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  1. - Top - End - #211
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post

    'Barbarian' was a Greek word that meant 'does nor speak Greek'. It took on connotations like 'uncivilised' because every culture thinks it's the best culture and the Greeks were no different in that regard.
    As I understand it it was basically a slur for anyone who didn't speak a proper language. The joke was it sounded like they were just saying bar bar bar, hence barbarian.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  2. - Top - End - #212
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    aybe it'd be beneficial to go back to the original post.

    after having re-read this a few times over, I've put my thoughts down in red.

    Quote Originally Posted by ad_hoc View Post
    It came up in another thread that people thought I was joking when I said that Barbarians are uncomfortable when hedged in by walls, and so your Barbarian character feels uncomfortable when hedged in by walls.

    It's right there in the PHB. I was taken aback that some people didn't think it was possible for me to be serious about this. I have even seen a few people say something along the lines of "your character and their beliefs and actions are completely up to you" which is false.

    One problem is you have combined 2 ideas here one of which is true, and one of which is not. Your character and their beliefs and actions is of course, not 100% within your control. But the implicit assumption here is that what the PHB fluff says has anything to do with what your character says or thinks. It doesn't. Actually, to be more precise there is no RAW reason it has any effect on your character, and you've not made any compelling case why it should.

    What your character believes in and what they do are not completely up to you. There are a multitude of things you can try to do which your group with respond with "no" then you can either retract it, or leave.

    I actually agree with this. This has nothing to do with rules, this is about group norms.

    One category of behaviours are ones which are socially unacceptable. The most common one to come up in play is probably attacking of other characters. It could be anything though including racism, etc. You're just not allowed to do that because the group doesn't accept it.

    agreed

    Then we have things which are deemed 'roleplaying rules'. These include the Barbarian example above but also include plenty of things which are unspoken. For example, most groups would probably find it unacceptable if you decided that your character suddenly believes they are from 18th century earth in a standard D&D game. Some might, but generally that sort of deviation from the setting is enough to derail a game so would be against the rules. An offshoot of this might be a character who knows the inner workings of all of the dungeons and such because the player has decided to read the adventure.

    you need to make a case that these are in any way rules. They're not. These are tropes that you can follow if you wish, or break if you wish. Nothing about the game compels you to follow them. In the end this is just an opinion. In which case, I don't care what your opinion is.

    The argument I have seen against these 'roleplaying rules' is that it constricts creativity. I disagree. I think creating a unique character/story within the rules is the creative part.

    I think this is a point of where people are diverging. I think (although I'm not positive), many people are disagreeing with you that the opening fluff of a class is part of a "roleplaying rules".

    I liken this to improv games. If an improv actor broke the rules/constraints of the game to do something unique it wouldn't be seen as creative, quite the opposite, it would be seen as lazy or unsporting.

    True, but now you've switched from actual rules of improv (at least I assume so, since I'm not a person who really cares much about improv), to something you've claimed to be a rule but never demonstrated

    D&D is a game of fantasy tropes. I think it is fun to create something unique using those tropes. Breaking them is lazy and the game suffers as a result.

    again, you've stated two ideas one of which is true and the other isn't. Your first sentence is true. The rest.... That's just like your opinion man. *in best Dude voice*

    Plus, that special character you made who goes against their archetype isn't as unique or interesting as you think they are. We've seen it all before. The interesting and creative moments happen during play with the collaboration of the group, just like in improv.

    again, this is all baseless wasted space. It's nothing more then your opinion. Which is why titling this section "role-play rules" is deceptive. This thread is more like "ad-Hocs opinions on how you should play a character.

    Of course, play with whatever 'roleplaying rules' you wish. Houserule the ones in the PHB if you like. Do keep some though, as they are important and enrich the game.

    There aren't any roleplaying rules in the PHB (at least not if you mean the Fluff at the beginning of the classes). Those are tropes to help with making a character. Or if you think they actually are real rules, make an argument for that, because without one it's a bald assertion. And a claim made without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.
    But upon re-reading, I really noticed that this thread is barely about role-play rules. It's more of a "here's my opinion".

    So if that's what this thread is about, I give my opinion.

    One way to create a cool and interesting character is to pick a classic fantasy trope using the fluff and make that character.

    Another way is to pick a really cool concept from literature that you want to simulate. From there you pick the mechanics from the classes that help create that character and have fun. That character is usually also fun and interesting.

    Another way to have fun is to pick what you want your character to be good at and maximize that potential with whatever class combinations that it takes you to get there. That's not my style, but it's a perfectly fine way to play the game.

    There are no roleplaying rules. Instead, there are norms that different tables expect you to follow. Some of these rules are more universal then others.

    Most tables probably expect you to bathe at least once in awhile, and you'll be in a bit of trouble when no one wants to sit next to you. But that's not every group. There was a group in college that I spent one day with, that all smelled of horrid BO. that norm was not followed there, and as a result I left.

    At the end of the day if I really want to play Gutts from Beserk, I might play a barbarian. The mechanics of that class fit the bill of the character really well (He's tough as nails, goes into an unstoppable rage, uses a stupidly big weapon, can't really be frightened), but he was raised a mercenary. he wasn't in any way tribal. Saying that anyone who builds that character isn't creative because they're being lazy for ignoring the fluff, is being ridiculous. They're putting just as much thought into their character as someone playing a common trope of the character.

  3. - Top - End - #213
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    Well, I'm glad you said this because I think this really is the point. I don't think anyone is as strict as the detractors are making them out to be. Imposing minor restrictions on player freedoms is not the same as taking all of their freedom away. It's a complete overreaction to start making such accusations.
    There is some difference though between “minor restrictions”. While yes, how your barbarian feels within the walls of a city is a minor choice, the entirety of that choice is being taken away.

    To put this into government policy terms (I’m taking a politics class right now so this is my headspace on certain days) it is similar to a law mandating you have to put your left shoe on before your right shoe. Yes, it is a minor, nearly inconsequential detail, but because it is a minor detail, why is it locked in iron clad law?

    At the table, while the game is going on, no one is going to notice whether or not Bob the Barbarian is fidgety in town or comfortable in town unless that part is emphasized, but Bob’s choice in that matter is null and void under some of these arguments. If that minor of a choice is not allowed, what other things are not allowed? It becomes worrisome, because it is a minor detail that shouldn’t be a big deal and it is completely removed from your agency. Does that mean larger decisions are going to be similarly limited?

    Are you going to be allowed to choose how you react to your tribe invading lands to the North? Or is the DM going to tell you? He already told you that you have to be uncomfortable in the city, when the mayor of a town wants to meet you is he going to tell how you react to him?

    In fact, are you going to be 100% comfortable playing your character, or are you going to have to stop and check your mental image of what the DM wants your character to be so that you don’t have the DM confronting you with trying to play a special snowflake character and ruining everyone else’s fun by playing wrong.

    I think that is something that is getting missed here, yes it is a small and minor restriction over all, but because it is a small and minor detail that is iron clad and inflexible, you begin to wonder how far up the chain of hierarchy these iron restrictions go.




    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    Ironically, it's the second camp that can best be described as the fluff matters camp, because they think that the barbarian is more than just a collection of mechanics. They think there is a narrative place and purpose to the class, and that these provide meaning to the class in the context of the setting. Another way to put this is, why call them barbarian and ranger at all? Why not just Fighter option 2 and fighter option 3? The answer is that the classes have a theme built into them. If you want to throw the theme out the window, then you throw much of the game's purpose (in my view) out the window. This is because, a big part of the appeal of playing D&D is that it tries to use mechanics that make some degree of sense in the particular fantasy context.
    Again, yes and no, because your theme already breaks down when you add in subclasses, and theme has nothing to do with background.

    Barbarians represent the savage Vikings with Frenzy.
    They represent versions of shamanic warriors and tribal peoples like the Aztec and various American Indians with Totem and Ancestral
    They represent Holy warriors with Zealots
    They represent mystical dervishes and beings like Thor with Storm Herald.

    If I want to play an Aztec Prince, who calls upon the Guardian spirit of his nation to protect and strengthen him in battle, I would clearly play a Totem Barbarian. However, this character would also be a noble, if the nation was large enough, he would probably have met with other foreign dignitaries, been to large cities before, spoken in front of large crowds. In fact, he may even take the Inspirational Leader feat to represent his sway over a crowd and commanding presence.

    Or perhaps my character is a Desert Nomad, who calls upon the fierce desert winds when they fight. A Storm Herald who protects the trade caravans as they move from city to city selling goods, he’s a merchant, a man who sells the raw materials to city dwellers unable to face the strength pf the desert. He’d constantly go to marketplaces, that is his job as a merchant to sell things found in the desert.

    I can picture any of these characters in a fantasy setting, perhaps not medieval Europe, but fantasy goes beyond that to cover a wide range of things.

    The variety of themes within the Barbarian alone cover a lot of ground. By saying that all barbarians must be savages, must live in tribes, must have no cities or high civilization, must dislike cities and crowds, must wear furs, must use large weapons, must must must, all you are doing is slicing off those other concepts the barbarian covers and saying that those don’t count, because only the classical view of the barbarian is correct, ignoring what other concepts have fallen under than umbrella.


    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    Yes, we are. If your backstory is that you are a barbarian outlander from a tribe that doesn't have a written language, and you've never interacted with civilized society, and you want to make a wizard, then you have a problem. This isn't a problem with my opinion. This is a problem with the setting and how wizards work. Wizards not only have to be able to read, they have to be able to read and study magic. I know it's a different example but it's an important one.

    In the same way that the other side of this argument becomes enraged that anyone would dare to prevent total and complete player control over their character, I become enraged at the idea that the setting is irrelevant. The reason we have sorcerers, warlocks, bards, and wizards, is because they relate to the narrative in different ways. They are attempts to match the mechanics of the class to the narrative of the world. If you want to make character who has formed a pact but is really just a bard, then you're sort of saying [email protected]#k you to the way the world works.

    Yeah, you could fluff it your own way, but that's not the way the world is. (I'm fully aware that a different world might be this way, but any particular world has particular reasons for why classes are tied to it in particular ways.)

    So this is another way of illustrating my point. It's more or less, "[email protected]#k the fictional world and it's context, I'm going to do whatever I want."

