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View Full Version : Player Help Is the DM right? Gods and Priests



bigboylouie
2015-02-03, 12:15 AM
I have been playing in a 3.5 campaign as a Dwarf priest of Moradin. In a recent session I told the group that I had a vision Moradin in a dream and he told me to be a better priest or my powers would fade and that I should continue on the path of helping Dwarfs. After the Session my DM messages me saying that it was presumptuous of me take control of a deity in game. He said it was the DM's job to play the parts of deities and by voicing this dream I was confusing the group. He ruled that He would have all control of the deities words from now on and that it was best for Moradin to stay out of my characters dreams. I told him it was for role play purposes only and no mechanics would be affected, the group was affect (didn't even care), nor was the story changed in any way. It was just a flavor for my character to act more like a priest in role playing situations where I could interpret the words and act less like a statue with healing ability. The DM replied that there was zero grey area in this, and that he wasn't judging me that I "just simply didn't know how things worked" and with that he just stated that we were both "golden."
Did I do something wrong? I thought that if what I saw was within my character's dream and did not involve any NPC, PC, plot or mechanics then it should be ok?
I am interested to know what some of the more experienced players think before dwelling on it any further.
Thank you-

Kid Jake
2015-02-03, 12:28 AM
As a DM I'd prefer not to have people speak on behalf of their gods either; it's a minor thing but it does sort of feel like stepping on the DM's toes. I'd have let the dream play out however you wanted it to, but would have clarified that it came from your own realization that there was more you should be doing than being a divine edict. Of course, if you wanted divine inspiration for rp purposes (and it fit the kind of game I was running) I would've been happy to oblige you, it would've just had to be ran through the DM filter first.

But that's just my 2 cents.

Mastikator
2015-02-03, 12:32 AM
Seems like he's assuming that ever time someone dreams of Moradin it's divine intervention and not just a dream.

He's right in that he controls when (if ever) the PCs should receive a message from the gods. But I think your character can dream about whatever the firetruck he wants, as long as there are no supernatural shenanigans involved.

dps
2015-02-03, 12:34 AM
Yeah, I'd say that the gods are effectively NPCs, so if they put in an appearance, it should be through the DM.

goto124
2015-02-03, 12:38 AM
The DM can act out the god appearing and speaking to the PC. The player can tend interpret the dream in his own way.

Both parties win!

Mr Beer
2015-02-03, 12:42 AM
The player can claim to have any dream he likes but the dream was only from a god if the GM said it was. This character is either dramatising for the party or had a dream that he mistook for a genuine divine message.

EDIT

So the GM is basically right, however I think a better approach is to make it clear that he is ready and willing to discuss it if you want to receive divine messages rather than just ordering you to never hear from Moradin again.

Sounds like a good chance for some story/character development, so I wouldn't really want to stamp all over it like that.

Milo v3
2015-02-03, 12:42 AM
I'd see no problem with what you did, especially since you could just think it's a vision when it's just a normal dream. Your dreams are your character's business.

Deophaun
2015-02-03, 12:46 AM
Yeah. It's a dream. This is your character's psyche that is obviously uncomfortable with something your character has done, assigning your own misgivings to Moradin's disapproval. It's really no different than a dragonslayer dreaming of defeating Tiamat, with the player getting an angry message from the DM that he's not awarding XP for that encounter.

It is presumptuous, however, for the DM to say what goes on inside your character's head.

Beta Centauri
2015-02-03, 12:56 AM
You gave the GM a gift and he turned it down. That's his right, but that's not a good way to build trust or collaboration. I hope you'll continue to be creative even though it seems like the GM is likely to block you when you are.

bigboylouie
2015-02-03, 01:19 AM
Thank you guys for responding to the post. I intentionally left out a whole bunch of things to get a clear view of how you guys would handle this particular argument. In my defense I would say that I tried to talk to the DM multiple times about having a vision visit me as far back as last November, I did state that "it was only a dream" and that I had the dream after a night of drinking. While I value your collective inputs I would have to stick to my guns and state that a fantasy of my fantasy can be whatever my character wants.
Next time....and there will be a next time...I will state loud and clear that my DREAMS are bad, or good or whatever. I like the DM as a person but he does say "no' to things that are outside his comfort zone and is more of a mechanics player than a role player. I guess the constant dungeon slogging had left me wanting more than just hack and slash (didn't know the campaign would be like this). I will refrain from stepping on toes but will try to actively advance my Character through dialogue as well as combat.

-thanks

Acacia OnnaStik
2015-02-03, 01:25 AM
This looks to me like a possible case of miscommunication. What the GM thinks you were doing (putting words in the mouth of a god, then arguing about why it's okay to do that) is pretty bad form to do without consulting him, but it sounds like you were actually just giving your character an epiphany that came as a religiously-themed dream, and if so, should probably have been clearer with the GM that "no, I mean it was an actual dream that came from his brain."

Or am I misreading the situation?

Edit: ninja'd by the OP.

Gavran
2015-02-03, 01:34 AM
Your DM not being interested in making your cleric have literal interaction with his god is a decidedly neutral thing. There are lots of times I wouldn't want gods to be that involved in the game or even in an interventionist deity setting, I might not want one character to gain that kind of importance. But as many have said your character thinking that their dream was divine communication is not only perfectly fine but completely outside the DM's jurisdiction.

TheThan
2015-02-03, 01:54 AM
The Dm is wasting a golden opportunity here. Seriously you just handed him a gigantic golden nugget and heís throwing it away.

If youíre character is calling down the thunder like he is, then Itís the DMís obligation to send the freaking lightning and thunder. I mean thatís what I would do. One of the best things that players can do for a DM is to end up writing their own adventure hooks during the course of the session, this is exactly what youíve started to do. Itís a great setup to introduce NPCs, reoccurring villains, send the players on an epic quests etc.

Besides unless thereís another priest of Moradin sitting around, howís anyone going to know whether youíre actually communicating with Moradin.

Another thing you never, ever, ever, (no not even then) do is to stat out your gods. IF you stat it, they will kill it. Why? Simple if there are stats for it, that means it can be killed, itís got hit points and armor class and saving throws and what not. When players figure this out (and they will), they will immediately want to try to take a god on, and they will beat him, players are clever that way (and kinda A holes too). But if you don't stat it, they can't kill it, since nothing defines what it takes to take on this god. So donít stat your gods, that way if they ever end up in a position to challenge say Zeus, he can shove a lightning bolt up the player characterís butt and defenestrate him off of mount Olympus, laughing at him as he plummets to his death; and the players can't say much about it, he's a freaking god after all. Seriously donít do it, itís not worth the headache.

jedipotter
2015-02-03, 02:08 AM
Did I do something wrong? I thought that if what I saw was within my character's dream and did not involve any NPC, PC, plot or mechanics then it should be ok?
I am interested to know what some of the more experienced players think before dwelling on it any further.
Thank you-

Your DM is over reacting a bit. As a player, your character can say anything. Your character can say ''I have one billion gold coins in my pocket'' or ''Your Blue must be Gray'' or ''the Sky is Falling'' or ''Me god Moradin wants me to kill all the dwarves!'' but it does not happen in the game reality. It is just what your character says.

For a character to say ''Moradin told me to eat more cheese'' is exactly like them saying ''the sunflower in the field told me to eat more cheese''. The character can think, and say, whatever they want.

Any character can say something like ''I had a dream that from no on I get all the party loot for myself''. But just as you say it, does not make it happen.

But if your DM is just ''That DM'', you could just say ''dwarven religion'' in a vague way. Or even better, found the religious doctrine of Mordoneisum, with yourself as the First Prophet. Then you can say ''the first rule of Mordoneisum is one does not talk about Mordoneisum'' or whatever.

Beta Centauri
2015-02-03, 02:12 AM
I like the DM as a person but he does say "no' to things that are outside his comfort zone and is more of a mechanics player than a role player. I guess the constant dungeon slogging had left me wanting more than just hack and slash (didn't know the campaign would be like this). I will refrain from stepping on toes but will try to actively advance my Character through dialogue as well as combat. It's very common for people to want everything in its place, and the players separated from the GM by a screen. Some people really cannot feel comfortable playing unless they have that control, and that's not a bad thing, but it's not for every player.

If you think there's hope, keep talking to your GM about it. Don't get adversarial, but show him the benefits. One thing players can do that GMs should really dig but can't rely on is to dive in wholeheartedly to a GM's plot hook for reasons the player invented. GMs can tie themselves in knots trying to bait a hook in such a way that the players can't turn it down, so build trust by biting those hooks hard.

Overall, just build trust. Hew to the rules and agree with the GM's rulings, even when it's to your character's disadvantage. Show him that the balance of the game is important for you, so when you do something that looks like you're unbalancing things the GM has a little basis to hear you out.

Good luck.

Erik Vale
2015-02-03, 02:19 AM
1: DM is always right. You can leave, but in his game he is always right.
2: Yes, in this situation your DM is right. Of course, there's nothing wrong with your character lying about having a dream, or your dream not actually being divinely sent.
Unless lying is against your religion, in which case there is something wrong about lying, particularly about that.

jedipotter
2015-02-03, 02:27 AM
1: DM is always right.

I might be the biggest supporter of The DM is Always Right on the boards. And that a player should Just Play the game.

But even I would say your DM is wrong here.

Sir Chuckles
2015-02-03, 02:37 AM
I might be the biggest supporter of The DM is Always Right on the boards. And that a player should Just Play the game.

But even I would say your DM is wrong here.
This is as telling as it gets, people.

In my opinion, I would've liked, as the DM, to hear this before it was done in game. Not necessarily because I would say no, but rather because I want to make sure that it doesn't become an issue.
I know that sounds strange, but I have (had? He barely shows up anymore) a player who, when playing a divine caster, would often claim deities giving him messages, either in dreams, visions, via those certain few spells, or backstory, that would force the character to be plot central, generally more important to whatever area they're picking up the new party member in, or various things of that nature. It was usually very hamfisted, and I strongly dislike not using, or at least referencing, what my players have written.

However, you did something was very minor for purely aesthetic and roleplay purposes. The only adjudication the DM should make in this situation is whether or not that was The Real MoradinTM or a very bored spellcaster practicing his Dream spells.

jedipotter
2015-02-03, 03:39 AM
In my opinion, I would've liked, as the DM, to hear this before it was done in game. Not necessarily because I would say no, but rather because I want to make sure that it doesn't become an issue.


