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irrational characters

gadwyngadwyn Registered User
edited February 2007 in Critical Failures
So, i'm looking for some ideas on dealing with a character (not a player) that has made up his mind to do something totally and utterly irrational, even though he is not, in fact, an irrational person in any other way, and every time any evidence, no matter how strong or who provides it--other PC's, NPC's, the people he's trying to effect--let him know that it is an irrational idea, he only responds with, Meh, they're lying to me, this will work.

I've spoken with him OOC about this and his basic premise is, well, he's decided this needs to happen aaaaand he's going to make it happen. This boils down to, he's going to do it no matter what cuz he wants to do it. This line of action would directly:

1) remove him from the party
2) cause serious hardship for the party/world (i'm fine with that)
3) cause a significant amount of in game time to be spent dealing with JUST him, as no one else in the party will go along with his genocidal plans.

I'm fine with him rerolling and screwing things up in the world, but, the hijacking of sessions (and i can't even do a side session with just him bc the others will likely try and stop him, and he's not really trying to hide his actions from them) just irks me. I'm strongly against the whole, GM Fiat, No, you cannot do that, stop exploring this line of action, because it is antithetical to my ideas of GM'ing. That said, i don't want to spend multiple sessions dealing with him putting his genocidal plans into place.

Anyone have thoughts on how to deal with this without leveling a mandate of, NO?

gadwyn on

Posts

  • gredavingredavin Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2007
    He really sounds like the type of person that gets off on being the center of attention.

    I'd suggest you line up an alternate person to swap in for him, because it seems like he's just there to stir up shit. Tell him you'll drop the banhammer if you have to, but make sure you follow it up. Half the time in these situations, the person in question dosen't realise how "serious" the disruption is until you sideline him.

    siliconenhanced on
  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Boot his ass.

    Seriously, If a player is being a prima donna on an on-going basis, It's proving detrimental to the enjoyment of everyone except themselves AND you've tried talking it over with them, then the only recourse is to tell them that they're not welcome to participate in your RP's.

    As a side note: Why the fuck is this such a complex concept for GM's? Am I the only one who is able to look into my pants and see that I do in fact have balls? So many of the PNP horror stories that I hear about boil down to players who are allowed to run amok to there hearts content.

    Gaddez on
    Richy wrote: »
    But I think the resistance I’m getting more has to do with “rawr! Loklar said it! Rage!” than anything else.

    No, it has to do with the fact that you're done nothing but throw lies, blatant flasehoods, and downright dumb statements at us so far.
  • gadwyngadwyn Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Hey gents,

    Gredavin, no, i read and posted in that discussion. It's not really the same, but, i think its maybe cuz i'm more involved in this and didn't do a great job of explaining it.

    He's a long time friend and player and he's not really the, me me me, type player. He is, in fact, usually the, i don't want to be the center of attention, and plays a thief or a faceless character, etc. He doesn't have a history of this kind of play and his character really isn't a center of attention kind of guy (and he isn't either, as a player/person) and it's not that he's trying to be the center of attention so much as... he wants to accomplish something that is just going to EAT time and nothing is dissuading him from this path.

    Additionally, he, the player, knows the effect this will have but maintains that the character is just dead set on this path.

    He has another character already--backstory: This char got hosed for about... 10 sessions, trapped in a magical prison for trying to do something epic and failing hooooorribly. When he got out, he didn't remember anything, really. So yes, has the backup char but that guy is sort of also tangential to the plot and only introduced cuz the other guy was effectively "dead".

    Again, not a matter of kicking the players ass and banning him.

    On a side note, i really have no problem leveling the, That's a stupid idea and you're a stupid person for saying it, hammer, but, i try and temper that with a, be creative and i make the world and while there is a plot arc, there's no plot railroads.

    gadwyn on
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    If this is a one time thing for the guy I'd say let it roll in game.

    I mean, if everyone of your PCs and all (or most) of the NPC's think it's a "Bad Idea" why wouldn't they undertake a plan to prevent it from happening? Let the player spend a session doing whatever he believes he has to do, then wake up with a dagger in the skull for his trouble.

    Really though, to give advice we need details on the problem (what is the PC in quesstion trying to do?). To equate this to an H/A thread, I may be advising you on depression when what you really need is herpes medication because all you said is you've got troubles with your girl.

    see317 on
    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • gadwyngadwyn Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Fair point See317.

    So, campaign background in (as much as i can) a condensced format.

