[RPG] How to deal with a player’s self-interested player character


I am dealing with a new player who occasionally refuses to fight. He is playing a hermetic druid who is only concerned about threats to the forest. If an enemy is not harming the forest, he may refuse to fight. When his turn rolled around in said fights he said "I do nothing, this isn't my fight."

I don't want to force him to fight by making every enemy into a bio terrorist or by having every enemy target him specifically, but I also don't want the party to turn on him for not engaging in fights. They have been polite about such things so far, but I doubt it will last when a character dies due to his refusal to fight.

What do you think I should do about this player?

Best Answer

Have a Session 0

Seriously, have a session 0 and discuss what kind of game you're wanting to run versus what kind of game they're wanting to play. There's a clear stylistic mismatch between you and your player, and that should be talked out OoC, not with in-game incentives. No amount of in-game incentives are going to make me want to play Halo when I was expecting League of Legends, and similarly, no amount of in-game incentives is going to stop your player from playing Creative Minecraft when you're offering them D&D.

Be ready to compromise

Sometimes, its important to give a few inches here or there. However....

Be prepared to make demands

Some choices are deal-breakers. The Druid you described would be a deal-breaker in my game, but not someone else's. Where your player's goals conflict entirely with the fundamental premise you're using for your game, it is ok to demand that either they conform, or leave. And that's ok. Sometimes, perfectly wonderful players are not good fits for some games. It happens. Make the compromises you can, and then where you can't, make clear demands, with no judgement attached. If they pass, tell them you'll consider them for future games that are more fitting with their desired gaming style.