It's just odd that I say as DM, that a player can have a character think or say anything...it does not matter. It's only real and true if the DM says so.

Maybe the DM thought the player was trying to ''Co-DM'' the game or something. Though I guess there are games out there where each Player just makes up stuff, and then the other players ''DM'' it for that player in some type of group game. Maybe the DM thought you were doing that?

Cazero
2015-02-03, 03:52 AM
What the DM is allowed to say : "Your dream was not really a divine message, and you'll realise that hard when Moradin sends you an actual prophetic dream."
What the DM is not allowed to say : "Your dream never happened."

Kaun
2015-02-03, 05:55 AM
ehh it depends on the game really.

But the long and the short of it is you stepped on his toes and he/she handled it poorly.

Honestly i'm not really sure a characters dreams are entirely in the players control. Damned if i have any control over my own.

Whats your DM's experience level like? I ask because collaborative story telling in a game can be a big step for a DM. Handing over a large chunk of narrative control takes a decent amount of confidence.

Waar
2015-02-03, 06:44 AM
I have been playing in a 3.5 campaign as a Dwarf priest of Moradin. In a recent session I told the group that I had a vision Moradin in a dream and he told me to be a better priest or my powers would fade and that I should continue on the path of helping Dwarfs. After the Session my DM messages me saying that it was presumptuous of me take control of a deity in game. He said it was the DM's job to play the parts of deities and by voicing this dream I was confusing the group. He ruled that He would have all control of the deities words from now on and that it was best for Moradin to stay out of my characters dreams. I told him it was for role play purposes only and no mechanics would be affected, the group was affect (didn't even care), nor was the story changed in any way. It was just a flavor for my character to act more like a priest in role playing situations where I could interpret the words and act less like a statue with healing ability. The DM replied that there was zero grey area in this, and that he wasn't judging me that I "just simply didn't know how things worked" and with that he just stated that we were both "golden."
Did I do something wrong? I thought that if what I saw was within my character's dream and did not involve any NPC, PC, plot or mechanics then it should be ok?
I am interested to know what some of the more experienced players think before dwelling on it any further.
Thank you-
Your character said somthing to the other player characters, that does not mean you were controling any NPC. SO no you did not do anything wrong, however if the dm says the dream did not come from Moradin, it didn't (but that wouldn't be very nice, unless some thought was put into it).

Bronk
2015-02-03, 07:42 AM
Sorry, I think the DM is in the right in this case. I would say that all conscious decisions of the PC are made by the player, but background stuff like this should all come from the DM unless it's in a DM approved character history.

Basically... of course truly prophetic dreams only come from the DM! Yes, he or she is in control of the setting's gods. If you've really been talking about this for a while now, the DM could have even been setting up something special for you. If you wanted to take it into your own hands, you could have used any one of a number of divination spells, planar travel options, or even the Lucid Dreaming skill.

I do agree that your character could say whatever he wants, but in this case it would either be a delusion or a lie. If it was a delusion, just play your character as crazy and see if the other players heal you or something. If it's a lie, then, if you're playing a good character, prepare to have your alignment dinged... and after lying about your god, losing your cleric abilities may become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Xelbiuj
2015-02-03, 08:55 AM
I'm in the "it's just a dream unless DM decides to pick it up a divine intervention" crowd.

Personally, if you rest for the night, either* the DM or the player can say your character had a dream. Generally I'd think it's only going to mean anything in the story if it comes from the DM.

As for you dream specifically, adventuring dwarfs (ones away from home) dreaming about needing to be better dwarfs, would probably be a pretty common theme. Family, tradition, etc are key aspects to their culture so . . . yeah. He should have just said, "that didn't necessarily come from Moradin" and let it be.

The biggest issue with you speaking for your god, is that it may influence your parties decisions, especially OOC if they think the DM okay'd it.

Storm_Of_Snow
2015-02-03, 09:28 AM
What the DM is allowed to say : "Your dream was not really a divine message, and you'll realise that hard when Moradin sends you an actual prophetic dream."
What the DM is not allowed to say : "Your dream never happened."
Well, were I the DM, I think my discussion with you would go along these lines:

"You didn't tell me about it first. But, where do you want to go with this? Do you want this as an actual deity-sent message, or are you just trying to manipulate the rest of the party into going off on some direction of your own?"

I'm mostly with the DM - as a player, you've near total control of your character, some control of any hirelings or dependants, and, unfortunately, that's about it. Anything else is under either your co-players or the DM's control.

If you want control over everything, dig out the rulebooks and start working on your own campaign world.

Remember, the DM has to try and fit your actions into the universe they've created, and if you want to go off on some path you've just thought of, you're putting them under pressure to come up with brand new stuff that they've never thought about, and could totally train wreck their campaign. Or maybe you've just pre-empted something that they had planned for later on, and they've got to spend time reworking it.

So, if you want to do something major, talk with the DM first rather than just dropping it on them - most DMs would be glad that someone's thinking about things, rather than just sitting around the table munching snacks, rolling dice when told to and waiting for the DM to entertain them.

zinycor
2015-02-03, 10:02 AM
I feel the DM is right. The Gods do communicate through dreams. Furthermore, unlike others i don't think you get to decide what your character dreams, unless your DM allows it.

i do like the idea of what Moradin told you, the problem is that you should have talked with the DM about it, it's in his power to decide what sort of relationship your god has with you. Maybe he did plan for Moradin to talk to you in a dream, and this would be a problem.

i don't think that you handled the things on the best way, if you wanted your character to be less of a heal bot, you just have to say in character, "Am not going to keep just healing, am a cleric of Moradin and he commands his followers to be brave and stand on the heat of battle" then look at the DM, who would tell you if that's ok or not.

Thrudd
2015-02-03, 10:04 AM
I agree with your DM, to a point. He is right that the players can't decide if/when there will be divine communication or intervention. For all you know, the gods may not even be real, and your characters just believe they do.
Whether or not you can decide what your character dreams about is another question that doesn't have a clear correct answer. On one hand, usually it doesn't matter and it would just be a bit of characterization that is harmless for you to create. On the other hand, I can see situations where the DM may want to use dreams as a part of the narrative, and they will want to be telling you what your character has dreamed. Also, since the character does not have conscious control of what they dream and when, it does not make sense for the player to be able to decide that. A part of the game might be interpreting the dream and deciding what it means, if anything.

But you definitely can have your character say anything you want. You can say he had a dream of moradin, but if the DM says he didn't really have such a dream, which is his right, your character would be lying or delusional. The best compromise would be for him to say that, this time, that you had the dream but it wasn't really moradin talking to you. In the future, ask him if the character had any dreams, since those are not things the character consciously has control of. Frame your characterization as things your character thinks and feels, which are definitely under your control. He believes moradin wants him to be a better priest. No dream is necessary for that.

zinycor
2015-02-03, 10:21 AM
Frame your characterization as things your character thinks and feels, which are definitely under your control. He believes moradin wants him to be a better priest. No dream is necessary for that.

so much this

Kalmageddon
2015-02-03, 10:35 AM
What the DM is allowed to say : "Your dream was not really a divine message, and you'll realise that hard when Moradin sends you an actual prophetic dream."
What the DM is not allowed to say : "Your dream never happened."

Pretty much this, yes.

However, the OP should have asked permission to the DM, who shouldn't have had any reasons to deny it as far as I can see, for the very simple reason that as mentioned Gods are basically NPCs and therefore fall under direct jurisdiction from the GM. Even if the dream was just a dream, consulting the GM beforehand would have been better.
Who knows, maybe the GM would have made the dream an actual vision from Moradin and used it as a quest hook or something.

Communication is key, as always.

Zale
2015-02-03, 02:48 PM
I can understand the DM's upset, as a player dictating the actions of a major NPC can be very difficult and set a bad precedent.

However, I feel that for Clerics there is a certain amount of control the player should have over their character's deity.

If a player wants to have a dream about how their god is angry at them, I'd be perfectly fine with that. Most of the time, the people I play with forget they even have deities to begin with, so acknowledging them is a big deal. Especially this, since this is basically gift-wrapping a possible story arc with "I'm Interested In This" stamped on it. I love when players tell me what they are interested in roleplaying or acting out, since I usually just have to take my best guess.

I can understand where the DM is coming from, but I felt like they over-reacted. I'd personally have said that I love that you are making trouble for your character, but wish you would tell me ahead of time just so I can prepare.

I also disagree with never stating out gods. After all, there are many power levels for deities based on the setting. There are some gods that could totally be thwarted by mortal effort or even slain, the cosmically powerful deities are not the only kind that can exist.

bigboylouie
2015-02-03, 02:58 PM
I hear the replies and the over arching theme is that the DM should have been notified, I get that. I had notified the DM that I wanted this for six months. So I chose a night where the party got sloshed at a tavern and then stated to the party that I had "a terrible dream where I stood back in my old scroll laden catacombs before a towering visage of Moradin appeared and said 'to act righteously or loose your powers!" I thought this was a nice neutral way for me to bring up Moradin in game, since he had not responded to my other messages, as well as tell the other players that my Lawful good character wasn't going to tolerate anymore looting graves or stealing from people (also talked with the DM about this). I tried to give my self a point of plot in character giving him a reason for a renewed stance of justice.
From what I have read in the posts all I would have needed to say was that "I [my character] got a feeling from this dream" instead of having Moradin talk because gods are NPCs. A tiny error of wording that has lead to a misunderstanding and now I cannot dream or interpret any messages from my deity. Apparently I also might have chosen poor words when labeling the thread considering some replies are people just parachuting in to say the DM is "Always right" in a sentence and leave. Thanks to you all.

Mark Hall
2015-02-03, 03:52 PM
Pretty much always, the answer to "Is the DM right" is "Yes."

In this case, he doesn't want you speaking for the Gods. You might decide that your character had a dream of his deity that he interpreted as a vision, and Moradin might respond to your temerity... though I think that'd be a bit of an over-reaction.

Acacia OnnaStik
2015-02-03, 04:07 PM
With further context, it's looking less and less like the DM is justified at all. Sadly, arguing the point isn't likely to make it any better, so... my sympathies, I guess.

jedipotter
2015-02-03, 04:18 PM
now I cannot dream or interpret any messages from my deity.

I wonder if your character is even allowed to speak or think? You might want to check with the DM.

PC "Oh, my character has an idea on how to open the door...excuse me DM, may my character have an idea?''

DM "NO! Doors are Object Controled by the DM! You can not even think about doors! Huhahahahahaha!'

