Halp! Need some advice/ideas!

By Durandal7, in Deathwatch Gamemasters

OK! So my party is pretty large for an RPG game, not huge but large.

Novamarine Techmarine (usually SL, I have gripes with this player, but more later..)

Consecrator Apothecary

Imperial Fist Devastator

Space Wolf Rune Priest (he's technically left the game after yesterdays game due to work)

Blood Angel Assault Marine

Ordo Xenos Inquisitor (Adept root, dead squishy)

So they've got pretty much all bases covered, particularly with the Techmarine piling XP into Command and Willpower advances respectively.

A) One of the problems I have with them is that, since errata, they have access to Oath of Knowledge, which in itself isn't too bad. (please also bear in mind, we've just come through Final Sanction/Oblivions Edge so I may be jumping a rather large gun here particularly as those missions are..predictable to a degree) My problem arises from the use of the Strongpoint Codex Defense Pattern. Using that, they're capable of taking apart Warrior Primes (MotX) in a single round. As a general rule, I'd like to get more than a single round outta my Elite bad dudes without resorting to Carnifex spam. (or some other similar monster).

B) The guy who plays the Techmarine is about the least Ultramarine/Ultra-Successor player I've ever come across. He's crude to NPC's, disruptive in and out of game and he power games like an <insert expletive here>. Most of the restrictions I've put on the players (using things like the 5-hands rule etc) aren't truly aimed at the team but at this particlar player because he'd religiously abuse any advantage he can get and the rest of the players, who aren't nearly as bad, simply get caugh in the crossfire. Obviously I could just boot him from the game, but problems arise as we both play together in lots of other games. In other games he's infact worse, he's happy to threaten other characters and actually initimidates (he calls it roleplaying but the rest of us aren't sure) other players into doing what he wants. He's is destructive and if he doesn't get his 3-4 combats a game he finds ways to have them. He likes a bored sheep dog, with guns and axes. He's a major issue. However, he does have his uses. He certainly gets the players/characters to keep going and he does get things done. So any story doesn't stagnate but becomes utterly covered in blood.

Sorry that turned into a rant..I could go on but I don't want to bore you.

Either way, halp!


PS. I'm more than happy to accept that a number of these problems arise from my lack of experience as a GM and that they may entirely be my own fault. This I can accept.

In regards to the power player it seems like you'll just have to grind your teeth and deal with it. I do suppose however that you have made your concerns about his playstyle known to him - because he might otherwise be in the delusian that you're cool with what he does. Its always a shame when a player has to be kicked so I won't advise that.

Don't know if its any help, but some thoughts on the matter.

Any advice is welcome.

I have brought it up with the player, but he continues under the delusion that he's complying.

I dunno, I think you're being wayyy too nice here. Some power gaming isn't so bad, but I would draw a serious line at threatening or intimidating other players. That's a big no-no to me, and would actually provoke me into kicking a player out of my game.

There's 2 different things here, that needs seperate adressing, so to speak.

1) The Game Rules. There are plenty of room for powergaming in Deathwatch, which clever players can take advantage of. Unfortunately I do not see many ways to resolve this, besides what you are already doing, by houseruling things, which then affects all the players. But you could try and help the other players out with ideas to improve their gear/skills/talents, if they feel like this guy is getting way more powerful.

2) His style of play. This should be possible to do something with, in-game (as I can see you already spoke with him about it). I suggest some of the following:

- Using the chain-of-command to penalize him for acts which is hurting the Deathwatch. If he is being rude/disruptive to other allied forces, this could be reported back to his Watch Captain and/or Inquisitorial command. These could then have a chat with him that he is to stop this kind of behavior, and back this up with giving him less renown than the others, as well as less requisition, as he obviously is not trained enough. Things like this will definatly hurt a power-gamer, as his gear will be less effective. (You could even have a Watch Captain or a Deathwatch Chaplain have a debriefing session with all of the players after each session, so it does not feel like he is being targetted out. You could even do these one-on-one, so he can not intimidate the others during).

- Finding ways to hurt him more than the others by the type of enemies and encounters. Unfortunately this is first of all quite dificult, but also very taxing as a GM. And it might not even get the message through, considering it didnt when you told him directly. But if he found a combination of gear that is making him insane, see if you can find some loopholes that will negate it (Like using Warp weapons, if he is going nuts with his armor, etc etc)


Oh I forgot! He is a Novamarine. This ties a bit into the chain-of-command thingy. But if he is acting so bad as you say, it might have even gotten back to his own Chapter, who could then send an emissary (Anything from a Veteran to a Chaplain) to tell him that he is walking on very thin ice. And if his actions does not improve in a way that will make his Chapter proud, he could risk excommunication.

If all else fails... You could always create a rule that every time he starts **** up, a complaint reaches the ears of the Watch Commander... And he has to pass a WP test to not send a Vindicare assassin after him... And the test gets harder the more complaints he gets. :P

If the problem persists, then I think you are entitled to kick him, as you're tried to talk with him and he does not seem to care. If you think that this will get you more problem I suppose you can only grind your teeth and suffer him in silence. Frankly. Sorry to hear but I do hope that this will work out for you all in the end.

Well we had another game and I tried a few of the suggestions.

He entertainingly mouthed off to Watch Captain Tarran Cearr, who subsequently (and quite dicelessly) backhanded him to the floor. This had little-no effect other than making the power-gamer go ballistic.

It was at this point I'd had enough and simply asked him to go home. A less than desired outcome but I think the game and players will be better for it.

Thanks for all the advice anyways, I'll certainly be making use of the suggestions should this issue ever arise again!


ps. On an unrelated matter, I know I promised to get the Assets Cards done in a week, but things have been pretty hectic! They'll be up and online soon!