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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 10:06 AM
    Your definition seems to include at least one bit of "things I dislike." :p This too.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 09:48 AM
    I'm speaking less in terms of ownership but more in terms of membership and participation. And also consider how often players use pronominal possession to discuss games they play in. Without getting into the nitty-gritty, just recall some of the back catalogs of our disagreements. I don't think that anyone is advocating anything too extreme, so I think this is less of an issue than one...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 08:51 AM
    This backgrounding process is done in conjunction with the DM. It's negotiating the social contract of in-game play. If I communicated this in my direct discussions with you, then you would potentially have a point here. But as I did not in my description and examples, your entire "one man theater" schtick comes across as a grossly inaccurate farce. This presumption does not strike me as...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 07:08 AM
    Doing something someone else doesn't like doesn't necessarily make you a bad DM. That's true. Deliberately doing it to someone when you absolutely know that they don't want you to? That's a lot bigger issue, AFAIC. I mean, I loathe puzzles in RPG's. Don't mind mysteries, but, puzzles of the "Speak friend and enter" kind drive me straight up the wall. But, I also know that lots of people...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 07:03 AM
    Well, it wouldn't be a single fight would it? It would be that fight, plus the next at least one encounter which would deal with the repercussions of that. And, again, it's apples and oranges. You're talking about the DM forcing the entire group to do something they probably don't want to do. Which is going to have repercussions that last for at least one more encounter and likely more. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 12:04 AM
    For those worried about what this means for the direction of dnd going forward. You should be worried. The most iconic elements of dnd are a direct result of competitive play. The most iconic modules, the push for RAW Uber alles. And many other things. If this proves to be very popular then, just like all those things you like about DnD, you can bet it will be incorporated into the...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:05 PM
    Honestly I think the basic issue is a disagreement over scale. For some, any limitation on dm authority is unacceptable. For me and I think others, I just donít see the big deal. The dm is going to play dozens of not hundreds of npcís. Taking one off the table just seems like such a minor thing to me. Same goes for scenario design. The dm is going to make and run dozens if not hundreds of...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:58 PM
    I mostly agree with you here, but my point earlier was that a DM and player can have multiple readings or expectations for what clerical play will entail even if they work with a preexisting setting pantheon. This is not being run from a 1e perspective. This is largely left open for the cleric in 5e. It only states that you pray or meditate when you desire to change your spells. It does not...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:52 PM
    /edit - whoops, sorry, nothing to see here. This line of discussion will not produce anything productive.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:46 PM
    The rules do not prohibit this playstyle either so an appeal to the inherent state of D&D is a nonissue, if not a non-sequitor argument. I am less concerned about imposing notions of D&D's inherent state and more about play in praxis. And when one looks at how D&D is played on online streaming games (e.g., Critical Role) or around tables, the notion of an inherent state of D&D falls flat on its...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:58 PM
    Do you have a better one then? I would say the greater danger that players fear is that the DM needlessly kills off these sort of characters for their own sake of sensationalized drama.* But I have seen and heard this royally backfire against self-assured DM in ways that have been disasterous for the desired attempts of the DM. The DM thought they were being clever and creating good drama for...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:29 PM
    You are mistunderstanding what construes an assumption. It's not an assumption to raise the possibility that the DM and player may not be on the same page regarding the PC's deity/patron/oath when initiating play and that this can only become obvious later into play. An actual error of assumption in this case would be assuming that the DM and player are on the same page when play begins. And my...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:18 AM
    It's funny. You keep insinuating that I'm somehow a special snowflake or entitled, or triggered, or whatever the heck. Hrm, let's do a side by side comparison shall we? You: Design a campaign you know a player will hate. Specifically uninvite said player so that you can run the game you want to run. Me: Goes the extra mile to take player preferences into consideration and has no...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:14 AM
    But, they aren't. That's been established multiple times in this thread that the trade off isn't one of power or mechanics. This isn't 1e where this sort of thing was done quite commonly (paladin oath, ranger wealth limitations, druid and monk fighting for levels, etc). And, it's been agreed, one of the few things that we're all pretty much in agreement about, that this has nothing to do with...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:11 AM
    Let's put it more directly then. If you know that one of your players would hate an idea, would you still pitch it?
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:21 AM
    Slight difference though. I'm presuming since you said you "once" went to a game, that it wasn't a long term thing. It's not like you had been playing with this group regularly for some time and then they changed, right? You were the new player at the table? Contrast to 5ekyu's example where this is a long time player who, presumably, had been enjoying games with the group before but had...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:38 AM
    I would just like to quote this because it is so rare that Imaro and I agree on anything RPG related. :D It's nice when people just understand the point that's being made. Makes me wonder if I'm explaining things clearly enough otherwise.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:35 AM
    Where is Captain America's shield when he's not using it?
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:34 AM
    FUnnily enough, this actually happened recently in our group. The group wanted to play Planescape. I've made no secret that I'm not a Planescape fan. I offered, quite sincerely, to back out and play on the alternating weeks (we alternate campaigns weekly) and let them have their fun. The group, as one, voted me down and decided to play another campaign. I have to admit, it meant a lot to...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:51 AM
    Did you not say that you had a player walk because you ran a game that he would not like?
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 04:29 PM
    Okay, cool. I likewise promise that I will show a similar willingness to listen in good faith. More or less. It may not be a case of not exploring hierarchical conflict, but a matter of which ones. A warlock player, for example, may not necessarily want a foreground exploration of their pact. They may be more interested in exploring the hierarchical conflict between themselves and their...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 03:33 PM
    I unsurprisingly disagree, and in no small part due to how you are just perpetuating your prescriptive flavor text fallacy here. You have not communicated well or demonstrated how the DM's enjoyment would be negatively impacted in a meaningful way. You have only stated the obvious: the DM would have less control over certain aspects of the player character and one less NPC. What has been lost...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 02:17 PM
    That clarification does little to better your argument. So the DM would enjoy the game less if they did not have the power to murder the character's family? The DM would enjoy the game less if they could not steal/destroy/sabotage a character's motorcycle? The DM would enjoy the game less if they left a character's deity/patron/cultus untouched as a foreground story element? How does this DM...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 02:03 PM
    Let's start with this little piece of rudeness. Regardless of what you may feel, my argument against your comparison is not being made on my part for the sake of argument. I am approaching this topic in good faith. This does, however, reveal about your lack of good faith when approaching mine. I genuinely have issues of disagreement with what you wrote, namely in recognizing differences in how...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 01:39 PM
    "may get told no" is perfectly fine. Will always get told no is where I think the problem lies.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 11:31 AM
    This illustrates the problem of media. These examples are not from cooperative tabletop games; these are stories driven by authors or writing teams. Tyrion is not a player character, as he does not have a player. George R. R. Martin authors the voice and agency of the character, and other characters that he chooses to include, while also facilitating the surrounding drama of the narrative. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 10:42 AM
    Oh, I totally agree. Personally, I wouldn't background these relationships. I think they're great. And, I have no real problems with a DM who uses them. That's fine. But, again, we're talking about a player who has specifically said they don't want this. They've made it very clear that this is not fun for them. To me, a good DM takes the preferences of his or players into account when...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 09:40 AM
    "The Age of Entitlement," when people dare to challenge the DM's own entitlement issues.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 09:28 AM
    ROTFLMAO. Dude, it's very, very likely that I'm older than you. This has nothing to do with age or entitlement. Note, even in the Leomund's Chest example, in the 5e example, there is no chance of the chest being found. Now, you do have to renew it every 60 days, but, that's hardly a big deal is it?
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 09:17 AM
    I see the point you are trying to make here, but I don't agree with it. The decision-making is still present for the player even post-character creation. The social contract is still in-effect. And both the player and DM can renegotiate that through and outside play. The player may have chosen a deity at character creation. But they may have done so under the impression (whether through their...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 03:58 AM
    Whoa, love that opening. Haven't seen these yet. I'm waiting for them to be released in Japan with subtitles so I can watch them with my daughters together. But, I have to say that this is VERY refreshing. For some bizarre reason, my Youtube home channel has been absolutely bombarded with youtube pundits kvetching about the fact that this is a woman doctor and how that's the destruction of...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 03:27 AM