    And this is because you completely separate mechanics and setting, which I think is a mistake.

    Nothing prevents a player, RAW, from playing Bart Simpson, a rogue who rides around on a skateboard in the middle of my Viking campaign, and has the tag line "Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger." But I don't allow that character in my campaign. I choose to be polite and say "this character doesn't match the tone of the campaign." But the truth is that the player is just an [email protected]#hole who is disrespecting the narrative context and tone, and by extension disrespecting the people who got together to realize it.
    I put this all in one big quote, because to a degree this is all the same conversation.

    To start with the Wizard. You say that character has a problem, but looking it over, the only potential problem I see is that they do not have a written language, which is a detail that was added in by the player I would assume.

    Now, how do wizards work (since you say that is the root of the problem)

    Well, wizards study magic and keep spellbooks.

    Studying magic in that sort of setting is no problem. Nothing about being from a tribe that has not interacted with other societies or has a written language prevents this. Magic is everywhere in the world (barring anti-magic zones) and therefore you can study it anywhere. Perhaps you use the dust of animal bones and various herbs in wooden bowls instead of in beakers, but nothing about wizardly study requires advanced materials unless you say it has to.

    Keeping the spellbook then is the problem, because you have no written language. Now, this can be solved, but it requires knowing exactly what is meant by “written language”. Do they have a number system? Pictograms? As long as they have some sort of physical thing that can represent an idea, then they have enough to make a spellbook.

    Because the spellbook is just notes, it simply is a record of what is needed to cast the spell and how it works.

    One of my first long-term campaigns was in Darksun, and I remember reading about Preservers and how their spellbooks were knotted ropes and lengths of beads, which encoded the information, but hid it from the Sorcerer-Kings. 5e does not explicitly allow this, but implicitly I think it could still work.

    So, this Tribal Outlander could be someone who studied magic under an elder, learned to record the knowledge in lengths of colored beads and pictures the details of which represent the complex ideas behind the spell.

    It is a harder stretch than just leaving your tribe to go to a wizard school, or simply having a tribe that does have a written language, but it is completely doable within the trope of the wizard, it simply cuts closer to that old “magic-man” archetype, instead of the studious librarian archetype.

    Now, this is where the rest of the quoted material comes in, where by doing this I am ignoring the setting.

    I think that is debatable. Let us say for a moment that all wizards required the written word as we think of it today, glass beakers, and fancy telescopes. High level technology or wizardry does not exist.

    Then how does wizardry exist at all? We cannot assume that within this setting the world has always had a technological level high enough to support wizardry. At some point, wizardry had to be represented by something older, something less refined. Shall we say that Bardic magic or Sorcery is an older form and Wizardry evolved from it? Possible, though problematic, and nothing is then to say it could not have evolved differently in different areas, or that a particular branch was cut off long ago. In fact, many of the most popular settings state that we are in a low point, magic and wizardry was better in the old days than it is now.

    In a setting like that, where the fallen kingdoms of magic are part of the history, who is to say some of those descendants could never have fallen back into more primitive modes, but kept the necessary knowledge to do arcane magic, and passed it on as best as they knew how?

    Yeah, setting lore like that is the purview of the DM, but this whole situation is only because you added the no written language line. And at some point, the character would most likely learn to read, unless the player really wanted to make life hard on themselves, because by RAW every player races speaks, writes, and reads the common tongue, or at least some language.


    None of what I’ve written in this post ignores the setting, in fact, some of it relies heavily on the setting. What kind of desert warrior could exist in a world without a desert? What kind of tribal leader could I be, if no tribes exist in the world? But these unusual concepts can just as easily dive deep and enrich a setting as they can ignore it. It depends on what the player is doing and how much they collaborate with the DM.




    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    This is ultimately why you're wrong. There's more than one way to feel uncomfortable. It's really that simple. Choose any form of uncomfortable that suits you. This is why you have misrepresented ad_hoc. It's because you made the illogical conclusion that uncomfortable is exactly one feeling.

    Here's another attempt to show you what I mean:

    A child walks into Baskin Robbins. There are 31 flavours of iced cream available. The child says "I want blue bubble gum." The clerk says "I'm sorry but we don't have blue bubble gum, you can't have blue bubble gum."

    Your claim: this is a denial of child's freedom because the child wants blue bubble gum, and you won't let him have it. He should have 100% total freedom over his actions, and he wants to eat blue bubble gum. The clerk is trying to control the child.

    My claim: this is not a denial of freedom, because the clerk is not saying: "you must eat pink bubble gum." The clerk is saying "you can still choose whatever you want, from what's available, but blue bubble gum is not available.

    Analogous context:

    A barbarian walks into a city. There are a multitude of emotional states available. The player says "I want to feel total comfort." The DM says "I'm sorry but total comfort is not an available emotional state for barbarians when in cities, so you can't have total comfort."

    Your claim: this is a denial of a player's freedom because the player wants total comfort, and you won't let him have it. He should have 100% total freedom over his emotions, and he wants total comfort. The DM is trying to control the player.

    My claim: this is not a denial of freedom, because the DM is not saying: "you must feel uneasy, edgy, and afraid." The DM is saying "you can still choose whatever you want, from what's available, but total comfort is not available.

    The difference is between a physical object that can run out (ice cream) and an emotional reaction which can never run out.

    To place your ice cream example in a more analogous way:

    {A child walks into Baskin Robbins. There are 31 flavours of iced cream available. The child says "I want blue bubble gum." The clerk says "I'm sorry but we don't have blue bubble gum, you can't have blue bubble gum."

    As the child you are not allowed to be okay with this, you must be upset in some way }

    Why must this child be upset? Why can they not be okay with a different ice cream?

    Emotional states are very binary in a way, and something like “comfortable” is a neutral state. By saying we cannot be comfortable, then we cannot be neutral (that is a comfort) and we cannot be good (that is also comfort) so our only option is to feel bad.

    Now sure, I could decide my barbarian’s uncomfortableness expresses itself as fear or anger or despair, but that is all bad for my character. You’ve taken a three-way choice (comfortable or neutral or uncomfortable) and then removed all but one of the options, to satisfy a narrowly defined archetype that may not even apply to the character in question.

    Maybe my tribal barbarian is comfortable in a city, because he knows he could kill every single one of these weakling townies and he knows that like a herd, if something truly dangerous were to approach, they would alert him with their fleeing. He has nothing to fear here, unlike out in the wilderness where his strength can actually be challenged.

    Sticks with the archetype, but is not allowed because I must be “uncomfortable”.

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    And what does "your character feels uncomfortable" get in the way of? What does feeling uncomfortable prevent you from doing? Nothing. It literally has no effect on the game. It has effects in the effect of the mind of one special snowflake who insists on having authorship of something that they can't possible author and is entirely irrelevant. At best, it does nothing. At worst it creates yet another special snowflake who insists that disagreeing with him is an "offence to his existence." (Or in this case to his imaginary character's existence - which is more absurd since his imaginary doesn't actually exist.)

    What's even more bizarre is that real people can't control how comfortable they feel without acting to change it. Think about it. Who chooses to feel uncomfortable?

    The complete lack of relevance of this discussion is what is so baffling to me. If the DM says: "Your character feels uncomfortable right now." I can just say "cool." And then do exactly what I was going to do. But no, not for our special snowflakes! They are willing to shut down the entire campaign and accuse the DM of the most heinous crimes... and for what? For nothing. For their own self-important right to have complete authorship over an imaginary character in a game that is ultimately pointless.

    Imagine I was playing a game of monopoly, and someone told me that my iron felt uncomfortable. Now imagine me becoming indignant and insisting that that person is an authoritative jerk. "I and only I have authorship over the feelings of the iron!" What a socially degenerate thing to do. How about this: "cool," and then move your iron seven spaces on the board.

    Likewise: "your barbarian feels uncomfortable." "Cool. I walk into the weapons dealer and check out his wares." END OF STORY.


    So… the reason you are fine with this is because you’ll just ignore it?

    Because if your character is uncomfortable in a situation and you act the same as if they were comfortable then they are comfortable in that environment not uncomfortable.

    When I’m talking to friends I’m comfortable talking with, I’m potentially loud, I’ll laugh, I’ll joke. If I’m amongst strangers and uncomfortable I’ll be silent, withdrawn, and probably only respond if spoken to.

    My actions are completely different because my emotional state is different

    If the player is allowed to just act the same regardless then it doesn’t matter what the DM says, it’s just meaningless noise.


    Of course, if your character in the game has the same emotional complexity and depth as a Monopoly playing piece… well then, we are talking from such completely different ideas of what game we are playing that I frankly don’t know what to do with all this.

    Every character I have ever played is more than a lump of metal to be moved around the board. Otherwise I wouldn’t have even bothered to sit down at the table.

  4. - Top - End - #214
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    And what does "your character feels uncomfortable" get in the way of? What does feeling uncomfortable prevent you from doing? Nothing. It literally has no effect on the game. It has effects in the effect of the mind of one special snowflake who insists on having authorship of something that they can't possible author and is entirely irrelevant. At best, it does nothing. At worst it creates yet another special snowflake who insists that disagreeing with him is an "offence to his existence." (Or in this case to his imaginary character's existence - which is more absurd since his imaginary doesn't actually exist.)

    What's even more bizarre is that real people can't control how comfortable they feel without acting to change it. Think about it. Who chooses to feel uncomfortable?

    The complete lack of relevance of this discussion is what is so baffling to me. If the DM says: "Your character feels uncomfortable right now." I can just say "cool." And then do exactly what I was going to do. But no, not for our special snowflakes! They are willing to shut down the entire campaign and accuse the DM of the most heinous crimes... and for what? For nothing. For their own self-important right to have complete authorship over an imaginary character in a game that is ultimately pointless.

    Imagine I was playing a game of monopoly, and someone told me that my iron felt uncomfortable. Now imagine me becoming indignant and insisting that that person is an authoritative jerk. "I and only I have authorship over the feelings of the iron!" What a socially degenerate thing to do. How about this: "cool," and then move your iron seven spaces on the board.

