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  1. - Top - End - #241
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    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.
    Alright, how I choose to 'interact with that idea space' is for my PC to act like he isn't bothered by walls one tiny 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.
    That's the point: it is not a restriction for the barbarian class to be uncomfortable within city walls! There is no restriction to handwave!

    The idea that the examples of class fluff are actual 5E 'rules' with the same veracity as hit die type is entirely bogus. The rules are in the rules part, entitled Class Features. 'Uncomfortable within city walls' is not a class feature of the barbarian.

    If the fluff were actually game 'rules' then every single PC with levels in the barbarian class would be required to be ALL of these:-

    * a human with furs and an axe

    AND

    * a half-orc who fights bare-handed

    AND

    * a dwarf frothing at the mouth

    But the book then says that these are different barbarians. Oh, so that means that PC barbarians MUST be one of these three, because it would be breaking the 'rules' to play a different (special snowflake) barbarian!

    It is an utterly absurd notion that any fluff for any of the classes are 'rules'. The 'rules' for each class are their Class Features; no more, no less.

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    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.
    I think you may be using a non-standard definition of either "qualitative" or "objective".

    A given quality is either well-defined, or it is not well-defined. Making a judgment regarding a quality that is not well-defined requires first forming an opinion on which definition of that quality to use, and/or how to apply that definition. But, to be objective a judgment must not be influenced by opinion.

    So, the quality in question being well-defined is a necessary condition for a judgment regarding that quality to be objective. The question then becomes: how often are the judged qualities well-defined? This may vary by field, but in my experience qualities are usually defined descriptively, and the ambiguities inherent in language make a well-defined descriptive definition extraordinarily rare.

    Unless there exists well-defined qualitative grading rubrics for English professors, and English professors almost always use such rubrics, your claim that English professors "almost always" do not grade subjectively cannot be true. (Alternatively, if they almost always use well-defined quantitative rubrics, your claim may be true, but would then not be an example of your broader point.)

    Perhaps you're using "objective" to mean "unbiased"? If so I certainly agree that its possible most English professors give unbiased grades. But while objective and unbiased are synonyms, not everything that is unbiased will be objective, and vice versa, so they aren't equivalent.

    It is, of course, also possible that I'm the one using non-standard definitions. If you think that is the case, please explain why. For reference, I used Oxford definitions of "objective", "qualitative", "quality", and "opinion". I'm using "well-defined" in the same sense it has in mathematics.

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    Alright, how I choose to 'interact with that idea space' is for my PC to act like he isn't bothered by walls one tiny bit.

    That's the point: it is not a restriction for the barbarian class to be uncomfortable within city walls! There is no restriction to handwave!

    The idea that the examples of class fluff are actual 5E 'rules' with the same veracity as hit die type is entirely bogus. The rules are in the rules part, entitled Class Features. 'Uncomfortable within city walls' is not a class feature of the barbarian.

    If the fluff were actually game 'rules' then every single PC with levels in the barbarian class would be required to be ALL of these:-

    * a human with furs and an axe

    AND

    * a half-orc who fights bare-handed

    AND

    * a dwarf frothing at the mouth

    But the book then says that these are different barbarians. Oh, so that means that PC barbarians MUST be one of these three, because it would be breaking the 'rules' to play a different (special snowflake) barbarian!

    It is an utterly absurd notion that any fluff for any of the classes are 'rules'. The 'rules' for each class are their Class Features; no more, no less.


    Your actions are ignoring the ideaspace, not working within it. You could just as easily have said "I try to ignore my discomfort, but I end up talking a little more loudly than I otherwise would and tightly gripping the haft of my axe occasionally." Of course you know this. I don't know why I'm bothering, other than I really want a mutual understanding on this for some reason. I'm not under the illusion there will be an agreement, of course.

    In terms of the fluff, you're right insofar as you try to interpret things through the lens of strict RAW. But fluff still matters. And the shared imagination of the table matters. And if you didn't believe that, you wouldn't have bothered to justify your Rage for your Scourge Aasimar. You can just as easily say "A name isn't rules. It's just fluff. I activate my Rage by thinking happy thoughts of kittens and it fills me with joy that activates this feature." That you bothered to justify the Rage at all shows that you are more in agreement with the point than you let on. That fluff matters. That restrictions make a character interesting. That breaking preconceived table notions requires justification. And that it's lazy and unimaginative to break those notions without justification. You might not agree with others (and I have disagreements myself) about the severity of where the line is drawn, but I think you have demonstrated that you intuitively agree that there is a line.

    If I'm mistaken on this, let me know.
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    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.
    As a follow-up, I overlooked an even simpler argument that you are using non-standard definitions: your post suggests that objective/subjective is a scale, whereas the Oxford definition of "objective" implies that it is binary. Under that definition, if a judgment is "influenced by personal feelings or opinions" it is not objective. Only the presence of the influence matters, not the degree, and that makes objectiveness a binary determination.

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    People should remember that subverting, playing with or breaking a trope is STILL a trope. And despite those who screams "special snowflakes" or "Mary Sue" or other terms like that anytime a character does so, not conforming to the trope at 100% is often more memorable.



    A lot less people would remember Merlin if authors didn't give make him the son of the Devil despite being on the side of the heroes, for exemple.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I agree with this philosophy, but...

    Problems arise when one character's actions become irreconcilable with another party member, with the rest of the group, or with the story. If one character decides to commit immoral acts in front of the others, who have decided to play good heroes, then the game degenerates into PVP, which may be disagreeable to one or more players. If one player wants to abandon the adventuring life to rule a kingdom, then they are essentially requesting that table time be devoted to a personal side-project when everyone else is expecting to adventure for the whole time. If one player decides to focus on taking over the major city of the campaign, then he may be up against an impossible task, because of the sheer number of high-level, organized power groups who will simply not let it happen, and the player may feel like they've been "cheated" out of a fair game by a DM who doesn't play properly because "anything should be possible."
    Which is regardless, completely and utterly of the fact that a barbarian is 'ruled' to not like walls.

    Would you like to try again?

    I can play a character who can (maybe) pretend to not speak common, or any other language of the rest of the party. Why? No reason. Just because. It can even be a mukticlass Druid/Paladin/Barbarian that doesn't like walls, wears leather armour and follows and Oath. None of that is respective of the fact that my character just would not fit within the group.

    You need to rule zero the **** and if nkt session zero, or out of Character, in front of group, discuss what is happening.

    I've run party schisms before and had written a campaign so that parties come back together, and had other campaigns include the death of former party members who have broken stories.

    As a DM, I have an overarching story. Who gives a **** if the BBEG ended up getting away or not being the target, because the [Epsilon] class decided to attack the [Ypsilon] class based on in character decisions and had to prevent the [Epsilon] from raising the Undead?

    What would have happened had Gimli disagreed to the extent of attacking Aragorn and preventing bringing the traitorous spirits to account for breaking their oath? The grand storyline would change. But it would allow for the players to have a PvP bit. I would seriosuly stop a game when it came to unplanned PvP and make sure everyone was on board beforehand.

    If a player tried to sneak attack a fellow party member, the other players (not characters) are made infinitely aware of what the attackers action is.