    Now, why do you think that is? Why did they add that bit to D&D that only stuff that is not worn or carried is at risk? It obviously hurts verisimilitude. It's hardly believable that I can be killed by that firey dragon breath, but, my charred corpse is still wearing pristine clothes. Because, well, we've backgrounded that bit because it's not a lot of fun. It gets kinda pointless and...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 03:01 AM
    Kinda sorta. Those limits are placed within the writeup of the game. It's not like the player chose to put that limitation there. IOW, the player likes everything else about the class, just not this one, specific thing and is asking the DM if, in this campaign, we can shelve this one specific thing for this one specific character. And the DM's apparent answer is, "Nope. You chose this, you...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 12:49 AM
    Put it in other contexts. "Hey, we're going to go out for dinner every week for the next six months to a year but we are only going to go to restaurants you hate." "Hey, we're going to have movie night every week for the next six months to a year but we're only going to watch movies you hate." Yeah, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this isn't exactly the most friendly...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 11:29 PM
    It is a sign of dickishness, (not sure where indecency comes in) when you pitch that game 100% knowing that at least one of your players absolutely hates the idea that you are pitching. That's the very important detail you are leaving out here. When knowing that that pitch will cause one player to leave the game is a pretty strong sign of dickishness.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 10:08 PM
    Yes. The language is far more open and subject to interpretation than your intentionally restricted reading. It does not mean that the DM is mandated to include these elements. It does not mean that the player is mandated to play them. It does not mean that the player has to agree to the DM's use of these elements. The fluff informs the design of the archetype, but it does not control it. It...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 08:21 PM
    No, it is how you think the rules should be played. If the rules were as clear cut as you think, we would not be having such discussions. These obligations are not absolute. They are things that the DM can opt to insert into the game, but that does not make it a rule to insert them into the game. You may want to withdraw your strawman; nowhere are we discussing altering mechanics. The class...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 05:18 PM
    How you think the game should be played (or how it is played at your table) does not make it true about the game rules system itself.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 06:16 AM
    Nobody is saying the DM should not control the NPC's. We're saying that this one specific NPC, that only impacts one PC and no other PC can ever interact with, gets taken off the table. Infinity-1 while smaller than infinity is still pretty damn big. Losing control of one NPC and making a player happy seems a pretty small price. Claims that this is going to ruin the game for the DM seem a bit...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 05:01 AM
    But, who's forcing the DM to do anything here? If anything, I'm giving less work for the DM. The DM no longer has to worry about what to do, if anything, with this patron. The player is not interested in playing that out. Why would you, as a DM, knowing that the player isn't interested, bring it into the game? Again, who is it for? It's not for the player. It's not for the other players. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 04:26 AM
    And fair enough. But, again, at the end of the day, what changed? The animal companion is still hidden and fades into the background (not the mechanical version, just, not in the front of play) and those orc children escaped. And, after the third, fourth, tenth time, most groups are just going to take it as read anyway. This is the point I keep coming back to. We already Background tons of...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 04:17 AM
    When the choices are, "Play the way I want to play or don't play that character", I'm going to say that that is the DM forcing things on the player. I dunno, I see things like having a discussion and reaching an agreement as compromise where both sides are happy. You certainly haven't presented any options other than "my way or the highway". Doesn't sound like there is much to discuss is...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 04:12 AM
    Seriously? You're going to hate the game and not have fun because that one character doesn't have to deal with his or her patron? Really? And note, if we go with the way 5ekyu has described his games, if the player doesn't want to deal with the patron, that player should play another character. In which case you aren't going to get to play the patron anyway. If playing the patron doesn't...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 12:45 AM
    See, at the end of the day, I really have to ask, who is all this for? I mean, the other players probably don't care too much about my character's relationship with his patron. I obviously don't care (as an example. I would actually not background this, but, I'm using myself as an example) because I want to background this element. So, exactly who is this for? "Mr. DM. I really liked that...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 12:25 AM
    wow, you agree with billd91 in the post before this, but, tell me I'm inventing things. :erm: What exactly, then, do you mean that I must accept the consequences of choosing a class if you aren't going to force anything?
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 10:31 PM
    Question for 5e GMs who are concerned with the player of a Warlock or Cleric or Divine Soul Sorcerer not having the nature of their bargain, pact, relationship mediated by the GM. 5e isn't a tightly balanced game. GMs, in order to balance the game (intraparty and party: obstacle and party:adventuring day), have to deploy a hefty amount of extra-system or nonstandard obstacle manipulation (in...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 06:41 AM
    Yes. 5ekyu has flat out said, and others have said too, that if you want to play a class, you MUST accept everything about that class or don't play that class. So, if you play a warlock, you MUST accept that the DM has control over your patron and can force your character to do things. If you play a paladin, you MUST accept that the DM can force you to take certain actions. If you play a...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 06:39 AM
    Sigh. Still missing the point. Even if you add that one, ok, great. Now 20% of the episodes feature a threat to the Enterprise. Whoopee freaking do. The point I was making was that even if you DID background the Enterprise, 80% of the stories remain unchanged. Which was the point I was trying to make. That Backgrounding hardly changes games as much as people are making it out to. That...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 06:30 AM
    They separated the saucer section because the writers wanted to show off this cool new thing the Enterprise could do. :D But, in any case, even had they not separated, how would the story actually change? AFAIK, nothing. It simply wouldn't change the outcome or even the progression at all. Sure, and by and large I agree a fun little bit might be for the Patron to ask the Warlock to...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 02:34 AM
    Argh, sorry about the multiple posts. It is a rather busy thread. But, stepping back a second here because people, including myself, seem to be getting lost in the weeds a bit. What are we actually talking about here? I mean, how much of an impact would Backgrounding actually have on a campaign? Sure, if your campaign focuses on warlock/patron relationships and the entire party has...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 02:26 AM
    Now, let's roll this around to what's actually being discussed. The DM comes to you and tells you, you have to do X because the dragons are telling you to do X. If you don't do X, you will no longer be a sorcerer. After all, you "chose" to have this patron relationship. It's perfectly acceptable, according to you, for the DM to use that relationship. So, the DM exercises his or her power...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 02:18 AM
    Sauntering my way through a lot of pages. This is a busy thread. But, it is good to see that someone here gets precisely what I'm talking about. If you don't like how I describe things, I suggest rereading Nagol's posts. He puts it perfectly well, gets the point immediately and can likely answer any questions better than I can.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 02:15 AM
    You're seriously going to take Maxperson's interpretations of anything at face value? After THIS thread? Really? I mean, right off the bat, he he put's Encounter at Farpoint as an example of the Enterprise being threatened. It's not. It wouldn't matter if the crew were on the Enterprise or on Earth when Q shows up. The Enterprise is just background stuff there. It's totally not...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 02:08 AM
    You mean like a 3e paladin's mount? That's summonable and dismissible at will? Or the 5e version of the same with the Mount spell that paladins get? Or that evoker wizard that gets to avoid allies with his fireballs? Guess 5e is too video gamey.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 01:57 AM
    I.e. Backgrounded. :D
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 04:11 PM
    There may be a miscommunication of terms here. Hussar much earlier discussed a mechanic in another system called the 'Background. We are not necessarily talking "small b" background, in a general sense, or the 5e sense of the Background.' In this other system - from what I understand - the players designate a few things about their characters are essentially placed in the "background" of...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 03:32 PM
    When a player express to the DM that there are things that they would not like to deal with in the campaign with their characters and then the DM does it anyway in a manner that does not respect those requests? Yeah, sorry, I don't care how offended you get about it, but I would definitely say that calls the basic human decency of the DM into question.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 03:27 PM
    But what if - there are characters that exist in-world - that neither the GM nor the players control? And that's really where the whole concept of Backgrounding seems to come in. I don't think anyone is suggesting that the warlock PC is playing the NPC Patron, but, rather, that the player and GM are both essentially hands-off with the patron.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 03:17 PM
    But as you have apparently already established that a GM can coerce a warlock with their patron regardless of the PC's consent or how this may contradict with what the player wants, it's difficult for me not to wonder how that is not a DM lacking respect for their players. ;)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 10:27 AM
    Mainly in the sense that the player wants it to be a marginal part of their play experience or something that is not the focus of said experience. It's simply not the sort of story that the player wants to experience or deal with. Why shouldn't it? Oh noooos! Will no one ever think of the poor oppressed DM?! Probably depending on how slippery you make that slope.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 08:43 AM
