The First Time I Kicked Out A Player From
A couple years ago, after a long D&D drought,
I opened a public game at my FLGS, a pirate,
survival, island adventure game.
There were a couple problem players, but no
one like Sam.
“No evil characters,” I said.
“All right,” everyone agreed.
Everyone was seated at the table in the back
of the game store.
Excited faces eager to play looked at me to
This is how session one began.
Sam was playing a female Droven Rogue.
“You’re on a ship,” I said.
“You know that’s not how that works, right?”
“You can’t have a Captain who’s an Ensign.”
JENSON,” I said.
Sam looked at me with something like contempt.
“Captain Jenson is yelling at you all over
the crash of the waves and pelt of the rain
that this is no ordinary storm.”
“‘If you lubbers have a drop of salt in
your veins, your help might mean the difference
between life and death!’
As he speaks, the sea begins to swell off
the starboard side.
A glistening form arises–” Sam interrupted,
rolling his eyes and letting out a loud groan.
“A kraken, seriously?
A glistening octopus-like creature half as
big as the ship rises from the depths and
lashes the ship’s deck with its taloned tentacles.”
The players leap to defend the ship, except
“I’m not getting paid for this.
This is the sailors’ job,” he says.
I inform Sam that his character is aware that
her involvement in the battle is a matter
of her own survival.
He finally gives in, firing a hand crossbow
at tentacles that are not engaged by allies,
never triggering the Rogue’s sneak attack
dice and getting pissed off that he’s never
doing anything impactful.
The rest of the party attacks the Kraken with
the ship’s crew desperately trying to defend
the ship against the onslaught of tentacles.
It lashes out tearing boards from the ship’s
hull; it trumpets out a high pitched scream
as it knows it will soon be devouring its
Sam fires off a shot from his hand crossbow,
lazily rolling his dice and his eyes.
The ship begins to list heavily to the starboard
The party focuses on the largest tentacles
wrapped around the ship, managing to sever
one of them.
The kraken screams again but this time in
Slick, oily blood pours out of the severed
tentacle and the kraken retreats beneath the
But the ship is beyond repair and eventually
The players manage to swim to shore, soaking
wet but still alive.
They spend the next few days interacting with
the nearby prison colony, during which time
I discovered Sam’s character was in fact Chaotic
Evil and had no Background.
“What’s the point of a background?”
“I don’t need one.”
I informed him it gave his character several
of her skills, as well as being, you know,
the way a character hooks into the game world.
“Whatever,” he said.
If this had been a private game, I might have
kicked Sam out right there.
Had this been a public game I had run today,
I certainly would have kicked him out then.
But this was a public game, intended for me
to get to know players new to me so I could
invite the good ones to a later, private game,
and I had never kicked someone out before,
so I foolishly let Sam continue playing.
Sam later tried to steal the MacGuffin from
an NPC, failing to beat the Perception rolls
of literally the entire party who were staring
at it at the time, and became further pissed
off at his inability to do anything.
He kept doing things like that throughout
the next three sessions, selfish things that
ignored how the rules actually worked and
just assuming he would succeed at anything
his character attempted.
He eventually became bored with playing the
game in general and would take to walking
over to the Magic players when it wasn’t his
turn in combat.
He seemed to think it inconceivable that enemies
would attack his character while he wasn’t
at the table, and yelled at the Cleric for
not Healing Word-ing his character every time
she dropped as a result of being a frontline
The final straw came when the party entered
the final room of a dungeon, finding the mummified
corpse of a gigantic vampire bat god tied
down with golden chains.
The party knew by this point that it was imperative
they keep the god contained, but that if they
solved the puzzle of the room, they could
extract the treasure it was guarding without
breaking the chains.
After a couple minutes of the party engaging
the puzzle, Sam’s character grabbed a magic
sacrificial knife and deliberately severed
the lynchpin of the trap, freeing the god.
A mad escape dash out of a collapsing temple
later, Sam’s character looked up at the mummy
bat god flying through the sky and asked if
the god would give him any prize for freeing
When I said no, Sam became incensed and left
the table to watch the Magic players for the
rest of the session.
As soon as Sam left, the party decided they
would fight the vampire bat god and hopefully
redeem themselves from having been associated
with freeing it in the first place.
I decided that since it had been imprisoned
for so long that it was still weak and slowly
regaining its strength.
The party needed a win and honestly so did
They rolled exceptionally well for initiative
and began to pelt the gigantic vampire bat
with arrows which weren’t doing a whole
lot except for make it mad.
It flew around in a wide arc and dove downward,
picking up speed.
The party’s barbarian planted his feet and
spread his arms wide, standing directly in
the bat’s path.
“I’m going to grapple it.”
“Alright, it’s going to be–”
A natural 20.
The vampire bat opened its mouth wide ready
to swallow the barbarian whole, massive fangs
gleamed in the sunlight.
It slammed into the barbarian, driving him
backward through the sand, but he kept his
feet beneath him.
He grabbed the bat by the two massive fangs
and used the bat’s own momentum against
it; he twisted, slamming the bat into the
The party descended on the bat god like a
swarm of ants that had managed to take down
They chopped it into dust and took its fangs
as a trophy.
The party cheered and laughed.
This was the first time during the session
that everyone seemed to be having a genuinely
Sam glanced over from the card tables and
came back as everyone was packing their things.
I asked him if he was planning on coming back
to the game the next session.
He said yes.
I asked him not to come back.
As Sam was my roommate, it was an awkward
I don’t think it’s fair to tell this story
without a little backstory–Sam has about
ten years D&D seniority on me.
Back in the day, he and a bunch of other local
jerks played some incredibly adversarial D&D
where the DM tried his best to slaughter the
players and the players did their best to
tweak, twist, and warp the fabric of the rules
to beat him back.
I didn’t know this until after this whole
incident (and heard it all from another of
the players in his old group) but apparently,
back in the 3.5 day, that’s just how they
played the game.
Sam and I effectively had different expectations
out of the game, and at that point I wasn’t
using session zeroes.
In addition to this, Sam was at this point
trying to balance working second shift while
having a social life during the day.
This isn’t an excuse, but this also wasn’t
how Sam acted as a matter of course.
When I confronted Sam about his behavior in
game and asked him to leave, he said it hurt
a lot, but he didn’t blow up or have a fit
He said he was sorry and to my surprise didn’t
ask to be allowed back in the game, but asked
for another chance to prove he could be a
good player in the future.
I said sure.
We haven’t played D&D together since, and
we’re not roommates any more, but Sam and
I are still friends.
He’s a selfless and honest person, and I love
watching anime and going on hikes and stuff
with him, but I know better now than to play
competitive games with him.
Did Sam deserve to be kicked out?
Do I hear a yes, or a hell yes?
Regardless, his backstory does explain some
things, if not justifying them.
Have you ever had a player like Sam in your
How did you and the group handle it?
Please let us know and comment below!
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