    Let's use my example of a Warlock. My warlock was a newcomer to the party. The party often made use of sending stones to jump between one and the other. The fighter was a big user of them; i got randomly given a stone that I knew out of character was a sending stone. My 'intro' to the group was as part of a subplot fighting teleporting phase shifting teleporters. A few sessions after, the fighter use the stone for the first time to bump next to me. I consult my notes, check it's the the first time I ever seen it in use. The fighter is on low HP because of a previous combat. But it looks like any other teleport I've seen so far.

    I quickly talk with DM and the fighter, let them know my thought process. I get told to make an Arcana Check. I fail. And unleash Eldritch Blast and a Quickened Armor of Agathys, a 'lucky' crit downing the fighter, and then at least allowing my +8+d4 to Perception checks to realise that in the teleport afterglow it was a party member. Natural 1.

    Let's put another into it, there goes a Death Save. At that, the DM says it's clear the 'warlock done ****ed up' and I realise it's the fighter, at which i manage to Spare the Dying on him.

    How was this solved? An OOC chat with DM and relevant player and the knowledge that other party members could join in if they wished on either side.

    None of that in integral to class based RP limitations which are utter horse**** and need throwing out the window. Imagine if the warlock had been written that a Warlock had been written that it was unsure of any overt magical display it would instantly go on full on attack mode on the caster, even if they are familiar with the user. That is along the lines of thinking that these 'RP rules' have been written, because they are how a certain type of individual would react and then thanks to idiotic wording gives credence to moronic thinking like the OP's post.

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    People should remember that subverting, playing with or breaking a trope is STILL a trope. And despite those who screams "special snowflakes" or "Mary Sue" or other terms like that anytime a character does so, not conforming to the trope at 100% is often more memorable.



    A lot less people would remember Merlin if authors didn't give make him the son of the Devil despite being on the side of the heroes, for exemple.
    Subverting the trope os thentrope, not necessarily how, or in what mannernthey subvert the trope.

    Having a CG Drow is hardly bounds for 'oh he's Drizzt Mk2', but making Drizzt Mk2 is being Drizzt Mk2. Being different for the sake of being different is also a trope, but there's nothing to say that there are no High Elf Barbarians or Dragonborn Wizards who subvert the synergistic options/expectant trope (cool story, i mistyped trope as tripe and it seemed accurate) 'just because'.

  8. - Top - End - #248
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    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.
    I have yet to see someone taking the first stance you laid out.

    Yes, players ought to have 100% control over their characters thoughts, feelings and actions under most circumstances but there are exceptions. Very very few of these exceptions are tied to specific classes though.

    As was brought up earlier in this thread or in the Druid thread, Paladins must hold an oath, but the exact nature of that oath and whether or not the player chooses to follow it is up to the player. Clerics must have a deity, but which deity, which domain, and how they feel about that deity are all up to the player.

    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    That fluff matters. That restrictions make a character interesting. That breaking preconceived table notions requires justification. And that it's lazy and unimaginative to break those notions without justification. You might not agree with others (and I have disagreements myself) about the severity of where the line is drawn, but I think you have demonstrated that you intuitively agree that there is a line.
    Why is “I was born to a noble family” not enough of a justification for the barbarian to not feel uncomfortable in a city?

    Why is “I find these large structures and fortifications fascinating” not enough of a justification?

    Words like “lazy” “umimaginative” “special snowflake” keep getting tossed around, but we aren’t anywhere close to where I think those lines are normally drawn.

    In fact, the problem isn’t that I need to justify my character’s existence (I do that myself when writing the character because that is one of the joys of character creation) it is that no justification seems to be good enough. I’ve been called a “special snowflake” multiple times on this thread, and I’ve only stretched the limits of good character design once, and that was the wizard with no written language, but everyone alternative barbarian who it wouldn’t make sense to be uncomfortable within the city (they are nobility, lived on the streets, just doesn’t care) have all also been called “special snowflakes” who would be unacceptable at the table. This is frustrating, as it seems to be limits for the purpose of limits with no possible exception.

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    The disagreement is between people who think "a character must follow the archetypal RP suggestions of their classes as described in the PHB, and there is no place at the table for characters who don't do it", and those who disagree.

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    The disagreement is between people who think "a character must follow the archetypal RP suggestions of their classes as described in the PHB, and there is no place at the table for characters who don't do it", and those who disagree.
    No, it isn't. This is a blatant mischaracterization.

    No one has made the claim that "characters must follow the archetypal RP suggestions of their classes as described in the PHB, and there is no place at the table for characters who don't do it." In fact, the people who have been accused of this have repeatedly replied that they respect and even appreciate deviations from the archetype.

    On the other hand, when I characterized the argument as:

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    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
    I was not inventing this stance. It's right here:

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    ...if you're done trying to paint my stance as something other than what it is is this:

    A characters THOUGHTS, and FEELINGS are things that should only EVER be up to the player. And yes, completely. A DM does not have the right to say, "no, your character feels x way about something" in direct defiance of what the player wants for his/her character.
    If you can't see this, you're just being willfully arrogant.

  11. - Top - End - #251

    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    There's no restriction that says that Barbarians must be played as angry superstitious wild men who feel uncomfortable when inside city walls, anymore then Rogues must be kleptomaniac Thieves and Assassins who resent all attempts at imposing Law upon them. That's certainly one way to play the class, but that characterization isn't mandatory. There's no rule against city dwelling Barbarians or Rogues that are principled agents of the Crown.
    Last edited by War_lord; 2017-03-19 at 01:28 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    No, it isn't. This is a blatant mischaracterization.

    No one has made the claim that "characters must follow the archetypal RP suggestions of their classes as described in the PHB, and there is no place at the table for characters who don't do it." In fact, the people who have been accused of this have repeatedly replied that they respect and even appreciate deviations from the archetype.
    Then you agree that a player who want to play a Barbarian who is comfortable inside a city should be allowed to do so?

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    No, it isn't. This is a blatant mischaracterization.

    No one has made the claim that "characters must follow the archetypal RP suggestions of their classes as described in the PHB, and there is no place at the table for characters who don't do it." In fact, the people who have been accused of this have repeatedly replied that they respect and even appreciate deviations from the archetype.
    That is literally the entire reason behind the OP's post.

    You were saying?

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosmancer View Post
    Why is “I was born to a noble family” not enough of a justification for the barbarian to not feel uncomfortable in a city?

    Why is “I find these large structures and fortifications fascinating” not enough of a justification?

    Words like “lazy” “umimaginative” “special snowflake” keep getting tossed around, but we aren’t anywhere close to where I think those lines are normally drawn.

    In fact, the problem isn’t that I need to justify my character’s existence (I do that myself when writing the character because that is one of the joys of character creation) it is that no justification seems to be good enough. I’ve been called a “special snowflake” multiple times on this thread, and I’ve only stretched the limits of good character design once, and that was the wizard with no written language, but everyone alternative barbarian who it wouldn’t make sense to be uncomfortable within the city (they are nobility, lived on the streets, just doesn’t care) have all also been called “special snowflakes” who would be unacceptable at the table. This is frustrating, as it seems to be limits for the purpose of limits with no possible exception.
    I agree with the bolded. The conversation has been skewed heavily to extremes. And for what it's worth, I have not called any of your examples out as being faulty. I think they're actually pretty cool.

