Types Of Roleplayers You Don't Want In Your Game
There are certain types of people who spell trouble for your game. When you run into them, you need to do something about them lest they ruin everyone's fun - and maybe even a few friendships.
What you might do about players like these depends on the situation. Some people just have really off days, so if a player who is ordinarily just fine does something off, then it might not be a problem. But if you see a chronic pattern of bad behavior from a player, then it's time to take action.
The action you should take, again, depends. Depending on how severe you feel the infraction was, you might try at first talking to the player and letting the player know that these actions are unacceptable and need to change. But if the infraction was especially severe, or something that anyone could be expected to know better than doing, or if the player is ignoring something you said earlier, then it might be time to ban the player from your game.
The ones who won't learn. Everyone makes a mistake from time to time and that's fine. But it's another thing when they won't learn despite having everything spelled out to them or having all of the material right in front of them. They aren't worth the headaches they'll give everyone, so don't feel bad about removing them from your games.
The ones who expect you to change your game or your policies just for them. It's acceptable for players to diplomatically bring up the fact that they think something ought to be changed and for them to explain why. But it's another matter for them to just demand that you make changes or to just outright tell you that you "should" change something, especially if it involves upending your group's established play style or if it undermines the very point of the game you're trying to play.
The ones who are constantly bringing up their personal issues. Whether to excuse the latest in a string of bad behaviors, or whether they're just constantly dumping their life problems on the whole community even though nobody's asked them to share, this behavior is not appropriate and ought not be tolerated.
The ones who constantly drag in real life political issues. There is a time and a place to talk about issues like these - and game time is not it. Players who constantly derail everything to soapbox or otherwise go on about real life political issues are not conducive to a healthy RP environment.
The ones who easily lose their cool. Maybe they lose it when they hear that someone else isn't exactly, err... fond of their most favorite things. Maybe take any sort of correction or criticism as the worst of personal affronts. People who act this way make people feel like they have to walk on eggshells around them, which creates a very uncomfortable social atmosphere - the last thing you want for your RP group!
The ones who can't seem to let anything go. Maybe they can never agree to disagree on some relatively trivial or tangential issue and just let it drop, but insist on ranting and raving on why they're right and others are wrong until the others surrender just to make them stop. Maybe they dredge up old mistakes or disagreements to take digs at people now. Perhaps they still hold grudges against and refuse to forgive people who did something rude or thoughtless against them once and long ago - and even apologized for it. Players like these are poison to any roleplaying group.
The ones who won't properly bring up and discuss their issues with the game or with the other players. For example, rather than calmly and respectfully bringing up whatever problems they have with the GM/A or with the relevant players, they sit and stew on until they blow up over it, or they go around gossiping about the issue or endlessly complain about it to others. Or they just act passive-aggressive to everyone they're bothered by, leaving them to wonder just what the heck is wrong but with no real way to find out. These players are always disasters waiting to happen.
The ones who insult people or act condescendingly toward them. Maybe they make snide remarks when someone doesn't know something about the lore or canon. Maybe they call people stupid or naive for liking something. Maybe they mock those who disagree with them. Players to say stuff like this to other people's faces are bullies, plain and simple.
The ones who are creepy and inappropriate. For example, those who constantly bring up inappropriate or uncomfortable topics, or knowingly try to insert inappropriate or uncomfortable subject materials into the game (where the game's subject material doesn't already involve or imply this kind of thing), or otherwise willfully violate other people's boundaries and sensitivities. Players who show no respect for other people thus should not be allowed in a game.
The ones who sabotage the game for everyone else. Maybe they bully, hurt, or intimidate the other PCs with characters who are too strong for them to fight back against. Maybe they have their characters destroy things simply because they find it amusing. Maybe they're convinced that they need to "win" and go around stabbing everyone else in the back, to the detriment of the story. Maybe they throw new elements or events in with no regard for the plots already underway that they're disrupting. In any case, you don't need players who have no regard for anyone's fun but their own.
The ones who think it's all about them. For example, every plot they suggest centers around their own characters, or they refuse to participate in any plot that doesn't. Or they find ways to make everything about their characters. Or they're always doing things that sideline other people's characters and prevent them from participating in the plots in any meaningful way. Roleplaying is supposed to be about everyone, so players like this need to be dealt with.
The ones who get overly upset when they don't get what they want. Maybe they verbally attack everyone. Maybe they throw "poor little me, everyone is so mean to me!" fits. Maybe they refuse to play until they get what they want. Maybe they even threaten to leave the game. Maybe they throw full-blown tantrums. You don't need players who act like this.
The creative mooches. Those people who never actually put any effort into coming up with their own ideas, but are instead always asking other players to come up with ideas for them. It's fine to ask for a little help on occasion, but constantly asking others to do one's creative heavy lifting is unfair.
The ones who can't tolerate any debate or argument among the group. The occasional disagreement among members of a roleplaying group is normal and healthy. Those who get upset over or try to head off any argument, no matter how calmly and respectfully it's being conducted, aren't doing anyone any favors.
The ones who hold everyone else up. For example, by taking twenty minutes to reply to an otherwise-busy group RP, or by taking far longer than anyone else to fill out and finish a bio, or by showing up late to game sessions. This kind of behavior is hugely inconsiderate and unfair to others.
The ones who seem to have wandered into the wrong game. They might complain about the game containing elements or themes that are part and parcel to material it's based on. Or they seem to take exception to something that you made perfectly clear would feature in the game. Maybe they're constantly complaining about how the rest of the players aren't up to their standards. If you find yourself wondering why some people are even here, then they probably shouldn't be.
Other pages you should look at:
How To Spot & Handle Parasitic Roleplayers
How To Spot Self-Inserting Roleplayers
Dealing With Unhappy & Complaining Roleplayers
Reasons Your Roleplay Might Not Be Working
Things Writers (And Everyone Else) Should Know About Running A Roleplay
"Should I Add Or Allow This In My Game?" - Help For Gamemasters & Admins
When A Game Master Or Roleplay Admin Might Be Power-Tripping - And What To Do About It