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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Earth, presumably

    Post Praise Banjo for GM Leniency

    No matter who you are, what TTRPG you play, or how long you've been playing, you've experienced the all-merciful hand of GM leniency. Maybe it was a character you played or a choice your party made; maybe it was the GM's genuine curiosity about some aspect of your game!

    Basically, I wanted to ask: what are your favorite lenient GM moments to date?

    Mine are:
    - Our Paladin actually tried to fight a god while on 2 HP (and was already rolling initiative and attack rolls). Our GM had a crowd of nearby NPCs unceremoniously dump him on top of the Fighter instead.
    - Different game, different group: Our GM decided to scale down the poison dragon the party encountered at a much lower level than they were supposed to after pretty much speedrunning the (one-shot) campaign. Poison breath? Not anymore, now it's poison farts. Even then, out of 6-7 players only 3 survived the first attack.
    - (metagaming alert) GM let close-to-death PC hide undetected for the remainder of a difficult battle because the player was getting snacks for the party when they got attacked. The snacks were delicious, BTW.

    Your turn!
    Last edited by TrashTrash; 2019-12-04 at 12:49 PM. Reason: Context & clarification
    Quotes from my adventuring party:
    "If you can't blow it up, try setting fire to it."
    "When in doubt, roll for Intimidation."
    "What's Thor gonna do, zap me?"
    "Is it drugs?"
    "I set my weapons on the ground." "Do you set your brain down, too?"

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Northamptonshire, UK

    Default Re: Praise Banjo for GM Leniency

    When the GM fudges the rules to let someone avoid their own bad choices, I don't like it. The game is meant to be fair - which can sometimes mean helping a player understand that their choice will be bad, but still letting them make that choice if they insist.

    That aside, here are some other kinds of leniency I've enjoyed:
    • Newbie player (kid of one of the other players) chose a slightly lame animal companion for their Ranger. They were really caught up with how cool it would be to have a friendly owl, not caring that it was totally sub-optimal (this is Pathfinder, so the other Hunter's Bond features are better). GM added features from the Wizard/ Sorcerer Familiar to boost the fun, and make the owl more useful.
    • D20 Modern game, player wanted to be a Jedi. GM took the Jedi class as written in the SWd20 game, the Monk from D&D and merged them into a homebrew Advanced class (sort like an easier access Prestige class, if you're not familiar with d20 Modern). Here you go - you are a mystic warrior monk with a katana and telekinesis.
    • Player of a swashbuckling rogue was getting frustrated that his tricksy fighting ideas didn't work mechanically in Pathfinder - pulling a curtain down to tangle up a villain is cool, but the rules didn't support it. GM decided to loosen up the Combat Manouver rules to allow such actions. The curtain move was treated as trip, swinging from the rigging was a bull rush, etc, etc.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
    RifleAvenger's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Praise Banjo for GM Leniency

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair_the_Vexed View Post
    Player of a swashbuckling rogue was getting frustrated that his tricksy fighting ideas didn't work mechanically in Pathfinder - pulling a curtain down to tangle up a villain is cool, but the rules didn't support it. GM decided to loosen up the Combat Manouver rules to allow such actions. The curtain move was treated as trip, swinging from the rigging was a bull rush, etc, etc.
    That curtain thing sounds like a textbook use of Dirty Trick though. Dirty Trick to Entangle. Otherwise a good example.

    In general, letting people walk back actions taken under rules misunderstandings is important. Running a 5e game atm for a table of Pathfinder veterans, and there's a lot of system bleed going on.

    Had a Werewolf game where I made a dumb decision and got seperated from the pack on 0 essence. ST threw a very unfortunate mortal into my path, for free essence and a car to drive to the others. Still had a significant consquence (eating people is a huge breach of the Oath), but it got me back in the fight and the session in time to help the party.
    Last edited by RifleAvenger; 2019-12-03 at 05:09 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    In my library

    Default Re: Praise Banjo for GM Leniency

    A game of Mutants & Masterminds where, six weeks in, we were allowed to retcon or character builds. As the most familiar with the system I used it to depower my character (who beforehand could theoretically take out the entire party with Flight, some lucky rolls, and avoiding fighting around innocent bystanders), while another player bought up her attacks and defences, and everybody was happy.