    In point of fact, I mentioned earlier that my desire to largely stick to the fluff and to replace something that was removed with something else that is of the same kind is a table thing, not my rule, and that new players are encouraged to abide by it. I have never had to enforce this once. Even the one player I've ever had who is almost definitionally a 'special snowflake' (he rewrites his character mid-game every time he perceives he might be filling the same role as someone else) has no problem with taking the restrictions with the benefits and creating a complex whole.

    There are four things I am continuing to argue. First, that there is a LOT of misunderstanding in this thread as both sides repaint the others liberally. Second, that ad_hoc has a point. I don't consider it gospel, but it is valid. To quote him:
    Quote Originally Posted by ad_hoc View Post
    Thats the point though, there are rules both spoken and unspoken that dictate what characters can feel, think, or how to act.
    Third, that BurgerBeast is totally correct that his points are twisted at every turn, and that his point is better put together than most of his critics. I think he has a good case overall, as I've mentioned.
    Fourth, that a lot of the stances being taken are just contrarian for the sake of it. It doesn't respect the established fiction, but instead denigrates it. "Why do I find Tiamat terrifying? I've been worshiping Tiamat all my life, I wouldn't be terrified!" Sometimes finding an excuse to believe something can be helpful, even if that thing is imposed upon you. Again, ad_hoc's actual position, which I think is valid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    There are four things I am continuing to argue. First, that there is a LOT of misunderstanding in this thread as both sides repaint the others liberally. Second, that ad_hoc has a point. I don't consider it gospel, but it is valid. To quote him:

    Third, that BurgerBeast is totally correct that his points are twisted at every turn, and that his point is better put together than most of his critics. I think he has a good case overall, as I've mentioned.
    Fourth, that a lot of the stances being taken are just contrarian for the sake of it. It doesn't respect the established fiction, but instead denigrates it. "Why do I find Tiamat terrifying? I've been worshiping Tiamat all my life, I wouldn't be terrified!" Sometimes finding an excuse to believe something can be helpful, even if that thing is imposed upon you. Again, ad_hoc's actual position, which I think is valid.
    Many people agree that there ARE limitations on what characters think or feel (like, for exemple, a Paladin of Devotion not being fine with someone eating babies as a hobby) while still disagreeing with ad_hoc and others then they go "Barbarians feel uncomfortable in a crowded city. A character who is not uncomfortable in a city cannot be a Barbarian. I would not agree to a Barbarian being comfortable in this situation."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadBear View Post
    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.
    No, the assumption is really not important to the issue. Because all it does is provide the DM with a reason for taking some degree of control over the player's thoughts/feelings. The DM can do this sometimes, regardless of why. It really only helps that the DM is at least willing to point to the PHB as justification instead of simply saying "because it's my game and my world, and I have some control over your thoughts. Get used to it."

    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.
    You're absolutely if he literally meant "rules of D&D." But I'm don't think that's what he meant. I just think he meant the unwritten rules of social interaction. Generally, intentionally derailing is not acceptable, even though it's not a rule written into the core rules. And I think is also the relevant context for the improv examples that follow. There is an implied cooperation in improv that no one person will intentionally counteract the other improv actors, even though there is no written rule to enforce it. It's bad etiquette and won't (shouldn't) generally be tolerated.

    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".
    Again, this is a secondary point. If the DM is allowed to tell players how they feel sometimes, then it's hardly relevant what the PHB says. The DM can just do it. And this is why I've pointed out that I don't even necessarily agree with ad_hoc on this specific point, but I agree that he has the right to control PC thoughts and feelings to come extent.

    Nobody cries foul when the DM tells that their player feels hot because they're in the AOE of a fireball. "How dare you tell me that? Only I can decide if I feel hot, and I do not!"

    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.
    I disagree with you here, but as I said it is secondary. If the DM is allowed to sometimes control a character's thoughts/feelings, then it doesn't necessarily matter why he's doing it. He can. (I just know I'm going to be quoted out of context on this.)

    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.
    Yes. Now here is where things can become problematic for the second two ways. Sometimes the cool concept you want to create is not supported by D&D. This can be because the rules don't support it or because the setting doesn't support it, or because the rules don't really let you get as good as you want your character to be (the classic examples here are skill choices that only provide +0 or +5, unless you bend your concept to fit a class that gets expertise). Obviously it depends on the particular concept, and the degree of flexibility of the player and the DM, but sometimes it just doesn't work. In this case, sometimes the answer just has to be "no."

    I wanted to model a PC after the main character in the movie Last of the Mohicans. I took as flexible an approach as I could, considering that he might be a fighter, a ranger, or a barbarian, a rogue, or some multiples combinations of these and other classes. In the end, for me personally, the concept depended so much on a Dex build that used handaxes (tomahawks) that I couldn't get past the fact that handaxes are not finesse weapons. I tried a suggestion to the DM and he didn't like it. I did not become indignant that my character was not supported by the rules. I just abandoned the concept. For others, they may have had no problem coming up with a build that did exactly what I wanted, in their mind. But that's not relevant to my concept.

    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.
    Yeah, this is a nice way to frame it. But at the end of the day, if the DM enforces a norm, I just consider to be a rule. I think that's just as offensive to a special snowflake as claiming that it is a rule, if not more.

    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.
    This is actually a better example than you might think it is! See, if you were a special snowflake, then you would never have left. You would have demanded that everyone else bathe, because you have the right to play with bathed people. Which is sort of the point. Life doesn;t work that way and people need to get over it.

    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.
    I agree with you here. But the DM is within his rights to say, "look, I'm sorry but there is no such character in this world. You either are a truly primal savage, which provides you with those class abilities, or you are a mercenary from a civilized society. Is there any way you can adjust your concept to fit the world, either by adjusting your background (to fit a primal society) or your class (so it's compatible with civilization) so that your character actually makes sense in this world?"

    I'm not saying the DM has to do this all the time. I'm saying the DM can say this.


    Spoiler: Some other replies
    Show
    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)
    I'm saying neither of these, so you're not actually arguing with me. And all of the conclusions that follow are not based on my position, they're based on an invented position, i.e. a straw man.

    What difference are you seeing that I'm not?
    I've said it in many ways. You'll just have to take my word for it: I am saying what I mean to say. You are saying something different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    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.
    It's not. The difference may be subtle, but I am saying that a DM has the right to say "that PCs with levels in barbarian MUST be uncomfortable within city walls." This does not require me to agree with the DM. Also, that a DM has the right to tell players that PCs with levels in barbarian can not feel comfortable within city walls (again, whether I agree with the DM or not).

    The bit about d12s is not part of my stance. I understand that you read something I wrote in this way, but is not what I meant.

    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.
    Actions are not a part of the current discussion. I agree that the DM can not tell a player how his character must act.

    The problem we are having is that you are making those choices (how the PC feels) that belong to the player, not the DM.
    Yes, this is a problem in your view. It is not a problem in my view. So yes, this is the problem.

    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!
    True. But he may be asking for an exception to the setting.

    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.
    That's right. I'm not sure what the problem is, here. We're talking about the barbarian class.

    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.
    Not if you respect the setting. There has to be a place for the class to exist, or the DM can say that the class doesn't exist.

