Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Default The Unwritten Rules

    This is a thread about the unwritten rules of D&D.

    Prologue:
    So I'm playing a CN kobold barbarian who worships Tiamat (at a "we're kobolds, this is what we do" level, rather than at a fanatical-devotion-for-the-evulz level). Our mixed-race party has entered kobold lands and we spy a settlement on a hilltop in the distance. The DM tells me, "You don't recall a settlement in this location the last time you were here, you know kobolds live underground, and you're not aware of many other civilized humanoids living in these lands."

    Okay, something's up, let's take a look. We sneak close enough to observe that it's kobold style. I stroll up to the settlement. Yes, those are kobolds coming to challenge me.
    "What you want with Silverclaw clan?"
    "Tik is walking along, Tik sees kobolds living in nasty-bright-shiny-up-top, Tik wonders why."
    "Silverclaw clan is learning to walk in light of Bahamut! You come in, learn about Bahamut! Or you go away now!"

    OK...not impressed but controlling my anger at this heresy.
    "Er...okay. Tell Tik."

    They take me (and my companions who are following invisibly) up to a tent with open sides on the top of the hill, where we find a dragonborn (with extra DM description!) meditating. I'm impressed because I've never seen a dragonborn and I'm fascinated by dragons. Our quest is to find a real dragon, in fact. It opens its eyes and...
    "See you next week!" says the DM.

    The point of this thread:
    So it occurred to me after the session that I was following several unwritten rules that I've picked up over the years:
    1) Ignoring the DM's obvious quest hook is rude.
    2) Playing a character with rage issues and definite cultural biases is fun, but don't cut short what is obviously a non-combat scene by starting combat.
    3) A plot-critical NPC with lots of description who you're not meant to fight will probably not have a level-appropriate CR when you ignore #2 above.

    This is also on my mind because I dream of persuading my wife to try RPGs. So, semi-idle question: what other unwritten rules are perhaps best explained to newbies up front?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    There's always the obvious:
    Don't just randomly kill people unless you are Chaotic Evil and your DM is fine with that alignment being in their game.
    Make your case for something you want within reasonable limits, but know that ultimately it is up to the DM and that's that.

    Other than that I can't help you sorry. I may think of some more later
    Last edited by The Ship's dog; 2017-03-19 at 04:52 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Moncton NB
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    The biggest thing to tell newbies is that it's a CO-OP game. Players are expected to work together to succeed.

    * Never split the party. It's a long-standing gag but nonetheless true. Splitting the party only works in RP situations (and sometimes, not even then).

    * Don't steal from your party. It's only fun for the Rogue in the moment.

    * Play fair. Let everyone have a turn. Don't try and play other people's characters for them, even if you're the group "leader".

    * Don't be the Cleric who won't heal unless he's paid. Everyone hates that.

    * Don't be a Driz'zt clone.** It was cool in the 90's for, like, a few years - it's not now.
    ** If you must be a Drow dual-scimitar-wielding Beastmaster Ranger with a panther, don't be from or in any way related to Driz'zt or House Do'urden. Or Batman.***
    *** If you must be Batman, be a Wizard. They've got the most tricks in their utility belt.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Massachusetts

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Herobizkit View Post
    The biggest thing to tell newbies is that it's a CO-OP game. Players are expected to work together to succeed.

    * Never split the party. It's a long-standing gag but nonetheless true. Splitting the party only works in RP situations (and sometimes, not even then).

    * Don't steal from your party. It's only fun for the Rogue in the moment.

    * Play fair. Let everyone have a turn. Don't try and play other people's characters for them, even if you're the group "leader".

    * Don't be the Cleric who won't heal unless he's paid. Everyone hates that.

    * Don't be a Driz'zt clone.** It was cool in the 90's for, like, a few years - it's not now.
    ** If you must be a Drow dual-scimitar-wielding Beastmaster Ranger with a panther, don't be from or in any way related to Driz'zt or House Do'urden. Or Batman.***
    *** If you must be Batman, be a Wizard. They've got the most tricks in their utility belt.
    100%, do not hog the spotlight.

    I like playing wizards. Now I'm doing a rogue/fighter and I do my best to let the other players... make their own spell choices.... mistakes and all

    Have fun, some players are so set on a planned concept they forget to just be in the moment

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by NecessaryWeevil View Post
    So, semi-idle question: what other unwritten rules are perhaps best explained to newbies up front?
    You'll probably hate my answer cause it's contradictory.

    1) Always side with the party. If a strong majority vote for something, you go for it even if it wouldn't be in-character for you. Don't spoil the other's fun (not letting the rogue go sneak/stealth, kicking the warlock from the party cause he's using devil magic, etc) If your organization tries to kill the party, you help the party, not just stay idle or help the organization.

