Immature D&D players can ruin a game if they persist. Immaturity may not be a terrible thing by itself and can be a great opportunity to teach new players, but immature D&D players can ruin games.
Immature D&D players are able to destroy our D&D games. This can be a learning experience or a terrible disaster. It all depends on the player.
I have had to deal with many immature players in the past, but I learned something. It depends on the type of immature player. If you are very lucky, an immature player isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Types of immature players
There are a few types of immature D&D players. Here they are for some classification:
- High school players.
- New players
- Problem players
- Experienced immature players
We have already covered a few of these players. If you are looking for how to deal with kids, we have an article on that here. For players who are in high school, we have an article on it here. Lastly, for problem players, we have a whole article dedicated to them here.
With all that, we are only left with new and experienced immature players. You might be wondering why experienced immature players are different than problem players. In short, experienced players are immature but not harmful to the group while problem players need to be kicked or changed. Here is an example of an experienced immature player.
John is a bard who always loves to play joke characters. He plays the dumb barbarian who only smash smash, or the bard who only seduces. He loves to have fun and is definitely a bit immature, but not a real problem.
Dealing with immature players in D&D does not have to be a bad thing. That is something that needs to be very clear. Kids are immature and it isn’t necessarily bad. Immaturity can be a side product of lacking experience. Handling immature players can be a hassle even if the player isn’t a problem player. It takes a different viewpoint to deal with immature players than some DMs might be comfortable with.
That is why we are going over this today. We will go into how to deal with immature players.
Bad immature players
These players are the ones who try to detract from the game and turn everything into a joke. These experienced immature D&D players a blight to any game and involve any or all of the following:
- They slow down the game.
- Immersion is broken.
- Gameplay is terrible.
- Turn everything crude to the point of exhaustion
This does not include new players since we will go over that in a bit, but for experienced players if they include any of these features they are a different type of problem player than our problem player article covers.
For immature players, they can slow down the game by making constant jokes about farts, sex, or something stupid. It breaks immersion and slows down the game. They do not take anything seriously and it breaks the immersion. The game is just a giant joke to them and they are going to ruin it for everyone by breaking the atmosphere and not taking the game seriously.
This will minimize the gameplay of others and it will become exhausting. Not just the jokes, but the sense that everything is a joke. The game will become tiresome and worn out.
If this sounds at all like your immature player you have two options. Talk to them or kick them. They will steal the life from your game if something isn’t done about them.
This is not always the case, and your group can get along with immature players if they don’t take it too far.
Ok immature players
Some immature D&D players are alright to have in your group. These are the people who like to make joke characters as described above, but they don’t take it too far. They still learn the game, enjoy it, and roleplay to keep their characters immersed in the world like the other players’ characters are.
Just because you have a stupid barbarian character as a joke doesn’t mean you have to destroy the game for others. You can go into the tropes that a dumb barbarian starts with and eventually have the character grow in some manner.
Allowing growth is what separates ok immature players from the bad ones. Bad immature players will not allow growth. They are one note characters who need to be constantly told what to do and watched. Ok or even good immature D&D players learn, grow, adapt, and do not inconvenience others.
This being said, your group might not be okay with this. We talked about how there are different types of campaigns in our serious vs silly article. If the tone is grim dark, epic, or even moderate you might not have a good campaign for that character. They may not fit, and that is okay. The player either needs to change or change their groups at this point. There are different games for everyone.
It is best to get this figured out in session 0 if you can. These players should not get any special treatment in your games, but you all do need to come to a consensus on what type of game you are going to play. This is best done asap at session 0.
If your campaign does allow for some silliness or immaturity, then comedic characters can be fine.
Comedic characters are there to brighten the mood and make the game a bit more enjoyable for everyone. They may not take everything seriously, but that is just in their nature. There is nothing wrong with these types of immature D&D players, but they need to be tempered.
If someone tries to make a comedic character ‘just for laughs’ then you need to analyze how they are being played. If the players is a good or bad immature player as described above, then you will know if comedic characters are okay.
Most of the time a comedic character is fine to have in a campaign, but they need to be able to grow and not detract from everyone else’s enjoyment. If they make people sight with a bad pun, that does not count.
Comedic characters can be fine to have in most campaigns, but what about new players who are just immature?
Immature new players
We were all new at one point. If you started as a child then it is likely that you were immature as well. If you started as an adult, well, every D&D player somehow turns a well crafted DM scene into a sex joke.
This kind of immaturity is fine for most groups. Each group has an acceptable level of immaturity, but the problem is when a new player doesn’t know that line or is just completely new.
If any immature D&D players are new and cause you some concern, you should talk to them. Try to get them to understand what is okay and what is not okay. If these players don’t get it right away, don’t give them any special treatment.
Don’t laugh at bad jokes or give them extra help because they are just trying to be immature. Do not give them extra attention or make them think that their antics are cute.
If you don’t give them special treatment, they will most likely see the mood shift and follow the peer pressure to not be too immature. You should reward their other efforts by giving them more attention, smiling, and just showing some praise when they do not go over the line or when they do something good.
Teaching new players is hard for many groups, but handling immaturity should be understandable for most groups. When we all started we were most likely a little bit immature. Have some empathy for these people and help them become amazing D&D players like they were meant to be!
Immature D&D players can be a problem. If your game doesn’t allow for them or you have a bad immature player it can ruin your game. In these instances, you need to talk to them if they are new. Temper new players and make them into great D&D players who are fun to have. For experienced immature players, it differs.
If a good immature player is in your group and that character fits into the tone of your campaign it is fine. They will grow and even with a comedic character the experience will still be a net positive.
If the player is experienced and doesn’t grow or just lives for the spotlight to get attention, you may have to talk to them or even kick them. Do not give these players any special treatment as well.
Immature D&D players are not necessarily a bad thing since we are all a bit immature (how many times have players turned something non sexual sexual?). It just depends on your game and if the player is a good or bad immature player.
I hope that this has helped you deal with immature players just a little bit!
Until next time this has been Wizo and keep rolling!