    This whole thing seems bizarre to me, because presumably people have no problem with the DM saying: the Barbarian class is not allowed in my campaign. But, if the DM says "Barbarians with the Urchin background are not allowed in my campaign"... that's an outrage. I don't get it.

    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.
    See, I think this is awesome. It's great that this character fits the world, which gives you the opportunity to play this character. In my campaign, there are no aasimar, and the barbarian class only occurs within people who are uncivilized. So there'd be no opportunity to play this character in my campaign.

    Why would my PC be afraid of walls?
    Well, presumably, in the context of your character's setting, your character wouldn't be. There's no real reason to call your character a barbarian, though, either. He just happens to have mechanical abilities that are the same as a berserker barbarian, and this is possible in the mechanics of his universe.

    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!
    Again, a misrepresentation. We're not talking about stereotypes. We're talking about limits of any kind. They could just as easily be limits that prevent stereotypes. It's really oblique to the point.

    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.
    I think you're wrong on more or less all counts, but it's a separate discussion. PHB p.45 (Class Table): "Barbarian: A fierce warrior of primitive background who can enter a battle rage." I understand that you see this as a suggestion. I don't. We'll probably never agree.

    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.
    We disagree on feelings. We agree on behaviours. This is why I ultimately agree with you on this example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arial Black View Post
    Alright, how I choose to 'interact with that idea space' is for my PC to act like he isn't bothered by walls one tiny bit.
    As was pointed out, this is not doing what you claim it is. This is you being a defiant baby who refuses to take "no" for an answer. I think you know that. I think this is why you wrote it.

    That's the point: it is not a restriction for the barbarian class to be uncomfortable within city walls! There is no restriction to handwave!
    Even if I agreed with you: That's right. But if a DM wants there to be one, then there is.

    The idea that the examples of class fluff are actual 5E 'rules' with the same veracity as hit die type is entirely bogus. The rules are in the rules part, entitled Class Features. 'Uncomfortable within city walls' is not a class feature of the barbarian.
    Again, it's wonderful that you're able to defeat this argument. The problem is that nobody has made it.

    If the fluff were actually game 'rules' then every single PC with levels in the barbarian class would be required to be ALL of these:-

    * a human with furs and an axe

    AND

    * a half-orc who fights bare-handed

    AND

    * a dwarf frothing at the mouth

    But the book then says that these are different barbarians. Oh, so that means that PC barbarians MUST be one of these three, because it would be breaking the 'rules' to play a different (special snowflake) barbarian!
    This doesn't follow at all, which is why you are being illogical, and why your credibility is waning. You're making things up that aren't there.

    It is an utterly absurd notion that any fluff for any of the classes are 'rules'. The 'rules' for each class are their Class Features; no more, no less.
    Is it not a part of the rules that there is a class that is named "Barbarian"? Is there any significance at all to the name? Do you think that any of the class mechanics are in any way connected to the class' name?

    I think pwykersotz made the point quite well:

    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post


    But fluff still matters.
    Even if it is not part of the rules, it still matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    People should remember that subverting, playing with or breaking a trope is STILL a trope.
    This is the sort of semantic nonsense I prefer to avoid, even though I get your point. It's like the doing nothing is still doing something. No, thank you.

    And despite those who screams "special snowflakes" or "Mary Sue" or other terms like that anytime a character does so, not conforming to the trope at 100% is often more memorable.

    A lot less people would remember Merlin if authors didn't give make him the son of the Devil despite being on the side of the heroes, for exemple.
    We're not discussing the merits of memorability, here. I agree with you, though.

    On top of this, I don't advocate conforming to tropes, despite the claims of the people on this thread who refuse to listen and insist on misrepresenting others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Which is regardless, completely and utterly of the fact that a barbarian is 'ruled' to not like walls.

    Would you like to try again?
    I never tried the first time. Sorry, you're barking up the wrong tree. I never claimed that the barbarian is 'ruled' to not like walls.

    I can play a character who can (maybe) pretend to not speak common, or any other language of the rest of the party. Why? No reason. Just because.
    This is actually interesting. Can you play a character who can't speak common? Or do you have to be able to speak common, but pretend not to?

    It can even be a mukticlass Druid/Paladin/Barbarian that doesn't like walls, wears leather armour and follows and Oath. None of that is respective of the fact that my character just would not fit within the group.
    And the DM can just say no. That's just the truth.

    Basically all of what you say after this doesn't follow, because it's predicated on a view that isn't mine. I don't care how you play.


    Spoiler: On the objective/subjective thing:
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Xetheral View Post
    I think you may be using a non-standard definition of either "qualitative" or "objective".

    A given quality is either well-defined, or it is not well-defined. Making a judgment regarding a quality that is not well-defined requires first forming an opinion on which definition of that quality to use, and/or how to apply that definition. But, to be objective a judgment must not be influenced by opinion.
    I disagree. But it's probably related to what we mean by opinion, as I alluded to beforehand.

    So, the quality in question being well-defined is a necessary condition for a judgment regarding that quality to be objective. The question then becomes: how often are the judged qualities well-defined? This may vary by field, but in my experience qualities are usually defined descriptively, and the ambiguities inherent in language make a well-defined descriptive definition extraordinarily rare.
    This is a complicated and nuanced discussion, but I'll give an example that may help. Suppose someone is exhibiting behaviours, and I say "he's jealous." This is not a quantitative statement. It is qualitative. And it has a truth value, independent of whether I think he's jealous or even whether he thinks he's jealous. He either is or he isn't. So, it's a qualitative and objective case. A million people can form a million opinions on the matter, but the truth of the matter is the truth of the matter.

    Unless there exists well-defined qualitative grading rubrics for English professors, and English professors almost always use such rubrics, your claim that English professors "almost always" do not grade subjectively cannot be true. (Alternatively, if they almost always use well-defined quantitative rubrics, your claim may be true, but would then not be an example of your broader point.)
    It's funny that you brought rubrics into this, because rubrics are part of the reason I have this discussion (I'm a teacher). Rubrics are the worst thing that ever happened to English classrooms, because they reinforce the misconception. Despite the fact that one professor may place more stock in, for example, grammatical structure over narrative voice, or quality of evidence over quality of argument, these are not simply subjective opinions. When two professors decide to consider narrative voice, for example, they can do so objectively and they will come to conclusions that are more or less the same. As I said it gets pretty nuanced.

    Perhaps you're using "objective" to mean "unbiased"? If so I certainly agree that its possible most English professors give unbiased grades. But while objective and unbiased are synonyms, not everything that is unbiased will be objective, and vice versa, so they aren't equivalent.
    By objective I mean that it has a truth value regardless of who it considering it.

