You guys remember Jeremy the Dragon. You remember Jeremy’s demise. Unfortunately for Fighter, death is only a temporary setback for a determined little brother.

Like we said last time, some players just don’t belong in the same group. They might have conflicting personalities, opposing playstyles, or a long-standing difference of opinion about who gets the top bunk in their shared bedroom. As much as I like the idea of dismissing all such conflicts with a simple “refer to the flowchart,” there may come a time when you’re obliged to put up with these people.

RPG horror stories and a tales of that guy are common. Hell, they’re the reason that Fighter exists. But not every personality conflict ends in “look for a new group.” If you’re gaming with a family member, your best friend’s obnoxious boyfriend, or in an “all players are welcome” style FLGS, you may wind up at the table with the kind of people you wouldn’t invite to your ideal game. These things happen. And for whatever reason, you may decide that you’re willing to endure the other guy’s love of shouting Monty Python quotes if it means you get to game.

More interesting still, consider the kind of game where you’ve got a passel of close friends who enjoy different aspects of gaming. One dude is a thespian, another dude enjoys min-maxing, his girlfriend is big into PVP, and the last guy just wants to make dick jokes in an English accent. It is possible for these people to have fun together. If you’re GMing for them though, you’ve got to make sure you’re catering to all of those needs. And even if you can’t meet all of those needs at the same time, you can change modes on the fly, incorporating elements that appeal to each of these players by turns. You’ve got to become a sort of chameleon, shifting with circumstance and designing sessions that appeal to different playstyles in different encounters.

Will everyone be happy all the time? Of course not. But that’s the cost of gaming with your friends rather than clones of yourself. I mean…. Ugh. Six different Colins sitting around a table would probably get bogged down analyzing the game state and then start a YouTube party. Sure Colin #5, Lindybeige makes some awfully interesting points about spiked armor, but could I just hit the orc now please? I suspect I’d quit the all-Colins game in a hurry.

What do the rest of you guys think? Is it better to seek out players that share your preferences, or can you make a mixed bag of gaming styles works? Let’s hear it in the comments!