LESSON STOP KILLING ALL MY MONSTERS! How to deal with power builders, a GM tip.

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Natural 20

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#1
Here we go again folks. So this week, I'm going to be talking about Overpowered Characters. These are the results of players wanting their characters to be amazing at everything they do. Yippie. Yeah, it's a problem. Sometimes people make characters like this just so they can outshow and outdo everyone and everything at their own game. As a roleplayer, you see these people as massive douche lords who will hog the roleplay and try and make the story all about them. But as the GM you can bring them down a peg or two. They a wizard? Oh no, you stumbled into an antimagic field. Oh you can fight too? Well have fun in a place where memories are wiped from your mind. Oh, you're immune to such effects due to the 'discipline of your mind?' lol welcome, have a crown of madness. The list goes on in ways you can bring them down a peg, but it just gets boring and the player will try and Mary Sue their way out of it. However, the bigger problem comes from dice based, well built characters who actually have done the roleplay and earnt their abilities.

Yeah, kinda sounds like I'm going to pick on the peeps who built their characters to do one good thing then it ended up being an ability for any situation. Or if you're playing a dice based RPG like D&D, they just rolled really well for stats. That sort of stuff you can't help, but what you can do is maybe give the other characters more of a story focus on them so the OP isn't constantly in the spotlight. Maybe the OP character has only a single thing their good at, like hunting magi and spellcasters. Then use ranged attacks and big monsters. If they are good at talking their way out of a situation but are shitty in a bar room brawl, put them in that situation. Being a GM is all about being flexible. A wise man once said to me "Every adventure is perfect until you add adventurers" and it's true in most cases, but don't let that frighten you, you are more powerful than the gods of the universe you control, so don't let one mortal become a challenge for you.


If the player is becoming to much trouble, pull them aside and tell them what's going on, maybe even ask them to retire the character and play a more reasonable one that suits the realm you're playing/ creating/ using. Be flexible when you can, but if the player just wants to be just that asshat who's good at everything and hogging the table, so to speak, then sometimes you just got to get rid of the toxic player.

Thanks for reading folks, I hope you found what I had to say useful, but any questions just leave them below or feel free to PM them to me.

Natural 20 signing off​
 

Bone2pick

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#2
If the player is becoming to much trouble, pull them aside and tell them what's going on, maybe even ask them to retire the character and play a more reasonable one that suits the realm you're playing/ creating/ using.​
As the GM, I believe communicating your concerns should be your first option. Often times players are unaware that they've created a character too powerful for the RP (they may have misjudged the threat level) and are happy to make corrections. It doesn't always work, but whenever it does it's the most efficient remedy.
 

Natural 20

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#3
You've got a fair point there, thanks for picking up on something I missed.
 

Pisces Jenkins

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#4
Extremely useful information that unfortunately more GM's need to know. Dealt with players like this long before I had the knowledge (or the guts) to hash things out with them.
 

PicaPirate

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#5
In D&D RP it is also always useful to consider that you can amend the stats of your foes to match the power of the party. If the party is overpowered or built like bricks, send them enemies that are similarly powered or have resistances to what they're built for. Are they all insanely powered but have zero resistance to psychic abilities? Looks like your party is gonna try effectively killing each other. A party can never be ready for everything and nothing stops a GM from simply scaling enemies to your power.

Another to consider is a topic that memes are full of but rarely ever should happen except for occasional Rule of Cool, natural D20 rolls on skill checks, in irony of the profile. It can seriously break games if they do something ludicrous and just because they got a natural 20, doesn't mean they succeed. Only attacks and saving throws care about 20's, skill checks can be higher if the total player skill check score is lower. Alternity is similar in this regard, where for impossibly difficult tasks you can give them 10 steps on to accomplish it. Or in Numenera, impossible tasks have a difficulty of 10.
Another factor is, they don't necessarily accomplish the impossible, but they can look cool trying. Punching a giant stone tower as a human in strength? Impossible, but if you roll really well, you might make it shake a bit, have a loose piece of stone somewhere fall and cause a clatter. Their hand will still break, but heck that was cool.

Denial is unfun and players breaking the game is unfun, but meeting half way is a good compromise.