    Hence our discussion of the Patron as a possible player-selected Background feature. Again, consent is key here. Here's the feature: the current campaign adventure path is irrelevant to the interests or even whims of the Patron. :p
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 08:12 AM
    Here's the thing, the warlock flavor text establishes that the player has input as to how that relationship will play out: This right here implies that the player is establishing their expectations for play with the DM. That is not the DM dictating the terms of the pact and the patron to the player. That is most definitely space that suggests the possibility of "backgrounding" the pact. It...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 07:45 AM
    On the Enterprise. I was a bit curious about this, so, I did a bit of Wikipedia diving. Of the first three seasons of Next Generation, there are 74 episodes. Of those 74 episodes, 14 actually feature the Enterprise as anything other than just a background set - either the ship is threatened directly, taken over by aliens, or is somehow central to the plot of the episode. So, 14 out of 74...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 07:20 AM
    Maybe because I don't get a lot of game time, so, telling one player, "nope, sorry, the rest of us want to play this, see you in about six months or a year when we're done" is a pretty dick move. I mean, I only game once a week. I game with a group. If the group decides to play something and one player opts out, that p layer isn't gaming for a while. I'd much, MUCH rather that we all get to...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 03:20 AM
    It's not a fallacy. Nor is it mockery. And, frankly, I don't see it as anything close to a bad idea. But, more on that later. Whereas me, telling a player, nope, sorry, my ideas are so important to me that your ideas and what you want don't matter and if you don't like it, there's the door, is probably the poorest kind of DMing out there. If you flat out know that your player hates...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 02:17 AM
    But, here's the rub. The player has told you that he or she is not interested in this. He or she does not want to deal with the patron in the game. Full stop. So, why is the DM then putting this in the game? It's not like contacting the patron would be player initiated. This would pretty much be entirely the DM's idea to put this in the game, considering that the player has already...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 01:08 AM
    Heck, thinking about Doctor Who, that's a perfect example of Backgrounding. The Tardis always appears as a big blue box. Yet, other than as a sort of running gag, it is never made an issue in the story. It's background. The "realistic" reaction would be considerable curiousity or even panic if this big blue box appeared out of nowhere and plunked down where anyone can see it. Yet, no matter...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 12:59 AM
    And that's totally fair. The Dm has done his part. He's made orc babies not an issue. Now, if the player chooses to make it an issue, that's on the player. The player has obviously changed his mind here. But, since it's up to the player, what's the problem? If the Paladin player doesn't want to deal with it, he lets them go and nothing more is said. And, implied here, that choice doesn't...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 09:57 PM
    Funny how we're supposed to trust our DM's but, our DM's have this sort of opinion of players. Good grief, my players would most likely be far, FAR nastier to their characters than I ever would. But, in any case, since the interaction with the Patron is Backgrounded, the interactions NEVER HAPPEN on screen. They are never the focus of the game. Gaining mechanical advantages or...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 09:42 PM
    Sorry, but, just to clarify, do you mean that if I Backgrounded the fact that my character was an elf or a dwarf? Or, do you mean that when I create a dwarf, say, do I get to tell the DM what dwarves in the setting think and do?
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 09:37 PM
    So, the fact that your player has told you, in no uncertain terms, that they are not interested, and that this is unfun for them, doesn't matter? The most important thing is your setting? Setting fidelity? We simply have different priorities.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 04:07 PM
    You talk to the player about it like a normal functioning adult would. I don't see why this necessarily needs to be policed in-game by proxy via the patron/deity. :erm:
    1172 replies | 30591 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 03:57 PM
    You really do have a problem distinguishing PC from player in this discussion. It's less about exemption and more about the player's desired narrative prominence of some aspect of their character. A player may want to play a dragonborn without being constantly harassed about it everywhere they go by the DM imposing their vision of a setting on what may have been an aesthetic or "ruler of...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 11:00 AM
    You are equating player with character. It's got nothing to do with what's going on in the game. The character STILL has those obligations, just that the DM will not make those obligations the focus of play. Breaking the setting? Seriously? To not spend table time futzing about with what does my druid do with his bear is "breaking the setting"? Not spending table time every single...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 08:39 AM
    And, that's perfectly fair. Me, I'd hand you a blank character sheet and ask you to make a character for me. Naw, that's not true. I would simply find another group because I know I would not be a good fit here.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 08:36 AM
    This is pretty much it. It's not that it's never in the game. Just that it's not a focus of play. Something minor that's handled in the background? Not a problem. Telling the PC that he must now undergo a months long quest at the behest of Correlon? Not groovy. It's not about discarding anything though. The Background (to use the mechanical term) stuff STILL exists in the game. ...
    1172 replies | 30591 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 08:27 AM
    Note, it's not "I don't want to roleplay a devotion paladin", it's "I don't want the oath part of my character to be a focus of the game". There is an important difference there. And, bill91 brought up, maybe it is a powergaming thing. But, the thing is, in 5e, character power is no longer tied to role playing limitations the way it was in previous editions. Paladins were flat out more...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 04:54 AM
    That's pretty much where I was going with my follow-up post if we felt like we addressed all the issues! Above you have: 1) Player choice in the possible manifestation of their character's patron's power. One might say "but the dangerous and/or desperate rider puts the deployment under the GM's purview." To that, one simply points to fact that GMs are meant to constantly fill the...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 04:06 AM
    Ok, caught up. Yeesh, lots of posts. :D Let's take a fairly clear example - an Oath of Devotion Paladin. Now, what is the actual effect of the player Backgrounding his oath? The player has now clearly told the DM that he does not want his Oath to be a focus of play. But, what does that mean? Well, IMO, that means that the DM would not bring in elements into play which test that...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 02:40 AM
    Moving the goalposts? I don't even understand how you would think that. I'm not changing some rhetorical line to gain in order to achieve debate goal x. And I'm not trying to win some kind of debate here. I'm just puzzling out the details. I quite clearly (transparently in my post in fact) (a) throttled the nature of the patron back from supernatural to mundane and (b) removed the...
    1172 replies | 30591 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 01:48 AM
    Here is a different kind of a patron (than an otherworldly, divine benefactor) from the Dashing Hero (Errol Flynn/The Princess Bride genre tropes) Dungeon World playbook: A Lover In Every Port (CHA) When you enter a town that youíve been to before (your call), roll +CHA. On a 10+, thereís an old flame of yours who is willing to assist you somehow. On a 7-9, theyíre willing to help you, for a...
    1172 replies | 30591 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 10:19 PM
    Dungeon World handles this in two discrete ways: 1 - Companions (eg Ranger's Animal Companion) act as you (the player) wish them to, though their Instincts (weaknesses like Frightening, Savage, Stubborn) are fair game to be deployed as a complication on a move that 7-9 or 6-. 2 - Hirelings are GM characters. HOWEVER...they are (a) governed by clear resolution machinery (Cost, Loyalty,...
    1172 replies | 30591 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 03:30 PM
    Maxperson, your Corellon wanting a message delivered was an excellent one for acceptable small obligations. There is a lot of potential flavor there. It's a nice reminder for the player(s) about the patron, and that could lead to a lot of interesting plot hooks. And without knowing more about what Hussar describes in this Background system, that may apply as Background. However, I would say...
    1172 replies | 30591 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 02:25 PM
    What did you say elsewhere? "Context my friend. Context." In this case, I was engaged in a discussion with S'mon about GM authority. ;) You're picking and choosing here with his post, as you are also leaving out this logical absurdism: "and hey maybe the whole 'i am an elf' or 'i am a half-orc' shouldn't be a thing either..." I hope you can appreciate why such rhetoric would be a fallacious...
    1172 replies | 30591 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 10:01 AM
    And in contrast, I typically have anti-authoritarian tendencies when it comes to understanding the role of the "Game Master" and their power relation with players. Sure, but I generally prefer systems where there are checks and balances between the players and GM (e.g., Fate, Numenera 2, arguably DW). Additionally, I have found that players are often more invested in worlds when they help...
    1172 replies | 30591 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 09:57 AM
    Been a while since I read the books but I think thatís largely it. The player is basically just saying that X should never be the focus of play. Not that it canít be there in the background.
    1172 replies | 30591 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 09:32 AM
    Conversely, it's between you the GM and your own fan fiction pages. It should never be a problem for the player to tell the DM, "No, I don't want to deal with that, that's not what I had in mind when I made this character, please don't do that." If a DM can't keep his or her mitts off the player's characters, then I have zero interest in playing at that table. Why not? Paladins are not...
    1172 replies | 30591 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 09:22 AM
    Honestly, here, then, it seems we are mostly in agreement. Since the Backgrounds mechanic that I was talking about is done during character creation, it's pretty much the same thing, just more formalized. And it allows the player to add things to the campaign world, that are not going to become a focus of the campaign - remember, the player is agreeing to place this in a Background meaning the...
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Tuesday, 16th October, 2018