    It is, of course, also possible that I'm the one using non-standard definitions. If you think that is the case, please explain why. For reference, I used Oxford definitions of "objective", "qualitative", "quality", and "opinion". I'm using "well-defined" in the same sense it has in mathematics.
    Well I'm not sure. I'm pretty confident that if we could get to the bottom of it, we'd find agreement, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xetheral View Post
    As a follow-up, I overlooked an even simpler argument that you are using non-standard definitions: your post suggests that objective/subjective is a scale, whereas the Oxford definition of "objective" implies that it is binary. Under that definition, if a judgment is "influenced by personal feelings or opinions" it is not objective. Only the presence of the influence matters, not the degree, and that makes objectiveness a binary determination.
    You are 100% right here. The thought even occurred to me as I wrote it. It was lazy. But there are nuances that cause people to claim that some things are "more subjective than others," and it's a worthy part of the discussion, so I left it. It is binary. You are correct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by War_lord View Post
    There's no restriction that says that Barbarians must be played as angry superstitious wild men who feel uncomfortable when inside city walls, anymore then Rogues must be kleptomaniac Thieves and Assassins who resent all attempts at imposing Law upon them. That's certainly one way to play the class, but that characterization isn't mandatory. There's no rule against city dwelling Barbarians or Rogues that are principled agents of the Crown.
    Well, you won't find passages in the PHB that claim that barbarians are angry and superstitious, as far as I know. Nor that rogues are kleptomaniacs.

    You will, however find passages on the PHB that mention things about barbarian backgrounds and feeling uncomfortable when they are walled-in.

    So, even acknowledging that I respect your conclusions, this is not a reasonable comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Then you agree that a player who want to play a Barbarian who is comfortable inside a city should be allowed to do so?
    This has no relevance. I mean that seriously. The fact that you think it is relevant to my point is evidence that you don't understand my point. I think each DM has the right to call it either way, and that each individual DM even has the right to rule it differently in different contexts.

    So, even though my answer is "no," it's because of how you've raised the question. If the DM says it's fine then the player has that right. If the DM says it is not, then the player doesn't have that right.

    (edit: it's the presumption that this always a right that is offensive, not the fact that this right is afforded in some cases and denied in others)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    That is literally the entire reason behind the OP's post.

    You were saying?
    No, it is not the reason behind the post. I think there is ample evidence of that for anyone who wishes to read the thread. It's certainly not "literally" the reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Many people agree that there ARE limitations on what characters think or feel (like, for exemple, a Paladin of Devotion not being fine with someone eating babies as a hobby) while still disagreeing with ad_hoc and others then they go "Barbarians feel uncomfortable in a crowded city. A character who is not uncomfortable in a city cannot be a Barbarian. I would not agree to a Barbarian being comfortable in this situation."
    But what if a player wants a Paladin of Devotion from a tribe of people who ritualistically eat babies who, even though he does't eat babies himself always feels comfortable when others eat babies ritualistically? Why can't a player have this? After all, the codes of conduct are just fluff.

    -- I'm not being facetious here. If you can come up with an argument for why the DM has the right to enforce character discomfort while watching the cannibalism of babies (or in any context), then you've just made my point for me. That's it. That's the entirety of my stance.
    Last edited by BurgerBeast; 2017-03-19 at 03:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    This has no relevance. I mean that seriously. The fact that you think it is relevant to my point is evidence that you don't understand my point. I think each DM has the right to call it either way, and that each individual DM even has the right to rule it differently in different contexts.

    So, even though my answer is "no," it's because of how you've raised the question. If the DM says it's fine then the player has that right. If the DM says it is not, then the player doesn't have that right.
    In which case, I agree. A DM has the right to set up their settings however they want, and it includes creating absolute that the PCs cannot deviate from, if the DM desire so.

    A DM could decide that, in their settings, Dwarfs can only ever wear purple clothes, that Elves with no exception possible have an undying hate for Gnomes, and that all Barbarians have paranoid schizophrenia.

    If people desire to play with such a restrictive QM is another debate entirely.

    However, I think that if it is not something established by the setting, then the DM has no business deciding for the player what the character thinks or feel, unless the PC is affected by a mechanical effect

    For exemple, if it's the first time the group encounter a Gnoll, the DM would have no reason to out of the blue say "your fighter is terrified at the sight of the beast", unless there is an Intimidation roll or a magical effect for this. The DM could describe the Gnoll as scary, though, and let the Fighter's player interpret the scene and decide of the roleplay they'll do.



    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    But what if a player wants a Paladin of Devotion from a tribe of people who ritualistically eat babies who, even though he does't eat babies himself always feels comfortable when others eat babies ritualistically? Why can't a player have this?
    Not the same thing as eating babies as a hobby, but let's not digress on this.


    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    After all, the codes of conduct are just fluff.

    -- I'm not being facetious here. If you can come up with an argument for why the DM has the right to enforce character discomfort while watching the cannibalism of babies (or in any context), then you've just made my point for me. That's it. That's the entirety of my stance.
    The difference is that code of conduct aren't just fluff. A player who agree to play a Paladin with the Oath of Devotion as described in the PHB agrees to have their Paladin follows the Oath, meaning that even if their Paladin would personally not be made uncomfortable by this, they would have to act against it, or sincerely atone for their transgression later, or they'd stop being a Paladin of Devotion. If the player somehow forgot what their PC's tenets are, the DM has to remind him "doing so is against your code, are you sure?"

    If player and DM agree on an Oath with tenets allowing this, then the Paladin can act differently if they wish so.

  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    In which case, I agree. A DM has the right to set up their settings however they want, and it includes creating absolute that the PCs cannot deviate from, if the DM desire so.

    A DM could decide that, in their settings, Dwarfs can only ever wear purple clothes, that Elves with no exception possible have an undying hate for Gnomes, and that all Barbarians have paranoid schizophrenia.

    If people desire to play with such a restrictive QM is another debate entirely.
    Well, this appears to end the discussion. You have just taken a stance that is categorically opposed to the stance presented by RedMage125. In this particular case, you are in my camp. (edit: I happen to disagree with you, but this view is still in the camp that opposes RedMage125.)

    However, I think that if it is not something established by the setting, then the DM has no business deciding for the player what the character thinks or feel, unless the PC is affected by a mechanical effect
    It doesn't matter if you think the DM "has business" doing so. You've conceded that he has the right. That's the entirety of my point.

    For exemple, if it's the first time the group encounter a Gnoll, the DM would have no reason to out of the blue say "your fighter is terrified at the sight of the beast", unless there is an Intimidation roll or a magical effect for this. The DM could describe the Gnoll as scary, though, and let the Fighter's player interpret the scene and decide of the roleplay they'll do.
    He'd have no reason, but he could, and in the end it would be of little consequence. Notice that if the DM described the gnoll as scary, there would be no difference, except in the mind of the player. And if he is a special snowflake, he will take some time to be offended, and maybe even broadcast it. For th rest of us, we just move on.

    Not the same thing as eating babies as a hobby, but let's not digress on this.
    Sorry, but you opened the door. Nowhere in what I wrote did I imply that they are the same. In fact, I even opened with: "But what if..." to make it clear that I was presenting a different (but related) example.

    This is relevant because it is yet another example of your misreading and/or misrepresenting what I write. You are being obtuse. It's either intentional or it isn't, and it isn't clear which is worse.

    The difference is that code of conduct aren't just fluff. A player who agree to play a Paladin with the Oath of Devotion as described in the PHB agrees to have their Paladin follows the Oath, meaning that even if their Paladin would personally not be made uncomfortable by this, they would have to act against it, or sincerely atone for their transgression later, or they'd stop being a Paladin of Devotion.
    Well, this is a matter for the fluff/mechanics debate. It's not entirely clear to me where you draw the line or for what reasons, but there's a chance we'd disagree.

    If the player somehow forgot what their PC's tenets are, the DM has to remind him "doing so is against your code, are you sure?"
    This doesn't strike me as decidedly different than applying tenets to the Barbarian class. Regardless, I'm not about to get outraged at any of it.

