i have a friend i play dnd with who isn't the most reliable guy as far as showing up on time, or even at all. i try to be pretty understanding. he lives relatively far away from the rest of us in the game. i'm also not always the most reliable or organized guy so i try not to give anyone a hard time for stuff they could be giving me a hard time for. our group has three games running. he was involved in two and he's sort of downgraded to one and a half because of his lack of ability to make it up to our area on a regular basis.
the game that he's not committed to is an age of worms campaign that i'm running. he's playing a chaotic neutral dwarven cleric. his character bugs me on a number of levels. first of all chaotic neutral bugs me. i think its a hard alignment to roleplay well and i think most of the time a player who chooses it just doesn't want to bother giving their character any thought. this is not to say i haven't played CN characters. i'm playing one now. my wife is too. and i don't want to start another chapter of the great alignment debate. so anyway, other stuff about the guy's character that bugs me:
i gave him some leeway in character creation. i told everyone to roll 4d6 dropping the lowest 7 times and keep the best 6 scores. everyone was allowed to make characters on their own without my supervision. i didn't give anyone a hard time about stats because high stats make players happy and if they want to fudge their ability scores i have faith in the karma of dice coming back at them eventually. given all that, he's the only one whose scores made me raise an eyebrow: 18, 14, 18, 13, 16, 13. on top of that (and this is not really my problem, it's his fellow player's problem) he doesn't accept the common roll of a cleric. he rarely heals other party members even if they're near death.
he came to the game with some custom content he'd found online. it was for second edition (we play 3.5) and it looked like it had been written by a twelve-year-old (no offense, twelve-year-olds!). it was way overpowered and it didn't make any sense. other than the fact that it would just make his character a superman, i couldn't even see a logical way of integrating it into a 3.5 game. so i said no. even still, he kept referring to it.
THEN he talked me into allowing him to worship tempus, but allowing him to use the dwarven waraxe as his deity's preferred weapon. this gave his cleric a free martial weapon proficiency with the weapon which made him a formidable tank right off the bat. that didn't throw the game or anything, it just bugged me. he wants to retroactively change feats he's chosen. his character had taken power attack and never used it so i let him change it. but he decided he wanted to take leadership.
leadership. in one of the other games we play in, one of the other players is a cleric who took leadership. she plays it well and her cohort is an asset to the party. her cohort is not overpowered, he's clearly a secondary character. i imagine this is where my friend got the idea.
so my buddy says he wants to take leadership and would that be ok. i told him it would and we could meet up and work on the character together before we next played. well, because of my work schedule i couldn't come the next time we played.
the game i had to skip out on wasn't my game, but it was the first time i ever had to cancel on one of our games. i'm not always the easiest person to work out a schedule with, but when we have one i stick to it 99% of the time. so in this case i'm not the pot calling the kettle black. i'm like, a silicon potholder.
anyway, we couldn't meet and never worked on his cohort. so we got together yesterday and played AOW, and surprise, he showed up. and surprise, he had his cohort all rolled up. i got a glance at the character sheet, saw three 18s, cringed, told him he couldn't use the cohort this time because i didn't want to have the conversation i'm going to have to have with him right then and there. we played the game, it went okay (other than the paladin dying, she'll be back).
we're meeting up next friday to play again and my friend says he's not sure he can make it. so i asked him to leave his character sheet with me so i could run it as an npc if he doesn't show, and to leave his cohort with me so i could "look it over and make sure it's okay".
so i'm looking it over and... it's not okay. the stats: 18, 18, 18, 14, 17, 10. it's a dwarven ranger. it wields a dwarven waraxe. it's the same god-damned broken character he's been playing. so in addition to his tank of a dwarven cleric that refuses to heal, he wants to play a tank of a dwarven ranger who, i can only assume, will refuse to track. aside from that, this so-called "ready to play" character has a lot of mistakes and missing stuff. he didn't bother to allocate any skill points, totally ignoring one of the ranger's advantages.
when he and i spoke on the phone he said he wanted to make a dwarven ranger. i thought it was an interesting idea. we discussed a character who specializes in underground tracking and survival, a kind of prospector type. the cohort would be a friend of his characters from "back home".
this character is not what we discussed and it's totally unacceptable. i'm tempted to just make him a dwarven ranger and tell him to use it as his cohort. but i think that would be too heavy handed. i think he'd accept it but i don't think he'd like it. i know if i tell him to recreate it on his own the "improved" version will only have two 18s and still won't have any skill points assigned. and the odds of he and i finding time to get together to work on it are slightly less than the odds of him showing up for any given game, which are slightly less than 50/50.
to be honest i don't even know if its worth discussing with him. he doesn't show up to the game consistently and i really think its only a matter of time before he drops out altogether. i think my best bet may just be to tell him that i have too much to keep track of in this game already, and i need to make a house rule that we aren't using leadership in this party. i'll spin some BS at him about it throwing off treasure splits or experience or something.
i don't know.
anyway, thanks for letting me vent. not that anyone will actually read this long diatribe...