  • 06:10 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...ead my example of having the warlock make a side trip to the Old Man of the Woods as the party goes through the forest.What's the point of that, from a gameplay perspective, in circumstances where the player has already flagged that s/he is not interested in this sort of stuff? And how could it be that a GM can't enjoy the game unless it includes this - does that mean s/he always insists that at least one player play a feypact warlock? I get what your saying. I was in a game once where we were playing pirates. The problem? The DM started us without a boat and not even near the water. Several sessions later and we never did mange to get a boat for the pirates campaign. However, there's a world of difference between having your bike stolen, and running out of gas and being inconvenienced. Jumping to the horrible DM example that almost never actually happens, doesn't give you a win in the discussion.Well, the threat of the bike being stolen was the actual example given from Hussar's actual play. But let's take running out of petrol. What does that add to the game? Do you keep track of how much leather is left on the soles of PCs' shoes? You might think that that is a snide question, but it's intended literally. In real life, shoes wear out - I know this from the experience of wearing them out by running in them. But I've never played in a RPG where this "consequence" is kept track of, and where the players therefore risk having their PC suddenly inconvenienced by a hole in his/her shoe. The bigger point is that, in RPGing, we "background" stuff - as in, disregard it and/or take it for granted - all the time. If a player has said that s/he wants to treat his/her PC's motorcycle in this way, what reason does a GM have for doing otherwise?
  • 02:05 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ... player to adapt to the table if you wish to play.I think there are two cases. If it's a case that the game is already about X, and the player asks to join in - a new player to an existing group, a pick-up game, or whatever - then the player is forewarned. But if (as in the examples that have been discussed) the X is something that only comes into the game because it's an element of the new player's PC - a motorcycle, dear old dad, the Lord of Battle as divine patron, etc - then I stand by my view. The game was proceeding swimmingly without the GM having anything to say about the Lord of Battle, so why does that have to change? What is wrong with a game where Vlad's motorcycle never gets stolen? In one game, the pcs can start as humans, in another as older vamps hundreds of years old with established territories. In one game, they can be members of a well structured principality. In another scrambling for survival on the run in a chaotic region.And do you think that the game Hussar was describing, where the player just wanted his PC's bike to be an element of character colour that didn't get stolen, was a game of hard-knock scarbbling for survival on the run in a chaotic region?
  • 12:31 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...umably if no one described his/her PC's motorcycle the issue wouldn't even come up - certainly in the few V:tM sessions I've played the mode of transport didn't seem to matter.) That may be a somewhat more extreme example than wanting to keep a motorcycle free and pristine from any and all interference or wanting to take a huge pet dinosaur into any densely packed urban environment, but it's the same sort of topic.No it's not. Wanting to have a motorcycle that doesn't get stolen isn't a game style thing at all. Wanting to have a warlock whose patron doesn't hose him/her isn't a game style thing at all. If the player never mentioned the motorcycle, the game woud progress identically but with no cycle theft. Mutatis mutandis if the player played a fighter rather than a warlock. As far as the ranger's animal companion is concerned, you are the only poster to mention taking a huge dinosaur into a densely packed urban environment - which is an actual contradiction in the fiction. Hussar suggested that the ranger's bear not cause any headaches or issues when left hanging around the fringes of the village, or something along those lines. The bottom line: I think GMs who want to micromanage their players' colour and backstory for PCs are bad GMs full stop. And those who want to micromanage the actual fiction that unfolds in the game - so that a good chunk, or even most, of the players' play experience becomes finding out what the GM has decided the fiction shall become - are GMs whose games I will avoid or walk from. (As per my three examples in my first post in this thread.)