    If player and DM agree on an Oath with tenets allowing this, then the Paladin can act differently if they wish so.
    This is just another example of your arbitrary delineation of where the fluff line is. All I am asking for is consistency. I'm sure there is consistency in how you apply it, though. I'm not outraged by how strictly or loosely you interpret the tenets. The difference seems to be that I extend the same privilege to DMs in the case of barbarians.
    Last edited by BurgerBeast; 2017-03-19 at 04:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    Well, this appears to end the discussion. You have just taken a stance that is categorically opposed to the stance presented by RedMage125. In this particular case, you are in my camp. (edit: I happen to disagree with you, but this view is still in the camp that opposes RedMage125.)
    But Unoriginal isn't agreeing with you. You have the "right" to dictate player behavior because you're running the game. You don't have a "right" to dictate PC behavior, they're player characters, not DM characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    It doesn't matter if you think the DM "has business" doing so. You've conceded that he has the right. That's the entirety of my point.
    The point of a forum is to discuss things. If you feel this discussion is pointless because "well I'm going to continue doing anyway", just go do that. I think most find the idea that anyone thinks the PCs should be essentially reduced to characters in a lazy DM's fantasy novel worth criticizing.

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    He'd have no reason, but he could, and in the end it would be of little consequence. Notice that if the DM described the gnoll as scary, there would be no difference, except in the mind of the player. And if he is a special snowflake, he will take some time to be offended, and maybe even broadcast it. For th rest of us, we just move on.
    There's a difference between "the Gnoll is scary", which is a (poor) attempt to describe the physical appearance of the Gnoll. As opposed to "your character is afraid of the Gnoll", which commits the dual sin of totally failing to actually instill any sense of fear while simultaneously highjacking player agency by forcing a particular reaction. A better course of action would be to describe the creature, and then let the players chose the reaction of their character. Instead of just saying "the Gnoll is scary" you should describe why the Gnoll is considered frightening.

    Describe its mad eyes and insane leer, the weeping sores and open wounds on its body, its fur matted with the blood of innocents. Don't just say "oh, it's scary and you're afraid of it" that's just sloppy.

    Nice logical fallacy by the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    This is just another example of your arbitrary delineation of where the fluff line is. All I am asking for is consistency. I'm sure there is consistency in how you apply it, though. I'm not outraged by how strictly or loosely you interpret the tenets. The difference seems to be that I extend the same privilege to DMs in the case of barbarians.
    Barbarians don't have tenets. Barbarians are not required to hate walls.
    Last edited by War_lord; 2017-03-19 at 05:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by War_lord View Post
    But Unoriginal isn't agreeing with you. You have the "right" to dictate player behavior because you're running the game. You don't have a "right" to dictate PC behavior, they're player characters, not DM characters.
    How long must this incessant inability to read continue? I never said he agrees with me. I even noted that I disagree with him. I said we are in the same camp.

    The point of a forum is to discuss things. If you feel this discussion is pointless because "well I'm going to continue doing anyway", just go do that. I think most find the idea that anyone thinks the PCs should be essentially reduced to characters in a lazy DM's fantasy novel worth criticizing.
    And you just can't understand that I agree. The problem is that I don't think "the PCs should be essentially reduced to characters in a lazy DM's fantasy novel." This has never been my point. You've just added yourself to the scrap-pile of forum posters who fail to understand my position at all.

    There's a difference between "the Gnoll is scary", which is a (poor) attempt to describe the physical appearance of the Gnoll. As opposed to "your character is afraid of the Gnoll", which commits the dual sin of totally failing to actually instill any sense of fear while simultaneously highjacking player agency by forcing a particular reaction. A better course of action would be to describe the creature, and then let the players chose the reaction of their character. Instead of just saying "the Gnoll is scary" you should describe why the Gnoll is considered frightening.
    I know that, which it my contention was never that they are actually the same thing. My contention is that they have no significance on the game, at all, except in the mind of the player, who could just as easily ignore it (or better yet, deal with it).

    Describe its mad eyes and insane leer, the weeping sores and open wounds on its body, its fur matted with the blood of innocents. Don't just say "oh, it's scary and you're afraid of it" that's just sloppy.
    And you're worried that I am a lazy DM concerned with my own fantasy novel? This is [email protected]#ing terrible. It's a gnoll. The characters know what a gnoll is. Save us your awful narration. Next.

    Nice logical fallacy by the way.
    Which one?

    Barbarians don't have tenets. Barbarians are not required to hate walls.
    I never said they do. Ever. Try reading what I wrote.

  22. - Top - End - #262

    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    I know that, which it my contention was never that they are actually the same thing. My contention is that they have no significance on the game, at all, except in the mind of the player, who could just as easily ignore it (or better yet, deal with it).
    it's a Roleplaying game. It's all in the mind of the players. Players cannot easily ignore bad DMing, because it's hard to roleplay when your DM keeps butting in and telling you how your character feels about everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    And you're worried that I am a lazy DM concerned with my own fantasy novel? This is [email protected]#ing terrible. It's a gnoll. The characters know what a gnoll is. Save us your awful narration. Next.
    The players know it's a Gnoll. Do their level 1 characters know it's a Gnoll? Have any of them encountered Gnolls before in their backstory? Player knowledge is not character knowledge.
    Last edited by War_lord; 2017-03-19 at 05:51 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #263
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post

    It doesn't matter if you think the DM "has business" doing so. You've conceded that he has the right. That's the entirety of my point.

    He'd have no reason, but he could, and in the end it would be of little consequence. Notice that if the DM described the gnoll as scary, there would be no difference, except in the mind of the player. And if he is a special snowflake, he will take some time to be offended, and maybe even broadcast it. For th rest of us, we just move on.
    You are mistaken, but it might be because I explained badly. I don't think that the DM has the right to suddenly decide X character is afraid of a Gnoll. The DM has the right to establish that humans are all afraid of Gnolls in their setting, then explain it to the players, and if the players are fine with it, they agree to play in said setting, with the restrictions that come with it.

    To me, the DM saying "your character is afraid of the Gnoll" without the agreement of the player, be it either by accepting to play in a setting where it is a given or by the player deciding to add this trait to their character is like a DM saying "and when you look at the bandit leader's face, you recognize your brother" when the player had decided that their PC was an only child. It's a jerk move that doesn't have its place in a collective game, as you add something to the character that the player has not signed for.



    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    Sorry, but you opened the door. Nowhere in what I wrote did I imply that they are the same. In fact, I even opened with: "But what if..." to make it clear that I was presenting a different (but related) example.

    This is relevant because it is yet another example of your misreading and/or misrepresenting what I write. You are being obtuse. It's either intentional or it isn't, and it isn't clear which is worse.
    No, I understood you were setting a different exemple, I just considered it was not the point I was addressing, and that the digression would not bring anything new to the discussion. Sorry I was not clearer.


    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBeast View Post
    This doesn't strike me as decidedly different than applying tenets to the Barbarian class. Regardless, I'm not about to get outraged at any of it.



