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Gamer Girl
2011-03-20, 01:26 PM
So this comes from a lot of people seeing broken stuff in the rules. In general, I see things broken as only as people want them to be broken. This is more of a way you play the game mentality. It never comes up much in my games, as I'm Old School, but I wonder how everyone else does it?

So vote:

1.The players can out vote the DM. The Dm is powerless vs the players and their interpretation of the rules. To use the Rope Trick example, the players will say they are immune to everything while in side it, and the DM will just nod and sit there.

2.The DM has final say. As DM, part of the job is to interpret the rules and say what is what in the world. And what the Dm says is final. To reuse the Rope Trick example I'd say that Supernatural abilities and Extra Dimensional feat enhanced spells as well as dispel magic can all effect the space.

I'm a type 2, of course. So vote....

RndmNumGen
2011-03-20, 01:29 PM
My players and I are all type 2, but in general we're respectful of each other and don't try to use anything that is obviously broken.

Gamer Girl
2011-03-20, 01:43 PM
My players and I are all type 2, but in general we're respectful of each other and don't try to use anything that is obviously broken.

For the most part I too game with people I'm at least friendly with, so it's not a problem.

I'm just wondering why so called broken things are a problem. My game physiology has always been 'DM rules', and all my players agree with that idea. When you sit down with a DM, they have final say on everything, that is the whole point of a DM.

RndmNumGen
2011-03-20, 01:49 PM
Most of the broken things discussed on these forums are purely theoretical. Even if they work, they rarely find their way into an actual game. Many people just find it fun to discuss how these things work. For example, I know how to optimize a cleric so I can solo most encounters my level, but atm I'm playing a fairly unoptimized core-only monk - and he's doing well.

FMArthur
2011-03-20, 01:54 PM
Always Type 2. If a DM is nice enough that they're okay with Type 1, I'd trust them to run Type 2 which is better for gameflow and leads to less argument and hurt feelings than mob rule. The only kind of DM I would really prefer Type 1 for is the kind of DM who would never consider it under any circumstances anyway. :smalltongue:

Mastikator
2011-03-20, 02:00 PM
Type 2, no exception. If I am to DM then I want final say. And I cede that when I play, since I know the amount of work it takes to DM.

Totally Guy
2011-03-20, 02:29 PM
I prefer type 1 here. But that probably doesn't work so well for D&D.

Ytaker
2011-03-20, 02:31 PM
If you have some sort of conflict, we can't resolve it for you. You should talk to your players.

Consider two situations I've heard of. A group absolutely hated rope trick because a past DM had gotten a large army together, had it dispel magic on them and then done a TPK. He was just trying to show them there were limits to what you could do with spells. They saw it as a punishment, and an obvious violation of the rules.

Another, a group used rope trick regularly, and all voiced support for it, but the non magic users weren't so keen on it as it meant that the magic users were overshadowing them. Unlimited spells means a lot of extra power.

You can do whatever you want to your players. You'll just be a bad DM if they hate it. It's worth seeing what your players want from rope trick, and if they have any worries about the way you interpret the rules.

Comet
2011-03-20, 02:33 PM
If we're talking about Dungeon Masters and, as such, Dungeons and Dragons then type 2. In some other games, it might be type 1.

Often, though, it lands pretty squarely in the middle. For the most important things, the GM's word is the law. For more casual stuff the players are free to make it up as they wish so long as they are reasonable in their demands. And yeah, I've only played with good friends so the lines of responsibility and power tend to blur in a pretty happy way.

dsmiles
2011-03-20, 02:38 PM
Definitely type 2. The GM should be the final arbiter of all rules. The GM creates the world, he/she should have final say on what happens, and how it happens, no exceptions.

The Glyphstone
2011-03-20, 02:52 PM
Type 1 simply isn't functional in D&D. That's why Rule 0 exists.

For systems like Burning Wheel, I think, Type 1 is how it's designed to work, and it does it perfectly.

Tengu_temp
2011-03-20, 02:59 PM
I don't see the first type working anywhere but some unusual indie games where the DM has a more limited role than in more standard games by definition. Only the worst kind of a DM abuses rule 0, is blind to compromise and uses the line "because I say so" (these words are a giveaway that your DM, or pretty much anyone in a position of authority, is a jackass), but the DM should still have the final word.

Dsurion
2011-03-20, 03:18 PM
With my group, it wouldn't make a difference. No one bothers to ever do anything that needs a vote or game master arbitration. They want to play a game, not debate semantics.

Technically, the GM has final say, but only because no one ever bothers to question it, and indeed, they don't have much reason to do so, since we all pretty much agree on everything. That said, if he does something we don't like, we just boo him and throw popcorn at him (which we then clean up immediately, because no one's being an arse).

Firechanter
2011-03-20, 04:04 PM
Then I'll be about the first in here to vote for Type 1, also for games like D&D. In the past, this has proven necessary sometimes when the DM misinterpreted rules or, worse, made up arbitrary and stupid houserules.

_Especially_ houserules (i.e. not individual calls but stuff that will apply all the time) have to be agreed on by _all_ players. The DM can't just change the rules as he sees fit.

My point is, the DM is just a human being and thus subject to error. There is no reason why you should accept something as sacrosanct that you know is wrong. Sometimes the DM is not the person who knows the system best.

In my group, it has become common practice to agree on houserules before the game begins. In the case of unforeseen differing perceptions, we don't actually "vote" but try to find a consensus.

Kallisti
2011-03-20, 04:12 PM
For me, it's some of each. The DM technically has final authority--that's how the game works--but a DM who constantly overrules players will find himself without any. The DM's job is to make the game fun for everyone, himself included, but the players have to recognize that making the DM's job harder is not helping. So to use the rope trick example, it depends on how strongly the players feel about it and what the DM is comfortable running. If they just cannot bear to be without their invincible resting, then they should get it. If the DM isn't comfortable with that kind of game, someone else can take over. The players can't make the DM do anything, but he should be accommodating to some degree, because if the players never get anything they want they'll never have fun.

I think the recipe for a good game is players who are okay with losing and a DM who is okay with the players winning.

dsmiles
2011-03-20, 04:22 PM
I think the recipe for a good game is players who are okay with losing and a DM who is okay with the players winning.Well played.

Samurai Jill
2011-03-20, 04:22 PM
I don't see the first type working anywhere but some unusual indie games where the DM has a more limited role than in more standard games by definition. Only the worst kind of a DM abuses rule 0, is blind to compromise and uses the line "because I say so" (these words are a giveaway that your DM, or pretty much anyone in a position of authority, is a jackass), but the DM should still have the final word.
I would contend that the issue isn't whether the GM abuses Rule 0 or not- the impact Rule 0 has on play stems from the fact that the GM can abuse Rule 0. A man threatening you with a knife isn't currently stabbing you, and indeed might only need to stab people quite rarely in his line of work, but that doesn't make the relationship a fair and reciprocal one. Even in the best-case scenario, it becomes a kind of Sword of Damocles suspended over the players' heads.

I would also contend that a GM who consistently strives for reasonable compromise with players on the subject of rule-disagreements has already, in effect, put aside Rule Zero and replaced it with a different rule- namely, 'compromise with players on the subject of rule-disagreements'. But really, if that game's rules are broken enough that this question comes up a lot, you may be better off finding a new system. Rune and Agon are RPG systems very much focused on blood-soaked hack'n'slash, but you'll find nary a mention of Rule Zero in their text. (Heck, Rune doesn't even have a GM.)

valadil
2011-03-20, 09:55 PM
I wouldn't game with people who have to put this sort of thing to a vote. We discuss and compromise. With a few exceptions, everyone agrees on the rulings. I'd rather shut up and play than worry about who is in control.

Pisha
2011-03-20, 11:42 PM
Type 2, with caveats.

1) If the GM is going to rule something that is completely outside the rules, the players need to know about it beforehand (or at least be able to change what they're doing when they find out.) If you cast Spell X, the GM has the right to say "In my world, Spell X doesn't work the same way" - but since the character lives in this world and has presumably cast the spell before, he should know what it does. If the spell doesn't do what the book says it does, the player should have the right to take it back and cast a different spell instead.

2) Both common sense and common courtesy need to be applied. I've made mistakes GM-ing and had players call me on it; sometimes, the answer is "Oops, you're so right. Here, let's change it." Sometimes the answer has to be "Oops, you're right... but the entire encounter is based around this interpretation. I'm going to rule that my interpretation is in effect for right now, so that we can get on with the game, but thank you for pointing it out and I'll do better in the future." (Or, if I'm feeling creative, "Gosh, you're right! It really shouldn't work that way! Hmm, I wonder what could cause something like that??" And then brainstorm like mad and/or hope that my players come up with an explanation for me :smalltongue:)

3) If a player really does feel that the GM is making bad calls, a good GM should be open to talking to them and seriously thinking about their complaints.

Basically, this boils down to: the GM has to have final authority, because that's what a GM is for. (Otherwise you're just telling an "and then" story.) However, just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something, so GMs should always be open to player feedback. If your decisions are making the game unfun, think about why you're making them.