Monday, 15th October, 2018

  • 01:03 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...s relevant to gameplay. In any modern-era game that I can imagine, a motorcycle is just colour - a way of filling out the narration "I get from A to B" and of justifying my PC's fondness for leathers - until the player chooses to stake it. I'm riding my bike across the Arizona desert to try and warn my coven before the evil ghouls find them and eat them! That's putting the bike at stake - make a riding check, on a fail maybe the bike breaks down, or as you're leaving a petrol station you find yourself surrounded by rivals from the Gypsy Jokers or whatever (as seems appropriate in the GM's judgement). I park my bike outside the pub where I'm meeting my friends for a drink. That's not staking the bike on anything - and I stand by my opinion that a GM who can't think of anything better to do at that point then have the bike be stolen is a lame GM. The idea that we'd actually spend time at the table discussing how the PC is protecting the bike from theft - which is what happened in Hussar's game - just adds to the lameness.
  • 12:09 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    It's not a price, though. It's simply a function of the class. If you play a cleric, paladin, or warlock, you are choosing to have a being who you have obligations to. When those obligations come calling, it's something you already agreed to by choosing the class and it's bad faith for you to get upset about. Unless you and the DM make an agreement before the game begins for it to be otherwise.(1) Hussar is describing a system for establishing such agreements and is being told that players who would do such a thing are bad players seeking to avoid "consequences". (2) As I have repeatedly posted, there is no logical connection between PC cleric has obligations to a god and GM is entitled to impose demands/directions on player's play of his her PC. This is because the player is perfectly capable of establishing his/her PC's obligations. I read the cleric class description in the 5e Basic PDF (pp 20-21): Clerics are intermediaries between the mortal world and the distant planes of the gods. As varied as the gods they serve, clerics strive to embody the handiwork of their deities. No ordinary priest, a cleric is imbued with divine magic. . . . The gods donít grant this power to everyone who seeks it, but only to those chosen to fulfill a high calling. Harnessing divine magic doesnít rely on study or training. A cleric might learn formulaic prayers and ancient rites, but the...

Sunday, 14th October, 2018

  • 11:26 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    But if a VtM game did have.a scene story or plot where gas in the tank was crotical to,the resolution, i sure wouldnt call that lame without knowing whether the players enjoyed it.But we know the answer to this - Hussar described a game in which the player did not want the bike to be at stake in the game. And various posters - including you, I think - said that that was a bad player trying to avoid "consequences".
  • 11:32 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Are you deliberately misunderstanding billd91, or do you genuinely not understand that if the DM wants a game where he controls the NPCs, he's forced to play a game he doesn't want to play if players can force him not to play the patron? Nobody is saying the DM should not control the NPC's. We're saying that this one specific NPC, that only impacts one PC and no other PC can ever interact with, gets taken off the table. Infinity-1 while smaller than infinity is still pretty damn big. Losing control of one NPC and making a player happy seems a pretty small price. Claims that this is going to ruin the game for the DM seem a bit overblown to me.I want to go further than Hussar - a GM who even regards this as a price is a GM with a flaw that I would not want to play with. The GM's basic function in a RPG is to provide the players with obstacles and antagonism that they can pit their PCs against. The details can vary dramatically - from mapping and stocking a dungeon, to coming up with a Dragonlance-like series of set piece encounters to be worked through, to "indie"-style scene framing. But that provision of obstacles and antagonism is the basic function. Playing NPCs is a means to that end: they are elements in the obstacles/antagonism (whether as framing or as consequences) or else they are mere colour. A GM who regards it as a "price" that a player wants to put some limits or offer some direction in respect of those things is (in my view) just about the lamest GM imaginable. This is why, as these arguments are set out, I am actually becoming more sympathetic to Hussar's description of it as an ego thing: because we seem to be talking about a GM who i...
  • 11:15 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    You get a lot of people talking about "meaningful choices" around here but only seem to want those to matter if the consequences are goodThis is what I'm calling out as nonsense - I mean you clearly don't think you're describing your game, and I know you're not describing my game, and I'm going to hazard a guess that you're not describing Hussar's game either - so whose game do you think you are describing? Which goes back to my point - is the best the GM can think of to challenge my Hells Angel's PC stealing my motorbike? To me it just seems like incredibly weak GMing. I know that sort of thing is basically compulsory in high level AD&D if wizard PCs are to be kept within some semblance of balance, but there are almost no RPGs out there as poorly mechanically balanced as high level AD&D. The motorcycle example came from a Vampire game, I think - but it could equally apply to any modern-setting RPG. When the players in my Marvel Heroic game wanted their PCs to get from DC to Tokyo they just narrated it as travelling in a Stark private jet (one of the PCs being War Machine) - it's so far in the "background" it's just taken for granted! There was plenty of action waiting for them in Tokyo without needing to worry about whether or not they suffer a random North Korean missile firing at their jet! In my Classic Traveller ...
  • 01:48 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...ut. EDIT: Here's another example: I don't think that's really what people are saying - they're saying that you must accept the complication those classes require. They don't typically involve MUST take certain actions by DM force - rarely does a paladin even face that. Rather, that you MUST accept the consequences of the way you play your character, or of the choices you make, when they interact in certain ways with the classes you've chosen or the situation around you. I think your spin on it really is a mischaracterization - and an extremely uncharitable one at that.How is RPGing better because the GM threatens to stop you playing a paladin, warlock or whatever - "consequences of the way you play your character" - unless you pursue XYZ side quest or barmaid rescue or whatever it is the GM decides would be fun. To me that just seems like the pits. Can the GM not think of some way to challenge my PC which speaks to what I envision as my PC's goals, raison d'etre, etc? Hussar's "force" means that the GM will force a player to do something to maintain his patron relationship and the powers that result from it. Our point of view is that a patron can not like something a character does and pull the power but the player still has free will to do what he or she wants when that situation comes up.And I make the same point to this: if the GM can't think of anything more interesting than framing a choice as "Do this thing I want your PC to do or else forfeit your PC abilities", how badly must that game suck? I have been on the receiving end of the "kobolds" babies" situation more than a few times, but only ever once by any single GM. That is because when it was my "paladin" or "lawful good" he was bringing into question - i said in essence "as a devout follower of the teachings and faith my character should know what the most acceptable answer from those teaching to this quandry are - maybe even a few not the best but ten hail marys attonement options as well....

Saturday, 13th October, 2018

  • 03:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    How does it signal what the player doesn't want?I'm talking about the system Hussar described, where by putting a PC-related story element into the (capital B) Background, a player is establishing that it will not be brought into play by the GM.