OR

PC ''My character wants to speak and ask directions to the town of GreenDale, DM may i speak?''

DM "No! GreenDale is my Town! My word! Mine! Mine! Mine! Your character can not say or even think of the word!''

D+1
2015-02-03, 04:40 PM
Player and DM need to have just a bit more conversation about this. Player needs to acknowledge that it may have SEEMED presumptuous of him to "speak for a deity" without the DM having actually first told the player/PC what the deity said, if anything. HOWEVER, the DM also needs to acknowledge that he's overreacting a bit. As the OP said there was no Imbalance In The Force created by this. However, to clarify the DM's position and appropriately caution ALL the players - the DM speaks for the deities. If a PC says their deity has spoken to them personally, or given them some sign or omen, or whatever, players should just remember who has the final word. It would be better then that in the future, if a player is not, in actual fact, speaking for a deity, or relaying signs/ omens that the DM actually informed the player were being given, that the player phrase his statements appropriately both in and out of character. For example: "I had a dream. _I_ have interpreted this dream to mean X..."

However, there's just no reason for the DM to in turn take control of a character away from a player and state categorically what they did or did not dream and what they do or do not subsequently believe. If a player wants his priest of Moradin to see signs and portents everywhere and repeatedly announce that Moradin has spoken to him in another dream - whether that's actually true or not - then that is the players choice and the DM should keep his own nose out of where IT doesn't belong. If a deity DOES insert some message or whatever into a characters dream, THEN would be when a DM has a right to make such statements, and not before.

JMO (and without even the least shred of humility)

Deophaun
2015-02-03, 05:00 PM
Bard: "So, I distract Graz'zt's followers with a ribald tale involving Demogorgon at the mercy of a group of dretches."
DM: "No. Demogorgon would never let that happen to him!"
Bard: "Of course, I'm making it up. So, any way, the dretches..."
DM: "Excuse me. I'm the DM. I say what happens to NPCs, and I'm saying this never happened."
Bard: "It's just a story. Well, they get this goat..."
DM: ::Slams table:: "You do not get to determine whether dretches keep goats!"
Bard: "...What is your problem?"

TheThan
2015-02-03, 05:28 PM
Bard: "So, I distract Graz'zt's followers with a ribald tale involving Demogorgon at the mercy of a group of dretches."
DM: "No. Demogorgon would never let that happen to him!"
Bard: "Of course, I'm making it up. So, any way, the dretches..."
DM: "Excuse me. I'm the DM. I say what happens to NPCs, and I'm saying this never happened."
Bard: "It's just a story. Well, they get this goat..."
DM: ::Slams table:: "You do not get to determine whether dretches keep goats!"
Bard: "...What is your problem?"

OH it could be far, far worse than that.

fighter: ok so i I hit my enemy with my axe, [rolls dice] a Crit, let me confirm [rolls dice, confirms] yes that hits! and a crit to boot!. [rolls damage] max damage that probably killed him.
DM: no I'm the Dm; I'm in charge of all NPCs, your attack cannot possibly hit unless I say it hits.
Fighter: but I just rolled dice that prove I hit the monster, even a non crit nat twenty always hits! and you saw it happen too
DM: I'm rule zeroing that, no NPC or monster can be hit unless i approve it! after all I'm the DM and the DM is always right
Fighter: But you're robbing me of a legit critical hit!
DM: stop whining this is my game not yours!
Fighter: *flips table storms off*

jedipotter
2015-02-03, 05:30 PM
Bard: "So, I distract Graz'zt's followers with a ribald tale involving Demogorgon at the mercy of a group of dretches."
DM: "No. Demogorgon would never let that happen to him!"
Bard: "Of course, I'm making it up. So, any way, the dretches..."
DM: "Excuse me. I'm the DM. I say what happens to NPCs, and I'm saying this never happened."
Bard: "It's just a story. Well, they get this goat..."
DM: ::Slams table:: "You do not get to determine whether dretches keep goats!"
Bard: "...What is your problem?"

Yes! This Exactly!

Synovia
2015-02-03, 05:44 PM
Yeah, I'd say that the gods are effectively NPCs, so if they put in an appearance, it should be through the DM.

It was a dream, not an appearance by a god - and there's no way any of the other PCs would know the difference. There's no way the PC himself would really know the difference if hes devout.

If I was the DM here - I'd take a little note saying 'PC Priest is prone to religious hallucinations' if I didn't want the god to actually be involved and use that later.

The DM is being overly controlling here.

Gavran
2015-02-03, 05:45 PM
Honestly i'm not really sure a characters dreams are entirely in the players control. Damned if i have any control over my own.
But do you have control over whether or not you were born with latent magical powers? The ability to choose the places, circumstances and people responsible for your birth? To determine your physical and mental attributes (as opposed to attempting to develop them)?

What your character dreams is your decision. Now, the DM can also make your character have dreams - there are plenty of things with that power - but natural dreams your character has are as much yours as your character's thoughts are.


I hear the replies and the over arching theme is that the DM should have been notified, I get that. I had notified the DM that I wanted this for six months. So I chose a night where the party got sloshed at a tavern and then stated to the party that I had "a terrible dream where I stood back in my old scroll laden catacombs before a towering visage of Moradin appeared and said 'to act righteously or loose your powers!" I thought this was a nice neutral way for me to bring up Moradin in game, since he had not responded to my other messages, as well as tell the other players that my Lawful good character wasn't going to tolerate anymore looting graves or stealing from people (also talked with the DM about this). I tried to give my self a point of plot in character giving him a reason for a renewed stance of justice.
From what I have read in the posts all I would have needed to say was that "I [my character] got a feeling from this dream" instead of having Moradin talk because gods are NPCs. A tiny error of wording that has lead to a misunderstanding and now I cannot dream or interpret any messages from my deity. Apparently I also might have chosen poor words when labeling the thread considering some replies are people just parachuting in to say the DM is "Always right" in a sentence and leave. Thanks to you all.

But now we have the real problem. If you want to develop your character into one who cannot tolerate the party's actions, that is perfectly fine. Even to be encouraged maybe. But at the same time you do that, you have to make a new character. I stand by your decision to not let your character compromise his morality further, and I'm okay with imagining a dream as the catalyst to that, but unless it is followed by "And this is how my character leaves the party" you're making threats to the other players and that is not okay. It sucks sometimes when you like your character but everyone else wants to play in a way that's incompatible with it. But when everyone else wants to play that way, it's your responsibility to become compatible one way or another (or leave the group.)

endur
2015-02-03, 07:04 PM
ehh it depends on the game really.

But the long and the short of it is you stepped on his toes and he/she handled it poorly.

Honestly i'm not really sure a characters dreams are entirely in the players control. Damned if i have any control over my own.

Whats your DM's experience level like? I ask because collaborative story telling in a game can be a big step for a DM. Handing over a large chunk of narrative control takes a decent amount of confidence.

When a GM is underconfident, the unexpected (i.e. collaborative story telling) can threaten their sense of control.

I overstepped at least once or twice in the past when I was a less confident GM and shut down players when I shouldn't have.

Just because they were trying something that didn't match my vision, doesn't mean it was wrong of them to try it.

Now on the topic of morality and Gods ... priests are always claiming that their God wants them to do this or that. That is part of being a priest. Although a Lawful priest might be more circumspect on exactly how he says it (i.e. instead of a dream of Moradin telling me this, I dreamed that Moradin wants me to do this; semantics but could be enough to satisfy your GM).

It is also perfectly acceptable for an Lawful Good character to insist that laws be respected and that no acts of evil take place. And if you see some lawbreakers committing acts of evil, you can turn them in to the proper authorities (even if the evil doers are PCs).

goto124
2015-02-03, 07:14 PM
But now we have the real problem. If you want to develop your character into one who cannot tolerate the party's actions, that is perfectly fine. Even to be encouraged maybe. But at the same time you do that, you have to make a new character. I stand by your decision to not let your character compromise his morality further, and I'm okay with imagining a dream as the catalyst to that, but unless it is followed by "And this is how my character leaves the party" you're making threats to the other players and that is not okay. It sucks sometimes when you like your character but everyone else wants to play in a way that's incompatible with it. But when everyone else wants to play that way, it's your responsibility to become compatible one way or another (or leave the group.)

The DM may not have said this explicitly, but it is a problem that needs to be resolved. Why did you make your character threaten to leave the party?

Gavran
2015-02-03, 08:10 PM
It is also perfectly acceptable for an Lawful Good character to insist that laws be respected and that no acts of evil take place. And if you see some lawbreakers committing acts of evil, you can turn them in to the proper authorities (even if the evil doers are PCs).

Only if it is also perfectly acceptable for those evil lawbreakers to murder that LG character in his sleep when his increasing moral reluctance makes them suspicious he may do something along those lines. And that isn't a game LG can win. I think the solution that doesn't involve creating player conflict is probably the better one. And chances are they don't see it as a point of conflict now, initiating PvP against them is a sure way to change that.

Coincidentally I'm pretty sure even in 3.5 Clerics are at no risk to lose their powers as a result of tolerating chaotic or evil behavior. You have the opportunity to play the role of someone who tries to minimize the damage they do; why throw that away to play the incompatible paladin type?

Raimun
2015-02-03, 09:30 PM
The way I see it, you could have your character see a dream about Moradin. You could also make your character interpret that this dream was a divine vision. However, that would be quite a claim and not something Clerics might readily do, unless they worshipped a trickster god.

However, this might be not the reality of the situation, unless the DM agrees. It would be just a dream and not an actual divine vision. Do note that some Cleric spells will give them an actual form of communication with their deity, so Clerics of a given deity would be pretty much 100% sure when their deity communicates with them in any way.

Think about it this way: Moradin is an NPC and so DM controls what an NPC does or does not do. I mean, a high level mortal spell caster could also appear in player character's dream if he knows the right spell.