Weasel of Doom
2011-03-21, 02:45 AM
I'm slightly amused by the fact that there are two threads on this exact issue and they both appear in unanimous support of opposite sides of the topic, I've also found myself opposing both of them.

I suppose that is because I play a combination of 1 and 2. The GM is expected to change the rules whenever he feels it would make the game more enjoyable in some way but if the players are strongly opposed to these changes then he isn't able to go ahead with them. Similarly, if all the players want to introduce a house rule of some kind then they can. That said, the GM can in most cases overall the players during the session for the sake of keeping the game moving.

Perhaps allowing the players final say over the rules in this way might lead to a broken game in some groups but that hasn't been the case for us, nobody wants to play a broken game after all.

bloodtide
2011-03-21, 02:13 PM
I suppose that is because I play a combination of 1 and 2. The GM is expected to change the rules whenever he feels it would make the game more enjoyable in some way but if the players are strongly opposed to these changes then he isn't able to go ahead with them. Similarly, if all the players want to introduce a house rule of some kind then they can. That said, the GM can in most cases overall the players during the session for the sake of keeping the game moving.

Perhaps allowing the players final say over the rules in this way might lead to a broken game in some groups but that hasn't been the case for us, nobody wants to play a broken game after all.


I just don't see how you can do 'both'. The players will always be 'opposed' to any 'rule changes' that effected them negativity. This is human nature. so your saying that everything, always works out for the best for the players, always.

And if all the players agree they can change a rule? That is just crazy. So all players 'agree' that they have unlimited gold as a new 'wealth by level' rule. And then they buy the world?


And how about little things....all five players vote that invisibility also gives you silence(but it's special silence so you can still cast spells and talk) and masks your sent too, so the DM just sits back and does nothing? After all, the players all agreed on this houserule, and they all think it's cool.

Yora
2011-03-21, 02:18 PM
Type 1 results in way to many problems I wouldn't want to deal with as a GM. Fortunately, I never came in such a situation and players have always been very accepting when I ruled that something works this way or that. But I've never had any optimizers in my groups, so it wasn't any problem to them when a single thing didn't worked like they thought.

So I'm in favor of type 2, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't listen to what the players think about a rule. If they make a convincing point, why shouldn't I adopt that view? But when it's me against them, I expect them to accept the ruling I made. Which they usually do.

Comet
2011-03-21, 02:19 PM
I just don't see how you can do 'both'. The players will always be 'opposed' to any 'rule changes' that effected them negativity. This is human nature. so your saying that everything, always works out for the best for the players, always.

And if all the players agree they can change a rule? That is just crazy. So all players 'agree' that they have unlimited gold as a new 'wealth by level' rule. And then they buy the world?


And how about little things....all five players vote that invisibility also gives you silence(but it's special silence so you can still cast spells and talk) and masks your sent too, so the DM just sits back and does nothing? After all, the players all agreed on this houserule, and they all think it's cool.

This is why you only play with people who you trust to place a good story and a good time before any personal power fantasies or 'winning' a game that doesn't even have any sort of victory conditions written in!

Negative experiences for the characters can still be fun for the players. It's okay to lose every now and then. You are not your character, you are not trying to win. And so on, I'm sure you get the point.

If all the players agree that having unlimited gold will make the game more fun for everyone and the story more interesting then, sure, I'm all for it. After some persuasion and talking, mind, but in the end I'll gladly bend a bit if all the players have such a strong vision about what kind of game they want to play.

bloodtide
2011-03-21, 02:54 PM
If all the players agree that having unlimited gold will make the game more fun for everyone and the story more interesting then, sure, I'm all for it. After some persuasion and talking, mind, but in the end I'll gladly bend a bit if all the players have such a strong vision about what kind of game they want to play.


This only makes sense to me for story things, not the rules. If the players have story ideas, that is always great. But when it comes to the rules, players are not so great.

Guess I'm just glad I have good players and this never comes up. But then all my players agree that the 'DM Rules' anyway(and I'm always DM).

Tyndmyr
2011-03-21, 02:55 PM
1.The players can out vote the DM. The Dm is powerless vs the players and their interpretation of the rules. To use the Rope Trick example, the players will say they are immune to everything while in side it, and the DM will just nod and sit there.

2.The DM has final say. As DM, part of the job is to interpret the rules and say what is what in the world. And what the Dm says is final. To reuse the Rope Trick example I'd say that Supernatural abilities and Extra Dimensional feat enhanced spells as well as dispel magic can all effect the space.

I'm a type 2, of course. So vote....

False dichotomy. And also, biased toward 2.

The DM is not powerless just because the players also have a say. A consensus is arrived at via discussion, not merely a vote.


I just don't see how you can do 'both'. The players will always be 'opposed' to any 'rule changes' that effected them negativity. This is human nature. so your saying that everything, always works out for the best for the players, always.

This is silly tippyverse logic. Not everyone always votes for more power at the price of everything else.

If everyone at your table would, if given the option, immediately vote to "win D&D forever", then you should probably find a different table, with mature players who understand that playing the game is the point of being there.

Zhalath
2011-03-21, 03:03 PM
I have a feeling I've been here before...

I play Type 2 with my players, though I'm always willing to listen to them if they have an argument to make, so some Type 1. That's probably the best system, a hybrid.

Toofey
2011-03-21, 03:06 PM
Wait, Players have opinions?!

Ummm no. #2. clearly.

In fact I like #3, The DM rules with an iron fist and the players are lucky if I listen to what they have to say about the rules, or the spells.


(although in fairness, I make notes to the common spells changing the ones I thought were broken, and disallowing the ones that couldn't be fixed which I gave to the players at the outset, so a lot of the 'broken' problems with spells at least are not an issue in the first place)

Friv
2011-03-21, 03:35 PM
I feel like if my group is in a situation where we have to rule between those two options, there is a larger problem at work.

The unspoken rule at my tables leans more towards #2 than #1, in that the GM has the final say, but introducing houserules or rulings without player input isn't something we do. I lean that way as both a GM and a player, because if I don't trust my GM to be making fair rulings, I really have better things to do with my time. We can sit down and play a board game if we're going to be adversarial.

randomhero00
2011-03-21, 03:37 PM
2 of course.

Kallisti
2011-03-21, 03:54 PM
Well played.

In my experience, the vast majority of gaming conflicts crop up from not having this combo. Most "bad DMs" are the ones who are trying to preserve an original idea from change wrought by the players, and at least in my personal experience most "bad players" are ones unwilling to accept something not going their way.

Best game I was ever in was one where the ST (we were playing Changeling) found watching us derail his plans interesting and where the players enjoyed new and interesting complications.


If everyone at your table would, if given the option, immediately vote to "win D&D forever", then you should probably find a different table, with mature players who understand that playing the game is the point of being there.

I gave my players this option once. They each got a wish. Not a Wish, a wish. No limits, no restrictions, nothing. One asked what'd happen if he wished to be the DM. I offered him my seat, and asked if I could play his character until I got one genned.

None of them abused it. One asked for Hide in Plain Sight as an (Ex) ability. One asked for a continuous Magic Circle Against Evil. One asked for a "get out of death free" card. The munchkin-player who enjoyed headache-inducing Shapechange abuse druids in parties that included straight-up monks? Asked for 20,000 gp to buy the cool magic item he'd been lusting after for three sessions.

It was pretty awesome, actually.

Mastikator
2011-03-21, 04:01 PM
Then I'll be about the first in here to vote for Type 1, also for games like D&D. In the past, this has proven necessary sometimes when the DM misinterpreted rules or, worse, made up arbitrary and stupid houserules.

_Especially_ houserules (i.e. not individual calls but stuff that will apply all the time) have to be agreed on by _all_ players. The DM can't just change the rules as he sees fit.

My point is, the DM is just a human being and thus subject to error. There is no reason why you should accept something as sacrosanct that you know is wrong. Sometimes the DM is not the person who knows the system best.

In my group, it has become common practice to agree on houserules before the game begins. In the case of unforeseen differing perceptions, we don't actually "vote" but try to find a consensus.

I gotta say I am sympathetic to this. Making up or introducing houserules in the middle of the game is if nothing more terrible DMing. You introduce special rules before the game starts when people still have the chance to change some things about their character.
Though I think it's up to the DM what houserules (and in fact, game system and world setting) we use, and the players decide if they want to be a part of it or not.
Then the DM has to decide how many players he wants staying ;) since the players can always vote with their feet, or get a new DM.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-21, 04:12 PM
I gave my players this option once. They each got a wish. Not a Wish, a wish. No limits, no restrictions, nothing. One asked what'd happen if he wished to be the DM. I offered him my seat, and asked if I could play his character until I got one genned.

None of them abused it. One asked for Hide in Plain Sight as an (Ex) ability. One asked for a continuous Magic Circle Against Evil. One asked for a "get out of death free" card. The munchkin-player who enjoyed headache-inducing Shapechange abuse druids in parties that included straight-up monks? Asked for 20,000 gp to buy the cool magic item he'd been lusting after for three sessions.

