Pathfinder player issue, need advice!

I was wondering if I could get advice about a player, and how to deal with a few issues regarding him. This may be a bit long, sorry.

He GMs a lot, and he got me into the whole RPG thing in general, he hadn't been involved in a game for a little while and I was starting up a mini campaign and invited him due to his not so subtle hints, that and I wanted to have him as a player since I had never seen him as a player.

I informed it it was core Pathfinder rules, with Advanced players guide stuff, so core races etc. He wanted to play a Merfolk Paladin, I reminded him that they weren't in the core stuff and thus I didn't know enough about it, in the end I caved and let him play a Merfolk character, aged 16 and fresh out of water, because he wouldn't let up.

They are in the dungeon of the beast (A Minotaur, 1st level is a standard dungeon thing, further down a labyrinth) and the party consists of a Druid, Oracle, Ranger and the Paladin. They encountered a few traps, so he's decided he wants to multiclass a rogue.

This is where the first problem starts, because I feel the classes clash and it makes no role playing sense for a guy with no experience in rogue like stuff to suddenly know how to deal with traps and the like. He tried explaining that he would study and try make a few and presto, should be enough to qualify. I gave my reasons as to why I feel it didn't fit with his character, he offered no real counter point (just that if he tried to make a few in one day then he would qualify) but he intends to just do it anyway.

It was known that I like big changes to characters to make sense, role playing wise. This hasn't been resolved yet as they haven't leveled yet, but I feel he just wants it therefore he thinks he gets it.

Next thing, they have reached the labyrinth and have no paper, pencils or anything to make a map with, he was drawing one on some paper and when I asked why "So we don't get lost" and when I told him that it made no sense, as his character has nothing to record the information on, he'd have to work on memory. He decided he could inscribe map stuff as he goes with his dagger on the wood of a torch as if to say that if I don't let him get his way he will make a way to get it anyway. Not only would that take insane skill, but it's a round object with not a lot of room on it to do so.

I'm not sure how to deal with it. He's used to being a GM and he is the kind of person that gets dead set on things, and I know GMs should say yes to players on things because it encourages cool role play stuff, but this seems to be a case of I gave an inch and he takes a mile.

How do I put my foot down as a GM without being an ass I guess is part of what I'm asking, I like playing with him, and I don't want him to leave but I can't let him walk all over me.

Any advice? I have never dealt with something like this yet with my other group I run a game for.

Well I don't know how close to the rules you want to keep it, but I would introduce extra skill checks for such mid way dilemmas.
For example, if he only learned about traps in a couple of hours on his own that would make his ability to study/disarm/set them severely weak (skill rolls with 20% chance or less). That way your player still gets to do cool shit but at a reasonable cost.
You could do the same for the map part, like you said his method will severely affect the quality of the map so when reading it back there should be a skill check on every major crossroad.

And on top of all this you should also consider if you aren't clashing heads with that player needlessly, the map thing is really minor and actually not fun at all if parties get lost in a dungeon... so on such occasions ask yourself if you would have the same issue with someone else doing the same thing.

Smooth Operator:
Well I don't know how close to the rules you want to keep it, but I would introduce extra skill checks for such mid way dilemmas.
For example, if he only learned about traps in a couple of hours on his own that would make his ability to study/disarm/set them severely weak (skill rolls with 20% chance or less). That way your player still gets to do cool shit but at a reasonable cost.
You could do the same for the map part, like you said his method will severely affect the quality of the map so when reading it back there should be a skill check on every major crossroad.

And on top of all this you should also consider if you aren't clashing heads with that player needlessly, the map thing is really minor and actually not fun at all if parties get lost in a dungeon... so on such occasions ask yourself if you would have the same issue with someone else doing the same thing.

That's a great idea, I'll give it some thought,thanks :)

As for the map thing, it's not so much what he's doing, but the way he's going about it. They're not in a complicated maze, but the map thing just really irks me. Since he would react like I am to someone in his own games, for which I have been a player in and witnessed. It comes across a little disrespectful to be honest. Also, his character has no points in craft skill cartography anyway, so in theory he shouldn't be able to in such an awkward manner.

I haven't made much noise about this with my players yet because I wanted to get some advice from other people to see what I could come up with in regard to this, because I do want the game to be fun for all involved.

chozo_hybrid:
As for the map thing, it's not so much what he's doing, but the way he's going about it. They're not in a complicated maze, but the map thing just really irks me. Since he would react like I am to someone in his own games, for which I have been a player in and witnessed. It comes across a little disrespectful to be honest.

See this sounds very personal, in a "he busted my balls now it's payback time" sort of way, which is a terrible approach to... everything really. You make the rules now and you can run a game like you want to play it, don't take this as an opportunity to abuse power because players will just get miserable when desperately trying to avoid the DM whip.