Storm_Of_Snow
2015-02-04, 08:22 AM
I hear the replies and the over arching theme is that the DM should have been notified, I get that. I had notified the DM that I wanted this for six months. So I chose a night where the party got sloshed at a tavern and then stated to the party that I had "a terrible dream where I stood back in my old scroll laden catacombs before a towering visage of Moradin appeared and said 'to act righteously or loose your powers!" I thought this was a nice neutral way for me to bring up Moradin in game, since he had not responded to my other messages, as well as tell the other players that my Lawful good character wasn't going to tolerate anymore looting graves or stealing from people (also talked with the DM about this). I tried to give my self a point of plot in character giving him a reason for a renewed stance of justice.
From what I have read in the posts all I would have needed to say was that "I [my character] got a feeling from this dream" instead of having Moradin talk because gods are NPCs. A tiny error of wording that has lead to a misunderstanding and now I cannot dream or interpret any messages from my deity. Apparently I also might have chosen poor words when labeling the thread considering some replies are people just parachuting in to say the DM is "Always right" in a sentence and leave. Thanks to you all.
Well, as the one that probably started the "you should have told the DM", I apologise - your original post led me to believe that this was something you just dropped on him. However, if you've been asking for 6 months (I assume across multiple gaming sessions), and he's still not letting you go for it, then I would say it's time to move on - whether that's altering your plan, dropping the idea completely, retiring the character and joining the grave-robbing with a new one, or walking away from the group because you disagree with their in-character actions.

As for your reasons - stopping the rest of the party from doing things that your character isn't comfortable with - then, IMO, you really should have done that earlier.

For instance, the last game I played was the first of a new campaign (1st edition D&D), where we had one player threaten a captured Orc with torture to reveal some information, and another player (the one running the Paladin as it happens) shut him down by saying his character wasn't comfortable with that. Done, dusted, we all know where we stand and the Orc wasn't harmed (well, not by us anyway, he was one-shotted by some creatures outside the caves he led us to where the rest of his tribe were :smallsigh: ).

But my point is that it wasn't x adventures down the line, when certain acts have been tolerated and are now being rejected.

And yes, I should have spoken up as well (especially as my character was a Thief-Mage and had Charm Person prepared for the day) - not one of the proudest moments in my personal gaming history. :smallfrown:

Jay R
2015-02-04, 11:54 AM
First, the DM is 100% right on this fact: you don't get to play a god. You don't get to decide what a near-omnipotent being says or thinks.

Secondly, the DM knows things that you don't know, and that we don't know. Therefore it is absurd for us to try to judge him.

The DM may be planning a big war of gods, in which your god has a particular position that disagrees with what you said.
The DM may know that your god is really an evil demon posing as a god.
The DM may know that gods only send visions once in a millennium.
The DM may have an actual vision planned.
The DM may know that Moradin was about to send you on a totally different quest.
The DM may not have specific plans yet, and believe that you shouldn't tie his hands this way.
Or the DM may just think that gods only send visions to kings and high priests.

You do not know, and you cannot guess.

So the DM is probably right on the merits, since he's the only person who knows all the facts to base a decision on.

Deophaun
2015-02-04, 12:12 PM
First, the DM is 100% right on this fact: you don't get to play a god. You don't get to decide what a near-omnipotent being says or thinks.
Considering the player didn't do any of that, what is relevant about your post?

Thrudd
2015-02-04, 12:25 PM
D&D is not, by default, a collaborative story telling exercise. It is a game wherein the players explore and have adventures in a fantasy world of the DM's creation (or a published world adjudicated and interpreted by the DM).
It is presumptuous of a player to assume they should have collaborative input into the game world and story when it has not been made clear that the game would proceed that way. The players' actions and adventures do create the story and shape the world, and they do it collaboratively as a team, but this happens through in-game actions filtered through the rules and dice, not by player declaration.

The OP may wish his character would get messages from his deity, but he really has no reason or right to expect the DM to comply with that request, and certainly no right to force that to happen by simply declaring it is so. It is the DM's world, not an improv where you must never say "no". Unless it was understood when the game started that it would be some kind of free form improv collaborative story game, which is something people do sometimes.

That said, if the player was hoping for a certain type of game or a certain tone and is not getting it, he certainly should talk with the DM outside the game to see if any bones might be thrown his way. If the game is consistently not what you enjoy, then you have to choose to either suck it up and try to enjoy it for what it is, or stop playing. Find a new group, or suggest a different style for the next campaign, or run a game yourself.

Synovia
2015-02-04, 12:56 PM
The OP may wish his character would get messages from his deity, but he really has no reason or right to expect the DM to comply with that request, and certainly no right to force that to happen by simply declaring it is so..


The player declared no such thing. The player said his character had a DREAM in which his god came to him. It's clearly up to the DM whether that dream was an actual vision, or just a dream. The player isn't controlling the god, isn't putting words into an NPCs mouth, or anything like that.


This is very clear character development - the character had an epiphany that he needs to change his ways.


I'm convinced that 99% of problems in D&D are caused by the canard that "The DM is always right" - this statement causes DMs to make hugely overreaching mistakes like trying to control what a PC talks or dreams about. It's silly.

The DM can send real visions to the character, but he can't keep the character from having fake ones.

EDIT: "The DM is always right" is for rules adjudication - if there's a disagreement you go with whatever the DM says and move on - and figure out what the correct rule is after the session - it doesn't mean the DM gets to modify a character's personality to suit his theme/story.

This is a good example of a player giving a DM a bunch of possible hooks, and the DM just falling on his face.

These are the basic possibilities:

1. The PC actually thinks he saw his god
a. He did - and there's a million different plot hooks here.
b. He didn't
I. It's a metaphor for him feeling guilty and wanting to redeem himself/the party
II. He's having religious hallucinations - and the DM can use this to give him clues/red herrings/etc.
2. The PC doesn't actually think he saw his god and is using hyperbole to make a point
a. The other PCs figure out hes lying to them
b. His god gets pissed about it
c. It works, and he keeps doing it
I. Maybe his god starts going along with it.


This is exactly the sort of stuff that a good DM wants his players doing - this is the stuff that makes good games.

Thrudd
2015-02-04, 01:13 PM
The player declared no such thing. The player said his character had a DREAM in which his god came to him. It's clearly up to the DM whether that dream was an actual vision, or just a dream. The player isn't controlling the god, isn't putting words into an NPCs mouth, or anything like that.


This is very clear character development - the character had an epiphany that he needs to change his ways.


I'm convinced that 99% of problems in D&D are caused by the canard that "The DM is always right" - this statement causes DMs to make hugely overreaching mistakes like trying to control what a PC talks or dreams about. It's silly.

The DM can send real visions to the character, but he can't keep the character from having fake ones.

I think there is a pretty clear line which marks what is under authority of the player and what is the DM's. As a player, imagine you are the character. Everything that you control about yourself, you control about your character. The DM can't tell you that your character wouldn't think, feel, say or do something.

The issue of dreams, especially divine or prophetic dreams, is blurring the line a little. I would fall on the side of dreams not being in the player's control, be they visionary or not. The player can say their character had a dream, but unless the DM told them so, they would be lying. It is fine if a player wants his character to lie about having visions of a god, or to be delusional and think he is getting messages from god in his dreams. If that god is real, he shouldn't be surprised if lying about doing the god's bidding draws down some divine ire or reprimands.

Deophaun
2015-02-04, 01:22 PM
The issue of dreams is blurring the line a little.
It's only blurring the line if you believe that players should not be in control of the character's mental state outside of [mind-affecting] effects. It's blurring the lines if you believe the fire-based sorcerer is lying when he says he has a natural affinity for fire (because, after all, the player could have chosen different feats and spells). It's blurring the line if you believe the character is lying about how superstitious he is, because there's nothing on his character sheet that says he has to flip a coin at every decision point.

In short, it's blurring the lines if you believe "Your character wouldn't do that" is an appropriate phrase to come from a DM's mouth.

Synovia
2015-02-04, 01:24 PM
The DM controls what the consequences of the characters' actions are - he doesn't control what happens inside a character's head (excepting things like mind altering spells). Controlling dreams is controlling what the character thinks, and dictating the character's personality - it's a 'get up and leave the game' moment for me - it's 100% on the DM whether or not the dream is REAL, but he most certainly doesn't get to say the character doesn't have it - just like he doesn't get to mess with a PC's dialog or decisions.

I have no problem with a DM giving a character a dream, or making a character say something (via a control person spell or something), but you don't get to retconn the character's thoughts.

Deophaun
2015-02-04, 01:29 PM
I have no problem with a DM giving a character a dream...
This needs to be qualified. You can give a PC a dream if it's caused by some external effect. However, the DM does not get to give the PC a dream because "the PC's really bothered by X" or some-such nonsense. Or, if the DM does try to do that, the player has 100% authority to say "No, that didn't happen."

Thrudd
2015-02-04, 01:39 PM
It's only blurring the line if you believe that players should not be in control of the character's mental state outside of [mind-affecting] effects. It's blurring the lines if you believe the fire-based sorcerer is lying when he says he has a natural affinity for fire (because, after all, the player could have chosen different feats and spells). It's blurring the line if you believe the character is lying about how superstitious he is, because there's nothing on his character sheet that says he has to flip a coin at every decision point.

In short, it's blurring the lines if you believe "Your character wouldn't do that" is an appropriate phrase to come from a DM's mouth.

Dreams aren't something you "do", they are something that happens to you when you are unconscious.

If your character is superstitious, that is a personality trait and clearly the player's decision. The character can believe anything about himself that the player wants. Your character can believe he is favored of the fire god, or that he gets messages from moradin in his sleep. Whether or not either of those things is actually true is the DM's decision, since the player does not get to say what gods do, what happens while he is unconscious, or if they even exist. I suppose you wouldn't call it "lying", if the character actually believes it is true, but the character believing something does not mean the DM needs to make it real.

As a DM or a player, I would not bother with dreams at all unless they are significant. A DM shouldn't be giving your character dreams unless they are important to the game, such as prophetic or divine messages.

Deophaun
2015-02-04, 01:42 PM
Dreams aren't something you "do", they are something that happens to you when you are unconscious.
Same can be said of compulsions, phobias, and beliefs. So, if your DM is within his rights to tell you what god your character is most comfortable worshiping, then I guess dreams are a gray area. Otherwise, DMs have no business there. Period.

Mr.Moron
2015-02-04, 01:54 PM
The player is control of their PCs conscious actions, and for the most part thoughts. That's it. The player has as much control over their PC as they would over themselves in the real world. No more, no less*.

If "You" (The Character) doesn't control it, You (The player) don't get to dictate it. This certainly includes the actions of deities, and to my mind things like dreams as well.

Unless you've gone about developing a particular knack for it, you don't control your dreams in any sense and even when you do (say, lucid dreaming), it's not a on a very granular level at all. It's a process almost entirely divorced from the will of the person, so it's also disconnected from the control of the player.


Same can be said of compulsions, phobias, and beliefs.

