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After having played D+D 3.5 since its release with the same group I have come to serious roadblockl. I am DM, since no-one else has the imagination required and if I hate one thing more than any other, it's powergamers. Let me elaborate.
The new campaign I'm starting up is for a party of 3 level 6 characters (all new characters). Being the resourceful DM that I am I write a players pack detailing the house rules, the background of the world etc. etc. Inside the rules I have written that PC's must roll their statistics in front of me otherwise they will not be accepted.
Two of my group did it willingly, but one player came to me the next day and said he's using one of his characters stats from years back in 3rd edition. He is playing a Tiefling Rogue as he nearly had years ago but didn't. He's the type of guy that has 50 characters stored away in his private folders and picks the one he thinks suits the campaign best.
He is arguing that he rolled them in front of our previous DM (not me) a few years back and wants to use those stats. The stats are 14,14,14,14,16,18 using the 4D6, remove lowest method. I for one don't believe he rolled them in the least. I don't even remember him even making this character.
I then said no, you know the rules, it would be unfair on everyone else if I let you use those stats and have a rogue with 14 str and 18 dex and 16 int etc. He just snapped back "If you don't let me use them I won't play D+D anymore".
Now I just have no idea how to deal with him. If he doesn't play our group's finished permanently. And if I let him have it, it will unbalance the campaign and the other players will be annoyed with me for letting him do that.
I thought of draining his abilities in-game with a vampire or poison but he'll probably think he's being targeted and just pack up and leave. I could let the other PC's have stats equal or better than his and play a hig-powered campaign, but I don't really want to do that. The other option is to give him what he wants and get on with it regardless of his superior character.
Basically, what I'm asking is how you deal with this problem and powergamers in general.
Please reply if you have the time,
How about giving the other two players exactly the same numbers to assign to their character stats? In doing this you'll preserve balance between the player characters, and as the DM you'll be able to adjust the power of the baddies or monsters to match the characters, if you think they're powerful enough to need that.
Not that I know anything about your group, but I think it's important that you do not just accept this behaviour from your problem player. At the very worst, games do work with only two players - my group was like this for years. You just have to make sure as DM that the challenges fit the duo's capabilities, since they can't do everything.
I'm a DM as well as a player... often called Powergamer too, as i've read all the 3.5 rule books, and often make a PC that is balanced, but can deal alone with almost anything (my half celestial paladin was called cheese more than once, even when i was 3 levels lower than the others, and we were all playing with templates) ... and the best way i can think to solve this is:
As he already has his char made, tell him to use the EXACT PC, and let the others play template chars, or lower his level a bit. both ways would work well
i hope it helped
Nami kotogotoku, waga tate to nare. Ikazuchi kotogotoku, waga yaiba to nare.
I've played and Mastered a few times in 3.5. You're the DM. Not only is he not, he is a sore loser with too much invested in a character he's never played. There may still be a few persuasive nudges you can use to guide this player back onto the track of joint fun with a balanced party, such as reminding him that feat requirements are low and that he does not need uber stats to play the exact same race/class/template build, or perhaps that it's unfair for him to ask you to trust a previous DM's discretion on dice rolling (probability of rolling six even-numbered attributes that are all above the statistical average: slightly worse than one in four thousand). If you can't convince him and really want that third player, then begin your next session with this line to the players:
"I want a more realistic campaign this time, because real risks tend to be more exciting for everybody. Don't get attached to your characters, because character death can happen."
Play hard. Give challenges of appropriate CR with advantages of terrain, specialized equipment, or exceptional knowledge (justified by smart NPCs with the resources to have it). If this rogue really does become the strongest of the party, intelligent enemies will know he's the biggest threat by his reputation and thus try to nullify him first. You might foreshadow this by having NPCs talk to the PCs, about the PCs (not recognizing the PCs for who they are) and go on at length about how dangerous their rogue is, and then say nothing of the rest of the group.
Ideally, either your problem player will put his character on the line for the others in remarkable ways and they'll be grateful for what he brings to the table, hence unifying the group and allowing for fun anyways, or everybody dies when he doesn't and you insist - absolutely insist - that the next characters made are done using the point-buy system at a points level you're comfortable with, at the table right at that moment, ensuring no cheating on rolls or a retreat to pre-formatted characters. Worst case, the whole group gets mad and one of them DMs instead.