    The PC's started off as lvl 0 Mooks (no classes) in a backwater hinterlands. Their village is made up for 10 familes and gets destroyed (i love me some classic Joe Campbell) and they come to find out that they are members of a previously great race that held massive imperial and magical power, but there was a civil war and their side lost. Hard. Their families and friends are all taken by the other faction and no one really knows where or how or why, they start exploring. They get help from a powerful guy and his daughter, whom they've never previously met. The powerful guy says, you're gonna do THIS, and they all begin to hate him cuz he's ordering them around--Talobar.

    They move from the hinterlands to the empire, putz around and basically find that the other faction ("ashenwings") control everything and act in a super corrupt, F' the non-magical humans, manner. Think Nero or Tiberius's reign in the early Empire. They find that there is a third faction that was and remains nuetral.

    The take down one local governor with help, cause a rucous, and are forced to flee. They find an island where the leader of their faction has been imprisoned in a giant crystal of magical torturing awesomeness and work to try and free her. This PC, a sorcerer, eats it. HARD. His efforts get him trapped in the crystal. Player re-rolls but, i let him know that that guy is still alive and that he will be back later.

    The rest of the guys go and do some other thing, explore and wreck some havoc in the empire, learn to hate the powerful guy who's helping them even more, fight each other a little bit, etc. They then screw something up as a group and get ported back in time to a few months before when the factions split up and proceed to change things around--kill someone who didn't die otherwise, save someone who did, etc. The find out that the whole split and civil war happened because their ancestors got greedy with the magical power and started casting gods down from the heavens to kill them and harness their magical energy. This, obviously, makes the gods angry. A powerful, faceless man known as The Voice is a large religious figure back in the day and starts having them do things. The PC's start learning to hate him cuz he's cryptic and uses them to his own ends. The PC's, in an attempt to get back to their own time, partake in the god killing, and the Voice is there to help send them back with an artifact they got for him. The forces around them kill the final 2 gods and the magical detonation sends them back to their time and irreporably damages the world and magic as a whole.

    On the way back to the present time, they stop in an apocolyptic time where they are just wading through dead bodies, and that ends with one of the PC's finding her neice, still alive but clearly dying, calling out to her. the dying girl's father is another PC and he then finds her and is just flipping the crap out. They move into "their" time.

    The voice turns out to be the PC who was trapped in the crytstal, but he remembers nothing from that time and hasn't aged at all. Right after waking up, Previous Big Bad Guy shows up, along with Talobar and his daughter. Big Bad Guy is Talobar's son. They all act like their friends and the (more intelligent) pc's realize that things have changed, while the less intelligent don't really understand wtf is going on. The crystal dude, now back in control of the player, decides he wants to attack talobar and he's tired of his shit. So he does. Talobar shrugs it off cuz he's a powerful dude and reacts with a, wtf is his problem? Wanna stop casting at me?

    Crystal dude doesn't. Some human forces show up, humans attack them, PC's are confused about this. They resist slaughtering humans, the NPC's do not. Humans get wrecked until a human mage pulls a giant anti-magic monster out and kills one PC and starts causing some serious harm to the NPC's.

    PC's retreat.

    They come to find out that the split never happened, that some of their ancestors ascended into the heavens and are now thought of as gods and that, depending upon where they live humans are either your plebs, your merchants or your serfs--and it's abject, really bad serfdom. This offends a few of the PC's, but not all. Some are just happy to have their families back.Each of the 10 families from the village owns a province, and there's an imperial strucutre much like the Holy Roman Empire--elect empreror, etc. Magic, in any format, causes more damage to the world. Big battles create giant salt-flat wastelands that have the same effect as radiological wastelands--mutations, deaths, etc. Some few humans have banded together and made a small nation of their own that is mostly ignored cuz they're small and weak.

    This PC has decided that he wants to commit genocide against his own people, and wipe them out until only he remains, then hand things over to the humans. He wants to make an alliance with them, but, they fanatically hate his race/people and would never do something like that. He knows that first hand. He wants to accomplish this by taking the leadership feat, starting a cult (he's a very charismatic guy with very high bluff, diplo and intimidate skills) and go about it that way.


    So that's where things are. sorry for being long winded. There's more political machinations and other things but, i think i've put in everything that's relevant. His genocidal plot, and everything that will go into it are pretty invovled and will be resisted by the others--specifically the brother and sister who saw their dead children/neice.

    gadwyn on
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Did you have any better ideas for the plot than what he came up with? That seems like a fine direction to go. If he doesn't mind losing control of his character, and the other players don't mind him deciding the plot, you should be able to run with it fine.

    Also, if you let him do this that doesn't mean that you have to stop whatever plans you had before. He wouldn't be a serious danger for a while, and even when he becomes one that doesn't mean that the other powers will immediately cease their own plots.

    jothki on
  • gadwyngadwyn Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Well, my roadblock to this is: why the hell does he feel like genocide is a) a good answer and b) should happen?