It was pretty awesome, actually.

Trust is extremely powerful. Those things are...not only reasonable, but fairly interesting. I think it's interesting to see what players really want.

The Big Dice
2011-03-21, 05:04 PM
I think it's interesting to see what players really want.
I tried a thing from one of John Fourr's roleplaying emails ones. A survey to find out what your players really want out of the game. The response was a unanimous "We want more political situations to deal with!" So I came up with a fairly basic political plot. Two courtiers trying to gain the favour of the local lord. One by flattery and being a sycophant, the other by staging bandit raids on trade caravans by dressing his soldiers in fake outfits.

Nothing fancy, both tried manipulating the PCs into joining their camp. And the players did nothing. they looked at me like I'd grown n extra head and just didn't get involved at all.

So be careful about giving your players what they want. Sometimes what they say they want isn't what they want in the slightest.

Gamer Girl
2011-03-21, 07:54 PM
I gotta say I am sympathetic to this. Making up or introducing houserules in the middle of the game is if nothing more terrible DMing. You introduce special rules before the game starts when people still have the chance to change some things about their character.
Though I think it's up to the DM what houserules (and in fact, game system and world setting) we use, and the players decide if they want to be a part of it or not.

I think this way is crazy and pointless. The idea that a Dm must think up of house rules and put them in writing before the game is just silly. How can a DM think up of the billions and billions of things that might happen during a game and come up with a house rule for each one.

The whole point of the DM is that they need to make judgments on the fly. The rules just don't cover a trillion things.

Lets take an easy one: What is in the Artisan's tools? The rules don't say. As far as the rules go, the 'tools' are everything you need to make anything('any craft'). Is there a hammer in the tools? Can a player just reach into the tool bag and pull out any tool in existence?! Do you really expect the DM to sit down and describe all the tools for the 'houserule'

Not to mention things like charm person. Does the DM need to write a long, legal type essay on the effect of this spell, they they don't ''houserule'' it mid game?

The whole point of a DM is to make quick judgment calls. Otherwise, everyone should just sit at the table and play their own separate games('I killed another 100 dragons..woo hoo')

Ranos
2011-03-21, 08:47 PM
I mostly play games where Type 1 is the default, assumed status these days. When I played 3.5, I tended to DM anyway, but when I did, I always stuck to the rules and only altered them when the group agreed.

Of course, I only really altered rules when the RAW just didn't work for a certain situation or a certain action, so getting them to agree always took all of a few seconds.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-21, 10:13 PM
I tried a thing from one of John Fourr's roleplaying emails ones. A survey to find out what your players really want out of the game. The response was a unanimous "We want more political situations to deal with!" So I came up with a fairly basic political plot. Two courtiers trying to gain the favour of the local lord. One by flattery and being a sycophant, the other by staging bandit raids on trade caravans by dressing his soldiers in fake outfits.

Nothing fancy, both tried manipulating the PCs into joining their camp. And the players did nothing. they looked at me like I'd grown n extra head and just didn't get involved at all.

So be careful about giving your players what they want. Sometimes what they say they want isn't what they want in the slightest.

That's what makes finding out what they really want so interesting. Every group is a little different, really.

I suppose I was no different at first, either. Lots of games sound like a fantastic idea until you really think about what it's like to play through them.

stainboy
2011-03-22, 12:26 AM
Put me down for #2, because #2 works better with a good DM and #1 can't make up for a bad DM.

The DM is the game's single point of failure. There's no point in trying to allow for a bad DM, because a game with a bad DM falls apart anyway. If the game is being played at all, you have to assume the DM is mostly fair, good at ad hoc game design (Rule 0), and trying to make the game fun for everyone. You don't have to assume the same about every player, because we've all played in games that were fun even though one player didn't understand the rules or liked to spotlight hog or something. So it only makes sense to give the DM final word.

Ytaker
2011-03-22, 12:54 AM
I tried a thing from one of John Fourr's roleplaying emails ones. A survey to find out what your players really want out of the game. The response was a unanimous "We want more political situations to deal with!" So I came up with a fairly basic political plot. Two courtiers trying to gain the favour of the local lord. One by flattery and being a sycophant, the other by staging bandit raids on trade caravans by dressing his soldiers in fake outfits.

Nothing fancy, both tried manipulating the PCs into joining their camp. And the players did nothing. they looked at me like I'd grown n extra head and just didn't get involved at all.

So be careful about giving your players what they want. Sometimes what they say they want isn't what they want in the slightest.

I'm not sure how you expected them to act in that situation. Go kiss the lord's ass? Attack random caravans for some reason?

The scenario sounds utterly confusing, and not engrossing. There is no particular reason for them to support either person, or know what to do. Political scenarios generally involve factions of some sort doing stupid things for whatever goal. You can't really conclude that your players dislike political scenarios from having a pair of people do fairly bland things.

That scenario just sounds confusing. People should generally have some clear course of action, other than just being confused.

Gamer Girl

Lets take an easy one: What is in the Artisan's tools? The rules don't say. As far as the rules go, the 'tools' are everything you need to make anything('any craft'). Is there a hammer in the tools? Can a player just reach into the tool bag and pull out any tool in existence?! Do you really expect the DM to sit down and describe all the tools for the 'houserule'

Yes, they can pull anything out. The most they can get is a 2+ bonus regardless of what they pull out. If they pull out some tool which could reasonably be related to their crafting skill are you really going to go "no. i don't think that would be in your tool case. No ladder making for you." You shouldn't be stepping on their toes to limit what tools they can pull out. Both you and they should be free to roleplay.


Not to mention things like charm person. Does the DM need to write a long, legal type essay on the effect of this spell, they they don't ''houserule'' it mid game?

They could just obey the rules as written, hypothetically. That still gives you substantial room for interpretation of the rules. You are outraged at the idea that the DM shouldn't make quick adjustments. They should. Our worry is more that the quick adjustments you make will be ones contrary to the rules and ones which you don't tell the PCs about.

With charm person, if you decide to nerf it because you find it screws up your campaign you should tell your PCs before they waste spell slots on it. They should know your stance on obviously abusable spells.

The Big Dice
2011-03-22, 04:14 AM
I'm not sure how you expected them to act in that situation. Go kiss the lord's ass? Attack random caravans for some reason?

The scenario sounds utterly confusing, and not engrossing. There is no particular reason for them to support either person, or know what to do. Political scenarios generally involve factions of some sort doing stupid things for whatever goal. You can't really conclude that your players dislike political scenarios from having a pair of people do fairly bland things.

That scenario just sounds confusing. People should generally have some clear course of action, other than just being confused.
So you don't start wondering why this guy who has more or less ignored you is now sucking up to the lord of the manor? Or offer to go and take care of these bandit raids that are hitting merchant caravans. Only to discover the caravans being hit are one not sponsored by a specific faction. You don't try and use your oh-so-impressive social skills to defend the lord from the guy who is sucking up to him and subtly stealing authority at the same time. And you make no effort to find out why this lord, who just a few sessions ago was a dynamic, take charge character, is now all placid and letting his court run riot like this?

I guess it's just me that goes actively looking for the hook instead of placidly waiting for it to be shoved in my face.


Yes, they can pull anything out. The most they can get is a 2+ bonus regardless of what they pull out. If they pull out some tool which could reasonably be related to their crafting skill are you really going to go "no. i don't think that would be in your tool case. No ladder making for you." You shouldn't be stepping on their toes to limit what tools they can pull out. Both you and they should be free to roleplay.
So the carpet fitter should have a masonry chisel and the mason should have a set of kneepads? Or the carpenter should naturally have a pickaxe?

Following the same line of logic, I can use and abuse a Profession skill horribly. Say, Profession: Bounty Hunter. Obviously that lets me gather information and sneak around. Because they are both things that a bounty hunter needs ot be able to do.

And you can't say no, because saying no is limiting my ability to roleplay my special snowflake character.

dsmiles
2011-03-22, 04:54 AM
So the carpet fitter should have a masonry chisel and the mason should have a set of kneepads? Or the carpenter should naturally have a pickaxe?

Following the same line of logic, I can use and abuse a Profession skill horribly. Say, Profession: Bounty Hunter. Obviously that lets me gather information and sneak around. Because they are both things that a bounty hunter needs ot be able to do.

And you can't say no, because saying no is limiting my ability to roleplay my special snowflake character.
Alternatively, my character with Craft: Weaponsmithing or Craft: Armorer could pull out a fully functional forge complete with tempering materials, and an anvil, right? :smallwink:

Dsurion
2011-03-22, 05:25 AM
Alternatively, my character with Craft: Weaponsmithing or Craft: Armorer could pull out a fully functional forge complete with tempering materials, and an anvil, right? :smallwink:Only if you order from Acme :smallbiggrin:

Ytaker
2011-03-22, 08:48 AM
So you don't start wondering why this guy who has more or less ignored you is now sucking up to the lord of the manor?

