(Disclaimer: This is a hypothetical question in the sense that I’m not currently in this situation. However, it’s not entirely made up; it’s very closely based on a situation I saw someone else on a forum experiencing, and I found it so interesting I wanted to see what this community thought about it. So in the rest of this message, I assume a persona based on the GM who presented this situation to me.)
I GM mainly 3.X/D20 systems and other rules-heavy traditional systems. Most of my players seem OK with how I GM, and then there’s one guy. I’ll call him Kamina, because he loves “being cool” and shonen-anime-esque over-the-top-ness. He’s always trying to do stuff like this. Often I/we get into arguments with him over this, but I don’t think Rule of Cool is the whole issue here…
Kamina tends to take a long time on his turns. He likes adding colorful description and narration. To make it very clear, I’m OK with players narrating some stuff, adding to the conversation… so long as they realize how I GM. When I GM, I add fluff description myself, but (at least in these crunchy trad games) that’s all it is: fluff. I understand these systems as drawing a line between “rules” and “fluff”, and I hope my players can recognize that distinction. Kamina doesn’t. When players contribute narration, I hope they’ll expect me to treat it the same way I expect them to treat my narration; IE, a lot of it will be regarded as color that doesn’t impact future rules invocations. Kamina doesn’t. He spends lots of time analyzing every word I (and sometimes other players) say and then figuring how to incorporate those details into his narration and actions.
Kamina’s “creativity” mostly looks to me like trying to do stuff that’s totally outside the rules, or more insidiously, stuff that’s functionally already there in the rules. Like, he’ll describe his character aiming for a bad guy’s weak spot in a system where there are no called shot rules, and then he’ll get annoyed when I don’t give him a to-hit or damage bonus for it. I assume that, if there are no called shot rules, that aiming is abstracted into the standard to-hit and damage rules. I assume that characters can be assumed to be trying their best and that players don’t have to micromanage every move like that because it would just make already crunchy games take even longer. Kamina doesn’t seem to be satisfied with that.
There are other systems which might be better suited to Kamina. But he tells me, “You can totally play D20 systems my way!” and I think, “Maybe, but why should I?”
So my main question is, Can I (and my group) reconcile with this player, and is it worth the effort to try?