    Likewise: "your barbarian feels uncomfortable." "Cool. I walk into the weapons dealer and check out his wares." END OF STORY.
    If you're just saying Cool but doing exactly what you were gonna do, even if it clashes with the statement, you're not actually accepting what the DM told you. And Ad_hoc mentionned that not accepting the "roleplaying rules" is a red flag and possibly wouldn't play again with them.

    "DM: Your barbarian feels uncomfortable in that huge city. Now what do you all do with your one month down time?" "Barbarian:Cool i'm uncomfortable. I go rent the biggest chamber in the best Inn and attend social parties all month long." "DM: ..."



    For some of us, the "you feel uncomfortable because you're a barbarian" feels as silly as the DM interrupting the rogue player who wants to save children from slavers being told: "you're a rogue, you like illegal things so you're okay with children being captured and forced to work illegally".


    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post

    It won't help to bring in fictional characters and then claim to know which D&D class they best represent. This is because there will be disagreement over which class best represents them. It comes down to one's personal judgment.
    The character's class is barbarian because it's mentioned in the book. It's one that is heavily influenced by D&D. Disagreeing about her class would be like disagreeing about the barbarian having D12 for HP.
    Last edited by Addaran; 2017-03-17 at 06:35 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #215
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosmancer View Post
    There is some difference though between “minor restrictions”. While yes, how your barbarian feels within the walls of a city is a minor choice, the entirety of that choice is being taken away.
    What is it with you people and the word "entirety"? First of all, the entirety of the choice is not being taken away. Second of all, even if it were, the choice is so insignificant that the entirety of it is insignificant.

    First: it's not the entirety of the choice. Being told that you feel uncomfortable is does not describe the entirety of your character's feelings at any given moment. I've explained this.

    Second: it's how your character feels. It has essentially no consequence.

    To put this into government policy terms (I’m taking a politics class right now so this is my headspace on certain days) it is similar to a law mandating you have to put your left shoe on before your right shoe. Yes, it is a minor, nearly inconsequential detail, but because it is a minor detail, why is it locked in iron clad law?
    No, it is not the same at all. You're confusing the matter, in the exact same way that has been done numerous times in this thread. You can't X is not the same as you must X. This is clearly a case of you can't X. Your shoe example is clearly an example of you must X.

    ...If that minor of a choice is not allowed, what other things are not allowed? It becomes worrisome, because it is a minor detail that shouldn’t be a big deal and it is completely removed from your agency. Does that mean larger decisions are going to be similarly limited?
    This is crossing the bridge before you get to it. What you're describing is more or less unjustified panic, which is also part of my point. If you're not sure, don't jump to conclusions. Just ask.

    Are you going to be allowed to choose how you react to your tribe invading lands to the North? Or is the DM going to tell you? He already told you that you have to be uncomfortable in the city, when the mayor of a town wants to meet you is he going to tell how you react to him?
    Again, just ask. If you don't like the answers, then don't play. Pretty simple.

    In fact, are you going to be 100% comfortable playing your character, or are you going to have to stop and check your mental image of what the DM wants your character to be so that you don’t have the DM confronting you with trying to play a special snowflake character and ruining everyone else’s fun by playing wrong.
    This doesn't follow, at all. This is more irrational panic. Ask.

    And this is what most of this thread comes down to: the DM said something that I disagree with, therefore "how can I ever trust the DM to not sabotage me at any second?" Stop projecting your insecurities. Find out. Then move on.

    I think that is something that is getting missed here, yes it is a small and minor restriction over all, but because it is a small and minor detail that is iron clad and inflexible, you begin to wonder how far up the chain of hierarchy these iron restrictions go.
    So find out. Don't jump to conclusions and make false accusations about imaginary crimes that haven't happened yet. There's a principle of law for you.

    Again, yes and no, because your theme already breaks down when you add in subclasses, and theme has nothing to do with background.
    You're doing it again. There is a theme to the class. It may be true that different subclasses have varaations and/or changes to the theme, but he class itself still has a theme.

    The variety of themes within the Barbarian alone cover a lot of ground. By saying that all barbarians must be savages, must live in tribes, must have no cities or high civilization, must dislike cities and crowds, must wear furs, must use large weapons, must must must, all you are doing is slicing off those other concepts the barbarian covers and saying that those don’t count, because only the classical view of the barbarian is correct, ignoring what other concepts have fallen under than umbrella.
    And different DMs, different settings, different tones, and different narrative themes do different amounts of slicing. That's ultimately what it comes down to. I say there is no problem with some slicing. The other side seems to have precisely zero tolerance for even the most minor slice.

    To start with the Wizard. You say that character has a problem, but looking it over, the only potential problem I see is that they do not have a written language, which is a detail that was added in by the player I would assume.
    No, and this illustrates my point. In a setting where a particular tribe of people do not have language, and wizards use language, then wizards don't come from that tribe. And that's okay. People have to learn that the amount of freedom they have is contingent on other things that are bigger than they are.

    Now, how do wizards work (since you say that is the root of the problem)
    Not: How do wizards work?
    Rather: Can the type of wizard I want to play be found in this world?

    If the answer is no, it's no. It should not be: well I'm going to reinvent the world to suit my desire to play a particular character.

    Just take no for an answer. That's ultimately what it comes down to.

    Because the spellbook is just notes, it simply is a record of what is needed to cast the spell and how it works.
    This is one acceptable operational definition. But if traditional books with pages and words are the way wizards work in this setting, then you don;t get to demand that the world changes for you.

    One of my first long-term campaigns was in Darksun, and I remember reading about Preservers and how their spellbooks were knotted ropes and lengths of beads, which encoded the information, but hid it from the Sorcerer-Kings. 5e does not explicitly allow this, but implicitly I think it could still work.
    Yes, in a specific setting when you play by the setting's rules. But if you want to play a wizard that is neither defiler nor preserver, the DM has every right to say no because that's not how Athas works. Likewise if you want to play a cleric of Light, the DM can say "too bad. On Athas you must take either Air, Earth, Fire, or Water, because the other domains don't exist here." And, no matter how much your concept depends on playing a Life cleric, the DM can just say no.

    In summary, your freedom to make choices as a player are limited. Get over it.

    None of what I’ve written in this post ignores the setting, in fact, some of it relies heavily on the setting. What kind of desert warrior could exist in a world without a desert? What kind of tribal leader could I be, if no tribes exist in the world? But these unusual concepts can just as easily dive deep and enrich a setting as they can ignore it. It depends on what the player is doing and how much they collaborate with the DM.
    And it depends on how a player responds when the answer is simply "no." No, there are no deserts on this world, so there are no desert barbarians and no desert druids and no desert rangers. This is a much bigger restriction than: "you can play the class but you feel uncomfortable sometimes." Yet it is totally reasonable.

    The difference is between a physical object that can run out (ice cream) and an emotional reaction which can never run out.
    Not a relevant difference, sorry.

    To place your ice cream example in a more analogous way:
    This is a much worse attempt. In your analogy, you've changed the DM from the CPU that runs the reality simulation into a character in the story. Sorry. That's pure butchery.

    Emotional states are very binary in a way, and something like “comfortable” is a neutral state. By saying we cannot be comfortable, then we cannot be neutral (that is a comfort) and we cannot be good (that is also comfort) so our only option is to feel bad.
    This is unfounded nonsense.

    So… the reason you are fine with this is because you’ll just ignore it?
    No, it's because people can act like they are comfortable when they are uncomfortable. This is what it means to be mature or professional. You can be filled with hatred and still behave with dignity.

    Because if your character is uncomfortable in a situation and you act the same as if they were comfortable then they are comfortable in that environment not uncomfortable.
    No, that's not true. And I would have thought it was obviously so.

    When I’m talking to friends I’m comfortable talking with, I’m potentially loud, I’ll laugh, I’ll joke. If I’m amongst strangers and uncomfortable I’ll be silent, withdrawn, and probably only respond if spoken to.
    Well why do you let strangers tell you how to feel? How dare they?

    Anyway, we all have different degrees of maturity. Part of social norms is to act comfortably even we're not comfortable. I realize that special snowflakes care more about themselves than social norms, but that's sort of the point. If you show this outwardly, you're immature.

    My actions are completely different because my emotional state is different
    So why don't you just control your mental state? Oh, yeah... because it's subject to external factors... just like a barbarian character's mental state in a narrative story about said character. So, just like you can't control your own mental state, neither can the barbarian character, which helps with suspension of disbelief.

    If the player is allowed to just act the same regardless then it doesn’t matter what the DM says, it’s just meaningless noise.
    Precisely. How your character feels has literally no significance to anything in the universe (real or fake) except in the head of the particular player, who is probably the only person who thinks about it anyway.

    Of course, if your character in the game has the same emotional complexity and depth as a Monopoly playing piece… well then, we are talking from such completely different ideas of what game we are playing that I frankly don’t know what to do with all this.
    This is, in a nutshell, special snowflake syndrome. Your character is the sum total of the actions and events that take place at the table. Even your backstory is meaningless until it manifests at the table. The only place any of it matters is in the head of the player until it enters the game.

    Every character I have ever played is more than a lump of metal to be moved around the board. Otherwise I wouldn’t have even bothered to sit down at the table.
    Well, it's no less meaningful. You can add the special meaning you like, but at the end of the day, your character comes down to what happened at the table during the sessions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Addaran View Post
    If you're just saying Cool but doing exactly what you were gonna do, even if it clashes with the statement, you're not actually accepting what the DM told you. And Ad_hoc mentionned that not accepting the "roleplaying rules" is a red flag and possibly wouldn't play again with them.
    Yes, I am accepting what the DM tells me. I accept that my character feels uncomfortable. Then as a player in a role-playing game, I put myself in my character's head, acknowledge that I feel uncomfortable, consider the circumstances, and take an action. I am free to do that. It's that simple.

    And ad_hoc is right to assert that if I completely ignored it all the time, it would be a red flag, but the character is still my character. I'm still playing the character, and I still get to decide how my character responds whenever he feels uncomfortable. I can do this while acknowledging that my character feels uncomfortable.

    This is a lot different than saying "[email protected]#k that, I'm not uncomfortable, I'll do what I want." Which is a refusal to participate in the narrative fiction, and a refusal to role-play, and a refusal to treat the game honestly, which are all big red flags.