Friday, 12th October, 2018

  • 04:13 PM - Nagol mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...up backgrounds: The first is attempting to discover the origin of a shard left by his parents and actively pursues this in the campaign. The rest is left up to the DM. He continues to provide information which I tie into what I have I have planned. He is happy with this arrangement. The second is attempting to bring his fallen deity (dead god, long story) to former glory by reigniting the god's divine spark. He is actively attempting to find a way to do this, again with the DM providing the way. The third drew up a detailed background about his past. I have tied it into the theme of the AP we are currently playing. No issues. Players 4 and 5 did not provide me with anything and that is how I have left it. One of them has a writing-type phobia which I barely understand, the other is presumably lazy. :) I believe you are conflating two different things: a PC background which literally provides information on the PC's pre-play experience and Background which as described by Hussar is a game element that takes some of those things on the PC background and informs the table that they effectively exist as colour only. Neither the player nor the DM are to use them as resources or hooks for play.
  • 04:11 PM - Aldarc mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    How does it signal what the player doesn't want? If the player went to all the effort to draw up a background, to me that is an obvious indication that the player would like his background to matter somehow.There may be a miscommunication of terms here. Hussar much earlier discussed a mechanic in another system called the 'Background. We are not necessarily talking "small b" background, in a general sense, or the 5e sense of the Background.' In this other system - from what I understand - the players designate a few things about their characters are essentially placed in the "background" of narrative play, in the sense that the GM will not touch upon them and they are not necessarily things that the player wants as focal points of play. For example, if the PC "backgrounds" their family, then the GM would not introduce orcs into the campaign who would murder them, which would bring them to the foreground of play. Or another player may "background" the racism or exoticism of their dragonborn PC, because they do not want to repeatedly play through "we don't serve your kind here" scenarios every time they enter a town or bar. So by the players using this "background" mechanic, then they would be effectively signalling what they do not want to se...
  • 02:51 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...who insists that all the townsfolk try and kill my bear, or won't talk to me because they're scared of my bear, or whatever, is just making me suck more! What happened to all the people who are intrigued by this guy with a tame bear? The real world is full of those sorts of people, so why not the gameworld? Background as its been described doesn't have anything to do with spotlight time or negation of drawbacks. It's about not using an element as a driver for play. The player is signaling "I'm including something that might look like a plot hook. Please don't use it; I don't want to bother with this. It exists because I thought it appropriate, but exploring it is not interesting to me." So the PC might have a spouse and child "somewhere" (like Winger in Glen Cook's Garrett series), but the player doesn't want them to appear, whether threatened, in need, or angry at abandonment.Right. I don't use this "Background" system - I've never encountered it as a formal device until Hussar mentioned it in this thread. As I've been discussing with S'mon, there is some stuff that is implicitly not to be understood as up for grabs as subject matter of play; but at my table this is all established through informal cues, not via a formal device. But the idea that if the GM can't put pressure on the player of the warlock by having the patron boss the PC around then the player is getting a free ride is absolutely bizarre to me! Do those who think this not have any other ways they can imagine putting pressure on a warlock PC? What do they do when their players decide to play sorcerers instead? If you guys want to agree that the patron is a potatoAnd this is an instance of exactly what I mean. Is it really not possible for someone to play a warlock in your game without you treating that as an invitation to take radical control of that PC's story focus/direction? And as an invitation for the PC to be hosed in some fashion by a GM-controlled patron? I mean, suppose the PC...
  • 09:13 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...she reached 10th level. It never occurred to me that the bear was meant to be a problem for her. (2) Suppose the caravan was "backgrounded" against theft - how would that hurt the game? There are a million-and-one scenarios that can be played involving a caravan. You played one of them. If the caravan were backgrounded against theft, you'd play one of the other million. I mean, there's a whole range of scenarios that are implicitly "backgrounded" at many tables - PCs don't get ambushed while urinating; captured PCs don't get raped; in FRPGs there are few encounters that bring the PCs (and thereby the players) into confrontation with the social realities of mediaeval life (I've never come across a published adventure that tackles in any serious way the infant mortality rates and life expectancy of the mediaeval peasantry). We don't deal with these things because no one finds the prospect appealing, and there's plenty of other stuff that can be dealt with. How is the sort of thing Hussar is talking about any different? What are we actually losing here? It's not like this is a balance issue at all. <snip> Is this really too much of a limitation on a campaign? Are people really that incapable of building a Star Trek campaign that doesn't feature the Enterprise being taken over by aliens?Exactly this.
  • 12:59 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...is morning) Really bad example to make a point for the conversation.Even allowing for the badness of the example, this is just bizarre to me. The games I play that involve magic items have rules (express or implicit) for how items are awarded to PCs. The GM often has a strong mediating role in respect of that. The rules also tell us what the typical bonuses are that are granted by a patron to a follower - namely, the class abilities! The idea that the GM needs to police the role of the patron as a figure in the fiction so that players won't gift themselves benefits outside the rules is just bizarre in so many ways! Just like apparently theft--proof motorcycles for free in VtM, you are not backgrounding the bike, just the bad stuff that comes with having a bike - it seems.If I had a PC with a bike as core part of the character, I would expect to have the bike come under threat only in ways in which other core parts of PC identity come under threat. If - as per the approach Hussar is suggesting - that is "never" than fine. In a more gritty game, it might be a result of a failed check. But the idea that the GM would just decide the bike gets stolen is bizarre. As far as bears are concerned, when the PCs in my 4e game were 1st level they tamed a bear. It wandered around with them for a session or two. I can't remember exactly what we did about it when the PCs arrived at a forester's steading, but I don't think it was that big a deal. It would be pretty crappy GMing, in my view, to undo ther players' success in taming the bear by having the NPCs kill it or refuse to let the PCs keep it with them or whatever. And doubly so if it was a class feature that had been paid for with PC build resources. There is a difference and a significant one in a game where expressly it is the purview of a player to create whole swaths of non-pc content to support their character and those games like 5e where it is not setup that way - especially if it comes with questioni...

Thursday, 11th October, 2018

  • 04:01 PM - SkidAce mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I personally dont have these issues with any group I have ever played with, I suspect cause we talk about it. But both sides (I am taking neither side) of this discussion seem to argue from the best side of their point. I.e. The character still has a code, just doen't want it as a game focus all the time (good example with the Captain America paladin Hussar) I.e. The world is full of restrictions and contracts that certain characters must follow to make sense. (several examples). So here is my theoretical question; What happens when the player of a warlock/paladin/cleric et al, requests/decides how the relationship works, and then starts playing/acting like an assassin when they are a cleric of Bahamut? (Basically ignoring any contradictions in the relationship)
  • 03:49 PM - Sadras mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Like the races examples, its insisting that your character be exempt from the setting impacts of choices... which gets a no at my table. @pemerton and @Hussar If a player selects to play an elf or a dwarf, does the player also have narrative control over the thoughts and actions of the entire tribe, clan or race?
  • 09:35 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...er who has this really strict Oath?" If the player had said, "The whole Oath thing doesn't float my boat, but how about...." and proceeded to offer a totally different story from the one offered in the PHB, that would be ok, too. But the example wasn't given that way. It sounded like the (imaginary) player just wanted to have the cool buttons to mash with no story around it. And to be clear, I don't think there's a balance issue with that at all. It's not that I think the Paladin is overpowered and needs to be reined in via Oaths and roleplaying. It's just that when I imagine somebody wanting to discard the inconvenient bits, with nothing offered in its place, I assume (perhaps unfairly) that he/she is being a pure powergamer with no interest in storytelling.I don't see an oath as an "inconvenient bit". I tend to see it as - within the fiction - a source of strength; and within the play of the game, a likely source of compelling fiction. Beyond that, I basically agree with Hussar's reply to this. We don't assume that the player of a fighter has "no interest in storytelling" because s/he doesn't write into his/her backstory a psychological condition (a la The Manchurian Candidate) that enables the GM to take control of his/her PC; or an oath of loyalty that enables the GM to tell him/her what s/he must do if s/he is not to break the oath. In fact, the game allows someone to play a fighter without establishing any significant amount of backstory at all - but playing a "man with no name" fighter is surely not per se a sign of powergaming, is it? As it happens, nearly all the characters I've played in the bast 25 years are paladins or clerics in some form or other. And every fantasy campaign that I've GMed in that time has included paladins, clerics, and other PCs with loyalties and relationships that are tested during play. But it's never occurred to me as a player or a GM that it is the GM's job to tell the player what these aspects of the character require...
  • 09:25 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    If warlocks, paladins and clerics in this world can choose to have any conflict or blow back or de facto obligation from those "agreements" locked away, why do all those who fo have those restrictions accept them? Are the rest of the warlocks, clerics and such in the world just dolts who got suffered in by a flim flam man?You seem to be equating the player and the PC. No one (as far as I'm aware) is saying that the PC decides what the patron wants. I (at least, but maybe Hussar is sympathetic?) am saying that, as a player and as a GM, I expect the player of a cleric or warlock or whatever to establish the requirements imposed by his/her god/patron/etc. I've never found this to be a problem: eg if a player wants to play an assassin or freebooter then they simply choose not to play a cleric of Bahamut (much as S'mon suggested upthread).
  • 06:29 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Someone(see, I can forget names, too. :p ) mentioned a fey pact warlock with Correlon as the patron.That was me. What I'm not getting is how the DM can leave the patron out of the game, and yet still use the patron in the game for small things.I'll let Hussar deal with that particular conundrum, although to be honest it doesn't seem that hard to resolve (there's a difference between a bit of background colour and a situation that actually requires the players to make choices as to how their PCs resolve it). In my case, when a player worships a god or serves a patron I expect that relationship to figure prominently in play. But that doesn't mean that I get to tell the player what the god or patron wants of his/her PC. The GM tells the player what his/her PC is required to do by his/her patron and the patron never comes into play are not the only two possibilities.