These are all rather part of character creation though. So it's fair to say the player is going to be defining their phobias, compulsions, addictions etc.. before the game. When and how powerful these come up are probably in the realm of the GM but not if the player has them or not. Hence say a "Save vs Fear" type situation if the player runs into something they've defined for their character as phobia.

With the consequences for failure being that the character does something beyond the players control, because at that point an element beyond the character's control has forced them to do something.


EDIT:*

As I see the kind of "default" parameters of the Player/PC/"World" divide. It's certainly viable to define things in other ways, where players may have control over things beyond what the character would be in control of consciously. Be that elements of the self (Instinct, Fear) or external elements of the game world (actions of others, setting elements, the weather, whatever).

Synovia
2015-02-04, 01:55 PM
This needs to be qualified. You can give a PC a dream if it's caused by some external effect. However, the DM does not get to give the PC a dream because "the PC's really bothered by X" or some-such nonsense. Or, if the DM does try to do that, the player has 100% authority to say "No, that didn't happen."

Exactly. If there's some crazy wizard inserting horrific dreams into your PC's head, that's totally fine for the DM to do. If your god actually is inserting dreams - again, that's totally fine for the DM to do.

But past that, a PC's personality, and subconscious (which is a part of the PC's personality) are completely in the player's hands, and the DM doesn't get to mess around with that. (Of course, excepting mind controlling spells, tainted areas, etc).


The player is control of their PCs conscious actions, and for the most part thoughts. That's it. The player has as much control over their PC as they would over themselves in the real world. No more, no less. .

This just isn't true.

Players control all sorts of things that people don't control - I control my character's compunctions, habits, fears and enjoyments. I can decide that my has impulse issues, has rage problems (or doesn't), and I can control what god he worships, etc. We have drastically more control of PCs than people have on themselves.

Alent
2015-02-04, 02:08 PM
I hear the replies and the over arching theme is that the DM should have been notified, I get that. I had notified the DM that I wanted this for six months. So I chose a night where the party got sloshed at a tavern and then stated to the party that I had "a terrible dream where I stood back in my old scroll laden catacombs before a towering visage of Moradin appeared and said 'to act righteously or loose your powers!" I thought this was a nice neutral way for me to bring up Moradin in game, since he had not responded to my other messages, as well as tell the other players that my Lawful good character wasn't going to tolerate anymore looting graves or stealing from people (also talked with the DM about this). I tried to give my self a point of plot in character giving him a reason for a renewed stance of justice.
From what I have read in the posts all I would have needed to say was that "I [my character] got a feeling from this dream" instead of having Moradin talk because gods are NPCs. A tiny error of wording that has lead to a misunderstanding and now I cannot dream or interpret any messages from my deity. Apparently I also might have chosen poor words when labeling the thread considering some replies are people just parachuting in to say the DM is "Always right" in a sentence and leave. Thanks to you all.

There seem to be two problems here, neither seems to be "the DM is always right", but they may be "The DM has a hard time communicating with you."

On your side of things, you've said that you're trying to make murderhobos not act like murderhobos. This falls into the same antisocial behavior trap as the kender that tries to steal from the party, and the DM is trying to keep you from sabotaging things.

As to the dream, have you asked what's normal for divine contact in the world, and if there are any reasons for it? The DM may have this idea of an OotS style world where the gods are forbidden by contractual agreement from actually intervening in the world. Maybe they're in a war and you're literally too insignificant for them to care. Maybe he just doesn't want you going lawful stupid PvP paladin on the party thief and he thinks that he has to cut you off from your god to do so. Either way, there's a reason the gods are off limits, and it could be deeper than "I'm the DM, rule 0 gives me the authority to say I and only I roleplay the gods."

Mr.Moron
2015-02-04, 02:12 PM
Players control all sorts of things that people don't control - I control my character's compunctions, habits, fears and enjoyments. I can decide that my has impulse issues, has rage problems (or doesn't), and I can control what god he worships, etc. We have drastically more control of PCs than people have on themselves.


This is all (presumably) part of character creation. Which I see as a very distinct activity from moment-to-moment play.

To take "Habits" for example, you can decide if your character has a nicotine addiction before the game or not. If you want to quit, it's the GMs realm how easy that is. If you don't start with one but you decide to have your character start smoking it's in GMs sphere if they develop a habit or not. It isn't up the player if they're able to resist addiction or not (assuming things like addiction are in-tone for the game at hand).

This is how I see the "Default" anyway. It is all rather subjective and much of it depends on tone. This is more a style issue than anything. Certainly folks doing otherwise aren't doing it wrong.

In the most specific example I can think of, a player came in with a character that had amnesia and expressed a desire for her to regain her memory at some point (we already had a rough outline of the character's pre-memory loss background).

At random intervals, I'd prompt the player that her character had a dream. Sometimes these would be little 2 or 3 minute RP sessions, other times I'd just throw out a visual or the recollection of a smell.

We never had a particular agreement about how the character's memory would return, or an explicit statement about who was in control of dreams. However, at least for my group it was rather intuitive that something like that, well outside the characters will would originate from GM prompting or at least go through the GM.

Sliver
2015-02-04, 02:26 PM
Whether a player should have control over what his character dreams about is debatable and there is no always-right answer. However...

Regardless of whether or not you had the right to introduce that dream, it sounds to me like you asked and badgered your DM for a long time for this and you were declined. Then you went ahead and introduced that into the game, when you clearly know that your DM doesn't want it to happen.

It doesn't matter if you disagree with your DM about your right to dream. He said no multiple times and you went ahead and did it anyway.

That's disrespect.

Lord Torath
2015-02-04, 02:35 PM
The player declared no such thing. The player said his character had a DREAM in which his god came to him. It's clearly up to the DM whether that dream was an actual vision, or just a dream. The player isn't controlling the god, isn't putting words into an NPCs mouth, or anything like that.


This is very clear character development - the character had an epiphany that he needs to change his ways.


I'm convinced that 99% of problems in D&D are caused by the canard that "The DM is always right" - this statement causes DMs to make hugely overreaching mistakes like trying to control what a PC talks or dreams about. It's silly.

The DM can send real visions to the character, but he can't keep the character from having fake ones.

EDIT: "The DM is always right" is for rules adjudication - if there's a disagreement you go with whatever the DM says and move on - and figure out what the correct rule is after the session - it doesn't mean the DM gets to modify a character's personality to suit his theme/story.

This is a good example of a player giving a DM a bunch of possible hooks, and the DM just falling on his face.

These are the basic possibilities:

1. The PC actually thinks he saw his god
a. He did - and there's a million different plot hooks here.
b. He didn't
I. It's a metaphor for him feeling guilty and wanting to redeem himself/the party
II. He's having religious hallucinations - and the DM can use this to give him clues/red herrings/etc.
2. The PC doesn't actually think he saw his god and is using hyperbole to make a point
a. The other PCs figure out hes lying to them
b. His god gets pissed about it
c. It works, and he keeps doing it
I. Maybe his god starts going along with it.


This is exactly the sort of stuff that a good DM wants his players doing - this is the stuff that makes good games.I think I can agree with everything here. Well said, Synovia!

Louie, I think your next step is to talk to your DM outside of the game to discuss where you go from here. Let him know that you're fine with the dream not being actually sent from Thor Moradin, but you're not okay with the DM saying the dream didn't happen. Talk about the things you'd like to have your character accomplish, and how gods work in the world. Also, discuss what kind of a game you'd like to play in, and whether you're a good fit for the current campaign. It may be time for your dwarven cleric to leave the group. It may be time for you to leave the group until the next campaign starts. Or maybe the DM will start to steer the group away from the low road and toward the high road. But I think it's high time for a long sit-down with your DM.

Of course, you've emailed him for 6 months straight, so this may not really be possible. In which case, you need to think again about whether you want to stay in the game or not.

Synovia
2015-02-04, 02:47 PM
This is all (presumably) part of character creation. Which I see as a very distinct activity from moment-to-moment play.

To take "Habits" for example, you can decide if your character has a nicotine addiction before the game or not. If you want to quit, it's the GMs realm how easy that is. If you don't start with one but you decide to have your character start smoking it's in GMs sphere if they develop a habit or not. It isn't up the player if they're able to resist addiction or not (assuming things like addiction are in-tone for the game at hand).

This is how I see the "Default" anyway. It is all rather subjective and much of it depends on tone. This is more a style issue than anything. Certainly folks doing otherwise aren't doing it wrong. .



Your examples are all things the DM is doing to the character - they're all external. Having a character get addicted to nicotine when he starts smoking is fine - telling the character that he's not addicted and he has to stop smoking when he thinks that his character should be is not fine.

Characters can change - that's a fundamental part of any story - if he wants to start a story arc where his character starts questioning his previous actions, and starts trying to become a better person, that's very clearly within his rights, and it's not the DM's place to try to stop him. The DM is not thought police - the DM's job is to create situations and let the characters react - not to dictate what the characters think, do, or believe.

Any time the DM says "Your character wouldn't do that" he's wrong. Period. He can make things go badly, but pretty much the only thing he's not allowed to do is make decisions for the character - and that's exactly what hes trying to do here.

Mr.Moron
2015-02-04, 02:49 PM
Your examples are all things the DM is doing to the character - they're all external. Having a character get addicted to nicotine when he starts smoking is fine - telling the character that he's not addicted and he has to stop smoking when he thinks that his character should be is not fine.

Characters can change - that's a fundamental part of any story - if he wants to start a story arc where his character starts questioning his previous actions, and starts trying to become a better person, that's very clearly within his rights, and it's not the DM's place to try to stop him. The DM is not thought police - the DM's job is to create situations and let the characters react - not to dictate what the characters think, do, or believe.

Any time the DM says "Your character wouldn't do that" he's wrong. Period. He can make things go badly, but pretty much the only thing he's not allowed to do is make decisions for the character - and that's exactly what hes trying to do here.

Well. There is clearly no wiggle room for discussion here. So uh, to each his own I guess?

Ashtagon
2015-02-04, 02:59 PM
Way I see it...

The player is 100% within his rights to tell the other PCs whatever he likes. If he wants to tell him his character dreamed of xyz, then he can tell them that. He can tell them he dreamed he saw the dwarf king bowing down to the elf king if he likes. Doesn't mean he really dreamed it, doesn't mean Moradin is weaker than Corellon, and doesn't mean those deities actually came a-knocking. All it means is he said it.