Courtiers suck up in a degrading manner to those of a higher social class. It's like how dogs lick their own vomit. It happens, but it's not necessarily something you want to get involved in.


Or offer to go and take care of these bandit raids that are hitting merchant caravans.

I might kill the courtier when he told me what he was doing I guess. I'm not sure how this is to do with politics. He's doing a blatantly immoral thing, but I have no special like for the caravans or dislike for the courtier. Generally, if I'm expected to care about something I expect some personl interaction.


Only to discover the caravans being hit are one not sponsored by a specific faction.

I still don't care about either faction. If he was oppressing the mage's spell supply because he hated mages and he was a cleric, maybe it would be interesting.


You don't try and use your oh-so-impressive social skills to defend the lord from the guy who is sucking up to him and subtly stealing authority at the same time.

No. Who cares? Also, I doubt he said he was subtly stealing authority when he visited. You are explaining a backstory that he probably wouldn't mention. This is why to inspire sympathy you should use victims a lot. They actually know what cruel stuff a person has done and are willing to say. Unless he said "I am stealing authority from the lord" how would they know?


And you make no effort to find out why this lord, who just a few sessions ago was a dynamic, take charge character, is now all placid and letting his court run riot like this?

It's the courtiers who visited the party, not the king. You are expecting me to care about a rather weak plot hook that I haven't actually seen. I don't know how he's behaving.


I guess it's just me that goes actively looking for the hook instead of placidly waiting for it to be shoved in my face.

You have to care about an issue to want to find a hook. If I truly care about an issue I will look hard.


So the carpet fitter should have a masonry chisel and the mason should have a set of kneepads? Or the carpenter should naturally have a pickaxe?

If that's what they want to do their crafts with, sure. I can imagine uses for all of those tools in those professions. If you particularly want them to accurately use tools that are appropriate to the task and scientifically accurate you should consult them before game.


Following the same line of logic, I can use and abuse a Profession skill horribly. Say, Profession: Bounty Hunter. Obviously that lets me gather information and sneak around. Because they are both things that a bounty hunter needs ot be able to do.

It lets you gather information and sneak around, I guess. There's nothing in the profession SRD about you gaining a bonus to related skills though. It says you know how to perform the common tasks but doesn't say you have a bonus.

As a basic thing, they should have the ability to find bounties and hunt people. But that would only apply if they had a bounty to collect. If they don't have some sort of innate ability to track a person then they can't hunt. That would only apply if someone had set a bounty on the person, though.

You seem to be saying a farmer shouldn't be able to use his farming profession to handle animals and make them farm.


And you can't say no, because saying no is limiting my ability to roleplay my special snowflake character.

Your special snowflake character still has to obey the rules. This discussion is about changing the rules because the DM dislikes something the character has done under the rules, not about violating the rules in favour of the player.

Mikal
2011-03-22, 09:31 AM
This is a false dilemma issue. It's not either/or, and one of the options is so unbalanced that 2 is the only logical choice.

It's like saying which is better, me becoming ruler of the world or everyone dying.

AslanCross
2011-03-22, 09:45 AM
It rarely comes up, but in such a case, the players defer to me.

Serpentine
2011-03-22, 10:01 AM
Type 2. However, just because DM is King doesn't mean he acts without a parliament. I listen to players' arguments (which don't always match up - rarely do, in fact), weigh them against my vision for the game and what I think makes sense, as well as the proportion of players arguing either way and how pasisonate they are about it, and then give my ruling - about as often for the players as against.
"I get final say and my word is law" does not equal "suck it, players".

Tyndmyr
2011-03-22, 10:31 AM
So the carpet fitter should have a masonry chisel and the mason should have a set of kneepads? Or the carpenter should naturally have a pickaxe?

Why *wouldn't* a mason have a set of kneepads? Look, D&D is not written at this level of granularity. We don't inventory how many of each thing is in there for the same reason we don't inventory how many balls of bat poop are in the spell component pouch.

Because doing so would be terribly boring.


Following the same line of logic, I can use and abuse a Profession skill horribly. Say, Profession: Bounty Hunter. Obviously that lets me gather information and sneak around. Because they are both things that a bounty hunter needs ot be able to do.

No, I'm pretty sure those are seperate skills, not listed abilities of the Profession skill. It is not the same line of logic at all.

On the topic of good political adventures, I'd suggest stealing from a system that more frequently has political adventures. Namely, 7th Sea. I've seen normally hack-and-slash types spend an entire six hour session roleplaying parties and balls. I really didn't expect it to work out that well, but system and setting are *huge* for enticing specific gameplay. Many D&D adventures are not focused on this aspect of the game.

The Big Dice
2011-03-22, 10:44 AM
Why *wouldn't* a mason have a set of kneepads? Look, D&D is not written at this level of granularity. We don't inventory how many of each thing is in there for the same reason we don't inventory how many balls of bat poop are in the spell component pouch.
I don't see why a guy who spends his days chiselling rocks into shapes that you can build with would need to spend a lot of time on his knees. They do a lot of rebuilding of grade 1 listed buildings in my area, structures that go back to the 11th century with odd bits of Roman stuff. I never saw a mason with kneepads.

Tilers, but not masons.


No, I'm pretty sure those are seperate skills, not listed abilities of the Profession skill. It is not the same line of logic at all.
It's the same logic of granularity. If I'm in the pursuit of a task, then a Profession skill should give me everything I need to perform that task.

After all, if a Profession: Hunter skill doesn't let me hunt, then why shouldn't a Wizard keep track of exactly how many lumps of excrement he has in his pockets?


On the topic of good political adventures, I'd suggest stealing from a system that more frequently has political adventures. Namely, 7th Sea. I've seen normally hack-and-slash types spend an entire six hour session roleplaying parties and balls. I really didn't expect it to work out that well, but system and setting are *huge* for enticing specific gameplay. Many D&D adventures are not focused on this aspect of the game.
The game I was running the political adventures in was Legend of the Five Rings. The parent game to 7th Sea.

You really should check it out. Just not 2nd edition, because that one is really bad when it comes to mechanics.

valadil
2011-03-22, 11:00 AM
It's the same logic of granularity. If I'm in the pursuit of a task, then a Profession skill should give me everything I need to perform that task.

Well damn. Why stop at Profession: Hunter? Just go all out with Profession: Adventurer. I figure you should be able to roll that in place of any skill on the list. U jelly, PHB?

Ravens_cry
2011-03-22, 11:30 AM
There are two kinds of people in this world, those who think you can split the world into a dichotomy and those who don't. Even in the most extreme "Game Master's Word is Law." scenario, the players still have a foot vote, i.e. they can just leave.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-22, 11:31 AM
Well damn. Why stop at Profession: Hunter? Just go all out with Profession: Adventurer. I figure you should be able to roll that in place of any skill on the list. U jelly, PHB?

Logically, Profession: Diety is the only reasonable outcome of this.

Ravens_cry
2011-03-22, 11:37 AM
Logically, Profession: Diety is the only reasonable outcome of this.
You still only get half your check in gold pieces though.:smallbiggrin:

valadil
2011-03-22, 11:40 AM
Logically, Profession: Diety is the only reasonable outcome of this.

I'll see your Diety and raise you a Profession: Tippy.

Toofey
2011-03-22, 11:47 AM
I really have better things to do with my time. We can sit down and play a board game if we're going to be adversarial.

I'm just going to say, that sounds a lot like a player saying "if I don't get my way I'm going home" the last player who did that to me, went home, and now I hear from my player who plays in another group with him that A) the other group's story and quality of play suck, and B) the player who pulled that is bossing this DM around and is soloing every combat because his character is broken because that DM didn't tell him to stuff the rule workarounds he wanted to implement in my game.

Also, as I've tried to explain to players a number of times, if you get everything you want, when you want it, then what reward can I give you as DM that's worth getting?

Toofey
2011-03-22, 11:51 AM
I think this way is crazy and pointless. The idea that a Dm must think up of house rules and put them in writing before the game is just silly. How can a DM think up of the billions and billions of things that might happen during a game and come up with a house rule for each one.

The whole point of the DM is that they need to make judgments on the fly. The rules just don't cover a trillion things.

Since I'm the one who brought up house rules, I'll say that I agree, there's no way I can house rule every situation and I think that removing the ability to make judgements on the fly from the DM will break down their ability to tell a story. That said I feel like it would be unfair to have houserules I know are there and not tell them about the player.

I'll also explain that my houserules basically fall into 3 groups, also I play 2nd ed to explain the need: 1) fixing the process of play so that high level play is less tedious (I have drastically simplified the initiative system) 2) fixing spells that are broken or suck and 3) making weapon proficiency slots useful (I hear from players that a lot of my rules here are somewhat similar to the feats from 3.5)

they're not (other than the initiative changes) even trying to be rules for every situation.

