You would think that the Bard being horny all the time was the main issue… **Minor Trigger Warning**

But nope, the problem was his HORRIFIC attitude and disregard for others.


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*** Before I begin, I would like to say that there is a brief mention of trauma.  It’s not graphic, but still.  Please be wary when reading.

So for a little bit of background, I was a player in this campaign that’s still running today.  It’s SO MUCH FUN, and my DM actually chose me to test out this new class he was making, Eldritch Hunter. Yes yes, I know Matt Mercer and other creators already did something similar with other Edlritch/Blood Hunters, but this class was much more heavily aligned with the Hunters from Bloodborne, and there’s an AMAZING feature with this class that he added.  When I made my character, I was allowed to pick a monster’s spirit that my character was merged with and showed some characteristics of.  Either in times of great stress or in later levels where I can will it, my character can change into that monsters (buff stats and all) and fight as such for about 10 rounds of combat.  Being that it fit her narrative, I chose to make my character part Wendigo.  Ultimately for her character backstory, it was a secret passed down in her village that all Hunters go through a ritual where they merge with a monster that matches their personality, and none of the other players knew that.  Along with this, she had another major secret.  She had been placed under a curse, and only had one more year to live if she didn’t complete a task.  She wasn’t allowed to talk about it either, a curse on her tongue that physically prevented her from talking about it.  I’ll talk more about these things later.

Now our new player, we’ll call him Jake, entered the campaign a little less than a year after we started, which was no big deal for the rest of the players.  We had a new player come in about a month or two prior to that, and we figured the more the merrier!  Jake’s character? A drunken Bard halfling who had a curse placed on him that shrank him down to about 10 inches tall (insert obligatory Bard dick joke here).  We were compelled by his backstory that he had the curse placed on him the night he watched his girlfriend get abducted, and so our characters decided to help him.

Now, I know that I said that the MAIN issue with Jake and his character wasn’t his flirting, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t still take every chance to flirt that he could.  Upon meeting her, Jake’s character immediately flirted with mine.  My character rejected his advances due to the fact that she was already a commited woman, and had a boyfriend she was trying to find as her own personal goal.  Well, that didn’t stop him.  Over the course of the next hour or two this 50 year old Bard continuously flirted with my character as well as our 16 YEAR OLD cleric, who also clearly and openly expressed her disinterest.  Not to mention the Cleric’s player didn’t feel comfortable due to the fact that she doesn’t like establishing intimate relationships with her characters in DnD (I know this well, because she’s also a member in my campaign and she specifically requested that I avoid it).  Jake occasionally continued his flirting with the Cleric over the course of his time in our campaign, but mainly he targeted my character or NPCs.

By the end of his first session with us, my character (who’s biggest character trait is that she’s impulsive and VERY emotional) had had enough of the blatant flirting despite her clear disinterest.  The Bard had been swimming drunkenly in a kettle filled with booze when we met him, so my character took the lid, put it on the top and shook the pot a little.  Just a bit of a funny gag out of character, and everyone seemed to laugh at the situation. In character, it was my Hunter’s way of telling him to knock it off.  The session ended, and everything seemed to be fine.  But later I would learn just what kind of person and player Jake was…

I had received an initially friendly message over Discord a few nights later, Jake expressing how he was having fun playing with us.  I told him we were glad to have him in the campaign, which I genuinely was.  We had some friendly banter, and that’s when I had a bombshell dropped on me.

He messaged me, “Yea well, I’m glad you liked him, but I’m going to be rolling a new character before next session since your characters all hate him and you tried to kill him.”

I was dumbfounded, and asked what he meant.  He explained that my character tried to kill him by shaking his kettle.  This was blatantly untrue, as it only did 1D4 of damage to him.  It turned out Jake was an overly sensative person who had a habit of making passive-agressive remarks when he was upset, AND would play the guilt trip to make you feel bad for relatively minuscule actions that he deemed as attacks against him.  I apologized to him, and expressed that it was a joke that came from my character being frustrated by his actions.  But he continued to play the victim card, and insisted that the solution was to make a new character.  I didn’t realize at the time that this would become a pattern in the future, so I expressed genuine remorse and apologized SEVERAL TIMES in character AND out of character for all the players and the DM to hear.  I shouldn’t have fed into it, because it only got worse from there.

