[RPG] How to handle an individual who is a selfish GM and player


I am part of a medium-sized group of players (6-8 people usually show up) who meet up once a week to RP. Our age ranges are 18-30. We have two GMs in our group, one who is an experienced GM (the selfish one and also the oldest), and one who is relatively new to being a GM, who is also the youngest.

Our group has an issue where we only have enough time to RP once a week and cannot take on another RP right now, so we decided on a system where one GM runs his campaign, then the other runs his campaign after that. Easy enough, right?

The problem

The selfish GM (who is also our friend, which puts us in a delicate spot) won't play nice with others when he isn't the GM. He wants the attention always on his character and will become cranky if he is not the center of attention.

For example, he has walked out of new GMs RP and always points flaws in the inexperienced GMs method of hosting to the point where the inexperienced GM was going to quit. When the experienced GM does run a RP, his NPCs are overpowered and he likes to steal the players spotlight with them.

Now, he wants us to put aside another night for a RP he wants to GM.

I need to find a way to break it to him (without being rude) that we are not going to cave in to his demands, while still keeping him in our friend circle. At this point, after everything he has done, I don't feel too inclined to be polite with him which is why I need some help.


Is it possible to explain to such a person that his behaviour is not warranted and that he can't just take other peoples time on a whim to satisfy his own ego?

Best Answer

As a first step, I would strongly recommend checking out the answers to Dealing with a Diva Player and Should I leave this group or recover it?, as they cover two separate aspects of your issue here (that this person is a diva player when not GMing, and a selfish GM when they are).

That said, no, it is unlikely to be possible to explain to this person why his behavior is unwarranted and unwanted. Attempting to do so will likely only cause him to lash out at you and whoever else joins you in the attempt. It will probably also create that wedge between him and your social circle that you're hoping to avoid.

Now, since this GM is asking to start a new game, you can deflect the problem by simply stating that you and he have different playstyles, and that while you like him as a person (I am assuming this is true since you say you don't want him to leave your social circle*), you would prefer to stick to games that share your playstyle. You can reference the Same Page Tool if he asks what you mean, but don't get drawn into specifics. Just say, "Hey man, we have different playstyles, so I'm going to sit out of your game so that you have more room for players whose playstyles match yours." Don't answer questions about what that means - point him back to the Same Page Tool - and if he continues to pressure you, thank him for offering you a spot in his game and then get up and physically leave. Your goal isn't to tell him what he's doing wrong, it's to get you out of having to play a game you don't think you'll enjoy, with the least amount of drama.

The key thing to remember here is that you are not required to play in a game you don't enjoy, and you're not required to put up with unpleasant behavior simply because someone is a part of your social circle. If he wants to remain part of the friend group, then he needs to learn how to interact with the group in a way that isn't abrasive or disruptive, and that's on him - not you. All you can do is choose whether or not you spend time with him.

*If you don't actually like him as a person and are only spending time with him because he's part of your social circle, that is a different problem entirely, and one that you should deal with beyond the scope of just this game.