I had to do this once. It was not fun, even though it was warranted.

This is a tale from yesteryear, but despite the time and distance between then and now it still rankles. You see, one of my favorite players was stoked beyond belief. After more than a year of long-distance relationship hell, he’d finally managed to save up some IRL gp. He flew his girly out to visit.

She was a 10 in the looks department. Full-on Suicide Girls type (NSFW), which was very much his jam. Sweet tats, bottle blonde hair, eyeliner like she was a PC from Vampire: The Masquerade… I could see why he was into her. I was happy for him, and I wished him many happy ride checks to come.

Two days later and I heard that my guy was looking for a new apartment. When I asked him why, he told me a tale involving his now ex-girlfriend, his now ex-roommate, and one of my least favorite players. (Hint: the last two in that list were the same person.)

This posed a problem. I had no problem kicking the jerk. I wanted to keep my games going, and the offending roommate was a douche and a half anyway. But as the hyper-masculine-alpha-male-natural-leader of the group, it fell to me to do the deed. And even knowing everything I knew about the guy, I still found it difficult.

I called him on the phone like a fucking coward.

Hey, man. Listen, I think it might be a good idea for you to step back from the game for a few sessions. 

Dude! Are you kicking me out of the group!?

I repeated my line about “stepping back for a few session,” but I hated the feeling. As we all know, ostracizers are evil in geek social circles, and I was deeply uncomfortable with my self-appointed task. At least I stuck to my guns. Turned out to be the right thing to do, as both the group and the game improved because of it.

What about the rest of you guys though? Have you ever had to “fire” a player? What happened, and how did you handle it? Let’s hear about all those rough breakup stories down in the comments!


ARE YOU AN IMPATIENT GAMER? If so, you should check out the “Henchman” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. For just one buck a month, you can get each and every Handbook of Heroes comic a day earlier than the rest of your party members. That’s bragging rights right there!