    "DM: Your barbarian feels uncomfortable in that huge city. Now what do you all do with your one month down time?" "Barbarian:Cool i'm uncomfortable. I go rent the biggest chamber in the best Inn and attend social parties all month long." "DM: ..."
    Well, presumably you care about roleplaying your character and you're willing to accept that you feel uncomfortable, and you actually use role-play to come to your decision.

    Maybe "Cool, I'm uncomfortable, but I came to this city for a reason, and I am very motivated to see this through. I rent a chamber in the inn and I do my best to attend social parties, masking my discomfort. Presumably some days are better than others, and I fluctuate between very good days, where I behave like a proper socialite, and very bad days, where I simply have to leave the city to be outside the walls, and everything in between."

    Or "Cool, I am feeling uncomfortable. Even though I feel that this task is very important, I inevitably can't manage to stay in the city. I get a chamber at the inn, but I only stay there 1-2 nights a week, more often leaving the city to be under the open sky."

    For some of us, the "you feel uncomfortable because you're a barbarian" feels as silly as the DM interrupting the rogue player who wants to save children from slavers being told: "you're a rogue, you like illegal things so you're okay with children being captured and forced to work illegally".
    I don't care how silly it feels to you. The second example is sillier. Period.

    Maybe it seems silly to you for dwarves to feel uncomfortable under an open sky. Maybe it seems silly to for you for a desert nomad who can't swim to feel uncomfortable on a boat in the middle of a stormy sea. Maybe it feels silly for you for a rich noble to feel uncomfortable spending three months living among orcs and goblins.


    The character's class is barbarian because it's mentioned in the book. It's one that is heavily influenced by D&D. Disagreeing about her class would be like disagreeing about the barbarian having D12 for HP.
    I don't know who the character is and I don't really care. Neither her class nor her d12 HD are any part of her reality.

  6. - Top - End - #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    So this is another way of illustrating my point. It's more or less, "[email protected]#k the fictional world and it's context, I'm going to do whatever I want."
    Nothing prevents a player, RAW, from playing Bart Simpson, a rogue who rides around on a skateboard in the middle of my Viking campaign, and has the tag line "Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger." But I don't allow that character in my campaign. I choose to be polite and say "this character doesn't match the tone of the campaign." But the truth is that the player is just an [email protected]#hole who is disrespecting the narrative context and tone, and by extension disrespecting the people who got together to realize it.
    For me these two quotes are the heart of our disagreement. I simply do not equate wanting to create a barbarian who isn't a 100% stereotypical barbarian as being disruptive to absolutely anything. Regarding the tone argument - you're not objecting to how the character is being roleplayed though or their backstory. We're working on the assumption that the player is roleplaying an otherwise perfectly acceptable character. You just think they should be forced to play them as a different class because apparently we have classes so we can force people to roleplay them certain ways.

    According to you, would creating any character other than a barbarian be acceptable in your viking game? How about if I wanted to be from a nomadic tribe, love the wilderness and be uncomfortable in town... but want to play a fighter or a bard? Would I be told I had to play a barbarian or ranger instead? If anything, being more flexible is likely to allow players to fit much more easily into your campaign setting, otherwise any type of campaign immediately excludes a lot of archetypes. Campaign in a city? Sorry your ranger, barbarian and druid wouldn't be here. Oh your character has a personal reason to be here you say? Sorry nope, that would be against your archetype, roll up a wizard instead please. Actually scrap that the archetypal wizard would stay in his tower and hire some adventurers, roll up a fighter please. Wait, you want to use the solider background? Nope that means you're off at war roll up something else. And so on.

    It occurs to me on checking the bard description - bards have no mechanical connection to music in their rules anymore but are still described as such in the fluff section preceding (ala the issue at hand with barbarians). Would you force a player wanting to play a bard to play a musical instrument like you seem keen to foist barbarism on the barbarian? Would you tell them to play another class or just let them play a bard who doesn't play a musical instrument?

    You object to viewing the class as a collection of mechanics due to the loss of flavour - its the players job to give their character flavour, not the Players Handbook. You have done your job poorly if my memory is 'Oh yeah X played Hranth. He was a barbarian'. You have done your job well if my memory is 'Oh yeah X played Hranth who was this awesome burly dude with an eyepatch who loved headbutting people. Man this one time...'. The players handbook tries to encourage players (and giving thematic advice is one way it does that - another is the background system) but at the end of the day its up to the player to take those prompts and come up with a character for their character.
    Last edited by Contrast; 2017-03-18 at 01:33 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contrast View Post
    For me these two quotes are the heart of our disagreement. I simply do not equate wanting to create a barbarian who isn't a 100% stereotypical barbarian as being disruptive to absolutely anything.
    Neither do I. This is a separate issue.

    Regarding the tone argument - you're not objecting to how the character is being roleplayed though or their backstory. We're working on the assumption that the player is roleplaying an otherwise perfectly acceptable character. You just think they should be forced to play them as a different class because apparently we have classes so we can force people to roleplay them certain ways.
    No. The reason we have barbarians and rangers is because some people like the narrative differences to manifest mechanically. It is not so that you can select whichever class mechanics you like best and then re-fluff. If that was the intent the designers could have done things differently, such as not have classes to begin with, or give the classes names that don't carry connotations.

    According to you, would creating any character other than a barbarian be acceptable in your viking game?
    Yes.

    How about if I wanted to be from a nomadic tribe, love the wilderness and be uncomfortable in town... but want to play a fighter or a bard? Would I be told I had to play a barbarian or ranger instead?
    Nope.

    If anything, being more flexible is likely to allow players to fit much more easily into your campaign setting, otherwise any type of campaign immediately excludes a lot of archetypes. Campaign in a city? Sorry your ranger, barbarian and druid wouldn't be here. Oh your character has a personal reason to be here you say? Sorry nope, that would be against your archetype, roll up a wizard instead please. Actually scrap that the archetypal wizard would stay in his tower and hire some adventurers, roll up a fighter please. Wait, you want to use the solider background? Nope that means you're off at war roll up something else. And so on.
    You won't find disagreement, here. I'm not sure you understand my stance on this.

    It occurs to me on checking the bard description - bards have no mechanical connection to music in their rules anymore but are still described as such in the fluff section preceding (ala the issue at hand with barbarians). Would you force a player wanting to play a bard to play a musical instrument like you seem keen to foist barbarism on the barbarian? Would you tell them to play another class or just let them play a bard who doesn't play a musical instrument?
    The don't allow bards in most of my campaigns, but if I did I wouldn't force them to do anything. You're making the same mistake that reoccurs throughout this thread. I do not force characters to do anything. I just sometimes limit their choices. So, you're misrepresenting my stance when you say that I foist barbarism on barbarians.

    You object to viewing the class as a collection of mechanics due to the loss of flavour - its the players job to give their character flavour, not the Players Handbook.
    You've incorrectly represented my position, here. Also, I disagree. The Player's handbook could have been created with only two classes: fighter and wizard. Players could just pick one and fluff it however they like. But the designers of the game did not do this, and there's a lesson in that. I submit that it goes beyond simply adding variety (because variety can be added in other ways) and that it goes beyond simply honouring tradition (because class based systems are sometimes better than modular systems).

  8. - Top - End - #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    We're not talking about the meta-game, here. We're talking about the rules that govern the character's universe. There might not be a narrative difference between a raging fighter and a raging barbarian, but the mechanical differences (advantage on athletics, damage bonus) manifest in the narrative and become part of the reality for the character.

    When you try to completely separate mechanics from the narrative context, you are messing with this, and to some of us this matters. In fact, it matters to you, too. If it didn't, you wouldn't care if someone said "you can't be a barbarian based on your background. You must be a fighter," because (as you say) there would be no relevant difference in the game world. The answer to this, of course, is that "differences on your character sheet manifest differently in the narrative and do affect how your character is perceived in-game." So we would probably agree on this in the end.
    No-one is advocating to elimination of narrative. What the player is doing is doing the narrating himself rather than copy someone else's. It's a principle that is at the core of RPGs.

    The word comes from the Greeks referring to the Berbers.
    No, it comes from the fact that their languages sounded like "bar bar bar"; hence: 'barbarian'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast
    Here's another attempt to show you what I mean:

    A child walks into Baskin Robbins. There are 31 flavours of iced cream available. The child says "I want blue bubble gum." The clerk says "I'm sorry but we don't have blue bubble gum, you can't have blue bubble gum."

    Your claim: this is a denial of child's freedom because the child wants blue bubble gum, and you won't let him have it. He should have 100% total freedom over his actions, and he wants to eat blue bubble gum. The clerk is trying to control the child.

    My claim: this is not a denial of freedom, because the clerk is not saying: "you must eat pink bubble gum." The clerk is saying "you can still choose whatever you want, from what's available, but blue bubble gum is not available.
    A better analogy for the "no, your barbarian feels uncomfortable!" thing is this:-

    A child walks into Baskin Robbins. There are 31 flavours of iced cream available. The child says "I want blue bubble gum, it's my favourite flavour!"

    The clerk says "No, it is not. I decide what your favourite flavour is, not you! How dare you attempt to ruin my ice cream store with your special snowflake favourite flavour! Other patrons can have blue bubble gum as their favourite flavour, but you can't because I read something once that said kids like chocolate flavour, you're a kid, so the rules are that chocolate is your favourite flavour. Stop trying to wreck my happy ice cream store!

    It's all about lines of demarcation. In RPGs, both the player and DM can collaborate on the game world and the game rules if they want, but the final say belongs to the DM, no doubt about it. The DM is in charge of everything in his game world....except the PCs.

    The player and DM can collaborate on the background and personality and rules about character creation, if they want. It's a good idea. But the final say about non-rules stuff (like personality) belongs to the player.

    The player says that his PC's favourite colour is blue. The DM says no, your PC's favourite colour is red. There is no idea space available in my game world that allows for people with class levels in barbarian to have blue as their favourite colour, and you are trying to spoil my game!

  10. - Top - End - #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    A better analogy for the "no, your barbarian feels uncomfortable!" thing is this:-

    A child walks into Baskin Robbins. There are 31 flavours of iced cream available. The child says "I want blue bubble gum, it's my favourite flavour!"