Whether the character believes that the dream really happened or the PC made it up (to convince the other PCs to follow a course of action) is up to the player.

Whether the deity actually visiting the character was a real event or the character was having an ordinary dream is up to the GM.

Ceiling_Squid
2015-02-04, 03:28 PM
Quite apart from the question of character dream autonomy or whether only a DM can speak for the Gods, can I just say that I think we're dealing with a rather inexperienced or incompetent DM?

I mean, 6 months of outright ignoring a possible plot hook, and being unwilling to take the cue that a player wanted their cleric to have a bit more religious flavor?

Extremely poor form. I'd kill for players who want to be more engaged with the roleplay aspects of their characters. This guy may technically be right, but he's a very bland storyteller if he decides that simply saying "no" is preferable to hashing out something to further engage a player. Especially when said player is begging for a hook, instead of being a passive participant.

What a wasted opportunity. This DM has much to learn.

jedipotter
2015-02-04, 09:18 PM
What a wasted opportunity. This DM has much to learn.

The fun DM that I am, I would have done something like:

As soon as the cleric talked about the dream......Moradin appears and hits everyone with a rockstorm "I did not send ye no dream! Ye Shall Not Take My Name in Vain!'' Then like teleports the whole group to the middle of the Troll Hills, surrounded by a bunch of trolls. So then the group has to fight a bunch of trolls and run. They eventually have to hide in an old ruined dwarf fort....and find the long lost dwarf friend stones magic items that when used together...''

So it makes a nice twist. So the next time the player will say ''my character has been thinking'' and not ''my god told me''. But they still get adventure and loot out of it..

Storm_Of_Snow
2015-02-05, 04:44 AM
The issue of dreams, especially divine or prophetic dreams, is blurring the line a little. I would fall on the side of dreams not being in the player's control, be they visionary or not. The player can say their character had a dream, but unless the DM told them so, they would be lying. It is fine if a player wants his character to lie about having visions of a god, or to be delusional and think he is getting messages from god in his dreams. If that god is real, he shouldn't be surprised if lying about doing the god's bidding draws down some divine ire or reprimands.
Well, if the player wants their character to have a dream about three blondes and a vat of whipped cream, I'd say that's up to them. :smallbiggrin:

Anything else, especially if you're going into Gods and Monsters territory, it's the DM's call.

Segev
2015-02-05, 10:22 AM
To be totally pedantic and take it as far down the sippery slope as possible, I will point out that there is a case where the DM can say "your character wouldn't do that.

Specifically, it's where "wouldn't" really means "couldn't," or where there's some form of mind-control (or other mechanics which remove some control of the character from the player) at play.

Any game with social mechanics could have the DM say, "Um, no. Your character lost that social engagement, and IS lusting after that new car. He wouldn't turn it down when the only reason you want him to is that you think it's a trap. He clearly does not; again, you lost that social conflict resolution to try to claim he did."

Similar to why he could say, "Um, no. Your character is at -19 hp and dead. He does not get up and kill the BBEG with a rubber chicken."

</pedantry>

Synovia
2015-02-05, 10:47 AM
To be totally pedantic and take it as far down the sippery slope as possible, I will point out that there is a case where the DM can say "your character wouldn't do that.

Specifically, it's where "wouldn't" really means "couldn't," or where there's some form of mind-control (or other mechanics which remove some control of the character from the player) at play.
</pedantry>

'Could' and 'Would' Are very different words. They have different meanings.

In this context, 'could' is about possibility, 'would' is about intent.


Your last example is perfect for describing the difference - he can't (could) get up because he's dead. He would get up if he could. The DM saying "you can't get up because your dead" is fine - the DM saying "Your character wouldn't want to fight anymore" isn't. That's the player's choice.

If the DM is deciding what PCs want to do, we're not playing a game anymore - we're listening to a story.

Segev
2015-02-05, 10:53 AM
'Could' and 'Would' Are very different words. They have different meanings.

In this context, 'could' is about possibility, 'would' is about intent.


Your last example is perfect for describing the difference - he can't (could) get up because he's dead. He would get up if he could. The DM saying "you can't get up because your dead" is fine - the DM saying "Your character wouldn't want to fight anymore" isn't. That's the player's choice.

If the DM is deciding what PCs want to do, we're not playing a game anymore - we're listening to a story.

Well, again, if there is a mechanic that determines will to fight, or the character is, say, Charmed or otherwise mentally influenced, the DM can say such things.

But there's a reason such effects are viewed so...drastically...by players. Players don't like losing control of their characters.


And, as a general rule, the point stands: DMs should not be telling you HOW to play your character. They can question, they can remind you of things you've done before and motivations you've proclaimed, and they can even warn you of repercussions. But, absent mechanics which take control from the player for one reason or another, they cannot and should not tell the player what his character "would" do.

jedipotter
2015-02-05, 04:37 PM
To be totally pedantic and take it as far down the sippery slope as possible, I will point out that there is a case where the DM can say "your character wouldn't do that.


A DM could say something, but the DM should not.

It's the classic example of the DM and the player having different points of view.

Just take a knight. The DM thinks a knight should be good and humble and nice and professional. So they say things like ''excuse me'', obey laws, and only fight when it is needed for the greater good. The player thinks a knight should be wild and crazy and mean and bloodthirsty. They say things like ''attack!'', do what ever they want and do whatever they want even more and are greedy.

So when in the game the knight comes across a noble lady the DM expects the knight PC to be all ''why good day my lady, may I help you with anything'' and lay down his cloak so she can walk across some mud. The player on the other hand is thinking ''attack'' and knocks out the woman and loots her body as he needs more gold to by a magic sword. As you can see the two views don't meet.

And when the DM says ''no, your character would do this and that and this'' is where the problems start.

Segev
2015-02-05, 04:46 PM
A DM could say something, but the DM should not.

It's the classic example of the DM and the player having different points of view.

Just take a knight. The DM thinks a knight should be good and humble and nice and professional. So they say things like ''excuse me'', obey laws, and only fight when it is needed for the greater good. The player thinks a knight should be wild and crazy and mean and bloodthirsty. They say things like ''attack!'', do what ever they want and do whatever they want even more and are greedy.

So when in the game the knight comes across a noble lady the DM expects the knight PC to be all ''why good day my lady, may I help you with anything'' and lay down his cloak so she can walk across some mud. The player on the other hand is thinking ''attack'' and knocks out the woman and loots her body as he needs more gold to by a magic sword. As you can see the two views don't meet.

And when the DM says ''no, your character would do this and that and this'' is where the problems start.

Yeah, even in my extremely pedantic post I didn't suggest this would be acceptable. The only time anybody should tell a player what his character would/will do is when the mechanics force the character to act against the player's wishes.

Atanvarno
2015-02-05, 06:45 PM
The fun DM that I am, I would have done something like:

As soon as the cleric talked about the dream......Moradin appears and hits everyone with a rockstorm "I did not send ye no dream! Ye Shall Not Take My Name in Vain!'' Then like teleports the whole group to the middle of the Troll Hills, surrounded by a bunch of trolls. So then the group has to fight a bunch of trolls and run. They eventually have to hide in an old ruined dwarf fort....and find the long lost dwarf friend stones magic items that when used together...''

So it makes a nice twist. So the next time the player will say ''my character has been thinking'' and not ''my god told me''. But they still get adventure and loot out of it..

This... actually sounds like an interesting start to a campaign arc, it raises several questions that could be fun to explore:

Why is Moradin suddenly such a petty jerk? Has he always been this way? If so, why does he have any worshipers at all? If not, what has happened to drive the Dwarven God Insane? What kind of havoc will an insane God wreak? Can we stop him? If not, can we find someone who can?

It also presents some interesting rollplaying decisions for the priest: Do they jump ship and find a new god who isn't crazy? Do they tough it out? Try to fix their current god? Or do they decide that this whole "gods existing" thing seems like more trouble than its worth and go deicidal Ur Priest? :smallamused:

I mean, the literal god of one of the characters showing up and messing with the party for effectively no reason would have to have far reaching implications for them, right?

goto124
2015-02-05, 08:33 PM
It's a wizard pretending to be a god :smalltongue:

Gray Mage
2015-02-05, 09:29 PM
Whether a player should have control over what his character dreams about is debatable and there is no always-right answer. However...

Regardless of whether or not you had the right to introduce that dream, it sounds to me like you asked and badgered your DM for a long time for this and you were declined. Then you went ahead and introduced that into the game, when you clearly know that your DM doesn't want it to happen.

It doesn't matter if you disagree with your DM about your right to dream. He said no multiple times and you went ahead and did it anyway.

That's disrespect.

I think Sliver has it right. For some reason your DM isn't interested in this angle (as for why it's best to talk to him) and for you to go behind his back and do it anyway could explain his overreaction.

jedipotter
2015-02-06, 12:29 AM
I mean, the literal god of one of the characters showing up and messing with the party for effectively no reason would have to have far reaching implications for them, right?

Of course....this is the whole point. Taking a random player action and making something out of it.

bigboylouie
2015-02-06, 02:28 PM
Whether a player should have control over what his character dreams about is debatable and there is no always-right answer. However...

Regardless of whether or not you had the right to introduce that dream, it sounds to me like you asked and badgered your DM for a long time for this and you were declined. Then you went ahead and introduced that into the game, when you clearly know that your DM doesn't want it to happen.

It doesn't matter if you disagree with your DM about your right to dream. He said no multiple times and you went ahead and did it anyway.

That's disrespect.

I would agree that if my DM told me "no," then shoehorning my own personal mission into his campaign would be rude, disrespectful and in all around bad taste. I have never "badgered him" and I never said he declined me, which he didn't, I play by his rules every session. If I was told NO by him at anytime I have acquiesced to his demands. I mean despite my convictions on the core concept of all table top games (ultimately creative and collaborative construct, only made whole by the participation every member) my character does not dream anymore. I play as though I am just a divine wizard.
The point of the thread was not to determine who was being bad or good. It was to bring a topic that I did not have enough experience in community of good players and DMs. All I wanted to know was "did I overstep my boundaries as a player?" and "did he over step as a DM?" In hind sight that should have been the name of this thread and it would have saved some time. This is a topic I am passionate about. I try to make my characters people and not stat blocks. Truth be told this is his first time DMing, and that is a very scary thing to do. You feel almost like you are under attack and in charge at the same time. You must have all the answers no matter what crazy **** your players do, me included. It is stressful and that is why I have been less blunt and waited for an answer for so long. I thank all of you for your support/criticism of this topic. In the future I will be more articulate in my inquiries with my current DM and future players. I hope you all do the same and play awesome characters.
- Louie

Thrudd
2015-02-06, 02:51 PM
. I mean despite my convictions on the core concept of all table top games (ultimately creative and collaborative construct, only made whole by the participation every member) my character does not dream anymore. I play as though I am just a divine wizard.