Mastikator
2011-03-22, 11:57 AM
Lets take an easy one: What is in the Artisan's tools? The rules don't say. As far as the rules go, the 'tools' are everything you need to make anything('any craft'). Is there a hammer in the tools? Can a player just reach into the tool bag and pull out any tool in existence?! Do you really expect the DM to sit down and describe all the tools for the 'houserule'

Well, now that you mention it. YES! In fact, I think that the DM (or better, the group) should come up with real rules concerning craft (and profession for that matter) or just remove it from the rules entirely and just free form it.

Ravens_cry
2011-03-22, 12:05 PM
Well, I do think if you have houserules you know you use in said system and you know you will use them in this game, it is fair that you write them down for the players.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-22, 12:41 PM
Well, now that you mention it. YES! In fact, I think that the DM (or better, the group) should come up with real rules concerning craft (and profession for that matter) or just remove it from the rules entirely and just free form it.

Honestly, for all the rules matter in most practical sense, you could easily ditch craft or profession. At a minimum, you could fold them together.

Also...I'm not stuck on writing rules down as the only possible method of communicating house rules. I just find that writing is the best way to avoid the "I forgot" problem.

Ravens_cry
2011-03-22, 12:51 PM
Also...I'm not stuck on writing rules down as the only possible method of communicating house rules. I just find that writing is the best way to avoid the "I forgot" problem.
Verily. If you are going to make a houserule, be consistent with it, otherwise the players don't know whether an action is a good one or whether a character who focuses on something will be truly good at it.

valadil
2011-03-22, 12:55 PM
Verily. If you are going to make a houserule, be consistent with it, otherwise the players don't know whether an action is a good one or whether a character who focuses on something will be truly good at it.

And ff you do have to change something mid-stream, it's also fair to give the players a chance to adjust. Maybe tell them they can use their broken power for the rest of the session, but after that it's getting houseruled. And definitely make sure to let them respec any affected abilities they bought.

Ytaker
2011-03-22, 01:55 PM
I don't see why a guy who spends his days chiselling rocks into shapes that you can build with would need to spend a lot of time on his knees. They do a lot of rebuilding of grade 1 listed buildings in my area, structures that go back to the 11th century with odd bits of Roman stuff. I never saw a mason with kneepads.

You can buy mason knee pads.

http://www.acetoolonline.com/product-p/irw-4033011.htm

The problem with you arbitrarily ruling that they can't have various common mundane things is that you are breaking immersion for no reason except a vague sense of logic, for a skill that is normally completely useless. The only profession I generally ever take is sailor, because it makes you useful on ship games.


It's the same logic of granularity. If I'm in the pursuit of a task, then a Profession skill should give me everything I need to perform that task.

Well enough to earn a few GP a week, at least. In terms of a bounty hunter they might be able to gather information over the course of about a week to find a person with a bounty of 3 GP. They would know how to perform common tasks, like finding people who will know where that person went, and if their DM was nice they'd get skill bonuses on some tasks.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-22, 01:57 PM
The only profession I generally ever take is sailor, because it makes you useful on ship games.

That and Seige Engineer are the only ones I can think of that are actually useful in themselves(as opposed to those few that are useful as PrC prereqs)

Ytaker
2011-03-22, 02:01 PM
Yeah, I can see how that would be useful. I had a game a while back where we were trying to lure an extremely cautious and paranoid dragon out of a cave with some rather outrageous lies and hit it with a catapult.

druid91
2011-03-22, 02:02 PM
That and Seige Engineer are the only ones I can think of that are actually useful in themselves(as opposed to those few that are useful as PrC prereqs)

Profession pilot comes in handy sometimes.

Boci
2011-03-22, 02:06 PM
Wow, you didn't even try and make the two choices sound fair. Why not just ask who is better: whiney self entitled players or reasonable DMs (complete and absolute immunity vs. requires special abilities)?

The DM will often need to make up rules on the fly, but it is his duty to try and make sure that these rules do not screw over the tactics the PCs already have planned. And if the trick he missed isn't game breaking, he should consider allowing it just this once and then houseruleing/adjusting encounters against that problem.

Mastikator
2011-03-22, 03:54 PM
Honestly, for all the rules matter in most practical sense, you could easily ditch craft or profession. At a minimum, you could fold them together.

Also...I'm not stuck on writing rules down as the only possible method of communicating house rules. I just find that writing is the best way to avoid the "I forgot" problem.

True, most professions and crafts don't need to have rules since they won't be used. But what if you really want a character who is a chef? Just having Artisan's Tool (Chef) and make a Craft (Food) check is flat out boring and having an abstraction adds nothing to the game and removes a lot of opportunity for free form goodness.

Personally I would think it were fun if say armor/arms smithing was simulated in detail with opportunity for custom designing your craft, it doesn't have to be down to every single hammer, but just the actual tools and the basic actual method, like so:
Take measures of the wearer of the armor. Get furnace, anvil, hammer, clamps. Get iron, melt iron in furnace, make the different shapes, put them together, use armor.


When I was playing once I had a smith/warrior who was stuck in a forest, and had to create his own furnace on the spot, in order to repair his weapons. We made a thing of it and I thought it was fun.

valadil
2011-03-22, 04:07 PM
True, most professions and crafts don't need to have rules since they won't be used. But what if you really want a character who is a chef? Just having Artisan's Tool (Chef) and make a Craft (Food) check is flat out boring and having an abstraction adds nothing to the game and removes a lot of opportunity for free form goodness.


I'm okay with leaving that level of detail up to the GMs. Can you imagine how many books the PHB would take up if every option were elaborated on in that way? You'd end up with GURPS. I don't want to have to cross reference the Complete Chef and the Complete Baker just because a PC wants to have cooking as a hobby. At some point the rule books have to abandon them GM and let him write up his own rules.

To back up to the question of Profession Hunter giving you stealth and whatnot, I say treat professions like that as skill syngery. If a player actually puts 5 ranks in a flavorful profession, I'll give them +2 to a couple other skills. That gives the hunter enough ability to take down mundane animals, but he's not going to trump an adventurer. And it lets the PC feel like his background comes into play more often.

Mark Hall
2011-03-22, 04:12 PM
1.The players can out vote the DM. The Dm is powerless vs the players and their interpretation of the rules. To use the Rope Trick example, the players will say they are immune to everything while in side it, and the DM will just nod and sit there.

2.The DM has final say. As DM, part of the job is to interpret the rules and say what is what in the world. And what the Dm says is final. To reuse the Rope Trick example I'd say that Supernatural abilities and Extra Dimensional feat enhanced spells as well as dispel magic can all effect the space.

I'm a type 2, of course. So vote....

Mostly 2, with a touch of 1. At any point, the players can vote out the GM. It's called not showing up to games. If they're going to do this over Rope Trick, then that's when they're going to do it. Unless the players choose to vote with their feet, the GM has final say. He should certainly be informed by the wants of his players, but isn't obligated to go by them.

Knaight
2011-03-22, 04:16 PM
I'm just going to say, that sounds a lot like a player saying "if I don't get my way I'm going home" the last player who did that to me, went home, and now I hear from my player who plays in another group with him that A) the other group's story and quality of play suck, and B) the player who pulled that is bossing this DM around and is soloing every combat because his character is broken because that DM didn't tell him to stuff the rule workarounds he wanted to implement in my game.

Also, as I've tried to explain to players a number of times, if you get everything you want, when you want it, then what reward can I give you as DM that's worth getting?

It sounds like playing in the campaign you want to play. That's completely reasonable, even if the campaign isn't one you would like. To use an example, a player of mine dropped out of the group and is now playing in a system I consider awful, with a story I consider lousy, doing what I consider boring*. However, he enjoys it and has fun, my group works better with everyone on the same page, and the group he plays in benefits from him being in it. Its win win.

As for what players want, what they want tends to be to be involved in a good game, using a system and setting they like, which generates a story they like. As a GM, that means that you constantly operate the setting, keep the system where everyone likes it, and make sure that the elements of the emergent story under your control (setting, characters who are NPCs, some events, etc.) stay high quality. It works out fine for everyone, and is again win win.


*Its a dungeoncrawl in D&D with a loose framework of a story to allow more and more combat and treasure. I'd be bored out of my mind, but the players involved and GM all love it, which is what matters.

The Big Dice
2011-03-22, 04:50 PM
Well enough to earn a few GP a week, at least. In terms of a bounty hunter they might be able to gather information over the course of about a week to find a person with a bounty of 3 GP. They would know how to perform common tasks, like finding people who will know where that person went, and if their DM was nice they'd get skill bonuses on some tasks.
And there's your problem. Well, several problems, really. Sticking with the bounty hunter idea, the kind of classes that have the skills you'd need to do it (Gather Information, Sense Motive, Bluff, Diplomacy, Hide, Move Silently, Survival) aren't the kind of classes that are well equipped to deal with the task. In fact, off the top of my head, I can't think of a base class that could do the job. Maybe a Ranger/Rogue of some sort, but I always find multiclassing to achieve an archetype to be inelegant.

Of course, this is getting into the territory of why class based games for the most part vanished at around the same time that TSR went belly up.