    The clerk says "No, it is not. I decide what your favourite flavour is, not you! How dare you attempt to ruin my ice cream store with your special snowflake favourite flavour! Other patrons can have blue bubble gum as their favourite flavour, but you can't because I read something once that said kids like chocolate flavour, you're a kid, so the rules are that chocolate is your favourite flavour. Stop trying to wreck my happy ice cream store!

    It's all about lines of demarcation. In RPGs, both the player and DM can collaborate on the game world and the game rules if they want, but the final say belongs to the DM, no doubt about it. The DM is in charge of everything in his game world....except the PCs.

    The player and DM can collaborate on the background and personality and rules about character creation, if they want. It's a good idea. But the final say about non-rules stuff (like personality) belongs to the player.

    The player says that his PC's favourite colour is blue. The DM says no, your PC's favourite colour is red. There is no idea space available in my game world that allows for people with class levels in barbarian to have blue as their favourite colour, and you are trying to spoil my game!
    Not to speak with any kind of authority for BurgerBeast, but you just made the same reversal that everyone else is making. You assume the GM/table is dictating what must be as opposed to what must not be.

    This is reminding me of my college logic class with Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens and all that.

    Edit: I should add that I don't feel strongly about the core topic, but that I am very interested in the logic and the portrayal of viewpoints, and that I think that BurgerBeast has the best constructed argument so far.
    Last edited by pwykersotz; 2017-03-18 at 10:47 AM.
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    Just two quick points.

    1. I could easily see a tribal barbarian being uncomfortable in cities as the dangers, customs and acceptable responses would be alien to him "What's the problem? He hit me with a chair, I cut his head off. If he wasn't ready to fight he shouldn't have started one". But, given time and experience this would wear off. He might always be more comfortable squatting in the woods, but that doesn't mean he will never be comfortable in a fortified city. I think it's more likely the city folk will always be uncomfortable with him.

    2. I've been in a lot of major cities around the world and I've yet to see one that doesn't have groups that could reasonably be called barbarian tribes, in the city but clearly separate from the society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    Second: it's how your character feels. It has essentially no consequence.
    I rarely say it, but this deserves it. That is bullsh*t. Completely, utterly, and without question. It may be minor, but it has consequence.

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    First: it's not the entirety of the choice. Being told that you feel uncomfortable is does not describe the entirety of your character's feelings at any given moment. I've explained this.
    No, uncomfortable doesn’t describe everything, but it sure is pretty darn limiting ain’t it? I can’t be happy, I can’t be joyful, I can’t be peaceful, I can’t be secure, I can’t be casual.

    But you see, that isn’t how the phrase is used. That is an effect of the phrase. You keep saying that the rule doesn’t tell us what we have to do, only what we can’t do. But you are wrong. It tells us we must be uncomfortable, that has weight, that has meaning, that has consequence.

    Can I buy a weapon while uncomfortable? Sure, but I probably won’t haggle the price because I’m uncomfortable and want to leave as soon as possible.

    Can I go to a party while uncomfortable? Sure, but I probably won’t mingle and make connections because I instead want the event to be over so I can leave as soon as possible. Or perhaps I’d find an excuse and leave early, not staying out the entire night.


    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    No, it's because people can act like they are comfortable when they are uncomfortable. This is what it means to be mature or professional. You can be filled with hatred and still behave with dignity.

    Anyway, we all have different degrees of maturity. Part of social norms is to act comfortably even we're not comfortable. I realize that special snowflakes care more about themselves than social norms, but that's sort of the point. If you show this outwardly, you're immature.
    This has absolutely nothing to do with the conversation, and is offensively phrased. I don’t disagree that people can mask their emotions to a degree, but if you know someone you can tell at least half the time. And this has nothing to do with maturity. At all.

    If a person is uncomfortable, they try and end the state that is making them uncomfortable. They might avoid a certain person, leave a situation as soon as possible, or react in any number of ways, but they will attempt to go from a state of feeling badly into a state of feeling good, because that is how people work,

    Yes, with significant enough reasons a person can “tough it out” but they will still find the earliest opportunity to change the situation to make themselves comfortable. This is pretty inherent in the terms we are using right now, so I don’t see how this matters at all to the point.


    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    So why don't you just control your mental state? Oh, yeah... because it's subject to external factors... just like a barbarian character's mental state in a narrative story about said character. So, just like you can't control your own mental state, neither can the barbarian character, which helps with suspension of disbelief.
    Okay, so now we have to talk about the difference between real life and making a character in a game.

    When you sit down at the table does the DM tell you “You are a tiefling born to a cultist wheat farmer named Jon. He was abusive to you and your mother, who was named Clara, and eventually due to infernal influences he was able to become mayor of your small town. However, the church learned of his actions and an inquisition rolled through, killing your mother and father and imprisoning you”

    If he does, then that’s like real life, where you don’t get to choose your parents, the events in the world around you, how you were raised, or really much of anything else.

    If he doesn’t, that’s because you are playing a game where those life decisions are not made for you because you are crafting a character.


    Being told what my character feels, especially if it has zero connection to my mental image of my character, does not help with suspension of disbelief, in fact it harms it significantly.

    If I’m playing a cleric who came from a monastery, and I decide my character wants to catalogue other religions. Then the DM describes for us this primitive religious ritual with dance and fire and singing done naked in the moonlight and I’m thinking “my character would be fascinated by this. It is so different from the dusty religion he grew up with, it’s passionate and wild and he’s starting to think about how to bring a piece of that passion back to his church” and my DM says “You are disgusted by this display of barbarism that is so far removed from the serene practices of your own church” then my suspension is broken. I’m being told that I feel one way, while my character’s experiences are telling me that he would probably feel a different way.

    Sure, it could be both, I could resolve the difference and let the DM tell me how I feel, maybe I’ll even be surprised by the DM’s assertion and realize that that reaction is part of it as well, but I’m out of character at that point, I’ve been thrown out of the magic of the scene by considering how to resolve this difference.

    Our emotional reactions are based on outside stimulus. A person who is scared of dogs because they were mauled as a child has no choice in that aspect of their lives, they will be scared of dogs, but since the DM should never be telling me who my parents are, how I became an adventurer and what events shaped my life without my participation in that discussion, they also cannot tell me I am scared of dogs because I was mauled as a child. They do not get to make those decisions.


    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    This is, in a nutshell, special snowflake syndrome. Your character is the sum total of the actions and events that take place at the table. Even your backstory is meaningless until it manifests at the table. The only place any of it matters is in the head of the player until it enters the game.
    When I made my Half-Orc fighter soldier, I placed in his inventory a Goblin Dagger. I got it from the starting equipment section for the trophy from an enemy. I decided that he got that dagger during a battle against a hobgoblin led unit. That the particular goblin had jumped out of hiding and shanked him, nearly killing him, and that he kept the dagger both because of his superstitious belief in weapons having “the names” of the person they are meant to kill compelling him to try and gather the weapons that nearly kill him, and the reminder that even the smallest blade is deadly, to help tie into his “philosophy of the blade” which is the core of his belief using the “samurai” class which was the school of fighting he grew up with under his father.

    Once that dagger was in my inventory, that backstory entered the game. Now, I sent all this to my DM (along with other things) and he never mentioned any of it as conflicting with his view of the world. In fact, he also didn’t mind me being the son of a happily married human adventurers and orc woman, or my half-orc being an officer in the army before being put on reserve and becoming a mercenary.

    My dislike of goblins has also subtly manifested, we’ve fought a few goblin bandit groups, and my character has been harsher towards them than towards a lot of other enemies. Though I don’t think my companions have noticed that small detail yet.

    All of these factors have entered the game world. All of them have tied into an action I have taken or the items in my inventory. I decided all of it, sent it to my DM so they would be aware of it, and I may have been willing to talk out points with them if they had wanted to. But they did not.

    My backstory as an officer in the military also got tied back to three other people’s backstories since we were collaborating to a degree, bringing those into the table space as well.

    Yes, anything that has not been explicitly stated could be open to change, but once you have enough anchors buried into a story, it can’t move much without creating problems. And my decision making process is first filtered through my character’s backstory and experiences, which would make it rather difficult to go back and change certain things, since they have already been quietly active in the story, just not front and center.

    I also reject the entire concept of “special snowflakes” in these sort of discussions. There are disruptive characters and non-disruptive characters. Trying to play a character from the future is disruptive, as is trying to play a barbarian who is uncomfortable with cities, and therefore decides to smash them like he does other things that make him uncomfortable. The desire to be interesting or different is not necessarily going to lead to disruptive behaviors.

    As to the Wizard, I was simply responding to your example. A culture with zero language is different than a culture with zero written language which is different that a culture with no way to record ideas into a permanent media. We have cave drawings from Neaderthals which represent great hunts. To be at a level where there is no way to record any idea is extreme and unlikely.

    I will also point out, that a traditional book is just a formatting choice. Unless the books are magical choosing to write in a book with letters is no different than writing on bones with pictograms. The signs on the material are symbols that represent ideas, they are a tool. If a fighter can choose their personal favored tool for doing their job, a wizard should be able to do the same.

    Very few players are even going to attempt this, and if they did, frankly I’d find it more interesting than going down the well-tread path of wizarding that we’ve seen before. I haven’t detailed every savage tribe in my setting, I don’t think even the Forgotten Realms is so heavily detailed that a place couldn’t easily be found for a savage tribe with arcane practices.

    After all, by your own admission, until it happens at the table it isn’t real. If you have never taken your group to those particular plains then nothing is there, the world doesn’t change, it just gets revealed.


    And to tie this back to the discussion of themes within the classes, the more restrictive those themes are Wizards must only use traditional books, Barbarians must be uncomfortable in cities, ect, the more you say no before the question is even asked. That seems backwards. You leave it open, consider it, and then decide. I had a world where nature had gone primal and hated everyone, and druidic magic was nearly gone. In fact, only a single elven family had it, and in secret, to help provide food to the tower city.

    Then a player wanted to multi-class into Druid. I told him the setting made it difficult if not impossible but I would find a way to work with him. I’m very glad I did, because the events that have cascaded from how we made it work have been a boon to my campaign, and leave the door open for certain aspects of this world to be explored where they might have been more difficult before that.