    That's a rule i've been used to follow in most games and in LARPs. But it caused some problems in a game, because the expectation was different. Me and two member followed the rule, especially since the DM said no PVP. But the others 3 members and the DM wondered why nobody was acting on how the warlock grew increasingly evil/insane. Took creepy joy in exploding bounded zombies, would write weird occult symbols on the ground, while we're in enemy territory. And eventually left his GOO tome in an orphanage, which ending in a kid going insane and murdering all the children. (it's at that point the DM spoke about it and the party ended up trying to capture the warlock to give him to the guards.)

    So for some group, the rules turn into:
    2) Side with the party. If a strong majority vote for something, you go for it even if it wouldn't be in-character for you. However, even if it's no PVP, if someone is putting the party in danger or clashes too much with the party, it's okay to kick the character or even capture/kill him.

    So i guess it's good to check where the group fit with that. =P

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    First timers?

    Start with a person you want to have fun pretending to be, have a few ideas of the coolest stuff you want them to be able to do, then get someone experienced to help with the numbers.

    The first game you go to, you're not expected to do anything else but show up. From then on, if you're not DM-ing or hosting, bring some snacks or drinks.

    Don't buy any gaming stuff your first few sessions. Borrow other people's books and dice until you feel like you want to join the hobby, then spend the money. But spend it. It's good to have a few books floating around the table.

    When you buy dice, get ones that don't look like anyone else's.

    It's basically poker for nerds - the excuse is to get together with people you like and make each other laugh. Anything else is gold.

    Help your hosts clean up the gaming area before you leave. Put chairs and tables back where they started, etcetera. If you all cooked, then at least offer to help do dishes.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    Rule -1 (I think rule 0 is already taken):

    The point of the game is to have fun.

    If your actions reduce the fun for others, reconsider them. If mutual fun cannot be had, someone needs to leave the table. All else bends to this. Rules-lawyering--if everyone (and I mean everyone) is having fun, then it's no problem. PvP? Same deal. If your idea of fun requires breaking someone else's fun, JUST SAY NO. One of the two of you needs to change their idea of fun or change tables.
    Dream of Hope: a 5e setting. http://www.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    As a player its your job to control your character. Nobody else makes decisions for you; this means you dont sit on your phone and wait for people to recommend a move for you and it means the DM nor another player should assert themself over you and dictate your characters actions. Possible exception if you arent present and you give permission for someone else to play on your behalf, but it generally isnt done that way.
    This feeds into the above about being a social, co-op game.

    Also:
    #1 Be polite. Dont be a Richard
    #2 Be efficient. Dont waste peoples time
    #3 Have a plan to kill everyone you meet. This is D&D
    Last edited by Kane0; 2017-03-19 at 04:07 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Eugene OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    My rules?
    #1, The DM is always right. If the DM says "Hey, this thing makes three attacks a round" and you read the MM and you know it makes two, don't argue. You don't know if s/he tweaked it maybe.
    #2, Have fun! If someone is stomping on your ideal fun, talk to the DM, and see if they can help you out, talk to the player or something. If the DM doesn't help, you should leave. If they try and the player doesn't change, directly ask, and if they still stomp your fun, leave. You should have fun, no need to let your fun get stomped on for someone else's sake.
    #3, Play your character. By this I don't mean that you have free agent to be a jack wagon, I mean add in some quick little things. The coolest character I've ever seen was a Vegan-Barbarian-Noble-Elf. He was super low con and he should have been by all means weak, but by some rule of cool or something he carried that campaign. But he never deviated from character and that made him really memorable.
    #4, Try not to power-game if you have new(er) players, they won't know what to do, and you will almost inevitably make them feel inferior, and useless. Therefore they will have no fun. See rule two.
    #5, Try not to strong-arm players into doing what you want, and never try to strong-arm your DM. The players will feel railroaded and have no fun and the DM will probably make you miserable if you don't change when he asks you to. Or you will just be kicked.
    #6, Ask what type of campaign you are in. Is it some Viking/Norse/Medieval setting where you are all vikings who probably hat magic? Then don't make an African Shaman. That isn't for this game. If you only want to play an African shaman, decline politely.
    #7, Be polite. Your DM probably picked the players, campaign and setting carefully, and if they are a new DM, give them helpful advice on what you would like to see in the future. How to achieve, or how you would achieve that, is probably really helpful!
    #8, Please don't taunt the DM. This is how you get yourself killed.
    #9, Ask about house rules, Your DM might have forgotten to mention them to you! Or all of them, anyways.
    And finally,
    #10, Be co-operative, but be a person. So go with the party, sure, but don't always agree with everything. Paladins shouldn't agree with rogues etc. But publicly, smile and nod, scold them, in game, later for their "Bad" actions :P it can make things more fun!