And as for the GM style thing from the OP, I'm of the opinion that Option C is the way to go. That is, everyone has an equal say in things, but the GM has the right to veto.

Knaight
2011-03-22, 05:19 PM
Of course, this is getting into the territory of why class based games for the most part vanished at around the same time that TSR went belly up.

Yet they still contain so much market share as to be considered default. Its really quite irritating.

Ytaker
2011-03-22, 05:59 PM
And there's your problem. Well, several problems, really. Sticking with the bounty hunter idea, the kind of classes that have the skills you'd need to do it (Gather Information, Sense Motive, Bluff, Diplomacy, Hide, Move Silently, Survival) aren't the kind of classes that are well equipped to deal with the task. In fact, off the top of my head, I can't think of a base class that could do the job. Maybe a Ranger/Rogue of some sort, but I always find multiclassing to achieve an archetype to be inelegant.

Such a hybrid would do vastly better than a person with a few skill levels in bounty hunting. Any skill check for a bounty hunter requires a week. This is the sacrifice you take for getting all those skills bundled into one. Plus, you get crap pay.

The benefit you get from the skill is that you can perform simple actions relating to your profession and you'll have general knowledge of the profession. So you would know where to find people selling bounties, which would certainly be useful for PCs.

This relates to my earlier point. Given how utterly crap and useless the skill is why do you feel a need as DM to weaken them further by making them unable to do what the skill says they can do? That is invalidating the player's choices for a terrible reason.

Serpentine
2011-03-22, 10:18 PM
The problem with you arbitrarily ruling that they can't have various common mundane things is that you are breaking immersion for no reason except a vague sense of logic, for a skill that is normally completely useless.I would find a character using Craft (weaving) pulling out a masterwork full-sized loom from their "Tool Kit" far more immersion-breaking than a "what? No, that doesn't come in tool kits. If you want we can retroactively decree that you bought it specially, but you have to subtract the cost - lets saaaaay... Xgp - from your treasure and keep track of its weight."

Tyndmyr
2011-03-22, 11:45 PM
And there's your problem. Well, several problems, really. Sticking with the bounty hunter idea, the kind of classes that have the skills you'd need to do it (Gather Information, Sense Motive, Bluff, Diplomacy, Hide, Move Silently, Survival) aren't the kind of classes that are well equipped to deal with the task. In fact, off the top of my head, I can't think of a base class that could do the job. Maybe a Ranger/Rogue of some sort, but I always find multiclassing to achieve an archetype to be inelegant.

Of course, this is getting into the territory of why class based games for the most part vanished at around the same time that TSR went belly up.

Eh, I don't consider multiclassing to get an archtype to be at all bad. Consider the classic melee/magic hybrid. Common theme in a LOT of books. In core, you basically got this by going caster, a level of fighter, then eldritch knight. Workable.

And having a unique base class for every possible archtype seems....difficult, at best. Certainly cumbersome even if you pulled it off. 3.5 already has a rather extensive list of classes, and they certainly don't come close to achieving every archtype in a class. Adding the requisite pile of classes to do that would arguably only make the char build game MORE complex.

The Big Dice
2011-03-23, 12:43 PM
And having a unique base class for every possible archtype seems....difficult, at best. Certainly cumbersome even if you pulled it off. 3.5 already has a rather extensive list of classes, and they certainly don't come close to achieving every archtype in a class. Adding the requisite pile of classes to do that would arguably only make the char build game MORE complex.
There are very good reasons why class based systems went out of style in favour of points buy ones at some point in the early 90s. An inability to design exactly the character that you want being a major one.

After all, why should a player be forced to play for weeks or months to be able to play the character that he or she wants? It makes much more sense to be able to play the character you want from the first session, instead of having to go through multiple classes and levels. Many of which don't give more than a small amount towards the archetype you're aiming for.

Ytaker
2011-03-23, 08:31 PM
I would find a character using Craft (weaving) pulling out a masterwork full-sized loom from their "Tool Kit" far more immersion-breaking than a "what? No, that doesn't come in tool kits. If you want we can retroactively decree that you bought it specially, but you have to subtract the cost - lets saaaaay... Xgp - from your treasure and keep track of its weight."

I'd presume it would have to be a masterwork tool kit. Yes, I agree, that would break immersion as it would be far too large. We were more talking about using slightly improbable tools like a hair straightener for weaving, and whether the DM should veto them because they didn't seem to work thematically.

My sister actually does use a hair straightener in weaving. She likes doing her hair, and it works well to weigh down the cloth.

Serpentine
2011-03-23, 11:25 PM
If they wanted to have something that wouldn't normally be found in a tool kit, then they would have to justify it, in character, to me. I'm not going to just let them pull out anything they want from their arse just because it would happen to be useful just then. If they want to tell me that they would have, when purchasing their equipment, thought to make sure they had a hair straightener in their weaving tool kit, then they need to tell me exactly how their character would have thought of that, what they would've intended it to be fore, and how they would have found one suitable specifically for weaving. If I'm not convinced I'll veto it and be well within my rights to do so, and even if I am I may require them to pay extra to have something so non-standard in it.
To give a similar-but-different example from a game I've been in, the character doesn't get to declare "I find a filing cabinet!", especially not if the DM doesn't want modern-day furniture in his medieval fantasy-themed universe. He can say "I'm looking for something like a filing cabinet, that holds important papers and things. Do I find it?"

Toofey
2011-03-24, 02:01 AM
It sounds like playing in the campaign you want to play. That's completely reasonable, even if the campaign isn't one you would like. To use an example, a player of mine dropped out of the group and is now playing in a system I consider awful, with a story I consider lousy, doing what I consider boring*. However, he enjoys it and has fun, my group works better with everyone on the same page, and the group he plays in benefits from him being in it. Its win win.

As for what players want, what they want tends to be to be involved in a good game, using a system and setting they like, which generates a story they like. As a GM, that means that you constantly operate the setting, keep the system where everyone likes it, and make sure that the elements of the emergent story under your control (setting, characters who are NPCs, some events, etc.) stay high quality. It works out fine for everyone, and is again win win.


*Its a dungeoncrawl in D&D with a loose framework of a story to allow more and more combat and treasure. I'd be bored out of my mind, but the players involved and GM all love it, which is what matters.

True, different strokes and all, There are really only 2 things that are going to keep players interested, good game play and a good story. While I am totally of the Rule 0 (see my post in that thread, it's grrrreat) and apply it whenever I feel the need, I do so because I make sure that my stories are good and pretty much, in practice I only use DM over rules to defend gameplay or the story.

I don't want to make the player play characters they don't want to, but I'm not going to let anyone get so powerful that no one else matters.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-24, 02:22 AM
There are very good reasons why class based systems went out of style in favour of points buy ones at some point in the early 90s. An inability to design exactly the character that you want being a major one.

After all, why should a player be forced to play for weeks or months to be able to play the character that he or she wants? It makes much more sense to be able to play the character you want from the first session, instead of having to go through multiple classes and levels. Many of which don't give more than a small amount towards the archetype you're aiming for.

It's certainly a downside. I think 3.5 does the class based thing fairly well...but I do notice that certain archtypes, like the gish or summoner, take a fair amount of levels to be practical.

Like every other design decision, classes are a tradeoff. They're fairly handy for someone who wants exactly what the class offers, but less so if you don't. Personally, the system I'm designing is classless. I don't hate classes, but I feel it's easier to get the level of flexibility I desire without them.

Knaight
2011-03-24, 08:11 AM
I don't want to make the player play characters they don't want to, but I'm not going to let anyone get so powerful that no one else matters.

I've found that characters so powerful that no one else matters fit into the category of characters players don't want to play.

dsmiles
2011-03-24, 09:05 AM
I've found that characters so powerful that no one else matters fit into the category of characters players don't want to play.That depends on if you have mature, team-oriented players, or you're playing with a bunch of (maturity level, not age) children (as my kids are 12, 11, 10, and 6, yet are the most team-oriented gamers I have ever played with).

valadil
2011-03-24, 09:14 AM
There are very good reasons why class based systems went out of style in favour of points buy ones at some point in the early 90s. An inability to design exactly the character that you want being a major one.



Like every other design decision, classes are a tradeoff.

Just out of curiosity, how do you two feel about classes in Dark Heresy? If you're not familiar with it, DH is the closest thing I've seen to a game that's class and point buy based. Your class determines the price and minimal level of the abilities you buy.

Ytaker
2011-03-24, 09:49 AM
If they wanted to have something that wouldn't normally be found in a tool kit, then they would have to justify it, in character, to me. I'm not going to just let them pull out anything they want from their arse just because it would happen to be useful just then. If they want to tell me that they would have, when purchasing their equipment, thought to make sure they had a hair straightener in their weaving tool kit, then they need to tell me exactly how their character would have thought of that, what they would've intended it to be fore, and how they would have found one suitable specifically for weaving. If I'm not convinced I'll veto it and be well within my rights to do so, and even if I am I may require them to pay extra to have something so non-standard in it.
To give a similar-but-different example from a game I've been in, the character doesn't get to declare "I find a filing cabinet!", especially not if the DM doesn't want modern-day furniture in his medieval fantasy-themed universe. He can say "I'm looking for something like a filing cabinet, that holds important papers and things. Do I find it?"