    My setting wasn’t altered to be something else, it was deepened to be a more complex and interesting world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    No-one is advocating to elimination of narrative. What the player is doing is doing the narrating himself rather than copy someone else's. It's a principle that is at the core of RPGs.
    I completely agree, except for the bit about the player advocating narrating himself. I also advocate for players narrating themselves. This isn't the issue.

    No, it comes from the fact that their languages sounded like "bar bar bar"; hence: 'barbarian'.
    Yes. And "Bar bar bar" came to be Ber ber or Berber and sometimes, in the specific case of where they came from, even Berbera or Berberia and the people from them were were referred to as Barbarians (from the land of Ber ber ber) in the same may that I am referred to as Canadian. Check this out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    A better analogy for the "no, your barbarian feels uncomfortable!" thing is this:-
    No that's not better analogy for my stance. That's an analogy for the straw man stance that everyone keeps repeating, in place of my actual stance.

    It's all about lines of demarcation. In RPGs, both the player and DM can collaborate on the game world and the game rules if they want, but the final say belongs to the DM, no doubt about it. The DM is in charge of everything in his game world....except the PCs.
    Good. The only difference, for me, is that the DM has some control over the PCs. For example, the minute a PC turns in evil in my campaigns (through action or magic), I remove the character from the player's control. That is very high degree of control, and it's totally fine.

    The player and DM can collaborate on the background and personality and rules about character creation, if they want. It's a good idea. But the final say about non-rules stuff (like personality) belongs to the player.
    It's really not collaborating when one person has more authority - but that's a nit-pick. I'm not being argumentative when I say that I do not think this is a good idea. Generally, the more exceptions a players asks for, the more "special snowflake" he is, and even if he isn't, it just opens the door for more misunderstandings between the player and the DM, with higher stakes because the investment is higher.

    The player says that his PC's favourite colour is blue. The DM says no, your PC's favourite colour is red. There is no idea space available in my game world that allows for people with class levels in barbarian to have blue as their favourite colour, and you are trying to spoil my game!
    Well, you've said two different things here:

    "The DM says no, your PC's favourite colour is red." - this is a major problem, as has rightly been pointed out by many people. But that's also why I've never advocated it (which many people seem to misunderstand). When the DM says "your PC's favourite colour is red" he has crossed a line.

    "There is no idea space available in my game world that allows for people with class levels in barbarian to have blue as their favourite colour," - this is different. The DM is not deciding for you, in this case. He is merely limiting the available choices. Hey, he might even have a good reason. This is why it would be better to just ask/clarify than to become indignant.

    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    Not to speak with any kind of authority for BurgerBeast, but you just made the same reversal that everyone else is making. You assume the GM/table is dictating what must be as opposed to what must not be.

    This is reminding me of my college logic class with Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens and all that.

    Edit: I should add that I don't feel strongly about the core topic, but that I am very interested in the logic and the portrayal of viewpoints, and that I think that BurgerBeast has the best constructed argument so far.
    Well, you've represented me properly, so thanks for that. I actually don't feel very strongly about this specfic topic, either. Regardless, what's right is still what's right. Beyond this, though, this same mentality that has been shown throughout this thread of reversing my arguments (seeming inadvertently, but with disproportionate conviction and emotional investment), is quite literally destroying our society. It's just happening at a lag, so it's hard to notice. (How's that for dramatic?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    Just two quick points.

    1. I could easily see a tribal barbarian being uncomfortable in cities as the dangers, customs and acceptable responses would be alien to him "What's the problem? He hit me with a chair, I cut his head off. If he wasn't ready to fight he shouldn't have started one". But, given time and experience this would wear off. He might always be more comfortable squatting in the woods, but that doesn't mean he will never be comfortable in a fortified city. I think it's more likely the city folk will always be uncomfortable with him.
    Yes, I understand this. But I would say that is, to at least a small degree, disingenuous to the Barbarian Class. So any typical barbarian could fit the exact mould you've described. But if you want to be the particular type of barbarian that has the mechanical class, you're not a typical barbarian. You're the embodiment of the tribal values of an entire fantasy people. One of the trade-offs you make, for gaining all of the mechanical abilities that come from the barbarian class (as opposed to fighter or rogue) is that you buy-in to this.

    Spoiler: From the PHB
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    These barbarians, different as they might be, are defined by their rage: unbridled, unquenchable, and unthinking fury. More than a mere emotion, their anger is the ferocity of a cornered predator, the unrelenting assault of a storm, the churning turmoil of the sea. (PHB 46)
    These barbarians are defined by their rage. You need to buy into that if you're making a barbarian. It's the definition of these barbarians - the ones with the barbarian class.

    Further, rage is defined as "unbridled, unquenchable, and unthinking fury." So, for those players who want to re-fluff the barbarian's rage as a sort of meditative trance or battle rhythm, you are not being true to the theme of the barbarian. I'm cool with it, and quite like the idea, but the collective class (edit: taken in its entirety) doesn't support it very well because the mechanical class was built on the premise that rage is something different.

    Now here's the thing: If you are truly buying-in, and not just picking up the mechanical benefits because you like them and want to ignore the rest, then how do you reconcile the fact that you are defined by "unquenchable, unthinking fury" with "being comfortable in cities?" You can't. So, you really like the mechanical benefits of the barbarian but you don't want to be restricted by the flavour limitations.

    My suggestion: then don't take the class. Do the mature thing, and understand that you don't want to adhere to the limitations of the class, and therefore shouldn't take the class. Make a barbarian that has a different class.

    Do not: take the class anyway, insist that it is purely mechanical, and completely ignore the fact that the barbarian class comes with baggage. This is going against the spirit of the game.

    For added context: there were, at some point, various rules around berserkers that caused them to inadvertently enter their rage, and be unable to stop. The designers understood that this would be a good way to mechanically represent the unpredictability and lack of control over rages. They could've done it here, and then players would essentially be forced to be uncomfortable in cities. As times have changed, the designers realized that this takes away a lot of the freedom a player has over their character. So they changed the rules to give the player control over their rages, which is a nice gesture to the people who like the class.

    But as is usually the case when you cater to special snowflakes, it's never enough. It's not enough that players of the berserker archetype were given more control. You must have whatever you want whenever you want it, exactly as you want it, and if anyone tries to impose even the most minor restriction, you cry "you're controlling me!"

    And I'm not even really opposed to this, except that you are acting without realizing the consequences. You see, once you ultimately accomplish the goal, the barbarian is not a barbarian anymore. It's just a UA fighter variant. And then themes are divorced from mechanics. Once you get what you are pushing for, you'll realize that you never actually wanted it.

    Now, I understand that some of you will throw my "overreactions and jumping to conclusions" backing my face, here. But this is actually different. The reason I say this is because we're not actually debating about barbarians and city walls, here. We're debating the notion that other people, or stories, or mechanical structures, sort rules, can justifiably restrict your behaviour. And some people simply won't accept any restrictions on their behaviour. We have words for them.


    2. I've been in a lot of major cities around the world and I've yet to see one that doesn't have groups that could reasonably be called barbarian tribes, in the city but clearly separate from the society.
    They may be barbarian tribes, but none of them have the barbarian class.

    @MadBear: your post deserves a response, and I've been meaning to get to it. I will, so sorry about ignoring it for so long.
    Last edited by BurgerBeast; 2017-03-18 at 12:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    Edit: I should add that I don't feel strongly about the core topic, but that I am very interested in the logic and the portrayal of viewpoints, and that I think that BurgerBeast has the best constructed argument so far.
    Don't make the mistake of believing someone just because they make a good case; sometimes a good case can still turn out wrong. A well constructed argument is not necessarily any more correct than a well presented or charismatic oration. It might sound good and even make a certain logical sense; you may even want it to be the truth, but that doesn't make it right. I could, for example, put forth an eloquent and well referenced argument that the earth is in fact flat and not a sphere...but I'd still be wrong (probably). Some of the smartest and most revolutionary thinkers in history have been the least convincing and many of the most convincing people in history have been so entirely wrong.

    Jus' sayin'.

    Tl;dr - Charisma =/= Intelligence
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    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Don't make the mistake of believing someone just because they make a good case; sometimes a good case can still turn out wrong.
    No doubt, but this is dangerous territory you're wandering into. Regardless of the fact that a well-reasoned case could be wrong, it is still true that the more well-reasoned the argument and the more supporting evidence there is, the more likely it is to be true.

    If you take the view that "well, you could still be wrong" in combination with "quality of reasoning does't matter"... you're basically arguing against reason.

    A well constructed argument is not necessarily any more correct than a well presented or charismatic oration.
    Well, you care correct: it is not necessarily more correct. It's just immensely more likely to be correct. See the Gorgias by Plato for a discussion on the differences between rhetoric and dialectic, or in his terms/examples: the arts versus the flatteries.

    It might sound good and even make a certain logical sense; you may even want it to be the truth, but that doesn't make it right. I could, for example, put forth an eloquent and well referenced argument that the earth is in fact flat and not a sphere...but I'd still be wrong (probably).
    No, this is really the point. You can't put forth a well-referenced argument that the earth is flat. Not unless we disagree on what well-referenced means.

    Some of the smartest and most revolutionary thinkers in history have been the least convincing and many of the most convincing people in history have been so entirely wrong.

    Jus' sayin'.

    Tl;dr - Charisma =/= Intelligence
    This really has nothing to do with what we're talking about. You've said two things here, and both are true. But the first is really something that most people are very aware of already, and the second (Charisma =/= Intelligence) has very little bearing on this conversation, because, even acknowledging that Charisma can come through in written text, it very rarely does and very rarely to a high degree. It's one of the better qualities (in my opinion) of online forums.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Don't make the mistake of believing someone just because they make a good case; sometimes a good case can still turn out wrong. A well constructed argument is not necessarily any more correct than a well presented or charismatic oration. It might sound good and even make a certain logical sense; you may even want it to be the truth, but that doesn't make it right. I could, for example, put forth an eloquent and well referenced argument that the earth is in fact flat and not a sphere...but I'd still be wrong (probably). Some of the smartest and most revolutionary thinkers in history have been the least convincing and many of the most convincing people in history have been so entirely wrong.

    Jus' sayin'.

    Tl;dr - Charisma =/= Intelligence
    You're right of course, a logical argument isn't necessarily a valid one. And Chaosmancer raised some interesting counterpoints. A limitation can sometimes do things like break immersion and feel heavy handed. The thing is that I don't see this as some sort of cardinal sin.