    This is just another example of your arbitrary delineation of where the fluff line is. All I am asking for is consistency. I'm sure there is consistency in how you apply it, though. I'm not outraged by how strictly or loosely you interpret the tenets. The difference seems to be that I extend the same privilege to DMs in the case of barbarians.
    As in aside, note that that a Paladin's Oath are laws they choose to follow, not rules on how they feel. A Paladin could very well regret having to bring a murderer to justice, because they feel that the murderer was justified and doesn't deserve the punishment awaiting them. If they swore an Oath saying "all criminals must be brought to justice", then it's the DM's job to remind them releasing the criminal is against the Oath, as it is a big decision and sometime people forget a factor, but the player can decide if their character break their vow or not.

    To the main point If a DM decides to apply tenets to the Barbarian class as a rule of their world in-setting, they can. If those tenets include what the Barbarian will feel or think in certain situation, the DM is well within their right. Then the player who wants a Barbarian PC will know about those tenets, and accept them if they agree to play a Barbarian. It's not the same that if the DM say something like "your Barbarian is strongly against eating meat you don't have personally killed, he's very angry at the Duke since roasted pigs are served at the Banquet." when no "people who eat meat they don't have killed makes you angry" rule had been agreed on.



    To summarize my position: yes, the DM can decide of how people act in his world, including the PCs, but only to the extent the players have agreed on.


    EDIT: I am explaining my personal position, here, not judging or discussing anyone else's
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2017-03-19 at 05:52 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #264

    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    The OP claimed that the PHB itself contained "rules" that said that all Barbarians are uncomfortable when hedged in by walls. So the tangent about how, if it's actually a setting in which Barbarians are all part of a tribe. And that in that tribe all feel uncomfortable when hemmed in by walls, and they have a taboo against X thing, and the player is told all this ahead of time, then it's okay, is beside the point. The PHB does not, on its own contain any roleplaying "rules" dictating PC emotions. Paladin Oaths aren't rules telling players how their character feels, they're rules their character has to uphold to keep their powers. If an Oath of Devotion player says "okay, I eat the baby", it's not "oh, your Oath says you won't do that" it's "if you do that, you're pretty much guaranteed to lose your Oath powers".
    Last edited by War_lord; 2017-03-19 at 06:10 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    After having read through all (currently) nine pages of this thread, I felt I had to respond and seek clarification from the people that are still participating at this point in time. I'll start with my response to the original post: if you disagree with my opinions, I would invite you to explain why so that we can discuss the matter further.

    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.
    Before reading this thread, I never even thought to consider whether someone could say that all the text in a class entry was "rules". As far as myself, the group I regularly play with, or any group I've ever personally interacted with are concerned, the "rules" are the parts contained in the Class Features section of each class entry in the Player's Handbook. These are the things given by the class that are recorded on your Character Sheet.

    This is perhaps fostered in part by the 3rd Edition books, where it specifically separates the description at the beginning of the class entry by a heading "Game Rule Information" that goes on to describe the rules for that class. The 3.5 Player's Handbook that I have on my shelf also specifically starts the process of Character Creation with: check with your Dungeon Master.

    By contrast, the 5th Edition book doesn't specifically have that in Chapter 1: Step-By-Step Characters. The class entries include a segment "Creating a <class>" that has questions to ask yourself about what type of character you want to build. The only two entries that say "work with your DM" are the Barbarian and the Warlock. In a group that you haven't played with before, I would normally assume this to be required for any class, but to quote exactly from the Barbarian entry:

    "When creating your Barbarian character, think about where your character comes from and his or her place in the world. Talk with your DM about an appropriate origin for your barbarian."

    If your character concept is a street thug with sever anger issues that he develops, channels and learns to control to gain better physical abilities than the average gang member, there are several Backgrounds that would potentially work with that. While discussing it with the DM, they can make suggestions about levels of appropriateness or say "my campaign setting does this differently and all Barbarians (class) are barbarians (culture)", but I would hope that there is room for both the player and DM to reach an agreement about what can/can't be contemplated, not just a flat out denial from either side that "I must have this" or "I won't allow that". Its much better to have "I'd like to do this, how can we make it fit" or "I'd prefer you didn't do that, lets see what we can do instead".

    As a personal opinion, I find it hard to believe that everyone who goes into a blood frenzy, and might want to use the Barbarian class to represent that, would have to be from a barbarian tribe to do so.


    What your character believes in and what they do are not completely up to you.
    I would treat these as two separate things. What your character believes is entirely up to you as the player, within the overall framework of the game world, your character's history, and so on.

    What your character does can vary. As a player, you describe to your DM what you want your character to do. The DM would respond with either saying how to do that thing, any rolls that might be involved, or any other details that might stop you from doing what you intended and potentially offer an alternative.


    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.

    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.
    Yes, it is important to set ground rules and tone in any organised group play, whether it be D&D or even board games. In this case, PVP combat is generally something that would require player consent and consensus. If you previously agreed as a group not to, a player would need a compelling reason to suddenly attack a fellow party member's character.

    I'm not sure what you mean by using racism as an example though. In fantasy genres, racism is rampant between Elves and Dwarves, Orcs and Elves, Dwarves and Goblins, etc. Playing to these is something that can garner character insight and development for some people, or it might be boring to others. I don't see in-game racism as being something that needs to be explicitly allowed before being explored.

    If you're talking about real-world racism, obviously that's an issue that people need to settle/discuss separately from the game.


    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.
    Unless specified or discussed amongst the group first, sure, it would be jarring for a character to believe they come from another world or cosmos. There are still definitely ways for this to happen in D&D, specifically in the Forgotten Realms. This is where group and player discussions at character creation are important.

    As far as a player wanting to say their character knows all the inner workings of all the dungeons because they, as a player, read all the books... well clearly that's not possible. Player knowledge and character knowledge are separate things, and I would imagine most people can understand the difference. Just because I know or suspect the door is trapped is no reason my character should assume such.

    I'll speak to the Barbarian issue by asking: why would it be so jarring for a rage-fuelled combatant to not have to come from a tribal culture?


    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.
    There's room to be creative inside any given framework, absolutely. Discussion is required to establish what is and isn't part of a framework. But just because you enjoy playing within and only within a narrow frame, doesn't mean there aren't valid, fun, creative concepts on the edges, outside the edges, or completely divorced from that framework.

    Until that concept is discussed, how do you know its bad?


    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.
    That is governed by the expectations of performing as part of the improv group. Other than watching Who's Line Is It Anyway, I can't say I'm familiar with it. A regular feature on Who's Line is called Scenes From a Hat. Its not specifically mentioned whether the actors are required to perform physical activities - usually they just say a one-liner that's funny. But sometimes they don't say anything at all, and might do some action/dance/fall over - still equally funny in context, but unexpected from the general flow of the game.


    D&D is a game of fantasy tropes.
    The Introduction in the Player's Handbook, first sentence, states:

    "The Dungeons and Dragons Roleplaying Game is about storytelling in worlds of swords and sorcery."

    Whether this is exclusively a game of fantasy tropes is up to the group sitting down to play and obviously expectations will vary. As has been pointed out, part of getting the most out of a trope is knowing when to ignore/destroy/reformat that trope within the story framework.


    I think it is fun to create something unique using those tropes.
    No one can tell you that you shouldn't have fun by doing so.