    Protip: "Um, cuz he does?" is not a valid reason.

    When i say, irrational, that's what i mean--he's committed himself to something that, really, he has no justification to do. And while he's certainly not heaping with Wisdom, he's not a fickle child who should just wake up one day and say, yeah, i wanna start mass genocide! That's my real issue here: having a character (and player?) who has decided they want to do something cool (which i'm fine with, it's a decent direction, aside from the fact that it means he's setting himself up to remove his character and be the focus of most sessions in the process) without any honest motivation for the way he feels.

    Doing this doesn't necesarily detract from or prevent other plotlines from continuing, however, it significantly slows how quickly things can occur because half of every session will involve JUST that pc dealing with his followers, doing something no one else is involved with.

    gadwyn on
  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2007
    gadwyn, its not so much you as it is a common occurance when someone goes nuts in a game and the GM is all "oh man what I am going to do he's my buddy" when its obvious he dosen't give a fuck that you're his friend.

    Maybe not applicable here, but the major issue is usually that the GM needs to grow a pair and stop being so scared of conflict.

    siliconenhanced on
  • InxInx Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Here's what I'd do.


    Let him do it, let him go right ahead. But after the first conflict with the party, if he doesnt change his mind, take the character away from the player. Remove him from play. Have all of his machinations and cult dealings go entirely into the background - once the character is an NPC, you don't have to show that shit, as long as you give it some thought yourself. That way you've got a nice little villain to build up over time (or for the other players to just go in and raperaperape as soon as they can find him - realistically, if they find him within a couple of weeks, theyll still be the same, if not VERY similar levels, thus making the situation extraordinarily one-sided), and yet you can still continue with whatever the other players wanted to do.


    I tend to run very sandbox games, but when people show that theyre gonna separate from the party in a way that would hijack more than half of a single session, that character is fuckin' mine.

    There are plenty of ways to be the center of attention in a game. I myself just did it by being the only true hero in our group (saved someone who we'd gotten into some serious trouble while everyone else bounced - granted, we all knew it was a trap, but I was still the only one to go in and save his ass.)

    Inx on
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    gadwyn wrote:
    Well, my roadblock to this is: why the hell does he feel like genocide is a) a good answer and b) should happen?

    Protip: "Um, cuz he does?" is not a valid reason.

    When i say, irrational, that's what i mean--he's committed himself to something that, really, he has no justification to do. And while he's certainly not heaping with Wisdom, he's not a fickle child who should just wake up one day and say, yeah, i wanna start mass genocide! That's my real issue here: having a character (and player?) who has decided they want to do something cool (which i'm fine with, it's a decent direction, aside from the fact that it means he's setting himself up to remove his character and be the focus of most sessions in the process) without any honest motivation for the way he feels.

    Doing this doesn't necesarily detract from or prevent other plotlines from continuing, however, it significantly slows how quickly things can occur because half of every session will involve JUST that pc dealing with his followers, doing something no one else is involved with.

    If he's going to start being an antagonist, the player shouldn't have control of him anyway. And if you're going to take control of him, you'll need a better understanding of his mindset and justifications. I'd say that if the player can justify why he chooses to be a "villain" well enough for you to take over the character, then that should be sufficient.

    jothki on
  • UndefinedMonkeyUndefinedMonkey Registered User
    edited February 2007
    gadwyn wrote:
    Well, my roadblock to this is: why the hell does he feel like genocide is a) a good answer and b) should happen?

    Protip: "Um, cuz he does?" is not a valid reason.

    When i say, irrational, that's what i mean--he's committed himself to something that, really, he has no justification to do.

    Then make him justify it. Have him lay out, point by point, exactly what events influenced his character to do this. In other words, you're asking him to play a role, which isn't an unrealistic request considering it's a role playing game. Just because the PC is irrational doesn't mean the guy playing him has to be irrational as well. A player should play his PC, not the other way around. In my experience, every time a player shrugs and says "I dunno, it's what my PC would have done", it really means "I wanted to fuck the group over, but don't want to own up to it."


    If he can't justify it in player terms, forbid him from doing it. If he still does it, hit him with the Blue Lightning of Negative Experience Gain, or give his character herpes. Or, as suggested previously, take his character sheet away and turn him into a side-villain.

    UndefinedMonkey on
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  • Alexan DriteAlexan Drite Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Make him and you read this page:
    http://www.giantitp.com/articles/tll307KmEm4H9k6efFP.html
    It is excellent. Slap the player with this logic:
    You are not your character. You control your character. Your character does not control you. Think of a new way of making this work.

    "I don't feel like going on that adventure." is not good role playing, even if it is in character.

    Alexan Drite on
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