[RPG] Should I change the entire campaign to please one player


So, I'm running my first ever dnd campaign – and I'm having a blast doing it. I've found a really great group of players, who are really accomodating to my newbieness, and I couldn't be happier with them going along with my crazy schemes. Overall, I feel that all the players are relatively happy with how my campaign and the plot is progressing so far.

Except for one.

Now don't get me wrong – this player (we'll call him The Druid) is quite easygoing most of the time – he generally doesn't argue too much, and goes along with the plans about as well as the other players. However, he's a little bit of a stick in the mud. Again, I like the guy, but he just insists on certain matters.

The Druid used to be part of another campaign – and he CONSTANTLY tells me about it. "In my old campaign, all the characters were really diverse and interesting." "In my old campaign, flanking was a hard rule." "In my old campaign, we only had sessions every other week." "In my old campaign, the plot wasn't laid out for us, we had a bunch of little side things we could work on." "In my old campaign, we weren't railroaded at all." "In my old campaign, we were railroaded at the right times." And so on and so on.

Again, I can appreciate that this is what the guy is used to, and it can be jarring going into a new campaign, especially one with a DM who's so new to the art. However, the campaign has been going on for a few months now, and not only is he still going on about how much better his old campaign was, I feel that I've gotten better at DM-ing, and I've really been trying to follow The Druid's suggestions on how he thinks the campaign should go.

Now The Druid says that he's considering leaving the campaign unless things shape up soon. I just don't know what he wants – he says he doesn't want railroading? I give the plot multiple branches. He says he wants it back down to bi-weekly? I make it bi-weekly. I do everything I can to make him feel at home, but he still keeps saying how he doesn't like how the campaign is going. All I can think to say is how this just isn't his old campaign, and I sat down and spoke with him about it after my last session. Even so, he still isn't happy with how things are going, and as a result, I'm not so sure about the campaign. I don't want The Druid to leave – I never want people to leave the group, especially when they've been in it since the beginning – but at the same time, I'm running out of options as to how to convince him to stay.

In addition, at the same time, I don't want to change my entire campaign just to please The Druid. Like I said, I have other players in the campaign, who I truly believe are enjoying it, and who have said that they really like how things are going.

All this said, here are my questions: How do I change the campaign to please the druid, without changing it so much that it affects the other players? In addition, should I change the campaign at all, or just resign myself to having the druid leave? Please keep in mind, I'm a new GM, and I'm simply not capable of doing things as well as they presumably were in the druid's "old campaign". I'm just wondering how I can convince the druid to stay. Finally, if possible, how can I convince the druid that this isn't his "old campaign", and never will be his "old campaign", because I'm not his previous DM and as such I don't know exactly how to make a campaign that's a replica of his previous one.

I know this is all very situational, and I apologize for that, but I'm kind of at my wit's end with trying to please The Druid, and I don't know what else to do.

TL;DR: I can't please one player no matter how much I try, even though all other players enjoy the campaign. How can I change my campaign to suit that player without ruining it for the other players?

Best Answer

Let your player leave.

D&D is a game. The primary reason anyone plays D&D is to have fun.

You and your player are not having fun.

Your question title is a leading one: of course you shouldn't change the "entire" campaign to please just "one" player. So yes, you and your player should part ways. Your player has told you that he's not having fun, and you're not having fun. In the absence of a fix, the only solution is to go your own separate ways.

The only reason you give for not letting him go is that you don't like the idea of losing a player, and he's been there since the beginning. But as anyone who's been in a bad relationship (romantic or otherwise) will tell you, you can only look forward. Is keeping your pride about no players leaving really worth it? Can you tolerate not having fun while playing D&D forever?

Finally, it's important to know that this situation doesn't mean that you failed. I'm in a group that's cycled through DMs. None were bad, but some were better fits than others. Parting ways with a single player does not make you a "bad DM," especially if your other players are enjoying the game. Instead, it just means that you and your player were looking for different games. From what you've told us, you've made a good faith effort, and if that's not enough to satisfy this player, then the only other solution is to let them leave.