    Sorry if some of those seem contradictory or rant-y I just think that these are important things and had a lot to say on the subject.
    Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid.
    Franklin P. Jones

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Honest Tiefling's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by NecessaryWeevil View Post
    1) Ignoring the DM's obvious quest hook is rude.
    This is one I actually disagree with. The main plot hook should be told to the players before the campaign starts (such as, you are defending a town from zombies or you are all investigators working for this temple), and THAT should not be ignored. But many DMs put in side hooks or dilemmas. I am not going to ignore something out of spite, but sometimes things happen and it's damaging to my concept to do that thing.

    For instance, one time I was playing a druid. We made contact with a character who bragged about massacring fey and made it quite clear that they intended to do so again. My character was 100% not okay with this action due to being a typical elf druid, but I was told that I had to play along with the 'story'. Maybe it was a case of the DM putting in a bad plot hook for my character, but I don't want a lack of dilemma or conflict, just...The power to say no, my character would not do that.

    And as a DM, I wouldn't even expect it. Don't follow a hook? Okay, no rewards or advancement. Some plot hooks stick, some don't. Next scene.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oko and Qailee View Post
    Man, I like this tiefling.
    For all of your completely and utterly honest needs. Zaydos made, Tiefling approved.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Herobizkit View Post
    * Never split the party. It's a long-standing gag but nonetheless true. Splitting the party only works in RP situations (and sometimes, not even then).
    I wish Atari and Troika knew that when they programmed the videogame version of Temple of Elemental Evil
    Omegaupdate Forum

    WoTC Forums Archive + Indexing Projext

    PostImage, a free and sensible alternative to Photobucket

    Temple+ Modding Project for Atari's Temple of Elemental Evil

    Morrus' RPG Forum (EN World v2)

    If we shadows have offended, think but this, and all is mended. That you have but slumbered here, while these visions did appear, and this weak and idle theme, no more yielding but a dream. -Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 5, Scene 1

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ShikomeKidoMi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Herobizkit View Post
    * Don't be a Driz'zt clone.** It was cool in the 90's for, like, a few years - it's not now.
    ** If you must be a Drow dual-scimitar-wielding Beastmaster Ranger with a panther, don't be from or in any way related to Driz'zt or House Do'urden. Or Batman.***
    *** If you must be Batman, be a Wizard. They've got the most tricks in their utility belt.
    It wasn't cool then. It was just unoriginal.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Banned
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Herobizkit View Post
    The biggest thing to tell newbies is that it's a CO-OP game. Players are expected to work together to succeed.

    * Never split the party. It's a long-standing gag but nonetheless true. Splitting the party only works in RP situations (and sometimes, not even then).

    * Don't steal from your party. It's only fun for the Rogue in the moment.

    * Play fair. Let everyone have a turn. Don't try and play other people's characters for them, even if you're the group "leader".

    * Don't be the Cleric who won't heal unless he's paid. Everyone hates that.

    * Don't be a Driz'zt clone.** It was cool in the 90's for, like, a few years - it's not now.
    ** If you must be a Drow dual-scimitar-wielding Beastmaster Ranger with a panther, don't be from or in any way related to Driz'zt or House Do'urden. Or Batman.***
    *** If you must be Batman, be a Wizard. They've got the most tricks in their utility belt.
    My kleptomatiac Drow loner dual scimitar weilding cleric dissaproves of this post.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Laserlight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Virginia Beach VA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by The Ship's dog View Post
    There's always the obvious:
    Don't just randomly kill people unless you are Chaotic Evil
    Even then, don't do it, or at least think about the possible consequences. "Chaotic Evil" doesn't have to be "Let's get arrested and convicted of murder in the first session!"
    Junior, half orc paladin of the Order of St Dale the Intimidator: "Ah cain't abide no murderin' scoundrel."

    Tactical Precepts: 1) Cause chaos, then exploit it; 2) No plan survives contact with...(sigh)...my subordinates.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    2D8HP's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    San Francisco Bay area
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    My kleptomatiac Drow loner dual scimitar weilding cleric dissaproves of this post.
    Sigworthy!

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Re: The Unwritten Rules

    The okness of ignoring plothooks depends on the play style of any particular game. If the GM builds sets for climactic battles, makes models for the NPCs and gives them detailed backstories, then go with the plot hooks. If the game is sandbox with a map with various conflicts among different factions, grab onto what interests you but don't run off the edge of that map. If the GM is of the seat-of-the-pants kind of GM, do whatever.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •