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It seems to me we are getting a bunch of long, rambly, problem-player (and problem-gm) questions all of which share several problems. One is that they mix in many different issues with a huge amount of unknown social context and want - well, sometiems validation, sometimes solutions, to be honest, and the other is that they all end up having mostly the same answers. "Talk to them, kick them, same page, blah blah."

Examples:

It's fine to have near-duplicates in general on SE but when the only meaningful answer to a whole class of questions is identical then maybe something needs to be done.

Workplace.SE has the same issue. They even made a custom close reason for it.

Real questions have answers. Rather than explaining why your situation is terrible, or why your boss/coworker makes you unhappy, explain what you want to do to make it better. For more information, click here.

Should we do something like this, or something else to stem the tide of "blah blah another player bugs me or my GM is a meanie?"

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A very similar question was asked recently, albeit with less detail. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jul 16 '15 at 1:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ The answers that only really state "talk to them, use the same page tool, kick them" tend to be the lazy & uninsightful answers by people swinging by thinking this just needs the staples. The best responses in the problem-gm/player tags grant a lot of unique insight into the issue, including helping the asker understand what might be going on for their player, and how to approach them differently. (And if it's "talk to them", those good answers provide a lot of insight into how.) I'm not against changing our approach to these questions though. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jul 16 '15 at 1:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ That the Same Page Tool has become such a given that it fits into a "blah blah" list makes me so very happy. :) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 16 '15 at 5:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ A similar “eternally reasked question, but never technically a dup” meta: Is there any problem with “5e: check my CR calculation” questions? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 23 '16 at 17:41
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Should we do something like this

No

Generally speaking

For the workplace, this rule makes sense, because the options are so limited and specific. There is a contract to be followed, there are laws to be adhered to and people writing an answer have a hard time knowing either. At the same time, a lot is at stake. There really cannot be a good answer to "my boss is an ***hole". That's not even a question. As a matter of fact, "if you need the money, you have to bear it" will always be "correct" in a way. The same goes for "just quit", which is NotAnAnswer as per the rules for this reason.

Here on the other hand, we have group dynamics of groups that work roughly the same globally, with a balance of power where all members are basically equal. There is no boss, there is no contract and there are no repercussions other than not having fun. So solutions will be transferrable. My powerplayer is a lot like your power player. Because unlike employment law in two different countries, we operate on the same rules.

In this specific cases

I think there is a lot more information and details in the problem player posts here than in any closed post on Workplace.SE. I mean they have line breaks. Real line breaks! Even before editing! That's more than we get over at the workplace for most of the rants :)

If something is a duplicate, we can close-vote it as such. For the time being, I think that's enough.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The comment on line breaks made me laugh out loud. (Sometimes we have too much, even.) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jul 17 '15 at 12:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ While a good answer, group dynamics does not typically have a condition "with a balance of power where all members are basically equal." In any group there are stronger personalities, and thus the balance of power isn't equal in practice even in leisure activity like RPG play. Can you rephrase that? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 17 '15 at 15:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast What I meant was that compared to the obvious boss <-> underling relationship, people at the gaming table are as equal as it gets when people form a group. I'd rather not include a psychology lesson on group dynamics and how even two people can never really be equal. It starts out with all member theoretically being equal and then life happens. I think that goes without saying. \$\endgroup\$ – nvoigt Jul 17 '15 at 18:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ "It starts out with all member theoretically being equal and then life happens." Fair point. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 17 '15 at 20:14
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No

Scanning over those questions, it looks like the majority have a unique answer. The workplace, just like the game table, has nuanced issues that are all in the same vein, but we have the added benefit of not being stuck in the real world and have other means to deal with problems.

The top answers I see are:

  • "Don't reward the player"
  • Suggestions on different reasons someone might be having problems with a DM
  • A myriad of things between clarifying rules and "the rules don't say I can't"
  • Remove player/change character paradigm
  • Standard conflict resolution steps
  • ...I guess pointing out the answer is in the explaination?
  • Stop co-gming or alternate in a different way (good answer!)...

There's a lot of good answers in there. What we can do is for the ones where the answer is obviously leave the group is to either close the question or see if they can make it a more positive question.

What's a positive question?

While my answer in How to deal with rude players? focused on the behavior, I also tried to include a somewhat helpful character concept to allow the player to remain and make them less alienating to the players. Though most of my answers don't follow suit, if a question where "obviously leave the group" or a duplicate of something else, maybe salvaging the question by asking something that would benefit the specific situation without being a duplicate is a better option.

Now, what would constitute as "obviously leave the group" is beyond me.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "What we can do is for the ones where the answer is obviously leave the group is to either close the question or see if they can make it a more positive question." - I sort of agree here. If everything they're saying really translates down to the only answer being "nothing is workable, everyone is an asshole / I don't fit in with them, I cannot possibly enjoy this," we probably should ask them what they want to get out of it so as to direct something other than the plain answer of "leave" being the answer. If that's all they want, it doesn't usually need much elaboration. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jul 16 '15 at 2:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ An example of a question where leaving is the only sane option. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jul 16 '15 at 2:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Agree 100%. These type of questions tend to attract lazy, identikit answers that technically do the job, but could do much, much better. Let the site do what it is good at - great answers that do consider the nuances of a particular situation will get more votes and float to the top, generic 'Same Page Tool' answers won't. \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Jul 16 '15 at 9:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ From Miniman's cited example: "The reason I've chosen your answer is because it contains the most information on how to deal with the group, like I asked in the question, instead of simply warning me away." This supports Wibbs' point of the really good answers usually floating to the top. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 22 '15 at 12:55
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Well personally I think that each Problem-player or problem-GM question does have a myriad of issues that can be addressed individually which can lead to some pretty complex answers. I don't really think the answer is always "kick the player out, he's a douche" or "your GM is abusing his authority".

I like the variety in the questions enough to try and peg each individual issue and come up with a solution unique to their situation, however I would much rather the questions have reasons with why their question isn't the garden variety "This guy is being rude at the table" questions.

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