hang out without playing. If it is simply a first time gamer thing it may take some time for her to get it out of her system.

If the problem is she does not get along with the other players and you, then simply tell her that she is unwelcome. When it comes to girlfriends who are bad role-players and their boyfriends there is no easy way out. Especially for the boyfriend, if you tell her to go she will blame the boyfriend for unwelcoming friends and to choose them or her, if you have the boyfriend tell her then the same thing will happen and she will have the boyfriend choose her or his friends.

My suggestion is simply tell her that if she continues to act the way she does then she will be unwelcome to continue gaming and DO NOT BE NICE ABOUT IT. Some people just do not think you are being serious if you are nice about it.

As far as playing Willow, mongoose publishing has a quintessential witch book. You might suggest that she buy it as it will give her a better understanding of playing a witch. You work with her to fit the class into the game.

The witch uses the same table as a wizard. So she would essentially be a renegade from the WoHS.

Afterall, witches are kinda discriminated against in the real world.


Jan 23, 2004 7:56:39
Originally posted by darthsylver
Afterall, witches are kinda discriminated against in the real world.

So would anybody with the ability to cast magic spells, clerics included!

Honestly, this doesn't sound like an occasion that needs a new or specific character class to meet the player's needs. Sorcerer or wizard would do just fine, with little to no differences.



Jan 23, 2004 8:38:38
Precisely. Witch is just another name for a female wizard.

The witches presented in the quin book are simply variantions on the standard class just as the variants in dragon 310-312 are on the base classes.

I am simply giving kendernbabe options.

As far as if the occasion needs a new or specific character class then that is kendernbabe decision.

I feel that if kendernbabe gets his problem player into buying a sourcebook then maybe the player will have another reason to play other than keeping an eye on her boyfriend.

My wife plays with me, even when I dm, and sometimes it is hard. Especially when she did not used to want to make or maintain her own character, I did all the work. So I made a character she did not like and she kept trying to do things she could not do and she got interested in how things work and took a greater interest in the game mechanics.

If this problem player buys a sourcebook and reads it in order to play the character she wants to play then perhaps she will take a greater interest in the mechanics of the game. If not, then she is out the money and not kendernbabe.

As far as saying that she just play a wizard or sorderor, some people just do not always (especially new players) make the connection that witches, sorcerors, wizards, mages, warlock, are all common references to just 1 or maybe 2 classes.

Also the quin witch has game info on stuff that refers to wicca religion, equipment and view on the world. So the sourcebook does not just add a new class to the mix. It adds alot of those "Willow" elements to the game.

Willow was one of the reasons I took a interest in the quin witch sourcebook.


Jan 23, 2004 10:39:15
My opinion:

If she doesn't want to roleplay, doesn't play, doesn't want to understand the rules and mechanics, doesn't want to pay attention when others are doing something, only enjoys moments when she's in the spotlight (and probaby doing nothing that enhances the game in any way at all), then just ask her to stop coming. Her boyfriend can live without her for a few hours (if he doesn't, well, too bad), and I assume that this will improve the atmosphere of the game in general. How do your other players feel anyway? I had one occasion where this new female player would come and almost have the exact same behaviour as you describe here. I was just a player in that group, but it got to the point where I got so angry that I just got up and left. I just said "I play for fun. This is not fun." and walked out. She did get kicked out, ofcourse, after that.

And everybody else in this thread, going into the whole 'character' thing, do not get the point at all. She DOES NOT want to roleplay. She DOES NOT want to understand the rules. If any player lacks these desires, then they are unfit for playing.


Jan 23, 2004 12:51:26
I guess my question first would be, Do You Know anything about Willow from Buffy?

Willow would be really easily played as a Wizard who is renegade. However, Willow is not a spotlight character, not at first anyways, and she is not a disruptive person.

I would really ask her how much it means to her to play that type of character, and then work with her to get her to care about her role in the group dynamic, if she cares in the first place, and everything should work out from there.

Willow was most powerful when she let her emotions guide her magic and it seems like this girl has a lot of emotions showing.

If I were you I would also make a statement before every gaming session about this game being seperate from real life, and when we play our real life stuff stays out of it.

There are enough problems to deal with in the game without real life problems coming into the mix also.

Bottom line is, if you have to quit to save a real life friendship, then quit, this game isn't worth it, and tell her boyfriend that I feel for him. No one should have to deal with an untrusting companion watching over them all of the time.


Jan 23, 2004 14:06:35
Bing, bing, bing, we have a winner!


Jan 23, 2004 14:59:29
D+D is a group game, without your friends, there can be no game.
I say do what you can to encourage her to roleplay and talk to your friend about it if needed. I'm sure he would understand how important it is to roleplay since he is so good at it.


Jan 23, 2004 15:00:31
I think we need a bit more information about the situation to give really good advice though. The advice we have given is good depending on the situation....and I see a lot of different interpretations of what the situation is.

For instance, if she is inconsolably against roleplaying and demands the spotlight and can't make a character her own (say she plays not just a willow-like character, but a character that *is* Willow)...then she needs to be gotten out of the group...or the group needs to be disbanded (which also gets her out of the group).

If she is just a really bad roleplaying and really likes the spotlight, and simply has a very poor idea about how you roleplay and how to make the game fun....then you might be in a workable situation.

And there are other potential scenerios too.

In any case, she and her boyfriend need to have a talk about trust, if she is really there to keep an eye on him. (and again, we don't know how valid her concerns are, we merely know that the relationship is having some sort of problem).

As it is we can only give vague suggestions that may or may not be right (you might be able to pick out the proper one for your situation though).



Jan 24, 2004 5:38:06
I don't suppose her name is Leah, is it?


Feb 03, 2004 10:08:38
I see your dilema.

I've been through the same situation ... with my friends wife.

The thing is, if she annoys you she will probly tend to annoy the other players also. And instead of losing your one good player you might end up losing your entire group which I have seen happen quite a few times.

You are the DM and you should lay down the rules. You should tell the boyfriend how you fell about the situation. I'm preaty sure he noticed your annoyence towards her.

I also had a bad player in the past. I killed him off a few times and he was so that he did not want to play any of my games anymore... problem solved... I guess... but this is not the best solution I am sure. You don't want a bad party and you also don't wan't bad karma in real life.

Talk it out with her and if need be do it with her boyfriend present.

Lord Soth


Feb 03, 2004 13:10:23
She is still causing problems.
The situation as I know it is thus -

"I want to be here to share stuff with him, I could care less about roleplaying" - Her exact words

I as DM could accept this but, last week she sat and watched television in the same room we were playing in (even though a screen was made available in a different room) and she had the volume up way too loud.

I know about about Willow & Buffy and had no problems with her wanting to play this type of character. Originally we did her up as a sorcerer and then she said that she wanted to be like Willow and study spells etc. I said okay and worked it into the game that she would be able to swap over to wizard. Then she got P'offed that she had to learn new game mechanics. I got that sorted out easily enough and she started working on a new character sheet. Turns out the one she had gotten off the net or somewhere was the 3.5 version and I was still using the 3.0 version. She got confused by the difference and went all Ratty. I've decided that I am going to poll my players (minus her) directly and get their opinions as I am at the end of my rope. Thanks for all the advise though.

- Like I've said before if anyone is reading this in the UK (Cambridgeshire, especially) and wants to chat look us up on Yahoo or MSN and tell me where you got the username from.

Thanks for your time.