    Later I switched characers to a speedster robot, and was allowed to set them up to swap from 'punching mode' to 'ludicrous speed mode' (Strength 8, alternate effect on my Strength Damage to boost my Speed from 7 to 15). Not within the rules as written, but within the spirit of fun.

    Unfortunately that game also had a terrible example of GM leniency, partially because I was the only one who knew the system. One player was essentially moaning about how Deku from MHA was PL15 (this was just after the Full Cowl developments, and I'm fairly certain that you can comfortably build All Might at PL13). His incessant moaning had the GM eventually allow him to avoid PL limits in exchange for essentially complete control over when his powers could be used, with the end result of combats either bent challenging for him when superpowers but a slog for everybody else, or would be almost immediately ended as soon as he 'bulked up'. It was not fun.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

    Spoiler: playground quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Praise Banjo for GM Leniency

    i had a moment of leniency when my entire party nearly died climbing a ladder. out of 6 people, the lowest they rolled was an 87. it was meant to be an easy test so they could get the hang of the system (a homebrew of dark heresy, essentially). a ladder nearly tpk'd them. i said "screw it, you all fall on an awning with your egos bruised, much to the mocking laughter of the crowd instead of falling 9 meters to much broken bones".

    a moment of leniency i experienced however was my character tried to powerslide along a dragon's swinging tail to perform a death from above attack to save a teammate. the dm looked up, asked the player who was most familiar with pf rules to check how that would work, and we all agreed that with a good acrobatics check, rule of cool trumped legal movement actions. yeah, it was totally radical, and i managed to buy my teammate the extra turn she needed to heal up and get back into the fight.
    Spoiler: quotes
    regarding my choice of sustenance:
    Quote Originally Posted by Raimun View Post
    I'm going to judge you.
    My judgement is: That is awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by DigoDragon View Post
    GM: “If it doesn't move and it should, use duct tape. If it moves and it shouldn't, use a shotgun.”
    dm is Miltonian, credit where credit is due.

    when in doubt,
    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Ask the beret wearing insect men of Athas.

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

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Praise Banjo for GM Leniency

    Our GM (in Pathfinder) had a weird rule about large creatures jumping farther, as multiplied by their space. It was ostensibly to account for a larger stride in larger creatures. Thus, for every 5 feet a medium character would jump, a large creature would jump 10 feet with the same check.

    He also, on a semi-related note, introduced a giant monk as an NPC of the alternate adventuring party handling the B-plot who we occasionally heard of in side stories.

    My own character had an ability where he could create portals into extra-dimensional spaces on any flat surface. Basically an at-will bag of holding.

    So... when teaming up with the alternate adventuring party to breach one evil stronghold in particular, we all hid inside a portal worn by the giant monk. He made a leap of a good eighty feet into the stronghold's central structure and we skipped straight to the boss fight with both goodguy parties fresh and rearing to go. It was a quick fight.

    Praise to that GM for letting us get away with that and not just "nope"-ing it. From that point on the giant monk went mysteriously absent and the size-based jump distance was never brought up again. It was probably for the best, but it was a hilarious session.
    Last edited by Anachronity; 2019-12-04 at 02:21 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    May 2018

    Default Re: Praise Banjo for GM Leniency

    In my last campaign, our DM liked to give to put in play OP objects/enemies/whatever, for the purpose of being spectacular.
    This mean that it was not unusual to end up in a situation where a character should get one-shot, or a TPK should happen (the whole fortress explode, or collapse, ...), because of those OP devices.
    In those situation, the DM would stop the narration, and ask something: "can you all look at your character sheet, skill, and spell list, for reasons that would allow you to survive, or at least end up in a situation where you can be resurrected latter by the others?". And the rules would get bend to allow whatever interpretation of a spell needed for the trick to work. (Sometimes, we didn't really need to bend the rules, since we he had given us an actual OP device that solved the problem, like one-time-use superpowers given by a divinity we helped)

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