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Author Topic: GM Problem & No Solutions  (Read 1011 times)

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Offline InksTopic starter

GM Problem & No Solutions
« on: January 09, 2015, 01:55:19 AM »
Happy New Year, M'Loves -

So, to get to the point. I run a Pathfinder group with a bunch of friends. Of the six friends, two of them (in a relationship) are proving problematic. One is only playing because the boyfriend is making her, and the second leaves half-way through a session, forcing the rest of the players to either stop, or go on without them.

Ignoring the fact that it annoys me as the GM, I feel like it's unfair for the rest of the group. In the past, I've only awarded the pair for what they are actually present for, but they don't seem to understand how rude it is to up and leave the group hanging. (Clarification: they're not leaving for work, prior engagements, or emergencies - they're leaving to go play DOTA and watch TV). More to the point, they're starting to annoy everyone in the group and slow progress.

Now, I don't want to just up and ask them to fuck off. I'm not like that, but I do need some help coming up with some sort of solution so that they're not continuously getting away with fucking over the group. The group as a whole will be speaking to them, but I'd like some advice, pointers for future note, anything. Obviously we're going to offer the girlfriend an out, or even help in playing if she'd like it, since she's clearly not enjoying herself. But what do we do about our bailer?

Any help is appreciated.

Offline Blinkin

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Re: GM Problem & No Solutions
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2015, 08:12:09 AM »

Question: Are you (The GM) also the host? There use to be a set of "Role-Player's Etiquette" that covered this kind of thing, but I guess with the way things are these days, no one really knows that it exist anymore.

My advice, you (the gm) and the host (If not you) need to meet with the two causing the issues privately. I understand that it is mainly the boy-friend, but as the girl-friend is involved, she needs to be approached as well. Just sit down with them and have a friendly chat. Explain how their abandonment of the group in the middle of the sessions is putting a strain on the group as a whole. That you understand that everyone has a limit to how much role-playing that they can deal with at one time, but that you need them (individually) to commit to either staying for the full session, or consider backing out. Be nice, be polite, but be firm. Rather than saying, "You're not welcome in my game (One of the GM's rights and responsibilities) or "I don't want you in my home (One of the Host's rights and responsibilities), put it into their court and make them either back out of the game (gracefully or not) or commit to the sessions that they have already committed to.

I've seen parties fall apart because players get frustrated by situations like this, and how you handle it is very important. Never, ever do it during a ssession, and never, ever do it in front of the other players. As GM, you have the responsibility to listen to your players and act in their best interest; a responsibility to provide the group with a fun and enjoyable experience. This includes talking to players who are causing problems. As a host, you have the right to ask anyone causing disruption to your own enjoyment to leave and a responsibility to see that your guest are enjoying their time in your home. It doesn't have to be a big deal, but it does have to be dealt with. So, again, keep it friendly, keep it polite, but explain what's going on in private and let them make that decision. If they stay and the difficulty continues, then you'll have to ask them to drop. If the girl-friend wants to continue to play and the boy-friend doesn't, offer  to make sure that she has a place in the game and a safe way home after the game (If she needs it).

Hope it helps.

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Re: GM Problem & No Solutions
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2015, 08:49:17 AM »
How long do you play for? I've played game sessions that could last anywhere from 3 to 8 hours in regular games. If your bailer is flaking out early, are shorter sessions an option?

If they're simply getting bored with the game, perhaps ask them why? They can play the computer or watch tv at other times, RPG gaming sessions tend to be somewhat fixed in when they can be scheduled. If they can see that their progress is interfering with the game they may change their behaviour. If the other stuff is still a higher priority, perhaps they need to be asked if they want to leave the game altogether? Though that is a last choice, obviously.

Offline vin26m

Re: GM Problem & No Solutions
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2015, 12:48:45 PM »
Good suggestions so far.

I would just kick them out.  They're clearly not a fit, at least in terms of their desire to play. 

One player is playing because her boyfriend is making her?  Yeah, she's out. 

He regularly bails halfway through a session for no good reason?  Yeah, he's out, too. 

If they can't meet the expectations of the group and you (and you really can't ignore what you want), dump them.

That being said, there are other possibilities, mostly having to do with lowering your expectations of them:

- They can hang out and watch, but not play.

- You can have a whole separate game that includes them, then when they leave you play your regular game.

- They play supporting characters instead of main characters.  They are not expected to be there, but if they are, you can include them.

- Their characters have some sort of built-in mechanic where they constantly leave/disappear/die but constantly come back, like Kenny from South Park.  Maybe they are sent by the gods to provide assistance, but their time is limited, or something like that..

- Their characters are PC's when the players are there and become NPC's when they are not there.

It's really not fair that your group and you has to stop, effectively punishing your group and you because of their selfishness.