Everyone knows the player who just wants to win. They have just the right build to totally own your table unless you throw overwhelming odds at the group (and this is a totally valid style of play), but it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve sat at allot of different tables with more than one person who creates that truly bad ass character and the 2 common mistakes I see gms make are:
- Not taking the characters power into account. This is big because it shuts the rest of your party out of the combat and creates a spectator sport of your combats.
- Constantly shutting down the “power” player. Some gms choose to just constantly bombard the player with things that shut down their abilities. Doing this is just going to make the player feel ganged up on.
The real trick is to try and engage these players with something of their own without actually singling them out.
In one game I am currently playing in my groups win button player is rocking the summoner and can pretty much wreck any encounter that would normally be average for our group. If I were gm’ing this game instead of playing it safe to not kill the party I’d throw something in the mix of normal baddies that has the might to just go straight up toe to toe with the eidolon. This lets that player have their moment to just go whole sale badass but leaves a surrounding threat for the rest of the party to still engage.
Another one has popped up in an m20 game I am going to be running with a magi focused on sleep spell. Instead of just constantly attacking the party with things immune to it my plan is to almost do the reverse of the above example. Combats will often involve mooks that could potentially overwhelm the party and cut them off from the “bigger” threat. The magi will be able to still serve a major life saving function with their save or suck spells but not ruin the entire challenge of the encounter for the rest of the party.
How do you handle your parties “A” team player without making anyone feel left out or ganged up on?