Content of the article: "How to reign in my desire to “help” when it’s becoming apparent that it’s not wanted?"
So I recently started playing D&D again after a 5+ year dry spell due to changing life circumstances, including kids. It's been SO, SO nice to roll dice again.
Even though I have not played, I have kept up with the game, so I am pretty familiar with the rules of 5e. I started D&D with 3.0/3.5 and then moved on to Pathfinder, so the majority of my gaming experience comes from those systems, and consequently I am pretty used to building characters and finding things that help to make them shine…. I wouldn't consider myself a power gamer, but I do like trying to make lesser builds shine through optimization.
At least, I didn't consider myself a power gamer until recent events made me reconsider.
So I have a long time friend who wanted to join us for the game, and he had literally no D&D experience at all. He did not ask for help creating his character, but due to his busy lifestyle and total lack of experience, I offered to help him get his character started and help him put his concept into reality, and he accepted.
So through talking he seems to want to be the party healer. I advised him that it's not necessary to commit to being a heal/buff bot as there are many avenues to play without a dedicated healer, but he insisted, so I suggested a few options including Cleric. He liked the idea and with the blessing of the DM I helped him roll up stats, suggested where to put them, helped him by writing down all of his proficiencies, skills, etc.
I asked him what sort of domain he thought he would like and after reading through them, he said he liked Nature. I know that Nature domain gives you some interesting options, including heavy armor and some druid spells, and an interesting energy-focused defensive ability, and I had recently been looking at fun ways to get access to Shillelagh for my own character. So I told him that this would grant him some abilities that would make him tankier than a typical Cleric, and he could even be a frontliner character. While going over the druid cantrips, I explained that this could be used all the time and opined at how I loved the Shillelagh spell as a fun flavorful way to make a melee-capable caster. He took that cantrip, and seemed to understand that he would be, at least somewhat, a decent frontliner character with lots of spell options as well.
So anyway, since he seemed to fit this frontliner role, I decided to play a softer ranged caster type as opposed to something up front, since the other player in our group of 3 was going to play something melee (or so he had suggested).
When the day comes, I find out that player changed his mind and made a ranger who uses Crossbows primarily. Well, ok, this is fine. I am a Lore Bard with Magic Initiate, for Eldritch Blast. I can pew pew and buff, but we won't be super high DPS overall…. but again, this is fine. We have survivability and cunning on our side.
So the first fight happens and the Cleric gets hit. His AC is 11. The DM even mentions that seems low for a Cleric. We chat about it and it turns out he came at his Cleric as a sort of druidic/mountain-man kind of archetype, and felt that he would wear simple leather armor. Not ideal with our group's makeup. Additionally, he insists on using his mace to fight in melee. This guy rolled SUPER well for his WIS and I know he could be hitting really hard if he would just use Shillelagh, but he refuses to do so. I keep suggesting he try it and he winds up getting very irritated with me, and I feel bad realizing I am being incredibly pushy and I need to stop.
But oh my god it drives me insane seeing his Cleric built the way it is. It gnaws at my very soul to see that AC 11. He even took the Heavy Armor Master feat, but can't use it. It doesn't bother him. Every time we talk about it he gets mad at me, so even if I try to "helpfully" suggest that he could take a different Druid cantrip, a different feat, or maybe even reclass himself as a Druid, I realize I'm being way too annoying and pushy and I just need to let him do his own thing.
Anyway, we have a pretty odd group makeup, and our DM seems to be fine designing things around us, but my god I need to learn to let go. Looking for tips or suggestions on what I can do to learn to let go of this bad behavior on my part. Also, am I a Power Gamer?
Thank you all for the great response, this got more replies than I was expecting! Truly appreciate the thoughts and opinions from everyone.
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