    Breaking them is lazy and the game suffers as a result.
    This is your opinion and implying that anyone who disagrees is wrong. I've played in games that ignore conventional character archetypes that still nonetheless were fun, engaging stories. And I've played in games that followed more traditional characters and weren't as much fun. I find the fun often comes from exploring, challenging and evolving those concepts. I'm free to think this and you're free to disagree. Neither of us are necessarily lazy, and there's no guarantee the game will suffer either way.

    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.
    How can you have seen it all before, if you don't want to explore new concepts? Or are you saying just because you've seen a concept once, you won't let someone else explore it for themselves for the first time? I'm not sure what you're meaning there.

    Yes, interesting and creative moments happen during collaboration with the group. That's called playing the game. But ultimately each player's character is based on what they want their character to be. The group might suggest "we don't have a healer, a Cleric would be a good party member" - that's fine. But if you were flat out told "you need to play a Cleric", I fail to see that as being either interesting or creative. If you decide that you'll play a Cleric anyway, there are certainly still interesting and creative ways to do so.


    Of course, play with whatever 'roleplaying rules' you wish.
    If you have any specific rules/guidelines in mind, you should make these clear with your group before play begins, possibly even before a "session zero" to give them as much up front information as possible.


    Houserule the ones in the PHB if you like. Do keep some though, as they are important and enrich the game.
    Again, I'm not sure what you mean by this.

    If you mean "Barbarians are uncomfortable when hedged in by walls and crowds" is some kind of rule that must be followed, I would question why you consider that to be a "rule" that must be followed or otherwise house-ruled. You're free to answer that how you wish, I'm free to disagree, and if we can't reach a compromise then obviously we won't play together.

    Completely unrelated to whether anyone considers that a rule or not, there are better ways of going about it than a DM saying "your character feels this". I'll create my own examples that I feel best explain how the DM can suggest how to react without stating it on the character's behalf (and thus, intentional or not, making the player feel less in control).

    ***Example 1***

    DM: As you enter the cave, the air feels hot and humid. There is a roaring fire twenty feet away from you blocking any further progress.
    Player: My barbarian tries to shrug off the heat, push past the flames, and continues deeper into the cave.
    DM: As you try to move past the flame, make a Constitution check to ignore the heat. DC[XX] and take [YY] damage to continue through the passage.


    This is something that I feel lets the DM convey what they want to the players, while still giving the players room to control their character. As opposed to the following counter example that I feel would be less useful in ordinary play, even though the player might be attempting to roleplay (or might just be arguing with the DM):


    ***Example 2***

    DM: As you enter the cave, you feel hot and start to sweat. There is a roaring fire twenty feet away blocking any further progress.
    Player: My barbarian comes from a tribe in a rainforest. It would take more heat and humidity than this to make me break a sweat!
    DM: ???


    A DM has control over the world and the NPCs in it. They should describe what is around and what happens from an objective viewpoint, and the players will respond. Saying "your character is afraid of dragons" for example, requires some kind of player control. In this case, most dragons have a fear aura. If the players haven't seen the dragon yet and fail their Wisdom saving throws, you can easily say "you are all uneasy. The dragon slowly moves into view, savouring its prey's fear." If some of the players pass their Wisdom saving throws, you might instead say "The dragon slowly moves into view, revealing its frightful visage. Those of you who failed their saves become Frightened, and will have disadvantage on their attack rolls against it." In either case, if they pass their Wisdom save, they're not actually afraid of the dragon. They might still think its scary and wants to eat them, but they get to make up their own mind about that.

    The Players have control over their characters, what their characters think, and what their characters want to do. Whether or not what they want to do is possible will be adjudicated by the DM at any given time. Whether or not what their character thinks bears any semblance to the game-world reality can always be questioned, even in-character, sometimes quite humourously.

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    I just can't read all the posts so I apologize if this has been said before, these are obvious things that everyone already know but maybe it's good to remember them: the DM decides the setting of the adventure and explains it to the players, he may decide that clerics can't exist because the gods have been defeated by something or he may decide to ban sorcerers because in his world magic can only be acquired through study and dedication. Now a DM could, but it's unreasonable to, decide that the classes -and i'd like to underline that I'm not talking about characters, but about classes (a group of skills and attributes)- force your character to behave in a certain way which may be the one described in the book or in some other way of DM's choice. Now that the players know that, they proceed to either agree, debate, or refuse to play at that DM's table.
    During play, the DM HAS to interfere directly with the character's emotions to help the player understand what's going on, charm spells come to mind as the simplest example.
    As for the paladin's tenets vs the barbarian's hatred for civilization: they are wrote in two different sections of the class: the former is among the actual mechanics of the class, and has to be respected in order to benefit from it (depending on setting obviously) while the latter is written as an entry to the class and it's only purpose is to give examples on where to get the inspiration to play the character with that class, and to get a grasp of the reasons behind the design choices of the, later on described, class' features.

  27. - Top - End - #267

    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    An Adult Dragon's Frightful Presence fear aura is an actual tangible magical effect that's implanting terror in the head of the targets though. A character being magically compelled into an abnormal (for that character) fear of the Dragon isn't the same as the DM telling the players how they feel about something in the absence of any mind manipulating effects.
    Last edited by War_lord; 2017-03-19 at 06:32 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #268
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by War_lord View Post
    An Adult Dragon's Frightful Presence fear aura is an actual tangible magical effect that's implanting terror in the head of the targets though. A character being magically compelled into an abnormal (for that character) fear of the Dragon isn't the same as the DM telling the players how they feel about something in the absence of any mind manipulating effects.
    That's true, but sometimes nonmagical places, objects, or npcs do make the characters feel in an unpredictable way for the purpose of description and immersion. Sometimes it's hard to describe someone that makes you feel a sense of awe or fear without just saying that it does.

  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    In cases where there is a magical aura, like a dragon's Frightful Presence, there is room for the DM to describe a character's reactions within reason.

    When its just something that would give a normal person a chill because its creepy, the DM should describe as being frightful, dark, brooding, full of peril, whatever. Adventurers being out of the ordinary just by being adventurers are free to ignore the warnings, heed the warnings, or be picking flowers at night in a cave.

    Unless you have a specific game effect that takes control away from the player, I fail to see why the DM would need to dictate a character's response. They can certainly strongly suggest or imply, but in that case control remains with the player about what their character thinks or feels.
    Last edited by Shadroth; 2017-03-19 at 06:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Roleplaying Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadroth View Post
    In cases where there is a magical aura, like a dragon's Frightful Presence, there is room for the DM to describe a character's reactions within reason.

    When its just something that would give a normal person a chill because its creepy, the DM should describe as being frightful, dark, brooding, full of peril, whatever. Adventurers being out of the ordinary just by being adventurers are free to ignore the warnings, heed the warnings, or be picking flowers at night in a cave.

    Unless you have a specific game effect that takes control away from the player, I fail to see why the DM would need to dictate a character's response.
    Because if a party of non-evil aligned characters is facing the tomb of that one ancient hero who sealed the darkness away hundreds of years ago saving the whole multiverse isn't feeling a sense of awe is just wrong. Even if you are a CN kobold berserker, that don't even know who the buried guy was, the place should make you feel how the DM thinks the characters should perceive such an important authority.

    But that walls thing is just stupid.
    Last edited by Lombra; 2017-03-19 at 07:04 PM.

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