How to kick a player from your D&D group is something that needs to be handled with care. If you want to keep your friendship or just avoid drama, there are a few different ways to do so.
How to kick a player from your D&D group depends on the circumstances. Do you want to stay friends with them? Avoid Drama? Circumstances matter.
We will go over many different scenarios on how to kick a player from your D&D group. But first, we must cover the necessary steps before any final decision on how to kick the player is made.
Essential pre-kicking steps
Before considering how to kick a player from your D&D group, you need to go through the steps.
- Talk to the player
- Talk to the group
- Last warning and then out!
If you have a problem player this is a great reason to get rid of that player. The article on problem players gives some good examples of what a problem player looks like. If you think a player is a problem or just isn’t working well with the group then you need to adhere to these steps.
First, talk to the player.
It is essential that you talk to that player one on one. Figure out what is happening to make this player be a problem. It can be a simple miscommunication, a difference of opinion or that player is a problem player. Figuring out what the problem is will make it easier to figure out how to proceed in the future.
Second, talk to the group.
Make sure that you are not being unfair and ask if the group is having a problem with the player. Do this without the player there and do not ask leading questions like “so…. why do you guys not like x player?” Ask questions like “I have a problem with x player because of x. Am I overreacting?”
If you ask in the second question instead of the first, players are more likely to give their opinion. It is possible that you two just had a misunderstanding, and it is best to clear it up before continuing.
We all know that kicking a player is the last resort. This second step will help you get your group ready to kick the player if it comes to that. If your group is on the same page as you, it will make this easier for you in the future.
Third, give 1 last warning and then boot them, or just boot them.
If a player is too problematic and has been giving multiple chances, kick them. At worst, no D&D is better than bad D&D. Kick this player and make sure that they will not come back to harass your group.
Ideally, you will give this player 1 last warning before you have to kick them. If the player sees that you and the group are serious, they will most likely stop and possibly change their ways. Make this clear by saying that they will not be invited back if they do x thing. It is an ultimatum that is fair and allows the player to clearly identify what they have done and change their ways. If not, then you will have to proceed with kicking a player from your D&D group.
Now that the pre-kicking steps are over, we need to go over the different ways to kick a player from your group.
Not ending friendships
When you are considering how to kick a player from your D&D group, many times that player is a friend in real life. You do not want to lose that friend in real life over the game, but you need to kick them. Your game’s life depends on it!
There are a few ways to do this.
You ask that player if they really want to play with the current group. You can play it off in private that this isn’t that big of a deal and that D&D just doesn’t seem to be for your friend. They might agree and move on with this if D&D wasn’t that big of a deal to them.
If your player was a little bit more invested, you will have to take a different approach. At this stage, find what your friend really wants. They are causing problems for some reason. Your friend might be a little too controlling, or just have a different idea of what to do than everyone else.
These differences are common, and you can just say that the group isn’t right for your friend. You can propose a solution. Have your friend find a group that is better for them. This group clearly isn’t working. You have now deflected the blame and made your friend want to find a new group without getting defensive.
Getting defensive is the worst possible thing that can happen. People’s feelings will get hurt and they won’t take the news well. If you phrase it in a manner that makes it look like it isn’t anyone’s fault but just sort of happens, then it will be a clean break.
For those heavily invested who won’t leave, you need to take a different approach.
How to kick a player from your D&D group is already a difficult process. It makes it worse when that person is your friend and doesn’t want to be kicked.
If a close friend is being extremely difficult, there are a few things that you can do to kick them quickly.
“End the campaign.” This is where the campaign ends fairly soon after the decision to kick the player and your friend believes it is so. Kick them, and have the other players continue playing either the same game or a new one. Just don’t invite your friend.
“Be blunt.” If you are really friends with this person you can be blunt. Just tell them that they are not invited to the game. While this may hurt a little bit, you are still friends. Your friendship should be stronger than a kick from your game.
“Give an alternative.” If your friend is just a person who wants something different out of the game but is really invested, give an alternative. Tell your friend about another game or run a different game yourself that is very different than your current one. If you don’t want to give a D&D alternative, then you can give another alternative like trading D&D for more time together in another game. This may not work for everyone but is an option to consider.
These are 3 ideas on how to handle difficult breaks. If your friend is making it difficult to get out of your game, you can use these 3 alternatives to get them out. There are more options out there, but these 3 are possibly the best options out there.
For those who are not friends, it is much easier to kick a player from your D&D group.
Confrontation with non-friends
When you are considering how to kick a player from your D&D group, you need to think about if you are willing to have a confrontation or not. In addition to this, you need to think if these people are your friends outside of the game. If they are friends outside of the game, then look above to get some better tips on how to retain friendship while kicking people.
Confrontation is optional for kicking a player from your group, but it is sometimes best to avoid it. If you are fine with confrontation, then you can after warning the player with the line ‘if you do x you will not be invited back’ kick the player when they do the action that would get them kicked.
Most of the time, confrontation is necessary if you want to keep that player as a friend. If you are not interested in ever seeing them again or are worried about physical harm then you should avoid confrontation.
Yes, physical harm can be caused by a player who is told not to come back. This is the main reason why you might want to avoid confrontation, so consider if the player who is being kicked will become violent.
You might not want to handle confrontation either. If not, that is okay. Not everyone can handle it, but if possible you should always confront the player. It will make things end on a more clear note for the kicked player and they will not try anything that will cause further drama.
This all being said, there are a few ways to kick a player without causing confrontation.
Non-confrontational kicking methods
Once again, if you can confront the player and have everything work out then tell that player they are not invited back. They should know why if you followed the steps and be able to leave it at that. For safety sometimes, we should avoid confrontation though. that is why there are a few methods of kicking a player without having it be confrontational.
How to kick a player from your D&D group without having confrontation can range from small lies to completely ghosting the individual.
If you want the least drastic of all confrontational options, then you can tell your players that real life has come up and you need to put the game on hold. You put it on hold for a few weeks and start back up again. This method has a chance to destroy your group, so I would recommend against it.
A little bit of a more drastic option is to say that real-life issues have come up to that individual and continue the campaign in a different location/day/time. If you change all 3 of these then the only way that kicked player will know about it is through a friend in your group.
The most drastic option is to change location, day, and time, while ghosting the kicked player. This can work, but ghosting a player means leaving them in the dark. I would suggest giving them a text or something that lets them know they are not invited beforehand and then continuing with the change.
This option only works if you are fine with never seeing that person again and are fearful of physical harm, or they will not listen.
I would recommend the middle option, but depending on your situation a different option might be better for you.
How to kick a player from your D&D group involves many different things to consider. You need to first go through the three 3 steps before you kick a player. After that, you need to chose if you want to still be their friend afterward.
If you want to be their friend, then you might have a bit more work ahead of you. If you don’t want to be their friend and want to avoid confrontation, then there are many ways to do it. Just be careful with your approach. If you do it wrong, it can cause drama and leave people hurt.
I hope that this has helped you figure out how to kick a player from your D&D group with the least drama possible.
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