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Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

  • 10:06 AM - Aldarc quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Yes. Abuses of DM power. Railroading. Killing off PCs when you get irritated. Being an asshat. Those are examples of being a bad DM. Simply doing something someone else dislikes isn't being a bad DM. Going back to the example I gave up thread where I left a game after the first session because they played silly the entire time. That didn't make the DM a bad one, or the players bad players. It simply made their style of play one that I didn't like, so I left.Your definition seems to include at least one bit of "things I dislike." :p Doing something someone else doesn't like doesn't necessarily make you a bad DM. That's true. Deliberately doing it to someone when you absolutely know that they don't want you to? That's a lot bigger issue, AFAIC.This too.
  • 09:21 AM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Well, it wouldn't be a single fight would it? It would be that fight, plus the next at least one encounter which would deal with the repercussions of that. And, again, it's apples and oranges. You're talking about the DM forcing the entire group to do something they probably don't want to do. Which is going to have repercussions that last for at least one more encounter and likely more. I'm talking about putting something in the background that isn't even in play yet because this is done at character generation. Would you be okay if the DM didn't use a beholder in the next campaign? Because, frankly, that's the equivalent. but is it? i seem to recall it being considered *by some* a dick move or lacking decency to pitch a future game which a current player wont agree to play in because of your choices as to what is in it. So, really, aren't you more in fact setting it to the Gm to never agree to run a game ever with beholders if he accepts you into this one with your anti-beholder bi...
  • 09:06 AM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Doing something someone else doesn't like doesn't necessarily make you a bad DM. That's true. Deliberately doing it to someone when you absolutely know that they don't want you to? That's a lot bigger issue, AFAIC. I mean, I loathe puzzles in RPG's. Don't mind mysteries, but, puzzles of the "Speak friend and enter" kind drive me straight up the wall. But, I also know that lots of people do like them. So, when they come up in game, I don't complain. I just don't participate very much. No problems. I'll go and get everyone a drink or clean up the pizza boxes or whatever. No harm no foul. OTOH, a DM who, knowing how much I loathe puzzles, decides that the next campaign is going to be nothing but Mud Sorcerer's Tomb type adventures for 20 levels is not what I consider a good DM. There is considerable truth here. Obviously this is a much larger issue to others than it is to me. Like I said, I didn't actually think that the notion of Backgrounding what I consider to be pret...
  • 06:37 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Honestly I think the basic issue is a disagreement over scale. For some, any limitation on dm authority is unacceptable. For me and I think others, I just donít see the big deal. The dm is going to play dozens of not hundreds of npcís. Taking one off the table just seems like such a minor thing to me. Same goes for scenario design. The dm is going to make and run dozens if not hundreds of scenarios. Telling the dm that one is off the table just seems like such a minor thing. To be perfectly honest, it didnít really occur to me that this would be contentious. What's minor to you is a lot to someone else, and vice versa. There's nothing wrong with playing the game your way, or my way. They're just different ways to have lots of fun with the game. The important thing is to find the game that's right for you.
  • 02:06 AM - Imaro quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Honestly I think the basic issue is a disagreement over scale. For some, any limitation on dm authority is unacceptable. For me and I think others, I just donít see the big deal. The dm is going to play dozens of not hundreds of npcís. Taking one off the table just seems like such a minor thing to me. Same goes for scenario design. The dm is going to make and run dozens if not hundreds of scenarios. Telling the dm that one is off the table just seems like such a minor thing. To be perfectly honest, it didnít really occur to me that this would be contentious. Let me pose a question to you Hussar... would you be ok with the DM deciding during the length of a campaign that you and your party lost a combat encounter and were captured no matter what you did in said combat? It's a single fight in a campaign and no one would die, you'd just loose no matter what your actions were and the entire party would be captured. I honestly think many players would see this as railroading and a jerk move by a DM, but it's only a single fight and there will be hundreds across the span of a camapign so why would it be a big deal to many players?

