Author Topic: Debating cutting a player loose  (Read 357 times)

Fix

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Debating cutting a player loose
« on: (19:38:30/05-21-17) »
Hey there, chummers.

I feel like I'm coming here for advice too often but its solid stuff and now I'm facing an issue that isn't so much game related but a social dynamic.

For quite some time I've had a lot of trouble with a certain player in my group. We're all new to Shadowrun and some are a bit slower than others at learning. We play online over Roll20. One of the new people I've taken on some months ago in one of my groups inhales RPGs and they've chewed through the rulebooks considerably more than I as the GM have, as a result they become very pedantic about the rules. I am mostly geared towards storytelling and when facing a block on the rule end of things I will rather mark it down for later and bullshit my way past it to keep the flow. Everyone is happy with this but for one person.

It isn't that I haven't been clear about this and we've even agreed when talking about the matter of story > rules. This came to a head some time ago when we had a long discussion and I pointed out the issues directly as I should have before, I felt things got through well but as soon as we came upon some complications in the rules this player turned out immensely stressed and worked up, in turn stressing me out and botching more of the session than was necessary.

I don't want to talk ill about the player but I feel like I've hit a point where I wonder if its time just to accept we are simply not compatible as GM and player. I genuinely don't think they can help it and that they don't see where I'm coming from when I point out they're going too far. I know this person has a similar history with other games and GMs, they joined through a mutual friend who is pretty close to both of us which is rather awkward in this sense.

A big applause to anyone who suffered through this ramble. My question is in the end, would you as a GM cut loose a player you feel is ultimately not a good fit in your group or is dragging down the games, whether they can help it or not? I feel dickish contemplating this but while I'm going to continue to try to talk this through its gotten to the point I don't want to deal with this amount of stress over a hobby like roleplaying games. And it feels like there may not be a happy ending here.

Jack_Spade

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Re: Debating cutting a player loose
« Reply #1 on: (00:56:39/05-22-17) »
Could you give an example of what kind of rule you were improvising on?

There is a difference between "you didn't know all modifiers for a social test and ignored the existence of "+2 because the character doesn't think you do something that stupid""and "the mage can attack you from astral space with a fireball while projecting because I say so"

SR is a complex game and gaining rules knowledge is no little feat. It can be frustrating if you spent time learning the right way only to be told it is irrelevant.
Could you just refer to him for rules questions? (Provided he can provide page references) Or better yet, have him GM for a spot, so you all can get more familiar with the rules? 
talk think matrix

To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield
Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

Fix

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Re: Debating cutting a player loose
« Reply #2 on: (06:55:42/05-22-17) »
In this case it was mostly the case of some uncertainty on how to approach a certain situation.

We had half the team sneaking inside the target location to grab some data with two on the outside hanging back to scout and be ready for backup. An alarm was tripped and the backup made a run for it as the infiltration team barricaded themselves into an office. I called for initiative rolls at first but we felt some uncertainty how to approach the scene as there were quite some distance both between the security and the infil team as well as between them and the backup guys.

Limiting them to the movement rules proposed by combat turns would have taken an immensely long time so we opted in the end for doing some running rolls and winging it from there until the combat for earnest had taken off. Most of us were able to take this in stride, but for this person. It didn't affect the outcome of the game much in practice.

It isn't just things like this that is troubling me, but a lot of small remarks and unconstructive critique that I have brought up and thoroughly discussed but they seem unable to realize or help it.

Jack_Spade

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Re: Debating cutting a player loose
« Reply #3 on: (07:45:45/05-22-17) »
Ok, yeah, that is annoying and not helpful at all.

Have you asked your mutual friend to mediate between you two? Sometimes you need a third perspective to resolve a problem.
If you are reluctant to kick the problem player outright, you can ask them to GM for a change. There's a lot to be gained by travelling in a man's shoes before critiquing him (at the very least you've got his shoes...)



 
talk think matrix

To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield
Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

Fix

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Re: Debating cutting a player loose
« Reply #4 on: (10:20:36/05-22-17) »
Yeah, we have actually. We had quite a long talk about this before and all felt pretty good for a short while, our mutual friend helped out mediating the matter a lot. I felt like it might work out fine from there but the exact same issues somehow worse than before popped up after one successful game.

The idea of placing them as GM for a short while is an interesting idea, but I actually feel a majority of my group wouldn't appreciate the idea.

Its a weird thing to bring up and I'm not sure if there is a real answer to the issue.

Jack_Spade

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Re: Debating cutting a player loose
« Reply #5 on: (10:29:05/05-22-17) »
Ah, that sucks.

If all else fails, say the truth - diplomatically. Say that this issue bothers you very much and that you are looking for solutions other than going separate ways.

Just out of curiosity, how old are you and your friends?
talk think matrix

To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield
Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

Fix

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Re: Debating cutting a player loose
« Reply #6 on: (13:27:10/05-22-17) »
We're all a group of twenty-somethings.

Jack_Spade

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Re: Debating cutting a player loose
« Reply #7 on: (04:33:28/05-23-17) »
I see. Adults can be the worst in that regard.
All that remains before the ultima ratio is to talk about it in the group without getting confrontational or emotional. Good luck with that.
talk think matrix

To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield
Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

Spooky

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Re: Debating cutting a player loose
« Reply #8 on: (17:47:24/05-27-17) »
I always say (often to myself) that I as GM am not the perfect GM for every player that I meet, just like I as a player, not every GM is the perfect GM for me. Sometimes it just doesn't work out, no matter how much work gets put into the relationship. Being online just makes that problem worse. Sounds like a rules lawyer player, who needs a similar GM to be happy. One question for you, though, has having this player in your group helped you learn the rules better? When I get the rules lawyer type at my table, I often respond by learning more about the rules of the game, so that I can say "that's the rule" or "this is how I am house ruling this", whichever applies. Maybe help the player find a GM that is better suited? Don't know if there's a good answer to your situation, but there is an answer somewhere.

Good luck
Spooky, what do you do this pass? Shoot him with my thunderstruck gauss rifle. (Rolls)  8 hits. Does that blow his head off?