[RPG] Player is obsessed with shaving the wookiee


We're playing the Star Wars RPG but this problem isn't system specific.

It's normal for this group to drop character, usually for jokes and chatter, so that isn't something that can be addressed.

It began as a minor joke, referencing a series of cartoons about a shaven Chewbacca (he gets a Mohawk, a Brazilian, etc.). We spent about 20 minutes one session joking about shaven wookiees during a discussion of disguises. Some bleach and hair dye should be enough to disguise a wookiee.

A couple of sessions later, my character was wounded, and as part of a "medical procedure" to get rid of a critical injury, our medic shaved the character's entire back. Then we spent a while joking about shaving wookiees. I wasn't impressed, but I ignored it. The character later admitted that it wasn't a necessary procedure.

The session after that went normally. No wookiee shaving fetishes.

Then, during the most recent session, the player in question spent more than an hour trying to shave my character, making rolls without prompting from the GM to trick me into getting shaved, and insisting that the latest injury required a full body shave. I'm playing a tank, so of course the character gets injured regularly.

How do I stop this obsession / fetish about shaven wookiees?

The player in question regularly drops character and begins trying to shave my character; if this ongoing joke was truly in character, he would have lost his arms by now.

(P.S.: Don't google "shaven wookiee" at work.)

Best Answer

Every once in a while I have things like this pop up, too, these one-sided running "jokes" at someone else's character's expense. I have never found anything that is effective except for telling the other player, quite bluntly, that their behavior is annoying and disrespectful:

"I am not here as a prop for your jokes. My character is not there as a prop for your character's jokes. And something that was (charitably) funny once becomes much less amusing on every forced repetition. This wasn't fun to begin with, it isn't ever going to be fun, so just knock it off."

You should not need the GM's support in this matter, but it is always quite helpful if you can get it. (On the other hand, if it turns out you do need the GM support because the player won't stop, and you can't get it, that is a major problem.)

I've also generally not found it helpful to turn this into an in-character or rules-based dispute either, unless you are so inclined (and it is clear from the above that you are not.) As you say, in this specific instance, the likely resolution in-character would be violent PVP. But even if it were not, if there were some less violent avenue for your player to take, the fundamental problem is still there: Your character is a prop, the butt of someone else's joke, and now you have to spend your precious time and role-playing energies in constantly fending this off. That's just not fun.

This answer has some important insights, too, which I think are complementary with mine. Not all these running "jokes" are borne out of malice, although they can still be quite annoying. How much the cause is malice, or awkwardness, or misreading the situation, or some other thing is up to you. And this can and should inflect how the blunt response is delivered. Blunt need not mean cruel or embarassing.

But that said, even in the awkward/misread situations, it has been my experience that the player in question needs to be told, clearly and firmly. They're probably not going to figure it out on their own.

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