Tuesday, 16th October, 2018

  • 11:28 PM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    To be perfectly honest, it didnít really occur to me that this would be contentious.That surprises me! Although there are a wide variety of approaches expressed on ENworld (I'll point to eg Aldarc, TwoSix, Nagol in this thread), there is a default or dominant approach which is that RPGing = the GM establishes a fiction (which typically will take the form of some sort of "story") and the players' role is to work their way through that fiction. Hence any suggestion that players should exercise some control over establishing the fiction will be contentiouos.
  • 01:44 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    It's funny. You keep insinuating that I'm somehow a special snowflake or entitled, or triggered, or whatever the heck. Hrm, let's do a side by side comparison shall we? You: Design a campaign you know a player will hate. Specifically uninvite said player so that you can run the game you want to run. Me: Goes the extra mile to take player preferences into consideration and has no real problem putting player preferences ahead of my own. Yeah, I'm not really sure you want to play this game. I can't help but feel that you're going to come off looking a lot worse in the comparison. But, sure, I'll keep helping you. I'm not really sure what you think I'm helping you to do, but, whatever it is, I'm thinking that it's not what you think it is. There's multiple things going on. First is this kicking someone out to run a type of game. That's not something I would ever do. In my game, before every campaign, there's a session -1(session 0 is for creating characters and house r...
  • 12:08 PM - Nagol quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Let's put it more directly then. If you know that one of your players would hate an idea, would you still pitch it? If that's something I'd like explore and I think it'd have a strong positive response from enough players, sure! I remember one time where I wanted to run Ars Magica and I knew one of the players didn't like the requisite bookkeeping. He didn't play that campaign. He came back once we switched systems to something more to his liking a few years later. That's the only case I can specifically remember; there have probably been others over the decades where a player has dropped because of the pitch, but never mentioned the specific reason. The only person I will completely bow to the whims of is myself. There are campaigns I don't like to run/am bad at running so I won't pitch them, mostly heavy comedy, unremitting horror, and explicit scenes are off the table. There's been a couple of times where I got talked into running long-term frantic comedy (Teenagers from Ou...
  • 11:51 AM - Lanefan quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    But, they aren't. That's been established multiple times in this thread that the trade off isn't one of power or mechanics. This isn't 1e where this sort of thing was done quite commonly (paladin oath, ranger wealth limitations, druid and monk fighting for levels, etc). And, it's been agreed, one of the few things that we're all pretty much in agreement about, that this has nothing to do with the player trying to get unfair advantages. Although, the fact that this bugaboo keeps getting brought up as a counter argument - apparently we need these things to keep classes in check, even when we don't - tells me that there is something of a break down in communication.Except I'm coming at it from a 1e perspective. We don't have to worry about warlocks but we do have to worry about paladins and clerics, and these things are very much a balancing mechanism. And even if it's not, as you assert for 5e, there's still the 'convenience' factor to consider. When signing up for a class such as cl...
  • 11:27 AM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    It's funny. You keep insinuating that I'm somehow a special snowflake or entitled, or triggered, or whatever the heck. Hrm, let's do a side by side comparison shall we? You: Design a campaign you know a player will hate. Specifically uninvite said player so that you can run the game you want to run. Me: Goes the extra mile to take player preferences into consideration and has no real problem putting player preferences ahead of my own. Yeah, I'm not really sure you want to play this game. I can't help but feel that you're going to come off looking a lot worse in the comparison. But, sure, I'll keep helping you. I'm not really sure what you think I'm helping you to do, but, whatever it is, I'm thinking that it's not what you think it is.Again, thanks. Its very helpful. Just to be clear, you do realize there were other players in my friends who wanted to do Stargate and the player who didnt was fine with the situation, right? You didnt mention any of that in your oh so very helpful...
  • 11:26 AM - Lanefan quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Slight difference though. I'm presuming since you said you "once" went to a game, that it wasn't a long term thing. It's not like you had been playing with this group regularly for some time and then they changed, right? You were the new player at the table? Contrast to 5ekyu's example where this is a long time player who, presumably, had been enjoying games with the group before but had one very strong preference - no capture scenarios. Would you seriously then design a campaign predicated on capture scenarios? Really? /edit after reading 5ekyu's description of the situation. You went so far as to boot a player before the campaign even started (I wasn't inviting him to the game and explained why). :boggle: Wow. You actually kicked this guy out of your group so you could play a different game. And I'm taking flak for entitlement issues? Sorry, I don't do that. I wouldn't consider anyone who did that to actually be a friend. That's about as douchey a thing to do as yo...
  • 11:11 AM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Slight difference though. I'm presuming since you said you "once" went to a game, that it wasn't a long term thing. It's not like you had been playing with this group regularly for some time and then they changed, right? You were the new player at the table? Contrast to 5ekyu's example where this is a long time player who, presumably, had been enjoying games with the group before but had one very strong preference - no capture scenarios. Would you seriously then design a campaign predicated on capture scenarios? Really? /edit after reading 5ekyu's description of the situation. You went so far as to boot a player before the campaign even started (I wasn't inviting him to the game and explained why). :boggle: Wow. You actually kicked this guy out of your group so you could play a different game. And I'm taking flak for entitlement issues? Sorry, I don't do that. I wouldn't consider anyone who did that to actually be a friend. That's about as douchey a thing to do as you can. "S...
  • 10:34 AM - Nagol quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Slight difference though. I'm presuming since you said you "once" went to a game, that it wasn't a long term thing. It's not like you had been playing with this group regularly for some time and then they changed, right? You were the new player at the table? Contrast to 5ekyu's example where this is a long time player who, presumably, had been enjoying games with the group before but had one very strong preference - no capture scenarios. Would you seriously then design a campaign predicated on capture scenarios? Really? I design campaigns based on what I want to run. Typically, I'll have 2-3 pitches to make at a time. The pitch that gets the best response is the one I'll run. There's no hard feelings if a player doesn't want to participate in a particular campaign; I'll see them at other times. What I won't do is bait and switch. I lay out the campaign basics and while individual adventures may vary from the baseline, the only seismic campaign shifts come from player choice...
  • 06:11 AM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Did you not say that you had a player walk because you ran a game that he would not like?I had a player who after discussion and such we agreed he was not going to play in the Stargate game. It actually started with me telling him I would not be inviting him, why and after discussion we were both fine with it. It had nothing at all to do with how I played the ties-to-npcs. It had to do with his frequently displayed and oft-stated over years strong aversion and intense dislike for in-game scenes where pcs are captured. They were not fun for him and were cases where as a player he got unhappy when they occurred. The new campaign my players and I wanted to do was Stargate and that setting features "capture and escape" as one of its major tropes. So much so its even at times "the key to the plan" of the lead characters. But again, that had nothing to do with the PC ties to npcs and how its handled in my games. Quite the contrary... that particular player tended to always build "gm proof" ch...
  • 05:54 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Where is Captain America's shield when he's not using it? Before or after the many times it has been broken, confiscated or stolen?
  • 05:54 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Did you not say that you had a player walk because you ran a game that he would not like? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I once went to a game where the players and DM were very silly throughout the entire game. I politely said thank you and informed them at the end of the night that I would not be returning. It wasn't the game for me. What I didn't do, was expect them to stop playing so silly because I was a player and I didn't like it.

Monday, 15th October, 2018

  • 04:51 PM - billd91 quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    It is a sign of dickishness, (not sure where indecency comes in) when you pitch that game 100% knowing that at least one of your players absolutely hates the idea that you are pitching. That's the very important detail you are leaving out here. When knowing that that pitch will cause one player to leave the game is a pretty strong sign of dickishness. It isn't if you know all of the other players want to play it. Kind of dickish to stand in the way of all of your fellow players fun, isn't it?
  • 01:26 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ROTFLMAO. Dude, it's very, very likely that I'm older than you. Okay. I wasn't talking about you, since you aren't capable of keeping WotC afloat. You asked why they made that change. It wasn't for you buddy. It was for the new generation of players. That you would take my talking about an entire generation as talking about you says a ton about you, though. No wonder you expect the game to revolve around you as a player.
  • 11:34 AM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Oh, I totally agree. Personally, I wouldn't background these relationships. I think they're great. And, I have no real problems with a DM who uses them. That's fine. But, again, we're talking about a player who has specifically said they don't want this. They've made it very clear that this is not fun for them. To me, a good DM takes the preferences of his or players into account when designing and running adventures.To me a good player realizes such a request may get told no without that meaning he should no think others ducks or question their decrncy.
  • 11:00 AM - Sadras quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    But, again, we're talking about a player who has specifically said they don't want this. They've made it very clear that this is not fun for them. To me, a good DM takes the preferences of his or players into account when designing and running adventures. If both DM and player agreed to it I'm in 100% agreement, otherwise what you have is a clash of playstyles. Where we might differ in opinion Hussar is that I very much believe the DM has more of a say-so at what is allowed at the table given that much of the workload falls on their shoulders (again not for story-now games). In this white room discussion it sounds rather polarized, but in RL, discussions and compromises occur frequently between DMs and their tables, whether it be on character creation, off-topic backgrounds, house rules, settings, systems...etc


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