    When the GM tells me I feel calm at the peaceful serenity of the vista, even if I wasn't feeling calm before, I have my character play it out. If I'm told that the torrent of fire before me is terrifying, it doesn't matter if I'm a Phoenix Sorcerer and can make bigger fires, that fire is freaking scary, and that's okay. Sure, it temporarily breaks my immersion, but I recalibrate and come back to the scenario much more in step with the tone that the GM is setting.

    At a tabletop game, we don't have complex visuals and other sensory stimuli to work with. We just have our imaginations, and while powerful, they are limited. So some top-down calibrations can really help the table gel. That includes being told how I feel by the master of the world. And I also feel free to ask the GM "Hey, I can make fires bigger than this. Am I really scared?" And then I abide by the answer I'm given.

    Because of this, I find it rather silly that people saying that varying degrees of imposition on their characters beliefs and feelings is always wrong. Or always right. The difference between most of the arguments here and BurgerBeast's (and a few others) is that he has taken a nuanced view that recognizes that there can be value to that imposition. He's not saying it must happen or that it must not happen, just that it does not rob a player of meaningful choice, and that it can be an asset to the game. (Again, my paraphrasing here.)

    Like Tanarii, I see value in the fluff, and see it as an endorsement of the default world.
    Like BurgerBeast, I see that depriving the character or player of a single choice is not depriving them of all choices.
    Like many who wish they were writers, I see value in placing artificial limits on our imaginations to encourage creativity, and I see that it is often boring and encourages laziness to have no limits.
    And again like BurgerBeast, I see a lot more passion than thought being used in this thread. It's cool to vie for one-true-way complete (or for those who have accepted some limitations, semi-complete) character control. I have my gaming matters I feel strongly about as well. But misunderstanding the opposing point is regrettable and worth correcting.
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    @BurgerBeast:

    Although my previous post was indirectly aimed at you, it applies to both sides of this debate. There have been good arguments on both sides, but that doesn't mean either is right. Nor that either is wrong. One of the nice things about the subject, which is also the frustration of debating it, is that what is "right" will depend heavily on who is playing. Unlike the rules, which are clearly spelled out, this discussion is debating something that is, after all's said and done, a matter of opinion.

    It's ok for a player to feel a certain frustration at a GM enforcing roleplaying restrictions, just as much as it's ok for a GM to feel the same frustration at a player who wants to play a bit looser with the setting and is throwing the toys out of the pram over it. So long as everyone is mature and willing to discuss the subject, even bend a little if need be, all's well. It's when someone, either GM or Player, refuses to compromise that problems emerge and it's there that the original post by ad_hoc (and those advocating the same position) comes across as unfavourable...it's an inflexible stance in a game that's inherently intended to be at least somewhat flexible.

    I'm not saying that insisting Barbarians must be uncomfortable in cities is wrong; in the right campaign it can be the right call, as much as insisting that Sorcerers must all be from the nobility can be the right call in a given campaign. Insisting that all Barbarians in all campaigns must; that's where the line gets crossed.

    To weigh in with my own opinion on the subject; it's not a "house rule" to divorce the Barbarian from the suggested roleplaying implications of the Class because those suggestions are just that; suggestions. If they weren't, then every character would be a mish-mash of conflicting personalities and stereotypes as, for example, every Fighter wears plate armour and a shield whilst simultaneously wearing studded leather and wielding a bow as well as attempting to be a knight, an overlord, a royal champion, a mercenary and a bandit, all at once.

    Not to mention however the Class suggestions might conflict with a characters Background. How do we reconcile the Barbarian with the Urchin? One states a character from the wilderness, uncomfortable in the city, the other that the character grew up on those same city streets. Without divorcing the Barbarian from his "Class Fluff" we can't give him the Urchin Background (or perhaps vice versa) and no rule prohibits such a combination; only the campaign setting and/or GM might...which would be considered a rule specific to that campaign/table and as such would be the exception to the norm; i.e. that the "Class fluff" isn't a hard and fast rule. It might, perhaps, be the "norm" for members of that Class, but aren't PCs supposed to be (in most cases) the exceptions to that norm?

    Edit: my apologies if I'm repeating anything that's already been covered; I'll admit to skipping a few pages...
    Last edited by JellyPooga; 2017-03-18 at 02:50 PM.
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    @Burgerbeast, I think you missed my points. My points were 1. people change, grow and adapt, and so should characters. and 2. It isn't really the walls that define a barbarian, it's the rejection of civilized society. A barbarian new in his first city may well find it far more comfortable to hang with the homeless. "These people I understand!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    Good. The only difference, for me, is that the DM has some control over the PCs.
    This I can agree with.

    The disagreement comes with where the limits of that control are and how strict the control is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    The don't allow bards in most of my campaigns, but if I did I wouldn't force them to do anything. You're making the same mistake that reoccurs throughout this thread. I do not force characters to do anything. I just sometimes limit their choices. So, you're misrepresenting my stance when you say that I foist barbarism on barbarians.
    So for clarity, you don't force anyone to do anything. If I turned up with a character using the barbarian class from the city or tried to roleplay a barbarian otherwise comfortable in the city I would just be...strongly encouraged to change my class/character concept or asked politely to leave?

    Apologies as I'm not quite sure what I'm misinterpreting - you were the one who compared turning up to a game with a barbarian city thug as being equivilent to turning up with a character called Bart Simpson on a skateboard and described such players as *******s and disrespectful.
    Last edited by Contrast; 2017-03-18 at 09:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contrast View Post
    So for clarity, you don't force anyone to do anything. If I turned up with a character using the barbarian class from the city or tried to roleplay a barbarian otherwise comfortable in the city I would just be...strongly encouraged to change my class/character concept or asked politely to leave?

    Apologies as I'm not quite sure what I'm misinterpreting - you were the one who compared turning up to a game with a barbarian city thug as being equivilent to turning up with a character called Bart Simpson on a skateboard and described such players as *******s and disrespectful.
    The difference they are espousing (as best as I understand it) is this:

    They do not tell you you must do A
    They tell you cannot do B


    Where I struggle with this semantic interpretation though is that A and B are opposites. Therefore being unable to do B means you must do A

    To use something other than lettters

    "I'm not telling you must stay awake, I'm telling you you cannot fall asleep"

    Of course, I will probably be told this is an inaccurate portrayal or a bad analogy, but it is how I can best explain the distinction as I understand it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    @BurgerBeast:

    Although my previous post was indirectly aimed at you, it applies to both sides of this debate. There have been good arguments on both sides, but that doesn't mean either is right. Nor that either is wrong. One of the nice things about the subject, which is also the frustration of debating it, is that what is "right" will depend heavily on who is playing. Unlike the rules, which are clearly spelled out, this discussion is debating something that is, after all's said and done, a matter of opinion.
    I'm not trying to be argumentative when I say that I disagree with some of this. I don't think that what is "right" depends on who is playing, ever. But I recognize that we probably mean different things. My sense is that, given time to have a proper discussion, we'd agree on most things or at least respect each other's opinions.

    Without getting deeper into the issue, the word "subjective" is often used incorrectly to describe things that are "qualitatively objective," and I think that's what has happened here.

    It's ok for a player to feel a certain frustration at a GM enforcing roleplaying restrictions, just as much as it's ok for a GM to feel the same frustration at a player who wants to play a bit looser with the setting and is throwing the toys out of the pram over it. So long as everyone is mature and willing to discuss the subject, even bend a little if need be, all's well. It's when someone, either GM or Player, refuses to compromise that problems emerge and it's there that the original post by ad_hoc (and those advocating the same position) comes across as unfavourable...it's an inflexible stance in a game that's inherently intended to be at least somewhat flexible.
    Again, I mostly agree, but I would guess that I place far less value in compromise than you do. I think compromise is over-rated and most instances of compromise lead to worse games.

    I'm not saying that insisting Barbarians must be uncomfortable in cities is wrong; in the right campaign it can be the right call, as much as insisting that Sorcerers must all be from the nobility can be the right call in a given campaign. Insisting that all Barbarians in all campaigns must; that's where the line gets crossed.
    Well, yeah. That's where these discussions get weird. It would never occur to me to tell people they have to play my way, but I have every right to tell them what I think about how they play, if they ask (or broadcast it to a public audience).

    To weigh in with my own opinion on the subject; it's not a "house rule" to divorce the Barbarian from the suggested roleplaying implications of the Class because those suggestions are just that; suggestions. If they weren't, then every character would be a mish-mash of conflicting personalities and stereotypes as, for example, every Fighter wears plate armour and a shield whilst simultaneously wearing studded leather and wielding a bow as well as attempting to be a knight, an overlord, a royal champion, a mercenary and a bandit, all at once.
    Here we disagree. I don't think they are suggestions any more than the mechanics are suggestions, for example. Also, I don't think it leads down the rabbit hole you've presented here.

    Not to mention however the Class suggestions might conflict with a characters Background. How do we reconcile the Barbarian with the Urchin? One states a character from the wilderness, uncomfortable in the city, the other that the character grew up on those same city streets. Without divorcing the Barbarian from his "Class Fluff" we can't give him the Urchin Background (or perhaps vice versa) and no rule prohibits such a combination; only the campaign setting and/or GM might...which would be considered a rule specific to that campaign/table and as such would be the exception to the norm; i.e. that the "Class fluff" isn't a hard and fast rule. It might, perhaps, be the "norm" for members of that Class, but aren't PCs supposed to be (in most cases) the exceptions to that norm?
    I disagree somewhat, here, too. To start with, one should recognize the conflict presented by the Barbarian Class and the Urchin Background. It stands to reason that a Barbarian Urchin requires more explaining than a Barbarian Outlander. This is not a straightjacket. It's just an understanding of the Urchin and the Barbarian, an acceptance of what they are, and the respect to realize that there is some conflict there to overcome. And a part of this is, as a player, realizing that in some contexts (as you have pointed out), some Class/Backgrounds will be irreconcilable and the answer given by the DM will have to be no. To take it further, it may even be fair to allow the combo to one player, but not to another, because, for example, one character's tribe is compatible but the other's is not.

