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I just answered this question about a player feeling left out in a gaming group. It came to light after I posted that the DM is his teacher, rather than a peer.

It seems plausible to me that the DM might be intentionally favoring certain players because they're "problem kids" at school. This club could be a social outlet for them to feel like they're doing something amazing where they otherwise might be struggling in school.

I base this speculation on an almost identical situation that happened to me in grade school with an after-school gaming group. One player was socially and academically struggling in school and the teacher overseeing the group favored him to give him a positive experience within a (technically) school environment.

Obviously it's entirely speculation here since my experience isn't guaranteed to match the OPs, but mentioning this dynamic might shed some light on why the teacher is favoring certain students.

I honestly have no idea if I should include this detail in my answer. If I'm wrong about it it could possibly be seen as super insulting to the players. If I'm right, it could make the situation make more sense.

I'm leaning leave it out but would welcome thoughts.

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In general, speculation is not welcome in SE answers (https://stackoverflow.blog/2010/09/29/good-subjective-bad-subjective/ etc.).

However, in this case it's based on real experience, and you can share your experience - "hey here's a similar situation and what happened in my case" - without specifically speculating about who may be what at their table. "I was in this situation, this is what caused it for me, what I did about it, and how it turned out" is a perfect SE answer, and they can analyze whether it matches up with the details in their case or not.

And from an offending people standpoint, "Maybe that guy is mentally deficient/off his meds/suffering from personality disorder" is way more hostile and speculative than "I had a similar problem that was like this. In that case the problem player was mentally deficient/off his meds/suffering from personality disorder and here's what we tried..." Lets the learning transfer without stigma transfer.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Does it make a difference whether the speculation is additional context on a broader answer or not? \$\endgroup\$ – fectin - free Monica Apr 28 '18 at 15:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ That’s pretty vague so it’s hard to say. Maybe, maybe not. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Apr 28 '18 at 16:03

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