Smooth Operator:

chozo_hybrid:
As for the map thing, it's not so much what he's doing, but the way he's going about it. They're not in a complicated maze, but the map thing just really irks me. Since he would react like I am to someone in his own games, for which I have been a player in and witnessed. It comes across a little disrespectful to be honest.

See this sounds very personal, in a "he busted my balls now it's payback time" sort of way, which is a terrible approach to... everything really. You make the rules now and you can run a game like you want to play it, don't take this as an opportunity to abuse power because players will just get miserable when desperately trying to avoid the DM whip.

I'm not trying to find a way to abuse power, I just want to know how to deal with a player when they meta game like he is. Because what his character is doing in that situation is just plain silly. Carving a map into a torch? Just because I pointed out they had no actual stuff to make maps with, he has no crafting skills of any kind that relate to being able to do this on his character, which is why this annoys me.

Maybe I'm not making much sense, I don't want to ruin anyone's fun, but how do you rein someone in when they do things like this is what I'm trying to figure out. Because I want to know before anything huge comes along.

Well the way I look at it is, player characters are Exeptional. That's their thing. That's why you can do something like have a dwarf who was raised by elves, because even though it would rarely happen, a player character is supposed to be that 1 in a million.

As for his rogue levels, I can see it making sense in that, this Paladin, realized that to better serve the greater good, he would need a more diverse skill set. I mean, leveling up doesn't really make much sense anyway. Like, if it was just a flat rogue, leveling up and getting rogue talents, how would he have learned some of this stuff he can now spontaneously do? Things that would take a ton of extra practice, like being able to use Sleight of hand in a disarm check.

If I've never used slight of hand before, but kept putting skill points into it, where are those skill points coming from?

The system doesn't work for roleplay if you look at it too hard. It's kind of rigid and has clearly defined levels, rather than the natural gradual growth you would see from a real adventurer going out and learning these things. And that's ok.

Let him go rogue/paladin, then watch him go squish against the first big boss because those classes do have no synergy and you can avoid letting him play another thing out of the Core Races.

I just want to say the map is a total no-go. You're in charge, yes the DM is encouraged to say yes, but it is also your privilege to say NO, that's bull, that's meta game, and that's basically breaking game play. It sounds like the kind of guy that will throw a big sulk if he doesn't get what he wants, but part of the DM job is to be fair and set the bar where you want it to be. He, the player, wants to draw a map, but his character doesn't have anything to draw a map on? Well too bad. Technically you can't stop him from drawing the map, however he's not allowed to refer to it within game play, so there's no point in him having it anyway.

Hell, if I had tried that shit in my group, I'd get yelled at by ALL the other players, AND been given a warning by the DM. We enforce quite strict meta-game rules.

EDIT: Actually, the skill autohypnosis allows you to remember things like the layout of a labyrinth, but he'll take some hefty penalties if anything should happen around him. I think he'll also need ranks in it to use it. If he for some obscure reason actually has points in that, check what the rulebook says about it.

Twinrehz:
Snip.

Thanks for the reassurance, I talked to the players and they weren't happy with what he was doing either, so I have talked to him about it and he's realized he was taking things a little too far.

As far as the rogue thing goes, I decided if he wants to do it, he can, as Thomas McMullin said, it'll make him squishier against the boss and that will be the result of his action.

Thomas McMullin:
Snip.

Ah yes, but with my games, as I made sure they were aware before starting, big things like multi-classing are reliant on role playing, it has to make sense. As I said, he offered no real reasons other then the party needs a rogue. But, I'm letting him if he wants anyway, if his character dies, it won't be my fault.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

I suggest introducing consequences for unreasonable things he does (or at the very least, die rolls). This is something a good GM does anyway, but you might want to give him a little extra attention in that regard. Don't let him "just do it." Think how it could go wrong.

On the paladin/rogue conflict: The PC belongs to a lawful good church and must adhere to strict behavioral codes. Have the church father confront his character about turning away from righteousness and pursuing the arts of thieves and liars. If he can't give a good in-character answer for his actions, maybe he's banned from the church, or sent on a pilgrimage. If the character starts using poison or backstabbing everyone, have his deity take his powers away. No more spells, no more divine grace, et cetera. Don't let him get away with "I'm using the enemy's weapons against them," either. The righteous path is narrow!

The natural habitat of merfolk is water. You could enforce some kind of penalty to reflect his character spending all his time away from water. Look up the rules for desert exhaustion.

As for inscribing a map on a torch, make a secret crafting roll to determine how good the map is. Profession: Scribe might work. Look at the character sheet and use the right stat but don't tell him what you're doing. Then, without telling the party, decide whether the result is good enough to produce a usable map or not (the PC is blissfully unaware and thinks he is producing a masterpiece). When he says "I use the map to get out," tell him since he made it in poor conditions using improvised materials, getting out isn't an automatic success. He'll have to succeed at Dungeoneering, Navigation, or whatever skill you think appropriate. If the map-making roll was bad, have them end up in the wrong place.

 

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