Expanding on the previous post:
The best way to deal with a clearly overpowered character is simple; make the enemies more likely to remember them ahead of other members of the group. The main villain will be more likely to solo him out and if they escape enact their vengeance out upon him.
A good way I found to deal with powerful characters (Neverwinter Nights inspired) is an assassin in the bedroom. Since naturally they don’t sleep with weapons and armour they’re at an obvious advantage.
You could find ways to use the Tiefling’s demon ancestry against him.
Priest “you adventurers will be safe in the temple” *points at character* “he’s not welcome”
He may have rollplay advantages but roleplay wise you can kneecap him.
Great replies, all of you.
All the above methods are completely valid and I'll probably try one or two of them. After talking to this power gamer again today he said that he had made a mistake with his stats and they were actually 10,12,14,16,18,18 (after racial adjustments). This is slightly better than before but is still pretty damn high compared to the other PC's. Actually, his rogue's constitution is equal to that of the resident human barbarian.
And now he's saying his rogue bought a Pseudodragon from a market for 10,000 GP (check the MM1) and is using it as a druid would an animal companion (except it can't attack in C.C). Maybe he really likes pseudodragons, or its just another way to beef up his character.
As to how to solve the problem, I like the idea of giving him hell on the roleplaying side of things, but then the other PC's would still be upset because they had to roll their stats in front of me and he did it privately (or not at all).
Then I thought of letting the PC's sought each other out. Kinda like putting a cat and a dog in the same room and letting them sort it out.
That way might work out fine, but I doubt it.
If I try the method to cripple him roleplay-wise I first need to know more about tieflings. Does anyone know more about them or a good website.
He actually told me that his horns had been pulled out in a past battle so he doesn't look like a tiefling at all (just a human he tells me) and that he was raised by wood elves who gave him some precious elven chain mail for some insane reason.
So I ask you this, is it possible/likely that you'll find a hornless, un-fiend like combat orientated Tiefling rogue running around in the wood elven forests with a pet pseudodragon?
And no, I did not make that up, that's what I know thus far about his character.
By the way, how old do Tiefling's get before they die.
So, is it possible to cripple a character like that roleplay-wise or should I just let him sort himself out.
Ya know, the more you describe this character, the more I say just forbid it and deal with the tantrum. From your description it's obviously a rules-rorting grab for cheesy power while attempting to avoid the associated bummers.
Alternatively, give the other two characters a choice of special pets and the equivalent of elven chain as well. Mental judo.
Tieflings have un unearthly aura hence their -2 to charisma. This is more thn just horns and such.
People could have a negative reaction to the character because of a "feeling".
With the stats that he rolled, its not really an issue for me as stats don't tell the full story of a character. The horns being pulled out could result in headaches that can debilitate the character at times. I don't know about you but I would never dream of letting a character start with all that equipment, irrespective of what background they had written up.
With the other players in your group, give them either a stat boost to match and some equipment or some other incentive. I understand you didn't want to run a high power campaign but after its started, restrict the amount of treasure they get. Remember as DM YOU control the game.
Stick to your guns, or you'll get walked on. This guy sounds selfish and childish...what is he 9 years old or something? Give him a resounding no. I personally would give him a HELL no. If he threatens to leave: Show him the door. Seriously. This game should be as much fun for you as the DM as it is for them as players. This guy's definitely throwing a monkeywrench in your fun. To balance the fact of him leaving, you could always provide the cooperative players with a henchman or something to give them some extra support. Don't give in to this tantrum.
(Had to add, I'm waving a giant flaming BS flag on the pseudodragon thing....pure baloney, pure kindergarten.)
Well, He isn't 9 actually, he's 15.
Thanks for all the help guys, I better stop describing the way in which he plays or you'll really start to hate him with a passion. I have given some extra allowance stat-wise for the other PC's. Enough to at least equal the rogues abilities.
As to the appearance and such, his character probably smells like brimstone as the the MM says. But apparently Tieflings can be indistinguishable from humans but they'll always walk and talk that little bit different.
I still can't believ that Wood elves would take in a Tiefling and give it some of their precious armour but that's what he says. I'll find a way to deal with him though.
Not to be harsh, but I could just say his Pseudodragon has flown away in the middle of the night with a mate and is gone forever. If I'm more ruthless I could just target it with a few attacks if you know what I mean.
But no matter what BS he comes up with I'll be able to counter it until one day, maybe, just maybe he'll grow up.