    Doubtless, there is a special snowflake out there who will take umbridge with the fairness comment. Regardless, it is fair. It is not a case of treating characters differently. This is because, if any player makes the same choices, they will get the same treatment. It's the choices, not the particular player, that determine the result.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    @Burgerbeast, I think you missed my points. My points were 1. people change, grow and adapt, and so should characters. and 2. It isn't really the walls that define a barbarian, it's the rejection of civilized society. A barbarian new in his first city may well find it far more comfortable to hang with the homeless. "These people I understand!"
    1. No duh
    2. I don't see any reason to disagree with this. "More comfortable" does not imply comfort. Some supermodels are "more ugly" than others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Contrast View Post
    So for clarity, you don't force anyone to do anything. If I turned up with a character using the barbarian class from the city or tried to roleplay a barbarian otherwise comfortable in the city I would just be...strongly encouraged to change my class/character concept or asked politely to leave?
    First, I don't necessarily enforce the specific rule that is the topic of this thread. I say that only to be clear, not to dismiss your question. So, assuming that I did enforce the uncomfortable Barbarian:

    That's right. I'm sorry that you don't see the difference, but you don't. See, I never forced you to make that character. You chose to do that. If you had asked me, I'd have told you it wasn't allowed. Your choice, your actions, the consequences if which are on you. Own up and take responsibility, and do it right this time if you want to play. Next!

    Apologies as I'm not quite sure what I'm misinterpreting - you were the one who compared turning up to a game with a barbarian city thug as being equivilent to turning up with a character called Bart Simpson on a skateboard and described such players as *******s and disrespectful.
    I never made that comparison. It's very apparent to me that you will not understand this, but I didn't. I offered the Bart Simpson as a different example. That is not the same, no matter how much you think it is.

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    So, 8 pages in we still have two views. One side sees the mechanics as the rules and the fluff as helpful suggestions. The other side sees the mechanics and the fluff both as rules. I think the only thing we can agree on is that everyone should agree on a norm for the table, and if they can't accept a particular table's norm, find another table.
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    Without getting deeper into the issue, the word "subjective" is often used incorrectly to describe things that are "qualitatively objective," and I think that's what has happened here.
    I am unfamiliar with the phrase "qualitatively objective". How are you defining it?

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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Xetheral View Post
    I am unfamiliar with the phrase "qualitatively objective". How are you defining it?
    Just both qualitative and objective.

    People often confuse absolute/relative, quantitative/qualitative, and objective/subjective.

    It often underlies semantic disagreements over the various types of opinions and their appropriate weights. It can be helpful to consider where a concept fits on each scale before considering how to approach it.

    As an example, when people dismiss the grade given to them by an English professor as "subjective," they're almost always wrong.

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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    So, 8 pages in we still have two views. One side sees the mechanics as the rules and the fluff as helpful suggestions. The other side sees the mechanics and the fluff both as rules. I think the only thing we can agree on is that everyone should agree on a norm for the table, and if they can't accept a particular table's norm, find another table.
    In my opinion this is a misrepresentation of the disagreement.

    Two my understanding, the two camps are:

    1. People who think players have or ought to have 100% control over their own character's thoughts, feelings, and actions, under any and all circumstances, as a basic tenet of D&D, and if they do not they are being treated unjustly
    2. People who disagree

    The fluff/mechanics dispute doesn't seem to necessarily match up with this, as the views on fluff/mechanics seem more diverse among the camps, and both camps seem less "dug-in" on this issue.

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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    Not to speak with any kind of authority for BurgerBeast, but you just made the same reversal that everyone else is making. You assume the GM/table is dictating what must be as opposed to what must not be.
    He's saying that PCs with levels in barbarian:-

    * ARE uncomfortable with city walls (dictating what MUST be)

    AND

    * saying that there is no idea space that allows for such PCs that ARE comfortable with city walls (dictating what CANNOT be in official D&D 5E games, unless they houserule)

    So he is dictating both what must be and what must not be.

    In my first example he dictated both that the kid must not have blue bubble gum as his favourite flavour, AND dictating that it must be chocolate.

    In my second example he dictated that my barbarian PC must not have blue as his favourite colour, and dictated that it must be red.

    What difference are you seeing that I'm not?

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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    No that's not better analogy for my stance. That's an analogy for the straw man stance that everyone keeps repeating, in place of my actual stance.
    Your stance, according to your posts, is that PCs with levels in barbarian MUST be uncomfortable within city walls, AND that there is no idea space which allows for PCs with levels in barbarian to be comfortable within city walls, AND that these are 'rules' just as much as the rule that barbarians hit die is a d12.

    If that is not your stance, let us know.

    Good. The only difference, for me, is that the DM has some control over the PCs. For example, the minute a PC turns in evil in my campaigns (through action or magic), I remove the character from the player's control. That is very high degree of control, and it's totally fine.
    That's not the same thing. The DM can decide the consequences for what the player chose to do, but the DM cannot choose for the PCs to act a certain way (sans magic) because it's the player who makes those choices.

    The problem we are having is that you are making those choices (how the PC feels) that belong to the player, not the DM.

    It's really not collaborating when one person has more authority - but that's a nit-pick. I'm not being argumentative when I say that I do not think this is a good idea. Generally, the more exceptions a players asks for, the more "special snowflake" he is, and even if he isn't, it just opens the door for more misunderstandings between the player and the DM, with higher stakes because the investment is higher.
    If a player creates an urchin barbarian who was brought up in a city and has no problem with walls, he is not 'asking for an exception to the rules' because that is a completely rules-legal choice!

    You've mentioned that 'the rules' say that Rage is the core ability of the barbarian character class. Not every member of a barbarian culture will have levels in the barbarian class, only those warriors who embrace that rage.

    Cool. No argument here.

    All a player needs to do to justify realising his character concept using the barbarian class is to explain how the Rage is embraced at the core of his character. Being a member of a barbarian tribe is not a requirement! Being brought up outside a city is not a requirement. The only requirement is that the Rage makes sense for this character.

    My latest PC is a Scourge Aasimar, the kind that is full of fury and hates evil and can burn with radiant energy which consumes anyone within 10 feet including the aasimar, including himself. That's where my Rage makes sense for this level 3 Berserker barbarian noble background aasimar. Aasimar are born to human parents, and his noble parents took his birth as a blessing. Note that I chose the Berserker path because it better represents the Rage AND because I felt that choosing an animal totem was inappropriate for someone who is very definitely not from a barbarian culture.

    Why would my PC be afraid of walls?

    If you want to limit yourself to stereotypes, you can; they have their place. But it is simply untrue that the rules of 5E allow only stereotypes as PCs!

    Well, you've said two different things here:

    "The DM says no, your PC's favourite colour is red." - this is a major problem, as has rightly been pointed out by many people. But that's also why I've never advocated it (which many people seem to misunderstand). When the DM says "your PC's favourite colour is red" he has crossed a line.

    "There is no idea space available in my game world that allows for people with class levels in barbarian to have blue as their favourite colour," - this is different. The DM is not deciding for you, in this case. He is merely limiting the available choices. Hey, he might even have a good reason. This is why it would be better to just ask/clarify than to become indignant.
    That's bogus. If a DM states that any PC with levels in barbarian MUST be from a barbarian culture, then his claim that 'these are the rules' is unfounded. There is no rule which says so, and there are quotable rules that give the lie to such a notion; specifically the rules which allow any class to have any background.

    Further, even if the player chooses to play a barbarian from an actual barbarian culture and who has never seen a city wall before, it is still wrong for a DM to compel any feeling or behaviour. The DM might, as part of his narration, suggest that the walls are making you feel uncomfortable, but if the player decides to explore a ruined cellar/basement then the DM is acting beyond his authority if he denies that option for that PC on 'uncomfortable with walls' grounds that the DM chose. It's up to the player, not the DM, to decide how his PC copes with walls or anything else, sans magic.

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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    He's saying that PCs with levels in barbarian:-

    * ARE uncomfortable with city walls (dictating what MUST be)

    AND

    * saying that there is no idea space that allows for such PCs that ARE comfortable with city walls (dictating what CANNOT be in official D&D 5E games, unless they houserule)

    So he is dictating both what must be and what must not be.

    In my first example he dictated both that the kid must not have blue bubble gum as his favourite flavour, AND dictating that it must be chocolate.

    In my second example he dictated that my barbarian PC must not have blue as his favourite colour, and dictated that it must be red.

    What difference are you seeing that I'm not?
    Your first point is, I think, the crux of the misunderstanding. It illustrates why you reframed your examples as you did. When I refer to 'what must be' I don't mean laying down any particular restriction or environmental detail. I mean forcing a specific character action. Telling someone that they feel comfortable or uncomfortable or hot or cold or joyful or miserable does not force character action, it frames it. So by the definition you appear to be using, it's saying what must be. By the definition I am using it is not, because the character has utter freedom within that idea space.

    They don't have the freedom to ignore that idea space, but they do have the freedom to choose how to interact with it. They could not want to haggle or party like Chaosmancer mentioned. They could express a nervous tic. They could go get drunk. They could find the local arena and fight until their blood boils enough that they can overcome the unease of the walls.

    I hope that illustrates the divide as I see it a bit.

    Edit: With regards to your Urchin Barbarian, the goal should not be to handwave restrictions. It should be to reconcile them. Urchin doesn't specify that you aren't uncomfortable when hedged in by walls, so this should be totally possible, if a little unintuitive.
    Last edited by pwykersotz; 2017-03-19 at 09:27 AM.
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    Without getting deeper into the issue, the word "subjective" is often used incorrectly to describe things that are "qualitatively objective,"
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    Oh my God, the new manager at my work did that to me the other week and it pissed me off.

    I've got these these R&D parts that require hundred of measurements that I have to do manually in order to determine exactly where the failure point is. It's a huge pain in the ass and requires a lot of time.

    I was discussing the data with the new manager, and he said (paraphrased), "Looks like you don't always know where the failure point is. That sounds​ like subjective data to me. On this part it could be here, on that part it could be there. Pretty subjective."

    Oh my God, no! That's not what subjective means!

    Also, I just noticed that I originally read your sentence wrong. You said Qualitatively Objective. My boss tried to claim something that was Quantitatively Objective was actually subjective.

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