Admit it, we all have them. As Game Masters there is usually something that, no matter how innocuous, just gets under our skin. They aren’t major issues and certainly nothing worth sweating over, but they niggle just the same. They are pet peeves, and recently I was reminded of two of mine as they appeared at my table.

The first is the Puppet Master. This is the player that “encourages” other players to use particular things on their character sheets, even if the Puppet Master’s character would have no reason to know them. It gets worse if the Puppet Master insinuates that, by not following his suggestion, the victimized player is not being a team player. I can usually minimize the damage, but it doesn’t stop the Puppet Master from doing so again at the next opportunity.

The second is the Early Arriving Player. I have a family and many obligations. If I say we’re playing at 7 it’s because I can’t start at 6. Yet to the Early Arriving Player that means he can show up at 6:10. No matter how many times I try to institute a policy (e.g. “please don’t arrive more than 20 minutes before game time”), the Early Arriving Player ignores it, usually with excuse at hand.

What makes this particularly difficult for me is that I look forward to that hour before the game where I can unwind a bit and mentally prepare for the session. Having a player show up early robs me of that. While he has offered to bring a book and sit in the corner it doesn’t really help.

Again, neither of these are big issues, but they tend to irk me every time. How about you? Do you have any pet peeves that frequently occur during your game sessions? How do you handle them?