Then it's clear taking professions in your games would be deeply unpleasant and to be avoided, since you would veto commonly used tools that people actually use in crafting and professions or make them pay extra because you didn't think it was logical. It would be unpleasant to roleplay them because you would constant face nos and vetos for perfectly reasonable choices.

One of my favourite fun things to do in D&D is to use unrealistic methods and items to do tasks. They're often not that realistic, but they're fun and it all comes down to a skill roll anyway. You are inhibiting that source of fun. Like jump attacks. Unrealistic, there are almost no situations in real life where it would actually work. I would never do it in real life. I often do it in D&D.

Amateur craftspeople often use non standard tools for their tasks because they're close to hand, as often they're cheaper than proper tools which are overpriced for profits sake or they work better. It's perfectly realistic.

Your second example is of a player making up part of your world, violating obvious thematic aspects of your game and trying to steal your authority. It's utterly different. The equivelent would be someone trying to pull an electric screwdriver out of their tool kit. That too would obviously be bad. This is more, people using objects that do exist in your world, but for a different purpose.

valadil
2011-03-24, 10:08 AM
Then it's clear taking professions in your games would be deeply unpleasant and to be avoided, since you would veto commonly used tools that people actually use in crafting and professions or make them pay extra because you didn't think it was logical.

Nah, I think it just means that until you come to a consensus on what's reasonable for a carpenter to have in his kit, you have to list all those things ahead of time. Hammer? Check. Screwdriver? Check. Lathe? Not so much.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-24, 10:21 AM
Just out of curiosity, how do you two feel about classes in Dark Heresy? If you're not familiar with it, DH is the closest thing I've seen to a game that's class and point buy based. Your class determines the price and minimal level of the abilities you buy.

I've got a passing familiarity with the game, but haven't actually played it yet, so I feel like I can't quite judge it.

That said, I do want to remedy this.

BayardSPSR
2011-03-24, 10:31 AM
In response to the the original post, I play type 2 - it's especially necessary with a system that's still in development and even goes so far as to say that the rules as written are A way to play, not THE way by any means. That said, a vote of players can always depose a GM (not that we've ever had it happen); and even in the most controlling situation an unhappy player can vote with his or her feet.

Actually, that's not quite true. In the MOST controlling situation, the players would be tied to their chairs, and not allowed to depart, cheat, metagame, or fail to bring snacks on pain of execution by the friendly neighborhood death squad. I've never played in a game like that, though. Might be fun.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-24, 10:36 AM
It would probably be the most entertaining kidnapping ever.

BayardSPSR
2011-03-24, 11:12 AM
It would probably be the most entertaining kidnapping ever.

Now I want to do it. This is probably a bad thing, but I can't for the life of me figure out how...

Ytaker
2011-03-24, 12:06 PM
Nah, I think it just means that until you come to a consensus on what's reasonable for a carpenter to have in his kit, you have to list all those things ahead of time. Hammer? Check. Screwdriver? Check. Lathe? Not so much.

A lathe would come under items too large to store in a tool kit.

The problem with that is that if you define the tool kit then there will likely come a common situation where you can't actually use your skill because you forgot a tool, because you're not an actual carpenter and you don't know what they do. Thus rendering the pathetically weak skill even more useless.

Elsewhere there's a debate on rule zero and one aspect of it, whether DMs should be allowed to make things up on the fly. Ignoring all the rest of the debate, I think both DMs and players should be able to, because that substantially reduces prep time for rather boring comodities. Having to define every likely situation you'll come against is both extremely difficult and not especially fun.

There are obviously limits to this, but whether someone has a guild approved weight or a hair curler is not where I'd draw the line.

Knaight
2011-03-24, 12:39 PM
That depends on if you have mature, team-oriented players, or you're playing with a bunch of (maturity level, not age) children (as my kids are 12, 11, 10, and 6, yet are the most team-oriented gamers I have ever played with).

Both at the same time actually, though people younger than 10 are stretching it.

Toofey
2011-03-24, 12:54 PM
I've found that characters so powerful that no one else matters fit into the category of characters players don't want to play.


I've found the subset of players mostly likely to create these characters are also the players who complain the loudest if the DM limits their power, and who are most likely to threaten to leave.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-24, 12:55 PM
Self-solving problem.

Ridiculously broken TO things tend not to matter much in actual, realistic play as a result.

The Big Dice
2011-03-24, 01:02 PM
Just out of curiosity, how do you two feel about classes in Dark Heresy? If you're not familiar with it, DH is the closest thing I've seen to a game that's class and point buy based. Your class determines the price and minimal level of the abilities you buy.

I never played it myself. But if it's like the Warhammer RPG Careers system, then I'd give it a thumbs up. A class system that defines your character by the job you are doing right now or the career you've chosen to follow is better than saying "I'm a Paladin with a Charisma of 18."

Knaight
2011-03-24, 04:51 PM
I've found the subset of players mostly likely to create these characters are also the players who complain the loudest if the DM limits their power, and who are most likely to threaten to leave.

As Tyndmyr said, self solving problem. Though I can't say I've ever encountered it.

Toofey
2011-03-24, 09:01 PM
That's funny because there's been one in pretty much every group I've played in or run since I was playing with my buds in high school (which is to say that group was the only group where it didn't happen although we did once have our DM have to crack down on a player for it but he didn't leave because of the social grouping) Almost all of my adult groups however have been put together through craig'slist ads or meetup.com etc... which is why I'm wondering if it's more of a problem.

also there's one thing I would like to clarify, I very much don't think the DM shouldn't listen to what the players have to say, I just think the DM needs to have final power over the decision.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-24, 09:54 PM
That's funny because there's been one in pretty much every group I've played in or run since I was playing with my buds in high school (which is to say that group was the only group where it didn't happen although we did once have our DM have to crack down on a player for it but he didn't leave because of the social grouping) Almost all of my adult groups however have been put together through craig'slist ads or meetup.com etc... which is why I'm wondering if it's more of a problem.

That might explain it. In my experience, I've found that groups of randoms, regardless of if by meetup or by gamestore groups, tend to have a much higher ratio of...lets call them problem players. The types of problems vary, but players that get kicked out of groups a lot end up looking for new groups a lot.

I play mostly with a circle of about a dozen friends who rotate in and out of the group based on various real world obligations and what not. In this group, most people are pretty non-problematic. After all, we've mostly all been buds for years. It helps. But I'm an RPG junkie, so it's not at all unusual for me to play 2-3 times a week, not counting pbp. I've ended up at game store groups with strangers, got into a game with someone I met at Dennys, randomly ended up in a game with someone I knew through other activities who never told me he roleplayed...and the random games are a LOT more likely to have that munchkin sort who never learned to work with people.

Serpentine
2011-03-24, 10:47 PM
Then it's clear taking professions in your games would be deeply unpleasant and to be avoided, since you would veto commonly used tools that people actually use in crafting and professions or make them pay extra because you didn't think it was logical. It would be unpleasant to roleplay them because you would constant face nos and vetos for perfectly reasonable choices.That is just ridiculous. I would veto non-(craft) items being found in the ordinary, default, made-for-(craft) toolkit. You seriously think it would be totally reasonable to find a screwdriver in a basic Craft (weaving) kit? Maybe there is a logical reason for you to use a screwdriver in your weaving, but it is not standard equipment. If you say ahead of time that you put together your own kit to contain such completely unrelated things, fine, but then it's no longer a (craft) toolkit. It's a Ytaker's Crafting Kit.
A (craft) kit contains the standard supplies expected to be required for that craft. It's as simple as that, and if you can't deal with such basic logical requirements, then tough titties. Deal with it, get out of my game, or just put together your own damn kit.

One of my favourite fun things to do in D&D is to use unrealistic methods and items to do tasks. They're often not that realistic, but they're fun and it all comes down to a skill roll anyway. You are inhibiting that source of fun.If your fun requires you to pull some random tool from a clearly-defined kit, then you have an extremely narrow idea of "fun".
I take deep offense to your claim that just because I don't let you pull whatever the hell you want out of your supposedly standard tool kit, I am removing your ability to have fun with my totally unreasonable, draconian restrictions. I am, in fact, extremely liberal with the Craft and Profession skills. I give free skillpoints specifically to be spent in them. I give bonuses to related checks beyond the RAW. I allow people to make up their own, and use them as they will - one of the best characters in my game has Craft (gizmo), which she has put to some use, and Craft (prank) for crying out loud. It would, incidentally, actually be pretty hard for me to veto something she wanted to take out of her Gizmo-Making or Prank-Pulling Kit (if she had one) because of the nature of those skills. But if I did, because the player thinks there should be a 50ft rope in the Prank Kit because it could conceivably be useful for pranking, then I hardly think that means I'm completely ruining all that player's fun :smallannoyed:

Amateur craftspeople often use non standard tools for their tasks because they're close to hand, as often they're cheaper than proper tools which are overpriced for profits sake or they work better. It's perfectly realistic.If you're using a nonstandard tool because it's close to hand, then you're not using a standard toolkit. If you want to say you're buying a nonstandard toolkit, fine. I'll have to think hard about the bonus you'll get for using it, though, because you're not using tools specifically made for your task.