Of course Jake’s character continued to flirt, but we finally started to see what his main issue was.  Jake was the kind of person who would act how ever he wanted, giving no regard the harm or discomfort it might have caused to the other characters OR their players.  Yet when someone else did something that he perceived as offensive, he complained about it and claimed that we weren’t making him feel welcomed in the group.  We asked the DM for help, but because Jake was a good friend of his he basically said there was nothing he could do.  Jake had been like that for as long as the DM had known him.  Along with this, the DM was not the kind of person who could deal with aggression or conflict.  We ended up having to take Jake’s crap and ignoring how it made us feel.  Mainly, he did horrible things to my character, but his behavior certainly wasn’t limited to me.

One of the worst instances started with Jake’s dislike for our Artificer, a loud and very boisterous guy in and out of game who likes to make sassy remarks.  We love him for it, but Jake considered this a slight to himself and his character.  That being said, at one point the Artificer ended up carrying the party funds after my character angrily threw the coin purse at him (all in character, out of character we were totally cool and laughed at how childish my character was being).  With that, the Artificer started to carry the funds, and began to pitch ideas to the group as to how we should use them.  Because of the bias Jake had against him, Jake let his dislike of the Artificer out of game to influence how he treated him in game.  With this, he set of a chain reaction of events that ended with a terrifying battle that spoiled my secrets.

Our characters had split the party to go shopping, and so my character, the Artificer and our Druid went to the magic shop.  After getting the grand total for items, we all determined that were to be used by anyone in the party.   That meant we could use the party funds as payment.  The Artificer looked to his bag, and much to everyone’s surprise the coin purse was gone! At first we worried he got pickpocketed.  About 1400 gold, GONE.  My character investigated, using an ability with scent that she has due to being a Hunter.  That’s when she made an alarming discovery.  The scent that came off the Artificer was also coming off of her for some reason.  She looked in her own bag, and much to her confusion and concern she found the party funds back in her bag.  The party looked at my character, and started accusing her of theft.  It was a lot for my character to process, but after a quick check she had determined what happened.

She had caught the scent of Jake.  He had secretly taken the funds out of the Artificer’s bag, and placed them in mine.  

Now here was the issue.  If I ratted out Jake, then he would continue to get angry and ask why I threw him under the bus, surely unable to recognize the hypocrisy in his complaints.  If I lied, it made the other players distrust me, which was already a big issue due to previous events in the story.  

My Hunter’s response?  Don’t say anything, and walk away.  While unhealthly, her coping response to any emotional stress was to shut down and try to isolate herself.  My DM knew this, as it was a part of her intricate backstory.  If she became too emotionally stressed, there would be a very likely chance that she would turn into a monster. Unfortunately, the other players didn’t know this.

The story progessed with the Druid and the Artificer demanding to know what happened with the purse as well as a few other suspicious actions my character had made thus far (fair enough).  But my Hunter wouldn’t yield, locking herself in her room at the Inn they were staying at and trying to calm herself down.  Jake, the Artificer, the Druid and the other party members got into a big fight just outside her door, the stress becoming too much as my character had a panic  attack.

That’s when my DM told me to make a WIS save.  I failed.

An epic battle began, as the players suddenly encountered a large Wendigo.  They fought it off, and after making another sucessful WIS check my character returned to normal.  Our characters had a heart to heart about what was going on, and after it was over the party had a new found sense of trust.  There was even a hint of sympathy and romance that occured between my Hunter and the Artificer because of their talk.  It turned into a pretty cool element in our story, sure, but ultimately I had been a bit upset that my secrets had to be spoiled because I had to cater to Jake.

Of course, this wasn’t the end of Jake’s issues, as shortly after he continued to act with no regard.  This time he did something to my character that hit me in such a personal way.  I legitimately felt violated.