What does dreaming have to do with how you play your character? You seem to be implying that a cleric that doesn't get dream messages from their deity might as well be a wizard. Why can't you decide to have the character act more devoutly just because he wants to? Because he's a cleric and that's what clerics do: his religion has certain tenets, and he's going to follow them. Surely the other players understand that? you didn't need that dream business in order to portray your character's personality and growth however you want.

Synovia
2015-02-06, 03:20 PM
What does dreaming have to do with how you play your character? You seem to be implying that a cleric that doesn't get dream messages from their deity might as well be a wizard. Why can't you decide to have the character act more devoutly just because he wants to? Because he's a cleric and that's what clerics do: his religion has certain tenets, and he's going to follow them. Surely the other players understand that? you didn't need that dream business in order to portray your character's personality and growth however you want.

He was trying to play his character as devout - his GM has stomped on that. Clerics in D&D actively commune with their gods - the GM told him he can't do that. He's not playing as devout because his GM told him that's BADWRONGFUN.

That's kind of the point here.


If the GM didn't wan't Moradin talking to the cleric, he should have just left it alone. If the DM doesn't do anything - it's just a character development dream. The problem here is that the GM took some roleplay and told the player that "your character doesn't think that" and ruined the vision of the character.

Mark Hall
2015-02-06, 04:12 PM
He was trying to play his character as devout - his GM has stomped on that. Clerics in D&D actively commune with their gods - the GM told him he can't do that. He's not playing as devout because his GM told him that's BADWRONGFUN.

I disagree. He wanted a divine visitation; the DM didn't want him to have a divine visitation. While they actively commune with their deity, that requires a degree of action... i.e. the PC casts a spell of some sort. The deity might actively commune with their PC... but that's in the hands of the DM.

His DM told him "No, you didn't have a dream from Moradin." His PC can still be played as if he did, but just because you REALLY WANT to be a prophet, doesn't mean you're a prophet.

Cazero
2015-02-06, 06:03 PM
I disagree. He wanted a divine visitation; the DM didn't want him to have a divine visitation. While they actively commune with their deity, that requires a degree of action... i.e. the PC casts a spell of some sort. The deity might actively commune with their PC... but that's in the hands of the DM.

His DM told him "No, you didn't have a dream from Moradin." His PC can still be played as if he did, but just because you REALLY WANT to be a prophet, doesn't mean you're a prophet.

As a member of the opposing side of the debate, I would simply state that you don't need a divine visitation for your subconscious guilt to take the form of an absolute authority figure such as the god you serve in your dreams. A dream of Moradin, and not from Moradin.

But if what he wanted was a divine visitation and not an epiphany, you are definitely right. Gods are not PC's toys.

Ceiling_Squid
2015-02-06, 09:47 PM
Instead of rolling with it and simply suggesting that it may merely be a dream, he scolds the player, though, he accuses him of taking control of a god? I really think someone's gripping the reins too tight.

The DM may have final word, but he's also responsible for ensuring a mutually enjoyable game.

SiuiS
2015-02-07, 04:17 AM
This is bizarre.

Any problem that should realistically be passed off as 'but that was just a dream' is not something you should be in trouble for. Your character's dreams aren't the DM's gods at all.

Corsair
2015-02-07, 04:35 AM
This reads to me like a misunderstanding - you intended it as a standard dream with psychological significance and your DM read it as a divine message, a mistake I can understand him making, although I would not agree with his reaction towards it. Assuming you haven't done so already I'd clarify this with him, and then have a talk with him about his overreaction. Politely.

Regarding the subjects of DMs giving dreams, that seems like a gray area to me. Dreams are great narrative tools even without them being the direct result of magic, and much as they are something our brains are doing to ourselves we don't really have much control over them, unless your character has the ability to lucid dream. Given that, isn't it reasonable to say that maybe a DM and a player could both have the power to give a character normal, everyday dreams?

As for the "Your character wouldn't do that", yeah, that's classic Bad DMing, on the other hand I've seen countless stories of players behaving like a Discordian got their hands on the Complete Works of William Shakespeare and a copy of an Andy Warhol bio and smashed them together. Perhaps it'd be better phrased as "Would your character really do that?"

Mark Hall
2015-02-08, 12:14 PM
As a member of the opposing side of the debate, I would simply state that you don't need a divine visitation for your subconscious guilt to take the form of an absolute authority figure such as the god you serve in your dreams. A dream of Moradin, and not from Moradin.

But if what he wanted was a divine visitation and not an epiphany, you are definitely right. Gods are not PC's toys.

Oh, sure. Of Moradin is perfectly reasonable and, as SuiS says, it can easily be passed off with the JR excuse, so the DM probably overreacted... but Of Moradin isn't From Moradin.

SiuiS
2015-02-08, 04:14 PM
Oh, sure. Of Moradin is perfectly reasonable and, as SuiS says, it can easily be passed off with the JR excuse, so the DM probably overreacted... but Of Moradin isn't From Moradin.

You've lost separation. The player did not say anything about mordin granting visions.

A priest had a bad dream about his sins and came down to breakfast, wide eyed and aflame, saying "My god wants me to straighten up and fly right!", nothing more. The DM isn't saying mordin did not send a vision, the DM said the character isn't allowed to believe his dream was a vision. That's bull, unless the DM granted the character specific knowledge.

I've done that sometimes, myself. "No, you know for a fact this isn't a vision." Or the opposite, "it is clear this dream is a message". But that adds data, it doesn't revoke any. It lets the player know they have more info to reevaluate their decision point.

That's why some of is are weirded out. Yeah, in abstract, given a level and trusted DM, you are correct. They are right, let them do their thing. The question is about whether the DM is level and trustable though, and this antagonism makes me think they need to have a talk.

GungHo
2015-02-09, 08:58 AM
What the DM is allowed to say : "Your dream was not really a divine message, and you'll realise that hard when Moradin sends you an actual prophetic dream."
What the DM is not allowed to say : "Your dream never happened."

I agree with this. Basically, you can have a dream that you're Ethel Merman, but you don't get polymorphed into the Grande Dame just because you had a dream. Though, I promise I will use it later.

Chen
2015-02-09, 01:16 PM
I'm of the mind that the player can make conscious decisions for their character but shouldn't be making unconscious or subconscious decisions. It seems unconscious/subconscious decisions are part of the storytelling aspect of the game. If the DM tells you, you get a shiver down your spine (perhaps due to a high perception check he rolled for you, or just for flavor) it kinda makes sense. Taking on something like that yourself is just strange since it's not something you would actively be controlling were you in that situation. I'd say dreams are the same.

Ashtagon
2015-02-09, 02:22 PM
I'm of the mind that the player can make conscious decisions for their character but shouldn't be making unconscious or subconscious decisions. It seems unconscious/subconscious decisions are part of the storytelling aspect of the game. If the DM tells you, you get a shiver down your spine (perhaps due to a high perception check he rolled for you, or just for flavor) it kinda makes sense. Taking on something like that yourself is just strange since it's not something you would actively be controlling were you in that situation. I'd say dreams are the same.

Can the player make a conscious decision for his character to *say* he had a vision, regardless of whether he really did have any kind of dream or divine visitation?

D+1
2015-02-09, 08:22 PM
I'm of the mind that the player can make conscious decisions for their character but shouldn't be making unconscious or subconscious decisions. It seems unconscious/subconscious decisions are part of the storytelling aspect of the game. If the DM tells you, you get a shiver down your spine (perhaps due to a high perception check he rolled for you, or just for flavor) it kinda makes sense. Taking on something like that yourself is just strange since it's not something you would actively be controlling were you in that situation. I'd say dreams are the same.

My PC encounters a monster. The DM tells me "Your character is afraid." Now if that's the result of some actual fear effect that's one thing. If it ISN'T the result of some kind of fear effect then the DM is overstepping HIS bounds. _I_ have the right to decide if my character is afraid of a monster or not short of actual game mechanics that might dictate otherwise. If the DM wants my PC to be afraid WITHOUT using a magical effect then he bleeding better well do it by providing me an AWESOME and FRIGHTENING description that convinces me (preferably without using mechanics numbers) that my character has good reason to be afraid - but it's still MY decision that he therefore IS going to be afraid. It's really the same with a player making a statement that his PC had a dream and that it means himself and the the whole party should be more devout, whether or not the player claims that his deity put in a personal appearance in said dream.

The OP was doing nothing more than trying to provide a reasonable roleplaying motivation for his characters actions. The DM is stepping on his neck for it because he didn't think to communicate with the player, but only to unceremoniously shut him down. That doesn't necessarily make him a bad DM (to overreact when NOTHING about his game or control of it has actually been threatened) so much as merely illustrate that he's inexperienced and apparently insecure. Any concerns the DM had about this could (and should) have been handled with a quick, private conversation, or at worst a simple announcement clarifying to the other players that this was not a formal message to their PC's from the DM.

Mutazoia
2015-02-10, 12:01 AM
Thank you guys for responding to the post. I intentionally left out a whole bunch of things to get a clear view of how you guys would handle this particular argument. In my defense I would say that I tried to talk to the DM multiple times about having a vision visit me as far back as last November, I did state that "it was only a dream" and that I had the dream after a night of drinking. While I value your collective inputs I would have to stick to my guns and state that a fantasy of my fantasy can be whatever my character wants.
Next time....and there will be a next time...I will state loud and clear that my DREAMS are bad, or good or whatever. I like the DM as a person but he does say "no' to things that are outside his comfort zone and is more of a mechanics player than a role player. I guess the constant dungeon slogging had left me wanting more than just hack and slash (didn't know the campaign would be like this). I will refrain from stepping on toes but will try to actively advance my Character through dialogue as well as combat.

-thanks

This puts a little different spin on things. Basically you asked your DM several times to give your character a divine vision, and your DM declined, so you did it your self. You just give a big FU to your DM (and sounds like your planning to do it again). Besides...