Black_Zawisza
2011-03-24, 10:54 PM
I really can't decide between Type 1 and Type 2. If bad DMs (but not necessarily average DMs) didn't exist, I'd easily be for Type 2. As a player, I don't want to have a great deal of influence on the game universe, nor would I want others to if I ever DMed. On the other hand...stupid and jerk DMs exist. If more players (not counting the always agreeable/bored player at the table) disagree with the DM than agree, the DM needs to take a bloody hard look at what he's doing and unless he's privy to information the players aren't –*maybe it's plot-related and the outrageous thing being discussed at the table will lead to something really cool –*he should ALWAYS defer to the players. If there's a problem at the table, it's generally the fault of the DM, NOT the collective players. Sometimes the players need to be able to veto the DM, but they shouldn't HAVE to; it's the responsibility of the DM to relent in such situations without needing to be directly asked, because it makes things less fun.

I have a similar attitude towards hypersensitive players who can't control their anger, thinks everyone at the table is out to ruin their fun and is the cause of a lot of table-round awkward silences and sighs. They make the game less fun, but if they're booted out of the group and they're part of everyone's social circle, things will always be ridiculously awkward. Especially if they're aware they have such problems. The optimal solution is for them to gracefully resign from the group voluntarily. Sometimes the group needs to kick somebody out, but they shouldn't HAVE to; it's the responsibility of the problem player to leave voluntarily when they're being excessively disruptive.

Ytaker
2011-03-25, 05:15 PM
That is just ridiculous. I would veto non-(craft) items being found in the ordinary, default, made-for-(craft) toolkit. You seriously think it would be totally reasonable to find a screwdriver in a basic Craft (weaving) kit? Maybe there is a logical reason for you to use a screwdriver in your weaving, but it is not standard equipment. If you say ahead of time that you put together your own kit to contain such completely unrelated things, fine, but then it's no longer a (craft) toolkit. It's a Ytaker's Crafting Kit.

You don't have one in yours? How do you set up your loom? You know, the basic functionary unit of your trade if you want to do any serious work that requires a screwdriver Or if you want to attach your weave to something, how do you attach it? It is perfectly standard equipment. A screwdriver goes with pretty much anything.

Have you polled professional weavers to find out what tools they have? I mean, it's rather obvious to me that a lot of weavers would have screwdrivers, and there are numerous specialist weaving careers where it would be a basic part of the trade, like carpet weavers who want to attach a carpet to a floor, or anyone using a loom.

Edit. Thematically, it would probably be inappropriate. Screws and screwdrivers existed, but they weren't widely used till the industrial revolution made mass production easy.


A (craft) kit contains the standard supplies expected to be required for that craft. It's as simple as that, and if you can't deal with such basic logical requirements, then tough titties. Deal with it, get out of my game, or just put together your own damn kit.

Or just, avoid the frustration of a confrontation over something I know to be factually true, and yes it is factually true that weavers often use screwdrivers, but which I know you'll disagree with based on some vague logic. Avoid creativity. It's not a gamebreaker. It's just another frustration.


If your fun requires you to pull some random tool from a clearly-defined kit, then you have an extremely narrow idea of "fun".

Well, a big part of it is that you and Big Dice both chose examples of tools that people actually do commonly use. I could see a relative or a friend using a tool and then have to argue with you and tell you that you're wrong, factually, when I tried to use it in game.


I take deep offense to your claim that just because I don't let you pull whatever the hell you want out of your supposedly standard tool kit, I am removing your ability to have fun ...one of the best characters in my game has Craft (gizmo), which she has put to some use, and Craft (prank) for crying out loud. It would, incidentally, actually be pretty hard for me to veto something she wanted to take out of her Gizmo-Making or Prank-Pulling Kit (if she had one) because of the nature of those skills.

Haha, nice. One your players, noticing the way you treat craft, deliberately chose a career where it would be almost impossible for you to argue with them. If that player actually is doing this it would definitely be worth evaluating your priorities.


But if I did, because the player thinks there should be a 50ft rope in the Prank Kit because it could conceivably be useful for pranking, then I hardly think that means I'm completely ruining all that player's fun :smallannoyed:

Yes, as that's a named item with a named cost in gold. If someone is pushing the book pretty far then you can normally tell. You can see from the look on their face that they're pushing it.

That's a very different situation when someone is just casually roleplaying, or when someone is trying to emulate a relative they admire in a roleplaying way. You giving skill point bonuses is certainly helpful, and does encourage it, but the risk of conflicts over minor matters outweighs that.


If you're using a nonstandard tool because it's close to hand, then you're not using a standard toolkit. If you want to say you're buying a nonstandard toolkit, fine. I'll have to think hard about the bonus you'll get for using it, though, because you're not using tools specifically made for your task.

Another good reason to avoid the hassle.

You're thinking of a masterwork tool kit, anyway. That specifically mentions all the tools are made for the job.


These tools serve the same purpose as artisan’s tools (above), but masterwork artisan’s tools are the perfect tools for the job, so you get a +2 circumstance bonus on Craft checks made with them.

Masterwork tools are a lot more standard. They are the best tools specifically made for the task, so you'd have a specialist paper weight perfectly designed for your weave. They'd still include a screwdriver, though.

FreelanceAngel
2011-03-26, 08:38 AM
With my group, it wouldn't make a difference. No one bothers to ever do anything that needs a vote or game master arbitration. They want to play a game, not debate semantics.


...can I come play with your group?

Tyndmyr
2011-03-26, 08:43 AM
Ideally, that's how it is. If no disagreement exists, then the method you use to resolve it doesn't matter. Getting a group that has fairly little disagreement is perhaps much more important than how you handle that disagreement.

Of course, some games are also different. While we tend to use a rather informal group approach to D&D games, in Paranoia, the GM always has the last word. Because, well, it's Paranoia. It wouldn't make sense otherwise.

Dsurion
2011-03-26, 10:28 AM
...can I come play with your group?Sure thing, if you're in the Pennsylvania area. We're always looking for a way to fill our "cursed fourth spot".

Long personal experience spoilered for tangential relevance to the thread...

When I started playing D&D with some of my high school friends, there was a static DM and the same three guys, but whoever tagged along as the fourth never lasted.

First, it was the slightly eccentric guy who liked to play bards, who wrote love songs to beetles mid-combat and read newspapers when it wasn't his turn. Always on the ball though. Had to stop playing because he started working two jobs, no real free time when we were ready to go.

Then there was another high school friend who liked to play an elf rogue, that tended to out-tank the fighter early on. We always joked that she was such a nympho, we had to stop and pay clerics at every town we came across to remove her VD. Then she stopped showing up due to drama in her life.

Another person showed up for a single session because she was keen on one of the players, then just kinda disappeared...

Once, there was a time where we literally couldn't find the fighter player. We were going to meet up at the high school and take everyone out to the place we were going to play, but the car was too full of junk to ferry everyone where they needed to go. Since my house was only four blocks away, we figured we could make two trips, if they'd just wait at my place. We made that first trip and came back, and the conversation went something like...

"Dude. Where'd [name] go?"
"I dunno, he said he was stopping at the store quick on the way, so I kept walking."
"So...Where is he?"

We never found him that day, after a half hour of going down the road. It's only a twenty minute walk.

Anyway, we needed a replacement, and there was a guy who expressed interest in playing, so we grabbed him. Guy plays a stereotypical chaotic stupid character (our fault, longer story), so we tolerate it for a session and just stopped inviting him.

We had a friend who lived two hours away, WAY out in the countryside, with some of the most hilly roads we've ever traversed, and in a raggedy it's-only-held-together-by-love-and-fortune car. The transmission LOVED that ride. Played a cool mass combat game with another friend, but the ride back was the single most eerie experience we've ever had. I'll leave it at pea soup fog, no gas, monsoon-like rain, dark creepy forest, an hour's drive from anywhere we were familiar with, let alone people.

...Er... Non-cultist people... Oh, and the battery was dying.

Eventually, my sister joined us for a game, but that was it.

Later on, we started a new game, with me, the DM, and one of the original group members, and two other friends and a sibling, one decided he was a druid who carried a pig animal companion around inside of a barrel full of wheat. We... Stopped asking :smallbiggrin:
One person kept interest, but the other was so utterly uninterested she started sketching masterful works of art on her character sheet.

Later, another new game, it was again me, the DM, and the same original party member, with one of the people from the last game, and another friend who was just there for the social aspect. You can guess she didn't last :smalltongue:

Right. Enough derailment.