Jake’s Bard requested to speak with my Hunter privately, to which I agreed.  The party was previously made aware of my character’s year long time limit, but they didn’t know the details.  This was because I had rules given to me by the DM that I literally could not talk about what was going on.  I told Jake that my character looked like she’s trying to speak, but couldn’t.  For about 10 minutes he continued to demand information, and I couldn’t give him anything.  That’s when he got this disgusting idea.

“I use the spell Identify, and I shove myself in the Hunter’s mouth!” He proudly proclaimed.

He managed to force himself into my character’s mouth, so here she was in this horrible position with the 10 inch Bard in her mouth.  Yea, there are several jokes you could make, but it wasn’t really funny to me.  As a player, I couldn’t believe what was happening, and it made me SEVERELY uncomfortable.  Not to get too personal, but the reason it disturbed me on such an extreme level because it reminded me of actual trauma I experienced as a child.  I was clearly uncomfortable, and I wanted desperately for the DM or anyone else to say something.  But they never did.  I thought maybe I should speak up, but knowing how Jake would get I simply kept quiet.  I regret that now.  After that I mentally checked out for the rest of the session.  I will say, that my Hunter character begged for him not to tell any of the party members.  They had a chat that I felt was another small heart to heart, but clearly it wasn’t to Jake which I found out later.

Jake continued to get worse, doing things like calling the other character’s names, acting even more aggressive towards the Artificer, refusing to do any work, isolating himself from the group, claiming that we weren’t making him feel welcome in the group, etc.  The last one in particular made us other players feel particularly angry, as we had set up a modest little ceremony to initiate him into our group, offering a leather strap that had our group’s symbol burned into it.  We figured he’d gladly take it, but nope! 

“No thanks, I don’t want to be associated with a group for legal reasons!”

WHAT THE F***, JAKE?!

We were all at our wits end, with the DM unable to do anything.  Jake would even get aggressive towards the DM, one time yelling at him in front of everyone.  This was because Jake tried to seduce an Aboleth, specifically one that was a mini-god servant to the much larger eldritch horror that we’ll be facing by the end of the campaign.  He rolled a 25, but the DM had determined that a roll to seduce a god would be in the 30s.  Jake threw a fit.

“DM, I TOLD YOU IT WAS MY ULTIMATE GOAL TO F*** A GOD!  WHY WON’T YOU LET ME DO THAT?!” Yelled with totally seriousness.

We were all dumbfounded.  Oh and by the way, I learned later that Jake NEVER mentioned such a goal to the DM.  He never said any such thing in front of the party either.

The final straw happened shortly after during the next session.  Jake flew into a rage, and GOD was the reason STUPID.

Jake’s character seperated himself from the group, telling no one.  We figured he’d catch up with us, so we went about our business and proceeded with a plan to meet with a local merchant for information.  Of course, we “abandoned him”, so he was already angry with us. However, the session abruptly ended after he pulled a prank on my character.  For context, she was already on edge after a previous enemy snuck up on her, scared her and gave her 50 points of psychic damage.  She had been skiddish all session, and that’s when Jake’s character snuck up behind her and jumped her.  My Hunter didn’t know what was happening, so she shrieked and smacked the Bard off of her.  When she realized what happened, she started to get emotional, and cried as she cuddled up against the Artificer.  I figured that the actions fit her character, especially after being on edge due to the psychic attack.  But Jake didn’t care.

Jake lost it.

He started going off about how I was a b**** that was turning his character into a bad guy, how no one in this stupid campaign made him feel welcomed or wanted, and that he felt like no one cared what he wanted to do.  After that, he proceeded to go into a rant where he “in character” told the other characters about all of the secrets he learned from forcing himself into my characters mouth. He revealed several intricate parts of my characters backstory, spoiling the hard work that I had been writing for months up to this point.  The DM finally intervened, ending the session early before he could yell anything else.  We were all in a rough place, but the DM ended up taking the brunt of his aggression that night.

In private, Jake yelled at the DM with a flurry of curses, calling him a f***ing coward, a bad friend who doesn’t care, and the worst DM he had ever met.  After that, Jake was dropped from the group, and we didn’t hear from him again.


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