God's have a lot to do, and taking the time out to talk to one particular individual should only occur when something major needs be done/said. Which catapults the person being talked to the center of attention almost instantly. Think about it...the God is spending his days making sure the planets spin the right direction, that gravity continues to function properly, is constantly generating an infinite supply of hydrogen to fuel an untold number of stars, and he's going to put all that aside to tell some shmuck to treat people better?

Sure...you can say you had a dream that a rutabaga told you to eat your veggies, or what have you, but when you ask your DM for a vision, and the DM says NO, taking it upon yourself to declare that you had a vision and announce it to everybody with out so much as a heads up, is bad form at the very least. That you plan on doing it again...well if you were running in one of my games you wouldn't be very happy with the outcome...That "golden nugget" the other's have been talking about, would land on your characters head quite hard. If you continued...new character time...or maybe new player time.

In Short, if your DM says NO, don't just do it anyway and then paint him as the bad guy.

goto124
2015-02-10, 12:06 AM
Did the DM even reply? Maybe she didn't answer, so the OP got frustrasted after repeated asking and forced her to answer by doing it?

Milo v3
2015-02-10, 12:08 AM
This puts a little different spin on things. Basically you asked your DM several times to give your character a divine vision, and your DM declined, so you did it your self. You just give a big FU to your DM (and sounds like your planning to do it again). Besides...

God's have a lot to do, and taking the time out to talk to one particular individual should only occur when something major needs be done/said. Which catapults the person being talked to the center of attention almost instantly. Think about it...the God is spending his days making sure the planets spin the right direction, that gravity continues to function properly, is constantly generating an infinite supply of hydrogen to fuel an untold number of stars, and he's going to put all that aside to tell some shmuck to treat people better?

Sure...you can say you had a dream that a rutabaga told you to eat your veggies, or what have you, but when you ask your DM for a vision, and the DM says NO, taking it upon yourself to declare that you had a vision and announce it to everybody with out so much as a heads up, is bad form at the very least. That you plan on doing it again...well if you were running in one of my games you wouldn't be very happy with the outcome...That "golden nugget" the other's have been talking about, would land on your characters head quite hard. If you continued...new character time...or maybe new player time.

In Short, if your DM says NO, don't just do it anyway and then paint him as the bad guy.

But he didn't delcare that he had a vision. He said he had a dream (and apparently specified it was just a dream) with his god in it.

LooseCannoneer
2015-02-10, 12:28 AM
If it was actually Moradin, then the GM has a right to get mad. You know that feeling when the GM takes away player input? Its the exact same thing.

It, however, being your character's subconscious telling the conscious to care more about dwarves is, however, perfectly okay.

Mutazoia
2015-02-10, 12:28 AM
Did the DM even reply? Maybe she didn't answer, so the OP got frustrasted after repeated asking and forced her to answer by doing it?

The absence of an answer does not mean the answer is yes. If you are asleep and I ask if I can shave off all of your hair a few times, does that mean I get to go ahead and shave you bald because you didn't say no? At best the OP should have announced his dream but left the God out of it.


But he didn't delcare that he had a vision. He said he had a dream (and apparently specified it was just a dream) with his god in it.

Do you control your dreams IRL? Lucid dreaming is a real thing but it's super duper rare and the number of people that can do it at will are even more rare. With that in mind I would say that what your character dreams about is one facet of your character that is strictly DM control....after all what if the DM wants to send you hint's via dream. You wouldn't say "No..may character doesn't dream about that, he dreams about four naked elf chicks, a bottle of baby oil and a game of twister."? Dreams have been, traditionally, a way for DMs to hand out mystical, cryptic clues since the games inception.


Saying "I want my character to have a dream from his God (or about his God)" is a potentially huge shift in the campaign plot (whether or not it actually happens). It is basically saying that you want your character to have a larger impact on the campaign world than he/she currently does. This has HUGE potential to derail a campaign. DM's put a lot of work into designing the campaign they are running, and usually have an over all story arc. Throwing a God sized monkey wrench into the plot just because you decide you want some "Character development" is a pretty a-hole thing to do. It's forcing your DM to handle a major plot device that he/she might not be prepared to deal with.

Maybe the DM in question was planning on working the requested dream interaction with his God later on in the story line (and was going to give the OP an happy surprise) and now the OP just Frakked everything up by running off on his own little ego trip?

In short if you ask the DM for something and the answer is no (a non response should always be regarded as a "no"), then by all that is wholly holy, don't go ahead and do it anyway, and don't plan to keep on doing it. That's how you get kicked out of games.

Milo v3
2015-02-10, 12:43 AM
Do you control your dreams IRL?
Can you control your charisma score IRL?

Just because the character can't control something, doesn't mean the player can't.

Mutazoia
2015-02-10, 01:08 AM
Can you control your charisma score IRL?

Just because the character can't control something, doesn't mean the player can't.

Usually when a player controls what score they get, it's called cheating. (Unless you use a point buy system, natch.)

Gavran
2015-02-10, 01:22 AM
Usually when a player controls what score they get, it's called cheating. (Unless you use a point buy system, natch.)

Which was clearly the assumption. If you prefer: can you control your species IRL?

That said I'm really not sure why everyone is ignoring the whole "This dream is my excuse to be the incompatible Paladin in a group of thieves" thing. It really is the bigger issue. I don't think anyone would be particularly offended by "my character had a dream*" or "your character had a dream.**" And nobody is arguing that it's okay for a player to say "my character's god spoke to my character."

*Because even if you don't agree that a player can control a dream in the same way they can control meta-elements, it'd be pretty control-freak to tell them their character can't have a fluff dream.

**Because there are numerous ways in Fantasy that dreams can be influenced ranging from "this place is evil" to literally A Wizard Did It.

Milo v3
2015-02-10, 01:44 AM
Usually when a player controls what score they get, it's called cheating. (Unless you use a point buy system, natch.)

Huh, didn't know some people don't use point buy.

Mutazoia
2015-02-10, 02:00 AM
That said I'm really not sure why everyone is ignoring the whole "This dream is my excuse to be the incompatible Paladin in a group of thieves" thing. It really is the bigger issue. I don't think anyone would be particularly offended by "my character had a dream*" or "your character had a dream.**" And nobody is arguing that it's okay for a player to say "my character's god spoke to my character."

The main issue is that the OP knew on some level that he would have to ask his DM before giving his character a vision from his God. When he didn't get an answer, he took it upon himself to do so anyway, and is seeking vindication for his actions on the forum.

He didn't say "I announced that my character had a dream about my God", he said that he announced that his character had had a vision. A vision is a lot different from a simple dream.


It takes control, how ever temporary, of a diety away from the DM.
It directly defies the DM's control of the game by allowing a player to summon his god at will for "fluff" purposes.
It is disrespectful to the DM in that the player is ignoring the auspice of the DM and doing what he/she wants irregardless of what the DM has ruled.
The other players have no clue if this is a DM contrived plot hook, and can start to feel that the character in question is now the center focus of the current plot and feel slighted as a result.


Plus the OP has clearly stated his intention to continue with the behavior even after the DM has told him that it is not allowed in his campaign. This goes beyond simple "fluff" and ventures danger close to "I want my character to be more important that the others so I'm going to force the issue."




*Because even if you don't agree that a player can control a dream in the same way they can control meta-elements, it'd be pretty control-freak to tell them their character can't have a fluff dream.

It would be even more control-freak to ask the DM for something and then do it anyway if the DM said (or implied by ignoring the request) no...and then to announce casually the intention to keep doing it even after getting a hard "no."



**Because there are numerous ways in Fantasy that dreams can be influenced ranging from "this place is evil" to literally A Wizard Did It.

All of which are the auspice of the DM, not the player. So unless you are playing your character as slightly off his rocker (GO FOR THE EYES BOO!) you should get DM approval for that kind of "Fluff", not just decide on your own.

Gavran
2015-02-10, 02:20 AM
In my defense I would say that I tried to talk to the DM multiple times about having a vision visit me as far back as last November, I did state that "it was only a dream" and that I had the dream after a night of drinking.
Sort of contradictory here. My impression is that the incident was presented as a dream, not a vision, though obviously a vision was desired. This is mostly me choosing to give the benefit of the doubt and ultimately immaterial. I definitely agree (and I think everyone else does) that a vision is out of line. That was kinda my point: a DM ought to be alright with a dream, and a player ought to know better than to invent a vision.

I'm not really going to deliberate on whether or not the player acted rudely to the DM; ignoring your player's repeated attempts to work something out would be quite rude too and I wasn't there.


**Because there are numerous ways in Fantasy that dreams can be influenced ranging from "this place is evil" to literally A Wizard Did It.
All of which are the auspice of the DM, not the player. So unless you are playing your character as slightly off his rocker (GO FOR THE EYES BOO!) you should get DM approval for that kind of "Fluff", not just decide on your own.

I firmly agree. Those were meant as clearly-more-than-fluff examples as to why a player should be okay with the DM giving the character a dream.

Though I'll note the player should be able to say "my character feels an evil in this place and is troubled with nightmares." But that would very specifically be nightmares caused by troubled thoughts, not a manifestation of evil - unless the DM decides otherwise.

Synovia
2015-02-10, 11:01 AM
That said I'm really not sure why everyone is ignoring the whole "This dream is my excuse to be the incompatible Paladin in a group of thieves" thing. It really is the bigger issue.

Because he didn't say that?

The problem with the "Paladin in a group of thieves" thing is the standoffishness - having a character who is trying to reform the group can be a very good thing. Stereotypically played paladins aren't trying to reform, they're trying to force people - we have no indication that's whats going on here.

Gavran
2015-02-10, 05:14 PM
Because he didn't say that?

The problem with the "Paladin in a group of thieves" thing is the standoffishness - having a character who is trying to reform the group can be a very good thing. Stereotypically played paladins aren't trying to reform, they're trying to force people - we have no indication that's whats going on here.


tell the other players that my Lawful good character wasn't going to tolerate anymore looting graves or stealing from people (also talked with the DM about this)

Emphasis mine.

BWR
2015-02-11, 12:56 AM
Because he didn't say that?

The problem with the "Paladin in a group of thieves" thing is the standoffishness - having a character who is trying to reform the group can be a very good thing. Stereotypically played paladins aren't trying to reform, they're trying to force people - we have no indication that's whats going on here.

What's the difference between reforming people and forcing your preferences on others?

Kid Jake
2015-02-11, 01:13 AM
What's the difference between reforming people and forcing your preferences on others?

That's easy (http://youtu.be/JQJJjcrwXQE?t=40s).